WOOL WEEK – Campaign For Wool 5th – 12th October‏

The Campaign for Wool

There are a few things in life that I dislike- being cold is one of those- therefore it goes without saying that anything to do with wool is right up my street- add some craft, and this year a few bicycles and this is an event I can get quite excited about!

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Last year I posted about wool week and the campaign at London zoo and this year the fun carries on with events all over the capital. It all kicks off with a ‘Wool ride’ on Sunday 5th October; 300 Wool loving cyclists cycling 13.4 miles around London and its most famous land marks raising awareness for the cause. Finishing up at Potters field where guests can have their bikes made over in the woollen workshop- with prizes for the best bicycle as well as live music, food, and talks about textiles and demonstrations. You can sign up for a free ticket in the Tweet below

The Campaign for Wool

As well as all this there will be a week of activities with some of the UK’s biggest brands all taking part- including

- A scarf knit-a-thon in Brora’s flagship store on Symons Street where consumers
are encouraged to pitch in and contribute towards the making of a bespoke giant scarf that will be auctioned off for charity.

- Wool master-classes at John lewis in Oxford street

- Wool interior exhibits in London’s Southwark Cathedral (5th – 12th October 10am – 7pm daily (8pm on Thursday) Admission is free.)

The Campaign for Wool

Find out more at:

@Campaignforwool

campaignforwool.org

Getting Green Fingered: Vertical Herb Planter

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New house, CHECK. Obsession with Pinterest CHECK. Blank canvas Garden CHECK. Carpenter-for -a-boyfriend CHECK.

All those factors can only equal one thing, an that is my amazing new Vertical Herb planter.

My inspiration came from this Pinterest Image- a rugged, and rather expensive version but a great idea for those with a small garden and little wall space

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Paul set about making his own version and an evening later- and two coats of paint I have this! isn’t it beautiful!

Vertical herb planter

Vertical herb planter

Vertical herb planter

I went for some Swiss chard for colour and added some herbs that were already well established from the patch below- now to wait for the herbs to bulk out and get all cosy in their new home!

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Personalised Map Heart Artwork

BESPOKE MAP HEART ARTWORK

Tis the season for weddings, henparties, new dresses, and wedding gifts… Ive been eyeing up Map art work like this on some big sites but didnt fancy paying £50 for the pleasure. With a wedding round the corner I thought id have a go myself and see how I got on. I think it looks rather good!

I started with a white frame from wilkinsons

BESPOKE MAP HEART ARTWORK

Next I purchased a love heart insert from Dunelm mill, got some transfers from Hema for the writing (as my hand writing is awful!)

I then printed a map from kent (the brides home) and a map from Norwich (the grooms home and their new home together) I tried to get simular style maps and went for OS maps in a large resolution for quality

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I lined up the maps and then lined up the join with the middle line of the love heart- stuck this down and then transferred the letters to spell out the names

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That was it! doesn’t it look nice, the grand total came to just under £10 but the fact that I could really personalise it made making it really fun

I hope they like it!

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Yummy Delights From Genesis Crafty

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Me and Paul took a slight detour from the diet this week and tried some of these fab new products from Genesis Crafty, here’s what we ate and what we thought! 

 Cheese Scones

These where so jam-packed with cheese it was hard to tell where the scone began but this is far from a complaint a helping hand from some butter these crumbled (all over the place so the dog had a treat too!) amazing for a pre-packed scone that are usually heavy and stodgy warmed up I could have even sworn that I’d baked these myself. Best part is Paul hates scones more for me and Bonnie! Great for a picnic or afternoon treat

Pancakes

We often make protein pancakes for breakfast so it was a nice change to have pre made pancakes (and the chocolate oozing out of them wasn’t alf’ bad either)

Chocolate chip was the winner in our eyes – topped with a dollop of lemon Curd Cream (4 Tbsp Lemon Curd mixed with 300ml Greek Yoghurt) They where surprisingly light – I expected a ‘scotch pancake’ consistency but they where much fluffier and there honestly was no skimping at all on choc chips at all! Moist, warm and perfect for the hangover I definitely didn’t have this Sunday…

Tonight are the blueberry pancakes ….exciting!

Genesis Crafty Blueberry pancakes, lifestyle - John Carey med res

 

 

I was asked to review these delicious things for www.genesiscrafty.com- even so, my review is honest and would not appear on my blog if it wasnt! 

Craft It. Bake It. Does Bluewater

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Last month I was lucky enough to head along to the amazing Bluewater shopping centre for some food, drinks and some shopping! I visited Comptoir Libanais, Ask Italian and Wahaca…and heres how I got on!

Comptoir Libanais

An intriguing restaurant from the outside it was hard to know what to expect from breakfast in Comptoir Libanais. With an open lively feel first impressions were great and my first ever try of Lebanese food seemed promising. I decided to ease myself in gently and dip my toes in with a twist on the traditional- scrambled eggs, smoked salmon on brioche, with mint and pomegranate garnish. This was an unusual mix but the fresh flavours really hit the spot and all washed down with a roza (rose syrup and lemon). As well as great food, and a varied menu Comptoir Libanais really scored high when it came to atmosphere- a delicious breakfast pared with a Middle Eastern twist this was hit.

