Tuesday, 31 May 2011

PYO, Likes and Chicken Cake

Print Your Own

We are going on holiday soon, to much warmer climes, and I thought it might be time to check if shorts and tee-shirts still fit.  Smallest has loads of clothes (he's so lucky his big brother passes everything on to him - he thinks he's lucky now but give it a few years and he'll be moaning "I never get anything new - it's not fair!").  Anyway, poor Small keeps growing taller and taller and none of his tee-shirts fit.  So off to 'cheap shop' we go to buy him some.  They didn't have a good choice this year so we bought him some plain tee-shirts and thought we would print our own.  The white one came out very well - the others less so - but he was really happy with them all.

I know he doesn't look ecstatic but he is, HONEST!

This is Bowser, Bowser Jnr and the Bowser Mobile - that's what Small says anyway - and he should know.

What we Like

I made a present for Huffle this week.   It's a collection of words he likes presented in a frame. 

Oh and I made one for me too

Hey I just noticed Huffle and I share a 'like' (ROME) - well we did get engaged there - ahhhhhhhh x


This was a cake made for some lunchtime visitors today. That's supposed to be a chicken on the top. Why? I don't know - I just felt like it.


Victoria Sponge (Lorraine Pascal's Baking Made Easy recipe)
My buttercream (just margarine and icing sugar with a dash of vanilla essence)
Strawberry Jam
and a very generous dusting of icing sugar.

How am I going to ever fit in a pair of shorts for my holiday?

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Why I cookin' soooo good

The title of today's blog was taken from Genaro Contaldo from the Two Greedy Italians which was recently on BBC2.  He was making a meal for his friend Antonio Carluccio and held his arms in the air (Like a typical Italian) and shouted at the top of his voice "Why I cookin' sooo good?"  It make me chuckle.  I did actually record him saying it and hope to add it to this blog soon.

I decided to make their "Warm Chocolate and Amaretto Pudding".

It was absolutely delicious.

In fact we have just finished eating it.  Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Warm Chololate and Amaretto Pudding
18floz milk warmed
1 Tbsp (Heaped alot) plain flour
2 Tbsp Castor Sugar
1 Vanilla Pod
2.5 floz Amaretto
3.5oz dark chocolate chopped (we used milk choloate and then some extra grated 100%Cacao)
2oz unsalted butter
1oz amaretti biscuits (approx 6)

Mix the flour, sugar and vanilla with a small amount of milk until smooth.
Cook for 2-3 mins and whisk in the Amaretto until thickened. 
Stir in chocolate and butter. (Should be the consistancy of thick custard)
Leave to cool slightly and then spoon into glasses and sprinkle over amaretti biscuits.

I'm sure the full and proper recipe is on the website for Two Grumpy Italians but this was a hurriedly written down recipe and it worked beautifully.

They're Despicable

Now I promised I would make a Minion or two.  Here's two.  Adapted from a knitting pattern I found at http://blog.craftzine.com.  I had to adapt it as it didn't work out quite how it should.  However, Small and Smallest have already cuddled and loved them (now I have to make more as I promised my neice the first one - shhhh don't tell her)

This is just to show how big (or small) they are, becuase you can't often tell.  In case you don't know that is an egg in the photo!

I will at some point attempt to post a pattern for these.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


On My Workdesk (Trusty Old Kitchen Table)

As usual there is the cardigan, still awaiting finishing, still awaiting sewing up.  However, I have moved on slightly from last week.  My Mum bought a button - hurrah.  I'm sure it will be finished soon.  Whether she will EVER wear it is another story!!!!

There is a Stanley pattern from The Felt Fairy (thefeltfairyuk.blogspot.com/) to cut out and sew (haven't decided which colours to use yet).

Also the Minion pattern waiting to be knitted.  Got a few of these to make now.  I haven't even tried to make one yet but already I've been asked  to do more.

I am in the process of teaching two people I know how to knit a chicken (with or without chick peas). I hope to show some pictures of what they have created soon.

Last weekend I tried to make Clare @ Jumbleberries (jumbleberries.blogspot.com/ )Country Loaf.  Ummmmmmm.  Yummy.  Not sure mine looks anything like hers but its a winner.

