Archive for the ‘Art & Making’ Category

collard wraps

Today we rock!

Aside from my blog, and my day job as a Food Technology technician in a school, a friend and I have started on a new venture. We mean to provide a gaming and food service for people who regularly get together to play board games and generally eat a lot of junk food along with it. That’s where we come in. A new twist on fast food snacks, served to you and your gaming friends.

Well what an exciting day for Dicing on the Cake yesterday. A good friend of mine approached me to take some photos of my cakes, so, I thought I would take the chance to throw a mini get together to combine Dicing and Cakes! As you will see, the work produced is beautiful and exactly what we wanted to show our supporters.

I speed texted several pals who I knew would be up for a few games and munchies, and then got the work on the menu! It all starts as little sparks of electricity in my brain, which is quite luckily; pretty good at visualising the food I’d like to serve. Then I write a list of goodies, list of making order, and then finally comes the list of shopping. I’ve been exploring all types of food over the years and so for this occasion I wanted to make bright, colourful and Summery dishes that would be easy to snack on in-between gaming. See what you think…

Chocolate CakeLemon and Poppyseed drizzle cake
Vanilla and Rosemay cupcakesMini Blueberry pancakes

Double Chocolate Cake with rich butter frosting , Lemon and Poppy seed drizzle cake, Vanilla and Rosemary cupcakes were the sweet treats I made, along with mini blueberry pancakes dusted with cinnamon and drizzled with maple syrup.

For the Savouries, I prepared Crunchy Gem Lettuce leaves topped with a generous helping of sweet lentil chilli and guacamole, Collard Wraps with hummus and falafel, Tortilla wraps bursting with spicy ‘Bean to Mexico’, pesto potato bites, sweet potato chips and various mini pizza toasts.

lettuce chillilettuce chilli
Collard wraps with Hummus and falafelBean to Mexica

To my delight everyone enjoyed the samples I made and even better still helped themselves to more as the day went on. We even prepared a couple of fresh fruit smoothies and my favourite, Beetroot, Carrot and juice with a hint of ginger.

Now that we intend to go mobile, the idea is that you meet with Dicing and I to discuss the kind of service you require. We will draw up a proper list of those services, however until then, you are welcome to contact us here and we will get back to you asap. Think about the kind of food and games you would like to have hand delivered/served/explained at a venue you choose and we will endeavour to provide the best possible ‘Dicing on the Cake’ function that we can.

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Take a look at my Today we Rock Photoshoot Food

All pictures taken by Neil @ todaywerock href=”http://todaywerock.co.uk/”>

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The first ‘proper’ raw meal that was prepared for me, a delicious ‘gourmet’ dish to emulate the much-loved traditional dish Spaghetti Bolognaise.  It’s classy look, with those beautiful noodle like tendrils of courgette, was helped along by a spiraliser! Now I thought the good old-fashioned mandoline would be enough and really if you don’t have a spiraliser then any courgette sliced thinly or grated would suffice, but I would say that it holds its form much less and the juice really stays in the vegetable rather than being released and leaving the firm ‘pasta’ like texture.


So you wash your courgette and chop its ends of, securing it into the machine, which through being turned on a handle makes its way through a series of blades to end in long ingenious lengths.  You can get smaller hand-held tools that will result in the same shape, however I haven’t tried them so can’t advise =)

5   8

So eventually you are left with a gorgeous, colourful pile of delicious, crunchy fresh courgette.  And you are left with a rather odd-looking middle, which I like to eat =)


Then you add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to this and a couple of pinches of salt (good quality sea salt please people)  Massage these into the courgette until completely covered for about 5 minutes, then leave to the side until you want to serve.  It will release a lot of watery juice which you don’t need.

Now for the sauce =) The original sauce, from a recipe book I got hold of, is the following ingredients mixed in a blender.  But I have also added my own version below too…which is the one pictured at the head of the post.  It really is one of those Eat me dishes!!

Original Pomodoro sauce

5 Medium Tomatoes

1 cup dried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 medium onion or 2 cloves of garlic

2 dates

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

2 tsps dried italian herbs

handful fresh oregano or basil

My own version (which isn’t hugely different tbh I just find raw garlic a bit spicy and I didn’t have any dates)

5 Medium Tomatoes

large handful of spinach

1 cup dried tomatoes, soaked

1/2 or 1 clove of garlic

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

2 tsps dried italian herbs

handful fresh oregano or basil

Other options you could add instead or in addition:

Mushrooms (I would soak wild mushrooms in apple cider vinegar if you plan to eat them raw), Hummus, Pine nuts, Avocado, Peppers, Peas and you can spiralise other veg too – summer squash, coconut meat, carrot, daikon radish, beets, sweet potato, which I will experiment with and let you know…

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My head hurts and I’m recovering from being stuck in bed for a few days, which I hear you say is ENOUGH of these incessant moaning protestations…and so from that last reference to my health for the moment, I move along to the state of my art.

