Category Archives: Baking

April Makes

April Makes

As soon as the Clocks go forward I find myself emerging from my winter slump and begin crafting with gusto. So far I have a couple of quilt projects on the go, a new crochet blanket and a knitted blanket. In between the larger projects I have been whipping up a few smaller, quick fix, projects that just take a couple of hours to complete and I thought I’d share them here!

Homebird & Belle pouch

I had been meaning to make one of the cute pouches that Nicki from Homebird & Belle guest blogged for us back in January for a while now, the arrival of the cute and ditsy Sunny Days fabrics from Benartex seemed like the perfect fabrics for this project.

Homebird & Belle Pouch

Since their were six fabrics in the collection I adapted the pattern slightly and used Essex Linen in Putty as a replacement for the bottom three patchwork squares

Zakka Tapes

I embellished my pouch using some Tea Time Zakka tape and a strip of our new mini-crochet lace trim  (I love crochet trim on everything!). If you haven’t used Zakka tape before its really easy to use you just iron bondaweb to the back, cut it out using some scissors, I used  scalloped scissors, iron your patch onto your project and if you want to secure it just sew around the patch, simple!

Poodle Zip pouch

I’m obsessed with this kitsch Poodle fabric and I really wanted to use it for a bag or a pouch. Starting a new crochet blanket I decided this was the perfect opportunity to make a little purse to hold my hook, scissors and knitters needles.

Poodle Pouch

I used this Aunt Grace Poodle fabric, a co-ordinating aqua spot from Sevenberry and a Grey 30cm zip. To give the pouch a little more structure so it wasn’t quite so floppy I used some iron on low loft fusible fleece.

Poodle Pouch

Basil Bear

Basil Bear is a free tutorial from one of my favourite bloggers Amy from the blog Nana Company

Basil Bear - The Homemakery

One of my friends has just had a little girl called Arya so I whipped her up her very own Basil Softie using some beige linen and sunny days fabric. I’m not normally one for pre-washing but given its for a baby I made an exception on this occasion.

Basil back

Making Basil took no time at all, shame the same cant be said for the patch on the back which took me forever by comparison, my freehand stitching isn’t great and I definitely need a lot more practice!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bites

When this picture for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bites popped up on my Pinterest feed I was intrigued, no bake, healthy(ish) energy bites?? I had all the ingredients on hand and whipped up a batch that night and was pretty impressed! One of these little balls sees me through that late afternoon craving and keeps me going until dinner.

Easy-No-Bake-Peanut-butter-oatmeal-granola-power-bites-531x800

I had planned to take my own photo but after making two batches they just didn’t stick around long enough for their photo shoot! These definitely tickled my tastebuds and I love that they are made from healthy ingredients and they take just 10 minutes to make. I can definitely recommend and there are lots of other flavours to try over on her blog

As alway happy making!

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Baking: Westcountry Easter Biscuits

westcountry easter biscuits

I don’t have the greatest memory in the world, but I seem to have a photographic memory when it comes to food  I still remember the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten, Florence 2004, the most incredible Macaroni Cheese with Lobster & Truffle, Portland Maine, 2010 and the Easter Biscuits from my local farm shop which I consumed by the packet load as a child.

I grew up in the West Country in a small village in the Mendip Hills which is a stones throw from that popular yoghurt dairy, Yeo Valley. What I didn’t realise until I moved away, is that the Easter Biscuits I had as a child were a local speciality which you don’t find outside of the Bristol/Somerset area. These Easter Biscuits are essentially Shrewsbury biscuits with an extra ingredient added to them….. Cassia Oil.

Yes Cassia Oil, I hadn’t really heard of it either! Apparently it comes from the bark of a Chinese Cinnamon tree, which is native to China, how it ended up in the Westcountry is anyone guess! Its really difficult to describe  the taste of Cassia Oil its a bit like cinnamon but spicier and with the most incredible, warming cosy smell. Baking these biscuits makes the house smell nicer than any yankee candle!

This year after going almost a decade without proper Westcountry Easter Biscuits I tracked down some Cassia Oil  and had a go at recreating these Easter biscuits, they are really quick to make and taste amazing! If you don’t have any Cassia Oil you can substitute it for Mixed Spice.

Ingredients

285g Plain Flour
200g Butter
140g Golden Caster Sugar
70g Currents
2 Egg Yolks
8 drops of Cassia Oil or 1-2 tsp of mixed spice to taste

Recipe

  1. Heat oven to 160C
  2. Mix the butter, sugar and flour until well beaten.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks and add the Cassia Oil or Mixed Spice.
  4. Add in the currents and mix by hand. If the dough is dry and crumbly add a splash of milk to bring it together.
  5. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick and cut out your easter biscuits
  6. Place biscuits on baking parchment covered baking trays and cook for 10-15 minutes until the edges start to go golden. When you take the biscuits out the oven they should still be fairly yellow in colour. Sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool and harden on the baking tray for 10 minutes then move to a rack for cooling.
  7. Eat and enjoy!

I hope you like the recipe and if you do have a go at baking them be sure to let me know what you think!

Kate signature