Monday, 14 April 2014

# 393 Cheat's pizza

Although I enjoy planning and preparing meals for my husband and son I have to admit I don't like cooking for myself alone.

Usually a bowl of soup and a slice of bread or fruit and my lunches are quickly sorted without any fuss or lots of washing up to do afterwards. If you're like me you may like this suggestion for a "pizza" for one. You can change the toppings to use up any leftovers you may have lingering in the fridge which is what I did when I made this for my lunch the other day.


Cheat's pizza

1 thick slice of bread
1 tablespoon leftover chunky tuna in tomato sauce (you can find the recipe for it here)
A few cubes of cheddar cheese

Preheat the grill.

Lightly toast the bread to crisp it up a little. Spread the tuna and top with the cheese. Bake under the grill for 5 or 10 minutes until the cheese melts.

Meanwhile prepare and dress a green salad to go with the "pizza".

Enjoy.


Paula




Thursday, 10 April 2014

# 392 Crafty makes

It wasn't my intention to be away from the blog so much but my volunteer work sort of got in the way.

When I became a volunteer at the library I thought I'd only be doing a couple of hours a week but a year on and I find myself doing a lot more than that and that's why I've not been blogging as often as before. I do miss blogging but I also enjoy my work as a volunteer so I think I need to strike the right balance between the 2.

Last month, for instance, another volunteer and I went to a craft fair every single weekend, sometimes on a Saturday other times on a Sunday. That involved a lot of stock taking, a lot of packing things away and setting up and also a lot of stock replenishing during the week. It's been fun but also a steep learning curve as no 2 fairs are the same. At some events we just about broke even while at others we managed to make a decent profit. The other interesting thing is our best sellers keep changing from one event to the next. At our last craft fair we sold a lot of brooches, knitted Easter ducklings and pompom chickens among other items but at the previous one our best sellers were the felt needlecases!

We only have one or two craft fairs from now until June when we start doing the rounds again and attending much bigger events, meanwhile we're trying to increase our stock of handmade goodies to take with us. Below is a small sample of what I've been making, you can see more on my Flickr if you like.

Needlecases

Pincushions
 Any tips on your experience as a seller or buyer at craft fairs would be very welcome.

Paula



Wednesday, 12 March 2014

# 391 Questions & Answers

Shell from the blog Bits and Bobs has kindly nominated me for the Liebester Blog Award. Although I won't be passing this along and nominating other blogs I thought it would be fun to answer her questions and to list a few random facts about me as requested. Ready? Here goes.

1. What was the 1st record you ever bought?

I've no idea unfortunately. I remember I had a Suzy Quatro record and as a teenager my idol was Rod Stewart.

2. Where is the most beautiful place you have visited?

I love where we live now. We're right on the edge of the Costwolds, surrounded by beautiful countryside and are lucky to have a medieval deer park only a short walk away.

3. What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

Pig's testicles! I didn't know it at the time and was only told when the meal was over.

4. Why did you decide to start blogging?

To keep a record of the things I make, places we visit and favourite recipes.

5. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

I'm sorry to say I'm not a pet person so I wouldn't have one.

6. What was your favourite book as a child?

I loved Malory Towers and The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. In my early teens I was a big fan of the Trixie Belden books.

7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

I think I'm already there as I love where we live now.

8. What has been the most disastrous thing you have made or baked?

The list of culinary disasters is as long as my arm. Sometimes I forget to add salt to food, other times I add too much. I've also burnt cakes, rice, meat, etc. But the most disastrous one happened in my late teens when preparing a meal for my oncle, aunt and cousins when I was satying with them in London. I add no notion how much salt to add to food so I used a ladle to measure the salt. You can imagine the rest.

9. Do you collect anything?

Not at the moment but I used to collect postcards and bookmarks.

10. What is your favourite snack?

Does cake count as a snack? That's my favourite thing in the whole world.

11. If you could get rid of any modern technology, what could you happily live without?

I honestly don't know. I sometimes think modern technology over complicates things that used to be very straightforward but I wouldn't like to be without my computer or Internet access.


Now for 11 random facts about me.


1 . My star sign is Virgo.

2. I love walking.

3. I'm a volunteer at our community library.

4. Many, many years ago I worked as a teacher.

5. I love a good whodunit such as Miss Marple, Midsomer Muders, Death in Paradise, etc.

6. I love reading and borrow most of my books from the library.

7. I have only one son.

8. I almost always take my camera with me on my walks.

9. I bake regularly whether it's bread or cakes.

10. I love making things and always have a craft project on the go.

11. I don't like crowds and noisy places.



Paula

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

# 390 Raspberry Buns


Alex made these at school back in September for Food Tech. They spent the whole of the first term studying different creaming methods which meant a different bake everyweek. We had brownies (they were delicious, very chocolatey and gooey), fairy cakes, a swiss roll, a Victoria Sandwich and these Raspberry Buns. I was so impressed by his bakes, they were really tasty although some were ever so slightly overbaked. These biscuits were my favourite closely followed by the Brownies and the Victoria Sandwich.

If you'd like to give these a go here's the recipe.

Raspberry Buns

225g self-raising flour
100g cold butter or margarine, chopped
100g caster sugar
1 medium egg
1 tablespoon of milk
50g (12 tablespoons) raspberry jam (or similar, Alex made his buns with strawberry jam)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add small chunks of butter to the flour and rub into the flour using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

Break the egg into a small bowl and add the milk. Whisk them together and add to the mixture in the large bowl.

Sprinkle a work surface with some flour. Press the mixture together to make a firm hard ball. Cut into 9 equal pieces. Squeeze each piece into a ball and put on the baking tray. Make a dent in each bun and fill it with a teaspoon of jam. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown and still soft to the touch.

Enjoy.

Paula







Monday, 27 January 2014

# 389 I wish I had magic powers

I really do, don't you? Right now I'd love to have the power to stop time so I could work, without interruptions, on some of the craft projects I have lined up for the library and which I'm very keen on trying.

A project I did manage to finish were the heart keyrings in the picture, they were made using scraps of fabric sewn together to form a new piece of fabric. This technique is described in this book and the author calls it the Lazy Crazy Patchwork.


The crazy patchwork was surprisingly quick to achieve once I'd managed to gain access to the box of fabrics I have hidden behind the sofa and had spent a good half hour or more just rummaging through its contents to gather as many fabric leftovers as possible.

The resulting new "fabric" was then cut into hearts which were sewn onto denim (I used a pair of old jeans the husband doesn't wear anymore).

If you could have a magic power what would it be?

Paula