Friday 27 May 2016

Five On Friday

This week has been busy mainly dealing with medical professionals so everything I have tried to do this week has remained unfinished.  I have a terrible earache, whilst there is no infection I have compact wax that needs to be loosed prior to having them syringed.  Dad is back to having the community services visit and my husband has had a increase in his medication which all takes time to order and have delivered.

Not a great week, who knew earache could be so painful.
I have started to make cards that are needed for next month but still have a Fathers Day card to make and a Birthday card for me dear Mum to complete.
I did manage to use some buttons on a couple, which made me smile.
My husband and I have finally got to work on the cupboard that we bought some time ago.  It is now painted and had the new handles put on.   Just some minor adjustments to the doors as they are not shutting properly and it will be complete, ready to be lifted  into the bedroom.

I posted about buying this cupboard on 16 Aug 2014 but am having trouble linking back so that you can see the before picture.  I am ashamed to say it has taken so long for us to do something with it.
I have started to make a piece of artwork, using  printed burlap to cover an old canvas.
Some gold buttons and an old brooch completes the new look.  Just need to add the twine at the back for hanging.
Finally I am in the process of making some hangars for the Grandchildren for little additions to their Christmas stockings.

A start has been made painting them and I have sorted out some Cath Kidston stamps and fabric to finish them, giving them a vintage shabby look.
A topsy turvey kind of week, with nothing really being accomplished. 
I am joining Amy over at Love Made My Home for the weekly get together.  Hopefully everyone will have accomplished far more than me.  Thank you for your wonderful comments and for your lovely e mails enquiring where I was, sometimes life just takes over like this week.  I will catch up with everyone as soon as can.
See you soon.

Monday 23 May 2016

The Celebrations Continue

The celebration continued now that our youngest was better.  She surprised us yesterday with a visit bringing more cards, gifts and cake.

There was of course yet another gnome to add to the collection, we have quite the gathering.  The girls took there time and selected a good position for the new arrival.

Games were played, inside and out...

Great Grandparents were visited and dogs snuggled.

Before it was party time, and time for cake.

A simple Victoria sponge, alongside crumble, scones and rocky road again.

A wonderful time had by all...
Move over Lily, Granny could definitely do with a nap...
See you soon.

Thursday 19 May 2016

Five on Friday - Baking

Over the past couple of weeks I have been busy in the kitchen preparing food for visitors, a party and for the freezer.  Whilst I use a recipe for something new I am a little slap dash and stick to the familiar and trusted recipes that I know by heart.  However, I have been asked to relay some of my recipes so I will try my best.  Consequently my Five on Friday for this week will be five recipes.  I am of course joining Amy over at love made my home for the weekly get together,  hope you will pop over and join in the fun.


Honey and Mustard Glazed Gammon

I cook my gammon joint in a large saucepan covered in water for a couple of hours along with
2 onions
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
4 bay leaves

The fluid then makes a wonderful stock for the basis of a soup.

The rind of the gammon is then cut off leaving some fat which is then scored.  I rub 4 tbsp. honey mixed with 4tbsp English Mustard to form a glaze and pop it into the oven for about 20 mins or until the glaze browns.

