Thursday, 28 February 2013

Naughty Lunch

Tiddly Toes decided that it was swimming today (or smimming as she calls it!).  I had no cash, so on the way there I stopped at our local parade of shops to raid the cashpoint and pop into the chemists to get some migraine tablets for Teenage Daughter.

In the chemists I ran into a pre-school mum whose little man is going through rough times fighting ear infections....she happened to mention that he liked Blueberries so as they were stuffed full of anti-oxidants she was going to let him have free reign with eating them.

Hmmm....Blueberries!  Yum.....haven't had those for a while!

As they are Tiddly Toes favourites I suggested she might like to pop into the Co-op and get some.....that suggestion was met with great enthusiasm, skippy-jumping and a big that's a yes then!

As there were some reduced Strawberries, we got those too....not a normal purchase as I do like to keep seasonal and British...but once doesn't hurt!

We swam (or smimmed).

And we decided on puffy pancakes for lunch....that's drop scones.

Made with 12 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 egg and about half a pint of milk...we have a great non-stick frying pan so no oil needed.

For the first batch we choose ice cream and honey to accompany our berries......yes! ICE CREAM!  How decadent in the middle of the savoury just this for me.......

and this for Tiddly Toes........

followed by one still drizzled in honey but with, as Tiddly Toes puts it, squir-ty cream......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

We really feel like we've had a treat....why not give them a go!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review : Pretty Things

I don't think my opinion is that valuable that I would ever recommend something.  I might say that it was interesting and worthy of reading, seeing, trying etc.  So for me to review anything is a break from the norm for me (not that I'm sure many people who know me would ever associate me with 'norm'...whoever he is....haaha!)

BUT, this little place I found whilst on walkabout in my local town has stolen my heart and completely knocked me off my feet!

If I said there's ALOT of pink...and different wallpaper on every wall...painted furniture.....bunting...bit's and bobs might think...eurgh!  Too busy, too overwhelming, well........

wait 'til you see...I'm sure you'll agree with me that it is pure delight.....look.....

doesn't that just say...come inside?

doesn't that me!
doesn't this say....... party room!

Or is that Girlie-Shopping-Afternoon-Tea-Room?

OR let's get together and learn to crochet, stitch, knit....knit and natter......or stitch 'n' bitch!
doesn't this say...browse..!
doesn't this say, sit down......*sigh*
doesn't this say...anyone for tea?
Oh!  Go on then... mine's a pot of Earl Grey and a Toasted Teacake..........
....and it was delicious, relaxing and a perfect place to sit and crochet!  Proper loose tea, proper tea strainer, proper tea cosy....proper china!  What else can I say...what else do I need to say!
This was the perfect, cosy oasis for a break and a create..lovely!
Thanks Pink Ladies for a divine morning tea xxxx
If you'd like to take a peek yourself they're at No.4 Park Place, Horsham, West Sussex, England.... Bronwyn!  One for you on your next visit xxx
Back soon with some paper makes, until then...toodle-ooo!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Stuffed Puffs

Doesn't sound very inspiring does it?  But look........

Suffolk puffs stuffed, over-threaded with embroidery floss, topped with a button and popped on a hairband!
Wondered about leaves.....or maybe one big flanked by 2 small (one either side)...what do you think?
Stashbusting share soon....for a hobby I haven't done for a while!

See you soon

Sunday, 17 February 2013

'Melman' update!

I sat the other evening and managed to cut 250 4 " squares in preparation for Tiddly Toes 'Melman' giraffe quilt.....phew!

This is now officially a Work In Progress.....yes, yet another one!
Cheerio for now.....

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Lemon-y, lovely and LOW FAT!

Too good to be true I hear you cry....NOT SO says I!

Seriously, the fat is 4 eggs which at 6 grams each totals 24g in the whole cake!  YAY!

