Recent Projects and Activities

It’s been two weeks since I last wrote a blog post! 

What’s been happening,,….

DIY Projects;

The cupboard doors have been made for the built in units in our living room. I have cut and fixed some decorative paneling to them and have primed them ready to be glossed. We have some lovely door handles with a bird design on.

We have bought the paint to decorate our dining room so that it can finally be a functional space. We have chosen red and cream colours to make it a warm space. We have painted one coat of red so far but it definitely needs another coat for it to look neat!

Sewing;

My sewing project hasn’t been progressing very well! I am onto the third feather now, I didn’t realise how long it would take! I really need to spend time on it every day.

Baking and Cooking;

I haven’t done too much baking recently, I have lost inspiration at the moment! I am not too fussed about eating cake so it doesn’t get eaten up and I hate wasting food! I am planning on making a Victoria sponge cake this week or maybe something orange flavoured.

I have been enjoying eating hot lunches over the last few weeks, I find them more filling, tasty and a great way to eat more vegetables. Here are some of my creations;

In the Garden;

My first sown seedlings are growing well and I am hoping to start hardening them off outside soon. I have some seeds that can be down direct outside so I plan to do that this week. 

My husband bought me a polytunnel a few weeks ago and we are hoping to get it put up soon so that I can start using that for growing tomatoes and peppers. 

I am so happy that spring is here, my fruit trees and bushes have lots of buds on them, I can’t wait to see the garden filled with blossom.

Getting Back to a Normal Monday.

Last Monday we came back from a family weekend away so I wasn’t able to have my typical baking day.

This week I am back on track, I have the bread dough already made and have made a pale ginger tray bake for the cake. 

I know the tray bake doesn’t look very exciting! My husband requested it for this week – I mainly bake for him anyway as he enjoys cake in his packed lunch. I shall slice it into squares ready for eating.

I haven’t made soup for a while and I am enjoying having healthy hot lunches at the moment so I have a pan of soup on the stove made from leftover vegetables. I like making soup especially when it is cold or the weather is bad, it is nice to have a hot bowl of homemade soup.

I am hoping to catch up on some house jobs this afternoon – unfortunately I can’t do any gardening today it is raining on and off and windy!

I have been waiting for some more embroidery thread so I can get on with my curtain project. The threads have just arrived in the post today so I am looking forward to getting on with my sewing. I think I shall take a couple of hours this afternoon to focus on my project.

This week so far…

Monday saw me baking – Two oatmeal bread loaves and a chocolate sponge cake. I then used some of my time to paint the ceiling on the landing and tidy the room that we hope will be our dining room soon! I hoovered all of upstairs and downstairs. I also managed to find time to do some more digging in the garden!

Tuesday I gave the kitchen a thorough clean, everything came off the worktops so I could clean underneath, the toaster was emptied of crumbs and cleaned and then I reorganised the worktops to make it look less cluttered. I also tidied the cupboard under the sink.

Today I have been focussing on my sewing project – it has been on the go for three weeks now and I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere!

It was two weeks ago that I sowed some vegetable seeds, the results so far are that I have 7 Brussels sprouts seedlings, 1 onion seedling and 1 cauliflower seedling, hopefully this time next week there will be more.

I have also washed and ironed both sets of bedding and made both beds and had a quick hoover round downstairs.

I am preparing for a busy day in the kitchen on Friday – we have a family weekend away so I am preparing a variety of foods to take with us. We are taking it in turns to cook the evening meal, my husband and I are cooking Friday’s dinner so we are going to be making pizza, loaded potato skins and coleslaw. I will be making these before we go so that they just need heating up to serve.(apart from the coleslaw!) I shall probably make the pizza bases and cook them ready to be topped and then wrapped in cling film for transporting and cooking later.

I am also going to make a fruit loaf for toasting, some tiffin and some vegetable pasties to have at lunch times.

Marriage

Today our local Church had a special service about marriage as it is National Marriage Week. We were invited to go along to it and also to write about what marriage and married life means to us.
We decided to write a poem and I will share it at the end of this post. Our poem was read out during the service along with other words written by other married couples.

