Archive for ‘Food’

August 12, 2013

Vintage Birthday Tea Party

So there is no stopping it, it seems that every year you do get a year older and this month I clocked up 30 years.  To celebrate I planned an afternoon tea party as I love a cream tea, cake, spending time with my friends and making things pretty.  I found this really cute little hall to hire locally as a venue.

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Thankfully it was sunny enough for us to spill outside as it was dinky!

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My sister and I made the cakes and decorations.  The colour scheme was aqua, peach and light pink to give a bit of a modern edge to the vintage theme.  We made tissue paper pompoms to add to balloons and fabric bunting.

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A friend of mine hires out vintage china with all proceeds going to charity (Vintage Hope).  An amazing cause and a nice touch to the party.

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I had a fab time both putting it together and celebrating.

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Here are some more pics…

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April 24, 2012

Sewing group does cake decorating

This week at sewing group we had a master class on cake decorating from a friend of one of the girls.

(Spot the sparkly apron we made Kate as a wedding present!)

We learnt how to cover a cake, make roses and leaves and write on the cake.  And the end result…

Not too bad but I think it would take a lot of practice to get good.  Also it’s so time consuming!  I couldn’t believe it took us all evening just to do this.  Big respect for people who do this so well.

I had to dash off at the end but took a couple of photos of the others…

Not bad for our first attempts.

October 5, 2011

New project low-down

Way too long since my last post.  This is due to general business, and not much of the making kind unfortunately.

But anyway, this is my latest project which is currently work in progress.  Here are the essential facts…

What: A quilt

Why: A present for a special person on a special birthday

Size: A lap quilt approx 60″ by 60″

Target finish date: Early November (making it by far my quickest quilt.  Not that hard given that the first one took two years!)

Design: I wanted to do a simple, square design as it suited the person I am giving it to and I figured it will be quickest.  I came across this quilt on a blog that I’ve recently started following and it looked perfect so I am doing something very similar

Fabrics: A mix of blue/greens selected from the vast range at the Quilt Festival.  I really love the patterned fabrics and I went with grey for the background colour because I like grey and thought it would be fresh but not too bright.  Turns out the person I am making it for has just got a new grey sofa, happy coincidence

Grey, blue, green colour palette

 

Progress: I’m just over two weeks in.  I’ve cut all of the squares and have pieced all of the strips.  Not a bad start but I’ve run out of grey fabric (I’m not great at planning these things!), so waiting for a trip to the fabric shop at the weekend

Strips pieced together

 

In the mean time: I’ve done a fair bit of baking, started my next baby blanket and had an amazing, unseasonably warm weekend away with friends.  See below…

Cherry and coconut cakes

 

Strawberry cheesecake muffins

 

Chocolate tiffin in the fridge

 

The state of my kitchen at the end!

 

Beautiful beach in West Wales

Next up date will be sooner (hopefully x)

September 16, 2011

Chutney

Last weekend I made some plum and ginger chutney.  It’s been ages since I last made chutney, and I seem to remember it taking ages.  But this was very easy and pretty quick.  I acquired some plums from a colleague who had a glut of them and then found this recipe and had about half of the plums required.  It’s very simple; put all of the ingredients plums, ginger, onion, garlic, sugar, sultanas and vinegar (chopped where necessary) in a sauce pan…

Chutney raw

…bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 mins.  I ended up leaving it for about an hour as it was still quite runny.

Chutney cooking

Then leave to cool and put in a jar.

It tastes good.  Not very gingery, if anything I would prefer it more gingery, but that’s just personal preference (I seem to love ginger at the moment, especially ginger tea and dark chocolate ginger biscuits, yum!).

I have also acquired a couple of cooking apples and a marrow.  I’m thinking crumble with the apples but I’m not sure what to do with the marrow??

September 10, 2011

Bits and bobs

Sadly not much creative activity to blog about recently.  I’ve been busy with work, my church holiday bible club last week (entertaining 170+ kids aged four to eleven for four mornings, awesome but shattering with work in the afternoons!) and various evening activities starting up after the summer break.

There have been a few food creations though.  I managed to make a Tagine one evening last week.  If you can call it a tagine as it wasn’t cooked in a tagine dish and I didn’t follow a tagine recipe but I did base it on one I have made in the past.  Here’s the basics of what I did:

1. Heated some oil in a casserole dish on the hob.

2. Added chopped vegetables roughly in the following order: onion (let them fry a bit), butternut squash, yellow pepper, a few new potatoes and an aubergine.  Stirring in between and letting them fry a bit.

3. I then added spices.  My supplies are limited at the moment so I just added come paprika, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  Just a few shakes of each, maybe a little more paprika.

4. Added two tins of chopped tomatoes, a vegetable stock cube in a little water and some tomato purée

5.  Finally I added a handful of dried apricots chopped and a couple of dried figs chopped (these virtually disappear but give a lovely sweetness)

6. Brought it to the boil then put on the lid and put it in a low oven whilst I went out to Zumba.

7. Back from Zumba (just over an hour later) and it was pretty much ready.

I had it with cous cous two nights and put four portions in the freezer.  Easy, and fairly quick for a week night if you exclude the oven time.  As you can see I slightly over filled my dish so it boiled over a little in the oven but that didn’t really matter, just a bit more cleaning up to do.

I also made a chocolate cheesecake using this recipe from All Recipes

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product or get to taste it because I gave it away.  But it looked pretty good.  It was a little too gooey, it could have done with being a bit more set and I used white chocolate instead of dark because that’s what I had and it lacked a bit of flavour strength (from what I could tell licking the bowl!).  It also dirties a lot of bowls…

Whipped cream, cream cheese, melted chocolate, cocoa powder mixed with water (off photo bowl for crushing biscuit and pan for melting butter)

My only bit of sewing has been at sewing group where I did manage to get all of the squares for one of my baby blankets pieced together.  The squares are 5″ and I did five by six.  Hopefully I will add the border and the backing tomorrow and take a better picture.

August 23, 2011

Trip to the seaside!

No making at the weekend because I had a trip to the seaside!  I went to Cromer, a medium sized town on the north coast of Norfolk; famous for its crab, the only remaining end of the pier show in the UK, and now home to my sister and brother-in-law.

They have a flat overlooking the pier which is just an amazing spot; I could sit and look out of the window all day.

View of the pier from the living room

But, alas, there was shopping and eating to be done.  After breakfast…

Breakfast

… we headed out to explore the shops and food of Cromer and the near-by town of Holt.  Here is some of what we found…

Lots of independent shops, many specialising in one thing such as books, sweets, hardware and this one selling, well, all things cake!

Had to try Cromer crab. I had it in a sandwich

A nice interiors shop with lovely fabric for curtains and upholstery

A cream tea (with ginger beer) in Holt

A little bit of rainbow in the sky

The sunset from the pier

Sunday was church, a stroll back along the seafront, lovely dinner cooked by Amanda and more staring out the window watching the world go by.

It really was like a little holiday and I will definitely be back for more.  I just wish it wasn’t 270 miles away from Cardiff!!

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