Sunday, October 28, 2007

The rest of half term

Don't forget to visit:The Cooks Journal and is now ready for posting! If you have a food blog - come and tell us all about it.

Well the week is over - where did it go?

The Farmers Market was a success - although once again it was nowhere near as popular as it used to be - BUT we had very little left. I had baked extra as I knew we had an event tomorrow - but I had a few flapjacks left. I really do think Ampthill Town Council could do more to help it - but they won't even invest in a proper sign in the centre of town - they put laminated A4 (sometimes A3!) posters on the tree - oh well rant over.

I have put some pics here if you want a nosey of our week


We went to Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire on Thursday and had a great day out, it was a nice small Zoo and was very well planted - I would think it would be lovely in the summer. The weather wasn't so good and there was only a handful of visitors. There are a pair of lions and they were playing like domestic cats - they had a ball and were ambushing each other - it was great fun to watch them.

This is the Tapir (sp?) and their baby - so cute looking like he is wearing pyjamas!


The crispy ducks in Chinatown...not the zoo



The Natural History Museum
How sad that the Dodo never survived




Two more challenges have been launched at CraftsbyCarolyn.co.uk - Clare has luanched an Autumn leaves, and Angelnorth has launched 'in the spotlight' they are both great challenges to get you thinking...here are a couple of their example pics:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Half Term

Don't forget to visit:The Cooks Journal and is now ready for posting! If you have a food blog - come and tell us all about it.

Wow busy week...started gentle and just a trip to Bedford. Then Tuesday we went to London for the day. We went to the Natural History museum first, and boy was it busy, we really should have just taken some rolls for lunch as it was a pain queueing for food. We had a great time - Owen loved it, they had a special Antarctic exhibition (extra charge - of course!), but it was Owen's kind of thing.

We then headed over to Covent Garden - although Owen did want to do the Science Museum as well....(!). Funny thing happened on the way - Owen had bought a little monkey with magnetised feet and hands, and while waiting for the tram he showed me a trick with his train ticket where the monkey could hold it. I did point out that it had a magentic strip on the back and probably wouldn't work in the machine now...needless to say he didn't believe me!! So when coming up from the tube Paul and I go through and he is left on the other side...so I tell him to go to the end and talk to the man who would let him through....The man exclaimed "Oh no, that is a fake ticket" We all thought it was really funny - except Owen...but he did laugh in the end.

So had a great time in Convent Garden and then walked over to Leicester Square and finished the day with a pizza.

Am baking for the Farmer's Market atm - so will write up some more later.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ampthill made the news

Don't forget to visit:The Cooks Journal and is now ready for posting! If you have a food blog - come and tell us all about it.

...the food forum started on Saturday and we have quite a few foodies on there already, so I hope it will be useful to everyone to swap recipes, tips and whatever really to do with food. There are loads of food blogs out there - so I have set up a section for everyone to post about their blogs and also a section for when they update it :)

Well an amazing story seems to have 'evolved' from the Ampthill forum. A little snippet from a local Councillors blog was posted on there about the carnival bunting still being up...

"Ampthill Festival Bunting - The reason that the Festival Bunting is still up arises from the fact that due to local health and safety advice the local fire brigade are unable to take the bunting down. The Festival committee has always appreciated their assistance in the past and is working towards getting them down."

The local paper (who we suspect often pop into the forum as we have been quoted in the paper before!)...ran it as a front page story...and then all of the nationals and news on the TV have got hold of it. Somehow blown out of all proportion - "a massive row" was quoted on the ITV Anglia news, they actually came to the town to cover the story! AMAZING.

Whereas the people of Ampthill are not happy about the cancellation of their firework display that is organised by the Lions at the Ampthill Park, somehow negotiations between the Lions and the Ampthill Town Council (owners of the park) have broken down and it has been cancelled! Fab eh?

I was going to pop down to the town to make my third TV appearance....but didn't make time!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lemon Fruit Squares


Don't forget to visit:The Cooks Journal and is now ready for posting!
I kind of made this recipe from a combination of other recipes and I made it in 8 inch square tin, I cut it into 9 portions for the Country market, they are quite a good size portion. I am enjoying making smaller cakes for the Country Market stalls, that way I can put some aside for Owen's lunches. And it is filling a gap in the current product range on the stall

Lemon Fruit Squares
4oz Marg
4oz Sugar
2 Eggs
..beat together

7oz Self raising flour
Grated rind of lemon
….Fold in

1 tablespoon of lemon juice
If mixture too stiff add a little milk
4oz dried fruit - I used sultanans

Cook in 8 inch square tin. Bake for 35 mins 170c

Once cool ice with some lemon juice and some zest of lemon and icing sugar, let it drizzle down the sides.

I would love to hear of more recipes for with lemons other than a lemon loaf

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Cooks Journal


Well due to my interest in baking and the fact that I have been looking around to get ideas on interesting things to bake, and not managing to find a dedicated fun forum, I thought I would start one.

No idea if anyone will be interested or if it will work, but fancied trying out a new style forum too....

So it is now live The Cooks Journal and is now ready for posting!

so if you like a spot of cooking I will see you there.

I did make this card for the latest challenge on the CBC forum

Another Week has gone by


I am amazed how time flies - it must be an age thing. I thought I had written recently and clearly I hadn't! So a summary of my week....

Work as usual at the beginning of the week, but now that I am baking for the Country Markets I tried to squeeze a bit of that in as well as visit Susan on Wednesday. She lives in Loughton and the last part of the journey is lovely as it takes you through the edge of Epping Forest and it was a beautiful sunny day, brought back memories of living that way, I used to work for her local council Epping Forest District Coucnil - it was my first ever job :).

