Baby hat and shoes

One of my favourite patterns to make over the last year has been these really easy to follow patterns by Aussie Crochet Queen Paula Daniele. Her you tube videos really helped me to get to grips withe baby shoes. She has a great website which can be found here

The pattern for the hat can be found here and the booties here

These pink ones were the first I made and I have to say this is one of the most straightforward patterns for baby shoes, very forgiving and pretty much always works (we won’t talk about my actual first attempt that would have fit my cat!)

Do have a go at these, so quick and great for presents.

Newborn Baby beanie and shoes

Newborn Baby beanie and shoes

Enjoy,

Lx

Advertisements

Millionaires shortbread, the sexy edition

The close up

The close up

I make this recipe fairly regularly but have only recently started getting (I believe) better at taking close up shots of some of my bakes. So for your enjoyment and mine. Here are my recent attempts (no photoshop, can’t work it. I did crop them though as I have worked out how to do that, am a technical genius, lol) of millionaires yumminess.

Enjoy,

Lx

Millionaires Shortbread

Paul Hollywoods Great British Bake off technical challenge – Kouign Amann

IMG_0742 Along with the rest of the nation, my family and I watched The Great British Bake Off, September 17th episode. This featured a technical challenge that required a certain degree of skill in even pronouncing the item they were baking!

Kouign Amann is something I have never come across before, and as we found on the programme neither had any of the bakers. Inspired to try and bake something new and also persuaded by my first born (he wanted to know what they tasted like) I decided to have a go. I do have the current bake off book which is pretty much for sale everywhere but you can also go onto the BBC website for all the bake off news and recipes from each episode 🙂

IMG_0705The recipe for Kouign Amann can be found here

I would stress that you need to read the recipe thoroughly, it is an unusual one. Having said that, it is also a recipe using ingredients you are likely to already have in your cupboards, especially if you bake your own bread.

The other tips (bearing in mind I have made these just once) is that as you have sugar on these they will scorch. The recipe recommends that these are covered with foil halfway through to prevent this. I had run out and you can see how much mine caught from the pictures. You also need to set aside a lot of time, each stage doesn’t take long but you have lots of resting time in between stages. I would suggest that this is the perfect recipe to do on a day when you have lots to do round the house. I was a cleaning demon that day 🙂

IMG_0702

These little creations taste yummy, sort of danish pastry/chelsea bun .They taste lovely warm or cold but my preference is definitely eat them warm. I would think the recipe will work well with some sultanas pushed through it, although I’m sure Mr Hollywood would pout and shake his head at me!! Heigh ho, give it a go 🙂

Kouign AmannIMG_0751

Enjoy,

 

Lx

Crochet Creatures

Chester's Elephant Snuggle Luckily, several friends have recently added to their families so I have been able to legitimately crochet cuddly toys. My favourites at the moment are snugglies. Simply put they are crochet heads with a blanket for the body. The pictures will better explain! So far, out of the three I made, one has already found it’s new home with 5 month old Ellen-Rose. Very pleased to report that this item resulted in the most fun that baby has had in ages!! 🙂 Not that she has had a huge amount of life experience to compare it with, ha ha 🙂  I have to thank Dendennis Amigurumist for the pattern which is available on his website and he can also be found on facebook. I adapted the pattern to create a bunny head for the second one. I didn’t write down what I did 😦 so may never be able to make another one. Silly me.

Looking forward to seeing babies, Chester and Brooke to give them their new toys 🙂

Snuggles for Chester and Brooke

Snuggles for Chester and Brooke

My version of a Red Thai Curry Paste (not completely authentic, but yummy anyway)

I have never been a huge fan of curries (really, really don’t like coriander) but finally succumbed to the charms of the thai curries. I like the ones you can buy ready made but after watching many, many episodes of Masterchef Australia I decided to try and make my own version omitting the loathsome coriander as well as turning down the heat a fraction. If you really love coriander you can of course add it later as a garnish but I think this curry paste is really tasty even without it. Dead easy to make too.

