Homemade Muesli

“Here is one I prepared earlier!”

Since my granddaughter is here this week, I put this post together last week.

I thought that I would share with you my recipe for Muesli. It is what I have for breakfast on weekdays.

The recipe in its proportions owes something to this book that I bought many years ago.

I bought it not to go on a slimming diet but because I was interested in the charts showing the amount of fibre in different foods as I wanted to increase the amount that I ate.

The book contains a high fibre recipe for breakfast that it says contains 15g fibre and 200 calories.

So I decided to make it for breakfast.

At first I did what they said and weighed out each portion separately but later I decided that this was too much hassle and made it in batches.

Later still when I was less worried about fibre in my diet I decided that I would move away from wheat bran and try a mixture of grains and also a greater variety of dried fruit and nuts.

So the only similarity between the recipe in this book and mine is the proportion of sultanas and the inclusion of almonds.

[My muesli, by my calculation, is about 8g fibre and 260 calories without milk.]

I believe that in the US sultanas are called raisins though in the UK raisins come from a red grape and sultanas come from a white grape. I prefer white grape sultanas to the richer flavoured red grape raisins for this recipe.

I normally make a batch that is a nominal 16 helpings in size but for the ease of photography the recipe below will only make 8 helpings. The plate is the same in all the pictures.

So what do you need?

You mix together

Grains

  • 4oz (110g) oats – I like the larger old fashioned ones.
  • 4oz (110g) rye flakes.
  • 4oz (110g) barley flakes.

Dried Fruit

  • 4oz (110g) sultanas.
  • 2oz (55g) dried apricots. (I used to use 1oz apricots and 1oz prunes but I went off the prunes.)
  • 1oz (25g) dates. (Yes I know half of 55 is 27.5 but at this level you rarely get an exact weight of whole dates or figs and 25 looks neater.)
  • 1oz (25g) dried figs.

I cut up the dates, apricots and figs with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Nuts

  • 1oz (25g) flaked almonds.
  • 1oz (25g) walnut pieces.

Mix them all together and you get your muesli.

I sometimes add to the above a couple of ounces (55g) of ground up linseeds for the added health benefits.

Yes this is a trick picture.

Before and after grinding

Serving

In volume a serving would be around about ½ an UK cup and about 2/3 of a US cup.

I normally serve the muesli with some cold milk but I sometimes add some natural yogurt or use hot water followed by some yogurt in the winter.

And as a special treat (I love them!) and because they are good for you, since they contain selenium that is lacking apparently in European diets, I add 3 or 4 brazil nuts – depending on their size.

Giveaway

I was surprised that I haven’t had more people interested in my 50 follower giveaway.

Not sure if the reason is

  • Having it in August (not something I could determine really).
  • The things I have chosen to give away.
  • Asking people to give some feedback on the blog.
  • Other reason I haven’t thought of.

Anyway, if you are a more recent follower or if you have been away or haven’t got round to it.

The post for the Giveaway is HERE.

The five things for the giveaway are as in the picture above or the thumbnails below.

I am holding it open till the end of August and won’t actually be choosing the person till 3rd September.

A Birthday Outing

Another post so soon! Yes but I thought I would share our Sunday outing with you.

Sunday was my daughter’s birthday and I was picked up after church and we all went down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We being myself, my daughter, her husband, their daughter and a friend who is at present lodging with them.

We started at the Mary Rose museum where we took a picture of the lodger: James in the stocks!

And here is the birthday girl with a well known king.

And here is a little (or maybe medium sized) princess.

We weren’t able to see the Mary Rose itself but later we did get to see the place that they’ve built to house it.  I saw a very interesting programme on television about it a little while ago.

We decided to head over to Gun Wharf Quays for lunch, passing HMS Warrior on the way.

When we got there, I photographed the Spinnaker tower though I have been here before.

We found a restaurant my daughter likes called Wagamama, the cuisine looks to Japan apparently.

My daughter and I had something whose name I can’t remember but it looked like this:

and it was really delicious. (James was amused by the way I twirled the noodles round my chopsticks. 🙂 )

And there were a couple of side dishes to share as well

After lunch we all headed back to the Historic dockyard.

and this time we went to see the

I have been before a long time ago so the ship did look strange with topmasts and rigging missing.

We had to bend low to go inside.

I won’t bore you with all the pictures I took inside but this looked rather splendid.

And a little girl asked me to photograph her next to one of the ship’s guns.

