15 Nov 2012

Jo & William's London Trip

A basket of all we did that week
 So normally we are many miles apart. But last month we had a whole week together when you and William visited me in London.
Jo & William walking by the canal
It was a lovely time, and we did so much! Muffin baking, jam making, walking, market scouring, stitching and making woolly necklaces!
William exploring my books

Me & William walking along the canal
 I miss you both, it was great to be able to spend time with the little one.
Damson Jam we made from fruit collected in the park

A t-shirt for William that Jo worked on in spare moments

William using a spoon!
 Hope to visit you in return, soon!


9 Nov 2012

Slow Cooker Part I

So Jo-Bags; now we have the same slow cooker we can experiment and tell each other our tips. I thought I'd start off here:

Tried & Tested

These following recipes are tried & tested by me. And as we have the same cooker they should turn out great for you too!

Baked Mushrooms with Ricotta & Pesto

5 or 6 large flat mushrooms
olive oil
250g tub of ricotta
3 tbsp pesto
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
25g grated parmesan (or cheddar)
fresh parsley (if you have any)

> brush inside of slow cooker with oil
> put in mushrooms, stalks up
> mix ricotta with pesto & garlic and spoon into mushrooms (pile it quite high)
> sprinkle cheese over and drizzle some oil on top
> cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours (some cook books say 8-9 hours but ours is quite a hot one i've noticed so really it won't need 8 hours! that goes for most recipes i've seen, take a few hours off the cooking time at least)
> serve with parsley, & good with a risotto rice on the side

Creamy Rice Pudding with Cinnamon Sugar 

I think this is the recipe I used before, but cannot be sure. I know I used full fat milk. I'll try it again soon and let you know.

25g butter
1 litre full fat milk
100g pudding rice
50g cinnamon sugar
handful of sultanas
pinch of nutmeg

> grease inside of slow cooker
> place all ingredients in slow cooker & dot with remaining butter
> cover and cook on low for 4.5/5 hours, stirring once or twice in last few hours
> sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar to serve

Not tried yet, but sound great

These recipes are ones I've got in books or off the internet and not tried yet. If & when either of us try them we should post any amendments we would make to make the recipe better.

Better Than Baked Beans

2 onions (thinly sliced)
2tsp oil
4 rashers of streaky bacon (cut into largish chunks)
2tsp sugar (brown)
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
200ml stock
2 x 410g cans of cannellini, butter or haricot beans (drained & rinsed)

> fry off onions & bacon in frying pan together, until soft
> stir in sugar, tomatoes, stock & seasoning, then simmer in frying pan for 5 mins
> tip all into slow cooker and stir in the beans
> cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (it originally said 9-10 or overnight so 6-7 is my guess)

Light Fruit Cake

2 eggs
130g butter
225g brown sugar
150g self raising
150g wholemeal
pinch of salt
1tsp mixed spice
450g mixed dried fruit
deep 18cm tin (or one that fits your slow cooker)

> line cake tin; place an unturned saucer or metal pastry cutter in bottom of slow cooker; then pour in hot water to 1 inch deep and switch on cooker to medium/high
> crack eggs into mixing bowl, add butter & sugar. sift flours over and stir all together
> add mixed fruit and mix into mixture
> spoon into prepared cake tin and level ; cover with a piece of buttered foil
> put tin into slow cooker and pour enough boiling water to come just over halfway up the sides of the tin
> cover and cook for 4-5 hours

13 Jul 2012

A post to make you feel better Jo

I know you are ill, and should hopefully be in bed, but if you have your laptop with you perhaps you can be cheered by this post and exploring all my recent Pinterest pins.


Don't these muffins look amazing? I so want to start baking muffins for breakfast; I never seem to know what to eat for breakfast and being so busy doesn't help. If I baked these once a week then maybe I would have breakfast sorted for at least 4 or 5 days out of 7.... shame its all in american cups..... hate trying to work out what that really means in english!


These also look good; not exactly muffins as they use grated potatoes and egg, but good breakfast material, although probably a bit fattening...
I've spent a few hours this morning on Pinterest; whoops! Its my only day off in ages and I needed a break from thinking about my MA work, here is the link to my new board on food where I am mostly re-pinning other peoples images for my inspiration, and yours. This is, by far, my favourite of the morning:

It took me ages to find the original post for it (thats a big problem with Pinterest & Tumblr) but I did find it, but I also saw this recipe for the same thing:

I really want to try them sometime soon. Probably after the MA is done, when I get some more time! I barely have time or energy to cook dinner let alone bake!

Anyway, get well soon Jo-Bags. Miss you and the little one, hopefully see you later in the year for a week of baking & making. xxx

15 Jun 2012

Twin Peaks Birthday Party

Thanks Jo for making the fabulous chevron table runner; it went so well with all the rest of the decorations. Wish you could have been there but had plenty of help from Mum & Kevin. 

26 Mar 2012


As a thank you for me proof reading her essay my lovely Japanese friend made us a wonderful Bento for lunch yesterday; Onigiri (rice balls) were so nice, and the carrots were cut in a cute flower shape, and there was a wonderful black sesame sauce stuff on the green beans. I will have to learn that one and tell you how to make it. YUM!

  And so I was inspired this morning to make a very speedy quick Bento lunch for Rick; I used the smallest heart cookie cutter I have (did you give me those?) and cut the ham and bread&butter, cress grass and some other veg for salad.

                 The blue&white encrusted cake thing is a leftover cornflake chocolate nest that I made for the party.

I hope he enjoys it; its not going to be the most filling of lunches, but its cute!

Enjoy the sunshine Jo-Bags. Love to little William and to Chris too. xxx

The Owl & The Badger

 So, as you know Jo, I have been chained to the computer and/or library writing my essay that is due in on Wednesday. So I have been having alot of tea!

I finished the first draft on Friday evening and so let myself have the whole of Saturday as a essay-free zone. Which is lucky because I had an animal themed fancy dress party to get ready for that night. I woke up not knowing what on earth I was going to be and ended the day with a costume to be proud of.

Here are some photos of the making process; it was great fun. I give you the owl (& the Badger):

So I raided the fabric stash and made 3 sizes of feather template and got cutting

                 and then started on the mask, I knew I had a pair of those cinema 3D glasses lying around so punched out the plastic lenses and drew around them on some cardboard.
        Then drew an owl face shape and cut out.

                                 After that I got sticking!

                  Rick helped me superglue the glasses on the card ( I hate superglue, it still scares me!)

            And hey presto, I had an owl mask!

       I knew I HAD to have a mouse hanging from my beak/mouth and so I made one!

    I used the leftover feathers to create my wings on an old brown cardigan; I could have done more feathers if I had had more time, but I think it worked ok as it was.

I wore brown tights, a mottled grey top under the wing cardi, that black layered skirt I have had for years and some super yellow socks for my yellow owly feet.

And so Rick was the Badger and I was the Owl:

23 Mar 2012


put some of mum's dried rosemary in my wholemeal bread dough this morning :)
how's the essay-writing going?

16 Mar 2012

Veggie Bake

This is the 'in progress' shot of the bake, but I didn't manage to take the photo of the finished bake as it was eaten so quickly! All I got was this terrible shot below of it half eaten on my plate....

So anyway, I made it up and it was yum; try it.

>>roast half a butternut squash (cubed)
>>add half a tin of kidney beans,
>> and some cherry plum tomatoes (cut in half) and put back in oven
>>while that cooks, boil two medium sized potatoes and make mash
>>add some wilted spinach to the dish and put the mash on top
>>using fork spread the mash out and add grated cheese
>>cook for another 15mins on high oven to crisp up the top

I served it with some sausages, but could do well on its own to be honest.

Sorry for the bad photos; night-time lighting is not good for photo taking!

15 Mar 2012


did you see these on etsy? *drool*

20 Feb 2012

brian has some new trousers

found a mothercare pillowcase in a charity shop. i think it was destined to find me. it must be as old as i am.
it's brian :)
made it into trousers for wee one, will upload pics later :) xxx

19 Feb 2012

Herman Cake & Dundee

 So Herman is a friendship cake; he was given to me and I kept him alive and growing for 10 days before dividing him into four, giving three away to friends and then I baked him with raspberries and walnuts. Yum. Wish you were nearer Jo so I could have shared him with you and given you a jar of goo to keep and grow and give away.
Day 6
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11 - eaten
Dundee Cake
So the Dundee cake is in the oven, seems to be taking an age to cook! And I need to go round a friend's for dinner!! 

[pictures to come soon]