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Vampire Quote Flasks
Vampire Quote Flasks

“I can resist everything except temptation.”

This was one of my very first designs, which I created by hand-colouring a vintage bat from my Picture Book of Animals.

Vampire Quote Greeting Card
Vampire Quote Greeting Card

Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)
Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)

Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin
Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Planning a little shindig for Easter? How about delicious Hot Cross Bun invitations?

Hot Cross Buns Easter Basket #2 5" X 7" Invitation Card
Hot Cross Buns Easter Basket #2 5″ x 7″ Invitation Cards (US)

Here’s Delia Smith’s recipe for Hot Cross Buns.

Ingredients

 450g strong white flour
 1 level teaspoon fine salt
 4 level teaspoons, easy bake yeast
 3 level teaspoons ground mixed spice
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 50g golden caster sugar
 110g currants (I like pinhead)
 50g whole candied peel, chopped
 50g spreadable butter
 150ml hand-hot milk
 75ml hand-hot water
 1 large egg, beaten
For the crosses:
 40g strong (or normal) plain flour
 10g spreadable butter
For the glaze:
 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
 2 tablespoons of water

Equipment

You will need a large baking sheet with a liner or well-greased and a lightly oiled polythene bag

Method

First tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, yeast, mixed spice and cinnamon then give it a good mix.

Add the caster sugar followed by the currants and candied peel then mix these dry ingredients together and make a well in the centre.

Next add the butter and pour the hand-hot milk and the hand-hot water over the butter followed by the beaten egg.

Now mix everything to a dough, starting with a spatula and finishing with your hands until it is all combined, evenly mixed and leaves the bowl clean. Add a spot more milk if it needs it.

Next cover the bowl with a polythene bag and leave it at room temperature to rise – it will take about 1½ hours to 2 hours to double its original volume.

Then turn the dough out on to clean work surface (you shouldn’t need any flour) and punch out the air.

Now divide the mixture into twelve using a palette knife.

Take one piece of the dough and shape it into a round then roll it between the fingers of each hand, keeping your hands flat, to form a fairly smooth round ball (this should only take about 10 seconds or so) then do the same with the remaining pieces of dough.

Arrange them on the lined or greased baking sheet (allowing plenty of room for expansion). Leave them to rise once more inside a large, lightly greased polythene bag for 45 minutes to an hour, or again until about double the size.

Meanwhile, if you want to make dough crosses, put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add just enough cold water to form a dough then roll it out thinly on a lightly floured surface to an oblong about 12cm by 16cm then cut it into 24 strips.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.

When the second rising is up, brush the strips with water, to make them stick, and make a cross on top of each bun trimming away any excess dough with a small knife.

Alternatively you can use a small sharp or serrated knife to score a cross in the top of each bun.

Bake the buns for 15 minutes near the centre of the oven. Then, while they’re cooking make the glaze in a small saucepan by slowly melting together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water over a gentle heat until the sugar granules have dissolved and you have a clear syrup.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with the glaze while they are still warm.

Then cool them on a wire rack.

If you are not serving them on the day that you bake them its best to freeze them as soon as they are cool.

Then when you need them defrost them and warm them through in the oven. If there are any left over they are wonderful, split, toasted and buttered on the following day.

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


No news on computer but this recipe always cheers me up. Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah x

First Night Design

Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick…

View original post 93 more words


Still raining? Still not the Spring-going-into-Summer weather you’re hoping for? Warm yourself up with one of Ron’s luscious soups. And keep your fingers crossed that this time tomorrow I will have my computer back from the hospital!

Ron's Rants...

I thought it was time I cobbled up a new vegetarian soup recipe as I tend to stick with two favourites lately, Roasted Cauliflower & Potato which, frankly, is amazingly good (I’ve made it with King Edwards and with Rooster, and I prefer Rooster, though both are very good – not just my opinion, by the way), and Cannellini Beans and Vegetables .

If the Cauliflower and Potato has a downside, it’s a

View original post 881 more words


A Girl Called Jack

Jack Monroe with her son

I first came across Jack Monroe last summer and was drawn to her no-nonsense and humorous approach to life and survival in the face of overwhelming odds, not least those created by a government hell-bent on demonising single mothers, the poor, the unemployed and the most vulnerable, at the same time as cutting  benefits to a level that makes survival all but impossible.