The tables are hanging from the ceiling – amazing.

Then it was time to go home. As we walked back the Warrior was still there.

One day had not been long enough to see everything but the tickets will still be valid in a fortnight so we are coming back on Saturday week to see HMS Warrior and the Submarine museum.

Addendum

On their way back to Aylesbury everyone came back to my house and had cake. They really enjoyed the Battenburg of my last post and of course I gave my daughter the rest to take home. But I do still have some of the off-cuts (well I had to taste it when it came out of the oven to check it was alright!) and the marzipan, which I can have with a cup of tea later today.

So what was I doing this afternoon?

Well it’s my daughter’s birthday tomorrow and although she doesn’t know it she is coming down with her family to see the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and I have been invited to go with them and then they are coming back here for tea. Her husband has made her a Battenburg for tea just like he did for my birthday but before I knew that, when I offered to make a cake, he said maybe we should both make cakes.

Now I love Battenburg because I love almonds and especially marzipan but I never made them myself when my children were small because I didn’t have a suitable tin but a few years ago I decided to lash out and buy a special tin.

And I have made a couple since.

I might have made more but I couldn’t find cohineal for sale and I have tried ‘pink’ and ‘red’ food colouring but all they produce is a sort of orangey brown cake which just isn’t the same.

When I was speaking to my son-in-law on Thursday he told me that I needed Silver Spoon ‘pink’ colouring and you could only buy it one place but he couldn’t remember where. Luckily a quick hunt on the internet revealed it was available at Sainsbury’s which is somewhere I shop so I got some.

And made a cake.

Here it is all ready to go in the tin.

I made the marzipan myself. First time I have used the whisk the egg and sugar over hot water for twelve minutes method, so I was a little apprehensive, but it worked out fine and I added a little extra ground almonds till it was firm enough.

And a have a little left which of course I will have to eat up.

Yum! 🙂

And of course a Battenburg doesn’t look right with the cooked ends showing so I had to cut them off and eat them up with a cup of tea. Just to check it tasted alright of course.

Yay! I’ve finished a sock for me!

Here is the first of the socks I am making for myself. I could maybe have cast off even more loosely but it fits and is so lovely and soft. And of course I also love the muted rainbow colours.

I can wear it straight or turned over

I have started on the second one and with luck it might be finished by the end of the month if I don’t get distracted.

And here is an update on my flower cloth.

I have done a bit more of it and now it looks like this.

Not halfway yet but it contains every sort of flower except the twelve petalled darker pink ones.

And as a future endeavour

I am joining Rachell’s CAL  and have ordered the book. The picture of the book is showing in the ‘Posts I Like’ on the right.

Obsession

Ever since I made these

for my Giveaway I have been obsessed with making more snowflakes and this time instead of Really Easy snowflakes I offer you some Easy Real snowflakes or at least as close to the real things as I can get.

I think maybe I must be a bit crazy, not only have I spent much of the last few days working out how to create patterns for these snowflakes when I could have been knitting my socks but today I so concentrated on putting together a page for these patterns on the blog that I forgot I’d put the washing on, didn’t have any lunch and didn’t notice it was raining. (So maybe it’s just as well I didn’t hang out the washing! :-))

To me snowflakes are these six sided things made of ice that fall from the sky but I have noticed over the years that some people draw or otherwise create snowflakes with eight sides. I have always imagined that his was either a lack of observation on their part or a rather cavalier attitude due to the fact that eight sides are easier to reproduce than six.

However having found this picture of a five sided snowflake in a book on crochet I borrowed from the library, I have decided that in crochet, snowflake just means a multi-pointed motif.

But just as I wanted to draw my inspiration for my Flower Cloth from real flowers, so I have been determined to base my crochet snowflakes on real snowflakes.

So I returned to this website http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/

and put together these photos as ones I should use as inspiration.

All except the top left looked as if they might be possible. And I am still searching for an easy way to do even that one.

I had some white bamboo yarn that I had bought cheaply when it was being sold off by Hobby Craft for only 50p a 50g ball and decided to use it for these new snowflakes. I can’t decide if I like it better than the acrylic or not. It is not such a snowy white but as it is absorbent could be stiffened if I so wished.

So far this is what I have managed to make with this yarn.

I have decided to leave the one that is in the middle of the bottom row, in the picture of snowflakes, at the moment as it has a totally different character to the rest: much more ornate in texture.

And I have yet to work out how to do the one that is top left.

But this gives me seven.

