Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Friday, 29 September 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 4 - Caramel Week

I'm actually pretty proud of us that we've managed to keep up with our weekly baking sessions. So far we've had great fun and this week was no exception!

Caramel week. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the idea of making sugar caramel, especially with the children, as it needs to be heated to such a high temperature and sugar burns are no laughing matter.

Luckily I managed to track down a recipe that used condensed milk and golden syrup instead to make a caramel. Although I'm sure this isn't a 'true' caramel (it was a very similar method to making fudge which I did last Christmas), it was a better option for me when taking into account I'd be baking with a 2 and 4 year old.

We used a recipe from the BBC website, which you can find in the link here, and I'll post it below too. It was a really simple recipe, quick and easy to follow. Lots of bits for the kids to get stuck into and most importantly, it made up a delicious treat too!

Therewere a few issues along the way, but none big enough to impact the final outcome. Our shortbread took longer to cook, but I suspect that may be my oven. Also, the caramel did go rather grainy, however once it was placed on top of the shortbread and then covered in chocolate, you couldn't really notice.

Next week is Pudding week and we're super excited for that bake!





Here's the recipe:

Millionaire's Shortbread

Prep time: Less than 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins to 1 hour
Makes 20 pieces

Ingredients:

For the shortbread:
225g plain flour
175g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar

For the topping:
150g butter
1 x can condensed milk
100g golden syrup
350g chocolate

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin with baking parchment. 

2. Combine the flour and butter cubes in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, you can rub the butter in by hand.) 

3. Add in the caster sugar and pulse again until combined.

4. Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Then press the shortbread down firmly with your knuckles so that it is tightly packed in the tin. 

5. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes or until very light golden brown. Set aside to cool. 

6. Meanwhile, for the topping, heat the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

7. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. The caramel will thicken and turn golden-brown. Set aside to cool slightly, then pour over the cooled shortbread. Allow to cool completely. 

8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), stirring occasionally. 

9. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and set aside until the chocolate has cooled completely. 

10. Cut into squares and serve.


I'll leave you with a few snaps of Logan and Rori, mid-bake!







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Monday, 25 September 2017

Woman Rising Mustard Jacket

I have a huge love affair with the colour mustard right now. I love it so much! Now that it's autumn I feel like I can finally embrace my love of mustard fully as it's such an autumnal colour.

I wanted to play around and try something new with my leather paints and I've had this mustard jacket sat around for a few weeks, dying to be adorned with all sorts of beautiful things.

I wanted to make something beautiful, but powerful and I wanted to push my comfort zone, too. I have an old gardening book that is full of the most amazing botanical and floral sketches and looking through there one evening, I decided to try and emulate the old sketchy vibe of the beautiful photographs in the gardening book, on the jacket.

I really love how the jacket turned out. I love the simplicity and also the message that it puts across. I am a Woman Rising. I'm embracing my inner strength and creativity and I'm growing from that.

Here's some pictures of the jacket. It's also now available to order in my shop (which you can see here). You can choose to have the florals and writing or only the writing if flowers aren't your jam.

Don't forget I also LOVE custom work, so if you have an idea in mind, get in touch and we can make some magic happen.


Woman Rising Hand Painted Mustard Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew





Woman Rising Hand Painted Mustard Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew


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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Always and Forever White Glitter Jacket

I've been searching and searching for a good quality faux leather white jacket that I can paint for a bridal jacket idea and I FINALLY came across some.

The thing with faux leather is it can be really, really rubbish OR really, really amazing. I'm very picky about the types of jackets that I work with and I've got no time for that cheap, plasticky faux leather that looks a bit like a bin bag.

All of the jackets that I source to paint are faux leather because, being a vegetarian, animal-friendly products are important to me.

Also, genuine leather is SO expensive. When I set about creating my jackets, I wanted an excellent quality faux leather that could be the real deal, and also it had to be at a low enough price-point to make it more accessible to people. I want people to be able to afford my items and so making an affordable product was at the fore-front of my mind.

I also wanted to play around with a new leather-painting product that I have now - leather glitter paint! Glitter makes everything better, am I right?!

My Always and Forever design features navy font with pale blue drop shadowing (something blue). A gold glitter lightening bolt and gold/pink ombre filled letters on the 'Always'. I wanted to throw a little nod at my Harry Potter loving side, and hence the 'Always' and the lightening bolt. I love that this design is multi-faceted and has some hidden meaning behind it, if you want it to. If I could re-do my wedding, THIS  is the jacket that I would be wearing!


Always and Forever Hand Painted Bridal Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew

Always and Forever Hand Painted Bridal Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew



I currently have two jackets in this design ready to ship in my shop, a size Small (8-10) and a size Medium (10-12). I will also be listing the jackets in all sizes (XS-XL) and making them available to order.

