Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Time for a recipe Tuesday!

Creamy Tomato Risotto

Heat a good glug of olive oil and a large knob of butter in a saucepan.
Add a finely chopped red onion

and about 100g of bacon lardons, put the lid on the pan and sweat on a low heat until the onion is soft. This takes about 10 minutes.
Add 250g of arborio rice to the pan and stir for a minute or so, until it is nicely coated with oil.

Pour in 750ml of vegetable stock (I make mine with 3tsp of Marigold Bouillon, but you could use chicken stock if you prefer) and 250ml of passata.

Turn up the heat to bring to the boil, stir once, cover and reduce to a gentle simmer. After 20 minutes the rice should be cooked. Remove from the heat and give it a stir to distribute everything evenly.

Leave to stand, with the lid off, while you cook 200g of frozen peas. Once they are cooked stir into the risotto and you're good to go.

We had this for tea tonight and in my eagerness to polish it off, I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished dish!

ETA: I made this again yesterday and remembered to take a photo this time.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Did you remember?

I did! I love it when the clocks go forward, as it seems that Spring is really on the way along with the lighter evenings. How about a cute printable banner to celebrate, or maybe a beautiful blossom wreath.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Five Things I'm Loving This Friday.....

1. Getting up at 6.30am and not needing to turn the light on.

2. Going for a walk in the Spring sunshine without a jacket and enjoying these amazing views.

3. Coming home to find the latest issue of Making on the doormat, with an article on Emily Peacock and her fabulous needlepoint creations.

4. Having houmous with pitta bread and lots of crunchy vegetables for lunch.

5. Enjoying an ice cream with my children when they got home from school.

Hope you're having a great Friday too xx

Thursday, 24 March 2011

If at first you don't succeed....

This is one of the flowers I was making yesterday and couldn't get the picture to upload where I wanted it! I've been making these little flowers for a while now, but I still find it quite amazing that they start out like this:

Thanks to everyone who took the time to suggest ways I might add photos to my posts:)

ETA: The link to the instructions is in yesterday's post:)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

In honour of my first ever WOYWW I thought I would tidy my desk. The trouble is it now looks a bit bare to me!
I'm making some flowers for a Mothering Sunday gift, using my favourite Distress Inks and a script stamp to decorate them before assembling.
I've tried to add a close up shot of the finished flower, but I can't get it where I want it, it just goes up to the top of the page. I have so much to learn!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Reasons for Blogging Part 2

A few friends have been gently encouraging (nagging!) me to start up a blog to share recipes. I love baking cookies and cakes, so I spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen doing just that.
Today I thought I'd share a biscuit recipe with you, from Nigella's Domestic Goddess book.
I made these at the weekend for the first time in ages. I'd forgotten just how good they were, so light and crumbly.

Sweet and Salty Peanut Biscuits

75g light musovado sugar

100g unsalted butter

50g Trex

1 large egg

1tsp vanilla extract

175g self raising flour

125g salted peanuts

In a large bowl mix together the sugar, butter, Trex, egg and vanilla using an electric hand whisk.

Stir in the flour and then the peanuts with a spoon/spatula.

Put rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough onto a lined baking sheet.

Nigella uses an oiled glass dipped in sugar to flatten the biscuits, but I just press them gently with a fork.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 190C/Gas Mark 5 until they are cooked through and turning golden.

Leave to cool on the tray for a minute or two, then remove to a wire rack.

The recipe makes around 30 biscuits so I tend to divide the dough and cook half, keeping the rest in the fridge for another day.

These are particularly good served with vanilla ice cream, or of course just enjoyed with your cuppa.
ETA: Sorry folks! Trex is a brand name for vegetable shortening, I think it may be called Crisco in America. Not sure about elsewhere in the world.
Light muscovado sugar is just light brown sugar, not sure if it has another name, but I will investigate later.

Reasons for Blogging....

I have wanted to start a blog for a while now, but just couldn't get my head around all the technical stuff! I had a clear idea in my mind how I wanted my header to look, but thought I lacked the skills to make it happen. Once I realised that the actual creating of the photo banner could be done in Picasa I relaxed, because I know my way around in there! With the banner completed to my liking, I felt like I really COULD do this after all.

I thought a blog would primarily be an online journal for me to record things as they happen, while they are fresh in my mind. I take a lot of photos and I think I will remember all the details of the events they record, but I have found that very often I don't.
Take my blog header for instance, Mary Ellyn asked where the photo was taken and I couldn't for the life of me remember! After a bit of detective work and picking of my husband's brain, we decided that it was taken at Teignmouth. Googling Teignmouth pier confirmed it for me. That holiday was only 7 years ago, so what hope would I have of working it out in 10 or 20 years time?!

I wasn't thinking about writing for other people, until Elin commented on my first post, "Yey! Lots of followers so you now need to keep us entertained!"
Eek! How exactly do I do that? I think my life is very ordinary and not entertaining to anyone else! Then I thought, it doesn't really matter, I should write whatever I want to and not think about an audience. If anyone finds my ramblings interesting, then they may be kind enough to follow me and if they don't, there are plenty of other blogs out there that may be just their cup of tea.

If you are pulling up a chair and having a cuppa while you browse around all the blogs in your reader, then you may be in need of a tasty biscuit. I'll be back later with a recipe, once I've figured out how to get the darn photo where I want it!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A revelation!

I recently discovered something, that has revolutionised my blog hopping habits! It is a very small thing and probably already known by every other blog hopper out there, but it was big news to me!
I visit a blog, find an interesting link, click on it, find another interesting link, click on it....you know how this goes. Before I know it an hour has disappeared and I have no idea where I started! But....and it's a very clever but....if you hold down the shift key, while clicking on that link, it opens in a whole new window. Hey presto! No more getting lost and forgetting where all those other interesting links took you.

Friday, 18 March 2011

First steps.....

Well here I am at last, taking my first tentative steps into blogland. I am not the least bit tech savvy, so this may be a struggle!