Jim Fox | John Martin's Spool Zoo #1

Here is Jim FOX
wise as can be;
And very, very
sly is he.
Quite fond of chickens
is old Jim;
But they don't care
so much for him.
And so we put
Jim in the Zoo;
And here he is
to play with you.
Now, get a SPOOL
from Mother's box;
Then you can play
with Jimmy Fox.

How to Make The Fox

With your sharp scissors cut me out carefully along the fine dotted lines.
   Now, get a spool of the right size to fit me. Spread glue carefully on both ends of the spool, allowing it to harden a little; then stick my head on one end of the spool and my tail end on the other.
   Now, you have me standing up for you as a GOOD FOX should do.

Teddy Bear | John Martin's Spool Zoo #2

This is a BEAR–
a Teddy Bear.
Oh, how we love
to have him there!
He is so round,
so fat and funny.
And he likes candy,
cakes and honey.
YOU like them, too,
so I declare
You will be friends
with Teddy Bear.
Now, get a SPOOL,
and on each end
Paste Teddy BEAR,
your cozy FRIEND.

How to Make The Bear

With your sharp scissors cut me out carefully along the fine dotted lines.
   Now, get a spool of the right size to fit me. Spread glue carefully on both ends of the spool, allowing it to harden a little; then stick my head on one end of the spool and my tail end on the other.
   There, you have me standing up for you as a nice BEAR should do.

Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Make these yummy chocolate truffles as a gift for someone on birthdays or Christmas, but we dare you not to eat them all yourself.

Serves: 12-16 truffles
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes



6 oz chocolate
1 oz butter
3½ oz double cream
1 oz caster sugar
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder



Break up the chocolate, chop very finely and put into mixing bowl with the butter.

Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan, bring just to the boil and remove from heat.

Pour the cream onto the chocolate and butter and beat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and shiny. Freeze for a few hours, until firm enough to shape.

Mix the cocoa and icing sugar together, dust hands with mixture and roll mixture into truffle shapes.

Chill until serving, or keep in an air tight container for up to a week.

Dark Chocolate Semifreddo Recipe

Delicious, but a little naughty with a few more carbs this time, but nothing dramatic if you balance your day correctly. This uses a few bowls and spoons to make, but the end result is wonderful and difficult to tell from real ice cream style dessert.

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus 5 hours freezing
Cook Time: No Cook!



3 eggs, separated
6 oz sugar
17 oz heavy cream
7 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped



Line the base of a 2 lb loaf tin with a double layer of cling film, leaving the excess hanging out over the edges. You can use parchment paper, but cling film is much easier to handle for removing from the tin.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. In a second bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture in a gently stirring motion, and then carefully fold in the egg whites. Be very careful not to beat or use rigorous movements with the mix, it must be treated tenderly!

Sprinkle a third of the chopped chocolate evenly into the base of the prepared tin. Pour half the semifreddo mixture over the chocolate, followed by the next third of the chocolate. Finally, pour over the remaining semifreddo and top with the remaining chocolate. Cover with the cling film overlap and freeze for at least 5 hours until solid.

Once the semifreddo is set, carefully remove it from the tin, turning it upside down onto a plate, and remove the parchment or cling film. Cut into slices (it may be easier if you use a knife dipped into hot water, the semifreddo will slice more cleanly).

Serve with fresh berries or any fruit that you like.

Chocolate Doughnut Muffins Recipe

These tasty sugar-dipped muffins are baked not fried but taste just as delicious and are best warm and straight from the oven. You can use chocolate, jam, lemon curd or any other sweet filling that you want! Be careful to let them cool slightly, as we don’t want burnt lips!

Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes



5 oz golden caster sugar, plus 7 oz extra for dusting
7 oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3½ oz natural yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
12 tsp thick chocolate sauce/ or seedless raspberry jam



Heat oven to 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5.

Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin or use silicone cups.

Put the sugar, flour and bicarb in a bowl and mix to combine. In a jug, whisk together the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Tip the jug contents and melted butter into the dry ingredients and quickly fold with a metal spoon to combine.

Divide two-thirds of the mixture between the muffin holes. Carefully add 1 tsp chocolate sauce or jam into the center of each, then cover with the remaining mixture. Bake for 16-18 minutes until risen, golden and like lovely puff balls to touch.

Leave the muffins to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the tin and roll in the extra sugar.

Cornflake Chicken Recipe

A handy little snack, or good for parties in larger quantities, or as a supper with some fries! We love these cheesy crunchy chicken strips. They are quick to make and taste really good.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes



2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Flour for coating
4 oz grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack etc)
4 oz cornflakes, crushed
1 egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, Cajun seasoning or paprika if you like them spicier!



Heat oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Grease a baking sheet with a little oil, or spray it if you have spray oil.

Put the flour, cheese and egg into separate bowls. If you are going to add seasoning, put this into the flour bowl now, and mix around.

Cut chicken into strips, probably 6-8 per breast and roll in the flour.

