Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Finally the Cinnamon Crumble Loaf Recipe

Well finally after many requests I am finally posting the recipe for a favourite family bake of mine , Cinnamon Crumble  Loaf . It is a recipe I regularly make and have previously posted about . The recipe comes out of a book I was given one Christmas  quite a few years ago . It just sat on my baking book shelf , I had sort of cast it aside as the recipes in the book are in cup measurements . I was unwilling to try some new measuring system out so I just ignored the book  . However some time ago , looking for inspiration I took  the book from the shelf and had a proper look at it and I was amazed by some fantastic cake recipes and   I was desperate to try them out . I also had a cup measure which helped and I found a conversion chart in the back of the book which converts the  American terms to English and European terms  . I now understand my book !!

At the start of the book I spotted this recipe , I thought my youngest would like it as he likes plain cakes and not a lover of cream . Well it was a hit and such an easy recipe . It is a great family favourite now and ideal as an Autumn and Winter bake . So  why not give it a try !

So here's the recipe :
1 1/2 cups of All purpose Flour ( in England this is Plain Flour )
1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar
2 Teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon  baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick ) butter , melted
1 Large egg , lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons cold butter , cut up
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon

Instructions :
:Preheat oven to 350 degrees c  ( I usually use  gas mark 200 or Fan assisted 180)
:Butter and flour ( I actually line with parchment ) a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf tin .
:Sift the Flour , sugar , cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a large bowl .
:With an electric mixer on low ( I do it the old fashioned way with a big wooden spoon , you can't beat a bit of elbow grease! ) Beat in the milk , butter and egg .  ( if the mixture seems quite stiff add a drop of milk to loosen up a bit , but the batter is a bit of a doughy consistency
:Spoon the batter into the prepared Loaf tin .
:Bake for 35-45 minutes , or until a skewer inserted into loaf comes out clean .
:CRUMBLE TOPPING :Dot the butter over the cake , then sprinkle with the sugar and then the cinnamon .( I don't use all the quantities recommended in recipe for the crumble topping , I put smaller amounts on in the order recommended and repeat the process until I get the desired amount . You will have to experiment to get the topping to meet your personal taste ).
Cool the loaf completely in the tin before removing .


Thanks for popping by and Ta Ta for now , XX

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A peculiar day !!

 Life is peculiar some days and today is one of them .

I've been working on producing my Felt Christmas decoration kits  , all the photography is done . That task was completed this  morning and now I an very excited about producing the instruction pamphlet .
 I've also made a sample of each for downstairs in Coppers cafe-bar to drum up a bit of interest locally .

 But I'm  full of melancholy today as well , two odd combinations of feelings to have going on at the same time and it has quite put me out of kilter . It is the 3rd year anniversary of my cousins death today , a Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment . He died from a bomb blast whilst leading his men on patrol in Helmand Province in Afghanistan . So today my hearts is sad and my thoughts and love are with his family  , His memory is forever in our hearts .
I am not a big church goer , but today at lunchtime I went to our Church to light a candle in his memory and have a moment of reflection .
Life goes on and we get on with our daily routine but occasionally it is good to have a moment of reflection and try and make sense of it all . When people have past it is good we have our memories to keep them alive in our hearts .

If someone was to ask me today "how's your day been ?" I think I would respond  " peculiar "  . How can you put into words the juxtaposition of the Jolly highs of Christmas to the lows of loss ??

But it's nearly time to pick my youngest up from school  , then there will be a meal to plan & cook and life will just keep rolling on into the next experience and emotion .

Sorry if you pop by and find this an odd post , lets just call it therapy .
Love Tracy x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

By heck !!

Well flipping heck ,( as we'd say around here ) what a couple of weeks !! Firstly the build up to Yarndale and then the Yarndale & Open Studio weekend and then the mental and physical come down from it all . Wow what a time it's been . 

My Yarndale experience started with our Friday morning Creative Copper's group which a few Yarndale ladies came to  as they had travelled up early for the weekends events . It was so nice to meet them and what a great way to start the weekend . It's amazing how a common interest in things can bring total strangers together and people just gel instantly. We had a lovely morning .

That afternoon I got The Studio ready for the Open Event and as I had a low budget for flowers I went with what nature could offer me for free !!

The leaves looked quite lovely as the afternoon light caught them adding a real Autumnal feel to the room .

I used orange tones in the other room upstairs to make a modest but pretty arrangement to cheer up the table for any visitors that weekend .

I arranged my stock that Friday evening along with the other two Designer/Makers that we were helping to showcase their work .

When the door opened at 9 am we had a flurry of people who were popping in before heading up to the Yarndale event . Mr fox was one of my first items to be sold which I was very happy about as I have quite fallen in love with him and am eager to make more . I do owe my youngest one as he never got the one he requested for his birthday ( boy do I feel a bad mum !) .
It was also great to have other bloggers pop in and say hi , we had visits from : bunny mummy , Jilly Harris , The house of Jones , Victoiria makes .

