Sunday, 28 February 2016

Tiny little knit

I love having visitors.  I love the buzzy-ness in my home, as least I know why I have all those square feet.  Still, my crafty time got reduced to almost nothing.

Anyway, I still managed to knit a little cute thing.  I really enjoy knitting for babies, I miss knitting for babies, I had so much fun to knit for MP’s Bbs (and I still enjoy knitting for them, but there are no longer babies).

Look at this baby top, it was so fast to knit, and it is overloaded with cuteness.  I took me just a few evening to finish this Maile Sweater.

Baby cardi

I’ve used some Painted desert yarn, actually just half of a ball.  It’s not blue, it’s not purple, it’s not green...  The cardigan being knitted in the round from bottom to top, I didn’t had to worry about matching the variegated yarn on the different parts of the sweater,

Baby cardi1

I added some shiny little glass bud buttons, and it’s ready.  I am just really happy with it.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cooking frenzy

Long time not blogged, but you see, I’ve been busy!  I’ve been into a cooking frenzy these past few weeks.  Could it be because my family (parents and kids) were visiting?
So here is what was on the menu:
  • Vietnamese chicken salad – reinterpreted with turkey (because I did not have ground chicken in hand).  It is probably the most cooked recipe from my preferred book (gifted by my preferred god-daughter): the Instant Cook from Donna Hay.
  • Cannelés – for those who don’t know what cannelés are, just imagine some French pancake batter baked in some tiny tall moulds that pre-heated so when the batter is poured into them and then put in the oven, it creates a crispy outside and a somehow chewy inside.  Oh and did I mentioned that the batter is flavoured with alcohol! I used this recipe (in French) from
  • Marmalade – Philippe is not a peaky eater, but he is very particular when it comes to his marmalade, he does NOT like store-bought marmalade, he only likes the one I prepare (if he loves my marmalade it must mean he loves me too Winking smile).  I have a tested and trusted method, but last time it did not work well with frozen orange, so I went for a pressure-cooker method.  All went well until I decided to go to the gym and forget the marmalade on the cooker.  I came back to some charcoal marmalade and a damage-beyond-salvation pressure cooker, but as a friend said I still had a win because I went to the gym!
  • Carrot and ginger soup – an staple in our home, so so easy: just onions lightly browned with some olive oil, a bit a ginger (if I don’t have fresh, I use past), carrots (a lot), half of a sweet potato for extra smoothness, cook slowly then give it a wack with a blender (I am all for hand-held blenders, they are so easy to clean, store and use).
  • Spinach Japanese-style salad with home-made gyoza (again, I used turkey because… it makes the gioza a bit dry).
  • Breast chicken stuffed with cream cheese wrapped in dried-ham, with sautéed asparagus and peas.  Who needs a recipe for thing like that, it is so simple and easy.  I flattened the chicken breasts, spreaded some light cream cheese, peppered, put the chicken on a dried ham slice, rolled and then in the pan nicely and slowly until cooked through out, at the end I added some young asparagus and peas (slightly steamed in the microwave).
  • Pears and blue cheese – this one is always at the top of our list, it is another Donna Hay’s favourite of us (same book as mentioned above).  Very simple: the quartered pears are glazed in hot butter with balsamic vinegar, add some pea nuts (I can never have too much pecan nuts).  Once the pears are caramelised on both side, just through on top of some young mixed leaves, some blue cheese crumbs, use the cooking juice as dressing.
  • Meyer lemon curd cake – home made curd with lemons from my friends garden, soooo gooood!  I’ve adapted this recipe from Joy de Baker. This will be revisited for sure.
  • Bean with bacon soup – cold weather calls for soup.  Very satisfying with a large crouton grilled with a dab of olive oil and a bit of parmesan.  It’s a Pioneer woman recipe: here.
Cooking frenzy
I cooked some more, but with a house full of hungry kids, I had seldom time to document my efforts. I love a busy kitchen it makes me happy.
IMG_0007 [112555]
Lucky me I’ve received a couple of books and a magazine… more inspiration!
Tell, what are you cooking? What inspires you to cook?  And who’s cleaning the kitchen after you?

Monday, 1 February 2016

#I Heart You Mini Quilt

I’m back! Back at my machine. I managed 2 full days of sewing last week.  My sewing room looks like a cyclone when through it (no time to tidy up…)
And I finished ONE thing (still working on another very BIG thing… I will come back to this, hopefully, soon).
The pattern is from Cluck Cluck Sew and can be found here.  The pattern is so darn cute and the mini went up so fast and easily.
The colours just make me smile.
And I’m pretty happy with my quilting – OK maybe not the back… I had so many problems: the thread frayed and broke again and again, then I forgot to drop the feed dogs for the swirly part…  Anyway, who look at the back of quilts? :-)