Homemade Butter – Recipe | Champagne Twist

homemade butter

Homemade butter, like most homemade food, is simply better than any you can purchase in a store. For a start, it has a fresher, cleaner flavour, and you can control what goes in your butter.

It is so fun and easy to make, you only require a few tools and as an added bonus, there is minimum waste because the by product is buttermilk, so why not have a go?

Butter and Buttermilk – recipe by ChampagneTwist.com

Tools required:

  • Kitchen grade muslin cloth
  • Large sieve
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Electric hand or stand mixer (you can use a hand whisk if you prefer)

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Pour the cream into a large bowl of a food mixer and whisk on medium speed for about 4 minutes until thickened.
  2. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whist until the cream separates into curds (solids) and whey (liquid). This will take about 5 more minutes.
  3. Place a sieve, lined with muslin over a large bowl.
  4. Pour the contents of the food mixer bowl into the lined sieve.
  5. After about 1 minute, gather up the corners of the muslin over the curds and twist so that you can squeeze out as much of the whey as possible.
  6. Set the whey aside – this is now otherwise known as buttermilk.
  7. In medium bowl half filled with chilled water, add the solids and stir fairly vigorously with a wooden spoon. This action ‘washes’ the curds in order to help remove as much of the remaining whey/buttermilk as possible.
  8. Place the curds back into the muslin, gathering up the corners and then squeeze as much whey out as possible. You now have butter.

butter homemade

Shape and wrap the butter in greaseproof paper and store and use as you would shop purchased butter. I ended up with over a pound of butter and 2 cups of buttermilk, which can be used in all sorts of recipes, including scones, bread and soups.

homemade butter wrapped

You can flavour your butter with salt, herbs, pepper, spices, even alcohol to make say brandy butter. Making your own butter can open up a wide range of culinary avenues. All you need to do is experiment and have fun.

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

My Great Big Sewing Resolution – Cherry Gingham Dress

Hello,

Have another one for you! I am pleased to introduce to you the Cherry Gingham Dress.

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

Like the daisy meadow dress, I used the bodice from Simplicity pattern 2444, and self drafted the skirt. Pockets were added in the side seams, and the dress has an invisible zip installed at the back. I have added a red ribbon belt, and finished the arm hole facings with gingham bias binding.

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

I’m pretty pleased with this dress, the only slight snag, and I’m only saying this because I’m honest, I didn’t match the back skirt seams as well as I should.  I didn’t even notice until I gave it’s final pressing. However, the nature of the pattern means that you have to have pretty sharp eyesight, and be purposely looking for it to notice.  If you can see it, and your name isn’t Bradley Cooper from the A-Team, you’re too darn close!

Details:

  • Fabric: 100% cotton
  • Fabric name: Fruit Basket
  • Print Pattern: Red cherries with green foliage on a black, grey and white, small gingham check background
  • Fabric designer/brand: Robert Kaufman
  • Finishing: Armholes competed with black, grey and white mini gingham check bias binding (purchased)

Currently watching NCIS … again … I know I said I wouldn’t, but it’s either that or another back-to-back rewatch of all the Sherlock episodes … again.  I have to pace my Sherlock rewatches, otherwise I will be climbing the walls by Autumn.

Also, as much as I adore the Simplicity 2444 pattern, I think it’s time for a change.  I fancy making either a pair of trousers, or my first Vogue pattern. Details are on my Instagram account or you can subscribe to my blog to find out more.

What are your sewing plans for the rest of the month?  I would love to hear them, please comment below.

Thanks as ever for reading, see you soon 🙂

 

Zebra Skirt black and white wide stripe pleated skirt by Champagne Twist

My Great Big Sewing Resolution – The Zebra Skirt

Hello,

mgbsr logo

I have wanted to make a wide, horizontal striped skirt for a very long time. I’ve searched on the internet, in fabric shops both here and abroad, but it took a recent trip to IKEA to finally source the wide striped heavy weight cotton fabric I required for my Zebra skirt.

