Sunday, 17 February 2013

Summer in Chains

I haven't done much in the way of creativity this last week but I did find a fossil lurking in my witches cauldron. The cauldron has had no attention for years but due to a kitchen re-vamp the cauldron was unearthed and you won't believe what I found inside. Last year's summer covered in cobwebs and tied down in chains. Before it got a clean up I thought I would take a photo 'cos I thought it looked quite arty and then I did a bit of digi manipulation and came up with the above image. I like it!

I've had a busy weekend...well busy for me! Still recovering and still on treatment but it was good to have visitors and I'm so thankful for young Marton our friend from Hungary who assembled some additional new kitchen units for us. John and I have a larder cupboard each now to house our hobby stuff. In my case its largely baking equipment and in John's case its his home brew stuff. I have my art and craft stuff in the spare bedroom and John has all his other stuff in the garage, garden, shed, greenhouses and loft. What a hoarder he is!

I still love playing with my mini cupcake maker and made some minis for breakfast. The butter cream is actually made with olive spread, not butter, so its nice and healthy and tastes nicer too. Each one an individual luscious mouthful and so quick and easy to!

Think I will make a card with my summer in chains image and show it next week... Bye for now.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Re-cycling Christmas cards

Two blogs in one day. My goodness, things are looking up! It goes to prove how creative I've been over the last week. Something that I have sadly lacked for too long. Its good to have my mojo back.

Christmas might be the last thing on people's minds right now but I couldn't help playing with last year's Christmas cards and re-cycling them. I have some mount board scraps that I squirrelled away several years back just in case they came in handy one day and I guess that day, or week or month has arrived. Time certainly slips away when you're having fun.

An ever breeding collection of cut outs from used Christmas cards, glitter glue, ribbon, peel offs, flowers and embellishments and my trusted glue gun and more took over the dining table like some rampant alien species until I was left with a six inch space to work on, so then I removed myself to the kitchen breakfast bar for more space. Crafter readers will know what I'm talking about at this stage and I'm sure there will be a smile and giggle or two.

My idea was to decorate mount board making them into plaques supported on plastic stands...the type that small plates are displayed on. My first effort took me absolutely ages but as I progressed each one got easier to make. The only trouble is I have run out of plastic stands and I can't remember where I bought them many moons ago. So now, my dining table is clear again, at least until I find more stands.

Maybe I will be able to raise a bit of money for worthy causes, next Christmas.

This one is my favourite.

Withered apples and all that stuff

What to do with withered apples? I have to say they stored well in my wooden fruit bowl and although now wrinkled and drying out they were still edible. Apparently, last week was Bramley apple week but I never got round to buy any, let alone make anything with them which is a pity because Bramleys are the best cooking apples. My withered apples were the Gala variety and as I loath wasting food I just had to do something with them.

withered gala apples

I found a recipe for a cake tray bake and using a bit of adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying and a few additions I was able to create a recipe that was gluten free and happy with different kinds of fruit. My maths teacher would have been proud! I cored and chopped the apples but left the skin on and tossed them on top of the cake batter. The result was a scrummy cake, especially with squirty cream...yum! 

apple cake with cream

blueberry cake with cream
Blueberries work well too and my family love the cake so it was a bit of a scramble to get my fair share. 

Honestly! You would think they would consider who baked the cake in the first place...never mind she says, smiling.

blueberry cake tray bake

I'm really enjoying the discovery of baking all over again and experimenting with gluten free recipes makes it an exciting challenge. I bought a blank recipe book from Home Bargains the other day for only £1.99 or something near. Ridiculously cheap anyway. I have called it Nana's recipe book and aim to fill it with tried and tested family recipes, some of which I will enjoy making with my grandchildren.

making a mess

My first entry was a recipe for cheese scones which I made with the help of granddaughters Natalie and Jasmine...did I say help? Mum wasn't about so we had great fun making a mess on the breakfast bar. There were some squabbles as to who did what and I had to play referee at times but it was all worth it. 

more hands on mess

Amazingly, these scones had no egg in the mix and in the mayhem I forgot to add baking powder but I was amazed at how they turned out. They were the best cheese scones I've ever made. So maybe I shouldn't have been adding egg all these years. 

cheese scones

Natalie showed her appreciation by spreading hers with jam! Cheese and jam scones??? There's no accounting for taste! I suppose the added bonus was that the girls washed up and dried afterwards. What more could a Nana ask for? The scones were meant to be for Dad but I'm not sure he managed to get any.

Next playtime, the girls and I will make a scrapbook page about our baking fun afternoon. That should be