Well, I missed blogging last week due to our computer throwing a tantrum and refusing to do anything useful. Even shutting it down proved tricky.
Anyway, hubby spent some time putting it in recovery mode and hey presto, we are back in business.
This teeny tiny crochet project came about as a request from a friend who was expecting. “Please can you make me a crochet cord tie” , she said . Errrrrrrr, not sure, let me look into that!!!! On googling it appears that crochet cord ties are a thing for those who would like to tie babies cord with something other than a plastic clip. Looks much softer for little ones.
She sent me a picture of the sort of thing she would like. Looks straightforward enough to make but what should I use to make it and how can we make sure it is clean for baby. Decided cotton would work well and the Mummy to be took charge making sure it was washed and then popped in the freezer to keep it sterile till the big day.
Looking online for ideas on how to make these, the basic idea is two small crochet motifs, one on each end of a crochet cord that is around 30cm in length. I found a few articles online to help me make this item and gave the new Mum to be strict instructions on how to use it as well as the recommendation that they check with their midwife too.
Have look at this one on Simply Crochet.
Beautiful Tribe have an article on how they approached this.
Etsy have loads for sale but if you are even a beginner crocheter, this is really straightforward to make.
The motif we went for was a heart. Attic 24 have a lovely pattern for teeny tiny hearts that were the size for my cotton yarn and a 4mm hook. The hearts were about 4cm across and the tie measure in at 30cm.
It took me all of about 15 minutes to make this including the faffing about trying to find a tape measure!
I wanted this weekly project initially to have the focus on a bake and/or a make. I have decided to broaden this a bit. The idea was originally to be inspired by something and so this week I was inspired by dinner!!
We have, like many others tried the recipe boxes that are everywhere all of a sudden. Gousto was the first one we tried and although we didn’t stick with them, I did adopt a few of their recipes into our regular menu.
The first time I made this, I of course followed the recipe to a T. Since then I have tweaked a bit (but only the tiniest bit, promise) Instead of paneer, I have started using halloumi. It’s just that bit nommier 🙂
Ingredients: (serves 2 but you can bulk it out for 3 with maybe a bit more rice, side dishes, poppadoms and mango chutney or simply double for 4)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 red onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 red chilli (I have substituted dried chilli here if you don’t have fresh to hand, use around 1/2 tsp or more depending on how hot you would like it)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 6 cardomom pods
- 250g paneer cheese (as mentioned I substitute halloumi as I prefer it and have also reduced the amount by half before to reduce calories without impacting the flavour significantly, your call!)
- 150g baby leaf spinach
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 20g fried onions
- 130g basmati rice
- Crush the cardamom pods with side of a knife or a spoon.
- Place the basmati rice and the cardamom pods, a pinch of salt and 300 ml cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Once boiling turn it down low, pop a lid on and gently cook for 10-15 minutes. Do keep an eye on this as you want to turn the heat off once it’s absorbed all the water and is cooked. Leave the lid on and leave your rice to one side in the hot pan until you are ready to serve. It stays piping hot for a good while (10 + minutes easily).
- Meanwhile, peel and dice your onion, chop your chilli finely, chop up your tomato and pop a kettle on to boil.
- Chop your paneer (or whatever cheese you desire, if you use a vegan cheese here, this dish is perfect for vegans and veggies alike. Violife have one, not tried it myself but worth a shot for this yummy curry) Heat a non stick frying pan and heat up a drizzle of veg oil. Once hot, add your cheese and fry on both sides till golden brown. Once browned , transfer it to a plate, season if desired and set aside for later.
- Get your pan back on the heat, add a little more oil if you need and then fry your onions till soft. Then add your chopped tomato, garam masala and 3/4 of your chilli (you can tweak this to suit, the dish is really flavourful and can cope with being less heated 🙂 ) Cook for around a minute to release the fragrant spices.
- Meanwhile, pop your spinach in a colander, stick it in the sink and pour over your boiled water. It will wilt. Rinse with cold water till cool and then squeeze out the water. Grab your wet squished spinach, chop it up roughly.
- Re boil a kettle
- To your curry, now add the tomato paste and spinach and cook for a minute or so.
- To 250ml of boiled water, dissolve your stock cube and then add this to your curry. Cook for around three minutes till it thickens up a bit.
- Then add your cheese and just warm it through for another minute or so.
- Serve with your rice and garnish with the fried onions. You can add more chillis too if you want to really spice things up.
I know this looks like a lot of steps. I must admit the first time I made this it felt like a bit of a faff but once I realised that the rice can be pretty much be left once it is cooked, I was then free to concentrate on the curry which in real time takes only about 10 minutes or so to cook, if you have everything chopped and ready to go. For someone who used to avoid curries because of the overuse of heat and coriander, this recipe has become a bit of a favourite.
P.S Its not a pretty curry but then which curries are!!
As always, Christmas Eve is made up of me and mine making gingerbread houses. See my previous Christmas posts for recipes (although there are very many fabulous ones online). This year we also made two miniature houses for gifts as well as a gingerbread star tree. I have to say Christmas Eve is truly my favourite day during the festive period. Have a wonderful time, love and sparkles xx
Love L x
Usually on Xmas eve (in fact every xmas eve that I can remember) we have made a Gingerbread house. This year has already looked a little different as we moved house in February, then the oldest children moved out as well. The youngest is already into her second year at Uni so things have been a little less xmassy in general 😦
So with that in mind, this year we decided that as all the children would be with us from xmas eve, we would start a new tradition of decorating the tree with homemade items as well as the gingerbread house. Well needless to say the gingerbread house is still in it’s component parts awaiting icing as well as numerous sweeties. We may finish it tomorrow, we may eat it!
Anyway, for your xmas pleasure, here are the pictures of our fabulous tree, resplendent in popcorn and cranberry tinsel, gingerbread peeps and hearts, red red ribbons, pompoms and a crochet unicow 🙂
Hello my name is Lorna (slightly exhausted mother of three youths, wife to one husband, who happens to be a rather marvellous and all round good guy).
This blog was created because I rather like to cook. Due to the number of people in my household I am obliged to cook often, as they always appear to be starving!!!
My particular food lust is baking, bread in particular, but over the years I have got more and more intersted in all sorts of cooking. Thanks in part to programmes like Masterchef Australia as well as The Great British Bake Off. They have inspired me to try things that I haven’t baked since school or not baked at all.
I intend to write about recipes that have inspired me as well as failsafe recipes that never let me down. I will always reference the original if I have it. I often tweak recipes slightly but will try and include the original information as well as my additions. Over time I also hope to include the additions my family have made to our original hand written clark family handbook which contain fascinating details like how we like to cook our eggs!
2013/14 I have added crochet to my passions. Oh how I wish I had discovered crochet when my children were small. No matter, I have been making crochet items for friends who have recently been adding to their families as well as producing a small line of creatures for my sisters school. I have also made a selection of blankets for grown up offspring and a mega blanket for my bed. Love it.
2018/19 update. Well although I am still Mother of three, they have now all pretty much moved on with their lives. The youngest is just finishing her degree this year and then will also fly the nest. Can’t really blame them for the exhaustion any more!!! For more pictures I have now added instagram to my life, do have a look and see what else I have been making. Not all patterns have found there way on to the blog (although that is the plan!!!) lornajaneclark