Sunday, 31 July 2011

A working holiday

Pin It Last Sunday we set off to Dartmoor in Devon to teach a week long printmaking course at Dartmoor Arts. I've been looking forward to it since we got asked to do as I saw it as an opportunity for a little holiday in some beautiful surroundings. We taught a group of 12 people a mix of screenprinting, etching and woodcuts. It was a pretty exhausting week but thoroughly enjoyable. We got some really great work out of it and some great feedback. It looks very likely that we will do the same next year. I took so many photos so I thought I'd share. I'm sorry for the lack of recipes, I have a huge list of things to make over the next week so keep your eyes peeled!

Home for the week
Studio for the week
View from said studio
Going up...

The stunning views...

Its fun to stay at the...

You can't go to the west country without indulging in a cream tea.

We drove down to Cornwall on Friday night to join my brother-in-law at his gig. We had a good giggle and got to bed very late. The next morning we drove over to Newquay for breakfast before heading back to Dartmoor. We ended up going for an amazing walk up the Vallies which meant that we walked up a great appetite. Luckily that night was a big hog roast. It meant I felt a little less guilty munching away. That was followed by a Klezmer band called Hazaar who were amazing. A great end to the week!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Chocolate, Coconut & Oatmeal Cookies

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 The first time I made these cookies was a bit of an experiment. I fancied chocolate chip but didn't have enough flour so decided to go down the oaty route. I managed to crack them in about 20 minutes just in time for some friends coming round. The cookies filled the flat with a delicious smell, it reminded me of Clueless where Cher puts pastry in the oven before a boy comes round so that he thinks that she is a domestic goddess until she forgets all about it and it burns. Anyway, I'll go on.

You will need:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 100g good quality chocolate chopped into small chunks
  • 1/8 to 1/4 ground coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbps unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown packed sugar
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
To start preheat your oven to 140C.

Next in a medium mixing bowl mix together your oats, flour, chocolate, coconut & baking powder and then put to one side.

Using an electric whisk beat together the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy and then add your egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly gradually add the oat mixure and mix until just combined.


Use your hands to form small golf ball size pieces and then flatten them down and place on a baking tray that has greaseproof paper on it. Bake in the oven for 12-16 minutes until lightly golden but still soft.

Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. You could try to resist them till they cooled but what would be the fun in that?

Enjoy x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Chorizo Stew

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You may have noticed a bit of a trend going on as of late on this blog... Chorizo. Its a real favourite in this household. I love it because of firstly the taste of coarse but also because of how versatile it is and how it can transform so many dishes. This dish is a bit of a chuck in what you fancy/have to hand type. I see it as a bit of a comfort food perfect on a cold evening but also a great little summer dish, see.. the versatility continues.

You will need-
  • Olive oil
  • Chorizo sausage cut into slices
  • Red onion cut into chunks
  • New potatoes cut into halves/quarters depending on size
  • Pepper cut into chunks
  • Courgette cut into chunks
  • Tablespoon of tomato puree
  • Salt & Pepper

Start but getting your stew pot/saucepan on a medium heat and add a little olive oil. When it has warmed up add your onions and cook until soften. Next add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes till they release some oil. Now all you need to do is add your vegetables, stir in the tomato puree and then pour over some boiled water, you want it to come up about half way up the pan. Season, cover and simmer on a low heat for atleast an hour.

 Serve at it is or with some nice bread for dipping.

I made up with a new biscuit recipe yesterday which I tested out with some friends. Lets just say they didn't last very long and feedback was great. I am planning on making them again in the next few days so I can blog the recipe on here. Chocolate, Coconut, Oats... its got them all!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, How does your Garden Grow?

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So its been a little while since my last update, as you can see everything is a lot bigger now. After the rabbit incident the chicken wire went up and although its not the most attractive of stuff, it seems to be doing its job. Fingers crossed!

Marigolds and some other flowers that I don't know the name of have been bringing a lot of colour. Also a lone sunflower to the right.

My tomato plants are HUGE and all but 1 are full of tomatoes. I have picked a few but they're not quite there yet. Sadly the strawberries have stopped and because of the rabbit incident (I must stop talking about it) I only got to eat 5 at the most. The sunflowers are coming out thick and fast and I am just trying to decide whether or not to cut a few to take home. The peony hasn't changed too much but it seems very healthy.

I had to move 2 of the tomato plants because of overcrowding. This one is a little brown but the tomatoes keep on coming!

Another peek at the sunflowers. Should I..Shouldn't I?

More tomatoes

and some more.

I am planning to get some more of these wooden boxes made up for next year. I have definitely caught the gardening bug!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

An Afternoon in Cambridge

Pin It This afternoon my parents came to visit us in Cambridge along with some family who are over from Zagreb for the week. So as you do when anyone visits, we went off punting. Unfortunately in true English fashion it decided to start to rain half way through. I never tire of the beautiful sights when punting, the colleges, the secret gardens & of coarse the way the Japanese tourists try to punt.

After our punt tour (courtesy of Tim & his strong arms) we headed to Jamie's Italian for dinner via Cath Kidston's shop and stumbled across the cutest shoes which my lovely mum (& dad) treated me to.

For dinner we started with some stuffed chilli peppers, GIANT olives, a meat and a vegetable antipasti & a nice selection of breads. For mains I had pasta puttanesca which was deeelish.

Here are a few pics from the afternoon.

The floor at Jamie's

 The reason behind 'crap'?

shoe love

Footnote: I managed to rip a massive hole in my favourite jeans today whilst getting on my bike. Note to self, tight jeans and mens racing bikes don't mix. I'm off to bake some cookies to cheer myself up.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Freezer Burritos

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I first discovered the idea of freezer burritos on Shutterbean & Everyday Food. Since then they have become a bit of a staple. I like to make them on a sunday and then take them to work each day for lunch. Its a great idea to stock up on these and then on those evening when you really can't be bothered to cook, have a surprise visitor or can't make it to the shops. They are really versatile so add/take out what you like/don't like. Annoyingly I forgot the lime and coriander off my shopping list this time but I have added it to the recipe below. It adds a lovely freshness to the whole thing.

Makes 8
You will need-
Pack of tortillas
3/4 cup of rice
1 small onion
1 can of beans- I discovered these taco beans in Tesco which were really nice. Otherwise use pinto or black bean
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 lime
1/2 can refried beans
1/2 cup greek yogurt mixed with tabasco sauce to taste, or soured cream
1/3 cup sweetcorn
Grated cheese- I used a mix of medium & mature cheddar
Fresh, chopped coriander

Firstly cook your rice according to the instructions on the pack. 10 minutes before they are ready chop your onion and saute in a little oil with the cumin. When it starts to go transparent add your tin of beans and cook for 5 minutes or so. When your rice is ready, drain and add to the onion and bean mixture then add the sweetcorn and the juice from 1/2 a lime and cook for another 5 minutes. Then set aside.

Get all the fillings, tortillas & foil ready. 

Firstly add your refried beans

then the yogurt or soured cream the rice mixture

and finally the cheese and chopped coriander (I forgot the coriander)

Lets get rolling. Firstly fold the sides in

and then roll...

and lastly wrap in the foil and pop in the freezer.

When you want to eat them simply unwrap them and pop in the microwave for around 5 minutes till cooked through.

Enjoy x

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