Thursday, 30 June 2011

I was featured!

Today was a good day! I came home from work to find two emails waiting for me.  My DIY kiddie shoe rack was featured on Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy.

And the lovely Suzy over at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcomgave me a feature too!

Blogland is wonderful! We all live so far away from each other yet we connect on some level!  Thank you ladies for the shout out and for making my day! xx

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Herb crusted stuffed courgettes

I found this recipe in my monthly supermarket magazine as a way to get toddlers to eat courgettes (zuchinni) which have a very high vitamin C content.  I like my courgettes - but am forever trying to figure out what I can do with them that's different.  So here's my take on the magazine recipe.  You have to forgive the addition of turmeric and chilli - I'm Indian - I have this innate inclination to 'Indianise' any food!!!

Ingredients
Courgettes     3 nos. 
Carrot           1 large, grated
Onion            1 medium, chopped
Garlic            1 -2 cloves, chopped
Basil              1 tablespoon, shredded
Thyme           1 tablespoon ( I used dried - you can use fresh if its available )
Breadcrumbs  50 g
Cheese           50 g grated ( I used cheddar coz its what I had in the fridge )
Egg                1 nos.
Turmeric        A pinch
Chilli pdr        A pinch (Omit this if you don't like the heat)
Salt               To taste

Method
1.  Boil the courgettes in water for 6-8 minutes.  Leave aside to cool. Then drain and cut lengthwise. Cut further in half.
2. Scoop out the flesh of the courgettes and chop roughly.  In a bowl, add the chopped courgettes, carrot, basil, thyme, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix it all together.

3.  Spoon the filling into the courgette halves.  I sprinkled some extra breadcrumbs on top for a more crusty topping.  You could also add extra cheese to the top and it will brown nicely, but you might want to do this just towards the end so that the cheese doesn't burn.

4.  Bake at 170 degrees celsius for about 30 minutes.  

Since the oven was on anyway, I popped in some potatoes with a light coat of olive oil, salt and pepper and few sprigs of my favourite herb, rosemary. 


The courgettes turned out beautiful.


Dished up with the potatoes, it made a very nice meal - even Mr. J loved it - and he's not a big courgette fan!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pay it forward

My lovely friend Isa in Portugal today awarded me with this.  She is wholly responsible for getting me into crafting and you can find her creative work here. Isa is mum to the lovely Marilia and into the very noble teaching profession imparting knowledge to young children.  I met her when she lived in the UK and we became friends since our kids went to the same nursery.  We are closer now than ever and I wish she was around here to share our love of all things creative.


Here are the rules! Please pass on this award to blogs you love with less than 100 followers! Pay it forward!

There's nothing like spreading a little love to put a smile on people's faces - thanks Isa for putting one on mine!

These are my picks: -

Jellyhead's finished projects - my friend from work who is very very talented and makes some gorgeous cards. She has just started a blog featuring her lovely creations.

The lovely Cheryl who blogs over at Time to Craft. She also lives in South West England and is mummy to three lovely children and has a very inspiring blog.

Another neighbour in South West England, Rae blogs over at Felt by Rae. She has great ideas and I love reading her blog!




Saturday, 25 June 2011

Cinnamon Pancakes

I can't stop with the cinnamon obsession. So when I read this recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes, I knew it would have to get tried out! This recipe was inspired by the lovely Nikki who blogs over at Chef in Training. Stop by and check out her awesome recipes.

I have made my own tweaks to the recipe and changed the measurements to read in grams as I struggle with the US system of measurements.  I also didn't ahve any cream cheese so made a honey and orange juice syrup.  I have reduced the filling quantities from Nikki's original recipe,  so you can check both recipes out and see which one works for you!

Little Miss J was my little helper for this one and she loved mixing it all up!
Enough chatter now - lets get on with it!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

For the pancake: 
Plain flour 110 g 
Baking powder 2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Corn oil 1 tbsp
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Semi skimmed milk 240 ml

For the filling: 
Butter (melted) 55 g
Dark brown sugar 60g
Cinnamon 1 1/2 tbsp (this is very cinnamony...you can reduce this if you want)

For the glaze: 
These measurements are an approximation as I pretty much just bunged everything together without measuring! 
Honey 4 tbsp
Orange juice, freshly squeezed 3 tbsp
Icing sugar 20 g


1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and corn oil.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients stirring with a whisk to reduce the lumps.

2. For the filling, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place this mixture in a piping bag. I placed the bag in the fridge for five minutes.  

3. Mix together the honey, orange juice and icing sugar.  Best to add liquid ingredients to the icing sugar so that there are no lumps. 

You can follow the methodology over at Chef in Training.

And there you have it - isn't this just gorgeousness on a plate???


Thank you Nikki for a fab recipe!

This post was featured on Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy
Homemaker on a Dime


Friday, 24 June 2011

I was featured on J&M's Eye Candy

The lovely K&B have featured me on their blog and I feel so honoured! This is my first ever proper feature from linking up and I'm pretty much doing a jig right now!!! Big shout out to you guys!



