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Friday, 5 February 2016

Fiona's Lime, Courgette and Coconut Loaf

I wanted to share this tasty recipe with you which is proving popular with friends, family and at cake sales. I know, I know courgette...but trust  me it works. It adds moisture and a nice texture to the cake and with the lime syrup that is added at the end this is guaranteed to please. It is so very morish that one slice never seems to be enough...but it contains one of your five a day! So enjoy and please leave comments below letting me know if it worked out for you.




Ingredients

125g butter, cubed
225g self-raising flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
1/2 medium courgette, peeled and grated
30g dessicated coconut

For the topping

Juice of 2 limes
200g caster sugar
Dessicated coconut for decoration

Method


  1. Preheat oven to 180c/ gas mark 4. Line and grease a 2lb loaf tin (I use the pre-shaped liners).
  2. Mix flour and salt together then rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  3. Stir in sugar then add eggs, lime juice and lime zest and mix.
  4. Stir in grated courgette and coconut and stir gently until just combined.
  5. Spoon into loaf tin and bake for 45 - 55 minutes. 
  6. Insert a skewer to test. Cool slightly in tin.
  7. Meanwhile mix lime juice and syrup together. Prick surface of cake and pour over syrup leaving it to sink in. Add a sprinkling of coconut whilst syrup is still sticky.
  8. Lift from tin to cool completely.


Notes:
I use a fan oven so adjust accordingly.
I found that using 2 limes and 200g of sugar for the syrup was a bit too much so try adding half, letting it sink in for a while and then adding the rest.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

This month's project: Beach Hut Door Stop

Happy Midummer Everyone!

If the sun isn't shining where you are then this month's craft might be just the antidote. I have been a lover of coastal themed crafts and decor for a while now and my beach themed Pinterest board is growing steadily with lots of ideas on how to use all those lovely beach finds.

Beach Hut Door Stop


I came across a great competition from Hilarys Blinds that inspired my to get that sewing machine out that has been sitting idle for too long. And boy I'm so glad I did! I am feeling very proud of myself in getting this project finished in two days. Now, for a procrastinator such as myself that is one hell of an accomplishment (she says giving herself a pat on the back). Hilarys Blinds sent me a metre of a gorgeous cream and raspberry fabric called Hatti Raspberry (how could I not choose this as both my Gran and my daughter have that lovely name) to do something magical with. The stripes reminded me of vintage beach style but rather than choosing a simple beach tote bag to make I opted for a beach hut shaped door stop.



I started by drawing out the front elevation on the back of some cereal boxes (that I keep for such crafty occasions). I used this as a starting point and with a ruler measured out the side wall, roof and base. I wanted a contrasting fabric as the roof and door etc and thought that denim would add a nice touch. Again, I had a stash of ripped jeans that I kept for such an occasion. Once I had cut all the individual pieces out I then went about designing the door and decorations. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter as a template for the door decoration and also cut out some triangular pieces of denim for the bunting. Having only used bondaweb once before I gingerly ironed them on etc and they worked a treat! Back to the sewing machine and I zigzagged round the bunting and door as tidily as I could. Well as tidily as any sewing novice can!

Then the fun really began. I laid out the pieces in a cross shape and started joining them all together, allowing 0.5cm seem allowance. (Tip: Whatever your seam allowance add this again to the top of the side walls. I did not take this into account and had to adjust the angle of the roof to accommodate. See picture below.) Once I sewed the 4 walls together I added the base and then the 2 roof parts. I then attached the bottom of the 3 remaining walls to the base working my way round. Then finally I sewed the apex of the hut to the roof parts.

Template Plan



When I got to the roof I used part of a waistband form the jeans I cut up earlier as the handle. But this proved quite hardwork as it would not go through the sewing machine and I even bent a needle whilst hand-sewing it together! I then turned it all inside out through the conveniently left hole and started to stuff the beach hut with old t-shirts etc that my husband had recently cleared out (Thank you!). Amazingly 2 carrier bags of fabric went into this beach hut - I wanted it quite tightly packed so that it kept its shape. I suppose you could use sand or packing beads but I'm all for recycling and the t-shirts did just the job. When I was happy with the shape I then closed up the gap with a ladder stitch and it was ready to go!


So, all I have to do now is keep my fingers crossed as the prize money would, my husband just pointed out, enable me to buy my very own beach hut style craft room for the back garden where hopefully my sewing machine would get to see the light of day a bit more. Still got some fabric left so maybe some matching book ends?

xxx





Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Seven days to a happier me

Has it really been a year since I last posted? 
Well, I seem to have lost my direction in a lot of things and just got bogged down with daily life, not knowing where I was heading and most importantly where I wanted to be heading. So a bit of soul searching is needed - a cliche but oh so true especially after becoming a mother. I've never been very career driven and can't remember when I was a child what I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm still not sure what I want to be but I have come to realise that maybe not everyone is career driven in the traditional sense. Someone recently told me that I was a "homemaker". I took this as a compliment and it got me realising that this is probably where my strengths and passion lie and to therefore pursue actively and be the best I can be at it. 

I made a list of what is most important to me and happened to come up with 7 chore activities/areas which fits in nicely with the week. So I'm thinking of allocating each item a day and making sure I do something to improve, fine-tune or fulfill that area/need. Then hopefully it will kick start a lifestyle change and I'll be doing more than one conscious activity/task each day to get me where I want to go.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I Love Salvaging & Recycling

I try and recycle as much as possible as part of every day living - food waste, glass, plastic and paper etc are just the basics! But I am always keeping tiny bits of ribbon from packaging for using at a later date and reusing jam jars for yes you guessed it jam/chutney making! There are lots of crafters and artists out there who make a living from it and there are some great books too with wild and wacky ideas - like putting castor wheels on a suitcase and using it as a coffee table that has built in storage! Genius!

I am only just starting to explore the more creative side of this and I think you are only held back by your imagination. This week for example saw me blowing eggs at 5pm before making my daughter's tea so that I could paint them for Easter decorations later on. She was getting very frustrated sitting in her high chair wondering when tea was coming.

I have been back to John Lewis's salvage bin again this week and found some beautiful wine and cream coloured satin remnants so more flower corsages on the way. Following on from my creations last week I made another one - this time a simple brooch - with the turquoise blue material and decorated it with a vintage rhinestone brooch finding that was missing its clasp.  



Sunday, 29 January 2012

Let the crafts begin!

As the Jamie at home party planning has been very slow I am looking at moving on to Plan B! This is to pursue my Lost Delights business venture selling handmade gifts and jewellery that have been made using upcycled items. I made a good start this week delving into my scrap fabric library to create some beautiful fabric flowers. I found a great technique on line on how to create fabric flowers using satin material and a candle.

I then created 3 stunning pieces as shown below all of which I am selling on both Ebay and Etsy: