Sunday, 1 July 2018

Scarf → Kaftan

I had a very nice white cotton scarf with gold tassels in my altering was there because it was a summer scarf, but it seemed way too wide and so was a bit hot to wear when it was warm. But I hadn't got around to making it narrower. And with a sunny holiday looming, I needed a kaftan for lobbing over my swimsuit and so I made a different plan...

First I folded the scarf in half. To make side seams, I sewed two lines about 20cm in from each outside edge. I left a space of about 30cm at the top to put my arms through.

Then I measured across the top fold to find the middle. I slowly and carefully trimmed a hole to put my head through. Just a slight curve for the back neckline and a not-too-deep V at the front.
Then I stitched some gold bias binding on to the wrong side of the neck opening, stitching in the fold as I opened it out. Purchased bias binding makes the process very quick and easy. Before getting back to the start, I stitched the two pieces of bias binding right sides together, so that when I turned it to the front, there would be a neat seam. 
                           So I folded the bias binding over to the front and top-stitched it in place.   

And that was it: ready now for some beach weather and holiday fun!
                                       From this... this!


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Oodles of carrot noodles!

Still pimping the vegetable noodles, but venturing into carrot territory as I had a few left over in my fridge. I spiralised them into noodles - which did work fine, although a couple of times the machine didn't like it, as it's so much harder than a zucchini. But all up, just as quick and easy. Then a quick stir fry in some olive oil and back in to the serving bowl. Then I made some cute little meatballs, lightly spiced with ground cumin and coriander, cooked them in the frying pan and tossed them on top of the noodles.

Now it's time to come clean...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Quince time!

Once a year, when it's quince time, people inevitably come into work with bags to give away, so I can't help but whoop for joy and get on board the quince train!
Firstly, it's all about poaching them long and slow. A few days ago I'd poached some in a sugar and water syrup (with a cinnamon stick and vanilla pod) - cooking them low and slow on the stovetop. So I just re-used the same poaching liquid adding a good splash of white wine this time and cooking them in the oven. I think the change from pale pear colour to the jewel-like ruby red is half the appeal in cooking with quinces.

After they were cooked, I used some of the poaching liquid to make a little jelly (adding a soaked gelatine leaf into a cup of the hot liquid) and when cool, poured it over a broken savoiardi biscuit in each of the dessert glasses. Then a few slices of the poached quince.

 Last step was to make a white chocolate cream (150ml white chocolate melted in 100ml cream and folded into a further 200ml of whipped cream). And with a dollop of that and some toasted flaked almonds on top, I had a dessert ready to knock my guests socks off!

Monday, 12 March 2018

A garden harvest

A visit to the farmer's market yesterday morning and I was sold by the yellow butter beans and broad beans. I looked forward to a light Sunday evening meal with butter and a sprinkling of salt...yum yum. Then a visit to a friend's house had us leaving with more goodies: scarlet runner beans, apples and golden drop (we think) plums.
I usually consider myself fairly adept at using a knife but today my thumb came out a little worse for wear (perhaps I should play it safer and "cut onto a board")!
Even so, my meal of beans was delicious and I utilised the striking scarlet runner bean flowers. They are such a brilliant red and are an edible garnish. When using flowers in cooking, remove any stamens as they are bitter. A few petals of edible varieties add a splash of colour but generally whole flowers aren't renowned for depth of flavour! Whole buds can be bitter and are more likely to house an insect or two. 
The plums were oh so delicious, especially with the yoghurt, meringue shards and toffeed granola bites. Mm mmm....

Sunday, 11 March 2018

A personalised gift

A toiletry or makeup bag or even a pencil case - personalised for a friend having a special birthday...
...and so the idea developed as I had a packet of "Miracle Fabric Sheets" which are pre-treated fabric sheets (for printing on) which are attached to backing paper so they'll go through the printer...

Friday, 22 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Days 6 - 11

Another week of Christmas outfits! 
♩♪♫♬ 5 en-sem-bles, 4 sets of pearls, 3 festive frocks, 2 shimmery shoes and a bonus evening party dress (sung to the tune of "On the first day of Christmas")♩♪♫♬ 

Hmmm...that makes 11 days of Christmas gear...but no plan for a 12th...(yet)...
Happy Christmas!

Friday, 15 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Days 1 - 5

Last year I dressed for the Christmas season for a week, and found I had Christmas clothes to spare! So this year I decided to build up the with the festive feeling for the last two weeks of school.
Happy Christmas and roll on next week!