Growing, Making and Baking.

Baking

Please click on (o) for accompanying songs.

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 100g butter , well softened
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp instant coffee , mixed with 100ml/3½fl oz boiling water, then cooled
  • 25g walnut halves , chopped, plus 12 more for the tops

Buttercream-

  • 100g butter softened
  • 175g sifted icing sugar
  • 3 tsp coffe

Directions

  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and make sure there’s a shelf ready in the middle.
  • Line a 12-hole bun tin with fairy cake cases.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, flour and eggs with 4 tsp of the coffee and a pinch of salt until creamy. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
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  • Spoon the mix into the cases (start by adding 1 heaped tsp to each, then go back and top them up – that way they should all be of equal size).
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  • Bake for 18-20 mins until light golden and springy. Cool for a few mins in the tin, then lift the cakes out and cool completely on a rack.
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  • Gingerbread Cupcakes (o)Must watch to see gingerbread man do the haka

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 75 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml black treacle
  • 1 large Ella Valentine egg and 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 125ml hot milk (not boiling)

Buttercream-

  • 120g butter softened
  • 200g sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170 oc. Line 12 muffin cases onto a muffin tin.
  • Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the treacle, egg and egg yolk.
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  • In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
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  • Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot milk.
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  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir untill just combined. Next stir in the hot milk mixture.
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  • Spoon the batter evenly into the the liners. Bake for 20 mins or untill slighlty springy then leave to cool.
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  • To make the buttercream slowly cream the butter untill smooth and gradually add the icing sugar untill light and fluffy. Add vanilla and milk to the mixture.
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  • Use a piping bag and decorate cupcakes.
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Original Recipe Yield – Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 450g extra-lean minced beef
  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms , sliced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves , plus 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 100g spinach leaves, wilted in boiling water, squeezed dry
  • 3 large vine tomatoes , sliced
  • 6 fresh lasagne sheets
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 25g Parmesan , grated
  • I added cumin and cooked the meat with cinnamon sticks.

Directions

  • Cook mince, onion, garlic, mushrooms for 10 minutes.

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  • Add tomatoes, wine, herbs, plus 1 tomato can of water. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season.
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  • Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip half mince into a baking dish.
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  •  Add 3 sheets lasagne.
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  •  Then rest of mince and lasagne.
  • Lay over tomatoes, spinach.
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  • Mix 3 tbsp milk with the cornflour.
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  • Pour rest of milk into a pan, stir in cornflour mix. Simmer, whisking until smooth. Season.
  • Pour over the spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
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  • Bake for 30 minutes.
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  • Serve with a glass of red , a salad and nice bread.
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Nutrition: 252 kcalories, protein 24g, carbohydrate 21.4g, fat 7.5 g, saturated fat 3.3g, fibre 2.8g, salt 0.53 g

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g floury potatoes , cut into chunks
  • 1 medium swede (weighing about 600g/1lb 5oz), cut into chunks
  • 200g tub low-fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 4 tsp cornflour , blended with 2 tbsp cold water
  • 650g skinless, boneless cod , cut into large chunks (I used Tilapia)
  • 100g cooked peeled prawns (I used leek , mushroom and onion instead)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley (I used Paprika instead)

Directions

  • Cook the potatoes and swede in boiling water until tender (about 20 minutes).
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  • Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5/fan 170C.While the potatoes and swede cook, put the soft cheese and stock into a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until blended and smooth. Now add the blended cornflour and cook until thick.
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  • Stir the fish into the sauce with the prawns and parsley. Season with some pepper. (chop veg and add to sauce here)
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  • Tip the mixture into a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint baking dish. Drain the potatoes and swede, mash them well and season with black pepper. Spoon the mash over the fish to cover it completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes until piping hot, then transfer to a hot grill for a few minutes to brown the top. Serve with frozen peas or sweetcorn.
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Nutrition: 359 kcalories, protein 45g, carbohydrate 36g, fat 5 g, saturated fat 0g, fibre 5g, salt 1.34 g

