Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dear Blank Please Blank

Saw a link to these funny letterpress cards from Fubiz on Twitter. More letters here.

Submit your own or read more of other peoples Dear Blank Please Blank submissions by clicking on DBDB.

Buy the cards at Sapling Press Etsy shop.

Pink Blancmange

The girls made blancmange yesterday. A weird tasting, very sweet raspberry blancmange which I remember making as child too. As expected, they didn't really enjoy the eating part but loved the wobble and the patterns the old glass mould made. 

The picture's be given a bit of 70's look courtesy of

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birthday blanket

Frantically trying to find time to complete a blanket for Evie's birthday next week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thick pancakes

Thick pancakes are a Sunday staple. The girls love them rolled up and eaten without holding back on the toppings; nutella, cinnamon sugar, apples, strawberries, bananas. You name it, they pile it on, roll them up and eat it them until they can eat no more.

I prefer them with rum soaked Chilean flame raisins mixed in the batter, topped with butter cinnamon sugar and thinly sliced crunchy apples. Poncy I know but somehow but dead tasty, like a breakfast bread and butter pudding.

The recipe I use varies weekly. They are really buttermilk pancakes but I rarely have buttermilk in my fridge so I either use cheap runny natural yogurt or curdle some milk by squeezing half a lemon in it and leaving for 10 mins.

Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 230g self raising flour 
  • 2 tsp baking flour
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 175g buttermilk/yogurt/milk with lemon juice
  • 175g milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla extract
  1. Add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to a bowl and mix together with balloon whisk to remove lumps. (Less messy than sieving).
  2. Add eggs, buttermilk and milk and whisk until the lumps have gone. 
  3. Melt butter in pan and add to mixture.
  4. Cook on a medium heat for 3 mins then turn. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Long stemmed anemones - beautifully colourful and looking very pretty in our sunny spring house this week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sparrow & Co

Sparrow & Co sells beautiful homewares. Samuel Sparrow's photography is great too.

"Inspired by traditional crafting skills the collection will have an emphasis on unique, handmade products from countries including Morocco, Uzbekistan, Asia, Central America and of course Scotland."

Mollie Makes

I've just bought a subscription to Mollie Makes. Tag line 'Living and Loving the Handmade'. The first edition goes on sale on 12th May.

"Mollie Makes is not just a traditional craft project-book, but a magazine which celebrates craft as a part of life; curating the best contemporary craft content from around the world into a beautiful, collectable, unique and totally irresistible magazine".

A website is about to be launched but in the meantime you can follow Mollie Makes on Twitter and Jane Toft's blog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A week of no TV

The girls and I made a pact last week. The deal was that they could not watch TV until Friday to raise money for Comic Relief. If they succeeded, they would both get £5 to give to their school Comic Relief fund.

Monday we gardened, Tuesday we made biscuits, Wednesday Pasta. They loved it. I loved it. No TV is the way forward; far less strops, better moods and less arguments.

My girls

The smurker

and the singer

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Window Coffee Shop

'Is making bread an art form?' asks Michele Roux to a Hackney baker. Yes Yes Yes.
As if by request, Michele Roux has made a programme all about bread. Not only do I love making bread but he's presenting it. You can't knock M.R. Jnr.

Hackney Wild Bread's sourdough looks wonderful. Big plump proved rounds of dough. Yep. I'm letting mine prove too long (or so I think).

Like baking bread, coffee making and brewing is also an art form. I finally went to The Window Coffee on Wensum Street today - The Worlds Smallest Coffee Shop - which coincidentally was a feature on Future Radio this evening. Hayley the owner, has entered herself into the Barista Championships - it sounds fun and with her passion, skill and taste buds, she'll do really well. I only drink decaf these days but the decaf she served was the best I've had in the three years I've deprived myself caffeine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spiced grilled mackerel

The seasons are changing and so are my taste buds. We're eating less meat, eating smaller portions and trying new dishes. 'Plenty' by Ottolenghi is proving a a great source of inspiration so are the Asian food shops around Norwich. This weekend we ate mackerel fillets marinaded in Indian spices. Last night okra with paneer cheese and tonight soba noodles with aubergine and mango which I think would be great alongside some chargrilled chicken or squid.

Firm tofu is another rediscovered ingredient. Bland as toenails on it's own but cooked with another one of Ottolenghi winning recipes; black pepper tofu, it tastes fabulous.


I'm a sourdough bore. I will not give up until the loaf looks perfect and I've mastered the 'slash'. I've a loaf in the oven as I type this, today I snipped the top with a pair of very sharp pointy scissors. My attempts with the lame was rubbish and looking at the scissor snips on the loaf cooking in the oven, it looks that I need to snip deeper and perhaps I'm slashing the loaf too late in the proving process.