Thursday, July 30, 2009

Creative Thursday

I can't believe how slack I have been! I only just started my second cross stitched chicken last night, I have just been far too lazy lately. So yes, there is movement in the craft station - it is just quite slow.

I have decided to change up the colours of the second chicken a bit just to keep things interesting. I hope they look good together!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What I love Wednesdays - Stationery

It is official I am a stationery addict.

There I said it.

Tell me that you don't love stationery, and do you know what, I won't believe you. There is nothing like a new notepad, a new pen or a nice new set of pencils. Even better is the smell of a nice big stationery store and the excitement that comes from perusing the multitude of pens.

Hmm reading back over that I realise that I sound just a little bit insane, but I just remember the start of each school or university semester and how excited I got when I got to buy all my books, folders, pens, pencils, and more. Surely I am not the only one with this obsession?

So for all the addicts out there here are some of the products from kikki.K that I took a particular fancy to, enjoy!

1. Cloth Letter Holder $39.95 AUD 2. Desktop Business Card Holder $49.95 AUD 3. Wooden Love Stamp Set $14.95 AUD 4. A4 Cloth Storage Box $34.95 AUD 5. 2010 A5 Weekly Family Diary $39.95 AUD 6. Coat Hanger Paper Clips $9.95 AUD 7. Giant Pencils $4.50 AUD 8. Alphabet Stickers $7.95 AUD 9. Love Mini Writing Set $12.95 AUD

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Etsy Picks (Favourite Sellers) - Studio Jessi

How can you not love these wonderful dolls? They all have so much character with their woolly hair and cute outfits. I especially love Professor Will - his beard cracks me up! If you like what you see be sure to check out the Studio Jessi blog.

1. Professor Will $64
2. Geraldine $64
3. Ania $64
4. Elona $64
5. Juan $64
6. Clair $64
7. Emma $44
8. Roger $64
9. Benny $64

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baking Mondays - M is for Marshmallow Rocky Road Cupcakes

Cherry ripe cupcakes (coconut, cherry and chocolate) with rocky road topping.

So what do you bake when marshmallows are on the agenda? Why, rocky road cupcakes of course! How can you go wrong with marshmallows, cherries, peanuts, coconut and chocolate? It is simply a combination made in heaven. So without further ado I present the recipes that you need to follow to recreate this cupcake awesomeness...

Cherry Ripe Cupcakes from The Australian Women's Weekly - Cupcakes
Makes 12

125g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp coconut essence
2 eggs
80ml milk
40g desiccated coconut
70g red glace cherries, chopped coarsely
50g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
150g self-raising flour
35g plain flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat butter, essence, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until combined.
  3. Stir in milk, coconut, cherries and chocolate, then sifted flours. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.

Rocky Road Topping from The Australian Women's Weekly - Cupcakes
Makes enough for 12 cupcakes

70g unsalted roasted peanuts
200g red glace cherries, halved
100g marshmallows, chopped coarsely
25g flaked coconut (I used desiccated)
200g milk chocolate, melted
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Putting the Cupcakes Together

70g milk chocolate, melted

Working quickly smear some melted chocolate on the top of each cupcake and then place a chunk of rocky road on top (using the melted chocolate as glue). If desired top with more melted chocolate.

The ratings?

Me - 8/10, the rocky road is awesomely yummy and great for something different. The cake has a great flavour, but was a little dry.
Mat - 8.5/10, good flavour combo :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giveaway Winner

Today was the day to draw the winner for The Red Deer's first birthday giveaway. So I wrote down all of the entrant names (twice if they were a follower, and thrice if they were a follower and blogged about the giveaway) and put them in our lovely glass bowl...

Zoe decided to help out by pulling out the winning entry and then continuing to eat the piece of paper...

Once I could grab the piece of paper away from her grip I was able to read the winning entrant, rips, slobber and all. So without further ado, the winner is...

Indy Grrrl!

If you can email your address to alicia.mccarthy at I will ship over you goodies ASAP!

Thanks for playing along everyone!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I love Wednesdays - Bento

1. three pigs bento box, 2. Jaws bento 2, 3. Smiley toddler bento, 4. Bento 5506, 5. Noah's Bento, 6. Smiley bento, 7. Shinzi Katoh bento, 8. MomoCon Bento 2, 9. Bento for picnic - Top layer

How adorable are bento lunches, I mean really, could they be any cuter? I officially can't wait until Zoe needs packed lunches so that I can start making some uber cute bento lunches for her. It is also an excuse to buy some really cute products, check out some of these from J-Box

Super cute Hello Kitty bento decoration kit...

