Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chickpea Dip

I've got a very yummy recipe to share with you all today. I made this chickpea dip the other day when I had a load of cooked chickpeas in my fridge and no idea what to make with them all! I threw a load of what I had in the fridge into the food processor and this delish dip came out!

Chickpea Dip

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 small yellow pepper
2 x tomatoes
1 x celery stick
1tsp paprika
2 tbsps lemon juice
plenty of black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Done :)

You can use this as a yummy dip or you can use it as a wrap filling like I did, with a little mango chutney spread on the wrap and a good dollop of natural yoghurt on the side. Tasty!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wholewheat Broccoli and Goat's Cheese Muffins

We have been eating muffins by the dozen lately. I love how I can sneak veg in that the kids would otherwise never eat. It feels like we're having a treat but we are getting lots of healthy goodness!

The latest addition to my ever growing muffin repertoire is this wholewheat broccoli and goat's cheese muffin recipe. Delicious!

Wholewheat Broccoli and Goat's Cheese Muffins (Makes 12)

1 x medium broccoli, diced
150g hard goat's cheese, cubed
200g natural yoghurt
2 x medium eggs
3tbsps olive oil
seasoning (plenty of black pepper, pinch of turmeric, pinch of chilli powder, big pinch mixed herbs)
1tsp baking powder
145g wholewheat plain flour

Bring the broccoli up to the boil in a large pan, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4 mins or until tender. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Add to a food processor, along with the cubed cheese, and chop finely. In a large jug, mix together the yoghurt, eggs, oil and seasoning. Add the broccoli and cheese mixture. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until just combined. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases. Use the mixture to fill the cases to the top. Cook on GM5 for 45mins - 1hr, until nicely browned on top and cooked through.

These didn't last more than an hour in front of me and my two hungry girls!

I'm linking here:


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Box Bottomed Plarn Bag

I always seem to have a million plastic bags in my house. Every time I go food shopping, I mean to take my own plastic bags with me, and every time I seem to forget. So I bring home another load of plastic bags, can't bear to throw them in the bin, and so keep them. I have an ever-growing mountain with bags full in my kitchen, spare room and in various cupboards!

Enough is enough. I'm going to make as many of these plarn bags as it takes to rid my house of the many plastic bags.

To make your own, you will need:

8mm (or bigger) crochet hook

Boxed Bottomed Plarn Bag

1. ch31, sc in 2nd ch from hook and across (30)
2-9. ch1, turn, sc across (30)
10. ch1, turn, sc across long edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across short edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across second long edge, working 3scs in corner st, sc across second short edge, working 2scs in same st as 1st sc, join with sl st in 1st sc (82)
11-17. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc (82)
18. ch1, turn, sc3tog, sc in next 7sts, sc3tog, sc in next 28sts, sc3tog, sc in next 7sts, sc3tog, sc in next 28sts, join with sl st in top of first sc3tog (74)
19-32. ch3, turn, sk st at base of ch3, dc around, join with sl st in top of ch3
33. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc (74)
34. ch1, turn, sc in next 17sts, ch 12, sk 12sts, sc in next 25sts, ch12, sk 12sts, sc in next 8sts, join with sl st in 1st sc
35. ch1, turn, sc in 9sts, work 12sts evenly around the chain, sc in next 25sts, work 12sts evenly around the chain, sc to end, join with sl st in 1st sc (74)
36-37. ch1, turn, sc around, join with sl st in 1st sc
38. bind off and weave in ends

Naomie and Boots seem to like it too :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ruffle Heart Tshirt for Valentine's Day

I have actually been feeling extremely bah humbug about Valentine's Day this year. It is the first time I have been single in 5 years so I was just not at all feeling it. However, Leyla's nursery asked that all of the children wear something pink to celebrate. As soon as I heard that, I knew I had to make something for her to wear. I ummed and aahed for a while over what to make her but I finally decided on this simple little ruffle heart tshirt. It was so easy to make and turned out so cute.

I made this lovely ruffle heart tshirt using one plain tshirt in her size and a pair of leggings that I bought because I fell in love with the gorgeous polka dot pattern. You can use any knit (aka tshirt material) to make this.

First things first, you will need to trace a heart shape onto your plain tshirt. I made myself a template heart out of a piece of cardboard and just drew around that in the middle of the tshirt.

Next, you need to make your ruffle. Cut ½" strips of knit material. You don't need to finish the edges since knit material does not fray. If you are using small strips of knit, you will need to stitch them together to make one long strip. Lay the short ends of two strips together, right sides facing in. Stitch across the short ends with a straight stitch then a zigzag. Trim seam allowances. Open all of your strips out to get your long strip. Set your sewing machine to its highest tension setting and longest stitch setting. Sew a straight line right down the middle of your long strip, making sure NOT to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitch line. Your strip should start to automatically ruffle as it goes through the sewing machine. You can adjust the ruffle if needs be by pulling gently on the bobbin thread.