The journey beforehand down the A1 brought an incident...a baby (full grown but not yet white) swan landed on the very busy road about 6 cars in front. I could see him coming in to land - although as it was so sunny I couldn't quite make out what it was. We all stopped very quickly - I think there may have been a small dinking incident behind me. He was then just walking along the outside lane. Poor thing, no one knew what to do. I hope he was OK. Paul said there was a report yesterday of 2 on the M6

At Susan's I took a few of my newer stamps along and we had a lovely stamping session. I didn't actually finish anything - but have loads to paint etc now. Susan also showed me the Blonde Moments powders, she used them with a versamark pad and then 'fixed' them with a spray of water after. Very effective on dark card. Had a lovely day.

Thursday I went out for lunch with another friend, wasn't so crafty! But it is nice to be a lady who lunches!

We now have a regular Thursday and Sunday Challenge on the forum, I hope that you have time to join in with some of them. Every entry goes into a draw for a lucky dip prize mid month, and there maybe a few other prizes in between.

Thanks to Tanda stamps for last months prize, and also to Sheliagh from the forum for the donation of two great pads of paper.

I am still picking runner beans and courgettes from the garden - is anyone else - can't believe it.

Finally this card is made with my favourite die cut - Carol gave the die to me ages ago and I just love it. The cards always sell - so I really must get on and make some more. I had made this one a while back - and was looking at things I had done with it in the past. Simple as usual - but hey that is me!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Alone....


Well today the boys are out all day. Owen was playing footie first, and then the team were off to watch MKDons play. They are obviously trying to get a regular crowd by promotions - the tickets were only £1 and £5 for adults as the team is in the MK league. I did ring and he did not score another goal today :(

So I have cleared the kitchen....made a few cards...played on the internet looking at various sites....just mowed the grass and had a bath, so I think I will make another card or two, before I start the shepherds pie for tonight!

I have launched a rubber stamp challenge today:
"we want YOU to make any item using rubber stamps but NO INK PAD" this was my starter card, I hope that you find time to join in - there will be a draw for some great Tanda stamps or some paper pads.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gardening


Well only a bit - but thought I would report that I planted the rhubarb and tayberry bush at long last. Was quite surprised at how dry the soil was. So not sure when I will get rhubarb - I guess not much next year! I have also planted a new loganberry bush as my bush has had a baby! so have planted it the other side of the garden to see if it likes it better, although the soil overthere is the 'natural' Ampthill sany soil and not the stuff the builders left - so is very free draining.

I have made a few cards for men this afternoon, there was a request on the market this week. I popped over to see my friend Karen last Sunday and she had sold 20 odd cards so the basket is looking a bit low at the moment.



The stamped image on the card on the right I did ages ago when I went to Susan (off to see her this week :)), and have finally used it. The new home card I used the Robo for the welded words and used one of the little bird house charms in the shop, along with some silver thread.

....HOT NEWS...I have taken the plunge and bought a web site to set up a cookery forum - I hope that I will get asome visitors, and that it will be fun to bring the cooking enthusiasts together. I can see that there are a lot of blogs out there.

ON the CBC forum Dolly dimple has launched her Christmas card family challenge - pop along and add your entry.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baking

I spent most of Wednesday cooking and took loads of cakes to the market today, as we were short of people cooking. I did manage to sell most of it - but unfortunately I have brought some home:
2 banana muffins
4 smarties cookies
2 chocolate brownies
1 ginger cake
4 flapjacks

I did take
12 banana muffins
12 smarties cookies
30 chocolate brownies
8 ginger cake
10 flapjacks
18 melting moments
9 lemon cakes
15 carrot cakes
...I packaged them in either 2, 3 or 4s

So I went with £40 of cakes and brought home £4 so I guess that isn't too bad - I can freeze some and I know someone that will eat some!

Someone came with a list of men's cards and of course I didn't have that many. so I have promised I will get some in the basket for next week.

Must get some pics on here.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A goal, a goal

Well I know I don't mention family much on here - but just had to mention that Owen scored his first ever goal yesterday. He has always been in defence and yesterday the manage put him in midfield. And he scored the first goal of the match - they eventually won 3 - 0 against Olney.

To say he was on cloud nine is an understatement! Spookily as Paul was driving him to the match he said that he would give him £10 if he scored a goal...first time he had made a rash promise!

On the forum Joanne (Angelnorth) has launched another challenge Scaredy Pants - so you need to get your thinking caps on, and increase your chances to win a fab prize.

I have been busy drawing lucky dips for some prizes, and we have had a few winners already. I must sort out some more prizes and get some pics of them taken.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

whoops


I thought I had made a blog entry for Sunday - so where did time go!

There has been two more challenges on the forum...."Hip not to be Square" and "Beary Special" - don't forget there are some fab prizes up for grabs, so it is worth entering your card.

Wendy has just posted the latest ATCs and started preparations for the next swap. The new monthly card swap is just starting and the latest theme for the book of favs has been announced. You can always catch up, or just start now :)

My baking is still going down very well at the Country Markets in Ampthill, so I have got myself a little more organised and bought a few more baking tins from Matalans and Dunhelm Mill, they are good value and seem to work well! I was also lucky enought to stumble upon Julian Graves last week that were having a half price sale - so got some dried fruit! Although have to say they are quite expensive to start off with. I do have a large pot of glace cherries that I am looking for a good recipe....!

I even sat down and made some cards this afternoon, after I mended the shower.....