Spoonful
  • by Stephanie Crew
  • July3rd

    11 Comments

    Jessie Miles is the face, imagination and talented hands behind illustration company, In The Daylight. She has the experience of farm and city life under her belt and now, from her home in the sunshine state of Queensland Australia, she creates illustrations that reflect the stories within all of us, of bicycles rides, days spent on the beach and those of our weddings.

    I first became aware of Jessie’s unique talents on my search for the perfect Valentine gift for my partner*. Since then, I have been invited into her world of cards, prints, Samoyed puppies and custom illustrations that can only be described as life drawn in whimsy. When I spoke to Jess about this article she was so excited to be involved that we have even prepared a little treat for you all.

    S: Describe Jess Miles away from illustration

    J: I am a dog adoring, good food loving, hardcore music listening TV junkie. I try to stop being such a design snob when I’m not at work, but I also studied interior design and love renovating, so I feel like I am always around it in one form or another. I always have my nose in a good book and have an annoying habit of HAVING to finish a book once I’ve started, no matter how bad it is, ahem * we need to talk about kevin….*

    I love seeing a good band and always surprise my work mates by listening to some really heavy (sreamo) music as they call it, while working on pretty and delicate illustrations. I am also a massive TV fan. I love the Simpsons, Family, Guy, American Dad, Futurama, and any animated show. I know every single quote from every single episode. If you quote any of these shows to me, we’ll be best friends for life!  

    S: Who or what has been the biggest influence for your artwork?

    J: I am influenced by a number of artists and illustrators from my favourite childhood books. I love that their work isn’t perfect and has so much character to it. There is Quentin Blake; who illustrated Roald Dahl’s books, John Tenniel; who illustrated Alice in Wonderland and a lot of the different illustrators from ‘A Little Golden Book’ classics.

    I loved so many books as a child and thought I would grow up to be an author. But I must have been absorbing inspiration through all the illustrations and not realizing it! I also love vintage botanic illustrations and fashion illustrations.

    S: What movie would you love to be in and why?

    J: Definitely Pitch Perfect. Some acapella singing and dancing in front of huge adoring crowds! Yes please! :)

    S: Draw your favourite movie poster.

    J: My favourite movie of all time is Muriel’s Wedding, but I have given her a bit of an updated look :)

    S: What is your idea of an ultimate Friday night in?

    J: Snuggling on the couch with my two Samoyeds (and my husband if there is enough room) watching something silly and funny – it’s Brooklyn 99 at the moment. I love my deep dramatic movies, but after a long week I quite like not having to do much thinking.

    S: From your new collection, which product are you most excited about?

    J: Probably our Tasmanian Oak print hangers. They are all handmade by my clever husband Rick and I think they are a quick and simple way to bring your walls to life with your fave print! They are also incredibly easy to use and require no tools.

    S: Can you draw your favourite snack?

    S: And finally, what is one fact about you that most of your friends wouldn’t know?

    J: I am INCREDIBLY harsh on myself and my work. Most people don’t really see that side of me and think that I am quite confident. But I second guess myself all the time and my husband has to talk me down off metaphorical ledges quite often! I definitely have that sensitive, artistic personality thing going on, but I am learning how to embrace it :)

    To discover more of Jessie’s work you can find her on all social media using the link buttons below.  The new range of In The Daylight has just been released and to celebrate we are giving one lucky reader the chance to win an A4 print + wooden wall hanger for their home! Entry is simple, head on over to In The Daylight then leave your comment of which A4 print you would love to win and why – Easy!

    Entries close on July 14th and the winner will be announced on July 16th so be quick and be sure to tell your friends!

    All images featured within the Visual Poetry with Jessie Miles – In The Daylight article 
    were designed by and supplied to us by Jessie Miles.  All images remain the property of 
    Jessie and are not to be distributed. The custom illustration of couple with dog* remains 
    the property of Stephanie Crew and Spoonful Zine.

     

  • May13th

    1 Comment

    I believe it was Mary Poppins who first sung of the healing powers of a Spoonful of sugar, and who are we to argue? This delicious treat my friends is certainly no exception. Growing up with two working parents I’m amazed that my Mum ever had time to make sweets for us but without fail there was always Weet-Bix slice, a chocolate cake or my favourite, Jam Slice, waiting for us on the kitchen bench when we came home from school. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of being in the kitchen and of course licking the spoon dripping with the glorious cake batter – YUM!

    Over the years I have managed to pry some of my favourite recipes from Mum and I’ve decided to share this one, not only because its my favourite but because it is simple, inexpensive and quick to make.  I have added my own little twist with vanilla and oats for extra texture and flavour so don’t be shy to play with the recipe and put your own stamp on it.  If you’re worried about eating treats with too much sugar then this probably isn’t for you, however, where is it written that we can’t indulge ourselves every once in a while?

