Thursday, 21 February 2013

A recipe from me

For years in our house after Christmas there was always chocolates left in the tin.  The same chocolate, the chocolate orange or orange creme.  I have found a use for them that has yet to be refused.

Chocolate Orange Brownies

they are the scrummiest things I've come up with in a while. The fact that I enjoy eating them is testament to how good they are cause i detest chocolate orange.

right the recipe, I have a huge brownie pan so i doubled the recipe so if yours looks a little lacking this is why.

what you'll need
christmas chocolates unwrapped i used orange cremes
enough dark chocolate to make up to 100g when included with your christmas chocolates
150g dark brown sugar
150g light borwn sugar
3 large eggs
130g plain flour (for extra chocolateyness take a few tablespoons of flour out and put cocoa powder in)

a glass bowl
small saucepan with water
2 large mixing bowls
brownie or deep baking tin

  • weigh your christmas chocolates, adding any extra chocolate until it weighs 100g

i had 7 chocs weighing 82g, i added a few squares of plain chocolate 

  • measure out the butter into the same bowl and place the bowl on the saucepan over a medium heat.  Make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.

  • While the chocolate and butter melts I heat the oven to 160C (fan) and line and butter the tin.
  • When the mix is mixed and melted remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  • in a one of the large mixing bowls (i use a large jug as it's easier) measure out the sugar, and add the chocolate mix.

and mix throughly until smooth and glossy and leave to cool further

  • When the chocolate mix is cooled add the eggs and mix again and till completely combined.  you'll end up with a glossy but granular mix.

  • In the 2nd mixing bowl measure out the flour and pour in the chocolate mix.  Stir carefully until combined.  

  • when all mixed pour into your lined tin  and pop in the oven.  I dont have an exact length of time for baking as its easier to work by eye.  The top of the brownies should be slightly crisp.  A good brownie should be slightly soft in the middle.

Here's mine fresh from the oven.  Allow it to cool for a little while before cutting it into slices.  I got 16 slices from my large tin.

and here's a slice :)

If you enjoyed it please let me know.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Home Made Taggies

I have been looking for a while at Taggies and was thinking of buying one for the impending addition.  When I took a closer look at one one day and its price tag I was shocked at how simple they looked to be put together and how expensive they can be.
I decided to make some myself.  I also decided to show how to make one for all other beginners here.

You will need
  • fleece material (you can use fleece both sides or use cotton on one side it's completely up to you)
  • ribbon of varying design and size
  • cotton thread and needle
  • sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Tape Measure

Cut 2 squares of fabric you can make it any size you like, the one i made here is 12"/30cms

Next select some ribbons and cut them all to the same length. As i made a large Taggie the ribbons i used measured just over 6" and i used 24 ribbons.  

Depending on the amount of ribbons you have or want to use space them evenly around the fleece folding them in half and pinning them to the fleece, make sure you pin them to the right side of your material.  Looks odd initially but will work out in the end I promise.

I've pinned mine with a little sticking over the edge as when its turned the right way round it'll be sewn over a few times really anchoring the ribbons so even the strongest of babies should be able to pull a ribbon off.

Next sewn round the fleece about 1" in from the edge removing the pins as you go. Don't worry about back sewing over the ribbons as they will be sewn over more than once to secure them later on.

When all ribbons have been sewn over and pins removed lay the second piece of material on top of the ribbons right side down and pin in place.

Sew around the taggie making sure to leave a gap large enough to turn it the right way round (around 3-4").  I sewed a seam at around 3/4" from the edge.
Don't forget to take out the pins.
Snip the corners being careful not to cut through the sewing you have just done.  Cutting the corners makes turning it easier and makes for a neater look when finished.  

Once turned you'll need to hand sew the hole, folding the edges inwards.  There should be just enough turned in so when you do your next round with the sewing machine it'll get secured.

When the hole is sewn shut, begin another round with the sewing machine. Make sure to sew as far into the corners as you can to secure the ribbons.
I went around 1 more time to be doubly sure that everything was secure, also makes it look nicer with a double boarder. 

This being my first attempt the stitching is a little wobbly but it looks pretty good.
It took so little time to put together i made another 2 smaller ones.

