Tag Archives: Wrapping

Chocolate Roulade For The Rocking Dog Huddlers

A Taste Of Summer,Rocking Dog

A Taste Of Summer

A small but perfectly formed huddle gathered last night. We talked travel, home & abroad heat and stories of the young and of the old. Crochet was learned, calligraphy practiced, a needlepoint made to feel loved again and a wedding shopping list formulated. I also brought out my John Lewis sale buys for Christmas wrapping 2017 (I feel a Val Doonican knitted theme coming on!)

Most importantly we ate cake! This months confectionery was a tried and tested favourite, Chocolate and Raspberry Roulade. The recipe comes from a book called 100 Great Desserts by Mandy Wagstaff. I bought it in the 90’s from a cut price book shop, only later did I find that many but not all of the pages were written in German!

This is a great recipe for gluten free guests and a truly simple bake (promise!)

175g plain chocolate
5 eggs separated
175g caster sugar
2 tbsp brandy

Preheat oven 180 degrees (lower for fan oven). Line a 33x23cm swiss roll tin with baking paper.
Melt dark chocolate in microwave or in a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add the brandy.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and then stir in a tbsp chocolate mix to loosen it. Fold in the remaining chocolate.
Pour mixture into the prepared tin and use a spatula to evenly spread the batter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch. Remove from oven and cover with a slightly damp tea towel.

For the filling I used a small carton of double cream whisked together with a small tub of mascarpone and a little icing sugar.

Turn your Roulade out onto a surface prepared with a large sheet of baking paper. Remove the backing paper.
Spread your roulade liberally with good quality raspberry conserve. Spread cream mix evenly and sprinkle over fresh raspberries.
With the aid of the paper, roll the roulade as tightly and evenly as you can. At this point you can wrap it up in the greaseproof sheet rather like an old fashioned sweetie and chill. if you can’t wait to launch into the deliciousness move the roulade to a pretty plate and dredge with icing sugar and white chocolate shards. Voila!

(I used 1&1/2x the mixture to fill a larger swiss roll tin. Cherries and kirsch or cherry brandy would be a great alternative)

Thank you girls for the donations for Fine Cell Work inspiring and supporting prison inmates to sew and embroider.

The Whole Deal!,Rocking Dog

The Whole Deal!

June Frou,Rocking Dog

June Frou

Little Black Books,Rocking Dog

Little Black Books

Travel,Rocking Dog

Travel

The Heat,Rocking Dog

The Heat

Calligraphy,Rocking Dog

Calligraphy

Christmas Stash,Rocking Dog

Christmas Stash

The Old & The..,Rocking Dog

The Old & The..

Young,Rocking Dog

Young

Rocking Dog Thinks Ahead To A Chocolatey Easter!

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt? Rocking Dog

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt?

I got a little bit carried away thinking about a chocolatey Easter. The vibrant blossom everywhere set me mulling over all those forthcoming opportunities to gather flowers, select pretty foil wrapped eggs and making indulgent Rocking Dog bakes for friends and neighbours. Admittedly Easter is still a little way away but there is nothing wrong with a little bit of planning, hunting and gathering! As we left Umbria our local patisserie Michele & Co was beginning to put out Easter loveliness. Crisp white tissue papered packages were embellished with silk flowers, wool, lace, ribbon and twine. His styling is inspirational as are his delicious sweet offerings.

Yesterday I made pretty lined bags for going on a future egg hunt. Gingham was selected as the structured pattern is perfect to use as guidelines for sewing lines of braid and ribbons. I added appliqué eggs and the linings came from a vintage embroidered tablecloth. The bags constructed, I used lace for handles and finally sewed some pretty vintage buttons for extra frou factor.

My favourite garden in the village is in full flourish. It is wild and lovely. Narcissi, Tete de Tete, Daffodils and Fritillaria push through the grass in generous clumps. The garden is bordered by Japonica, Camelia, Catkin and fruit trees. Its organic wild nature makes me smile… always. After cutting back hedges neatly in Italy I had that moment of bad haircut regret! A degree of shagginess and un-eveness definitely gives a garden an air of mystery and romance. This local garden has romance and whimsy aplenty. I can definitely imagine a good egg hunt there.

Oooh I feel a Chocolat moment coming on!