Panda bento box...

Squirrel bento box with chopstick case...

Also if you are looking for some bento lunch inspiration check out these blogs...

Don't forget there is one day left to enter my first blog birthday giveaway!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cake Planning

And so it begins...

I have been thinking about Zoe's 1st birthday party a lot lately, so much so that I have been dreaming about party themes and balloon colours. Yes, I have no life. That been said I have decided on a garden/spring/bug theme for the day and now of course the most important thing for me to work out is the birthday cake. I have decided that there will be a main birthday cake, cupcakes and a smash cake for Zoe to destroy. So now I just have to work out how I want to decorate them. So here are a few pretties I found on flickr today - time to get inspired!

Tuesday Etsy Picks (Favourite Sellers) - So Softies

So I have decided to change things up a bit and for a while I will be spotlighting different etsy stores that I think are pretty special. So the first in this series...

So Softies

I just love everything in this store - the bags, notepads, original oil paintings and of course the crocheted Timmies. If you like what you see be sure to also check out the blog M.Patrizio Illustrations + Cute Stuff.

1. Organic Cotton Tote Bag - Reusable Shopping Grocery Bag $20
2. Timmie Iron On Embroidered Patch $5
3. Happy Cloud Notepad $5
4. Timmie Tadpole with toadstool original oil painting $100
5. Vinyl Sticker Sheet - Set of 2 $4
6. Timmie 195 $29
7. Squeezel 1 $40
8. We Belong Together- Blank Card - peanut butter and jelly love - Lunchtime Love Story $3
9. Parachuting Owl TODDLER SIZE 4 T-Shirt American Apparel $15

Don't forget to enter the giveaway - only 2 days left!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baking Mondays - L is for Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon swiss meringue buttercream.

This week lemon won the polls, secretly I was hoping for lamington, but it wasn't to be. So I decided to test out the recipe for lemon cake in Confetti Cakes for Kids. I had high hopes for this cake and was looking forward to using my new oven, so without further ado I present you with my lemon cupcake baking experience...

Lemon Cake from Confetti Cake for Kids
Makes 24 cupcakes (I got 35 out of it!)

First the ingredients...

8 ounces cake flour, sifted (if you don't have cake flour, use 2 cups of plain flour, remove 4 tbsps of the flour and replace with corn flour)
9 ounces plain flour, sifted
2 1/4 tsp baking powder, sifted
8 ounces unsalted butter
21 ounces caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I would put more in next time)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
8 ounces egg whites (about 7 eggs)
12 ounces milk

First preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and line 2 12-hole muffin tins with cupcake liners.

First step is to cream the butter and sugar using a paddle attachment in a stand mixer. Beat on medium until light and fluffy.

Next add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add the egg whites, scraping often. Alternately add the flours and baking powder and milk to the butter mixture in two batches, starting with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl between additions and beat until thoroughly combined. Set the mixer to medium-high speed for about 20 seconds.

Divide the batter among your lined muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (I did 20 minutes and it was a bit too long).

Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make your,

Lemon swiss meringue buttercream.

400g caster sugar
6 egg whites
375g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp lemon curd

Combine the sugar and egg whites in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until egg whites are hot - you should be able to rub the mixture between your fingers and not feel any sugar granules.

Next with the whisk attachment whip your egg white mixture for about 8 minutes on high speed. Then change to a paddle attachment and with the mixer on low speed add small amounts of butter to the mix until all the butter is added. Beat the mixture on medium speed until the frosting thickens (you will know when this happens when you here a slapping sound coming from the mixing bowl). Add the lemon juice and lemon curd and beat to combine.

Now cut a well out of each cupcake and fill with lemon curd - for me a 350g jar was enough for the swiss meringue buttercream and to fill 35 cupcakes.

Finally frost each of the cupcakes - and then stand back and marvel at the lemony goodness that are the cupcakes that you just created.

So the ratings?

Me - 8/10, the cake could do with some more lemon zest, I loved the curd filling and I loooovved the lemon swiss meringue buttercream. Also I baked the cupcakes a little too long so they were a tiny bit dry - still getting used to the new oven :)

Mat - 7/10, lamingtons should of won (he said this while giggling)

If you made it this far don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Today we bought a play pen for Zoe. I can't help but think of it as a cage, but there are just too many dangerous things for her to play with when she is out of my sight. So a cage it is.

It is interesting that Mat and I have been waiting and waiting for her to crawl and get mobile, and now that she has learnt to scale the lounge room step and get to the rest of the house the first thing we do is buy something to contain her.