I'm not some mad yo-yo dieter, I have a problem with my gallbladder called Biliary Dyskenesia, I find that if I stick to a low fat diet it limits the episodes of gallstone like pain I suffer.....and believe me that's good!  Having been through childbirth...I'd rather do that again than have gallbladder pain (I've heard kidney stones are equally excruciating!)

My lovely Hub is a true masterchef and produces THE most wonderful low fat meals, but he doesn't bake.  Nor did I for years because I thought I couldn't, until that is we had to care for a young man with a gluten allergy.  So that he could join in the birthday celebrations without feeling like the odd one out, I started homebaking gluten free cakes...and believe me (because I have been told by brutally honest 4-12 year olds!!!) they are GOOD!

My traybake recipe here can be made using Doves Gluten free self raising flour...if you don't want a big one then halve the recipe and make in an 8 inch deep tin to produce a deep sponge that you can cut in half for a lovely Victoria Sponge....mmmmm!

Anyhow...I digress...on with the cake!

4 eggs, separated into 2 bowls and line your 8 inch deep tin with baking paper.

Next, whisk  your yolks and 100g (4oz) of sugar until pale and fluffy (left) and whisk your whites until stiff (right), you'll know when they're done when you can turn the bowl upside-down and they don't flop out!  My 3 year old thinks this is an hilarious trick when performed over her head!  (if they do hit the deck, they're great for shining shoes!)

Scrape the yolk mixture into the whites and whisk together..........

Next add 100g (4oz) of self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder) just a tablespoon at a time if you're nervous, but I've gently plopped the whole lot in and quickly but gently stirred it through, speed keeps it airy (a bit like souffle).  Transfer to your prepared tin and pop in your 180 degree preheated oven for around 35 minutes.

When it comes out let it cool then lemonate decorate.......

For the water icing on the top I use icing sugar, I'm guessing around four tablespoons and a dessertspoon of lemon curd and a teaspoon or 2 of water (depends on the consistency of your lemon curd!), mix until it is firm but runny enough to travel across your cake!
For the centre I make a small buttercream with about 20 grams of margarine (at 60% fat this is a total of another 12 grams of fat in your cake), mix with about 60 grams of icing sugar with the back of a the point you think of giving up because it too stiff, pop in a dessert spoon of lemon curd!  It will now make a nice pliable buttercream....yummy and VERY lemon-y.
Here it is with the rest of our naughty tea last Sunday....after a huge lunch, this was all we could manage come tea time!  With a nice pot of tea of course!

So if you were keeping count, that was a total of 36 grams of fat in the whole cake!  I like a nice generous slice so that I feel like I'm spoiling myself....but its still only 4 grams or so!

You could try this with Lime or Orange Curd or why not plain buttercream (add about 10ml of milk instead of the curd to make the buttercream pliable), some jam and just sift the top with icing sugar.  My next experiment will be adding about 40 grams of cocoa powder (this will change the fat content) and Morello Cherry jam with Vanilla buttercream....mmmmm!

If you do try it or have any comments or queries, please let me know.  I hope you enjoy making this and above all eating a gorgeous slice of Guilt-Free cake!

Back soon with a 'Melman' progress shot!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Blanket Edging

I have an uncanny knack of aquiring other peoples projects to finish.

Sewing on buttons, quilting things, crocheting loops for get the picture!

The latest request was BIG!

I have to admit that I wasn't keen.....but as it was my lovely Mother-in-Law.....and she begged asked soooooo could I say no!

She had been asked by her sister to knit a cat blanket! (To keep her amused!)

In a lovely, practical (hur-herm!) colour for cats.....pale yellow!

She beavered...and when she came to stay the other week, brought it with her and beavered some more.

Because of her failing eyesight she knits in squares and then sews them together.  For her squares she chose plain stocking stitch, rice stitch, a rib and a basketweave, like this....

