Friday, 22 April 2011

15% off weekend - Happy Easter!

Hello! Just to let you know I have an Easter off in my Etsy shop, 15% off with the code HAPPYEASTER. Runs until Tuesday morning. Hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend!


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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

wedding jewellery 2011

A few bridal orders have been coming in over the last month so I think it is time for a blog post! I love making bridal jewellery and it is lovely to know that a bride will be wearing my designs on her special day.

I have a range of wedding jewellery in my shops, perfect for brides and bridesmaids, using freshwater and swarovski pearls, simple metals and vintage charms.

I also love to work on custom pieces, so contact me if you'd like something made just for you.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cat Blogging

I take a lot of pictures of my cats. A LOT. More than anything else really, even cake. I haven't shared any on my blog for a while so here are some, enjoy the dosage of cute!

Flossie is very much not a kitten anymore, she is nearly as big as Jess and developing into something of a mouser.

They are loving the sunshine and be able to roll around on the patio and chase each other around the garden. We've had quite a number of 'presents' recently including the tiniest baby bunny. Luckily (although it is hard to catch them) they bring them in alive and we have managed to release them safely.

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Monday, 11 April 2011

Asparagus Pesto

Didn't I promise you another asparagus recipe? Here it is!

To break from the rut of asparagus/egg/bread which whilst being delicious is a bit of a standard way to have asparagus, I decided to whizz up the stalks into a nice fresh pesto.

Asparagus makes a beautifully green pesto which is creamy and light, not as strong as the basil variety and perfect for a quick dinner.

Use any pasta you have to hand, spaghetti or linguine would be lovely as well as any other pasta shapes.

Asparagus & Walnut Pesto - serves 2
adapted from local lemons

8 stalks of asparagus
50g parmesan
handful of walnuts
few basil leaves or any other soft herb
pinch of chili flakes
handful of fresh spinach leaves
good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small clove of garlic - add less if you don't like raw garlic
approx 150g - 200g pasta

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, you will use this to gently cook your asparagus and cook your pasta. Put the asparagus stalks in whole, woody ends removed. Cook for only 2 minutes, they will be just tender enough in this time.
Remove them from the pan and then add in your pasta.

Chop your asparagus into roughly 1 inch pieces, put the tips to one side.
Blitz the rest of the chopped asparagus with the other ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor. You can use a pestle and mortar for a rougher pesto. Add in approx 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and pulse, adding more oil if it needs be to loosen up the pesto.

Drain your pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pan to the heat with the pasta, add in your pesto and the reserved stalks and mix really well. Serve in warmed bowls with another grating of parmesan.

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Friday, 8 April 2011

Free Shipping Weekend


Just to let you know I have Free Shipping in my Etsy shop - just enter the code FREESHIPPING when you checkout.

Happy Weekend everyone, hope you enjoy the sunshine!

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'white' pizza with purple sprouting broccoli

Along with asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli is one of my favourite spring veggies. It is very versatile, you can treat it like asparagus - grill or steam it and have with an egg, or add it to a veggie lasagne, or put it on a pizza like I did.

Because I wanted a quick dinner I opted for the 'white pizza' method, using a creme fraiche sauce instead of tomato. A tomato one is pretty quick but a white sauce is even quicker! I use my favourite thin base recipe, some cheddar, parmesan, spinach and some pine nuts.

White Pizza
makes 2 medium sized pizzas

For the base:

250g of strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp of salt
7g sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
approx 300ml of warm water

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix the warm water, yeast, sugar and oil in a jug, leave to stand for a few minutes to let the yeast activate. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add in the liquid. Slowly incorporate the flour into the well until it starts to come together. Work into a dough, add more water or flour if you need it. Then turn it out on to a floured board and knead for a couple of minutes.

Leave to prove in a bowl covered with cling film for about an hour.
When it is proved, divide it into two portions, knead lightly and then roll out into bases.

For the topping:
8 stalks of purple sprouting broccoli
two tablespoons of creme fraiche
clove of garlic
mozarella or cheddar
pine nuts (optional)
olive oil

Whilst the dough is proving, roast the purple sprouting broccoli in a medium oven, drizzled with some oil and seasoned. For about 20 minutes till it is about half cooked.

For your sauce spread a tablespoon of creme fraiche on each pizza base, then crush your garlic and sprinkle over the top. Season. Then layer up with your cheese, broccoli and pine nuts. Season again lightly and add a bit of olive oil over the top. I also added a handful of spinach too.

For a gas or conventional electric oven ,bake at the highest heat on the top shelf for 10 - 15 minutes.

For a fan oven bake on middle shelf at approx 200c for 10 minutes.

Serve with a nice big salad and an extra grating of parmesan!

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Thursday, 7 April 2011

new pictures and freshening up for summer

I've been a busy little jewellery maker lately, I've added some new designs to my shops and I have also been reshooting pictures (helped by this lovely bright weather) for the summer wedding season.

I've just had a very nice parcel of vintage beads arrive so there will be some new vintage designs very soon, including more flowers!

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asparagus & egg gratins

One thing we are very lucky to have locally is someone who grows and sells asparagus from his greenhouse. The asparagus is ready around mid March and goes on til about May, which means you get a chance to eat it early and also well into asparagus season.

I've blogged about it before, and I always make sure I go along and buy every year. It is a very small enterprise, just a retired man's hobby. If you are in Cambridgeshire, it is signposted from Granta Park.

I saw this recipe on Shutterbean a couple of days before the asparagus went on sale (I made this about 2 weeks ago but I have just blogged it now!), and once it did I hot footed it down there and then down to the farm shop (Gog Magog Hills) for the rest of the ingredients.

These are lovely and simple to prepare, we had them for dinner but I think they'd make a great breakfast too. Be careful not to over cook the yolks, I did a little whilst trying to bubble the cheese under the grill.

You can find the recipe over here on Shutterbean.

I amended it by using milk instead of cream and different cheese. I picked up some Neals Yard Dairy Cotherstone cheese at the farm shop, softer than parmesan but just as strongly flavoured, it worked very well.

I served it with warmed ciabatta bread and hot sauce, yum!

I used the remaining asparagus for lunch the next day, grilled on a griddle pan with chillies, garlic, lemon and soy sauce. It was delicious. I just bought another bunch today so hopefully I'll be blogging another recipe soon.

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Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I hope you are all enjoying the lovely sunshine today! 
England really is such a beautiful country in on a sunny day.

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Friday, 1 April 2011

25% off sale!

Just to let you know I have 25% off in my Etsy shop this weekend.
 Use code APRILSALE for an immediate discount.

Happy Shopping! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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