Sunday, 8 June 2014

Peg Bag

This morning Andy announced he would be buying a new peg bag whilst out shopping. Oh no, I thought! I will make one and reuse the hanger from the broken one. I think he was sceptical that this would happen any time soon, which I took as a challenge and had finished this by the time he got back :)

The fabric is a Laura Ashley one which I have had laying about for years. I think it's worked out ok, I made it up as I went along as I tend to do with most sewing projects. Learning to sew properly is on my 'to do' list.....


Saturday, 7 June 2014


I have been spending quite a lot of time at the allotment recently so not much blogging has been happening, too busy doing and no time to write about it!

Our plot has quite a bit of rhubarb which was ready as soon as we got the plot so we have been making the most of it...


Rhubarb Soda Bread

(recipe from 'A Girl Called Jack')

And then there is this amazing cheesecake which I made for Andy's birthday...

(recipe from River Cottage)


Saturday, 17 May 2014

New Allotment

The past two weeks have been a bit of a mad rush. A friend of mine was offered an allotment and suggested to me that we take it on together. It seemed like a great idea as I had tried on my own before and it was difficult around my caring responsibilities and this allotment was very near my sons school....

Well the sun was out so we got cracking with it! Here's what we have done so far. I think it's fair to say that my friend has done the majority of the digging!

We also put up our own shed. I think there were a lot of doubtful faces around the allotments when we started it, but no help was needed!

When we took the plot on there was already herbs, rhubarb and raspberries planted... it's time for sowing and growing :)



Sunday, 16 March 2014

'Y' Shaped Art

A bit of Zendoodling. I started it off by drawing around one of my autistic son's sticks. I don't know why he collects y-shaped sticks, but he is nearly never without one and he now has all the family and his carers looking out for them and if necessary, making them. The house is full of them :)



Friday, 21 February 2014


I finished this cushion and officially have no half finished knitting/crochet projects on the go! Until I start something else tonight.....

The pattern is called Copenhagen Pillow and can be found at


Monday, 17 February 2014

Retro Circles Car Blanket

I finally finished my retro circles blanket. I've made this for myself to have in the car for the colder days when I sit outside school on the school run. It's not quite as big as I'd have liked but I couldn't find anymore of the yarn where I originally bought it. Frustrating. I think I'd like to do another one of these in lighter colours, maybe cotton but I need a break from circles right now!

The pattern can be found at

Full Moon Feast - Hunger Moon

The full moon on Friday evening reminded me of this book I bought a while ago....

I got it out and discovered that it starts with February's moon, Hunger Moon, so I thought I'd read the first chapter and have a go at cooking one of the recipes. The book is divided into a chapter for each moon and focuses on what foods are available at these times. I am going to try and read a chapter around each full moon and give one of the recipes a go. It won't always be local foods for me because the author is American but there are similarities and my aim is really to read the book and try out a few new recipes.

This moon, the book discussed the authors history with food and this being a time in the year when food supplies are traditionally low. She also touches on farming/farmers markets and about making friends with vegetables that you may be less familiar with by trying different varieties and good recipes. With this in mind, I realised that I had all the necessary ingredients from our local veg box to make the 'Beet Borscht'.

Beetroot is a vegetable I usually only eat with salad, fresh or pickled. I have been juicing some recently too, but I never really cook with it. I have 2 childhood memories involving beetroot, one is my mum making Borscht and the smell filling the house in not a very nice way and the other is of having pickled beetroot on top of either a stew or pie with my childminder's family - not unpleasant but not something I was used to at home!

Here's my beautifully coloured soup :)

I quite liked this borscht, it was nice and chunky and had good flavours. Gaby and I will be having the leftovers tonight :)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Comfort Food

It's been a pretty rubbish week all in all. Horrendous, never ending wind and rain. Leaks in our kitchen window, car issues, broken glasses, no washing machine and illnesses. Still, as we live in Somerset I know full well that there are many people having a much more difficult time and we have kept reminding ourselves throughout this niggly week that we are lucky to be in our house and in the warm.
I took these pictures of the Somerset Levels three weeks ago, from the train.
I had been on a post Christmas health kick but this week has broken me and I've gone all out for comfort food!

and cake which had to be made after I bought these pretty cake tins.

