Sunday, 22 April 2012

Moroccan Sausage & Beans Cassoulet Thingy :0) x

A few weeks ago, whilst in my local butcher, I found these lovely spiced lamb sausages. I decided to buy some and pop them in my freezer for a rainy day. This tuesday, on an extremely rainy day, there was no way I was going to venture to the market on my weekly jaunt so examined the depths of my freezer and came across these spicy beauties :0)......just what the doctor ordered on this horrendous day. 

On opening my fridge to decide what to do with them I was dismayed to find two onions and half a wrinkled red pepper........ Unperturbed by the lack of inspiration (and duly egged on by a quick ponder whether I should grab my umbrella and brave the weather, then subsequently deciding wild horses were not going to drag me!!!) I checked my larder and found a nice selection of beans. With this I convinced myself I could create some Moroccan spiced cassoulet thingy. Those many hours clocked up watching Ready Steady Cook were not wasted after all!!! :0)

Feel free to adapt it how you like, maybe less spicy for the kids. You could also have some flat bread, pitta bread or cous cous on the side if you need a bit of a carb hit. It would be nice with pork sausages & Mediterranean flavours or a curry paste for an indian twist.......Fill your boots!!! 

Here's the recipe and I hope you enjoy.


2 tbsp Olive Oil
8 Spiced Lamb Sausages (Mine were a butchers take on Merguez or similar like these would work)
1 Large Onion, sliced
1 Red Pepper sliced

2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tsp Baharat Spice Blend (or similar Moroccan spice blend eg Ras El Hanout)
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
Sliced Fresh Red Chilli or Chilli Powder, to taste (Optional, I like it spicy though)

3 x 400g Drained Tins Beans or Chick Peas (I used Butter Beans & Cannellini)
400g Passatta or chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tsp Sugar (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Water or vegetable stock (I needed about 1/2 a tomato tins worth)
Fresh Coriander


1. Heat oil in large deepish lidded frying pan and brown sausages, no need to cook through as they will finish later. When nicely browned remove and set aside.

2. Fry onions over medium heat for 5 mins or till golden and soft then add Red Pepper & fry for further 2 mins. Next sprinkle in Garlic, Spices and fry gently for approx 1 minute, you will know when they are ready as you will start to smell the fragrant spices.

3. Throw in  Beans, tomatoes, sugar, salt & pepper and enough water or stock to give you the required consistency, then bring to a gentle simmer. Nestle the  sausages on top and pop on the lid.

4. Let it simmer for approx 20 - 30 minutes or until sausages cooked through. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn and if it seems a little runny just take off the lid to let the sauce reduce a little.

5. Serve sprinkled with coriander and some Sumac (I already had in my cupboard but no need to go out and buy it specially).

The only thing left to do is wash up one frying pan so everyone's a winner ;0)..........I'd love to know if anyone tries it so be sure to let me know how you get on!!! :0) x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Cute Little Needle Felt Pups :0)

As I have previously said I was unduly tempted into buying a needle felt kit from my local guilty pleasures shop, Craft Days following an episode of Kirstie's Handmade Britain. Unfortunately it has since  been stashed away in my craft cupboard till I could find some inspiration on what to do with it.

Luckily my wish was answered this month when my new issue of Mollie Makes arrived and on the front was a some cute little dogs made by Gretel Parker. Of course when Mimi saw them I couldn't resist creating these little fellows for her.

Please meet Buttercup with his jaunty orange scarf and squiggly ball.......

and Peppermint with his petite beret and his very own ball (we don't want any arguing!!)

Mimi loves them so and of course has many other plans of family and friends for these little peeps, so keep a look out. Thinking they may make cute key rings too, any other ideas?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Spring Has Sprung in the Miggy Household!! - Phone / MP3 Cases

Phone / MP3 Cases £10
 Nanny Miller twists again!!!!......After my Vintage inspired tote bag &  ipad case I thought i'd try phone/MP3 Cases and as spring is in the air I just couldn't resist brightening it up a little too :0)

I have made them to snuggly accommodate my iphone with it's express on cover so I didn't need to add any closure but that could be added for extra security.

Keep a look out for them on Debs' jewellery stall at the next Great Garnets Farmer & Craft Market  


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Nanny Miller's Vintage Inspiration gets a 21st Century Twist!!!

After my experimentations with some old embroidery patterns in which I made my beloved little tote bag I thought i'd try to bring a similar design skipping merrily into this century. 

I found a lovely ipad case tutorial; it was such a cute simple design and I thought I could easily adapt it..........I decided to give it a lovely vintage fabric lining, embroidered a simple design taken from my Nan's patterns, then attached my cute felt tag that I love so much :0)

To fasten they had suggested using embroidery silks & buttons so I plaited the silks and finished it by threading some toning bugle beads, the buttons were some I found in my private stash.

I'm Really pleased with how it has turned out...........Next thing i'll maybe try some alternative colours and adapt into an iphone/ipod case when I get a moment.

Let me know what you think!!! :0) xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Recycled Paper Heart Bunting

Came across some lovely paper heart bunting on Etsy so thought i'd give it a whirl :0)

In contrast to my usual ad lib method I decided I would do some quick research into how to make the paper hearts. While I was doing this I came across this lovely blog which had a fantastic tutorial which I did read through and then proceeded to ignore, as I usually do :0)

I had an old well read book which had recently started to fall apart so thought this was a good start and also found some lovely yellow card buried in my stash.............well spring is coming, I can but dream :0)

With a few hurdles (which I am sure this tutorial would have ironed out :0') this is what I came up with. Not perfect by any means but a start :0)

Fortunately I have learnt that even though the paper & card I used was sufficient it was delicate. If I was making this for others I would be hesitant to repeat the recycled book without suggesting some type of reinforcement (but not sure if this would appear too bulky?)........... As well as this I would extend the central spine of the heart, used to thread them onto the bunting. This would enable you to directly attach the heart to the main cord which would achieve overall a cleaner finish and prevent the hearts from annoyingly spinning.

Your comments would be much appreciated :0)

Monday, 5 March 2012

To Market, To Market :0) x

After the kind offer from my friend to put some of my accessories on her craft stall, I have now labeled them up ready for sale. All excited but nervous at the same time :0?.........Unfortunately I can't join her this time as it's Brad's birthday but I will definitely try my best to tag along next month.

So if you are at Great Garnetts Farmers & Craft Market keep your eye out for my little treasures!!!!...... She did say it may be quiet this early in the year so i'm not expecting to sell much but it would be nice to hear some good feed back, fingers crossed :0) x

Please let me know what you think!!!!! :0)