Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Cookbook Challenge: Country Calendar Cookbook

Still trying to make my way through my cookbooks, one at a time! The challenge has been going really well so far I think. I haven't felt pressured, but at the same time have been looking at my cookbooks more when I feel like baking/cooking. Yay! This week it's 'The Country Calendar Cookbook,' by Alyson Gofton, which I have used precisely zero times since buying it a year ago. Which is sad, because Alyson Gofton is one of my favourite cookbook writers and it's a lovely book to flick through - filled with stories and recipes from the long running New Zealand TV show Country Calendar. For the non-Kiwi's among you, it's a half hour program that each week examines a different farm or rural person in a conversational, documentary style.  

The recipes are handily divided up by season, which was great because I was looking for a 'spring' recipe. I ended up trying out the 'Spring Chickpea Pasta Salad,' which I happened to have all the ingredients on hand for at the time and went well with a steak and green salad on a sunny evening. 

I was really pleased with how it turned out, but then again I love chickpeas, so I probably always was. Its definitely a recipe I'd use again, though unfortunately the leftovers from this one ended up languishing in the fridge because I was to sick to eat them!! Next time. . . 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Currently Monday #8

Kitten feeling very sorry for herself in her 'cone of shame'

So I fell off the blogging bandwagon for a bit there. It's been a couple of weeks of major highs and major lows for me. Last Sunday with no warning or reason I got incredibly, horribly sick. Somehow (don't ask me how because I really don't know) I managed to drag myself out of bed on Monday to go to a second job interview. Got through the interview and got home to continue being horribly sick, from which I'm only just starting to recover. Miraculously, I got a call on Wednesday to say that I got the job!! God works in strange and mysterious ways. So I'm recovering from severe dehydration caused by being horribly sick for a week, and gearing up to start a new and exciting job in two weeks time. 

Time and Place // 11.47 a.m, in bed (I am up, not being lazy, it's just cold and bed is warm and snuggly for writing essays from)

Eating and Drinking // Toast and peanut butter. Thinking I need to make some chamomile tea.

Reading // Just finished The Enormous Room, by E.E. Cummings.
About to start The Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer E. Smith

Watching // Last night I watched Frozen for the first time. Sooooooo good!!

Listening // Various versions of 'Let it Go' from Frozen, because I feel like I have to catch up on all the covers now!

Making // What with being sick my making-stuff mojo has gone completely out the window this last week. The most I managed was moving a bag of supplies for an upcoming project to the ironing board so I could iron the fabric!! (which I haven't done, I just moved the bag).

Blogging // Since I was last here I've done some one-line reviews of YA fantasy, not-talked about the most influential books in my life, reviewed New Life Stories by David Attenborough and started some spring chicks

Hating // How fast the grass grows in spring. The lawn always looks so untidy!

Loving // Cuddles with the cat when I'm not feeling well

Anticipating // The bed for our spare room that we just ordered arriving. It will be so nice to be able to have guests and not having to ask them to bring something to sleep on!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Chicks

My bunny finish got me in the mood for some more spring-themed stitching! I browsed through patterns saved on my computer until I stopped at three chicks, which I think from memory was originally a freebie from Coats Craft (but don't quote me on that). It's a fairly simple pattern, so I just pulled some colours from stash and got started . . . 

I'm not sure yet whether I'll do all three chicks. Maybe just one or two. In any case I hope I can get them finished and made into an ornament for our stairwell by Easter.  


Monday, March 31, 2014

Currently Monday #7

Study area in the gorgeous new Library of Birmingham, which I got to visit this week

Time and Place // 2.17pm. On my bed (what a surprise)

Eating and Drinking // Just had lunch! I'm a grazer, so to keep up my own interest in eating lunch at all I tend to have an assortment of stuff rather than just one thing. Today it was 3 cherry tomatoes, a stick of celery, some cheese, a clementine and a couple of oat cakes.

Reading // Once again you've caught me between books. I'm debating whether to start Railsea, by China Mieville or The Enormous Room, by E.E. Cummings. Anyone want to weigh in with a vote?

Watching // The final of The Musketeers was last night :-( At least it's already been commissioned for a second series!

Listening // Our cat chirping away to herself . . . we're discovering that she's quite the talker!

Making // This week I started and finished a quick stitch, which I can't show on the blog quite yet because the person it's for has been known to check the blog occassionally. I also started another spring design, which I'll hopefully have finished in time for Easter!

Blogging // Here I rounded up my haul from the NEC Hobbycraft show and made my first recipe for The Cookbook Challenge. On my book blog I made a bookish bucket list, reviewed The Crimson Ribbon and asked how you deal with long books.

Hating // When my distance university's website goes down when I'm trying to study!!

Loving // The increasingly sunny days! It's nice not to need a coat quite as often and (strange as it may seem) do jobs like washing windows in my own time rather than in any hectic break in the weather

Anticipating // Going to Miranda on tour this weekend. We booked our tickets months ago, so it's nice that it has finally rolled around.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Cookbook Challenge: Edmonds Cookery Book

Last week, as promised, I got onto using my cookbooks for the Cookbook Challenge. We had multiple guests over the weekend, so I was filling the baking tins anyway. After lots of browsing, I chose a recipe I hadn't tried before from the Edmonds Cookery Book.

The Edmonds Cookery Book is a New Zealand classic. Like most Kiwi's, I grew up watching mum use it, did some of my first cooking from it and was duly presented with my own copy when leaving for uni. It covers everything, from sauces to baking to party food to meat & fish. It's one of the few cookbooks I own that I use all the time - it's my go-to for classics like mustard sauce and banana loaf. Fool-proof, classic cooking. 

The recipe I tried was for Peanut Brownies . . .

I struggled with getting the oven temperature right, which meant some turned out a little crispy! But the recipe was extremely easy and the biscuits (even with the crispy) turned out very morish - hard to eat just one. I suspect its a recipe I'll use again, hopefully perfecting the oven temp - like so many recipes in the Edmonds it's simple to put together and yummy. All the makings of another go-to recipe. 

One down. . . on to the next cookbook on the shelf!