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 4

Ingredients
  • Falafel pack
  • 500g pack turkey mince
  • 2 tsp each chilli powder , ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • onion , coarsely grated
  • zest 1 orange , then peeled and orange segments chopped
  • 250g couscous
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Small bunch coriander , roughly chopped

Directions

  • Make the falafel then move onto the meatballs.
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  • In a big bowl, mix the mince, spices, onion and orange zest together really well with your hands. Roll the mixture into about 20 walnut-sized meatballs.
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  • Put the couscous in a bowl, pour over the hot chicken stock, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 10 mins.
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  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. add the meatballs and fry, turning often, for about 12 mins until browned all over and cooked through.
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  • Fluff the couscous up with a fork, stir in the chopped orange, coriander and some seasoning. Pile onto plates and serve with the meatballs.
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  • Apple Scones  (Scone Song – MUST WATCH! Just click on the word Scone. Well, you don’t have to but I highly recommend it!)

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 50g butter
  • 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • apple , peeled, cored and diced
  • 125ml milk , plus extra for brushing
  • clotted cream and fresh or defrosted blackberry compote (see goes well with), to serve
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Directions

  • Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip flour into a large bowl with butter then rub in using fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, add apple and give everything a mix.
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  • Pour in milk and stir it in quickly, then fold dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Tip onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a round about 3cm deep.
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  • Dip a 6cm cutter into some flour then cut out scones, flouring the cutter each time. Squash offcuts lightly back into a round and repeat until all dough is used up. Brush tops with a little milk then place on to a lightly floured baking sheet and bake for 18-20 mins until risen and golden. Allow to cool on the tray.
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  • To serve, split scones then spread with a dollop of clotted cream and a spoonful of blackberry compote.
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Per serving

188 kcalories, protein 3g, carbohydrate 33g, fat 6 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 1g, sugar 11g, salt 0.36 g

Cook/ prep Time: 120 minutes (including baking and prep and cooling)

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 8

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 12 ounces silken firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda (I used brown sugar)
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used strawberry non fat yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (I omitted due to personal preferences)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I forgot to add)
  • I added 100g of popcorn (light)


Directions

  • Pre-heat an oven to 325 Farenheit.
  • Place the pre-made crust into the oven for five minutes then remove.
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  • If you are making your own crust: With a food processor, pulse cereal through until mixture is crumbly. Add graham crackers and process just a little longer until the crackers are crushed.
  • Pour this mixture into a small bowl. Add the melted butter and cold water and mix thoroughly with a fork. Press into a single layer covering the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan.
  • To prepare the filling, add tofu to a large bowl and blend with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and cream cheese and continue to blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
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  • Pour the mixture into the prepared piecrust then put the pie pan in a roasting pan. Pour water into the roasting pan until it comes about 1/3 of the way up the sides of the pie pan. (I placed popcorn on the base before pouring in the filing)
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  • Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 50-60 minutes until the cake has set but still jiggles. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
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  • Chill in refrigerator until firm. Top with fresh berries to serve. (I topped with popcorn)


  • Potato, aubergine, mozzarella bake.

I decided to make something with lots of vegetables and something which would go well with a salad.

Prep Time: 30 minutes.

Cook Time: 30 minutes (including baking and grilling)

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 3-4
 Ingredients
  • 1 large green pepper
  • Half a red onion, chopped (diced)
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (preferable with garlic added)
  • Pizza base sauce
  • Low-fat mozzarella
  • Two handfuls of mushrooms
  • Mozzarella (I used low-fat)
  • 3 potatoes (skinned)

Lettuce to garnish

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Directions
  • Pre-heat an oven to 350 Farenheit.
  • Boil some water and pop the chopped, peeled potatoes in to boil


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  • Whilst the oven is preheating chop all the vegetables and then grill them.
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  • As soon as the vegetables are done start layering them in an oven-proof dish. In between each layer pop a few pieces of garlic and a sprinkle of mozzarella.
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  • Place the par-boiled potatoes on the top of vegetables and pour over the tin of tomatoes, a bit of pizza base sauce (to flavour) , mozzarella and a layer of spinach.
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  • Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes and then serve with salad and nice bread.
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  • Flatbread Pizza (o)

Having lots of flatbread , vegetables, cheese and tomatoes in the fridge (and not much else) I set to work making a vegetarian flatbread pizza and a meat-eater’s version.

