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Custard tart
Custard tart

Dave got Richard from bake off’s book Bake it Yourself for Christmas and he made this custard tart, and oh dear dog it is delicious.

Recipe lifted wholesale from the book, no changes at all, other than the pastry part makes enough for two tarts. Not sure what the story is in terms of ban sizes etc because Dave did the baking and he’s out as I’m writing this, so I’m giving you the instructions from the book.

The recipe does use baking beads, which is a bit annoying if you don’t have (use dry beans or rice instead), but is a bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure ours were actually used for the first time for this after Dave bought them in a flurry of enthusiasm years ago.

for the pastry
200g plain flour, plus more for dusting
100g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
100g unsalted butter, chilled
2 large eggs

Put all ingredients minus the egg in a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. break in 1 egg and mix with a wooden spoon then turn onto a floured work surface and knead for about a minute to combine

Roll the pastry into a ball and flatten out to a disc about 15cm wide. wrap in cling film and stick into the fridge for half an hour

Roll out to a circle about 28cms across. Lay in a 23cm loose bottomed tin and work into the edges. Prick the base with a fork. Put in the oven for ten minutes.

Stick in some baking paper on top of the pastry and weigh down with the beads. bake for 15 minutes on 200degrees/fan 180degrees/gas 6.

Reduce oven temperature to 180/160/gas 4. Remove paper and beads, brush with the other egg and bake for a further 8 minutes.

Put some baking paper underneath the pastry case (in case of leakages) and rteduce the oven temperature to 150/130/gas 2 in prep for the next step which is the custard.

for the custard
3 large eggs
120g caster sugar
350ml double cream
120ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla bean paste
nutmeg

Whisk eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl

Put cream milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium eat. Remove from the heat and pour slowly into the eggs, beating constantly

Skim the froth off the top and pour through a sieve into the pastry case. Grate or dust nutmeg on the surface

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the surface gives a slight wobble when shaken.

Enjoy!

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Project 52: 6/52

6/52 Milo

Dave was still ill this weekend, so I took Milo to the library to meet his chum from nursery. This was his choice of book. I actually find the Thomas stories really annoying (Thomas messes everything up by being irrationally jealous or show offy, eventually sees the error of his ways, fixes it back to the way it was supposed to have been in the first place using a limitless supply of time and replacement goods. Yay Thomas! Every. single. one), but Milo is obsessed.

6/52 Ellis

Here’s Ellis snuggled up with Dave just before we went out. He slept for three hours, that never happens!

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Crochet advent calendar

Advent calendar

This is a bit late because it’s taken me ages to get the photos uploaded, but this year we had the most awesome advent calendar, made by my mum! Crochet play food! How cool is that! My mum’s only recently rediscovered crochet, but she’s gone right for the advanced levels with these! She started making them last year, but then Milo was a bit small to appreciate them so she’s stashed them away, and they turned out perfect for an advent calendar!

Most of the stuff is from this book (in German)

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Harajuku Kitchen

Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen
Harajuku kitchen

I had a random day off last Thursday to use up some leave before our leave year ended, and since it was a nice day we walked over to Tollcross with Ellis for lunch. We were actually going to try out a new to us restaurant, but since that ended up only being open for lunch during the weekend, we headed next door to Harajuku Kitchen, which is never a bad thing! This was the second time we’d been. The first time was to celebrate after I had done my two promotion interviews, it was a weekend day and we ordered a million little dishes, which ended up adding up and costing us more than we’d bargained for. This time we went for the more budget friendly weekday lunchtime menu, which had enough choices to keep us completely satisfied. I had sushi and Dave had some cabbage and octopus dumplings, and we both had tempura veggies because they are officially the best! They are so nice in there too, and were great with Ellis!

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Project 52: 5/52

5/52 Ellis

We swapped all the beds round last week so Ellis has the cotbed in his own room (previously he was in a crib in with us), and Milo has the big double bed from the guest room. It’s been super nice to be able to go to bed and get stuff from the bedroom without having to tiptoe around a sleeping baby, although it does mean we’ve lost our craft room for the time being, so no sewing for me for a while unless I move the machine into the kitchen.

5/52 Milo

This picture is from this Friday, which we dedicated to starting toilet training. It was a pretty crap weekend, Dave had the flu (or flu-like symptoms anyway), Ellis was teething and full of the cold, I wasn’t feeling my best either, and storm Gertrude meant we couldn’t even go for a quick run around in the garden. The toilet training itself was much easier than expected though, and by Sunday we had no accidents. Obviously that doesn’t mean that’s it all sorted, but it’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be. So pleased we waited until he was older!

Anyway, the picture was Milo falling asleep after lunch. We generally don’t like him to have a nap, as he has the absolute worst time waking up and it screws up his bedtime, but since we were cooped up and couldn’t distract him by going out, we went with it and let him sleep.

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Matching Pirate hats!

knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats
knitted pirate hats

Dave’s Christmas project was to knit himself this hat to match Milo’s. In fact, he originally made Milo’s for himself, but the gauge was way off so it ended up fitting Milo (first blogged here, when Milo was so wee and chubby!), so this is only following his original plan. Milo was super chuffed to match his papa! The pattern is we call them pirates and I recommend swatching before setting off because the needle size they recommend for the adult (the only) size is what Dave ended up with the child’s size with.

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Butter biscuits

Butterplaetzchen
Butterplaetzchen
Butterplaetzchen

My mum made these biscuits with Milo over Christmas. I’ve been holding off posting about them because it was the beginning of January and everyone was on diets/healthy eating drives, but hopefully now everyone is back to having treats every now and then! (or maybe that’s just me).

Be warned, this recipe makes A LOT of biscuits. You could almost certainly halve the ingredients and still use the one egg, but I haven’t actually tried it so you get the proportions from the original recipe (in German).

600g flour
400g butter, softened
200g sugar
1 egg
1 packet/1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For decorating
icing sugar
lemon juice
premade chocolate glaze, or melted chocolate
as many sprinkles as you can get your hands on

Mix all ingredients together into a dough. Roll out to half a centimetre thick and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 150-175 degrees. (Recipe says 5-7 minutes but that’s nonsense). You want them to be just slightly browned.

Decorate. That’s the point of them!

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Project 4/52

4/52

They’re doing castles at nursery at the moment and as part of that they made these crowns which have been a big hit!

4/52

Lookit, standing up all by himself!

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Tunic length Onyx shirt

tunic length onyx
tunic length onyx
tunic length onyx
tunic length onyx

My first proper project of 2016! This is another onyx (number 6 I think?), this time with long sleeves and lengthened to tunic length. The fabric is some poly crepe I got from Kerry. It’s very floaty, and the tunic shape definitely lends itself to that. I thought the heart design would be a bit too casual/young for work, but I think actually the hearts are small enough that I can wear this to work. I’m really pleased with the sleeves, that is the right length now after the last iteration ended up with bracelet length ones. The lengthening at the bottom also worked, and it’s the first time the slight hi-lo-ness of the hem is actually noticeable. When I first tried it on, I thought this was too tight on the hips, but actually now I think it’s ok. I would probably still add a couple of cms either side if (when) I make another one, but it’s not uncomfortable and from the pictures it looks fine. I’ve no idea how I actually came up with the width for around the hips, I think I measured another top? I just lengthened this off the cut out pattern piece for the shorter ones, so I didn’t have any other size lines to grade up to. I think if I make any more changes I may need to reprint the paper pattern though, taking a trace off the tracing paper so many times will destroy any accuracy. Then again, I’d have to redo the FBA, so maybe not.

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