Monday, 26 September 2016

Letter box flowers ...

Hi everyone

I can hardly believe that we are technically in Autumn now. The start of my new academic year is always busy so thank you for stopping by regularly in my absence ...

I have had the family to stay between homes & they sent me some 'Thank-You' flowers, via letterbox flowers ...

Our Postie knocked because I was home & handed me a long slim box - a first for me & I was curious to see how it works as I have seen them advertised ...

Beautifully packaged ...

 Oh yes ... they all look healthy & gorgeous - my favourite colours ...

A lovely surprise of some beautifully scented candles too - I love candles at home

The sideboard in the dining room is not close to a radiator so perfect for flowers ...

 I am won over by Bloom & Wild's letterbox flowers - thank you to Pat & Andy for the lovely thought! xx

Has anyone else tried the letterbox flowers? Tell all & thank you for stopping by,
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A woodland Autumn / Fall brooch

Hi everyone

I can hardly believe that Autumn / Fall is upon us already - where has Summer gone?

While down in Dorset for the annual Hat Festival, I browsed some of the lovely craft stalls & came across this lovely brooch. I bought a similar one (unfortunately not photographed) for my lovely neighbour who bunny sits for me.

Ms M gifted this lovely one to me ...

Perfect for an Autumn cardigan - I can't wait to use it.

I hope you are having a lovely week wherever you are - thank you for stopping by ...

Dee ~♥~

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Fresh fig tart for friends

Hi everyone

Summer holidays are coming to an end & those of us who work in education are doing a last catch up before we are back to work.

With beautiful summer fruits about, I decided on a fresh fig tart as my contribution.

This is a recipe by Rick Stein.

Croatian Fresh Fig Tart

For the pastry
170g plain flour, sifted &  extra for dusting
pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter, cubed
50g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
50ml double cream

For the filling

500g mascarpone cheese
6thsp clear honey
6 large, or 7 medium, or 8 small fresh figs, stems trimmed, halved.

For the pastry - mix the flour, salt & butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Mix the egg yolk & cream & add to the mixture so it forms a dough. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry & use it to line a round 26cm loose bottomed flan tin. (I had to chill mine first then roll it out).

Trim the edges of the pastry, cover with clingfilm & rest in the freezer for 30 min. (I didn't have time to do this so mine shrunk a little but was fine) Heat the oven to 180C fan.

Line the pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice & bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper & beans & cook for a further 3 minuted. Take out of the oven & lower the heat to 160C.

Soften the mascarpone with the honey in a pan over a low heat.

Pour into the pastry, then lay the figs on top, cut side up. Bake for 30 min until just starting to turn golden at the edges. Cool to room temperature before removing from the tin & cutting to serve.

This is the tart, baked & cooling on the rack. I backed it on a baking tray in case it leaked (it didn't) and it looks so good.

Then off to my lovely friend who had set a gorgeous girlie table for us for supper ...

Individual chicken breasts with bacon, cheese & a spicy sauce, vegetables & roast potatoes - heaven!

Then pudding & coffee time .... heaven ... the fig tart was delicious

The tart at our girlie supper with some vanilla ice-cream - it was so good but very rich - something I will definitely make again.

Thank you for stopping by, I always appreciate  your comments.
Dee ~♥~

Friday, 19 August 2016

Interesting tea spoons

Hi everyone

I had a lovely market browse while visiting friends in the lovely Shropshire town of Ludlow recently. I love browsing markets  & we were looking at various cutlery bits when I saw these.

They are fun with their royal / British symbols & I was happy to take them home

They will be brightening up my tea cups very soon ...

Would you use them for tea or coffee or does it not matter anymore?

Thanks for stopping by & taking the time to leave a comment,
Dee ~♥~

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Crocheting a rose brooch ...

Hi everyone

Are you enjoying summer where you are? We have been promised a heatwave but it has yet to materialise.

However, I am loving my time off work to just catch up with friends & things for a change.

I recently showed you my tentative crocheting efforts following some beginner lessons. My late Mother & Grandmother could crochet & chat at the same time & they were always making something while muttering about my 'idle hands' ....

I am ambidextrous so I do some things with my right, some with my left hand & it so I skipped certain skills (knitting as it was easier to get my Mom to do it)

However, the lovely crochet tutors have been brilliant & have let us find the way that we are comfortable with ... my thread holding works for me is all I am saying.

I saw a workshop to learn to crochet a rose brooch & talked my friend Liane Pearl in to joining me at a local craft shop. It was intense to get the rhythm of the pattern .... 5 trebles ... 2 doubles ...  5... 2

Amazingly, it took on the shape & I was even impressed with how neat mine was - progress!

One leaf done & then time for a crochet button for the centre ....

Finishing them off & putting the backing pin on - fabulous achievement.

Oh yes - a great evening was had by all, a new pattern learnt & a lovely brooch too.

My lifelong learning aim continues this year ... I need to practise this while it is fresh in my mind because it is so effective!

I am sure I am not the only one learning new skills. Do you figure it out yourself or are you happy to enrol on a new course? Tell all & thank you for stopping by & taking the time to read & comment.

Dee ~♥~