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1  COOKING / Dessert / Croque-en-bouche / Croquembouche on: October 29, 2011 11:15:44 AM
After being inspired by the tv show The Great British Bake Off that was recently on the BBC, my friend and I decided to create the great croque-en-bouche (also spelt croquembouche - not actually sure which one is correct!). Despite a few (semi!) disasters along the way, which you can read more about on my blog post, we were very pleased with the end result.

Not quite the elegant creation of the french masters of pastry but, hey ho, for a first attempt I'm pretty pleased Smiley

Attempting to add height to the creation Wink

The recipe that we used - more or less - was this one: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/croquembouche
And for more photos and a lot of background story - inlcuding the mishaps, check out my blog post here:  http://thoughtsonbubblesandstuff.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/croque-en-bouche-or-tales-from-a-mutinous-kitchen/

2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Healthy eating tips and tricks... on: March 07, 2011 08:43:52 AM
I'm sure that there are a few other people out there who, like me, have a few extra pounds that they want to shift or perhaps just want to start eating more healthily. I was wondering if anyone had any healthy recipes or tips that they'd like to share as inspiration. I'm always looking for new things to try to make everything a bit more varied (especially on the desert side, as I have a very sweet tooth!), so it would be lovely to hear from everybody.

3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Lots of lates on: June 17, 2010 12:45:46 PM
I have been swapping on here for about a year but, embarrassingly (sp?) enough, I sent late for the majority of my swaps and obviously that has been recorded in my feedback. I have been taking a bit of a break from swapping, due to exams, and am now free for the summer and have plenty of time to spend on crafting. I would like to get doing some swaps but was recently rejected from a swap (completely understandably) because of the late feedback. It has got me thinking and reminded me that yes, it does look very dodgy when you have sent late for the majority of your swaps - however, I'm not quite sure what I can do about it. All my feedback is positive because I did send, so its not something I need to/can angel to fix. Should I just flag up on questionnaires that I acknowledge that I've had a problem with time limits and I'm trying to change that and try and get some early feedback?
Just looking for a bit of advice on the issue, thanks in advance.
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Turquoise flower fingerless gloves on: May 21, 2010 11:50:26 AM
I made these ages ago but have finally sewn them up, just as the weather is turning nice and toasty  Embarrassed Wink Sorry about the bad pics.

I made them as a bit of an experiment to see whether you could crochet the flowers directly into the item, so that there is no need for any sewing on (not that that is much of a hassle, but I just wanted to see whether it could be done. Which it can Smiley Below is the test patch that I made where you can see more clearly what I mean.

And one last funky pic for fun:
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Tomato Bread =) edited to add recipe on: May 21, 2010 08:54:42 AM
One of my first ever times making bread (maybe made it two or three times before) so I am really pleased with how this turned out. It has a lovely, really distinctive orange colour and the tomato flavour is just right - not too strong, not too weak. If you want a recipe, just let me know.

The shape came because I wanted to make a loaf out of rolls where you could pull of the rolls but it had traditional shape - if that makes sense? However it rose quite a lot so I have since decided that its better to slice or you might end up with a rather large chunk of bread.

Edited to add recipe:
Origionally from The Complete Bread Book by Lorna Walker and Joyce Hughes (published in the '70s so I doubt you could get hold of it which is why I'm happy to give out the recipe)
1 packet quick action yeast (or just look at whatever yeast you use - normally tells you on the packet how much to use for the amount of flour)
300ml warm water
150g tomato puree (I used about a half tube of double concentrate puree....I'd say go with your instincts and then add a bit more Smiley
675g strong white flour
good shake of salt (says 15g in recipe but I didn't measure)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic or onion salt/granules
1 teaspoon paprika
15g margarine or lard

Blend the tomato puree with 150 ml of warm water - it should look fairly thick. Add this and the other 150 ml of water to the dry ingredients - I actually had to add more water at this point as it was too dry but just go with what instinct tells. You then just make as with normal bread:
Knead, bash, box, get rid of all those tensions on the bread. It should be nice and elasticy when fully kneeded - about 10/15 mins?
Cover and leave to rise
When at least doubled in size, have a bit more of a knead then shape into loaves, rolls etc. Cover and leave to prove.
Bake at a preheated oven at 220C/425F/GM 7 for 30-35 mins for loaves and 15-20 mins for rolls 
Eat =)

The recipe said that I should get 24 rolls or 2 small loaves out of this. I got this loaf and about 6 rolls from it but I think I was so excited to be making bread that I didn't leave it to rise for as long as I could have.

