Thursday, 23 September 2010

Nigella Lawson's Devils Food Cake (from her new 'Kitchen' recipe book)

At the request of my husband and brother in law 'Devil's food Cake' was picked for tonight’s pudding.

The recipe has fairly sensible quantities of ingredients for something which aesthetically gives the impression of being very extravagant and luxurious. The recipe is very easy to follow and the clarity of the instructions is very good. I can’t quite discern why but the language/articulation of the recipe feels different to her other books; overall i guess it is slightly more user friendly and practical.

My brother in law is a big M&M's fan so these also got added onto the cake at the end; personally I think white chocolate curls or something like minstrels would look good on the cake but colourful M&M’s it is for this occasion! We have lots of guests over the next couple of days so I hope the cake lasts longer than just tonight so they can try it!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Kitchen - Best Nigella Book yet???

My Nigella Collection.........

My Nigella Awards
Most Used: Nigella Express (however i have only owned Kitchen for a few days so this may change)
Most useful: How to Eat
Best for special occasions: Feast & Nigella Christmas

New Nigella book arrived this week - first impressions very good - I will keep blog updated when i try out new recipes from it!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Easy to make journal cover

banana Bread

Yumm......Banana Bread

Today I tried baking Banana Bread from Nigella's 'How to be a domestic Goddess' cookbook. The recipe was really easy to follow and didn't have any fancy ingredients. The smell of the cooking bananas was really yummy in the house and the cake lovely when eaten warm. I will definately be making this again.....

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Chocolate Pistachio fudge

I have just made some Chocolate Pistachio fudge from the 'Nigella Express' cookbook to take to some friends for dinner tonight. It is so easy (so easy that you kind of hope nobody asks you for the recipe!) and it tastes amazing. My husband came into the kitchen just to check i had saved him some to eat at home. I like the way that when you cut the fudge up you get to see the striking colour of the green pistachio nuts next to the dark rich chocolate.

'Love the lord your God with all your heart' picture

This idea was adapted from "Not on the high's" popular map pictures by a friend and myself who thought we could do 'that' better...........

We spent an evening creating a few different designs. I made one for a friend's wedding with their names and date of wedding included in the design. I also wanted to make one which used a bible verse; Christian bookshops usually only have cheap looking, badly designed Christian gifts with bible verse (so my challenge was to try and show it is posible to create nice Christian gifts.....why suddenly ignore any sense of style!)

For the picture above I decided on a verse from Luke 10:27 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart" (the verse also had to use only 9 words as i wanted just 9 hearts in the picture!)

I have also made many other similar pictures with different style papers, verses and words included. The possibilities for this style picture are endless! The only real cost of making them is the time it takes and a frame.

Garden coffee sack chair covers

I am so excited to have a garden in the new house and one of the first house purchases has been a wooden table and chair set. The chairs definately needed seat covers but I couldn't find anything i liked within budget so I had the idea of recovering boring seat covers. I picked up 4 cheap and dull covers for under £10 from a local hardware shop and went to my local coffee roasters to ask for a couple of old coffee sacks. I made a template for the covers by simply drawing around the cushion pad. I sealed the cover up by sewing a row of buttons to the top of the cover - this will mean that i can easily wash the covers if they get left out in the rain - very likely! The great thing about using coffee sack hessian is that firstly it is free (& recycling) and secondly it is really hard wearing and durable. I think my next task will be to make matching placemats for the table.

peg bag

A friend of my mine gave me a great craft book for my birthday and i decided to make the peg bag as my first project in my new craft to decide who gets a peg bag for their birthday present!
I really enjoyed making the little clothes for the washing line but the middle hole for grabbing the pegs was bit of a pain to sew & line.

If you are interested the idea came from a book called Sew Fabulous fabrics

Updated towel rail....

Our bathroom is quite small and there is not enough room to hang bath towels so i have updated an old wooden towel rail by covering it with fun bright fabric purchased from a market stall in Bafoussam, Cameroon. I decorated the sides of the rail with an odd assortment of buttons.


Opps it's so long sice i have blogged that it took me about 5min to remember how to post something!! Hopefully now I have moved to Cambridge and am on maternity leave I will now have more time for cooking and crafting.......Even though i haven't blogged for a while i have still been making things! I have just finished making a bird mobile (based on the one in cath kidston's 'Sew' book) I am really pleased with the result and have hung it in the spare/baby's room....