Wednesday, 23 February 2011

New Product Alert!

I've been working on a pretty new product for Altered Chic this week.

It hasn't been painted yet but here is a sneaky peek of our new bunting available shortly.

Lisa x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Week 7: West Country Apple Cake

Anyone who knows me, even just a little, knows that I have a sweet tooth. I love cake, pretty much any cake but John doesn't have such a sweet tooth. He's not a huge fan of cake but when I bought an apple and cinnamon cake before Christmas he loved it. Ever since I've been looking for a really tasty apple cake recipe and I finally found one that worked really well and tasted delicious.
This recipe can be found on the Good Food website. I did however make some minor changes to the website's recipe.

Whilst adding the flour I added a teaspoon of cinnamon. Who doesn't like cinnamon with their apples? I also left off the last part of the recipe with the apple brandy - the cake was still delicious and I just don't own any apple brandy or calvados.

It wasn't a particuarly sweet cake, even with the caramalised apples, but this suited us. It made such a nice treat with a cup of tea.

Lisa x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Wedding Plans: Guest Book

We've started thinking about plans for our wedding next Autumn. As you can probably tell I want a DIY wedding.

Our wedding will be on a budget and how could I not make so many pretty things for this special day in our lives. One of the things that I know will be really special is our Guest Book.

Family and friends are going to be a huge part of our wedding and I want us to be able to cherish every moment and having a guest book full of treasured messages and photographs to look back on is very important to us.

We'd been thinking about this for a few weeks but today I came across Lauren and James' wedding on Rock My Wedding. I love idea of our guests writing on vintage looking postcards. Our wedding will have a vintage theme with autumn colours so I thought this idea was just perfect.

I also love photo booths. Many people seem to be using them at their weddings and I think it's a great idea. I'll post about these at a later date once I've collected some more inspiration.

I can then put all the photographs and postcards into a book that we can keep along with our wedding photograph album. Two books that will contain lots of memories from the day.

A little forward planning...

I know I have been MIA on my blog quite alot this year.

I thought that things would quieten down at Altered Chic after the Christmas rush... gladly (so gladly) I was wrong. I will have two new stockists in the next month or so.

As well as a brand new website to be launched shortly, we have are beginning to plan for the future of Altered Chic. Can I really say... plans for working full time at Altered Chic and plans of an actual bricks and mortar shop!

With all these exciting developments spinning round in my head, my blog has often been neglected. I hope you can forgive me for this as I try to prioritise some time to keep it going.

Lisa x

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Week 5: Stuffed Cypriot Chicken & Greek Salad

This week I decided on another recipe from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.

Since given this book at Christmas I have tried four of the meals. I don't always make all the sides or desserts (as you'll soon see) but I've been able to make a homecooked meal in around 30 - 40 minutes. And after a day at work, to be able to make a delicious meal rather than throwing something unhealthy in the oven, it's great! I'd definitely recommend it. For those of you in the UK, I'd recommend watching some of the shows on 4OD too.

So this week I decided on the Stuffed Cypriot Chicken.

This is chicken stuffed with basil, sundried tomatoes, garlic, lemon and feta. It is served with cherry tomatoes on the vine, olives and asparagus cooked in garlic, rosemary and thyme as well as flatbreads coated in oregano and garlic. Jamies also serves this with a cabbage salad, St Clement's drink and vanilla ice cream float. I served the chicken, veg and flatbreads with a greek salad.

Greek Salad:

Ingredients: A mix of tomatoes (cherry, beef and salad), green peppers, cucumber, red onion, feta, fresh mint and dill, dried oregano, olive oil & red wine vinegar.

To make: Cut the larger tomatoes into wedges, add these and the cherry tomatoes into a large bowl. Slice the peppers, cucumber and onions and add these to the bowl. Chop a small handful of the mint and dill and add to the mix. Add a good tablespoon of olive oil and the same of red wine vinegar. Mix the salad in the dressing. Crumble the feta over the salad and add a teaspoon of oregano.

I love this Greek salad in the summer. It makes a great side dish at a BBQ.

The Stuffed Chicken was quite easy to make and the flavours in the filling were delicious. As was the veg. Although there was quite a lot of garlic used, it wasn't overpowering at all. I would recommend putting the flatbreads in the oven a little later than recommended though as ours were very crispy when they came out and a couple were slightly caught on the edges.

All in all, another great recipe from this book. It would make a great summer dish when having friends round.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Week 4: Cinnamon Beef Stew

Ok, so I'm a little late reporting on last weeks recipe. Well a lot late but I promise this was cooked last Wednesday evening.

This week's recipe was taken from Tana Ramsay's book 'Homemade'.

I love rich winter food's like stew when it is cold outside and this one has to be one of my favourites. Made using braising steak, the flavours of the cinnamon, beef, red wine and tomato really add to that rustic flavour. It reminds me of Beef Stifado I had when in Greece.

Although the dish takes quite a long time to prepare and cook, I have to say it is certainly worth the effort. I marinated the beef in red wine for 90 minutes before cooking and it made the beef tender as well as giving it plenty of flavour.

I will definetly try other winter warmer dishes but this one is going to take some beating.

Lisa x