I decided I needed to create a sausage pasta recipe while I was contemplating what meal I could create that would keep the whole family happy. Now that the summer is here, there is a definite preference for the adults to have salad instead of vegetables. However, my kids will not eat a salad for dinner. One will eat some tomato, one will eat some cucumber, but as a general rule, I could not set them down a salad for a meal.
As a lover of all things homemade and handcrafted, I have been watching the Washi Tape craze grow and grow. I love the idea of patterned tapes – such a fabulous concept! There is an enormous selection of Washi Tapes available to buy on the market, so much so, I have failed to purchase any as I couldn’t decide on a preferred pattern! I am also a bit of a hoarder, and I struggle to throw out pretty things, especially some of the beautiful gift wrap I receive. So I decided to make some DIY Washi Tape, using some scraps of fabric and paper I had in the house. It was so easy, and can transform the plainest of objects! Here’s how:
If you’ve got some leftover lemons from pancake day, and you’ve started thinking about Mother’s Day gifts, this could be a quick solution to use up your lemons and make a lovely homemade lemon body scrub gift.
Lemons are a great antioxidant for the skin, sugar is a great exfoliator and olive oil is a natural moisturiser. Put the three together, and you’ve got a great fresh scented body scrub.
It’s simple to make. Just mix the ingredients at ratio of:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of olive oil
Then all you have to do is find something airtight to present it in. I used an old baby food jar and stuck some coloured paper to the top, or you could paint the lid. Make a little label and tie it on with some ribbon to make your gift more attractive.
This makes a lovely gift, and is a great idea for children to get involved in as they can do the mixing and help with the decorating.
Just one quick word of warning – if you suffer from broken skin this may not be ideal due to the acidity of the lemon.
In my youth I had a job working in an independent pizzeria, and when I left, my troubles began. At work I was able to design a pizza exactly as I liked it. The right amount of sauce, toppings and cheese were crucial to my enjoyment. After I left (and moved to a different country) I couldn’t get a pizza to please me.. and believe you me, I tried!
Shop bought ones don’t have enough topping, pizzeria chains just don’t float my boat (some of them taste more like cardboard than pizza) and I’ve never cooked with yeast before so I was too nervous about trying to make my own base.
Then one day, quite accidently, I made a cheat’s homemade pizza using plain Naan bread as the base. I must have been low on food as the only thing I had for sauce was tomato puree, and I think the only topping I had was cheese.
It was gorgeous!
Normally tomato puree is too tangy on its own, but it balanced out beautifully with the naan bread. I’m actually convinced a pizza sauce wouldn’t be as nice, and as I think my cheat’s pizza’s are already perfect I have no intention of trying!
The beauty of this discovery is of course that you can tailor the toppings to your own personal taste, and as naan bread is readily available in different sizes it’s easy to make one without having lots of leftovers!
Just use small naans for small appetites and large naans for larger appetites. In additional, naan bread freezes really well so if you keep some in the freezer it’s a really easy tasty snack for any unexpected play-dates. Just microwave on the defrost setting for 10 second blasts until they have thawed.
As per the pack instructions I always sprinkle a little water on my naan bread, then spread on some tomato puree and add my toppings. Cook in the oven at 180degrees for 10-15 minutes and bingo! Delicious served with a side salad, or simply on it’s own.
After a rather pathetic attempt at making heart shaped flapjacks for Mr C. on Valentine’s Day, it was back to the drawing board. I refused to buy any more ingredients so it had to be something I could make from what I had. The decision was heart shaped chocolate coated shortbread. I was still a little bitter about my flapjacks, but I knew that Lewis (3) would love helping to make these.
You will need:
200g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup (this can be omitted if preferred but it adds a honeyed flavour)
75g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
red food dye
heart shaped cookie cutters
To get started cream the butter, golden syrup and sugar together. Then mix in the flour and salt. You will get quite a dry mixture that you should knead until it holds together.
Roll out the mixture onto a floured surface and cut out your heart shapes. Place these onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
When the shortbread has cooled, melt the chocolate according to the pack instructions. I suggest you do this in three stages, just melting the amount you need for each coloured coating at one time.
To make pink or red chocolate, simply add red food colouring to melted white chocolate until you have the colour you desire.
Dip the shortbread into the melted chocolate and leave to harden.
When your biscuits have hardened you just need to package them. I used a box I had and lined it with some red tissue paper left over from Christmas. And viola…
Of course you can obtain a ‘neater’ finish with the chocolate if you just do it yourself without a three year old’s help, but that would take away all the fun!