Friday, 21 October 2011

Victorian Day

I really am bad about remembering to post on here, its life, it gets in the way! Two days ago, Jake decided to inform me that yesterday would be Victorian day and he needed a costume!  Cue mummy racking her brains to make up a costume without spending money.

Its amazing what you can make from a pair of school trousers, Grans old white shirt and a zip up top.  I'll admit I refused to cut off the sleeves of ANOTHER perfectly useable top to make a makeshift waistcoat (I dont know where the last one went after Tudor Day) so he was a bit of a modern Voctorian but it was a servicable outfit that didnt cost me a penny and could be reused.  I am still amazed at the children who turn up to these days in outfits that their parents have hired from fancy dress shops or even worse BOUGHT from ebay!!!  In the current climate who can afford this and to be honest there is no prize for the most realistic outfit so why bother?  Plus if you travelled back to these times, only the rich had these fabulous outfits, the poor kids did have outfits made from offcuts of material or their parents old clothes so those that got sent in make shift, miss matched costumes are more authentic than these overpriced shop bought outfits anyway.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Strawberry Crumble

Well on monday i popped down my local Co-op and they had a 400g punnet of strawberries  reduced to £1.60.  Not the cheapest but I fancied them :)

Jake and I had strawberries and icecream for dessert (couldnt convince Lily to come anywhere near them!) and wondered what to do with the rest.

In the night inspiration struck, i'll make a crumble, quick, easy and doesnt require a load of washing up.  Jake asks if its gluten free, so thats how I made it :)

I weighed the strawberries, and despite eating a load the night before still had 400g!!

I cut them up and lined the bottom of a pie dish with them, added approx 40g caster sugar and left it on the side.

Out came the food processor into which I popped 200g butter, and 400g gluten free plain flour.  I turned the machine on and let is zuzz until I had breadcrumbs, then whilst it was still running gradually added 200g caster sugar so it all got mixed together nicely.

I then put half the crumble on top of the strawberries and popped in the oven on 200 degrees for 25 mins.  The other half of the crumble I popped into the freezer for next time.

One thing I noticed was that gluten free flour does not seem to brown?! but it still tasted gorgeous, so much so my husband had 2 slices with icecream after his dinner :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

What ive made today 22/8/2011

Today has been a bit of a 'clear out stuff thats been hiding at the back of the fridge and behind the tins of beans in the cupboard' day.  Yes you've guessed it, today was stew making day!

Now my prized possession is my slow cooker, I kicked and screamed, stamped and wailed, delaring to all and sundry I did not need nor did I want a slow cooker, but my mother bought me one and its my new best friend (kitchen appliance wise)

So, this week is late shift for my husband which means that I can pretty much make anything and he will eat it being so hungry by the time he gets home, perfect stew day.  Now being a winter dish, I usually get moans about its too hot, he wants something cold . . . . you get the picture, but late shift, thats anything goes :)

What did I do, well having a rummage, I found half an onion, some carrots the rest of yesterdays roast beef, and the last 2 potatoes in the bottom of the drawer in the fridge, so everything gets peeled and chopped and put to one side.  Cupboard reveals, a couple of oxo cubes from unknown date of purchase (been using bisto best for 2 years as oxo has gluten so they got to be old!) a new tub of mixed herbs and a half used tube of tomato paste.

So chopped onions went into the wok (i like using woks for this its much easier to keep everything in when your stirring) and got fried in a bit of oil, chucked in the cubed beef and a bit of plain flour.

Mixed the 2 oxo's into 600ml oof water and chucked that in on top, gave it a stir.  In go the carrots, potatoes and some peas I dug out the freezer, then the herbs and the puree.

Quick stir and into the slow cooker on low which will be left now until he gets home later.

I love this meal because you can just bung in anything you like and it can use up that veg in the fridge thats going a little bit past its best, you dont have to follow any quantities, just put in what you've got, plus its cheap!

I'll probably make some dumplings following the recipe on the suet packet and pop them in too at about 6pm. which means its all ready for when he gets home.

Serve it up in a deep cereal bowl with some bread and butter and you've got a lush dinner for the price of a bit of rummaging.

Changing my mind

I have mainly used this blog to post my various jewellery designs, but due to declining health its got to go onto a back burner.  This leaves me with a blog and no content.  hmm what to do . . . . i'll change my mind :)

This will no longer be a blog of designs (though im sure a few might shoulder their way in along the way) nope this will be a blog of ramblings about my various cooking and baking.

