Saturday, 30 January 2010

Sunday Recipe 4/2010

Whether you want to impress dinner guests or just finish off a lovely Sunday Lunch this is the perfect dessert.


6 greased ramakins
175g dates, stoned and chopped
300ml water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
175g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the sauce
300ml double cream
50g demerara sugar
2 tsp black treacle

Preheat oven to 180C (Gas Mark 4)

1) Boil the dates in the water for about 5 mins until soft
2) Add the bicarbonate of soda and keep the dates in the water
3) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4) Add the eggs and beat well
5) Mix in the dates (with the water) and the flour and vanilla essence
6) Divide equally between the ramakins
7) Bake for 25-30 mins until just firm to the touch

When you are ready to serve up make the sauce as it only takes a few minutes

1) Place all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until blended
2) Bring to boil

Dish up each pudding and ladle on the sauce.

Now I'm a bit of a fan of this recipe and love the sauce so much that whenever I have served this pudding I make double quantity and it always gets eaten!


Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday Favourites 4/2010

Well this week is going to be a bit different as I'm going to re-introduce you to one very special lady who has started something a little bit new and exciting and also introduce you to another special lady who I have had the pleasure of buying a few of her gift tags.

So the first is Sarah from The Other Mousie, I love this wonderful lady she is so kind and caring, and is definately my soulmate. This week she has ventured out of her little Itty Bitty Kitty shop to create THE CIRQUE DE CHAUSSETTES, they are so quirky that you can't help but love them.

This is the Ringmaster of the World Famous Cirque de Chaussettes, Monsieur Alphonse Poissonnier!

The first artiste to join him at the circus is his good friend, Long 'Stretch' Johnson, Swordfish Swallower...

There will more performing cats coming soon to a circus near you...

So if that wasn't enough for you today, I would like to introduce you to Lynsey from SwirlyArts. She has embarked on a few new things this year, including lots of walking and to craft everyday!

She makes lots of wonderful gift tags (I have bought Snoopy and handdrawn Robins and will be going back for more!) and envelopes from recycled books, comics, magazines, well anything made of paper or card! As well as funky Chickens, paperweight size and doorstops, all can be bought in her Folksy and Etsy shops.

I hope that has given you a feast for your eyes this morning. Don't forget to come back on Sunday for a really yummy recipe, something that will wow any dinner guest but that you could make for a special Sunday Dinner Treat (don't forget Valentines Day is coming up and this is a perfect dessert!!)


Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday Recipe 3/2010

Be Warned......This recipe will come with many warnings!!!

The second warning is this, my kids love this recipe, as soon as they come out the oven I get pounced on, "Mummy I really really love you, more than Daddy, I love you infinity and beyond", I always try to make the cookies (yes you heard/read right, todays recipe is Chocolate Chip Cookies!) last more than a day but so far that has never happened!!!

I will also warn you that once you have made these once the probability of making them again is very high! I always have the ingredients in my cookery cupboard as they are quite simple to make and I've never had anyone say they don't like them!

My next warning is that the cookie dough is rather moreish too before it is cooked!!!

Try to leave enough time for some cooling before cooking as it does help the dough be less sticky, however you can make them straight away, my tip is to use damp hands when rolling the balls as it seems to stop them sticking to your fingers.
Don't let their appearence put you off they are supposed to be wrinkly!

Again as with most of my recipes, all ovens vary and you will have to find the right timing for your oven, I say this especially with these as it took me a few attempts to get it right, but it is so worth it when you do!

I'm sure there are many more warnings but you are probably getting impatient!

(makes approx 36)

225g butter
200g light soft brown sugar
175g caster sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
350g plain white flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
150g chocolate chips
110g nuts
(when I make these for the kids I use 200g of chocolate chips and no nuts)

Preheat oven 180C (Gas Mark 4)

1) Cream the butter
2) Add in both sugars and cream together with the butter
3) Beat the eggs and add in a bit at a time
4) Add in the vanilla extract and stir
5) Mix all the dry ingredients together and then fold them in to the butter/sugar mixture
6) Add in the chocolate and nuts
7) Put in the fridge to chill for 15-30 mins
8) Divide the mixture into equal size balls, mine are about 1.5" or 40mm diameter
9) Put 6 evenly spaced onto a lined baking tray (I use 2 at a time so that when 1 comes out the next goes in) and bake for approximately 10 mins. What you are looking for it a slight darkness around the edge.
10) Take them out of the oven, they will look risen but will drop when they cool. Take the lining off the baking sheet to allow the cookies to cool, then after about 5 mins you will be able to transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling using a palett knife to loosen and lift them.

When eaten they should be a bit crunchy round the outside but gooey in the middle.

If you have a go I would love to know what you think. If you have any suggestions for recipes you want to try then leave a comment and I'll see what I can find! Trust me between us my family has most recipes so should come up with something that will be just right!


Friday, 22 January 2010

Friday Favourites 3/2010

I love reading blogs and have many twitter friends so it is difficult to choose who to feature each week. I hope those that I haven't yet featured realise that I would love to feature everybody at once but that would take forever and then what would I blog about next week, plus you never know you might just be next!

This week I have chosen Pantsandpaper, Sam is such a talented lady making lots of delightful purses, brooches and other items out of recycled fabrics and haberdashery items. She is also on twitter and is always lovely to talk to.

Please go and check out her shop and perhaps even have a little spend on some of her yummy goodiness!

