Tag Archive | recipe

Chocolate Lime Macaroons and Freeform crochet bag WIP

I had a lovely Saturday visiting my sister for coffee, chats and baking.  We made the most deliciously awesome chocolate lime macaroons.   Based on the yummy sweets from our childhood – chocolate limes.    And I have to say these tasted even more scrumptious than we remembered the sweets.  The zing of lime, velvet chocolate and sweetness of sugary macaroons all perfectly compliment.   And these delicate little biscuit/sweets are gluten-free so I can  indulge all day (well lets forget about the waist-line).

These photo’s are a bit dark as it was early evening when we finished baking and none made it to the light of day, getting eagerly devoured by our family 🙂 .

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Brief  How-to recreate Chocolate Lime Macaroons:

To your favourite french-macaroon base add the zest of a lime and a few drops of green food colouring.   We followed a recipe similar to this one on the BBC to bake our macaroons.

For the filling melt the best dark chocolate you can afford (at least 70% cocoa) and add it to buttercream. This is a great recipe for chocolate buttercream:

Sandwich macaroons together and enjoy munching.

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Scrumilicious macaroon


Freeform Bag WIP

I finally have joined in a CAL on Ravelry after eyeing them for so long.  This one is for a free-form bag.  Something I have wanted to make for a while.  I’m hoping I can get lots of tips whilst I tackle this new challenge.   It’s rather daunting to jump into a world full of scrumbles, randomness and independent crochet.

I’ve started by picking out my yarn.  A mix of ends left over from other projects in shades of pinks, purples and reds.    Following from the technique from the mod I’ve started by crocheting the same little crochet pieces in different yarn.   I’d like it to be a mix of flower shapes. So far I have a circle flower shape (chain 5, R1 dc and R2 dc, 2dc, repeat)  a triangular flower, (magic loop, 10sc.  Row 1: dc and tc in same stitch, tc and dc in same stitch, sc, repeat),  a leaf shape (2 segments of Lazy J, from the complete photo guide to crochet p193), 1 spirally shape which has bullion stitches, and one rectangle sample (various stitches)  which I have done twice and joined together.  I had to pull out the joins a few times after realising I’d sewn stuff on backwards, got myself tangled in stitches and yarn and wondered what the heck I have got myself into with all the ends I need to weave in.   But it’s a start!!!!

First selection of yarn.

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First 2 scrumble patches….I’ve already added in another ball of red and purple yarn to the selection.

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Gluten Free blueberry breakfast cake recipe

My partner hinted to me earlier this week that he misses eating blueberry muffins as he tends to stick to my gluten free diet. So I decided to surprise him and bake a yummy blueberry cake for his breakfast adapting the muffin recipes I found online to make them gluten free and suitable for my breadmaker.

Yes we both love fruit cake for a breakfast treat – its a great way to start the day with a smile on your face. This one has oats and super-fruit which is the perfect breakfast combo. Oats are slowly digested so good for releasing energy through the day and contain soluble fibre and protein. Blueberrys, apricots and sultanas are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins. And erm I’ll ignore the butter and sugar in there – you need some treats in life. Just don’t eat this everyday!!

I cook this in my breadmaker to make a nice moist cake but you could separate the mixture into muffin tins and bake in the oven to create traditional muffins. As the fruit adds lots of yummy sweetness you don’t need to add much sugar but the amount can be adjusted to your personal taste, I used a desertspoonfull.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain gluten free flour
1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (or less to taste)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup blueberries
10 ready soaked dried apricots
small handful of sultanas (about 1/4 a cup)
1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions:

Melt butter in microwave and stir in with the sugar then add into a bowl.
Beat the egg and add this into the bowl.
Add the flour, oats, baking powder, vanilla essence and milk.
Mix together so that it forms a nice thick batter like consistency.
Chop up apricots into small pieces and mix together with blueberries and sultanas then add into the bowl and give it all a good mix to evenly distribute the fruit throughout.
Pour mixture into breadmaker tin then bake for approximately 30-45 mins using bake setting of breadmaker. Check its cooked through by inserting a knife to see if it comes out clean as breadmaker baking times can vary by the model.

Alternatively split into muffin tins then bake in an oven set at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.

An afternoon of Corsages and Tea

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I needed an easy project to do that would only take a  few hours as a break from crochet necklaces.  A “quick” look at Ravelry (quick meaning I didn’t spend the whole afternoon browsing the wonderful creations on there but only an hour or so) and I found a pattern for a beautiful large corsage.  I skimmed the pattern notes and saw it looked simple enough.  But there were no other completed projects to see how others had faired.  I just love browsing through what others have done to see yarn and colour combinations and to read any hiccups and modifications in their project notes.   However I decided the lack of projects must be put right immediately and dived head first into my yarn stash.    I came out grasping 2 shades of blue which looked so complementary together. One a bright turquoise and the other a paler minty blue both Woolcraft New Fashion Double Knitting. This is a cheap and cheerful yarn perfect for mini projects/testing new patterns.

The pattern was very straightforward with just one (130+) row in each colour.  But I kept loosing track when counting to 8 for each petal set whilst trying to keep in my head which part of the stitch pattern I was on.   It was just a little too much information for my brain to hold on a warm afternoon whilst I indulged with tea and homemade tea loaf.  Next time a pen and paper will be utilised to keep track of where I am up to in the pattern. However,  happily as I’m sure I messed up in a couple of places,  it is very forgiving if you miss/duplicate stitches so any mistakes don’t really matter. I made a couple of changes to the finishing off of the pattern.  Crocheted the corsage onto the back piece rather than sewing and made it more ruffled up and on top of itself so it wasn’t as large a diameter.    I found a flowery pale blue  button which I attached into the centre to set it off as a statement piece.

Good fun project for beginners  as mistakes really don’t seem to matter too much at all.  The pattern is available on Ravelry by Jane Crowe.

Home made Tea loaf:

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Half eaten loaf

This makes a  rich tea-loaf perfect to spread with butter and have with your favourite cuppa.

As wheat is my enemy  I bake my own cakes and bread so I can achieve gluten free on a reasonable budget.  To aid me in this I have a wonderful breadmaker which allows me to chuck in a bunch of ingredients and return a few hours later to delicious baked goods, magic.    This is a recipe I’ve adapted from several recipes online which I find makes a good slightly moist loaf in my breadmaker. You can bake this substituting normal flour for the gluten free variety if you don’t have a wheat sensitivity.  If you don’t have a breadmaker you can mix this all together, beat in the egg and put into a lined bread tin and bake in the oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 45 minutes.

Ingredients

1 cup of tea (I used Tetley decaf  but any tea you like would be fine)

1 cup of  sultanas (or any mixed dried fruit)

2 cups of plain gluten free flour

2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp oil (I used Sunflower but any mild flavoured cooking oil would be fine)

1 teaspoon mixed spice

Directions:

Boil kettle and make up one cup of black  tea.  Stir in one teaspoon of honey.

Put sultanas in a bowl and pour over the tea and honey mix.  Leave to soak for around 1 hour until it goes cold.

Meanwhile, pour yourself another cup of tea,  add milk/sugar as desired and sit and  browse through Crochet magazines and online patterns to find your next must have item.

Once the tea is cold and the sultanas are nicely plumped.  Measure all other ingredients into the bread-maker.   Pour over the black tea and sultana mix.

Set the breadmaker to “cake”.

Sit and crochet your chosen “must have” accessory and go back to get your rewards from the breadmaker after 2 1/2 hours.
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In my impatience to eat I didn’t cut it very straight!