Tasty Thursday – Butterbean and butternut squash stew recipe

Tasty Thursday – Butterbean and butternut squash stew recipe

It may not look the prettiest but it will warm you from your head to your toes. Giving you a satisfying glow of eating something wholesome and nutritious that is an ease to make.
Serves 4 with crusty bread and butter
You will need:
1 tin of butterbeans
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tin of passata
425ml of vegetable stock
350g butternut squash

Drain and rinse the beans.
Chop the onions and fry with the olive oil in a large pan for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, passata, stock and seasoning.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into chunks.
Add the squash and the beans to the pan and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread and butter.

Sweet Saturday – blackberry vodka recipe

This year we had a glut of blackberries. I had bake pies and cooked crumbles and still had some left. I often make the hubby a flavored vodka for Christmas and decided these would be a good candidate for a new version. The final outcome is delicious and if you want to have a go at making your own just click on the read more link. 

To make Blackberry Vodka you will need:
950ml blackberries
5 cups of sugar
750ml vodka
A large tight sealing jar

Wash the blackberries and combine all the ingredients in the jar. Seal and shake. Store in a cool, dark place. Shake once a week to dissolve the sugar. Do this for a minimum of six weeks.
After six weeks, drain through a jelly bag and decant into your chosen container.
Perfect for Santa on a cold Christmas eve.

Friday Fun – how to make a paper holly wreath

This is a lovely craft to do with the kids. If they are smaller like mine (5) then pre cut all the pieces as I have done. If not let them cut out as well as assemble the wreath.
First draw around a small plate and a jam jar lid on green card. Then cut out to make the basic wreath shape.

So it should look like this.

Then using green patterned papers. I always seem to have a ton of craft papers stashed away! If not you could use different green papers or wrapping papers. Cut out a selection of holly leaf shapes. They do not all have to be matching or perfectly shaped as this never happens in nature.

Then using a glue stick glue the holly leaves around the ring so that the background colour is almost covered.
Then add red buttons for berries (again always seem to have a ton of buttons). Finally tape a loop of ribbon on the back of the wreath so you can hang it.

 
There you have it, a beautiful holly wreath that can be used year after year. 

Tasty Thursday – gnocchi and tomato bake recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 pepper
1 pack Gnocchi
1 packet passata
1 tsp dried basil
1 ball of mozzarella

Slice the onion and chop the pepper into chunks.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and then fry the onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Add the passata and basil and cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and then cook the gnocchi according to the packets instructions.
Drain the gnocchi place in a baking dish pour over the tomato sauce and then top with sliced mozzarella.
Grill on a high heat for 3 minutes.

Tasty Thursday – gnocchi and tomato bake recipe

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

I think it is so nice when you can make the wrapping and the tags for something handmade you are giving at Christmas. So I’ve just compiled a collection of some of my favourite ways to customise Luggage labels, which I know most crafters keep in their stash.

First use papers that have a stitched design on them. I love these hearts and they came in a range of designs that look as if I’ve stitched them on. All I did was carefully cut them out and glued them in a central position. These are great for Christmas with the red tones but would also suit Valentines when giving a handmade gift to your loved one.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags
Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

 Why not try decorating with buttons.
I know I am guilty of hoarding buttons. I often just have them to look at as they look great in colour organised jars but sometimes it feels good to break them out with a crafty activity. They are just perfect for decorating these tags.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

To make the snowman simply find two white buttons one larger than the other and glue in place with some pva glue. Then cut out a hat from craft paper and glue on at a jaunty angle.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

 To make the puddings find three brown buttons of varying sizes. Glue them on smallest to largest down the tag with PVA. Then with pencil crayons add holly berries and leaves.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

 To make the tree you will need a collection of green buttons of varying sizes. It is best to play around with the arrangement first so you can make a triangle shape. Then when you are happy with the shape of your tree glue the buttons in place with PVA. Add a paper bucket shape and a star to finish.

 Finally wrap Christmas ribbon around for a classic clean finish.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

 I bought these ribbons at Hobby craft last week and I have been dying to use them in my Christmas makes. These tags are easy to make and just require you to cut the ribbon so that it wraps and slightly overlaps at the back. Then use double sided sticky tape to secure in place.

Tutorial Tuesday – How to create custom made luggage label gift tags

I just had to use the starry tag straight away as it went so well with the gift wrap I made last week. The first handmade Christmas present (the cross stitch bunny for George) wrapped and waiting for Christmas. 

Made on Monday – cross stitch nursery soft toy bunny

Made on Monday – cross stitch nursery soft toy bunny 

I have just finished making this bunny for George for Christmas. The pattern was from the world of cross stitching magazine and I love the simple design. The colour choice and the circles really fit in well with decoration scheme in George’s room. He has such a sweet face, I am tempted to make more for the other kids in the family. But at the moment it will have to be added on my to sew list which seems to get longer every day.