Sunday, 29 June 2014

Tasty Halloumi and Spinach Stew - vegetarian friendly

As promised to one of my lovely twitter followers here is the recipe for my healthy halloumi and spinach stew - the only vegetarian dish that my carnivorous brother will actually admit to enjoying! :)

250g halloumi - cubed
100g spinach
x2 peppers; one red, one green - quartered
half a red onion - finely sliced
half a white onion - finely sliced
390g carton of passata (or you could use a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tbs tomato puree)
x1 clove of garlic - crushed or finely diced
tin of beans; cannellini, haricot or butter beans all taste great!
olive oil
100g mushrooms - quartered
150g cherry tomatoes - halved

1  First quarter the the peppers (leaving stem), drizzle with oil and place them under a hot grill for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
2  In a large pan over medium heat add olive oil, crushed garlic and the finely sliced onions and leave them for 2-3 mins with regular stirring.
3  Then add the passata and the halved cherry toms, mushrooms and chosen beans along with any of the liquid in the tin, then cube the halloumi.
4  Replace the peppers under the grill with the halloumi cubes, leave the halloumi under the heat for about 5-7 minutes or until the cubes are starting to golden - remember to turn!  Remove the stems from the peppers, slice them and add to the pot.
5  Add the spinach whole and leave the stew to simmer for 10-15 mins on a low heat, adding the halloumi when it is ready.

The stew is usually ready when the spinach has melted into the stew and is tasty either served on its own or with pasta, you could could also add more beans of your choice or even mixed beans.


Friday, 6 June 2014

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Is it summer yet?

So I've had a busy few weeks one part of that has been finally updating my folksy shop I'm very excited and have worked really hard on my items, including the lavender scented felt babushka hanging, felt phone covers and crochet necklaces and bunting which can be seen below. 

If you get a chance I'd love to here some feed back on my shop; what do you think of my prices, to high/low? What items do you like or if you have any suggestions on how to improve existing items?  Would you like to commission me to make something? Also I'm not to proud to except fair criticism.  So please if you can email me at or add a comment under this post.  Thank you in advance :-)

So it's back to the rainy, grey weather although we did have a few days of energising sun, it was beautiful.  As those of you who read either my twitter account or Facebook page will know I enjoyed the heat to the full sitting in my summer house my dad made with recycled and second hand material I was able to get lots of work done well watching my pup Santa get chased by the neighbours demon cat Millie and Silky and Shiloh the tortoises eat grass.  Also watching various other wildlife has been fun including a pair of confident little Robins who I've named Freddie and Frieda who like to get up close, wonder if I'll be seeing some babies soon? I've become quite attached to seeing the little birdies everyday :-) Hopefully the sun returns soon and I can see more of them, I've yet to get a picture of them both together or the pair of blue tits that keep visiting - I've become quite the bird watcher!

Santa and Millie

Silky and Shiloh

Freddie, or is it Frieda???

Cheeky selfie of me enjoying the rays

My much loved recycled summer house, also known as 'The Library' or 'The Whitehouse'!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Feel Good Friday

Hey all hope your enjoying the sun I'm about to go outside, sit in my summer house and do some work :-)

To start your weekend off early on a positive note here is today's Feel Good Friday quote from the marvellous Mr Roald Dahl:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My week in pictures...

As I've started using Facebook and Twitter (ahem...@EskdaleGifts) this last week to show random pictures I thought I'd give you a quick update here. :)

Twitter is starting to make more sense, slightly but I did get a great retweet from @nickitrench author of some of my favourite crochet books and the original designer of my teddies below:

A beautiful rainbow to make you feel better after a particularly rainy afternoon:

A beautiful mini Santa pup I ordered from 'I Love Crafting' on Facebook and gave to my mum as a gift - she insisted!

A trip back to my old school to help celebrate its 92nd birthday, I've definately missed this art building:

And for the last few I'll make this quick; ready to design my own tape measure cover, experimenting making bath bombs with my class, one sulky dog and sis after my mum left for her girly break in Benidorm (I also envy her the sunshine), a day in the garden watching these spining decorations, instead of pulling weeds, a nice walk, a lovely thank you and a cure all in the form of a giant cup of tea! :)

Enjoy you week, Jo xXx 

Friday, 2 May 2014

Feel Good Friday

I'm on the ball today; been up for a while, ready to do a work out then onto coursework, also gonna add a sneaky manicure in :)

To start the weekend on a good note here's today's Feel Good Friday Quote :)

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

How to stop your work from unravelling

Here is a neat little trick: use a mini peg through the loop of your unfinished crochet and attach it to the edge. This way you can travel about with your crochet and not have to worry about it unravelling.  Easy!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

High energy/low carb breakfast

Here is a great recipe for a tasty and low carbohydrate breaky, and the best part is it's super quick & easy to make;

Spray of frylight 
2 eggs
1 banana
1/2 tsp honey (optional)

Blitz all of the ingredients together in a bender

Then I sprayed a little frylight into a pan over medium heat and poured a small amount of the mixture into disc shapes - the mixture is quite runny so smaller, skinny cakes are better 

Cook for about 2 minutes then place under a grill until the pancakes are golden. You can try to flip them but as they are quite flimsy this can lead to a few disasters (of which I had a few!)

Serve with some tasty fresh berries :)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Feel Good Friday

Here's today's feel good post pals :). Enjoy your weekend I'm off out tonight but it really is stay in and wear your pyjamas weather! 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Apple & Cranberry Crumble

Today's task with little mister Pj was baking, or to be more exact - Apple & Cranberry Crumble Baking.  Yum!

You will need:
3 Large Bramley Apples
50g Dried Cranberries* 
3 tbsp water
1 Cinnemon Stick
125g Demerara Sugar
150g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Ground Nutmeg
75g Softened Butter

* Cranberries can be optional or you could try raisins or other dried fruits :)

This should feed about 6 people.

First you will need to put the oven on to heat @ 180C 

1- Peel & dice the apples into 1 to 2cm squares, place in a bowl of water during preparation to keep them from going brown.

2 - Place chopped apples, dried cranberries, Cinnemon stick, 50g of the sugar and water into a pan & put over a medium heat until the apples are soft and mushy (about 10 mins).

3 - Whilst the apple mix is heating time to make the crumble topping! :)
Place the soft butter, nutmeg, flour and another 50g of the sugar into a mixing bowl and use your fingers to crumble the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4 - Now place the stewed apples into a deep oven proof dish (in the pictures I used several smaller dishes as the lil cuz wanted to share the crumble around the family :>) - don't forget to remover the Cinnemon stick!  After the apples sprinkle generously with the crumble topping and the left over 25g of sugar.

5 - Now place in the oven for 30 minutes. :)

Serve warm from the oven with ice cream or custard...


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

English and Proud!

Just showing my patriotic side and wishing everyone and great Saint George's Day... A cup of tea for all! ;)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy and now TWITTER!

Visit @EskdaleGifts on Twitter and click Follow and I will be sure to send you good luck using the power of my mighty mind ... Please note and monetary luck gained must be returned to sender, aka Me! :p

Thank you in advance


Monday, 21 April 2014

A good day :) :) :)

If there's a better way to get some paper work done than sitting out side in the sun I can't think of one!  Our beautiful cherry blossom tree is in full bloom and the pup has stolen the seat next to me to sit and enjoy the rays. I'm still full of chocolate from yesterday and the first ladybird I've seen this year just landed on my shoe!  Over all a good bank holiday Monday, hope everyone else out there is feeling as blissful :)