Monday, 27 April 2015

Blogger event and introduction to Kiss the Moon

So I was very lucky to be invited to a band new blogger event in Sheffield last weekend that my daughter Holly-Lucy and her blogger friend Lorna  have collaborated on to bring bloggers together through #TheCityGirls

What an amazing event it was!  Held in the vintage style setting of Bloo88 West Street, Sheffield.

There were lots of lovely brands there which will feature in a future blog post!

We were so lucky to also be given an absolutely bursting at the seams goody bag!

The first item out of my bag was a beautiful sample from Kiss the Moon
What a lovely brand name, beautiful website and amazing after dark face oil!

This is a gorgeous face oil for use at bedtime to chase away anxieties and lift the spirit encouraging beautiful sleep!

Perfect for dry skin , this is a definite favourite of mine and I look forward to my bedtime routine of splashing a few drops of the oil into my palm, rubbing my hands together to warm the oil and release the gorgeous  orange, geranium, myrrh and litsea heady scent.

£48 for 30ml of deliciousness to welcome a beautiful sleep.

The range also includes Love and Calm after dark oils with equally tempting and evocative scents I would just love to try!

Have you used this brand before?  Which scent is your favourite?


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Little Spotty Dog

So I thought it about time I shared a post about a very important person in our lives here at Pratt's Patch, Ffion our dalmatian/springer cross dog.

She brings a lot of joy and laughter to our family...

She loves the sea and is a springy little dog!

She particularly loves climbing, and posing for photos....

which makes her a great subject for practising with a new camera as I was here!

This one was taken by our son Lewis, who is a keen photographer and the brains behind a great new photography subscription service

She also thinks we have purchased a leather settee just for her!

These guys are two of her best friends and they definitely rule the roost!


Friends that are sadly no longer with us but taught her a lot and put up with so much!

This is the cutie who grew into the girl we now love and enjoy!!

The beginning
of a lifetimes horrible habit!

In the beginning.....

Hope you have enjoyed the photos
Do you have a pet who has a special place in your life?


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Gordon Ramsey's Bakewell Tart

We all love bakewell tart here at Prattspatch so when I saw Gordon Ramsey's recipe I just had to make it.  This is taken from his book Cooking for Friends .
This makes a very moist, yummy and gotta have more tart!  Best made when there are lots of visitors!

Of course the faithful Kenwood chef makes making it so much easier and more fun! 

First up is the sweet flan pastry case which is lovely and easily made in the chef.

Getting ready to bake blind.

Useful baking beans 

Then is the lovely almond topping which always makes more than the flan can hold so I tend to freeze the left over to make small pies with at a later date.  It does freeze well.

It always turns out to be a very rustic but professional look! 

Very tasty served up with homemade vanilla ice cream!

Little individual bakewell tarts.  

I use homemade  strawberry or raspberry jam to spread over the pastry case before adding the lovely layer of almond topping. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

New Kenwood Chef and Red Velvet Cake

So I was very lucky to be able to buy a new Kenwood Chef recently. I decided to go for John Lewis as the price was good, delivery excellent and after service with a good reputation.

A massive box with all the accessories arrived: 
Food processor with 6 cutting discs and a chopping blade- this has revolutionised my pastry making and coleslaw preparation!
K beater for cakes, pasta and general beating
Stainless steel whisk for whisking from 1 lone egg to 12!  
The creaming beater is great for cake making
The ThermoResist  glass blender- makes easy work of soup blending as well as smoothie making.
The dough hook for great bread making

It was so exciting to unpack each item and find out where it went and what it did! 

Instructions with each accessory helps the novice through the learning curve!

Kenwood also include a quick start cook book with some great starter recipes.  I decided to try the red velvet cake included in the book as I have always wanted to give it a go.

So I used a fluted savarin mold. I then piled lovely raspberries in the centre and added a few cute white chocolate stars.

This is a delicious, moist cake that is a great change from Victoria sponge or carrot cake.

I changed the recipe slightly from the one in the book.
For the cake:
120g butter
300g butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbspn cocoa powder
240ml of butter milk
Red food colouring (I used a small quantity of a red food colour paste)

For the icing:
600g of icing sugar
100g of butter
250g cream cheese 
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method using the Kenwood:
1. Put butter and sugar into the bowl and using the creaming beater mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until combined.

2. Remove creaming beater and attach K beater, add flour, baking powder and cocoa a bit at a time, mixing on a slow speed between each addition until fluffy and well combined (it is handy to use the splash guard here to prevent dry ingredients from flying everywhere!)

3. Measure out butter milk into a jug and mix with the right amount of red colouring to give you your desired shade. Add this mix to the cake mixture in the bowl a little at a time on medium speed until you have a smooth deep red mixture.

4. Pour your mixture into your fluted savarin mold or into 2 cake tins and bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the sponge comes out clean.  Remove from the oven at this point and leave to cool.  Turn onto a cooling rack to completely cool when you are able to safely handle the cake tin.

1. Add butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract to the bowl and using the creaming beater, beat until smooth and well combined.  Gradually add the icing sugar (again the splash guard may be useful here), mix until you have a creamy icing.  Scrape the mixture into a smaller bowl, cover and place in the fridge for 30 mins.

