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Mid-week Inspiration

Tuesday, 3 March 2015



Claire

Favourite Banana Loaf Cake

I've got another great cake recipe for you today. A little bit more work than my All-Bran cake, but so worth it, believe me!


This recipe is one of Nigella's and I've used it over and over. It comes up moist and delicious every time! Give it a go and let me know what you think...


Banana Loaf Cake

Ingredients 
100g sultanas
75ml dark rum
175g plain flour ~ I used rice flour this time, but spelt has also worked well 
2 tsp baking powder   
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar 
2 large eggs 
4 small very ripe bananas
60g chopped walnuts 
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Instructions
1. Mix the sultanas and rum in a small pan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave for at least an hour. Drain off any excess rum (or save to drink later!)



2.  Pre-heat your oven to 170C / Gas Mark 3

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb & salt in a bowl

4. Mash the bananas & set aside


5. Melt the butter & sugar and beat together until blended


6. Beat the eggs into the butter & sugar, then add the bananas


7.  Stir in the walnuts, sultanas & vanilla extract



8. Slowly stir in the flour 

9. Pour into a greased, lined loaf tin & bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1-1.25 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean  


10. Leave to cool and then eat greedily in big, chunky slices (or is that just me?!) 

 
Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a shot of this one cut open before it was devoured. I'm putting my new cake plate to good use already though you'll see!

Done any weekend baking recently? I'd love to know your favourites!

Claire

Weekend Picks

Friday, 27 February 2015


Look what's popped up in the garden this past week!
Yay ~ snowdrops are a sign that spring is finally on its way!

Here's some of what I've been reading over the last few days, when not cooing over little white flowers in the lawn...

: : Shoot
Love tilt-shift photography ~ check out these great examples

: : Wander
Read Michelle's tips for packing light, my latest simplicity obsession!

: : Nourish
We've still got a bit of time to go before cold & flu season fizzles out. In the meantime these 7 natural ways to stop a cold in its tracks are worth taking note of

: : Nest
Loving this Californian bungalow, especially the accessories storage wall! Want. Need. Love.

: : Inspire
Some brilliant tips for coping when you feel that life's starting to overwhelm you

Enjoy the weekend break ♥

Claire

Looking for a Plate for a Cake

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Today I want to share with you a pretty range of crockery I discovered this week, whilst looking for a plate to serve cake on.

The Denby Heritage Veranda is inspired by 1960s Arabesque and has a modern-retro feel about it.


I love the shapes, patterns & colours...


This isn't a brand I've bought before, but my parents have quite a bit of Denby chinaware.

I was looking for a plate that would suit the kind of loaf~shaped cake I'm fond of ~ see my recent recipe here. I happened upon this one from the Heritage Veranda range, which suits perfectly... This picture shows the true colour a bit better - more of a putty than a green.


It's microwave & dishwasher proof, which is a bonus as most of my china is hand wash only, having come to me from my Grandparents.

Not sure if I'll be buying anything else from this range just yet, but I do kind of like it's quirky style.


What style of china do you favour? Quirky or more conservative? 
Matching or eclectic? I'd love to know!


Claire

Mid-week Inspiration

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Love this sentiment!

Claire

How I learnt to Sew & Knit

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Have you seen The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2? It's back for a third series and I'm loving it. Amateur sewers are put to the test each week, making garments from scratch and using their creative skills in the alteration challenge. At the end of each episode the judges decide who will leave the sewing room that week.


I'm been sewing and knitting since I was a child. Both my Grandmothers made almost all their own clothes and they taught me their skills at a young age. We'd sit and knit together or put together simple clothes using their sewing machines.

Until I was a teenager, everything I wore was handmade by these amazing ladies, not to mention the numerous outfits my teddies and dolls enjoyed!

This is me wearing a smocked sundress, made by my Grandma (circa 1978)

My Mum's wedding dress was made by her own Mum (1968), who also made the wedding cake.

As a teenager I had a Saturday job in a local haberdashery shop. It was just the best thing being surrounded by all that fabric, buttons, zips, ribbons... I probably spent more money there than I earned!


There's something I find about making things by hand which is very relaxing.

Whilst at school I knitted an Aran jumper ~ 100% wool ~ which I rediscovered recently on a visit to my parents' house. Happily it's a style now back in fashion!

2014 ~ still fits!

And during the first year at University, I made my own dress for the end of year ball, using black velvet...


1992, such style! ;)

For my 21st Birthday, Mum & Dad gave me a Singer sewing machine. It doesn't get as much use these days as I'd like ~ mostly repairs & alterations or the odd cushion cover ~ but it's still with me!

At the moment, I'm knitting one of my trademark baby hats for a friend, who's expecting her first child in a couple of month's time. This time I've chosen a red as we don't know the sex of the baby, but I've previously made them in pale pink & cream, pale blue and pale green.


It's a straightforward pattern from Debbie Bliss ~ I'll post a photo when it's finished!



Can you knit or sew? Made anything recently? 
What are your thoughts on the current resurgence of home crafting?

Claire

Weekend Picks

Friday, 20 February 2015



Another week has passed already ~ we'll soon be in March, can you believe it?! 
I'm so excited to see what springs up in our garden over the next few months ~ watch this space...

Lovely links from this week:

: : Shoot
A take on what makes a photo interesting

: : Wander
I'd really like to try the Pack 120 Experiment next time we travel ~ that's 1 bag & 20 items, not 120 items, in case you're wondering!!

: : Nourish
Can't wait to try out some of these superfood lattes ~ yum

: : Nest
This Australian house is great inspiration for using texture in your home

: : Inspire
I'm a die-hard completer-finisher, so this piece on why it's ok to quit sometimes is a breath of fresh air

Have a great weekend everyone

Claire