Stop by and check out their awesome blog J&M's Eye Candy

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Flip flop redo

Its the summer solstice today - the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, but have we seen any summer in England?? Nope - zilch - save a couple of days in April and that was it! I live in the vain hope that we will have some warmth in the coming months.  However, the shops are still stocking up on summer stuff and I picked up a cheap pair of flip flops for £1.50 from Primark, just to keep me believing that the weather will turn!

They were rather plain looking - so I made a set of flowers from lilac satin ribbon and stuck them on with velcro!


And I had some scrapbooking flowers lying around from an old craft kit - so I used a couple of those too.
Don't they look cute? Now to lie in wait for summer!


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Save the Planet Sunday #4

Today's post heading is slightly misleading! Although it is Sunday today and I should be posting about my little 'green' contribution, I'm going to digress a little and post about what today was all about.

Today, along with some friends from work, I participated in the 5 km walk 'Race for Life' which is an event designed to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  We raised approximately £500.00 for our efforts and I am very proud of all of us. 

So although today I haven't posted about something 'green', I think we still tried to do our bit for all those afflicted by this terrible disease and hope that more development in cancer research will help all those fighting this battle out there. 


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Father's day handprint frame

This morning, I got little miss J to make her Father's Day present! We started with some paint on her teeny little hands, which were then transferred to a 5' x 7' artist canvas. 
Aren't they the cutest??


As the paint dried, I got her to try painting some flowers with cut straws which I found over at Putti Prapancha.

She really enjoyed that and then decided she wanted a run of the brush instead!

Once the canvas was dry, she added on some smiley faces and we slipped it into a frame.

Packed up and decorated with a little flower made of magazine paper and a little tag which I cut and crimped using my very talented friend's paper crimper, you can find her here. She makes some awesome cards! The tag reads "Specially handmade for you by Sanaa Jacob".

He's going to love this - he's also going to get it today instead of tomorrow as little miss J will say as soon as he walks in the door " Daddy I made you a present!!! ". We haven't quite learnt the idea of a surprise yet!!!!

Total cost for this project:
Artist canvas - £1.00
Ready mix paint - £1.00
Frame - £0.99
Stickers - on hand

Total cost: £2.99
Total value: Priceless!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fabric flower rings

I'm a big fan of rings!  I adore them and have always wanted the really large ones - but they cost about £12.00 in the shops! No way I was ever paying that! Coz as much as I love rings - I'm also tight!!!

But now that I'm crafting, I can make my own - here's a couple I whipped up tonight

One from felt


And one from a scarf I recycled. 


Mr. J doesn't really like the pink one! But its so over the top girly - I love it!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Orange & Cinnamon Crisps

I love the flavour of orange in desserts! In fact, I'm a little bit obsessed with oranges in general! Now add cinnamon to that and you have an absolute winner! I tried a recipe for orange and cinnamon crisps which are actually cookies, on the weekend.  It was pouring down with rain outside and it was something to do to keep Little Miss J occupied! Although having said that and having done it now, this isn't the ideal recipe to make with a toddler! If you want a toddler friendly recipe, try these lemon biscuits.

The crisps turned out great. Here is the recipe.  I've made a few tweaks to the original as I like things more orangey and more cinnamony (yes both those words exist - at least in my world!). Again, apologies that I only have a photo of the final outcome! Like I've said, baking with a toddler and photography don't go together! Also they're not perfectly round, but who cares - they taste great!



Cinnamon & Orange Crisps
Makes 25 – 30

Ingredients
225 g butter, softened
180 g golden caster sugar (you could reduce this if your oranges are really sweet)
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
6 tsp orange juice
280 g plain flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt

Method

1.    1. Cream the butter and 140 g of sugar along with the orange rind in a bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy.   Then beat in egg yolk along with half the orange juice.
2.     2. Sift together the flour and the pinch of salt. Slowly add this to the butter and sugar mixture, along with the remaining sugar and stir until it is thoroughly combined.  Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 to 45 minutes.  The dough is a little bit fiddly to work with – just so you know!
3.      3. Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap and lay it between two sheets of baking paper and roll into a square about 10 x 10 inches.
4.    4.   Brush the remaining orange juice and sprinkle with cinnamon.  I like cinnamon so I used 3 tsp.  If you prefer, you can reduce this.  Roll the dough up like a swiss roll, wrap in clingfilm and chill again for about 30 minutes.
5.    5. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius/Gas mark 5/375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking trays with baking paper.
6.    6.  Take the roll out of the fridge and unwrap.  Using a sharp serated knife, cut into small discs.  Lay them on prepared baking sheets.  Ensure you leave some room as they will expand.  Bake for about 12 minutes until it is lightly browned on the edges.
7.      7.  Leave to cool on the sheets for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack. 

