Non Crafty: 2015

Moving this list to a post, to clear some page space, and ease scrolling…

Here was my Non-Crafty list for 2015 aka my 30 before 30…

Kay’s 30 Before 30 Challenge!

1: Read 6 Books from my massive book pile! X

  • The Sleeper and The Spindle- Neil Gaiman
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Hamlet (this counts right? Even though it’s a play?)
  • Dr Sleep (seriously I’ve been reading this on and off for a year!)

Close… .

2: Post 1 photo a day onto instagram, for a year! X

Started doing this and got bored with it… New suggestions welcome for next year… 

3: Complete all my scrapbooks!

This didn’t completely happen but I have finished more than one… and will take photos and update the gallery when I have time.

4: Finish two cross-stitch WIPs

I was very disappointed not to do this I didn’t end up doing much stitching at all! 

5: Make Cards for everyone this year!

Done!

6: Watch 12 Film Series this year (series of 3+ movies in a collection)

1- Taxi, Taxi 2, Taxi 3 (French version)

2- Back to the Future, Back to the Future 2, Back to the Future 3

3- Indiana Jones: Raiders, Temple, Crusade, Crystal

4- Star Wars Eps 1-6 (and 4,5,and 6 again….)

5- Jurassic Park 1-3 and Jurassic World

6- X-Men, X2, The Last Stand, 1st Class and Days of Future Past

7- Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

8- Edgar Wrights Cornetto Trilogy- Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End

9- Toy Story 1-3

10-  Mad Max 1-3 and Mad Max Fury Road

11- Daniel Craig Bond Films/New Bond – Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre

12-  The Hunger Games 1-4

Done!

7: Do 5 crafty swaps

3 by the end of the year.

Close…

8: Run 2 Giveaways!

Due to lack of time and my hiatus this year, this didn’t happen, but I’m hoping next year.

9: Learn a new crafty skill

I didn’t in the end due to circumstances beyond my control

10: Learn 5 songs on bass

I have learned some things on bass, but not specifically songs. So kind of half way…

11: Improve my blog photography

I haven’t had to take photos recently, though I like to think I’m more aware of problem areas, and when it comes to photography I now know how to do better.

12: Reach the top of the Eiffel Tower DONE! June 16th

4 Paris Tues 16th (16)

13: Meet Mickey Mouse DONE June 11th

3 DLP Thurs 11th (29)

Because I’m a big kid!

14: Return to Comic-Con – In Costume

Amazing… Totally done and had a great time!

15: Get Fit (or at least fitter)

I can’t really judge this, I have my good and bad days, though I still want this for next year anyway, it was more motivational than anything!

16: Surf – For the first time! X

Didn’t happen – due to circumstances beyond my control!

17: Road Trip!!

Unless Birmingham counts for Comic Con… :/

18: Complete the April A-Z Challenge 2015!

Done, and I loved every minute!

19: Pay off my Debt

This one can carry on for next year

20: Get into a better daily routine Half Done

I have my good days and my bad days. I still need to try harder, but when it works it really works well!

21: Learn something new DONE

I chose to use this one sensibly and have actually just learned to cook more…. and different things! So yes I have, not a specific thing, but just extended my knowledge and skills 🙂

22: Write more letters X

Time was a factor here, I have already got more of a plan for 2016 and this is back on there. Though there won’t be an official list next year.

23: Sing at an open mic night X

Just didn’t happen

24: Throw a big party for family and friends X

Not happening… Out of my control. I would have liked doing this.

25: Go to London and see a show

Half Done

Did see two plays with National Theatre Live, the encore of Coriolanus and the LIVE showing of Hamlet, so I’m half counting it as it was technically IN London, even if I wasn’t… 

26: Cook a roast for Boyfriends Mother

Done 26/1/15

Actually happened more than once!

27: Quit smoking…

🙂

28: Finish or be on the way to finishing the Advent Calendar

It needs finishing off… But it’ll get there

29: Make something new for the Christmas Decoration collection!

I didn’t do this but I have prepared it for xmas 2016…

30: Knit something… and finish it!

I did manage this! 

all together around half complete. It was a good motivator though!!

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No Cook Cheesecake

Hi there!

Midweek is upon us, and that means it’s recipe day!

Today I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes it’s such an easy make and great for well… any time really!

No-Cook Cheesecake

Ingredients:

250g Digestive Biscuits

100g Melted Butter

Vanilla Pod (Or a drizzle of extract)

600g Soft Cheese

100g Icing Sugar

284ml Pot Double Cream

Method:

Break up the biscuits (The old wrap a bag-full of biscuits in a tea towel and bash with a rolling-pin method works best)

Mix with the melted butter and press the mixture into the base of a deep loose bottomed baking tin. (I use a springform cake tin for this, as it makes life easier). Put this into the fridge whilst you do the next bit.

Mix the cream and sugar, keep stirring and add the vanilla, and finally the cheese.

Stir together until the mixture is creamy.