We took along our wedding candle and lit it and went over the vows that we have made together. 

It really was a lovely church service, we sang several hymns and listened to a sermon about clothing ourselves for marriage this included compassion, humility, kindness, meekness, patience, gentleness and love. This was based on a reading from the Bible (Colossians 3 12:17) this was the reading that we had at our wedding.

We have been married for 6 months now and it has been wonderful, it is lovely to take time to truly reflect on our marriage and vows made for for each other.

Our poem;

Marriage is sharing our life together

A union, a bond to last forever

It is providing for one another

And taking care of each other

Feelings of joy and happiness

Looking forward to a wedded life of bliss

There will be times of sadness in our life

But we will support each other as man and wife

Marriage is loving each other every day

And knowing that those feelings won’t go away

We have rather a traditional way of life,

He goes to work and I am a housewife

We support each other in our roles

And together we try to achieve our goals

Our marriage is blessed by God above

Who gives us everlasting love

Successful Meals

I have made some new meals this week, some recipes that I have made myself. Unfortunately when I am cooking I don’t measure or weigh anything if I am making it up – I would love to share all of my recipes but a lot of my cooking is based on guess work, appearance and flavour! Instead I shall share some photos of my cooking!

 Chicken and Leek Pie;

This was baked in a large heart shaped pie dish. It had a chicken and leek filling in a white sauce flavoured with parsley, thyme and crushed peppercorns.

This made one large pie so we have put the rest of it in the freezer for a quick delicious meal another day.

My other best meal of the week was Gammon with Loaded Potato Skins and Coleslaw. I am able to share some of my recipes for this meal!

Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients;

  • 1 white onion
  • A third of a white cabbage
  • 1 red chilli deseeded
  • 1 small apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

I used a coarse grater on the food processor to chop the vegetables, I then put the vinegar on and left to sit for 5 minutes. I then added the rest of the ingredients and gave it a good mix!

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 jacket potatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp soft cheese
  • Grated cheese to cover

I baked the potatoes for about 1 and half hours, I then cut them in half and scooped out the potato into a bowl. I mashed this with the butter, soft cheese and spring onions and put back into the potato skins. I covered each one with grated Cheddar cheese and baked for 20 minutes.

Tonight I will be making pork schnitzel with my husband!! 

Happy cooking everybody!

A Good Start to the Week

Monday is always the busiest day of the week for me, I catch up on housework, bake and do the food shopping.

Being productive on the first day of the week gets the week off to a good start. 

I begin by getting my bread doughs ready and baking a cake. This week there is sesame bloomer loaf and two teacake loaves. The cake is lemon drizzle tray bake.

I baked the bread in the afternoon after the dough had lots of time to rise. 

Maple couldn’t wait for the bread to bake!

After the baking I got on with some housework -did the washing up, emptied the bins, took out the recycling, vacuumed downstairs and put some washing in. 

It was then time for walks with Maple, it was a lovely sunny frosty morning.

After a busy morning I got on with writing the shopping list and planning the meals for the week. 

I then did a little more digging in the garden as it was sunny and dry outside. Although the soil was a little hard as it was so cold!

I also found time for another walk and some more embroidery on my curtains.

I cleaned and tidied the fridge before I went shopping so that it was organised for putting the new produce away.

I do the shopping whilst my husband is on his way home from work and he meets me in the shop so we can buy the items and pack the bags together and then drive straight home. 

I always have an easy dinner ready for Monday nights because of doing our shopping. This Monday it was my homemade pizza which I put in the oven from frozen when we got back home.

We ate half and the rest we will have cold for lunches.

That is how my Monday goes which sets me up well for the rest of the week. Today I have done the ironing from yesterday’s washing. In the summer I wash and iron my clothes in one day but this time of year the clothes have to dry out on the radiators in the evening.

Hope everybody has a productive week!

This Weeks’ Achievements

I have been pottering about the house and garden this week finding odd jobs to do, starting new projects and continuing with existing ones.