Now you will need to take your ruffle and pin it around the heart you previously drew onto your tshirt. I laid the middle line of stitching on top of the pencil line to make sure it was not visible once sewn down. If you use washable fabric marker then this is not a major issue but I couldn't find mine so had to use a pencil instead. Stitch the ruffle down, following the middle line you stitched in the previous step. I just stitched right on top of it. You can unpick the first row of stitching at this point but I didn't bother.

Stitch a line of straight stitch across the bottom short edge of your ruffle, just to neaten things a little and make sure the ends are not flapping about.

Aaand your done. Wasn't that easy :)

Now go and make one quick for Valentine's Day. You've just about got time!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Perfect Pancakes

Happy pancake day everyone!

Today I am going to be sharing a really simple and yummy recipe for pancakes. I actually love pancakes but I don't make them very often for my kids since they are a bit more effort than our usual breakfast. However, since it's pancake day, how could I not? :)

Perfect Pancakes (makes 8-10)

1 x mug
6 x eggs
plain flour
toppings (we use lemon juice, brown sugar and honey)

To make your pancakes, get yourself a large jug. Measure out 6 eggs into your mug. Take note how far up the mug your eggs go. Pour the eggs into your jug and mix. You will want to add the same amount of flour and then the same amount again of milk. It's really as simple as that. Whisk it all together well and leave it to sit in your fridge for about 30 mins.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add a ladleful of pancake batter once the pan is hot. Turn the pan to allow the batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Leave to cook until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip and cook the other side for a few minutes.


Now go and make your own and have a yummy pancake day :)

Monday, 11 February 2013

Mint Stuff I've Seen #31

This Week's Features:

Cannellini Bean 'Meatballs' - Cookin' Canuck

Valance Tutorial - Peters Posts

Animal Bums Coat Hook - The Turquoise Piano

Letter Making - The Virginia House


Feel free to grab my button from the sidebar if you've been featured :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Quick Knit Cowl

The other day I was in need of a project that worked up quickly. I've been making these socks but they are just taking sooo long. I am not the most patient person in the world and I tend to stick to projects that only take me a couple of days to finish. Like this cowl!

I absolutely love how this cowl turned out and it knit up nice and quickly! Only took me two nights to make. I knit slow aswell so an experienced knitter would probably make it in one night.

You will need:

20mm knitting needles
DK yarn
wool needle

1. Using the long tail method, cast on 30 stitches
2-47. Work in stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until your piece is long enough to wrap twice around your neck. For me that was 46 rows, which measured about 37".
48. Bind off and stitch the two short ends together to form a loop.

Wear your new cowl with pride :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wholewheat Sugar Cookies

My two girls' great grandad had a birthday this week. We decided to make him some sugar cookies to mark the occasion :)

Me and Naomie made the cookies one day while Leyla was at nursery then Leyla iced them when they had cooled.

Naomie had such a fun time rolling and cutting out the cookies.

Then Leyla very carefully iced them. She had such a look of concentration on her little face the whole way through. It was so cute.

I think they turned out to be pretty awesome. I was a bit sceptical about how they would taste, given that we used wholewheat flour and brown sugar, but they were really nice. I don't think I've ever had regular sugar cookies so I had nothing to compare them to, but I know my version will definitely be getting made again!

Wholewheat Sugar Cookies (makes 12-18)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup demarara sugar
2 x medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups wholewheat plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

For the icing:

1 cup icing sugar
3 tbsps milk

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the baking powder and salt then the flour, a little at a time. Mix until combined. Lay out a piece of cling film and spoon your cookie mix onto it. Flatten the mix and cover with another piece of cling film. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes until nice and firm. Preheat your oven to GM4/175C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll your dough out, using a floured rolling pin. Add more flour to your pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Roll out to 1/8-1/4" thickness. Cut your cookies using cookie cutters and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Reroll the scraps and repeat until all your dough has been used. Bake for 20 mins, or until lightly browned. Leave to sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks. Cool completely before icing.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar and milk in a small bowl. Add the milk gradually until the icing is thin enough to coat the back of a spoon. Spread the cookies with as much or as little icing as you would like.


Monday, 4 February 2013

Mint Stuff I've Seen #30

This Week's Features:

Vegetarian Five Bean Soup Mix - Back To Her Roots

Arm Knitted Scarf - Simply Maggie

PVC Pipe Fort - Turning Stones

No Sew Shopping Cart Cover - Little Rays of Sunshine


Feel free to grab my button from the sidebar if you've been featured :)

Friday, 1 February 2013

WIP: My first ever pair of socks!

I don't have a finished craft to share today but I do have a picture of a lovely pair of socks that I am currently making. Up until last week, I have been terrified of double pointed needles. I don't know why, they just looked really difficult to work with. I decided the best way to get over my fear was to just use them! So I found a couple of good video tutorials and got to work.

I am using thin needles and fine wool so it is taking me quite a while to make them. I kind of wish I had used chunkier wool just to make the knitting go faster. I have never been one for long projects. I like quicker results. But for now, I am still enjoying making them.

Let's hope I can keep myself interested long enough to finish them both :P

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