Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cold enough for soup?

It's been a busy old week once again ... I've been tidying up the almost finished bedroom but still need to put the bunting up and find a place for some of my treasures. I've also begun work on transforming a small metal dogs bed frame into a luxury double dolls bed and today I will be making some paper flowers for a lovely lady who will be 88 on Saturday.

I felt rather chilly earlier on in the week and decided to warm myself up with a batch of soup. I had some courgettes and leeks waiting to be used up so I went for a Courgette & Leek soup.

This is a great soup which most of the family likes with the exception of Miss G who is so fussy it amazes me but she did eat it with some persuasion.

The recipe is suitable for vegetarians/vegans as we are a household of vegetarians and vegans (I'm the vegan).

Here's the list of ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
900g (2lb) courgettes, grated
1.3 litres (2 3/4 pints) hot vegetable stock
4 short sprigs rosemary
salt and black pepper

1.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions and leeks and cook for 5-10 minutes. Then add the courgettes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Give them a good stir as well.

2. Add the hot stock and 3 sprigs of rosemary and bring to the boil. season with salt and pepper and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Once all the veg is cooked remove from heat and allow to cool for a short while.

The picture above shows the grated courgettes and any vegetable waste goes into my little compost caddy.

4.  Remove rosemary stalks from the soup and spoon some of the soup into a blender and whizz it to the consistency you prefer. Continue doing this until all the spoon is blended.

5. Serve immediately in warmed soup bowls with some delicious bread.

I do hope that some of you lovely readers will give this a go as it really is a delicious soup. I will be sharing more recipes over the weeks so keep a look out for them. I was going to share a gorgeous, moist carrot cake recipe that is vegan but the evidence was eaten before I could get the camera out! I will try again soon.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Knit One, Purl One ... Ooh I've made a scarf ...

I have been a busy bee lately. What with trying to redecorate my bedroom and carry on with my crafting of gorgeous things to sell, I have been left with no time to do anything else.

My bedroom is coming along nicely now and here is a sneak peak ... it's not finished yet and it will get a blog post all to itself when it is ... but here's a taster ...

It's getting there and is looking better than the Barbie pink it was before!

So, I have spent this week putting the finishing touches to some of the scarves that I have been making. They have been made in a supersoft chunky wool in a range of colours. I have knitted them all in moss stitch which is a favourite as I just love the texture and it gives a bit of interest to the scarf as well I feel. At the end of the scarves I have added some hand made crocheted flowers as well.

I have managed to finish four so far and there are three more that need flowers sewing on to them.

This is a gorgeous caramel coloured one with flowers in autumnal tones and a dark brown scarf with sunflowers.

This is a gorgeous teal colour with lilac and white flowers at the bottom. 

And finally, a very dark purple with matching flowers.  All these gorgeous scarves are now for sale on Etsy and Folksy. My shop name is Birdy in a Pear Tree should any of you be interested.

Thanks for reading xx

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Final Curtain ... or Curtains Finally!!

Around a year or so ago I gave the kitchen a bit of a make-over. The walls went from lime green to a stone colour and I made a feature wall behind the cooker and slapped some aubergine paint on it. The melamine cupboards went from a dirty painted white to the same stone colour as the walls and the kitchen looked fab and will keep me going another year or so until I can FINALLY get a new kitchen to my liking ... sigh

All that remained was for me to run up a pair of curtains ... a small job and with my sewing skills I could do it in no time at all but August turned into September and then October and then November and my mom passed away and I just couldn't do much apart from funeral arrangements and then December and my teenage son had major surgery relating to Crohns and so that was another traumatic time for us as a family and everything went on the back burner and the next thing I knew it was February and the almost 19 year old son had more surgery and before you know it it's September 2012 and still NO curtains.

Last week I decided to make the flipping things as Miss J and Miss G kept on at me now it was dark earlier and they don't like going in the kitchen when it's dark outside as the bogeyman obviously lives in our back garden. So on Monday last week I trotted off to the dentist for a bit of root canal and a good deep clean of the gums as you do. Before I went I planned the curtains and had decided for speed to use a pair of vintage curtains that I had bought last year for £3 at my local charity shop. I decided to trim them to size and make tab tops. This I planned to do the following morning.

What followed was NOT pleasant dear readers ... the pain after the anaesthetic wore off was HORRENDOUS - it made childbirth seem a doddle. I was up to my eyeballs in paracetamol which just about took the edge off the matter but I decided to plod on with said curtains.

I managed to do them and get a before and after picture for you but don't look too closely or you will notice that one is slightly longer than the other but I am choosing to ignore this at the moment but given time I will have to sort it out as it will bug me. At least there are no more complaints about being too scared to go into the kitchen at night.

Luckily I did do them on Tuesday as I spent the next two days in bed in agony and drugged up on painkillers but I am happy to report that the pain that went from the jaw, up to my ear and up to my head has now gone but needless to say I have postponed todays' appointment to have the rest of the deep clean until next week!