Thursday, 29 May 2014

Even my Potatoes love my cooking

I cut open my potato this evening when making dinner and inside was this declaration of Love.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tomato and basil salad recipe


  • 6 tomatoes, (peeled) cut into wedges
  • 50g black olives, pitted and halved
  • 25g sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • fresh basil, a few leaves

Basil vinaigrette
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Put all the prepared salad ingredients in a large bowl or on a large plate.
To make all the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk the basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper until well blended.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and garnish with fresh basil.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Fabric of the week - Ibis

Ibis fabric is now available in my Spoonflower shop.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Creme Brulee recipe

Crème Brulée                                                                      

500ml double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
6 egg yolks

1.                Pre-heat the oven to 140°C, fan oven 120°C or Gas Mark 1.
Pour the cream into a saucepan.
2.                Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream.
3.                Chop the empty pod into bits, and add them to the cream.
4.                Bring to boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
5.                Beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy.
6.                Bring the cream back to boiling point. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened - this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly.
7.                Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, and then use this to fill six ramekins about two-thirds full.
8.                Place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides.
9.                Place on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custards are just set and are still a bit wobbly in the middle.
10.           Remove from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.
11.           When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each crème, then caramelise under the grill on a high heat.
12.           Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and then serve.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Fabric of the week - Flower meadow

Flower meadow is now available to buy in my Spoonflower shop.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Mother and child art work

I have just started listing some of my Art work on Etsy. Here's some examples of a series of Mother and child paintings and drawings I have done.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Baked Cheesecake recipe

Baked Cheesecake                                                                                                         


For the Base
50g self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
50g salted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
1 egg

For the Filling
4 eggs, separated
225g caster sugar
450g full-fat cream cheese
40g plain flour, sifted
1 lemon
150ml crème fraiche
75g sultanas

You will need a 20 cm (8 inch) plain-edged flan ring with a loose base, greased and lined with greaseproof paper to be 2.5cm above the top of the flan ring, plus a baking tray for cooking the base.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C or Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) plain-edged flan ring with a loose base.
  3. Grease and line a baking tray.
Make the base
  1. Sift the self-raising flour and baking powder in a bowl. 
  2. Add the butter and 50g sugar and 1 whole egg. 
  3. Beat well and spread over the base of the tin.
Make the filling
  1. Carefully, separate the remaining four eggs. 
  2. Zest and juice the lemon.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until light, thick and creamy. 
  4. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft. 
  5. Add the whisked egg mixture and mix until smooth.
  6. Fold in the plain flour, lemon zest, juice, crème fraiche and sultanas.
  7. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff; fold into the cheese mixture.
  1. Pour the mixture over the base and place on a baking tray in the lower half of the oven.
  2. Bake for 1 hour, by which time the cheesecake will be barely coloured; it should be just set firm on the outside but still quite wobbly in the centre.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing in the fridge for several hours to firm up.
  4. Carefully unmould the cheesecake and serve with a fruit coulis.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dutch apple cake recipe

Dutch apple cake
100g caster sugar
100g soft margarine
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
1 x 5ml spoon baking powder
1 eating apple
1 x 5ml spoon cinnamon
1 x 5ml spoon demerara sugar,
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC or gas mark 4.  
2. Grease and line the baking tin
3. Cream the sugar and margarine together until light and fluffy.  
4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork.   
5. Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, to the margarine and sugar. 
6. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl,
7. Fold the flour and baking powder into the mixture, a spoonful at a time.  
8. Spread the mixture in the cake tin
9. Core the apple and slice thinly.
10. Arrange the apple slices over the cake mix, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.   
11. Place in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to the touch.  
12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Fabric of the week - Buttercup

This eye catching pop of summer colour 'Buttercup' is now available to buy in my Spoonflower shop.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Hummus recipe


 Mild Hummus recipe

1 x 400g can chickpeas
1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
3 x 15ml spoons tahini 
3-4 x 15ml spoons water
Spinkle of paprika
dash of olive oil

1.    Drain the chickpeas and place into the blender.
2.    Squeeze the lemon and add the juice to the blender.
3.    Crush the garlic and add to the blender with the tahini.
4.    Place the lid on the blender and switch on for 15-20 seconds. 
5.    Turn the blender off. Use a spatula to move the chickpeas away from the edge of the blender. Add 1x15ml spoon of water.
6.    Place the lid on the blender and switch on for 15-20 seconds.
7.    Repeat stages 5-6 until a smooth paste is produced.
8.    Serve topped with dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Vegetarian quorn 'chicken' nuggets recipe


1 Quorn fillet
1 egg
2 tablespoons strong plain (bread) flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
½ teaspoon paprika
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons cornflakes


1.                Cut the Quorn fillet into small finger-sized strips or bite-sized pieces
2.                Sift the plain flour, cornflour, paprika, salt and pepper onto a plate.
3.                Put the egg into a bowl and beat.
5.                Mix the breadcrumbs in a food processor with the sunflower oil.  Blend until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the oil then add the cornflakes.  Pour the contents of the food processor onto a plate.
6.                Toss the Quorn into the flour mix making sure they are evenly covered and not stuck together.
7.                Using a skewer or cocktail stick, dip the floured pieces into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mix.
8.                Press the breadcrumbs onto the Quorn pieces, transfer to a clean plate and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
9.                Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan oven 160°C or Gas Mark 4.
10.           Place the coated pieces onto a baking tray and cook for 12 – 15 minutes.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Fabric of the week - Strawberry Gateaux dessert

Strawberry Gateaux dessert fabric now available in my Spoonflower shop.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Turkish Blue bookmark designs.

Here's a quick peek at what I've been currently designing. They are a set of Bookmarks and are all inspired by the wonderful Turkish tiles I have seen on my travels. They would be perfect to stitch up for any bookworm you know and can be whipped up in an evening. They are also great for beginners as they only use full count stitches and a limited colour palette


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Free counted cross stitch wedding bells pattern PDF

Perfect to sew for someone getting married, it is simple enough using a limited colour pallet and full count stitches. Follow the read more link to download the free PDF file for you to use.
Free counted cross stitch wedding bells pattern PDF

Free wedding bells counted cross stitch pattern


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