Don't forget to come back next week to see if you might be my next Friday Favourite!!!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday Recipe 2/2010

I keep being asked about my recipes so have decided to try and share them with you on here, as with my Friday Favourites I have decided Sunday will be my recipe day, this is not to say I won't add in others during the week but I will post a new recipe every Sunday. Please note that these are not recipes I have made up but ones from various books or handed down to me from my Gran and Mum who are both great cooks and also my Mum is THE BEST (in my opinion & many of her students!) Home Economics Teacher.

So last week I did a recipe for scones which my family have used for many years and I would love to hear if any of you tried the recipe and what you thought.

This week on Twitter there was talk of Shortbread so I thought I would share another recipe that my family have used for years. It is simple but when it comes to the baking it does all depend on your oven temperature so I will give you the timing for my oven but you will need to alter accordingly.

(makes about 12 biscuits)

100g Plain Flour
50g Cornflour
100g Butter
50g Caster Sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven 170C (Gas Mark 3)

1) Line 2 baking trays with silicone paper (baking paper)
2) Sift the flour, cornflour and salt into a mixing bowl
3) Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Stir round with a palette knife
4) Rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips
5) Sprinkle in the sugar
6) Knead the ingredients until they all bind together as a dough
7) Roll out to 5mms thick and cut out the biscuits so that they are even in size using a cutter
8) Prick the biscuits with a fork (and place in the fridge to chill if you have time)
9) Bake in the oven until set and pale golden brown (it takes about 10mins for my oven but as I said ovens vary so watch for the first time and make a note for the next time)

These are great for kids to make as well as eat as they are simple and don't take too long in to cook. They have a buttery taste and a crumbly texture. Why not give them a go and let me know what you think.

If you have any suggestions for further Sunday Recipes, cakes, biscuits, desserts, savory meals then leave a comment and I will see what I can do. Maybe I will share some family secret recipes (like our famous chocolate roulade or individual sticky toffee puddings, mmm, mmm, mmm) if you ask nicely enough!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Friday Favourites 2/2010

So my Friday Favourite for this week was decided for me yesterday when I recieved an unexpected parcel in the post. It was full of goodies from the wonderful Sara at kittyeden. She was very helpful the other day telling me about a good place to buy felt and kindly offered to send me a little piece so I could see how soft it is and the density of the fibre, so imagine my surprise when I got a box full of goodies. Now when I opened the box the tissue paper along with Sara's little note opened up inside the box lid and all I could see was the goodies, and all I could think of was "this can't be for me, theres been a mistake, I didn't order a box of goodies" then I had a better look and saw the note. I restrained myself from opening straight away and got my camera and look what a box of goodies it is! Chocolate (very important when crafting away!!), a massive pile of lovely fabric scraps, thread, inspirations packs with lots of pink sparkly bits, some sticky letters, the piece of felt and a beautiful button badge!

Thank you so much Sara, its lovely to recieve parcels in the post but even more so when you are not expecting them.

Please, if you haven't already, go and check out her wonderful blog and shops, I promise you won't be disappointed.


Meet Albie

My new venture for this year are kits as I thought others would like to have a go at making some yummy things for themselves. Here is my first one, his name is Albie (Owl-be)(sorry about the photo, it was dark but I wanted to show him off) he will be available in kit form soon and I might even get around to making some to sell too for those who just can't wait.

Please let me know what you think of Albie and what other colour hats you might like to see him wearing (I can't promise anything but I will do my best).

I am now working on my next kit or 3! And I hope to bring them to you very soon.

If you want to pre-order an Albie kit, that is before he hits my folksy or etsy shops, then please leave me a comment as I will be doing a special offer.


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

I just won an award!

I would like to thank FairlyGirly for giving me a wonderful award. It is the Sunshine Blog Award which is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting this award are:-

Put the logo on your blog or within your post,

Pass the award on to 12 bloggers,

Link the nominees within your post,

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog,

Share the love and link to the person from whom you have received this award.

So my nominees are (and it was difficult to decide):

Congratulations all of you and I hope you all have a lovely day


Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow and Scones

I'm often found in the kitchen baking and overtime many have asked for my recipes so as this is quite a simple but very tasty recipe I thought I would share it with you, alongside some photos of my garden in the snow.

(makes approx 8)

200g self raising flour
50g butter (room temperature)
125ml milk

Flavouring: Plain Scones - 50g caster sugar
Fruit Scones - 50g caster sugar and 50g dried fruit (I use more as I love them fruity)
Cheese Scones - 50g grated cheese

Pre-heat oven to 220degC (Gas Mark 7)

1) Sieve flour into a bowl
2) Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs
3) Add the flavouring
4) Add the milk a little at a time. Mix the dough with a round bladed knife. When it begins to come together finish with your hands, it should be soft but not sticky
5) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface
6) Lightly press out the dough with your hands to about 2.5cm thickness and cut into shapes using a cutter. (Try not to handle the dough as little as possible as it will become tough if you work it too much)
7) Place the shapes close together on a floured baking tray, glaze lightly with milk
8) Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are well risen and golden brown
9) Remove scones from the oven and place on a cooling rack
10) Eat whilst fresh! Clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and a cup of tea optional!!!


Friday Favourites 1/2010

If you are a Twitter fan you will know that on a Friday you can do a tweet about your favourite tweeple, so I thought that I would carry that on into my blog and choose 1 person each week to blog about.
Today is my first and I'm going to start it off with the lovely Becky, otherwise known as Dots and Spots, she is not just a wonderful lady but a very talented one too. I just love the washing lines but everything is gorgeous, head over to her shop and have a look at everything she does there is so much you'll find it hard to decide which to buy first!

I hope you have liked my first Friday Favourite and will come back to see who will be my Favourite next week.