I am feeling, like I do in most of the school holidays, that I never seem to have the time to produce art work anymore.  I could quite easily sit for days on end painting, making things messy and devoting all of my spare minutes to my heart, but real life has got in the way.

Real life is not bad but real life is what I expect myself to do if I’m ever going to get anywhere … I want to paint today and so I am going to.  I want to paint for the rest of the holiday, but I know I have school marking to do, which sucks.  Maybe I could paint in their books…nope.  Not allowed.

This part of me always surfaces when I have been laid up ill, or if I’ve slept too long, or when life is being awful challenging.  Head before heart? Heart before Head?  Who knows.  What can I make of this mood if I cannot make art?  How can I put my feelings into words, why not channel it into a painting instead.  None of you will be able to read it in the conventional way, but you might be able to grasp my feelings.

Depression, or a flash of inspiration?  Who knows. 

I’ve posted some Art I did a while ago to get me going…

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I recently made a larger batch of wands, for three different customers, all of which were of my own design.  I’ve included pictures of them in this post, but the most interesting idea I’ve been given today is by my friend Robbie, who suggested I give Lightsabers a try.  At first, I thought it a funny idea, however, the more I think about it, the more intriguing I find it.

Lightsabres are unique, as are wands in the wizarding world and so making them would give me variety, I assume and another avenue for my making.

Take a look at the pictures below and see what you think.  I’ll keep you posted! =D

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My friend Cheryl mentioned that she wanted to paint a mural in her home.  She and her husband Andy have visited Africa and on one visit, they found a pretty little Hornbill.  She wants that to be in her mural, however she doesn’t feel confident enough to paint it.  I assured her that she could with a little practise.

I went round to her house, armed with watercolours, paper, paintbrushes and a few other bits and pieces, to try to teach her how to paint.

I started with a tonal exercise, asking her to make a series of tones, using one colour.  We started with red.  When she had achieved that, I provided various white objects to use as tonal studies.  Also on her dining table, where we worked, she has a darling little set of egg-shaped condiment vessels, including a pepper pot, which we used in this exercise.

Then Cheryl moved on to trying out her new learned technique to paint from her photo of the Hornbill.

This is her first attempt.  We then had a lovely lunch break and returned to work, this time using watercolour paper, with mind to making a better and more thorough version of the picture.

Beautiful isn’t it!  Considering that Cheryl hadn’t painted before, the progress she made in just one day was just brilliant! I am so proud! and when we put her first and second attempt together, the improvement was obvious!!

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Hello Everyone! I haven’t posted for a while, so I thought I make three posts tonight.  The first, is to show you the gorgeously delicious handful of wands I’ve made.  I had a larger order from a friend, as her boys are having a Harry Potter party and a smaller order from my Ebay lot.

These three were those commissioned from Ebay.  The Elder wand, Ginny Weasley’s wand and Narcissa Malfoy’s.

The others included Voldemort’s claw-like bone wand.

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After all that heavy angst storytelling over today and yesterday in my Song of the Skylark posts, I thought I’d pop a few new wands on to show you all, just to lighten the mood, also tomorrow, I’m going to post tonight’s dinner, which I’ll mention after the pics below.

My selling wands on ebay is going well.  I’m making sure that my versions of the character wands are all unique by trying not to refer to pictures of those that are available to look at online.  I’m starting to remember what they look like anyway.  Quite satisfying actually! Especially as they seem to be quite effective.

This week, I made Voldemort’s wand, Harry’s wand, Hermione’s wand (which seems to be the most popular so far) and Dumbledore’s wand (aka the Elder wand)

I’ve also made two random ones to match the set.  I’m still relying on the glue gun and papier-mache, although I seem to be ploughing through the glue sticks, so I may have to learn some new techniques if I want to extend my production.

So tonight, I’ve decided to make dinner for my mum and dad and Dominic, my boyfriend. It’s in my brain and I can visualise it, however I’ve never really shown you a whole meal idea on my blog before, so I thought I’d give it a go.  I like my recipes to be simple, clean and nutritious.  I will make it tonight and take photos, then post it tomorrow!

On the Menu tonight:


Stuffed Mushrooms


Chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, mascarpone and pine nuts
served with green beans and sautéed new potatoes


Apple Crumble with Vanilla Custard

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