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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Paper covered cabinet on: July 06, 2012 08:07:57 AM
That is absolutely gorgeous!
2  COOKING / Dessert / Gooey deep-dish choc chip cookie bakes on: February 09, 2012 02:47:48 AM
I recently posted this on my cookery blog, and just today realised I'd never shared it at Craftster! It's been a really popular post over at my blog so I had to come and share Smiley

If you're like me and like really ooey gooey chocolate cookies, then make these as I did - if you prefer them a bit firmer, just leave them in the oven for a few extra minutes. In fact, if you cook these for even longer, they end up almost like cake - so cook them however you prefer!

These are also great for freezing - just wrap a portion of the raw dough in clingfilm and stick it in the freezer. Then whenever you fancy one, you can just unwrap it, put it in a ramekin, and bake for a few minutes longer than usual. They're just as delicious this way!


Makes around 12

200g butter
200g demerara sugar
100g granulated sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla essence
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp salt
110g plain flour
150g chocolate chips
150g chocolate bar, broken into chunks

Cream together the butter and both types of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. Next add the bicarb, salt and flour, followed by the chocolate chips. The mixture should be quite thick and dry, but if it is too dry to form into neat balls, add a tiny dash of milk.

Preheat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6 / 400F).

Distribute half of the mixture into the bottoms of around 12 lightly greased rammekins. Put a couple of squares of chocolate in each ramekin, and then top with the remaining cookie dough.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are turning golden. The inside should still be soft. Eat warm.

Note: If freezing some of the dough, don't put it in ramekins - just take a little of the mixture in your hand, add the squares of chocolate, and use a little more dough to cover the chocolate, forming a ball. Wrap in cling film and freeze. When desired, just unwrap the ball of dough, place it in a ramekin, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 190C.
3  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / 2 delicious butternut squash recipes - risotto and stuffed shells on: February 09, 2012 02:43:22 AM
I recently started a vegetarian cookery blog and wanted to share a couple of my recipes with you Smiley

I bought one butternut squash and got both of these tasty dinners out of it. Obviously if you only fancy one of these recipes, you could buy a smaller squash and just do one or the other, or you could make double portions of one of them.

Creamy butternut squash and sage risotto

I can't recommend this risotto enough. The squash tastes fantastic when roasted - slightly sweet. I like my risotto really creamy and cheesy, but if you prefer a slightly drier risotto, just reduce the quantity of cheese slightly.

Serves 3

2tbsp sunflower oil
400g butternut squash (approx. half a large squash), diced
1 handful sage, roughly chopped
25g butter
1 onion, diced
300g arborio rice
2 stock cubes, made up with approx. 1 litre of boiling water
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Heat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6 / 400F).

Lay the cubes of butternut squash and the chopped sage on a baking tray, and coat with the oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a risotto pan or wok. Gently soften the onion for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining butter, and once it has melted, add the rice and stir until coated.

After a few more minutes, begin adding the stock a little at a time, only adding more when the rice has absorbed the previous amount. Continue adding stock and leaving it to be absorbed until the rice is al dente - you may need more or less than the litre suggested.

Once it is soft, remove the squash from the oven. Mash half of it a little with a fork, and mix it into the risotto, along with the grated cheese. Serve topped with the remaining chunks of roasted squash and sage.

Butternut squash and sage stuffed shells in cheesy sauce

Another cheesy recipe - it works so well, why change it?! Butternut squash and sage are a match made in heaven - a little sage really brings out the flavour of the squash. This is just like macaroni cheese, but with the added goodness of the squash, and a real punch of flavour from the sage.

Serves 2-3

400g butternut squash (around half a large squash)
3 cloves garlic
20g butter
1 small bunch of sage (around 6 large leaves)
200g conchiglioni (large pasta shells)
50g cheddar cheese, grated

For the sauce:
25g butter
3tbsp plain flour
200ml semi-skimmed milk
50g cheddar cheese, grated

Chop the unpeeled squash into a few large chunks, and boil for around 15 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta shells according to the instructions on the packet, then drain and set aside.

Once cooked, drain the squash, and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Peel each chunk, and put in a blender with the garlic, 20g of butter and the sage. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

In a saucepan, melt 25g of butter, and stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes over a fairly low heat. Stir in the milk a little at a time, only adding more when the mixture is smooth and well combined. Add 50g of cheese, and once again stir until smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce into a suitably sized baking dish.

Heat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6 / 400F).

Stuff each pasta shell with a little of the butternut squash filling, and lay in rows in the dish on top of the cheese sauce. If there is any leftover filling, just dot it around the pasta.

Top with the remaining cheese, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the edges of the shells are slightly crispy.

I hope you enjoy the recipes, and please check out my blog for more!
4  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Honey roasted parsnip soup on: February 09, 2012 02:31:49 AM
Hi! I recently started a vegetarian cookery blog and I wanted to share one or two of my recipes with you! This was my most recent recipe - honey roasted parsnip soup.

This soup seriously makes me think of Christmas - so it's perfect for a freezing cold February evening (anyone else in Europe? What's going on here?!) when you're wondering why winter even bothers existing at all.

Recipe time!!

Serves 2

300g parsnips, peeled (approx. 1 large parsnip)
200g potatoes, peeled (approx 3 small potatoes)
1 medium onion
2tbsp sunflower oil
2tbsp honey
1tsp dried thyme
1 stock cube
Black pepper
~500ml boiling water
Bread, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6 / 400F).

Chop the parsnips and potatoes into fairly small chunks or sticks, and lay out on a large baking tray. Slice the onion into wedges, and add this to the tray. Coat with the oil, and drizzle with 1tbsp honey. Put the tray in the oven.

After around 25 minutes, remove from the oven to stir. Add a little more honey, and the dried thyme. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven once the vegetables are soft and beginning to crisp up.

Transfer the vegetables to a blender. Pour a dash of boiling water onto the baking tray, and use a spatula to deglaze the pan. Add this to the blender, along with the stock cube and plenty of black pepper.

Blend the soup, adding as much boiling water as you need to get the consistency you desire - perhaps around 500ml.

Serve warm with fresh bread.
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: Extreme Bird Mansion ! on: October 08, 2011 05:49:04 AM
Woah! This is stunning! I bet it's so rewarding to see the birds enjoying their new house Smiley

Do you make other things too? I bet you'd make dolls' houses that would make a little girl's day!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Rooster De Los Muertos on: October 06, 2011 09:21:32 AM
So cute! In a kind of scary way... lol
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Suitcase Table of Yellowness! on: October 06, 2011 09:12:03 AM
This is great, I would never have thought of doing this. Can you still open the suitcase for storage?
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: -Simple Chair Recover- on: October 06, 2011 09:03:28 AM
Really nice! I absolutely love that paisley fabric!
9  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Post Apocalypse/Zombie Slaying Family!!! (PIC-HEAVY) on: September 12, 2011 09:49:01 AM
Your family is awesome!
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: I'll embroider that origami! on: September 12, 2011 09:38:23 AM
This is absolutely beautiful! I love the contrast of the dark background with the bright fans.
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