SPoon the mixture onto the base that should be fairly well set now, and add anything else you want such as fruit, or chocolate!) keep in the fridge for a while (I recommend leaving it overnight).

Eat.

I’m afraid I don’t have a photo, though I will update the post when I make it again… In the meantime here is one courtesy of a google image search…

Have a great day!

B – Banoffee Pie

Hi there!

Todays recipe, is one I’ve been meaning to share for a while, I hadn’t made it for ages, and then last week the mood took me, which was incredibly fitting when suddenly I decided to get involved with the April A-Z Challenge, and recipe sharing day happened to be on the day I needed a post for the letter B!

So here’s the recipe:

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

16 Digestive biscuits (there’s a weight guideline somewhere but I just know the amount now, you can of course use more or less than this but it’s pretty accurate!)

100g Butter (melted)

Caramel – now these days the lovely people at Carnation make their own caramel in a can, which is a timesaver. And I used this. You can of course use condensed milk and make your own caramel, which is the long-winded way of doing it, but if you so wish you can find the instructions HERE.

300ml Whipping Cream

3 small bananas

Chocolate/Cocoa Powder to decorate the top.

Method:

Crush the biscuits (put in a bag, wrap the bag in a tea-towel or similar, and bash with a rolling pin).

Mix with the melted butter

Press this to make a base in (ideally) a 23cm flan tin. (I pressed to make a base in a 20cm/8ins loose bottomed springform cake tin it worked fine. I recommend lining with baking paper).

Place this in the fridge while you do the next part…

If you’re making the caramel, you’ll obviously have read the above and know how much time you needed and you’ll have begun, at this stage. Now though I opened my tin of caramel and mixed it a bit in a bowl to make it easier to work with later, and left it to one side.

Whipping Cream. Now of course you can buy whipped cream. I think hand whipping is better, but you have many options, do what I did and work your arms for a bit:…

SAM_2341

Thanks to Stu for providing photographic evidence of my whipping skills…

…Or you can use whipped cream from another source, or whip using an electric whisk.

Cut your bananas up into relatively even pieces.

Retrieve your base, and cover with an even layer of the caramel.

Layer on the banana.

Top with the cream. (I spooned mine on and left it a bit untidy at the top, your presentation is entirely up to you):

SAM_2343

Finish with either some grated chocolate, or sprinkle on some cocoa powder.

Leave in the fridge for at least an hour to cool and set.

Here’s mine:

SAM_2347

slightly ambitious photography here…

Enjoy! (Seriously this one is SO easy, give it a go!)

Tag Bol!

Wow, sorry, I was busy booking a holiday and stuff last night (I know that’s a terrible excuse) so I’ve had to wait til lunchtime at work to post my latest recipe post.

I actually edit this one myself, because I am a fussy eater(!) so yeah I have put my alternatives in here too in blue!

I’ll add a photo later because I’m actually making this tonight!

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Ingredients:

Generous knob of butter
100g bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
250g minced beef

150ml dry white wine

400ml tin plum tomatoes

Tagliatelle Pasta

3 musrooms

1 bell pepper, finely diced (or 2 halfs of different colours)

Method:

Melt the butter in a large saucepan (or I use a wok) set over a gentle heat.

Add the bacon. Once the bacon fat has started to melt, add the onion, and cook gently until softened, then tip in the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the celery and cooking for a further 2 minutes.

Here’s where I note that I use  mushrooms and peppers because I don’t like either onion or celery… but it works pretty  much the same way, I add peppers last…

Crumble the beef into the pan and brown, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. Season and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour in the wine and the tomatoes and stir well. Simmer until the meat is very tender. (Some people do this for HOURS it’s up to you I guess, but I find 30 mins is about all the time I have to cook it in) Check on it occasionally, and top up with a little water if it seems too dry, although this probably won’t be necessary. Serve with tagliatelle and grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Pasta Bake

Hey!

Today I’m sharing a really easy recipe that always goes down well here!

It’s once again loaded with cheese (I think I have a problem) but there is green present, so it’s kind-of healthy right?

Here’s my recipe for my favourite pasta bake!

Cheesy Tuna and Broccoli Pasta Bake:

Ingredients:

Broccoli (amounts here are all up to your discretion really, however much you like of all things)

Pasta (I use fusilli, or “twisty pasta” for this)

Tuna (one tin, or two if you’re loving the tuna)

Some grated cheese for topping.

For the Cheese Sauce:

50g Butter

50g Plain Flour

500ml Milk

200g Grated Cheese

Method:

Cook broccoli and pasta til very close to being cooked (You don’t really need instructions right?)

Open and drain tin(s) of tuna.

Make Cheese Sauce:

Melt the butter in a pan.

Stir in the flour until well mixed.

Remove from the heat.

Slowly stir in the milk.

Return to heat.

Bring sauce to the boil.

Stir in Cheese.

Once all of this is completed put the whole lot in a baking dish (or casserole dish) and mix it together.

Sprinkle your remaining cheese on the top and bake in a moderately hot oven until the cheese on the top has browned.

Eat!

Pasta Bake