Banana Cake

I’ve heard this called ‘Banana Loaf’, ‘Banana Bread’ and ‘Banana Cake’. Whatever you call it, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s very yummy. It’s very easy to make which makes it perfect for doing with children and freezes well, meaning you can make it well in advance.

IMG_20140312_130319156Ingredients:

4oz  Margarine

6oz  Sugar (can be any kind. I use the Demerara sugar as I like the flavour)

8oz Self Raising Flour

2 Eggs

2 large or 3 medium Banana’s (it’s best to use very ripe, almost brown banana’s)

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC

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Mash the banana’s in a bowl with a sturdy fork and then put to one side.

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In a separate  bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

IMG_20140312_105442380Once it’s mixed together, add the eggs and mix.

IMG_20140312_105546953Then add the banana’s that you’ve already mashed.

IMG_20140312_105647131Mix together.

IMG_20140312_105803912Add the flour.

IMG_20140312_105842660Mix until it comes together.

IMG_20140312_110100780Put it in a loaf tin. If you aren’t using a silicone loaf tin like I am here, you will need to line your tin. I like my silicone tin as, as long as you are careful, you can ease it out without needing to line it. It’s worth noting that my tin won’t give you the perfect loaf shape as the sides move slightly.

IMG_20140312_130227890Cook for 40 minutes at 180 oC then turn the oven down to 150 oC and bake for further 30 minutes.

IMG_20140312_130319156Take out and turn out onto a cooling rack. Resist the temptation to eat it straight away (it smells really yummy)!

Washi Tape Fun

For Christmas, I was given this lovely little recipe tin:

IMG_20140306_114608594It was such a thoughtful present as I’d run out of room in my last recipe book and spilled over into another. Now I can keep everything together in one place. There was only one problem with this tin:

IMG_20140305_171827501These were the inserts. Now they aren’t that bad but all the titles, apart from this one, were not the kind of thing I wanted. They had things like ‘soups’ and ‘starters’ which is fine but I don’t organise my recipes like that. Basically it was the perfect excuse to revamp them and label them how I wanted to label them.

IMG_20140306_114435735Here’s the ‘after’ shot, after they got attacked with washi tape (which by the way was brought back by my wonderful sister when she travelled to Japan a few years ago). I love them!

Granny Square and birthday fun

IMG_20140307_135647681Do you  remember this from my last post? Well I finally finished my blanket for little miss just in time for her birthday.

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Here’s a close up

IMG_20140313_163736824 She had a lovely day. While she was asleep I blew up some balloons so that when we came down in the morning she could play with them before little man came down and took them away (he doesn’t like the idea that they could burst).

IMG_20140314_071756Here she is chasing the balloons around the room

IMG_20140314_071843Wow a year goes by really quickly! Anyway back to crafting stuff….

I’m a little late with the latest Granny Square so here it is. It wasn’t until I finished it that I realised I had already made this square but I liked it so I’m glad I worked it again .

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The last few weeks of my Granny square Blanket :)

Here are the squares I’ve been making over the last 3 weeks:

IMG_20140306_144132939Week 8: When I was looking at my blanket, I realised that I needed a few more ‘solid’ looking squares so here’s one in blue to celebrate the beautiful spring sky that can be seen now the rain has mostly stopped.

IMG_20140306_144147354Week 9: Inspired by the spring flowers that are popping up all over the place.

IMG_20140306_144209571Week 10: I enjoyed the flower square so much decided to make another one :)

And on that note, this is what I’ve been working on over the last few days:

IMG_20140307_135647681I loved the pattern for the flower squares so much that I’m going to make a flower granny square lap blanket for Little Miss.

Yummy Chocolate Brownie Recipe

I’ve decided that I want to add a few things to my blog as believe it or not, I do enjoy other things apart from crochet! I realised as I was looking back through my blog that I haven’t post any recipes for a while so I’m going to be adding a few of my favourites over the next few months. The first one is for these yummy chocolate brownies. Now I’d love to take credit for these but they come from a friend whose family is famous (well in their circle of friends) for these brownies. They are fairly easy to make but there are a few steps. Believe me though, they are well worth it.