Zebra Skirt black and white wide stripe pleated skirt by Champagne Twist
Zebra Skirt: black & white wide stripe, pleated skirt by Champagne Twist

OK so it’s really a wide striped skirt, but that doesn’t sound as exciting! Besides, I had a few minor problems with this little number – where do I begin?…

  1. I pre treated the fabric, following the laundry instructions to the letter, and an hour later I pulled out the material from the drum, only to find a powder like substance all over it.  Turned out, the washing machine needed fixing. ARGH!
  2. After getting said machine fixed and the 2nd pre wash, negotiating the UK weather to dry the fabric, various political shenanigans and terrorist attacks, my heart wasn’t really into sewing, so the project was left for a few days.
  3. Got my sewing mojo back, the cutting went well, the pleating worked out first time, and the zip went in perfectly.  I worked on the skirt for 4 hours straight, without a break, and raised my head only to see the hour hand approaching 1 o’clock … AM! Made the sensible decision to go to bed, a decision that I regretted at 10.03am.
  4. 10am, after a refreshing shower, delicious breakfast and an essential cup of tea, I was ready to tackle the skirt. Only, I had forgotten that I didn’t finish the zip ends, then I closed the zip. At 10.03 am a very loud scream was heard far and wide.  Fortunately, I was able to reuse an old zip from another project. But the whole thing put me back an hour, unpicking the old zip and having to manoeuvre a large amount of fabric to machine sew in the new zip.
  5. The waistband was hand finished, and skirt tried on. Oh heck, I’ve lost weight!  But quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered to redo the waistband, so will add a couple of hidden pleats and make a it decorative feature … eventually.

So why the zebra name tag?  Well, the skirt is black and white, Zebra’s make me smile, and after recent world events, anything that raises a smile can’t be a bad thing. But the most important thing to note is … I’ve lost weight!

Self drafted black and white wide strip pleated skirt by Champagnetwist.wordpress.com
The Zebra Skirt by Champagne Twist Champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Details

Fabric: 100% heavy weight cotton

Brand: IKEA

Pattern: Wide black and white horizontal stripes

Design: Self-designed skirt

Garment: Pleated, knee length skirt, with in-seam pockets and invisible back zip closure

Unusually, I machined finished the hem, because the fabric is very difficult to hand sew, as I discovered when I hand finished the waistband. I’m pleased to say that you really can’t see the machine stitching, so I don’t feel so guilty.

I’m now on a mission to complete my UFOs and wear them before the sunshine disappears. On one dress, I just need to complete Hong Kong seams and hem, so that will be up next.

What do you think of my new skirt? Was have you been sewing recently? If you like this, please click the like button, and subscribe for more news from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading, and keep sewing 🙂

 

 

Sofia fabric, black and white stripe

Ikea fabric shopping and the philosophy of a cup of tea

Hello,

Just a quick little post today about a fabric haul from my Ikea trip.  I purchased 3 pieces of fabric – 1 black solid, 1 white solid and 1 black and white stipe fabric.  And yes there is a theme here 🙂

Sofia fabric, black and white stripe
Sofia fabric, black and white stripe

Photo source: Ikea.com

 

Photo source: Ikea.com

The striped fabric will soon be a self drafted pleated skirt. I’ve been hoping to make this skirt for an age, so I’m glad I finally found the idea fabric with the required wide stripes.  I’m aiming to get this completed by the end of the week, and posted on Saturday-ish. The fabric is a quite heavy cotton, so I’m wondering if I should line it.

The plain white fabric may be used as a top, not quite sure yet. However, the plain black fabric is going to be made into trousers, which I will make to match with my Burberry check top – a UFO which I will finish at the end of this month.

As for other news, I’ve decided to ban all TV until Doctor Who and Sherlock comes back on.  It’s all far too depressing, the UK’s political system is in complete disarray, the US isn’t any better, and quite frankly if I see one more program with initials as a title – i.e. CSI, NCIS, CSI New York, CSI Miami, NCIS New Orleans, JAG, NCIS London … OK that last one may have been made up, but deep down you know it’s coming … I think I will scream. Not that I  hate like these programs, I think they’re great (well NCIS is, the rest are OK-ish), but for goodness sakes, at the rate everyone gets killed in these shows, it’s a wonder there is anyone left in the US. If these shows are in anyway a reflection of the US social demographic, they are in a lot more trouble then they think.  It also explains a lot, sadly.

Society seems to have taken a huge backwards step, maybe we should take recent events as a much needed wake up call.  Many of us perhaps took things as read, and became complacent in our understanding of the workings of the world.  As human beings, we continue to fail to think peace first and foremost. Until we do, people will continue to die because of the colour of their skin, their life preferences and their gender. Our parents and grandparents left the horrible times of war, hatred and destruction, so that we could live in peace and harmony. Let’s not fail them or ourselves and return to those dark times.

