Blueberry Pancakes

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Pancakes are one of my all time favourite things to make for breakfast in the weekend, and with a little practice, turn out perfect every time. This recipe is a modified pikelet recipe which is super easy to put together and takes less time than traditional pancake recipes.

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You need:
- 1 cup of self raising flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup trim milk
- Blueberries.

Instead of blueberries, you can use banana slices. Up to you.

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Sift dry ingredients, and whisk sugar into dried ingredients.

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put wet ingredients into dry and whisk them together til there are no lumps.

That’s all you have to do!

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Put a frying pan on medium heat and let it heat up. Then use a small amount of butter (or canola cooking oil spray or the like) and put 2 dessert spoons worth of mixture onto the pan. Dot the top with blueberries or sliced banana.

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When bubbles start to form and the edges start to lift a little, flip the pancake over. I always flip it a second time, just to be sure the mixture around the blueberries has fully cooked.

Tip – Once you have done a couple and the pan is very hot, take it off the heat to add your mixture and then put it back on. Don’t make your pancakes too big, and also always do a smaller “Test” pancake first to see how hot the pan is.

Modification – For Vegan pancakes, substitute the egg with 1 tbsp ground Flax seeds +3 tbsp Water. Substitute the milk for almond or rice milk. To make it gluten free, substitute the flour for gluten free all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

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DIY Pot Plant Hanger

Macrame has always reminded me of my Nana’s brown, ropey looking pot plant holders, complete with brown beads and droopy looking house plants. However, not long ago I saw some beautiful neon pink pot plant hangers in St Kevin’s arcade. As an ex scout with moderate to good skills with tying knots, I decided to try my hand at making my own pot plant hangers.

This is so simple, and if you can tie your shoelaces you can make one of these.

For this you will need:

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  • Polyester cord from Spotlight. 10 metres costs $10, for the smallest hanger I used around 4 metres, for the larger hanger I used around 7.2 metres.
  • Bag Rings, about $3 a packet, also from Spotlight.
  • Scissors
  • a fishbowl vase with a succulent or whatever plant you want to use. Mine is 10 cm diameter around the top.
  • A lighter to melt the ends (not pictured.
  • A hook to help with the knotting process. A picture hook, or plant hook is all good.

How to:

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Cut 4 equal lengths of cord. For the smallest one they were around 1.2 metres each, for the larger, 1.8 metres. Take all 4 together, and slide the ring over the 4 so it is in the middle. Then tie a basic knot using all pieces of the cord. There will now be 8 strands of cord hanging from the ring.

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Hang the cord by the ring on the hook, and about 30 – 40 cm down (on the larger one), then get 2 strands that are next to each other, and tie them in the same basic knot. Repeat with the next 2 strands next to each other, and so on til all are tied.

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then another 10 cm or so down, start the web by getting on strand in one of the pairs, and tying it in the same basic knot, with the string in the next pair, next to it. Make sure you grab the string next to it as if you don’t the hanger will be twisted. To this til you have gone all the way round.

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once you have done this, move a few more cm down (just use your judgement) and tie all the cords into one single knot. Then get your lighter and melt the ends so they don’t fray.

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then slide your bowl or pot plant or whatever into the netting and hang up somewhere.

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The next ones I make will be a little more complicated, but these simple 10 knot ones look super cool! The cord is available in several different colours. You can also get more creative and add other things like silver beads or the like. Just tie a knot after you slide them on so they sit nicely. If you want a super clear video tutorial, click here. This lady is awesome!

 

 

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Illustrated Type – Autumn

Yesterday was a slow day at work so I drew a whole lot of leaves in Illustrator and created some illustrated Type.

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I don’t often get to do these kinds of projects so it was a lot of fun. Here are some close up shots of the individual letters:

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Self Initiated Project – Album Artwork

I have been clearing out heaps of stuff my my office lately and have been going through a tonne of work I have done over the last 4 1/2 years. I found the original mock up of a self initiated project I did for my portfolio at Media Design School, an album cover for Cat Power “Jukebox”. Sometimes when I look back on old work I really don’t like it, but I still really like this so thought I would share it.

Front Cover

Inside Front Cover

Back Cover

Other parts of the layout

I love self initiated projects and one of my goals for 2014 is to do more of them as working full time has meant less time for them.

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Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries, Raspberries and Cream

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This weekend I decided to try my hand at making a pavlova. I grew up with pavlova as a christmas staple like many other kiwi and aussie kids. My Aunty would always make one for our family xmas, and it would always look amazing. Even though pavs look good, I was never the biggest fan growing up as didn’t like cream but now that i’m grown up and my tastebuds have changed for the better I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to go for something a bit less traditional so I went with this recipe from Nigella Lawson. The method is very similar to a regular pavlova, but with the addition of finely chopped chocolate and cocoa powder into the egg white/sugar mixture.

