Sunday, 28 April 2013

Clean out your closets veg pie

I read a blog post somewhere a while ago how people tend to stock up on food, and end up with tens if not hundreds of pounds worth of unused food in their house. And in the worst case, you end up stocking so much that the food goes bad before you have a chance (i.e. get organised enough) to eat it. This is one thing me and my significant other disagree very strongly on. He thinks a lot of food is still good to eat past it's due date. I think you should use up food before the due date, not necessarily because it would be dangerous to eat after that (just use your eyes and nose, that will guide you right) but because food loses it's flavour and nutritional value so you should use it up as soon as possible. 

I have a really bad habit of hoarding food. I have no idea where this need comes from, it's not like I ever had to go hungry in my life. And I live less than a five minute walk from not one, not two, but five grocery stores and several restaurants, both fast and slow food. Because my kitchen is tiny, my hoarding instinct leads to bad storage problems. So I have decided I really need to decrease the amount of stored food I have hanging around. For some crazy reason I have even ended up with two gigantic containers of baking powder. No idea how I will be able to use them all up before they are out of date. What I really should do is go through all my stashes of food and make a list of what I have. But at least I'll start by trying to use up some things from my fridge which need using up really badly. Like spinach, asparagus and a large amount of tomatoes. Some leftover sundried tomatoes. A pack of feta cheese that has been hanging around for so long I started to consider it a permanent fixture. I even decided to use gluten free flour in the crust because in some crazy fit I bought some, but obviously have never gotten around to use them. Obviously regular flour would also work.

I always feel so guilty if I have to throw away food because it has gone bad. I used to be so good and plan all my meals and only shop what I needed. Lately I have been so busy (i.e. lazy) that I have eaten crap and any healthy food I have had lying around has gone bad. That will have to change. So I will set myself a challenge for the month of May. I am not allowed to buy anything from the grocery store apart from fruit, veg and lean meat. And try to use at least one or two ingredients from my pantry every time I cook. I had a good start the other day. I had a craving for cookies, so I used my newly found amazing oat cookie recipe and added some orange peel and candied ginger from my stash. Good for using up food, bad for trying to eat healthily. Especially since I ended up having four cookies that day. And another four the next. 

I was in a bit of a bad mental state while cooking this, so I just mixed together some ingredients to make the crust. Therefore I don't have any measures, as I didn't use any. I just went by feel, until I got something that resembled a homogenous dough. You could either do the same and just go by feel, or alternatively use a pie crust you like. Or try my quinoa pie crust if you are looking for something a bit different and lower carb.

Leftover vegetarian pie:
For the base:
2 grated carrots
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
gluten free flour (maybe around 3/4 cup?)
oats (maybe around 1 cup?)

2 cups spinach
8-10 stalks asparagus
10-15 cherry tomatoes
5-10 sundried tomato halves
200 g feta
200 g mozzarella

2 eggs
2 cloves smoked garlic
3-4 tbsp milk
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano

The howto:
 Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. For the base, mix together all ingredients, adding flour and oats until you have a smooth dough. It's not the type of dough you can roll out using a rolling pin, I just dumped the whole lump of dough in my silicon pie mould, and tapped it out using my hand. Chop the asparagus  an sundried tomatoes roughly, finely chop the smoked garlic. If you can't find smoked garlic (it's amazing stuff, I have found some in both ASDA and Morrison's but haven't seen any in Tesco) you can obviously use regular garlic instead. Add spinach onto the crust, and then add asparagus and both types of tomatoes. Crumble feta on top. Mix together the chopped garlic, milk, eggs and spices. Pour onto the pie. Slice the mozzarella and top the whole pie with mozzarella slices. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the mozzarella has turned golden. 
The verdict:
This pie can easily be adapted to contain any leftover veg you have. I could imagine olives would be great in it, as would courgette or aubergine. Or add some beans if you have a can that need to be used up. Replace mozzarella with any other type of cheese you happen to have lying around. Use whatever flour you have for the crust, maybe something that has been around for a bit too long and won't be perfect for bread anymore. It will still be good for the pie crust.

I liked the flavour combination with the soft flavour of asparagus nicely coming through, but with the tomatoes and the salty feta bringing in a lot of flavour. I also like that the asparagus won't cook too much, but will still have a nice texture. The oregano and garlic go really well with the feta. The mozzarella is definitely a luxury, the pie would work perfectly well without it if you want to make a healthier option. I had an opened pack of mozzarella lying around, and since the crust is all nice and fat free, so I thought what the heck, lets just go for it. I don't think the pie tastes too healthy, and even the Culinary Consultant had some of it, despite the lack of anything animal in it.

Card of the day:
Today's card is a simple thank you card. I embossed the background with a swirly embossing folder, and sponged some Tim Holtz Chipped Sapphire distress ink onto the edges using Ranger Ink blending foam. I stamped a big flower from the Hero Arts Layered Flowers set using black HobbyCraft pigment ink. I used Tim Holtz distress inks to colour the flower using a watercolour brush, and sprayed Perfect Pearl mist onto the flower. I added a blue ribbon, and attached the whole thing on craft cardstock. I rounded all corners by using the corner of a distress ink pad as a template and cut using scissors. It's a small and simple card, but I think it turned out rather nice. Next time I will layer the flower a bit more by cutting the middle out of a second piece of card and attaching it with dimensionals to bring a bit more texture to the card. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Orange and harissa glazed mackerel

I know it's been ages since my last blog post. I have to admit, I am still all wrapped up in other things, and feel like I'm too busy to cook. Which obviously is an illusion, as I eat something every day, so I do cook something. But it's mostly my usual carrots-tomatoes-sweet peppers-salmon/chicken salad. And then I come home at night and eat the most incredible crap. I have been using my current life situation as an excuse to live such an unhealthy life, and I have put on tons of weight. But that has to change soon. I'm all out of excuses now. I have spent the last few months first worrying about finding a new job, then applying for jobs, then doing assessment exercises, and then going to interviews. And finally, this week I have signed a new contract and resigned from my current job. I still have a move possibly coming up, but other than that, it's back to routines for me. 

I don't have any new exciting recipes yet, although hopefully I will get around to cooking something really soon. To be honest, I do have a funny little concoction going in the slow cooker, but that is no culinary wonder, it's just a mix of stuff I have had hanging around in my kitchen and really needed to use up. Back in the good old days, when I was still motivated to cook and try new things, I made this orange glazed mackerel. I am in such a fish rut, all I eat is salmon. I really need to make this agan, it was rather good. The recipe is from BBC Good Food and I have modified it slightly. It's really quick and easy, and the orange and harissa gives it a great flavour of sweet and spicy.
Orange and harissa glazed mackerel (serves 2):
1 mackerel 
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
1 small orange, juice and zest
1-2 tsp harissa paste
50 g pine nuts, toasted (if you can be bothered, I couldn't)
chopped corianer

Fillet the mackerel, and sprinkle with the paprika. Mix orange juice, zest and harissa paste in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan with the coconut oil, and add fish. Cook the fish for a few minutes on both sides. Add the glaze and let bubble until sticky. Sprinkle with pine nuts and coriander right before serving. 
The verdict:
I really liked this recipe, it was very different from what I would usually make. The flavours go really well together and the sweetness from the orange juice and zest compliment the harissa really well. I really like mackerel, but if you buy smoked mackerel it has so much added salt. Preparing your fish from scratch yourself will help you keep it much healthier, and although it seems like a lot of work to fillet the fish, it really isn't. Yes, it's a bit yucky, but it's totally worth it!

Card of the day:
Today the card of the day is a colourful birthday card for a friend. I used Tim Holtz distress embossing ink to randomly stamp two Hobbycraft Mini Clear Stamps (Daisy and Thistle) onto Hobbycraft ivory cardstock. I then heat embossed using Ranger Super Fine Detail clear embossing powder and cut the figure into five strips. I applied Tim Holtz distress inks wild honey, worn lipstick, dusty concord, broken china and peeled paint using a foam applicator for the background to bring out the stamped images. I attached it all onto black card stock and used two ribbons, a wider clear and a smaller white with silver borders for the detail and the bow. I attached it all onto Craft UK kraft cardstock and sprayed with a perfect pearl mist. Super easy and colourful card which was very easy to make. I will certainly use this technique in the future as well.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

