Gallery Wall

I moved into my current abode almost 3 years ago now and said from the beginning that I wanted to do a gallery wall. I have now finally finished it, and here’s how I did it.

First I decided on the selection of things I wanted to put up. A lot was stuff I had collected over the years and things I found beautiful and interesting but also things that held a ton of memories. Take the time to put all of the things together and see if their colours are pleasing, not only to your eye but also to your room.

Then frame all of the said items and lay them out. This helps you to envisage how they will look on your wall.

I did this for hours. And eventually came up with this. I was waiting for a few pieces, hence the empty frames.

I then photocopied the back of the frames and blutacked them to the wall. 

You can play about with the placement, as you can see I added a few bits then decided against them, but by tacking them to the wall you can move them and make it look right before peppering your wall with holes that you might not be able to cover. You can also use the markings to measure out where to nail your picture hangings.

And here is the finished article. The key in the middle was a late addition. But adds a certain something. This is obviously my taste and things that I like, so use what makes you happy. But if you like the chevron piece in the corner I will be posting a tutorial on that soon.

Happy Crafting!

One-pot Kale Pasta

Kale is delicious. Anyone who is not aware of this needs a serious kale education. This dish is a simple way to try kale for the first time or as a true kale lover.

Ingredients

  • Cavolo Nero or curly kale, about 1 handful per person
  • 75g linguine per person
  • Cherry tomatoes, again about a handful per person
  • Feta cheese to serve

Method

1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.

2. Chop kale and tomatoes while pasta is cooking.





I like to use these lovely mixed cherry tomatoes as they give great colour.



3. Chuck the kale in with the pasta when you have about 2 mins of cooking time left. Kale really doesn’t need long at all, it goes bitter if you over cook it.

4. When the pasta and kale are done turn off the heat and drain. Then return to the pan and throw in the tomatoes and warm through.



5. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and pepper, then sprinkle with crumbled feta.

Goujon Goodness

Hello there,
Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I was galavanting in Iceland with my best friend. I would thoroughly recommend it. Go to Iceland everybody.

Now onto food.

This is a recipe a friend directed me towards. And by directed me he said ‘You must try this, it’s amazing!’ He was very correct.

Mustard and Paprika Chicken Goujons with Avocado Mayo
Serves 1
Ingredients
For Goujons:
2 Chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp of Smoked Paprika
50g Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
1/2 lime to serve
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
For Avocado Mayo:
1/2 Avocado, cubed
1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
Small squeeze of lime
Salt and pepper

Method
1. Mix mustard, paprika, salt and pepper together in a small shallow dish. You can add a dribble of water to slacken the mix a bit, but it does need to be thick enough to stick to the chicken.
2. Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan.
3. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate, then coat the chicken in the mustard mix then the breadcrumbs making sure it’s coated well.
4. Fry the strips until golden brown on both sides then remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen roll.
5. Put the avocado into a bowl and crush with a fork until smooth.
6. Add Mayo and a small squeeze of lime (you don’t want to overpower the delicate avocado) and season to taste.
7. Serve goujons with a wedge of lime and enjoy.

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Original recipe by Nigel Slater for The Guardian and can be found here

Quick Lazy Lunch

So this is how lazy I am. I made this on Wednesday, which happened to be my day off, and I am only just getting round to posting it! Anyways, I was in a rush to get to the dentist so needed something quick. Enter avocado on toast, a very easy (and very tasty), no cook lunch or snack.

Ingredients
1 Avocado, mashed
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes (this is really to taste, you could add more or not add them at all)
Goats Cheese – needs to be of cutting or crumbling texture.
2 slices of good quality bread
Olive oil

The method for this is pretty simple. Mash the avocado with the chilli flakes and season well with salt and pepper then spread onto the toasted bread. Crumble the cheese (or place the cut cheese) on top then drizzle with olive oil and a good grind of black pepper and stuff into your face.

