Colston Hall …

Colston Hall had a huge revamp a few years ago, a complete facelift. It is now a golden building in the centre of Bristol. Not only have we seen some really well known acts there, such as the Kaiser Chiefs, Jools Holland and the Wonder Stuff, we’ve also seen our boys perform here alongside hundreds of other children from Bristol schools.

Whilst the Colston Hall is golden, it does take on different tones and shades depending on how the sunlight reaches it. This is my interpretation:

Fishfest and Baking – a Recipe for a Fun Weekend …

I applaud all those who came to the Fishfest Festive Fair yesterday – the weather was foul. I’m not sure I would have braved the rain had I not been a stallholder. As it was, loads of people came and whilst most wanted to spend as little as possible, they did at least come and even in these financially difficult times, they did seem to buy from most of the stalls. I was happy with my sales and may also have an order, it was certainly worth running from the car to the hall and back again in the pouring rain, several times.

We’ve had quite a quiet and chilled out day today. We spent some time wandering around Bristol, doing a little Christmas shopping here and there. I didn’t get the urge to bake until nearly 5pm – not a good time to bake something that we would then have for dessert!! Due to lack of time and of eggs (must go food shopping tomorrow) I decided to make Viennese Fingers and Anzac Biscuits. Not a traditional combination but one which worked surprisingly well:

As you can see, the chocolate hadn’t set but we ate them nonetheless!

Deconstructed Sausage Rolls …

I felt like doing something different with sausages this evening. Sausage rolls are always a hit with the boys but I wanted something a little more substantial for our evening meal hence ‘deconstructed sausage rolls’. Puff pastry was rolled out and simply cut into 4 squares. In a pan I cooked onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms, a couple of rashers of bacon and the sausage meat from 12 chipolatas. Everything was cooked gently for about 25 minutes, I then blitzed the mixture (so as to avoid detection of anything remotely vegetable-like!) and spooned it onto the pastry squares. The pastry edges were brushed with a little beaten egg and each square was topped with some diced fresh apple, spring onions and a sprig of rosemary, they were then cooked in the oven at about 200ºC for about 25 minutes. They were served with some chilli dipping sauce and were indeed absolutely yummy!

Fishfest’s Festive Fair …

I’ll behaving a stall at my 3rd arts & crafts fair, on saturday 24th November. Click here for further details. As it’s a late afternoon/early evening event, it will hopefully be both well attended and quite mellow – there will be mulled wine available! It’s hoped that the great range of stalls will enable people to do much, if not all of their Christmas shopping.

I’ll be selling prints of my paintings:

Various original paintings and cards:

Some Christmas cards:

Butterflies in box frames:

and lots more!

Hollywood Star …

As in Paul Hollywood, author of the wondrous ‘How to Bake’ book. Every recipe that I’ve tried from here has worked superbly. The instructions are clear and the end results have thus far been delicious.

First off yesterday were Cheese Biscuits. I’ve made cheese straws and even cheesy feet (cheese straw dough rolled out and cut with a foot shaped cutter) but these little biscuits were in a different league. They were light, crispy and full of flavour:

For our dessert yesterday, I made a chocolate and vanilla loaf cake. This is a cake for lovers of savoury food as it was not at all sweet. It did however have lots of flavour and served with some mint choc chip ice cream, was perfect:

Today, we had pancakes. Not our usual recipe though, we tried PH’s recipe – he made his with blueberries but as we didn’t have any, we had some sliced banana instead. We’ve decided that, delicious as these were, next time we will caramelise some apples and layer them between each pancake, we will also add some crème fraîche on the side:

 

 

It’s Snood Time …

I knew the temperature was due to drop towards the end of this week but I had no idea that the snood that I started knitting on monday would be ready in time.

I love knitting with BIG needles, the knitting quickly grows and the end result is usually so soft and warm. My snood took just 3 days to complete with 32 stitches per row and each set of rows being either garter stitch or stocking stitch. There was a fairly random pattern of 10 rows garter stitch, 10 of stocking followed by 8 of each then 6 of each etc. I say the pattern was random because I did go wrong a couple of times!

Anyway, here it is – and it is incredibly warm:

 

Four 100g balls of Rowan ‘big wool’ (100% Merino Wool) were used.