Thursday, 9 July 2015

Rabbit Cake pops....Scary version...

I love Baking Club, its a small group of women of all ages and abilities in baking and each month we do something that I either have never thought of making or can't be bothered to make so am really excited every time. This month it was Cake Pops now I love the idea of cake pops and have always wanted to have a go at making them but normally don't have the time to make them or when I have made them what do I do with them? yes I could eat 20 cake pops but don't think that would be very wise.... What do other people do with all the bakes that they make and can't eat?? Would be really handy if there was a Police station or Old Peoples home next door, could then pass on my bakes! - cooking for fun has taken a bit of a backseat recently now that I have 2 children so I am always pleased to spend a couple of hours with like minded people gossiping and making things.

Now as with most things I always think 'oh they look easy' ......... Well I was a little bit wrong with  cake pops.... Yes they are easy to make but decorating is another story!!!

So here is what I had in my minds eye that I was making...

Lovely bunnies from Bakerella (she makes them look soooooooo easy!)

And then this happened....

Errrrr not really what I was hoping for! To be fair it was really hot in the room we were baking in and the white chocolate wouldn't set.. and I was also a bit over zealous with the red food colouring.....Pathetic excuses!

Here are the rest of them...

I was very sad! Firstly they don't look like fluffy little bunnies but very scary vampire pigs! Needless to say I am not going to try cake pops for a long time......

Monday, 18 May 2015

Sewing - A crayon roll

I love Pinterest !! My life was very empty without it , I can spend hours and hours browsing and pinning things I want to make and cook and don't get me started on the house of dreams pinning - but speaking to friends  I don't think I am alone in my obsession - I even have one friend who has a Unicorn board! I digress .... what does this have to do with a crayon roll? Well I keep pinning how to make them and they look so easy... (thats what I say about everything!)

So I decided to have a go and they were easy to make! I was so pleased with the results that I made another and have also cut out patterns for another 3! They use a small amount of fabric which is great and you can have fun playing around with different fabrics, All of my friends who have children will be getting these as presents!

The clasp (if thats what you can call it ) to close the roll is one of Mollys hairbands and I have just bought some buttons that I will be using for future crayon rolls

There are lots of other ideas for these 'rolls' - you just alter the size of the roll and pockets. Some ideas are for crotchet hooks, knitting needles, make up brushes or one that I am going to have a try at a first aid kit that I can keep in the car and nappy bag.
There are a lot of patterns available - I used this one 

I love an easy sewing project! Molly loves it as well and keeps taking the crayons out and putting them back in! Right off to sew another one......

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Rhubarb, Apple and Date Chutney

Rhubarb always reminds me of being at my grandparents house - my brother and I would race to see who would pick the most rhubarb from their garden. We would dip it in sugar and eat it raw - not sure I really enjoyed it but Grandma used to make the best rhubarb crumble.
I have a lot of rhubarb in the garden and have been wondering what to do with it all apart from good old crumble - Also Stephen doesn't like rhubarb so I needed some way of disguising it! Then inspiration struck - Chutney! He'll never know! You can't taste the marrows in Harvest chutney!

 I dug out my mums recipe she uses for Harvest chutney and halved it  for 2 reasons , I didn't have a big enough pan and just incase it all turned out wrong ( had a nasty experience making Rhubarb and Ginger jam - made moutains of it and it tasted awful! Had to throw it away felt so guilty what a waste so didn't risk it this time.)
I made use of what ingredients I had to hand - frozen ginger pellets that have been lurking in the freezer for a while, frozen cranberries that have also been in the freezer waiting for a staring role in something delicious! Also I used a mixture of demerera, light brown and dark brown sugar as I didn't have enough of one sort!

It is an easy peasy recipe and just required a lot of chopping but I find that very theraputic - plus as I had halved the recipe there wasn't that much to chop - also you don't have to be so precise!

Here it is bubbling away. You can mainly see the cranberries - there is rhubarb in there!

I managed to make 3 large jars and and a small jar which is perfect to begin with - it needs a month to mature so if it is good then I will make lots and squirrel it away for christmas hampers!

Ingredients - makes about 3 and half jars

  • 6 Pellets of frozen ginger
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 250g eating apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g Chopped dates
  • 100g frozen cranberries
  • 1tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp curry powder
  • 20g light muscavado sugar
  • 350g rhubarb sliced into small chunks
  • 250g red onions chopped
  • 2tsp salt

  • Method
  1. Put the onions in a large pan with the ginger and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rhubarb, plus 2 tsp salt to the pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 mins until the apples are tender.
  2. Stir in the rhubarb and cook, uncovered, until the chutney is thick and jammy, about 15-20 mins. Leave the chutney to sit for about 10-15 mins, then spoon into warm, clean jars, and seal.  Keep for at least a month before eating.

By the skin of my teeth I am entering this into the Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round-Up that is being hosted by Karen from Lavender and Loveage and Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen - Have a look at the other recipes - so many things you can make with rhubarb!

