Monday, 20 May 2013

On the back burner

My recipe challenge, that started so well, has come to a halt.  Week Three- 29th-6th I didn't manage to cook ANY recipes due to over work and the sad fact that my weighing scales died after being dropped on the floor.  They were only a plastic cheap set I bought before going to university but the fact they had lasted nearly ten years and helped me make many a cake made me sad.  Plus is was my birthday on the 9th and I wasn't able to make a cake for it.

Week Four - 7th-15th
I rustled up a recipe of my own without needing scales but again, it was a poor show for the recipe challenge.  I did cook quite a bit but I made things I already knew and as the other half did the shopping and we had guests it meant I stuck to roast dinners and stir-fries.

I rustled up this pasta dish one night when I was on my own, similar to the stuffed peppers recipe (as that's what I like!)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Pasta
1 small sweet potato
7-8 cherry tomatoes
1 serving of pasta shells (you can decide how much this is!)
1 tbsp pesto
Crumbled goats cheese over the top

Peel and cut the sweet potato into small cubes then roast in the oven with oil for 10 minutes.  Add the cherry tomatoes to the oven dish and cook for a further 10 minutes.  Boil the pasta and once the veg is cooked, stir it together with a spoonful of the pesto and crumble the goat's cheese over the top.

Quite simple but really delicious.

Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Pasta
 This challenge was pretty hard but I did manage to make 4 dishes from my book and make up 2 of my own.  Not as many as I would have liked but I think I will continue trying to challenge myself to use my cookbooks more often.

Me Made May - Week Two and Three

I'm doing 2 weeks in one post as I haven't managed that many outfits and I have got behind on blogging about them.

Jersey Circles Dress (pre-blog)
This is one of my first ever makes but I am still wearing it even though I should have made it a size smaller and the hem has pretty much come undone.  I wore this on a rare half day at home, it is comfy for lounging around.
Anchors Away Circle Skirt
I wore this skirt paired with a top I bought recently, I thought it might be a bit too matchy-matchy but I actually really like it.  The photos are grainy as I took them just before bed after nearly forgetting and the camera was out of focus and it was dark, hence the shiny glasses.

I actually wore this to go an visit a possible wedding venue which is actually the top one of our list at the moment.   Sam's parents had come to stay so it was helpful to get their opinions on it too.  It was really lovely to go and visit even though it was pouring with rain!
Ditsy Floral Dress
I wore this on my day off and I am not so sure about this dress now.  The length feels a little too mumsy to me now unless I wear it with heels and the sleeve cuffs are too tight.  This seems to be a common problem with my me-mades, perhaps I have muscular upper arms!  (Awful photo, again, before bed and being blinded by the flash.)

This week I have a holiday from my day job so I am only working 3 evenings which will be bliss.  I am hopeful of getting some serious sewing time in as I do not have that many plans this week which is rare for me!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


For the spring issue of Something Borrowed magazine I was asked if I could make a pinwheel tutorial as they were running a fairground wedding themed issue.  This sounds like great fun and is actually something that some of my close friends are thinking about doing at their wedding.
I made two sets of pinwheels, one with coloured acetate and one of card, they are surprisingly easy to make, the trickiest bit is threading the wire through the holes tightly enough that they stay in place but not so tight so that they don't spin.  I found a length or drinking straw really helped.
I think these would be really fun for an outdoor reception, especially one with lots of children running around.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Me-Made-May 2013 - Week One

Thursday 2nd May
 This is the first outing of my Birdy Skirt this year!  The sunshine has finally hit Swansea, just in time for MMM!  I wore this for a meeting at a pub (not the best idea, we had to shout over the music) and it did make me feel summery.  I sort of forget about this skirt a lot of the time, which I shouldn't really as I like the shape of it and wore it with my striped tee in an effort to make it different from last years May!

Sunday 5th May
I'm feeling the sunshine today so I wore my Spring Daisy Dress which always makes me feel summery.  I am glad I only decided to do 2-3 days as this week has been so packed full of work and Guides that I have only had one evening and Sunday to wear anything other than a uniform.  I am trying to mix up my outfits a little and not wear my makes in the same way as usual to make it more interesting for myself.

I hope you are all having a good MMM so far!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cooking up a storm!

 This weeks recipes have been pretty successful, I even experimented in making up one myself!

