Fudge Muffins!

I’ve been working on a set of muffin recipes that are easy to do and I can’t get wrong to make lunch boxes cheaper and healthier. My first attempt at healthy banana and sultana muffins have become pretty well liked and so I branched out. It’s not wildly different but these are pretty yummy and contain some fruit, even if the fudge pieces do up the calorie count a fair bit.

Invented another muffin: fudge and apple. Josie made them.

Ingredients.

250g self raising flour

125g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 tbsp sunflower oil

125ml skimmed milk

2 grated apples

160g cooking fudge chunks (this is 2 packs, you can do less for less fudgyness)

Nom.

Nom.

Method.

Heat the oven to 190c and grate the two apples. Chuck apple and everything else into a big bowl and stir it roughly. By this I mean don’t stir it too well, rather than be mean to it.

I tend to do these in cupcake cases rather than muffin ones so they make about 20 smaller bites of cake.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. They rise really well and go a golden brown when ready.

All I’m really going to say is that “fudge muffins!” is now my expletive of choice, but that is no reflection of how they taste or how easy they are to cook ;)

 

 

 

Sunday Stitches: Spring wreath creation.

Short, sweet and late but here is a work in progress of the wreath I’m making for Freddie’s birthday this year.

 

Starting this years tribute to my #daffodilboy

I feel I should be more invested in this; it’s Freddie fifth ‘should be birthday’ this week and I’m simultaneously overwhelmed with grief that is stifling me and overwhelmed by other things that are stopping me from concentrating on it.

Five years is huge. Five years is moved on and dealing with it. Five years was a place I never imagined surviving till.

This wreath is muted, smaller, quieter and has pink in it, something I couldn’t have done a year ago or two years ago.

It’s more Spring and less Freddie. It’s more project and less grief.

But it is the only gift I can give him. It’s the only thing I can do to stop his birthday passing without a mention or a murmur.

This isn’t the post I meant to write.

My 3000th Instagram. A #crochet daffodil project ready for Freddie's 5th birthday remembering day on 2nd April. It will have daffs, forgetmenots, cherry blossom and magnolias #infantloss

There are daffodils from a recent Simply Crochet pattern (simple to do and follow but take a long time each!) in Rowan Handknit Renew as is the wreath cover done in the (apparently impossible to keep straight at the edges) UK Treble stitches that makes a piece of fabric quite quickly.

Daffs from @simplycrochetmag & my own invention of a forgetmenot. #crochet #daffodilboy

The forgetmenots need a paler blue but that little pattern is one I came up with on my own and rather like. My plan is to have a branch of cherry blossom and some star magnolia like Freddie’s tree flowers.

I’ve made a widget of the Crochet Garden Pinterest board I have which has some ideas for cherry blossom and so on on it. I’ve ended up creating my own cherry blossom pattern too though, which I’ll put on the bit reveal post. (Sometime!)

Follow ‘s board Crochet Garden on Pinterest.

Cooking up an Irish Feast.

A few years ago one of the girls dreamed about making ‘potato cakes’ in such detail that Max followed their recipe the next day and made them for her. This year I will yet again be kicking my heels while the chief cook and bottle washer of the house partakes of that delight which is men playing cricket around the world, so I might have to do more of the cooking. I thought I would go back to my own Irish roots and come up with something based around that idea. I decided to try and keep as Irish as possible so went for potato, Irish beef and brussel sprouts with some twists of my own to try and make them unique. (I never cook, I never look at recipe sites, so I have no idea if they actually are!)

I have to say I am very pleased with the results.

Irish Themed Meal

Main Ingredients.

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 3 large tbsps 0% Greek Yoghurt
  •  some butter
  • 150g  plain flour
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 egg
  •  spray fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 350g Irish Beef strips
  • brussel sprouts
  • spring onions

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Method for Potato Cakes.

  1. Boil and mash 1 and a 1/2 of the potatoes with a little of the milk. Season with salt.
  2. Grate and strain the other 1 and 1/2 potatoes with added salt until excess liquid removed.
  3. Place both cooked potato mixtures in bowl with flour, egg, remaining milk, spring onion and greek yoghurt. Mix.
  4. Heat pan with spray fat and add some butter. Fry small patties of the potato mixture, turning when brown. Place on baking tray. Add some chopped brussel sprouts to the second half of the mixture for variety.
  5. Place in oven to firm and keep warm at 180c.

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Method for Brussels.

  1. Using the same pan, refresh spray fat and add chopped brussel sprouts.
  2. CAREFULLY add a small amount of water to soften the veg quickly.
  3. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss quickly and place in warmed, covered serving bowl in the oven.

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Method for Beef.

  1. Using the same pan to retain flavour, heat, add spray oil and toss beef in when sizzling.
  2. Add lemon, salt, pepper and sage to taste, heat fast while keeping moving and lift out with tongs directly on to warmed plate.

The sage in the beef was a cheerful and totally ‘unculinary’ nod to the Irish Druids, but it worked beautifully. I’m so proud! I think it is entirely possible I might actually cook this again. :D

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Can I also just say how much I like “reuse the pan to retain flavours” as an alternative to “do lots of washing up because this isn’t a TV show with staff to do those bits for you”.

‘I was asked by Betfair to take part in the Cricket World Cup Recipe challenge’.

I suspect this will be the worst timed Valentine post ever.

