Saturday, 29 September 2012

Healing thoughts to Diane and Oliver

I was sorry to here the news that Diane Gaudynski and her pet cat Oliver have been injured in a household accident. I tried to send a comment to her site but it would not work, so just wanted to wish her and Oliver a very speedy recovery, our thoughts are with you both.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Bella in my sewing room

Does my head look too big?
I spent two afternoons stripping Bella this week in the greenhouse; only place to do it where the fur can fly!  She does let me do it providing I keep up the snacks and her favourite this time was teeny tiny pieces of parmesan cheese. She is looking very cute though, but the sewing room is not so tidy but then whose is?

This week she has been hunting a hedgehog in the garden and yesterday brought it into the house in her mouth.  She was soon encouraged to drop it and my DD had to replace it over a neighbours garden fence. Bella had a bloody mouth where the spines had got her. Tonight the thing was back and low and behold so was Bella, its starting to become a problem...... The hedgehog needs to eat ready for winter hibernation and our garden is rich in snails, slugs and earthworms because its traditional and I try not to use pesticides too much. Its a normal garden with a lawn and hedges all around hence its perfect for the beastie. It also has two garden sheds one which is the workshop for DD actually so there is plenty of scope for hiding underneath them for the creature. I hope it decides to re locate next door.

Meanwhile I am quilting some experimental pieces because I decided I needed more practice and so I have been steadily improving my techniques but its slow going so nothing to show you.  I did find a couple of new blogs which I am adding to the list though.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Designing again

My grapevine is displaying lovely autumn leaves
And I am sketching them
I have an idea at last!  Sometimes you keep thinking about a little problem and suddenly you see a way forward and I think this might be it.  I love the shape of these leaves and I think the autumn garden is a wonderful inspiration after the summer. Wow, just look at the variety of colours. Thank you DD for leaving me your vine when you went to California. I wish it grew large, edible, black grapes too, but you can't have everything you know.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

International Bacon Day

I found this recipe for international bacon day which is today folks, if you try it let me know what it's like :-)

It might seem strange but these cupcakes take the salty-sweet combination to a new level. Makes 6.

60g unsalted butter, softened
60g golden caster sugar
1 egg
65g self-raising flour
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
4 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon
For the icing:
50g softened butter
100g icing sugar
1 tsp maple syrup
A drop of milk
1. Grill the bacon until crisp. Set one rasher aside for the topping and finely chop the remaining three rashers. Leave to cool.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and then the flour, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir in the chopped bacon.
3. Divide the mixture between six holes of a silicone muffin tray or use paper cases. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, or until cooked through (check with a skewer or toothpick). Leave to cool completely.
4. For the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Trickle in the maple syrup and add a drop of milk - a little at a time — to soften slightly. Pipe the icing on top of the cooled cakes. Finally, cut the grilled bacon rasher you set to one side in step 1 into 6 small shards and poke into the top of the iced cupcake.

Maybe you would prefer something a bit more traditional? I know I would, this looks worth trying to me.

Use up any leftover potatoes and veg by making these bacon potato cakes for breakfast or brunch. These are great with black pudding crumbled in, too. Serves 1.
100g leftover mashed potato
Small handful of chopped, cooked greens (use leftovers)
1 rasher of bacon
1 egg
1. Grill the bacon until cooked through and golden and chop into small pieces.
2. In a bowl, mix the leftover mashed potato, grilled, chopped bacon and the cooked greens. Season with a little pepper and salt if you think it needs it (this will depend on how much you seasoned your mash when you first made it).
3. Form the mixture into a patty and fry in a little oil for 5 minutes on each side, until heated through. Top with a fried or poached egg and grind over some black pepper before serving.

I am going to try this on DH soon..... where's the potato masher?