Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Mini woolly hat with pom-pom

Not really the season anymore I know, but I'm gradually learning more knitting skills... This helped me practice the purl stitch, and learn decreases (knit 2 together and purl 2 together... which do what they say on the tin).

The pom-pom - which turned out super duper fluffy if I may say so myself - I knew how to make from kids camps years ago. Basically you only need a bit of cardboard, yarn and a needle (no need for a pom-pom maker!).
You can find a tutorial here (I didn't bother measuring the circles, I just eyeballed it).

So why a mini hat? Well there's this campaign every year where they put mini woolly hats on smoothie bottles and give a fraction of the profits to charity (original UK version here).
Here are two from smoothies I bought in January:

I really like the red one. The cream one kinda looks more like a condom, but hey it's possible that it was the idea...

Anyway, I thought it was kinda cool, and since they've published knitting patterns for people to make them, I thought I'd try my hand at the beginners' one:)

If someone else fancies giving it a try, it's the first one on this page (that one's in French, though you can find a pretty similar one on the UK website).

I'm really hoping they run the same campaign again this autumn, so I can send it in... And it'd be really cool to spot it on a smoothie on the shelves;)

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Roasted Sea Bass with Minneola

You probably read this as "Roasted Sea Bass with... What?". You're not alone. I also hadn't heard of minneola before making this.

Basically a minneola is one of these new citrus fruits made by crossing other citrus. This one is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. And it is closest to the tangerine (it looks like a small orange but is sweeter and juicier).

So the "inspiration recipe" is something I found on my laptop (I bought a new laptop with Windows 8, that has "tiles" with different kind of things, one of them being food and drink, with recipes. I was quite chuffed to find that my new laptop came with a collection of recipes!!). 

It was sea bass with herb butter sauce and lemon, and looked scrumptious. So we decided to make a version of that. Kristof thought it was with orange, so he brought a minneola back from the shop (and I'm glad he did, that definitely made it more interesting:) ).


2 filets of sea bass
1 minneola 
fresh pasta (we used 500g but that was a bit too much, so I'd say 300g)
200-300g fresh spinach 
olive oil 


1. Slice the minneola as finely as possible, make indentations in the fish and place the slices in the indentations. Place a few more slices under the fish, and nibble on the remaining slices, they're really yummy;)
Add some olive oil, oregano and ras-el-hanout on the fish and minneola slices.

2. Roast the fish and minneola at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

3. Cook the fresh pasta, stir-fry the spinach, put everything nicely on plates, and enjoy:)

P.S. Putting everything nicely on plates is Kristof's job here, since he's better at it than I am ;)

Friday, 20 March 2015

Squid Ink Pasta with Seafood in White Wine Sauce

So I wanted to:
- make ink squid pasta with actual squid,
- add some big prawns (gambas),
- try to make a white wine sauce.

Here's the result:

You can't see much of the white wine sauce (I only added it to the pasta then piled the rest on top, since the pot and pans I used were not big enough to stir everything through), but it worked very well!

I used this this recipe for it, and I flavoured it with shallots, sundried tomatoes, oregano and lemon olive oil (also a few drops of Asian fish sauce and mango vinegar).

I also added some leek, green peas and yellow bell pepper. It was really nice:)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Lemon Cheesecake

About a year and a half ago, I promised Kristof I'd teach him to make cheesecake, and I only got around to it this week-end (I know, shame on me!!!).

We used the lemon cheesecake recipe I always use, and which always produces a seriously yummy result (this is THE lemon cheesecake, at least according to my standards!).
The recipe is online here, but for some reason their site was down while I was shopping for ingredients (a bit of a "gaaahhh!!!" moment) so I'm posting it here too (I figure there are less chances of both sites being down).
For the biscuit base

        10 digestive biscuits or 20 dinosaur biscuits (which makes it even better, just use the ones without chocolate)
        75g melted butter
        1 tbsp clear honey

For the filling

        750g mascarpone cheese
        juice and zest of 2 lemons
        200g white powder sugar 


  1. Brush the bottom of your springform cake tin with some of the melted butter (this is totally optional since this is a no-bake cheesecake). 
  2. Crush the biscuits and tip them into a bowl, add the melted butter and honey and stir until well combined. The butter and honey are what will hold the biscuits crumbs together.

    Unfortunately I can't promise that no dinosaur biscuits were harmed while making this cheesecake!

  3. Tip the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. Level it and tap the whole surface repeatedly to make it as compact as you can. Chill in the fridge while making the filling.

  4. For the filling, mix the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and zest and sugar together in a bowl.

    Do not over-mix or the mascarpone will become runny (if that happens your only hope is adding gelatine like I had to do for my caramel version, which doesn't impair the taste, but of course the texture is completely different!).
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin on top of the chilled biscuit mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

  6. When ready to serve, unclasp the springform ring and ease the cheesecake out.

    And enjoy:)

Sunday, 15 March 2015

I can haz purl stitch!

I've started teaching myself to knit a good two years ago, in which time I've made... hmm... three scarves.
Even less impressive is that I never managed to get my head around the purl stitch... Until recently that is...

I Hereby Proudly Present My First Successful Attempt at Purl Stitch:

The idea behind this was to make a scarf that wouldn't "grow" too much, as my first scarf (that I still wear all the time) is now a good bit longer than it was originally (I could wrap it twice around my neck, now after 3 times it's still a bit loose). My mum said it's normal with garter stitch...

It's long enough to almost touch the floor when hung from a bar stool!

The thing is, stockinette stitch has another problem: it curls up on itself!

So I still ended up frogging (= unraveling) it and starting again in garter stitch. Ah well...
At some point I'll master more stitches;)

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hello Again!!

So, yes, I'm back. I was in winter sleep, kind of...
Winter sleep + work stress + getting sick quite a bit + back problems + apartment trouble (the boiler -yes the thing that controls both heating and hot water- decided to malfunction on us at the end of January. 3 pretty glacial days ensued).

Things are starting to get better now, and we are actually having a few rays of sunshine again and days are becoming less ridiculously short, so I might start to emerge from winter sleep:-)

I might even post a few recipes or sewing projects;-)

Roast Beef Sandwich with Green Tea Extract!?

I just had a roast beef sandwich from the store, and had a look at the ingredients...

This says: "bĂ©arnaise dressing (rapeseed oil, vinegar, mustard (water, mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, turmeric), sugar, water, tarragon, egg yolk, natural extracts, herbs, food colouring E160a, salt, onion powder, green tea extract, antioxidant E392, preservative E202, thickener E415, acidifying agent E330)".

So, erm... Why do they need green tea extract in béarnaise sauce? I mean, it's probably better for you than all the Es, but so is chocolate, and I hope that wasn't on the shortlist of ingredients!
Maybe the recipe was optimised by a computer...