Introduction

Hey, you found me and my world of thoughts! congrats :) prepare yourself for lots of foody related thoughts, peeks at gifts I make and my general ramblings. On a more personal note, I used to Follow Slimming World but now I have switched to Paleo. Still waiting on my cave woman outfit. I hope you stay a while and enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Festive Foodie Ideas!

It has been quite a while since I posted, but I saw these Festive foodie ideas and had to share!

Santa Bread!.....yes it is BREAD!

Ingredients:
4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup Imperial Sugar® / Dixie Crystals® Granulated Sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 eggs
2 raisins
2 egg yolks
2 to 3 drops red food coloring

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in the eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.

Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa's head and hat.

Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 in. of top. Position on Santa's face; twist and curl strips if desired.

Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat.

With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.

Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.


Shaping Santa Step-by-Step:
Step 1
On a lightly floured surface, shape the larger portion of bread dough into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa's head and hat.

Step 2
Shape and flatten half of the smaller portion of dough into a beard. Using a scissors or pizza cutter, cut the beard into strips to within 1 in. of the top of the beard.

Step 3
Carefully pick up the cut beard piece with both hands and position the beard on the bottom of Santa's face.

Step 4
If desired, twist the cut strips in the beard and slightly curl up the ends of the strips to shape the beard.

Step 5
Add red food coloring to one beaten egg yolk and carefully brush the tinted red yolk over the hat, nose and cheeks.

Make Santa Even Speedier:
Want to save time when making the Golden Santa Bread? Instead of stirring up homemade dough, start with 2 loaves of purchased frozen bread dough and turn them onto a lightly floured surface. Take a small portion of one loaf and add it to the other loaf, making it slightly larger. Then begin shaping the Santa with the dough following the instructions.

AND
A Hidden Snowman cake....just so cute!

FULL INSTRUCTIONS HERE!
http://www.letscookathome.co.uk/category/christmas-cook-ahead/ 



The holidays are most definitely coming!......eek!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Brushcetta in 10mins!

This is a firm favourite in the Little Treasures household always guarantees licked cleaned plates afterwards!
I have eaten many a Brushcetta when out in restaurants but they always leave me disappointed, not to sound big headed but you can not beat using fresh ingredients, some I have eaten that have used tinned tomatoes have been awful and you end up with a soggy mess, that was served to me at a top Italian local restaurant.....maybe that is the correct way to cook it, who knows...all I know is this is my version and its so simple and above all YUMMY! anyone can do it.


Ingredients:
1 Large onion
500g of Cherry Tomatoes
Clove of Garlic
Ciabatta Bread Rolls
Fresh Parsley & Basil
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper



Preheat the oven to 200 degrees





Slice or dice the onion, whichever you prefer and put in a pan with a little drizzle of Olive Oil to soften.




Slice the Ciabatta Rolls in half and place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and put into the preheated over for about 7-8mins or until toasted and beginning to turn golden.



Slice the Cherry Tomatoes in half and add to the softened onions.
Season to your taste with Salt & Pepper.


When the Rolls come out of the oven, rub the garlic clove over the top of them. I was told that the authentic way to cook Brushcetta was never to add the garlic to the mix, just rub it over the bread.


Add in the Parsley and the Basil, completely up to you how much you add, depends on your personal preference! give it a stir through....and its ready to serve! how quick was that!


To make this serve 4 persons only give each person a half of the roll. The reason why I served two in the photo is because we had it for dinner :)


I like to finish mine off with a dusting of Parmesan Cheese.

 YUM!

****
I really hope you give it a go, and if you have any questions please feel free to ask :)

Bon Apetite!


Friday, 10 August 2012

Kitchen Wall Display - Finally Done - yipee!

A long long time ago.....way back in February of this year you may or may not remember my blog entry "Kitchen Wall Display" if not you can read it here 

I was in search of inspiration to transform my very beige and bare Kitchen wall and I was very inspired by the photo/posters idea that I came across. I shall hang my head in shame that it has taken me 6 months.....yes 6 whole months!! to get round to actually putting something together but I have finally done it! yipee! and it has been a very welcomed distraction for the afternoon.

Here is before....(yawn).


And voila....



I am pretty pleased with myself, and I hope it adds a little of our personalities to our Kitchen.
I chose the "Love & Food, its all about the spice" and " Some like it hot" because we both enjoy spicy foods.
The "waste not want not" fits me perfectly as I always try to save food by freezing it or making something go a little further by making soups and broths.
A few on there are just for fun and make me smile each time I read them, which is what I hope will happen to friends and family when they visit too :)

If anyone is interested in printing any of the signs pop a comment on here and I will sort out the links of where you can get them from :)

I am off to have a sit down with a cuppa and shall admire my hammering skills.