    Prep Time: 15 minutes          Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 120g of softened butter
    • 1 ½ cup white sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 ½ cup self raising flour, sifted
    • 1 ½  cup desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup of oats
    • 1 cup raspberry jam, seedless if preferred

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 180 degrees (fan forced). Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with baking paper.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and ½ cup of sugar. Add 1 egg and mix. Add the sifted flour and vanilla and mix well. Tip this mixture into your tin and with the palm of your hand press into all corners. Don’t worry too much if you can get it perfectly flat and even across the tin, who ever complains of extra biscuit?

    Once the mixture is flattened in the tin, warm the jam in a microwave (30 seconds) and spread over the biscuit base.

    Beat together the remaining eggs and sugar until combined then add in the coconut and oats and allow to mix until a sticky crumb forms. Allow the crumb to move loosely in your hand as you sprinkle it over the jam, pressing lightly as you cover any gaps.

    Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy! X

    Image Credit
  • April4th

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    So here’s something you didn’t see coming – I LOVE Easter! Oh, you guessed? Was it my previous confession of love for all things holiday related? Even so, if the surprise factor didn’t win you over then these DIY Easter projects should. I know a lot of people are against the fluffy white rabbit and chocolate eggs but I see the Easter holidays as another chance to get together with your friends and family and just enjoy each other’s company. And why not do that, adding in a little paint, glitter and chocolate delights?

    I have been on the hunt *ahem* for some easy to accomplish Easter crafts and treats for even the newest DIYers to tackle.  This is my loot of treats as well as some of the best recipes for Good Friday and Easter Sunday brunch.

    – Enjoy and have a Happy Easter! – X Steph

    easterdiy3

  • March2nd

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    avochocmousse

    There are so many “healthy version” recipes on the internet that its hard to know which ones will taste almost like the real deal and which ones end up tasting like a dead foot. I have fallen victim many times thinking I’ll be eating a healthy and delicious dessert only to tip it down the sink and reach for the tub of Rocky Road ice cream anyway.

    So why did I give this one a try? Well, I love chocolate mousse. Of all the desserts you can buy at a restaurant I will always pick the chocolate mousse even when its wearing some fancy pants and they’re charging me $18 for it. It’s creamy and fluffy and almost every buffet serves it.

    So you’re wondering if I’m about to tell you that this is the bee’s knees of chocolate mousse recipes, I’m not. But I will tell you that its good for you, because you need healthy fats to keep your body going so why not at dessert time? This recipe is a rich, smooth, chocolate lover’s heaven on a spoon so if you’re wanting a healthy alternative or have always wanted to give this dessert a chance then I urge you to try my recipe because it is so good my friends and takes only a few moments to prepare!

    Ingredients

    • 2 avocados (skin and seeds removed)
    • 50g cacao powder
    • 10mls vanilla essence*
    • 50mls honey
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Method

    1. Place the avocado into a food processor and blend until completely smooth.

    2. Place the remaining ingredients into the food processor and blitz for 1 – 2 minutes.

    3. Spoon mixture into glasses and chill for at least 3 hours before devouring to ensure you get that gooey mousse texture.

     If you’re looking to impress friends, why not top the glasses with cocao nibs, chopped nuts or coconut flakes – all delicious and won’t ruin the integrity of your dessert!

     * If you prefer you can substitute the vanilla for mint but wait until the ingredients are combined and then add a few drops as a time making sure to blend and taste after each addition. Mint can quickly overpower the rest of the flavours.

    Enjoy Spoon-fillers, let me know if you give it a go or if you have a variation that you think our readers will love!

    Steph x

    Image Credit
  • February5th

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    How many of you saw this post and groaned? Be honest, we’re all friends here.  I know a lot of people look at Valentines Day with disgust and jaded memories of loved ones who have let you down.  But I am not such a person. Those of you who have followed my articles will know that I love love.  Every cheesy line in every romcom fills me with a goofy sense of fulfillment that all is right with the world because Boy met Girl and they fell madly in love despite the problems they faced in the last 1 hour and 30 minutes. HOORAY!  For every scenario you can throw at me to question the validity of love and its presence in our modern world I will have an equally annoying scenario to throw back to prove to you that love exists and it flourishes within all of us, at some time in our lives.  You can remember such a time, I know you can.  The first date with someone special, that time he/she surprised you… come on people! Jump on the merry bandwagon of loving love and I promise you from the bottom of my rose coloured glasses that your heart will thank you for it.

    To spread the joy that Saint Valentine intended (or would have, if equipped with a glue stick and glitter) I’m sharing the best Valentine DIY and treat ideas, hoping to inspire even the most cynical to send a little love into the world on February 14.

              

              

              

    For singles who are shaking their heads thinking “not me this year” why not host a friend party? I’m fairly certain Valentine’s Day is, at it’s core, about love – of ANY kind! Break out the DIY decorations, make some cute heart shaped donuts and toast to the people in your life who make you thankful for love.