Jack’s fame began to spread through the excellence of her blog and the help her budget recipes were providing for so many. In May 2013, she won the judges’ choice award at the Fortnum & Mason food awards. One of the reasons they gave was that her recipes are “so nutritious and thrifty that they are being handed out by food banks as examples of how to manage on next to nothing”.

In July, she was interviewed by The Guardian, which is probably the point at which I discovered her: ‘Poverty, almost paradoxically, gave her a voice,’ writes Patrick Butler. Soon after, she and her recipes became the target of Richard Littlejohn’s venom. The unscrupulous journalist (yes, the Daily Wail is his employer) described her as the Left’s ‘poverty poster girl’ and disparaged her use of dried pasta and kale in cooking as though she were a fraud because “those whom the Guardianistas disdain as ‘ordinary people’ don’t eat pasta – they eat spaghetti out of tins. Most of them will have never heard of kale, let alone eaten it”. Please! Jack wrote a spirited riposte which was published in The Guardian, for whom she now writes  a food column, and deservedly so.

If Jack’s face is familiar on a national scale today, it is because she is part of Sainsburys’ 2014 television campaign.  All power to her elbow. I, for one, salute her.  Her first cookery book is being published next month by Michael Joseph: A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Honey roasted ham with veg, £1.53
First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas.  As always, all prices based on Sainsburys and Sainsburys Basics range where available. Similar products available at most leading supermarkets.

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: My £2.25 Christmas dinner on the One Show!

Have yourself a cheaper little Christmas: Mince pie crumble, 31p

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related articles

Apricot Mousse
Apricot Mousse

I originally posted this apricot mousse recipe last Christmas. It’s such a delicious alternative to the heaviness of Christmas pudding that it’s worth repeating, especially as I have now designed a matching artwork!   It serves equally well as an accompaniment to mince pies or pudding in place of brandy butter or cream.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick (soft peaks).
  6. Fold the apricot purée into the egg and sugar mixture.
  7. Fold in the whipped cream and place either in the refrigerator or the freezer.  Or eat straight away!
  8. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed Amaretti or Almond biscuits.

Please note that if you freeze the mousse, you will need to defrost it for at least 6 hours.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Sounds delicious!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A delicious-sounding potato and yam accompaniment to any meal or a stand-alone dish for vegetarians.

 

The Celiathlete

As I mentioned, my CSA bin was exploding this past week with treats to help make any Thanksgiving feast complete.  Honestly…everything in there would go in a Thanksgiving meal.  And if I was making a Thanksgiving meal…that would be ideal.  As it was, being the token vegetarian among my roommate’s family, I am always asked to supply a vegetable dish.  And as I had green beans in my bin…I went with that.  Although, I honestly could have provided a healthy and fresh side item (forget canned yams and cranberry sauce…I could have made it from scratch with fresh and local ingredients), I stuck with what I was told to bring and let them open up canned yams and cranberry sauce.  That’s their tradition.

But I’m a firm believer in fresh is best and therefore now had a plethora of Thanksgiving fruits and vegetables to play around with.  As a result…I…

View original post 510 more words


An apricot and its cross section

An apricot and its cross section (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This apricot delight has to be one of the most delicious of mousses and I’ve been making it for years.  Just looking at the list of ingredients makes me salivate!  It also makes a great option during the holiday season when you want something sweet but cannot face a helping of Christmas pudding or a mince pie.  On the other hand, it makes a welcome change to brandy butter or cream on either of the latter!

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8)

1/2 cup • 4 oz • 115 grams Dried Apricots
3 Eggs
3/8 cup • 3 oz • 85 grams  Caster Sugar (superfine)
1 cup • 1/2 Pint • 284.13 ml Double or Whipping Cream
Amaretti Biscuits

METHOD

  1. Soak the dried apricots overnight in a pan of water that just covers the fruit.
  2. Cook the apricots in the same liquid until tender.
  3. Strain the fruit and blend to a purée.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to leave a trail.
  5. Whisk the cream until it is thick (soft peaks).
  6. Fold the apricot purée into the egg and sugar mixture.
  7. Fold in the whipped cream and place either in the refrigerator or the freezer.  Or eat straight away!
  8. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed Amaretti or Almond biscuits.

Please note that if you freeze the mousse, you will need to defrost it for at least 6 hours.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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