Monday, 25 July 2011

Gluten Free Apricot Jam Tarts

I've found a gluten free pastry which actually taste quite nice. No, I didn't make it myself, I found it in the freezer in Sainsbury's for two pounds fifty. I was a bit dubious about buying it at first, but thought I'd give it a try and was actually surprised that the pastry tasted good. It was also very easy to use and comes in 2x200g pieces, enough for 24 tarts in total. I'll definitely use this again. Think I'll make a chicken pie next time.

Apricots were picked from Grandma's Garden. and there was enough to make about six jars of jam. She makes jam using only the fruit and sugar, and it always taste real good. I can't wait for her plums to ripen, they make the best jam ever, especially when the skins are left on. I'll have to teach myself to make jam using her method, because her way of making jam is so easy and ten times better than any shop bought.
 The joys of working in a school are the long summer holidays. 
I'm off now for six weeks, so lets hope we get a bit of summer weather.

There is a great Victoria & Albert Membership Giveaway over on my daughter's blog. All you have to do is follow her blog, write a little comment mentioning your favourite museum or exhibition and leave your email address. 
A winner will be randomly selected on the 7th of August. Good Luck!
Have a great week!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Gluten Free Coconut Cake and Belated Birthday Wishes

I recently made a gluten free coconut cake using my almond cake recipe as a guide. My first attempt turned out really well and I was extremely chuffed with the result. The cake was moist, slightly crumbly and went down very well.

Preheat oven Gas Mark 6 and grease a 9x5in Loaf Tin.

Cream together 6oz Stork Margarine and 6oz Caster Sugar in a Large Bowl. 
Beat together 2 Medium Eggs and 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract. 
Add to bowl whisking until smooth. 
Add 3oz Dessicated Coconut and mix in.
Sieve in 4oz Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour with 1/4 level Tsp Xanthan Gum 

Stir until mixture is smooth. 
Put mixture into greased loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. 
Leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
The cake taste so much better the next day.

19 years ago at 14:28pm on Wednesday 15th July 1992 my daughter, Jazmine Rocks, was born. I can't believe how the time has flown by. Where do the years go? Of course we argue and disagree often, but I'm very proud of the relationship I have with my daughter. I would like to wish her all the best for the coming year.
Hat, c/o Next - Bag, car boot sale, £1 - Cropped jumper, dress, belt and sunglasses, charity shop, 50p each
She loves charity shopping, wandering around the Victoria and Albert Museum and drinking the occasional Starbucks. She has made me very proud mummy over the years and has her head firmly on her shoulders. She also has a beautiful blog called Jazzabelle's Diary. Do pop over and have a look.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Plant Swaps, Sewing Machines and Postcards

This past week has been quite busy. As we draw to the end of another fantastic school year everything becomes a bit crazy: Open Days, Reception Class Graduation, Sports Day, Reports, Concerts. I have six more working days left before we break up for the Summer holidays and boy do I need a break. 

Last week I did a plant swap with a friend at work. I received this gorgeous begonia in exchange for an aloe vera plant. I also threw in one of my young chilli plants and hopefully they will bear fruit for us.

I haven't had much time to do charity shopping and I'm disappointed to hear that my local car boot will not be open for the whole of August. I did pick up a pack of one hundred beautiful postcards and have promised myself to write to friends and family in the traditional way. I posted out four cards today, just need to buy more stamps and update my address book.

Hopefully this Summer I'll be able to get my sewing machine working properly. I'm able to sew for a while then suddenly the thread snaps, which is so frustrating. I'm confident that I'm threading correctly and using the correct tension. The last time I got the sewing machine out I made three small cushions and the thread snapped halfway through the forth. If my sewing machine had ears she would have been ashamed of the language which came out of my mouth. Any tips on what I could be doing wrong???
A friend of mine gave me ten of the most gorgeous fabric sample books, so I need my sewing machine working properly. I have so many ideas in my head but I'm unable to do anything about it. Here are samples from two of the books. The right samples are touchy feely velvet, perfect for little cushions.

Have a fabulous weekend xx

Saturday, 2 July 2011

My First Fabric Swap

I recently took part in my first ever Fabric Swap and I must say I'm rather glad I did. 
The swap was arranged by Kandi at Kandipandi's Pad. I was paired with the lovely  
Katy from Miss Pixie's Crafts and it was a pleasure to get to know her.

It was lovely to arrive home to be greeted by my package. 
There were five gifts in pink polka dot wrapping paper.
I didn't want to open my gifts until I had posted Katy's off. So I got myself in gear and the next day I posted off her package and then had the pleasure of opening my gifts.

The packages were filled with a beautiful assortment of fabric with the most gorgeous designs, 
lace, buttons and a pack of one of my favourite sweets.
I love all these pieces of fabric.
 I adore the pretty stickers and gorgeous buttons.
Katy made the most beautiful cardholder and purse, which puts my sewing skills to shame, ha ha!
This is not the actual colour of the purse, for some reason my camera went a little colour blind. 
  My Favourite piece is the cardholder, which I am already using. My daughter is hoping that I give it to her...
no chance!
 Here is a taster of what I sent Katy. I hope she likes her gifts half as much as I love mine. 
To see what else I sent you can visit Katy at  Miss Pixie's Crafts.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend xx