Sunday, 2 November 2014

November Mandalong and a Paleo Pumpkin Pie recipe

Hello and Happy Halloween! I honestly can't believe that we have already stepped foot into November, where has the year gone? Before we know it we will be hanging tinsel and sipping mulled wine (well some of us anyway). 

Earlier this month we took the kids to see Disney on Ice and to be honest it came as a bit of surprise to us all as both hubby and I kinda forgot that we bought the tickets ages ago, don't you just love it when this happens? We didn't tell the kids we were going and it was so lovely to see the excitement and complete shock light up on there little faces as soon as we walked through the arena doors. The show was amazing and the ice skaters did such an awesome job, just a shame that the much loved Elsa didn't make an appearance in the end, one little girl was very disappointed. 

Many of my old readers will know that even though I love a good plan, I also like to wing things, nothing is more satisfying that just going with the flow to see where we end up. When I started this blanket, I made no attempt to try and calculate how many squares I would need, in fact I went and bought 9 balls of wool in colours that I liked and thought that that would do the job. Well, it seems that unless I want a toe warmer I might have slightly misjudged the situation. As a matter of fact it seems I am going to need a great deal more squares before I can call it a blanket of sorts. So I am interested to hear from those of you who have made a blanket big enough for a single/small double, how many balls of wool did you use? So sadly for now, I have had to move it to the back burner to make space for other little projects that I need to work on, but I am still enjoying admiring them from a distance as they do look rather pretty and cheery. 

At the beginning of the school holidays we set off to visit a good friend of mine who lives in Knaresborough. We had such a lovely weekend with them and enjoyed a really lovely visit to the 12th century Knaresborough Castle, which I must say was rather fabulous. I love spending time in Knaresborough, it is such a pretty market town.

Halloween is something my kids, especially little Es talks about all year long, in fact she absolutely loves it, so needless to say this week our house was running high on Halloween fever. 

We had fun decorating the house and ...

a little more fun decorating ourselves before we set off to go and watch The Book of Life at the cinemas dressed and ready to scare. In fact I had to do a little alterations to my make up as I didn't want kids running out of the cinema because they were too scared of the woman sitting behind them, so I opted for red lips rather than stitched up lips in the end. 

The kids had a ball trick or treating and came back with enough sweets to last a month, so all in all two very happy kids. Happy Halloween!!

I even managed to do a little experimental baking on the day and ended up with a grain free and dairy free pumpkin pie, which to be honest was so so easy to make and both me and hubby (who are both paleo now) absolutely loved it, in fact ssh don't tell anyone but its gone. At least this time of year we can blame the ghosts, now who said whooooo?!

I shared the recipe on Instagram, but for anyone interested here goes.
To make the grain free pastry I used
250g ground almonds
4-5 tbsp melted coconut oil (you don't want it too sloppy so start with 4 and then add another if you need to)
2 tbsp honey
1 egg beaten

Simply mix all these ingredients together and then push it into a pie dish, I just use my hands and push it in ensuring that it covers the entire dish. You don't want it too thin or too thick. Bake at 180C for 10 mins max.

For the filling
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated 
3 tbsp of honey
2 eggs beaten

I popped all these ingredients into my mixer, make sure to mix thoroughly before pouring it onto your pastry. 
Bake for 40-45 minutes and leave for at least 20+ minutes before serving. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I think we will be making another one very soon.

So before I go, I will quickly share my November mandala with you. This month I made Marinke Slump's 12 Round Mandala as I figured it would be a little strange doing a whole year's of mandala's without using the staple pattern used by the queen of Mandala's right?! 

It is a quick and easy pattern to make and I really like the look of it too. Not my usual colour choices, but it was suppose to be gifted, so I opted for something a little different. Sadly I don't think I can gift it now as I am not very happy with the end result of the use of the standing stitch. It has created some holes in the mandala, which gives it a rather unfinished look. I have used standing stitches on other crochet projects in the past, but I have never used it with a mandala and I am not sure I am going to rush to do it again. I would really like to hear your experiences with using a standing stitch with mandala's or crochet in the round for that matter. Did it create a holes???

Last month I also mentioned that I had an idea and well, I figured a few mini mandala coasters might come in handy. What do you think? 

I really like them and they are so so quick to make. It took me an evening to make all four, so I have a little nifty plan to hook up a few more to slot into some Christmas presents. Speaking of Christmas, this month I decided that we should hook up something in preparing for the big day in  December and I figured if we like it, it gives us enough time to make a few more for presents.  Fortunately the very lovely Annette behind the gorgeous blog My Rose Valley kindly agreed for us to use and share her beautiful Christmas Mandala, so who's playing? It looks like a straight forward pattern to work and I love the Scandi chic style finish that it gives. I can see a few of these scattered around the house at Christmas. So for anyone on Instagram, please make sure to use the following hashtags: monthlymandalong, christmasmandala, myrosevalley and that way Annette can also see what you guys have been hooking up. Obviously I would still like you all to link up your pretties at the bottom of the page, so go on grab your hook and some christmassy cotton, you know you want to!!

So that is it for today my lovelies. I have been thoroughly enjoying some very beautiful sun rises before the clocks went back last weekend. We have been quite lucky that its been quite mild here in the North of England, but its all set to change tomorrow, so get those woollens out and light those fires or if yore lucky enough to live in the southern hemisphere I suppose it's flip flop time. I hope you are warm wherever you are and I also wish you all a beautiful and happy November. 

Make some beautiful memories!

Warm Wishes