Monday, 20 August 2012

CHA craft swap update! What I got!

So.... stage three in the craft swap series for theGFCookie this year!

Read about stage one here, and stage two here.

Friday brought the arrival of the long awaited craft swap parcel!!!

Just wanted to share the goodies that arrived at my door.


a platter with Zoe's hand drawn art, and detailing


Look at this cute oven glove- it's an apple!


a close up of Zoe's handmade detailing


An embroidered brooch- look at that cream in the cookie- YUM!

Did you go to the Sydney Style markets on the weekend?
Did you see Zoe there, or my gluten free babies out and about?
I'd love to hear how they went!

Friday, 17 August 2012

CHA craft swap update! What I swapped.

So it is time to update you all on the craft swap. If you'd like to read about it in more detail here is my first post.

So the rules were to make something for your craft swap partner, being of value within the price range of $30 -$50.
Check that off the list!

I have been excitedly designing and preparing according to Zoe's ideas. Zoe sews adorable little girls clothes, and does some gorgeous embroidery to feature on her items too! You can find Zoe's creations on her FB page or at Pretty Pickings.com.au.

Zoe takes her wares to various markets, and was hoping to use the cookies I made as a giveaway with purchases at the Sydney style markets in Leichart this weekend.
So the theme for the cookies was based on her brand logoProfile Picture

I chose the different aspects of the logo to feature in a few designs...

The apple tree is so cute, so I made two versions, one with a fondant topper, and the other version with textured royal icing.








Cookie POPS! a so popular with my customers, and I have a sweet little birdie cutter, so that option was a definite...

and I wanted to incorporate her brand name also, so I used the rubber letter stampers with edible ink to stamp Pretty Pickings on a cookie a little larger than business card, and accented it with the red and pink bunting that drapes across the lettering.

I had also made some flower cookie POPS! and when I sent the photos through to Zoe I didn't realise I'd sent these too, so I popped a few of those in too.

What do you think, I felt pretty pleased with these 'Pretty Pickings'! I even popped in a couple of extra cookie pops for Zoe's little ones, and some oreos for Zoe, just in case she had time for a tea break!


I hope you have a very successful day at the markets Zoe!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Popping my Farmers Market Cherry!

Farmers markets are a great way to support local farmers, eat fresh seasonal produce, and cut down on the amount of km your food has travelled (aka "food miles"). There is also usually a great range of organic produce, and if not organic, at least the food hasn't had so many chemicals and pesticides used on it!

This weekend I ventured to St Kilda Farmers Market. It operates on the first Saturday of each month next door to the Veg Out Community Garden, located on the corner of Shakespeare Grove and Chaucer Street, St Kilda. And what a perfect day for a winter market! The sun was shining and there were so many people out enjoying it all!


There were so many stalls. From people selling free range and organic meat of all kinds (pork, lamb, beef and even venison), to fruit and vegetables, and even some delicious treats like a wonderful warming chai tea. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the fruit and vegetables were very reasonably priced, at the same or in some cases even lower than regular supermarket produce. And the taste was amazing. I took home some delicious pink ladies apples that were only $2.50/kg!

I purchased some pumpkin and leek to make some delicious sesame tarts. I have been waiting for an excuse to try this new recipe by Janella Purcell. She does lots of easy and healthy recipes, including dairy and gluten free and even lots of vegan recipes too!
Before riding home I decided to stop at St Kilda and enjoy the winter sun. Check out the action shot of the seagull!

Pumpkin and Sesame Tarts
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp tamari or GF soy sauce
1/2 cup sesame oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Filling
2 cups of pumpkin, thinly sliced with seeds
Half a leek, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. Lightly grease a muffin pan and set aside.

Mix together the flour and sesame seeds. Combine tamari, sesame oil and boiling water together in a bowl and mix into flour mixture slowly until a dough forms. Knead the dough until it comes together. Leave to rest under a dry cloth for 30 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench, and then use a pastry cutter or a glass to cut out circles about 10cm in diameter or to fit in the muffin pan. Place the pastry circles in the muffin pan and use additional pastry to fill any cracks.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.

Place the pumpkin and seeds on a tray and coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Sauté the leek and garlic until slightly caramelised.

Leek, pumpkin, goats feta and thyme. Delicious!
Layer the sesame cases with the garlic and leek and then the pumpkin. You are only limited by your imagination with these cases, so you can add whatever you like! I topped half with cheese and chives, and the other half with goats feta and thyme. Delicious! I even made some mini quiches with the left over pastry for breakfast with chorizo, spanish onion and red capsicum! I will definitely be using this recipe again- so easy!