Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Raspberry and Pine Kernel Tart- Tuesday's in the Kitchen.

This tart is a favourite amongst our friends, Miss Two and I. Ads made two beautiful tarts for the Baby Shower that l will share with you all in the coming weeks. Today's it's a Raspberry and Pine Kernel tart that should be served with double cream and a cold glass of Champagne. It's perfect for a birthday, dinner party or celebration and there is usually a fight for the last piece of tart.

A couple of years ago we got caught up watching French Leave, about a year long cooking sojourn by UK chef John Burton Race and his family where they lived in a country villa and experienced living as the French do. We fell in love with french food and so began our culinary courtship around the world. This would be a great edition to a Christmas dinner or Christmas drinks. It was great with the party food served at the baby shower as it's tasty without being overbearingly sweet.

Prep time: Pastry + resting time 2 hours, making tart 20 min |
Cooking Time: 30 min | Serves 6-8 people


For the Sweet Shortcrust Pastry-
You'll need a mixer, large bowl, 20cm tart tin and rolling pin.
100 g Unsalted butter, chopped into 1cm cubes, plus extra for greasing.
100 g Icing Sugar
1 Free range egg
200 g Plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting.

For filling-
100 g Ground almonds
100 g Caster sugar
100 g Unsalted butter, diced
3 Large free range eggs, beaten
3 tbsp Dark Rum
100 g of Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
100 g of Pine Kernels

how to make
  1. Place butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and beat together until soft and pale in colour. Add the egg and beat the mixture until smooth, before folding in the flour. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in Glad wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about two hours.
  2. Dust your bench with a little flour, unwrap the dough and grease tart tin. Roll out pastry about 5mm thick.
  3. Grease a 20 cm flan tin with butter, then dust with flour, shaking out the excess. Roll out pastry and use to line the prepared tart tin. Refrigerate until it's needed.
  4. For the filling- place the ground almonds and sugar in a large bowl and add diced butter. Beat the mixture to a smooth paste, then gradually add the eggs and rum.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  6. Take the tart base out of the refrigerator and fill it with the almond mixture. Sprinkle the raspberries and pine kernels evenly over the top of tart. Push them down into the mixture gently. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove tart from the oven and allow to cool before cutting it. Serve with double cream.

Variations to recipe

If raspberries aren't in season or are to expensive use frozen ones like we did. You can also use other varieties of berries or stone fruit for something different.


I would love to know what you are baking- comment below- send me a picture- or maybe a link, here or email to poppyfoxathome@gmail.com. If you have a favourite recipe share it

x Mummafox

Monday, November 26, 2012

Everyday happenings

There were lots of parties over the weekend.
Master Charlie turned 3, Miss Two was awed by her first visit to a playcentre.
I did some Christmas shopping.
We had baby shower to celebrate the pending arrival of Tully.
I handmade Fairytale paper bunting for the party.
There were cocktails, amazing food prepared by the lovely Laura + beautiful friends.
Tully and I are loved. There were presents.
It was a special afternoon celebration.
Ads baked tarts, there were crafternoons, we bought a new BBQ for summer.
Enjoyed a playdate this morning and I confess I'm exhausted.
So we are all resting.
I might resurface after a good night's sleep.
I hope you all have a great week.

I wonder what your week will bring? We'd love to know.

x Mummafox

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday news at Poppyfox HQ

It's been really a busy two weeks. l have promised myself this coming week to slow down a little.
We started toilet training last Monday and it's been going really well. I admit to feeling apprehensive to try it a second time after Miss Two refused during the year but it's been easier this time round.
 There are clothes in piles at my mums, our house and in the boot of the car for our days. And whilst challenging, I find it just takes up heaps of time- whether it be reminding Miss Two to go, helping her when it all goes haywire and then making sure there are lots of rewards for doing a super job. 
Thank God it's been warm as she's been living in pastel undies and bonds singlets for much of the last fortnight in the hope of keeping things simple. Her new thing is to remind me she's a big girl now. I'm really proud of her.