By the way the next Rocking Dog creative Huddle will be on Wednesday 29th March 7-9pm. All welcome. Delicious homemade cake, chat and creativity. Donations into the teapot with a percentage to Fine Cell Work supporting prison inmates to sew wonderful things.

Spring Branches,Rocking Dog

Spring Branches

My Blooming Garden,Rocking Dog

My Blooming Garden

Favourite Garden,Rocking Dog

Favourite Garden

Easter Kitsch,Rocking Dog

Easter Kitsch

Embellished Brownies,Rocking Dog

Embellished Brownies

Vintage Stash,Rocking Dog

Vintage Stash

Michele's Easter Frou!,Rocking Dog

Michele’s Easter Frou!

Calorie Free!,Rocking Dog

Calorie Free!

They're Going On An Egg Hunt!, Rocking Dog

They’re Going On An Egg Hunt!

A Quick Rocking Dog Birthday Wrap

Pieces Of Eight!,Rocking Dog

Pieces Of Eight!

A quick Rocking Dog Birthday wrap. I still maintain it is quicker to sew a present into its wrap than using scissors and tape. My latest wrap was done with a piece of jolly wallpaper. I found a £5 oddment roll found in Laura Ashley and had ideas that I could make table runners which children could colour in at a party. The bold print would also lend itself to making hats, wall banners and other party paraphernalia.

George Pig goggles and swim shorts sewn into their wrap, I adorned the parcel with a plastic fish (a piece of flotsam and jetsam from Weston Super Mare).A tag was stamped and gingham ribbon tied. The final flourish was a trove of foil wrapped chocolate coins. I attached these with double sided tape. Voila!

Rocking Dog loves a bit of innovative wrapping and so I thought i’d dig out some archive Rocking Dog images. Cake cases, ripped magazines, brochures, old books, ribbon, string and stamps are all favourite flotsam and jetsam for hoarding Rocking Dog!

Fish & Label,Rocking Dog

Fish & Label

Christmas Coins,Rocking Dog

Christmas Coins

Past Wrapping,Rocking Dog

Past Wrapping

Little Acorns,Rocking Dog

Little Acorns

Spring Wrap,Rocking Dog

Spring Wrap

Tea Towel Wrapped, Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Wrapped

Cash Wrap,Rocking Dog

Cash Wrap

Cake Case Adornment,Rocking Dog

Cake Case Adornment

Comic Book Parcel,Rocking Dog

Comic Book Parcel

A Quick Wrap From Rocking Dog

It's A Wrap!,Rocking Dog

It’s A Wrap!

We are talking about a Christmas wrap of the paper kind. Perish the thought of Rocking Dog attempting to musically rap!

Rocking Dog has wrapped all the presents, and not a sheet of commercially bought wrapping paper has crossed the kennels threshold! Wallpaper, magazine copy, tissue paper and photocopied manuscript paper feature heavily. Bakers twine, tree decorations and luggage labels have been used to frou the assembled packages.

Today’s parcel is a fragrant bar of soap that I decided to wrap in sheet music. Recently I bought an old booklet of Christmas carols in a charity shop for a bargainous £1. In the past I have used sheet music to make festive crowns, crackers and cards. I love it, even though I cannot read music.

I neatly wrapped the soap using double sided tape to secure the parcel. Bakers twine bought in Poundland and bristly tree from Tiger were used to prettify the package. Finally a small brown luggage label was stamped with a seasonal message. Voila!

This post was meant to be all about making membrillo. Unfortunately half way through cooking the quince paste, the gas ran out! These are the joys of living in an area without mains gas. I’m hoping a delivery will be forthcoming before Sunday otherwise Christmas lunch could be more than a little interesting. Sandwich anyone?!

Fragrant Package,Rocking Dog

Fragrant Package

Choose A Carol,Rocking Dog

Choose A Carol

Jars Of Frou,Rocking Dog

Jars Of Frou

Bristly Trees,Rocking Dog

Bristly Trees

Neatly Wrapped,Rocking Dog

Neatly Wrapped

Ready To Give,Rocking Dog

Ready To Give

Suited & Booted! Rocking Dog Preserves

Exotic Limes, Rocking Dog

Exotic Limes

Yes indeed Rocking Dog has been suiting and booting her newly made batches of preserves. The  mirror sparkly jars have been given stylish fabric hats and handwritten/stamped labels.

