Sunday, 29 October 2017

Zombie Meatloaf with Mashed Brains

So getting in the Halloween mood, today we had Zombie Meatloaf with Mashed Brains for lunch.



We used this fantastic meatloaf recipe by Chef John of Food Wishes and you can watch how to make it here





I think our zombie may need the dentist!

For the Mashed Brains...
Simply boil up a few potatoes with some beetroot and mash.  Add a little cream, a nob of butter and season with a pinch of salt.


 Totally gruesome!
x

Saturday, 28 October 2017

My Cath Kidston Inspired, Vintage Granny Flower Blanket

It is always a really exciting time for me when I get commissioned to make a new blanket.  Especially when asked to make one in Cath Kidston inspired colours.  I have always loved her gorgeous fabrics, stunning colour combinations and the vintage feel to her designs.  So here is my Vintage Granny Flower blanket...




For this blanket I have used Stylecraft Special Aran and a 5 mm hook.  The blanket measures approximately 110 x 110 cm.
Colours used:
Pomegranate, Fondant, Baby Pink, Lemon, Meadow, Cloud Blue and Cream.

I started by making the flowers.  I don't use a pattern for this but there are many available on the internet as it is just a simple granny flower design.  I just love this combination of colours.  These are my happy colours!




Once all the flowers were finished I worked a couple of rounds in Cream, to make them into squares.  




The squares were then joined with Cloud Blue.  I used the continuous join as you go method.  You can see a video tutorial for this here.




Finally a border of simple shells to frame the blanket and...

...Ta da!




I hope my customer loves the blanket as much as I have loved making it.

Happy hooking!

Catherine
x

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pumpkin Treacle Tart Recipe

Hello lovely people.  Well it just feels like summer again here.  The last few days have been gloriously warm.  I spent the whole day yesterday with little T at our allotment garden.  It was so lovely to just sit and watch the bees buzzing around and listen to the birds singing.  There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of British bird song.  We got quite a bit of work done too, dug up some more potatoes, a bit of weeding, harvested all of our corn (something had totally stripped a few of the cobs, rats maybe?  So thought it had better be harvested before they got the lot).  Little T planted some cabbage and Kale seedlings and some onions and garlic in his garden too...

We harvested our largest pumpkin last week even though it wasn't completely ripe (something had been nibbling it).  It was quite a beauty we tried to weigh it and got an EEEE message, too heavy for the kitchen scales.  Tried the bathroom ones next and it came in at just over 2 stone.  Not bad for our first attempt at growing them.  I chopped it into large pieces and roasted it in the oven for about 40 mins.  When it was cool I peeled and chopped it and then divided it up into roughly 400g portions to freeze.  We have had 2 pumpkin pies so far (which little T loves) and some pumpkin pancakes for breakfast this morning.  They were also very tasty.  Both recipes are by Chef John from Food Wishes and you can try them out here

Chef John's Pumpkin Pie...


and Pumpkin Pancakes.



Now the pancake recipe only used around half of my freezer bag portion of pumpkin, so I needed to find something else to make with the leftovers.  I also had some stale bread lying around and half a tin of golden syrup that has been sitting at the back of my cupboard for who knows how long, so I wondered if I could make something between a pumpkin pie and a treacle tart.  So here we have my Pumpkin Treacle Tart recipe...

Pumpkin Treacle Tart




Ingredients:
250g ready made short crust pastry
200g pumpkin puree
4 slices of stale bread (blitzed into breadcrumbs)
1 egg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp golden syrup  
2 tbsp melted butter

First you need to preheat your oven to 200 c (you may need to adjust for fan ovens), then roll out your pastry and line an 8 inch cake tin or pie dish or whatever you can find that's the right size and shape.  Next you simply combine all the other ingredients, it couldn't be easier.  Pour your yummy syrupy, pumpkiny, spicy mixture into the pie case (this smells sooo delicious), if you have any left over pastry you can create a lattice over your pie but this is optional.  Pop into the oven for 20 minsand then turn your oven down to 180 c and cook for a further 20 minutes.  Your treacle tart should look lovely and golden brown.  Leave in the tin for 5-10 mins before turning out.  


You can eat this either hot or cold, but really who can wait that long?  Perfect with just a dollop of cream or you can go with custard or some lovely vanilla ice cream and of course the obligatory cup of tea...



Enjoy!
x


Monday, 9 October 2017

Will My Courgettes Ever Stop Growing?

Well hello everyone.  It's been a long time again (I know I promised).  This year has just been super busy.  Lot's of blankets selling in my shop and lot's of time spent in our allotment garden.  

It has been amazing having a green space for little T to play outside in and also a great bonus being able to eat what we have been growing...  Which to be completely honest, was mostly courgettes (zucchini to those of you across the pond). 


 Apparently 4 courgette plants is enough to keep a large family going all summer.  We had 11.  Suffice it to say they were coming out of our ears... and they are still growing.  We have had them roasted, stir fried, steamed, we have had courgette soup, courgette pasta, courgette risotto, courgette pizza, courgette fritatta, courgette bread, courgette cake and far too many other things to list.  I even tried making jam with them (it was OK...but not the greatest jam I have ever made).

The potatoes also did really well.  I still have a couple of rows left that need digging up.  We also harvested 1 giant pumpkin, which I cooked and froze into pumpkin pie sized portions (12 bags from just 1 pumpkin).  This was little T's first ever taste of pumpkin pie and he loved it.  We also have a ton of butternut squash still waiting to be harvested.



Autumn is definitely here now though. The mornings are chilly and the leaves on the trees are turning the most beautiful russet and gold.  There are still a few flowers dotted here and there and the odd bee buzzing around.  



Even though the weather is getting colder and the nights are drawing in, there is still time for some more planting.  In the mini green house we have some turnips, swede, kohl rabi, cabbages and kale seedlings growing that we will overwinter... 