Prep Time: Ten Minutes

Cook Time: Sixteen Minutes

Original Recipe Yield – Serves 8
 Ingredients
  • 1 large green pepper
  • Half a red onion, chopped (diced)
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Two Flatbreads (mine were light Italian)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Two handfuls of mushrooms
  • Mozzarella (I used low-fat)
  • A few slices of salami
  • Lettuce to garnish
Directions
  • Pre-heat an oven to 350 Farenheit.
  • Whilst the oven is preheating chop all the vegetables and then grill them.
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  • Once the oven is at the right temperature place the two flatbreads on a baking tray and into the oven. Leave for five minutes.
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  • After five minutes remove the flatbread from the oven and put the toppings on.
  • Start with the pizza sauce and then add a variety of toppings. (one flatbread pizza was a cheese-free, vegetarian with jalapeno peppers. The other had cheese and salami on it)
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  • Place the flatbreads on the baking tray and into the oven for a further six minutes.
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  • Remove and serve warm with a salad (and preferably a nice view!)
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Having been given ten Quail Eggs (for free!) by a nice market stall vendor at Broad Ripples market, I decided I had to do something with them. Trouble is I didn’t know what so I sought help from Good Food (twitter). They kindly sent me this recipe( from http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/632048 ) so I thought I would give it a go.
Prep Time: Twenty Minutes
Cook Time: Thirty Minutes
Original Recipe Yield – Serves 8
 Ingredients
  • 1 large red peppers
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, stalk removed and finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, plus extra to garnish
  • 350 g waxy potatoes, par-boiled, then cut into 1cm cubes
  • 200 g spinach leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • 20 g butter
  • 8 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 12 quail’s eggs
I made a few differences by adding mushrooms (cooking them with the onion), leaving out the capers, only using 9 quail eggs (I accidentally broke one!) and I used an orange pepper instead of a red one.

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Directions
  • Place the red pepper on a baking tray and use a blow torch to char the outside of it until blackened. This can also be done over a gas flame from the hob, using a pair of tongs to hold it.
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     ( I pre-cut mine before placing it onto a grill instead)

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  • Once blackened, place in a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for 5 minutes then remove from the bowl and scrape off the charred skin using your fingers – don’t be tempted to run the pepper under the tap as it will lose its smoky flavour – a few bits of blackened skin are ok. Halve, removed the seeds and roughly chop the pepper then set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion until soft but not coloured. Stir in the rosemary and garlic and fry for a further minute.
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    Add the capers, chopped potatoes, roasted pepper and spinach and season with salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir so that all the ingredients are evenly spread out, then add a knob of butter. ( Here I added in the mushrooms at the same time as the onions)
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  •  Pour the beaten eggs over and cook on a gentle heat for a few minutes, until the eggs set around the edge of the pan.
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    Crack the quails eggs over the top of the tortilla

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    then transfer to the oven for 6-10 minutes or until firm in the middle.
  •  To remove the tortilla, place a large plate over the top of the pan. Invert the pan, leaving the tortilla on the plate, then place another plate on top and flip it over again to turn it back up the right way.
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  • Scatter with a few spinach leaves, some capers and a drizzle of olive oil.
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    Cut into wedges and serve hot or cold. Place in fridge once cold ,if you are eating it later, and remove from fridge 45 minutes before eating. (I served mine with rye bread and a green bean salad)

  • Coffee Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting (o)   

