Thursday, 30 June 2011


As I've been such a bad blogger since coming back from holiday, I thought I'd add another post today. 

Also, I actually wrote the Teriyaki one yesterday but didn't get round to publishing it.

Yesterday I was suffering with a particularly annoying and painful stiff neck and shoulders. To my dismay, I woke this morning to find that it is still no better... :( 

After spending the morning sulking and trying to get comfortable. I decided I needed a bit of a pick-me-up and so I broke out THE best cookie and muffin book I've ever bought... (It's the only one I've ever bought, but its soooo good, I doubt I'll ever buy another one!)


Thats right The Genuine American Cookie & Muffin Book! I've had it for a fair few years now. I got it from Lakeland when we first moved to Nottingham and couldn't believe how good the recipes were! My favourite recipe being the blueberry muffins. :9

hmmm maybe I should add blueberries to the shopping list...

Well today I decided to make the Classic Choc-Chip Cookie, mainly cos I didn't have the ingredients for some of the other recipes. But also its been ages since I last made them, so seemed about time!

Cooling on the surface. Had to keep swatting little hands out the way!
The recipes in this book are really simple, but taste AMAZING!!! When you get everything right they taste very similar to Millies Cookies. The main things that effect the outcome are the type of butter you use (Anchor rules) and the baking. You really need to make sure you get the temperature right as well as the cooking time. The great thing is though, the book has a top tips section for both cookies and muffins, so you have the best chance at getting it right. Also, if your like me and actually read the other bits of cookbooks and not just the recipes (yep sad I know!), this one includes a history lesson on how cookies and muffins got their names.

Colours better on this one.
Well, it worked! While I was baking and eating my neck did feel better. It's hurting again now though... Good job I made plenty :D

And a close up... just to tease everyone! :D
Unfortunately I didn't have the right sugar today, so they weren't as nice as they could be. 

But still pretty good... Pretty darn good! ;D

Hmmm... now I feel like watching George of the Jungle!

I feel like chicken tonight...

Chicken Teriyaki to be precise!

... Well actually I didn't really feel like it, but had some chicken that needed using and I had just bought all the ingredients to make Teriyaki sauce...



Sorry about the pic, took it on my phone as I am too lazy to charge my camera!

Turned out not too bad, I've never really had 'official' Teriyaki from a restaurant, so don't really know how it compares. Shoshone really liked it though, had a mouthful looked at me and went "Mmm mMMMm!" She then polished the whole lot off quicker than me and Wiyot!

This recipe was from the DS game Cooking Guide, which has some really great recipes from around the world. One of my favourites being pork chops in a creamy mustard sauce :9 Theres also a great mac and cheese recipe, fabulous potato salad, others that I can't think of and LOADS that I haven't tried yet!

But anyway, like I said it's a pretty nice recipe, but I do prefer one that I've done from the Wagamama Cookbook, which tastes more sweet. However, unfortunately this means I can't eat as much though as it gets a bit sickly for me...

Well thats all for now folks :D

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Take Away night

When I met Danny I was introduced to various new and wonderful things. Most obviously being the  beautiful differences in our cultures, as well as in our diets. My favourite dish I was introduced to being Char Siu Fan :9 

Food Heaven! *Drools*

I also got introduced to new items on a Chinese take-away menu... 

Pre-Danny, all my family and I ever ordered from our favourite local take-away (incidentally, not the one that Danny's family owned at the time... Oops! Still haven't lived that one down :/ ) was egg fried rice, chips and chicken curry.

I now know the delights of sweet and sour chicken/pork, crispy shredded beef, beef in black bean sauce, banana fritters, etc...

But still there are the times when all I want is Chicken curry, just like Mr Chan would have made in Willow house (sorry Danny, but you know its true!)

So, for a number of years I've been attempting to figure out the recipe...

And well, I am please to announce I've cracked it! (more or less)


Just add water!

Available from all good supermarkets, aka Alfreton Tesco's, in the foreign foods section :D

I know its a bit of a cop out, but it really is good, and fast too! To be honest I did get quite close to cracking it myself... and then I found this... and that was the end of the grinding up and mixing my own spices! Maybe someday I'll return to my quest... 

Until then...


And quicker than ordering it by phone!

Hmmm, I'm feeling hungry all of a sudden...

Monday, 6 June 2011

And so it begins XD

My book arrived on Saturday!

But not before I'd already whipped up a few sketches...

First proper sketches for years... felt a bit rusty :/
These designs aren't exactly by me... They're based on dresses I've seen in magazines and on the net over the years, my favourite being the one on the top left based on a dress worn by Scarlett Johansson. If you've been paying attention to my last few posts, you may have noticed that the middle one is a kind of short version of my wedding dress :D Which leads me onto the next sketch...

<3 my favourite so far <3

Again, if you read the previous post, the above dress may look a little familiar. Its kind of a new version of the bridesmaid dress design. As I mentioned before, I wasn't entirely happy with the way the outfits turned out...

So, what better opportunity to put it right! 

This time I've gone for a kind of pencil skirt rather than the A line look. Also I've included a little cap sleeve (hoping they'll help balance out my generous derriere!) and possibly a kind of kick pleat in the back.

I'm really happy with this design... Think its going to be the one I make! Arrrgh! (Excited scream)

Now I'm thinking about the type of fabric, what colour it should be, the construction methods... 

And SHOES!! :D

Kind of scared too, its going to be much more difficult than anything else I've made. I've never done many of the techniques I'll probably have to use. Also the fabric will most likely be very different to the ones I'm used to... 

I say that as though I'm an experienced stitcher! lol 

Most of the time I just turn up peoples jeans! Hahaha

Friday, 3 June 2011

Continuing on from before...

When I was a kid, before I qualified as a Clinical Aromatherapist, before I wanted to become a Physiotherapist, there was a significant period of time when I wanted to be a fashion designer... I'm not talking Americas next top model type fashion... More the everyday, stuff you could actually wear type stuff! 

That of course was before the career advisor at school told me that I'd never make it and should do something else... Thanks!

When we started planning for the wedding, I soon faced a conundrum of what the "best woman" and the "flower girl" could wear. The problem being that their was a significant style difference between the two girls. Bonnie was only 11 and very feminine, I'm guessing she would have loved to dress up like a princess; On the other hand, I had never seen Eva in anything more feminine than female jeans, let alone a pretty dress! I guess being the bride I could have tried to get them to wear whatever I wanted, but I really wanted them to be comfortable. So I set about designing a suit and dress that would complement each other.

For some reason I quite liked the idea of a east/west fusion :) 

... think I was also inspired by some of the costumes in Lord of the Rings?

But anyway, I designed an A line dress with a mandarin collar and wrap front detail

Bonnie the Flower Girl

and a trouser suit, again with a mandarin collar and a wrap around closure, also with a kind of flared sleeve.

Eva the Best Woman
They were made by Marilyn Hall and turned out pretty well. I was happier with the dress than the suit, I guess I shouldn't pick flies in someone else's work... but I wasn't happy with the sleeves. She did the flare different than I had pictured and for me it just looked a little weird...  

But hey ho, guess thats what happens when you don't make it yourself!

There were other bits that I designed and made for the wedding, but not really worthy of a blog!

The End :D

Incidentally, I also designed myself a wedding dress. It was actually quite similar to the one I wore, a mermaid gown, but with a mandarin collar and wrap front...