So you are probably wondering what the philosophy of tea has to do with fabric or world politics.  Well, I have a notion, a daft one perhaps, but a notion all the same. If people stop to drink a cup of tea, instead of thinking up more brutal ways of killing each other, the world can achieve peace. Think about it, if you are holding a cup of tea in one hand, and a small plate of delicious cakes, pastries and biscuits in the other, generally, they have run out of hands to hold a gun, or push a button.  Hopefully, they would be too busy enjoying each others company, and sticky bun, to even contemplate harming anyone.

Yes, it’s a daft notion, but at times like these, you have to cling onto any hope you can.

Please leave your comments in the section below, as I like reading them, and please like and subscribe if you would like to read and see more from Champagne Twist. Don’t forget to visit my other social channels too.

Hope you have a nice, peaceful day. See you soon 🙂

 

 

Ultimate Coconut Rice Pudding – recipe

Hello,

I teased a photo of this recipe on Instagram last night, and now here it is.  This is seriously coconutty, the flavour boosted by the addition of ground almonds.

Warning, if you’re on a low calorie diet, don’t even look at the recipe.

 

Seriously, don’t.

 

I’m not kidding.

 

Really, you’re still scrolling down?

 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 20.24.51

Ultimate Coconut Rice Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pudding rice, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 3/4 cup semi skimmed or almond milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • fresh grated coconut to serve (optional)

 

Method:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, add all the ingredients, except the fresh coconut. Stir thoroughly.
  2. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 45 mins, or until the rice is soft, but still with a slight ‘bite’. There should be very little liquid left.
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. If you prefer, you can grate fresh coconut over the rice pudding.  You could also use toasted desiccated coconut as a garnish.

The pudding can be eaten on it’s own, either hot or cold, or can be used as a base for fruit sauces.  I will post another recipe, featuring rhubarb, which will go well with the coconut pudding.

coconut rice pud

Let me know if you try this recipe, and please comment and like if you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

 

seasoning recipe - celery salt

Celery Salt – recipe

Hello everyone,

This is a quick recipe, because a) I like quick recipes, and b) it’s the recipe is a useful seasoning, which may help to reduce sodium intake.

I often use celery salt where recipes ask for ordinary salt, as I believe it gives an added flavour dimension in savoury dishes.  When you think about it, if a recipe asks for a teaspoon of salt, by using celery salt, you’re actually only using 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt, with the remainder made up of a herb. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

seasoning recipe - celery salt
Celery Salt – recipe by Champagne Twist Champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Celery Salt – recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup celery seed
  • 1/4 cup sea salt

Method:

Now pay attention, this is where it gets complicated …

Mix the 2 ingredients in a bowl, until well combined. Pour the celery salt into a clean, sealable container. Done.

 

Do you use flavoured salts as an alternative to the traditional salt and pepper? Let me know in the comments below.

Please also check out my YouTube channel (link) and subscribe to receive even more from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading, see you soon 🙂

Great British Sewing Bee 1 hour challenge – week 7

GBSB 1 hour

Yesterday the Great Britsh Sewing Bee ended, and if you didn’t know already, Charlotte won.

I’m still working on my final GBSB challenge, but I thought I should let you know about my week 7 challenge – the Red Cherry Outfit.

Yes, outfit! I set myself a hard challenge of making a self drafted, fully lined skirt, with in seam pockets, and a matching neck tie which doubles up as a hair tie. We don’t do things by halves here at Champers Towers!

Anyway, here it is …

Red Cherry Outfit
Red Cherry Outfit

Details:

Skirt:

  • Fabric: 100% cotton, red cherry and green leaves on a black background print, by Robert Kaufman
  • Pattern: Self drafted design
  • Style: Pleated skirt, fully lined with solid red, light weight cotton fabric, with 2 in-seam pockets.

Neck Tie:

  • Fabric: Same as above
  • Pattern: Same as above
  • Style: Straight tie with rounded corners, based on my Ghislaine Chelsea pattern.

The skirt is lined with red cotton (I know, I’m becoming very radical theses days!), and has an invisible zip closure at the back.  There are 2 in-seam pockets.  I did toy with adding slanted pockets, but I only had 2 metres of fabric and I wanted to make sure I had enough to make a couple of neck ties and a waistband just in case the waist didn’t work out.