 Fiona A.K.A The Beady Bird ( Fiona has a Facebook page called The Beady Bird ) she went down a storm with her handmade knitting and crochet place marker sets , as well as her yarn/sewing themed jewelry . She was so overwhelmed by every ones positive remarks and their enthusiasm for her makes . She went home Saturday evening and made more  to replenish her much depleted stock , Fiona hadn't anticipated the response she would have to her beaded loveliness. Fiona and I are old colleagues as well as friends and it is so great to see Fiona's makes received so well , she is a talented lady and it is nice to help give someone a platform to show their creativity .

Also exhibiting was our Graphic Designer Friend from Bludaisy ( she can be found on facebook as well ) . Bludaisy already exhibits her work  in Coopers but we thought it would be nice for her  to meet people and talk about her work . Although a little shy she sold one of her lovely big pictures , a surprise for a lady who visited with her family from Liverpool , the lady had been following Bludaisy via her Facebook page and when she left her husband made a secret purchase , what a lucky lady .

We were actually overwhelmed on Saturday by the fantastic support the open studio event had , It's always a little nerve racking when planning an event like this and as the main attraction was Yarndale you always worry people won't come . But I needn't have worried we were full to the rafters all day long from the moment the door opened at 9am to me trying to leave at 3pm for my sons birthady ( actually 3.35pm when I left ,  ). Can I also say what a pleasure it was to meet you all , what a fantastic crowd you were and a big shout out to the ladies from Ireland staying in the attic room No 25 ,  girls your fab !!

Sunday was a busy day as I had to open The Studio at 12 o'clock  but I managed a visist to Yarndale before it's doors opened , what a beautiful morning it was too . I saw Lucy and gave her a quick tap to say hi but she was already busy . So I pootled about soaked up the atmosphere and had a right good nosey at the stalls . The only purchase I made was 5 skeins of linen thread from ' namolio ' which I'm waiting to be inspired by but I'm happy to sit and look at for the time being .
 The walk back to The Studio was such fun with all the colourful Yarn dombing , all the joyous colours all helped by the glorious sunshine . So many people have contributed and worked so hard to produce all these Yarn delights for so many people to enjoy and help enrich their visual experience . These people should feel proud of their efforts and I would personally like to thank those that helped my experience of Yarndale be a creatively inspired one .

We had a fabulous time on the Sunday at the  Open studio  so can I just say a very very very BIG THANK YOU to all those people who came to visit over the weekend  and support what we are trying to do and create .

 I was so inspired by Yarndale that on my first day off in over a month I decided it was time to finish my eldest blanket .It's been a long road with this blanket but I've done it , it's finished !!!!  I took it out on Monday evening to our crochet group , this week at the pub.  Their were a few amongst us that need a celebratory drink , a toast was had to a successful weekend and then it was down to the business of sewing all  those ends in .
 Then Tuesday morning , boys off school and eldest still asleep I sat in my p.j's until it was done . The blanket was finished and waiting for him when he woke from his slumber . I am rather pleased with it , my first big blanket and I didn't follow a pattern , I just let it evolve .

 He really likes it !! he should do he picked the colours  , at times I've struggled with the colours but made it out of sheer love . He even wanted me to photograph him laid under it .

 Well Wednesday I was back to it in The Studio , I'm trying to get my Felt Christmas decoration kits produced  I would like them to be ready to buy in the next two weeks , so watch this space .

 But as the week has progressed so has my tiredness and my need to reconnect with my Hubby , boys and our home . All of which have not had the attention they should have had over the last month or so . Friday tea time I went to bed as I physically could not function and Mr P. jumped into the breach as he has repeatedly done  recently .  I got lots of sleep and boy did I feel better for it , my brain could function again .  I was so determined to have a weekend of cosy hominess and more importantly NO WORK .

This is a little treat I gave myself from my favourite local antiques shop ' Wash House Antiques ' a vintage pudding basin with a seal able lid , I thought the  £8 I payed for it was a good price  and then I spotted a basket full of old Scottish and Irish linen cloths in beautiful condition , I could only stretch to buying two . But I instantly pictured them re-made into little dresses for the Christmas Angel Mice ( definitely got my Christmas head on now ). I think my purchase reflected my yearning for domestic happiness .

I loved being at home this weekend I've even made some Damson Gin , well two batches actually . I'd bought a kilo of Damsons from our local market with jam in mind , but a mum at school told me about Damson gin and I thought I'd give it a whirl as I like Sloe Gin .

 Then in my endeavour to reach domestic  Nirvana I made an extra effort this morning at breakfast time to make welsh cakes , to have hot with butter and homemade jam and a pot of tea . Me and Mr P . sat , ate and chatted over a comforting breakfast enjoying one anothers company and in no real rush to do anything , that's what Sunday mornings are all about .
 When you work hard you do sometimes have to make an effort to reclaim the simple pleasures in life and we certainly did that today !!


Oooww look I've dug my sock out and started it again , I'm down the the heel and turning . I am a little bit excited . I WILL make a pair of socks before the year is out !!

My Yarndale experience has certainly got me inspired and given me new vigour for long overdue and forgotten projects .

I hope you've had chance to enjoy some simple pleasures this weekend . If not try slip some into this week somewhere .
Thanks for popping by and ta ta for now . Tracy x