Friday, 21 January 2011

Come Back

I wish the snow would return. 

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Quince and Apple Treacle Muffins

Muffins with quinces and apples, not muffins made with apple treacle. I don't even think there is such a thing as apple-flavoured treacle, but that does sound devastatingly delicious now that I'm think (and fixating) on it. The muffins can be made with just apples too, but since quinces can were still in season, I thought it would be great to add some to the batter too. 

Quince and Apple Treacle Muffins
makes 10 - 12

1 quince, 2 apples (or use 3 apples if quinces aren't in season)
2 eggs ( whites and yolks separated)
200 gm self-raising flour
100 gm sugar
100 gm butter
2 tbsp treacle
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg

- Chop apples and quinces into bite-sized pieces and cook until soft*, adding in the ground cinnamon and nutmeg at the same time. (This can be done up to a day before and kept refrigerated until you want to use it.)**

- Preheat oven to 175c. 

- Beat egg whites until they get to the stiff peak stage, then set aside for later.

- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add treacle and egg yolks and beat till combined. 

- Add flour and about 2 tablespoons of the cooked apple/quince to the bowl and mix it again. Fold in the egg whites and stir lightly until the egg whites are combined with the rest of the batter.

- Using a tablespoon, drop 1 tablespoon of batter into the base of each muffin cup, then add about a teaspoon of cooked apple/quince to it. Cover up with another tablespoon of batter.

- Bake for about 13-15 minutes, then let them cool, or eat straightaway. They're also great with cream or vanilla ice-cream!

*You don't have to cook the fruits down to a puree, it's nice to have a bit of bite left to them.
** You may find yourself with some leftovers after you've baked the muffins. Try adding some to yoghurt for breakfast, or reheating it and adding it to some plain ice cream.

Monday, 17 January 2011

First Of The Year

One of my resolutions this year was to try and sew more wearable items for myself. I can never find anything I like in 'proper' shops anyway, and while it's nice looking through the £1 table at the op-shops and getting your hands on really brilliant piece, sometimes it's also nice to be able to beam and say ''I made that'' in a slightly smug tone when you receive a compliment on your outfit.
Here's my smug face - it'a actually more constipated than anything, as I was trying not to laugh at the hideous haircut I had just given the Manbacon. This blouse is officially my first completed project of 2011 (not counting those little pouches for Queenie and Ted). It's made of a lovely soft rayon with a slight sheen to it. It's probably not cool to say so, but I love rayon. I mean, it's soft, it's easy to work with, it drapes wonderfully, and you can often buy large pieces of it for next to nothing at the op-shops. Plus, you can be pretty rough with your handling of it, and it still comes out looking great. 

Anyway, enough talk, why not look at me instead? Look at me, look at me! For those of you after more technical details, head on over to my Burdastyle page, why not? 

Hat - H&M, blouse - selfmade, gloves - random shop in Singapore, skirt - op-shop (£1 table, yes!), sandals - Office

Monday, 10 January 2011

Queenie and Ted

Queenie and Ted are lovely ladies who create unique upcycled, customised jackets. As of yesterday, they also became proper shopowners with the opening of their little shop at Columbia Road. 
All very nice, but what does any of this have to do with me? Well, I met them while we were neighbours at a rather pathetic craft fair last December, and they decided they like some of my stuff enough to place in their shop!

I went to the shop last Sunday to deliver my pouches and rings, but since Queenie and Ted (or Linda and Kally) had just received their keys that very day, it was just an empty space with nice white floorboards. It was fantastic seeing that space transformed into a lovely cosy shop in the course of only a week. 
These are the little pouches I've got in their shop - the outsides are made of layers of plastic bags fused together to form a sturdy, waterproof fabric. They're big enough to hold cards, money, or a small digital camera or mobile phone. I've also got some crocheted rings in stock there, but they were displayed in a cupboard and I didn't think of taking a picture until I'd left. Oh well...

That's Kally in the middle, with that wonderful curly hair. Linda is somewhere behind her, I think.  Visit them if you're in the area!

Queenie and Ted
144a Columbia Road
E2 7RG

Saturdays 11am - 6pm
Sundays 9am - 3pm

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year

New Year's Eve was spent snuggled up in bed, feasting on homemade cranberry and marzipan pie, macarons from Laduree, and fizzy pink hibiscus-flavoured wine (cheaper and tastier than Buck's Fizz, but no more sophisticated). 

The pie was thrown together in a jiffy, in order to use up some leftover egg whites and bland shortbread. All you need are:
- some shortbread and butter (for the base)
- cranberries and marzipan (for the filling)
- and egg whites and sugar for the meringue.
Crush the biscuits and add butter to it, then place the mixture in the bottom of your pie tray. Cut up about 100gms of marzipan into bite-sized cubes, then add about the same amount of cranberries, and place them on top of the biscuit mixture. Make up your favourite meringue recipe, pour it over the pie and bake it. It's great on it's own, but a spoonful of plain ice-cream alongside never hurts!

It's not the most accurate recipe, but I wasn't taking note of the amounts I was using, because it was New Year's Eve and who can be bothered being pedantic with a pie on New Year's Eve?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New Year, New Stuff!

How's your 2011 been so far? The first few days of my year have been spent lazing around in bed, sipping on hibiscus flavoured fizzy wine from Sainsburys. It's been tremendous fun, but, just like everyone else, I'm back to work now.

To ease the inevitable 'back to work' pains, I've put most of the items in my Etsy shop on sale, from now to 19th January. Prices have been reduced by 15% - 20%, and I'm giving Woolly Two Shoes readers an additional 10% off.  Just type in the code 'Goodbye2010' when you're checking out, and you'll receive the extra 10% discount!

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Camera Obscura

More from Edinburgh - this time from Camera Obscura, which I thought would be naff but turned out to be hella fun.