DIY Cornflour and Bicarb Christmas ornaments

We made some of these decorations a few years ago, but decided we would like to make some more. What prompted this was seeing some ornaments in a shop recently that I knew we could replicate…for a fraction of the cost.

In the shop I saw a set of three white decorations with the words Peace, Love, and Joy written on them in gold. This all turned over very slowly in my mind, too slowly for me to think that I should have at least taken a photo. And a visit to the shop’s website doesn’t show them. However, judging by the cost of their other decorations, I would say this set would be at least $20. For three ornaments. Yes, they were probably a little less ‘delicate’ than the ones we can make, but I can live with that!

On my Christmas board on Pinterest I’ve got a couple of pins of this recipe. But it is the same on each website I’ve visited, and plenty of people have used it. It uses only three ingredients, is easy to make, and gives the most beautifully white decorations. The ones we made some years ago are still beautifully white.

If you are looking for a Christmas activity that the kids can help with, this could be the one for you! My son has asked if we can make some more this weekend!

The recipe:

1/2 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
1 cup bicarb (baking soda)
3/4 cup water

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir continuously until the mixture thickens.

Christmas decorations - cooking the dough . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

 When it has thickened, remove from the heat, form into a ball, and place in a bowl to cool. Keep it covered with a damp towel to stop it drying out.

Christmas decorations - letting the dough cool . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

In fact, I think I have cooked it a little too long here 😦 But it is very forgiving!

When the dough is cool enough to handle, place it on a (corn)floured surface and knead it gently. You can add more cornflour if it is a little sticky.

When it is lovely and smooth, roll it out on your non-stick or floured board. About half a centimetre thickness is good. If it’s a little thinner or thicker then that’s fine too. I found it easier to work with half of the dough at a time. Leave the rest covered by the damp towel until you are ready to use it.

Christmas decorations - rolling out the dough . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Use cookie cutters to make your shapes. We used a straw to make the holes for hanging the decorations, which worked very well. Lift the shapes carefully off your board and smooth the edges with your finger. You might like to dip your finger in some water to help with this. It’s important to note that any imperfections in the dough, for example cracks or bumps, will be magnified once baked. Cracks will also be a weak spot in your decoration. Be sure to allow extras as there is likely to be some breakages! Place your decorations on a baking tray lined with baking paper, silicone sheet, or whatever you like to use. I used baking paper.

Preheat your oven to 80 degrees C (175F).

Here is our first tray ready for the oven:

Christmas decorations - ready for the oven . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Notice the two stars in the bottom right-hand corner? They have a few lumps and bumps for some reason.

Bake your ornaments for 40 mins to an hour, depending on your oven. Mine took 40 minutes, and I turned them every 10 minutes. Sometimes they can curl up at the edges. Just gently press them down when you turn them over. Gently. I broke a few doing this.

You can also leave your decorations to air dry. We’ve done that before. It works just as well, but it takes a couple of days in Sydney summer. Mind you, with the extreme temperatures we sometimes get, they could be ready much quicker!

Here is that tray after they have been baked:

Christmas decorations - after baking . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

You can really notice the bumps on the stars, can’t you?

Here are some other imperfections.

Christmas decoration imperfections . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Once they are completely dry you can decorate your decorations. Or leave them plain. They are beautiful either way! Imperfections may be covered by glitter, sequins, beads, paint – whatever you like! Get out your crafting supplies and go wild!

Christmas decoration decorating . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Easy Christmas decorations . sawitdidt.wordpress.com

Make hangers from ribbon, lace, twine, or a strip of net fabric, whatever you like.

I made three in the style of the ones I saw in the shop that started this project:

Christmas decorations - Peace, Love, Joy DIY . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I picked three of the smoothest, most perfect looking hearts for this. I think they look pretty good! I’ll make some more sets of these when we make our next batch of dough. They will make good gifts for various friends and family.

Of course, you don’t have to make these exclusively as Christmas decorations. We have used some as tags on birthday or other gifts as well. Maybe tie some around your kitchen jars to show what’s kept inside. Or tie them to storage boxes. Remember that they are quite delicate, so best not to use them where they may get clunked around a bit.

What do you think? Have you made ornaments using this recipe before? Please share your tips if you have!

Linking up with:

21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesday, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Nifty Thrifty Things, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday, I Should be Mopping The Floor – Inspiration Monday, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, The Tip Junkie – Tip me Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls, Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Crafty Wife – The Wednesday Roundup, Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Cozy Little House – Holiday Linkup, The Dedicated House – Christmas Around the World

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#SnapSydney – Wednesday, 18th November 2015

Today, Wednesday 18th November 2015, is #SnapSydney day! It’s a day when Sydneysiders can capture what we love about our city and share it with the world!

