Monday, 29 November 2010

Tea and sympathy

- in the form of shortbread.

After several weeks of coughs, clods, fevers and general busyness (hence the long absence) you just need to sit down with a nice cuppa and something comforting.
Sunday comfort took the shape of shortbread it is super easy to make and is well worth the hour it takes to bake in the oven.

Here is the recipie I use (it is a modified Delia one)

  • 180g butter
  • 2 tbs of muscavado sugar (for a caramel flavor)
  • 75g sugar
  • 1 tbs Vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 80g semolina (for crunch)
1. Pop your oven on to 150C

2. Mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

3. Mix in the flour and semolina until you get a smooth dough and clean bowl. (But don't knead it!)

4. roll out on a lightly floured surface until about as thick as your finger and pop into a baking tray.

5. prick all over with a fork. in the middle of the oven for 60-70 min -or until golden and firm in the center. When you take it out of the oven score it with a knife or pizza cutter so you can easliy break it into dipping fingers when cooled. Cool on a rack. 

7. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea, some knitting and a good movie.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Making logo and labels

After a lot of back and forth I have finally decided on a logo and now I'm having some woven labels made (30x30mm) so I can add them to the things I make. It is very exciting!

And now I need your help! 

I want to order 2 or 3 versions of the label but which color combos should I do?
Here are the options:

Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Birthday party ideas II

After a big meal you still might want a little sweet -so why not overindulge (guilt free) on home made blackberry ice-cream? 
For 6 people take 
  • 5dl frozen blackberries (or other frozen fruit)
  • 4 tbs of fat free yogurt
  • 3 tbs of honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla paste (or just use vanilla yogurt) 
Blend/crush with your hand held blender -my Bamix does it in around 6min.
As this is a healthy, fat free dessert feel free to mix in some chocolate chips and crushed meringue.   

I just managed to take a picture of it before it was devoured - I had to work quickly due to mouth watering hence the bad lighting. So you'll just have to imagine the intense deep purple of this super easy indulgent dessert.     

Birthday party ideas I

Last Friday I had the honor of hosting a birthday party for my dear friend Mary. 
We had such a lovely girly evening -good food, nice wine, lots of chocolate, stimulating conversation, cupcakes, great coffee and did I say chocolate?

What's a party without a birthday bunting? 
How do you make a bunting in less than 15min and not enough time to get out all your crafty stuff? You use paper-dollies!

Cut 5 paper-dollies into quarters and spell out Happy <3 Birthday! -one letter on each triangle with a marker. Tip: Don't write with them in a pile as the marker might stain through
Then you just thread a ribbon through the holes in the dollies. Hey presto!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, 15 November 2010


It's November, dark, cold and wet and still a bit early in my book to start doing Christmas decoration around the house. So in an attempt to enjoy November with all it's color and not jump ahead to Christmas I've made some fabric leaf bowls. They are so easy to make and look very cozy scattered on our table. You can fin the how-to here at Martha Stewart. 

Love in the toybasket

 Do you remember her?
After a year of waiting and yearning this lovely lady has finally found the man of her dreams! Living in Oxford it of course had to be a man in tweed and corduroy. 

I hope they have a long and happy life together. 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

My own fabric!

It has arrived - samples of my own fabric design. It really fun, you really need to try it. 
Here are the results - same design in different color combos and on different fabric. The colors turned out as I thought apart from the one at the back in the photo - it was supposed to be pinky apples on a light blue background... 

The colors in my photos aren't the best representation either...but these I really liked. The knit jersey (the top one)was really lovely. It's a nice creamy color. I'll be getting some of that. 

Go over to Spoonflower and give it a go!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010

To do list

At the end of my pregnancy I went to a mum's group at a church and I was struck and a little upset by the underlying guilt and disappointment of not having enough time to read the bible, pray and do "spiritual" ministries that surfaced when they started articulating what they dreamt of and what they found a struggle in their lives as mums. 

I really do understand this feeling - in the midst of the reality of continues nappy changes, snack making and cleaning, living with God was yet another part of life that seemingly has to be sat on the shelf, along with other dreams and ambitions until the children are a little bigger. What it means and looks like to be "authentically" (whatever that means?!) living with God (at least in many of the Christian settings I'm in)-reading the bible and praying for X minutes/hours a day, being part of some ministry and so on just seems impossible to fit into the hectic life of a mum to little children (or any normal life...). Let's be honest sometimes, we don't have time to shower or brush your teeth because of all the things that need to be tended to around us... 

While I do think it is vital in the midst of the business of motherhood to sit down (or go for a walk), take a deep breath and (re)turn to God trough scripture, prayer, a smile or a glance -I do not think it is helpful to feel guilt or disappointment for not being able to spend an hour or five everyday being with God. 

God is not another thing on your list of things that need to be tended too. 
He is the One who tends to you, and He is here bidden or not.   

So here I am again trying to figure out what becoming someone who walks with God might mean. This time it's through the lens of motherhood. Being a mum (or anything thing really...) does not mean there is even less time for God, rather it is an invitations to see and encounter God in new ways -if I just start looking for Him in the small mundane things that make up my present, rather than waiting to "see" Him until I have the time to sit down for an hour sometime in the future. 

God is not on my to do list. He is here. 

-if you want to hear/read more along these lines I can recommend
Alan Ramsey's sermon "Looking Looking" and   The Practice of the Presence of God (Paraclete Essentials) by Brother Lawrence.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

It has happened!

When I taste good bread I go "yum yum in my tum tum", but Stefan sits forward and discovers depths concerning the incarnation and Trinity in it's flavors. He enriches me.   

Now you can have a slice too!

He has started his own blog with his musings and view on the world. 

So head over  to  Traditio - Surrender/Translate/Betray and enjoy.

Cheers to Stefan and his new blog! May there be many entries to come!


Friday, 5 November 2010

Comfort in a cup

Sometimes my morning doesn't go to plan. 
Occasionally (actually rather often) my ambitions for the day goes down the drain. 
From time to time my aims for the week are just not doable.
Suddenly it is November and I haven't even registered that October was here!
Its been several weeks of lovely visits from family, Aline's christening and perpetual colds and runny noses for everyone in the household -and failing internet.  So my intentions of exercise, blogging and PhD-ing... -well let's just say it didn't happen. 

When October was at it's snottiest and I was feeling rather miserable for having to be shut up inside and not having the energy to do exercise or studies a blog entry from Homemade Mamas brightened my day. They blogged about making cake in a mug in minutes -too good to be true. So I gave it a try -and for the amount of effort (or should I say lack of effort) that is required and the (lack of) time it take to make I can warmly recommend it for those days where nothing goes to plan and you need to take a moment out and remember that life isn't to bad after all.

The second time I made it (yes, I had more than one occasion last month were I needed a time out) I did some changes which in my opinion made it even better *wink*. If you want the original version (with simpler ingredients) you'll find the recipie by clicking on the link above. 
My pimped version is under the photos. The recipe is supposed to be for one big mug, but on both occasions I've found it enough for two mugs (which makes Stefan happy) -even though that means it doesn't bulge decadently over the top.  

  • 3 Tbsp. Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. of ground Almond
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Muscovado sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. natural yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Splash of Vanilla
  • 1 Large Coffee Mug
Optional extras:
  • 3 Tbsp. chocolate chips
  • a splash of Coffee
  • some orange zest
  • caramel sauce 

 Mix it all together and pop in the microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes.
Serve while warm with some ice-cream or just a dusting of vanilla sugar. 

Now colds are clearing up, we are back online, I've been for a run and November with all it's coziness is upon us!