 I have been looking forward to making cupcakes ever since I went to The Flying Cupcake Bakery (Somehow, I don’t think they have anything to worry about). I decided to make something from the BBC Good Food website. I have tweaked the recipe though.
Prep Time: Ten Minutes
Cook Time: Twenty Minutes
Original Recipe Yield – Serves 12
 Ingredients
  • 100g butter , well softened
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp instant coffee , mixed with 100ml/3½fl oz boiling water, then cooled
  • 25g walnut halves , chopped, plus 12 more for the tops
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I missed out the walnuts and added vanilla essence. I also topped the cupcakes (once cooled) with a pre-made dark chocolate buttercream / frosting and some had grapes on top. (I used pre-made because I couldn’t find icing sugar anywhere!)


Directions

  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and make sure there’s a shelf ready in the middle. Line a 12-hole bun tin with fairy cake cases. Beat the butter, sugar, flour and eggs with 4 tsp of the coffee and a pinch of salt until creamy. Stir in the chopped walnuts. (Here I missed out the walnuts and added vanilla essence)
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  • Spoon the mix into the cases (start by adding 1 heaped tsp to each, then go back and top them up – that way they should all be of equal size), then bake for 18-20 mins until light golden and springy. Cool for a few mins in the tin, then lift the cakes out and cool completely on a rack.
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  • Put the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. I used two teaspoons to do this and shaped the frosting by smoothing it out with the back of the spoon. I then placed one grape in the centre of some of the cupcake’s frosting.
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Having always wanting to try this, and failing miserably on my last attempt, I have decided to try again. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, but have tailored it to suit my preferences.
Prep Time: Fifteen Minutes
Cook Time: One Hour
Original Recipe Yield 1 ( recommended 12 servings – 9×5 inch loaf. However I got 17 slices)
 Ingredients
  • 135 g brown sugar
  • 55 g margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs (preferably organic / free range)
  • 225 g mashed bananas (I added a two teaspoons of honey to this)
  • 60 ml water
  • 210 g all-purpose brown flour (I added a teaspoon of nutmeg to this as well)
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 3 g salt
  • 1 g baking powder
( Brown sugar and flour can be substituted for white. I prefer to use molasses and whole-wheat flours wherever possible.)
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Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 


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Spray one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
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  • In a medium bowl, beat the white sugar and margarine or butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs, water and bananas with the sugar mixture until it is well blended.
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  • Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder just until the mixture is moistened. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to blend all ingredients.
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  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degree C) for about 60 minutes.
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  • Bread is done when the top is firm to the touch and a golden brown color. Time will vary according to loaf size and oven type. When bread is removed from oven, allow it to cool on its side for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack.
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  • Then, once cooled, pop spare into freezer bags and freeze for a later date. Great to have if someone pops round unexpected.
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Nutritional Information (May now be vary due to substitutions)

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 169 | Total Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 35mg

Luke’s  Review (completely unbiased of course) : “Yum, That’s amazing. Really nice.” Then – “Can I have another piece?”. This praise was eliminated later when he asked “So which one was that? Was it the pumpkin or banana loaf?” I think I’ll give up!

I think it could have a little bit more banana flavour , more cinnamon and a handful of walnuts. Other than that, it is a great success compared to last time when it wouldn’t set, which might have been because of the two extra bananas I put in.


I couldn’t resist this quirky loaf. I found the recipe at  womenandweight.com. Sorry but it is in American measurements (cups). I am going off the basis that 1/4 cup is 55g. Hopefully this is right!)
Prep Time: Fifteen Minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 Minutes
Original Recipe Yield 1 ( One loaf or 12 slices/ Muffins)
 Ingredients:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I used Canola Oil instead)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ cups of grated zucchini ( This does take a while but it is worth it. In Addition, you can use the left overs to make Zucchini fries, which are lovely alternative to chips)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
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Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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  • Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well (sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg).
  • Combine the liquid ingredients in a small bowl and stir well (egg, vegetable oil, unsweetened applesauce, zucchini and vanilla).
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  • Spray a 9-inch loaf pan or a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and add the batter.
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  •  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf or muffins comes out clean.
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You can still see the zucchini in the bread as well.
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Nutritional Information (May now be vary due to substitutions)

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 161 | Total Fat: 6.9g | Cholesterol

Luke’s  Review (completely unbiased of course) :  ” Actually, that is lovely”.