Last night before attending our birthing class we dropped by the hospital to meet our little niece Amelia Rose born the night before. She was sleeping beautifully to the delight of her parents Claire and Matt. Her sister Charlotte has already fallen in love with her which is a blessing + it's easy to understand why she's adorable. Miss Two has four cousins all girls to her absolute delight although she thought Amelia was going to be a boy just like Tully. I can't believe we'll have a newborn in a little while. Flashbacks last night of labour while Tully was moving around during class and remembering the early days, it's all a little daunting.

It's going to be a busy weekend again with swim class, a 3rd birthday party, Miss Two visiting her newest cousin Amelia, a baby shower + an art exhibition to attend. 
Poppy HQ is in Etsy shop frenzy mode if you can call it that at 34 weeks pregnant but I'm opening the Etsy doors next week and launching on Sunday at the afternoon tea/baby shower. I plan on doing a photo shoot of stock today and Saturday so l can create my listings in the Etsy shop after Mother's group Monday afternoon. 

I've been sewing up reversible Charlie Sling bags, looking after Miss Two, sourcing old school coloured buttons that were destined for the button graveyard as my old sewing shop that l visited as a child was closing down. I thrifted 20 tubes of different buttons for $50 that will look great on the reversible pinnies and pockets. 
I came across vintage fairytale books at the oppy and old bound golden books that are going to become paper bunting for the Etsy shop. I want to have fabric bunting and paper bunting available for the online shop so you can mix and match for birthday parties and grab something original + handmade for that little person in our lives. I'm committing myself to buying reclaimed and handmade this Christmas and I'm surprised at how badly things are made that are on sale in the shops. I'm determined to teach Miss Two and Tully the importance of buying sustainable and ethically produced products.                            

I've nearly finished a string of fabric bunting in nature themed fabrics for Miss Two's room for Christmas with matching bunting for her dolls house that she will be getting Christmas morning. She has requested a wooden dolls house from Santa and she wants rainbow dice too. She's a funny one. Luckily, l picked up her  dolls house earlier in the year on ebay and it's exactly what she's been dreaming of.  It's been sitting in our en suite under a blanket so she can't find it. I still have to sew up her handmade quilts with Bird textile and Umbrella print remnants for her bedding in the dolls house, I'd like to make some sleeping bags for the wooden children to camp out in and revamp the little wooden dolls to make them more personal and desirable.

On the Etsy front I'm pretty excited about getting the online shop started- there will be custom orders for baby quilts, single, double and queen size patchwork quilts, bags/totes, pinnies and bunting. That means you can request fabric choices and designs for that special someone and I can create one off items, garments and home wares for you + your family nest. There will also be handmade pinnies, little girl slip dresses, reversible Amber Totes, Charlie Sling bags, Fabric bunting and paper bunting to purchase without having to custom order. The plan for 2013 is to start slow and build stock up as l get the time to sew in light of the coming Christmas season and also Tully due New Years. It's my dream in the New Year to create a comfortable harem pant for boys and girls, an adjustable size 1-5 skirt, overalls, some handmade quirky soft toys, costumes, and a wrap skirt using vintage and reclaimed fabrics for us women with functionality, comfort and print design as a focus. Stock will be limited and all handmade locally. I want to see how l adapt to having two children in my little family nest before I start doing new items for the Etsy shop.

I figure l still have a few weeks to make some ready to buy pinnies, finish another five reversible Charlie Slings; along with the handmade Christmas gifts- some vintage floral and Sesame street pinnies + Amber Tote bags for my nieces, pack my hospital bags + finish my Christmas shopping. With only 2 weeks before Miss Two's birthday party which we are having a little early due to being pregnant, then Christmas fast approaching and giving birth I have a running To do List that I hope to get through.

Yesterday, I got crafty making my first paper rainbow bunting ready for Miss Two's Rainbow party by being thrifty hunting and gathering at the oppy, Kikki K and using paint sample cards from Bunnings to make decorations. I have been on a treasure hunt for some barbies + a set of clothes for the four barbies she'll open on her birthday all from the oppy. The last two days while we have been out and about shopping, getting our hair done with my mother and Miss two I have stopped off at op shops here and there for a quick search and sneaky purchase while they have waited in the car. Adam has started calling it a mission to create environmentally conscious barbie and I think it's cool. There is nothing worse that over consumerism. I figure its better coming from the oppy for imaginative play rather than letting it go to landfill. I'm realizing not everyone feels the same way and that's OK but I would prefer to buy ethically, put some time and effort hunting + gathering rather than buying everything new.
She hasn't got a clue what's happening it's going to be a wonderful surprise. She has a fairy barbie I thrifted for $3 a couple of weeks ago that she's called Fairywinkle that she's even started taking into the bath and sandpit with her. Yesterday she sang Happy Birthday and made Fairywinkle a cake out of sand and sticks. She's getting excited about turning 3 and enjoys telling everyone she meets that she's having a rainbow party. l think the other four barbies and all the oppy barbie clothes will be a huge hit come her birthday.

