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Monday, 15 May 2017

Nappy Changing Mat



My kids seem to destroy the plastic nappy changing mats that you buy from Boots or Mothercare or the supermarket & I get fed up of buying them new ones, so the challenge was there to make something difficult for them to destroy. When you have 2 in nappies it gets a lot of use as well.

Let's see how this goes...


My eldest came with me to choose the fabric, so after I'd finished it I couldn't get him off it, he wanted to lay on it all afternoon.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Spiderman Cafetiera Cosy


My husband wanted a cafetiere cosy to keep his morning coffee warm a little longer, so my challenge was set!

(Excuse some of the stitching it was a challenge & it's not exactly neat for the first attempt!)






Saturday, 6 May 2017

VE Day

Our choir sang at a VE Day event today, so the challenge was to dress 40s style...

...did I pull it off?


Friday, 5 May 2017

Savoury Cheese & Raisin Muffins



We're trying to reduce our sugar intake slightly so thought I'd try and make some savoury things to replace all the biscuits & chocolate we seem to eat. These are delicious and the raisins adds a little natural sweetness.

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
3 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
50g butter
1 egg
250ml milk
120g grated cheese
100g raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220C.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, salt and paprika in a bowl & mix together.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and using your finger tips rub the flour into the butter.
  4. Beat the egg and add the milk mixing together well.
  5. Add the milk-egg mix to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the grated cheese and raisins and mix well.
  7. Place into cupcake cases or a muffin tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.

Serve with soup or a stew. 
Cut in half and spread some soft cheese on them.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Baiao de Dois - Brazilian Rice & Beans



I lived in Ceara, Brasil for 6 months as part of my gap year....more years ago than I would like to admit, one of the lasting memories from our time there is some of the food we ate & this recipe is a rice & beans dish we ate many times a week.

Ingredients:

1 onion
1 garlic clove
Drizzle of olive oil
1 cup rice
1 tbsp dried coriander
400g tin of black eyed beans
2 cups of stock
Handful of frozen peas
175g mozzarella, chopped into cubes

Method:

  1. Heat the oil & gently cook the onion & garlic until soft.
  2. Add the rice & coriander with another drizzle of oil & stir until the rice is transparent.
  3. Add the beans, stock & peas, bring to gentle simmer & cover the pan.
  4. Allow to simmer until all the stock is gone approximately 10 mins. Keep the pan covered & allow to rest for 5 mins.
  5. Add the mozzarella & stir in well. 
  6. Allow to melt for another 10-15 mins.

In Brazil you would eat this dish with meat, but being a veggie I would often serve some veggie sausages with it, but can be eaten as a dish in it's own right. Also nice cold as a rice salad.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Vegetarian Sausage, Orange & Root Veg One Pot


Ingredients:

6 vegetarian sausages (I used Linda McCartney's)
2 oranges
1 red onion, chopped into chunks
1/2 a swede, peeled & chopped
1 small turnip, peeled & chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Place the sausages and chopped root vegetables into an oven proof dish.
  3. Sprinkle the thyme and grind some black pepper over the sausages and vegetables.
  4. Halve and squeeze the juice of the oranges into a jug. Add the remains of the oranges to the dish with the sausages and vegetables.
  5. Add the olive oil and maple syrup to the orange juice, mix well.
  6. Pour the orange juice mix over the ingredients in the oven proof dish and stir well, so that all the ingredients are coated.
  7. Place in the oven for 45-50 mins, turn over in the middle of the cooking and remove from the oven when golden brown.

Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes.

NB Could probably be also made with meat sausages.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie



Ingredients:

Filling:
1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
150g mushrooms, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp dried sage (or 3 fresh leaves if available)
3 tbsp dried thyme (or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves only if available)
250g dried green lentils
750ml vegetable stock (made with 1 vegetable OXO cube)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml red wine
1 tbsp (vegetarian) Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
tbsp olive oil

Topping:
2 large sweet potatoes
2 large potatoes
1 small/medium cauliflower, heads only
large knob of butter
handful of grated cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the leeks, until they begin to soften.
  3. Add carrots, mushrooms and garlic, continuing to cook for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the herbs, lentils, tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, red wine, soy sauce & Worcestershire sauce and stir together well.
  5. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes to thicken slightly.
  6. Whilst the filling is simmering, boil the potatoes, sweet potatoes & cauliflower in a pan together for 15 mins until all is soft.
  7. Drain the vegetables and add the butter to mash until smooth.
  8. Transfer the filling to an oven proof dish and top with the mashed vegetables. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the top.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Cabbage & Leek Potato Skins






Ingredients:

8/9 medium jacket potatoes, pre-cooked & cooled
1 large leek, sliced
several large Savoy cabbage leaves, chopped finely
handful of grated cheese
2 eggs, beaten
olive oil




Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Halve the jacket potatoes & spoon out the potato insides into a bowl, leaving the skins intact.
  3. Gently heat the oil in a pan, add the cabbage & leek to cook gently, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the cabbage & leek have softened mix in with the potato.
  5. Add the grated cheese & beaten eggs and mix well.
  6. Spoon the filling back into the potato skins.
  7. Place on a baking tray & bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown.

Great hot or cold for a buffet.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Bean Enchiladas



Ingredients:

Filling:
2 small or 1 large onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g mushrooms, quartered
2 large carrots, chopped finely
An inch slice of a large swede
Few large leaves of kale
2 tins tomatoes
1 tin borlotti beans 
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground coriander
Pinch of cumin
Sprinkle of dried coriander leaves (or some fresh chopped coriander if available)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice

Packet of tortilla wraps
Grated cheese


Method:


  1. Gently heat oil in pan. Add the chopped onion & garlic, gently fry until soft. 
  2. Add mushrooms, kale, swede & carrot. Fry for a few mins. 
  3. Add the paprika, coriander (ground & dried), cumin & lime juice and stir well to coat all the vegetables. 
  4. Add the tins of beans & tomatoes and mix well. 
  5. Simmer on a low heat for 20 mins or until the vegetables are soft. 
  6. Place a large spoonful into each wrap & fold them up, place them side by side in a rectangular ovenproof dish.
  7. Sprinkle lots of grated cheese on top & grill for a few minutes until golden brown. Or if you prefer a crispier enchilada place in the oven at 180C for 20-30 mins.

Serve with a green salad, guacamole, salsa & sour cream dips, tortilla chips etc for a delicious Mexican meal.

NB Alternative: the filling could also be served with rice


Friday, 24 March 2017

Falafel



Ingredients:

2x 400g tins of chickpeas
2x small or 1x large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried parsley
3 heaped tbsp flour
Oil for cooking

Method:


  1. Drain the liquid from the cans of chickpeas & pat the chickpeas dry.
  2. Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, spices, parsley & flour into a food processor or mixer. 
  3. Mix together well until the mixture is smooth. 
  4. Take a tbsp of the mix & roll it into ball & flatten to make a patty shape. 
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan & place the patties in the pan for a few mins on each side to cook until golden brown.

Serve with salsa, pittas & green salad. 

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