Whilst in the garden on Tuesday I came across several springtime bulbs that were sprouting. They are in an area that I am digging up and will be sowing grass seed on later in the year so unfortunately they need removing. I wanted to pot some of these bulbs and have them indoors. I have plenty of terracotta pots but needed a base for the pot to sit on so that there is somewhere for the excess water to flow when watered.

I came across an old pot in the shed that would be perfect for the job. I cleaned it up and then painted it and drew on some leaves to make it look attractive. I am pleased with my upcycle project!

The area in the garden that I am digging is a large raised bedding patch that needs the excess soil removing to make it level with the rest of the garden before we can sow grass seed. I am using the excess soil to top up my vegetable beds ready for Spring. The soil looks very good so I am hoping it will be good for my vegetables!

My embroidery project has been on the go for 9 days now and I still haven’t finished one feather! Progress has been slower than anticipated but here is how it looks so far…

In the kitchen I have made some tiffin but unfortunately I have no photo as we ate it too quickly! I have also tried out some new recipes this week, some of them weren’t to our taste but we know this now!

I made a pizza and froze it ready for a quick ready meal next week!

And lastly, I fancied a change for my lunch on Thursday so I cooked up a chilli noodle dish with tomatoes, peas and peppers! This was very tasty and spicy too!

It has been a good start to February, there are always jobs to be done and I enjoy the challenge of taking on new tasks and cooking new foods! I look forward to carrying on my garden jobs and progressing with my embroidery.

The Growing Season Has Begun

Today I have sown some vegetable seeds! The first ones of the year. I have sown some Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and onions. They are in trays of compost in my propagator. I am hoping that they germinate and I look forward to seeing them grow. It is a miracle to see plants grow from a tiny seed and I can’t wait for my vegetables to start growing!

I am trying to plan where I want to grow each vegetable in the beds that I created last year. I also have one large bed that is in the process of being made suitable for growing veg in. However I still think I need more space to grow all the variety of vegetable seeds that I have bought!

It is lovely to feel that Spring is in the air, there are more birds singing, there are bulbs sprouting and the fruit trees and bushes are budding. 

Life is a miracle and a beautiful gift from God and Springtime is when we truly connect with this and think about the  nature surrounding us, the trees, plants, flowers, animals. And also ourselves and each other. It is so amazing to be able to grow our own fruits and vegetables and I am hoping for a bumper crop this year!

Today’s Baking and other Jobs….

It is Monday again already, it is always a busy day of the week for me as you know it is when I do most of my baking.

Today I have made two mixed flour loaves (wholemeal and white flour) which will last the week for sandwiches (I have frozen one to stop it going stale) and I have made a large fruit loaf to slice and toast for breakfast.

I have also made a cranberry and blackcurrant upside down cake. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good as there didn’t seem to be enough cake mixture to cover the fruit, I possibly should have used a smaller tin! It is a very shallow cake but very tasty so it wasn’t too bad in the end! The cake doesn’t look particularly appealing – more of a purple berry mess!! ( it isn’t black, it just looks it in the photos)!

Monday is also our shopping day so I get the list ready and plan what meals we are going to have throughout the week. I browsed my recipe  books for some more interesting meals. I have a few different casseroles planned for this week that I am looking forward to making.

To a lot of people my weekdays are possibly quite boring but I fill them with lots of other things – I walk our puppy twice a day, I keep on top of washing up, laundry and cleaning and I also have my embroidery project on the go. There is always a job to be done and with spring around the corner there will be plenty of gardening activities!

Planning the Veg Patch and Sewing the Curtains..

The vegetable seeds that I ordered have arrived! 

As you can see I ordered quite a few seeds and I can’t wait to start sowing them. Before I can do that I need to add more compost to my beds and I also have another bed to make. I then need to plan what to grow where by looking at how long each vegetable will take to grow and how much space they will take up.

The growing season will begin soon with some of the vegetable seeds being able to be sown indoors in February! I shall use the propergator for this to keep them warm so they can germinate.

I have also been concentrating on embroidering the fabric for my curtains. I think it is going to take me quite a while but I have made some progress. 

I think it is beginning to look like a feather! But I have lots more feathers to sew so not sure how long this will take me….