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Ask Italian

A few hours of shopping and walking off those well-earned carbs and we were ready for the main event: lunch at Ask Italian. To start, for us there was only one option, the Antipasti platter; delicious salty meats, creamy buffalo mozzarella, olive tapenade and warm oily focaccia for dipping, ripping, wiping up and general gluttony- and let’s face it, anything severed on a wooden chopping board tastes great right? Our main dish was a hard decision but I liked the look of their new dish- tagliatelle con luganica e porcini with fresh egg pasta. I wasn’t disappointed and a twist of black pepper and a ‘say when’ amount of grated parmesan from the waiter (not to mention my summer cocktail of Moscato d’asti and Raspberries in a champagne flute) made me feel like I was back in Verona all over again. We had just enough room for dessert and good intentions of a ‘light’ dish soon turned into the joys of zingy lemon tart with a healthy dollop of cream, well it would have been rude to say no…

Wahaca

A few metres walk away and it was time for a bit of a Mexican twist with cocktails at Wahaca. First impressions? A VW campervan parked up outside and a ceiling made from plastic bottles… this was about to be something a little bit different. To start was a hibiscus mojito, sweet, minty, refreshing and a bit of a kick this was the perfect way to end the day, added with some tasters of the restaurants new specials including sticky, sweet and spicy cornbread with a creamy goats cheese cream. Service here was something a little extra and the passion for the food and drinks was more than evident. We watched the bar intently and ended the day on a Passion fruit & Hibiscus Cooler Mocktail… not your ordinary by any means.

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Courgette and Lemon Cupcakes

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When life hands your Courgettes…make cupcakes.. that’s a saying right?

As a bit of a courgette phob (nothing tastes right after you’ve had the Italian version and I ate a lot of them out there…) I thought a cake would be the perfect way to use up some courgettes handed to me earlier this week.

So here they are, courgette and lemon cupcakes- light, moist, zingy and one of your 5 a day*

Ingredients 

  • 200g  unsalted butter
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium courgettes,  grated (300g flesh)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Lemon curd

Method

- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

- Zest 2 lemons, then squeeze their juice into a separate bowl

- Put 200g butter, the caster sugar into a bowl and cream together

- Grate the courgette, wrap with a clean tea towel and remove as much liquid as possible

- Add the eggs, courgettes,  vanilla and lemon zest into a mixing bowl. Beat to a creamy batter.

- Stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice, the flours, baking powder and ¼ tsp salt. Spoon the mix into muffin cases, then bake for 25 mins or until risen, golden and springy in the middle.

- Make the Lemon Curd (optional, as shop bought curd is just as acceptable…)

- Remove from the oven and leave to cool

- Once cool use a teaspoon to scoop out a small hole in the cake, add a dollop of lemon curd and return the scooped out piece of cake.

- Enjoy, and don’t tell anyone its courgette until they have scoffed one exclaiming how great they are!

 

 

 

*this isn’t true

Luscious Lemon Curd

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Lemon curd is one of those things that looks like it should be complex – but in reality is so simple it’s surprising we arent all having a go.

Creamy, sharp, lemony. .and oh so rich this is something we should all have a go at and have lurking at the back of the fridge for emergency lemon tarts or even just spooned into natural yoghurt for brekkie

Go on have a go.. I dare you to muck it up!

Lemon Curd Recipe

Ingredients

- 4 lemons
- 3 eggs and one egg yolk
- 200g sugar
- 100g butter

Method
- Wash a jar and place in the dishwasher or a hot oven for 15 min to sterilise.

- Place a pan of water on the hob and heat until simmering. In a heatproof bowl place lemon zest and juice of all your lemons, plus the butter and place over the bubbling water making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Stir a few times until the butter melts

- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add these to the lemon mixture and stir. Leave to cook for 15 min until thick and creamy

- Leave to the side to cool completely then add to your sterilised jar.

Enjoy on toast, in tarts, in a cake or just off a spoon!!!

Rhubarb and Amaretti Cheesecake

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Rhubarb and Amaretti Cheesecake

Our new house came with not only a lovely garden, but also a delicious rhubarb plant, my colleague made this delicious cheesecake and I cant wait to make my own version with my own homegrown samples!

 

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

For the biscuit base
170g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
400g amaretti biscuits

For the filling
450g mascarpone cheese
250ml double cream
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
100g golden caster sugar
100g lemon curd

For the rhubarb
500g (trimmed weight) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm batons
75g caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1⁄2 orange

Directions

For the rhubarb, preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2.

Put the rhubarb in a wide oven dish, ideally in one layer. Sprinkle with the sugar, orange zest and juice, stir to mix.

Cover loosely with a layer of greaseproof or parchment paper and bake until tender and juicy but still holding its shape (about 25–35 minutes).

Leave to cool completely, then drain off the juice (it’s delicious, so save it to use in a drink or smoothie, or to pour over ice cream).

Lightly butter a 23cm springform cake tin, line the base with baking parchment and butter the parchment.

To make the base, bash the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin (or blitz in a food processor) until fairly fine. A few coarse bits are absolutely fine though. Transfer to a mixing bowl and pour over the melted butter.  Tip into the tin and press in firmly with the bottom of a glass or ramekin so you get an even layer.

Chill the base while you make the filling.

Put the mascarpone in a bowl, add the double cream and beat until soft and smooth. Add the lemon zest, juice and the sugar and mix well.

Spoon half of the mix into the tin, then spoon the lemon curd over the top, add the remaining mascarpone mixture and level off so the top is even and smooth.  Chill for 4 hours or overnight, until firm.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release the side of the tin.  Serve with the cold baked rhubarb on top or on the side.