Posts From Miss Dotty

Carrot and Parsnip Curried Soup (Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Vegetarian)

Earlier in the week I blogged about how I’m no longer working-from-home (hoorah!), and have been making soups to take with me each day. So far it’s working out quite well!

Now, I should really start by saying that I’d never had carrot OR parsnip soup. Ever. The thought of having such veges in a soup actually didn’t really appeal to me (am I alone in this thinking?). However, I was at the fruit store today and carrots were only 50c per kg so I thought, heck, if it all turns to poo – I won’t loose out on much (and can just make carrot cake instead)!

But stay with me… (there is a happy ending on the way!)

Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup (Gluten Free / Dairy Free)

Winter is a great time to make the most of soups, they freeze so well and make for a quick, tasty and healthy meal on-the-run.

Also, I’m about to start working not-from-home again (hoorah!), so have been wondering what lunch options I could take each day. I’m thinking with the 1 degree temperature I experienced this morning, soups are gonna be pretty perfect.

Organizing and taking a daily lunch, is probably second nature for most people, but I’m quite acquired to the ‘working-from-home’ / ‘go-to-the-pantry-whenever-I’m-hungry style (and having the supermarket 400m down the road makes things easy too!).

So I decided to make a start on my stockpile today – with this Potato, Leek and Bacon soup!

DIY: Washi tape pegs

Pretty-up your pantry or paperwork with these super cute washi tape pegs! If you’ve been around Pinterest long enough, you would’ve no doubt come across them.. I use to make them with scrapbooking paper and mod podge, but washi tape is far quicker and easier!

I use these pegs way more than I thought I would. I initially made a whole bunch as go-to gifts (yes, while watching a 3x movie marathon), but have ended up using about half of them for myself ! What can I say, they’re functional, pretty and the smaller wooden pegs are just ridiculously cute….

This craft is perfect if:

  • You’re short on time
  • Need to entertain a young (9+) crafter or
  • Want something simple to do while watching tv/movie

Blackboard Wedding Invite Design

I love wedding invites. Designing them as much as receiving them!

I often offer to design invites/stationery as my gift to friends who are about to tie the knot. Over the years they’ve ranged from fiddly (and labour intensive) handmade invites to simple and classical with gold foiling.

For the latest wedding invite, the Bride and Groom wanted a blackboard design. This post contains the elements used, so you can create your own blackboard styled masterpiece!

DIY: Swing tags for clothing (or gifts!)

If you’ve read my brief bio on the left hand side, you would’ve noticed that I designed Ambassador – a New Zealand made clothing range.

Each garment of the range has a meaningful screen printed design on it, and come with a swing tag containing the meaning. I usually get the swing tags printed on regular card stock but this year I decided to make them myself – just to add that extra bit of love to each order that’s sent on it’s way.

While I’ve applied these for garments, they could also be modified and used as gift tags!

Broccoli and Bacon Soup

I’ll be the first to admit, the sound of broccoli soup in itself, is not at all inviting!

But around two years ago a friend cooked this for a group of us. I thought, well, everything else Miriams ever cooked has been amazing PLUS this soup has bacon in it (which pretty much makes anything better) so gave it a go. I was pleasantly surprised and even went back for seconds, so delish!

Since then I’ve cooked it many times, as it’s so easy to make, a great (+ tasty) way to get a good dose of broccoli benefits into your system

Geometric ‘Plus’ Designed Queen-sized Quilt

Firstly, my Mum is super talented.

Secondly, my Mum is super talented.

A few months ago, she told me that for my 30th birthday (which happened to be yesterday), she wanted to sew me a quilt. Not just any quilt though, one that I could have complete creative freedom to design the pattern of and choose fabrics <insert *excitment*> !

If you’ve looked through my blog, you may have noticed that I’m currently mad about geometric design. So naturally, my starting point for the quilt design came from a Country Road facebook post that appeared on my live feed. I liked the simplicity of it and how it also reminded me of the swiss cross, and I love anything Swiss!

DIY: Dinner Party Presentation / Noodle Boxes

So it was my 30th birthday party last night, and the overall theme was board games. Over the last year or so they’ve been making a ‘come back’ (maybe it comes with age), and I thought it would be a great way for friends from different groups to mix ‘n mingle. After all, nothing quite says “It’s nice to meet you” over good thrashing at .

Usually for my birthdays we have a big BBQ based dinner but this year I decided to try something different and present pre-served dinners in 50 noodle boxes! It made for less dishes (bamboo forks) and meant I could make these cute tags and also friends could just ‘grab and go’ back to their game, or conversation.