     When I make these again, I think I will leave out the 'swiss roll' bit and just bung the cinnamon in with the dough - then shape into a log, chill and cut. I found it a bit annoying to use the 'swiss roll' technique as the dough gets quite sticky. So it might be worth considering!

I hope you enjoy these!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Save the Planet Sunday #3

Sunday's around again and its time to talk 'green' again! I was out and about with Little Miss J yesterday and stopped at the flea market on a whim.  And was I glad I did.....a lady was selling plants and wrapping up, so I scored 7 sweet pea plants and a tray of greyhound cabbages, along with the planting tub, all for the stately price of £2.00!!!! I was very pleased with myself and now they've all found a home in my little back garden. 


Now for my little contribution to the planet.  I have actually been doing this for sometime now.  Every morning, when I boil water in the kettle for a cup of coffee, I fill the kettle to maximum and after using what I need, I pour the remaining boiling water into a flask.   I use this water from the flask for anything that requires hot water, whether that be more cups of coffee, or a recipe that calls for water while cooking. This way the water is already hot and less energy is utilized.  If I don't use the water all day, then when it has cooled down the next morning, it gets used for all the plants on my window sill.  Saving water and saving energy! 







Thursday, 9 June 2011

DIY kiddie shoe rack

I loved this shoe showcase post here. So I decided to tweak it a little bit to create a shoe rack for Llittle Miss J's shoes.

I picked up a couple of boxes in which our A4 paper arrives at work.


I cut the edges off the lid to create a "shelf".


I painted the box black. Excuse the shoddy look in the photo - I did touch it up later! I hot glued one box on top of the other.



I covered up the edges with some tissue paper flowers and a piece of felt.


And ta da - I'm so proud of this - it turned out great!





This post was featured on:-
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy
J&Ms Eye Candy

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Felt flower choker necklace

I was working on a few flower pins to give as presents the other day, when I fancied making myself a quick choker necklace - the glue gun was hot! You can't let that go to waste! Now since I don't dabble in jewellery - I didn't have anything like a clasp or jump rings. But I really fancied this necklace, so here's what I did for a quick fix. I apologise for the quality of my pictures - I was more excited about the outcome and the pictures were a rushed affair!

I picked out some ribbon, a strip of felt and some velcro dots.


I cut the felt strip through all the way like so and then rolled it into a flower. A full tutorial of the felt flower can be found here.



I cut the ribbon to the size of my neck and then added velcro dots to the end.


I hot glued my felt flower to the ribbon.


And ta da - I had my quick fix choker necklace. Obviously this would keep better if made with a clasp, but for now this will do! Isn't purple the best colour ever????


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Save the Planet Sunday Challenge #2

Its Save the Planet Sunday again and in my quest for making small changes towards being more "green", I thought I'd start experimenting with all the different uses for distilled white vinegar, considering there are so many!

This summer, I am trying to grow a few of my own veggies and herbs. Little Miss J loves watering them and watching them grow and I want to try and keep these little lovelies healthy without using any chemicals if I can help it. There is nothing more satisfying that being able to pick out my own mint for my salad and I can't wait for the tomatoes to make an appearance! But most of all, I would like them to be chemical free.


Mint


Oregano


Courgettes



Tomatoes


Chives, Rosemary and Coriander

So, I created my homemade slug killer with one part distilled white vinegar and one part water. I recycled a febreeze sprayer (thoroughly cleaned out of course) and have sprayed all my lovely plants with them today and will now wait to see the results.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Watermelon & Feta salad

It was 26 degrees celsius here today! Woo hoo! Summer's finally here which means barbecues are here! This watermelon and feta salad is my take on Nigella's original version which is on Nigella's website, and it is the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue!

What you need:

Watermelon, deseeded and cubed
Cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Feta cheese
Red onions, sliced and steeped in lime/lemon juice. Use lime juice if you prefer a sharper taste.
A handful of coriander, chopped
A handful of mint, chopped
Salt
Pepper

Place cubed watermelon in a bowl.


Add cherry tomatoes


Crumble in the feta cheese. I don't like cubes of feta, but you could add cubes if you prefer.

Add in the onions steeped in lime/lemon. I steeped the onions for about an hour to cut their pungency and get a lovely pinkish colour and bring out their natural sweetness.


Place in refrigerator to chill. Just before serving, add a handful of chopped fresh coriander and chopped fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


This is one of the most refreshing salads I have tasted....the sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes works beautifully with the saltiness of the feta and the tanginess of the lime juice and the onions. A perfect summer salad. Enjoy!

I'm linking up at: -
Fingerprints on the fridge
Ekat's Kitchen
504 Main
Flamingo Toes
Cherished treasures
Sew Happy Geek

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Give thanks (Thursday Challenge) #2

This challenge was started by my dear friend Marisa last week and I love the concept....so here goes.

My mum was visiting me from India last month and returned home yesterday. So today I want to thank the Universe for the time we spent with her and for all the good times. I always miss her when she leaves, but I am grateful that I had her company for a whole month and will be counting down to when I can see her again!

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