Monday, 6 August 2012

Foodie Penpals July Reveal!

Firstly my greatest apologies to Christine for it taking so long to reveal the wonderful box she sent me. It has been a difficult week ( see previous post) so I really am really sorry!!

Christine put together an amazing array of items for me some didn't last too long out of the box as I was dying to try them!.........
I will not keep you in suspense any longer....lets have a peek!








It was fantastic!
I was very lucky to receive:
Gourmet Ginger Paste
Lazy Garlic
Les Olives Du Marche
Chili Seeds - we have had some of these already in a salad, and me and Mr LTs loves them!
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Graze - Apple Crumble - This was yummy :)
Yogurt Flakes
Special K Cereal Bar
AND some fabulous recipes that I can use the Ginger Paste for, including a Mango Smoothie which I can not wait to try out.

THANK YOU Christine :)



Monday, 30 July 2012

The Most Precious Gifts of All


This is abit of a personal post but its something I think of alot at the moment.
A few weeks ago I was with a group of mums at a certain event and they were all talking about their children in such negative ways.....saying things like...."I wish I had stopped at child number 2" "If I could send mine back I would" "Wish id never had children, the world revolves around them!"......whilst I sat listening to them, inside I felt so shocked at the things these mums were coming out with. Then one lady sat up and said "I would give anything to be able to have a child, but unfortunately I can not have my own children, so I think you are all very lucky"...that brought them all to silence.
That conversation has been something that has stayed with me over the last weeks and I often think about it. The lady that spoke up was very brave to say such a personal issue for her and I really feel good for her!
I see so many posts on Facebook & Twitter moaning about being pregnant and moaning about their children, and I know they probably wouldn't want to change a thing, but maybe they could just spare a thought about how lucky and blessed they are to be able to have the most precious gift of all.
There are people out there who would give anything to be in their position.



Sunday, 29 July 2012

Let The Summer Holidays Begin! - 1st week - Survived :)

This week was the first week of the Summer holidays and because my other job is being a Professional Nanny it means extras hours and longer days. It can be quite daunting at the prospect of entertaining two kiddie winks all week but I must admit this week has been an absolute blast.

The essentials for this week was - High Factor Suncream, Cool Drinks and Towels!!

Here is a sneaky peek at what we have been up to>


Kettering by the Sea
We visited Kettering By the Sea which was fantastic & FREE :)
It was a fantastic set up with a large constructed sandpit surrounded by a white picket fence and the water fountains were switched on, which the children loved running through and getting wet.....good job I was armed with towels and spare clothes.........just wish I had taken some for me hehe...such a great way to cool down!
I got chatting to a few of the parents there and everyone I spoke to was singing the councils praises for the organising and running of the event which was such a refreshing change. Great job Kettering Council, we shall be back next week.
http://www.kettering.gov.uk/marketplace/news/article/30/kettering_by_the_sea_returns


 .

Wicksteeds Park was great fun! we are very lucky to have this wonderful park close by. It has one of the biggest and best free playgrounds in Europe and the children just love going. We took a picnic with us and enjoyed a lovely afternoon there!
http://www.wicksteedpark.co.uk/



I took the kiddies to register at their local library and they are taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge :)
http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/
 Picnic in the park!

 Beautiful blue skies all week!

 A Friday treat to Kids Play in Kettering
http://www.wherekidsplay.co.uk/kids-play-kettering-so-much-to-do.htm

 We baked Moshi Monster Eyeballs.......eek!

 My Favourite day was Strawberry picking at Dovecote Farm. We took our baskets and wandered up and down the lines of Strawberries choosing the yummiest, ripest berries to pick. It was a lovely afternoon and once we had filled all our baskets there was time for a peek around the little chic farm shop and gift shops and of course leaving time for a play in the wooden playground.

They were sooooo delicious and the kiddies enjoyed filling their baskets as well as their tummies!
http://www.dovecotefarm.co.uk/pick-your-own

Such a busy week but very enjoyable, it all made me realise how much I LOVE being a Nanny. There isn't many jobs where you get to enjoy the beautiful weather and do so many fun things. I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful family I work for and two amazing children.

On Thursday on our way home from Strawberry Picking the eldest child said to me:

"I have had so much fun today, thank you Lyndsey"

That just warmed my heart and completely made my week.

