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April 2013

{kid's in the kitchen} raspberry jelly hearts recipe for Mother's Day


Here's a fun and super easy recipe for the kids to make for Mother's Day with (hopefully) no 'parent hovering' required! Package sweet handmade jellies into small boxes for an ideal Mum gift and the kids get to eat the left-overs


Raspberry Jelly Hearts
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons glucose syrup
8 drops raspberry oil
pink food colouring
icing (confectioner's) sugar 

Step 1 Sprinkle gelatine over half of the water in a small heatproof jug. Stand jug in a small saucepan of simmering water and stir until gelatine dissolves

Step 2 In a medium size saucepan, stir sugar, syrup and remaining water on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in gelatine mixture, a few drops of food colouring and raspberry oil. Pour into a 15cm square cake pan and place in refrigerator to set overnight

Step 3 Dust counter work surface with icing (confectioner's) sugar. Turn out jelly onto sugar and dust other side. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes or can be cut into squares with a knife

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{go make me} how to dip dye an ombre sun hat / fashion diy project


Summer is fading here in Australia but the weather is still so beautiful with many days spent swimming at the Sydney harbourside pool. You lucky folks in the northern hemisphere have Summer around the corner and soon it will be time to forage for your bathers and bare the body to the sun. Scary thought, I know!

Prepare for the season by creating a colourful ombre sun hat. You can add a stylish fabric flower too, diy here


Ombre dying is so addictive and unpredictable, although that's half the fun. I purchased several $5 straw hats on Ebay last year and played around with dip dying to change the intensity of colour. I'm in love with the results and it's super easy to do


How to Dip Dye an Ombre Sun Hat
You will need
A sun hat
Dye (I used Rit Liquid Dye)
2 large eyelets (optional)
String and 4 safety pins
A pot slightly larger and deeper than the crown of the hat but not too large for the brim
A cook top

Step 1 (optional): I wanted to thread a scarf through the hat so it can be secured under the chin or behind the hair when a breeze whips up. Use large eyelets (for yacht sails) purchased from the hardware store

Step 2: My solution for controlling the level of exposure to the dye was to use 4 safety pins positioned around the base of the brim with 4 lengths of string attached to the pins. Luckily I have a cupboard above my stove so I could hang the string from the cupboard knob. It's important to keep the hat level 

Step 3: Nearly fill the saucepan to the top with water and have the cook top on the lowest heat setting. Heat the water but not a full rapid boil. Add 100mL of dye and fully immerse the hat crown into the pot stopping at the brim. I only had the hat immersed for 8 minutes as the dye worked very well with the fibres

Step 4: To get the ombre look, lift the hat up an inch by the strings so only half the crown is now immersed. The colour should deepen with time in the colour

Step 5: Carefully remove the hat and rinse in cold water. Hang to dry

Step 6: Thread a scarf through the eyelets

I hope you get to make this fun hat! What colour would you use? I made a pink and teal hat in under an hour and a half. You could also colour a swim suit to match or an overshirt to take to the beach. I would love to know what you do

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{go make me} Pina Colada coconut and lemon scrub / diy beauty project


Do you love a Pina Colada cocktail? The coconut smell, the coconut taste. YUM. It's one of my all-time favourite drinks and with this in mind, I developed a delicious 'Pina Colada' scrub to rejuvenate tired skin and have you smelling gorgeous, darling. Coconut is an excellent exfoliant in combination with coconut oil, lemon peel and epsom salts : the perfect cocktail


Pina Colada Coconut and Lemon Scrub
1 cup Dessicated Coconut 
1 cup Epsom Salts 
2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil (available at Heath Food Shops)
4 drops Vitamin E Oil (optional)
1 Lemon (peel finely grated)
Air tight container

Thoroughly clean the container (dishwasher) and dry. Combine all dry ingredients in a clean bowl. Add coconut oil to desired wetness level and combine. Add ingredients to container. Use scrub on dry skin to exfoliate and gently shower off. Please be aware that the shower recess may be slippery due to the oil content. The scrub should never abrade the skin and test on a small portion of skin for allergies

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{go make me} how to make a jewelry or cake stand / diy project


Is your jewelry collection strung throughout the house in an impossible mess like mine? I've been itching to make a jewelry stand for sometime as I have a big-ish collection of vintage china bought from thrift stores and jewelry in desperate need of organisation. In a few hours, you can create your own unique stand that looks very impressive or use as a cake stand too


The trickiest bit is getting the colours, sizes and proportions right. I wanted a modern influence and spray painted two of my plates gold or with gold stripes and then drilled holes using a power drill (I loooove my tin of gold spray paint at the moment. See other gold projects here and here)


How to make a jewelry or cake stand
You will need
An assortment of plates, cups and saucers. I found vintage pieces thinner than modern china, making it easier to drill
3 Tiered Cake Stand Hardware (I bought a few and made mine 4 tiered) 
6mm tungsten tip diamond drill bit
Hand Drill
If colouring plates (Not suitable for food) I also spray the hardware gold to match!
Rough sanding paper
Spray base coat
Gold spray paint for use on ceramics
Tape for masking off areas
Ruler and Pencil 

Step 1 Play around with various sized plates and colours. Luckily I found a plate for $2 in the thrift shop with holes running around the edge that's perfect for hanging earrings. If colouring plates, firstly roughly sand clean surface and then apply a base coat. Let dry and spray a light coat of colour. Let fully dry, then repeat (or follow manufacturers instructions)

Step 2 On the back of each piece, apply a strip of masking tape. This will stop the drill bit from slipping. Mark the centre of each piece with a pencil. Drill, slowly at first until a small hole is established and then continue until fully drilled through base

Step 3 Thread hardware through crockery

Step 4 Show off your lovely pieces

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{go make me} thai fish fillets 'en papillote' or steamed in a bag / recipe


This method of steaming fish "en papillote" or cooked in the bag is a fool-proof way to steam fish sucessfully every time. Simply seal the fish first, then place in a "bag" (made from folded and creased baking paper), then place in the oven to let the juices work their magic. Divine

Here's my recipe that I make for my family every other week and only takes 20 minutes

Thai Fish Fillets Steamed in a Bag (serves 4)
4 x 150g White Fish Fillets (I used Ocean Perch)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Bok Choy

1/2 red chilli with seeds removed, thinly chopped
1 clove garlic cut finely
4 spring onions, thinly chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown or palm sugar
1/2 lemon juiced

Pre-heat oven to 200oC. Tear off 4 long sheets baking paper and set aside

Place all marinade ingredients except garlic in a bowl and mix

Rub fish fillets with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fish in a pre-heated non stick pan (making sure pan is quite hot) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. We are just sealing the fish for a little colour, not cooking it through. Remove fish from pan and set aside
In the same pan, add a little oil and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the rest of the marinade and gently simmer until sugar has dissolved

Place two to three leaves of Bok Choy on one side of the baking paper. Place a fish portion on top. Fold over the other side of the baking paper so the edges meet at one edge, Make little folds and continue folding around each side to half-way. Pour in a quarter of the marinade and continue to fold the bag until fully sealed containg all the marinade. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve in the bag and gently make a tear across the top. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with steamed rice