Orange Cake (Gluten, dairy and sugar free)

There is definitely something beautiful about watching a machine do all the work for you, don’t you think? This recipe is done all in the food processor, meaning minimal labour and washing up – cake has never been so easy!

I first had this when a fellow gluten-free-ite bought it along for a shared morning tea late last year (Thanks Shannon!), she told me it was “Elana’s Orange Cake” so I did a quick google search and found it here, and have now made it my go-to cake! It’s super fluffy and tasty, and because it’s gluten-free / dairy-free / refined sugar-free, it caters for most common food allergies (in my circle of friends, anyway!).

Simple Roast Vege Salad

A friend first cooked this roast vege salad for me about 5-6 years ago, and since then, I’ve gone on to cook it more times than I probably want to admit! It’s easy, great year-round and super adaptable, in the way that you can mix it up each time with whatever veges are in season.

Whether you choose to have it as a standalone meal, as a side with meat, straight out of the oven or as cold leftovers the next day for lunch, it makes for a nutritious, tasty and pretty cheap dish. From the ingredients photographed below, it cost me about $13 and managed to get 6 servings from it, pretty sweet deal if you ask me!

DIY: Woolen Blanket Bunting Tutorial

I recently bought a bunch of woolen blanket scraps from one of the local craft stores, I think the crafter had put it in the “I can’t make any more pillows with this, so I’ll sell it as scraps” pile. Then, along comes me (impulsive fabric buyer), who thinks “Surely I can make something from these pieces” and here we have the results… woolen blanket bunting! 12 pretty darn cute meters of it.. what do I plan to do with it? I have no idea!

DIY: Geometric Terracotta Pots

Earlier in the week I shared how to grow Basil from cuttings – it may not sound overly exciting, but considering how much I like basil, and how I’d never done anything like that before, AND the fact that it worked, I was pretty stoked!

Anywho, I planted them in terracotta pots that I’d painted earlier (yes, I’m still going through my triangle phase). It was almost as easy to do as growing the basil and cost less than $10. So I thought I’d share!

How to: Grow Basil from a cutting

I’ve just realised I’m doing a “How to” gardening related post, on April Fools’ day. Oh the irony. This is no prank people, it’s for real. I have done something gardening related – even got dirt under my nails! All for a good cause.

So a few months back, I relocated from Auckland to the Hawkes Bay. While I’m happy with the move, my beloved basil plant, not so much.

I noticed my flatties basil plants in the vege patch, were doing rather well, so I did some research to see if I could grow basil from cuttings, and it turned out you can! And it turned out pretty easy!

DIY Sun-dried Tomatoes

I love buying local produce!

I’ve recently moved city and roadside stalls are in abundance – so when I saw that I could buy 5kg of acid-free tomatoes for $6 (currently $2.50 per kg in supermarkets), I thought it would be a good opportunity to stock up on sun-dried tomatoes.

These DIY Sun-dried tomatoes are so stupidly easy to make and multi-purposeful. As a snack, on crackers, in sauces, on pizzas… and the added herbs just intensify the flavour even more.

How to: Automatically resize and watermark images

Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve realised how long it can take to prepare photos for each post, making sure they have:

  • The right size
  • An image resolution suitable for web/screen
  • A meaningful filename
  • A watermark

So I decided to do some research, to make the process a bit easier! The tutorial in this post is what I’ve found to be the best going forward, as it creates an automated batch file in Photoshop. Once it’s set up – future watermarking will be done and dusted with one single click of a button, and all you need to do after that one click, is sit back and watch Photoshop do the work!

The Polka Dot files: Flying Ducks

Flying ducks. I’m pretty sure I made an oath once never to own, let alone, display a set of them! I couldn’t understand how an attraction towards them, could exist. In saying that, I think all my memories had been based on the ugly side of flying ducks growing up. So when I saw them in a simple mint and polka dot combo… all preconceived notions flew out the window and I was sold! (or in this case, they were).

The “Good Things” Jar

I first came across the concept of a “Good Things” jar in 2013 when a few of my friends had started doing them.
Then, at the beginning of 2014, one of them asked if I would design a label for her 2014 jar. I thought it’d be something to fun to do so said yes!
I couldn’t decide which was my favourite design for her, so I ended up getting the the whole range made, and then added all of them to my online store, to encourage others to start their own “Good things” jar.

Paleo Chocolate, Peppermint and Coconut Snacks

I made these as part of my dessert spread for Christmas last year – they’re a paleo friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and (refined) sugar-free treat that tastes just like an after-dinner mint. They’re so good, too good, and as usual I ate far too many of them (they didn’t survive Boxing Day). I’ve provided non-paleo options available for those not following it.