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Ingredients:

100g Butter (don’t be tempted to opt for margarine, this gives a much better flavour)

100g dark chocolate

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

350g soft light brown sugar (again, don’t be tempted to opt for white caster sugar, this one gives a better flavour)

150g Self Raising Flour

25g Cocoa Powder

150g of Milk and White chocolate (I usually use 100g of milk and 50g of white as hubby isn’t a massive white chocolate fan but you can do whatever you like).

 Grease and line a 20cm by 20cm square cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 180oC.

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Chop up the dark chocolate.

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Put the butter and dark chocolate into a pan and over a medium heat, melt.

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Leave to cool on the side.

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Chop other chocolate into chunks (I usually cut each small square into quarters).

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Whisk the eggs and salt until foaming and then add sugar and vanilla extract.

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Whisk until roughly mixed.

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Pour the cooled chocolate and butter unto the rest of the mixture and mix roughly.

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Sift in flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.

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Add the chocolate chunks.

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Pour into tin and cook for 35-40min.

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Test whether it’s ready by sticking a knife in. It should come out slightly moist as though not quite cooked. If it still looks completely uncooked, try another again, just to make sure you haven’t hit one of the chocolate chunks!

Turn out carefully onto a cooling rack to cool. Once completely cooled, cut into brownie sized pieces.

IMG_20140228_113657311(Hubby decided he wanted chocolate brownie instead of a birthday cake, hence the candle!)

Heart Crochet Square Pattern

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I said that I would blog this pattern so here it is (apologises in advance for the pictures, it’s been hard with this light to get good ones) :

This pattern uses UK terminology.

Abbreviations:

Ch= chain

Ss= slip stitch

Dc= double crochet

Htr= half treble

Tr= treble

Tog= together

Things you will need:

Two colours of yarns (I used DK weight), colour A for the heart and colour B for the rest of the square.

Crochet hook (I used 3.5mm)

Foundation Chain: (Working in colour A) chain 4 and ss into first chain.

Round 1: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr) then 2tr tog into the fountain ch ring. *ch 3, 3tr tog into foundation ch ring.* repeat from *to* twice more. Ch 3 then ss into the 3rd ch from the beginning of the round.

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Round 2: ch 5 (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch).* 3 tr tog in next 3 ch space, ch 3, 3 tr together (creates corner), ch 2* and then repeat *to*  twice more.  Work 3 tr tog, ch 2, 2tr tog then ss into 3rd ch from beginning of the round. Tie off yarn.

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Round 3: Re-attach yarn to any 3 ch corner space. ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr tog, ch 3, 3 tr tog. Change to colour B and ch 2. Then tr 3 into next 2 ch space, ch 1, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) into corner 3 ch space, ch 2 then join colour A and 3 tr tog in next 2ch space. Re-join colour B, ch 2, (3 tr, ch 2, 3 tr) into next corner 3 ch space, ch 1, 3 tr in next ch space, ch 2 then re-join colour A and (3 tr tog, ch 3, 3 tr tog) in corne3r 3 ch space. Re-join colour B, ch 2 then 3 tr in next 2 ch space, ch 2 and ss into 3rd ch from beginning of the round.

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Round 4: ch 4 (counts as 1 tr and 1 ch), *(3tr, ch 2, 3tr) into corner 3 ch space, ch 1, 3 tr in next ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1.* Repeat from *to* twice more. (3tr, ch 2, 3 tr) into corner ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1, 2 tr into next ch space then ss into 3rd ch from beginning of the round.

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Round 5: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in next ch space, ch 1, *(3 tr, ch 2, 3 tr) into corner ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1.* Repeat *to* twice more. (3 tr, ch 2, 3 tr) into corner ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1, 3 tr into next ch space, ch 1, ss into 3rd ch from beginning of round.

