Friday, 28 October 2011

Halloween Trick or Treat Etsy Sale!

Happy Halloween everybody!!!

We have a household full of pumpkins (which we've been slowly eating, so expect pumpkin recipes soon), multiple costume choices, and are just generally excited about Halloween.

I hope that y'all have a fantastic Halloween with lots of fun and good food and pumpkins.  To celebrate Halloween, I'm giving you a special Halloween treat.  You can use the code HAPPYHALLOWEEN2011 at our Etsy Shop to get 20% off of any order!

The newest item in the Hidden Domestic Etsy Shop.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Another Etsy Addition

A little preview of another mobile I made.  I think this one is my favourite so far because there's so much detailing on it.  To see the rest of it on Etsy, click here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My newest Etsy addition: Heart Mobile

I've gone a bit crazy for mobiles lately, and not just because I have a baby.  They make great household decorations (seriously) and I really enjoy making them.  This hand-sewn heart is at the center of a mobile I just added to Etsy (more coming soon).  You can see it (or order it) on Etsy here:
So there's my craftiness for the day.
We had a great day (including taking the kids swimming) so I hope you're all having a lovely autumn's day as well.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My Take on French Toast

Brunch will never be the same again.

I love Chopped, but it seems like lately all the chefs can make is French Toast.  The past several episodes that we've seen have had a dessert round where one of the chefs makes French Toast.  (Usually the other chef makes a Neapolitan.)  So to all chefs who consider going on Chopped, this is for you.

French Toast is not a dessert.  It is a breakfast or brunch food.  In fact, it's a rather delicious way to start the day.

So here's my take on French Toast.

1. Beat together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar with a whisk. 

The better your ingredients are, the better your French Toast will be.  For luxurious French Toast, use fresh, free-range, organic, local eggs (room temperature).  Use organic and/or filtered milk (I've used vanilla soy milk before).  You can really splurge with real vanilla that you scrape from the pods, or just make sure to get vanilla extract and not vanilla flavouring. 

Using powdered (confectioner's) sugar means that you won't have any graininess from the sugar and can get a great melt-in-your-mouth consistency on the inside of your French Toast.  Just sieve in a little to the batter.

2. Soak your bread in the wet mixture. 

Slightly stale breads often work well in French Toast because they can suck up the moisture.  I used a apple, walnut, and rye loaf that we had bought at the market from a local artisan baker.

3.  Cook in a frying pan on medium heat.  If you want extra yumminess, cook with some butter in the pan.

4.  Serve with butter and syrup.  We served by stacking two slices with cream cheese in the middle and topping with vanilla cream, strawberries and dark chocolate shavings.

5. Share and enjoy.  We made it and then all piled back into bed for breakfast.  Delicious, even if the kids got syrup on our bed ;)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Let them eat pie.

Welcome to autumn!  We had an unexpected end of summer heatwave.  In fact, the hottest day of the year here was in late September!  Now, though, the days are noticeably getting shorter and cooler.  It's autumn and I have to admit to being a bit excited by it.  I have always loved autumn, and we get some great autumn produce.  We're getting loads of fresh apples, and the girls have settled into their new classes at school and preschool.

Cooler weather means that we can start enjoying all of the autumn food that we haven't eaten in awhile.  Savoury pies are very popular in this house, and make a good warming dinner on a cool, dark evening.  We spent a day making a whole big batch of pies together.  We ate two over the next couple of days, and put the rest in the freezer to pull out later.

We started off by making several batches of pastry.  I have naturally cold hands so I have an advantage at pastry making and am pretty proud of how well it turned out.
For my tips on making perfect pie pastry, click here.

Then we made several types of filling.  We didn't follow any recipes, so I won't give you exact recipes here.  We just made them up based on what we had and what sounded good.

Jared did make one pie with a meaty filling....any guesses what's in it?

The vegetarian pie that we ate first was a mushroom pie.  It had big organic chestnut mushrooms in it along with some other veggies and a home-made gravy.

They were delicious, and the best part is that we still have more pies in the freezer (including a butternut squash pie and a broccoli cheese pie).