I'm thinking that I might try and add in some sundried tomato in next time, to add a bit more to the texture? Or maybe olives?
6  COOKING / Dessert / One crazy cake... on: May 15, 2010 01:00:42 PM

I made this cake for my friends 16th birthday - It ended up being very different from what I had planned (I was going to completly cover it in frosting so the multicolured inside was surprise.) However I prefer it how it is, as I'm very proud of how the multicoloured effect turned out. The picture makes it look a little bit washed out but they're still a fairly acurate representation.

The middle load of frostung is actually in a loveheart shape, which you can't really see very well on either of the pictures. Considering I didn't have any special equipment (a palet knife, plastic bag for piping and hot water were about my  only tools for putting on my frosting) I can just about forgive myself the rather messy icing.

If anyone has any questions don't hesitate to ask Cheesy
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Help! My machine will only sew zigzag! on: March 11, 2010 02:33:18 PM
So, I went to to use my sewing machine this evening (last used mid-jan) as I urgently need to make a present and found that my machine would only sew in zigzag stitch (I think this was the setting the machine had been left on but I'm not certain). I checked, re-checked and triple-checked that i had everything on the right settings but it still stayed the same. However, I couldn't tell completely, but when I moved the dial to get different types of zigzag stitch I think it still stayed on the same stitch - nothing is jammed tough and all the dials move freely.

I have absolutely no idea whats gone wrong, if anyone has any ideas please please tell me. It was working perfectly last time and it doesn't look like anythings been broken: I just hope I've made a really stupid mistake. Thanks in advance (I'm not going to be replying over the weekend as I'm away.)

8  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Pattern Confusion - Help Please on: January 09, 2010 02:31:12 PM
Ok, so I'm making this pattern -http://angelscrochet.com/patterns/lacyscalloppat.php - as a (very) last minute present and I think my brains got frazzeled in the rush Cheesy So I'm getting confused with a couple of lines in particular:

Rnd 6: ch 4, dc in same st as joining, sk next 2 st, (*dc, ch 1, dc in next st*, sk next 2 st) around, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch-4. (20 dc, ch 1, dc st)

Rnd 7-11: sl st into ch-1 sp, ch 4, dc in same sp, *dc, ch 1, dc* in each ch-1 sp around, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch-4. (20 dc, ch 1, dc st)

I'd done line 6 and thought I'd done it wrong but then looked at rnd 7 and got very confused Cheesy For rnd 6 I did all the first bit and then just repeated all the stuff in the bracket all the way around. And then I looked at the end bracket - is that telling me that I am supposed to have 20dc all the way around, because I have about 40 Cheesy Or is it telling me more stuff that I'm supposed to do - and if it is where am I supposed to be doing it. Huh

Anyway i thought I'd leave the mystery of rnd 6 and go straight on to rnd 7 - more confusion occurs! Its all crochet to me Shocked I'm sure its very simple but...ack i donno what its asking me to do.

As I'm sure you can tell I'm fairly new to this crocheting malarky and I think I have just confused myself by over thinking  ::)If anyone could just give me a little bit of translation I could probably work it out. Thanks in advance, Hannah
9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Fabric Costs? on: August 29, 2009 04:10:22 AM
As someone just getting into sewing I'm really not sure how much I should expect to pay for fabric....there seems to be so much difference! For example I was in a nearby rag market the othr day someone offered me a 1 and a half metres of fabric for 5. However many of the other fabrics were about 1.20 per metre, so I thought he was over pricing a bit. However looking on web sites for fabric people are often charging about 2 for a 1/4 of a metre. I'm a bit confused and feel a little out of my depth. What exactly should I expect to be paying for fabric?
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Pop up card/ornament on: July 14, 2009 09:01:24 AM
Hi guys,
First time posting one of my projects so I'm very excited. I made this for the OTT swap and the pictures are courtesy of my partner loobie - my camera is broke so I couldn't take pictures before sending out.
This is a top view where you can see how the pop up works

Next is a view of the outside. This took an unbeleivable amount of time to get right Sad
I first tried stenciling with masking tape -lol - basically I cut out all those trees, stuck them on to the top and painted over it all. However when i took it off, a lot of the paint had gone through. Then i remembered how pretty it had looked when the masking tape was still on with all the paint over it so I cut out my tree scene on white card, stuck that on then painted all over that.

This last is another view of the inside:

I'm hoping to expand how I do this becuase this was the first time I'd made anything like this. However I'm really happy with how this turned out - If you have any questions just ask. Grin
Hope you like! Cheesy
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