Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mushroom Stuffed Pumpkin

It is here pumpkin spice latte season, that means it is pumpkin season in general and I have a whole host of pumpkin recipes coming up on the blog and I am starting with this one because it is also mushroom season.
you will need;

150g oyster mushrooms
100g chanterelle mushrooms
10 shallots
25g butter
300g button mushrooms
30cl IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
2 tsp dried parsley
2tbsp malted yeast flakes
20cl double cream
1 small pumpkin
salt and pepper 
cous cous to serve
  1.  Preheat an oven to 180C. Slice the top off your pumpkin and scoop out the seeds, you can wash and dry them if you like, they are great on a salad.
  2. Slice the shallots and soften them in the butter. Meanwhile slice the button mushrooms, add them to the pan once the shallots are soft.
  3. Tear the oyster and chanterelle mushrooms and add those to the pan also.
  4. Once the juices have come out and the mushrooms have cooked down add the IPA, yeast flakes, parsley and season.
  5. Cook over a low heat until the liquid has reduced.
  6. Take off the heat, stir through the cream and spoon into the pumpkin. Place the top back onto the pumpkin, secure with foil and bake for and hour or until the pumpkin is soft.
  7. Serve with cous cous or green vegetables.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Filing Drawer Makeover

Sometimes simplicity is key. This project is another one that I undertook at the Festival Of Thrift 2014. It was my aim to showcase upcycling projects that covered every skill level so that everyone could become engaged with, and embrace upcyling in their home. This project is a perfect example. A roadside find that needed a facelift, and a clean was the perfect candidate for showing that anyone, yes anyone can upcycle. Here is a look at the drawers before, a hurried phone photograph.
My only disappointment with this project was the handles. Ideally I would have removed them before spraying, for ease but alas the old screw heads were rusted and the threads no more. Instead I was left with the painstaking task of covering each handle in frog tape, careful to leave all the drawers uncovered and getting clean lines on the edges.

I only had small amounts of various blues so spraying small drawers were the ideal way to use them up. 
A note on preparing your surface, clean with sugar soap and wipe the residue off. Also make sure you spray outside on a day that is not too windy. They are going to look really great in my new office space.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

La Recyclerie - Paris

Few things are certain in life, death, taxes and any area that is rough around the edges slowly becomes gentrified. That gentrification usually starts with the arty set, dare I say it, the hipsters. There are a number of schools of thought on the gentrification of an area, my own opinion changes depending on which day of the week you catch me, but regardless of your viewpoint I think we can all agree that seeing an old empty building being used for nothing at all is a waste. For decades now people would flock every week to Porte de Clignancourt to visit the vast Marche au Puces but there is another reason to venture out to the peripherique now and this one comes with snacks.

La Recyclerie is situated in the old station building and spills onto the unused tracks and platform providing a useful space and somewhat green urban oasis. The building has a great start with high ceilings and grand windows but it is the restoration design that sets this apart from others I have seen. The design team fully embraced their three Rs, those being Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. An entire wall made up from windows is just one of the examples that they have pulled off with ease.
Old buildings are often saved and restored but there are a number of things that I like about this in particular. Firstly it has remained a public space, it is not a hotel or office block. Secondly unlike many place that could be described as 'hip' this one is really friendly and accessible, I can say this in all honesty as I am not cool, not by any stretch and felt very comfortable there, with a mix of cool kids, older folk, families and well, people like me. In fact Rene, the builder of the recycling centre, has his studio in the middle of the space. He welcomes the public to come and have lunch, drink coffee, seeing him work in an "at home" atmosphere gives them a boost for a small repairs they may have.
Outside on the terrace and steps there is place to sit and eat, chat, home to vegetables and sometimes a market filled with secondhand goodies.
La Recyclerie really is a multipurpose space, meaning there really is something for everyone. The bar and cafe offers a fantastic social space serving world cuisine on a rotating calendar and their brunch is really good value. It is possible to shop online on their website from a range of local producers and then you simply call in and collect your goods later in the day, a real benefit for a busy city dweller.
The space is also host to a number of events such as brocants, craft classes, talks, special food events and performance.
Find La Recyclerie at 83 boulevard Ornano 75018 Paris.
Opening hours;
Monday to Wednesday Noon - Midnight 
Thursday  Noon - 1am 
Friday & Saturday Noon - 2am 
Sunday Noon - 10pm
M├ętro Porte de Clignancourt (line 4) Bus 85 & 86