I have now also completed them in acrylic, which gave me a chance to check out the accuracy of the patterns I had written. Acrylic is much easier to work with and I would definitely recommend it or something similar rather than cotton or bamboo for a first attempt.

The Patterns should be available on Ravelry in a few weeks time. (Edited 9th June 2017)

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My first snowflake patterns created snowflakes of different sizes. This time I tried to make them all a similar size.

These snowflakes probably take about 20-30mins each to make.

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Snowflake 1.

 

Snowflake 2.

 

Snowflake 3.

 

Snowflake 4.

 

Snowflake 5.

 

Snowflake 6.

 

Snowflake 7.

 

Fifty Follower Free-for-all?

Well I liked the alliteration and there are five free things for one of my now fifty plus followers.

Some people call them Giveaways (as I will) some Competitions, but this is something I have been preparing for, as those who have been following me longest will know.

So what are the conditions for entry?

It’s open to all my followers anywhere in the world.

So if you are one of my followers and you want to be entered for the giveaway all I ask is that you leave a comment at the bottom of this post asking to be entered and saying either

  • What you most enjoy about my posts.

or

  • What you would like to see more of.

And what is there to be given away?

Well I have made this egg-cosy in the form of a bobble hat. The bobble is maybe a little oversized but I hope you find it fun.

Then I made one of my pocket-pigs with a rainbow saddle,

these snowflakes in the form of some bunting but you can remove them if you prefer to use them in a different way,

a granny-circle table centre that seemed to be the most popular item when I previewed some of these items,

And lastly………………………..

A key ring.

Not my normal yarn project but when I was a child I had this

I had a lot of fun doing different designs with it and so I kept it for future use.

But then a few years ago my older daughter told me that you could buy the plastic strands needed and that she had done so and made lots of them.

So I got some and enjoyed myself making a whole set of ‘samplers’.

I then realised that they weren’t really useful for much except maybe zip-pulls or key-rings so didn’t make any more.

I didn’t need any zip-pulls and I chose one odd one to use as a key-ring and it has been one of the longest lasting key-rings I have ever had.

But, of course, I have kept my samples and so have decided to give one away for this giveaway.

Timescale

You have till the end of the month to enter and then I will put all the names in a hat (or other container 🙂 ), pull out a winner, notify the person who won, ask for your address and send you the goodies.

Making one of my favourite soups

Carrot and lemon soup is one of my favourites.
The recipe comes from Rose Elliot’s ‘Complete Vegetarian Cookbook’.

I normally make sure I have some carrots in the fridge but when I went shopping on Friday I bought all these carrots and a lemon with an eye to making some carrot and lemon soup this week.

The recipe calls for ‘6 medium carrots’ so I think the three largest of these will probably be enough. That’s about 1lb. (454g).

First lets collect the other ingredients.

1 onion and two sticks of celery.

Since I’ve been making soup regularly (most weeks I make enough for five helpings – one each day) I have solved my moral and financial dilemma, about whether to eat the stalks of vegetables or throw them away, by throwing them in my soup.

This week it is some broccoli stalks. They will add extra flavour as I almost always use water rather than stock in my soup.

I slice the carrots in half then half again and chop.

Then I chop the onion, celery and broccoli stalks and add to the carrots.

I grate the lemon rind.
For the last 40 years or so I have used this grater


but a year or so ago I decided that it was getting too difficult to grate the rind off oranges or lemons with it and I heard of these microplane graters and although they were rather expensive (about £20) I decided I would buy one.

This Cuisipro Accutec one seemed to be the best so I bought it and I must say it is wonderful.

You just rub it over the lemon and the zest collects on the slightly curved side all ready to be used.

Now we are ready.

I put some olive oil in my largest saucepan. (The original recipe says ½oz (15g) of butter but I prefer to use olive oil.)

Add the vegetables

and gently soften on a low heat for 10-15mins

Then I add 1.5pts (850ml) of water, half a teaspoon of the grated rind, with a bay leaf, and a sprinkle of salt and some ground pepper.

Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 20-30 mins.

While the soup is cooking I squeeze the lemon on this: one of my mother’s cast offs.


She said it was actually a lime squeezer (think Singapore and limes a plenty) but I have managed to use it to squeeze lemons all my life.

When the soup is cooked I wizz in the blender a few times.

At this point you can taste it and decide if you need more salt or pepper.

Then add lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) and the rest of the zest (another ½ teaspoon) to taste.

