Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog
If you would like to purchase one of my Wool Paintings or would like to send a picture of your pet for me to copy please drop me an email me at cherieandtony@btinternet.com

Friday, 26 May 2017

Blimmin Weather... and a shot of my garden

It has been the hottest week of the year and I have been stuck indoors at work all week. Isn't it just typical that thunder and lightning is forecast tomorrow. Tony and I had made great plans for Bank Holiday Monday but methinks we might have to rethink them.  Looking on the bright side,  at least we won't need to water the garden tomorrow and heaven knows.It really could do with a good drink.  We have watered it after work every night this past week.  The Lupins that I grew from seed are looking beautiful and the garden is filling up with self seeded  foxgloves in a variety of pretty colours.I plan to leave them all to flower. I am sure that the bees and bugs will enjoy them.  You need to really look into the photo to see the rose climbing over the pergola. We have wound pretty little solar powered fairy lights over the pergola. It looks like fairyland out there when the sun goes down.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

My pretty garden flowers

I had been stuck indoors at work all day yesterday and didn't want go to my carving club last night so Tony and I spent a couple of hours gardening.... There are some beautiful flowers blooming just now.

These iris flowers look like a beautiful watercolour painting

This is a beautifully fragrant rose that we bought in Essex last year

Wonderful vanilla fragrance

The photo really doesn't do this justice.  It almost looks articiial it is so perfectly formed

Newly planted but already showing a hint of summer colour

Wonderfully fragrant freesias that I planted last year and completely forgot about

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Such sad news

My heart goes out to everyone involved in the dreadful attack in  Manchester last night.We woke up to the news at 06:00 this morning and when I got into work one of my colleagues was in tears. She had bought her granddaughter tickets on a different night for the concert. She was so grateful that it wasn't her granddaughter caught up in it but so very very sad for everyone that was. My heart aches too for the ordinary decent people of the Islamic faith. We all know that this is not about religion.  It is caused by disgusting evil people...
Image result for image of black and white hands

Monday, 22 May 2017

Absolutely Knackered and a lovely surprise

I have been at work all day and came home absolutely knackered... then I checked my emails and discovered that I have won a pair of tickets for the Country Homes and Interiors show down in London.... We may be having a weekend away in early June. I feel a bit of a spend is due... :-) I have had a lot of luck with competitions this past year and won some really nice prizes.  I can see how people become addicted to entering them.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Feeling humble

I have just got off the phone after talking to my friend Ted who is in hospital.  He was told this morning that the operation he had last week was not succesful and he now has to have another operation to remove his leg.  Ted is eighty three years old and one of the kindest people that Tony and I know.  Several years ago his eldest son was beaten up by a gang of thugs. He lost his leg due to the attack and was left with a serious brain injury. He is now in a residential care home.  Ted's beloved wife Edith died suddenly last year and he was shaken to the core.   About six months ago he bought himself a new car which is his pride and joy and this lovely man simply said.. 'I will have to see if I can get an automatic when I have had my op'. He told me that he has been counting his blessings and has seen many people far worse off than he is.  I feel thoroughly humble after speaking to him today.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Curry Club

I have had a smashing day at my curry club today.  This is what we made and then ate together

Spinach Pakora

160g spinach
5 slices of stale bread... crumbed
2 medium potatoes cooked then mashed
2tbs Rice Flour
2tbs Gram Flour
1tsp salt
half tsp chilli powder
half tsp cumin powder
half tsp carom seeds
quarter tsp bicarb

Mix it all together with a little bit of water to bind the ingredients and then leave it to stand for about an hour.
After an hour check the mix.  If it is too dry add a bit more water.  If it is too wet add a bit more rice flour.

Shape into small neat thin patties and fry in oil.... remember it is important to keep them nice and neat so that they don't disintegrate when you fry them

Chicken Korma

You need to marinade the chicken overnight in the  ginger/garlic/spice mix.

1.5kg chicken cut into bite size pieces.

Ginger/garlic/spice mix as follows

2'' piece of ginger... peeled
5 cloves of garlic
2 green chillis

Mince the above in a blender and then add

2tsp salt
8tbs plain yoghurt
1.5tsp ground coriander
1.5tsp cumin powder
1tsp chilli powder
1.5tsp Garam Masala

reserve 1 tbs of the paste for the following day

Mix the marinade well into the chicken.  Cover and leave to marinade overnight.

The following day

2 medium onions sliced
2 medium onions finely chopped
8 cloves
3 black cardamoms
1 piece of cinamon bark
1tsp black peppercorns
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp corriander seeds
1tsp turmuric
 a little oil for frying
The reserved tbs of garlic/ginger/spice paste

Dry roast and then finely chop the following but don't add them until the Korma is nearly cooked...

1tbs cashew nuts
1tbs almonds
1tbs poppy seeds
1tbs dried coconut

Brown the sliced onions in a little oil. Then remove from the pan and put to one side

Add a little more oil into the pan and fry the finely chopped onions all the spices and the tbs ginger/garlic/spice paste.  Fry for a few minutes and then add the marinaded chicken, 1tsp turmuric, half a teaspoon of each of the previous spices (not cinnamon or black cardamoms) 1tsp salt. a good splash of water.  Cover and cook on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.. check frequently to make sure it doesn't catch on the pan bottom

Just before serving stir in the ground nut mix and the fried onions. You may need to add add a little more oil if it looks dry.

Naan Bread

8oz plain flour
4tbs plain yoghurt
2tbs oil
quarter tsp baking powder
quarter tsp bicarb soda
1 egg
1tsp dried yeast
pinch of salt
1tsp sugar
4tbs milk

Put the flour in a bowl and add sugar salt and yeast. Mix well.

Warm the milk slightly and mix with the yoghurt then beat the egg with the oil and mix into the yoghurt and milk mix,

Add this mixture a little at a time to the flour mix.  Mix thoroughly before covering and leaving overnight in a warm place to prove

The following day take small handfulls of the dough and roll in some plain flour before shaping  in your hands the same way that we did the chapattis.  Roll out with a rolling pin until flat.

Now heat a dry frying pan and put the grill on a high heat.  Rub a little bit of water on one side of the bread and place wet side down onto the frying pan.  Brush with a mix of milk and oil or egg wash.
When it starts to look cooked underneath slide it on the grill pan and continue cooking until golden and cooked through

Thursday, 18 May 2017

This is beautiful


Bird box transformation

I spent a lovely hour twiddling about with bits of paper and embellishments yesterday.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My latest love spoon

I am now close to finishing it.  A few tweeks here and there. A bit of sandpaper and wax et voila.  It will get stuck up in the loft with the rest of my wood carvings.....and other craft junk

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Grumpy kitty

 I have started to add a bit of texture to the machine felted cat.  He isn't finished yet but I did have to smile when I saw how grumpy he looks at present