I cant wait to tell them where we are going next week :0)

Monday, 9 July 2012

My Logo SOS - Winner Announcement!

And the WINNER is..
Entry 3 - From Vicky at Hestia Design

I love the simplicity of the bow and gift tag and it will fit really well with all my gift ranges.The colour is something I never would have tried I think its a kind of champagne/golden shade and really has added a richness to the design and the layers of the bow are so pretty and I love the smoothness of it!....I am super happy!

I am really looking forward to working with Vicky and setting up her advertising page on my website and will give you as much publicity as I can via Twitter, Facebook, Website, Blog and my Printed Catalogues.

**CONGRATULATIONS**

My Logo SOS - The Entries!

Last Sunday I launched "My Logo SOS" and this week I have been so touched by all the lovely people who have entered. I can not thank you all enough for taking the time out of your busy days to work on a little logo for me! I really am truly grateful and choosing a winner will be tough.

Firstly I would like to share all the entries with you all:

Entry 1 -  From Michael Hamon (Twitter lias: @007Hammer



Entry 2 - From Siobhaun Miniard (Facebook entry)
Entry 3 - From Vicky at Hestia Design (Twitter Alias - @HestiaDesign)
 Entry 4 - From Susan at Vintage Daisy - (Twitter Alias @_VintageDaisy_)




 Entry 5 & 6 - From Adam Jones (Twitter alias - @AdamR_Jones)

***

Thank you to Michael, Siobhaun, Vicky, Susan and Adam for your time and effort and for taking part!

Now here comes the tough decision.....which one?

I shall Tweet the Winner at 9pm.

In the mean time, what do you think?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thrifty Thursday - Week 1 - Freeze Fresh Herbs

Welcome to a NEW blog feature that I hope to keep up every week.

After struggling through redundancy, job changes and setting up a brand new business I have become very custom to a bit of Thriftiness and to be honest I have grown to enjoy it and can not imagine living any oter way now.
I have picked up alot of money saving tips and discovered my own along the way which I would love to share with you.

"Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!"


Thrifty Thursday - Week 1

Freeze Fresh Herbs

I find the best time to pop into most supermarkets is at the end of the day and its great what reduced goodies can be found. On my way home this week I popped into my local ASDA and was so delighted when I peeped in the reduced trolley and saw fresh herbs reduced to 10p.....YES 10p! I happily took advantage and popped them in my trolley. There was Coriander, Chives, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme!! I was in heaven as I love fresh herbs and would rather use them than dried herbs.

So my tip is to : Freeze Fresh Herbs - They can then be used direct from the freezer and added to stews, sauces, veggies and meats for a herby treat. And when you find them reduced to 10p you can not go wrong!


Pop each herb into its own container.
Herbs such as Coriander and Parsley chop before putting into container. Herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Sage can just be popped straight into the containers


Be sure to label each container with the name of the herb inside and the date
they have been frozen.


And the important part.....put them in the freezer!

***

Do you have any Herby Thriftiness you would like to share? please pop a comment below, I would love to hear them!

***

Saturday, 30 June 2012

My Logo SOS!



I launched Little Treasures nearly 2 years ago and I think its about time I christened it with a lovely designed logo. I have done many doodles and sketches of what I would like but its getting it from paper to computer that I am struggling and disparing at.

So I thought this Logo SOS would be a fun way to gain my long awaited Logo.

The brief:
My business is Gifts, I create a whole array of gifts varying from New Baby Gifts, Wedding Favours to Kids Party Bags as well as Nappy Cakes, Hampers and Sweet Gifts.
My business is called - Little Treasures Kettering
Imagery wise I am thinking something resembling a gift tag, ribbon, bow or something along those lines that fits in with what I make and colours to match and blend well with my website.


The Challenge:
For you to create a logo following my brief and email it to Littletreasures@live.co.uk 


The Reward:
I shall then choose the one I am most happiest with and the winner will receive FREE advertising on the homepage of my business website for the life of the logo. Which I hope to be for many many years!



***

CLOSING DATE is - 8th July 2012 12pm
Winner to be announced that same day at 7pm

***


*Please note: If you are selected you must agree to hand copyright of the logo to Little Treasures Kettering.


So who is up for the challenge then?

Foodie Penpals! - June 2012 Reveal

I am so excited to have discovered Foodie Penpals through the land of tweets and this month was my first time taking part.

