Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I should be clearing out...but...

... I just wanted to share some of these with you.

I have been clearing out a load of old paperwork and it reminded me to have a look at some of the photos I had taken of the art work a group of children had done with me last week.

Last week I was in a primary school in Wigan doing some work, for Drumcroon Gallery, with a group of children.  We were creating a piece of work to go in the entrance hall with the theme community.  It was a church school, and the church plays an important part of their community, so some of the children did church related pictures, but I wanted them to focus mainly on the people within it so asked the majority of them to do portraits, and it is these that I like the most.  The work was done in paper (recycled magazines) and I'd asked them to use the paper as if it were tiles, like mosaics.  Here are a few examples of what they came up with.


I think that they have done a pretty good job, they will look great when they are put together (they are being pieced together to make a patchwork) and I had a lovely time working with them.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

This weekend I have conquered!!!

I am feeling rather chuffed with myself this lovely, almost summer, evening!!!  I just love the fact that we are going to have longer days... it really does make it feel as thought there are more hours in the day.  This evening we went outside with the children after tea, and it felt like it was the holidays... okay, I must admit it was on the chilly side, and I did ask for a blanket at one point, but it felt great!  Anyway, I have digressed... although the almost summer evening has left me feeling rather pleased, it is the fact I have conquered my washing this weekend that has done it for me!!!!!!  I know, I know, but it really has given me a feeling of satisfaction.  I have been so busy that chores have been the last thing on my list of things to do and because of this, we had empty drawers... I had dirty clothes waiting to be washed and huge piles of clean clothes that have been waiting to be ironed for weeks (it has been driving me mad, everywhere I looked there were piles of clothes!).  I decided at the end of the week I would twirl (I perfected it as a child after I was given a Wonder Woman outfit for Christmas), and become 'Washer Woman'!!!!!  
Now I don't have an ironing pile...

... my piles of ironed clothes are away, and our drawers are full.   I start the new week without the frustration of washing (and a clean pressed pinny-left hand side with big floral design!).  For a few days at least!!!  Best wishes for the new week.

Monday, 21 March 2011

A trip to the laundrette

Last Friday we did a photo shoot for my new label.  At the moment the photos are still being worked on, but I just wanted to share this one with you.  I love it, and I am really excited about receiving them finished.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Mess, mess, mess and a scrummy tea.

Just too busy at the moment!!!!  Every spare moment is spent doing some sewing related activity.  This is under my sewing machine.  I know, I know... mess!!!  I really must do something about it (and the huge pile of ironing waiting by the ironing board!).  And I wonder why the Fairy thinks her room is tidy when there is still stuff over the floor!!!  Ho hum.

I did however manage to throw this together for tea tonight.  I was inspired earlier in the week by Florence from Flossie Teacakes who had made a crustless quiche, and I simply had to have one!  This is one that I make quite a bit.

You can basically throw in it what ever cooked veg (or a bit of cooked bacon!) you fancy.  It is a great way to use up left over vegs from your Sunday roast (if you have one), but this is what we had in ours tonight.

medium sized head of broccoli, broken into bite size pieces
180g bag baby spinach, washed
1 red onion, chopped
7 or 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 free-range eggs, whisked lightly
250g cottage cheese
3 handfuls of grated mature cheddar

1. Steam your broccoli until tender.
2. Fry your onion until transparent and put to one side in a large mixing bowl.
3. In the pan you fried the onion in, place your spinach in the pan and allow to wilt, turning occasionally, squeeze out excess water and place with your onions.
4.  Add the broccoli, cottage cheese, 2 handfuls of cheese and your eggs.
5.  Put in a 2 litre oven proof dish, throw the tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
6.  Bake in the oven at 160/gas 4 for about 45mins or until golden and firm.
7.  Serve with some lovely bread.


You can find more delicious recipes here.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Vegetable Cous Cous

This is the recipe for the vegetable  cous cous I made last Saturday to go with our delicious Thai fish from Booths.  It is so easy, takes 10 minutes to make and can be eaten with basically anything you fancy (chicken, fish, grilled or roasted vegetables, feta cheese, grilled halloumi... I could go on and on!!).  It is also delicious served cold as a salad.

Serves 2 

1 small red onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 red pepper
1/2 courgette
6 or 7 sun dried tomatoes
175ml vegetable stock, I use Marigold bullion 
100g cous cous

1. Finely chop all your vegetables and fry your onion in a little olive oil until transparent.  Add the garlic, pepper and courgette and fry for a few minutes until soft.
2.  Take off the heat and stir in your chopped sun dried tomatoes and cous cous.
3.  Stir in your stock(the stock should just cover your cous cous).  Cover and leave until the liquid has been absorbed (5 minutes or so).
4.  Once the liquid is absorbed get a fork, fluff is up and add a small knob of butter or a splash of olive oil and stir through.
5.  Eat and enjoy with what ever you fancy!

