Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Savoury Swirls

Mrs U Makes...Savoury Swirls

As much as I love home baked goodies, nothing gets my mouth watering or my taste buds buzzing like a savoury snack. Given the choice I'd pick savoury over sweet any day, on the odd occasion that we eat out at a restaurant I will always order a starter.

This week I've been hankering for something savoury, something that I could eat with one hand whilst walking around the house carrying out daily chores (apart from cleaning the bathroom).

Three of my favourite ingredients in the whole universe are garlic, basil, and mozzarella. Combined with tomatoes, they make a perfect marriage and I definitely wanted them in whatever snack I was going to make.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Triple Chocolate Bark

With the half term holidays drawing to an end, I've decided to take the Tripolatas to the Natural History Museum. When planning what to pack in their lunch bags, I wanted to add something that was a real treat.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Great British Biscuits: Fruit Shortcake Biscuits

When it comes to biscuits I personally shy away from the store bought ones preferring to eat those that are home-made. However, when it comes to the tripolatas I will at times buy biscuits when I haven't had a chance to bake any. Even then, I'm weary about what to buy as I don't always know exactly what's inside them and imagine that they may not be great quality.

I can spend a few minutes in the biscuit isle trying to decide which to buy and I've realised that my choices all have a theme, they're all classic British biscuits. I'd eaten all of them as a child and was now giving them to my own children, so why not learn to make them myself and give my boys a classic treat that I know has been well made.
Click here for the video version of this recipe.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Getting My Knitting Pattern Tested

As stated in the last post about Ijeoma, the pattern is currently being tested. The test is due to end at the end of March so the pattern should be available then. One of my testers has already finished working on the pattern and I'm eagerly waiting to see pictures of the completed ruana.

I'm so glad to have been able to have the pattern tested in this way. So far my testers have highlighted areas of the pattern that needed improvement, which I have done. They've also spotted a slight mistake in the instructions and made other suggestions.

I would encourage every knitting or crochet designer to have their patterns tested. No matter how many times you proof read your pattern, there will always be something that someone else spots or improvement that can be made.
The problem with pattern testing is that for designers like myself who are independent and just starting out, hiring testers isn't an option with our limited financial resources.

That's one reason why I love Ravelry's Pattern Testers Group. First and foremost it's free, you don't have to pay to test a pattern or have a pattern tested. For a designer this means knowing that your design works and getting immediate feedback. For testers it means getting new patterns before they are available to anyone else.

The other great thing about this group is the fact that it is moderated and there are rules and regulations that both designers and testers must follow. You also set the boundaries of your test, such as how many people you want, the time frame, the specific feedback you require and so on.

There may be other free testing sites out there but this is the one that I will stick with for my future designs.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Pancakes Three Ways

With Shrove Tuesday fast approaching many people are preparing for Lent, filling up on the things that they will be giving up. Though I'm Christian I've never observed Lent as it's not a biblical requirement, however, I try to fast occasionally throughout the year.

This time of year is probably one of the most important in the Christian calender as we reflect on the sacrifice that Christ made for the world. For many Lent is a time for them to reflect on their own lives, and giving up their favourite treats is one of the ways in which they do this.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Berrylicious Oat Bars

Berrylicious Oat Bars by Mrs U Makes

After the success of the Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits, the tripolatas have been expecting more baked goodies. It's usually the first thing they ask me when I pick them up from school.

Knowing that I would eventually have to present something to them, I looked for some inspiration. I wanted something that was relatively healthy and required little effort, so cakes and biscuits were out of the question.

I considered making another Fruit Drops recipe, but kids being kids I didn't want to risk them getting bored. So I went in between, a fruity bar that had to be baked.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Double Dip Biscuits: Take 1

The tripolatas went to my mum's place this weekend, so I was all alone and took advantage by working on an idea that came to me one night.

I'd been given this great piping gun by my sister a few Christmases ago and had only used it a handful of times.
I thought that it was about time I tested it fully with a biscuit dough recipe I found in a book.