Saturday, 30 January 2010

BY2010 - Jan layout

Over on Liberty Cottage, the lovely Kate has brought together a group of people interested in scrapbooking to share ideas, layouts and inspire each other.

This is Januarys layout sketch that Kate challenged us to make our own, so heres my interpretation

My apologies for the hidden faces but I havent had chance to ask permission to have piccies of my nephews & niece on my blog & think its only fair to do this.

The background sheet is covered in holly, setting what I thought was the perfect scene for a christmassy layout.

The large photo is mounted on vellum from Hot off the press Paper piazz sheets - vellum papers.
I also used another sheet from this pack to print the journalling on by using an ink jet transparencies setting and leaving it to dry.

The three smaller pictures are mounted on a piece of DCWV the Christmas multistack. Its covered in Christmassy words, and I printed "Cousins" across it in green to tie in with the holly leaves. I then used Glossy Accents over the letters to make them stand out more, I love using glossy accents for this. The font used on this & the journalling is Christmas Card.
The vellum with journalling on is held on by a red eyelet in each corner. I didnt want too much red on the page though as I thought it would highlight the babies in the their red clothing more than the older 3 boys in their darker clothing; I wanted all children to show up about the same.

The page was missing depth, and under the three photos was yelling out SPACE!!!! so I found out some wired holly vines I'd bought I think from Tesco's a couple of years ago. I wound this into coils and fastened with a little bit of wire wrapped round and opened like a brad under the paper.

Please return on Tuesday when its my turn to post a sketch, watch this space.!! But in the mean time have a look at what other people came up with with this layout. Next on the blog hop is the lovely Sam whose doing a wedding album over on Sam's Card Making Blog.

If your lost then here's a list of all the participants:

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Lemon cake with crunchy topping

Debbie put up a recipe for Lemon cake with crunchy topping on Country Heart and Home. I normally make Lemon drissle cake which is very similar except you prick holes in it so that the lemon goes inside making it a very lemony, moist cake

This time I baked 5 cupcakes and put the rest in a cake tin.

I had no problems with this cake, woohoo!!

Everyone loved it! Its a moist, light cake with a gorgeous lemon, crunchy topping which gives a change in texture and a zesty taste of lemon.

When I was cropping the photo above Kai came over and said "ooooo, cake YUMMY!!! Cake please" so I had to make another batch as they'd all gone, THATS how nice it is!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Carrot cake with vanilla frosting

This was the first Recipe Debbie put up on Country Heart and Home to try, but I didnt have any bananas in at the time so it had to wait until now.

As soon as I saw the ingredients I decided that this was going to be fab for the kids (and my OH) having got both carrots and bananas in it.

Again the recipe was simple, all in the bowl and mix it up. It cooked nicely and looked good when it came out.

I baked 4 cupcakes and put the rest in a cake tin.

I did come up with a problem with the frosting though. I havent replaced my electric whisk yet after it stop working, and with stirring by hand the butter didnt combine properly. The cream cheese was also rather watery, which could be because it was light cream cheese (only sort I had in).
I solved this by straining it through a sieve and then adding more icing sugar.

And what of the family taste results:

Kai (2 year old) happy to eat some of it, eats all of the icing but always leaves part of the cakey part

Zack (10 year old) really enjoyed it, wanted (and had) seconds.

Ryan (OH) thought the cupcake taste a bit bland and not like carrot cake, it needed spices in to be carrot cake. After craving sweet stuff he tried a slice of the larger cake and found he prefered it.

Myself (ME!) The cupcake was light, soft, slightly moist and therefore a great texture. I found it slightly flavourless, it could have been out flavoured by the frosting. The larger cake had its icing spread thinner than on the cupcakes and had more "cake" flavour because of this. Next time I shall try adding some spices as I do enjoy a spiced up carrot cake, but the texture was so nice on this one I dont want to mess too much with it.

Results: One to give to the kids when wanting to give them more fibre/fruit & veg. Shall try again with spices in.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Homemade Mushroom Soup

Over at Country Heart and Home Debbie is posting a new recipe every week for a year with the idea that we can put them together in a recipe book or as recipe cards with our own photos, tried and tested with comments. This can then be kept or given as a present.

I decided to try the Mushroom Soup for Sunday lunch. Though my chopping speed is diabolical this was a very simple recipe to make and follow.
My lot are a fussy bunch, except for the youngest, he's happy to eat anything from raw onions and lemons to fish fingers.

I expected the eldest to sqwark when he saw it, its a fawn mushroom colour, not the colour of food he likes, but he didnt, his bowl was returned to the kitchen empty.

My other half is the other fussy one, its hit & miss with him but he also loved it, his only whim was that he'd like it again with larger chunks of onion and mushroom in it. Thats 2 yummy votes out of 4.