You can find more delicious recipes here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

I hope that you too have experienced pancake heaven!

As soon as the little Tinker heard that I was off to the kitchen to pop on my pinny and make pancakes for tea, he followed behind dragging a chair and demanding that I put an apron on him.  Unfortunately for him he doesn't have one made by me... aprons for boys are in the pipeline!

I am a lover of the fat little pancakes (I fell in love with them, and ate copious amounts, on holiday in America as a child), not the ones that people (often men if I am not mistaken... please correct me if I am wrong but I have the understanding that pancake throwing goes alongside fire making and barbecuing!!!), for some reason, insist on throwing into the air.  The exception being crepes which are a completely different kettle of fish!!!

Here's the recipe.  I know it is a little late in the day for sharing pancake recipes...  I really should get more organised... but please don't wait until next year to try these.  They are a definite hit with my children and we love to eat them for breakfast at weekends (if they are lucky!!!).

200g of plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 egg
1tsp sugar
10ml milk
1 grated apple*
butter to fry them in

To serve... what ever you fancy, for example
maple syrup or honey
creme fraiche or mascarpone

* use any fruit you fancy really.  They are very tasty with grated pear, mashed banana, a handful of blueberries or chopped strawberries.

Simply throw your pancake mixture into a bowl and use a whisk to mix.  Add the fruit of your choice.  Heat a frying pan and melt a teaspoon or so of butter to cover the bottom of your pan.  When hot add a little of the pancake mix... use about half a ladle full for each one.  Fry for a minute or two, flip (with spatula!!!) and cook the other side.
Put on a plate, cover with yummy things, and eat.

You can find more delicious recipes here.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A work free weekend!?!

My plan this weekend was not to work (I have been ridiculously busy of late), but instead have a relax, spend some time with the family and make some yummy food (wearing one of my lovely pinnies, of course)!!!

Friday night I went out for a meal!!!!  This does not happen too often.  My husband often works evenings during the weekend so it was lovely getting my glad rags on and heading off out to meet some people I do some work with.  Unfortunately the restaurant we went to was disappointing, although the food was okay I certainly won't be heading back there again.  The worst part was driving past my favourite restaurant to get there!

This spurred me on though.  I was determined that I was going to have a delicious meal on Saturday with my husband.  We had decided earlier in the week that we would eat after the children had gone to bed and have a relaxing meal without them.  I didn't really want to spend too much time prepping food so I nipped into town and bought some Thai marinated cod from the fish counter in Booths.  All I needed to do then was to pop the fish in the oven and make some vegetable cous cous to go with it.  Mmmmmmm.  It really was delicious (I will share the cous cous recipe at a later date).  

To top it off, for a treat, I had bought some GU mascarpone and chocolate tiramisu.  Heaven in a pot... a good job there were only two in the packet!!!

Today I had a lie in.  I got up at 9am instead of the usual 6.30am.  Luxury getting up so late and to such a beautiful day... so after an early lunch we set off for a stomp in the countryside.

It was a fantastic walk.  The children loved being out, were very impressed with this gnarled old tree...

... and scoffed the spaghetti bolognese I made them for tea (another one of my recipes that I will share with you at a later date!)

Oh almost forgot I also had a stroll and lunch at the cafe in the park on Saturday with the little Tinker, my sister and her two rascals and my mum.  I love seeing the children together and the pleasure on their little faces when they see each other, we are lucky to have such a close knit family.

So... maybe not a restful weekend, but a lovely one with the family, some delicious food and only a little work!!!!!

Hope that you have had a good one too!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

My baby is a big boy!

(This seems like such a long time ago!)

Today was The Tinkers first day (well, half day actually) at nursery.  He had a few visits before half-term with his daddy, but today he was being left!!!  I can't believe what a different experience it was to when my daughter started.  I remember leaving her crying her little heart out, waving to her from the window, and then having to pull over along the lane because I couldn't see due to the tears (er....this continued for some time!!!).  Today I left him, he didn't flinch, and was very grumpy when I arrived and said it was time to go home!!!  All afternoon he has informed me that it's "nursery Thursday"!  He loved it.  Hoorah.  I was hoping that he would be so tired that he would be happy to go for a sleep this afternoon so that I could do some work.  I should be so lucky...time to slog on!!!