Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Went over to A's flat on the weekend, and came home with these! This is only about half of what was in the bag. They were coated in a weird brown gunk, so I spent ages washing them off, but still, whatever - it's a bag of buttons!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Old Cold

Since it's getting colder now (and I'm taking a break from sitting on a freezing floor cutting out fabric) here are some photos from last winter. 

 Thai takeaway +  Caddyshack on in the background = A great night in.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Candied Pomelo Peel

The Manbeast and I have been a little pomelo-crazy lately, ending most of our meals by devouring at least a segment of this dino-sized grapefruit-ancestor. While the giant, juicy sacs were perfect for quenching an after-dinner thirst, the rind and pith, with the texture (and probably, taste) of building insulation, had to be binned. I didn't feel so good about chucking all that away though - surely, but surely, something could be done with it? 

A little digging around on Google, and I unearthed several recipes for making candied pomelo peel. I love candied ginger, so the idea of candying some pomelo peel sounded good to me. Here's the recipe I ended up using - Patricia Yeo's Candied Pomelo Peel. I've taken step-by-step photos too, for those of you who are interesting in trying it out. 
1. Fill a pot with water (I found it much easier using a large pot),  then bring it to a boil. Add the peel to the pot, and, after bringing the water back to a boil, let it boil for about 10-15 minutes. D
Drain the peel, discard the water and repeat this step another two times. This helps removes some of the bitterness, and makes the peel easier to remove.
You'll find that the pith has turned translucent after the first boiling. You can remove it then, or wait till after the third boiling.
2. Drain the peel, and try and scrap off as much of the pith as possible, leaving only the green parts. Cut the peel into thin strips (about 1/4 inch thick). Sorry, no pictures of this step, it's a two-handed job.

3. Add 500 ml water and 500 gm sugar to a pot. Dissolve the sugar in the water, bring the syrup to a boil, then add the peel and cook over a low heat for about one hour, until most of the liquid is gone. 
You can see in this photo how the peel has changed in colour, it looks translucent here. 
4. Okay, this bit takes a bit of coordination and concentration, you don't want to be burnt by hot sugar so be careful! Add about 200gm granulated sugar into a bowl or plate. Place a wire rack over a baking tray (to catch any drips), then remove a few strips of peel at a time and drop them into the sugar. Coat the strips of peel in the sugar, the place them on the rack to dry. Repeat until all the peel is used up, you may have to add more granulated sugar every now and then. 

I used a pair of tongs to pick up the strips, but then found it much easier using a pair of chopsticks instead. Try and persuade someone to help you here, so you can pick up the strips and drop them into the sugar, and the other person can do the coating and drying.
Let it dry overnight, then keep it in an airtight container, or put them into little cellophane bags and give them to friends. 

The candied peel have a slightly bitter aftertaste, which I really enjoy, but not everyone might like. I asked the Manbacon to test them out on his colleagues, and they all hated it because they found it too bitter for them. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

An Exchange

Ai of the delicious blog it will stop raining put out a call a few weeks ago about having a food swap. Having been a fan of the blog for a while, I was only too glad to take part in it and send her a package. This was the package I received from her on Saturday.
 Hello Kitty stamp! And that cute little bumblebee-dude on the right is just so happy!
 This photo is making me want an ice-cream so badly - who cares if it's freezing over here right now?!
 Goodies - chocolate biscuits, shiruko biscuits, and grape flavoured chewing gum.
 My favourite flavour of gum, and pretty much the only flavour I'll eat (I'll take apple flavoured gum too).
The shiruko biscuits come individually packaged. Inside each one is a sweet cracker, with a layer of red bean sandwiched inside. They are so delicious and more-ish, but I'm trying to ration them so they last longer.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Apple Cake

Recipe is a work in progress...and I left out the cinnamon (try not to bake when stressed). Adding cooked apples to the batter produces a lovely, moist cake. 

Friday, 8 October 2010


A warning first - Marmite-haters, look away NOW! This post involves the usage and consumption of Marmite. 

