Saturday, 18 February 2017

Let's Knit a Cute, Soft Rabbit

I have three grandchildren and it really is not possible to make for one without the other three wanting the same or similar. So when I made the rabbit with the pink spotty dress, the other two put in their orders. 

For my little grandson, I have decided to make a boy rabbit complete with clothes. The rabbit is finished but the clothes will arrive within a couple of days. I need some black and grey wool and I, amazingly enough, don't have any. This does come as a surprise to me as I have a lot of bits of wool floating around this house. 

The picture shows the new addition to the warren. I've seated the two rabbits together so that you can see the difference in their sizes. Surprisingly the larger rabbit only took 50g of yarn. That's pretty good value for such a sweet toy.

I'm sure that by now you will want to know more. 

Let's start with the pattern. It came from a back copy of 'Let's Knit' magazine. You can see this magazine, while it's still live on this link:

I started by knitting all of the pieces and I've set them out below. I really had to force myself to do this as I am usually a kit a piece and sew it up as I go along kind of girl. 

I did get around to the sewing and here's the first leg.

The head. I thought that this was too small at first but it sewed and stuffed up to a good size. On reflection, if I made it again, I would make the head a bit bigger. By that I mean I would put in a few extra rows rather than stitches, It needs to be longer, not wider.

For stuffing, I used my trusted pillow stuffing and made sure to put plenty in. if you want this toy to sit up you can't make it too floppy.

Did you see my earlier post? The one where I knitted a cute soft rabbit using the Julie Williams pattern that I bought from her web site? If you missed it you can find it here. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Low Carb, Chorizo, Cabbage and Kale Soup

Low carb food does not have to be boring . It is not only about hunks of meat and cheese. You need a fair sprinkling of veg if you are to survive all the meat and cheese and you want to eat a nutritious diet. So I spent a bit of time looking at combinations of food that I rather likes and this is yummy and satisfying bowl of comfort is the result.

The other great advantage of this soup is that you can serve it to other members of the family that don't want to eat low carb. They can have chunks of crusty bread to make a filling lunch time meal. My husband loves it and has asked for it again and again.

I promise you that you will want to lick the plate. 

So, let's get cooking.

For 4 servings you will need:

1/2 a white cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion
1 chicken stock cube
1/3 of a chorizo sausage. I buy mine from Lidl
100g of Kale. Remove the tough stalks
Grated cheddar or red Leicester cheese 
Salt and pepper

To make 

Put the oil in a large saucepan. Put on the heat and add the chopped chorizo. Cook gently until the oil starts to turn orange. I always love this part as the smell is simply divine.
Add the onions and sauce for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent.
Throw in the cumin and stir around to bring out the flavour.
Now add the cabbage and the kale. Cook slowly to sweat the vegetables. This should take a further 5 minutes. 

Make up a pint of stock with the stock cube and boiling water. Add to the pan. Turn down and cook until the cabbage and kale are tender. Approx 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you like a chunky soup you can serve the soup as it is. I prefer this soup smooth so I whizzed it up with a hand blender. Yumm.

Label out into warm bowls and pile the cheese in the centre. Or if you don't like cheese then a swirl of cream will make a rather boring looking soup smile. This is probably necessary if you are serving fussy children.

If you're in a hurry this cooks up a dream in the pressure cooker. Depending on the make of your cooker it should only take 10 minutes.