Thursday, 28 June 2012

Big Boys Toys

Hi everyone.

I just have to tell you a bit more about this layout. The semi-circle behind the photo is a flap. It lifts back and reveals more info about the photo.

Here's a peek...

Although it may not seem obvious at first, the background paper is made entirely from stamps. I first stamped the info stamp. I stamped the word "Memory" in orange then the rest in black, locating it in the centre under the flap. I then filled the rest of the background paper using two different script stamps plus a grid stamp. I like the random effect it makes. I also used white ink to stamp the border around the page and used a part of the Tim Holts stamp to add the numbers along the right hand side of the layout.

For something different, I tied knots in string through random holes in the scalloped edge around the semi-circular flap.

I love the juxtoposition of the "rusty" hinges next to the lace. I think the reason it works is that my son is only two years old in the photo. I would have replaced the lace with something else if he had been a lot older.

I hope that answers a few questions!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Busy Cook's Secret Book

Hi everyone.
I made a recipe book and it was published in Scrapbook Creations a while ago. The book was called "The Busy Cook's Secret Book" because it contained a special recipe that could be changed to make many different meals. I should point out I'm not the world's best cook. The way I see it, anything that takes me out of the kitchen and gives me more time to get into the scrap room has to be a good thing!
I used October Afternoon's "Modern Homemaker" range of papers and chipboard which worked beautifully with the theme.
Here's the cover:

To enhance the "secret' theme I used flaps and envelopes to hide messages in and under.

I can hear you now - yes that book is all very lovely but "What's the secret recipe?" For the first time ever, by popular demand, only to be found on Heather's blog, here it is - the one and only "Secret Recipe"! 

1.5kg diced beef - chuck, blade or any any similar cut will do
1 - 2 large onions, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sticks of celery, sliced
4 large carrots, chopped any way you like
Other vegetables (depending on which version you are making - see later notes)
2 x 425 grams cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
some olive oil

1. Brown beef in small batches in olive oil in a frying pan.
2. Transfer beef to a large pot and add all other ingredients.
3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least an hour. Remove lid and simmer for another half an hour.


However, knowing the recipe is only half the secret. Knowing what to do with it is the other half. The trick is to convert the basic recipe to create something that appears to be completely different. The above recipe should feed a family of 4 twice, so make one half with one flavour, and the other half with another flavour and serve the second one a couple of days later. Your family will think you spent hours making the second dish. 
Here are some of the alteration options:

Here are some other ideas:
Add a jar of your favourite curry paste. Add capsicum, potatoes and peas to a green curry and pumpkin to a yellow or massaman curry. Top with peanuts and coriander. Serve with rice.
Add rendang paste. Use less veges and serve with rice and salad.
Mum's old fashioned curry
Brown Keens Curry in the pot with a bit of oil before adding the rest of casserole. Add sultanas and diced apple right at the end. 
Other meats
Chicken works really well, either in whole joints or diced. Cook for about half the time you would cook the beef dish for. Think chicken cacciatore,  chicken curries, chicken pies etc...
Lamb is great, particularly with Middle Eastern dishes. Cook as for beef.
My daughter is a vegetarian and I have no trouble adapting this recipe for her. In a separate pot I use all the same ingredients except the meat. I make sure I add some sort of protein - chick peas for Middle Eastern, lentils or chick peas for Indian, tofu for Asian etc. Nuts are good as well.

Well there you have it. My secret recipe is secret no more!

I hope you all enjoy it.

This blog was especially for you Helen T!


Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Quick Hello

I'd like to say a big hi to all my scrapbooking friends. I'm finally online! I'm looking forward to sharing my layouts and other projects with everyone and to see more of yours too.