22nd - 28th April

Easy Crispy Chicken from 'The Hairy Dieters - Dave Myers & Si King'
Another book I bought in an effort to eat healthier but also because I just love those hairy guys enthusing about food and riding around on their motorbikes.  I like to think they are the modern version of the Two Fat Ladies!

mmm chicken!
Recipe - Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people!)
4 slices of white sliced bread
4 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 tsp flaked sea salt
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
4 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt (I needed more like 5)
1-2 tbsp plain flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were really huge boobies!)
Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200*c and grill the bread in the oven until golden.  (I skipped this and just used the toaster, apparently the oven is better as it dries the bread rather than toasting it but it worked for me.)  Leave to cool then remove the crusts.  Blitz the bread in a food processor into crumbs, tip them into a bowl and add the herbs, salt, cheese and season.  Put the crumb mixture onto a plate, the yoghurt onto another plate and the four onto another.

Dip the chicken into the flour, then yoghurt then coat in the breadcrumbs until it is pretty thick.  (This is quite a messy bit and you end up crumbing your fingers too but it is really fun!)  Put each breast onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 22-25 mins (mine took a little longer as they were really big breasts!) leave to stand for a few mins before serving.

I served mine with green beans and potato wedges which I didn't make as I had run out of potatoes.  We had two each and were stuffed full, I could have happily eaten one but I was too greedy!

Sweet Potato & Cheese Frittata from 'Hamlyn 200 Low Fat Dishes'

I forgot to take a picture of this one, but it combined some of my favourite ingredients, goats cheese and sweet potato.  I knew Sam would not be too in to this so I used cheddar cheese on his portion and cooked some bacon to go with it so he didn't reject the veggie option out of hand.

Recipe - serves 4 (hmm we ate this between the 2 of us for lunch!)
500g sliced potatoes
1 tsp olive oil
5 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh coriander (I left this out as I didn't have any)
4 large eggs, beaten
100g goats cheese (I just the milder crumbly kind as it is my favourite)

Peel and slice the sweet potato and boil for 8 mins and then drain.  Heat the oil and fry the onions and potato for 2 mins.  Stir the coriander into the beaten eggs and season then pour into the pan.  Arrange the goats cheese on top and cook until almost set.  Put under a hot grill at the end to melt the cheese in totally.  (My grill isn't working so I just cooked it on the hob and added the cheddar cheese to half and goats cheese to the other half.)

Stuffed Peppers with Goats Cheese - by me!
I wish I had made more!
I had quite a few vegetables and other things left over from cooking this week so I decided to make something up with them myself!  This is what I came up with and I absolutely loved it!

1 sweet red pepper
2-5 chestnut mushrooms
2-3 vine tomatoes
2 spring onions
Crumbly goats cheese
2 tsp green pesto
Knob of butter

Cut the red pepper in half and de-seed, then brush with oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes around 200*c.  Melt the butter in a small pan, chop up the mushrooms and fry until most of the water has come out of them.  Add the chopped onions and tomatoes and stir until cooked through.

Fill the roasted pepper with the veggie mix, spoon the pesto over the top and add some crumbled goats cheese.  Return to the oven for 10 minutes then serve.

I hope everyone has had a lovely week!  I had a fair bit of time to cook during this second week though the same cannot be said of this week!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Me Made May 2013 Pledge

'I, Sarah of Sorbet Surprise Gets Sew Crafty blog, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear me-made clothing 2-3 days a week for the duration of May 2013.' 

 It is Me Made May time again!  I am going to sign up again this year as I did have fun doing it last year.  However I have been more realistic this year.  Last year I did the full me-made everyday pledge and it was a struggle.  Firstly I don't have enough me-mades for a whole month and secondly there were a few days when I went to work (in uniform) then ran Guides which meant I was in uniform again and didn't get to wear me-made.This year I have 2 uniformed jobs as well as my Guide group which is obviously also uniformed so I am changing my pledge so that on my days off work when I can actually wear my own clothes, I will choose me-mades.  I have not really completed that many new garments this year either, as the ones I have done tend to have been fancy dresses and not everyday wear.  Still, I am looking forward to the challenge, especially as by the end of May we and *fingers tightly crossed* hoping to be moving.  Maybe I need some me-made decorators overalls?  heehee!