A recipe!

Hello!

After my last ranty post I thought it was time to lighten the mood again so I thought I’d share my most recent recipe with you ūüôā ¬†It came about at one of those times when there’s not a great deal in the fridge but you *really* don’t want to go food shopping – the time when all the best recipes are created! ¬†It’s made up of things I usually have in, nothing fancy at all, and the best thing is that it’s super quick, but tastes like it took you an age ūüėÄ

So to start with you will need (serves 2 hungry ladies!):

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Small knob of butter
  • 75ml / 2.5 fluid ounces Cream (I’ve used double because that’s what I had in, but single works nicely too)
  • Half an onion
  • A few mushrooms (depending on how much you like them!)
  • 100g / 3.5oz Pasta (penne or similar)
  • 100ml / 4fl oz White wine
  • 1/4 tsp¬†Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp White wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (less if using refined sugar)
  • 1/2 a chicken stock cube
  • Pepper, to season
  • Meat – I’ve used chicken and bacon (a small breast, and 3 rindless unsmoked rashers), but I imagine pork might work nicely too.

Begin by slicing the veg – I’ve thinly sliced the onion, cut the mushroom finely (because I don’t like the texture much!), and diced the bacon and the chicken.

Now, gently fry the onion in a bit of butter and olive oil (the olive oil stops the butter from burning, and makes you feel *slightly* more healthy!).  Stir occassionally, but use this time to prep the sauce.

Pour the wine into a measuring jug Рtry to resist drinking it!  Add the white wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.  Then put in the stock cube and the sugar and a bit of pepper to season.  Top this up with boiling water to 200ml, or 7 fl oz, then stir until the stock has dissolved.  Put this to one side.

The onions should be soft and slightly golden now, so take them out of the fry pan, and put them in an oven proof bowl in the oven on a low heat to keep warm.  Now fry the mushrooms, adding more butter and olive oil if needed.

**At this point it would be wise to boil the water for the pasta**

Once the mushrooms are done, put those in with the onions in the oven.  Then repeat for the bacon and then the chicken (or meat of your choice).

Your water should be boiling by now, so don’t forget to put the pasta in to cook! ¬†Check the packet as to cooking times – the penne I have used takes 11 minutes.

Add those to the oven dish, then take your wine/stock mix and use this to deglaze the frying pan.

Bring this to the boil until it is slightly reduced and the alcohol has been cooked off.  Turn down the heat, and then add the contents of your oven dish Рthe onions, mushrooms, and meat.

Stir in the cream, making sure the heat is lower so as to not curdle it. ¬†NB: ¬†This does make quite a lot of sauce (I REALLY like sauce!) so you could reduce the stock mixture further or add less cream if you like less sauce. ¬†This needs to warm up again, so use this time to check your pasta. ¬†If it’s ready – drain it, then pop it straight in with the sauce, and give it a good stir so that the sauce coats the pasta. ¬†Give it a little taste, if it’s a bit stodgy – don’t panic! Add a squeeze of lemon juice, this will fix it. ¬†If it’s not stodgy – great!

And there it is – my Quick Creamy Wine pasta ūüôā ¬†Serve it up in bowls with a nice hunk of garlic bread on the side (if you’ve been shopping!), or solo if you haven’t or if you’re watching the waist line ūüėČ Oh and don’t forget a glass of that wine for yourself – can’t have it going to waste!

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A Celebration!

I am most pleased to announce that my little Facebook page has reached over 1000 followers! A HUGE milestone for me – I run it by myself, alongside the making, the photographing, the admin, the Etsy listing, the customer service, the packaging, – you name it, I probably do it! (Apart from the posting – that is usually OH’s job as the post box is on his way to work :P) ¬†So this amount of appreciation from customers/admirers is amazing – I am so thankful for each one as they keep my tiny business going. ¬†To say thank you properly, there will be some kind of giveaway/sale “thing” going on, but as it caught me a little by surprise I was slightly unprepared! ¬†But yes, I am so very grateful for all your support, be it by having your own heartstitch collection (you know who you are!), buying a little something for yourself or a loved one, or simply giving the odd ‘like’ or comment on Facebook or Instagram – It is all VERY much appreciated, without you lovely lot heartstitch could not¬†exist!

I have been a bit quiet on the blog front – sorry! ¬†Not an awful lot of new things have been going on here – at least none that I am allowed to show you (yet!) – as I have been doing a few (very) last minute additions to this month’s Sewing Boutique design team challenge, and photographing and listing for my Etsy store. ¬†Photographing and editing takes SO much time, and is also very weather dependant – I like to give you an accurate and eye-catching image of my work, which requires just the right light and a little editing, however, the light has mostly been against me this week, so editing has taken triple the time, which of course means less making time!

But I persevered – and the Valentines Keyrings are now in the shop!

My favourite (the grey kitty) has already sold, but I thought they would make a fantastic gift for Valentines day, especially if you happened to be asking your sweetheart to move in!

Cherry Bakewell Cake

I had a little 1000 fans celebration yesterday… I baked a cake! It is a cherry bakewell cake – I’ve had the recipe in my tin for years (I’m sure I got it online somewhere, but I cannot remember where). ¬†It is beautifully moist, yet surprisingly light, and it is always a success, so I thought I’d share it with you ūüôā

You will need:cake6

  • 200g butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp almond essence/extract
  • 4 large eggs

For the filling and top:

  • 170g Morello (or just regular if you can’t find it) cherry conserve/jam
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 5/6tsbs water and/or lemon juice
  • Flaked almonds (toasted if you can be bothered!)
  • Glace cherries, halved.
  • Firstly, set your oven to 180 degrees – I used a fan oven – and grease two shallow baking tins with butter.
  • Begin by creaming together the butter and sugar – I used electric beaters because I am short on arm muscles ūüėõ
  • Beat the eggs together in a bowl, then add to the butter/sugar mix a little at a time, sieving a small amount of flour in at the same time.
  • Add the baking powder, ground almonds and almond essence/extract (extract is always better, but if using almond essence and you like a stronger taste like I do, add a whole tsp) and mix well.
  • Pop a pinch of salt in the remaining flour, sieve into the mixing bowl, and fold the mixture to add air.

It should look like this:

Who wants to lick the spoon?!

  • Split the mixture into the two pre-greased baking tins (you forgot didn’t you?! I did!) and bake on the middle shelf of the oven (you forgot to preheat the oven too?! Oh my!) for 30 minutes.
  • Have a cup of tea! ¬†(Or be very boring and do the washing up.) ¬†You will be able to tell when the cakes are ready by giving them a light poke – if the cake bounces back – it’s done!

  • Leave the hot hot cakes to cool, but not for *too* long, else you will end up with the cakes stuck in the tins (like I did!) so turn them out onto a wire rack when they are still warm, so you can achieve that perfect cake shape ūüôā
  • Once cool, spread jam on to one of the cakes, then place the other on top.
  • Ice (I used half water and half lemon juice to make the icing, else I find the lemon a bit overpowering) the cake, then scatter the flaked almonds and arrange the cherries as you see fit.

Enjoy!

Just a small slice...