Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sausage Rolls

No crafting this week - think I've run out of steam on that front at the moment!! lol!

Made this lovely batch of sausage rolls at the weekend though which I have been told by hubby are amazing (think they are quite nice myself!!) and so the batch I put in the freezer has already been taken out!  Very easy to make - fry some onion, apple (both cut up small) and some thyme with some oil and then mix into a pack of sausages taken out of their skins.  Then cut some rolled out puff pastry into strips and put the sausage mix into the pastry and roll up, sealing and covering the tops with a beaten egg and milk  Cook until brown - these are gorgeous.  The recipe is from the Hungry Innocent cook book which is one of the best I've ever read so would highly recommend.

In the brightly coloured pots is my deconstructed fish pie for the little one.  I baked some potatoes and scooped out the potato from the skins and mixed with some fish that I cooked in a pan, some peas and carrots left over from our roast and a cheese sauce.  He loved it - proper nursery food :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I'm not sure if it's the fact I've been eating much better, been taking a good vitamin pill, that Isaac has got over his growth spurt/development leap/ill health/whatever it was that was making him a grumpy moo and has now gone back to being a content albeit mobile little sausage and is sleeping much better or that the sun has been shining and there are whispers of spring but my energy levels are very good at the moment and much crafting has been happening!!  Also despite the healthy eating so has some cooking.

Here is Sunday's results from a morning in the kitchen:

We had chicken, leek and bacon pie for dinner which was surprisingly easy to make.  Fried some leeks in oil and then added chicken thighs and bacon and fried for a bit and then added sweet potatoes and some thyme and two tablespoons of flour.  Then when this has cooked a bit add 200ml of stock and simmer for 20 mins.  Pop in a tin and top with puff pastry (shop bought - lifes too short!!) and cook for 50 mins.  

Also in the picture is a plum and apple crumble and Mary Berry's chocolate traybake - which is AMAZING!!!!!! This is an all in one chocolate cake topped with melted chocolate mixed with icing sugar - mmmmmmmm!!  There was enough to put half in the freezer.....ok I had to put half in there to stop me eating it all! 

Other bakes this week include two loaves of white bread (the Rachel Allen's honey wholemeal bread recipe - but I used all white flour for a change and this produced a much nicer loaf) and tuna croquettes for the little sausage - which he loved.....as did mummy!!  These were from the BLW cookbook - although I tweaked the recipe a bit.  I microwaved a couple of baking potatoes and scooped out the middles and mixed this with a tin of tuna, some lemon juice and a bit of marg.  I shaped these into small sausage shapes and covered in breadcrumbs (I always whizz up any stale bread into crumbs and freeze it so I always have some to hand - used these from frozen and they were fine)  I then popped them in the oven for 20 mins.  Isaac loved them and had them 3 days running!  They were great for him to feed himself with and also for me to break bits of to feed to him when he got lazy!! 

And so to the crafting...

I've finished my mothers day present - painted candle holders, which are baby food jars that I have painted with my new glass painting pens, which I have packaged up into chiffon bags and tied with raffia all things that I had in my craft box

I then found some flower pots in the garage that I had already painted:

 I had some booklets of decoupaged papers which I cut out and then stuck onto the pots with a mixture of PVA glue and water.  I am then going to put some little flowering plants in these nearer the time (so I don't kill them before the day arrives!!)
My last project of the week was to turn this broken mirror 

Into this for Isaac's birthday - its to hang on his wall.  I ordered some buttons and then used card and paper that I already had for the I and background.  I sanded the frame down after taking out the mirror and painted it with a light blue tester pot.  Really hope he likes it!!

Right next stop - my mums hen party invites although I have cheated with these and have bought some notelets that just need filling in!   I also cheated and bought a cake at a farmers market today so no baking for me tomorrow.....although might be making some sausage rolls! 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Food glorious food!

How is it Saturday again?!?!  Pretty sure I was going to get some crafting done this week but alas it doesn't seem to have happened.  But I have been thinking about things so I'm already to go once I get some free time - whatever that is!