Tips for making Pav:

  • Make sure everything is ready before you start beating the egg whites as once you start the process you shouldn’t stop until it is ready to be turned out onto the baking tray.
  • Clean the bowl you are going to be using thoroughly and dry it thoroughly before use.
  • Pre heat your own to 180 C before you start and line your baking tray ready to go. Once the pav goes in turn the temp down to 150 C immediately.
  •  Don’t overbet the egg whites. Only beat them til stiff peaks form, then start adding the sugar. If they start to separate it is overbeaten and you will need to start from the beginning with fresh egg whites.
  •  Add the sugar to the beaten egg whites 1 spoon at a time and don’t stop beating when you add them. The sugar needs to dissolve into the egg whites so before you add the cocoa and chocolate feel a small amount of the mixture between your finger tips. It shouldn’t be grainy. Only beat until the sugar dissolves, any more and you will run the risk of having a super collapsed pav. Also, if you don’t dissolve the sugar properly, you will get a “weeping” effect, which is the sugar coming out of the pav during cooking.
  • When you fold the chocolate and cocoa in, do it as gently as possible and til it is just combined. Do not overmix.
  • When you pour the mixture onto the baking tray gently shape it with a spatula.
  • Once the Pav has finishing cooking, leave it in the oven to cool as the oven cools. Some people leave the door open a bit, some don’t. I left the oven door open a little once the oven had mostly cooled. I left mine in there all night and most of the next day! This insures a crispy outside and gooey middle. It sunk a bit but with chocolate pavs you can expect that. The cream and strawberries (or whatever you want) hide the worst of the cracks!

Thanks to Dad for helping me via text message :) and for the lovely strawberries from his garden.

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Art in the Dark

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This year we decided to head into Ponsonby’s Western Park to experience Art in the Dark. It’s an annual event here in Auckland, and showcases beautiful light art from many talented artists. There were so many people, that at times we had to go a bit off road down muddy hillsides but it was a really cool experience. I took my camera so I could try and capture as much as I could.

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Screaming Rapture by Experience Workshop

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The Electronic Garden – Recycled beauty by Andy Flint

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Lily of the Valley by Lara Thomas

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I’m not sure who did this one sadly…

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Vospertron

There was so much to look at! There are heaps of photos on the Art in the Dark website of previous years as well. Next year if you are in Auckland you should definitely go and check this out.

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Digital Collage

I am currently in the process of creating a zine which is entirely collage based. Here are the first three collages that I have finished. Instead of the traditional paper and scissors approach, I used photoshop and illustrator to create these. I am hoping to create my first perfect bound zine in time for Auckland Zinefest next year so stay tuned!

Round

Square

Triangle

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Honey Trap

Honey trap

Honey Trap is a cafe in St Kevin’s Arcade in K Road that serves delicious sandwiches, soups, cake and other yummy stuff. I really love their decor and their set up. The space is quite small, but there is plenty of seating thanks to the cute mezzanine area above the kitchen which is decorated with industrial light bulbs and macrame plant hangers.

Honey trap

Honey trap

I especially loved the boxes that have been attached to the walls that are used as shelves and planter boxes.

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I decided on their Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sandwich which was super awesome.So if you are in the CBD and want a yummy lunch, go and check it out. Next time, I’ll definitely be trying a slice of their Red Velvet Cake covered in sprinkles!

you can check out their menu and such here.

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Pinwheel Scones

Pinwheel Scones
photo by Bron Marshall

I love pinwheel scones so I decided to make some of my own at home. There are so many recipes out there for these, with all different types of fillings. For the ones I made, I decided to roll with the traditional cinnamon, brown sugar and butter filling. This recipe for “cinnamon scrolls” from the Chelsea Sugar website is awesome and easy.

Ingredients

Dough
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch salt
90g butter, chopped
2/3 cup milk

For the filling
120g butter, softened
4 tablespoons Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (or half cinnamon and half White Sugar)

For the icing
1 cup Chelsea Icing Sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Sift flour and salt into bowl, then rub chopped butter into flour using your finger tips
3. Make a well in the centre and add almost all the milk. Mix lightly to make a soft dough (add the rest of the milk if necessary.)
4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
5. Roll out dough to a 25 x 40cm rectangle of 5mm thickness.
6. To make the filling; beat the butter with brown sugar and cinnamon sugar with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over the dough rectangle
7. Roll up dough from the long side and using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 3cm pieces.
8. Place scroll pieces on to the greased tray cut-side up. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden.
9.To make the icing;combine icing sugar and boiling water in a small bowl beat until smooth. Then drizzle over the scrolls

My scrolls didn’t look pretty but they were so good. Too good in fact, because now I am addicted to them. I only had the chance to take a photo of one:

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The next ones I will be making will definitely be the ones from Bron Marshall’s blog – nutella and pear

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Why

Why

New zines happen when there isn’t much work to do. This one is called Why and is screenshots from google which look at some of the “why” questions people search regularly. I’m going to put a few around town over the next week or so. If you would like one (they are free) let me know :)

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