What are you getting up to on the weekend? 
Any great adventures or stories to be shared, lived and told. We'd love to know.
Have a happy, happy Friday everyone!

x Mummafox

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hoisen pork spare ribs- Tuesday's in the kitchen

For a while now I have been bored with our everyday fare. I love cooking in the kitchen but since motherhood the luxury of spending hours pouring over recipes and enjoying cook books has been somewhat limited. It gets hard being creative with cooking nightly meals when you're tired, out and about or just trying to cram everything into your day. There just never seems to be enough time.
I've been craving spice and anything with some zing. I want tasty, fresh and dream of tapas, taco's, Thai soups, curries and fresh tasty salads as the weather heats up. It could also be that l am 34 weeks pregnant come Thursday and just know what l WANT! The joys of pregnancy cravings. We have a rule in our house that if we buy a foodie magazine we need to make and try at least three recipes from it and put it to some use. Ads wanted to get the new Australian Gourmet Traveller party issue so we have been trying out all the yummy Mexican, Asian and Turkish recipes this edition. It's been nice being inspired all over again with things in our pantry and to give Miss Two something new to try and enjoy for weeknight family dinners.
Although Mexican is our favourite, Thai comes in a close second in our little family so this recipe was a great step in the right direction of rekindling our taste buds. Miss Two was at childcare on Friday so l decided to temp the taste buds, marinate some pork spare ribs and experiment a little with what's in season in the veggie patch. You can find the recipe on page 58 of A.G.T. The only changes l made was for Miss Two l added undressed slices of cucumber to her meal instead of the pickled cucumber. She had the juice from the salad though on her rice and loved it. There were no leftovers, I went back for thirds which is unheard of (really) and l can't wait to make this again. This is one not only for our little people but the men in our lives are going to love it!

Prep time: 30 min | Cooking Time: 15-20 min | Serves 4-6 people

ingredients + how to prepare
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Steamed rice, sesame seeds and thinly sliced spring onion, to serve

For the Ribs

1.2 kg of Pork spare ribs, cut into ribs or bite size pieces
80 ml (1/3 cup) each of Hoisin and oyster sauce
2 tbsp each of Soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and honey
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp of sesame oil (I used 2 tsp)

Ginger-bruised cucumber
1 Lebanese cucumber, semi-peeled, halved length ways, seeds discarded, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp rice vine vinegar
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

how to make

  1. Marinating the pork spare ribs is the key. For Hoisin pork, combine ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste with white pepper, cover and set aside in the fridge to marinate or if this is needed quickly marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat, lightly brush with oil, drain pork and char-grill. Turn once, until glazed and cooked through (5-8 mins each side).
  3. Meanwhile, for ginger- bruised cucumber, lightly pound cucumber, ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle to bruise, add vinegar, sugar and oil, toss and stand until lightly pickled. (10 mins).
  4. Serve with rice and pork scattered with sesame seeds and spring onion. 
  5. I also blanched some snowpeas and peas from the veggie garden and served these as a side dish for the family. It was a great edition to the meal.


I would love to know what you are making- comment below- send me a picture- or maybe a link, if you feel like it here or at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com.

I hope your having fun in the kitchen and if your not give this recipe a go it might just surprise you and jump start those taste buds all over again.

x Mummafox

Very Inspiring Blogger Award Nomination

PoppyFox has been nominated for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger’ award.
It was a great way to start the week. Thanks to DearStephenKing for my first blogging nomination, I must admit it put a rather big smile on my face after waking up with a bad headache, no coffee and a nine am appointment with my little family.
What a fantastic way to get to know new blogs, build a sense of community and get yourself and the blogs you love out there for all to see.

