February 25, 2011

Twix® muffins

After making these I still had seven Twix® left over. I made my Husband a choc cheese cake for valentines day, and it was a big hit around here, so I thought I could make those Twix® into something cheesy...like muffins??! There was no recipe so I came up with this one myself. I thought they turned out very yummy (had 3 for breakfast this morning, so how bad can they be?) but honestly, it depends what ratio for base to cheese you prefer. These little Babies will be about half to half.

So you take your
7 Twix® (=14 Fingers)

You have to separate the biscuit from the caramel bit with a sharp knife. Really it sounds more difficult than it is!

Then put the biscuit bits into the blender

1/2 cup ground almonds
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp white sugar
mix well, and divide into 18 muffin cases.
preheat Oven to 150°C/300°F and bake the bases for about10 minutes. Then let cool.

Now beat in a large bowl
2 Pcks (à 8 ounces/200gr) of cream cheese (softened) until fluffy. Then add
1/2 cup of white sugar. Mix well, and add
two beaten eggswith
2 tbsp of coffee liqueur. Mix well. Chop up the caramel parts of the Twix®s and add to the Cheese.

Fill on top of your cooled base in the muffin cases and put back into the oven at 175°C/350°F for roughly 30 min. The edges should be light brown.

I hope You enjoy them as much as I did :-)

February 24, 2011

Vegan roasted Rosemary and Garlic Spuds

I came across a link yesterday morning that inspired me, to prepare my potatoes  a little different last night.
All you need is a bunch of spuds, some fresh rosemary and garlic.
peel and wash
7 medium sized potatoes
then very thinly slice them

set them aside

mix in a cup:
4 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary

2 cloves of garlic mashed
4 tbsp of margarine (warm and very soft) mixed with
4 tbsp of olive oil
some salt and freshly ground black pepper

pour over spuds and mix well,

fill into casserole with lid
preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F
first for 25 min with lid then for another 10 min without.

I had mine with veggieburgers, ready made from the shop, I got a little lazy ;-) Mr. Spider had his with some real-deal meat.
Hope you enjoy! Oh and by the way, any left overs go fantastic the next day, as fried potatoes...

February 22, 2011

my night off - Mr. Spider is cooking: vegetarian stuffed peppers for dinner and apple casserole for dessert

For 4 medium sized peppers
1 zucchini (courgettes for the British readers)
2 carrots

chop up
1 mozzarella
2-3 cloves of garlic
fresh basil
1 cup of granulated soya
in 2 cups veg stock
4tbsp of tomato puree

mix all
place in oven proof dish with lid at 200°C/390°F for roughly 30 min. Serve with rice

Dessert: Apple Casserole

2 large apples
sprinkle with
orange juice

3 beaten eggs yolks
1 mashed banana
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 1/2 cups of curd
5 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp cinnamon
mix well until creamy mass (maybe add a little more flour)
then add the chopped apples

3  egg-whites until stiff
and gently add to rest
fill into oven proof bowl, and place it in preheated oven at
180°C/350°F for at least 20 min

February 20, 2011

Puck sleeping bag for infants

When I went to ante-natal classes, my midwife expressed many times how much she preferred those type of sleeping bags for esp. newborns. As my son was born last summer, a very hot one may I add! I attempted to sew a very light and thin one myself out of an old cotton cushion cover and some left over cuff material. The pattern I made myself: You basically pick the length and width you think your baby will need, add a little for baby growth. And draw it on some old newspaper or packing paper, cut it out , fix it with needles to your material and cut it out four times (allow a little extra for seams). Make it into 2 sacks. Inside and outside sack have the same size. I then doubled the cuffmaterial, and sewed inside sack to one and outside sack to the other, then stuffed the inside one inside the outside one, and stitched the bottom. Bar the cuff bit the whole lot was very easy.
I really liked the old needlework I integrated. It used to be at the front of the cushion case I used as material.

 But all in all I have to admit, I used that sleeping bag only in emergencies, when all the others where in the washing machine or in the dryer. I happened to find it impractical. And I don't think the wee man really liked the cuff bit around his belly as he was suffering a lot from colics at the time. I prefer the ones with buttons over the chest, no arms and a zip around the legs for fast access to the diaper at night.  So all in all I can't really advise you to go through all that trouble, but I thought I would still make a post about it, just in case you have a midwife similar to mine, this might save you the trouble and work. :-)

February 18, 2011

Yummy Twix® - Cookies

I looooooove baking. It is THE most effective way for me to clear my head, plus usually I enjoy eating the outcome. So when I came across this post, I just knew I had to give these little calorie bombs a try.
I varied the recipe a little though as my baking soda was a bit out of date and I didn't want to waste an egg white. And these turned out great, soft on the inside, and a bit chewy with the biscuit chunks from the Twix®.

2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp. salt
Sieve all into bowl and set aside.
chop up
7 Twix® (= 14 Fingers, just so there is no misunderstanding)
first length wise, then into small chunks, as seen in picture below.

don't bother saving all the little biscuit-crumbs (I made sure there wasn't much chocolate in with the crumbs and fed them to our dog ;-) )
set the chuncks aside

now melt about
125 gr of butter
let it cool a little and stir in
1 1/3 cups of brown sugar
3 tbsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence

then whisk 
2 medium sized eggs in a separate cup
and stir in with the butter-mix
now add butter mix into bowl with flour and mix well

make half hand palm sized little flat balls and leave on baking sheet. Make sure you leave enough space between each one of them. I had two sheets of cookies in the end.
put into preheated oven at
180°C or 325°F for 12-15 min.
don't let them get to brown around the edges

let them cool completely on tray before putting them into storage.

Or enjoy straight away with a cuppa double choc mocha.

February 17, 2011

Easy Mittens - Non Itch Version

Sometime back in Autumn my local Store had grey wool on special offer. Just a few weeks earlier I had spotted this Link on one of my fav blogs. And it included the magic words: EASY. You gotta know, the last time I attempted knitting was some time in the early eighties, when my grandma was still around and we had to knit a pair of socks in primary school.

I am the type that never finds gloves that fit, they are either to short at the fingers or to wide around the wrists - one more reason to give this a shot!

My first problem: The pattern was just like a cryptic message to me, I had no clue what all those letters stood for. So I asked a friend for help:
CO33 means you start with 33 stitches. Well with the wool I bought (50gr/ 98m, 50% wool, 50% alpaka) I needed 44 stiches for my wrists. Then I had the second problem: Do you still remember how to start? I couldn't! But there isn't anything you can't find on the WWW these days: Here is a video that helps!

Also I used four needles instead of three. It makes it a lot easier for beginners. Another trick: To avoid ladder look-alike stitches in between needles you can knit your full needle and then one extra from the next needle, that way the loose stitch keeps wandering in circles throughout the glove and is hardly visible in the end.

Round 1 =k2 pl means 2 knitting stitches and one purl...repeat until round is finished. Round 2 knitting stiches only....now I have to admit I stuck to just round 1 through out the gloves. I wanted to make it even easier for the start. I also more then doubled the amount of rounds, as it was far to short for my liking.

Now my pattern basically translates into the cryptic knitters language like this:

round 1 = k2 pl
round 2 - 44 repeat round 1

After that we get to the tricky part - make way for the thumb - I am no regular knitter (see above) so I had no wool rests, but it was after xmas once I got to the first thumb bit. So I took some wrapping cord and used that instead. Stitch as many stitches as the widest part of your thumb would need (length wise) plus one. In my case that's 8. Switch those 8 stitches back onto your first needle. Knit them again with regular yarn, and keep going as usual for another 20 rounds. After that, knit off (=BO in knitting cryptics) on the last round with the regular two knitting stitches and one purl.

Now you take your 4 needles and try to get 4 stitches that are around the wrapping cord (or in your case maybe real scrap yarn) onto each needle (thats 16 altogether, 8 from each side of the cord). I think now it really helped that my cord was a good bit thicker then the regular yarn, as my loops were bigger and easier to "fish" for. Once your sure you got them all, cut the scrap cord and start knitting for about 8 rounds (depending how long your thumbs are) in the regular two knitting stitches and one purl manner and also knit off same way on last round.

Here you go! Now you have a perfect wearable mitten for all those who don't mind that wooly itch. Me and wool are normally a no-go. But my husband had all those old shirts, so I cut the two sleeves of one of them, and lined the gloves with them. I didn't make an extra hole for the thumb. I just stuck it through as seen in picture below.

I admit, that right there where you see my thumb coming out, I can still feel the itch when wearing them. I had them on a few times now, and I got used to it.

To finish off, you just fixate the sleeve to the glove at the top with a few stitches.

Thats it!

I have to say, I found knitting very relaxing, I am sure I will give it another shot and this time before the next three decades have gone by!