Put the cornflakes into a ziplock bag, and using a rolling pin, crush them so that they are quite small. Put in the same bowl as the cheese and mix around.

Dip each piece of chicken into the flour, then egg, then into the cornflake mix. Place each piece on the baking sheet.

Cook for 15-20 minutes. Take one stripper off the tray and cut in half, to make sure they are cooked all the way through.

Get some tomato sauce in a bowl ready for dipping! BBQ sauce is delicious too, or just a simple salad or fries!

Chicken Paprika Recipe

A tasty one pot dish, which is very rich and slightly smoky from the paprika. It’s delicious served with mash or rice – a swirl of sour cream does not go amiss either!



1 large chicken, jointed (or use large chicken legs, thighs and breasts, halved)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tbsp flour
½ pint chicken stock
3 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 red peppers, de-seeded and cut into ½ inch strips, or miniature peppers halved and deseeded
4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped, or whole baby cherry tomatoes
8 oz sour cream



Rub the chicken pieces with the salt. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan and brown the chicken all over for a few minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side.

To the same pan, add the onions and garlic and sweat for about five minutes. Add the sweet and hot paprika, then the flour, and stir until combined - take care not to burn it.

Add the stock and stir. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, adding a bit more stock if the mixtures seems too dry.

Add half of the chopped parsley and bring to the boil. Add the red pepper strips, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and simmer gently for about one hour.

When the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the sour cream and the remaining parsley. Check the seasoning and serve.

The Stitching Hour | Embroidery Mystery Series | Amanda Lee

The Stitching Hour

Product Description

Series:Embroidery Mystery (Book 9)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: NAL (November 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451473841
ISBN-13: 978-0451473844

Other Editions

Kindle Edition (What's Kindle?)

Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, is one year old this October so it’s time to party in little Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Aside from the Halloween decorations and festive stitching kits and patterns, Marcy’s got all sorts of celebratory swag, including Seven-Year Stitch key rings and goodie bags.

Unfortunately, her new neighbors might spoil the revelry. An eccentric couple has opened a haunted house next door, and all that screaming will certainly scare off customers. But there’s even more to be frightened of after a local waitress is found dead on the sidewalk with mysterious markings on her neck—and one of Marcy’s key rings beneath her. With no time to hem and haw, Marcy must act fast if she hopes to restore the peace to Tallulah Falls…

Spinach Stuffed Baguette Recipe

Another easy to make brunch or snack dish – the baguette can be a day old, or you can prepare up to cooking, one day in advance. A hot dish, but just as good on a summer day, served with a crisp salad.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes, or until set



1 baguette (approximately 18-20 inches)
8 oz baby spinach
8 oz thick cream
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced or crushed
Zest of 1½ lemons
2 tsp English mustard
3½ oz strong cheese or gruyere (makes it nice and gooey!)
Seasoning to taste



Heat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas mark 4.

Cut the baguette in half (across the width), and remove most of the soft breadcrumbs inside. You can keep these breadcrumbs in the freezer for use on another dish.

Blanch the spinach in piping hot water and drain thoroughly. Leave to cool.

Mix the cream, eggs, garlic, mustard and lemon zest together. Make sure the spinach is as dry as possible and chop finely before adding to the mixture. Mix in half the cheese and thoroughly combine.

Spoon the filling into each baguette ‘shell’, sprinkle over the last of the cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filling has ‘set’.

Serve with your choice of salad. If you have any mix left over, you can make mini crustless quiches in a muffin tin.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Parmesan and Pine Nuts Recipe

Some classic Italian ingredients make this a delightful supper dish. A bit of a ‘cheat’s’ version, but hey – does it matter! By all means make your own pasta if you have time, but fresh lasagne sheets will suffice.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes



4 sheets fresh lasagne
9 oz fresh baby spinach
9 oz tub ricotta cheese
2 small handfuls pine nuts
8 baby cherry tomatoes
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten



If the lasagne sheets seem a little tough, by all mean soak them in warm water for a few minutes, then drain.

Wilt half of the spinach leaves for 2 minutes with a little water in a covered pan. Drain thoroughly and finely chop.

Mix the spinach with the ricotta, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning. Put a dollop of the mix evenly on 2 of the lasagne sheets, (you should get 4 dollops per sheet). Use the beaten egg around the rim of the lasagne sheet, and place the other sheet on top of each of the spinach sheets. Stick down firmly.

Using a sharp knife or cutter, cut each parcel into 4 pieces, so that you have large ravioli. Set aside.

If you want toasted pine nuts, toast them now and set aside, otherwise just leave until the end.

In another pan, place a little olive oil and soften the cherry tomatoes. Drop in the remaining spinach, stir and let wilt a little so that both vegetables are slightly soft.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the ravioli for 4-5 minutes, until ‘al dente’. Drain and place on a plate.

Top with the spinach and tomato mix and scatter over the pine nuts and parmesan. Serve with crusty bread and salad.

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