I tend to approach cooking in much the same way I do most things - cutting and pasting, then crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. That was certainly the case when I hit upon my idea for this dish - roast chicken with a Marmite and treacle marinate. 

The marinate is easy enough to make up, but here's a recipe if you need it:

Marmite and treacle chicken
(for 6-8 pieces of chicken)

1 tbsp Marmite
1 tbsp treacle
half a lime

- Place chicken pieces in bowl or deep plate, add in Marmite and treacle, then squeeze the lime juice over it. Coat chicken in marinate and leave for at least 30 minutes.

- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. When it's preheated, place the chicken in a roasting tray, roast for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
I sliced up a couple of leeks and placed them under the chicken pieces, so they were roasting with the chicken. You can add other vegetables, or cook your veggies any other way you prefer. You'll end up with lots of savoury, rich, slightly sweet gravy when you take the chicken out of the oven. I cooked some quinoa to go with my meal, and poured some of that wonderful gravy over it. 

So, tell me, are you a (Marmite) lover or hater?

It's On Sale, Silly!

Just taking a short break from normal programming to spread some exciting news - a whole bunch of UK Etsy shops (including me!) are taking part in a Silly Sale at the moment. Lots of fantastic items are on offer right now, and most sales end on Saturday or Sunday, so if you really want something, please pop over to Etsy right now, or have a look here.

P.S. Big thanks to superduper Louloudo for making up that handy silly sale badge! Click here for her blog or scoot over to her Etsy shop for some incredible £5 bargains!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Fresh Colours

Recently completed wearables - a waistcoat and a turban. The waistcoat was inspired by a £5 sparkly, sequinned one I bought last winter. 

The shiny sides and back were cut from an awesome shiny, metallic peach curtain, with a sort of woodgrain pattern running through it. I'd love to have seen the house that curtain was originally hung in. The fabric for the herringbone patterned lapel sections come from a duvet that was clearly a casualty of the 80s - black and white with bright red borders around. I had to grab it as soon as I saw it in the op-shop, because it reminded me of the twins Heather and Erica from Degrassi, and their penchant for black and white ensembles. 

So there you have it, a Degrassi inspired waistcoat - going into the Etsy shop soon. 

That turban I was working on a couple weeks ago is finally finished too. It's based on a 1940s pattern from the V&A archives, and actually knits up fairly quickly. Remember those colour-blocked Cross Colours jackets and jeans from back in the day? This is the turban tribute to that, because I could never get my parents to get me a proper Cross Colours jacket when I was 11. 

If that cowl looks familiar, it's because it's the Moebius Cowl from about 2 years ago. I'm actually thinking of knitting up another one this winter, but then again, I always get a tad over-ambitious with knitting projects at this time of year, only to run out of steam about 2 weeks later...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Muesli Treacle Muffins

 The Manbeast isn't very good at starting his day with breakfast, so I thought I'd make things easy for him but baking up some easy-to-grab muffins. The inspiration came from a box of fantastic oat and treacle biscuits we picked up from Sainsburys - rich, sweet but with enough oaty goodness in it to let it pass as 'healthy'.
 These little muffins are stuffed with muesli and moist with olive oil - I wanted to produce a handsized, edible battery for busy mornings. 

Muesli Treacle Muffins
makes about 10
200 gm self-raising flour
100 gm muesli
2 tbsp treacle 
100 ml olive oil
100 ml milk 
2 eggs

For topping
1 tbsp demerara sugar
25 gm muesli

- Preheat oven to 175c. Mix flour and muesli in a large bowl, then add treacle to mixture.

- In another bowl, milk olive oil, eggs and milk. 

- Add the wet ingredients to the flour/muesli mixture, and stir it all up with a spoon until it's all combined. 

-Spoon the batter into muffin cases, sprinkle muesli and sugar on top and pop it into the oven for about 12 - 15 minutes.

-Enjoy! Keep them in airtight containers and they should last for up to 3 days without drying out. These would be sooooo good with some clotted cream too.