Monday, 26 March 2012


My son who is coming up to 5 months has been suffering already with his teeth so I wanted to make some bibs to save the constant change of clothes we've been having. Unfortunately the two I made only last a few hours so I'll have to get back on the sewing machine to whip up some more. 
The pattern for these was from and there are also good instructions to follow.
The hardest part of this was turning the bib the right way round after sewing it.

You can opt for press studs or velcro fastenings for the bib. I wanted to get a tool for the press studs so that I could use it for other projects. My dad very kindly got one for me so I've got plenty of things to have a go at now!



I have made many a banana loaf before but this one's a new recipe I haven't tried by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in the River Cottage Family Cook Book.
It uses dried apricots and sultanas with the banana.
I didn't have any apricots in the cupboard so I doubled up the sultana quantity instead.

  • 75g of dried apricots (the squidgy ones that come ready to eat)
  • 75g of sultanas
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g of unsalted butter, soft but not melted
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 2 large, free-range eggs
  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 200g of self-raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas Mark 3. Line the loaf tin with baking parchment or, even better, us a loaf tin liner

2. Chop up the apricots so the pieces are roughly the same size as the sultanas. Grate the zest of the lemon.

3. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl with the wooden spoon until they’re well blended. Break in an egg and beat it into the mixture completely, then beat in the other egg. Add the dried fruit and lemon zest.

4. Mash the bananas well with the fork on a plate and add them to the bowl. Stir well.

5. Sift the flour in the bowl and carefully fold this into the mixture with the large metal spoon, making sure you don’t leave any ‘pockets’ of flour.

6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the top with the back of the spoon. Oven gloves on. Put the tin in the oven and bake for about an hour--but check the cake after 50 minutes. It is ready when you can insert a knife into the middle and it comes out completely clean. Leave the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes, and then turn it out of the tin and peel off the paper.

It was a definite winner in our house and my husband has confirmed it is the best banana bread recipe we've tried. 
We can count it as one of our 5 a day can't we?! 


So on my list of things to have a go at has been teacup candles. I have been wanting to do these for years and I finally got around to ordering the bits and pieces I needed.
Unfortunately the first set of wicks that came were too short for the cups that I bought, slight oversight there. I ordered a second lot of longer wicks from ebay but after 10 days they still hadn't arrived. Mother's day was fast approaching so it called for a rethink.
Instead of the hot chocolate candles in a mug I had hoped to do I had to use some glass containers that used to hold an ikea candle as the wick was the right length.
I'm still waiting for those wicks 3 weeks later, I don't think they're coming!

The key with these is to use a themometer as the fragrance and colourings have to been added at certain temperatures so it's a worthwhile investment if you're going to have a go at candlemaking. Once I've had a few more go's with some other colours and fragrances I'll post some more details.
The photo was taken before the wick was trimmed, it needs to be trimmed to 1cm to make sure it burns properly. 


I haven't been too good at keeping up to date with the blog lately. We've been hit by one bug after another in our household in the last few weeks which has meant that I haven't had the time or energy to get the laptop out at the end of the day. Fingers crossed both boys are on the mend now and the recent warm weather will put an end to these dreadful germs.
A lot of the recent makes that have been going on have been gifts for others, so I wanted to wait until they'd been given before putting any pictures on here!

I am so pleased that the clocks have changed and the weather has been very spring or rather summer like. It's given me lots of inspiration and as soon as I've finished the spring cleaning I'm all set to go with lots of makes in lovely pastel colours.

Another recent find and obsession is Pinterest. I have started pinning and once you do there's no going back, my crafts board is filled with so many ideas that there aren't enough days in a year for them all.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


I have a huge list of things I want to make and each year the list gets longer but not much gets crossed off.
The things at the top of the list have been sitting there for about 4 years!! So I've decided to type it up on here in the hope I can motivate myself to actually do these things this year.

Teacup candle
Plate cake stand
yo yo ring
Felt Slippers
Quilt for the nursery
Cupcake Bouquet
Ice cream cup cakes
Shopper bag
Owl cushion
Sock monkey
Pastel bunting
Tin candles
crochet poppy
Dribble bibs

I have made progress - just ordered some fabric and fleece to make the dribble bibs as they are needed urgently by my teething little one.
I feel a new wave of enthusiasm coming on!!

Sunday, 29 January 2012



This is a traditional Scottish recipe which we had for pudding on Burn's night.
Here's a link to the recipe which I used

It feels a little strange when you make as you need to put a large sheet of muslin in boiling water and then spread it out on the worktop you then dredge it with flour and push the flour into the cloth with long sweeps. This creates the barrier to encase the dumpling in.
The dumpling does still get a bit wet during the cooking process so I dried it out in a hot oven for 10-20minutes as recommended in another recipe for clootie dumpling.

I was so busy that I forgot to take any photos of the cooking process or the finished dumpling. There are some left overs in the fridge which I'll take a snap of later!


This is a quick way to make croissants for a weekend treat taken from Nigella's express book.

