Shop Search


Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my thoughts and pictures with you. You will find entries on a number of topics, including sewing and cooking and life in general. I have also attempted to create some useful resources in the form of recipes and sewing tutorials.

There will also be occasional guest bloggers.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Whilst you're here, why not visit my shop which offers unique, handmade (by me) ladies bags & accessories and children's clothing ?  Thank you !

108353-3d-glossy-pink-orb-icon-social-media-logos-twitter-bird2pink fb

 RSS Feed

» Listings for October 2012

  1. In this house no-one likes brown bananas, not even with a hint of a speckle. They have to have just turned yellow, with still a hint of green at the top. To be fair, the three year old doesn't like any sort of banana, or in fact any kind of fruit ( apart from in the form of apple juice ) or anything that looks remotely like a vegetable. As a result of such selective banana eating, the fruit bowl quite often contains bananas that have turned a lovely mottled yellow.

    Well I say, "If life gives you brown bananas, make muffins". Even better make muffins that are low fat, low sugar and high fibre and will get grown ups and kids alike to eat some health by stealth.  The three year old had asked for "cake" and on being presented with one of these muffins demolished it within minutes - result ! I left out the raisins/walnuts, as this would have resulted in him insisting that I pick out each and everyone of these ......


    stealth by health muffin 600

    Ingredients (makes approx. 8 muffins)

    • 1 cup plain wholemeal flour
    • 1/2 cup plain white flour
    • 1/2 cup oats
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3 small or 2 large very ripe bananas
    • 200 g low fat yoghurt
    • 1 egg
    • Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
    • Handful of raisins and/or chopped walnuts (optional)




    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, 160 if using a fan assisted oven.
    2. Line a muffin tray eight muffin cases.
    3. Mix together wholemeal and plain flour, oats, sugar, bicarb, baking powder and raisins/walnuts if using. There is no need to sift any of these ingredients. Sifting will not incorporate air, but was used in the 'olden days' to get rid of any unwanted critters that might have taken residence in the ingredients.
    4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas  and mix together  well with the yoghurt, egg, lemon and lemon zest and the vanilla essence.
    5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until the flour is just incorporated and a few flecks of flour are still visible. Overmixing will lead to a muffin with a very solid texture. The mixture should be of a heavy dropping consistency. If not add a splash of milk.
    6. As the wet ingredients will be reacting with the raising agents at this stage, immediately fill each muffin case  about 3/4 full with the mixture.  If you prefer more of a pronounced 'muffin top', fill almost to the top - in this case you will only need six muffin liners. An ice cream scoop can help you to do this with less mess and ensures an even distribution. 
    7. Bake in middle of oven for 20 minutes. Check that muffins have an even golden brown top, and that they are done by inserting a skewer into the middle of a muffin. The skewer should come out dry, apart from perhaps a little bit of banana adhering to it. If not, bake for another 2-5 minutes.
    8. Leave to cool, enjoy.

    These muffins keep well in an airtight container, and also make for a great breakfast which will keep off hunger pangs until lunch. 

  2. I am making a concerted effort to empty the freezer, as I seem to keep adding to it forgetting what's already in there.

    Today, I found a 1kg packet of chicken legs ( M&S no less ! ). I had also recently visited Poundland to pick up some vinyl tiles for the cattery -  but that's another story - and spent £32  which is quite an achievement in a shop that only sells items for £1.  Amongst my purchases had been lots of tins of half fat coconut milk, which were being sold at 2 for £1 so were a true bargain.

    It was raining, it was cold, and the above combo were just inviting me to make chicken curry, and as I was going to be doing lots of other things during the day, including keeping the 3yr old entertained, I decided that it had to be made in the slowcooker. The recipe might look like it has a lot of ingredients to it, but essentially they all just get chucked in so it doesn't involve a lot of work. You can also cheat like me, and buy fresh ginger/garlic/chillies ready chopped and frozen in little portions. Living in an area with a large asian community my local supermarket stocks large quantities of this at cheap prices.


    • 1kg chicken legs
    • 1 large roughly chopped onion
    • 1 tin half fat coconut milk
    • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
    • 2 - 3 large potatoes cut into large bite sized chunks
    • 400g  frozen peas (optional)
    • 1 tbsp mango chutney
    • 3 chillies finely chopped (more or less depending on how hot you like it)
    • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
    • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    • 1 tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1tsp garam masala
    • a good grating of nutmeg
    • 1 chicken stock cube
    • handful of chopped coriander
    chicken curry


    1. Chuck all the ingredients, except the potatoes, peas (if using), mango chutney and coriander, into the slow cooker. Give it all a good stir.

    2. If you have a searing/boiling cook option (my slow cooker does) bring the whole lot to the boil, and then cook on slow for 3 hours or fast for 1 1/2. If not add another 1/2  hour (slow) 1/4 hour (fast) to the cooking time.

    3. At the end of the first cooking period, skin the chicken and return to pot, skim off any excess fat from the sauce,  add potatoes & mango chutney. Cook for another 2 1/2 hours on slow, or 1 1/4 fast until the potatoes are tender ( timings can vary depending on your slowcooker ).

    4. Add peas, cook for another 1/2 hour on slow, 1/4 hour on fast.

    5. Add the end of this cooking period check the thickness of your sauce. If it is too thin, boil until it has reduced to the desired consistency. Some slow cookers have a function to do this, others allow you to use the cooking vessel on the hob to finish the dish. If this is not the case, you may need to transfer your curry to another saucepan and finish it this way.

    6. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with plain boiled rice, chappatis or naan bread.