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Just a girl in her 30's who likes to cook, and loves her sausage dog, who is a bit of a Princess.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Hand printed shopping bags

I got my craft on the other day with some home printed bags I made that were easy to do, didn't take a long time and make cute gifts as you can personalise the stamps you make to be something the receiver loves....

You will need:

Some plain cotton shopping bags
Fabric paint
Foam brushes
Sheets of craft foam
A piece of card the size of your bag
Clean tea towel or pillowcase

Do it:

Start by drawing your designs onto your foam sheets-the simpler the design, the easier to cut out!

Cut round your doodles and use the glue to stick this onto another piece of foam. It's better to make a little stack out of several pieces of foam to give you more to hold on to.

Insert your cardboard inside your bag, this will stop the printing going through to the other side of the bag.

Use your foam brush to paint fabric paint onto your stamp, being careful not to get the paint on the background foam.

Choose where you want to start your design and press the stamp firmly down. Peel up carefully so not to smudge the print and repeat, load up with paint, print, etc. until your design is finished.

Allow to dry and iron with a tea towel or something over the top to set the paint.

Also try on scarves, tops, skirts, table cloths, pillows.....whatever takes your fancy!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Sweet Potato Hash

This is an easy little throw together, that can be eaten as a main or a side dish. I had it with gammon and a fried egg tonight, but you could also crack eggs into it and finish it off in the even, and you could also top it with cheese.

What you need:
Sweet potato, diced small(I leave the skin on)
Onion, finely diced
Red pepper, finely chopped
Garlic powder, salt and pepper
Fry light (or oil if you don't have this)
Quantities are dependent on what you want most of. I used 1/2 a large potato and about 1/2 cup of each veg for one large portion.

What to do:
First, boil the sweet potato until just soft. Wilt the spinach in a frying pan whilst the spuds boil. Remove the spinach and chop it up, and leave to one side whilst you sautée the onions and peppers in some Fry light spray (or a little oil if you don't have this).
Add the sweet corn and spinach to this mix once the onions have softened and sprinkle in a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set to one side. Add some more fry light to the fry pan and add the drained sweet potatoes. Sautée until lightly browned and then combine the veggie mix with it. When combined serve. Simple and tasty, and if using fry light then healthy too! Yum.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Apples

I often make these on a weekend, just leaving them to do their thing together in the slow cooker while I go about my day. They are DELISH. I just throw everything together into the pot, and cook 'em on low for the whole day. They're great served with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, or pickled red cabbage, but this time I had 'em with a celery and sweet corn casserole and sour cream mashed potatoes. (I'll be blogging the casserole separately)

What you need:
1 rack of baby ribs (cut to fit into your pot)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup brown sauce
1/2 cup tomato purée
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/2 cup red wine (or water)
1/2 cup vinegar
2 eating apples, chopped
( I don't use salt, as I don't feel it needs it, and I have salt on everything usually, but you decide!)

What to do:
Mix everything together and pour over the ribs. Place in slow cooker pot and put lid on. Turn slow cooker onto Low setting. Put your feet up/go out/go to bed/whatever. Approx 8 hours later you have a pot of deliciousness waiting for you! Eat it.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blue Cheese Mushroom Stacks

I made these for dinner and they were scrum-diddly.
Can be served as a starter or serve two with a salad for a main course.
They also work with any other cheese but I am having a bit of a blue cheese obsession at the mo!

Make 'em:

Large mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Red pepper, chopped
Blue cheese, sliced or crumbled
Bread, sliced
Garlic granules
Black pepper

I haven't put quantities of anything as it's all up to you, also you can change up what veggies you use too. I used 2 cherry toms and about 1/4 of a small red pepper per 'shroom, and enough cheese to cover. I sliced my bread from the end of a crusty loaf to make my croutons but you could also use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from a slice of bread.

Oven at 200'c (fan)

Lightly grease the bottom of your roasting tray and sit the mushrooms in cap-side down. If they have long stalks trim these first.
On each mushroom place the tomatoes and peppers and top with your cheese. Gently drizzle your pieces of bread with oil and sprinkle with the garlic, pepper and oregano. You shouldn't need any salt due to the cheese. Stack these on top of the mushrooms and cook for approx 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to plate. Then make lots of "mmmm" sounds as you chow down.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A little up-cycle project

Sometimes I see things in charity shop windows and decide that I need to buy them and make them into something better. I see potential in bedraggled looking old items that other people have seen fit to throw away. Often I don't actually follow up on my vision, but this time I did and bought a knackered old footstool from the charity shop near my work.

Anyway, in 2 afternoons I managed to turn this piece of 'junk' into something quite nice. Well, I like it anyway. I used an old duvet cover that had a tear in it to cover it, and used a tester pot of paint to paint the base with. Here's how it went in pictures....

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Snack Attack

Obviously we all know it's January, and I'm gonna hold my hands up and admit that I well and truly made the most of the Christmas spirit in December, and therefore I'm going for the usual 'January weight loss plan'.

However, I am NOT on a diet. I've done enough faddy diets to realise by now that they don't work long term, they make you feel deprived and therefore binge, and the only pounds you end up losing are the ones in your pocket!

So as a general rule I'm being good 80% of the time and naughty 20%.
One of the things I am a sucker for though, especially at work, is snacks. So I've come up with a solution that is actually blooming lovely. Popcorn. Not the fried in butter and slathered with hot caramel type (althought that sounds fricking lush!), but the air-popped kind.

I borrowed (with no intention to return) the popcorn maker that my Mum has had in her cupboard for years and bought some seasonings online. All I do is add some kernels to the machine, let it do its magic, then shake on my flavour of choice. The seasonings are super low calorie, so guilt free snacking is on!

Now I just need my bruised ribs to feel better so I can add in my exercise routines I have planned (Jillian Michaels will be helping here!)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Super easy one pot potato bake

This is one of those "chuck it in a dish, chuck it in the oven, chuck it on a plate and chuck it in your gob" kind of dishes. My favourite.
Not only is it easy, but it's cheap, and low in fat if you only use a tiny bit of cheese on top. WIN.
Oh, and it tastes pretty lush too.


You need-
4 medium potatoes
4 bacon medallions ( or 4 rashers trimmed of all fat)
1/2 small jar pitted black olives
1 red pepper
1 carton passata
Garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper
Grated cheese (amount depends on how fat you want it to be!)
A little water

Do this-
Preheat oven to 200'C
Slice potatoes into 1/2 cm approx slices
Slice olives in half
Chop pepper
Chop bacon
Add all this into a oven proof dish
Add the olives
Mix the seasonings into the passata and add some water (about a cup) and pour over the potato mix. Grate a little cheese over the top. (Or don't, whatevs.)
Bake in the oven for about 50 mins. The spuds will soak up all the tomatoey goodness and be browned on top. Serve with salad to make oneself feel even healthier.
Also great reheated so take some to work for lunch the next day!