There is a Rocking Dog preserve for every taste. Organic Sicilian oranges and lemons were brought back from our recent Umbrian foray. Spiced Oranges would pep up a meat platter or be delicious served with pates and coarse terrines. Meanwhile the lemons now newly formatted as Lemon and Ginger Marmalade is hoping to be spread sun shiningly thickly on hot buttered toast.

There are homemade mustards, pickles, chutney and jelly’s. My personal favourite is my Pear & Pomegranate jelly. Soft set, I think it would be truly delicious with the creaminess of a homemade panna-cotta.

So now that these goodies are glamorously and rustically suited and booted I hope that they will soon find appreciative homes!

Rocking Dog’s stash of preserves will be available to buy at her sales on Wednesday 30th November and Sunday 11th December. Details on my home page www.rockingdog.co.uk

Have a wonderful weekend. Love Rocking Dog x

Sicilian Oranges, Rocking Dog

Sicilian Oranges

.....& Sicilian Lemons,Rocking Dog

…..& Sicilian Lemons

Local Pears,Rocking Dog

Local Pears

Pretty Presents, Rocking Dog

Pretty Presents

Tiny Treasures, Rocking Dog

Tiny Treasures

Some Of The Stash, Rocking Dog

Some Of The Stash

Tying Up All The Loose Ends

Tying Up The Loose Ends...Those Blinds!, Rocking Dog

Tying Up The Loose Ends…Those Blinds!

Like the swallows that have gone on ahead of us, we are heading south. It’s been a couple of days of tying up all the loose ends. So….the three Roman blinds which have mathematically troubled me, are complete. I have left comprehensive instructions for my boy and hope that the lovebirds will figure out the mechanics of blind hanging. I rather think a very helpful and DIY savvy father in law will take them in hand. I hope my mathematics and perfect folds will be celebrated!

Meanwhile there have been presents to wrap and send. I loved the zoo animal wallpaper found in a John Lewis oddment bin. I added an alphabet Christmas decoration, an Anthropologie purchase. Meanwhile a Rocking Dog Advent calendar is winging its way up to Northumberland for a new little family. I know it’s early but there’ll be plenty of time to choose lots of lovely little trinkets to fill those pockets. No, Michael….. NO!

The Fridge needs de-fooding so there are various cunning Rocking Dog “bottom of the fridge recipes” to use up all that veg’. Soups, savoury crumbles and a large tray of roasted vegetables are favourites.

As for the packing it’s scary, and makes Andyman very tutty and grumbly! The big question is will those lanterns make the cut!

Mother To Son Wisdom, Rocking Dog

Mother To Son Wisdom

Plain To See, Rocking Dog

Plain To See

Clear The Fridge, Rocking Dog

Clear The Fridge

Last Minute Wrap, Rocking Dog

Last Minute Wrap

Another Wrap, Rocking Dog

Another Wrap

Will They Make The Cut?, Rocking Dog

Will They Make The Cut?

Harvesting Apples For A Crumbly Gift

Apple Harvest, Rocking Dog

Apple Harvest

Rocking Dog has been harvesting apples for a crumbly gift. A tea towel with a printed recipe for apple crumble provided the inspiration for a foodie gift. A rustic ovenproof dish was filled with all the ingredients to concoct the seasonal pud’. I wrapped the dish in the tea towel and tied the bundle with some chequerboard woven ribbon. A large oak spoon completed the gift together with an accompanying hessian sack of rosy apples.

Of course the gift could be tweaked for a reluctant cook. The crumble could be lovingly made, bundled and gifted. An indulgent carton of clotted cream could be handed to the recipient, and would undoubtedly be the cherry on the cake!

The apple harvest offers the opportunity to make a plethora of divine cakes, puddings, salads and preserves this sunny autumn.

Happy gathering!

