November 17th, 2011

Leftovers nutella cheesecake

It is a happy day in my house whenever I decide to cook with mascarpone cheese. Either I sit and eat the leftovers with a spoon out of the pot, or I get to make cheesecake. I had quite a lot of mascarpone left over from a yummy tomato and mascarpone pasta sauce I made last night, and I also had some sour cream left over from the chilli I made at the weekend, so I thought cheesecake would be a good idea to use them both up.

This is more a reminder to myself about what I did in case it’s awesome and I want to do it again than an actual recipe, but I figured I’d put it here cos someone might find it useful

Preheated oven to 200 degrees C

Got all these things out:
cheesecake

First I made a simple biscuit base (crushed up digestives and melted butter) and squished that down into the bottom of the tin. I ended up using a 9″ tin because the 7″ tin I intended to use looked like it would be too small for the huge amount of brown creamy goo this made, and I really didn’t fancy cleaning it off the bottom of the oven.

Then I got the mixer out and mixed up the cheese (about 3/4 pot of mascarpone and a whole tub of cream cheese) until it was smooth and creamy. Then with the mixer still running I added 3 tablespoons of flour, and the leftovers of the sour cream (150-200ml), some sugar (150g-ish) and 3 eggs. Finally I added the nutella, I used 2 huuuuge spoonfuls. After scraping down the bowl a bit and making sure it was fully mixed I poured it on top of the base and put it in the oven for as long as it took me to do the washing up and make a cheese sandwich…about 12 minutes, then turned the heat down to 90 degrees and baked until it was mostly set but still wobbled a little in the middle when the tin was shaken (about 25 mins). Now I’m leaving it in the warm oven overnight to cool, so I won’t get to eat it until the morning. boooo.

Here’s a very unglamorous picture of it in the oven, as I totally forgot to take one before I put it in. I am very glad I decided to use the bigger tin

cheesecakeinoven

November 14th, 2011

No rest for the wicked

Yeah yeah, so I was all ‘woo, it’s autumn, no more garden work, yay!’. And I was sooo wrong. I ordered some trees from the interwebs, and we planted them in the garden. And when I say ‘we’, I mean J did all the hard digging work and I busied myself with stuff that wasn’t too tiring. I kinda failed at the not getting tired thing, but it wasn’t toooo bad. And now I have braeburn apple, conference pear, and morello cherry trees in my garden. And a victoria plum tree in a pot that I’ll give to my dad because they are his favourite fruit ever.

This is my apple tree. Not hugely exciting, but it’s planted and looks happy and hopefully will have made me lots of fruit by this time next year.

appletree

Littlecat also had autumn garden fun by climbing my birch tree.

littlecattree

We’ve done lots of work on J’s plot in the last few weeks too…and it was very much needed. This is what it looked like after a summer of neglect.

weedyplot

After a couple of hours of strimming (him), and weed pulling (me), we’d got it looking much more like a vegetable plot and less like a patch of weeds, and also picked loads of potatoes, onions, and beetroot. 3 weeks later it was still looking much better, though some naughty weeds were trying to return.

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We wanted to get a head start on planting and put in as much as possible to extend the cropping season next year, so we put in onions, garlic, asparagus, peas, and broad beans. That’s pretty much all we can get in the ground now until spring, but it’s a good start. It gets dark sooo early these days, so it was hard to get a decent pic, but trust me, this area is all dug and planted and looking awesome.

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I just realised I’ve been very bad at blogging about fibrey things. I have still been knitting (a lot), and spinning (a little), I’ve just not got round to talking about it, but I should probably share this as I think it’s the biggest project I’ve ever done.

Sometime in the dim and distant past (march I think), I was all full of planning and enthusiasm, and decided that for my mum’s 60th I’d spin, design, and knit her a jumper. Because November is sooooo far away. So I grabbed a pile of fibre, mostly in natural colours, with a little blue for fun.

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I carded it all up on the drum carder, which took approximately a million years. I think I did 3 passes to get it mostly-blended-but-not-too-even. Littlecat thought it was the most fun thing in the history of the world.

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I then took each batt, split it into 4 lengthways, and rolled it up into a little bump, planning to just keep them in a box and grab them at random to further mix up the colours. When i ended up with 52 of the things, I was starting to fully realise just how long this would take. Oh well, it was March, November was soooo far away.

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And I spun. I was good to start with and got through a lot, and wound my singles off onto a cardboard core on my ball winder so I could ply the first singles with the last and minimise any differences in spinning over the time it would take. Then at some point I forgot about spinning, as is often the case in summer.

THEN IT WAS OCTOBER ARGH.

So I brought the spinning wheel up to my room so I could spin while watching tv, and plied some of the singles, so I could spin when I had the energy, then knit in bed once I got tired. And I spun, and I knitted, and I doodled, and I found some nice contrasting handspun in my stash, and when I finally applied myself to it, I FINISHED IT.

(yes it’s a terrible pic, it was dark and the lighting was poor, but she likes it, so yay!!!)

mumjumper

November 1st, 2011

It’s the end of the (gardening) year.

There were warnings of frost last week, so I brought in allll the tomatoes, and currently have 3 trays of ripening tomatoes taking up all available worktop space in my kitchen. At the start of the season I was all excited about making lots of stuff with them, and I made salsa and spicy tomato pepper ketchup. As time went on, my enthusiasm waned, and I just started sticking the ripe ones in the freezer. I now have a huge carrier bag full of frozen tomatoes to cook with. Nom.

After taking the tomatoes in, there wasn’t much left in the veggie patch, so I planted out the asparagus that’s been sitting in pots all summer, covered all the empty beds with a load of compost and stuck some fertiliser in the one I was planning to use for onions, then today I put in some onion sets and built an anti-cat frame to go over them (and got to use my new saw, yay!).

It’s not very exciting, but there are onions in here, and they won’t get dug up by cats or pulled up by birds! There’s also a huuuuge elephant garlic.

onions

The rest of the area is rather boring, though amazingly the raspberries are still going strong, I keep going out there thinking it’s nearly time to cut them back and weed around them, but every time there are more fruit.

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The greenhouse has meant I can prolong the growing season somewhat though, I have romaine lettuce which are very happy in there, a couple of chilli plants I really need to get round to picking the fruit off, and a tomato that i found growing randomly in the wrong bed, which i assume came from last year’s compost…it’s flowering, though I think it’s probably too late to get it to fruit, even in the greenhouse. I also moved the pot of watercress from outside into the greenhouse, and planted some rocket, arctic king lettuce, spinach, and mixed salad leaves in the two big troughs, so I should have salady things well into winter.

greenhouse

Next year I’m planning to grow more fruit, and after ages looking around, I decided to order this..an apple, pear, cherry, and plum. I will probably get another apple tree too so they can have treesex with each other and give me more fruit, but I’m very happy with finding 4 trees for £30, and it’s just getting to the time where I can plant bare rootstock trees, and I’ve already got a big strong man to agree to help me dig the holes for them.

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