Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A secret project unveiled

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the beautiful chandelier J surprised me with at the weekend. He has been gathering materials for this for a few weeks but the actual build only took a couple of hours to pull it together. He had told me he was working on a secret project but wouldn't share anything in terms of what it was. Needless to say I am thrilled and super proud of his efforts. I love seeing his ideas coming together. He is like a child on Christmas morning!!

The materials are all scraps he collected from a job site he was working on. The only costs he had were the chains and hooks to hang it, the candle holders and the copper spray paint, He had the black from the bike he fixed up during the summer.
Check it out here.


Apologies for the picture quality, they were all taken on his iPhone in the brother in laws apartment where he was doing the work without any natural light. They are probably not in sequence now either but you get the jist of how things went down :-) 
Here he is testing the strength of his table and working out the centre for hanging.
And here she is in all her glory.

We had a very productive evening on Friday altogether. We also managed to finally get the June project finished and up on the wall.

And some plumbing pipe we had bought to use to hang the bike got repurposed into wall sconces.

All in all the new place is starting to come together. We are chuffed with how such small things can make all the difference to creating a home away from home. Hope your all having a lovely week.

Michelle xxx
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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Winter Warmers..

I've been trying out some soup recipes lately as starters for our Christmas dinner. The first is a Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple soup and the second is my Uncles favourite French Onion Soup. Having never made either before I figured a trial run was called for. Both turned out great so I will be doing a batch of both for Christmas. I served it with some Gluten Free Yogurt bread which I'll share soon.

1 butternut squash
3 good eating apples,
1 large onion
1 or 2 fresh red chilies
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and bashed
1tsp Rosemary,
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Olive oil
salt and  pepper
3 ¼ cups vegetable or chicken stock
2/3 cup light cream
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel and slice the squash lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1-inch chunks and put them on a large baking sheet.
Peel and core the apples, Peel and chop the onion and add the apples and onion to the baking sheet. Halve and deseed the chilies and add to the sheet with the unpeeled and bashed garlic cloves, rosemary and cayenne pepper. Drizzle over a good amount of olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything together and cook for around 45 minutes,  
While the veg are roasting, heat the stock in a large pan. Once roasted remove veg from oven and squeeze the garlic flesh out of its skin. Add the veg to the stock pot and use an immersion blender to liquidise. Pour in most of the cream and bring to a simmer over a medium to low heat. If you like a thicker soup simmer to your liking, if you like a thinner soup add additional stock. Serve with a drizzle of cream and some delicious bread and your done.
Gluten Free Yogurt Bread...Coming soon

French Onion Soup is not something I ever thought I would like. When I was younger and we would go out for dinner Mick would order it and I had to move to the other end of the table. I have now been reformed. I followed Donal Skehan's recipe for this one.

 4 large onions, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons oil or butter
4 pints beef stock
salt and pepper
thick slices of Udi's Gluten Free French Baguette
grated cheese of your choice
Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan and add the peeled, sliced onions. Cook gently, stirring frequently until they are golden – on no account let them brown. Stir in the flour and add the pepper and salt.

Yes...There were tears!!
Pour over the stock, cover and cook gently for about 25 minutes. Dry the slices of bread in the oven. Pour the soup into the serving bowl of your choice then transfer the slices of bread to the soup, sprinkling thickly with grated cheese. Put under a hot grill for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
And that's it! Easy as pie. Give them a try and let me know how you got on. Hope your having a great week.

Michelle xxx
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