About Moi

I was born in June 1981, I'm a hearing impaired paper-crafter who loves all things crafty. I sew, although I'm still very much a novice at sewing. I bake and cook hopefully all kinds of delicious treats. I have a huge passion for photography and the camera {yes I'm old school I still use an actual camera} is never far from me. I also love creative writing from making up sentiments/verses for my cards and other paper-craft projects to penning some fiction. I am an avid reader and if you are very unlucky I may even throw in some book reviews on here too!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

It's not what you look like that matters!

It's white on white at Ikes World Challenges and quite honestly there is no point trying.  I can't do white it always ends up smeared in some kid of colour so I didn't even bother with the stress of trying and went with anything goes {a saviour if ever there was one!}.   I've created an art journal page about how life is not always about how you look {if ever} and always about the person you are.


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Special Day

It's Special day fortnight at International Art & soul and I've made this birthday card using my much loved Banksy Stamps.



Thursday, 14 September 2017

Thursday Adventure ~ Staying Local

I’m a little off colour this week, I have a prearricular sinus flair up and a post nasal drip that’s providing more than half my daily food intake. Which brings me neatly to the next part of today’s blog...Food.

Food has always been a big part of my life from the traditional Sunday Roast to Wednesday’s always being Rabbit Stew at my grandparents house. I try not to shy away from trying food but I admit openly I’m not a fan of spice or chillies or peppers.



At school, both primary and secondary, I was bullied for eating salad but I loved it and I still do love salad unfortunately even in adulthood my choice of healthy food leads to bullying and jeering. Apparently I should have been eating chips and burgers {two of my least favourite foods in fact I NEVER eat burgers}. I’ve never been small and I do admit that I’m fat but contrary to what everyone believes it’s not because I eat unhealthy food. I am not fond of Crisp, I love to bake cake but rarely eat it, I could easily leave chocolate in fact I don’t have a sweet tooth at all!  

For some reason I’m that odd, eccentric, weird, strange person who loves healthy food, salads, fruit and vegetables are the bulk of my diet. I’m sure anyone whose read my Thursday Adventure posts will know that I can bake cakes and all kinds of sweet things but I also love savoury cooking so for today’s Thursday adventure I’m taking you to my kitchen where I am going to show you some of the things I love making. The kitchen is and always will be the heart of my home, the place I relax and of course where I am most happiest. I will also be sharing some photos of the area in which I live, both recent and from years gone by {snow from 2010}. My adventures so far have taken me within a 90min drive but I do live in a beautiful area so I figured it deserved an adventure post as well.

As I’ve mentioned I love fruit and veg and as often as possible I go to a local historic market town and take advantage of a fruit and veg stall. There are two but the shiny, perfect and supermarket look display of one batters my soul and I cannot bring myself to shop there, it’d be quicker and use far less fuel if I went to the local supermarket because to look at it there is no difference. However, further down there is the most stunning rustic and mouthwatering fruit and veg stall. The produce is locally grown, some of it organic from a local national trust property and it just appeals in a way perfect produce never will. I find it’s about four times cheaper than shopping in a supermarket and there’s less UN-recyclable waste as my veg comes in a cardboard box {not covered in plastic} that can be recycled. With my soul eased, the fridge and veg box and fruit stand full of cut, picked and pulled yesterday fruits, salads and vegetables I am ready to embrace some delicious meals once more.

My fruit stand currently has Victoria plums, {I take advantage of natural seasons as much as possible}, Mango, Apples, Nectarines and figs. My veg box and fridge has tomatoes, little gem lettuce, parsnip, carrot, butternut squash, onion squash, cauliflower, swede, white cabbage, leek, broccoli, turnip, kale, carrots, celeriac, courgette, red onions, garlic oh and I got some duck eggs whilst I was there. I miss the fact my dad’s parents do not have their own ducks now and so no eggs, they still have geese and chicken but at the moment very few eggs.

To start with these are my go to, always use spices, if that's the right word.



Some like a baked apple is a childhood favourite, I loved having baked apple on a Thursday {coincidentally} after school for tea at my Great Gran’s, we also had baked bean sandwiches {on brown bread because I am not keen on white and can’t eat it at all unless it’s toasted} and the highlight for me was the after school snack. We always shared fruit, half an orange, apple, pear, some grapes and some dried figs each.

