Friday, August 15, 2014

a simple chunky newborn hat pattern

I have a load of half balls of Chunky yarn in my stash so decided to make some little hats. I opted for a simple pattern as the wool is variegated.

They really are simple and quick to make...
Grab some chunky yarn and a 6mm hook (or 6.5mm if you crochet tightly)

1. Start with a magic loop, ch 3 (doesn't count as tc throughout) 10 tc into loop, join to chain stitches with sl st, chain 2.
2. 2tc in each tc, join to ch with slip stitch, chain 2
3. 2tc in first tc, tc in next 3 tc - repeat across round, join with sl stitch, chain 2 (25 stitches)
4. TC in first 6 tc then 2tc in next tc, tc until 6 tc before end of round then 2tc in that stitch, tc in remaining tc's, join with sl st, chain 2
Rows 5-8 TC in each TC
Row 9 DC in each stitch around. Join with slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

To make an up to 3month size replace row 4 with - 2TC in first TC, TC in next 4TC around round. And add an extra round of TC in each TC (so 5-9 rows)

I do hope that makes sense ;) of course I am using UK terms.

Going to make some with earflaps next!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunshine Savoury Galette

Okay so it's really a tarty pie kind of thing, but Galette sounds so much better doesn't it?
With a bit of a rain storm and a few sunflower casualties we were a bit cabin fever struck today. And what better way to cheer myself and two small people up by making a mess, I mean cooking.
 This is one of the easiest ways to make lunch bar a jam sandwich...

To make one big enough for two small people and a kind of grown up...

Half a packet of Ready made puff pastry, rolled big enough for your tray
Handful of shredded Roast Chicken
Quarter of an Orange Pepper, diced
Generous handful of Cheddar, grated
Heaped teaspoon of Tomato Puree.
Dash of milk

Heat oven to 180*C
Spread tomato puree on base leaving a a few centimetres all the way round,
Top with cheese, then chicken and peppers,
Fold the edges of the pastry up and over the edges of filling,
Brush with milk (or egg wash if you prefer)

Now place in oven and cook until golden brown and the pastry is cooked all the way through (ours took about 30 minutes)

Of course if you want a bigger Galette then increase everything ;)

These also taste great with some chillis on top or a splash of balsamic vinegar and some mozzarella.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Garden joy and almost instant pickles

To our utter surprise we have managed to actually grow some vegetables this year. Gherkins and tomatoes being the ones that have surprised us most... no, actually the Popcorn sweetcorn seems to be actually growing and actual ear of corn! How amazing eh?

I couldn't wait for more Gherkins to ripen and grabbed the chunkiest lil one and made some almost instant pickles.

All I did was slice that Gherkin as fine as I could, then sprinkled over quarter teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Half cover the gherkins with malt vinegar then top up with water to cover the slices. Add a sprig of dill (from freakishly tall plant is optional)
Put lid on and shake like a crazy person until the salt and sugar have dissolved... then just wait a few hours or overnight.

I adore mine on top of an oatcake topped with cream cheese.

Look! Actual tomatoes on my tomato plant, in the NE of Scotland without a greenhouse! Who'd have thunk it?

Oh by golly! An ear of corn seems to be growing on the Popcorn plants we. They were a total experiment after seeing the James Wong seeds on Suttons seeds... hopefully we will have popcorn by about October haha!

And our apple trees are just laden with fruits. Best start looking for some appley recipes... Any ideas welcome

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yarn, sock yarn and it's a bit matchy!

Couldn't leave these two balls of wool on the shelf in my Mum's wool shop... well, Steve is a mechanic and I do sew ;) so I now have some erm, his and hers yarn? Hehe.
I am making another pair of Simmerdei socks with the pink pair and may attempt some more manly socks with the blue for Steve, but Ian keeps asking me to make him a pair of socks. Now to research small boy socks. Or attempt to make up a pattern myself...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Just can't stop making... crochet dragons

At again, adapting the lovely Stephanie of All About Ami's Dragon pattern. But, it's so cute and I fear I may not be able to stop. I am soon going to be over run buy adorable amigumuri. Luckily this little girl is off to live with a friends Stepdaughter. Hope she likes this palm sized girly camo dragon.

I struggle with only one part of making these... HOT GLUE! Argh that stuff is my nemisis. It goes all stringy and well, everywhere. I've tried sewing the parts on but it didn't look right. I am thinking superglue may work instead. Shall try it on my next dragon, unless anyone else has any super secret glue tips they'd care to share?


Friday, August 8, 2014

Simple 'baking' with the kids

I sometimes have an idea and wonder why on earth I hadn't done it sooner. Ian and Iona are on a bit of a magic theme this last few days. Every thing is a magic wand! So, one rainy afternoon we made some edible magic wands. Chocolate covered breadsticks. I am not claiming that I came up with the idea. But so simple and so much fun to both make and eat.

We also made some marshmallow 'spells' as the kids called them. Because sprinkling the stars was like magic!

Both were a case of melting some dark and milk chocolate and dipping things and sprinkling things. We went for blue sugar and silver balls for the wands and stars for the marshmallows. The marshmallows are of course basically those things we all made at school with a smartie on top.

They were devoured far too quickly but were enjoyed all the same.

If you are ever in need of a quick and easy, if somewhat messy (never leave a 3 year old unattended with a pack of silver sugar balls, you will be picking them up for weeks), baking activity. I really recommend these.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mint sauce. Simply perfect

My herb garden is going a bit mad, think Triffid-esque parsley plant (seriously that thing has a mind of it's own). More mint than I remember planting and dill that grown taller than the children...
So, first herby user upper had to be mint sauce. My kids aren't huge meat eaters but Ian adores lamb burgers with a little mint sauce.
I love the simplicity of making mint sauce. This is the recipe I always use. Makes one jar of minty loveliness.

2 handfuls of mint (stalks and all, the young tops are better and allow your plant to grow thicker)
half teaspoon of salt (sea salt works better but table is fine too)
2 tablespoons of sugar
a splash of boiling water
white vinegar (I just use distilled white vinegar, but you could use white wine if you have it)

To a clean and sterilised jar add your mint, sugar and salt.
Add enough boiling water to just about cover the mint.
Shake jar (putting lid on first...) then leave to cool a bit with lid off.
Now add about 6 spoons of vinegar, then shake jar again.

This should keep for ages in the fridge, should but we seem to use ours quicker than I can grow the mint.