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Round 6: Join Colour A and ch 2 (counts as 1 htr). Htr into each tr from previous round, working 1 htr in each ch space and (2ht, ch 2, 2 ht) in each corner ch space, ss into 2nd ch from beginning of round.

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Round 7: ch 1, dc into each htr from previous round and 5dc into each corner ch, ss into first dc. Fasten off.

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Granny Square week 7

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Well last week was the week of love apparently so I thought it was only appropriate to try and work a heart into this week’s granny square. I wasn’t sure how I was going to work the heart; it took about 3 goes to get it looking how I wanted it to. In my next blog post, I’ll give you the pattern :)

IMG_20140215_081726-001I decided to make my third extra square this week as I found a lovely pattern with little hearts in it. I’ll be honest, I struggled with the pattern so I had to  make it up (which is probably why the little hearts don’t look quite as effective as I wanted them to!).

That’s it for this week. Those of you who are doing 2014 blankets, I’d love to see them!

Happy Valentines Day!

IMG_20140213_140052309I know that the jury is out on Valentines day but in January’s Issue of Bustle and Sew’s magazine, Helen told a story that she remembers from her childhood, of a hedgehog that was lonely. Her prickles hurt anyone who came too close. She did however eventually find a lovely turtle to share her life with. It inspired her to create this pattern. There was something about the story I liked so I decided to make it.

For me, valentines day isn’t just about celebrating with my husband (who is by the way wonderfully supportive and a great Dad) but also a time to take a step back and be thankful for all the people I do life with. I almost took the heart out of this design, as I have some truly amazing friends who put up with me during the ups and downs of life (not to mention my wonderful family). This design for me is as much to do with celebrating them as it is to say thank you for Hubby.

Originally the pattern was for a lavender heart with the design embroidered on the front but I decided to keep it in the hoop instead. To finish it off, I used washi tape around the outside hoop. I’m pretty pleased with the finish and it’s giving me more confidence with my embroidered blanket (which has taken a back seat recently while I do this).

Granny Square Week 6

Well it’s time for the granny square for week 6 so here it is:

20140209_125237-001As you can see, I’ve already joined it to the blanket (again, I’ve been struggling to get a good picture so joined it before the weather broke enough for me to take an ok picture).

This week I have also been working on my rainbow jumper, designed by the lovely Ali Campbell. Here’s how I am coming along:

IMG_1994I know the picture is pretty awful but you get the idea! It’s worked all in one piece. I’ve done on side and am now working my way back down the other side. It feels a bit like climbing a steep hill and then coming down the other side. I am so impatient to finish it as I really want to start wearing it! In Ali’s original design the colours on the front and back don’t always match up. I’ll be honest, it looks stunning but I’m not quite confident in my colour choices to do that so I’m trying to match the front strips to the front. We’ll see how it goes!

Now we are half way through February, how are you coming along with your 2014 projects? I’d love to see what you’ve been working on :)

Granny Square Week 5

Happy Sunday everyone. I hope you are having a good weekend. Week 5 is a little late this week due to the fact that the weather has been so bad, I haven’t been able to take a good picture! Well I’ve given up and am just posting the best one I could take. So here is the square for week 5:

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I loved this square when I made it for my last granny square blanket, so I decided to make it again. I wanted to start changing the colours too as I realised that so far, I’ve been using a lot of pinks. This is my attempt to get more colours into the blanket.

Here is my other attempt at more colour.

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Now I know that I am meant to be working 1 square a week but I need to work 4 extra squares over the year to finish my blanket. I always crochet more in winter so I decided to work another square this week. Yellow is my favourite colour. It’s such a sunny happy colour. There have been so many grey rainy days this winter that I decided to brighten it up with a sunny square. I really enjoyed making this square as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I sat down with my yarn and hook and played until I had a square I liked. I’ll post the pattern when the little people let me sit down and post it properly!

Here are the squares already joined to the previous squares:

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Well that’s it for now. Week 6 will be up soon ;)