Recipe

  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass
  • 1 red onion chopped up
  • 1-2 red chillis or 1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper (scotch bonnets are feisty to say the least)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 inch chunk of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander (don’t mind this so much, it really is the fresh stuff I dislike)
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chilli powder

Later on when you make your actual curry you can add to taste, a squeeze or two of lime.

Method

Put all your ingredients into a blender/mixer/chopper of some description.You will need to chop them by hand a bit first so you can get them in. Once there just give them a whizz in the chopper until the mix resembles red curry paste. You can add a little oil if it needs a bit of help coming together but the tomato paste should be enough.

I have one of the small choppers that hide away in my cupboard concealing the fact that another gadget has been purchased! Food Chopper Link

This mixture does keep in the fridge fairly well but as with all things fresh, check, taste and if in doubt, don’t.

This mix can be used as you would any shop bought curry paste. Fry off the paste in a little oil for a minute or so at the beginning of cooking to release the flavours. Yummy.

This recipe is a bit on it’s own as far as my blog goes, you never know if I write some more cooking type recipes I may have to create a new category! For now it can live under family as that is who I make this for.

Enjoy

Lx

Bruschetta with olives, pesto and slow roasted baby toms – really, really easy and my absolute current fave thing to make at the moment

close up bruschettaWell, decided to get back to blogging. Safe to say I am not very regular with my posts. In my head I am much more efficient. If I’m honest this may be the one and only post for a while again or I’ll have a little flurry of baking, crochet and writing activity. Who knows, part of the fun and mystery that is me!!!

Well as mentioned in the title of this blog, my favourite thing to eat at the moment is bruschetta with green olives, pesto and slow roasted baby tomatoes. I make the bread myself (of course). The best bread for this is a simple white bread, but a foccacia style or even a ciabatta work really well too. The good thing is that because you are toasting your bread it really doesn’t matter if it is a day old and on the sturdy side. This is a great way to use up that third of a loaf that I often have left over, especially now the kids seem to have suddenly grown up and left.

First you need your loaf, my basic bread recipe can be found here Easy Bread Recipe

In order for you to have generous bruschetta, make sure you shape your loaf either to a bloomer style shape or use a tin. Whatever rocks your world. You can of course buy a rustic style loaf which would make this even easier to achieve 🙂

Bruschetta topping

  • Basil pesto, I’m sure you could make this yourself but life is too short to faff. Sometimes you just want to eat something yummy now and if you made the bread you have done more than enough.
  • Jar of green olives, about half the jar will serve 2-3 of you. Rough chop these.
  • Cherry tomatoes, slow roasted (see mini recipe below)
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • Smattering of grated parmesan

Slow roasted tomatoes , serve warm

  • punnet of small/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • sea salt
  • oregano or basil, dried
  • black pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C
  • In an ovenproof dish place your halved tomatoes.
  • Drizzle over some olive oil, sprinkle on your sea salt, pepper and herbs
  • Pop your tomatoes in the oven and then turn the oven right down to 140 – 160 degrees c and bake for around 20 – 30  minutes or so till they are just starting to go a bit droopy and luscious looking. You’ll need to adjust a bit to suit depending on the feistiness of your oven. Mine has a tendency to nuke things especially if I’m multi tasking.
  • Nigella does do a fabulous version of her moon blush tomatoes where these are left in the oven overnight. Whilst I have made it her way many times, I am rarely prepared enough to know what I want to eat the day before!

Once you are ready to have your bruschetta, all you need to do is lightly toast your bread. Smear on a little or a lot of pesto, to your taste. Pop on a generous serving of olives and then place several halves of your warm tomatoes. Sprinkle on a little parmesan if you fancy. Drizzle over olive oil and eat. Yum. I often have this for lunch and feel very virtuous when doing so 🙂

 

Tomato and Olive Bruschetta