I thought it is nice but could be a bit more ‘airy’. I also had to do a few reconstruction surgeries on some of the slices.

I love this bread and it is quite expensive here. I have always wanted to make it so I thought why not? I found it on Healthy Rye Bread Recipe (where else).
Prep Time: Thirty Minutes.
Cook Time: 60 Minutes
Original Recipe Yield 2 Loaves ( Or one huge one like I did)
 Ingredients:
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Directions:

  • Mix first six ingredients together in a large bowl and let cool until molasses mixture is just warm.
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  • Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and add to molasses mixture.(Here was where I found out that I had not used a big enough bowl. Error. Thankfully I have a huge pan so I transferred mixture into that)
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  •  Stir in unbleached white flour and whole wheat flour until dough is soft enough to knead.
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  •  Knead briskly 5 to 10 minutes.
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  •  Let rise approximately 30 minutes and then divide mixture into 2 round loaves.
  •  Place both loaves on a vegetable oil-sprayed cookie sheet and let rise 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F.
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  •  Allow bread to cool before slicing. Serve warm.
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Nutritional Information (May now be vary due to substitutions)

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 153 | Total Fat: 0.5g

Luke’s  Review (completely unbiased of course) :  ” Tasted aromatic”.

I think it is ok. The crust is hard yet the middle is very soft. However, I will make a darker rye bread next time.


I just had to be reunited with this bread after lunch last weekend. I hope it tastes as good. I found the recipe on www.glamour.com

Ingredients

(Makes two loaves–freeze one for later! and again, I judge a 1/4 cup as 55g)

  • 2 cups sugar (brown)
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (I would use fresh but after a horrific struggle with a pumpkin in Derby, I opted for cans until I am feeling braver, and have the NHS nearby)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla pudding
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (use whole wheat)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (also add more spices, like cloves (just a pinch) and nutmeg)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
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  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
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  • Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist.
  • Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.


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  • Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
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  • Put any spare pieces, pop into a bag and label it. Then keep in freezer for no more than three months.
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Nutritional Information (May now be vary due to substitutions)

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 153 | Total Fat: 0.5g

Making

  • Quilting

So, onto starting my first quilt project. I picked up the material, from Grandma Fannies, in Ohio. Luke sensibly advised me to first get a material in a pack, with a design I could follow, before I start designing my own.
The instructions in the pack aren’t very helpful so I have had to go a bit ad hoc and try to build the design based on the photo on the front of the materials packet.
  • My first task was to arrange the squares of material into their final horizontal lines. This meant finding and putting the correct nineteen squares in order.
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  • Ones the sixteen piles were complete, and accurate, I began to sew row one together. I did this by joining the two squares up and then turning them inside out and sewed the right side of the first square to the left side of the second square.
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  •  I left a few centimetres to ensure the thread was secure. I repeated this process many, many times before I had completed one line. I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction, even if my thumb was bleeding from a sewing wound.
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  • I then completed a second line and began to join the two lines together.
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  • I have now added an additional row.
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  • On to row number five!
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Finally here is the finished product!!

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Skirt Making.
So what do you do if you have an old pair of jeans? Turn it into a skirt of course! I followed these steps from http://frugalliving.about.com/od/colthing/ss/Jeans_to_Skirt.htm.

You Will Need:

  • An old pair of jeans
  • Sturdy thread (upolstery thread or embroidery thread works well)
  • A needle or sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • A seam ripper

Lay your jeans out on your work surface, and cut off the legs at the desired length for your skirt. Then, set the legs aside.