And it is ready

The recipe says to sprinkle it with chopped parsley but I don’t have any so I serve it as it is.

And as the weather has changed from bright and sunny to dull and wet. I have to take the last photograph near the window with the plate balanced on my dish drainer

Really Easy Snowflake Patterns

There are many incredibly delicate and complex crochet snowflakes but I had problems even with ones that I thought looked simpler so here are my Really Easy Snowflakes Patterns.

I started using the sock yarn for the white socks but that makes very small fiddly snowflakes so I switched to DK (US worsted weight) yarn. My default size hook for this yarn is 4.5mm but I used a 4mm one to make them a bit firmer. I have used a pale blue yarn instead of the white for the step by step pictures because I think it makes the stitches easier to see.

You could really use almost any weight yarn and any hook depending on how big you want them but I think firm is best. Pulling the points may be necessary.

I am using UK crochet terms but I have done a simple ‘pattern only’ US version at the bottom.

Please point out any errors if you notice them.

Large

This only has four rows and only the last one is at all fiddly.

I used the Magic Loop Method to start all my snowflakes but you can use whatever is your favourite method.

I am not very good at draughtsmanship but here is a drawing I did for my project book that I thought gives a good idea of how the yarn goes for this method if you are a beginner.

Magic loop diagram

Row 1: 3ch=1st tr

then 11trs into hole.

Join with a slip stitch into the third chain at the beginning.

When I was beginning crocheting in the round it took me a while to realise but ‘working into the third chain’ meant working into the first place that it was easy to get into, that is almost above the first of the trebles.

First row complete

Row 2

When working into gaps I like to start by pulling the yarn through the gap to the right (the one before the three chain of the previous row)

and then pulling it to the right of the gap before working any more trebles.

Row 2: 3ch = 1st tr then 1tr, 1ch working into the gap to the right of the (3ch=1st tr) of the previous row.

Then work (2tr, 1ch) eleven more times, working into each gap between the trebles of the previous row. Slip stitch together as first row.

Second row complete

Row 3:
3ch = 1st tr then 2tr into the first space.

then (tr, 4ch, tr) into the next space.

Then alternate this with (3tr) into each space to the end. Slip stitch together as first row.

Third row complete

Row 4
Have you ever reflected on the fact that even single crochet stitches do not really sit neatly on top of each other but are actually slightly offset like the three treble groups are when doing granny squares.

So I decided for reasons of symmetry to work 4dc above the 3tr of the previous row.

Row 4: 2ch=1dc, then a further 2dc into the stitch holes (3 & 4) as in the picture above.

Then work a Trefoil = (2dc, 3ch, slst, 5ch, slst, 3ch 2dc) into the gap below the 4ch of the previous row. You can push the stitches along to the right if you feel you are running out of space for this.

Trefoil – chain loops opened up to make it easier to see

Then work 4dc over the 3tr groups as in the picture (holes 1,2,3,4) and the trefoils into the loops – all the way round.

Finish with a last dc into hole 1 and slst together into 2nd chain at start.

I have used 3-5-3 for the chains in the trefoil because I liked it best but for variety you could use 3-3-3, 5-5-5 or 5-7-5.

You could also try increasing the number of chains between the 3tr groups on row 3. But then of course you would need to increase the number of dcs in the trefoil.

Extra Large

This is similar to the large one but has five rows.

Row 1 & Row 2: are the same as the large.

Row 3: is similar to Row 3 above but you alternate 3tr with (2ch, 2tr, 2ch).

Row 4: Slst left to middle tr of row below. Then repeat (5ch, 2tr into gap between trs below, 5ch, slst into centre of 3tr from row below. [ I use hole 2 from my picture for this].) 6 times.

Row 5

I am going to call a slst into gap between 2 trs of row below – ssg

Row 5: Repeat (5dc into chain loop, ssg , 4ch, ssg, 7ch, ssg, 4ch, ssg, 5dc into next chain loop) 6 times.

End with slst into first dc to end.

Medium

This owes a lot to this free pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snowflake-coaster-or-ornament especially for the second and third rows.

Row 1: as Large snowflake.

Row 2: (ch3, slst into next ch) 12 times. Last slst is into first st.

Row 3: On this row you alternate (dc into loop, ch4) with (dc into loop, ch2) and join with a slst.

Row 4: On this row you work a (3dc, 5ch, 3dc) into the larger loops and (dc, 3ch, dc) into the smaller loops and finish off with a slst into a likely hole.

