Thursday, 26 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #88 Craft & chocolate mania

Can you guess what this is?
Ta-da! It's my secret project!
Whew, what a week! It was crazy busy in the lead up to Sunday's birthday event. The strawberry cross stitch tablecloth went down well...

Milk chocolate truffles with chocolate outer layer and sprinkles did the various chocolate treats! 
These milk chocolate truffles with chocolate shell and cute butterfly fluttered into open mouths
I crashed out Monday and Tuesday, strictly only watching DVDs and reading. I ventured back into craft yesterday with knitted baby booties. I thought I was going to finish one, but the technique required was super hard, and time consuming. Since I'm trying to use patterns that are fairly simple to make I gave up and started trying a different pattern. So far, so good! 

Today I was busy writing up reviews for Nayu's Reading Corner - I hope to be on top of them by next Wednesday. Tonight I'm watching anime with no craft as I've ended up being busy all day so need to rest before bed. 

Tomorrow is a bit busy with getting ready to meet up with a friend on Saturday (we meet once a year), more on that tomorrow ^o^

Friday, 20 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #87 A Yummy Raspberry Eclair!

Super yummy!

This week I treated myself to a delicious raspberry eclair from Sainsbury's - highly recommend them! The combination of slightly sharp raspberries with fluffy cream and pastry is wonderful. Prefer it to the standard chocolate eclair.
I still like the chocolate kind! Now, have I made you want to eat one?

Life is a still a bit busy, so I haven't yet done anything crafty to show you. It's a bit frustrating, but hopefully by the middle of next week I'll be back to some kind of schedule. Will keep giving a peek into my life though!

I am & I do! Are you & do you?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #86 Busy!

What am I doing here? Can't quite say...
I've yet to finish the baby bootie I started the other day - I've been busy doing secret mission stuff, and in between that resting. Going to be busy until the end of next week but am determined to fit craft in when I can! I promise my secret mission work will be worth the wait. ^o^

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Nayu's Recipes #7 Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Getting ready to bake!
Yesterday I wanted to bake some cookies, so after I got my equipment and ingredients out I got baking! I followed this recipe, although I only used 2/3 of the recommended chocolate chips, baked them for about 10 minutes at half the size. 
Super tasty!! Ones on the lower left are baked a little more than the others.
Both the unbaked and baked cookie is totally delicious! I'm more a cookie than biscuit person, loving the softness that comes with delicious treats. While the first batch was baking, I halved the recipe, shaped the cookie mixture into balls and then put them in the freezer, so if I fancy a freshly baked cookie but don't have the energy to do all the baking I can simply take them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven. Simple! If you like them thick as I do, don't flatten the dough balls, they spread on their own accord.

I'd love to hear what your favourite cookie is, and whether you prefer soft cookies or crisp biscuits!
This is the best part of baking - often the food tastes better before it's baked too!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #11 Baby Boots Power!

New super tiny toes need to be kept warm, which makes my baby booties perfect! Picture source.
After various bits and pieces yesterday I finally got to knit! Cue happy Nayu.  I'd planned to at the weekend, but unexpectedly had laundry to do so that didn't happen. I don't wash by hand, but hanging laundry to dry on an airer is a work out for my weak arms, which kind of means I can't do anything else for a while. Then I was ill at the weekend: generalised bleh-ness all day Sat led to a day of anime watching. Sun I was fighting off a migraine, which thankfully didn't materialise - yay! 
The redone bootie!
I had to restart the baby bootie as some stitches had come undone and I had no clue where I was (the notebook which was in that particular craft bag has poofed into thin air). I'm close to finishing it, which is nice. This is for a newborn to 3 months size, and hopefully will become a regular item for my Etsy shop. I'm hoping to do some more tonight or even later this afternoon. 

This morning I got busy in the kitchen baking cookies! Pics are up on my Twitter account, and full details will be up in tomorrow's post. I was going to do it today, but I'm so excited to have done some craft I can show you (unlike my secret craft projects which are, well, secret for a few more months) that I simply had to delay the chocolate chip goodness which was today's baking. I did lots of quality control testing of the mixture before and after baking too! 
I know this isn't baking related, but as I was looking for baby item photos and spotted it and think it's absolutely adorable! Picture source.
After recovering from baking with some anime I'm now doing bloggy bits, hopefully going to get some writing in too (just 30 more pages to edit on my children's novel), although since a) woke early b) baked which consumes an insane amount of energy I don't know just how much brain power I've got. Thankfully I don't really need it to do my craft! 
Proud to be a knitting and crochet nerd!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Nayu's Recipes #6 Nayu's Quick and Easy Mushroom Soup

If you want you could leave the soup unblended, like this, but I like smooth soup so I hit the blender! (not literally!)
Finally I can share my mushroom soup recipe! I did initially look online for a recipe, but after getting the gist of what goes into mushroom soup, and wanting a smaller quantity than most recipes created, I made it up myself. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish, possibly less but I can't remember the exact time.
Note: this is an unsponsered post, any links and brand mentions are because I like the products the company provides and wish to share them with you.

