Recently, I’ve been experimenting with making lots of jams and preserves. Some are easy to make in the microwave like my lemon curd¬†and some require more traditional methods.

You will need:

20 standard size roses (red/dark ones give a great finished colour but I only had pink in the garden).

1 1/2 cups of sugar

3 Tablespoons of lemon juice

4 1/2 cups of water

1/2 packet of Jamsetta (available at most supermarkets)

Remove all the rose petals and wash thoroughly, cut away any white or hard parts.

Bring the water to boil and add in the rose petals.

Simmer until the petals lose their colour, then add in the sugar and lemon juice.

Once the sugar is dissolved, strain the petals (keep aside) from the liquid. It should look like this.

Put it back into the pot and add jamsetta and watch it thicken.

Finally add the rose petals back in and mix until the texture forms a runny jelly. It won’t be like store bought jam but the consistency will be rather runnier.

Please in a gorgeous sterilised jar and eat, eat, eat!

 

The last time I made lemon curd was in high school Home Economics class. I do love the stuff and when cleaning my mother’s home recently I stumbled across a fool-proof microwave version which allowed me to make gorgeous home made spread for my family and friends. So easy and a great way to use up lemons!

To make this, you’ll need:

A clean/sterilised jar, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups of caster sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon rind, 75 g butter. (This recipe makes 2 cups worth of lemon curd).

I was lucky to get some fresh lemons from a tree outside my apartment. I squeezed them in preparation!

Add the butter and juice into a bowl and cook on high in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

Add in sugar and lemon rind.

Add in eggs and whisk well. Cook on high in the microwave for 7 minutes.

Whisk well for 1 or 2 minutes.

Pour into glass jar and cover when it cools.

Refrigerate and decorate! Give it away as a gift or enjoy it on your crumpets like I do! Yummy!

This is probably the cheapest and quickest Christmas present you will ever make. The best DIYs during the busy festive season are quick to make and have a great pay off. These jars look substantial but are really economical and make lovely gifts.

You will need:

Empty jars (One serving of this filled 3 large jars)

510g of normal white sugar

150ml cold water

250g cashews

Sea Salt

Olive oil

1) Begin by wiping a baking tray down with olive oil.

2) Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan and boil on low heat until the sugar dissolves.

3) Increase the heat and let it bubble until it turns the colour of honey.

4) Stir the cashews through the mixture as fast as possible as once the sugar mixture sets it will be hard as cement!

5) Quickly pour the mixture onto the baking tray and let it cool. When it is warm loosen the brittle.

6) When the brittle has cooled completely use a meat tenderiser over a clean tea towel to break up the brittle into bite-sized pieces.

7) Put your gift into a nice jar and label it nicely for the one you love!

Happy DIYing and let me know if you make this for anyone! Merry Christmas.

I was so flattered to be asked by Crate and Barrel to host the launch of their festive season event. Once again, my day job seems to be moving in perfect synergy with my love of DIY.

The event activities included making traditional Gluhwein, wreathmaking and how to wrap the perfect gift. I learnt how to tie the perfect bow from floral expert and fellow craft-lover Nadine Shamas. Nadine and I both agreed we wanted to see more crafters and DIY activities happening here in Dubai.

Here are some images of the gorgeous Crate and Barrel store and the festive Tree Lot. The event was packed!

You can also watch the video here:

This is so easy and makes such a beautiful gift for friends (especially men who you never know what to gift).

You will need: Feta cheese, rosemary, black pepper, chilli flakes, olive oil and a nice jar.

Cut the feta in 2cm cubes. Stack into the jars alternating with the rosemary, pepper and chilli flakes.

When you have layered as much feta as you can, pour olive oil over it so that all the cheese is covered, seal and then refrigerate.

Here are some other presentation options:

Here is a video of how to make it as well:

I was recently in Australia and hit by a wave of nostalgia for the cuisine of my childhood. It’s no surprise to me that I began to lose a lot of weight when I left Perth, my childhood diet consisted of Chicken Treat Hot Chicken Rolls and cheese sausages.

There are some days however, that having a moderate sampling of childhood treats can do wonders for the soul. My Mum is very ill at the moment and it’s been a tough time. This DIY is dedicated to her and a childhood spent eating Kellogg’s¬†LCMs. These are my DIY version of the popular lunchbox treat.

Now you’re going to see many more simple non-bake food DIYs on the site soon, especially food for gifts that can also be packaged nicely into pretty boxes. My apartment has a hopeless oven that even my pastry-chef cousin Paula could not manage to bake well in when she visited. So all recipes will be simple and non-bake.

You will need:

250g pink and white marshmallows

185g white eating chocolate

5 cups of Rice Bubbles

1) Chop your marshmallows in half and break your chocolate up:

2. Take a baking tray and line with baking paper.

3. Combine marshmallows and chocolate into a medium saucepan; stir on low heat until it looks like this:

4. Have your Rice Bubbles on stand by and stir into the mixing bowl the marshmallow/chocolate mixture. You’ll need to move really fast here and be quite forceful as the marshmallow dries super quickly:

5. Press the mixture firmly with a flat spatula into the baking tray, you can even smooth the surface with wet hands (I didn’t do it here due to time constraints):

6. Refrigerate for 3 hours and then cut into squares.

This blog is dedicated to Mummy Heng (above, on her wedding day), that she may make a speedy recovery from her stroke. She never was very good at making cakes and slices but boy did she teach me everything else I know about DIY! Love you, Mum.

Recently I’ve been spotting loads of news in my favourite international magazines about the return of DIY.

This article in the January issue of Red¬†and sees four women who quit their day jobs to follow their dreams of doing DIY for a living. The story which strikes me as the most inspirational is “The Sociable Knitter.” It’s the story of three sisters who opened a venue in Scotland where women can knit while also dining.

It’s now become my dream to open up a venue where women can DIY cool things (not just knit) and eat some very nice food. I’ll keep saving my pennies.

Hope you like the articles!

 

Before this site was created I was given my own Bubble Tea flavour by the lovely folks at Bubbles & Boba. I was very flattered by it. You can read all about it here.

I adore the brand and was so happy when they jumped on the DIY trend! Now you can take the fun bubbles home and have it when your mates come around.

The lovely people from Bubbles & Boba have given me one of these great kits for your to win. All you have to do is:

1) Share the link to Cheapnchic.net on your Facebook wall.

2) “Like” the Cheapnchic.net¬†Facebook.

3) Follow Cheapnchic on Twitter.

When that’s done simply write your email in the comments section below this post. You must be logged into Facebook to do so. I’ve done an example for you below.

Good Luck! I’ll be picking the winner on Friday January 11th.

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