It is lovely served warmed with butter.  Its also lovely cold straight from the tin the next day.  I will certainly be making this one again. 

Thanks Jumbleberries ;0)

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Whilst perusing through some beautiful shops in Stamford last weekend, I spotted a hand knitted snake. Unfortunately the shop was closed (shame). I had a look for a knitting pattern to have a go but couldn't find a suitable one. I have only ever made up a pattern once before,  and that was for a very straightforward IPod cover, but I thought I would give it a go.

This is the result.

It only took a couple of evenings. 

I used buttons for the eyes, and crocheted a tongue but you could easily knit it. 

Smallest thinks he is lovely and he cuddles him and calls him "snakey".

ahh snakey I love you x

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


I have recently joined the "What's on your workdesk? Wednesday".  http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/ 
The idea of this is to showcase what you are working on at the moment.  (I thought it might shame me into finishng my Mum's cardi).  I do not have a workdesk, just my trusty old kitchen table.  The spotty tablecloth that appears in most of my pictures.

So here is what I am working on this week.

Oh No!  the dreaded knitting.  It's nearly finished honestly.  Only the part sleeves to do now.  It even looks a bit like a cardigan now.  Hopefully next Wednesday will feature something completely different.

Also the wedding cake went down well.  The bride and groom were very happy.  (And I think we ate most of the birthday cakes - yummy)

Very artistic photography eh?

Saturday, 14 May 2011


ISN'T SHE LOVELY..........
This week I got my dream mixer.  Ahhhhhh - she's a beauty.  For weeks (maybe months) I've been looking at colour charts, booklets, internet etc etc.  Which colour should I get?  A red one to match my tablecloth? (how decadent).  A black one to match the worktops? (too much blending), a brushed silver one? (too much polishing).  Instead I finally decided on classic cream.  Bearing in mind I don't sell enough cakes to buy a different colour each year, I felt the classic cream may last me a lifetime (that's what I told Huffle anyway).


I have been commissioned to make a fake wedding cake.  When I say fake, I mean that the cake is real and so was the wedding, but it has been and gone - unfortunately we weren't able to attend as it was in the America.  The happy couple have come home for a few weeks so a cake was required.  I modelled the couple on top of the cake on their wedding pictures.  Hope they are happy with the results.  (The groom kept getting fatter and fatter - which is nothing like real life eh Mr Pickle?).  He also kept falling over - was he drunk?


It is also Mr Pickle's birthday so I made some cup cakes for him.  They have glitter on them (I think he'll like that touch!

Actually Mum piped these - she can't pipe she says - I think she can now.  She has now been given the official title of ASSISTANT CHEF.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bunnies, Bananas and Brushstrokes


Another of my friends has had a baby - another girl - and I knitted a rabbit for her.  This one has pink fleece ears and feet.  This also has chick peas in its bottom but as they live in this country I thought I might get away with it this time.  This was a fairly easy one to knit but the fleece was hand sewn (which I never find an easy task).

 Welcome to the world Baby Snow. 


I borrowed a cookery book from a friend last week and decided to make "Chocolate Banana Loaf".  This is a big favourite of mine because our bananas always go brown (I've realised that I'm the only one in the house eating bananas but yet I still buy for the whole family!).
I left out the nuts (I'm not a fan).  This is definately a cake and not a bread but it is baked in a loaf tin.  When it first comes out of the oven, it is moist, with a lovely crunchy top and the chocolate melts in your mouth.  When you let it cool and leave it in an airtight container it loses some of it's initial lovliness but it is still yummy.  Not too bananary (is that a word?) and not too sweet.  The book suggests that you eat it with cream cheese or chocolate spread.  I personally don't think you need anything on it. 


Small asked if I would paint him a canvas for his bedroom.  Small and Smallest both had canvasses for Easter - much more healthy than an Easter Egg - besides they had more than enough.
His bedroom is Spaceman themed and he wanted a Robot.  He is very happy with the results.

I have started another canvas for him but it is not finished yet.


Oh No! I haven't picked up that cardigan that I was knitting!  Sorry Mum. 
Still haven't finished Elmo. (Still only knitted one leg).
Haven't even started the Minion (Whoops forgot).
Finish off Small's robot canvas number 2.

My excuse - The kids were off from school and there was a Royal Wedding to watch.