Even though it is organised by local newspapers, and there are prizes on offer to entice you to participate, I think it is just fun to take a little more notice of what is going on around you for a day.

If you are in Sydney and want to join in, just post your photos to social media using the hashtag SnapSydney.

If you would like to see what I have posted, and what I will continue to post throughout the day, follow me on Instagram  (@saw.it.pinned.it.did.it.blog)

#SnapSydney sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Have a look and see what other people have posted, there’s quite a variety!

Kohlrabi Cooked Three Ways

This week in my Harvest Hub fruit and vegetable bag I got Kohlrabi. While I have seen Kohlrabi before (I am a Hubster with Harvest Hub and pack my members’ fruit and veg each week), I have never cooked nor eaten it.

It’s not a common vegetable here, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Have you seen it before?

Kohlrabi . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Unusual, isn’t it? From the website I’ll share with you shortly, Becca describes it perfectly as ‘like a cross between a spaceship and a Pokémon’!

A quick internet search tells me it comes from the brassica family along with cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. There is also a white variety, I’ve seen that before too. The stem and the leaves can be eaten, as well as the bulb.  To prepare it, you peel off the outer layer. Under that is a fibrous layer. You need to remove that as well. So I just cut it off with a knife rather than using a peeler.

My internet search also told me how good it is for you. It is low in calories, cholesterol and saturated fat but high in minerals and vitamins, particularly Vitamin C. Have you heard of the ‘knowledge engine’ (as opposed to a search engine) WolframAlpha? It’s new to me. I asked it the nutrients of Kohlrabi and you can see the results here.

peeled kohlrabi . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

It has a texture like a crisp pear. Its flavour is bland, fresh and crisp. I know you wouldn’t usually describe a food as having a fresh and crisp flavour, but that’s the best I can do! It is slightly sweet.

And it seems it is a very versatile vegetable. Apparently it’s good in a salad, stir fry, slaw, curry, casserole, or roast and anything else you can think of!

So, what to cook? Plenty of options, but on my Pinterest search fritters attracted me 🙂 Becca (mentioned above) shared her Kohlrabi fritters here, which I pinned to my Yum board 🙂

Following Becca’s lead, I grated Kohlrabi, carrot and I added zucchini and cheese. I also included a crushed clove of garlic, and a good pinch of turmeric. You could add herbs or any spices you like.

To my bowl full of grated vegies I added 2 beaten eggs, and enough flour to bind it together – a couple of tablespoons worth.

Fritter mix sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Use a dessert- or tablespoon as your measure for the fritters, and fry them in hot oil until golden.

Fritters . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I served them for lunch accompanied with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.

Saw it, Pinned it, Did it! - Kohlrabi carrot and zucchini fritters

They were yum! They were also good dipped in some French Onion Dip I had hiding in the fridge, or with a squeeze of lemon. My son declared them ‘delicious’ and asked for seconds! He does love fritters, so I am pleased he approved of this combination.

Next up was what to have for dinner. I decided on Shepherd’s Pie, with a potato and Kohlrabi mash on top. I also wanted to try it roasted, so I saved a couple of pieces and did that as well.

I cut the Kohlrabi into chunks and boiled it with my potatoes. The potato cooked faster, so I would recommend cutting the Kohlrabi into slightly smaller chunks than the potato. Mash it together as you would normally make mash, adding milk, butter, sour cream or whatever. I spread this mash over my mince and veg base, topped it with grated Parmesan cheese and popped it in the oven until it was getting golden on top.

The couple of chunks I kept aside I parboiled in some chicken stock. Then put them on a baking paper-lined baking tray, sprinkled a little more Parmesan on them, and into the oven as well.

Saw it, Pinned it, Did it! Kohlrabi roasted and mashed

I can safely say dinner was a success as well!

The next time I see Kohlrabi on the list, I won’t be afraid to try it another way. Perhaps a stir fry. And if wasn’t a hit after the fritters, I would have just grated it into mince for lasagne or added it to my next slowcooker meal. It would have been eaten one way or another!

Have you ever seen/eaten Kohlrabi before? What’s your favourite way to eat it? I’d definitely recommend trying it if you haven’t!

Sharing with:

Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting With J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping The Floor – Inspiration Monday, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Pastels and Macarons – Turn it up Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip me Tuesday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays, To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup, Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday, Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou FrouToo Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Pastels and Macarons – The Creative Corner, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at Our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday, Pastels and Macarons – Turn it up Tuesday, Crafty Wife – Wednesday Roundup