Tea Towel TK Maxx

Main picture backdrop-“Mark Hearld’s Workbook,” and bird and rabbit cards also by Mark Hearld

Rosy Bowl, Rocking Dog

Rosy Bowl

Recipe Tea Towel, Rocking Dog

Recipe Tea Towel

Gift Wrapped, Rocking Dog

Gift Wrapped

Vintage Apple Mugs, Rocking Dog

Vintage Apple Mugs

Umbrian Harvest, Rocking Dog

Umbrian Harvest

Rocking Dog Cake, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Cake

Hambrook Harvest,Rocking Dog

Hambrook Harvest

The Crumble, Rocking Dog

The Crumble

Another Apple Delight, Rocking Dog

Another Apple Delight

Creative Wrapping Ideas By Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Bag For Scottish Goodies!, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Bag For Scottish Goodies!

There are a raft of Birthdays and thank you’s to gift wrap for this June. Rocking Dog is too mean to buy gift wrap and loves to do a bit of creative recycling.

My mother in law has a birthday this weekend and I have made a bag from a vintage tea towel. Being Scottish I thought she’d appreciate the burly piper and nostalgic Scottish recipes. The bag will be filled with a homemade fruitcake, shortbread and other Scottish delicacies, a tin of salmon (yuk!), Irn Bru, porridge (anyone of a nervous disposition please don’t click on that last link!), Scotch pies, haggis i’ll see what I can scavenge! Interestingly the bag was made in a similar way to the reading glasses case, and so there’s not a raw hem to be seen. I doubled up Tartan ribbon for handles (sorry I don’t know which tartan) and neatly attached them to the bag. I was feeling very chilled, sewing whilst listening to a bit of Barry! Maybe it would have been more appropriate to sing along to something a bit more…. well, Scottish!

A thank you prezzie was wrapped in jolly spot with a spotty ribbon to boot. I used a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper. TK Maxx do a great selection of craft products at discounted prices. The parcel was completed with a chalkboard label (again TK Maxx) and I used a white rollerball pen. Looking at my rather scratchy handwriting I rather think I need a new one.

Another thank you present was a hand baked fruit cake, unfortunately the tin was rather Christmassy, no it really isn’t time yet Michael! However, for the wedding we bought tea towels from Ikea to use as napkins, and there was a little unused stash. I therefore placed the tin on a towel and gathered up the corners before securing with some string. The pretty label came from the front cover of a free John Lewis “Cook” magazine. I hope the boys will enjoy eating a generous wedge of cake whilst deciding what to do next in their truly wonderful garden (it definitely counts as one of my top 5 favourite gardens, with its Mr McGregor vegetable patch, orchard, orangery, ice house, vines, espalier fruit trees and of course the cottage garden flowers). Botanically and creatively yummy!

Finally a “mock up” voucher. I wanted to make a gift voucher envelope from a restaurant menu. This one was made from a menu for “The Pig”. I added a stamped label and a polished horse brass depicting a pig, and tied it with some linen ribbon. I thought it worked rather well. Incidentally the horse brasses were an impulse purchase in a charity shop. I bought about 25 for £5 and have hopes they’ll grace presents with a bit of brassy bling. I don’t think they’ll ever see their way onto any of the beams at the kennel thankfully.

So presents wrapped, some have been delivered, and others are yet to be given. Just where can I get Irn Bru, and tell me just what do cold battered Mars Bars taste like?!

Have a great weekend, whatever the days hold for you. Love Rocking Dog x

Scot Cuisine!, Rocking Dog

Scot Cuisine!

Let Them Eat Cake!, Rocking Dog

Let Them Eat Cake!

Simple Spot, Rocking Dog

Simple Spot

Voucher Envelope, Rocking Dog

Voucher Envelope

Template & Menu, Rocking Dog

Template & Menu

Stamps & Horse Brasses, Rocking Dog

Stamps & Horse Brasses

Rocking Dog Is Wrapping Up In May

Wrapping For Nothing, Rocking Dog

Wrapping For Nothing

I hope you have had a great weekend and that you were able to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Rocking Dog was indeed wrapping up. There were three birthdays to celebrate a 30th, a 21st and a new birth, so I got busy with a host of paper flotsam and jetsam!

As you know old Rocking Dog loves doing a bit of creative wrapping, and this weekend was no different. Frou assembled it was time to get to work!