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Original recipe found at Love and Olive Oil

Because Bacon

I love bacon. I would eat it every day if my waistline could stand it (and I very nearly do!) So when I came across this Bacon and Cheddar Bread in one of Paul Hollywood’s books I just had to try it.

Bacon and Cheddar Bread

Ingredients – makes one small loaf
250g Strong white bread flour
5g Dried fast action yeast
5g Salt
15g Butter, softened
115g Cool water
4 Rashers smoked bacon
75g Mature cheddar cheese, grated

Method
1. Put flour into a large mixing bowl, add the yeast and salt to opposite sides of the bowl. Add the butter and most of the water. Turn the mixture round in the bowl with your fingers. Keep mixing until the dough comes together into a soft ball. I needed to add more water but you may not need to.
2. Lightly flour your work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Knead for 5-10 minutes until you get a soft skin forming. I tend to knead bread by pushing the heel of my hand into the middle of the ball and pushing away while holding the rest down with my other hand, then rolling the dough back on itself, turning it a quarter turn, then repeating.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and place kneaded dough into it. Cover with cling film (Saran wrap for you guys across the pond) or a tea towel and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (it takes about an hour in my kitchen as my flat is quite warm, but a longer rise wont hurt it)
4. While the bread is rising gently cook your bacon. (I use streaky bacon because, well its just better, but if you use back bacon you will need to remove the rind before you cook it) You just want it to be tender, not crispy, as you are going to cook it again. Set aside to cool and then cut into small strips or pieces.
5. When your bread has risen to your liking add the bacon and grated cheese an carefully knead then into the bread. You can do this in the bowl and first then lightly flour your worktop to finish off, pushing any stray pieces back into the bread. Try not to work it too much at this stage but you do want the bacon and cheese to be distributed through the dough.
6. Shape your dough. I made the dough into an oval by first creating a rough rectangle and folding the sides in so they met in the middle. I rolled the dough up and then tapered the ends into points. Place the shaped dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment/baking paper and lightly floured. Lightly dust the loaf with flour and slash lengthwise (or however you like if you haven’t done an oval).
7. Lightly oil a sheet of cling film and place over the dough to prove. You can also use one of those special bread proving bags but I don’t have any, the oil just stops the bread from sticking to it. Leave to prove until the dough springs back quickly when lightly pressed. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 220’c (about 430’f).
8. When your bread is ready bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf. The bread should sound hollow when you tap underneath.

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Serve warm with butter and try not to eat it all in one go (which will be really difficult I can assure you)

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Thanks for reading!

Recipe adapted (slightly) from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake

The Ikea Hack

Hello and welcome to my blog, I’m glad you have found me.

For my first post I have decided to show you a brilliant IKEA hack that I found on Pinterest (I get a lot of my inspiration from here, if you don’t know what it is Google it and educate yourself). My nail polish collection was threatening to fall off the end of my bathroom cabinet and I wanted a solution that would allow me to expand my collection and keep it neat. I used the BEKVAM spice rack for this hack (only about £3 and I bought two).

Firstly you need to put them together. A surprisingly easy process for an IKEA product, though there were a few minor swears uttered. Now I don’t have a picture of this step 1) Because I forgot and 2) Because I am an idiot, but the racks are an unfinished light wood so you don’t need to prep them for painting. (Of course you can leave them as they are in their unfinished state but mine were going into my bathroom so they needed some protection, also I wanted to.)

I used a white matte emulsion as a base coat (or two):

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Then finished them off with a white gloss paint:

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Then you just have to attach it to your desired wall. I found some more handy members of my family to help with this part, and much swearing ensued, mainly trying to mark where to hang the racks on the wall. An easier solution would’ve been to photocopy the back of the rack and use that as a guide, ah hindsight.

The finished racks are rather lovely though:

image1They will fit two rows of most standard nail polish bottles (the Ciate ones I have on the top rack are a bit bigger so may have to get more creative with my stacking!) I’m really pleased with this one, which is why I wanted to use it for my first post. .

Thank you for reading!

I got this hack from Jaana at This Mom’s Gonna Snap

And the BEKVAM spice racks from here