Here's the link if you'd like to take a look!

Always and Forever Hand Painted Bridal Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew

Always and Forever Hand Painted Bridal Jacket by Lucky Sew and Sew



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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 3 - Bread Week

Bread making is something I've tried my hands at many times, I've even taken a bread making course at a cookery school and I still find it pretty hit and miss. Yeast is one unpredictable beast, that's for sure.

As we all know, kid's aren't the most patient beings, mine included. And so the thought of making a yeast risen bread that needs time to knead and prove with the wildlings filled me with dread.  I just knew it wasn't going to be the best idea and that they wouldn't stay interested.

I searched for an alternative recipe and came across this one - Courgette and Cheddar soda bread. Not only is there no yeast (bicarbonate soda is used in it's place), but it also has hidden vegetables. Win win.



There were many aspects of this recipe that kid's enjoyed getting stuck into. They love measuring ingredients on the scales and, they helped with grating the courgettes and cheese. They particularly liked helping to squeeze the juice from the grated courgette and seeing all of the green water seep out.

Rori helped me to knead the dough as Logan isn't a huge fan of getting sticky hands, and she also helped me to 'paint' the loaf with the egg wash and they both helped to sprinkle the cheese on top.




I found in my oven that the loaf took longer to cook than stated in the recipe, but the oven we have here is a little unpredictable so I wasn't surprised. I also found it a little doughy, however again this could be down to my oven or also the amount of courgette added. The recipe calls for two medium sized courgettes, but doesn't indicate a weight. Everyone's interpretation of a medium courgette could be different and I think mine were more on the large size.

Nevertheless, this was a tasty loaf, an easy recipe to follow and a good introduction to bread making for the kiddies. We tried it fresh from the oven, still warm with butter and also the next morning had slices toasted with poached eggs on top which was delicious!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it:

Courgette and Cheddar Soda Bread

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Cuts into 12 slices
Easy

Ingredients:

400g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting 
2 medium courgettes 
50g rolled oat 
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
75g mature cheddar, grated 
small bunch thyme, leaves only
 284ml pot buttermilk 
1 tbsp clear honey 
1 egg, beaten 

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Place a box grater on top of a clean tea towel and coarsely grate the courgettes. Lift the corners of the tea towel and, holding it over the sink, twist to compact the courgettes and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

2. Put the flour, oats, bicarb and 1 tsp fine salt in a large bowl. Add most of the cheddar (save a little for the top), the thyme and the courgette. Mix the buttermilk and honey, then pour into the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to clump together, then tip onto a work surface and knead briefly to bring all the loose bits together – try not to overwork the dough or the bread will be heavy.

3. Shape into a round loaf and place on the baking sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Use a sharp knife to score a deep cross on top of the loaf, then bake for 40 mins until deep golden brown. Best served warm, but leftovers will keep for 1- 2 days.






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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Great Foster Bake Off - Week 2 - Biscuit Week

Who doesn't love a good biscuit, am I right?

The only type of biscuit I've made previously is a cookie, and I'm not sure if that's in it's own category or if it falls under 'biscuit' or not. Cookies are easy peasy and myself and the kids have made various cookies together already and so we wanted to try out something new and flex our biscuit making (and eating) skills this week.

We decided to try Viennese Whirls. One of the bakers actually made Viennese Whirls on the show, and they looked delicious. I had a quick google and once I saw how few ingredients were needed, I was sold.







I took the recipe we used from BBC Good Food which is the bible of cooking recipes in my eyes. The only change I made was using homemade Apricot Jam as the filling rather than the suggested strawberry or raspberry.



They turned our absolutely delicious and the kids scoffed them up in 10 minutes flat (with some help from Nanny and Grandad, of course).






I urge you to try this recipe with your little ones. There's so much for them to get involved with such as the mixing, piping and filling. It's a lovely involved recipe which is fantastic for little helpers!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a go!

Viennese Whirls

Prep: 45 Mins
Cook: 12 mins
Makes 10
Easy

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:
200g slightly salted butter, softened
50g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
2 tsp cornflour
½ tsp baking powder

For the filling
100g butter, softened
170g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g raspberry jam or strawberry jam

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk for about 5 mins until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat again until fully incorporated.

2. Sift in the flour, cornflour and baking powder, and fold into the mixture using a spatula until combined (the dough should have a tacky consistency). Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped nozzle. If all the mixture doesn’t fit, do it in 2 batches.

3. Pipe swirly circles 5cm diameter onto 2 baking sheets making sure there are 3cm spaces between each swirl.

4. Bake for 10-12 mins, swapping the trays over halfway through the cooking time so the biscuits are evenly baked, until pale golden and cooked through. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few mins, then transfer to wire racks.

