Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chutney Tuesday : Spicy Plum Chutney

This recipe is based heavily on a BBC good food recipe that I used last year, and loved, but felt that it had more liquid than necessary, so I've just tweaked a few things about it.

2 tbs veg oil
1kg Plums, finely chopped (inc skins)
4 red onions, finely diced
100g dried cranberries
10 g finely chopped ginger
2 gloves garlic finely chopped
1 small red chilli finely chopped
350 ml redwine vinegar
350g oft light brown sugar
1 tbls mixed spice

Fry onions for 1 minute, add chilli, garlic and ginger and fry until soft.
Add spices plums and cranberries and cook for another minute.
Add sugar and vinegar.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes (this ensures that even hard plums will soften thoroughly.
The simmer uncovered until chutney has a jam-like consistency (30 -40 minutes)
Spoon into sterilised jars whilst still hot, and seal.
makes spprox 7 200ml jars.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Less is more - string or twine

I love this challenge theme at the Less is More Challenge, I have a bit of a thing for string it's so cheap yet adds a lovely rustic feel to projects.
At first, I was just going to use it to hang a bauble on a card, so went straight to this Jofy set of stamps. Then I spotted the "trunk" of this christmas tree and thought it would be perfect to be made of string.

I stamped it once onto the base card and glued the string directly over the trunk. I stamped it again onto card and coloured with a combination of pencils and marker pens. The attached with 3D foam.

I finished with some more string to further highlight the theme.

I have been working with string in another way this week. A friend asked me if there was anything I could design that you could pop over a salsa jar so you could put them straight on a table without looking cheap. I thought that a string based cover added a nice rustic feel to a table and made these covers by crocheting string. Very easy to do, double crochet (US single crochet) into the back loop only of previous row, until it fits round the jar stretched. Make it as wide as you want to cover the label on your particular jar. Mine is 9 stitches wide.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My PaperArsty Guest designer week and the less is more challenge

Have you checked out my week as guest designer on the PaperArsty blog this week. I've ben using dies in a variety of ways.There's a challenge you can take party in to win stamps, by making something inspired by my pieces. the challenge is here, and you can see below a sneak peak of my samples. Check out the full projects
here, here and here

You have until noon tomorrow to enter, and as most of my projects are very quick amd simple, you have plenty of time!

I decided to use one of the techniques from my GD week to make this card for the Less is More Challenge this week. The theme is Trees. Now I don't have any tree dies so I decided to handcut the aperture of this card (just draw it on the back, no one will even see the pencil lines). This card only took about 10 minutes, so there really is still plenty of time to enter the PaperArsty Challenge.

The paints I used are Tinned Peas, Hey Pesto and Guacamole, from PaperArsty's range of fresco paints. And the words are from a JoFy christmas plate, the splatter is of course the well used Mini 72

I'd love you to come and take part in my challenge at PaperArtsy, It's such a thrill looking at all the artwork.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chutney Tuesday: Joanne's Christmas Chutney

This was a highly experimental Chutney recipe, but I think it worked out okay.

I wanted to make a chutney that combined all the flavours and smells that make me think of christmas.


vegetable oil
3 Parsnips
2 cooking apples
3 medium onions
15g ginger
6 dried figs
100g dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 grated nutmeg
350ml red wine vinegar
100mls dry sherry
250g soft dark brown sugar
zest of half orange

Peel, chop and roast parsnips (coat with oil) at 220 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes until soft but not too browned

meanwhile prepare other ingredients. Peel and chop apple into small chunks. dice onions. finely chop ginger. Chop figs quite small.

add ginger to oil and cook for a minute add onions and cook until soft. add spices and cook for another couple of minutes.

add apples, figs, cranberries, chopped up roast parsnip (will be quite mashy), orange zest, vinegar, sherry and sugar.

bring to boil and cook until jammy. Store in sterilised jars.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

less is more: one layer challenge witches and wizards.

 I took a slightly oblique look at this week's challenge on Less is More and instead of using a picture of a witch or wizard, I used the famous quote from one of the Witches in Macbeth.

I was inspired to do the moon and brayering by Martyn Parker and Barbara Gray, from their classroom session today!

The stamps are from PaperArsty Halloween 04. I used Faded jeans distress inks, and a lot of post-it notes.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Chutney Tuesday: Caramelised onion and Balsamic Tomato Chutney

Another of my own recipes. This is a very rich Chutney, if it's too rich you could increase the ratio of red wine vinegar to balsamic vinegar.

The onions take ages to cook so use your time efficiently by preparing the tomatoes while the onions cook.

I include all of the seeds and juice of the tomatoes (and the seeds of the chilli), but this is personal taste and could be omitted.

2 tbls Oil
1 large white onion and 4 red onions (900g in total) sliced
approx 1.5g tomatoes (roughly 15 tomatoes) skinned, chopped into small chunks.
1 chilli pepper finely sliced
100g sundried tomatoes chopped very small
200 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml re wine vinegar
250 g soft dark brown sugar

Cook onions in a large frying pan, in oil, very slowly over a lowish heat until caramelised (dark and sticky but not burned) this could take up to an hour. when almost done add a tbls of the sugar and cook a bit longer to caramelise further.
meanwhile prepare the tomatoes (use a blanching method to skin)

fry chilli in small amount of oil in large cooking pot, and all of the ingredients, bring to the boil and boil until reduced and jam like, (about 30 minutes)

transfer to sterilised jars and store.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

less is more: White on White Christmas

The theme at less is more is White on White but with the added stipulation that it must be a christmas card.
Of course this colour theme is just perfect for christmas.

I decided to go with a vellum-effect card (I don't really use Vellum- I use tracing paper, it works just as well.)
I also decided to use the fact that torn white card looks like snow.

The Stamp is by Crafty Individuals, and I have used moonlight white brilliance ink, which works perfectly on tracing paper.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Chutney Tuesday : curried peach and fig chutney

I couldn't resist the good value of the fruit available recently and was inspired to try making a peach based chutney.

2 tbls vegetable oil
12 peaches, peeled, stoned and chopped
6 small onions (500-550g) diced
4 figs, choped, stems removed
250ml white wine vinegar
250g light soft brown sugar
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried crushed chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed in mortar and pestle)
1 tsp coriander seeds (crushed in mortar and pestle)

fry onion and spices in oil until softened, add all remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and cover, cook (stirring frequently) for about 20 mins or until peaches very soft.
continue to simmer uncovered for approx another 25 mins until has the appearance of jam and a wooden spoon can be dragged throough leaving a channel.
spoon into hot sterilised jars, and apply lids firmly.

makes approx 7 250ml jars