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Note: Be sure to include a seam allowance when choosing your skirt length.

Flip the pants inside out, and use a seam ripper to rip out the inseam. ( I did not have one so had to use my patience and strength. but I got there in the end!)

Rip the front seam all the way up to the zipper. Then, repeat with the back seam, going up the same distance. Your pants should now lay flat.

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Now, stitch the center fabric in place. Use a contrasting color thread if you want your stitches to show. Use a complimentary color thread if you want to hide your stitches. (I went for white. Maybe not best idea!)

Hem the bottom of the skirt, and your new creation is ready to wear!

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I also made the skirt below for an old dress in a very off the cuff manner.
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  • Travel Pillow Case Making.
So what do you do if you have an old T- shirt? Turn it into a travel pillow case of course!

You Will Need:

  • An old T-shirt.
  • Sturdy thread (upholstery thread or embroidery thread works well)
  • A needle or sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
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Directions.
Take an old T-shirt, turn it inside out and place the pillow inside.
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Cut of the sleeves of the T-shirt and start sewing the edges together.
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Then sew the bottom opening of the T-shirt together.

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Turn the T-shirt back to normal, place the pillow inside and make any necessary adjustments.
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Then sew up the neck to fit the pillow and you are all done!And feel free to add buttons etc.
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Here is another one I am working on.
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  • Baby Quilt

I decided to roll out my quilting skills again and make a baby quilt.

To do this, I chose fabric that had a personal meaning for the mum and dad. I then had to go through a series of cutting squares from a cardboard template and stitching together untill I had two sides. It was then a case of trying to match the sides up and hope I didn’t fix them together wonkily! A final check that it was ‘baby-proofed’ and good to go.

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The result  was this –

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Growing

So, the race is in full swing now in my  very first  vegetable growing competition. The contestants are: The ‘Crazy Cool Cucumber’; The ‘Spiffingly Spicy Sweet Pepper’; The ‘Amazingly Awe-inspiring Aubergine’ ; and the ‘Tremendous Top Tomato’. Their prize? receiving the honour of being the first to be eaten at our kitchen table.  Now I know. This may not sound like a big deal to us, but for these special vegetables? it is the most important place to be. It’s what they were born for. Just like Springsteen was born to run.

So just a quick recap. They were all planted at the beginning of last week. Please refer to blog ‘Here I go again on my own’ for an in-depth account of the exciting start to this race, but be prepared before you start to follow this competition. I think this race could get far too exciting!

So, It’s Wednesday and Crazy Cool Cucumber (CCC) looks to be in the lead so far. Just look at that shoot I captured yesterday and then again only this morning. Nice work CCC!

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However, whats this? There looks as if there could be growing competition  emerging from Tremendous Top Tomato (TTT). I shall wait, with bated breath, to see what events unfold over the day and just look at the TTT at the close of play today!

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Who knows what may have sprouted by tomorrow morning?

Thursday – We have some crazy competition from TTT! Just look.

Friday – No action yet from ‘Amazingly Awe-inspiring Aubergine (AAA) or Spiffingly Spicy Sweet Pepper (SSSP).

Saturday – The TTT is certainly trying to overtake CCC with the number of plants it has.Yet AAA has one bigger leaf than TTT.

Monday – Oh it looks as if  SSSP is starting to sprout. Come on AAA!

Tuesday – The day of the replantation. It is a time of nervous anticipation as to whether I can successfully replant these veg without breaking the stems…

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A week later  – Replant was successful. However , maybe I have over-burden the new plant pot as some look to be wilting. I shall keep taking them outside, watering and talking to them. I want to have at least one little tomato to try. Just to know I have grown something edible! However, I have no idea ow to tell when a cucmber is grown without ripping the plant out of the pot???

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Alas, sad news. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to see whether there was a vegetable at the bottom of the plant. Puzzlingly there was not. I therefore have planted another plant in its place.








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