30th present was wrapped in a piece of sample wallpaper from B&Q. I curiously like the whitewashed brick and plate paper, but i’d rather reserve it for gift wrapping than any interior design project! I used a glue gun to wrap the parcel, many wallpapers not being keen on having Sellotape adhered to them. Now to embellish the parcel. Food images were cut out from freebie John Lewis copy and from a Sophie Conran catalogue (sorry Sophie, but you ARE being very cleverly recycled!). Images glued to the plates, the parcel was then given some jolly ribbon and wooden cutlery “label”. Not quite finished I added a crochet’d turnip, a fragment of frou from a long gone tea towel. Now Sorrel you have to cleverly guess which cookery tome is gift wrapped!

21st present was wrapped in white tissue paper and then decorated with stars and hearts. Shape punches are inexpensive to buy and great to cut large quantities of shapes quickly and accurately. Hobbycraft, The Range and online suppliers provide great selections. Small punches can be used to create your own confetti or table sprinkles (use magazines, pretty gift wrap or old books). For this gift I cut stars from a magazine page and marbled hearts were punched from a Lush spa booklet. A ribbon bought from a bargain basket (50p for 3 metres) at Eastville Market coordinated with the stars. Finally I added an Ikea blackboard label.

Newborn presents were wrapped in green tissue with thin twine to tie. The gifts were “planted” in rustic card pots (only another 78 to use!) and given a plant stick label “From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow”. Somewhat miraculously I found some decorative acorns in my big glass frou jar. Voila!! Oliver, welcome to the world little one.

I hope you like Rocking Dog’s wrapping moment. Now to get down to the serious stuff and get this wedding nailed. Shopping lists, time plans, producers to call, labels to write, china hire list to check etc… etc…and that’s before the cooking begins! But it’s all good fun. It does rather mean that in the next couple of weeks my blog posts may sadly be a little sporadic.

Wishing you a sunny and happy week.

Naked Parcels, Rocking Dog

Naked Parcels

Frou...., Rocking Dog

Frou….

......& More Frou!, Rocking Dog

……& More Frou!

Stars & Marbled Hearts, Rocking Dog

Stars & Marbled Hearts

B&Q Wrap, Rocking Dog

B&Q Wrap

Present In A Pot, Rocking Dog

Present In A Pot

Rocking Dog’s Easter Treats

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Easter Tableau

Rocking Dog’s Easter treats are spilling out onto the dining table, creating a lovely seasonal tableau.

Pre Easter gifting includes a tray of gooey batch of chocolate brownie, Nigella’s recipe of course! Speckled eggs and a light dusting of icing sugar make a pretty addition to the delectable squares. Chocolate lollipops were quickly run up using white chocolate, miniature eggs and sticks (Lakeland and John Lewis supply these). Once set in the fridge the pretty ‘pops are bedecked with ribbon. Arrange in a lovely vintage jug or group in cellophane bags. An egg plaque (Poundland) with its coating of hundreds and thousands was enhanced with a piped iced message.

A food parcel of luxury hot cross buns, apricot conserve, Easter biscuits and chocolate bunnies are wrapped in cellophane and a band of paper. I am still using up my supply of M&S Adventures in Food magazines. The parcel is completed with twine and hand written luggage label.

Other gifts are simply wrapped in crisp white tissue paper and bedecked with the contents from an Easter photo-booth pack (£3 Sainsbury’s). I love the battery operated egg fairy lights ( a bargainous £1 from Poundland).

Non chocolatey gifts include gorgeous pink tulips bound with a generous swag of polka dot ribbon, and pots of cheery Tete de Tete (69p Lidl). I used squares of vintage green gingham and twine to frou the plastic pots.

It’s not quite time for the Easter bunnies, but Real Live Rocking Dog and his friend Zac enjoyed donning some bunny ears in the hope of receiving a dog friendly Easter treat!

Food Parcel, Rocking Dog

Food Parcel

Gooey Easter Brownie, Rocking Dog

Gooey Easter Brownie

Yum!, Rocking Dog

Yum!

My Boy Lollipop!, Rocking Dog

My Boy Lollipop!

Easter Wrap, Rocking Dog

Easter Wrap

Easter Florals, Rocking Dog

Easter Florals

Party Rings, Rocking Dog

Party Rings

Hundreds & Thousands, Rocking Dog

Hundreds & Thousands

Easter Bunnies!, Rocking Dog

Easter Bunnies!