Thursday, 30 September 2010

Last Nights Supper - Pumpkin Risotto

Last nights dinner worked really well (see earlier blog about Pumpkin Risotto with the recipe) so thought you might like to see the finished result. Very yummy and well worth the effort.

Delicious Pumpkin Risotto

The crispy topping was chunks of fried and browned pumpkin sprinkled with chopped rosemary. This recipe served four but I could almost have eaten the whole of it myself as it was so very tasty! It was thick and creamy and very full flavoured. It took around forty minutes in total to prepare. A lovely all-in-one supper dish. Do give it a try.

Thank you Antonio Carluccio

Pin Cushion Arrival!

My lovely swap partner   Florrie   has sent my swap pincushion and it is so very beautiful. She has cross-stitched a lovely design and used my favourite colours of the moment - clever girl. This is what was in my lovely parcel ...

I Love Receiving Parcels!

Inside is the pretty pincushion, a vintage fat quarter of William Morris fabric, a huge pile of generous scrap fabrics, a lovely craft magazine and the prettiest pins you ever saw!

Beautifully Designed And Worked Pincushion

The pincushion is huge and so very pretty with my very favourite pinks and lime greens (I think she must have been peaking at my blog to realize just how much I love these colours!)

Pretty Blue And Red Background

The back is equally as pretty with a lovely blue fabric and a red dotty flower design - looks a bit like two Cath Kidston fabrics but really not sure.

Pretty Flower Embellishment

The pretty flower is far to good to be hidden under the pincushion and would make a lovely brooch! Very Poppy Treffry!

William Morris Fat Quarter

The lovely fabric is such a pretty design and will make something really special.

Pretty Pins

The pins are particularly pretty ...  but I think that the pincushion is far too pretty to actually have pins stuck into it!

Thank you so much Florrie   

Thank you for all the effort you have put into my beautiful pincushion swap.  I do so love these swaps!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Carluccio's Pumpkin Risotto

I must be feeling better! 

The Lovely Carluccio's

Yesterday I had a delicious lunch out with a friend in Carluccio's. For those who do not know this chain in the UK it is an Italian inspired cafe/restaurant (now only partly owned by Antonio Carluccio the brilliant Italian chef, writer and food critic), which does the most amazing food and has a superb deli on the premises, too. I ate the most delicious pumpkin risotto (Risotto di Zucca) and have been inspired to try and recreate it for Mr Whizz Kid. I found this recipe in one of Antonio's cookery books and think I shall give it a go tonight ... my own pics to come later if it turns out as well!

A Superb Pumpkin Risotto

Risotto di Zucca

Pumpkin Risotto

Taken From "Antonio Carluccio's Vegetables".

"Pumpkin risotto is one of those comforting dishes which can please anybody, including vegetarians (if the chicken stock is replaced by vegetable stock). This specific recipe comes from the kitchen of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice. The chef, Renato Piccolotto, showed me his little secrets which I will now pass on to you. It is a wonderful dish".

Serves 4

600g (1 lb 5 oz) pumpkin flesh, chopped into very small chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
90g (3 1/4 oz) butter
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 finely chopped, 2 whole
1 garlic clove
1 small onion, finely chopped
300g (10 1/2 oz) carnaroli rice
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) chicken stock, hot
50g (1 3/4 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste

"In a pan, heat the oil and a third of the butter, then add the whole sprigs of rosemary, the garlic clove and pumpkin. The pumpkin will automatically exude some liquid and so no water needs to be added. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin softens and dissolves. Remove the rosemary sprigs and garlic clove.
In another large pan, heat half the remaining butter and fry the onion gently until soft, then add the rice and fry equally gently, stirring continuously, for a few minutes. Add a little of the hot chicken stock and then the pumpkin mixture. Add more stock gradually until it is all used up and has been absorbed by the rice, stirring from time to time to avoid it sticking to the pan. Take off the heat and beat in the remaining butter and the Parmesan, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary".

Yum Yum

Selection Of  Pumpkins On Sale

Giveaway ... Sew Create It

Jane, over at   Sew Create It    has a Giveaway of a lovely needlecraft book. All you crafty ladies should really take a look before Friday 1st.

Needlecraft Book
I am totally useless at needlework - never having done any since my schooldays and desperately need some practice,  so please do not beat me to the book - as ... I want it, I want it, I want it!!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Pincushion Swap Completed

Boxed And Ready To Go

 This one is especially for Florrie!

Finished my 'Pincushion Swap' (kindly organized by Becky)  and this is all now ready for Mr Postie ...

Ready For The Post Man
Underside Quilted And Embellished
The Pincushion Top Embellished And Quilted

Bag Of Scraps
Fat Quarter

Rustic Heart
Rustic Heart
Good Will Card
New Craft Magazine

I do so hope that  Florrie  will like these things. (Next time, however, will definitely NOT be making fiddly satin roses - they took forever!) I am quite worried as Florrie looks very accomplished and I am a mere beginner! Anyway, shall try not to worry too much about that as I am SO looking forward to receiving mine. Please hurry up Mr Postie!

