Thursday, 21 April 2011

This Morning I am Wondering...

...Why a pleated chiffon dress appears to have 10 miles of hemline...

...How to persuade a cat down from the top of the gate so I can put tablets down her throat...

...When I might find time to pack before Friday...
...What on earth it was that I planted last year that is merrily growing in the plant trough...

...What would be the best kind of cake, cookie or brownie to make to bribe my neighbours with to water my seedlings this weekend, on top of feeding, medicating and cleaning up after my cats...

...Whether brownies with chocolate mini eggs baked in would be chocolate overkill or perfect for my nefarious purposes.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Baking for Bribery

Our little Mia Cat is poorly.

She wasn’t her usual chirpy self for a couple of days so I took her to the vets where it was confirmed that she had a temperature. Two injections and a small fortune later she’s feeling better enough to eat a portion of chicken the size of her head and to send a few plant pots flying whilst chasing a bee.

The only issue is that we’re off on holiday on Friday, and she’s on a course of antibiotics, in tablet form, until Saturday. Our kind neighbours are feeding them for the weekend until the cat sitters take over, but aren’t cat owners themselves and have no idea that they’re about to get a lesson in how to get tablets down a reluctant cat’s throat.
I’m buttering them up with baked goods.

There’s some brownies planned for later in the week when I have to break this news to them.
I’ve told the naughty cat that he has to be nice and give Mia lots of cuddles. It lasts for precisely the amount of time required to take a photo before he starts biting her ears.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Weekend De-brief

·    This space has been a little neglected over the last few weeks, unfortunately life got in the way and I’ve had very little time to do anything that I’d even be interested in writing about, let alone that other people would be interested in reading.

·    I’m feeling similarly neglected. City Boy was off having fun without me all weekend (mostly sport related fun).

·    On Saturday morning, I strolled to the farmers market, came home and pottered in the garden, made a lunch of organic rocket, smoked mackerel and roasted beetroot which I ate at the garden table whilst reading the Guardian and had to laugh at myself. I think this must be what moving to the genteel suburbs of South-West London does to you.

·    I spent the afternoon playing with the pasta maker. I made goat’s cheese and lemon ravioli. I spent hours kneading, rolling, cutting, filling and cooking to make a nice dinner for my boyfriend whom I had hardly seen for days. He ate it all and promptly fell asleep on the sofa.
·        I also made tagliatelle

·    On Sunday my lovely dad came up with his big car and we went to pick up my new toy, which deserves a post in itself.

·    I found time for a little bit of sewing with my (not so) helpful assistant.

·    We’re heading off for the week in between the bank holidays, so this week is shaping up to be as incredibly busy as the last few have been. I’m currently very much in need of a holiday.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Opposite of a To-Do List - A 'Done List'?

I have to admit, I was feeling a little disheartened after my post earlier in the week when I detailed exactly how much I hadn’t crossed off my list for March. In fact, yesterday was the 1st of April and I haven’t yet written a new one. Instead, today I’m going to write a list of ten things I have done in the last week.
1.      Grown some little chilli seedlings. Granted, I planted them about 3 weeks ago but I watered them every day and they sprouted this week, so I’m counting it.

2.      Hung a little polka dot bird hook for drying herbs (and hopefully chillies) on in the kitchen. Currently in use for some bay leaves swiped from my mum’s garden. Must plant my own bay tree.

3.      Worked until 1am at least one night this week

4.      Bought a Yucca plant and put it in a sweet little vintage pot.

I’m undecided about the Yucca – for some reason every time I look at it I think of the 1990s. Not sure why I’ve made that association. But the pot is very pretty – it reminds me of cross stitch.

It used to hold our washing up cloths and brushes, so I need to find something else to do that job now.

5.      Shortened a vintage summer dress. Notice I said ‘shortened’ and not ‘hemmed’ – a deliberate choice of words. I took the scissors to it, but it’s a jersey that won’t fray, so left at that for now. Nothing wrong with a short cut.

6.        Cooked Hugh's quinoa stirfry (seriously - try it, it's awsome) and a butternut squash and sweet potato stew with rosemary scones.

7.      Made lemon biscuits and a delicious quinoa stirfry.

8.      Cleaned my kitchen approximately seventeen times.

9.      Rescued about five earthworms from sharp claws and teeth

10.  Cuddled each kitten at least twice a day

Sunny Lemon Biscuits

I did bake some Lemon Biscuits with the lemons in the fruit bowl in the end, but I didn’t follow either of the recipes linked in my previous post. The lemon cookies were an American recipe so all the measurements were in cups, which I dislike. I do own a set of measuring cups but my butter doesn’t fit in them. I don’t quite understand how anyone accurately measures butter by volume.  

So I credit that recipe with inspiration, but sort of made up a biscuit recipe based on a mixture of that and a non-lemon one I had scribbled down. And the results were quite tasty. I wasn’t overly excited by them when I tried one last night, but they seemed to taste a whole lot better this morning, so I’d leave them for a few hours after cooking. I may or may not have had three for breakfast.



325g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
225g caster sugar
175g butter
1 egg
60ml lemon juice
Grated zest of 3 lemons

Makes: loads


Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside for a moment. In a different bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the egg, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well. Gradually mix in the flour until it comes together to form a dough.

Roll the dough up into a long cylinder (or several if it makes them easier to fit in your fridge) about 5cm in diameter and wrap in greaseproof paper. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight if you prefer.

Take the dough out the fridge, cut off disks about 1cm in thickness and place spaced apart on a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with caster sugar and bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown.

Enjoy with a cup of tea in a flowery tea cup.