Monday, 23 July 2012

♥♥ I L-O-V-E Lucy ♥♥

Continuing on with my Attic24 obsession I did a little spot of baking and cooking at the weekend. Something things were directly inspired by the lovely Lucy and some things I had in my memory banks and just wanted to make this weekend...

I would love to be the type of Mummy who bakes for her children (well one child at the moment and Bigger child if you count D) and who teaches them how to bake and cook and nurtures them along the way. So this weekend I started with some little oaty biscuits. I should point out though that the recipes I'm falling for at the minute are those that are simple and quick, without Hoo-Haa (D laughs at me when I say no to recipes because I feel there is too much Hoo-Haa!) and without too many random/expensive/hard to get ingredients. In short simple recipes with simple ingredients. So Attic24 does these kinds of recipes by the bucket load and her Oaty Stars were my first port of call. I know you are going to want to try this recipe as they are tasty and so, so easy and lets face it if it's recommended by Lucy it can't be bad (I'm not going into stalker territory am I???). You basically bung oats, raisins, sugar, flour and butter in a food processor, blitz the living life out of it, roll it into shape, cut out your girly or not so girly shapes, shove them in the oven and 10mins later or so they are done. A more detailed and romantic version of this recipe i.e. the original can be found here... my attempts looked a little like this...

 My star cutter was too big so I went for Butterflies and Hearts (really I'm not this girly in real life honest, well maybe just a little, they are my cutters after all).
 Hmm a little mouse must have eaten the little oaty biscuit in the corner, or rather a big mouse (well someone had to check they were edible!)
My happy little tin of easy(peasy) to make biscuits

And Little R is only 18 months and although I don't consider myself a super strict Mummy he hasn't had chocolate yet so I omitted the tasty addition of chocolate buttons that Attic24 cleverly came up with (although myself and D would have happily eaten them like this I promise you!). But go for it, add the buttons and whatever other naughtiness you like. I know I'll only get away with this for so long and since Little R doesn't know any better just yet, I'm happy for it to stay that way! I liked them, D liked them, Little R like them (he really hasn't had much sweet stuff at all yet) and Little R's granda (my Daddy) said when I asked him for his verdict "Aye, they're alright", I sighed. He is a plain enough eater and doesn't get overly excited about much, ah well.

And then moving on and following Lucy's footsteps once more I was intrigued by here Butternut Squash risotto recipe (found here). Risotto is one of my favourite foods, yum with a capital Y! And this recipe looked the height of simplicity... Lucy doesn't even really stir her risotto but hey I'm not nuts, I'm a believer in stirring the risotto. But I did get a little brave and cocky even and I didn't stir it as much as I normally would and did things in between - a real James Dean I am! 
Anyway I can honestly say this recipe was super-dee-duper. It was scrum-didilee-umptious. I did mention that my Daddy is a plain eater (spuds, meat, veg - you know the sort) but in light of my new found bravery I served up said risotto to Old Pappy and he had one mouthful and this noise came out from him... something like "Mmmm". I had to steady myself on my chair and I asked "Do you like it?!" not really expecting much beyond "Aye, it's alright" and do you know, he said "Yes, it's really nice". I think I looked at D at this point to check I had heard right and he had the same stunned look that I did! Haha, I'm probably being a little dramatic and unfair to my poor father. He eats everything I serve up to him and never complains and sometimes makes happy noises sometimes, he's just not one for fuss and definitely doesn't make a song and dance about things but I tell you I was rightly chuffed to have made something that made him go "Mmm" on the first mouthful. Basically I just want to feed people and make them happy!
I also gave Little R this dinner, as it had no salt and D found good stock cubes without much added salt and no MSG, and he scoffed the lot. It's a lovely family dinner and one I will be making for many years to come. Thanks again Lucy!

On Sunday I followed my own baking path, but very much inspired by Lucy's take on life and baking nice things for ones family, and Little R and I made pancakes while D had a lie-in. The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver this time although it's so simple it's not much of a recipe but if you want it, you can get it here. One cup of self-raising flour, one cup of milk, one egg, pinch salt, grated pear... mix it all around in a jug (Little R did the mixing with minimal mess!). Fry in pan. Wait until everyone is awake from their naps. Serve with butter, jam and juice...
Yummy scrummy in my tummy... and Little R's and D's.

