Strawberry Shortbread

I think shortbread has to be my favourite biscuit, they are buttery and crumbly, a perfect combination. The strawberries provide a little extra sweetness and bite to these moorish morsels. Makes 12 fingers

Ingredients:IMG_8519

1lb fresh strawberries

6 oz room temperature butter

3 oz sugar

6 oz all purpose flour

3 oz semolina/ pasta flour

Parchment paper

Baking sheet

9 inch square loose bottom pan, or equivalent

Pre heat oven to 170℉

Place the parchment on the baking sheet.

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Wash and hull the strawberries.

Slice the strawberries 1/4 inch thick and lay them onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 1 hr 15 minutes.  Turn the strawberries over and bake for an additional 1hr 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, the smaller slices will be ready now, the larger slices may require an additional 30 minutes. The slices should not be completely dehydrated, they should still be a little tacky to the touch and soft. They will continue to cook in the shortbread dough.

Heat oven to 300℉

Dice the strawberries and set aside, there should be roughly 4 oz of strawberries now.

Combine the butter and sugar until creamed together, add in the flours, and beat until just incorporated.

 

Add in the strawberries and beat a little more. Work the dough with your hands until smooth.

Press the dough into pan, push it all the way to the edges, and make sure it’s an even thickness, about 1/2 inch, you can use a smaller rolling pin or smooth glass to do this.

Prick the dough all over with a fork and pop it on the centre of the lower oven rack, bake for 55 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and slice into 12 even fingers and sprinkle with extra sugar.

When it’s cool remove from the pan and devour.

Here’s the printable recipe – Strawberry Shortbread

PinBerry

Three of Hearts Hat

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This project started life a stash busting project. I had some sumptuously squishy and soft Blue Sky Alpaca EXTRA left over from a jumper I’d designed, my intention was to bang out a quick hat just to use it up. But as what tends to happen once I start working, the idea grows and develops. While the hat did require more than the amount of yarn I had left, it can be knit with one skein.

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I’m an absolute Blue Sky Alpaca junkie and could quite happily knit in it all the time, red happens to me my favourite color, so this yarn is a perfect marriage of my loves. I wanted the hat to be something a little fun without screaming cheesy. For me these cables do just that, a fun little nod to valentines and love, but wearable through the year.

The slightly small band is designed so the hat can worn higher on the head and at an angle, my personal preference, but looks great pulled further down too.

Be our Valentine and get 25% off this pattern PDF in our FlorrieMarie Ravelry Shop with coupon code LOVEKNITS (code expires at midnight on 2/14/16).
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Free Pattern: Reversible Liberty Print Sun Glasses Case

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I’ve had a love affair with Liberty print for about 15 years. I still remember the feeling of walking into the Liberty shop on Great Portland Street and seeing bolt after bolt of gorgeous fabric. Any excuse to use this classic beauty is jumped on. I didn’t  quite realize the size of my treasured stash until I was pairing fabrics for this project. Using two small pieces of fabric and a little ribbon, these cases are not only beautiful and practical but a great stash buster. I knocked several of these out in a lazy sunny afternoon.

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Download the free Pattern PDF Liberty Sunglasses Case

WIN A FREE CASE! Check out our Instagram page, like, repost by midnight June 5th and be entered to win!

Step by step directions:

Iron the fabric then cut two 8.5″ squares.

Lay fabric A with the right side facing down. Place a pin 1 1/4″ from top of fabric on both sides.

A little tip;

I originally left a 1″ opening because I wasn’t sure what ribbon I would thread through for the closure. If you have the ribbon already picked out feel free to alter the size of the opening to better fit the ribbon.

 Fold the top edge over 1/4″ and press with iron.

Fold the fabric in half the long way with the right sides together, matching the pins. Starting at the bottom folded edge, sew along the short side (the bottom) and then the long side with a seam allowance of 1/4″. Stop at the pin. Snip the bottom corner off.

Press open the seams. Make sure you press the long edge seam so it lays over and hides the edge of the top 1/4″ fold.

Repeat the above steps with square B.

Turn piece A so the right side of the fabric faces out. Piece B remains inside out.

Squeeze and wiggle B into A. B should be inside out. It’s a little fiddly. It’s important here to make sure the tops of A and B are lined up, and the 1/4″ seam allowance is sandwiched between the two pieces.

Pin the two pieces together along the top edge.  Here you can either sew A and B together on the machine with as little seam is humanly possible, or hand stitch them together using a ladder stitch. The latter method is actually my preferred way, I think it’s cleaner looking, even if it takes a little more time.

You’re almost done! Do a couple of tiny whip stitches at the base of the opening to join the two halves.Thread your drawstring through the opening, tie the ends off together and trim any excess if needed.

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I also like to hand sew the top 1/4″ above the opening for the ribbon.

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Advent Trees

IMG_3968When I was little I always found the countdown to Christmas Day so exciting. Waking up every morning and carefully peeling open the door of my Advent calendar to see what was inside. I loved how the tension would build the closer to the 25th it got. As and adult it’s easy to lose that thrill and get swept up in the commercial craziness. Through my Tiny Terrors I get so see that same innocent unbridled excitement. A little envious this year, I thought the whole family should be in on the fun.

