Monday 27 June 2016

Cook The Books - June

Well, I did it.  A while month without cooking any new recipes from my Annabel Langbein books.  Here's what I made.

Week One:
It was Queen's Birthday Weekend, so I took advantage of having the house to myself and tried some new recipes.
  • Confetti Cookies from Smitten Kitchen.  A little bit faffy to make, but they are certainly delicious.  I got just under four dozen.  Next time I make them, I'd make the dough in two batches in my food processor then combine in a large mixing bowl.
  • I was recently  given a few of limes, so decided to make a Key Lime Pie  as a treat for dessert- this recipe is one of those ones glued into my recipe notebooks.  I know it's from Cuisine Magazine and about ten years old.  
Verdict:The Cookies are yummy, and I think they would make a great holiday activity for children of all ages.  The Key Lime Pie was delicious, rather rich, not overly sweet, but I certainly didn't need a bigger slice.

Week Two:
While these recipes are not from one of the cookbooks in my collection,  for once I actually cooked from a book I had taken out of the library.  Joanne Weir's Kitchen Gypsy is a beautiful book full of gorgeous photos, anecdotes about her life, travels and cooking.  The Rhubarb Crostata recipe grabbed my attention as soon as I saw the photo.  I mixed up the pastry in food processor, and I would definitely advise cooking it on a baking tray with sides and lining it with baking paper. The Raisin Oatmeal Cookies made about four dozen, more than enough to last the week for morning and afternoon tea treats in school and work lunchboxes.

Verdict:  Miss B, Mr J and I actually had dessert before dinner, the day I made this, while it was still warm from the oven with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.  This recipe is definitely a keeper, in fact the book may even be added to my collection.  While my cookies did not seem to spread as much as the ones in the book, they were still delicious.

Week Three:
I had a pile of lamb neck chops in the freezer, that I didn't know what to do with.  While leafing through that recipe filled notebook of mine, I came across a Crock Pot Moroccan Lamb shank Tagine recipe.  I figured I could substitute the chops for the shanks.  I cut most of the excess fat off from the chops before browning them, so my tagine wasn't to fatty, and doubled the rest of the ingredients so I could freeze a meal a way. My house smelled delicious while this gently cooked in the crock pot.  I served it with couscous and a dollop of greek yoghurt.

Verdict: Yes I would definitely make this again, and with neck chops too. A warming and filling winter meal.

Week Four: The Scout celebrated a birthday this week, so I had the perfect occasion to try out a new dessert recipe, however he asked for an old favourite - White Chocolate and Raspberry Shortcake.
So not really a new recipe this week, but one I haven't made for a while.

Verdict: This is always a hit with my family, and really I don't know why I don't make it more often, it is relatively quick and easy to make, always thoroughly enjoyed and really hard to stop at just one piece.

July brings two weeks school holidays, so that means no work for me and maybe a slightly more enjoyable relaxed approach to cooking.

Sunday 26 June 2016


  • Saturday was so wet, all I did was read, then braved the elements and ventured out to my sewing room and made binding for a quilt.
  • Sunday was a little better, so in between baking, and digging out lots of plants and wheelbarrows of soil, I found some forgotten Lachenalia bulbs flowering and started prepping a portable sewing project.
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Scenes from my Week

From the kitchen
  • freshly picked Rhubarb,  that got turned into the Rhubarb Crostata from this post
From the garden
  • There is not much flowering at present so am loving the pendulous blooms of my Fuchsia boliviana
From the sewing room
  • a pile of wooden bobbins - they are about 8" long, and have a metal end.  Does anyone know what they would have been used for - I think maybe lacemaking or weaving, but the colours of the threads used have me wondering if it may have been for something else - that orange is bright!!
  • a sneak peak of some of the sewing I am doing for Mum's birthday quilt.
What has been happening in your week?

Friday 10 June 2016

Here & Now

Loving //the vibrant green and yellow  of my lemon tree
Eating //The confetti cookies I made last weekend.
Drinking //Glasses of warm water,  I'm trying to cut back on tea
Feeling //Inspired by these fabulous books
Making //A butterfly block for my sea glass sampler quilt
Thinking //About picking some rhubarb to make a Rhubarb Crostata from this book in the pile above
Dreaming //Of what I can do in my garden, now a tree has been taken out.

Linking up with Here & Now at Say Little Hen.

Monday 6 June 2016

Queen's Birthday Weekending

A long weekend.  It was fine, but cold in the mornings!  The Scout, Miss B and Mr J were away camping, so it was all about me.
  • I baked - Confetti Cookies
  • I gardened 
  • I  started mowing lawns then broke the lawn mower!!
  • I cut fabric - all ready for a quilt top
  • I sewed fabric back together - the most simple quilt top ever!  I should have ironed it before I took the photo though. The very top piece of fabric is a baby blue not white.
  • I  finished one book, and started another.
  • I made an infinity scarf from this beautiful Nani IRO double gauze my friend Melanie gave me
  • I  was going to watch a movie, but couldn't get the TV to work, (Mr J needs to fix something for me) so I made the backing for my Liberty Bloomsbury quilt.  I had forgotten how big it is, basting and quilting it is quite a daunting thought.
  • I made a Key Lime Pie
Think I need another weekend to relax now.

Friday 3 June 2016

Finished - AMH Hexi Pillow

Well this winter slow sewing project certainly didn't last as long as I thought it would.  One hundred EPP 1'' hexis have turned into a small pillow approximately 16" x 14". Circles  (The Scout's favourite whisky glass made the perfect template) were  hand quilted with a variegated thread from Wildflowers by Caron .  Even the back of the pillow front looks pretty.

Rummaging through my stash looking for something suitable for backing, I came across some velveteen from AMH Loulouthi range, that had come in a scrap pack I purchased a long time ago. This was the perfect project to use it in.  The zipper was going to be concealed, however I couldn't quite get the design to line up to my satisfaction, so decided to leave it exposed..  I adore the sumptuous feel of velveteen, but it is a fabric that frayed terribly when I was working with it.
Binding is a solid from Freespirit Designer solids in Tropical.

I didn't have quite the right size pillow inner, so I will probably need to cut one down to fit it properly, hopefully that will eliminate the pointy corners and curved sides.

Now that this is finished, I need to get my Liberty Bloomsbury quilt backed and basted, so I have another winter slow sewing project to do in the evenings.