Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arts and Crafts Shop

We have been having big tidy up sessions at the Arts and Crafts Shop and it is looking really lovely. We are ever so proud of it!
We have a lovely Valentine’s Day section with products so lovely they should be skipping out of the door by their selves- where are the customers hiding I wonder?

I am rather chuffed with my section, looks so pretty.

I remembered to take a photo of the LOVE tea-cosy, and I made some cards while I was feeling inspired with a similar design.

Michelle W made these lovely boxes with the SWALK design (sealed with a loving kiss of course)

Michelle S made this lovely box, so clever…

It has been raining so much I have considered putting photos of my umbrella collection in my Project 365! However the chap on the radio promises good weather for the next few days even at the weekend- Hurrah!

My crochet project has come on well during this rainy spell but I would be quite glad to get out and about again.

We have been enjoying comfort food (meat and potato pie – low-carb?!)

...but some good weather could easily bring on the need for something fresh and lemony with some goats cheese and thyme. Come on clouds- move over!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicken Tagine Recipe

This recipe has been inspired by various magazines and books I have read but since forgotten. This is how it has ended up -all quantities approximate and can be changed according to what you fancy or what you have ! I am an approximate kind of cook...
To feed four greedy people:

4 portions of chicken( leg/breast whatever)
2 large lemons
1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon
1 " ginger
1 " ground cumin
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of salt
1 large chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 red peppers chopped( other coloured peppers are fine too )
tin of tomatoes
3 tblsp runny honey
handful of dried apricots(prunes or dates could be good instead)
handful of chopped parsley/mint

1-Marinade the chicken in juice and rind of 1 lemon mixed with the cinnamon,and other spices. Rub in and leave for as little or as long time as you have available!

2-Brown the chicken in a hot pan with a little oil.Remove the chicken onto a plate then fry the onion, garlic and pepper, add the tomatoes,return the chicken to the pan and bring to the boil then simmer about 40 mins.

3-Add apricots, honey and other lemon sliced thinly, simmer 15-20 mins more.

4-Serve with cous-cous and a big sprinkle of herbs.

My children also enjoy this meal as long as I am not to liberal with the chilli !

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Herb shopping and sewing

Although I have been stopping by and reading what everyone else has been up to (get well soon Cyn!) I haven’t updated my own page this week because I have been having cat dramas! My lovely boy Oliver has been in the vet hospital for a few days with a urine infection; he had to have a drip in his paw and a catheter and was extremely unimpressed with both. Poor puss. However he is back home and making up for lost sleep. I am still recovering from the bill!

You can see he still looks a bit under-happy.

I have been trying to make lots of things so that I have some stock by the time the summer comes. I have been making lots more tea cosies and little aprons.

I have added a new line in needle books which I am rather pleased with. They are going to sell at £5.50 each. I have cut some out in more colours to sew up next.

I have also been prettying up some tea towels but can’t find any more the same to make more. Hmmm-hand towels next maybe?

Look at these lovely herbs I bought in Spain yesterday. Only a euro for this lovely bunch of bay leaves…

…And a big handful of rosemary for the same price. Next time I am going to write up the recipe for Pollo Ajillo (chicken in garlic) and rosemary features highly in this lovely dish.

These delectable veggies...

were turned into this...

by my talented hubbie. It is a chicken tagine with lots of lovely cumin and cinnamon.
I can smell it just looking at the photo. So delicious ! We had it with heaps of cous cous which makes the little people very happy .Let me know if you would like the recipe I can send it.xx

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day out in Tarifa

We had a really perfect day out on Saturday. It has RAINED here endlessly but on Saturday we managed to have a dry wekend day so we packed our picnic things and headed off to one of our favourite places- Tarifa.We stopped on the way to buy a kilo of country bread from a lovely old lady. Then off to Tarifa town for coffee, window shopping and general mooching.

The locals leave their doors to their patios open allowing nosy people like me to peek inside, so beautiful.

Later we headed for the coast and had our picnic in the pine woods,hubby and kids played cricket(bemused locals looking on) while I had a few minutes peace and tried out a new crochet pattern.

A walk on the beach was in order, the storms had washed up wonderful shells and not many people had been on the beach picking them up. The other folk on the beach were too engrossed in their surfing/fishing activities.

The views are so perfect in Tarifa and the sand just the right colour and texture-how we love it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy New Year

I have been so busy being Christmassy it's a relief to get back to normal. I have been inspired by domesticali to have a go at project 365 and I have been busy photographing everyday things, I just can't limit myself to one a day, but I suppose I can make up the rules if it's my project...

This one was taken outside a Moroccan greengrocer's shop in town, the cat just appeared to make it perfect!

This was taken on the night the three kings arrived, the arrival of the kings with a cavalcade of floats,children in fancy dress and marching bands marks the end of the Christmas season in this part of the world and is not to be missed.

These "red hot pokers " have just come into flower in the car park(!) and are surrounded by little birds feeding from them,another regular January highlight.

Enough sightseeing!!

Despite all the photography, I have finally got down to some craft; I have made two lovely tea cosies...forgot to photograph first before it went to the shop.Here is the second, nearly finished

I have also worked out how to make a crochet rose which is very thrilling, I have a handbag project I am working on which I want to decorate with some of these roses, in a rich dark red I think.

This is the little half apron to go with the tea cosy, well, maybe not everyone sees the need to co-ordinate their tea cosy and apron,but small things make me happy!

What I really like about writing this blog is being able to edit my life down to the really nice bits, like crafting and sightseeing, and excluding the fact my house was flooded this weekend (boo-hoo)It's like living in a parallel universe isn't it ?