Winging it worked out extremely well for this dish. The silky smooth texture (thank you Vitamix!) teamed up well with the subtly, buttery flavour of mushrooms. Here's what I did, with the full recipe at the end post.

I took a small smidge of butter,

My onion looked about this size.
used it to gently fry a small chopped onion. 

Since they were going in a blender I roughly cut mine into slices
I then the entire organic portion provided by Able and Cole added the super tasty mushrooms which are delicious raw and cooked, and I think are underated in cooking. I cooked them for a few minutes with the butter and onion mix. 

Also delicious cold from the fridge as a drink!
Next I tipped in enough milk and some water to cover the mixture.
The essence of life

I crumbled in an instant stock cube for flavour, 
Other brands are fine too!

a bit of flour to thicken it,
Flour isn't just for baking bread and cakes!
Use as much or as little as you like!
then added a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and let the mixture simmer for a while. 


Once I judged it ready I tipped it into the blender, whizzed it up & voila! Mushroom soup ^o^
Simple, plain, wonderfully tasty!
Mushroom soup is often creamy: I didn't add any cream, but it was better than any tinned soup which I've tasted. Here's my recipe! 


Please note the quantities are estimated as I 'winged' the recipe. Adjust the quantity according to your own preferences,

butter, a small matchbox sized amount 

onion, egg-sized chopped into little cubes 

white mushrooms (any kind can be used) about 2 fists worth 

milk, 3/4 of a cup 

water, 1/4 of a cup 

vegetarian stock cube, x 1 (I think meat ones could be used if you prefer them)

plain flour, 1 tablespoon 

salt and pepper, a little of each 

How to Cook
Total time: 30 minutes, depending on how well you like some of the ingredients cooked.

Put the butter in a saucepan until it melts, stirring occasionally. 

Add the chopped onion, and keep stirring as they cook for a few minutes.

Tip in the chopped mushrooms, and keep stirring as they cook for a few minutes. 

Add milk and water to cover the mixture. 

Add the stock cube, flour, salt, and pepper then let the mixture simmer for several minutes. How long you leave it is entirely up to how cooked you like your ingredients. The flour will thicken the soup so keep stirring until any lumps have dissolved.

Please follow the instructions in  your blender - not all blenders can take hot liquid, in which case either wait until the soup is cool before blitzing it, or blitz it after it warms up a bit, then heat it up for eating after. I'm fortunate that my family has a Vitamax blender which creates silky smooth soups (hence this soup's title) but any blender will do the job. 

Place mixture in blender, and blend to your preferred thickness. 

Place in bowls and enjoy!

I hope you've enjoyed today's recipe - I'd love to hear if you try it out for yourself!
This is obviously not going to happen after making my recipe, but I spotted it while searching for cooking images and it made me laugh, especially as I've used still images of this cat in previous posts. Picture source.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Almost here....

Super yummy soup from mushrooms!

Tomorrow I hope to give you the recipe for this delicious mushroom soup! Been a bit peaky this week, so today's the first day I've really caught up with email. Will finish catching up tomorrow (time for me to have some food then go rest til bed), so expect a post then! Thank you for bearing with me during my quieter times.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #85 Out with my crafting buddy!

I adore this cherry pattern sewing basket! Not mine, but a girl can dream ^o^ Picture source
There's not really a post today because I'm out visiting a fellow crafter! We will drink tea, work on our individual projects (sewing or crochet) and have a good catch up. Craft is a sociable hobby! Hope you have a great day whatever you're doing.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Nayu's Recipes #5 Nayu's 3 P Soup

An ideal bowl of mint pea soup!
Due to blogging this morning (playing catch up with a few not entirely straight forward posts/emails), at the time of writing this post I haven't done any craft. That's not going to stop me from posting! I thought I'd share with you the Pea Pesto Soup I've made for lunch, which is super tasty, and adapted from this BBC Good Food recipe
The humble pea which comes from a pea pod is packed full of nutrients surprisingly including protein!
I adore peas. I adore mint pea soup, which I had a lot one year but it's expensive to buy, so I thought I may as well make some. I can't be doing with a recipe that requires cream (I don't have any on standby, and although I have some frozen I shall be freezing the leftover soup so definitely can't refreeze the cream), a recipe one  which takes ages to make as it will make me tired, and I can't even make one with mint in because I don't have any to hand. 
Wonderful pesto, sadly mine isn't made by hand
What I do have is an open jar of pesto! Pesto doesn't last forever, is super tasty, and in my view goes well with peas. 

