Monday, 13 October 2014

Busy busy busy! Oh and universe, you're not funny right?

I'm having one of those - getting some nasty outstanding jobs done - sessions.  Things that you've looked at a hundred times and thought, I must find/clean/fix/chuck that.

Finally bought a new cleaning disk for the Tassimo machine, which has been sitting unused on my work surface for probably about a year after conceding defeat in looking for mine.  Which I put somewhere sensible.  I remember doing it.  Where that sensible place is eludes me though.  It's now cleaned out, wiped, dried and fully functioning and I've just had a latte.

Provocraft kindly provided me, for free, with a replacement power cable for my Cricut.  Which again hasn't been used in a long, long, long time.  Two days later, I found the original.  It was in amongst other cables that I'd looked at and somehow missed.  Then, after much digging, I found the data cable for it.  Then Sure Cuts a Lot sent me my serial number for the software again.  Something else I'm sure I stored somewhere safe.  This time I'm sticking the serial on a label on the Cricut itself.  I'm now almost ready to cut halloweeny things for the bunting I'm making.  It feels like it's been a real marathon to get to this point.

Sold my other Christmas tree - it was lovely but so huge it was too big for my house, and sorted a couple more boxes of stuff from the garage after the lovely Phil did some sorting and spider wrangling for me.

Made some choc chip almond and oatmeal cookies based on this recipe substituting almond butter instead of peanut and throwing in a handful of oatmeal and chocolate chips.  I guess that makes it a completely different recipe now?

And joy of joys, my new Chest Freezer was delivered on Sunday morning, installed and working and now holding some of my second tier food.  That's the stuff that is either not every day food (joints of meat for example), and stock items, like packets of frozen mince bought on offer.  I keep one of those in my kitchen freezer.  Left over mash became tattie scones.  Please excuse the yellowness in the picture, they're not that colour in real life but they are delish!

Will write up a review of Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium visit soon.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Mint sugar

I do like making foodie gifts for people at Christmas and this year, as well as Nigella's Chocolate Pistachio Fudge I'll be doing The Pioneer Woman's Mint Truffles.  I love mint chocolates but there's always a few types in a mixed box I'm not keen on.  And usually mint choc is dark chocolate, not my favourite.  So making my own is the perfect solution.

In her recipe, Ree tops them off with green sugar for crunch and aesthetics, so I decided to make my own and make it mint flavoured.

The process of making coloured and or flavoured sugar couldn't be easier.  Take your sugar, in this instance I used granulated but if you want a bigger crystal, demerera is good.  Put it in a bag, add a few drops of colour or essence, close the bag and squish and knead it through.  Keep adding the colour or flavour until you get the result you want and allow it to dry.

It's great for topping your baking, but this mint version is nice in hot chocolate too.  You could do lemon to add to tea or decorate a lemon drizzle cake.  Or vanilla for, well, anything!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The productive chicken

On Monday I roasted a whole chicken.  Whole chicken is by far the cheapest way to buy chicken meat and gives you all sorts of options and variety of things to do with it.

So Monday night I had warm chicken and bacon salad.
Tuesday was cold chicken with rapid roastini, spinach and pine nuts
Wednesday was chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce with gnocchi
And tonight, the final outing was another salad this time with mango and chilli and it was lush.

There are some bits left over and the cats are getting those as a treat.  The intial bird cost £2.50 from Ocado and has given four main meals and extra bits.  Not bad!  So next time you singletons are out and about doing the weekly shop, and pass up the humble chicky as being a 'family' thing, consider all the lovely meals you can make with that one bird, and how different they can be.