It is with great relief I announce that the bachelor pad is done. All done, painted, sanded, tiled and cleaned. And not a moment too soon. I'm so over DIY. It's simply not my thing. I can't wait to have my evenings freed up to other things. I do feel like we achieved something big getting it all done, and the majority of the credit definitely goes to the Culinary Consultant. But in the end, we did spend close to two months on the place, spending most of our weekday evenings after work there. Now all we can hope for is that the tenants take good care of the place.
This morning we celebrated our great achievement by sleeping in, followed by a lazy champagne brunch. We had croissants with gravlax and poached eggs, and marshmallows, strawberries and Nutella for dessert. All this with several glasses of champagne, a bottle we placed in the fridge to chill when we moved into New House, just waiting for this day when we were done with the Bachelor Pad. A very relaxing start to the weekend! (As an aside, my poached eggs weren't nearly as much of a disaster as they usually are. Gently boiling water, a good pour of vinegar, a good swirl in the water and a very gentle touch when submerging the egg in the water seems to do the trick)
Today's recipe is from a great food blog called the English Kitchen. It's full of really great, simple and tasty recipes. We had a pack of sausages coming close to their best by date, so when this recipe popped up on my RSS feed, I knew it was meant to be. I did a few small changes to the original, I reduced the amount of sugar and added some wholegrain mustard, but other than that I stuck with the recipe.
Oven barbecued sausages (serves 4-6):
8 sausages (such as Cumberland)
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 cup water
30 ml cider vinegar
1.5 tbsp brown sugar (original recipe suggested 4 tbsp)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Peel and slice onions. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the onions and sausages. Boil for about five minutes. Next, cook the sausages on a frying pan in a bit of olive oil or butter for about five minutes to give them nice colour all around. Drain the onions from the cooking water and place at the bottom of an oven proof dish, add sausages on top. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour on top of the sausages. Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit and sausages are cooked through and somewhat glazed.
I'm not a big fan of sausages, but the Culinary Consultant likes them so every now and then, we cook sausages on the BBQ. However, we are definitely coming to the end of BBQ season in the UK with the weather being rather grey and dull. This was a great way to use up some left-over sausages which were originally intended for the BBQ. One substitution I made was to reduce the amount of sugar in the original recipe quite a bit as I think it sounded like a lot to me. I'm a bit uncomfortable with using sugar in savoury food, apart from a small dash here and there to balance the flavours, but I don't want my food to be too sweet. I think the amount I used was more than enough, and could even be reduced a little bit further, especially as tomato ketchup is quite sweet in itself, I think it could be completely omitted. Other than that, the sausages went down a treat with mashed potatoes and will definitely be on the list to make again as we have a few packs of sausages in the freezer waiting to be used up.
Card of the day:
Today's cards are baby cards I made quite a while ago. It's always good to have a few baby cards in stock, you never know when they are needed. And I love making baby cards, you can go overboard with the cuteness factor. Fo these cards, I used the heat embossing resist technique with Tim Holtz distress inks for background. First I stamped the Baby girl and Oh Boy texts using my trusty Hobbycraft alphabet stamps using Tim Holtz distress embossing ink and heat embossed using clear embossing powder. I did the same for the heart background using a Hobbycraft heart background stamp. The bear was stamped using the Forever Friends Mini Clear Stamps Happy Birthday stamp and fussycut using scissors. For the babygirl background and bear I used Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick and Dusty Concord inks and for the Oh Boy background and bear I used Broken China, Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord inks. I added a pink and blue ribbon, and folded the bows using the instructions here from a piece of white paper I had inked with the same colours as the card. I finished with a butterfly using a Fiskars punch for the babygirl card and a blue rhinestone for the Oh boy card.