A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: orange

In the past couple of weeks, my garden has started to produce a lot of courgettes. I got the seeds as part of a ‘funky veg’ kit and kind of just planted for the hell of it- I’m not the biggest fan of courgettes. However, I sense that my glut of yellow beauties may make me learn to love this humble vegetable. We’ll see how I do at the challenging task of not embarrassing myself with phallic references in this post. I am a follower of Freud, after all.

I turned my first fistful of small courgettes into a tasty salad. Adapted from this recipe.

I knew that my staff summer picnic would be a good excuse to use up some more courgettes. As you can see, these ones were much larger.

I made another salad for the party- this was actually my first time cooking and eating fennel. I selected a vegan recipe, but when the vegan in the team wasn’t at the picnic, I did add some cheeky feta. Cheese makes everything better.

I also made a courgette cake. Since I’ve blogged previously about chocolate courgette cake, I used this recipe as a jumping-off point.

The cake was lovely- light, moist and tasty. Would probably omit raisins next time. My favourite bit was the frosting, but then I am dangerously addicted to cream cheese frosting. I have a LOT more courgettes coming, so I need to stay ahead of the game with ways to use them.

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When, ten days ago, our mutual friend announced that his wedding would have a cat theme, Cayleigh and I knew we had a sacred duty to dress her baby as a cat. My part in this was, of course, the hat. I think we did pretty well!

That is one foxy baby. Arthur was preoccupied with chewing on my water bottle for much of the wedding. Way to use those new chompers, kid!

As you can see, the hat turned out a bit big. I used knitting maths to calculate the correct number of stitches to cast on, which was 90. However, since I like my hats to be knit in multiples of 12, I decided to round up. I would say this hat would be a good fit for someone with a head circumference of 20 inches. This is a downside of my motto ‘go big or go home’.

Changes I would make if I made this again:

  • Knit the brim in rib, so it is fully reversible
  • Knit a slightly longer brim

I didn’t use a pattern, but this is what I did.

Using 4.5mm needles, CO 96sts, join to work in the round

Knit in garter rib (or any rib) for about an inch

Switch to 5mm needles and knit… for a bit. I think I knit until the hat was 5.5″, which was probably a bit too long. The decrease portion adds around 1.75″ to the hat.

Decrease as I did in the baby bear hat

Add ears following Official Kittyville Hat, which is in Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. The only change I made was to knit the ears in the round

Okay, I’m sensing you’re sick of the knitting chat and dying to see more chubby baby cheeks.

Yarn: 1 skein Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Ravelry project page


I’m still plugging away with my craft knife and most recently made a small piece for a friend’s thirtieth birthday. The more I hear about turning thirty, the more I like the sound of it. I decided to emphasise the sunny aspect of growing older and wiser in the cut.

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I wonder if this also represents an unconscious response to the feedback that my thesis celebration card was ‘too dark’. Ain’t nothin’ dark about a lovely sun, right? Right?

Here’s what the card looks like finished and backed.

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The heart is totally there just for cuteness, and not to cover up a mistake I made right near the end.


I’ve had a bag of polenta in the cupboard since getting overexcited watching Gordon Ramsay, deciding that polenta was going to be my new favourite thing, and realising that I’m not that fond of polenta. While trolling for food porn one night, I happened across a couple of sexy little recipes for polenta cake. Polenta gives the cake a very different texture, quite grainy. While I liked the orangeyness of this recipe, next time I would probably substitute the polenta for ground almonds.

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Ingredients

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g (golden) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 140g polenta
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges (any citrus fruit will work)
  • 100g (golden) caster sugar (for the glaze)

Makes a 22cm loaf or 23cm round cake.

How

1. Preheat oven to 160C (140 fan). Grease and line your cake tin.

2. Zest and juice your oranges. It’s a good idea to juice into a measuring jug to make it easier to reserve 100ml of juice for the glaze.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light.

4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.

5. Add all the dry ingredients and mix, then add the zest and juice, reserving 100ml of juice.

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6. Transfer mixture to your prepared tin. Smooth the top and bake for 45mins to an hour, until cake passes the knife test.

7. While the cake is baking, combine the icing sugar with the juice you saved in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat.

8. Once your cake is done, remove from the tin to cool slightly, for perhaps 10mins. Take off any baking parchment you used.

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9. Put the cake back into the tin and pour over the delicious orange glaze. It will absorb better when the cake is warm. Leave for a few minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.

This cake freezes well, glaze and all. Wrap slices in clingfilm, then freeze in a plastic container.