    Happy Feb 14th lovers!

    X

    DIY Love Macarons
  • May27th

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    Here in Melbourne, winter is already upon us.  A walk through our city streets is proof enough with café signs announcing today’s soup special, the leaves on most trees turning a bright gold and storefront windows adorned with scarves and winter woollies.  When I think of indulgence in winter I surprisingly think less about food (shocking I know) and more of the creature comforts that we desire like being wrapped up under a fort of blankets, adding extra layers to our clothing and lighting rooms with candles for the ambient glow that just whispers “welcome home”.  This month is all about the indulgence of the season, I’m sure most of you have something that you associate with particulars times of the year, but I wanted to give you a list of my favourite winter essentials to kick start your hibernation.  haven’t you always wanted a snood? Fun to say right?  Snuggle up Spoonful readers; it is going to be a very long winter.

    Winter Warriors

    1. Escape our cold reality and into the world of The Bees.
    2. Need a new favourite pair of boots this season?
    3. Every woman deserves one of these amazing coats (I have it in blue!)
    4. Make your tummy nice and happy too with comforting caramel popcorn.
    5. Snuggle up in bed and listen to your favourite beats or Ebook, aren’t these fabulous?
    6. My drink of the season is chai tea with cinnamon sugar, even better in a mug sprinkled with gold!
    7. The aforementioned snood!
    8. I love every design Happy Socks come up with, perfect for warm toes.
    9. Sarah McNeil has your hands covered this season.
    10. A perfect addition to any blanket haven.
  • April22nd

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    Rocky Road

    By now you will have all had your fill of chocolates. Easter is always a double edged sword – sure you get a mountain of chocolate, but what you also can get is a mountain of guilt!  If you are looking for an easy way to get rid of the chocolate eggs I have the perfect recipe for you.  This one is another tradition created by yours truly.  I started making this for my Dad for Father’s Day and then also for Easter, Christmas and any day ending in Y.  It has been coveted by my partner and his friends and family so now I am going to share it with you.  Rocky Road doesn’t have a great reputation for being a “pretty” treat, but I can almost guarantee that once your guests, friends and work colleagues bite into it, all will be forgiven.

    I wanted to give you some variations on this classic as well, so don’t be afraid to experiment if you have a favourite flavour or lolly item you would like to add!  The method is the same for both and added at the bottom – would love to see what you create!

    Traditional Rocky Road

    400g of milk chocolate broken into small pieces

    200g of hazelnut chocolate (yes with nuts!) broken into small pieces

    1 x bag of marshmallows (minus 6 white mallows, trust me!) cut into halves

    160g of chocolate covered Turkish delight cut into small pieces

    Roughly 15 raspberry lollies cut into halves

    ¼ cup of desiccated coconut

    ¼ cup of unsalted peanuts chopped into small pieces

    ¼ cup of cashews chopped into small pieces

    Indulgent Rocky Road

    600g of dark chocolate broken into small pieces

    1 x bag of marshmallows cut into halves

    160g of cherry ripe cut into small pieces

    Roughly 15 raspberry lollies cut into halves

    ¼ cup of shredded coconut

    ¼ cup of almonds chopped to small pieces

    ¼ cup pistachios chopped to small pieces

    Method:

    1. Place all dry chopped ingredients into a large plastic bowl and line a large glass baking dish with baking paper.
    2. On the stove, place a heat proof bowl over boiling water and add the chocolate.  If left on a medium-low heat, the chocolate should continue to melt without burning quite steadily but please remember to stir it every so often.
    3. Once the chocolate is melted, remove carefully from the stove and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Pour the chocolate into the bowl and mix well with a metal spoon until all ingredients are combined.  It can take a little while to incorporate the coconut but just keep mixing!
    4. Pour into the glass baking dish and level out the mixture with the back of a metal spoon.  Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours to set.   When you are ready to slice it up, allow it to sit out of the fridge for 10-20mins to allow cutting easier. Never use a wet knife!

    Best of Luck!

    X Steph

  • March27th

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    Zucchini Frittata

    Chances are if you were growing up or had children during the 80’s, you were a lover of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine and recipes.  I can still remember shopping days with my Mum, list in hand ticking off every item and when we finally arrived at the checkout – in went this week’s edition with next week’s dinner inside.

    Even now when I visit, I still find magazines at the side of her favourite chair, dog eared or written on and i’m not sure the women of today are too far removed from our 80’s Mums.  We might search for our recipes online or learn them from our favourite Masterchef contestant, but aren’t we all searching for the same thing? Food that is big on flavour, ticks all the nutrition boxes and uses very little of our precious time.

    This recipe has been a permanent fixture in the Crew family for as long as I can remember, I can almost guarantee you will make it part of yours too.