Finally to round off the weekend, following the small success of the chocolate and guinness cake I wanted to try Nigella's Gingerbread and Guinness recipe. It came highly recommended by Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse and being a hugh fan of hers I knew I was on to a winner. The ingredient list was slightly longer than the other recipes but it was still effortless, no endless whisking and void of any Hoo-Haa (a definite must). So I have found another recipe that I will keep using 'til the grave (or until people get sick of me making it! I am known to flog a dead horse!). I was thinking of giving you all the pics of the making of this cake.. but I am too tired and lazy and my photos are a bit blurry, with poor lighting (poor workman blames his tools and all that). And at any rate I've probably bored you to death already so I'm just giving you the end result...
The cake is moist (although I ever so slightly undercooked it, oh well just means I have to make it again to perfect it!) and perfectly spiced and very yummy. It's more of a wintery cake but while most of the UK gets a glimpse of sunshine we in Ireland are still getting slapped in the face with wind and rain so I think it's ok to eat wintery gingerbread in weather like that!). I found the recipe here so have a go, or wait until the rain starts again which inevitably it will! 

And finally (I know I said that above but I mean it this time) I thought I would update you on my yarn crisis. Thanks for everyone for their lovely and very helpful comments. As a result I decided to go with Stylecraft Special DK for the baby blanket. And after much deliberation and cogitation I picked these colours...
The colours above may look a little feminine but I am going to team them up with the colours below (I purchased these a while ago for Little R's blanket and didn't use them). Maybe I'll photograph them altogether someday but for now I am too lazy again!
This concludes my Lucy inspired weekend as the yarn is partly inspired by her and I'm following her Granny Stripe pattern. Must really get on with that and stop blogging!

Thanks for reading and getting to the end of this loooonnnnngggg post. I love, love, love that you have stopped by. I love, love, love that you sometimes leave a little comment (although I totally understand if you don't as well, no hard feelings, there are only 24 hours in the day). And in case you didn't know by now I love, love, love Lucy. 

♥ Thank you Attic24 for making the everyday things seem so special ♥ 

I am aware that Lucy will never read this but that doesn't matter. She doesn't need to.  But I just wanted to make my feelings known.


Psst... did you think I was finished there? Well I have one more thing to tell you. This blogging malarky is just brilliant. I have been inspired by you all and the thing that has surprised me the most is that I've made friends. Lovely friends. Friends that, because they wanted to make you smile, send you this (amongst other things) in the post...
Thank you Mrs TT


  1. Yum, your baking looks lovely, especially the gingerbread.....I love rissotto too and so do the boys, we also love butternut squash, we'll have to give it a try.

    I think style craft is an excellent idea, so soft, very washable and dryable and soooo reasonable...the colours look good you've chosen....oooh, I do like a new blanket!

    Your pressie from Mrs. T is lovely, what a wonderful bloggy friend!

  2. What a yummy post!!
    Made my mouth water. :)

  3. Haha you did make me laugh with this post. Your cooking/baking is scrumptious and I will have to try the risotto, as I love it and butternut (we call it pumpkin) squash. I love Lucy too, as do a LOT of people I think :) So love the colors you have picked for the blanket.
    xx Sandi

  4. I love your Lucy-tribute Helen! She is such an inspiring lady. Love the baking too - glad the gingerbread came out OK. I love that stuff! Started to make the chocolate and Guinness cake at the weekend for H's party and realised half way through I had no cocoa powder - aaargh! Had to switch lanes mighty fast and make brownies instead so the Guinness cake has had to be be postponed until the arrival of said cocoa powder! So glad you like the coaster - it just so resonated with your last post! You may have agonised about the colours of your baby blanket but your final choice is lovely - go for it! Hope your cold has subsided - nothing worse than feeling coldy in this hot weather. E x

  5. dear helen
    your baking and cooking looks delicious.i love gingerbread,too.
    and i love lucy.....she is such a inspiring women.
    love the colours for the new baby blanket,really beautiful.
    have a nice week,
    love regina

  6. Hi Helen,I loved reading this post.I LOVE Lucy too! I made her oaty raisin flapjacks last year and the family just love them.Shes such an inspiration with her crochet and I ve followed many of her easy to follow patterns.So you are not a stalker,I'm sure there are hundreds of us that feel the same way about her blog :O)
    Love all the new colours youve bought,cant wait to see your new makes. take care love Juliexxx

  7. Oh Helene I had to contain myself from laughing out loud (I am reading this at work) when I read your Dad's response to food....the highest praise my Dad ever gives is "not too bad"!!
    And I wanted to say....pumpkin risotto is just about my most favorite thing....when I am feeling fancy I throw some chorizo in (cook it in the pan first) and top the final product with rocket and soft, sharp feta cheese. La di da!
    Tanichi xx

  8. Wow, what a bake-athon you've been having! Scrumptious :-) I love risotto, I've made the Slimming world version of Butternut Squash Risotto and it went down well with all the men in my house too :-)

    Loving your yarn colour choices... Can't wait to see the baby blanket you're making... Happy hooking Helen. Have a fabulous week xxx