The stew is made with Hodmedod's split Fava beans which I've been with experimenting recently. Although I'm vegetarian, I'm quite uncomfortable with the food miles that can sometimes be involved in that. These are pulses which are grown in the UK.

Here's my recipe...

Smoky Split Fava Bean Stew

1 onion, chopped

3-5 potatoes

2 carrots, sliced

1 parsnip, diced

1 cup of diced swede

1 pint of veg. Stock

1 cup split Fava beans

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Mixed herbs, dried

Fry the onion for a couple of minutes, until transparent. Add the vegetables and fry for a couple more minutes. Add smoked paprika and stir well. Add stock and beans, seasoning and herbs. Top up with kettle to cover veg. Bring to the boil and let the stew cook rapidly for 10 mins, then simmer for 1 hr 30 mins - 2 hours. (I do all this in my wok).

Top with dumplings and finish in the oven for 30 mins.



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What am I Reading?

My current pile of books...

Plus this one on the kindle app...

I received 'Magus of Stonewylde' by Kit Berry for Christmas and really enjoyed it so moved straight onto the next in the series, 'Moondance of Stonewylde'. Then however, I spotted 'Stone Keeper' in the library and decided I had to read that and as it's a library book, it's getting priority right now. It's the fourth and last book in Beth Webb's Star Dancer quartet. The books are set admidst the Roman invasion of Britain and tell the story of Tegen, a Druid, who is believed to have the destiny of being the Star Dancer and saving the land. A couple of weekends ago, we had a night away in Bath and were able to go around the Roman Baths which was great timing with my reading choice.

As for the others, well I haven't signed up for any art courses this year yet. I might, but I still have quite a bit of Lifebook 2013 left to do and I feel like I want to do a bit of my own thing too so I'm making the most of the art section in the library. 'The Women's Wheel of Life' is a lovely book about stages of womanhood and I'm also reading 'The Art of Happiness' by HH Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. I found this in a charity shop in Falmouth and am reading it in the mornings whilst bathing my sons which is kind of nice. It has got me thinking that happy reading first thing in the morning is probably better than checking FB on my phone.

So I am pretty immersed in books right now! At the beginning of the year, I did a list. I went all around the house to the various places I stash books, went throught my kindle library and audible wish list and came up with 50+ books which I already own and want to read. I told myself that that was more than enough for the year ahead and there would be no need to buy any more books.

What can I say, I already bought more books!





Monday, 27 January 2014

Last Year's Pay-It-Forward

I have seen a few 'Pay-it-Forward' posts floating around Facebook this week. I decided not to try and do that this year. I did get gifts to everyone for 2013, but in my usual last minute fashion, most people got them in December! Seeing the posts did remind me that I haven't shared what I made on my blog, so here are the ones which went out in December....

Lavender Eye Pillow and Handwarmers,

Orange, Cinnamon and Poppy Seed Melt and Pour Soaps with crochet cloths,
and a Moebius Basket.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Breadmaker Dough Pizza


My family love this pizza and several people have asked me how I make it so here is my recipe.

For the base, I use the pizza dough recipe that comes with my breadmaker. At the moment I have a Moulinex ABKEP1 which my mum kindly donated to us after ours broke down. I don't make a lot of bread in the breadmaker these days, but I do find them really useful for doughs. I have adapted the quantities of sugar and salt slightly as have found with both breadmakers I have owned, the recipes are always too sweet and salty for our tastes.


195ml Water

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Sugar

1 and a 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil

350g Strong Bread Flour (I use 1/3 wholemeal bread flour)

2 tsp Dried Yeast

Sprinkle of dried basil and oregano


Add the ingredients to the breadmaker pan in the order listed and select the dough program.



1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes

1-2 tbsp Tomato Purée

1 Garlic Clove

1 tbsp Olive Oil

A good shake of dried basil and oregano

Salt and Pepper


Heat oil in a small pan and fry garlic for a few seconds, add the chopped tomatoes, then the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for around 20 mins.



1 Pack Mozzarella

Grated Cheddar

3-4 Sliced Mushrooms

A Small Amount of Diced Pepper

Half a Small Tin of Chopped Pineapple



Spread the dough out on the baking tray and leave for 20 mins. Brush with a little olive oil and then spread over the tomato sauce. Arrange the mozzarella on the top and sprinkle the grated cheddar in between. Add the rest of the toppings and finally a little more grated cheese.

Cook for about 30 mins at gas mark 5.