Friday, February 24, 2012


Well I have had a great week but am so glad it is the weekend now. I have patchwork table mats to finish, the Easter ones.  And two baby quilts to make.  And I want to finish all the room rearranging as well.

It would be great to get out and get loads of the garden done aswell but he still hasn't got my polytunnel and my interest is waning.

Anyway, what are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hmmm, food and cooking and lent

Trying to think of the next few classes for the cookery class.  This week it is banana bread.  The following week at Catriona's request it is Fish Pie and Cottage Pie.  Then I am wondering, many of the children (and some adults) will have given up sweet things for lent....but well a cookey class wouldn't be very popular without them so I am looking for a happy middle ground.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wednesday recipe: Banana Bread

Again I have found the Avoca recipe to be the best, with just a few additions from me.
Banana Bread

225g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
110g caster sugar
1 egg beaten
75ml sunflower oil
few drops of vanilla essence
3 large ripe bananas mashed

Really brown bananas are best for these.  You need to mash them really well and get all the lumps out before you start the rest of the mixture.

1.     Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
2.     Measure the sunflower oil into a jug and stir in the beaten egg.
3.     Stir the mashed bananas into the oil and egg mixture and combine gently.
4.     Fold the banana mixture into the flower mixture carefully.
5.     Pour into a 2lb loaf tin and bake in an oven at 180°C for 50-60 mins.
6.     Leave in the tin for 10 mins and then put on a wire rack to cool.
7.     Slice carefully and eat.

This is good with some chopped nuts or raisins added to the flour mixture.
If you don’t like cinnamon use nutmeg or nutmeg and a little bit of ginger.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Recipe: Sausage and bean stew

Recipe for cookery class 09/02/2012

So sausage and beans is a standby favourite dish for many families, but this will take it one step further and good for the cook is that it can be made in advance and heated up when you need it or even frozen. When I make a dish like this I normally make extra...and then HOPEFULLY I have leftovers which I put into individual lunchboxes and freeze (label and date first!). Then these can be brought to work frozen, thaw in time for lunch and heat in the microwave.  Yes, I know, I'm lucky, we have a microwave at work.  I insisted on it and it saves so much money as we can bring decent food for lunch.

Anyway, the recipe

1lb frying sausages
whatever you like best. My favourites are homemade or Tesco Finest Pork and Leek.
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped pepper, your favourite colour or a bit of each
1 tin  baked beans
1 tin tomatoes, chopped or squished or mashed
some smoked parprika or chilli to taste
Mixed herbs, or origano or basil, whichever is handy

Fry the sausages in a pan until brown, they do not need to be cooked all the way through.
Cut each sausage into about 4 pieces.
Put into a pot for cooker top or casserole dish for the oven.
Drain the fat of the pan and then fry the onions and garlic gently till soft, if using smoked paprika or chill add to pan and cook a little.
Add onion mixture to sausages.
Add tomatoes, peppers and beans to sausage mix.
If using cooker top bring slowly to boil and simmer for about 20 mins.
If cooking in oven 180 degrees C for about 30-40 mins.

Best served with plan boiled rice or baked potatoes.

This is the basic recipe but you can add to it.
I sometimes add chopped hot dogs or chorizo to the sausage mix, the extra flavour tastes good.
Or if you need to stretch the mixture (damn those uninvited guests) then a tin of kidney beans, sweetcorn or chickpeas can be added.

It's almost better the next day when the flavours mingle.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New wreaths made

Well I got these two finshed this week and up for sale on Etsy already,
Small hearts is on a 6" base and then "Peace", which I really love, is 12" base and lots of white and cream.  It really is very effective.  I am now working a one called "Night Owls" and hope to get it done this weekend.
I have been researching design ideas and concepts and am absolutely loving "Steampunk".  I got two books about it Steampunk softies and Steampunkery: Polymer Clay  And while I may not go as far as the whole amazing Victoriana steam clockwork fantasy it has made me look at "found" objects with a more critical eye, like using old zippers and keys and bits like that.  One of my handbags has just given up and it has loads of little catches and giant zippers on it so I am going to try to use them.  Metal bottles tops also appeal to me, to beat flat and use as buttons, we will see, all I need is time.

Anyway, here are the two new wreaths, let me know what you think.  I need to get back to work.
Small heart wreath, €20

Peace wreath, €57

Friday, February 3, 2012

Community Cookery Group

Sieve carefully
This started back last night and we had a large group of big and little people in to make scones.  We used the recipe down below and made fruit scones, pear and almond scones and apricot and nut scones.  We had some new members including three of our youngest to date and everyone seemed to have fun as you can see.  Nest week we are  making sausage casserole and I will post the recipe for this later.
Our youngest member yet

Carefully eggwashing ready for oven
The taste test seemed to go well

Learning with each other

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finshed project and next project

Well this baby quilt has just gone in the post to someone who is about to become a first time Granny.  I hope she likes it and it keeps the new baby warm and cosy.  I really do enjoy making baby quilts as they are much easier to put together compared to large bed quilts...but well I don't ever seem to find enough babies to make them for.
New baby quilt

I've also been working on a new wreath.  I really like the Love one and it gave me an idea for a Peace wreath.  Here is the beginning of it.  I need to put it together at the weekend and get it on Etsy for sale.  I have feathers for this one too.  I made the buttons from Fimo using off white and sparkle white.