I am not pedantic about the temperature just popping it in with whatever else is in there but generally 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Chicken Ham and Leek Pie
for the filling
2 leeks trimmed and chopped
sea salt flakes
black pepper
a knob of butter
I don't tend to weigh out the meat elements just using whatever I have available of leftover meat which is already cooked.  Gently fry the leeks in butter until softened and add to meat, seasoning to taste.  Add cream, I usually use a small carton of single cream and mix thoroughly.
I generally top with a shortcrust pastry but again this is individual choice, a puff pastry could be used or a layer of mashed potato.  Each to their own.
Any trimmings I use to make a little embellishment in the centre of the pie.  Don't forget to make some air vents with a sharp knife.
Cheese and Onion Quiche
Line a quiche tin with shortcrust pastry and cook blind for 15 mins on 200C/400F/Gas 6.  I generally use parchment paper and my ceramic baking beans which help to prevent blistering and shrinkage during baking.
For the filling
4 eggs
cream or milk
150g mature cheddar cheese
Slice onions and place on the pastry.  Beat the eggs and cream/milk together.  Grate the cheese and place on top of the onions, pour the liquid over and place in the oven for 20-25 mins until set and golden.
Rocky Road
These can be made into bars by using a tray and leaving to set or individually in tiny petit four cases, which is my preference.  They look quite elegant this way and are a beautiful as well as tasty addition to an afternoon tea.
Chocolate is the main ingredient, this can be as decedent or as cheap as you like, depending on the occasion.
I use the microwave to melt the chocolate and then add mini marshmallows, dried fruit such as cranberries or sultanas, digestive biscuits.  But  a wide range of ingredients could be used such as granola, desiccated coconut, cherries and nuts.  Once the chocolate is melted ensure all the dry ingredients are covered with chocolate and spoon into cases.  Finish with a sprinkling of coco powder, grated chocolate or a dusting of icing sugar. 
Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
3 sweet potatoes
3 carrots
1 celery stick
1 onion
small yellow pepper
vegetable oil
500ml veg stock
Peel and chop all vegetables.  Saute onion for 5 mins in vegetable oil and then add all remaining vegetables and saute for a further 3 mins turnings all the time so they do not brown.  Add stock and simmer for about 30 mins.  Using a hand blender blend until smooth. 
Serve with a handful of pomegranate seeds they look wonderful for a Autumn or Christmas treat, grated cheese or a spoonful of fromage frais.  It is tasty on its own too with some home made crusty bread.
This will make enough for 6 bowls so when I make it there is always enough left for the freezer.
I tend to batch cook/bake so that nothing is wasted.  The stock from the gammon formed the basis of the soup.  The leftover meat was used in a pie.  Pastry is made in large batches and used to make fruit pies and tarts.  Hope this is of some use for those of you who were kind enough to ask.
See you soon.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

A Mamas Pride

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and birthday wishes for my husband and daughter, they were all greatly appreciated.  We certainly packed a lot of activities into the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed each others company.  I am so proud of my daughters in so many ways, I could fill a book with the reasons why.  One thing that I love is how close they all are, they speak to each other and meet up regularly despite the long distances involved.  It is a blessing that their husbands get on as well and that the children have a wonderful relationship with each other also.  Technology plays a huge part in being able to communicate daily but they also pick up bits and pieces and post them to each other.  Saw this and thought of you...  I am immensely proud of my daughters,  I love having them here and sharing their  little families.  I am already working on the menus for the next get together.  I wish I could say that everyone felt the same but...

...the dog was glad to get back into his favourite position.  He is looking a little bit of a mess at the moment and needs grooming, but for now I am letting him have some well earned rest.  Its hard work keeping up with two young boys who want to play tag and expect him to understand the rules.  He does like all the extra treats he gets when the children are here and feed him under the table, but he is not allowed into the lounge when the babies are here so I am sure he is glad they have all gone home.
We will be having  a meal using leftovers today, I have made a chicken, ham and leek pie.  One of my husbands favourites.

All ready to be popped into the oven.  I have already baked a cheese and onion quiche, jam tarts and lemon curd tarts for lunches for the week.  Just need to tackle the ironing and I will be back on top.

Finally I thought I would share the little gift that I made for the babies as favours for the birthday party.  I made them a tag blanket each.  The fabric was so soft and luxurious, it was really gentle for their delicate skin.

They certainly seemed to like them.  Rain has stopped play outside, I did want to cut the grass so I am going to have a couple of hours in the craft room, giving it a good clear out.  There seems to be a lot clutter at the moment.  What have you got planned for the day?
Take care.


Tuesday 17 May 2016

Birthday Celebration

We have just had a really wonderful weekend in celebration of my husband's 60th birthday.  A little disappointing in that our youngest daughter and her little family were unable to attend due to ill health.   My sweet parents were also not able to attend the party, so we took the party to them for a short while which they enjoyed.  We certainly packed in a lot of activities as well as food and lots of special moments with each of the Grandchildren creating lots of special memories.  I intend to make a scrapbook of the weekend for my husband so he can reflect on each special moment.

I managed to get some lovely snuggles with the babies.
They really seemed to enjoy each others company.
We had a pyjama party dancing and stamping our feet in the craft room to some of Granny favourite tunes.

Crafting, pictures and banners were made.

Cards and gifts were given.

There were mountains of food made and consumed.
A trip to the beach to fly kites.
Collecting shells and pebbles.
Making pizza in the sand.

Watching the horse been trained and chatting to the fishermen.
A trip to the soft play.
A puppet show especially for the Birthday boy.

Crafting with the amazing finds from the beach.
A lot crammed into a weekend, a weekend filled with love and cake and more cake!!!
All good things come to an end and we are back to reality.  I now have a mountain of laundry and cleaning to do to put the house back to some sort of normality.  It was a wonderful weekend, one that I hope my husband will treasure for ever, I know I will.
See you soon.