Monday, January 25, 2010


I love biscotti. I've made them for some years now to send to my children as a Care Parcel, because they keep and travel well. Now I'm making them for myself as a low-fat nibble. They're more work than usual biscuits/cookies, because you bake them twice (that's where the name comes from) but worth it.

Here's the basic recipe, and some variations.

2 cups of plain flour - you can use all white, or add some wholemeal (whole wheat)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
half a cup of nuts. Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts are all good. For Christmas, I used hazelnuts and glace cherries. Glace ginger is great too.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 F).

Put dry ingredients (but not nuts etc) in a bowl or mixer and blend. Mix eggs and vanilla essence, and add to mix to make a firm dough. Add nuts, fruit etc.

Divide into 2 oblong "logs". Not too long, not too skinny. The dough should be firm enough for the logs to hold their shape without collapsing. Place on baking sheets and bake for around 25 minutes or until firm in the middle.

Cool for at least half an hour. With a bread knife, cut slightly diagonal slices about 1/4" thick. Hopefully they won't fall apart into crumbs. Lay the slices back on the baking trays (you will need 2 trays this time) and with heat of around 150 C (300F), put them back in the oven and let the surface dry for maybe 10 minutes, then turn and do the other side.

I will often turn the oven off and leave the biscotti there to harden.

When completely dry and hard, pack in airtight containers.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kids' Quilts - finished!

Here are the 3 quilts all completed - a pink quilt for Ivy, with ballerina fabric, applique flowers and butterflies, and quilted stars...
...a pink and purple quilt for Melody, with fairy fabric, applique flowers and butterflies, and quilted daisies....
...and for Cruz, a blue frog quilt with applique frogs and lizards, and quilted fish hooks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year to all my blog readers

Here's a collection of images taken over the past couple of weeks while I've been on holiday. Above is the boy's quilt that I've made for my friend's 3 year old son. It's my own original design, and matches the 2 girls' ones I made late last year. The feature fabric has frogs on it, so I made the applique blocks with frogs, lizards and water lily pads.
Here are the bags that I've made.
A view of my garden from the side border on the east side of the house, looking towards the front. If you're somewhere covered in ice and snow at present, this might cheer you up.
And here are a couple of gratuitous shots of the poodles being twins. They need a trim before it gets really hot.