Monday, 25 June 2012

Potato & Bacon Frittata

While we're already nearly half way through winter, comfort food makes its appearance to cheer one's cold body up. For the last week I have been rather busy in the kitchen cooking some of these winter warmers and decided to share with you one of my favourites of the moment. It is basically a good recipe for left overs but can be made from scratch. The potato and bacon frittata is a good one I have cooked a number of times now and I tend to tweak the recipe with what I have at hand in the fridge and pantry. When I made this one, it was a perfect opportunity to try out the new camera too. I cannot remember where I got the original base recipe for this from, but seeing as I change it slightly each time, I'll call this my recipe.

- 3 medium potatoes peeled and roughly chopped (you can use left-over roast potatoes)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 bacon rashers, cooked and finely chopped
- 1/2 large capsicum, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 large bok choy, stalks chopped and leaves torn (alternatively you can use baby spinach, but I didn't have any on hand)
- 4 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup finely grated colby cheese (or a cheese that has a good melt)
- a few sprigs of finely chopped parsley (I didn't have any growing at the moment so I used a teaspoon of dried parsley)

1. Pre-heat a fan forced oven to 200°C.
2. If not using left over roast potatoes, partly cook potatoes in water for 5-8 minutes in the microwave (or about 10 minutes in a pot on the stove), drained and put aside.
3. Heat a frying pan with oil, once hot add the onions and garlic and fry until lightly golden brown.
4. Add the potatoes and toss and stir until the outside edges are beginning to brown.
5. Grease a rectangular flan pan (approximately 15cm x 30cm) and tip the potato and onions in and evenly distribute around the pan.
6. Sprinkle over the finely chopped bacon, chopped capsicum and bok choy.
7. Whisk the eggs lightly with paprika, salt and pepper, pour over the potatoes and the other things in the flan.
8. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and parsley and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until egg is cooked through and potatoes are tender with the cheese browning on top.
9. Remove from the oven, slice and serve while hot.

This can serve four people as a side dish or two people for a main. It was delicious and the perfect food for the rainy weather we have been having recently.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Collection of Crafty Card Creations

We finally bought a new camera over the weekend and I am really looking forward to taking better photos, but first I have to learn how to use it properly :). While I'm doing that I thought I'd share with you some of my previous card creations I have made over the years. Seeing as it was my Mum's birthday a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd continue the theme with some more birthday cards I have made. I have made plenty of others but I'll save them for another time.

As you can see, some of these are rather detailed and they did take thought and time to make, but each and every one I enjoyed making and the reaction of the people who received them is even better! I have already shown a few cards I have made on here in previous posts which can be found here, here, here, here and here.

 Papercraft puppies

Watercolour daisy

Papercraft garden

 The card up the top was sketched from a photo in which I coloured with pencils (Derwent Studio and Derwent Artists) on black card and carefully cut out. The card below was a 3D caterpillar which unfolded (as shown) could stand by itself. This was a fun one to make although cutting the circles out was a little tiring on the hands with the scissors (if a hole punch that large existed, it would have made it easier).

 This was another fun one, I love using shiny silvery card and glitter, it makes the card pop!

 I love making character cards as they provide a challenge in getting all the details close, if not spot on with the real thing, but I only make them for those close to me, for obvious reasons. (Copyright infringements etc.)

This one is one of my favourites, classic Optimus Prime. Not only did I make this for my husband a few years back but I got to use up many card scraps I had around (I prefer not to waste any off cuts) and it came out great! And he got to relive some of his childhood memories upon receiving it :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Mini Gromit

These are a few photos of a present I made for my mum's birthday. I finished it over a week ago but couldn't  publish any photos until after her birthday otherwise the surprise would have been ruined. I have been a huge Wallace and Gromit fan for years and I bought a big Gromit softie about 7-8 years ago. Mum has always eyed him off and when we moved to Adelaide she offered to "babysit" but my reply was sorry but he is coming with me :).

I thought the ideal present this year was to make her a Mini Gromit! Her reaction? She LOVED it! Mum said she had an inkling of what her present was when it arrived in the post and she couldn't resist the temptation and opened it up the night before her birthday, but I had no doubt that it was something she was going to love.

I didn't have a pattern to go off to make Mini Gromit, so he was basically a game of trial and error, I crocheted parts and tried my best to keep things in fair proportion. As you might notice in the second photo, Mini Gromit's face is a tad oddly sized, ideally his face should have been larger at the jaw and smaller at the brow but until you start stuffing it with fill, it is hard to really gauge what the finished product will look like. Some bits I had to start over as they looked totally out of whack, but I got there in the end. Having big Gromit sitting close by to look at helped a lot as I didn't need to keep referring to pictures on my DVD cases and books.

To go with Mini Gromit, I wanted to make an appropriate birthday card. So I decided to go with another favourite; Shaun the Sheep! This was a spin off from Wallace and Gromit and I love the animation in both! I created the card with Shaun and his little friend Timmy on the front. I really want to crochet a Timmy, Shaun or perhaps even both for myself sometime in the future, they are too cute.

The last photo is what I call my "family album" shot, every time I make a new softie I have to take I photo of it with my other ones before giving/sending the finished toy to its new home. Ducky (the first duckling I made, starred in my second ever blog post seen here), Lil' Robot and Froggy were my first Amigurumi toys I made last year and they live on my husband's desk and come out for family photo shoots like this one! :)

P.S. Sorry for the poor colouring in the photos, our little compact camera is having "colour issues" and we are hoping to buy a new DSLR very soon, so stay tuned! Can't wait to start playing with it and taking proper photos!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

DIY Yarn Dispenser

I thought I'd show you my quick 3 step DIY for stopping yarn from escaping when crocheting and knitting. The ball always rolls away from me, unravels and then picks up fluff and hair off the carpet which is a bit annoying let alone light coloured yarn getting grub marks on it, also handy in stopping pets taking off and playing with it. It is very simple, all you need is an empty tissue box (or a box large enough for your yarn to fit in if the ball is larger than a tissue box) and paper clip or dog clip.

Step 1: Take one used tissue box and carefully open one end. If you want to glam up your box, decorate it in what ever you like, pretty wrapping paper, fabric, paint etc. I was lucky and had an appropriately patterned box! :)

Step 2: Put ball of yarn in and thread through the opening on top and fold the end back down and clip with paper clip or dog clip.

Step 3: Pull yarn through and start/continue crochet or knitting!

TIP: Due to yarn ball being a little on the large side initially, sometimes it won't spin around in the box properly and the yarn gets a little snagged. I solved this by taking out the ball and unravelling a bit and then loosely winding around the ball, put it back in a its good to go again.