Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favourite snacks to eat and bake are chocolate chip cookies. Nothing like a cup of tea and a freshly made biscuit on the side. The aroma they make is delicious and they never last long in my house! They are really simple to make and as I'm allergic to gluten I make a gluten free version which taste as good as the real thing. Here's the recipe I use:

Ingredients :

     2 1/2 cups gluten-free plain flour       
     250g unsalted butter - softened
     1 1/4 cups caster sugar
     1 egg (free range)      
     2 teaspoons vanilla essence       
     250 g dark chocolate bits


Directions :   
  1. Cream the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in food processor or with hand beaters
  2. Add flour and whiz until combined well.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add dark choc bits - combine well.
  4. Line a tray with baking paper and put large dessertspoons of mixture onto tray and flatten slightly.
  5. Place in pre heated, fan forced oven at 170 - 180 deg C , depending on oven and bake for 15 to 18 mins or until firm.
  6. Leave on the tray for a few minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack - store in an air tight container.
  7. Enjoy ~ they won't last long!
{ Photos taken by me }

Monday, 22 July 2013

I love to Pin { terest }

Who else like me loves Pinterest? For those not familiar with it I always describe it to people as an "online pinup board" for collecting and sharing photos of all those things that we love and have an interest in ~ from recipes, food and drink to fashion, travel destinations to art, books, jewellery, colours, houses, home d├ęcor, furniture, gardens, architecture, craft, themed parties and seasonal celebrations to favourite products and quotes and the list goes on and is endless!

Once signed up users create boards and pin photos as per the theme of their boards.

You can pin directly from the internet to your chosen boards or you can follow people and their boards ( which is what I prefer to do as it's all there in front of me ) and repin their pins. And in turn people follow you and repin your pins.

For example you can use it as an online recipe book. By pinning all your favourite recipes you can then refer to the pin by clicking on it which will then refer you to it's original source. I have cooked many recipes I have discovered through Pinterest and so far mot have been a success!

I have a board called "Pretties" On here I  pin photos that are just delightful to look at , with no particular theme, whatever they are of. This is one of my favourite boards.

You can lose hours browsing the millions of photos available and searching for a specific topic is very simple.

I have pinned over 6500 photos ( yes a little bit obsessed!! ) to 40 boards. You can find the link to my boards on the side bar of my blog or also  ~ here

I'd love to post some of my favourite photos but it's just too hard to choose! What I really love about Pinterest is that there really are no rules or guidelines to follow, it's just a lovely positive environment of sharing all your favourite things.

Do you use Pinterest for anything specific or just for browsing ( and dreaming!) like me? Please feel free to leave your link below.

Natasha xo

Thursday, 18 July 2013

What I'm reading...

Books have always been an important part of my life right from when I was a little girl and loved reading favourites like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mr Men, Madeline, The Giant Jam Sandwich, Dr Seuss and so many more. Today I love seeing my own children reading these very same books.

I then moved on to reading Judy Blume ( who remembers these books! ) Sidney Sheldon, Virginia Andrews to name just a few.

As an adult I've enjoyed reading a vast variety of books covering  many topics.
Some of my all time favourite authors are  Marian Keyes, Penny Vincenzzi and Paulina Simons. I have too many favourite books to name but some of the stand outs are The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon,

One of my first jobs was in a book store and many years on I continued this tradition by again working casually in my local book store after my son was born.

I'm now very lucky to be a part of a book cub, a group of beautiful, smart and warm women who I met through my son's school. We meet up monthly and discuss our chosen book - what we liked about it, the style, plot, ending etc. We also share many other stories about our lives, all over a glass of wine and delicious nibbles.

Our current book is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, an Australian author whose first book  has shot to fame. It's an interesting story based on a true one about the last person executed in Iceland in the 1800's.

I'm really looking forward to our next book which is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.

What I love most about book club is that I've read many books that I would never contemplate reading. I'd love to hear what your favourites are.

Natasha xo

This months book club book 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Welcome to Cotton Paper and Rice

Hi and a warm welcome to my new blog - Cotton Paper and Rice.

I decided to create this as an outlet to share with you some of my favourite things  - cotton, paper and rice. Here's a little description of what they are:

Cotton - I have a great love of ( and tiny addiction to ) fabric and ribbon. The great variety of colours, patterns and textures that are available never ceases to amaze me. I incorporate these into my little hobby business making hair accessories for little girls.

Paper - books have always been a very important part of my life and reading is one of my favourite pastimes and ways of relaxing. I'll be sharing with you some of my favourite books and what I like to read.

Rice - this has two meanings, my love for food and cooking and also my love for travel, especially in Asia. I'll share with you recipes that I enjoy making and eating ( not all containing rice of course!) I have a very sweet tooth and love baking. Asia has always been one of my favourite travel destinations and I have some wonderful memories of the times spent there. 

I'll also share other snippets of my life as well.

I hope that you'll enjoy reading my blog and please feel free to add your own comments too, I'd love to hear from you.

Natasha xo