Tag Archives: recipe

Recipe : Toast Falafels

I had my first falafel a few weeks ago (yeah really- I’m a total carnivore so they were never on my radar) and decided to make my own. The recipe I was originally following had some spices I’d never heard of before and didn’t call for egg, which I found was essential to get it mixing together. I also didn’t have dry breadcrumbs ready so I decided to use toast to bulk them up, and it worked! Here’s my recipe…

1 tin of chick peas
Half a small onion
A large tsp of garlic granules
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp cumin seed (you can use ground if you like but I don’t have a pestle and mortar)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 slices of toast
Salt and pepper
1 large egg
Vegetable oil for frying

1) Drain the chick peas and microwave for a minute to soften them up a bit. Mash them good!

2) Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the spices and baking powder. Mix up.

3) Crumble the toast into the bowl, breaking up clumpier pieces and mix in again.

4) Crack the egg into the bowl and make sure it is well mixed.

5) Take a saucepan and fill it 1/4- 1/3 full with vegetable oil (so you might want to use a small one!). Heat on the hob but never leave unattended!

6) Once hot, squidge some of the mixture into balls and carefully place into the pan (slotted spoons are great) so hot fat doesn’t splash you. Cook for around 10 minutes or until golden brown.

These are great in pitta bread with tzatziki but I didn’t have any of that so I put in some Nando’s Garlic Sauce. Phwoar firey!


A sneaky peek of my new room and a couple more for the Pinterest Challenge

I’ve decided that recipes I’d pinned on Pinterest count towards the challenge, but I felt that if I did two of them, that would make it count more! So yesterday I made cheese and spring onion beer bread- dead simple, no kneading, no rising, no fuss! Here’s the recipe.

I also made salted caramels, taking this recipe and sprinkling sea salt crystals lightly over the top I’m not sure how I feel about salt on them yet, but once dipped in chocolate I have a feeling they will work much better. I need to cut them up, but I couldn’t resist popping a circle out to taste. I’m in disbelief that they actually set! To make them exactly as I have, substitute the butter for sunflower spread and the cream for Weight Watchers extra thick double cream. It works! You will most definitely need a sugar thermometer though, there’s no way around that!

I’ve been moving into my new room in the garage. I still have a wall to paper, some skirting board to go down and some stuff to put on the wall so it feels a bit more homely but it’s getting there. Please excuse the clutter, some of it is crafty destash stuff I have listed here, other bits just need allocating a home. I love having a double school desk to use as an extension table for my quilting and the red cabinets with the textured white wall, I think it works really well! Who knew I had so much ribbon that I need two more hangers putting up though?! I can’t wait to get my fabric on the shelves and all visible for easy selection but I am waiting for boards to come in the post (I have been waiting over a fortnight so I am starting to get quite impatient).

I got a new clock yesterday too! I will give you a proper tour when I am completely moved in, I can’t guarantee at the decorating will be done by then though!

PS- that quilt on the desk that you’ve seen a million times before on here? I’m nearly halfway through quilting it, then I’m going to bind it by bringing the backing fabric forward and I will have my very own quilt just for me!

Czech Goulash (Gulas) Recipe

It’s been a year since we went to Prague and discovered Goulash and dumpings at the Two Camels little restaurant in the back streets.

As usual I’m not a great food photographer but I thought I would share this recipe that we had for tea last night. I found it on a forum and the post was a few years old, but not seen anything similar anywhere else and it is fab. I’ve made a few alterations to the recipe to make it less oily and to omit the Tabasco which I seem to have an intolerance to. It’s pretty authentic, apart from I add mini potatoes and I make plain ol’ suet dumplings instead of the Czech bread ones because I am not very good at making them! Another great thing is it uses a load of stuff I already have, so even when we have no food in, we still have meat in the freezer and all the ingredients in the cupboard!

CZECH GOULASH – serves 2, cooking time 2 hours

You will need:
A large onion
Enough pork or beef for two people
Enough baby pearl potatoes for two people
Vegetable oil
2 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
A glug of Medium Nandos sauce (optional!)
2 Oxo cubes

1) In a big saucepan, put in a few tsps worth of vegetable oil and fry the onions a bit (technical, eh?).

2) Add the meat and brown it.
3) Add your paprika to make a lovely orangy colour. Then add the ketchup and mustard powder.
4) Boil the kettle. Once the kettle is boiled, add plain flour to the oil if there is quite a lot left in the pan. Keep sprinkling and mixing until the pan is dry (but not burning flour to the bottom of it). Then pour the boiled water over the meat until it is completely covered.

5) Add all of the other ingredients and turn the heat down a bit. Add the potatoes. Leave to simmer for 2 hours.

And that’s it! You might want to give it a stir every 20 minutes or so. If you find the sauce getting thick too early, just top up with more boiled water- you don’t want it burning to the bottom of the pan- I did that once and it tasted foul and set the smoke alarm off. If you are doing dumplings too, make them and float them on the surface of the liquid for the last half an hour of cooking time but make sure you put a lid on whilst they cook.

Alternative fish pie

This is not so much a recipe as a way of stacking food together, however I thought I would share!

My OH doesn’t like baked mashed potato, so when we were given a bag of unidentified fish freshly caught from the North Sea by his stepdad and I suggested making a fish pie, this did not go down too well. So I decided to put together the ingredients he did like instead and it went down a treat!