King prawn and avocado starter with a slight twist

This starter has a bit of a story behind it. It was really born as a result of several coincidences. Me and the Culinary Consultant were going to roast a whole chicken as our after workout meal the other day. However, we were going to take a quick nap after the gym, but ended up napping for almost two hours. And in his typical style, the Culinary Consultant had picked the biggest chicken he could find, and we realised cooking time for the chicken would be three hours. Really hungry after the gym (and extended nap) we realised we need a starter to keep us alive until the giant chicken was cooked. Luckily, the Culinary Consultant had some king prawns in the freezer, and was planning to serve them with a mayo based sauce. He asked if I wanted something else from the grocery store as he had to get some mayo and I thought some avocados would be nice with the prawns. He came back not only with mayo and avocados, but also a mango. I rarely use fruit when I'm cooking, but whenever I do, I absolutely adore the result. I have done a really good mango and avocado salsa, but this time I thought how about doing a fruity salsa type of thingy but using mayo instead. We had both been working out for two hours, so I thought the most important thing in this case was not how healthy the food would be, just how good it would taste. 

This is a really quick and easy starter. If you like the traditional prawn and avocado combination, I'm pretty sure you will like this too. You can also modify the proportion of onion to mango to tomato to get a salsa to your specific liking.

Super non-healthy mayo salsa (malsa? sal-yo?) with garlic prawns (serves 2):
For the salsa:
1/4 of a big red onion (or about 1/2 of a small one, or any amount to taste)
1/3 of a ripe mango
1 large ripe tomato on the vine
1/4-1/2 clove of garlic
2-3 tbsp mayo (I used full fat for maximum flavour, but you can obviously use your favourite)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the prawns:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
250 g king prawns

You will also need 1 ripe avocado for serving

The howto:
Finely chop the garlic, onion, mango and tomato. Mix in a bowl with the mayo and black pepper. In a skillet, heat up the oil with the garlic. Add the prawns and cook until cooked through (or if you are using cooked prawns, only give them a few seconds on both sides to heat them up). Divide the avocado onto two plates, add prawns and salsa. 

The verdict:
For something that was whipped together from random ingredients, this turned out amazingly good. I wanted to eat the sauce straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Obviously, I was ravenously hungry as well, so maybe I have to make this another time to see if it was just the hunger or not. But I think it wasn't just the hunger, it was truly good. Trust me, you have to try this! I love the combination of mango and red onion, and the mango goes incredibly well with the garlic-y prawns. I think you could stretch this to serve as a starter to three or four people as well, if they haven't just come back from the gym, and if it will be immediately followed by a main.

Card of the day:
This time my card is a get well card for my sister. You might remember that it's not very long since my last get well card for her. I told her that I appreciate her hard work to make sure I have reasons to make cards, but I would love to do something else than a get well card. The owl is from a stamp set called Fox and Friends from Stampin Up. I have wanted this stamp set ever since I saw these awesome cards, and since, the stamp set has popped up here and there. Since then I have found entire Pinterest boards dedicated to the stampset (just type fox and friends in the search box, and click boards if you want to see some amazing cards). Anyhows, my point was that I really wanted the stamp set, but you can't really buy it anywhere anymore. I found someone selling it on Ebay, but ended up paying quite a lot of money for it. Not that it's not worth every penny, but seems like some of the stamp sets really increase in value after they are retired. So now I just have to make as much use of it as I can to make the purchase worth it. And it is just so darn cute!! 

I stamped the owl onto Hobbycraft ivory card (160 gsm) using Tim Holtz distress inks (Broken China, Peeled Paint, Worn Lipstick, Dusty Concord and Fired Brick). I used the Hobbycraft Single Clear Tree stamp in the bottom left hand corner, stamped with Tim Holtz distress ink Walnut Stain. I used the same ink to stamp the sentiment, for which I used the Hobbycraft Clear Stamps Typewriter alphabet in walnut stain, and stamped a bit of the tree at the edge of the sentiment. I inked the edges of both the sentiment and the background with Walnut Stain and Vintage photo distress inks. I matted both the sentiment and background onto a green paper from the Dovecraft Back to Basics III set and adhered it all onto kraft cardstock from Craft UK Limited.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Happy Blog Birthday!!!