Blog Hop and Linky Party: The Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round-Up!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A simple tote bag

Hello neglected blog ...... Where does the time go? Oh I forgot I have 2 children under 3 keeping me busy! But I have found the time to do a little bit of sewing....
I got a sewing machine for Christmas and have been busy playing with it! I enrolled on a learning to sew course in January at Carolyn Rose Sewing School in Leamington It was 2 Sundays and I could take Henry with me as well! Bonus as I am breastfeeding so can't leave him for long periods of time - On my first Sunday I was told that there were going to be a couple of other people but they cancelled at the last minute so I had individual tuition! And to top it all Henry slept throughout both the Sundays so I had some me time! I loved it - The project was a tote bag ( I love a tote bag - have gazillions of them!) I learnt so much from how to draw the pattern , pressing the fabric, where to put the pins, sewing a zip, making pockets and sewing a button hole using my machine ( OMG how easy is that! I was so proud of myself!) .... I was so pleased with myself when I had finished that I bought some more fabric and had another go a few weeks later so that I wouldn't forget all that I had learnt. This time I didn't do a pocket inside but I did line it again I feel like such a clever clogs!
Here is the finished article - the first bag

It is a lovely green and white spotty fabric with a front pocket ( notice the lovely spotty button! I'm very proud of that!)
And then inside the bag there is another zipped pocket - this is a shot of the bag inside - looks a bit weird! I opened the bag and took the photo! wasn't too sure how to show you otherwise!

For my second bag that I did at home I decided to dispense with the pocket inside and have a go at lining it - using the button hole foot on the machine took some getting used to - I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos before I managed to get it right.
Here it is ....

This is a flowery one with a spotty button ( love a spotty button) and to carry on with the red spots I used this for my lining fabric... The lining was a bit fiddly but again I had a look at YouTube to sew how to do it ( They always make things look so simple!!!)

I was really pleased with both of the bags but more impressed with the second one as I did it all by myself and it has given me a lot of confidence in attempting more projects.
So everyone will get a bag from me for Christmas! ha ha ha - I have been busy sewing lots of other things that I will post in the next few weeks..

Monday, 19 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday

Last weeks meals were fab! I had forgotten how life is so much easier when you meal plan! I only did one shop last week and that was online and only popped into the shop once to buy a bottle of wine! So I am all prepared again this week! I have used some recipes from one of my millions of books - this week I've been using a book called Top Bananas that I downloaded on to my Kindle app when it was only a pound! its got lots of easy and quick recipes in it.

Monday - Salmon fishcakes and sugar snap peas

Tuesday - Sophisticated Sea Bass (from Top Bananas)

Wednesday - Fajitas

Thursday - Layered Aubergine Bake ( Top Bananas)

Friday - Risotto with what ever vegetables are around.

I have a food delivery coming this evening - how exciting! Life on the edge - right I am off to work out how to add on the 'about me' section to my blog....

I have joined in with the meal planning Monday crew here at home with Mrs M

Friday, 16 January 2015

Christine from the Bake Off!!!

This is a delayed post from October that I haven't had time to write up - In Octobers baking club we had a special guest presenter of none other than Christine Wallace a quarter finalist from 2013 series of The Great British Bake Off! She demonstrated her 99ers that she won star baker with. Of course she made them look so easy and made enough so that we could all enjoy them. They are basicaly brandy snap cones with a lemon cream filling and then a chocolate flake to finish - heaven!!


Whilst she cooked she also told us little snippets about what happens behind the scenes of the show like for example how grumpy Paul Hollywood could be but that may have been to do with the fact that when that particular series was being filmed Paul was working on the American version of the show and was getting a little "friendly" with his co-host! By the sounds of it appearing on The Bake Off is a bit of an expensive experience as all the practice that you have to do is paid for by yourself, Christine said that she would take her practice pieces to the local fire brigade to eat up and by all accounts they were very happy. Every week the contestants had to submit their recipes to the production team who decided whether they could do them and they then ordered all the ingredients and placed them on their benches ready for them to bake.
Making the brandy snap cones

Our meetings are held in a room off the local church and its very cosy and intimate which was good - it meant we all had a good view.

Finishing Touches

Christine is such a lovely woman and had plenty of  time to answer all our inquisitive questions ! She stayed to the end of our meeting, drew the raffle and chatted to everyone in fact she was the last one to leave. She must have enjoyed it as she is coming back again later this year - will be going to that one!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday

New Year and a new start - I am determined to get organized this year and plan the weeks menus and sort an online shop - its more difficult doing a food shop with 2 babies! I have found it so stressful and I love shopping - more often than not one of them is crying and so I zoom around and inevitably forget something and it is even worse shopping for a couple of items with the 2 of them - getting them in and out of car seats finding a trolley and sometimes making Molly walk which is a nightmare as she likes to get things off the shelves - so for the time being online it is. Does mean that I can't get any 'whoops' items in the reduced section!! My favourite bit! But I can shop whilst in bed breastfeeding at 2am (which is what I was doing last night!).
As it is the New Year I along with millions of other people are trying to be a bit more healthy! Homemade soup for lunch which I love and then more fruit and veg for the evening meal - eating less meat isn't an issue as Stephen is vegetarian so I don't often buy meat just for me and Molly - Henry is too small just yet but I will do in the future,  and once a week a 'naughty' pudding! I do love my puddings. So I have dug out my weightwatchers books for this weeks inspiration...

Mon - Vegetable Moussaka

Tues - Salmon with an orange crust and Tuscan Beans

Weds - Boston baked beans and vegetarian sausages

Thurs -  Quorn Fillets in a red pesto sauce

Fri -  Sea Bass with ginger, chilli and spring onions

As for the 'naughty ' dessert I have a sticky toffee Christmas pudding that I made still in the freezer!

I have joined in for the first time this year with at home with Mrs M and her Meal Planning Monday.
Lets hope I can keep this up for at least a month!