Posts tagged ‘cooking’

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


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.

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