So 2016 came and apparently I fell off the face of the blogosphere! With my resolutions for the new year still TBD, the illustrious “lead a balanced life” goal, that I have yet to set, is already proving to be a challenge. My work life got hectic and my scale tipped in its favour; no time to blog. Alas, I’m back and have a lot of catching up to do.
Playoffs are in full swing and as a result, the games that occupy our TV(s) have greatly decreased in number making this stretch of the football season one of my faves. Around this time, I would usually be full into winter banter and well over the holidays. However, I have one last, kinda, holiday related post to squeeze in; the last of my DIY gifting.
F R E N C H I E P I L L O W S
Inspired by her newest gem, I made my friend Jessica a set of decorative pillows in honour of Biggie; her french bulldog. Made from seasonally festive + appropriate wools and a photo roll of Biggie and his ears, I drafted a puppy pattern and sewed together pillows fit for a frenchie.
to make these pillows, you will need…
- paper big enough to accommodate your desired pillow size
- a printed + a solid fabric both a little larger than 2x your desired pillow size [including seam allowance]
- sewing machine
- hand needle
trace a face to your desired pillow size adding 1/2″ seam allowance around the entire perimeter + cut it out
pin paper pattern onto fabric and cut x4 [2 faces per fabric]
pairing one of each fabric together with front sides touching, pin + sew pieces together leaving a 3″ opening
clip and notch corners + curves accordingly
pull through to flip right side out through the opening
stuff with batting through the opening
hand sew opening closed
C H R I S T M A S C O O K I E S
My final DIY gift of 2015 were, of course, boxed macarons. This year I went with berry + peppermint.
b e r r y m a c a r o n s
macaron cookie recipe + purple food colour
berry buttercream filling
- 6Tbsp chilled berry milk
- 1/2Tbsp berry jam
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8Tbsp [4oz] butter | cube + @ room temp.
- 3 1/2C icing sugar
in a small sauce pan over low-med heat, combine cream + jam | stir to combine
continue to occasionally stir until milk scalds | remove from heat
let sit for 5 mins | occasionally stirring to prevent a skin from forming
pour into a bowl and let sit in the fridge to cool
in a mixer [with a whisk attachment] on medium speed, begin whipping the softened butter
gradually add in the icing sugar about 1/2C at a time
continue whipping until combined
gradually add in 6Tbsp of jam + cream mix
continue whipping until fully combined and fluffy
scoop buttercream into a pipping bag and start filling your macarons
p e p p e r m i n t m a c a r o n s
use same macaron cookie recipe as above
To create the “pepperminty candy”colour effect I took inspiration from the Meringue Girls pipping colouring technique. I tried to articulate “how-to” instructions on the technique, but thought it best to just link the video.
p e p p e r m i n t g a n a c h e
- 170g white chocolate chips
- 1/4c + 1/8c whipping cream
- 1tsp peppermint flavouring
combine whipping cream + peppermint flavouring in a small sauce pan over low-med heat | stir and bring to a simmer
once simmering remove from heat
pour cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 30 seconds
mix until smooth + combined
pour into shallow dish | let ganache cool to room temp
cover with plastic wrap directly touching ganache surface | place in fridge for 2hrs [until mix thickens] to overnight
when ready, whip ganache with mixer until light and fluffy
transfer to pipping bag and start filling macarons
Though Dallas my be long gone from the competition, Mike’s football vigour remains un-phased, Biggie’s ears remain perched, and my 2016 resolutions remain a work in progress.
Happy goal setting!