    Zucchini Frittata

    (originally Zucchini Quiche but everyone keeps telling me “it’s not a quiche without pastry!”)

    First things first, preheat your oven to 180 °c (356F) and lightly grease a pie/slice dish. Now, let’s talk meat.  Typically we add bacon to this but you can substitute with chicken or any cured meat.  My partner and I add spicy chorizo sausage for an extra kick.

    Hand slice

    6 slices of middle bacon (just the large round piece) and 1 chorizo sausage

    Into a food processor (or you can grate by hand if you prefer)

    2 x medium zucchini, 2 x medium carrots, 1 leek, 3 large mushrooms, handful of spinach

    Into your mixer

    6 eggs, ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 cup of self-raising flour, 2 tsp of Dijon mustard.  You can also add salt and pepper now or allow others to season to their own liking.

    Once all of your vegetables are chopped, add them to your mixer and switch on slow speed, (2 – 3mins).  Pour into your dish and cook for 45mins.  It is best to let the frittata to cool completely (and reheat later) otherwise removing it from the dish straight away can leave you with a slightly soggy bottom.

    This meal takes less than half an hour to prepare, it is perfect for nights when you need something light and quick.  We also love it for lunches through the week at work or even as a twist on the normal eggs & bacon breakfast – your possibilities are endless!

    (well, almost) S x

  • February16th

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    For some it’s the most romantic day of the year, a time to spoil their significant other and send declarations of love (no matter how cheesy) in big ways. Then there are those of you who believe that it was a holiday invented by the florists, the card companies, chocolate stores and alike to make billions of dollars off the “poor shmucks” who feel guilted into spending hard earned money on stuffed teddies and the above mentioned symbols of, well, love. On the lead up to the big day I have encountered people for both of these groups, some wishing, dreaming and planning away and then the others who scoff at them. Thankfully, I am in neither category. Valentine’s Day to me is about showing your special someone how much you care, there are no rules or tick boxes that must be filled. It could be that you make them a simple card or a nice meal at home, you can write them a love letter or buy a vintage film they loved when they were young (or in my partner’s case game, Dungeons and Dragons anyone?). It’s a simple gesture of appreciation that says – you matter most to me. But I am a lover of love and a hopeless believer in happy endings, sadly as it seems for many of my friends this doesn’t always happen.

    So, this one is for the ladies who were without a Valentine, were disappointed by one or who wish to be their own this year. Indulgence for February comes in the form of loving yourself because if you can’t have a dinner date with Ryan Gosling surrounded by a sea of red roses and softly lit candles then dammit, buy yourself some pretty shoes!

    be my valentine

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  • January15th

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    Happy 2014

    Okay here it is: I’m a quitter.  Most of you will have someone in your life be it a friend, relative or even your partner who is one.  A friend of mine used the term “hobbiest” when talking about her husband but all the signs were there. Has an idea for a project, researches self into an expert then tries once and quits.  I am an old hat at this game and I have had many a great new idea but the most reoccurring would have to be my diets.  We have now entered 2014 and if your only judge of time was your Pinterest account then January would be pages of inspirational quotes, girls admiring their trim derrière and tips on how to make energising juice.

    Are we all victims of the New Year = New Diet fad? I know I am. Right around Christmas when things start to warm up and you are wearing less clothes, attending more parties and essentially eating and drinking your way into self-loathing and an irrational fear of swimsuits the ideas strike! We all make plans to exercise more, eat better and take care of our minds but do any of us actually follow through? I am going to give it my better than best shot this year but because there are always two sides of a coin, for those of you looking for a healthy alternative to a breakfast favourite I have a delicious guilt free granola that is simple to make, tastes incredible and is low in calories:

    Guilt Free Granola

    GUILT FREE GRANOLA*

     Makes 5 – 6 cups

    • 5 tablespoons coconut oil – melted
    • 3 cups coconut flakes
    • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
    • 1 cup of oats
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 cups of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pepitas – chopped roughly (combined measurement not each)
    • 3 tablespoons rice malt syrup (this is to sweeten, if you prefer your granola unsweetened you can leave it out without altering the results of your mix).

    Preheat oven to 120°C.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl then spread evenly on baking paper on a tray and bake for about 10 minutes before turning the mixture and returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes until lightly golden then remove and allow to cool completely.  If you like your granola extra crunchy, leave in the oven for a few extra minutes – the darker the colour the crunchier the mix! Store in an air tight container and it will keep longer than it takes you to eat it!

    And for those of you who are throwing caution to the wind and care not for counting calories and watching waistlines, I have for you an indulgent take on granola recipes from Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess (chocolate.. for breakfast?) oh curse you resolutions!

    ABMGranola

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! x

    * this recipe was adapted from Sarah Wilson.  It has been tried, tested and altered to suit. The image of ABM Granola bars remains the property of ABM.

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