Tuesday, 26 June 2012

June's Seasonal Recipe: Courgette and Raisin Muffins

This month's seasonal recipe comes from Annabel Karmel, who says it's a 'delicious way to get your child to eat more vegetables' or in my case, to pretend muffins are super healthy. Either way, they're delicious for sure!

I'm going to just leave you with a photo and a link to the recipe as I think the instructions are very clear and for me, the quantities worked perfectly: Annabel Karmel's Courgette and Raisin Muffins

Monday, 25 June 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Five

29. Snowboarding- getting close to being able to use the slope by myself!

30. The first sunshine for what feels like a very long time

31. 'We've been gazumped' honeycomb and chocolate ice cream 

32. My first ever Krispy Kreme donut

33. Pottery painting at Harriet's hen do

34. The morning after 

35. Daisy cupcakes 

Find me on Instagram @thriftylodge

Monday, 18 June 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Four

22. 70s wallpaper in our (fingers crossed) house to be!

23. First Sweet Pea Party orders being sent

24. Scrabble step-Dad card for Father's Day (see post here

25. Lovely mini Birthday book arrived in the post from the lovely Clara- thank you!

26. My new favourite film

27. Strawberry & cream ice cream on Minchinhampton Common

28. Spinach and ricotta mini quiche

Find me on Instagram @thriftylodge

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Very British Scones

Here is a recipe for some very British scones, inspired by my visit to the beautiful St Ives last week. The recipe is largely based on a Delia recipe but using a thrifty buttermilk substitute. Delia reckons this makes 10, but having used this recipe a couple of times I've either made 6 large ones or (in this case) 12 smaller ones.

225g self-raising flour
75g butter at room temperature
40g golden caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp buttermilk (or 2tbsp milk and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice)
Handful of raisins (optional and not Delia-approved!)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220℃/425℉/Gas Mark 7Rub the flour into the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2. Make up your buttermilk substitute in a cup and then beat the egg into the buttermilk using a fork. Pour the mix and the raisins into the bowl with the breadcrumb mix and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together.

3. Use your hands to bring together into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface to around 2.5cm thick. Cut out scones using a 5cm round cookie cutter and place on a greased and flour-dusted baking tray.

4. Lightly brush with buttermilk and then bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes until well-risen and golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

5. Serve with jam, clotted cream* and strawberries, preferably at a very British afternoon tea party

* I eat my scones the Cornish way (jam then cream), see here for an amusing article on the long-running debate between Devon and Cornwall about how scones ought to be served!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Fathers Day- Step Dad Cards

Next Sunday it is Father's Day and as ever, this leaves me with a bit of a dilemma. As you probably have noticed, I like to make cards, but sometimes there is a lack of time/appropriate manly-card-making-material and one must resort to the shops.

As far as I can work out, only 3 kinds of Father's Day cards exist:
1. Soppy ones, only really appropriate from small children (see here and here)
2. Corny ones with beer/football/golf/TV references on (see here)
3. Comedy ones, that aren't really funny or are just crude (see here)

Occasionally you manage to snap one up that is none of the above- for some good ones see herehere or here. I managed to snaffle one such 'normal' card for my Dad this year happily (although only after visiting several shops and spending an unreasonable amount of time browsing, in which I probably could have made something!)

But the real problem arises when trying to purchase a card for my Step Dad. Now, I am most certainly not alone in having parents who have re-married, yet somehow when it comes to Father's Day, the card industry chooses to produce husband and grandad cards and even ones for your brother, but almost completely ignores the poor, downtrodden step dad. You can have the 'you're not my actual Dad' type- here or you might prefer the 'someone very special' approach- here, but to me, for all of the effort he put in parenting me, my Step Dad deserves a lot more. So I have turned my back on the card industry for another year and instead and made one (and must now bear the guilt of making one and not the other!)

So that was a long-winded introduction into making your own Scrabble card...

1. Green scrabble board tissue paper back, glued on in two layers for strength and left to dry overnight

2. Silver gel pen Scrabble grid (later trimmed down as I realised it wasn't square!) 

3. Letter tiles (with more time, these could be rounded at the edges to look more authentic 

4. Glued together with some pink and red squares to create a Scrabble board look

Happy Father's Day to both of my wonderful 'Dads'!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Three

This week is mostly about my camping trip to St Ives in the wild, wet and windy June weather (!)

15. St Ives Harbour- Day one of our camping trip (looking a bit grey!)

16. Moomaid Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream

17. St Michael's Mount on a very windy day

18. Porthminster beach- the sun came out just as we left!

19. Sean came round for dinner and brought this little guy- cute!

20. Painting wooden heart pegs

21. Birthday cupcake earrings to cheer up a grey and rainy day

Find me on Instagram @thriftylodge

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sweet Pea Party

The reason that all has been so quiet on the blogging front is now (just about) ready to be revealed... I have been working hard on launching a new Eco friendly party bag business- Sweet Pea Party. The idea is to provide an alternative to the plastic, mass-produced party bags currently available. Sweet Pea Party bags are individually hand crafted with stamps or other decorations and are all re-useable, recyclable or biodegradable.

At the moment I've put a few things up on my eBay shop, there will be plenty more to follow over the next few weeks. But for now, here are a few of my favourites...

Wedding favour bags

Pirate loot bags with milk chocolate coins

Fairy dress party bags

Dinosaur party bags

Moustache party bags

If you like what you see, maybe you'd like to recommend Sweet Pea Party to a friend, or follow the Sweet Pea Pinterest board

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Instagram Challenge- Week Two

8. Getting the drums ready for jubilee weekend performances

9. My favourite Pizza Express pizza- Calabrese- to celebrate my new role at work

10. I heart freebies- free Benefit Bad Gal mascara with the July edition of Glamour

11. More freebies- Garnier BB cream arrived in the post this morning

12. Misha B

13. Raindrops through the window

14. Sophia's amazing Union Jack cake- made for our jubilee party

Find me on Instagram @thriftylodge

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Herman the German Friendship Cake

I gave you a sneak peak of Herman the German Friendship Cake in this post, but now it's time for the full review.

I received a bag of 'Herman' with a simple sheet of instructions (similar to these) from a colleague last week. I've spent the past ten days keeping him alive (you can tell he's still alive because the mixture bubbles), feeding him flour, sugar and milk on day four and then finally dividing him up to share the Herman love before baking him.

Adding apples, sultanas, cinnamon mixed with milk, flour and sugar:

Ready for the oven with brown sugar and melted butter drizzled over the top:

Fresh out of the oven:

Thrifty re-use of a Fudges savoury biscuit tin to take the finished product to work:

In all the excitement, I forgot to take a photo of the portions, ready to go, but I hope I will have an update and a new Herman to try soon!

*Update- Herman turned out to be quite a tasty cake, the apple worked well and made it soft and moist*