First Quilt (with bonus kitten)

For pao’s birthday this year, we spent part of it using our friend’s huge lounge floor to plan out a quilt for our bedroom. We decided to go for something easy to try it out so got hold of some large fat quarters (Road 15 by Moda). If you’ve ever met pao, you’ll understand that the process of choosing the layer cake was quite entertaining!

It wasn’t long before we were joined by Dizzy to help.

Somebody really enjoyed us moving the squares round.

It was like Sirius was cheering her on from afar 🙂

Finally, we got them arranged the way we wanted but there was not enough time to start on the sewing straight away so we used bits of post it notes to mark out our layout 🙂

mrspao’s Peppermint Slice

I was at the Farmer’s Market with pao a few weeks back and we came across a lady selling peppermint slice. I’d never eaten peppermint slice before but pao had it made for him regularly by his mum when he was a kid so we got a couple of pieces to eat with our cup of tea.

I got to thinking about how easy it would be to make and figured I’d give it a go when I got a chance. I found this recipe and thought I’d have a go at it.

Here is my take on the recipe:

Biscuit base:

250g Dark chocolate digestive biscuits
125g butter
2 tsp cocoa powder

Peppermint layer:

300g icing sugar
125g butter
1 tsp peppermint flavouring
a few drops of green food colouring

Chocolate topping:

200g good dark chocolate
1 tsp peppermint flavouring

Line a baking pan with greaseproof paper.

Set butter to melt either in a saucepan or in the microwave.

Make the biscuit base by crushing the biscuits into rough crumbs. I used the end of a rolling pin to crush up my biscuits.

Mix butter, biscuits and cocoa powder together and flatten into the lined baking pan. Put in the fridge until set. Go away, have a cup of tea etc etc.

Once the biscuit layer is set, mix together all the peppermint layer ingredients until a smooth cream is made.

The green food colouring is a serious matter for debate.

I put in a few drops according to the recipe but pao came along and put it loads more because he thought it wasn’t green enough.

Spread on your green layer. Put your tin back in the fridge and wait til set. Get another cup of tea, do some knitting, watch some Parks and Recreation, etc.

When the peppermint layer is set, melt the chocolate with peppermint flavouring and pour onto the peppermint layer. Swirl around until the chocolate completely covers the peppermint. Put in the fridge to set again.

Wait patiently.

When the chocolate has set, cut into squares and eat with a cup of tea.

Long-time blog readers may be shocked that Sirius isn’t as interested in baking as he once was. Thankfully, I can report that the tin of cocoa was so interesting, he leapt right on the counter!

Ten on a Tuesday : 10 Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We don’t really have Thanksgiving so I’m going to use my imagination here a bit and think happy holiday time favourites 🙂

1. Roast potatoes. pao does make the very best roast potatoes.

2. Yorkshire pudding. Finally after years of trial and error, I can make these. Also very good frozen and reheated (if they last that long)

3. Carrots cooked in a stock.

4. Petit pois

5. Bread sauce. I love this with turkey.

6. Cranberry sauce. Again pao does make a winning cranberry sauce 🙂 Very good in turkey sandwiches.

7. Stovetop stuffing. Happily this is readily available over here 🙂

8. Brussel sprouts. I actually enjoy these ‘dirty little cabbages’ as they once were described to me.

9. Corn bread. Also a big fan of Aunt Jemima’s cornbread 🙂 Again, thankfully readily available here.

10. Mashed potato. The best ever mashed potato I had was in Boston as an accompaniment to roast chicken. It was mashed with basil 🙂

Sirius thinks that we should hurry up with the roast chicken!

Making Monday: Betty Mouat Blanket

Time and winter seem to have really crept up quickly and got me busy. I had several weeks of Artists’ Open House during October and early November that I was concentrating on along with a week of cat sitting so I have been quite absent. Thankfully, I have a lull in proceedings and can get back to things I enjoy including my poor neglected blog. One such project is my blanket. I started it in January/February and then put it away when the weather heated up. Now the temps have dropped, I’ve sought it out ready to continue and progressed a few repeats thus far but feel I have some way to go still. I am enjoying the way it is going and really enjoying the way that the different yarns look. Maybe I’ll get it done for next winter 🙂

We’re still busy-ish. We’re getting ready for the imminent arrival of Bob and Louise (hooray!) for Thanksgiving. As you can see Sirius is taking his role of chief sofa warmer very seriously indeed!!