I have however been busy in the kitchen.  Isaac's got his appetite back which is nice and despite hubby's best attempts to tempt us with take away before the end of the month we have resisted.  I made a white loaf of bread by hand on Tuesday - this was a Nigella recipe which worked surprisingly well (I have a love hate relationship with Nigella; I adore her domestic goddess book but some of recipes tend to be very hit and miss).  Thursday nights tea was HM wholemeal bread from the breadmaker (just sometimes there isn't time for all the kneading!  This was lovely though and I put the machine on and then we went down the road for our singing group and came back to the house smelling of freshly cooked bread - mmmmmmmm!!) and Rachel Allen's  Chorizo & Chickpea Soup.  This was blooming lovely - although I used thinly sliced Chorizo as I ordered the wrong thing from Asda and I only used about half a litre of stock (just vegetable stock powder) as that looked liquidy enough (ok the rest wouldn't fit in the saucepan!!!!!!) I also used passata  (my new addiction) and I realise now I didn't put the spinach in at the end - ooooops! Oh well it still tasted nice.

Last night we had my home made chinese.  This consists of homemade egg fried rice which my husband insists on making and prawn crackers.  I then make peanut noodles - soak noodles in boiling water while everything else cooks and then make the dressing:  tbsp of peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and boiling hot water - I just do this by eye till there is about a third of a cup full.  Pour this over the noodles and then put in a pan and heat until the sauce goes all thick and bubbly.  I also do a chicken dish - cook some cubed chicken in olive oil and then take out and keep warm.  Fry spring onions, chilli and garlic for half a min and then put the chicken back in with some hoisin sauce, soy sauce and cashew nuts and heat until bubbly and then serve.  Again I don't use specific amounts but I do use the tubes of garlic and chilli (for everything - so very handy).  Generally if I am making this I will serve up the chicken and then put the noodles in the same pan so it catches up any left over peanut buttery loveliness.

Tonight we are having more peanut butter - love the stuff (although still too scared to give it to Isaac).  I've got chicken cubes marinating in peanut butter, curry powder, lemon juice, chilli sauce, soy sauce and a bit of garlic.  Will then cook in the oven (you can make them into kebabs on sticks) and then serve with lettuce in pitta bread with chips - can't wait.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Oh dear.....

Firstly a big hello to my followers!! wahooooo!!  Nice to not be wittering on to myself for a change!!!!!

Secondly - as if I didn't have enough craft ideas I've now discovered pininterest!!! OMG!  There's another way to waste a billion hours on the internet (again as if I didn't have enough - I said to hubby last night there is too much on the web for me to actually have a real life now! hehe!)  If I can work out how I will link this blog up to it and would like to link it all to facebook but that might be beyond my abilities (have you noticed I've still not worked out how to turn my photos round on here! and we all know that I go on the net to do something and end up doing a hundred and one other things instead!)

I've started on my mothers day presents - painting baby food jars to make into candle holders and am cutting out decoupage pictures to put on flower pots.  I've also had a minor panic that Isaac is one in less than 6 weeks - how the hell did this happen?!?!  I'm going to make him a button I to go on his door - have ordered the buttons from eBay and found a broken mirror that I am going to use as the frame....then there are the hen do invites to do and my mother in law cushions......really need to spend less time on the internet then don't I!! Damn pininterest!!!!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Waste not want not

So today I've used the idea of upcycling in the kitchen and these are the results.  Bread pudding made with stale bread, pineapple and mango upside down cake made with a mango that was looking a bit wrinkly!  And some BLW banana muffins with some very very brown bananas.  

Friday, 10 February 2012

Winters here

And so are all the bugs.  We are in the midst of a nasty bug at the moment - well when I say we I mean my little one and the hubby.  I've escaped so far with only a slight queasiness ....although this means I've had to look after everyone else!  Hopefully the bug and the horrible snow will all be gone soon - roll on Spring time.

Talking of spring I'm very pleased with my hyacinths which I planted in October I believe and then left in the garage (ok forgot about in the garage!) As you can see one lot have given lovely blooms and the others are on their way - I will try to remember to take a pic when these ones are in full bloom.

I've finished the pad to go on the fireplace hearth - I covered a large pad of foam cut to size with pirate fabric and then hemmed the edge into which was elastic which I then gathered together to make it stay in place.  Its not perfect but it does the job and does mean we don't have to panic every time Isaac goes near it which is a good thing because a - all his toys are kept on there and b - there are enough other places we are panicking about him getting near!!!   Here's a pic of the finished product

Last Saturday I finally managed to get to make some more bread - again I used the same recipe which calls for a lot of wholemeal flour which I know is difficult to work with.  I am going to try again next time to make some with just white flour.  Whilst making this I thought I would have a morning in the kitchen and made rice pudding (yuk! but the boys liked it!), a quiche, some jam tarts with the left over pastry, cranberry and apple scones and a lemon and poppyseed cake.  And I wonder why I never loose weight!!!