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

10593413_1016672948360091_1394452043_n

10979654_1589150487968052_1809609743_n

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.

10957130_350152038508963_1824009591_n

11008372_1418270288466738_182492484_n

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.

10956594_921988717834864_372579911_n

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

10986214_1607569319466143_2047270404_n

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.

10865109_1404062513231661_961686167_n

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?

(Last) Sunday Stitches: The Tosca Ripple Scarf.

The other week I admitted to frogging the lace scarf I had been working on for ages. I’d made it with a hook a little too small and I was not having fun, plus I made some mistakes with the edges and it was gradually decreasing. So out it came!

This week I am happy to report that it is all finished and I’m now very happy with it.

3rd time lucky. Frogged & remade and I love it. #crochet #LangYarn #UseUpYarnYear

3rd time lucky. Frogged & remade and I love it. #crochet #LangYarn #UseUpYarnYear

Lang Tosca is a lovely yarn in many ways (just too fluffy for me to enjoy knitting) but on a 4mm hook it was perfect and this stitch really suited it. It grew quickly, was fun to make and is lovely and snuggly to wear. it’s about £9 a (very large) ball and a fairly wide scarf only took 1.5 balls and 10 days of oddments of time to make.

The stitch is Peephole Chevron. Mine was just over 60 chain stitches wide and I kept going till it made a small but knottable scarf. I’ve recently bought 200 Crochet Stitches which is a fab little stitch library (that’s an affiliate link) and it was pattern 182 in there. It’s light, quick and fluffy and I definitely fancy doing it again.

Since then I’ve had to cast about a bit for new ideas. I’ve been making rounds with the left overs…

Frogged the lace and restarted a #UseUpYarnYear granny and an open ripple scarf. Much happier. #LangYarn #BergereDeFrance #crochet #share

Frogged the lace and restarted a #UseUpYarnYear granny and an open ripple scarf. Much happier. #LangYarn #BergereDeFrance #crochet #share

… which I’m edging with the Bergere De France yarn I frogged last year. Pillow, throw, shawl, runner? I’m not sure yet.

I’ve got a couple of new ideas starting to boil now.

Little #crochet stars

Little #crochet stars

These little stars are going to be part of a set of ornamental embroidery hoop pictures for the wall of my ‘almost finished’ living room.

Love #crochet #stylecraft #aran

Love #crochet #stylecraft #aran

This was a free pattern on the Deramores site this week. It’s part of a pillow pattern but I’ve had my first go using Stylecraft (in Aran weight which is lovely but a bit more limited in colours) and think this may be the perfect solution to Fran’s 18th birthday blanket. If I start now, it can build up slowly over the next year.

I really must make up the rainbow bag – I’m no further on with the final finish of that, which is very naughty.

Sunday Stitches: WIP Update.

Being determined to start the year by getting on top of some of my works in progress has been good for me. I do get irritated by having half finished projects under the bed but I get distracted so quickly. It’s terrible. First to find itself no longer half done is the Dartmoor pillow, which was begun in a Debbie Abrahams workshop on knitting design in the summer.

Daytime shot. I love this side. #DebbieAbrahamsworkshop #JohnLewis #RowanYarns #DartmoorInspiration #knitting #share

Daytime shot. I love this side.

I was full of optimism for this and planned it all out on the day of the workshop; it is 8 different squares (all 50 stitches or so across in 4 ply) but by the time I came to being 3/4 done, I wasn’t happy. Quite a bit of it got knitted actually on holiday, which meant I revisited lots of Dartmoor colours as we walked and realised how much was missing. PLus I fell in love with the felted tweed and regretted some of my yarn choices.

20140804-005121-3081101.jpg

I’ve ended up making it up with my less happy squares on the back and Josie has taken ownership of it. I’m gonig to remake it in 9×9 smaller squares, all felted tweed and with some yellow and rust added and I think that will be better. I fancy making another version in crochet too.

The plan for this piece of rainbow knitting had been a summer blanket for Bene as he grew but he woke up about when I started, plus it was unwieldy and ‘not fun’ to knit. The now discontinued aran weight Debbie Bliss Eco Cotton split terribly so even though it had a gorgeous drape, I just lost heart.

Love my rainbow . Now to turn it into a bag.

I managed to get an extra ball of the red, yellow and green which allowed me to make up a trim in small granny squares to attach to the top and bottom plus a strap. A friend has passed on some red wool (HH, don’t forget to tell me the cost!) to go into the inside as a bag liner and strap back for it and I think it will do nicely as a rather hippy shoulder bag.

As a rescued project, I think it works. Was a blanket, now a bag. Just needs the lining and strap attached crochet  knitting wiprecovery UseUpYarnYear share

As a rescued project, I think it works. Was a blanket, now a bag. Just needs the lining and strap attached.

It’s far from perfect because of course it wasn’t originally intended to be a bag and the sizing isn’t spot on – but I like it and it’s another nearly ticked off project (I need to dig out the sewing machine to complete it).

And then, the never ending Lang Tosca scarf. I picked up this wool in Devon and I do love it, but first I frogged a lacy knit and then I got into a muddle with this pattern from Simply Crochet.

On to my 3rd wip. This one is going to be ongoing I think. Itching to start something new but not sure what. crochet

On to my 3rd wip. This one is going to be ongoing I think. Itching to start something new but not sure what.

Ive not idea why, but it was shrinking :( plus extremely annoying to make. Frogged again. I’ve got two new ideas for this now, one being a small granny square something using one ball of it as the centre for squares that will be surrounded by my frogged Bergere De France yarn and another as a similar to the previous scarf but in a peephole chevron stitch. It grows nice and fast! Hurrah!

Frogged the lace and restarted a #UseUpYarnYear granny and an open ripple scarf. Much happier. #LangYarn #BergereDeFrance #crochet #share

Frogged the lace and restarted a #UseUpYarnYear granny and an open ripple scarf. Much happier.

This has kept me company today while the boy and I have felt very poorly, along with Stephen Fry and Pocoyo ;)

These are probably the worst wip offenders so I shall fell much better once they are signed off. Onward through my #UseUpYarnYear

What have you been stitching?