OK, so there are some rules/responsibilities that come with this nomination, let’s not forget.

Rules of Participation:
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Here's 7 Things about myself:

1. I'm trying to live the simple life. Being creative, mindful, joyful and most of all transparent in my daily life.
2. I'm a big fan of television- the Big Bang Theory, CSI, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Bones, Mad Men + Silent Witness.
3. I'm having a love affair with my coffee machine Pablo he makes everything seem so much better.
4. I'm addicted to fabric + sewing. Anything electric, quirky, vintage or that captures your imagination. You should see my fabric stash, sigh!
5. I have a bad case of wanderlust. I want to go to Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tuscany, France, Greek Islands, Alaska, Canada, Morocco and North America.
6. My favourite cocktail is an Espresso martini.
7. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and looking forward to introducing Tully, our little boy to you all come the new year. I'm sure he'll be as creative and feisty as his sister.

OK, my nominees for Very Inspiring Blogger are:

It's inspiring to see your creativity and ideas in the written word.
What are some of your favourite blogs? Comment here, share a link or email us at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com

x Mummafox

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas DIY- Monday Link Love

It's fast approaching Christmas and although l have decided this year to keep things extremely simple I can't help but dream. I'm passionate about making a nest that reflects who lives there. I desire a handmade Christmas. Miss Two loves painting and craft and our Christmas wrapping will be a mix of reclaimed paper, fabric scraps, twine and watercolours made by my little person and I. Around this time of year I try to make enough Zucchini pickle for gifts along with hand strung garlic. We invite friends to share in drinks, nibbles and end of year cheer. Our little family nest is usually decorated in handmade Advent bunting and little Christmas touches that bring a feeling of joy and Christmas cheer. I long to have a house with a lounge that's big enough for a big Pine tree decorated with handmade crochet decorations, little sewn birds, sequined tree ornaments and fairy lights. Perhaps one day it will be a reality but in our little nest we don't have a lot of room so whatever decorations are put up need to hang from the walls or sit on the small tables we have around the home. I'm dreaming of a pine tree branch hanging Advent stars for Miss Two over the gas fireplace. Perhaps a Christmas string of lights adorned with fabric ties over the kitchen table seen here in simple hues of red, grey, green and white. And a wreath in Ivy, gum nuts and berries for the front door. Although l love the idea of a felt ball wreath or a felt garland in rainbow colours to welcome people to our home over the Christmas season, or this Christmas Tree  here with a paper garland wrapped around it found here. When l will get a chance to do this, I do not know perhaps after Miss Two's rainbow party has come and gone on the 9th. We are still hoping for a week's getaway to the beach as a family of 3 before we become a family of 4 and Christmas is upon us but time is running out. It's down on the calender + on the to do list so time will tell if it happens or not.

Have you started thinking about what you are going to do for Christmas?
I will be close to going into labour so l am not committing to anything other than a casual Christmas lunch at my mother-in-laws and a BBQ Boxing day with my side of the family. Both are close to home and not far from the hospital in case Tully decides not to wait till the New Year to be born. I already feel heavily pregnant at nearly 34 weeks so I'm being mindful to not over commit come Christmas and to listen to what our little family needs.

I'm planning to do some DIY Christmas decorating of our little nest.
Take a look at the amazing DIY blog posts on creating a DIY Christmas here, here and here, that feel like 101 ways to DIY Christmas gift-giving, it's truly inspiring.
Whether it be Paper Stars for an Advent calender here and here, crafty bunting here, here and here, or a colourful wreath. Christmas craft activities for our little people to bring in the Christmas season herehere and here, themed ornaments for the tree seen hereherehere, here and here, hand stamped gift wrapping here, stamped fabric for gifts, pillows or linen napkins here or homemade baked goods here and here for that personal touch.
 I thought today's Link love should get you all in the mood to celebrate the Christmas season, start you thinking about what to do to adorn your family nest and hopefully inspire you to get your hands dirty and get crafting.

It's the season to be jolly after all.
What are your plans for Christmas?
Comment below and let us know or email us at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com
Are there traditions and Christmas rituals you keep year after year?
Mine is to treasure family and gift giving that's homemade, personal and given with love.

x Mummafox
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