Thursday, 27 January 2011

CHA Favourites...

Crafting has taken a back seat in my life for the last 12 months or so since Altered Chic expanded onto NOTHS. Scrapbooking is still one of my favourite hobbies though and I always love seeing what new products are coming onto the market. This time of year is one of the busiest for new releases thanks to CHA. I thought I'd share some of my favourite new releases for 2011 with you all.

American Crafts have always had gorgeous scrapbook albums and this year is no different.

I love Crate Paper's Portrait Collection! I love the quirky mix of vintage and colour - a range that I would totally see myself using in my scrapbooking.

I also love Crafe Paper's Emma's Shoppe Collection. It reminds me so very much of Cath Kidston's style. A style which John can agree I am completely obsessed with at the moment.

I have only seen this image of the Sweet Threads collection by Basic Grey but already I'm hooked! Not only do I love Basic Grey but this is also sewing themed - what is there not to love?!

As always, Prima have lots of stunningly pretty new collections but I think that Sparkling Spring has to be my favourite. With it's pretty pastel colours it is just the collection for washing away all those winter blues. And just look at what you can create with it...

Now isn't this just one of the best dies you have ever seen?! Time Holtz has once again brought a brilliant range of Alterations dies to the craft market.

And how about these embossing folders to go with the dies? How long till these will be available in the UK?

Lisa x

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sewing, sewing, sewing...

I've been really busy the last few weeks working on new products for Altered Chic. One of these products is our range of fabric noticecboards. Perviously available only at our craft fairs, these pretty fabric noticeboards will be available online shortly in a whole new range of fabrics.

We are also working on a whole new range of fabric products including bunting, cushions and artwork.

I'm really excited about our new fabric ranges. Textiles and sewing have always been a big part of my life. As a little girl I remember sewing clothes for my dolls on an old singer sewing machine my parents bought me for Christmas. Since then I've always loved sewing so being able to bring it into my plans for Altered Chic is a dream come true.

Lisa x

Friday, 21 January 2011

Week 3: Greek Moussaka

Last night I cooked Greek Moussaka. Ever since our holiday in Greece in 2005 I've loved Greek food. One of my favourite being Mousakka. I've tried a few different recipes for Mousakka but I thought I'd give another one a try.

The recipe is on the Channel 4 Food website. I forgot to take a photo so here is the one from the website...

Although Moussaka takes quite a long time to prepare and cook, I think it is well worth the 2 hours of effort.

Not only is delicious! You can taste all the flavours of the lamb, aubergine, cinnamon and oregano.

I would recommend serving it with a greek salad complete with plenty of feta.

Lisa x

Friday, 14 January 2011

Week 2: Special Asian Rice

I found this recipe in the February 2011 Ideal Home magazine. It is actually called Best-Ever Special Asian Rice and I have to agree that not only is it easy to make, but it tastes delicious too!

It can be found on page 144.

It states that it takes around 25 minutes to cook. It actually took me around 45 minutes with prep time but still pretty quick for a weekday dinner. And the cost of ingredients wasn't too bad either.

1. Cook the rice to it's instructions. Drain and set to one side covered in a clean tea
2. Mix the chilli sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce and set aside. Heat a wok till smoking, cook the chicken in vegetable oil for 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside.
3. Add the green beans, peppers and a little water and stir-fry for 2 mins. Add the garlic, ginger and prawns and stir-fry for 2 mins.
4. Add the cooked rice, push to one side of the wok and add the eggs. Allow to scramble before mixing into the rice.
5. Add the chicken, spring onions and sauces back to the pan and stir until hot and cooked through. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

I followed the instructions with some minor changes. I used cooked prawns so I added them at the end with the chicken and spring onions. The only problem I had was that my rice had too much water as it was regular basmati rice. It was still yummy but I would definetly get easy-cook rice next time.

I would definetly recommend buying this issue of Ideal Home and trying this recipe. The other recipes look delicious too - Mushroom Risotto, Spicy Rice Patties and Hot-Smoked Salmon, Pea & Coriander Kedgeree.

Lisa x

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Week 1: Tomato Soup, Croutons & Guacamole

This week's recipe was taken from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. If you have the book the recipe can be found on page 78.

The basic idea behind Jamie Oliver's book is that a homecooked meal can be made within 30 minutes - ideal for those who find it hard to make the time for cooking.

The meal actually included Prune puddings for dessert but as I can't actually stand prunes I swapped it for a bowl of ice-cream.

The soup and guacamole platter were pretty easy to make...

Roast your tomatoes in the oven with fresh red chilli and crushed garlic. Drizzle ciabatta chunks with olive oil and roast in the oven till crispy. Chop onions and cook in a pan with balsamic vinegar. Chop a handful of cherry tomatoes, some chilli and fresh coriander. Add your roasting tomatoes to the pan of onions. Chop avacado and add lime juice. Cut your vegetables into pieces for dipping. Blend your tomatoes with fresh basil and creme fraiche. Serve with your croutons.

I also added an extra dollop of creme fraiche and reduced the amount of chilli recommended as both the soup and guacomole were still quite fiery with the reduced measures.

The meal took around 40 minutes to make but as I'd never cooked this recipe before this was still a super quick dinner. And it was yummy! I would definetly recommend trying it.

Lisa x

Monday, 3 January 2011


Our heart chalkboards are on sale at

Available in three sizes with a choice of pastel pink, pastel blue, country brown or country red gingham ribbons. You now save 10% off our regular price.

Our hearts are a pretty way of writing notes or sending messages with a traditional chalkboard and white chalk.

Lisa x

Saturday, 1 January 2011

My 52 Week Recipe Challenge

I love to cook.

This is why this year I am going to be undergoing a 52 week recipe challenge. Every week I am going to be searching recipe books, websites and blogs to find a recipe that I really want to try.

I'll cook or bake it and share my thoughts with you here on my blog. Hopefully pushing myself to make more time to spend in the kitchen.

Plus John thinks it's great that I'll be making yummy things for him to try!

I'd love it if you want to join me along the way - either trying the recipes yourself or trying your own and sharing them with us all.

I'll be back this week to share my first recipe.

Lisa x