Slice up some potatoes and boil them whilst you do the next bits- I used 3 medium to large sized ones and threw away the ends. You might also want to preheat your oven here, it should be set to 180 degrees C.

Roll out some pastry and line a casserole dish bottom and sides with it- I cheated and used Jusrol ready made puff pastry 😉

Debone and skin the fish and lay it onto the pastry to cover the bottom.

Cheat again and make up a packet of Parsley Sauce- I just used the Morrisons own one but didn’t microwave it for as long (1 minute less) and used about 30ml less milk so it didn’t boil over. Pour over the fish.

Take the potatoes off the boil and lay them over the top of the sauce and you’re ready to pop it in the oven. After 45 minutes it should all be cooked through with golden pastry and slightly browned “roast” potatoes.

Bread Bear Translated

I should start by saying this isn’t going to be a food blog from now on, but there does seem to be a lot of cooking going on here! I’ve changed the blog title at the top to reflect the multi-craftness of the blog and this is how it will go forward, so I have dropped the “jewellery” part in the title. Hope that doesn’t put you off too much!

This picture has been doing the rounds on Pinterest recently, so I decided to tranlate the recipe from Japanese. I then tweaked it slightly because I don’t like using damp teatowels for helping bread to rise and we have a different climate here so it won’t affect the bread in the same way.

Mine came out a bit *ahem* browned, but then I did egg glaze them, if you try not glazing them it may not brown as much. Also the original recipe says you can get white versions by baking for just 10 minutes and covering with foil.

You Will Need
(Makes 10 bears)
– 200g bread flour
– 10g sugar
– 3g salt
– 60g tepid water
– 60g milk
– 1 tsp butter
– 1 7g sachet dried yeast
– 1 beaten egg (optional)
– 1 black/brown food colouring pen
1) Put the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds so it is not too cold. Add the sugar and yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.

2) Put flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the water. Mix together.

3)  Add the yeast mix and knead together before adding the butter and kneading further.

4) Leave to rise for 45 minute to an hour.

5) Pinch off 20 1g pieces, roll into ball and put on a piece of greaseproof paper. Weight the rest of the dough and then divide into 10 equal parts. Knead each piece and roll into a ball and put on the greaseproof paper. Leave for about half an hour to rise again.

6) Attach the small balls the the large ones as ears- I used a spot of egg for this.

7) Bake for 20 minute at 190 degrees C.

8) When cool, draw on eyes and nose with a food colouring pen.



Watercress and Red Wine Chicken

I know it’s not been long since I last posted a recipe, but I had to share my adaptation of Creamy Stuffed Chicken on watercress.com. We harvested the watercress I had grown in the garden for this meal! I only served it with a jacket potato as it was getting late in the evening and we weren’t all that into having a big meal.



30g mature grated cheese
42g watercress, chopped
1 tbsp melted butter
Garlic granules
2 chicken breasts
4 slices cured ham
Sweet red wine (I used Mavrodaphne of Patras)
150ml chicken stock
4 tbsp double cream
salt and pepper

Mix the cheese with half the watercress, a scattering of garlic and salt and pepper. Use a knife to make a slit along one side of each chicken breast to make a pocket, fill with the cheese mix then wrap the ham around the chicken, tucking the loose ends of ham underneath. I needed two slices per piece of chicken and I also needed to pin them with cocktail sticks because my ham was pretty thick.

Heat some oil in a frying pan add the chicken and cook for 8 mins, turning it over a couple of times until the ham is golden. (now take out the cocktail sticks) Add four tablespoons of wine to the pan, stir in the stock, then cover the pan with a baking tray and simmer for 15-20 mins or until tender and cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to the (hot!) tray and pop into the oven and keep warm, I put it on about 120 degrees C. Stir in another tablespoon of wine and the remaining watercress and cream to the pan contents and bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat and season to taste.

No nuts chocolate brownies

I went to the Fabric Guild and it was pretty awesome. I got loads of fat quarters at 99p each, and though they didn’t have Alexander Henry or Amy Butler fabrics, they had pretty much all of Makower’s ranges and lots of other stuff, including small prints and plains that would be damn useful. I was going to take a picture on my phone but it was quite dark inside the warehouse and I didn’t want to upset anyone as I wasn’t handed my membership card ’til the end.

Before I went this morning though, I baked some brownies. These are so good (if I do say so myself) so I thought I’d share my recipe. It’s no nuts, because we prefer them that way but this is good news for you out there with nut allergies…


  • 150g butter (I use 1/3 Kerrygold Honey Butter, but this is optional)
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 55g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350º F, Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a  baking tin or do what I do and use a silicone one so you don’t need to faff with this.
  2. Melt the butter with 55g of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
  3. Beat the eggs with the sugar in another bowl, then sift in the flour, and baking powder. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, and beat together until well blended.
  4. Chop the remaining 145g chocolate into rough chunks and stir into the brownie mixture. Spoon and spread the mix in the tin.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, the cake should begin to shrink slightly from the sides of the tin.

It’s Pimm’s O’Clock!

Today I made Pimms fairycakes using the recipe here. They came out a bit gooey in the icing and I should have stiffened it up a bit with some more icing sugar, but they taste pretty nice. Not alcoholic enough though maybe!

I also made some Turkish Delight using this recipe, and it is really lovely. I added some red food colouring too and omitted the pistachios. I also had no lemon so used a small amount of lemon flavouring and a little bit more water. They came out great and I covered some with chocolate!