It is exactly one year ago since I wrote my first blog post. I had planned to celebrate by baking a really impressive 1st birthday cake. However, life got in the way and I'm having quite a stressful week and I just can't motivate myself to do anything outside of the things I need to do in real life. And yes, real life doesn't include anything fun like cooking, blogging or card making... The only thing I could manage was to whip up a batch of these super easy oatmeal, raisin and fudge cookies. You might (or might not) remember my previous disastrous attempt with oatmeal and raisin cookies. This time, I used Ina Garten's recipe hoping the resulting product could be identified as cookies and not a baking sheet sized blob of cooked cookie dough. I only made a minor adjustment to the recipe as I didn't use pecans, and didn't have quite enough raisins so I substituted some fudge chunks. 
I would love to add some musings about the past year, but I can't stretch myself to write anything that's not work related. So unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for you...) I will jump on straight to the recipe. Hopefully my life situation will sort itself out soonish, and I will have time and energy to annoy you with my endless stories again. Until then, I leave you with these wonderful cookies, only slightly modified from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe on the food network. I only made half the recipe so the measures below are half of the original recipe. (Also it's close to midnight and I want to publish the post on the right day!!)

Raisin, oatmeal and fudge chunk birthday cookies (makes about 15):
115 g butter (original recipe says unsalted but I only had salted butter)
1/2 cup (1.25 dl) light brown muscovado sugar
1/2 cup (1.25 dl) caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1.9 dl) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted this because I used salted butter)
1.5 cups (3.75 dl) oats (the old fashioned kind, not quick cook oats)
1/2 cup (1.25 dl) raisins
1/4 cup (0.6 dl) small fudge chunks

The howto:
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Using an electric whisk (or electric mixer if you have one, you lucky lucky you) beat together the room temperature butter, muscovado sugar and caster sugar until fluffy and white. Continue to beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon (and salt). Add to the buttery mix, and only mix enough to incorporate the flour, but don't over mix. Fold in the oats, raisins and fudge chunks.

Scoop a total of about 15 mounds of dough onto parchment paper lined baking pans. Leave enough room between cookies to let them expand, I used two baking sheets for my 15 cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool on a rack.
The verdict:
I'm so happy I had better cookie karma this time around. The cookies turned out looking exactly as they should. And more importantly, they tasted really good. I might omit the cinnamon next time though. But the cookies had a lovely texture, they were soft in the centre but had a bit of crisp around the edges. I baked the first batch maybe a minute too much, but the second batch turned out perfect. Oats give the cookies such a wonderful texture, and I used extra jumbo raisins as I love to bite into one of those juicy little gems. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Card of the day:
Obviously today's card had to be a birthday card. I made this using three single stamps from the HobbyCraft Mini Clear Stamp range (Monkey, Lion and Giraffe). I stamped using HobbyCraft black pigment ink and embossed using Ranger Super Fine Detail Clear embossing powder. I used Tim Holtz distress inks as watercolours to colour the animals (you rub off a bit of ink from the pad onto baking parchment (or a craft mat) and then use a wet watercolour brush and water for blending to colour). I used foam to apply Distress inks around the edges (it's a while since I made the card, but my guess would be I used broken china, peeled paint, wild honey, milled lavender and spun sugar). I cut small banners from card scraps and stamped the sentiment from the HobbyCraft Clear Stamps General Sentiments 21 pk using the same black ink as before. I matted the picture onto black card and snailed it all onto C6 Kraft card from Craft UK Limited. I think it turned out to be very appropriate for a first birthday.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Balsamic chicken

I know I have been the world's worst blogger lately. Life just has an awful way of getting in the way with the things I want to do. I am hoping that some of the things that have been taking up so much of my time will be resolved after next week, in fact I'm keeping all my fingers and toes crossed. I cooked something on Friday, but after a little misunderstanding on dinner timing with the Culinary Consultant, I was so hungry by the time I took it all out of the oven that I forgot to take pictures. Major fail as well, as it was really delicious. Sundried tomato and cream cheese stuffed chicken fillets wrapped in bacon, and served with a tomato and mushroom sauce and garlic and cream potatoes. At least that gives me a chance to recreate that meal another time.