A few tips 
  • if you use a cotton material for one side, once sewn to the fleece and ribbon side give it an iron, it makes it easier to turn and sew.  
  • two layers of fleece can be thick be warned if your sewing machine is as temperamental as mine.
  • I bought the fleece and ribbons from sellers on ebay. The Taggies cost wise work out at under £3 for the large and under £2 each for the smaller.  A lot cheaper than the shop bought ones and they can be customised to your preference.  
  • If you want to get really fancy you can go around with a zig zag stitch or use contrasting cotton, the skys the limit, its up to you.
If you have found this helpful please comment below like wise if you have any problems let me know.
I would prefer it if you didnt use my pattern for profit and if you post this online please link to this page.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

its been a while

have to apologise to all (if any) of my blog followers, have been absent for a while.  Life just gets in the way a little sometimes.
Since last blog entry have discovered baby number 3 is on his/her way.  Currently 5 months pregnant although looking 8 and feeling like 18.
I have got stuck in a rather large rut with my creative writing, such a large rut i have come to the ground breaking decision i am not creative enough to write for a living.  i may have many an idea but not enough to fill the gaps and no idea where to take my stories when i get the ideas down on paper.  I find even though creative writing is supposed to free up your potential, i feel hemmed in and find i have limits to how far I'm allowed to roam with my imagination.

I have been crocheting, have completed 3 blankets, one for a girl, one for a boy and another for either gender.  Starting to understand why i haven't been writing.

My current study topic is life writing and the looming assignment is based upon either autobiographical or biographical writing, i have a preference for the latter as i don't think my life is of interest to anyone to be made into a chapter let alone a book, and would pity any that did want to read it.  Maybe i could sell it as a sleep aid to incurable insomniacs I'd make a fortune.  I must choose a subject to write the assignment about and all the people i have come up with have either been over exposed in the biography way or are fictional beings (not of my creation) and apparently that's not allowed.

Blogging does seem to help me creatively so may pop on here a little more often to have a creative download every now and again.  Maybe in the next week or so i will come up with a great person to write about and will ace my assignment, or in the real world i leave it till the last minute fudge and barely pass just like the last time.

ttfn readers x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

change of subject - recent crochet projects

I have been crocheting in my spare time, find it good for the 'grey cells' as poirot would say.
What i have been crocheting are some wonderful ear warmers.  I started off making one for my youngest daughter but it came out huge (see pic 2), so a change of hook, and coloured yarn (a 6mm for a 4mm, 2 balls of dk for 1 ball of dk and 1 ball of 4 ply).
So far i have made 3, the first attempt, which luckily fits me, the 2nd attempt for my eldest and finally a 3rd one which fits my youngest perfectly.  It's like the 3 bears of head gear.  Both the girls love their ear wamers the elder one so much i have to remove it from her while she sleeps at night.

I got the pattern from a link from a friend, the link is to youtube and the excllent bobwilson123.  A fantastic source for any crocheter, with great instructions and endless ideas to extend and adorn your crochet items.
the very helpful instructional video can be found here 
bobwilson123's youtube page

3rd attempt
1st attempt

I have finished this one with a butterfly from here butterfly tutorial

the other is finished with a lovely dahlia from Dahlia tutorial

next project will be a hello kitty squares blanket 
ttfn x

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

An Introduction

You will have to excuse if this makes little or no sense as i am a virgin blogger!

I thought i should begin by introducing myself, I am a mother of 2, my greatest achievements to date, they drive me mad, they bring me joy they are my children.

I have many opinions on many things, most are rubbish and the minute they leave my mouth or mind i give myself a mental slap for being so foolish. 

I have a live in boyfriend (the other half) who at times i could cheerfully choke and other times i couldn't love any more if i tried.

We all live in a house in bad state of affairs, not our fault I might add, I may fill you in on the reasons at a later date.

To my other half's disgust we have opened our home to two kittens, both are completely insane just like the children and very cute too.

II have in the past 6 months taken up crochet, something i have discovered, I am quite good at, and hope to add some of my creations on here soon.

for now  shall stop as life continues around me and I'm sitting on my behind typing.