She managed to get all the squares done and sewed together the night before she left to go home....phew!
Now, normally, I'm one to put things off *embarrased squirming*, I have a quilt that's been here for......oh gosh...too ashamed to tell you how long!
Don't know what it was about this one...but I WANTED to get on with it.
I started by going all around the edge in DCs (Double Crochet), making 2 DCs into each corner to try and make it more corner like...not sure if I needed to or not!  But it gave the blanket a nice base for the next step, like this.....
I then went 4 chains along from a corner, made 3 chains (to represent my first treble) and made four trebles into the same stitch.
Then miss a chain and slip stitch into the next chain, miss a stitch and 5 treble into the next chain, miss a chain, and slip stitch into the next, miss a chain and 5 trebles into the next and so on, like this...........
At the corner because I needed to make a whole 'fan' and a half I made 8 trebles into each corner, missed a chain, slip stitched into the next and carried on with my 5 trebles etc, like this..........
It's not fancy, and to be honest it wasn't even time consuming (funny isn't it, how the things you dread will take A-G-E-S actually take less time than you probably waste more time putting it off!)
So without further ado, I present my first joint Ta-dah and Mother-in-Laws first ever Ta-Dah.........TA-DAHHHHH!..........
She asked me not to press it (she's obviously heard about my skills with an ironing board!) so sorry about the wrinkles!  Quickly took this shot outside in the freezing cold as the light is too poor for indoor shots...does show the colour quite you can see NOT cat friendly!
I'll be returning soon with more Lemon.....this time edible...mmmm!
Until then Happy Hooking  xxxx

Monday, 11 February 2013

A new project....

...requires some purchasing...doesn't it?

And the excuse was the Lovely Mother in Law NEEDED a ball of Stylecraft Special Double Knit, there was (and still is!) a great offer over at of 15% off of to let a discount pass me by....I, erm, well......I ordered some yarn!

Without further ado (coz I'm too excited to let this go on too long!), here it is....

(VERY dull light again today!)
The 2 balls top (green) and top right (lilac) are James C. Brett yarn, left over from a project my Mum made for Tiddly Toes (more of that another time).
These are my colours for the throw for my bed............

Not sure if that should be with or without the shocking pink....what do you think?  Not sure if that green is quite right either....might swap it for the James C. Brett green (top of the pile in the first pic).  What do you think about swapping?

I blame Rebecca. (sorry Rebecca xx)

I've been inspired by this gorgeous photo from her wonderful Hopscotch Lane blog to makeover my bedroom................

My OCD brain jolts at the irregularity of the popping red.  However, this photo.........

...seems a little calmer, but I think that my brain is tricking me, because there seems as much red, but it's not hitting me in quite the same way.  Don't know why.  Anyway, those are my inspiration for a change of bedroom decor.
We have all Shaker style Walnut bedroom furniture (not solid wood unfortunately), but the grain is nice for fake stuff!  So to keep light and airy and go with the woodland theme that's around (without getting too childish).  I've decided (I think!) on this wallpaper from Laura Ashley...........'s called Cottonwood, it has a lovely pearlescent sheen.  That's going behind the bed.  On the remaining walls....well, there's another story!
I wanted to take a look at eco paints as I get really bed headaches (and sometimes vomiting!) when decorating and had heard that normal paint emits gases into your home for up to five years (is this why I have felt unwell for the last few years?), so read this article.
Having followed the links to other sites, I was quite taken aback to discover that Painters and Decorators suffer from high incidences of lung cancer....nice!
Do I really want the conventional stuff in my home!?  I'm a bit late coming to this as it's been well know for a couple of decades, but Petro-chemical companies aren't going to let the shaggy dog tell you that now, are they?
I've found 2 cracking paints called NaturePaint and earthBorn paint.  One is ready mixed, the other is a powder you mix with water....saves transporting water around!  Although they are more expensive, I think my family and I are worth it.
Well after a bit of a break from the blog (I have been keeping up with you guys though), it is nice to be back with a share.
I've got some makes and bakes coming soon, so I'll see you again shortly.