I love cooking, I love eating and I love discovering and tasteing new foods so this is really exciting for me and to be a part of a circle of lovely ladies (and men, if there is any) and discover food together...did I mention how excited I was? if I didnt, just to let you know I was SUPER excited! :)

The lady who got me as a Foodie Penpal was named Lisa and she contacted me straight away for my address and details.....it was also her first time, so she was excited too. She was very lovely in all of her correspondance and even let me know when she had sent it on its journey to me.

I received my parcel promptly and I am sure you can imagine how I felt picking it up from the sorting office...yep....EXCITED. I could not drive home fast enough to break into it and see what was inside. I burst through the door and screamed at Mr LTs "Its here!" he probably just rolled his eyes but to be honest I wasnt taking much notice of him lol.

I peeled of the brown packaging wrap and here it was all pretty in pink.


I think I may of let a sqeal out when I lifted the lid!


Even I was suprised by my self disaplin (I read the card first) and held off peeking at what was inside, I just wanted to savour the moment :)
Lisa introduced herself and wrote about a few of the items she had included. Lisa also prepared me for a little spice and told me about the recipe she had written and abit of where her family came from.........by this point I was excited and could not hold off any longer......


Cue BIG squeal, clapping hands...and lots of ooooohs......arrrrrrrrrssss.......and yums!


What I was lucky enough to receive:

Teapigs Morning Glory Tea Bags
Cottage Delight Salsa and Cracker Dippers
Thai Chilli Rice Snacks
Chocolate Pencil & Candy Sticks
Homemade Creole Mix - Made by Lisa
Recipe to use the Creole Mix in - Louisana Gumbo
Afternoon Tea Coasters

I was delighted with EVERYTHING! it really showed that Lisa had did some research and looked at my blog/website to see I liked abit of spice which showed some thought. Each item had a little note on to say why she had sent that item which was a lovely touch and the hand written recipe was fabulous, I definitely can not wait to give it a whirl.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to Lisa, you were a fab Foodie Penpal!

***
Here is what I sent to my Foodie Penpal


***

If you want to read more about becoming a Foodie Penpal please follow this link:

I highly recommend it.

Roll on July :0)



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Blog Wave Wednesday!

Welcome
to

Blog Wave Wednesday


 
We are always wanting more blog followers, and there is nothing better than stumbling across a new fab blog.

This is something I have been wanting to set up for a while and today inbetween catching up with orders I have finally done it. I have tried my very best to keep it as simple as I possibly can....so here we go...

To begin:
Complete the small form below - once that is completed you shall be added to the 'Wave' list.

Get waving!
Now all you need to do is start at the beginning of the list and visit each blog and FOLLOW.

So that person knows you are a NEW follower please leave a comment on one of their blog posts and give them a *wave*

Dont forget to say who you are and pop a link to your blog with your comment.

***
Share on Twitter and Tweet  #BlogWaveWed
***
Easy...right?....I hope so :)

Here is the form:

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Toddlers 'To do' List

Working as a Professional Nanny I am endlessly seeking different ways to entertain the children. I have been doing some planning this afternoon and with the help of Pinterest I have found some really cool and unique things to do and make.....hope you find them fun to!

1 - Bottle Top Stamps

I have a whole stash of foam shapes and I would never have thought of this idea, how fab!

***

2 - Make your own Moonsand 
This is one of my own recipes and it is perfect and exactly like the well known (expensive) Moonsand brand which keeps kids amused for hours!


Mix together 4 cups of sand, 2 cups cornflour, and 1 cup of water and voila!....just add children :0)

***

3 - Waterproof Finger Puppets


What a great way to brighten up a bath time and so simple to do. Just cut off the fingers from a rubber glove and use waterproof markers to draw faces and create characters....I cant wait to do this, the kiddie winks will love it I am sure!

***

4 - Table Setting Placemat
This free color-in place mat doubles as a simple way to teach the kids how to set the table. 

 Laminate them so they will last abit longer too!

***

5 - Cress Egg Heads
Cress is the perfect thing to grow as it grows fast and its yummy mixed with egg for a sandwich :)


I think that will keep my busy this week :) oh and the kiddie winks ofcourse!

***

Whilst I was browsing I also came across this idea which I think would be a wonderful keepsake to create and its something that you canb keep adding to as the kiddies get older!

Handprint Keepsake Ring


Take a handprint or cut out on the first day of school every year and pop them all on a keyring chain along with a tiny message. Such a lovely idea of a keepsake!

***

What do you think? will you be giving any of the above ago this week? if you do please email a piccy to Littletreasures@live.co.uk and I will share them on here :)

Thanks for reading!
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