Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Shopping as distraction

After barely a week, the broken collar bone still hurts! It is more or less impossible to handle patterns and pieces of fabric one-handed; so the sewing machine is getting a little dusty! To forget my misery I decided to go shopping, not like usual a quick run to the supermarket but the real thing, in a proper mall.
Nevertheless even an innocent shopping trip always leads a sewing freak to find fabric, lint or in this case BUTTONS.

Not very useful for a dress; but for a passionate sewer this may be the ideal service.
Not only plates and cups were available but the whole caboodle (milk can, sugar bowl, gravy boat, …), all decorated with buttons.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

2012 the year of the broken bones

When I got home yesterday evening, Louka said ‘Oooh no, 2012 is the year of the broken bones’. I have to admit my daughter is right and the Chinese got it wrong, completely wrong, it is not the year of the dragon; at least not for our family. Louka broke her arm in January at rugby training, daddy dislocated his collarbone at rugby training in April, and yesterday evening I broke my collarbone as well during rugby! Nevertheless I keep spreading the word rugby is not a rough sport, we all three just had bad luck.
So there will be no sewing for me, at least for a little while and no rugby training. So maybe this is a good time to tidy up the sewing room, I should be capable of that with one arm.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Vintage or made-in-China

The lack of a good store with vintage knickknacks in the Middle East is a big disappointment for moeke Curl Up. Made-in-China items on the other hand are available in abundance; not necessarily something that makes us happy, but sometimes we find funny, cute, or useful items.

These apple-shaped strainers cost only 0.2€/piece and look very cute. The 2 white strainers had 1 orange brother that looked even more cute than the white ones, so I couldn’t resist and bought it as well. In the background you can see my favorite apple fabric, bought from her.

These flowery clothes-pegs also ended up in the shopping trolley.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

And then ... there was a party

The month of May is a month of parties for the Curl Up family. Papa and moeke got a year older again and the youngest family addition got a lemon meringue pie with his very first candle.
So … we threw a party. A party, that means drinks, and drinks that means ice, and to keep drinks cold when its 40°C outside you need a lot of ice.

But we ordered more ice than we had cool boxes, so 50 kg ice was used to cool down our overheated little ones. They were super happy; as it’s the first time they saw snow in our garden.


The whole family helped cutting, baking, and decorating; and we were happy with the result. Especially the couscous seemed to be liked by the party gang.
Nina gave us the most beautiful and tasty cupcakes we have ever seen/tasted, made be a friend of her.
Blue selection
Colourful selection

Festive couscous

Curl Up its favourite party dish is couscous with dried fruits and nuts. A great side dish for a wide range of main courses, such as quiche, wine & cheese, but also to accompany for example grilled meat. The advantage is that you can quickly make a big quantity of it with a minimum of effort. This is how we like our couscous, but of course you are free to experiment:

150g normal couscous
75g unsalted pistachio nuts
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
25g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
15g mint, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
a handful ready-to-eat prunes, apricots, raisins, figs (chopped in small pieces)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh seeds of a pomegranate

Prepare the couscous according to the preparation details on the packaging, or follow these instructions: measure the amount of couscous and pour the couscous in a glass dish. Add some butter over the couscous and then measure the same amount of water as the amount of couscous you measured earlier. Add some chicken/vegetable stock to the water, heat the water in the microwave till boiling. Pour the boiling water over the couscous. Set aside to cool.
Mix all the other ingredients: the nuts, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and dried fruits in a large bowl. Add the oil and the cooled couscous. You can add as much dried fruits as you wish, making your couscous even richer. Finish by decorating the couscous with some pieces of pomegranate.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Nice shoes

Three consecutive years these Lola et moi sandals did not leave our shoe shelf. All of a sudden Louka decided it was time to wipe the dust of them; and although they are probably not the most comfortable sandals to wear -the leather is rather stiff- both sisters have been wearing them continuously since then. Great! If you ask me, because I think they look gorgeous on their feet.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Lemon meringue pie

I realize I can not get away with talking about lemon meringue pie without giving the recipe. This is the way Louka likes her lemon meringue pie:

200 gr flour
8 eggs
80 gr caster sugar
100 gr salted butter
25 cl lemon juice
25 cl whipping cream
260 gr icing sugar

The dough
Mix 200gr of flour, 1 egg, 80gr of caster sugar and 100gr of salted butter (put the butter in the sun before you mould the dough -that means if there is a ray of sunshine available wherever you are). Mix these ingredients the old fashioned way, which means by hand en than flatten the dough in the cake tin, but only after you first buttered the cake tin.
Prod some holes in the dough before you put the cake tin in the oven (200°C ) until the dough looks auburn.

The filling
Whip 4 eggs with 200gr icing sugar, when this mixture is foamy add 25cl cream and 25cl lemon juice. Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes -although due lack of time I always skip this step and it still tastes delicious- consequently pour the filling in the baked pastry shell.
Put this again in the oven (130°C ) and check regularly when the filling starts stiffening up, only take the cake out of the oven when the filling is no longer fluid.
Let the cake rest in the fridge for about one hour before you add the finishing touch and put the cake in the oven for one last time. Good guess, this step was again something which is only executed by Bree Vandekamp and as I have probably more the same time schedule as Lynette I usually skip the fridge part and go straight into putting the finishing touch on the top.

The TOP layer
Whisk the white of 3 eggs together with 60gr icing sugar. Cover the lemon tart with this meringue and put back in the oven (180°C) until the white turns slightly golden brown.
If you ever bake this cake for us or if you feel like you need lots of sugar, then feel free to double the quantities of the top layer, which results in a snowy mountain of meringue.

Double celebration

Today it is double party time. Felix turns 1 year old and we posted our first post @ the new Curl Up blog! A blog about life in the United Arab Emirates, sewing, cooking, rugby, a garden filled with kids, and what to do with big, middle and small size fabric scraps. Hoorah!

The four other kids couldn’t decide which pie was most suited for today’s celebrations, so we just made them all. Omar and Elias decided we had to make a brownie; Louka just always goes for lemon meringue pie and Jade choose Cornflakes pralines.  

As the kids were allowed to help, of course the kitchen was a big mess when we finished, especially as Jade dropped the box of Cornflakes on the floor. Luckily we have enough brushes and a very good vacuum.