31 July 2009

Time to sew and sew I do

Just another quick project for this summer. I kind of hoped to finish it yesterday, but little F. required a lot of my attention, so no sewing for me... Anyway, maybe I will manage it tonight before we leave to the Ardennes for the weekend. I love the colours of this fabric, a bit vintage I would say.
( This is a photo of the finished item)

I have also discovered a wounderful block full crochetted goodies and marvelous pictures - Attic24. It is so inspiring. I already can't wait to get home and start my granny blocks (hmmmm, no way,I have to sew my dress first. Crochetting is for in the car). I've already made approx 20 pieces...a lot more to go though.
Have a very nice weekend!

30 July 2009

Early mornings

Good way to begin your day - freshly baked homemade bread. I am not so into white bread, but from time to time I allow myself to bake. Maybe not so good for my line, but it's soooo tasty. And this is in fact the only reason I bake my own bread - because it tastes so much better than any other bread!

This little one keeps me also quite busy in the mornings. He is 4 months old and has lots of energy! His name is Felix.

Have a nice day everyone!

28 July 2009

By Bread Alone

Thanks to Farmgirl Fare blog, I have read 2 books in 10 days time - By Bread Alone and Blessed are the cheesemakers by K. Lynch! It's a record for me as I am a very slow reader. I must tell it was nice summer reading, although these are books which you read once and never return to them again. Anyway, they did inspire me to try out a couple of new bread recipes, and that's a good thing!

I love, I really do love it to bake my own bread. I do it the old-fashioned way, kneading with hand. It takes a lot of time,I must admit, but it'ssuch a relaxing process. The kneading itself, then waiting and seeing the dough evolve and rise, looking at your bread turning golden brown on the oven...and then this smell, this gorgeous smell of freshly baked bread at your home! Trust me, it'sreally worth trying.

This morning though I have decided to bake bookwheat pancakes. These are typical Russian pancakes, which are being served with sour cream or caviar. They are smaller and thicker than the normal pancakes, and have a much stronger taste. If you find them to heavy for breakfast, you can always mix the bookwheat flour with normal pastry flower in the proportion you prefer.
This is what you will need to make 10 pancakes:
100 gr flour
1 egg( separate the yolk)
1 ts salt
1/2 ts black peper
15 gr fresh yeast
200 ml milk (room temperature)

Mix all the ingredients (except for white of egg). Add the yeast-milk mix and set apart for one hour. Whisk the white of egg, add it carefully to your mix and bake!

Enjoy it!

7 July 2009

The cake turned out nicely. It really smells like roses and it has a hint of rose pettals in its flavour. And the rosemary gives it this special herbal tint.
Although I am not really happy with its structure. As I was a bit in a hurry, I didn't mix the ingredients in the proper way, with a crust separated from the cake as a result.

Do you also like cooking or baking with herbs and aromatic plants? Here are a couple of recipes then.

Lavender cookies - 12 pcs

Mix together 1 tbls lavender flouwers and 90 gr honey in a blender. Add 250 gr flour, 30 gr barley and 175 gr butter. Add to the mix 3-5 drops of lavendr essential oil (EO). Please note that the EO should be of the best quality, pure lavender oil, no additives!
Roll the dough to a dia of 25 cm, draw lines with a sharp knife to form 12 cookies. Prick the dough with a fork in several places, let it for 30 min.Bake at the temperature of 190 C fro about 25 min. Serve with ice cream or fruit salad.

Лавандовое печенье -12 ШТУК

Смешать 1 cт л цветов лаванды с 90 гр меда.Перемолоть в комбайне, просеять и смешать с 250 гр муки, 30 г манки, 175 гр сливочного масла и 3-5 капель ЭМ лаванды хорошего качества.Замесить тесто, раскатать диа 25 см, наметить острым ножом 12 порций (треугольничками), проткнуть тесто вилкой в нескольких местах. Дать постоять около 30 мин.Выпекать в предварительно разогретой духовке около 25 мин, при температуре 190 градусов.Подавать с мороженым или фруктовым салатом.

Lavender pudding
450 ml coffee crea
3-4 tbsp lavender flouwers
100 gr sugar icing
3 eggs

Put the lavender flouwers into the cream, warm this mix a bit slowly during approx 10 min (NOTE: don't let the cream boil, otherwise it will become bitter). Separate te flowers from the cream, let the cream to cool down a little bit. Add sugar icing and eggs (beat them up first) , mix it all. Pour the dough in a baking form, and bake at the temperature of 190C

Пуддинг лавандовый

450 мл сливок для кофе
1 пучок свежей или сушеной лаванды
100 г сахарной пудры
3 яйца

Смешать лаванду со сливками и подогревать на медленном огне около 10 мин (но не давать закипеть, иначе лаванда придаст сливкам горечь). Процедить, добавить сахарную пудру и взбитые яица, тщательно перемешать. Перелить в форму для выпечки ( личше из прозрачного жаропрочного стекла), поставить в духовку при температуре 190 градусов до готовности ( пока не перейдет в консистенцию пуддинга).

6 July 2009

The true story of baking

I have been baking my own bread for while already but to be honest, I can't really call it baking. Bying those all-in mixes, adding some water and kneading a bit, you can't really call it baking. I've been dreaming of making my own sourdough starter for ages though, even tried it once, but it turned out badly. Now that the temperature outside and inside is much suitable for this kind of projects than in the middle of the winter, I will give it another try. I have found a cople of nice websities with instructions of how to make your own starter (here and here) and I have also one in a book, I've leant from the local library another day. They all have a couple of things in common, but still vary from each other. At the moment I am trying to figure out, which method will suite me the most.
I am baking bread every 2 days, so feeding and keeping the starter alive shouldn't be a problem. By the way, I am reading A Bread Alone from S-K Lynch (thanks to Farmgirl Fare blog), which is extra inspiring for trying out the sourdough!
I love to bake simple, basic things and adding unexpected and not-so-traditional ingredients to them. I love experimenting with herbs, flowers and herbal waters. These ingredients can change your basic pastry to something completely new and surprising. You should try it, you won't be disappointed!

Rosemary Cake

For tonight we have a Rose Cake plan. I want to try out my own recipe (actually it's a basic cake recipe; what I want to do is to add some rose jelly and rose water to the dough, and some sugar with rose flowers on top... We will see how it will turn out).

Have a nice day!

3 July 2009

Grandmother's blocks

I am working at the moment on a traditional grandmother's blocks blanket using modern summer colours. Here are a couple ofblocks I have already made. Must tell you it will take a while to finish this blanket, but it is still a nice project and it's fun to combine all these wounderfull colours. Have a nice day!

Don't you love these colours?

2 July 2009

A long way to travel...

This is it, this is where the power of Internet has brought me. I have my own blog!!! Me, the one who doesn't like computer and always does only essential things on it. Like sending e-mails and calling my parents.
Anyway, I guess this is the time I need to communicate, I need to find all those people who are interested in the same things as I am. From time to time I feel myself left out, a bit misplaced in the time. All my hobbies seem to be old-fashioned here. I don't know anyone of my age who would be interested in sewing, crocheting, baking or cooking. But on the other hand, if I read your blogs, my dear friends (I hope you will allow me to caal you so), I see that I am certainly not alone, that there are so many talented people around the world, who are a neverending source of inspiration for me. I would like to thank you for this! Keep on blogging and inspiring people like me.
Another problem is to find time. .. If you work full-time there is not much time left for yourself. And still, I'd really like to continue doing as much as possible.
Well, enough of complaining girl. It's time to get creative ;-) I'll see you around.