NPME

Christmas.2018

posted by Natalie Paddick

This Christmas .. I just wanted to do something different, something that was in keeping with the environmental feelings of not creating more waste ... All round it has been a different kind of year.. So on a walk with my husband we came across a 9ft Ash branch in the undergrowth around the moat at the beautiful Wells Cathedral. It was naturally a bit wet and covered in lichen and bald! So my husband retrieved it and brought it home. Normally we have a 7ft chunky Spruce, which is beautiful, traditional and takes over a lot of space but has enough branches to house most of our now large collection of decorations...

So time for change ... First issue to find a container to work with the skeletal dancing limbs of the tree. A good old 'rootle' around the cupboards and a perfect solution an old terracotta bread bin... Filled with off white gravel, which cost £3.29, which we will repatriate to the garden come the New Year ... No waste there... It also secures the tree beautifully in place.... 


I chose decorations from Christmas box, ones that I thought would work with the design on these bare branches, but it needed a splash of colour... So a ball of red wool threaded through red, silver and black baubles and tied with a bow added to the design with a scattering of decorations taken from our large box of goodies. The wool cost £2.50. 

The delightful effect was finished off with the feel of festive icicles created from a beaded strings that I usually use to create shaped loops on our Spruce... Overall cost of our Christmas tree £5.79. Not bad!

What fun in the hallway... I am a habitual reader of glossy magazines, so with the aid of my trusty guillotine and a bit of tape I quickly made an enormous Christmas paper chain ... You can choose your colours to match your design ... I like the dramatic ... Sort of Versace look against the white background ... And look at those shadows .... Such a good look...

 

So all in all a simple designs for pennies ... I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year ... x 


 

 


JunePhotographyPreservedLemons

posted by Natalie Paddick

I just fancied doing something that took my fancy …. ! As one does!


I am working on a project for a sitting room which requires some full on colours on the walls in picture blocks….To offset the more sober stylised colours which is the backdrop to this room which is housed in an old building. This project is based on gentleman’s club/lounge … Bit of a mix I agree, but I am always up for a challenge…If nothing else! I will post the pictures of the room once it is finished…It is all quite exciting!

So spurred on by this form of thinking… Today’s blog is also a bit of a mix…


As this is an eclectic post, I am combining the photography idea’s with a cooking idea for the weekend.. I hear the weather is going to be good! I happened to be chatting food with a twitter friend in Turkey… And he got me thinking … Back to my time in Turkey…

I love food and I love cooking as you will know if you follow my blogs … And I like easy fun cooking in the summer… So I have combined bright photographs for my interior look with my recipe for preserving lemons, just to add a bit of colour to the blog! You can’t say that I am not multi-thinking!

Preserve Lemons are fabulous and can be used in so many recipes from all nations. If you have never used them you should, they really give a ‘vroom’ to a recipe particularly a spicy one!

Here is how you make it …. You only need about ten minutes…

Ingredients:

3/4 Lemons [not waxed] plus extra lemons for the juice

5 – 6 heaped teaspoons of salt [sea salt or Kosher]

Plus extra lemon juice for topping up the jar with fluid. [You can also use a bit of cooled boiled water to top the jar up so that the lemons are always covered]

 

Method

1. Trim ‘nubs’ [ends] off both ends of the lemon

2. Quarter the lemons ¾ of the way through the lemon leaving one end attached to the 4 quarters

3. Heap a teaspoon of salt into your pint jar… [Other sizes are available but you will have to adjust the recipe accordingly]

4. Put a teaspoon of salt into the lemon and pop it into the jar and then another teaspoon of salt on top of the upturned lemon. And repeat the process with the other lemons

5. Fill the jar with lemon juice and top up with cooled boiled water where necessary, making sure that the lemons are completely submerged

6. Keep the jar at room temperature for 3 days upturning the jar every time you pass…

7. After 3 days put the jar in the fridge for the next 3-4 weeks taking it out from time to time for a bit of a jiggery shake … After that you are good to go ….

Right off to do some more photography … I might try and mix some black & white car pictures into the gentlemen style interior design club..too.. What do you think? So you are thinking what recipe you would use this with… Any! But in homage to my twitter friend in Turkey … How about a bit of easy cook Turkish Style Chicken??

