chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Winter in a bowl - Spicy Parsnip Soup

Now that the weather has turned colder, it is time for me to enjoy the soup making part of the year! I asked my husband if he had any requests and he said he'd really like me to try a spicy parsnip soup. I trawled the usual websites and picked Gordon Ramsay's version for my first attempt. I'll tell you now, I will not be looking any further! This soup is to die for. As Gregg Wallace would say, "I could shove my whole face in it."

For those of you that would like to have a go at this divine soup, I found the recipe here, on 'Farmersgirl Kitchen' blog: 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Baking, Banana loaf ...and the fatty within.

I love baking, though until fairly recently I had been using a microwave oven combi thingamabob that left my cakes somewhat flat. After pulling out many a hair, I finally realised the problem might not actually be me, and treated myself to a new electric double oven (with gas hob because I can't be doing with cooking on electric rings.) Since then my cakes have risen and so has my confidence!

Whilst still in shite-oven mode, my nemesis was banana loaf cake; with every attempt, my dutiful husband chewing down the latest lump of godawful raw banana brick. Well, I would like to share with you a "TA-DA!" Moment!:

It is sensational. Crazy as it sounds, I feel amazing. The only thing I need to do battle with now is the fat person threatening to reveal herself if I continue with this success...

...every silver lining has it's cloud!

Next recipe to try? Lemon & Blueberry Madaleines! I've ordered the baking tin, I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

New Doctor, New Handbag!

Soooo... less than a week to go until the new series of Doctor Who!! We're all rather excited in this house; it has been a long time coming and I can't wait to see the new doctor. I had my reservations when Peter Capaldi was announced, but then I felt the same about Matt Smith, and look how that turned out! Anyway, I've been rather busy lately and haven't had time to make an outfit, but I did have a rather nice idea for a handbag! So here it is, my latest creation:

I took it shopping with me straight after I finished it and got quite a few looks - though I do realise that this is more likely down to me being a complete geek, but I couldn't care less! WOOOOO-OOOO-OOOOOOOOO!!!! :) 

Kat xx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Driving around at night, I am often treated to some of the wonderful sights that nature has to offer, not often visible during the day. Tonight's show is being provided by the prettiest little bunny rabbits I have ever seen! Spring has most definitely sprung, friends :)

Bunnies here, bunnies there; 
Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere!
See them in so many places,
Fuzzy shapes with twitchy faces.
Hopping, jumping, chewing grass,
Eyes that glint as headlights pass;
Furries springing to and fro,
They are everywhere I go!
Bouncing to their destination,
On the central reservation;
Praying that each one I see,
Won't jump out in front of me...
I can see a few have died,
Didn't make the other side.
Oh, fluffy bunnies, do take care;
Lovely bunnies, everywhere xxx 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bean Soup (Recipe)

Its that time of year when all I want to do is eat hearty soups with crusty bread whilst waiting for the summer to show up. I've just made my latest creation and, as I sit here full as an egg, I'm being sensible and typing the recipe up as a blog post; firstly so that I can share it, and secondly, so that I don't lose it!

Ok, so this is what I just ate:

...and this is what you need in order to do the same :)

1 small onion - diced
2 garlic cloves - chopped
300g Cauliflower & broccoli florets (or you can just do one or the other, if you want)
1 Red chilli - chopped
1 Tin of Baked Beans (Supermarket own brand is fine)
900ml stock
50g broken spaghetti
2tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp of each: Oregano, Parsley, Thyme & Mixed herbs

Put the oil in the pan and fry the onions for a few minutes until they become translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the chopped chilli and the herbs and fry for a further minute to release the flavours from the herbs.

Add the cauliflower/broccoli and the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins.

Put in the broken spaghetti and continue to simmer for 8 minutes before finally adding the tin of beans, sauce and all. It just needs around 5 more minutes for the beans to warm through and for the pasta to soften completely.

So that is it! And it tastes better the next day, as soups usually do. It's at this point that I normally stir in a fair sized dollop of my home-made chilli sauce (I do it at the eating stage so that I have the choice whether to have it super spicy or not) either that or I use the sauce that I buy from The Chilli Alchemist - his stuff is fantastic, you should really try it.