Small

This only has 3 rows! The only thing that makes it all fiddly is the size.

Again I started with the Magic Loop but instead of 12trs I worked 12dcs into the loop.

Row 1: 2ch = 1st dc, 11dc into loop, slst together into 2nd chain.

Row 2: (5ch miss a st and slst into next one) 6 times. Last slst is into starting stitch. If you find you can’t miss a st for the last loop that means you have missed two sts at the start. (well that’s what I did sometimes).

Row 3: Trefoil into each loop as in the first pattern – which is (2dc, 3ch, slst, 5ch, slst, 3dc, 2dc) into each loop.

My very small one was done using a 3-3-3 pattern for the trefoil. I did have to pull extra hard on the points to get this one to lie flat.

Again variations in the size of loop and trefoil pattern are possible.

US Version Patterns

Large

This only has four rows and only the last one is at all fiddly.

I used the Magic Loop Method to start all my snowflakes but you can use whatever is your favourite method.

Row 1: 3ch=1st dc then 11dcs into hole. Join with a slip stitch into the third chain at the beginning.

Row 2

When working into gaps I like to start by pulling the yarn through the gap to the right (the one before the three chain of the previous row) pulling it to the right of the gap before working any more dcs.

Row 2: 3ch = 1st dc then 1dc, 1ch working into the gap to the right of the (3ch=1st dc) of the previous row. Then work (2dc, 1ch) eleven more times, working into each gap between the dcs of the previous row. Slip stitch together as first row.

Row 3: 3ch = 1st dc then 2dc into the first space then (dc, 4ch, dc) into the next space.

Then alternate this with (3dc) into each space to the end. Slip stitch together as first row.

Row 4: 2ch=1sc, then a further 2sc into the stitch holes (3 & 4) as in the picture above.

Then work a Trefoil = (2sc, 3ch, slst, 5ch, slst, 3ch 2sc) into the gap below the 4ch of the previous row. You can push the stitches along to the right if you feel you are running out of space for this.

Then work 4sc over the 3dc groups as in the picture (holes 1,2,3,4) and the trefoils into the loops – all the way round.

Finish with a last sc into hole 1 and slst together into 2nd chain at start.

I have used 3-5-3 for the chains in the trefoil because I liked it best but for variety you could use 3-3-3, 5-5-5 or 5-7-5.

You could also try increasing the number of chains between the 3dc groups on row 3. But then of course you would need to increase the number of scs in the trefoil.

Extra Large

This is similar to the large one but has five rows.

Row 1 & Row 2: are the same as the large.

Row 3: is similar to Row 3 above but you alternate 3dc with (2ch, 2dc, 2ch).

Row 4: Slst left to middle dc of row below. Then repeat (5ch, 2dc into gap between dcs below, 5ch, slst into centre of 3dc from row below. [ I use hole 2 from my picture for this].) 6 times.

Row 5

I am going to call a slst into gap between 2 dcs of row below – ssg

Row 5: Repeat (5sc into chain loop, ssg , 4ch, ssg, 7ch, ssg, 4ch, ssg, 5sc into next chain loop) 6 times.

End with slst into first sc to end.

Medium

This owes a lot to this free pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snowflake-coaster-or-ornament especially for the second and third rows.

Row 1: as Large snowflake.

Row 2: (ch3, slst into next ch) 12 times. Last slst is into first st.

Row 3: On this row you alternate (sc into loop, ch4) with (sc into loop, ch2) and join with a slst.

Row 4: On this row you work a (3sc, 5ch, 3sc) into the larger loops and (sc, 3ch, sc) into the smaller loops and finish off with a slst into a likely hole.

Small

This only has 3 rows! The only thing that makes it all fiddly is the size.

Again I started with the Magic Loop but instead of 12dcs I worked 12scs into the loop.

Row 1: 2ch = 1st sc, 11sc into loop, slst together into 2nd chain.

Row 2: (5ch miss a st and slst into next one) 6 times. Last slst is into starting stitch. If you find you can’t miss a st for the last loop that means you have missed two sts at the start. (well that’s what I did sometimes).

Row 3: Trefoil into each loop as in the first pattern – which is (2sc, 3ch, slst, 5ch, slst, 3dc, 2sc) into each loop.

My very small one was done using a 3-3-3 pattern for the trefoil. I did have to pull extra hard on the points to get this one to lie flat.

Again variations in the size of loop and trefoil pattern are possible.