Thursday, 3 September 2015

Recipe: Turkish Bread Twists

For my birthday a few weeks ago, my daughter bought me a copy of "Snackistan" by Sally Butcher. It is a fascinating collection of recipes for snacks and street foods from around the Middle East and Central Asia. I've already cooked a few recipes from it and been impressed by them, with unusual and unfamiliar dishes and interesting twists on more familiar ones, all given in the form of easy to follow recipes using accessible ingredients.

However I was in two minds about the "Turkish Milk Bread with Sesame" recipe - it LOOKED very much like the delicious freshly baked bread served for breakfast in our favourite hotel in Turkey, yet it had lots of sugar in it and was flavoured with cinnamon - neither of which was a feature of the bread I remembered.

So, inspired by Sally's recipe, I set about creating my own recipe for the breads I remembered.  And of course, being a fan of making the dough in the bread machine, I adapted it to suit that method.

This recipe will make 4 rolls, but each roll is really a "mini loaf" that can be sliced to serve two.


150ml water
5 tbs dried milk powder
1 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp salt
150g softened butter or soft margarine (I tend to use Flora Buttery for baking)
2 beaten eggs
450g plain flour
1½ tsp dried yeast

to finish: 1 beaten egg
1-2 tbs sesame seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds (sometimes called nigella)

Put all the ingredients except those marked "to finish" into the bread machine and switch on, using the dough setting.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board, knead lightly and cut into 8 pieces. Take two of the pieces and roll each one out with your hands (remember making plasticine sausages at school?) to about 20cm long. Pinch together at one end then twist together loosely, to allow the dough room to rise, all the way to the other end and pinch together again. Tick the ends under to neaten and place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving plenty space between them. I used two sheets for four rolls.

Set aside to rise for around 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5.

Brush the rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with the seeds, then bake for about 25 minutes  until well risen and browned. As usual, test for doneness by tapping the base, it will make a hollow sound.

Delicious served warm for breakfast with butter and preserves or honey and a soft, salty cheese. They make blooming good ham subs too!

And did it replicate the bread we'd eaten in Turkey? Mark's comment, on tasting it, was "This is just like being on holiday." Job done.

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I am sharing this with Bready, Steady, Go at Utterly Scrummy Food For Families and Jen's Food

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A Fruity card for The Male Room

I'm delighted to share with you the news that I've been asked to be guest designer at The Male Room for their latest challenge! As you know, masculine cards are my absolute  favourites to make so this challenge is one of my favourites.

The new challenge has just started, and this time the theme is FRUIT.
To make my card, I've used the ultra thick embossing technique. To do this, I cut a piece of heavy card to size and covered it in Versamark ink, then sprinkled it with Cosmic Shimmer Ultra thick Embossing Crystals in Lapis Black. I used my heat gun to melt it, then while it was still wet, poured on another layer of the crystals, and repeated this until I had three layers. Before melting the third layer, I inked up the pear stamp, from a Studio G mini set, with Stazon ink, and then immediately I stopped heating the powder I pressed the inked stamp into the molten layer and left it to cool. When completely cool, the stamp lifts away easily. If you try this, don't worry about little air bubbles that you might get (caused by the air trapped in the indentations of the stamp escaping) or, if you use a large stamp, the unevenness around the edge of your tile - these are the little individual touches that are the difference between hand made and machine made!
For the rest of the card, I used another pear stamp from the same set, along with the words "just perfect" from a Craft Asylum set called "Candy". I stamped these randomly over a piece of kraft card using Versamark ink. I think the watermark effect shows up particularly well on kraft card.  I then layered it with card to match the embellishment and finished it off with peel off borders and some candi.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Oh Christmas Tree at Sparkles Christmas

Today there is a new challenge at Sparkles Christmas Challenges, and this time it is "Oh Christmas Tree" so of course we would like your work to feature a Christmas Tree.

We have two sponsors this month:

Bugaboo Digi Stamps are giving a prize of 7 digis

Di's Digis are giving a prize of a $10 voucher.
Di's Digi

For my card, I diecut my Christmas tree and the border  from silver mirri, backed with Stick It adhesive paper which is so useful for intricate die cuts. The Christmas tree (yes, that one again) die was a magazine freebie last year or the year before, and the dainty border is a Tattered Lace one.

 The lovely papers are from a pad of backing papers that was a magazine freebie a few years ago, and the other trimmings from my stash.

I'd like to share this with:

Merry Monday - Use Holly
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Use some silver  
Creative Card Crew - Christmas

Colour it in at Cardz 4 Guyz

This week at Cardz 4 Guyz we want to see some colouring in! And don't forget, your card must be suitable for a male.

Now I'm not great at colouring and blending with Promarkers, but I recently got this lovely little "Ninja Edwin" Magnolia stamp and I thought he'd be a great image to practise on. And I DID need to practise - I've thrown my first two attempts at his outfit away, but eventually I settled on Cool Grey 2, 3 and 4 for the outfit, with just a hint of Cool Grey 1 for his outline and shadow and to give depth and shading to the Blush I used for his face. I die cut him out  and layered him onto plain kraft with my old faithful nesties circles.