2. Cut the cake through the middle  lengthwise and spread the bottom half with some of the creamy icing.  Place the top half back on to the creamy covered base and then cover the top with the rest of the mixture.  If you are using 2 cake tin method there is no need to cut the cake in half, just spread the top of one cake with the icing and place the other cake on top and smother the icing over the top of this. 

Rough icing is best with this cake so go for it and rough it up!!  

Finally pile fresh fruit in the centre or on top and serve and enjoy!

Have you made red velvet cake?  Is your recipe  the same?

Do you have a Kenwood or other kitchen machine?

Happy Cooking!


Monday, 6 April 2015

Marshmallow Ice Cream

So, having spent the Easter holidays with my very talented daughter I am back to my blogging!  Thank you Holly at Tea and Blush .

I have had a bag of very large marshmallows in my cupboard for a while now and
wondered what I  could do with them other than the obvious toasting and just scoffing!


I did a bit of searching and came across this lovely blog  52 Kitchen Adventures and converted the Homemade Marshmallow Ice Cream recipe.

475ml Milk
475ml double cream
1 10oz bag of large marshmallows
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1. Place the milk in a large saucepan and add the marshmallows.  Warm over a medium heat whilst stirring until the marshmallows have melted.

2. Remove from the heat and cool.

3. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold into the cooled marshmallow and milk mixture.

4. Stir in the vanilla extract.

5. Place in your ice cream maker and churn until ready.

6. Put your ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze until firm.

7.  Serve on its own for a delicate marshmallow flavour.

Or serve with mini marshmallows for a total experience!!

I would like to try toasted marshmallow ice cream next as this may have a stronger flavour.

Have you made Marshmallow ice cream?  What is your favourite recipe?

Happy creating!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easy Sock Knitting

Sock knitting is a passion and obsession of mine although not necessarily a skill I have mastered yet!  My most recent project is using the lovely colourful yarn from Devon Sun Yarns  

So today was lovely and sunny and I took the opportunity to sit outside and knit another few rows of these lovely simple socks.  I would love a yarn bowl but still not got one so I have enlisted the service of a little bowl I had in the cupboard which is rather sweet too!  

The sock project bag was purchased from a lovely shop on Folksy called Tangled Knots and is so perfect for my sock projects! 

The simple sock knitting pattern is taken from Purls Of Wisdom  by Jenny Lord, which has lots of great knitting advice and patterns for the beginner and more experienced knitter alike. 

I used the basic boys sock pattern and amended as suggested for ladies socks.

I will post the finished articles when I finish!

Do you knit socks?  Where do you buy your sock yarn? 


Blackcurrant and Liquorice Ice cream

Afternoon all!

Long time no blog! After having my daughter helping out do some maintenance on here I thought it only right to do a post about some of the delicious icecream I've been making recently using my Cuisinart Ice cream maker. 

My love of liquorice and blackcurrant inspired me to make this- I've been wanting to make it for ages!

When investing in an ice cream machine it leads to alchemy in the kitchen when trying to create your own delicious sweet treats. 

So.. for this recipe  the two main ingredients:

 I needed to find something to give the authentic liquorice taste- a website called sounded like just the place to look!

Lakrids Liquorice powder- raw liquorice powder steamed,pressed and granulated Persian liquorice roots (£5.99 for 50g)

Then a whole load of home-grown blackcurrants- I've had mine in the freezer for a while.


375ml double cream
125ml milk
5 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons of raw liquorice powder
200g blackcurrants
1 heaped teaspoon sweet liquorice syrup

This is a custard based recipe so you will need time to prepare and cool before churning.

1-Put your blackcurrants in a pan with a cup of water- simmer gently for 12-15 mins until they are soft and mushy. Remove from heat and put to one side.

2- In a seperate saucepan combine cream, milk and liquorice powder. Heat and bring almost to the boil sturring occasionally until most of liquorice has melted and the liquid is a nice brown colour. 

3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar and then add the hot cream mixtutre to the bowl sturing as you go.  Return this mixture to the pan to heat further- stir constantly and bring towards boil. As soon as bubbles break the surface of the mixture remove from the heat. Put this custard mix to one side. 

4.  Take your blackcurrant mixture, now slightly cooled and press the mix through a sieve collecting the lovely juice and pulp in a bowl. 

5. Once you've collected all the blackcurrant juices and pulp add this to your cooled custard mix- cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge overmight to chill.

In the morning all you need to do is pop the mixture in your icecream machine to churn for approx 30 mins.  Once finished put into a freezer suitable dish, stir through a large teaspoon of the sweet liquorice syrup (in a marbling like effect) and then freeze.

Serve up in your fav icecream bowls and enjoy!

What ice cream flavour's would you like to try?

Do you think you'd like this flavour?


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Renovations and recycling to carry out!

These are items that have been saved from the tip (or similar!) and are awaiting new lives.  After reading The Occasional Pat blog I have decided to have a go with Annie Sloan chalky paint on a couple of these items