This weekend didn't bring any great adventures but I loved it all the same.
Having stayed up until 5am Sat morning to celebrate the reveal and fastest sell out kit of the century at Studes, I slept until 1pm sat to shake off the party! By the time I was dressed and out for a saturday morning shop it was bloody tea time. I promised never to lie in again as I missed almost a whole day!
We did a little cooking, ok a LOT of cooking. Mark and I are experimenting on cooking on a tight budget because we have been way too extravagant by chucking in whatever we fancied into the trolley only to have to chuck it away a week later. It surprising how much can go along way without blowing the expense. We made a pork and brandy dinner with creme fraiche and sage (similar to last week) with roast veggies. Roast veggies are our favourite right now especially as sweet potatoes can be bought in abundance for next to nothing in Sainbury's basic brands. I also made a pud that I had seen being made on Come Dine With Me. I love that programme for food ideas but I don't like it when people are unnecessarily mean behind the other diners backs. I whipped up a Mango and Almond Fool complete with my hand fashioned chocs. You cant burn the fool, its non bake so you can see why I loves! Plus the mango is from a tin - I know, the shame! Delia would be so cross!
Mango and Almond Fool
500g tin of puree Mango
100g gound almonds
120ml double cream
1 table spon castor sugar
Half a block of dark choc
1 table spoon icing sugar to decorate
Serves 6, costs approx £3.00 (50p per head)
Whisk the double cream in a bowl until moderately stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 egg whites and once stiff, add sugar and whisk again until stiff again. Pour puree into a separate bowl and fold in the whisked eggs, then fold in the cream until all combined evenly. Pour into serving bowls, but be assured this is fruity rich, you needn't want a lot!
To serve, sift icing sugar o'the top and add a couple of chocolate shapes.
To test meringue stiffness, you should be able to hold above ones head without dripping - like so:
To make homemade choc shapes, i simply melt dark choc on the microwave on the setting "one higher" than defrost. NEVER try to melt choc at 100% in a microwave or else you will set the bugger on fire (ROZ! Ahem.........). Make a temporary piping bag with grease proof paper, like so:
Roll out a large sheet and fold in half:
Take one edge and roll into a tight cone shape:trip the top off to make it a neat cone edge:place in a cup, ready to fill with melted choc:Once filled, carefully squish up the top open edge and snip away the bare edge of the cone tip to make a fine flow of chocolate:Make hearts and stars and swirls - even dachshunds!
Then pop in the fridge for ten minutes to set:
Pop onto Mango and Almond Fool like thus but don't eat the Dachshunds because that means you want to eat my Eddy...... evils.I went to bed before midnight for the first time in forever and got up late (again, so much for yesterdays promise). Mark could see I needed to catch up after some 4am drifts last week. I got up real late. Put it this way, I toyed with going to church today but was missed it (think medication is draining me) and even that starts at 11am! I think breakfast was an obvious miss and lunch was my first meal! LOL. Anyway, near my home is this beautiful Unitarian church, up on a hill which is over 300 years old. The fact that its Unitarian is intriguing because they accept all faiths and that to me is a bonus. Fancy that, ey? A commune where faith is low on the priority - life in general ought to be like that. Sadly they don't hold Evensong and next Sunday Im working away so my foot shuffling on that score is on hold. Ive had my reasons for not going to church in a long time but recently my sister and a couple of friends have explained how refreshing it is in certain churches. This interests me as the church I used to frequent was damning and cold. I just want to go and make my peace with Him although I think it's going to take some time as I have so many questions. Heeeeee!
Lunch was drag to be honest as I was pretty drained today. Fortunately I had soaked some split green peas over night to make a pea and ham soup for lunch cum breakfast. Split peas are so inexpensive (80p for a 500g bag, you only need 35g per person) and will make pans of soup from one pack. I added chopped bacon bits (i love butchers bacon bits, so cheap and chunky), sage and a tad of chilli and served it with Tiger bread (who loves this stuff? Ellie adores it). Its the most easiest soup to make in the world and will become a weekly event in our house. Mark clearly thinks I am the height of domestication albeit a bit of a lazy one this weekend ;)
By 4pm I was flagging again so we went out with the dog. Flippin heck, there was a nasty nip in the air and it sure dusted out the cobwebs. Little eds was in fine form being the investigative little pooch this side of Ashton and Belle - sweet belle swinging on the swing in the most unconventional style.
Here she is - her fave time of day where she can go out sunglasses free, still squinting though!Me and her royal highness in her golden throne on wheelsMarky mark (who would like to point out to his blog fans - lol, yeah right) that his fashionably 199o's Jack Wolfskin was once the height of fashion and has now been demoted to dog walks - yeah, and I have to walk next to him wearing it and duck behind bushes when passers by come near.But no sooner had we got in for coffee and tea was I sloughing on the sofa before I realised enough is enough. I forced myself to drink pint of ribena to zing me up, ate garlic chicken for tea, managed half and then bath time where a snooze soon after had me worried that Im sleeping too much. Who has ever taken Stemetil (anti dizziness pills) and suffered with drowsiness to this extent? Please let me know.
So now I can share my layouts in full for the March Studes kit. Yes, it sold out but April and Scarlet are gauging demand to get all three kits replenished in the nest week or so.
I'll start with this card but more so the emphasis n the typewriter stamp that comes with the kit. I love that stamp with all of my heart. I cut into it to feed paper through to make it look authentic!
Maya Mists are all the rage at Studio Calico right now. here I used a Tim Holtz mask (from my own stash I may add) and spritzed over some mists to make this layout using very little paper from leftovers in the kit.
Maya mists continue spritzed over some Tim Holtz grunge board (again from my own stash). think of the fun you can have making your own masks and templates! this is called Looking for Summer. I can't wait for summer and long walks with him.Jenni Bowlin journal "moo" card looked so much more handsome as I added alpha stamps to make it a "Mooving" card!
I made this tree for my sister to put in her office. Simple really but I hope she will love it.
Bag o Tags! I think this is my favourite thing this month. I made the bag from the kit bags by cutting them down and gluing them to make a little storage for my maya misted tags. I'm enjoying tags again, I never thought Id see the day!
Two of the three tags (Ive lost the yellow tag picture!)
Studio calico OWN paper line is out of this world. This months was dress pattern based so I made a layout about a fancy night out we had. I know some people liked the fact I used the models arm as a photo corner thingy. To be honest, that was more luck than management!
I wasn't sure what to do with the felt in the kit. I toyed with it for ages and somehow this came together.
Another of my faves (and featured on sassafras's blog this weekend, eeeeks!) - the title reads "Seven days without laughter makes one weak. Doesn't Ellie look ticklish?
My sweet niece Charlotte tucking into croissants is a joyous picture that deserves the title Devour.
Great kit, loads of leftovers....loved it so so much.
PS: I don't know how many of you emailed me (well, ok - it was a LOT) to ask where I saw those tops that I posted on Friday. Well they are from this store here and guess what? He says YES!
PPS: Dawn sent me this in with the papers I showed you last week - I had to share it, I think its beauts :)