For my baked apple I simply cored the apple and filled the middle with cranberries...a lot of people like to put sugar in and a few currants or sultanas but I don’t like the sweetness that provides so it’s a sour dried fruit.





A light lunch of toasted granary bread and prawn salad. For this one I used a panni maker to toast my bread, note I did not put butter on before or after it toasted. Then I sprinkled the top with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and prawns cooked with the chorizo. A simple alternative is tuna, sweetcorn and tomato. If you eat more than I do you can do more than one slice.





Summer fruit layer cake: This was made for a garden party so yes you are experiencing de-jay-vu. It’s a simple Victoria sponge baked in layer tins with a smear of white chocolate to help keep the fruit in place. I am not keen on icing of any description so I just didn’t use any. I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to fill the sponge and decorate the top.




Meringues: I’ve used a simple meringue recipe using caster sugar and egg white but I’ve added food gel. I wanted the table at the garden party to stand out and shout summer which I felt these bright vibrant meringues did. I filled them with a passion fruit butter cream.



Lasagne: This has to be one of my favourite meals, I mix nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice, paprika into the garlic, onions, tomatoes etc...I also add cave aged goats cheddar and mustard powder to the white sauce.  This dish generally makes enough for four people so I freeze half for next week.




No mash potato cottage pie: For this I use boiled potatoes because Nan won’t eat mash potato. I’ve added lentils as well as paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice to the onions, mince and carrots. I chop the potatoes small and mix them into the meat mix too. Then surprisingly for some I have steamed the lot. Once cooked I use the steamer water for gravy.




Pasties and sausage rolls. I always make my own right down to the pastry. I have a cheap food processor that makes the most lovely pastry. My pasty filling is the same as my cottage pie mix but with added peas or sweetcorn just cut the carrots smaller.




Flapjacks

I love flapjacks and to my embarrassment I have won first in flapjack at the local flower show., whilst plain are good I prefer mine topped with a small amount of chocolate.




Cheese straws

Many of you will have seen these some years ago on my blog but they are a great savoury snack. I add onions to mine for extra taste.



Jam tarts

I am not a lover of Jam or the soft sugary pastry that goes with Jam tarts so I customised these using savoury pastry rolled very thin so it goes very crisp. I also used Victoria plum jam that I had made.



Rabbit Stew

I have loved Rabbit stew since I was a child and nothing’s changed. It was my favourite meal then and it’s my favourite meal now. The veg fills me up and makes me feel good emotionally and the rabbit is a mild easy to eat meat that now comes from my local butchers but as a child came after my Grandad went rabbiting with ferrets.






Quiche

I love making quiche it’s a light and most importantly savoury snack. I rarely use pastry for a base though, which until recently had been laughed at, now I gather it’s endorsed by dieting companies so suddenly it’s a good idea rather than something stupid I have done to be laughed at. I tend to use quiche as a way to use up left over vegetables, peas, carrots, sweetcorn, onions, tomatoes, spinach, anything that won’t quite make up a portion.



Corned Beef Hash

I am not fond of Corned beef, I’m told by my dad’s parents that years ago corned beef came from America and was cattle feed on corn. These days I’m not entirely sure where it comes from and it surely isn’t as cheap as it used to be. I don’t like the texture or the taste but Sainsbury now does a “lean” version which means less fat for me to cut off! I wouldn’t want this meal often but it’s not bad for a now and then haven’t had time to go to the shops meal. I mix corned beef cubes with baked beans, peas, sweetcorn, onions, and whatever else I have going and top with potatoes.



Apple dumpling

I’m sure you’ve worked out by now that as I’m not keen on pastry I am not keen on this but Nan loves apple dumpling. This works in the same way as the baked apple, the apple is cored, filled with sugar and then covered in pastry and baked until cooked. Nan likes this with custard but I think ice cream would be as good.






Coleslaw

This is my version of coleslaw, I don’t like mayonnaise and I don’t like my coleslaw very wet so I make my own. I tend to use Kholrabi instead of white cabbage but there wasn’t any at the market so it’s white cabbage this time. I haven’t grated my carrots either I quite like a crunch so they are cut very small! I’ve use about a ¼ teaspoon of salad cream with a sprinkle of mustard powder for the mayonnaise replacement.






Finally here are the photos from the area in which I live.