Thursday, 27 January 2011

Homemade Lasagne Recipe


Homemade Lasagne

Ingredients:

1 lb lean steak mince - dry fry and then cook in water for 2-3 hours until very tender then drain off all the fat and water
1 onion - finely chopped
6 oz mushrooms - finely chopped
1 red pepper - chopped small
1 tin condensed mushroom soup
1 tin condensed tomato soup
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsps mixed herbs - dried or fresh
2 tbsps tomato puree

12 sheets pre-cooked lasagne (I usually use a mixture of egg and spinach for colour)

Bechamel Sauce

3 ozs Butter
6 ozs plain flour
2 pints milk (approximately)
Salt and Pepper
3 ozs grated cheese - optional

Method:

Saute the onions and peppers until transparent and then add the mushrooms - cook for a couple more minutes.  Add the herbs, salt and pepper if you want it and tomato puree.  Stir well and then add the chopped tomatoes.  Once cooked through - add the condensed mushroom soup and tomato soup and stir well again.

For the sauce:

Melt the butter - don't let it colour or it will colour the sauce - add the flour and stir well with either a wooden spoon or whisk.  Add salt and pepper and let the flour cook for a few minutes - you will see it change colour as it cooks - if the flour doesn't cook for long enough you will be able to taste it in the white sauce once finished.  Keep it at a low heat so that the pan doesn't brown.  Add the milk a little at a time, stir well - keeping on low heat and as the mixture thickens - add more milk and repeat the process until the sauce is the consistency of double cream.  Add the cheese if you want it at this point - I use a good cheddar - but you could use a creamy lancashire cheese which wouldn't colour the sauce.

To make up:

In a large rectangular ovenproof high sided dish place a couple of spoonfuls of the meat mix covering the bottom of the dish, then place three sheets of lasagne side by side - pour over the white sauce to cover the pasta sheets then repeat the whole process until you have used all the meat mixture, pasta sheets and white sauce.

Cook in the middle of the oven on Gas Mark 4 for about 40-50 minutes until golden brown on the top.

Cut the lasagne into 8 portions, serve with a side salad or garlic bread or potato wedges/chunky chips or jacket potatoes.  What you don't use will freeze brilliantly in single portion foil dishes.  This is a good recipe for students as it goes a long way.



Friday, 21 January 2011

Tilda Heart Swap

                                     I have                                    shopped
                                   and been                                everywhere
                                 I needed to                             get all the nice
                               things for my                         Tilda Heart Swap
                             and  now  I  have                    to get  the  chocolate
                           which I deliberately left        until last because there is a
                             chance  that  I will eat  what I bought and put a pound
                                or two back on the waistline!  I haven't decided on
                                 where to get it from yet but I will get it over the
                                   weekend then all I need to do is wrap it all up
                                     beautifully and post it.  I have loved being
                                       part of this swap as I got the pleasure
                                         of going to my favourite places for
                                           lovely crafty items and get out of
                                             the house for a while.  I hope
                                               to get the opportunity of
                                                 joining more of these
                                                   great swaps and
                                                     that my swap
                                                       buddy likes
                                                         what she
                                                            gets
                                                              :)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I can be unitidy!!! ;)

Just to prove that I am like everybody else and do clutter - this was my craft room last night - all I did was get stuff ready for a quilting class and this was the end result!!!



Sunday, 16 January 2011

My New Block of the Month

I have been toying around with the idea of starting a block of the month quilt and making it for a family member - not going to say which one at the moment.  I decided on Cinderberry Stitches Truly Scrumptious.  It is absolutely gorgeous - I got it from the Fat Quarters in Newcastle - excellent customer service as usual ladies - they ran around after us and demo'd machines and plied us with drink (tea and coffee) and we finally left them at about 4.00 p.m.  I came home with the first part and here is the pattern.  I have done embroidery before so I am hoping it will look good - probably with a bit of practice first.  I haven't decided on the fabric yet for it but I have some ideas.


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Yankee Candle


I absolutely adore Yankee Candles and I have a good collection of their tart holders and ornaments as well as being lucky enough to have an electric tart warmer - which once turned off - my eldest son loves to put smiley faces in before it sets!!!  For Christmas I got a wonderful set of three Christmas scented jars - I absolutely love Christmas Cookie - it is one of my favourites.  They have also just brought out some new fragrances including:

Garden Hideaway : A peaceful escape filled with the sweet scent of beautiful garden flowers

Country Lemonade : The perfect summer refresher with its bright lemony aroma and just the right tough of sweetness
Pink Lady Slipper : A wonderfully soft and sweet spring boquet, reminiscent of lovely rose petals, jasmine and violets.



Soft Blanket : Wrapped in sweet dreams…. A lullaby of clea citrus, luxurious vanilla and warm amber

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Five layouts done in one day!! Hope you like them ;)

Borge and his stick that he needed for Archery Christmas 2008


My Christmas Pudding recipe - written down into history!!!

