Brrr its cold outside

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I have a day off today, so I’m tucked up indoors knitting. It’s the same every year, the weather gets chilly so out comes the wool. Both me and my daughter have pretty eclectic taste so being able to knit strange requests is great. We have the most unusual hats, scarves, gloves etc around.

As you can see from the pretty picture above, my two loves enjoy swapping hats. Mic normally doesn’t rock the flower look but I think he pulls it off quite well. He does need something more manly in this house though before the pink totally takes over. I was browsing raverly the other day for some ideas and found a great pattern from Gaze of dolls. It was an illusion stitch banner of a direwolf with the motto Winter is coming from Game of Thrones.

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Pattern from Gaze of Dolls

You use approx. 3 balls of each colour wool and it looks easy enough until I went to read the pattern. I was totally stumped, I needed to bring it up to my mother to have her explain it to me. My Name is Nikki, I’m 30 yrs old and I still can’t read patterns. I have tried and tried but they totally stump me each time. I can read recipes and follow them, I’m an avid  book reader but I just can’t do patterns. I need visuals for knitting and crochet. If I can see the finished project or watch a video I’m fine, but give me a sheet of patterns and I’m a confused lady.  I’ll let you know how I get on with this one!

Nikki xxx

Let the countdown begin!

Less then a month until christmas now and I’m one of those sickening people who get ready extra early. I hate crowds at the best of times but packed shops at christmas is my idea of hell. I prefer to pick up bits earlier so I don’t have to brave the last minute madness. It may be a remnant of when I was pregnant with my daughter, she was due early Jan so I did all my shopping in Nov incase I went early. Now I still do it every year, come Dec its just stick up the decorations and wait for the big day! 

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas!

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas!

My life, My loves

All you need is love

All you need is love

I’m lucky enough to have two loves in my life (crafting aside of course).

I have an 11yr old daughter called Ceri and a fabulous partner called Micheal, they are both crazy and keep me laughing.

Ceri has my arty streak, she is great at drawing which was never my strong point. I remember once showing my cousin lisa a portrait I drew of her only to have her debate for 20 mins who it was… “A gargoyle, no shrek, no no is it a monster”.  Ceri’s confidence in her art is amazing, I love that most about children, that pride in what they make. When do we lose that as adults?, we become almost bashful about what we make and resort to blogs to show off our skills. Ceri keeps me young, how could I act my age when surrounded by One Direction posters and glitter???

Micheal is not arty, but he has a great appreciation for art and great patience to endure the madness it brings to our house. A lesser man would complain about our house becoming a pink explosion for breast cancer awareness or miss eating at the table because a knitting project can’t be moved. Not Micheal, from our first date he has shown he is quite a man and I love him for it. Our debates keep my brain ticking and his logic and business sense keep me grounded.. My Ying and Yang, My loves xxx

Rosewater and Pomegranate

On Oct 29th, I hosted a Pink Party in my house to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research935519_10151773176028106_1663328167_n. The biggest success of the night was actually a Cake! I made a rosewater sponge with a royal icing and pomegranate topping. Friends and family have been on to me constantly to put up the recipe so here it is!

Cooking takes approx. 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 90 ml water
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 140 g cream flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp of rosewater
  • liquid food colouring

Icing

  • packet of royal icing sugar
  • 1 tsp of water
  • 1 pomegranate

2x sandwich tins

Step by step

Heat oven to 180 (160 if fan)

Beat the egg yolks and sugar for two minutes, then add the water and beat for approx. 10mins or until the mixture is firm and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon or spatula. Make a figure of 8 when you stir. If you over mix it you will get a flat dry sponge.

In a separate bowl – which must be spotlessly clean – beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold it into the cake mixture gently, again using a metal spoon or spatula. Add the rosewater now while you fold. Now this is where I add a little food colouring. On the night of the party I made a mistake, by rights you should only add liquid colouring with a toothpick a little at a time but I spilled mine into the bowl by mistake so it must have been half a tsp that went in. I don’t know if it affected the taste. I’ll find out next time!

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20mins or until the sponges are just set in the centre. Remove from their tins and leave to cool on a wire rack. The sponges will be quite puffy and sticky, so handle with care!

Now make up your icing, I cheat and use a packet of royal icing sugar I buy from tescos, just pop it in a clean bowl add 4 tbsp of water and mix with your hand whisk. It should be fluffy and thick for spreading.

Once they are cool you can add your icing, I always put jam over my sponge before I ice them. Habit more then anything. So spread jam over one of your sponge layers then top with fresh fruit ( raspberries, cherries, strawberries go well with the rosewater)

Spread some icing on your other layer of sponge and sandwich them together, now ice all over your cake, don’t worry about design. Taste is more important to me. Once its well covered, sprinkle on some pomegranate seeds for extra yummy crunch.

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All thats left to do is devour, I may rename this cake “The Silencer” as my Cousin Yvonne was so busy eating she let her husband Alan talk for the first time in years…  Please shut him back up now xxx