A quick little dinner for you

Who doesn’t have a bit of pasta in the cupboard, and I always have some smokey bacon in the fridge, the perfect thing to make a quick and easy dinner for those nights when you don’t have much time or energy. I usually make, either a tomato sauce or a cream sauce so this is a first for me….a creamy tomato sauce! Oh, I really pushed the boat out this time, didn’t I!

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creamy tomato and bacon linguine
500g linguine
Olive oil
1 onion finely diced
1 stick of celery finely diced
1-2 garlic cloves crushed
6 slices of smokey bacon diced
1 courgette diced
500g passata
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
100g full fat cream cheese ( like Philadelphia, I use aldi equivalent)
Grated Parmesan to sprinkle over
Cook your linguine in salted boiling water for around ten minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile sweat your onions and celery until soft then turn up the heat and throw in your bacon and fry off. Add the courgette and garlic and cook for a further two minutes. Pour in the passata and add the purée and herbs and cook for another five or so minutes. Now add the cream cheese and allow to melt in and stir it through.
Drain off the linguine and add the sauce, mix thoroughly and serve. Sprinkle over the Parmesan. Enjoy with a well deserved glass of wine!

Love… buttons!

Who doesn’t love buttons these days, they are no longer a functional commodity, we now realise their true potential and beauty. Buttons are colourful, pretty, cute and yet nostalgic all rolled into one. For me, they conjure up memories of haberdashery shops and longingly looking at the little drawers full of buttons as if they were sweets. Some shiny, some sparkly, some teeny tiny and some so big, the only thing you can imagine them stitched onto is a giants cardigan. And as you shut those funny long drawers, the jangle of the buttons tinkling together is music to your childish ears….enough reminiscing, let’s make a card with them!
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button card
You will need
Card
A ruler
A pencil
Pretty buttons
Thread
A needle
Letter stamps
An ink pad
Glue
Paper

To make your card, use your ruler to draw a line in pencil where you want your buttons to be. Place your buttons over the line. With a protective board underneath, make holes with your needle where the button holes are. This will make it easier to sow and make sure the buttons end up in a neat row. Using a pretty thread, sow on your buttons.
Now make another pencil line underneath and print your greeting neatly on the line. When the ink is completely dry, gently rub out your pencil lines. With a piece of paper the same size as your card, fold in half, glue down the centre of the card and attach to form the insert to write your message on.

Humble apple crumble muffins

I’m calling these muffins, humble because they owe their existence to four sad, lonely red apples that didn’t get eaten last week. And when the time came to restock the fruit bowl with more luscious looking new apples, I didn’t have the heart to give them to the birds. It’s not their fault that the bananas were in favour this week, and in fairness to the bananas it’s usually them that end up in a cake because they didn’t look so pretty any more. But now I’ve got this recipe, I’ll be hoping there’s apples to use up more often!

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humble apple crumble muffins
320g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
115g butter
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temp
180 ml buttermilk ( or milk curdled with tsp lemon juice)
4 medium eating apples coarsely grated (or a mix of eating and cooking apples )
The crumble topping
70g plain flour
60g butter
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Turn your oven to 180 C. Put your muffins cases in your muffin tin. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and spices.
Beat the butter till it turns paler and add the sugar and vanilla and beat for a further two minutes. Beat in your eggs one at a time. Slowly add the milk. It will look curdled but that’s ok. Gently mix the flour through and then fold the apples through. Spoon into your cases.
To make the crumble topping, rub the butter into the flour coarsely and mix the sugar and spices through. Sprinkle over the muffins and bake for 20-25 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Eat warm on the day of baking!
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