You Sew and Sew!

Having finally got round to measuring, cutting and pinning a new skirt from some stretchy denim like material I decided to set up the sewing machine and make my first ever skirt… my first piece of clothing ever really.

I also had a dress all pinned and ready to be made, but the skirt would be my first. Sat at my 1yr old sewing machine that was now all threaded and sat ready to go.  I carefully began my first edge, forwards an inch, back an inch then forward nearly 2 inches… then I stopped, baffled, slightly concerned and staring at the black smoke coming from my machine. Frustrated but determined, I attempted to clean the machine before starting again, but as before, smoke starting churning out. More

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Triffid Attack!

After my dismal and most upsetting attempts at germination last year, I decided to try again this year and I made sure that I sowed a few extra seeds of whatever I was sowing at the time.

12 pumpkins, 12 cucumbers, 60 micro-toms, 60 basil, 12 peppers, 12 money maker toms.  If I had space, then I made sure that the whole packet went into the window sill propagator. I was taking no chances this year!
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Creamy Mushroom Soup

You will need

  • 60 g butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 leak, chopped
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 340 ml milk
  • 460 ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Step 1: Melt the butter

    Place the pan over a low heat, add the butter and leave it to melt.

  2. Step 2: Add the vegetables

    Add the diced onion, celery, leeks and mushrooms. Sweat them in the butter for about 5 mins without allowing them to colour.

  3. Step 3: Add the flour

    When the vegetables are soft and onions translucent, add the flour and mix it in well.

  4. Step 4: Add the milk and chicken stock

    Pour in the milk and then the chicken stock and stir.

  5. Step 5: Season with salt and pepper

    Before leaving the soup to cook, season it well with salt and pepper.

  6. Step 6: Cook for 25 minutes

    Leave the soup to cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Step 7: Liquidize the soup

    After the 25 minutes and when you see the soup has turned creamy, pour it into a liquidizer and blend until no bits remain.

  8. Step 8: Taste and season again

    Taste the soup and if necessary season again then ladle it into a large bowl and serve with crusty bread.

Checkers! Or Fake-away Dominoes…

We use store bought bread mix for our Pizza bases. The sort you might buy for your Bread machine in fact.

The Garlic and Herb, or the Sun Dried Tomato one works a treat! Just add about a spoonful of olive oil and put it all into a mixer with a dough attachment, when its mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then leave it covered with a tea towel for 10 mins.

Go back to it and press it out (don’t try to rolling pin it) into two big flat circles/rectangles, as big as the biggest pizza tray you have and then go over the edges a few inches. Sprinkle cheese or spread Philly all around the edges and then press the edges in to make the dough fit the trays/pans. Stab the base all over with a fork.

Leave for 5 more mins then bake on around 180 for 10 mins. Take out the oven, fill with your desired topping, then bake for 30 mins or until cooked! 

Yucca Yucca!

I have just spent the afternoon in the garden having a crazy-go-mad tidy up session!  It was long overdue and now my feet and back hate me!

It had to be done though, our new rental contract is due in June, and the garden was an absolute shambles.  Even though it is a self-seeding cottage garden, I had really let it go and it was like a jungle. I am only half-way done because I need to find some way of disposing of my garden waste as we are not allowed a Green bin (lack of council funding) and as no one is open today or tomorrow I will have to wait till Monday to ring around. More

No GYO Rule?

Well, so much for my “I will not grow anything this year because we will be moving!”… Temptation was just to great.

Not only have I sown some Micro toms, but also peppers, basil, parsley, onions, cucumbers and cress.  Now all I need to do is get some Potato seeds and I am all done. For now.

I am a fool to myself really, because if we move abroad I can not take them with me.  What I will probably do is give them to my Aunty or possibly donate them too my local Sure Start Centre as they have recently had a Garden ‘made’ at the side of their building that is looking a little sparse at the moment.  Saying that, I have never seen anyone there working in the garden which seems a shame.

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Couch to 5k – Day one

The other half will be finishing Uni this year.  In roughly 12 weeks, I have to be able to squeeze into a ball gown and I would prefer very much, NOT to look like a trifle or huge Blancmange in a dress.

Because of this, and after repeated attempts (and many, many failures) at doing home videos I was pointed in the direction of the NHS’s new Healthy and keep fit plan. Couch to 5k.

I am pessimist when it comes to faddy diets, health plans, ‘super quick weight loss’, but I am now desperate. I have been to the Doctors numerous times and literally screamed (cried) for help to lose weight. I have done food diaries, exercise diaries, poo-diaries, you name it and I have done it. Each time I was told “Your doing all the right things, it just takes time!”  Bollocks. More

Sweet William

Well, it is that time of year once again, when the mini-propogator emerges, the bag of compost is opened, the gardening gloves are doned and the labels wrote up.  Yep, it is time to start preparing for sowing the first seeds of the year, moving the Christmas sown seeds to larger pots, and clearing the garden.

My Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) did not fair well with the arrival of two new kittens who took a fancy to my seedlings and constantly knocked the lid of the propogator off so they could nibble at my little baby’s trying their hardest to reach up for the minimal amount of sunlight that the winter months give us.  Time and time again I had to replace the ‘roof’ and fight new ways to stop the cats using my sprouting Williams as their own private salad treat.  But, some of them did survive, and I managed to salvage five sort of healthy looking seedlings from the 12 that I had sown on Boxing day.

They are now happily taking a bath in my Bristol sink in the kitchen, before I decide where on Earth to move them too without being in a place I might forget about them, but they can still get sunlight and watered when needed, and out of harms way of being made into an early treat for the kittens. More

Gordon Bleu?

Gordon RamsayI am a massive fan of the famous F Word chef, Gordon Ramsay.  The man is up there with my list of hero’s.  I follow a lot of his recipes because they are extremely easy to follow, no fuss, scrummylicious, and even amateur cooks like me can get to grips with even his most ‘colourful’ words as he is showing you how to throw something together.

Even at Christmas time he was there, guiding me, giving me a helping hand as I successfully made his recipes to create the most delicious Ham, Turkey an Beef to put on the table.  This time was no exception.

Gordon has once again excelled my Kitchen skills, by showing me how to make the most fall-apart, melt in the mouth chicken I think I have ever eaten, or indeed cooked!  I followed the steps exactly, even though I was a little worried about using chilli powder I did not falter and stuck to his recipe like superglue.  The result? Clean plates from all in my house, even my fussy four year old ate it all!

Thank you Mr Ramsay, your Roast Chicken Recipe was simple to follow, easy to make, and such a delight to devour!

Drop Scones?

Today I treated my boys to an old classic recipe – Drop Scones, or to others, Scotch Pancakes.  Call them what you will, no one can resist these mini pancakes that are light, fluffy and filling.

I did not even have time to add syrup or fruit and cream to these, as they were eaten the second I took them out of the pan.  They were a huge success with everyone!

Go on, treat yourself! Just make sure to save yourself a few hidden away… I only managed to sneak one off the plate before they were eaten up.

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