Ah parenting - fun isn't it?

So that is the start to our weekend - how is your weekend going? Any plans?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't yet!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy 9 Months Zoe!

Today my little baby girl is 9 months old and what a month it has been.

Zoe has definitely taken to commando crawling. She loves doing laps around the coffee table, playing with the amplifier and torturing the cats. She has crawled properly a few times, but for now she seems to prefer the commando style.

We have discovered that she loves to knock things over and to pull objects out of containers and bags. Needless to say a lot of my day is spent on the floor with her stacking up things for her to knock over and putting things in containers for her to drag out. She gets the biggest grin when we please these games and normally lets out a giggle as well.

She loves to say dada, which is completely adorable - just not at 2am in the morning! Now I am hanging out for her to say mum.

We got our third tooth this month after a very difficult week, poor little thing. Interestingly the tooth that has appeared is her eye tooth and not one of her middle teeth, so she is getting them slightly out of order. She might have an interesting smile for a while.

Zoe has learnt the word "kiss" and will now give you a lovely open lip kiss when you ask for one. She even gives her teddies kisses if requested and loves to give herself a snog in the mirror. To go along with the kisses Zoe is now super cuddly and gives both mummy and daddy lots of hugs and cuddles, which is super adorable.

Happy 9 month day Zoe - I love you lots and lots, plus one!

I wonder what this next month will have in store for us?

(Oh if you haven't already don't forget to enter my giveaway)

Flickr Friday - Cupcake

1. A s'more in a cupcake, 2. my cupcake brings all the girls to the yard (day 24 | year 2.5), 3. me and a 7-eleven cupcake, 4. mini salted caramel cupcakes, 5. happiness is a colorful cupcake, 6. Lovely Cupcakes by Dri Kobata, 7. Cupcake Lollipops, 8. hamburger cupcakes 010, 9. cupcakes

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the winner is...


Tune in on Monday to see the 'L'ovely cupcake creations!

One year blog birthday and a giveaway!

It almost went by without me noticing - but yesterday was The Red Deer's one year blog birthday! So I celebrated in style today with a sprinkle doughnut and one big red candle. I like to think that this blog has come a fair way since its humble beginnings - the look of it has been revamped, I have my regular weekly features now to keep me on track and I am loving my A.. B.. Cupcake project. I still think there is a lot of room for improvement on my little blog and so to both celebrate my first birthday and to come up with new blogging ideas I am holding my first giveaway.

Check out the totally awesome prize that you, wonderful reader, could win:

That is right, a copy of The Australian Women's Weekly - Mix cookbook, a packet of Jelly Belly jelly beans and some lovely chocolate coins. If you would like to be in running for this giveaway this is what you need to do:
  1. Leave a comment and if you feel inspired tell me what you would like to see as a regular feature on The Red Deer.
  2. If you want an extra entry follow this blog (if you are already a follower you will already get an extra entry).
  3. Finally if you feel so inclined post about the giveaway on your blog to get another extra entry.
Entries will be open until July 23rd 12pm (ACST).

Good luck everybody!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Exciting news on the baking front

That is right people I have a new oven installed and ready to bake! Mat bought it for me last weekend and we finally got it installed today. This means no more blaming the oven for my cupcake mishaps and finally I should be able to get consistent results with my baking. To say I am excited is definitely an understatement.

This oven rocks because
  1. The temperature is still readable on the oven knob.
  2. It actually keeps the temperature consistent.
  3. It has an oven light.
  4. It is fan forced.
  5. It has a wok burner.
  6. It is shiny and new.
Can't wait to bake my cupcakes on the weekend in this!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yay for me!

I won my first ever blog giveaway - thanks Alissa from Grace's Birdcage for holding it! I am looking forward to getting my postcard from Hammerpress :D

Baking Mondays - K is for Kit Kat Mint Cupcakes

Chocolate mint cupcake topped with mint swiss meringue buttercream, sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles and a Kit Kat

This week Kit Kats won the poll - but what do you with such a simple chocolate? I mean all it is made of is wafer and chocolate - not exactly awe inspiring ingredients. So I decided to go with one of the new Kit Kat flavours - mint. I decided on the cupcake recipe and then trotted off to the shops to get my ingredients, and then guess what? There was no mint Kit Kats - doh! I still made my chocolate mint cupcakes and just topped them with normal Kit Kats. So not the most original cupakes - but still incredibly yummy!