Simple and understated, these little trees have pockets on the back to hold activity cards, everyday pull out the card and have some fun.

Below you can find the pattern and step by step instructions to make the trees and printables for the cards.

CLICK HERE –> Advent for the free download. The PDF includes the pattern for the tree and printable activity cards.

You will need:

1yd of mattress ticking fabric, or fabric of your choice (front)*

1 1/2 yards of solid cotton (back)

16 inches of twine or ribbon

Thread

Colored felt (for star and trunk, optional)

Card stock

24 3 x 4 inch paper bags (Mine were purchased at Michael’s)

*If you cut very carefully you can get all of your trees with just 3/4 yd of the front fabric. Pattern pieces include 1/4 seam allowance.

If you are adding a trunk and star to the tree then you’ll also need a few sheets of felt for each.

I used my sewing machine to embroider the numbers on to fabric scraps and then stitched them on at the end. If you are hand embroidering you may way to do this step after cutting out the front pieces. You could also use iron transfer paper for the numbers, or you could number the back of the cards and/or envelopes.

Cut out and iron all your pieces.

The pocket

The pocket

Fold one

Fold one

Press along fold

Fold two

Fold two

Fold under

Fold under

Open first fold and fold and press on fold 2, hiding the raw edge. Press again

Stitch

Stitch

Stich the fold down, I used a contrasting thread to match the colour of the front of the tree.

Assembling

The back

The back

The pocket

The pocket

Lay the back of the tree right side up, place pocket onto the back of the tree, right side down.

The twine

The twine

The front

The front

Cut an 8″ length of twine, tie it in a knot. Place it on the tree back with the knot touching the top of the tree and the loop hanging down.

Place the front of the tree on top, right side down.

The opening

The opening

The reveal

The reveal

Pin around the edges of the tree, leaving and opening between the markers. Stitch the tree together, with a 1/4 seam allowance. Turn the tree right side out. Press flat, making sure to poke out the tree points fully.

Here is where you’d add the trunk. Cut two pieces for each trunk and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch the two pieces of felt together. Insert the seam allowance of the trunk into the opening left at the base of the tree.

Top stitch around the entire edge of the tree.

Stitch on the number

Stitch on the number

The number

The number

Stitch on the number.

Make the star now, if using. Cut two pieces for each star and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch all the way round. Sew onto the top of the tree.

Pick a card

Pick a card

Print the cards, and sort through which ones you’ll use. There are a lot to choose from and there is a blank page so that you can add your own ideas.

Tuck the activity inside

Tuck the activity inside

Once I’d narrowed it down I wrote numbers 1 – 24 on a sheet of paper and jotted down which activity we’d do on each day. Then popped the cards into the bag and slipped it into the pocket of the corresponding tree.

I decieded to hang mine from a branch I dragged in from the garden, but I think they’d look just as adorable hanging from an old frame with lights wrapped around it or lined up neatly in a box.

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Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf with Orange Drizzle

Pumpkin cranberry loaf with orange drizzle

Makes one large loaf:

2 oranges

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup chopped pecans, (optional)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your loaf pan.

Zest and juice one of the oranges, set aside the zest for a little later. Add the cranberries to the juice so they plump up. Sometimes I heat them in the microwave for a scant 30 seconds or so.

Cream together the sugar and shortening.

In a separate  bowl beat the eggs one at a time with the pumpkin until you have a smooth consistency. Add to this the vanilla and orange zest. Mix this into the creamed sugar and shortening.

Stir in the cranberries and the orange juice.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture. Do not over mix.

Finally, fold in the pecans.

Pour into a loaf pan. Bake for one hour.

When the loaf is cool make the icing.

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl, juice and zest the remaining orange, reserve the zest and add the juice slowly to the powdered sugar. Stir constantly, you may have to add a little more sugar or a splash of water to get a nice thick, but pour-able consistency.

Turn out the loaf and poke a few holes into the top of the loaf with a skewer, drizzle over the icing, sprinkle a little of the zest on top and let set.

Enjoy F.

Chartogne – Taillet Sainte Anne Brut

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Vineyard: Chartogne – Taillet

Region: Champagne

Country: France

Vintage: N/V

Producer: Chartogne – Taillet

Importer:

Grape: Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 12%

Price: $35.00

APPEARANCE:

Perfectly buttery, reminiscent of golden raspberries ripe for the picking. To me the late summer afternoon haze on a meadow. Tiny bubbles rise lively to surface.

NOSE:

So very delicate, fresh floral notes five way to deeper more complex baked fruits and biroche.

PALATE:

Granny smith apples are my initial aroma, kiwi fruits and limes dance around with little florals that stretched long into the finish. A perfect balance between the chardonnay that provides the crispness and the pinot noir that rounds off the palate beautifully. It’s as if the characteristics of each grape alternate in revealing the qualities and flavours. They play off, and play up each other perfectly. The absence of the pinot meunier allows the chardonnay and pinot noir to shine. Strawberries linger in the finish.

PAIR WITH:

Perfectly paired with the pan seared salmon we had  for dinner. I think it would be equally harmonious with a fruit tart. We tried it with fresh strawberries, the really brought out the darker fruits and the sweetness in the champagne, and vice versa.

Florrie‘s footnote;

Such a delight.