...and little T now has his own patch of garden.  I made him a small 4 by 4 square foot garden, that I will talk about more in another post.

I will just leave you with a few of our favourite courgette recipes, so that if you too have a glut next year, you will know what to make with them...

By for now
Catherine
x







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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Apologies for Being AWOL!

Hello everyone.  I must start this post with an apology for being away for so long...  I have been caught up with my Facebook page (I try to post daily there...) and have also been super busy with blanket orders.  I thought it was about time I shared with you all, some of the things I have been up to over the last few months...

Now that the weather is warming up, little T and I have been spending more and more time at our allotment.  We even have some plants growing there now.  It's so exciting.  I cannot tell you how happy it makes me feel just being there and watching my "piece of earth" changing from a bare patch to something green and growing.  You can see the photos I took when we first got our allotment in this post here...

We have an amazing neighbour who has been very kind and helpful, who generously gave us some onion sets, broad beans, strawberry runners and some rhubarb plants from his plot.  We planted them late last year when we first moved in and now they are really starting to grow.  Last week we took some rhubarb home and I made the most delicious crumble with it and today we noticed the first flowers on our strawberry plants.  Little T was so excited, "we're going to get some strawberries mummy" he said with a big smile on his face.  

Onions...



strawberries...


...and broad beans, along with a few weeds.  They seem to grow faster than the plants.



Now I couldn't make a post without some crochet.  So I have been very busy here with custom orders and my shop has been doing really well.  There are too many blankets to put into one post, so I will share with you some of my favourites...

I have always loved ombre colour schemes and feeling very inspired by the Paintbox Blanket by Heather Leal over at The Patchwork Heart, I decided to play around with my yarn stash.  Instead of making one large blanket, I took Heather's idea and used it to make individual baby blankets and was very pleased with the results...

Red and pink


Purple and pink



Orange and yellow...




... all with stripes of silver in between the colour changes.

Most recently I have been having a Cath Kidston phase.  Taking my inspiration from her gorgeous designs.

Granny Flowers...


Patchwork...


and one for the boys...


...had to do a little research to find some boys colours.  I found a really cute pair of baby joggers on her website which you can see here... 

Well that's all for now, it's nice to be back and I promise to add some photos of the allotment when I can.  I will try not to leave it so long next time.

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Ta ta for now

Catherine
x











Sunday, 29 January 2017

Popcorn Flower Baby Blankets

Over the last week I have been busy again making more baby blankets.  I love to sit in the evenings watching telly with a nice cup of tea and some crochet on my lap.  Making blankets this time of the year certainly keeps you cosy.

The design for this blanket is simply 4 popcorn flower squares joined together and you then continue with rounds of granny clusters, until you get to the size that you want.



I then worked an even more simple border of single crochets and chains...



I have used a mixture of Stylecraft and Woolcraft yarns.  Both are incredibly soft with good stitch definition and make lovely squishy blankets.

Baby pink, Fondant and White




Of course I can never stop at just one...

Peach, Coral and White



Walnut, Fawn and Cream


Available now in both my Ebay and Etsy stores.  10% of the sale price of all Lullaby Blankets will be going to the MS Society when purchased via Ebay.  My sister has suffered from this life destroying disease for many years, so this is a cause that is very close to my heart.

Have a lovely week

Catherine
x

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Granny Square Baby Blankets

Last week I spent many enjoyable hours hunting through my yarn stash and creating some very simple baby blankets.  I wanted some nice easy TV crochet projects to do with the added bonus of making things to sell in my shop.




Now anyone who knows me will tell you that blanket making is my most, absolute favourite thing to do and making baby blankets even more so, because they have the added attraction of instant gratification.  I can whip up a car seat sized blanket in just a couple of evenings.  


I don't know why I love making blankets so much perhaps it's the cosy, snugly feeling they give you.  I just love the whole process from start to finish.  From shopping for yarn or raiding my stash, to choosing the design, the colours and the border.  I love to experiment with different colours and textures.  

I used a very simple granny square design, just changing colours every couple of rows.  The first blanket is in shades of baby pink, fondant, silver and white.


Finished off with a very simple picot border...


The second blanket is essentially the same in shades of mint, glacia, silver and white.


I used a mix of Stylecraft and Woolcraft yarns they are both really soft and lovely to work with.


The pink blanket is now available in both my Etsy store and Ebay.  The mint and silver one has already been sold and is winging it's way to its new owner...


I am still feeling that urge to make more blankets, come back soon to see this weeks makes...

Blessings

Catherine
x

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Friday, 13 January 2017

2017BAMCAL January Squares

Happy new year everyone!

Things are much calmer now that all the festivities are over.  Time for some serious crochet I think.  This year I am taking part in the 2017 Block a Month Crochet Along (otherwise known as bamcal).  You can find the group here on Ravelry.  The idea is that you make a different afghan block each month and then at the end of the year put them all together to make a beautiful blanket.  There are extra optional blocks each month too...

I have taken part in previous years and I love to see everyone's beautiful crochet squares.  It truly amazes me how different the same pattern can look in different yarns and colours.  The group is super friendly and open to anyone. The moderators are very helpful and encouraging too.  Even if you are new to crochet you can give it a go, there is always someone around to help you out if you get stuck.

This year instead of making a blanket (I still have more than a few that need finishing) I have decided to use 4ply yarn and make my squares into a shawl.  I have quite a lot of Drops Fabel in my stash that will be perfect for this.

This months main square is called Moody Blue and is designed by Helen Shrimpton.


The filler square is Floral Kaleidoscope by Julie King.



I will take some better photos once these squares have been blocked.  Can't wait to see what blocks we will be doing for next month.

Take care...

Catherine
x

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