Kai, my youngest, he enjoyed dunking his baguette in it and eating it that way, but he got fed up of eating it with a spoon, next time I'll put his in a mug.

& me? Well I thought it was delicious, its just the right consistency, creamy without being sickly and full of flavour.

Thats a total of 4/4 votes to cook this again!! Thats what I call a good start.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Friday, 15 January 2010

Kai's Face

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a Craft Robo (a card/paper/vinyl cutting machine where designs can be made and sent via a PC) and was able to make this layout I'd thought of for the photos I used.

The journalling says "Kai was fascinated by his own facial features"

Its a very simply done layout. I cut a 12x12 in half and on one side had the robo craft cut out "Kai's face" along one side, and on the other half it cut out "Ear, Chin, Nose, Head, Mouth, Tongue". I stored the letters from "Kai's face" and stuck the page on the right of an orange sheet. I then mounted the 6 photos on a cream background to show up Kai's face more, and then mounted on a storm blue coloured card to make the photos stand out more.

On the left of these I stuck the words down to match the correct photo (I had already organised the photos so the smallest word would end up at the top, going down so the last one was the largest word.

I finished with a small amount of journalling and adding the date the photos were taken.

Its the quickest page I've done so far, but I think it works well, especially as the "cogs" seem to represent the cogs turning in Kai's mind.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town

I love "traditional" coloured christmas layouts, and loved the Father Christmas paper when I saw it so was dying to use it.

Looking at what papers would go together I came up with this layout, very circular which I felt made the rectangualr photos stand out more.

The photos are about 8/9 years old now, in all of them my son was very upset at having met this "stranger" which gave me the idea of the title due to the line "you better not cry, you better not pout"

I drew around plates to get the circular paper and cut them out by hand before inking the edges. The circles around the "ho ho ho" brad were just torn from a piece of red paper, screwed up and flattened back out again before layering up and putting the brad through the middle.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Years day feast

We always eat well on New Years Day, but this years lunch surpassed any other.

The Starter:
For starters a Prawn cocktail consisting of lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, prawns, jumbo fake tiger prawns, a wedge of lemon and homemade seafood sauce.
We accompanied it with a glass each of Rose, while the children had lemonade with rasperry

Main Course:

Are you ready for this as it was a bit of a mountain...
Roast Pork and very crunchy cracklin'.
Roast Turkey, roasted with Christmas Butter under the skin
Roasted sweet potatoe
Roast Potatoes
Bread Sauce
Pigs in blankets
Mashed potatoe
Mashed sweet potatoe
Boiled carrots, peas, cabbage and sweetcorn
Carrots roasted in orange juice with Rosemary
Parsnips roasted in vinegar, and honey.
Sprout Mush
Gravy from the Turkey stock.

Its the first time I'd tried any of these recipes & wow did they go down well (Thank you to Jamie Oliver, & ofc Gordan Ramsey for his sprout recipe)

Zack gave the turkey a very strange look as I removed the skin on the breast to reveal where the cranberries had slipped down as the butter melted. I reassured him he wouldnt be eating them and they were purely to seep flavour into the Turkey. Thankfully he kept an open mind and surprised me by saving how nice it was ... this is coming from a child who isnt keen on meat, especially Turkey.

As Zack and I cant eat Potatoes due to an intolerence to it (that is we get rather ill when digesting it rather being offended by the actual vegetable :D )we decided to try using sweet potatoes in the same way.

Unfortunately I have now dropped myself right in it, OH was so impressed with the meal, he loved all the flavours, textures etc so much he now wants me to cook for his parents later in this year/early next year. Before he has always got take away when they've been invited over for a meal as he didnt feel my cooking was up to a high enough standard (thanks for the vote of confidence hun) (thats his standard for his parents, not theirs, I'm sure they'd be more than happy with my cooking). So no pressure (not much!!!).


As I'm sure you can understand, with all that food we were extremely full. Non of us cleared our plates, but have no fear, left overs were turned into bubble and squeak (a potatoe based batch, and a sweet potatoe based batch) for Dinner today.

So Dessert waited until about 4ish. I had planned to cook profeiteroles but was rather tired after being up since about 6:30 cooking so opted for a frozen black forest gateau I'd been defrosting on the side (to give a choice). This went down with everyone except Kai who decided it was still a bit too cold for him.

A couple of hours later we then had chocolate trifle. It was another shop bought jobby but oooo, was so nice. a gooey chocolate mousse topped with light chocolate sponge, chocolate sauce and cream with chocolate curls on top.

Left overs:
We had turkey sarnies with bread sauce and pickles for lunch; and bubble 'n' squeak for tea, and we still have plenty of leftover meat so I am planning on freezing it in portions to make:
Pork Curry
Turkey Curry
Turkey & Leek Pie (thanks for the link Furry)

Think I may have 1 portion of Turkey left after this (yes, I bought way too big a bird), any recommendations on how to use it?


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