When Ava was small and I had just started going to mother’s group one of the other mothers brought along a delicious apple cake. I devoured my piece and politely accepted when another was offered, conveniently blaming breastfeeding and the need for calories on my extensive appetite.
Thankfully The Mummy shared the recipe with me and since then it has been my ‘go to’ recipe when heading to someones house for morning tea. It takes no time to mix up and only 45min to bake, making it perfect for last-minute emergencies, impressing people just that little more when you serve it warm. Aside from apple you can substitute different fruits – it is a very versatile little recipe. I have made it with apricots before but I recently made it with pears for the Mums at playgroup and I think this would be my favourite so far.
Easy Apple Cake
The shopping list
3/4 cup wholemeal self raising flour
3/4 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup white sugar
125g melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 Granny smith apples, sliced and lightly stewed or 400g tin of pie apples
Some extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
A greased 20cm springform tin (It also handy to put a circle of baking paper in the bottom)
A large mixing bowl
What to do with it…
Preheat oven to 180°C
Mix sifted flours, sugar, egg, melted butter and vanilla
Press 3/4 of mixture into the tin
Spread fruit on top
Press small pieces of the remaining mixture over the top of the fruit
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until nicely browned on top
Note: If you don’t have a 20cm springform, an 18cm is better than larger
You can sprinkle toasted almond flakes at the end
Also nice with pears, peaches or apricots
The homemade Christmas mission has not been the success I was hoping for this year. With all the work I have had on, I barely even got any new projects started. So I am hoping next year it will be more of a success and I wont need to resort to the shops quite as much. Hmmm… we will have to just wait and see.
Here is one quick and easy (and yummy) item I did get to make, Lemon Shortbread Stars. The recipe can be found in this post.
I feel as though super hot days are as restrictive (if not more so) that wet stormy days, so when it was 38 degrees last week we decided to stay inside and have a little crafty session. It was all about christmas, involved lots of red paint and was a fun way to deal with the heat.
First we painted a Kraft paper reindeer that I had bought from Spotlight. Ava was totally focused, covering the whole reindeer with red paint, only needing a little help at the end to finish him off. It I so nice to watch her concentrate like that. We then moved on to free form painting and then on to potato stamping, making Christmas cards and a little bit of wrapping paper.
I had attempted potato stamping with Aoife, from Pomp, and her lovely girls a few years ago but it just didn’t happen for us. We had a ball trying it but I think our main set back, with actually making some lovely wrapping paper, was the complexity of the shapes we were trying to create. This time I kept it very simple which made it easy to get a result and with a little bit of scepticism from the previous failed attempt I didn’t start the project with high expectation so any result was a good one.
The finished outcome was lovely and there will be a few of our creations going out into the world to wish our loved ones a Merry Christmas.
Have you been doing any Christmas Craft lately? How do you deal with the ridiculous heat?
Just a fun little shot I snapped in the garden this week of the Shelby Corvette Daragh bought me years ago when I told him I need a new car. It is now part of Ava’s collection.
After posting Our First Christmas Advent Calendar yesterday I felt like sharing a few of the lovely pics I came across in the planning process. There are so many creative people out there with beautiful ideas. Here are just a few.
Firstly there is the amazing couple at Young House Love who planted the seed of an advent calendar in my head over a year ago.
These simple white parcels on a grey felt pinboard are very elegant and show how christmas decorations can tie in beautifully with the existing design of a room. It is possible to be stylish and festive at the same time.
A bit of fun and a very do-able idea is this framed advent calendar with individually decorated pockets.
And finally another design that would fit in beautifully with your own decor, by painting the jars a colour to suit your room. I think the challenge here would be finding an available surface to display it.
Christmas (like most areas of my life) is a time when I have more ideas and plans than time to spare. This is illustrated perfectly in the Advent Calendar I chose to make this year. I had been inspired by my own crazy thoughts, materials at hand and the plethora of unique ideas out there in the wonderful world of the interwebs. I formed a picture in my mind of what I wanted that I thought it was simple enough, but I was really biting off far more than I could chew resulting in some very late nights, trying to get it done around work and everyday life in time for the 1st of December.
Last year I spotted this lovely calendar on Young House Love. It was simple to implement and a clever use of Ikea fodder, but what i loved most was the idea of taking the decoration from it each day and hanging on the tree. It doesn’t involve chocolate or knick knacky toys, I decided this suited us perfectly and would love for it to become a tradition in our house.
With some basic ideas of what I wanted to achieve, some inspiration from pinterest and some lovely lists on Buzzfeed and Creative Bloq I made the plan to create our advent calendar using an old ladder we had in our garage, with each of the 25 parcels wrapped in a different way, like little gifts.I didn’t want to go out and buy a lot of new materials so I used what I already had around the house to decorate the packages, designing each one as I went. This did take a bit of planning and a few had to be redone, due to some ideas just not working the way I intended and double ups that were too close together when assembled.
What I really should have picked up from all the images I looked at before completing this and something I definitely have learnt from creating this is that ‘simple is best’. Next year I think I will focus my energy on designing one lovely package, then repeating that 25 times. But who knows how I will feel by then.
With all the work I put in I have to say it was worth it. I love the little details created by bringing the different materials together, like the rows of bows along the ladder steps and the contrast of the papers against the wood. I do worry however, how am I going to fit all those decorations on my teeny tiny tree.
If you follow me on instagram you will see most of the individual parcels there each day.