I've layered him up with corrugated kraft-and-black, some grey striped paper and a punched border, and finished with a stamped greeting and some candi. I think this would be great for a little - or not so little - boy who has martial arts lessons!

I've used up lots of old stash in this card - the corrugated kraft has been hanging round for ages waiting for the right project and the candi is from the very first pack of it I ever bought. (Do you know it breeds? I'm pretty sure several of my packs have mated and produced offspring in colours I'm sure I never bought).
So I'm sharing this with Use Your Stash at Tilda's Town Challenges - my first visit to this challenge.
I'm also playing along with
Clear it Out Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Gals Corner - Lots of Layers 
Cuttlebug Mania - Anything Goes   

Monday, 31 August 2015

Stripe me green!

One layer cards aren't always clean and simple. And clean and simple - in appearance- cards aren't always quick to make. But this card was very quick - I selected the stamps and ink, made the card, cleaned up and put everything away again in the time it took my husband to have his shower. And he's not a man who spends ages primping!

The border stamp an old one that I think came from Graphicus. I believe they've been taken over by another company and the designs reissued, but I'm not sure which company it is. I stamped it with Versamark and embossed it with clear powder. Then I masked off the rest of the card just leaving the stamped area clear, and used a blending tool to apply Adirondack Lettuce ink over the whole unmasked area. The more ink you apply, the more the embossing stands out! Once the ink was applied, I polished the surface with a tissue to remove any ink clinging to the embossing. Finally  I removed the masks and stamped the sentiment with the same ink.

Job done.

I'm sharing this card with

AAA Cards - Spectacular Embossing

Inkspirational - One Layer

Getting Christmas Buttoned Up

Before I start, I'd just like to tell you of a competition over at the new challenge Twofers. We are giving away two lovely stamps - the task is to comment (comments aren't going to be published until after the competition closes) telling us all the different ways you can think of using stamps and inks. It's open internationally - but you need to be quick as it closes on September 3rd!

Right, back to the post.....

Some time ago I bought a bargain bag of big beautiful buttons (oh my, aren't we alliterative this afternoon?) which included just ONE gorgeous poinsettia button. The other buttons were equally gorgeous but there was nothing the least bit Christmassy about them - and what do you do with ONE gorgeous button?

Well this morning I was rummaging through my button box, looking for some shirt buttons for a future Cardz 4 Guyz DT project, when I happened to drop a few on the table and when I looked down at them, I thought, "Hold on, that looks a bit like a Christmas tree...."  - light bulb moment!

A little rearranging and swapping of colours (dayglow pink and black just didn't hit the spot) and I'd produced a Christmas tree that featured my beautiful button. I arranged it on snippets from my snippets box, but the size it sort of naturally evolved to wasn't really compatible with any standard card size.

Rather than cut a custom blank and then find I had no suitable envelope, I thought I would try giving my card a " flat spine". To do this, I took a 15cm square card blank and scored 2cm in from the fold on both the front and back. Then I stuck the two layers together from the fold to the score line, and creased the new folds so that the card opens at that point. To decorate and reinforce the spine, I used Christmas washi tape that picks up the poinsettia flowers, wrapping it completely around the spine with the join at the back.

Here's a little aerial photo in case it isn't too clear what I mean.

I'm sharing this festive make with

Glitter and Sparkle - add buttons
Christmas Card Challenges - anything goes
Pixies Snippet Playground - week 192  

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Never throw anything away!

Last Christmas I got some rather nice crisp white cotton napkins to use when we were eating Christmas dinner. They had embroidered Christmas pudding motifs on one corner and looked great on the table. However, it turned out that they were not actually embroidered onto the napkins - they were machine-made embroidered motifs that had been GLUED on. And not with water resistant glue, either - when I came to wash the napkins, all the motifs came off, and all but one of them got mangled up - I rescued the sole survivor and since than we've used the plain white table napkins as everyday ones.

After I'd finished ranting about "Who on earth makes table napkins that aren't washable?" (especially with a mucky eater like me around!) I realised that one rescued motif might come in useful one day and slipped it into my Christmas stash. And today I decided to make a card with it.

What would you present a Christmas pudding on but a pretty doily? And what would you present a recycled Christmas pudding on? Well, a recycled doily, of course. This doily has been cut with a doily die using paper that was actually the inside of an envelope from yesterday's junk mail. Do keep an eye on your junk mail - some of it comes in envelopes with very pretty patterns on the inside! I think the die is a docrafts / Xcut one because it has its own brown magnetic sheet which I always associate with the brand.

All it needed than was some festive-coloured snippets from my snippets box and a  clear adhesive greeting, and I have another Christmas card to add to my slowly-growing pile - and it cost practically nothing to make!

So here is my second visit for the week to Pixie's Snippets Playground as well as my second visit to Allsorts Challenge Blog - Recycle/upcycle