Ready rolled puff pastry
100g dark chocolate or milk chocolate if you prefer
1 egg,beaten

Spread the sheet of pastry and cut into 6 squares, cut each square diagonally to create 12 small triangles.
Cut each square of chocolate in half and lie the two pieces end to end along the longest side of the triangle.
Roll up the triangle from the longest side and seal together when you reach the point. 
Pop onto a baking tray and brush the croissants with a beaten egg.
Bake for 10-15mins at 220degrees C. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


I was so pleased with myself for getting ahead and baking some goodies to enjoy over Christmas. The recipe I used was from Nigella's Christmas and as it was a recipe that froze well it was perfect.
Well Christmas came and went and I cant believe I forgot all about it until I opened the bottom freezer drawer to  put away the recently bought frozen peas.
So while the weathers rubbish outside I'm enjoying a piece of spicy goodness along with a cup of tea before little one's nap time is over and it's back to reality!
And I can vouch for the fact that they do freeze well!

Monday, 23 January 2012


I am now on a flapjack quest!! 
I can never seem to get the balance quite right and I know I over baked these slightly.
The recipe I used had dried fruit in which made a lovely addition to the oats but I prefer them a little bit chewy rather than crunchy. I will definitely be trying these again and taking them out of the oven and leaving to firm up a little next time. 

  • 175g butter
  • 175g oats
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 2 large heaped tbsp golden syrup
  • 150g sultanas
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a pan on a low heat.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the oats and sultanas. 
Grease a square tin or dish with butter and put the mixture into the tin pushing it to the edges.
Bake for 30 mins at 140 degrees C until its golden brown.
Leave the flapjacks to cool slightly and then mark them into slices with a sharp knife.
Once it has cooled properly cut the flapjacks into squares.

Sunday, 22 January 2012



I received Mary Berry's Baking Bible for Christmas. What a brilliant book it is too, with so many lovely and not too challenging things inside I was spoilt for choice about what to bake first.
After surveying the contents of the baking cupboard there appeared to be a lot of remnants from the Christmas baking so I decided on the Marmalade cake to use up these said items.
Now I was a little nervous of this cake as I was having visions of the Marmalade cake in series one of the Great British Bake Off which sunk in the middle. However, Mary's book gives you tips at the beginning and throughout the recipe so I felt in safe hands.

It was a relatively easy recipe which everything was combined in the bowl and mixed before putting into a prepared loaf tin.Once it was cool some warmed marmalade was spooned over the top.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012



A friend of mine brought her little baby girl home from the neonatal unit last week so I baked some cupcakes to take around when we visited on Thursday.

The basic cupcake recipe was used and baked in a silver muffin case.

FOOTPRINT - using white sugarpaste cut out a circle about the same size as the top of the cupcake using a cookie cutter. Spread the top of the cake with a little buttercream and smooth it down. place the white circle ontop of the cake and smooth it gently so it lies flat.
Put a few drops of pink food colouring onto some white sugarpaste and gently fold over the sugarpaste, repeat until you have worked the colour through and the sugarpaste is an even pink colour. Roll out the sugarpaste to 0.5cm thick. Use a cocktail stick  to mark out the main shape of a  foot. Cut out the shape with a sharp knife. Using a fine paintbrush dab a little water into the centre of the covered cupcake and place the foot ontop. To make the toes roll a small amount of sugarpaste into a ball and flatten slightly with your fingers. Repeat s4 times decreasing the size of the ball each time Dab some water where you want each toe and gently place on.
You can sprinkle some pink edible glitter over the foot to give it a bit of sparkle.

ROSE SWIRL - using a 1C wilton nozzle start piping from the centre of the cake outwards slightly overlapping the icing as you go. This looks good as a two tone icing. To do this put some coloured paste in the icing bag and press the bag together, use your hands to smooth the paste along the inside of the bag until the inside is coated with colour. Fill the icing bag with buttercream and squeeze out a little on a plate until the coloured edged icing comes through.

WHIPPY STYLE - Using a wilton 1M pipe a ring of buttercream ontop of the cake, stop piping then start again in the opposite direction ontop of the circle already piped bringing the icing to a point. decorate with sprinkles and glitter.

You could make a variety of sugar paste topped cakes to go into the box or stick to one type to fill a cupcake box. Buttons, bottles, bibs etc would all look good as would initials of a baby's name. Wish I'd had a bit more time to get creative however my 10 week old is having one of those refusing to sleep weeks!

Thursday, 5 January 2012



This is hopefully going to be my new hobby! I've been wanting to try crochet for a while now but wasn't sure where to start so I asked for a book for Christmas to give me something to work from.
This project is going to be a bit on an ongoing one though as after an evening of sitting having a go I've still not mastered the basics.
The book is good at giving you instructions about what to do but I still had to you tube the techniques to make sure I was doing it right.
There are some simple projects to make in the book starting with a blanket (of course!) and bunting.
Last night I made the beginning of a blanket but wasn't happy with it or the wool I used. So I'll be off to the shops to stock up on some new wool.
More to come after a lot of practise!!

Monday, 2 January 2012


Firstly a happy belated new year. I have sadly neglected this blog in the last few months. I have a good excuse!! We welcomed our newest arrival Finlay on 1st November and since then everything has been a bit of a whirlwind!
However, I have promised myself that I will make much more of an effort in the new year to keep up with making new things in the new year in the precious little time I have.
Hence Project 52 - (although it's not going so well at the moment is it!) 
Project 52 is inspired from other bloggers and I am going to try and make or bake something new for every week of the year. This may be a little ambitious considering I don't tend to have a minute to myself in the average day but hey, I like a challenge. 
I have been busy making and I will get up to date with the blog soon!