Rachael and Guitar Hero World Tour Christmas 2009

My boys Christmas 2009 and James with his Dr. Who stash ;)

The perfect tree - my perfect tree has ornaments that range from the first Christmas I can remember at home with Mum, Dad & Carl to handmade ornaments that the children made at school, a nutcracker soldier from Nottingham in memory of my Grandad Taylor and his Dad to more recent ones bought on a trip to York and Harrogate in 2009 with Borge for our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

All of the above layouts were made from the Scrapagogo 2009 Christmas Kit that I got for my birthday from hubby - I have now been through three of my six kits - all empty boxes now.  Another three to go through and then I will have to sub again to top - well - you know how it is - a girl can never have enough stash!! lol

Saturday, 8 January 2011

January Exams ;)

Just thought I would drop a line to say GOOD LUCK to all those doing exams this month, GCSE's, A'Levels, AS Levels and Uni tests.  We have got quite a few this month so wishing you all the best. :)

Scrapbook Club

I managed to do five single scrapbook layouts today.  Had a great day at club, with nice lunch, good friends and presents.  Totally shattered now.  I got a beautiful pencil case gift set by Julian MacDonald in the Star range.  It is perfect for me this year as I have loads to do.

It came in a gorgeous box as well so will enjoy altering that later.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend. :)

Friday, 7 January 2011

My Craft Room




This is my beautiful crafting room - my gorgeous dining table - which has a nice shine at the moment (it's not new - it's an antique - waited a long time for a decent table and finally found one that fits all my family and my crafting stuff).  There is a sewing corner with my quilting and patchwork stuff.  My photos for scrapbooking are on the top of the shelf with all the stamps, inks, flowers and buttons on.  My cardstock swatches hang on the side and my cameras on the other.

The television on - usually Lord of the Rings because I know the story so well so I can get on with stuff and just have a little company in the background.  ( I also love Star Wars).

Laptop sat on the table so I can have an occasional catch up on the net as well.  It has taken years to get my room the way I want it - I will probably still make tweaks to it every so often because I just have to. 

Christmas table runner


The handmade binding to match the patchwork





Mitred corners - take some doing!!!


Quilting done on the Dresden Plate

Close up of the Dresden Plate



Thursday, 6 January 2011

Fabric Stash!!

This is my fabric stash - it is a small collection but they are all gorgeous - my favourite at the moment is Moda Boutique Chez Moi which Borge bought me for Christmas - the pinks, greens and blues.  I am going to use it for some goodies from the Sew Necessary booklet from Art to Heart by Nancy Halvorsen.  I have yet to decide if I can give my collection a name - I love the prints from Moda and I am making a quilt for my mum in the Moda Awesome range.  It is her birthday in March and I would love to think I will finish it by then.  I am up bright and early this morning as I took eldest son to school - my Dad usually does it but he is taking a day off today so will be back out again later.  Did think about going to Costa for a large strong coffee which I still might do - a bit of wake-up juice - Decaf caramel latte.  Anyway have a good day all and will be back later. :)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New beginnings :)

What can I say - I was looking for some really nice handmade bag patterns - particularly by Pat Bravo - I contacted her and she gave me the details of a company - http://www.sewciety.co.uk/


Lisanne with her pride and joy - the car is fab and is also on the sewciety stationery.

I emailed the company and got a lovely reply from the owner - Lisanne (Elizabeth) to say she would order them in.  The bag patterns are now on the website and they look fabulous - more than I had seen - I got a gift of money at Christmas and so have placed my first order this morning for the Firenze Bag and some fabric.


I got an email from Lisanne yesterday to say stalk the postie - well - the postie arrived this morning with a square cardboard envelope and inside were all these lovely goodies - the fabric is fabulous - by Art Gallery and Shwe Shwe (hope that's right) along with a little smile tag, business cards and post it note pad.  I am going to enjoy coming up with things to make with this fabric and my daughter will enjoy deciding which one she would like some clothes made with.


Many, many thanks Lisanne for your wonderful generosity.  The fabrics are gorgeous and some which I wouldn't have looked at are now on my list.  (evergrowing - doesn't seem to get smaller lol). 

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Stockings!!!


A pair of Christmas stockings from a Tilda pattern that I altered.  They are a his 'n' hers pair - the bobble ribbon was for a friend and the blanket stitched one for her new husband so they had their own stockings for Christmas Eve.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Me, my camera and my daughter :)


Me at the top working on the Dresden plate for my Christmas table runner and then Rachael (she is gorgeous isn't she but I am biased!!) playing about with our camera.  She joins me regularly now in the craft room and has a go herself - she is working on her art GCSE and that takes alot of her time up along with her many other subjects, but once that is finished she wants her own sewing machine and wants to know how to make clothes.  When I was at school it was dressmaking was a standard subject and you got to do cushions, skirts, tops, a dress if you wanted to, embroidery - now we have textiles which has made it a very complicated subject and not one that some girls want to do - why do they do that.  Anyway - she wants to learn what I know so will give it a try - I have some good books for reference and if mistakes are made - so what - we'll start again!! 

By the way - I usually look better than that in my photo but she caught me unglamorous - you know how it is - you can't be Elle McPherson all the time (some of the time would be good though!!! lol)

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Tilda Hat & Cape (Poncho)


This was my niece Tilly's Christmas present - a Tilda hat and cape.  It was a great pattern to do - quite easy - I added a button to the top of the hat and also changed the width of the binding.  It is blanket stitched around the base of the hat and lined with the same fabric as the hat as well so it is lovely and warm.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Tilda Cosmetic Purse

This is one of the many handcrafted presents I made in 2010.  I loved making my many presents for my special friends and I know this was appreciated.  Hoping it is going to be used with another item that is yet to be made - in fact - the pattern has yet to be purchased - but - courtesy of www.sewciety.co.uk I know I won't need to wait that long before it is here.