Wednesday, 13 February 2013

trying a web recipe - espresso doughnuts

Shutterbean is one of my most favourite food blogs, so when I saw Tracy's recipe for espresso doughnuts I had to try, you can find the recipe here, I even bought a 6 hole doughnut pan (pretty cheap on amazon/ebay) which was well worth the investment, even better these things are baked so much more healthy!

Friday, 1 February 2013

a quick slow dinner - ham and lentils

Tastes like it took ages, when in fact it took minutes, ham and chestnuts are one of my favourite combos.

Ham and Lentils with Leeks and Chesnuts
Serves 2 

400g Tin Lentils (or 200g lentils, soaked overnight in salted water)
1 Leek
1 Onion
Half packet of Chesnuts (I use the vacuum packed precooked kind)
150g Ham Hock
Fresh Thyme
Lemon Juice (half a lemon is plenty)

Thinly slice the onions and leek and fry gently in oil.  Add the lentils now and cook if your not using tinned.  When everything is soft add the chopped chestnuts and precooked lentils.  Warm through, then add the ham and choped thyme and heat for another 2 minutes.  When ready to serve check the seasoning (some ham can be very salty so no further will be required) and squeeze over a bit of lemon.  

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

trying a new medium - fimo beads

Over last summer and during the winter rounds of the craft fairs I was really taken with the bold shape and coloured jewellery avaliable (I fell in love with this maker's work at the time).  At the time it was hard to decide what to buy, then after admiring a friend's homemade christmas decorations I was inspired to give fimo a go!  I kept it simple this time, for a trying out craft this is really cheap, easy and requires very little time (or patience, which I lack!).

Fimo Beads
I shaped by beads by hand, then used a cocktail stick to make the holes in the beads.  I also added ribbed detail to the triangles by pressing down with the side of the cocktail stick.  I baked them at 110 degrees for 30 mins on a piece of baking parchment, then allowed to cool.  For the triangle necklace I plaited 1mm leather string and wove the beads in, I used an existing silver chain for the balls.

I noticed my hands got glittery very quickly when using the metallic fimo, this did transfer a bit to the other pieces but I quite liked the effect.

Monday, 28 January 2013

an evening cocktail - green paloma

We have recently been testing tequila based cocktails to go with an evening of Mexican food, this one is a personal favourite! It leaves a strong hint of chilli heat on your top lip (which I love, but can see why others are less fond) so to make it cooler add the chilli after shaking or leave it out altogether.

Green Paloma
Add the following for each person

50ml Tequila
50ml Grapefruit Juice
50ml Lemonade (Or soda and half a lemon juiced)
1 Green Chilli, split down the middle and halved

Shake with ice then pour over fresh ice in a lowball glass, serve ice cold

Saturday, 26 January 2013

changing your space - bedroom update

Our bedroom has always been the last room in our house to be properly decorated, probably because it's the room most visitors never get to see (how lazy of us)!  After sorting out the conservatory I was determined in this house we would have a properly organised relaxing space just for us.  I eventually intend for this room to be a mixture of black, white, bold pattern, wood and with lots of texture (a bit of sheepskin, bedlinen and this headboard in mind), for the moment we are living with the transition and going with a mixture of things we have now and a few new cheap makes and bits and pieces.  Eventually I would love to paint the bedside tables very dark, maybe even with a bit of sparkle, who knows!

P.S. We just bought touch base lamps for our bed (John Lewis) with some of our wedding gift money from our lovely work colleagues,  for anyone thinking about them they are THE nicest way to put the light on in the morning, really gentle pretty light with 3 settings.  Little things make the biggest difference to your day, don't you find?!


Friday, 25 January 2013

days out - tower of london

It's always good to find time for days out with good friends, nice food and a bit of culture.  I even nearly came home complete with souvenir tacky pencil with jewelled top but at £3 it was a bit over budget!  The crown jewels (sorry no photos allowed) were amazing, they even have Queen Victoria's teeny tiny top of head crown, even better as it was quiet we got to go round twice!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

quick updates - washi tape bathroom storage

My teeny 1 1/2 bed house has a whopping 3 bathrooms, to my mind you really don't need more toilets than people that live in the house but clearly some folks think different!  Our downstairs toilet come wine cellar is was intended for visitors but at the moment is still home to a mountain of bottles from our wedding (we even hosted new years and still have not drunk it all yet, yikes)!  We have had to result to keeping the other 2 bathrooms pretty and guest friendly, and as we have a houseful in a few days I thought I might spruce them up with a bit of colour and indulge my washi tape addiction at the same time!

Boxes - brown paper wrapped glossy boxes
Cups - dishwasher cleaned nutella jars