Thursday, 17 May 2012

Feeling a bit bananas

I will start this week with another recipe I have tried out. I was indeed feeling bananas last Thursday, especially when I had four of the things that were overly ripe and desperately needed eating up. I began a search for a banana cake loaf, and found this one on the BBC Good Food website.

Ingredients

225g plain flour
140g caster sugar
100g Butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing
2tsp baking powder
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 egg, lightly whisked
585g walnuts (optional)
50ml milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
Grease a large 2lb loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper (or two 1lb tins)
Cream the butter and sugar.
Stir in the egg until thoroughly combined.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
Stir in the bananas and add walnuts if using.
Pour into loaf tin/s and gently tap the tin/s on the work surface to remove air bubbles. Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until a a skewer comes out clean.
Serve warm with cream or ice cream, or allow to cool.

It will keep for two days in a cake tin or can be frozen for up to a month.

I found the resulting cake to be extremely sticky and very sweet. If anything, next time I make it I would only use three bananas, or find a recipe that requires more flour and less sugar. I think a teaspoon of cinnamon would go nicely too. I actually got two small loaf cakes from the mixture as I don't have a large tin. I still baked them at the same temperature and for the same length of time.


Last Sunday I went to the White Rose Centre in Leeds to get some birthday presents (it is usually best if I am kept away from all shops that sell anything to do with crafts!). I went into the Disney store for a present for my two year old niece. Not only am I in a daze every single time I enter these stores, but I also have this overwhelming urge to spend lots of money (on myself!). I left with a Tangled bowl, plate, cutlery and cup. I had to take a picture of the carrier bag to show you, because it is brilliant! I am never parting with it, ever.









I also bought a present for my step mum and then got home and realised I had no wrapping paper. One thing I do have an abundance of is fabric and ribbon, so how's this for upcycling. Fabric wrapping! The recipient should get it today so I hope she likes it.







On Tuesday I found out about some books available at The Book People. Ten Julia Donaldson books for £9.99! I am a huge fan of her books and The Gruffalo is probably the most widely known story. I simply had to buy them, along with a cupcake making book, a Stickman jigsaw and another sewing book. I'll let you know more about the craft ones next week.


Because I have started yet another cushion this week, my other half got to listen to me chuntering away when I messed up the lengths I was cutting. He piped up, "is that so you can do your letterbox closing?". Oh boy did I laugh! He meant envelope, but at least it shows he tries, and to be fair, he does know a lot of the fabric types and names that I'm always going on about! This cushion has a nursery rhyme theme and has lines and pictures from Hey Diddle Diddle, Little Bo Peep, There Was An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, and a few others. It will match these pictures that you can buy at http://www.simplydivinethings.co.uk/nursery-rhymes-71-c.asp.

This weeks crafting how to comes from an American website, craftzine.com. It is a drawer or desk organiser made from upcycled plastic drinks bottles. It is also great for using up bit of felt.. I have been saying to my other half that I should start trying to upcycle more. Clothes rarely get thrown out in this house as I can use fabric, buttens, zips etc, but nothing else.



You will need:

4+ empty and washed out 2L plastic drinks bottles (they used 6)
Paint suitable for use on plastic, such as acrylic or model spray paint
Felt in a colour that co-ordinates
Plastic glue (E6000 doesn't work and removes the paint
Old newspaper
Utility knife and strong scissors
Craft glue, such as PVA
Paper clips

1. Cut around 3 inches from the bottom off the bottles. This place may vary depending on the contour of the bottle as you will need a steady hand. Use the knife to make the first cut so you can get your scissors in. It is important you take your time with this bit.

2. Standing the ends upside down on newspaper, paint the outsides completely with your chosen paint. Don't forget to work in a ventilated area. Allow to dry completely.

3. Using the craft glue, wrap around the top of each container with 3/8" wide felt, so it covers the top completely and is folded over each side. Hold in place with paper clips while it dries.

4. Glue the pots together in whatever formation you want. This will probably depend on where you want it to go.

5. Allow to dry and fill them with your crafting bits!

This guide was done by Diane Gilleland of www.craftypod.com, although I have reworded it to make it relevant to UK crafters.

That's it for this week. Enjoy your crafting :-)

Kirsty x

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