Thursday, 30 April 2015

Yummy Healthy Almond & Orange Flapjacks

We've been making the healthy flapjacks I posted about a while back almost on a weekly basis so much so I felt like it was about time for a change. The fab thing about this recipe is that it is so easy to adjust and I knew I was onto a winner when S got a whiff of the almond essence and declared it smelt like cake!

Almond & Orange Flapjacks
6 dried apricots
10 dates
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup flaked almonds plus some to sprinkle on the top.
5 tbsp ground almonds
1 cup porridge oats
2 tbsp wheatgerm
2 tbsp linseeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
juice and zest of one orange
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cold-pressed flax seed oil
1 tsp almond essence

Put everything apart from the flaked almonds in a food processor and blend until you have a firm dough ball, add the almonds and mix well. Line a small baking dish with greaseproof paper and spread the dough into the pan to a thickness of roughly 2cm. Sprinkle over some almond flakes to decorate and press down well. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting. Store in the fridge covered with clingfilm.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Play Cooker

This little play cooker has been a long long time in the making. Sometimes life just gets in the way and even though it wasn't too hard to put together it has been hanging around in my studio for at least a year. I'd thought about buying S a cooker for her second birthday but all the ones I liked just seemed so expensive. I had a look around online and discovered loads of brilliant DIY play cookers made out of old bedside cabinets and decided to make my own. I picked up this little cupboard at the local charity shop. It was the perfect size but it didn't have a door on the front so I roped in my brother in law to attach a door to it and that's when my project ground to a halt. Fast forward to the new year and I decided that the cooker would be a brilliant 'you're the best big sister gift' to try and ease the pain of no longer being the one and only!

I fixed some batons of wood onto the inside using 'no more nails' and cut out a shelf from plywood. I drilled four holes for the knobs which are I bought from an Ebay store in Hong Kong - Don't you just love the internet! I made them quite tight fitting as they didn't come with nuts to fasten them but you could easily find some in a DIY store. I painted the whole thing with peachy pink Farrow & Ball paint leftover from another project (Inspired by this gorgeous vintage play cooker). To stop it looking too pretty pretty I added a bright red 50's handle that I bought second hand from Ebay. I used blackboard paint on the interior of the door and hob tops which are just MDF circles glued on. Finally I added a few hooks to the side so she can hang up her pinny and tea-towels (another project in the making!)

She loved it and played with it straight away. She even has a little pad and pencil that she keeps in her apron pocket for taking orders.

As usual if you get inspired we'd love to see the results!


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Easy Peasy Sugar Free Low Carb Cookies

Some of you may or may not know but my son Zephyr was diagnosed with Epilepsy just after he was two after suffering a few seizures. This was and has been a massive shock for us and one we are still coming to terms with. 

This is something I will delve deeper into in another post, but to cut a long story short Zeph in now on the Ketogenic Diet. This basically means very low carbs (so no sugar) some protein and lots of fat. So hence I have been exploring lots of low carb baking and sugar subsitutes. I have made this recipe with liquid stevia and with sukrin gold which is made from Erythritol. 

Zeph being on this diet has been a blessing in many ways as its really made me look at our sugar consumption and as a family we are all eating a lot less sugar which has gotta be good. Zeph has also been incredible at excepting the diet and all the weird and wonderful concoctions I keep making him!

Hope you and yours enjoy them too. Much love Tess x

Makes about 12

130g (1 1/2 cups) ground almonds or ground hazelnuts
50g butter melted
120g (1/2 cup) almond butter
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla essence
10 drops of liquid stevia or 50g (1/2 cup) sukrin gold

Melt the butter and leave to cool while you measure out all the other ingredients, then mix everything together, roll into balls and place on greaseproof paper on a tray. 
Squish with a fork and then bake at 175 degrees for 10-15 mins. Eat.

Zeph is also partial to adding a little bit of chopped up dark chocolate.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bleached Boards

We recently had our downstairs floorboards refinished and it's amazing what a good floor treatment can do to a space. We've gone from oiled orangey pine to bleached out beautiful boards and we're so happy with them. I can't believe what a difference it has made to the whole space, making it feel more open and light. 

For anyone wanting a similar look we used Morrell's white classique base stain with a Morrells total matt laquer on the top. So far it seems pretty hard wearing and considering we have a dog and often muddy kids that's very good news. I've heard it's water over muck that ruins a wood floor so I've been pretty careful to clean up any spills straight away and also dry the floor straight after mopping.

Tess has done her living room floorboards recently with similar results using Osmo wood wax in snow ragged off and finished with Osmo raw. The end result is slightly different and the finished look is also dependent on the original wood so if your thinking of a similar project the best thing to do is make a test area in the space. 

We haven't regretted it for a single second though, Even though we have a million and one other more important jobs to do around here!