Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Blue Sunflower counted cross stitch pattern

Well I am trying to get back in the swing of things. It's always a funny time between Christmas and New year when the days seem to merge into one and another. However I have found an hour or so to work on some new patterns for my Etsy shop and just thought I would share this beauty with you.

The pattern is only £4.50 and is available for instant download, so there is no stopping you printing it off and sewing yourself something beautiful to see in the new year. 


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014

Brownie Pies recipe

225 g Plain Flour
pinch salt
100 g Hard margarine
cold water to mix, about 30 ml (approx. 2 tbsp.)
100g dark chocolate
100g soft butter
175g light muscovado sugar
2  eggs, lightly beaten
100g plain flour,

1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
2. Mix flour and salt in basin, rub in fat.
3. Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with cold water to form a stiff dough.
4. Turn dough on to a floured surface and knead lightly.
5. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface a little thinner than a £1 coin.
6. Stamp out 12 circles about 8cm wide, keeping all the trimmings.
7. Use the circles to line a 12-hole, non-stick bun tin.
8. For the filling, melt the dark chocolate.
9. Cream the butter and light muscovado sugar with a wooden spoon.
10. Gradually add the lightly beaten eggs.
11.   Tip in the plain flour and the slightly cooled melted chocolate. Mix until combined.
12. Put a spoonful of the filling into each pastry case. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave the pies to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Spoonflower fabric of the week - Dragonfly

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mince pie recipe

250g Mince meat
225 g Plain Flour
pinch salt
100 g Hard margarine
cold water to mix, about 30 ml (approx. 2 tbsp.)
1 beaten egg to glaze

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. 

1. Mix flour and salt in basin, rub in fat.
2. Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with cold water to form a stiff dough.
3. Turn dough on to a floured surface and knead lightly.
4. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface a little thinner than a £1 coin. 
5. Stamp out 12 circles about 8cm wide, keeping all the trimmings. 
6. Use the circles to line a 12-hole, non-stick bun tin. 
7. Put a small spoonful of mincemeat in each one, but be careful not to put too much, as the suet will melt and bubble out if it has no room to spare. 
8. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out another 12 circles a little smaller than the last. 
9. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg, then add pastry lids, pinching the two edges together. 
10. The pies can now be frozen in the trays for up to 3 months and either defrosted and cooked as stated or cooked from frozen (allow a little extra time if cooking from frozen)
11. Brush the lids with a little more egg  and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. 
12. Leave to cool.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cheese straws recipe

Perfect for a few pre dinner nibbles with drinks. Make the ring to serve them in for an extra special touch.

You will need:
100 g Self Raising Flour
pinch  salt
pinch  mustard powder
50 g   margarine
75 g   mature Cheddar or Red Leicester cheese, grated
1 medium      egg, beaten
Egg wash (optional)
Poppy seeds (optional)

1        Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tray.
2        Mix together the flour, salt and mustard. Rub in the margarine.
3        Stir in the cheese and add sufficient egg to make a stiff dough.
4        Roll out very thinly and cut into strips. Cut a few rings for serving
          if wished. Place on a baking tray.
5        If desired brush with a little beaten egg and sprinkle on a few poppy seeds.

6        Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Traditional Christmas tree cross stitch pattern

Another wonderful Christmas tree pattern has just been added to my Etsy store. It is a traditional tree design in festive red, gold and green. It uses only full count stitches and could be whipped up in a couple of evenings. So there is still time to pop over the the shop and purchase it today. You can instant download and print the pattern so there is no stopping you. 


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Free Stripe Christmas tree cross stitch PDF pattern

Here is a modern take on a festive icon. Stitched up in red it would look great for your holiday decor. All stitches are full stitches with no back stitch, it would easy to whip this up over a couple of evenings. Just click on the read more link to download your free PDF file of the pattern.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

New Christmas cross stitch patterns

There is still time to stitch up something festive for your home or a loved one this Christmas. With that in mind I just wanted to share two of my favorite new patterns from my Etsy store. They are both quite different in style the first one is a fresh and contemporary look at the Christmas tree. In it's cool blue tone and with crisp white background it would be a great addition to any modern home.

 The other design I am featuring is more traditional in a sampler style with many of the  traditional festive icons we associate with Christmas. Poinsettias, Christmas puddings, stars, snowflakes and of course the tree.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

10 Christmas gifts to make with the Children

Who doesn't like to do a bit of Christmas crafting with the kids and when there is food involved it's all the more enjoyable. I must admit I do love the BBC good food magazine and eagerly await their Vegetarian Christmas magazine especially. I use their website a lot when preparing for cookery classes as the recipes are so easy to follow and always turn out as expected. When recently looking I found a great collection of Christmas gift ideas and these are my 10 favorite gifts to make with the kids. I can imagine some very happy family members when we turn up with these!Snow globe hot chocolate
How cute is this Snow globe hot chocolate ! I'm not sure these will make their way away from our home, but would be so good on Christmas eve or for a Hot chocolate bar.

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