So for now, there will be nothing too exciting, just something I whipped up a while ago. I'm continuing on my theme of Ugly Food. But when you see the list of ingredients for this dish, you understand there was no way to make it pretty. But again, you have to look beyond appearances. If you could only have experienced the scent drifting from my oven and spreading all over my tiny flat. And if you would have been there when I bit into my first bite of this chicken, you would understand why those horrible ugly lumps of chicken meat have made it to the blog.

There are two highlights during my day at work. The ultimate highlight is leaving the place, obviously, but a close second is lunchtime. I get together with my friends, and we forget all about work for a while and just chat about something fun or silly. That's one of the advantages of speaking a foreign language, you can talk about the most inappropriate things at lunch and don't have to worry about anyone overhearing. 

Food-wise my lunch is not exactly a culinary highlight. My usual lunch is very boring. Chicken salad. It consists of a few big handfuls of baby spinach, half a cucumber, ten cherry tomatoes, a sweet pepper and a chicken fillet. Thats 320 calories right there, in the bag. Usually I just bake the chicken fillet in the oven with a dash of garlic pepper on top. That gets boring very quickly. Sometimes I do go crazy and mix it up a bit. Tuna instead of chicken, maybe with a hard boiled egg on the side. Sometimes I add some beans. Or, if I really want to make it special, I add a tablespoon of dressing. 

I was trying to find new low carb food inspiration, so I was browsing through my old Bootcamp recipe book. It's full of great, healthy recipes and this was one of them. I wasn't quite convinced when I read the list of ingredients but decided to give it a go anyways. Well, to be quite honest, this isn't much of a recipe, it's just a really yummy marinade. It takes all of about a minute of your time. 

Balsamic chicken (serves 4):
4 chicken fillets
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp oregano (dried)

The howto:
Mix all the ingredients (except the chicken fillets) together. Coat the chicken fillets with the marinade, and leave over night in the fridge. Cook in 200 degrees C for 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear (cooking time depends on the size of the fillets, but be sure not to overcook them, as that makes them dry).

I like to use a Lock&Lock plastic container for the marinade. It's totally liquid and smell proof, and its easy to just chuck everything in there, close the lid tightly and give it a good shake to distribute the marinade evenly. You could also use one of those big ziplock bags, but first of all I don't trust the seal to actually stay sealed all through the process, and even more importantly, I don't want to use anything disposable if I can avoid it. 
The verdict:
I really liked the sweetness of the honey and the balsamic in this recipe. But then again, I absolutely love sweet flavours in food. I very rarely add any sugar (or honey, syrup etc) in my food, as I don't want to get used to cooking my food too sweet. But sometimes it's really nice to treat yourself a little. And this chicken certainly made my lunch salad much more enjoyable. I like it that it's really quick and still gives great flavour, and you can cook a big bunch of fillets ahead of time, freeze them individually and then always have chicken available to pop into the lunch box.

Card of the day:
This time the card of the day is a very simple one. I made it to try out a new stamp I bought a while ago. The stamp (called Thistle) is just one of those HobbyCraft stamps that are sold individually, and while they are clearly not the most high quality stamps out there, they are perfect when you are just starting out your papercrafting hobby as you don't have to break the bank to get a few stamps to create variability in your projects. I used VersaColor, which is very handy as it comes in small pads, again allowing the buildup of several different colours without going bankrupt. Here I used Cyan (19), Turquoise (20) and Violet (17) onto HobbyCraft ivory cardstock. I then heat embossed with Ranger super fine detail clear embossing powder. The sentiment is from HobbyCraft Clear Stamps General Sentiments 21 pk, and the little fuzzball is from the Kanban clear stam set Flower Scrolls. I finished by sponging on some TIm Holtz Distress ink Broken China onto the edges, attached the sentiment with dimensionals and snailed it all onto C6 Kraft card from Craft UK Limited. The finishing touch was a spray of Perfect Pearls mist. Click here for a video of the amazing Tim showing you how to make your own mist. I used the colour Perfect Pearl which is a clear colour. You can really see the lovely shiny sparkle on the card. I think the card turned out quite good, and it's a good example you don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles out there to make a pretty card. Not to say I wouldn't like all the bells and whistles... But stamping is fun, and making a card doesn't have to take more than a few minutes.

