Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Little felt cubes out in the big wide world!

As some of you will know I've been making my little felt cubes for a while now and I've finally gone and got myself an Etsy shop hooray!!! There are six cubes on there for sale at the moment of varying colours and fabrics so take a peek if you get a minute. If you would like a personalised one making please don't hesitate to contact me. I have a wide selection of material so if you have a colour or design in mind then just shout! Over and out!

My Stamp Collection

We have just finished a four week project entitled "Collections," where we had to design and create a book/catalogue about a collection that we owned. When I was little I collected stamps so this was ideal! I really got my teeth into this project and loved every minute. At times it seemed such a daunting task producing so much imagery and wanting it to be a true to what it was about. I made a little book using images from my stamps as well as letters I received over the years from my two penpals and stuck this inside an envelope packet that I designed and illustrated. I'm really proud of what I managed to produce, above are just a selection of photographed spreads, I hope you like them! (Full set of spreads to follow!)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Beef Stew...

I'm not sure how I found this recipe but it sounded really good and I'd never made a stew before mainly because they take sooooo long to cook and I've never had the time! However, this beef stew didn't seem to take days to make so I thought, right I'll give it a go! I bought some really nice stewing steak from our local butchers and it also gave me chance to use up lots of veg that needed eating up anyway! Served with a Yorkshire Pudding this is beefy heaven! Good food to warm the soul on a cold winter's night!

Ingredients: (serves 4, but I halved it and it works just as well)
4tsp of olive oil
400g stewing steak (lean)
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic (fresh)
200g carrots
200g celery (you can leave out if you want...you don't notice it's not there!)
8tsp of cornflour
8tsp of tomato puree
1.32 pints of vegetable stock
4 pinches of oregano
4 pinches of mixed herbs
4 potatoes
400g mushrooms

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Cut the stewing steak into bite sized chunks and toss in the cornflour tapping off any excess. Then brown off on all the sides keeping the heat high.
2. Once browned, set aside on a plate and add the finely sliced onions, crushed garlic, diced carrot and celery to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Return the meat with any of the juices to the pan.
3. Add the tomato puree, stock, herbs and potatoes (cut into bite sized chunks). Turn the heat low and gently simmer for about 30 minutes. After this time, add the mushrooms to the casserole and simmer gently for a further 10 minutes.
4. I served mine with a Yorkshire Pudding but it could just be eaten on its own or with some steamed veg on the side.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Mmm pie...

There really is nothing quite like a home made pie. Me and my friend Jen were debating what to do with some ingredients that needed eating up when I found a brilliant recipe for a Chicken and Mushroom pie! Armed with kitchen utensils and an appetite to feed an army, we created the beauty below! We simply served it with some veg and some roasted parsnips...bish bash bosh!

2 tbsp olive oil
chicken breasts, skin and bone removed
150g/5½oz button
mushrooms, quartered
1 small
onion, chopped
garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp
plain flour, plus extra for dusting
300ml/½ pint
200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
freshly grated
nutmeg, to taste
freshly ground
white pepper
pinch salt
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
One of sheet of ready made puff pastry.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry until the chicken begins to turn white.
Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until the chicken is golden-brown.
Remove the chicken and mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the same pan and fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside with the chicken and mushrooms.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly until it has formed a thick smooth paste (this is called a roux).

Mix the milk and stock together in a jug, then add the nutmeg, white pepper and salt, to taste. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour mixture, whisking all the time until smooth. Simmer over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Stir in the chopped parsley and pour the sauce over the chicken and mushroom mixture. Mix well, then spoon into a pie dish and leave until completely cool.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Brush the edges of the pie dish with beaten egg, lay the pastry on top, press down the edges and trim. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and cut some leaf shapes out of the left-over pastry to decorate the top of the pie.
Make two or three slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top.