This may already feature in your kitchen cupboard
Pea soup includes stock - I'm using a famous vegetarian stock cube from Oxo. 

That's pretty much it on the ingredient front, nice and simple. Now I'm off to make it! 
All whizzed up!

It's so tasty!!! It's 3 P soup because it has Peas, Pesto, and sweet Potato. 
You can leave the skin on this sweet potato! Mine was pre-cooked.

I wanted a bit more veg in it, so dug around in the freezer and grabbed a pre-portioned (by me) bag of veg. It had peas, sweet potato and a secret ingredient...

No tomato was used in the making of Nayu's 3 P Soup!
Mozzarella! A few chunks of this cheese made it extra delicious. We'll ignore the fact it's an 'M' food since Nayu's 3 Ps + 1 M Soup sounds more like a maths equation than food, and I'm not fond of maths, no offence to the subject.  

Time to give you the super easy recipe which you can adapt according to what veg you have, what flavours you want! 

Peas, 3 and a bit fists 

Sweet potato= 1 fist 

Mozzarella = 3 small chunks 

Stock cube = 1 

Shop bought pesto = a golf ball sized dollop 

Boiling water = just enough to cover the veg in the saucepan (I used a small pan. If you like soup thicker, use less.) 

How to cook 

Put vegetables and cheese in a saucepan. 

Add enough boiling water to cover the veg (see note in ingredients) 

Sprinkle in the stock cube. 

Put in the pesto. 

Stir well. 

Let the soup cook until hot (or however well cooked you like your veg). 

Pour into blender and blitz until at required consistency 

Please follow the instructions in  your blender - not all blenders can take hot liquid, in which case either wait until the soup is cool before blitzing it, or blitz it after it warms up a bit, then heat it up for eating after. I'm fortunate that my family has a Vitamax blender which creates silky smooth soups, but any blender will do the job. 

I'd love to hear what your favourite soup is, and if you try my recipe! Future soup flavours will include mushroom and butternut squash! (Not together)
My favourite cartoon cat likes to cook!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #10 Hanging decorations

Today's been a day filled with groceries, errands, and secret project making while listening to books thanks to the ever wonderful text to speech ability (almost but not quite as good as official audiobooks). As promised yesterday, you can now see what fun coloured item I got started with last night! 

The idea came from my snowflake design
If it can be a hanging decoration, I can make other shapes! I think they are rather fun. They will look better once they've been made up with ends sewn in, but I rather like them. I used the big loops I've used in dishcloths, rather than a little loop at the top just because it was easier.
Looped dishcloths - you can by the pair over on Etsy!
 I was tired by the time I got to doing crochet, and didn't want anything I had to think about. When the colour didn't change for the smaller diamonds I simply added an extra row until it did change (hence the larger diamond). I had I would love to know what you think of them! 

No crochet tonight as I skipped watching some of my mandatory anime shows at lunch (with the rest in the evening), so the time before bed will be taken up watching anime! I do plan on fitting more crochet in tomorrow though ^o^

Friday, 6 November 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #84 Time for a rainbow!

Picture source
Rainbows always make me smile: they are full of colours, and feel full of hope too. Another natural phenomenon is the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis at the North pole. 
Picture source
Nature's pretty colours found in many other objects are the main focus of today's post because my next crochet project will be brightly coloured! It's been a grey day, with the morning spent writing (both actually writing (editing really) and research for writing which wasn't that productive, and I feel like creating my own rainbow to perk me up. 

I'm undecided whether I'll make some fingerless gloves, or rainbow snowflakes, but I will report back to you tomorrow with both the yarn and the result! I'll leave you with a rainbow themed saying which I discovered today.
This is a brilliant thing to be! Picture source

Thursday, 5 November 2015

October 2015 Monthly Catch Up

This post is simultaneously being posted on Nayu's Reading Corner. Picture source.

 Here's September's Catch up post full of craft and baking!

Nayu's Craft Time #76 Another Snowflake Post
I chat about my crochet snowflakes, and why I'm extra excited about them.

All of September's posts!

You will want to make this cake!

Here's the plain version!

Title says it all about a new milestone, plus this super yummy cake with a hidden layer of Nutella!

This is me on a lot of days, although I do also crochet ^o^

Still finishing these off for you ^o^

My original nutella layer cake was a double decker!
Discover what I keep in my button box - it's not all buttons!
More about my button tin and other current projects

One of my eclectic posts!

A super mini update
I chat about a new type of breakfast food I'm trying out!
These are for sale!

The results of my buckwheat porridge experiment!

That's it for October, hope you enjoyed these posts! 
I wonder what wonderful things are in store for us!