Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Usual Chicken"


In our house we have a bunch of things that I cook regularly. One of them is something we like to call "Usual Chicken". We call it this, because the recipe starts out by saying "Boil chicken in the usual way..." I have no idea what the usual way of boiling chickens is. Cookery the Australian Way suggests boiling for an hour with two peppercorns and a teaspoon of vinegar, so that's what I do. You might like to boil yours in your slow cooker.

Im not sure where this recipe came from, but it was all in ounces and stuff, so I've since converted it. I also changed the bit at the end that suggested frying your breadcrumbs in butter before adding to the top. You can do that if you like, but I don't think the recipe needs any extra butter.


You need:
One whole chicken
60g butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons parsley
2 sticks celery
1 can corn kernels
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Boil chicken in the usual way (tee-hee) until it breaks apart when lifted with tongs. Reserve 1 cup of stock and set aside chicken to cool.

Melt butter in a large saucepan, add flour and stir over low heat for two minutes.

Remove from heat. Gradually add reserved chicken stock and return to the the heat, bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for two minutes.

Add undiluted soup, cream and parsley. If you want, you can use dry parsley, but only use about 2-3 teaspoons. Mix well.

Chop celery, and drain the corn. Strip the meat from the chicken - I use a knife and fork to do this. Chop the meat roughly and add celery, chicken and corn to the saucepan and stir through to combine.

Pour into an oven proof dish. Top with breadcrumbs and bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve it up to your kids (and significant others) and watch them eat it all and ask for seconds! Yum!




Thursday, 23 June 2011

My Creative Space - Robot Fever


I seem to be on a bit of a robot bender at the moment (robot BENDER - get it? hahaha!). I'm ready to get started sewing up some more pajamas for Liam. The lovely robot fabric is some flannelette that I picked up from Spotlight at the end of season, last year. I'm using my favourite pajama pattern - Kwiksew 3126. I have lost count of how many pajamas I have made from this pattern, it is one of the most used in my whole pattern stash.

Here are some pajamas I made last year:
Pajama boys

I just found out this morning that a lovely local business, Crafty Mamas, is now stocking Kwik Sew patterns (just give them a  little time to get them up in the shop) including the Kwik Sew Books (Sewing for Baby, Sewing for Toddlers etc.) that I use all the time, and are the Australian distributor of the Ottobre sewing magazines. Between those, it covers just about everything I make for my kids.

Now go and check out some more Creative Spaces.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Hottie Challenge


The Margaret Pratt Foundation is a charity organisation that supports research to improve the outcomes of heart and lung transplant recipients. Open Drawer are running the Hottie Challenge to support the Margaret Pratt Foundation. If you want to know any more about this fabulous event, and check out some of the entries, you should step on over to the CurlyPops blog and check it out.


I had a really difficult time trying to decide what to put on my hottie cover. I felt that it should reflect me and my blog in some way. I eventually decided to use my own robot appliqué design, (inspired by a comment from Jodie on a recent post) but using free-hand, raw-edge appliqué techniques (that I learned from Kellie) rather than by using the embroidery machine. Instead of using regular thread to appliqué and quilt my hottie cover, I used thread from the embroidery machine. I love the finish - it gives the whole project a lovely sheen.


I almost forgot to put an opening in the hottie cover to be able to insert the hot water bottle, but fortunately remembered before I stitched the whole thing together. There's nothing like last minute creativity! My hottie cover went in the mail this afternoon, and now I am relying on Express Post to get my parcel into Cam's letterbox by tomorrow. Oh, and I have no idea if an actual hot water bottle would fit in there.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Echino Skirt


After the first skirt, I was confident enough with the fit to chop into my precious Echino fabricthat I purchased from Patchwork on Central Park during Sew It Together last year. I think this skirt is going to be one of my favourite articles of clothing this winter. The bright colours really cheer up a dull day!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I Made a Skirt! Sew What?


My friend Karen, has been having a little sew-along on her blog. Making skirts using Prints Charming fabric and instructions from the book Sew What Skirts. I already made a wrap skirt using this book, but I just don't have enough skirts in my wardrobe, so I thought it might be a good idea to join in. 

I don't have any Prints Charming fabric, and I wanted to make sure I had the fit right so I started with some light weight denim from my stash - I have loads of this, so no immediate fear of running out. You can't really tell in the photos, but it has a cross hatch texture through it. 


I'm pretty happy with the fit of this skirt, there isn't much that can go wrong with a skirt, unlike pants. I now have a skirt that is comfortable enough to wear around the house, and nice enough to wear down the street (maybe with a nicer top than the daggy old maternity one I am wearing in the photo). The best part is, it took hardly any time, and I now have a pattern to make MORE SKIRTS!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Robot Hooded Jacket, Revisited


Just over two years ago, I made this jacket. It has been a firm favourite of Liam's and he has only recently started allowing Noah to wear it occasionally. The only thing is, it doesn't really fit Noah any more, either.


I have been meaning to make him another one for quite a while. In fact, I intended to make one last winter. Anyway, I finally got around to it over the long weekend.


The only major difference (apart from the size) was I made larger cuffs, to make more of a feature from the robot fabric. You can see in these photos, that Liam has the cuffs folded back, but it looks the same when unfolded too.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Red Baron

It was a long weekend here just been, and the weather was awesome. I got heaps of stuff done! Lots of sewing and I even managed to get out in the garden and plant my bulbs that I have been wanting to do for weeks. Maybe soon I can come back and show you the result of that... wish me luck!


Anyway, this was the first thing I sewed this weekend, a hoody for Liam, using a $1 design from Embroidery Library. The fabric was left-overs from Paige's school uniforms from about umm... I dunno... 10-12 years ago? It's not a colour I would rush out and buy, but it looks nice on Liam. I wanted an embroidery on it so it didnt look too "school-uniformy". I had to borrow some threads from Mum as I just didn't have enough of the right reds.


I used the Kwik Sew Sewing for Children book, and I included the kangaroo pocket on the front for Liam to keep his hands warm and store treasures in.


Monday, 6 June 2011

Look What the Postman Brought!


I was very surprised to find the postman at the door with a parcel the other day. This beautiful Olearia was gifted to my baby, Amélie, by Susan of The Brissmiths. It is hand-knitted from lovely, lovely Bendigo yarn. It is a little large at the moment, but I think it works just nicely over the top of a dress for now.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tracksuit Pants


Well you don't get much more exciting than tracksuit pants, hahaha! I made these using Kwik Sews Sewing for Toddlers book BUT I did a few modifications. I changed the shape of the leg. The Kwik sew pattern is quite tapered, so I widened it out a bit. I added some pin-stripes to the sides. I also made my own pocket pattern for these pants.


The best part of these tracksuit pants is that apart from elastic and thread (and a few hours of my time), they were FREE! The fabric is left-overs from other clothing. The sad part is that Liam is not a fan of tracksuit pants...
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