That tiling task was not as bad as I thought it would be. First, I had many sleepless nights worrying about it and did a lot of planning.. I used a 120cm x 90cm shower former and 60cm x 30cm porcelain tiles. Please note, they are all multiple of 30 which I think helps when tiling the shower former.
1. Work out where to place your tiles to get the most pleasing end result, laying them on the floor as accurately as possible and making sure you would not end up with very small pieces of cut tile along the edge. Below, you can see what Continue reading
This has taken me thirty odds years to work out how to keep my knives sharp longer! Continue reading
Follow this picture guide to make this easy and delicious chocolate and caramel cheesecake. Perfect for dinner parties as it is best prepared the day before. Serves 6-8.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 100g butter melted
- 100g good quality dark chocolate (I use 70% cocoa Lindt chocolate)
- 300g Philadelphia cheese
- 100g granulated sugar (vanilla scented or add a couple of drops of vanilla essence)
- 2 whole eggs
- 200ml double cream (or 1/2 double cream, 1/2 yogurt)
- 1 tin of Carnation caramel
No more cleaning your oily cupboard shelf with the following tip:
I found a much easier way to propagate roses than the traditional cutting pushed into compost! This also works for most plants. Continue reading
If you see a packet of pears at reduced price at your supermarket, grab it! They are usually quite hard and tasteless (that’s why they are on sale) but they make the perfect ingredient for an easy-to-make delicious upside-down pie or, as we French people call it, tarte Tatin. In fact, Continue reading
Cut about 20cm wide lengths of chicken wire. Shape them into a “C” shape and place inside the gutter. No need to fix the lengths together.
Draw around the base of the tin with a pencil and cut along the line.
To hold the paper into place Continue reading
I went to Italy last October and picked up 2 pine nuts that had found on the ground. I crushed the shell of one with a large stone and ate the nut inside and put the other one in my pocket. When I got home, I decided to try and grow a pine tree so I placed the whole shell in the freezer for a few days (one week maybe) to make the seed “believe” it was winter. Then, I took it out of the freezer and loosely wrapped the shell inside some very wet cotton wool, pouring water on it regularly to ensure it never dried. After a couple of weeks, the shell started to split.
A couple of days later, Continue reading
You are making steamed Christmas pudding only to realise that you do not have any string to tie your pot with…. and being Christmas Day, all shops are closed! Here is my suggestion on how to solve your problem. Continue reading
Tea bags are cheaper to buy in large packs but they would take too much space in the food cupboard for day-to-day use. So, I fill a handy-size container with a few handful of tea bags and, to keep the remaining tea bags fresh, I place the pack inside an old sliced bread plastic bag sealed at the top. To give you an idea of sizes, you can fit a 750g pack of Yorshire Tea tea bags inside a Hovis bag.
It takes me less than 5 minutes to prepare packed lunch, usually only a couple of minutes. Continue reading
Beware! Once you have made and tasted this cake, you will never want to buy another one from the shop ever again! Easy recipe. Continue reading
Rinse and pat dry fresh parsley
Quick! Get fresh parsley before the cold weather sets in, while it is still plentiful and cheap. Continue reading
When it is too hot to wear anything but a T-shirt while gardening, you might have trouble pulling nettles. So, to protect your arms from stinging nettles, try cutting the arms off an old jumper and wear them over your arms.
Don’t throw out fresh lemon slices that were used in drinks or any left-over fresh lemon. Keep them in a separate glass by the sink and use them to wipe the sink and prevent any build-up of lime scale. They are antibacterial too!
Also use fresh lemon to Continue reading
To get additional space in your fridge, use an ice box filled with ice packs. For large items such as cheesecake, place the ice box on its side.
Who likes to clean their oven? Not me! So, simply place a Continue reading
When buying new clothes, you will often get a small plastic bag fixed inside the garment containing spare button(s). Don’t just pull it out and store it in a drawer or throw it out. Take a needle and threat and sew the spare buttons to an inside hem, somewhere out of the way which is not going to be annoying on your skin. You don’t need to make it look neat because it is out of sight anyway. You never know, you might need that spare button one day!
I recently found a good way to use all my odd socks (although I had to reach for the sock drawers to get more!). Put your glasses or other fragile items inside socks to prevent them from knocking each other. You could also use pants, t-shirts, tea towels, etc. Basically, you don’t need to buy bubble wrap!
This is a great, cheap and easy-and-quick-to-make addition to your packed lunch.
One handful of almonds + one handful of raisins. Place in a small plastic container.
Tip: buy a large bag as it works out cheaper than smaller packets and store in an air tight container to keep the almonds fresh as long as possible.
If, like us, you bought large tiles (we bought 60 x 60cm), your standard-sized tile cutter will certainly be too small. Ooops! Buying another one would be very expensive…
So, just make Continue reading
Having problems getting your Tomtom out of its protective cover or pouch? or any other device in a protective pouch for that matter? All you need is a length of ruban (or even a thin length of plastic bag, why not!), long enough to be pushed into the pouch and leave you enough grip to pull your Tom tom out when needed.
This tip was given to me by a kitchen installer more than 10 years ago. To get your brushed stainless steel looking as good as new, Continue reading
I found another way to re-use sliced bread plastic bags to add to my previous post.
Use a plastic bag instead of cling film to store food in the fridge. In the picture below, a sandwich I had made one morning for lunch.
Cling film alternative
A great way to make small leftover meat go a long way! A 23 cm dish will provide two meals for 2: eat half of the pie hot at night and the other half cold for next day packed lunch.
Below is a picture-guide suggestion Continue reading
This is an improved version of Mary Berry’s tip on butter. She suggests using a grater to cut butter before using it in a dough recipe. My tip goes a bit further, making it just perfect! All you need to do is Continue reading
Now that you know how to make pastry dough, you will find below an easy-to-follow picture guide of how to make a delicious and moist French apple pie. Continue reading
The short video clip below is to complement my dough making post to illustrate how easy it is to mix dough with just one finger. Continue reading
I used to place my vacuum cleaner’s nozzle next to a hole being drilled to suck up any brick dust and prevent it from falling down. This was not ideal though because the motor filter is not suited to very fine dust. Now, I would like to share with you a great new tip, a much better way to pick up brick dust that cannot damage the vacuum cleaner.
Use a dust pan (because it has a wide brim and a nice handle!), place a wet kitchen towel over it and locate the dust pan right under the hole being drilled. The falling brick dust will be collected by the wet kitchen towel. When finished, simply put the kitchen towel in the bin. Try this tip and let me know what you think!
Don’t buy ready-made pastry dough! Unless you want puff pastry, which is rather labour intensive, you can make pastry dough easily and quickly using one finger (literally!). This picture guide will show you how Continue reading
How can you cross items off your shopping list when you don’t have a pen? Simply Continue reading
Store your bin liner roll inside the bin itself. This saves time as you don’t need to forage inside your cupboard looking for them. And this saves space as well as this means less to store inside your under-sink cupboard.
A watering can with a spray nozzle is a must at this time of year as you will need a very gentle spray to water your seeds and/or seedlings. Here is how to make one: re-use your Continue reading
First, you need one tomato. Although, you might have to buy a small packet from your local food retailer first. If you are unsure about which type to get, go for Continue reading