The I-wish-I-could-afford-Cue dress – FINISHED

Woohoo! A finished project to share.

Let me introduce you to the dress I’ve dubbed the I-wish-I-could-afford-Cue dress, aka, Vogue 8723. It’s a fully lined, sleeveless, fitted bodice with bust and waist darts, a high neckline, gathered full skirt and centre back zipper. It’s a Very Easy Vogue and has custom-fit cup sizes. Winner! Oh, and it has pockets. Double winner!

Here it is!

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That. dress. And one shameless obsession.

Note to self: I MUST HAVE ANNABEL CRABB’S DRESS SHE WORE ON KITCHEN CABINET TONIGHT.

If you’re not Australian or have a particular penchant for Aussie political journos, let me introduce you to my idol, Annabel Crabb.

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Image copyright ABC 2013. All rights reserved. Credit: Facebook.

She’s the one in the yellow dress I am on a desperate Google search to find the origin of right now.

Not only is she a widely read (and respected) political journalist, she has a TV show where she gets to bake AND get to talk politics all day AND wear amazing clothes at the same time. It probably doesn’t sound all that exciting to 99% per cent of people, but I tell ya what, that’s my ultimate… except the being on TV part, but I digress. When LL and I were watching her show tonight, he actually cracked up laughing when Annabel interrupted a slightly awkward/tense moment with a … let’s call him an *eccentric* (read: difficult) conservative senator … by saying, “so, shall we have cake?” LL cracked up laughing and said, “This show is SO you.” Damn straight. Continue reading

My favourite vegetarian chilli recipe

This recipe is one of the very few I cook on a regular basis. I’m one of those cooks who 70 per cent of the time is cooking a new recipe. I am never satisfied that I’ve found the best butter cake recipe, or the best bolognese. I mean, my butter cake and bolognese are pretty good, but the best? I can’t commit to that!

However, I’m pretty confident this is the best vegetarian chilli bean recipe I’ll ever come across. I love it for its simplicity, pantry-dominated ingredient list, and, most importantly, its ability to gain compliments from vegos and meat eaters alike.

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I estimate I’ve made this recipe no fewer than 100 times, and most of the time I will vary the ingredients slightly. I might add some extra veggies if I have some in the fridge, or swap mexi-beans for kidney beans or cannellini beans or chickpeas. I think the essential parts of the recipe are the combination of spices and the rich tomato base. Everything else is a matter of personal preference, or ingredient availability.

I will post my original recipe here, but you will note in the pictures I added mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and celery to this particular cook-up, and served my chilli with toasted wholemeal pita crisps and natural yoghurt. I usually serve my vego chilli with rice and sour cream (or natural yoghurt when I’m being a good girl), but LL loves it most with grated cheese, sour cream and avocado in tortillas. It also goes without saying it is perfect for tacos, nachos, burritos, even as a pizza topping. It is freezer friendly, keeps for the better part of a week in the fridge, and tastes frickin’ amazing. Had I not mentioned that? Continue reading

Easy dinner: Chicken, avocado and mushroom pasta

So, despite the name of this blog, I actually don’t eat baked goods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of my favourite other things to cook is pasta. Creamy pastas, pesto pastas, tomato-based pastas, you name it, I’ll cook it. The only thing that doesn’t fly is when people add sweet chilli sauce to pasta (i.e., my boyfriend!) That’s just not happening in my kitchen. I’m a purist. Sue me.

On the menu today is my slightly healthier chicken, avocado and mushroom pasta. I’ve modified a Taste recipe because when I saw the kilojoules per serve I had a mini heart attack. And I’m not one to shy away from calorie-laden meals!

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Baking day: Lemon coconut meringue cupcakes

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I love having visitors to the farm. It’s a fair hike out of town (half an hour’s drive), and so when someone asks to stop by, I immediately turn to the fridge to see what sort of sweet treat I can concoct to make the trek worth my visitor’s while.

Today, it was one of my friends from work coming around for a chai and a chat and I took the liberty of whipping up a batch of these lemon meringue cupcakes. They are a tangy but sweet lemon coconut cake with a tart lemon curd filling, topped off with a coconutty meringue tower. They weren’t as much work as the name implies, and I made the cake and curd the night before to make today’s assembly even easier. Give them a go and tell me what you think!

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An ode to the Cambie (and why you should never be scared to start a new hobby)

Which pattern got you sewing?

Every sewist has a different answer to this question. Was it something about the styling of the photographs, the fabric used, or the way the garment fits the model so perfectly that got you finally figuring out how to thread a bobbin and read a cutting layout?

For me, it was Pinterest that introduced me to the Cambie dress, and the world of sewing blogging. It was about two years ago now, and at risk of sounding clich├ęd, my life has been changed!

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IN PROGRESS: The “if only I could afford Cue dresses” dress muslin #1

Long time, no post! I’ve been working, cooking, cleaning and on holidays interstate, so unfortunately not much sewing has been happening of late. It’s a pity, because I’ve been itching to sew!

I’m mid-way through watching Susan Khalje’s very well regarded The Couture Dress on Craftsy and loving every minute of it. I started on my holiday and tore through seven lessons in a couple of days. Now I am unfortunately back in the “real world” my progress will be stunted, but it’s great just to watch and get excited about sewing something beautiful.

Speaking of which, I’m working on a muslin for V8723!

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