 

Come on it is summer … So who cares about measures.. Make it free hand …

Chicken – Legs or thighs

Olive Oil

Onion & Garlic

Preserved Lemon

Anchovies

Olives

Chilli

Herbs

Seasoning to taste…

Cook on the hob or in the oven ….

Tip: Make sure you brown the skin of the chicken and cook it skin side up!

Sides

Bean, tomato & onion salad topped with a soft cooked egg..

Pan fried potatoes, sprinkled with salt & smoked paprika

What about a bit of Turkish Lavas bread.. If you don’t fancy making that then a good flat bread to mop up the juices … Delicious …




Flourless Chocolate Cake

posted by Natalie Paddick

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I am not into cake or chocolate really for that matter... I know … I know… I am a freak of female nature! When I was a child my mother would have made for me the most amazing cakes for my birthdays in a desperate attempt to normalise me into being a standardised female, in her eyes. My mother the ‘Super Model’ loves a cake .. She is one of those breeds of women who can eat any amount of cake without it having any effect on her waistline whatsoever..

….The cakes she had made for me, before it was even fashionable to have cakes made into items/objects that do not resemble cakes at all … I had cakes made in all styles, one was in the shape of pond with frogs seated around the edge, playing musical instruments. This was when I was going through my frog spawn phase; like all children I was fascinated by the change of squidgy, sticky mases of clear baubles containing a tiny black dot that relatively quickly transformed & grew tails & limbs & heads & then jumps out of their containers, springing around our garage attaching themselves to dust in their journey to escape their confinement from me. I loved the cake, but I never wanted to eat it! On another occasion in a determined effort by my mother to bring out a ‘sweet tooth’ in me she had a Hansel & Gretel cake in the shape of the witches house, it was quite beautiful, the roof was covered in smarties held in place with icing sugar, the little house had decorated marzipan panels all around the edge of the chocolate building. Icing sugar icicles hung from the edge of the roof & beautiful handmade summer flowers decorating the garden, all in full bloom …. Yes it was not lost on me that this cake had an issue with its seasons … But it was quite a masterpiece…. Did I eat it? …. ‘No’ … I ate some of the smarties off the roof & took the cake to school, to share the main body of the masterpiece with my school mates …. And many happy teachers….

So despite all my mother’s best efforts … To turn me to the ‘sweet side’ …. It never worked …. I say …. ‘Let me eat cheese!’ …. However I have always loved to make cakes, it was just the need to find someone to eat them for me … I forced these cakes on my friends, boyfriends, the gardeners at my childhood home and the window cleaner, who was extremely partial to a cake and would most often leave the house after polishing the windows, with a sizable chunk of cake for his family wrapped in tin foil for a safe journey home. My mother started to change her view of me … If I could not eat cake .. Then maybe I could make cake .. Best of a bad job … & I can make cake! …

Understandably my husband on the grounds of health and safety, his health and safety, was reluctant to consume entire cakes just as a means to keep his cake cooking wife happy. So I looked for other avenues to consume my passion for cake making… My sister-in-law and niece were always eager to comply, so there was a bonus! When we had our daughter and subsequently two sons, they all had the ability to eat cake, which was a great relief for my mother & me … I would make the most elaborate cakes … Quite ridiculous really … But the children enjoyed the spectacle … Now I am lazy [cake wise] … I just like to make ‘easy’ cakes and this recipe is one I often like to make..

Obviously this flourless cake is ideal for people who love cake but are intolerant to gluten, it is also very much a cake that can be enjoyed by all, that is the beauty of it … I like to make it with dark chocolate [70% solids], however, when we have had an excess of Easter milk chocolate eggs in the past & I became fed up with the children attaching themselves to the ceiling on another sugar high. I would use [steal] the left over chocolate from their eggs to make this cake. Obviously this is not an ideal ingredient for an adult cake, but you can freeze it and bring it out for a children’s/family gathering. [Just be careful how you defrost it].

This cake lends itself for all occasions and seasons, if I want it to look posh over autumn, winter gathering … I hide the natural cracking on the surface of this cake behind some skilfully piped design made from ganache mixed with a bit of icing sugar to make it stiff and take on the shaping of the piping…. In the summer, spring I serve it either just dusted with chocolate powder and cream or adollop of silky ganache over the top allowing it to spill over the edge of the cake in a decadent way & serve it with vanilla ice cream …. Beautiful ….

