30 March 2008

birthday bully with bubbles

Dom excelled himself with my birthday present and bought me my first piece of original art. I had spotted this painting a while ago when trawling through an online gallery and absolutely loved it - it's even better in the flesh.

Bully With Bubbles 1 by Janet Nowotynski. You can buy more of her art at www.artvitae.com and more affordable original art at www.zerooneart.co.uk

Bully with Bubbles 1, Janet Nowotynski

28 March 2008

mars bar krispie cakes

In celebration of my birthday, the lucky people in my office are getting to feast on these Mars Bar Krispie cakes. Various recipes float around for these choccie chewy chunks, but this is the one my mum always uses.

Makes 12 approx
3 mars bars
3 ounces of butter or marg
3 cups (tea cups, not America cups) Rice Krispies

Chop up the Mars Bars and butter and melt in a large pan on a low heat. When both have melded sufficiently, add the cups of Krispies and stir in. Press into a baking tray (approx 7 x 10 inches) or even a small roasting tin lined with baking paper. Put in the fridge to set. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

yum yum Mars Bar Krispie cakes

27 March 2008

cottage (with tiled roof) pie

Serves 2
250g lean beef mince
1 leek split length ways and finely sliced
1 white onion finely chopped
good handful of frozen peas
2 medium sized potatoes
1 tblsp olive oil
1 heaped tsp dried thyme, oregano or mixed herbs
1 dessert spoon tomato puree
1 beef stock cube
4 tblsp water
1 tblsp grated cheese
1 tsp chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Thinly slice the potatoes, boil in salted water for about 3 minutes until they start to soften, drain and set aside. Fry the onion and leek in the olive oil until soft. Add the mince, brown. Sprinkle over your choice of herbs, the stock cube, then add the water, tomato puree and peas. Stir on a medium heat for about 4 mins. Split the mixture between two 6x4 inch oven proof dishes. Layer the potato slices over the top, sprinkle over the grated cheese, some freshly ground black pepper, and finely drizzle with a little olive oil. Pop in the oven for 20 mins, by which time the potatoes should be browned. Sprinkle with chives if desired, and serve with vegetables.

Cottage (with tiled roof) pie

26 March 2008

it is at the edge of the petal that love waits

Peonies for definite in the bridal bouquets... voluptuous and fluffy

White Peony Rose, thanks to littlesomethings.blogspot.com
Sarah Bernhardt Peony Rose, thanks to littlesomethings.blogspot.com

25 March 2008

prawn and tarragon risotto

It doesn't sound like a store cupboard recipe, but it was. Without celery or garlic for a risotto base I had to find an alternative and as for the tarragon, it was meant for something else, I didn't even know what it tasted like before now, but it was there and it worked.

Serves 2
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 leek, halved lengthways and finely sliced
3 slices bacon chopped or 100g pancetta lardons
100g risotto rice
1 pint chicken stock
200g frozen large prawns
50g parmesan, finely grated
1 glass white wine
handful of fresh tarragon
knob of butter
tblsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil and a bit of the butter in a large shallow pan. Gently saute the onions and leek until soft. Add the bacon or lardons, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the rice. Stir until it is coated with the oil and vegetable juices. Pour in the white wine. Once this has absorbed start adding the chicken stock a ladle at a time and stir continuously, waiting for the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next ladle. Keep adding the stock (and continue with boiling water if it runs out), until the rice reaches your desired texture. Some like it al dente, I like it soft.

Stir in a handful of the grated parmesan, keep some back for sprinkling on the top. Then stir in the prawns (if you are using frozen prawns, defrost first) and heat through (should only take a few minutes). Finish by adding another little blob of butter and about a tblsp of the chopped tarragon.

Serve sprinkled with black pepper, parmesan and more tarragon. Delicious.

Prawn and tarragon risotto

23 March 2008

one a penny two a penny

The perfect easter breakfast. A cup of tea and a toasted hot cross bun with lashings of butter and my mum's homemade blackberry jam. Yum.

Hot Cross Buns

22 March 2008

wedding crafts

The whole theme of our wedding has sort of evolved by accident, following the pink ribbon on the invitations.

Yesterday I finished the table identifiers, which are names instead of numbers, based on the places we have been together. We added some photos to personalise them. Here's a selection.

Table names

12 March 2008

i promise

The first day of the rest of my life draws ever closer. Soon I will be a married woman, a Mrs, a wife. Wow.

There are some days when I feel like there are not enough hours in the day and then moments when I feel like the day will never come.

Amongst all the sugar flowers, hair accessories, and table decorations, it's easy to forget the purpose of the day - two people making promises to each other witnessed by all their family and friends, an exchange of words, a legal contract, a life-long commitment. As the day comes closer, this is on my mind, and this is what I am most excited about.