Mr Whizz Kid In The Kitchen

At last I am feeling human again so out of bed for me and down to the kitchen fearing the worst that Mr Whizz Kid could have left and found this ...

No Dirty Pans In The Sink
No Dirty Pans On The Cooker
No Dirty Dishes On Kitchen Table
Sink Area Less Messy Than Usual
No Washing In Utility Sink
Nice Food In The Fridge
Pans And Apron All Clean
Dishes All Tidied Away

In fact, the only real mess in the whole house is mine in the bedroom - and wild horses would not get me to show that to anyone!!! ...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Flu From Hell

This picture fully portrays my week ...

Pants Week!

I have had the 'Flu From Hell' and been very poorly, which was unfortunate as I have been away on holiday in France celebrating my wedding anniversary. I have spent the week in bed and now after a long search for expensive flights, and a couple of connection, have found my way home early ... and back into bed in London.

This is what I should have been doing ...

Sitting On A Beach In Antibes
Visiting Provence
Buying Diamonds For Me!
Visiting Paris
Having Dinner At The Paris Ritz
Ah Well! 
Another time perhaps?

For now I shall just go back to bed and accept these lovely flowers to make me feel better.

Unusual Blooms

I shall then let Mr Whizz Kid take over the kitchen and look after me until I feel well enough ... trying hard not to think of this image ...

A Man Space?
And remembering this ...

Lovely Thought To Remember

Sunday, 19 September 2010

War Horse

Poster Of Amazing Production

In Nick Stafford’s stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s book 'War Horse', young Albert's beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. (This interestingly became the fate of many horses in the UK and all either died in the battles or were left there at the end of the war and often died due to starvation or by being caught up in the miles and miles of barbed wire that surrounded the battlefields and they then died a miserable death). Unable to forget Joey and still too young to enlist, Albert embarks on a dangerous mission to find the horse and bring him home.

On stage, horses, children and other  characters are brought to life by life-sized puppets created by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for South African puppet company  Handspring.  The puppets, and set designs by Rae Smith, earned War Horse Best Design prizes at the Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Laurence Olivier awards.

This production is truly inspiring. If someone told me that puppets and a children's book could be really interesting theatre, then I would have thought that they were completely bonkers ... but ... it is really, really amazing. All adults and children in the audience were truly mesmerized throughout the production. It was so well staged that after a while you completely forgot that you were watching puppets as the animals became truly alive - it is so very clever! Do go if you get the chance and do read the book too as it is so very well written and suitable for all readers of any age.

Book Cover

Poster With Imaginative Puppetry
Sneaky Peak At Stage Production
Another Sneaky Peak At Stage Production

Obviously no photos were allowed!  Do see War Horse at  The New London Theatre.

Bloggers Problems - Please Read

Somethings Are So Difficult!

I have recently tried to contact all my followers and realize that there is a problem, which you all may not be aware of. When going to someones link on the homepage of my blog it is often difficult to contact other members if you are not a member of 'Friends Connect'. Some sites cleverly put their own blog as a link - others as a site that they follow - many do neither and so it is not possible to connect with them unless you have been given a link directly from them previously .... so to the following people (my followers) ... please check this out as it is difficult for me and others to connect with your sites otherwise - and you don't want that do you?

Finding Friends Is Difficult

(Leeann - Benta Hickley - Ria Grande -  Lisa - Sara Perrin - Airy - WvHmmngbrd - Em -  and also you naughty girl Flying Blind!! - all need a direct link on your own site, such as  'Links' )  If no links then I cannot contact you and tell you all what lovely people you are and neither can anyone else who does not have Friends Connect or have found your sites by other means!!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Daily Pincushion

While looking for inspiration for a pincushion I came across the most beautiful Etsy shop ... 'The Daily Pincushion' ... and decided that now that I must get some felt ... I went to local craft shop and the colours did not inspire me ... all red and green and blue ... nothing different or muted ... when I find some more interesting colours I am going to try this ...

The Daily Pincushion On Etsy
It is sooooo cute!

Pincushion Swap

Pincushion Swap
No Peeking Florrie!

Progress ... first trial of the third attempt! ... Still lots to do!

Pincushion Progress
Small Decorated Hearts
Small Decorated Hearts
Quilted Sides And Trimmings
Quilted Underside with Ragged Flower and Ribbon Rose
Quilted Topside With Ragged Flower And Ribbon Rose

I have had difficulty making the little red roses (Martha Stewart pattern) and realize that I should not have tried anything quite so fiddly! I still have so much more to do and will show you the results when it has been completed.

No peeking Florrie!