My Free Patterns

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brownie Cupcakes

This tasty new recipe arrived in my inbox the other day, so we had to give it a try.  Am I the only one that seems to sign up for random craft and cooking emails?  I don't even remember where half of them come from, but sometimes a gem arrives!


  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 90g dark chocolate
  • 50g choc chips, any type of chocolate
  • 40g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Melt butter and dark chocolate in double boiler and leave to cool once melted.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into mixing bowl.
  • Add chocolate chips
  • Add eggs and sugar.
  • Add the butter and chocolate mixture.
  • Beat this chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon til combined.
  • Pour the mixture into a paper cupcake cases in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake for 15 mins on 180 degrees or until done.

These were really tasty.  One downside, which you can see in the picture--they did NOT want to come out of the muffin tray.  I'll admit I didn't use the paper liners, because I have a silicone tray.  Doesn't matter anyway, they tasted lovely.

Here is where I hop:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tiger Lily Tank

Last week was a very good knitting week for me, I finished two WIP's.  I posted about how I finished my Mom's top, and then the next day or so I finished the Tiger Lily Tank Top I was working on.

Some folks might remember that I made myself this skirt in anticipation for summer a couple of weeks ago.  Well, after I made the skirt I decided I needed a white top to go with it.  Right around then I got an email from Lion Brand (how many knitting emails do I get a week?  Too many) Hence my new top was born:

This is me messing around with the effects folder on my photo editor.  It is called "warmify" but just looks like "make redder" to me.

It was a very easy and fast pattern.  I like to have at least one pattern I can just sit and do in front of the tv, and this one was it.  Plus I got to learn the three needle cast off for the straps, and that was fun too.

Of course, now that I'm ready for summer, we are having really dreadful weather.  I guess it is good we are going abroad or I wouldn't get to wear my new creations at all!

Here is where I hop:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage

OK for those of you that don't like cabbage, listen up--this is a very tasty way to eat it, and not feel like you are eating cabbage.  I'm not a big fan of it, unless it is in a fish taco, creamed, or married with bacon.  This recipe calls for an entire head, you can use either red or white, I normally use white because it is available more frequently.  Also, if the ingredients sound strange, they did to me the first time too.  Now I've marked the page in my recipe book with the comment, "Andi's favourite" (that's me, in case you are wondering).

  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound kielbasa (or any smoked) sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces


  1. Place the cabbage in a large saucepan, and add the diced apple, 1 teaspoon of the salt, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small frying pan, melt butter.  Sauté the onion until golden. Add the onion to the cabbage along with .5 teaspoon salt, pepper, vinegar and sausage. Cook, covered, 20 to 30 minutes until sausage is heated through.

This is where I hop:

Capri's get whacked!

My daughters (both of them) have a rather strong dislike for capri pants.  I am not sure why, because I think they are great; not quite warm enough for shorts, too warm for jeans, there is your answer!  They do not agree.  However capri's seem to keep making an appearance in their wardrobe.  This time they got a pair each for their birthday, gasp!  So I made them into shorts for the summer.  

I was going to do a "before" and "after" shot but my scissor hand has a mind of its own.  Therefore you get the grey "before" and the black "after" but without any appliqué.  Yes, I am currently addicted to appliqué.  In a previous post I used it to patch trousers (still doing that, in fact I have a pair sitting next to me that need sewn) and the girls love the idea, and now want little pictures on all their clothes.  The fact that these trousers were grey and black didn't impress them either, so we jazzed them up!



Two happy girls, and now they have enough shorts for summer.  Especially since they don't really wear shorts here in Scotland..............

And now I'm going to do what I like to call "letting the crazy out."  I probably shouldn't admit this was my craft project today, but I will.  My daughter is a remote control freak.  When she and her sister watch tv she holds that remote constantly.  The only problem is she has begun to lose it, and it takes us ages to find it again, and often we find it wedged in the back bottom of the couch.  How it gets there, I don't even want think about.  My husband decided that she needed a "remote control holster" which we both thought was hilarious.  Funny enough to actually make.  So here it is:

Happy crafting!

Here is where I hop:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I love my slow cooker.  Normally I use it when I will be away all day or too busy with other things to cook.  Woe to me, however, if I'm in the house while I'm using it and have to smell delicious cooking smells all day long.  I swear my stomach rumbles all day. Here is a new recipe I just tried, and it is very good.  It is shredded Mexican pork, which we used to make soft tacos.

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I used a bullion cube and water) 
Mix together spices in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaf in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
    Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 7 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 3 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. 
      Ok, here is how I changed the recipe, it isn't much.  I only had two pork shoulder steaks which were maybe a pound instead of the 2lb required in this recipe.  I still made it exactly the same, so when the pork was done I had loads of liquid.  I dumped everything into a saucepan, removing the bay leaf, and shredded the pork with two forks.  Then I put it on to boil and reduced the sauce down.  It only took 10-15 minutes on medium heat, and it left me with really succulent shredded pork, it was very good.

      We used the shredded pork to make soft tacos (because the tortillas I had in the freezer were too small for burritos).  To make the tacos we added shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, salsa.  Then we had Mexican rice on the side.  Yum!