Speaking about the waist, this is a very close fitting waist, and luckily the pleats were handled in such a way, I didn’t need to add a waist band, leaving a clean line.

The red cotton was recycled from the lining of a dress I made a couple of years ago, which I never wore.  So it’s good that the fabric didn’t go to waste. I added a jumper, and there we have an entire outfit made with less than 2 metres of fabric.

Cherry scarf

I’m posting regular updates of my final GBSB challenge on Instagram. If you would like to see my updates, please follow and like.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more information.

As ever, thanks for reading, see you soon 🙂

 

tea cup and forget me nots champagnetwist.wordpress.com

June Favourites on Champagne Twist

Hello,

Hope you are all feeling well. A special howdy and welcome to all new subscribers to Champagne Twist. I really appreciate your support and hope you will be able to find a comfy place in this corner of the web sphere.

June, well that was a bit of a wash out in London, wasn’t it.  There was a time when I was busy trying to save my newly planted potatoes, which the torrential rain was trying it’s best to drown.  Picture the scene; me in my converse shoes, wishing I had the sense to wear my wellington boots, bailing out buckets of water from the potato trench, only for double the amount of water to return as soon as my back was turned.

Thankfully, the water drained away the next day, and the potatoes seem to be growing well, but my goodness, that was a hairy time.  We are well over due some sunshine.

Anyway, back to nice things – favourites this month were:

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style, by Wendy Gardiner, which I reviewed here.  The GBSB final is on later tonight on BBC2, so I will be 1/2 glued to the TV, whilst sewing up something new to mark the end of the series. All will be revealed tomorrow.

 

 

 

Elderflower Pineapple

 

I created a drink in the hope to encourage some more sunshine and less rain. Please check out my Elderflower and Pineapple refresher drink recipe here, and let me know if you like it.

 

 

 

 

RadoxRadom Stress Relief: This has been fantastic aid for me, with self inflicted stresses and strains, trying to do too many things at once. I use it twice a day both as a shower gel and a bubble bath and it has greatly helped me to keep calm, while the entire world seems to have gone mad. It was particularly useful during the last couple of weeks living in the UK, but the less said about the referendum, the better. I’ve decided that none of it happened, to keep calm and carry on sewing, painting, photographing, organising, decorating, reading, etc etc.

 

 

 

Hot Cloth Polish
Liz Earle

I’ve also been trying out a new product, the limited edition Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, with Jasmine and Osmanthus. I’m a long term fan of the original version, so wasn’t that fussed about switching. But this edition has a beautiful, floral scent, and has left my skin feeling even more soft and toned than usual. I’m not sure why this is the case, but limited or not, this is now on my permanent skin care list.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the Simplicity 2444 dress pattern.  OK so I’m late to the party with this one. OK, OK, I’m extremely late, I admit it.

daisy meadow dress, michael miller fabric pattern simplicity 2444

I received the pattern free with a magazine eons ago, and it was carefully put away in the stash waiting for the right opportunity to shine. Then Brexit happened (don’t mention the referendum!) and I needed an escape from the wall-to-wall news coverage.

So, the pattern was dug out from the depths of the sewing cupboard and brought to life in this little number, the Daisy Meadow Dress. Now where I’m going to wear a green dress is anyone’s guess, but I will. There must be some garden parties left this year, surely.

_DSC3231.jpg

What were the highlights of your June? Looking forward to July? Let me know in the comments below. Please like and subscribe if you would like to see more.

Thanks for reading, see you soon 🙂

 

 

 

 

Elderflower and Pineapple Refresher – recipe

Hello,

As it’s summer in the city … ahem … I thought it was about time to get the cocktail shaker out.  Or at least a big jug to make a refreshing summer time drink.  Here’s a little recent invention of mine, the Elderflower and Pineapple Refresher. Let me know if you try it and what you think of it.

Elderflower and Pineapple Refresher – recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur (try St Germain)
  • 2 cups elderflower presse
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple juice
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Ice, to serve
  • A slice of lemon per glass, to decorate

serves 4

Method:

  1. In a jug, mix the liqueur, presse and juices until well combined.
  2. Fill 4 glasses with ice, and equally divide the drink between each glass.
  3. Add a slice of lemon to each glass and serve immediately.

Elderflower Pineapple

To remind us that it is actually summer, here’s one of my videos from last year.  Hopefully, it will kickstart the heat wave.

Thanks for reading, and please don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment – links below. See you soon!