Monday, 1 April 2013


I'm continuing my acclimation to British food. This time it was actually my sister who helped me step deeper into the British food culture landscape. I visited my sister in Yorkshire and she cooked a mean Sunday roast. She served a huge pork joint from a happy, organic piggy along with roasted veg, home made apple sauce and the most amazing Yorkies I have ever eaten. I have only had Yorkies a few times when I've had a roast down the pub, but they never quite struck my fancy. These Yorkies were really different from the ones I have had before. They were so incredibly light, fluffy and tasty. They were so fluffy that sis had to open the oven door at one point to deflate them as they were getting so big that they almost hit the roof of the oven. 
In addition to the huge pork roast, Easter was all about the Easter eggs. The Easter Bunny went a bit over the top and got some huge chocolate eggs. 
That is a whole kilogram of chocolate!!
My sister used the BBC good food recipe for the Yorkies, and proceeded exactly according to instructions. They are actually much easier to make than you would believe from seeing the beautiful end product. Just make sure you heat the oiled pan up really good before pouring in the batter, as the hot oil helps the Yorkies rise to gigantic proportions.

Yorkies (makes 12):
450 ml milk
4 large eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

The howto:
Mix the eggs, flour, salt and milk using a balloon whisk until the batter is smooth. Let stand for at least 15 minutes in room temperature. You can make the batter up to a few hours ahead of time. When you want to cook the Yorkies, preheat oven to 220 degrees C (or 200 degrees fan). Brush the holes of a 12 hole muffin tin with oil, and pre-heat the oiled tin in the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully take the tin out of the oven, and evenly divide the batter into the holes. Bake for five minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees C (180 degrees fan) and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the Yorkies are golden brown and fluffy. 

The verdict:
As I said before, these were hands down the best Yorkies I have ever had. They were perfect with the roast pork, and particularly with the home made apple sauce (two apples, a few tbsp caster sugar and a few tbsp cooking juices from the pork cooked until the apples go all soft and mushy). I couldn't stop eating the Yorkies with just some apple sauce on top, that would make a perfect breakfast. Actually when you think about it, Yorkies are pretty much the same as Finnish (or Dutch) pancakes. They go great with roast, but they would make a perfect breakfast or snack as well. Although, to avoid unnecessary confusion, maybe pancake should be called pancake when it is eaten as pudding or brekkie, and Yorkies when served with dinner. 
Organic happy pork, roast veg, heavenly
Yorkies and home made apple sauce.
Card of the day:
It's really hard to make manly cards. This was my first try. The background stamp is Papermania Urban Stamps Cogs and the front is from a Chronology set which was free with Issue 37 of the Docrafts Creativity magazine (there are multiple copies floating around Ebay, I got mine for £0.99+p&p). I absolutely love the solar system model stamp. Both images were stamped onto ivory card using Tim Holtz Distress Walnut Stain and embossed with Ranger Clear extra fine embossing powder. The background was sponged with Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress ink. I cut out the solar system model using scissors and went over the edges lightly with Walnut Stain and Black Soot, and attached it to the background using dimensionals. The background was then matted onto a brown card and then attached to a recycled brown cardstock. The sentiment was from the same stamp set as the solar system model and stamped and embossed as described above. The sentiment is stamped onto a background made using a really cool technique called the distress ink bubble technique made using Chipped Sapphire. I had best success with the bubbles when I put some water and washing up liquid in my sink as that gave me enough room to whisk the water and create really fluffy detergent bubbles instead of doing it in a bowl as the lady does on the video. I finished the sentiment by hand drawing the white lines using Tim Holtz distress marker Picket Fence. I absolutely love the two stamp sets, I think they go really well together and make quite an elegant card.