      Here is where I HOP:

      Friday, June 10, 2011

      Mom's Leafy Top

      I am REALLY pleased to announce that my Mom's Mother's Day gift is finally DONE!  I worked really hard the last two days to finish it, and I'm really pleased with the results.  I'm not sure how long it too me, I'm terrible as writing down start dates.  I think I'll start jotting the date down on the pattern to remind me.  It felt like forever, but I don't think it actually took that long.  Here it is on the hanger:

      And here it is on me.  OK, before you say anything, yes, it is about 2 sizes too big on me.  However, I wanted to show how it will look on a person, because you can't really see the sleeves on the hanger.  I won't see my Mom until July so I can't post a picture of her in it just yet.  However after our visit, I will!

      Speaking of my visit with my parents, they had to cancel their trip over to the UK to see us.  My Dad is having some trouble with a subdural hematoma and he can't fly.  It isn't a big deal (according to the doctors, because it is going away on its own) but we were all bummed the trip was a no-go.  Then the girls and I decided we would make it a GO again, and now we are going to fly to the states to visit the family instead.  It is great because we can now see my parents, my grandparents, my aunt, both sisters, and all my nieces and nephews.  See how we turned that bad news around?  Just don't judge me by my carbon footprint.

      Lastly, I saved my yarn bowls until the end.  I am like a proud Mama with these two.  I've been on a crafting highs since I brought the bowls home and then finished the top.  Don't you just love when things turn out as you had hoped?  I LOVE the darker colored one the best, and I've been using it since I brought it home on Wednesday.  The blue one is nice too, but lighter weight and not just as pretty.  I am sure it will get use as well however! 

      And very lastly, I wanted to say thank you to everyone for their nice comments and encouragement on my blog.  It is wonderful to have found such a supportive crafting community, and it means a lot to me!  THANK YOU!

      Here is where I hop:

      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Lemon Grass Pork

      This recipe is another gem from my favourite cookbook.  It is an Thai recipe in an I
      ndian cookbook. I love that! The recipe is called Lemon Grass Pork, and it is great because:

      1) it tastes fabulous 
      2) you can make it with anything you have on hand
      3) it tastes fabulous

      Here is my revised recipe:

      Lemon Grass Pork

      1/2 lb pork loin, chopped (would probably also be great with tofu or chicken)
      2 lemon grass stalks, finely chopped
      4 spring onions or 1 small onion
      1 tsp salt
      12 black peppercorns, crushed
      2 tbs olive oil
      2 garlic cloves, chopped
      1/2 tsp dried red chilli (1 fresh if you prefer)
      1 tsp light brown sugar
      2 tbs fish sauce
      1/2 cup raw cashews
      mixture of fresh or frozen vegetables that you like! I almost always use carrots, broccoli, green beans, and then whatever else is around.
      brown rice to serve

      Cut up the pork and onion, put in a bowl or Tupperware.  Add lemon grass, salt and crushed peppercorns, mix well.  Cover and leave in fridge to marinate 30 minutes.

      Preheat wok, add the oil and swirl it around.  Add the pork mixture and cook over medium heat for around 3 minutes, until browned.

      Add garlic and chilli and cook for a further 5-8 minutes over a medium heat, until pork is cooked through.  If using fresh vegetables such as carrots and broccoli, add them now as they take longer to cook than frozen vegetables.

      Add the sugar, fish sauce, and freezer vegetables.  Toss to mix and then heat through.  At this stage if the rice isn't ready or whatever, I turn it to low, put the lid on the wok, and walk away.  It can cook on low for another 20 minutes if you would like.  Then add the cashews, and sprinkle with fresh coriander. 

      Here is where I hop:

      Friday, June 3, 2011

      A bit of sewing, a bit of clay

      Well, the entire family has been hit by some kind of stomach bug.  That is my excuse for not finishing at least one of my knitting WIP's, since they are both pretty close to completion.  Of course, I always find the finishing off the hardest part, so I tend to slow down anyway.  I haven't done any knitting in the last few days, you would think I would be in withdrawals by now!  At any rate, I've got a few other crafty things I've been up to.

      First, I followed the sewing tutorial at 7 Layers Studio to make a purse pouch.  I love quick easy projects, it makes me feel like I've accomplished something great in a short amount of time.  My favorite!  This bag was really fun, and I think it turned out cute.

      The thin ribbon is pulled through the wider ribbon and acts as the drawstring for the bag.  She is a clever lady!!!!!!!!!!

      In an idea world I would have had thicker ribbon to work with.  Next time I'll make sure I've stocked up first, but the thin stuff does the job at least.

      Next up, I've got a little plaque I made at pottery class.  I've got only one class left, sigh.  I've enjoyed it quite a bit.  This heart was originally going to be for my daughters, but it did NOT turn out as pink as I intended.  It seems I've had hit and miss luck with the paint colours, as lots of them end up an entirely different colour once they've been fired.  To me it looks a bit "shabby chic" and I let the girls pick out the ribbon.  Then we stuck on a bit of vinyl I had from a Whoopdwhoop swap I did with Ginger Snaps. It turned out cute!  

      And very lastly, here one more of my ceramics.  I call the bowl my pie crust bowl, because I can't do a smooth straight edge so I just crimp. Next week I should have my yarn bowl to share!!

      Here is where I hop

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