Friday, 7 October 2011

La donna è mobile

An old recipe from my Mum. It never comes out as nice as hers...
40g butter
40g caster sugar
4 eggs separated
300g flour
1 sachet yeast
100ml milk
jam (preferably apricot)
250g icing sugar

 Beat the butter with the caster sugar.  Add the 4 egg yolks, the yeast dissolved in the milk, flour and a pinch of salt. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and elastic. This is hard work folks!
 Grease a baking tray with cold lard and spread your pastry on it about 1cm thick. Leave it to stand for 30 mins.
 Bake it in a pre-heated (180 C) oven for appr. 20-25 mins, or until the top turns golden. Take out and spread jam over it.
 Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the icing sugar.
 Spread the egg whites mixture on top of the jam and put back in the oven on 160 C for about 10-20 mins until it starts to brown.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Giant seahorse

Someone has asked me if I can make the seahorses bigger. I tried ;) He is appr. 50 cm tall.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Ballinasloe Horse Fair 2011

The fair in Ballinasloe is one of the oldest in Europe and probably the largest now. Originally a cattle fair, for the last 100 years or so horses play a more prominent part. The horse fair is held on the Green while the streets are occupied by market stalls and street entertainment, the pubs are full and there is live music in most of them and there are loads of other activities as well.

For more info on the fair have a look at the web page.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunflower seed bread

I've been baking my own bread for a couple of years. I've tried a good few recipes and this is our usual bread, fairly quick and easy and lasts for long. (Unless we eat it all straight out of the oven with butter and milk!)
3 cups flour
1 sachet dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
20g lard
a handful wheat bran
generous handful of sunflower seeds
1 tbsp semolina
450 ml water
 Mix the yeast and sugar with a little water and leave in a warm place to rise. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
 Stir in the yeasty mixture when frothy and knead until smooth and elastic.
 Leave in the bowl, covered, until doubled in size.
 Punch back the dough and shape your bread. Place on a floured baking tray and leave to rise for about 30-40 mins.
Place in a pre-heated (200 C) oven and bake for 45-55 mins. You can brush the top with eggwhites and sprinkle with extra sunflower seeds before baking.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Ballinasloe Horse Fair starts today. I wanted to make their own horses for the girls and found a pattern on the net. Unfortunately I don't know who is the original designer (maybe wolf and willow?) but owe due credit to them.

 It was one of those double craft dissaster, the legs and the head just didn't came out right. I have to make another one! ;)
But the new owners were still very happy and went to bed with their new friends.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Semolina pasta

A quick yummy dish that we usually have after a filling soup. I had this many times when I was a kid, my Grandma used to make it in a large cast iron pan and nicely sear the bottom. Mmmm, it was so crunchy!
Now, who doesn't know this recipe might be suprised by the unusual match of semolina and pasta. Who was fed this as a child too might be abhorred by my choice of pasta (I had only spaghetti in the cupboard!!).
Anyway, here it goes:
4-5 tbsp semolina
1 tbsp oil or lard
350g pasta, cooked
jam of your choice (plenty!)
 Heat the oil or lard in a larg frying pan. If you have a cast iron pan that's the best! Pour in the semolina and cook stirring until browned.
 Stir in 1-2 tbsp water and cook until the semolina absorbed it. You might want to add more if it's still too dry. Mine always get stuck together, but it will be broken up when you add the pasta.
 Add the pasta and stir well.
 Choose your jam. We had some lovely homemade blackcurrant jam from the local shop in Kilconnel.
 Keep stirring the pasta until it's well covered with the semolina and browned a bit. If you are lucky to have an iron pan try to sear the bottom part, it gets sweeter!
Mix with the jam and enjoy! But make sure you have loads as the kids love it!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A morning quickie...

Finally I made a headband that fits my daughter! I only had the time to make the flower while they were having a bath last night and the headband this morning, nevertheless she was very happy with the result.
 Thanks to Sherry at anniescupboards for the fab fabric flower tutorial!
And off to play school in her new headband! :D

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pork with walnut sauce

This is a delicious recipe, it is the best served with mashed potatoes, but very nice with pasta too.
600g pork loin
500ml milk
a good handful walnut
2 tbsp flour
2 garlic cloves
1 bayleaf
1 tsp herbes de Provance or thyme
20g butter
olive oil
salt and pepper
 Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat all over.
 Place the meat in a cooking bag (the one you can put into the oven) with pepper, bayleaf, milk, garlic. Tie close and cut one corner of the bag. Place in a pre-heated (190 C) oven and bake for about 30 mins or until the meat is cooked.
 Heat the butter in pan and when hot add the flour and stir. Add the milk from the bag and simmer slowly, constantly stirring until it thickens.

 Take off the heat, stir in the walnuts and blizz with a blender until smooth.
Serve with some salad.
If you have leftover sauce it's delicious with pasta the next day!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Today the weather was lovely. Warm (ahem, compared to the previous days...) and dry. I kinda missed the rain so made some for ourselves :D
 It supposed to hung in front of the window but by the time I finished it it was too dark, so I took the photo in front of a cabinet door.
 I used leftover fabric scraps and wadding, and some beads and embroidery thread.
 The idea is from a craft magazine I got from my Mum.
And speaking about a dry day, finally I managed to wash Boy Bunny! He had too much hot chocolate...