Category Archives: I Made That

Pea and Mint Soup

Today I made some Pea and Mint Soup, from this recipe on BBC Good Food. There aren’t too many ingredients – in the end I didn’t use the lemon or the crème fraîche either. I decided to make plenty for tonight’s tea and for a few lunches next week, so I made it with 1kg of peas and upped everything else too. Even with the kilo of peas, this is a pretty cheap recipe.


The weird thing I found about this soup was that there’s no frying of onions and garlic to get things going. Instead, you simmer the potato, garlic and stock together until the potato is really soft.


Then you throw in everything else except the dairy (if you’re using it).


I used almost all of my mint plant. The mint flavour does develop after it sits overnight though.


After everything had been added, it was time to blend it with the stick blender! This took ages, and it still wasn’t very smooth.


We reheated the soup at tea time and it was fairly well received, though the texture was still sort of bitty from all the pea skins. Maybe the dairy would have helped with that. The flavour was nice though.

Edit – Tuesday lunchtime: This soup started to ferment and was visibly bubbling when I took it out of the fridge the next day. Argh! I’ll not be batch-cooking this again.


Birthday Cake

It was my mam’s birthday today, so I made a cake to celebrate. I chose the classic Victoria Sponge Cake, partly due to a range of dietary restrictions. Even so, I think it’s hard to beat a nice plain sponge with jam and too much buttercream. I used the recipe available on the BBC Good Food website. I was using large eggs, so I only used three and a half. I didn’t want an eggy sponge.


The mixture comes together nicely, especially if you cream the butter and sugar together first. Sifting the flour made the sponge nice and light.

I didn’t have two 20cm tins, so I just baked this all together. The only problem with this is that the outside can get overdone, especially the top. I turned the temperature down by twenty degrees after the first twenty minutes, and covered the top with some baking paper. After twenty more minutes at 170, the cake was nicely cooked through. I left it to cool (the most annoying part!) and then cut it.


I made almost double the buttercream so I could fill and ice the cake. I daresay you could do some more adventurous decorating on top of the buttercream, but I just used candles.


You can’t knock a classic. Even if it is a bit wonky.



I made a cheesecake for a colleague’s birthday. This is a proper baked cheesecake, American style. You can find the recipe in Sue Lawrence’s book of Baking.

You start with a base made from digestive biscuits. I suppose if you’re a real purist you could make your own… but they do come in packets. I put them in a bag and smash them with a masher.


And then some melted butter goes in.


Once it’s all mixed together, I used the masher again to flatten it all out in the greased and lined tin. Springform cake tins are brilliant.


And now for a whole lot of cheese! I’m not using the light Philly out of calorie-fear – it’s recommended in the book as it gives a better texture than the full fat kind. I did make a full-fat one once and it wasn’t as good.



OK, this is how much flour is in the whole cheesecake. I think this is the part that makes it a “cake”.


Mixing all of the ingredients together makes a brilliant squelching noise. Or a disgusting one if you’re not a fan of squelches.


After it’s all thoroughly mixed it gets poured onto the chilled biscuit base and gently smoothed out.


Happily, I had a tiny bit of spare everything.


They go in at a high heat for the first few minutes, and then bake cooler for a lot longer. I had to guess a bit for the mini cheesecakes! Near the end of the cooking time, you can add a thin layer of sour cream mixed with sugar. It really makes the top nice and smooth, but take care not to let too much run down the sides of the tin like I did… it burns up.


But look how smooth it makes the top!


The mini cheesecakes didn’t fully cook through, but the big one was lovely and rich and fluffy when it was cut the next day!


At least we got to eat the mini ones the same day…yum! The big version was left in the oven overnight to cool slowly, and cut well the next day.

Stitch Along – A Tree Grew!

A tree grew!

One more tree.

It has beads on it.


And here’s the full project!


Here are the links to the other participants’ blogs: Claire,  Gun,  Kate,  Carole,  Avis,  AlisonJule,  Elizabeth and Wendy. We’ll be posting every three weeks. I can see they’re getting along well…

Stitchalong – Family Tree – More Miles

Well, three more weeks have gone by and I’ve done a lot more white stitching.

Invisible Stitching

I was on holiday the week before last, and put another few more miles on, taking the project to Cornwall and back via Bristol and London. But as you can see, I did find some time to add yet more white stitching!

Bead work

There’s still plenty of white to go!

Slowly but surely.


Here are the links to the other participants’ blogs: Claire,  Gun,  Kate,  Carole,  Avis,  Alison,  Jule,  Elizabeth and Wendy. We’ll be posting every three weeks. I can see they’re getting along well…

Stitchalong – Family Tree – The Snow Road









To my own surprise, I have made progress on my project!

The full project

Not a lot of progress, mind you! I bet you can’t spot it!

Snow close up

Here it is – I have finished the snowy road beneath the car’s tyres. It’s really difficult to stitch white beads onto white plastic with white thread!

Bumper beads


I have also popped the bumper on the car. I needed to do something other than white on white on white. I’ve now got a full 13 rows of stitches on my 75X75 stitch project. I wonder if I’ll find some more time for it over the next three weeks!

Here are the links to the other participants’ blogs: Claire,  Gun,  Kate,  Carole,  Avis,  Alison,  Jule,  Elizabeth and Wendy. We’ll be posting every three weeks. I can see they’re getting along well…