You can find his website here: and he's on Facebook here: The Chilli Alchemist - Facebook

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What a Hoot! Bobble Hat

I saw a lovely jumper on Ravelry that had been designed with a row of owls around the neckline. I could see that the owls had been created with a simple bit of cabling that was incredibly effective! I couldn't wait to use the same technique to create a bobble hat. I particularly like the buttons for eyes, which you could also substitute for those wiggly craft eyes, though I do prefer the buttons.

You will need:
4mm 16" Circular needle
4mm Cable needle
Dk yarn
22 small buttons for the owl eyes

Explanation of terms:
K- knit
P - purl
sts - stitches
K2tog - Knit 2 together
C4B - Slip 2 sts to a cable needle, hold to back. knit next 2 sts, then knit sts from cable needle.
C4F - Slip 2 sts to a cable needle, hold to front. knit next 2 sts, then knit sts from cable needle.

Cast on 112 and join in the round
Row 1-10) K2, P2 rib for 10 rows
Row 11) K1 row, decreasing by 2 sts - (110)
Row 12-27) follow owl chart x 11 times around

Row 28-30) *P2, K8* 3 for rows
Row 31-60) K 30 rows
Round 61) K3, K2tog to end - (88)
Round 62) K2, K2tog to end - (66)
Round 63) K1, K2tog to end - (44)
Round 64) K2tog around - (22)
Round 65) K2tog around - (11)

Cut yarn, thread through remaining sts and pull tight. Sew in ends and make a bobble for the top!
You can then either sew a button over the purled area for each owl's eyes, or you can cheat like me and use a glue gun... I was feeling a bit lazy!

And that's it - what a hoot!!

Enjoy :) Kat x

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

'Winter Star' Hat & Glove Set (Free knitting pattern)

EEEK! Its that time of year again...
Time to start knitting the winter gear! This year, I fancied something with a bit of a pattern, but not too much; I wanted it to be simple, but effective. I saw this star motif and thought it would be just about perfect.

The majority of the hat is knit with a 4mm 16" circular needle and finished with 4mm DPNs when the stitches become too few for the circular.

The gloves are knit on standard straight 4mm needles and sewn up on one side, leaving a thumb hole space.

So, without further ado, here we go:

'Winter Star' Hat
Using a 4mm 16" circular needle and blue DK yarn,
Cast on 120

Round 1-12) *K2, P2* rib for 12 rows
Round 13) Change to green for your star band background colour and Knit 1 round.
Round 14-26) Follow chart for next 13 rounds, using White DK for the star and other detailing. Chart is repeated 6 times.

Round 27) Knit 1 round.
Round 28-35) Change to main hat colour and knit 8 rounds

Begin decrease:
Round 36) Reduce next row by 3, *K38, K2tog* to end
Round 37) **K11, K2tog** to end
Round 38) Knit row
Round 39) **K10, K2tog** to end
Round 40) Knit row
Continue in established pattern, (You will need to change to 4mm DPNs when stitches become too few for the circular) until last row worked is K1, K2tog. K2tog to end.

Cut yarn, attach needle and thread through remaining sts.

Pull tight, tie off and weave in end.

Now for the gloves!

'Winter Star' Fingerless Gloves
Using 4mm needles and blue DK, cast on 34
Row 1-14) *K2 P2* rib 14 rows
Row 15) Change to green and knit one row, increasing by 1st at some point over the row - (35sts)
Row 16-28 Knit 13 rows of chart:

Row 29) Knit row, decreasing by 1 at some point over the row - (34sts)
Row 30-36) Change back to blue and Knit 7 rows
Row 37-40) *K1, P1* rib for 4 rows.
Cast off, sew up row ends, leaving a gap for your thumb:

Repeat instructions for a second glove, only this time rotate the glove star chart 180 degrees for the other hand.

I reckon this would make the perfect Christmas gift!!

Happy knitting, folks xx