5. While the biscuits cool, make the filling. Put the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar. Stir together initially with a wooden spoon then switch to electric beaters or a whisk to get the buttercream fluffy and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat once more to combine. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and snip off the end.

6. Turn the biscuits over so their flat side is facing up then pipe buttercream over half of the biscuits and spread a little jam on the rest. Sandwich a jam covered biscuit together with a buttercream one and repeat until all the biscuits are used up.

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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Pattern Testing - Sew Me Wear Me Pyjamas

I was accepted recently to be a pattern tester for a new PDF sewing pattern company - Sew Me Wear Me. I was asked to test their pyjama pattern, which was great as I was needing to make a new pair of jammies for Logan who seems to have shot up like a beanstalk recently. The pattern is a classic pair of pyjamas, which has elasticated-waist bottoms and a top with options for long and short sleeves and also a few optional applique designs too.

The pattern is downloaded and printed like any other PDF pattern and was quick and simple to do. I cut a size 4 (As Logan is 4 years old) and went about gathering my supplies.

The pattern has woven bottoms and a jersey top and I happened to have the perfect fabrics in my stash. I bought the bushed cotton which I chose for the bottoms from The Material Girl Horbury on facebook. I *think* it's Michael Miller and I got it from one of the sale albums for £5 a metre! The mustard jersey is from Fabworks and is my favourite colour of all time. I don't think they have any in stock anymore but that was only £3 a metre.

The instructions were simple and easy to follow, and the construction techniques straight forward. I managed to sew these up in about an hour and that included the dinosaur applique on the tshirt (my first ever attempt at applique!).

Logan really loves his new pyjamas and they fit really well. I could have perhaps chosen a size 5 for the trousers as Lo does have long legs, but that would be a choice on my part and not an issue with the pattern drafting at all.

As soon as I finished sewing them up Logan wanted to try them on and dance around whilst I took some photos. He really loves them, and so do I. I love the mix of woven bottoms and the knit top. I can see myself making Logan and Rori some more pairs up to see them through the winter. I think I'll also use the top pattern to sew them up some simple tshirts and long-sleeve tops too to layer up in the colder months.

So to conclude, a really simple and easy pattern to sew, with a lot of scope to personalise how you wish - a great basic pattern that anyone who sews for children should have in their pattern library!








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Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Great Foster Bake Off! Week 1 - Cakes

I don't know about you, but I'm so pumped that a new season of the Great British Bake Off has started! Last year Logan loved to watch the episodes with me and he really loves to bake. We usually bake or cook something together once a week and I have a big notebook that I write every recipe we make together inside (with notes on whether he like it or not and what he would change) so that when he's all grown up he can keep his recipe book and look back over all his favourite recipes! I think it's really important to learn to cook from a young age. It's the norm in society these days to be really disconnected from our food, and I don't want Lo and Rori to grow up like that. We're open and honest about where our food comes from which I think aided Logan's concious decision to become a vegetarian about a year ago at the ripe old age of three. What a wise kid. We rarely eat processed food and getting Lo and Rori involved in the kitchen has really helped them form a healthy relationship with food.

Anyway, I digress...As Logan would be starting school this month if we hadn't decided to take the home-ed route, I thought we should really kick-off our home-ed journey with a project we could all sink our teeth into.

Each week we will be following the theme of the episodes of The Great British Bake Off and trying our hand at some new recipes! As we don't get live UK TV here in Spain, we'll be catching up the day after the episodes are aired and then having our bake-off at the weekend. I'll be documenting each week (triumphs and failures) and I'm excited to get stuck in!

Week 1 - Cake Week

Great Foster Bake Off Week 1 - Raspberry Bakewell Cake


Who doesn't love a cake?! We decided to go for a fruity cake recipe that would make the most of what's in season at the moment and so we went for a Raspberry Bakewell Cake (recipe from BBC Good Food). With only a small amount of ingredients and 5 star ratings already, I thought this recipe would be a full-proof option to ease us into our project.

Logan and Rori both love to help measure the ingredients and mix them together. Cracking eggs is the most exciting task of baking, in their opinion. Well, that and licking the bowl!




The cake mix came together really quickly (easiest cake I've ever made!) and tidy-up time was quick thanks to it all being mixed in one bowl which is a bonus! 

We all tasted a slice after dinner and were all really impressed. As we usually opt for a cake that's either chocolatey or covered in icing, this cake made a welcome change. Lovely and light and fresh. The perfect end-of-the-summer celebration!

We're excited to get stuck into Week 2 - Biscuit week!

Great Foster Bake Off Week 1 - Raspberry Bakewell Cake



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