I’m sticking with my ‘blogging it for next year’ meme.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, having been that kid who never once got the rose delivery to the classroom on the big day at school. It’s a humiliation you don’t get over until you are old and jaded enough to pretend you don’t care. ;) Max and I don’t celebrate it – which, you know, I’m COMPLETELY fine with – so remembering to do crafts isn’t the easiest now the girls need shoe-horning into it a bit more. By next year I can probably persuade Bene to make me something  at home. He did bring me home a lovely hand print last week, which eased the bitter sting of resentment a little made me smile. ;)

#valentinecrafts #bostikcraftbloggers
Still, what I do like is experimenting with different materials so I took the opportunity to try out some of the latest Bostik products we had been sent with different ‘sticking’ requirement in mind.

I made a silly sign for the door for the girls for the ‘big day’ using a paper plate with a plasticised surface.

Using #bostik micro dots to add glitter to a valentine greeting #bostikcraftbloggers

This was more of a double experiment than anything earth shatteringly clever (although I do love a paper plate for a craft supply). I used Bostik Microdots to cover the plate by pressing down and removing and then used that to stick glitter all over the plate. This works well so long as it is a short term, no touch ornament, as it stays tacky, but it was perfect for the task. I used the Glitter Glue Pens to write with, which work really well. They dry flat and peel off the surface of the plate and I had intended to use them as a different embellishment on another craft, only a child came along and ripped them all up absentmindedly! (GAH!)

Josie made me a card with #bostik glitter glue #bostikcraftbloggers

Josie made me a card with a very Rennie Macintosh rose of glitter pen on glittery card.. She used Glue Dots to add the gem (heavy, so I was impressed it worked well) and hearts and foam pads to lift the red glitter card off the backing.

Very late valentine card.

I took on her idea for a little card of my own. I smeared glitter glue in gold all over a card and used it to affix a small wobble edged felt shape to the card, plus ribbon trim top and bottom. It worked perfectly and the only slight disadvantage was minor wobbliness. I probably should have pressed it after drying it. I cut out a heart in glitter card and added further shimmer to that with more glitter glue rubbed on plus a sprinkle of white glitter too. That was fixed to the felt with Foam Pads again to add depth.

Valentine charm. #bostikfamilycraftbloggers #bloggingfornextyear

This was a little wall hanging with an MDF heart that has felt attached using Micro Dots These are like a sticky surface covered (shockingly) with tiny dots of glue. You press it to a surface to attach them and pull the sheet away and then attach your crafty item. It holds felt perfectly. The sticker held themselves but the edge (which is sparklier than in the picture) is covered with glitter glue and the ribbon hanger is held on with the Bostik Sew Simple from last year.

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Finished off with a little box to hold all my expensive gold jewellery given to me as love tokens by my adoring family. #tumbleweed #notbitter Glue Dots work perfectly on foil backing too.

 

Sunday Stitches #ProjectFranBlanket (late again).

I’m having a wip break and starting a project I know will take a while and I want to just ‘begin’ so that I can revisit it from time to time. I sneaked in buying the yarn mostly before the end of the year but made such dreadful choices that I had to add to it with a bundle of extras from Lusciously Loopy, a friends indy yarn website. I’ve complicated this for myself by using Stylecraft Special Aran for the chunky feel but it doesn’t have the range of colours that the DK range does and is woefully lacking a bright yellow and bold  green. I had planned to add to it from the Sirdar Hayfield range but apparently the Aran weight in that is non existant and I don’t want to use the version with wool in rather than 100% acrylic in case it feels wrong..

Any suggestions?

The addition of some more sensible colours from @lusciouslyloopy.crochet.yarn has made all the difference #crochet #stylecraft

The addition of some more sensible colours from @lusciouslyloopy.crochet.yarn has made all the difference #crochet #stylecraft

After some jiggery pokery, I’m about here. Fran wants random , not themed so I am playing with colours and making some hexagons that have a ‘feel’ to them – films she likes, seasons, places, that sort of thing. Over the year I’ll need to make 150-180 hexagons as the plan is for it to be an 18th birthday present (just… HOW can she be almost 18?) so she can leave home with a mummy hug. Now the colours are flowing better, I think it will have more pink, purple and blue in it though, to ape the colours that were so “Fran and Maddy” when they were little.

I'm under instructions to dilute the baby poo brown elements but I think I quite like it. #crochet #stylecraft #projectfranblanket

I’m under instructions to dilute the baby poo brown elements but I think I quite like it. #crochet #stylecraft #projectfranblanket

I’m just going to add some love for Lusciously Loopy here – see how beautifully presented it is? Crocheted motif label, gift wrap, free gift… just gorgeous.

Less fell off the #UseUpYarnYear wagon than hurled myself from it. But I needed more colours for the blanket. Look at @lusciouslyloopy.crochet.yarn packaging though #stylecraft #stylecraftspecial #stylecraftspecialaran #projectfranblanket

Less fell off the #UseUpYarnYear wagon than hurled myself from it. But I needed more colours for the blanket. Look at @lusciouslyloopy.crochet.yarn packaging though #stylecraft #stylecraftspecial #stylecraftspecialaran #projectfranblanket

She was really helpful too.

The hexagon was a newsletter freebie project from Deramores. it’s lovely – and not boring – to work and I’m enjoying my first ever hexagons.

What are you stitching?