You see im an avid baker, have been since I was old enough to hold a saucepan without dropping it on my foot.  Give me a recipe and i'll make it, wont eat it (too many allergies/intolerances/just plain dont like it) but i'll make it and usually serve it up to the family for approval.

The other thing is my son is a coeliac, so I do alot of gluten free baking so this may also become a site of links to various gluten free recipes that I have tried and have been given the thumbs up by Jake :) 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I’m trying to win an iPad 2 in the iSave, iWrite, iPad competition from! the topic is moneysaving, well thats a topic close to my heart.  I've had money saving concepts drummed into me from the time I could talk by the queen of money saving, my mother.  My sisters and I soon learnt, dont slam the bathroom door as the resulting backdraft would knock over the carefully balanced near empty shampoo bottle perched upside down on top of the brand new one.  This was also the case for conditioner, shower gel, ketchup . . . to be honest if it came in a bottle then it would be part of a balancing act at the end of its life!
Mint sauce was also subject to my mothers money saving hand, The old jar would be cleaned and then 3 sponfuls of mint sauce would be popped in with a load of malt vinegar to thin it down, woe betide anyone who made the mistake of using the new jar instead! And i'll be honest, for years I thought that mint sauce was supposed to be that runny!

One of my mothers main problems was how to afford to clothe 3 children, and I have many memories of sitting watching her at the sewing machine where she took her own old clothes, cut them up and made them into a dress for my eldest sister, it then got passed to my middle sister and then finally to me . . ok I was never in style as there was 6 years between my eldest sister and me, but I was warm! and when I finally outgrew them, they got cut up and made into dusters.

My favourite mony saving tip passed down has to be what to do with left over food, the rule was, never throw it away as it can always be used in something else.  Last nights left over sausage from a fry up became tonights sausage in onion gravy with mash topping or sausage casserole (using up those soon to be discarded veggies from the back of the fridge).  Left over roast dinner chicken became curry, chinease, chicken and ham pie, soup . . the list was endless.  Even left over stew got frozen and eaten at a later date.  No icecream tub ever left our house as they then became left over storage for the freezer.

I do find it amusing to look back at my mothers tricks but have to hold my hand up and say, I use most of those tricks myself and others I have picked up along the way.  They do save much needed pennies and as my mother used to say 'waste not want not' and I couldn't agree with her more.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

and another wooden necklace

I just cant get enough of these wooden beads!!

Back with a whole new look :)

Oh dear I have been ignoring my blog, but on the plus side I have been busy with my crafting!  Went to the NEC Hobbycraft fair a few weeks ago (apologies to all who got bruised ankles due to my mothers irratic wheelchair pushing!!)

Ok onto a few new makes:

Ive gone very earthy all of a sudden and am very drawn to wooden beads, this sits like a loose choker around the neck and is made with silver plated wire and a mixture of wooden, metal, acrylic and faux pearl beads.  I am totally in love with this and if I had the neck for it would be keeping it, unfortunately my neck and wrists are the size of a childs which makes my mother happy as she gets to model everything I make for me so I can see how they sit (may have to make myself a smaller version one day hehehe)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Off on a new tangent . . .

Well ive decided to get alot more intricate and 'hands on' with what I make now, so this is the first in the new line of necklaces.  I was a bit worried that with all the beads wrapped around bugles that it would turn out too chunky but am really pleased thats its turned into quite a delicate looking necklace.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Silver plated necklace number 2

I am surprised I have gone down this route as I have always worked with sterling silver before now due to my own problems with other metals but I have to say i'm rather pleased with the outcome.  This is a much chunkier necklace than I have made with the sterling silver, each link being roughly 4mm long and 2.5mm wide and I think it really suits the beads and wire twists.  Everything is handmade including the hook and fastening and the whole design has a real sophisticated feel to it . .

Finally back to blogging :)

Well ive been away a bit longer than I meant to be.  What wit Christmas, new year and my youngest having a birthday the blog has had to take a back burner for a few weeks, but now i'm back with a few new items i've been working on!

This is the first of my latest creations which I must admit I absolutely love and will be sad when it finds a new home.  Its made from glass striped beads a beautiful mottled purple focal bead and mocha coloured faux pearls.  It comes on a silver plated and purple ribbon chain :)

I have to coonfess to enjoying making this necklace more than any other i've made so far as its just so . . . . fun! thats the only way I can describe it!  I want to put it on and go dancing all night in my little black dress!