31 October 2008


would you like a slice?
it is very much the taste of autumn
ginger + treacle
oatmeal + cinnamon
find the recipe here

i have been testing it
whilst uploading pieces to the new shop

(there'll be some additions tomorrow too)

happy halloween everyone!
i'm dodging the spooks + going to see mr bond instead

28 October 2008


candles lit tonight for diwali
(kindly given to me by harvi who i work with)

and a new book to read under the many layers in bed

22 October 2008


on good advice from lynn following my recent bad-baking-experience i have revisited an old favourite from the cook book shelf. this classic resides in many households and was originally available to buy with tokens from your friendly milkman (i may be romantising for a moment here...but where have those lovely days gone i wonder?) my dairy book of home cookery cost me 50p from a charity shop some years back and it is the exact same 1968 edition that my mum had when i was little. i know this to be true because the photos hold special memories in my heart...my favourite pages featured hot drinks (milk posset :: almond flip :: chocolate cream nog) closely followed by the confectionery section (coconut ice :: cherry fudge :: honeycomb) i just used to like looking at the pictures and names of these treats...the photos are few and far between but the recipes are just short enough to read like a comic strip for instant gratification.

even better i found the ginger snaps to be a success!

what i found interesting was that i seemed to be using less of everything ingredients-wise compared to my usual (nigella + co) bakes. i know that these are very basic but it was rather satisfying to be using a 1/5 of a pack of butter compared to the 1/2 that normally goes in to the recipes i use. i added a little luxury in the form of some chopped preserved ginger which i had in the cupboard but all in all this batch of plain + simple biscuits proved to be the perfect weekday addition to a cup of tea...no fanciness needed.

i know that there are lots of these books on ebay and i thoroughly recommend them. what makes me particularly happy about my copy is that the family fruitcake recipe has been circled in pencil and page 144 has been folded at the corner for cinnamon biscuits. i can only imagine that it's previous owner was a class act!

21 October 2008


simple reasons to love these today...

the colours

the little trouser darts

the sad doggy portrait

(top and bottom pulled from ? just in my pile of i like pages but the middle shot i know is from red magazine circa oct 2004 featuring maxmara tweed trousers with jil sander boots and cashmere socks from toast)

19 October 2008


...why oh why am i eating these? (nigella's coffee + walnut splodge cookies which sounded perfect to me for an autumn weekend) baked on saturday...tested...not great...not sweet enough...too soft (i like chewy cookies)

(sorry nigella but i've noted them in my book as a 1/10)

tried again today with the addition of some dark divine chocolate drizzle. they may look ok but they are decidedly disappointing...which leads me full circle to ask why am i still nibbling?!

(i know my mum will understand this one!)

hoping next week's baking will be better...any suggestions will be welcomed with open arms!

15 October 2008


october is slipping by...i've been happily making things and here are a couple to share for today. astrid badges that will be for sale alongside the rest of this october collection...corsages...key fobs...bookmarks...a headband...some paper goods...and a dressing-up cuff. all in the palette of blue:grey:ochre:black which i've fallen for lately.

a few other reasons to be cheerful this week...shari's week of paths...celebrating chocolate week (mainly by consuming but also by reading lovely sites like this one)...listening to and loving new ray (thanks for the nod abigail!)

08 October 2008


i finished off my first proper knitted scarf just before we went away...and now it's lined with a combination of cosy winceyette + vintage fabrics from my stash + a cotton print (how exciting to find a huge range of amy butler stocked at my local john lewis!)

now ready for me to wear with my new found love of all things navy + grey this season. also working on the 1st set of my autumn-winter range of accessories for my etsy shop in this colourway which will be called astrid. i'll be listing the update on 31st october.

i've had a big wardrobe remix recently...just a couple of new additions including coat + tights (essential for the chilly days ahead!) i feel the need to stress that my funds have been helped by ongoing ebay listings of the to-go pile of clothes...it seems a bit tasteless to talk of new indulgences in light of the current economy but this is my way of splurging without too much guilt...and a girl needs a bit of retail therapy every now and then!

sitting by the fire of an evening sans-knitting proved too much to bear and so project 2 has now begun. i got my mum to choose some wool (which coincidentally matches her new noa noa tights too) and once i'm done i'll be lining it like mine. it'll probably be for christmas as it's progressing at a slower pace...less chunky wool and thinner needles you see. thanks for your patience mum!

and just to finish off i'd like to show you some chairs that my dad found for us on gumtree this week. i am so happy with them + can't wait to make them over with new seat pads and a lick of beeswax.

p.s. drinking christmas tea today...loving the scent of cinnamon + spice as the cup steams on my desk! thinking that the next few weeks are going to snowball and i need to plan out gift making which i'll be doing alongside buying handmade this year.

04 October 2008


thank you for the welcome back!

brrrr! last night i slept in a cardigan! and today it hasn't got any milder...chilly fingers ahoy here as i type! we are being grumpy and trying to not put the heating on until it gets truly wintry. instead the wood burner is roaring + i'm off to join c + b in our one warm room very soon with my knitting. i have a date with the dancing later too : )

a saturday soup recipe to share with you. i bought (for the first time) a romanesco yesterday on the market. it's certainly an eye catcher of a vegetable + it is indeed very tasty too.

1 romanesco :: 1 potato :: 1 onion :: 1 clove garlic
all diced + put in a pan with 25g melted butter
+ splash of olive oil
fry for a few minutes + season well with mucho pepper!
(i like black + white)
then add about 750ml veggie stock
(i use marigold bouillon)
simmer for about 20 mins
take off the heat + blend
add a tablespoon of creme fraiche
+ a whole lot of freshly grated nutmeg
taste + season again if it needs it

(this made about 6 servings)

these pretties also came home with me. i'm thinking that they'll get roasted to go with the goat's cheese i bought today + a few walnuts. one of the best things about autumn...the comfort food!

03 October 2008


i have made a sneaky dash from the laundry just to say hello + to report that we had a really lovely holiday in ireland...enjoying all good things with family. we even had sunshine on our faces! here's a photo story...

and of course it is nice to be home too. (save for the unpacking + washing overload!) i'm planning a reward of catching up with favourite blogs later. happy autumn by the way...are you liking the new season? x