Friday, February 19, 2010

Another basket, food and a swap!

I needed a break from baskets last night, so headed to the kitchen to make Slicer's lasagne. This is his absolute favourite meal - a meal his best mate back in Esperance would drop by to share every time I baked it! I must admit though, whilst I always make my own secret family recipe meat sauce, I buy the bechamel sauce pre-made. Times change...
Remember I watched the movie 'Julie & Julia' the other day? I got to thinking that it was time I made my own bechamel sauce, time to learn something new in the kitchen - and like Julie, whose cooking guru was Julia Child, my cooking gurus came to my aid.
I have LOTS of cookbooks, but this is my favourite shelf of cookbooks...
...and this is one of my favourite books!
I fell in love with the title, but once I started reading the book (and yes, you DO read Nigella's cookbooks!) it became a cooking bible to me.
So I made bechamel myself, following Nigella's commentary, and it was wonderful!
I would have shown you the amazing lasagne too, but that would have required Slicer to leave some in the dish. That just doesn't happen in our house. 
After dinner I went off and made a little basket - you can make these baskets any size you like! Tomorrow when I have some time I will show you how to do that, and I will give you a tutorial on the bows and flowers I used on the bigger baskets.
Isn't it cute!! Not sure what I'm storing in yet...perhaps it could be my Minties dispenser? ;-)

My sweet friend Fiona has persuaded me to host a very unusual Swap with her!
You know the story of the Ugly Duckling? You don't?!! Ok, go HERE and read it....then come back and I'll tell you more. 
Did you get the idea? 
The Ugly Ducking was really a beautiful swan in the making...even though he looked UGLY, he was only at the beginning of his life. His destiny was to be an elegant swan. 

Do you have an UGLY fat 1/4 that no matter how hard you try to imagine, you simply can't see it as anything more than UGLY?
Maybe someone else can take that UGLY fat 1/4 and transform it into something beautiful!

Our UGLY Fat 1/4 Swap is all about transformation. To be involved you need to be in Australia (sorry to my overseas followers!) have a current active blog, and you need to have an UGLY fat 1/4.

You have until Sunday, February 28th to sign up. Email Fiona or myself with your name, address and blog address. On March 1st we will email to you your partner's details.

By no later than March 7th you must post to her (in a plastic ziplock bag!) -
1. your UGLY fat 1/4
2. some trimming (braid/ribbon/ric rac etc)
3. buttons
4. ...and chocolate!! It's a quilting fact that chocolate encourages creativity and general wellbeing. ;-)

When you receive a return parcel from your partner, you may add ONE fat quarter of your own choice to what she has sent you. Now, you need to transform her UGLY fat 1/4 into something beautiful!
** Be sure and make something you would love to receive yourself.

POST the completed item back to your partner on March 29th!

This is a direct swap, so emails between each other is encouraged.  
Sound like fun, don't you think?
 Perhaps you are in another country and like the idea of this swap? Why don't you find someone to co-host with you and run a similar swap in your corner of the world?
 Have a lovely Friday!


Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Love your bag Jen....hoping to make one of these on the weekend...I did sign up for the swap at Fionas ...LOL...sounds like lots of fun.

Jeanette said...

Love those baskets you are making Jenny. Like Slicer i love lasagne but i make a chicken lasange which doesn't last long in my house. :) 4 out of my 5 children have Italian/Sicilian heritage so its a favourite here. :) Even the 1 without the Italian/Sicilian background loves it. Hugs Jeanette. PS: Hopefully will have soemthing to show you by Sunday :)

Annie Bee said...

Each basket you make is soo lovely. I Luv cookbooks, cooking magazines I have such a collection.

Elyte said...

Those baskets are sooooooo cute. Can't wait to make my own. Would love to join the Ugly Fat Quarter swap. Very interesting idea.

Janice said...

Your latest basket looks made for Minties - nice and bright and green. Lasagne is so yummy. I have had a go at making the sauce for Moussaka and it was also scrummy.
I won't be signing up for this swap as we'll be away, but I'll be very interested to see the results. It sounds like fun.

alda said...

Ugly Duckling was one of my favorites fairy tales and your idea to make an ugly fat quarter swap is really great! I think you will find enough ladies who wants to join it as well.

Theresa said...

The little baskets are gorgeous Jenny...I think one would look lovely in the bathroom with rolled up face flannels inside, great for ongoing small projects too - I'm going to make one or two at the weekend I think.

Anonymous said...

That basket is so cute, I love buttons, bows and yoyo's :)
What a fun swap!

Anonymous said...

I think I need to move to Australia. :) Kristy in Ohio

Lulú said...

That good you publish this tutorial since I would be charmed with doing one these baskets!!, though I must confess that I am a beginner with the sewing machine.
Regards from México.

alice said...

Can't wait for the tutorials-the basket are soooooooooooo cute. Perfect for a certain bunny related holiday coming up. I wish I was still in Oz--I have a few ugly FQs I would love to swap. You guys have fun! L,A-

Country Nanny said...

Hi Jenny! I love cooking and I love Nigella: I think she's a fab cook and I looove her kitchen full with every kind of pots and kitchen tools.
I love lasagna too...but I'm on diet... :(
You're basket are really lovely.
Have a nice w.e.

Colleen said...

I had never heard of making Lasagna with bechamel sauce. We use Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese and Marinara sauce. I bet yours tastes really yummy. Love the little bags.

Maggey and Jim said...

Still lovin' those baskets.. The last one cuter that ever.. Good luck with the Ugly thing.. haha

Allie said...

Oh Jenny I need to come taste your lasagna. We eat the frozen stuff here. :P

Love the little basket - that would make a good threadcatcher!

Dawn said...

Jenny your baskets are looking fabulous....Love the fabics you've chosen....and what a great idea for a swap... will think about this... I do have some uglies for sure... Lol
Hugs Dawn x x x

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your little baskets look so sweet Jenny- I love all the embellishments you have given them!

My son is a big pasta lover too!

Noémia said...

I'm in lve with Nigella receipes too. If you visit my blog you will see that,this last days, I don't talk about nothing more than Nigella food!
I love your bskets!:)

Cheryl said...

Gorgeous little baskets Jen, I will be making some of these for sure.
Mmmmmm Lasagne... delicious