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from
Makes 22

220g plain flour
45g cocoa powder
7g bi-carb soda
6g salt
300g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
8 ml vanilla extract
355 ml milk
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and peppermint essence.
  4. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternately with the milk. Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated, mix on high speed of an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Divide the batter amongst the cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Follow the recipe for Almond Swiss Meringue Buttercream but replace the almond essence with peppermint essence and omit the vanilla extract.

The ratings?

Me - 9/10 - yummy!! Cake was moist, had a great texture and tasted great. SMBC was fantastic as usual.
Mat - 10/10 - fantastic, not too sweet - just right.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

And the winner is...

Tune in on Monday to see the Kit Kat cupcakes I create.

Creative Thursday

This week I have been a bit naughty and haven't had any crafty time - instead I have been playing with my new camera. So enjoy a few photos that I have taken this week...

Zoe at lunch time - drooly!

Zoe after our daily walk, looking pretty in pink.

A plant in our back yard - I have finally learned to water my plants so they don't die.

The backyard tap.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baking Mondays - J is for Jube Cupcakes

Strawberry, lemon and orange cupcakes topped with strawberry, lemon and orange swiss meringue buttercream, then sprinkled with coloured sugar crystals and topped with a jube.

This week Jubes won the poll and at first I was having some trouble deciding what to bake. I decided upon three Jube flavours - strawberry, orange and lemon. I wanted the top of the cupcakes to look like a jube so I went a little big crazy with the coloured sugar crystals - they would of looked better if I didn't rush spreading on the swiss meringue buttercream. Oh well they still tasted good and that is the main thing. Okay time for the recipes...

Jube Cupcakes
Makes 36 cupcakes

270g unsalted butter, softened
270g cream cheese, softened
450g caster sugar
6 eggs
150g self-raising flour, sifted
225g plain flour, sifted
1 lemon
lemon essence
yellow food colouring
1 orange
orange essence
orange food colouring
strawberry essence
pink food colouring
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line 3 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition.
  4. Beat in flours on low speed.
  5. Divide the batter into 3 equal portions.
  6. To make the lemon cupcakes add the zest and juice of one lemon, a few drops of lemon essence and a little yellow food colouring to one of the bowls of batter and gently mix.
  7. To make the orange cupcakes add the zest and juice of one orange, a few drops of orange essence and a little orange food colouring to one of the bowls of batter and gently mix.
  8. To make the strawberry cupcakes add a few drops of strawberry essence and a little pink food colouring to one of the bowls of batter and gently mix.
  9. Divide all three batters into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes.

Jube Swiss Meringue Buttercream

400g caster sugar
6 egg whites
375g unsalted butter
juice of one lemon
yellow food colouring
juice of one orange
orange food colouring
strawberry topping
pink food colouring
  1. Combine the egg whites and sugar into a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is as hot as you can get it without the egg whites cooking.
  2. With the whisk attachment on your mixer whisk the egg white and sugar mixture on high speed until a stiff meringue is formed and the mix has cooled down to room temperature.
  3. Now put the paddle attachment on your mixer and with the mixer on a low speed add a tablespoon or two of butter at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy again.
  4. Divide the buttercream between three bowls.
  5. To make the lemon buttercream add the lemon juice and a little yellow food colouring and beat until incorporated.
  6. To make the orange buttercream add the orange juice and a little orange food colouring and beat until incorporated.
  7. To make the strawberry buttercream add strawberry topping to taste and a little pink food colouring.
Assembling the cupcakes
  1. Pipe the orange buttercream on the orange cupcakes, lemon on lemon, strawberry on strawberry.
  2. Sprinkle cupcakes with orange, yellow and pink sugar crystals.
  3. Top with orange, lemon and strawberry jubes.

The ratings?

Me - 7/10 - these tasted good, had a good texture - but didn't have the major wow factor. Still good cupcakes though :)
Mat - 6/10 - more akin to a traditional cupcake, the bolder cupcake experiments tend to be much better.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A very happy unbirthday to me!

Hubby got me an extremely early birthday present (since my birthday isn't until August) - a new Canon EOS 1000D!!! I am so excited, I have been wanting a new camera for quite a while now and this is just awesome! I need lots of practice with it, and I might even take a short course in photography - I love it!!

Creative Thursday

Yahoo!! I finished my first cross stitch chicken ever. It took a lot longer than I thought it was going to but I am really happy with the results. I really like the colours, especially since they match my KitchenAid, and I think the pattern looks pretty cool and retro too. So now I have to do the second chicken and then arrange to get these babies framed and ready for the kitchen - very exciting!