So the recipe I hear you cry …. Which is taken and slightly adapted by me, as we all do with our favourite foods, to suit our family’s tastes. This recipe is taken from Amy Willcock’s Aga Baking. [Don’t panic you do not need an Aga – it cooks just as well in a conventional oven too!]

Serves 8-10 [I also make this cake in half the size too]

I use a spring bottom tin 22cm 8.5”

Pre-heated oven 180*c / 350*f / gas4

350g good quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

175g unsalted butter .. I use whatever I have [don’t panic if you only have salted butter]

6 eggs

235g golden caster sugar [I sometimes use just caster sugar – I am beginning to think I a bit of a cooking slut!]

1. Grease tin.

2. Melt the chocolate & butter together.

3. Whisk the eggs into a frenzy – So they become fluffy & pale.

4. AGA – Roasting oven – 20 minutes, turning the cake half way through cooking. Then transfer into the simmering oven for another 20 minutes. Check the consistency of the cake with a skewer, when you poke the cake some of the cake should come away with the skewer, unlike a ‘normal’ cake! Cool completely in the tin..

5. Conventional Oven – Bake in a bain marie for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven & leave in the oven with the door ajar. Remove from the oven, remove the cake from the bain marie and let it cool in the tin ….

All I can say is ….. Enjoy ….. I know you will …..

Let me know what you think …..

 

 




SpeedofSoundTshirt

posted by Natalie Paddick

NP/ME Style collaboration with

The Speed of Sound …

The making of affordable Art 


If you follow the NP/ME Style blogs you will know that my mates at The Speed of Sound and we have worked together before … We created art back drops for two of their songs, checkout .. Checkered Land, January 2014 and Shut All The Clubs, February 2016. 

Asked by The Speed of Sound if they could use this shot, we had edited for their song video.…. For a promotional T-Shirt …. Obviously the answer was “YES”…. what a compliment … A new string to our bow … 

Here are some fun shots of the T-Shirt, which you can purchase from The Speed of Sound for £15.00. [It is great quality] .. I have one … 


So if you see a picture on the NP/ME site or on my twitter feed @NNpme that you like or you would like me to take a picture specially for you let us know …. 

These are the links to The Speed of Sound site:-

https://thespeedofsound.bandcamp.com/                                             http://thespeedofsounduk.com/



Easter2016.LookBook

posted by Natalie Paddick

The Egg Game

Warning … This can provoke mass hysteria …

[You have been warned!! Tears have been known!]

The Origin of the Game

When I was young my parents made friends with a German couple and their children on a Holiday to San Sebastian … [Which incidentally I won in a raffle at my school, the two week holiday that is!] My ‘father’ who has a penchant for collecting people he thinks he can impress and influence, took a liking to this German family. Thus they were incorporated into his collection of miss-fits … Not because they were not nice they were .. But they just did not fit with him! Anyway I digress.. One Easter the German friends and their two children were billeted to Dutch Garden our family home in order to entertain my ‘father’..

They arrived to stay one Easter bringing very many generous gifts for all … One of which was a packet of thin papers in an envelope decorated with pretty shiny Easter eggs… It turned out that decorated real hard boiled eggs at Easter was a tradition for them. I was hooked from the off you dropped these pieces of paper in with the boiling eggs and they would turn the boiled eggs into the brightest full-on colours, which we shined, (back then), with bacon rashers.

 

I loved the look of them and they sat pride of place on the table until Easter Sunday came… Then we were introduced to the egg game … Which was basically to smash the eggs to see which egg remained intact at the end of the game … I know I am easily pleased! A simple person that’s me … Not!!

 

Over the years that followed I have played this game every single Easter .. However I have developed the game to make more sense for us …. This is how it works!

 

The Rules

The aim of the game is the last person standing with an intact egg is the winner … (Intact means that one side can be cracked, so long as that egg has cracked both ends of all the other eggs.)

 

1. Hard Boiled Eggs are essential, at least 3 per person .. More if you like! (We have about 6 each!)

 

2. Decoration of the eggs … See notes …

 

3. Everyone chooses just 1 egg each at the start of the game. The rest remain in the bowl until needed.

 

4. A coin is flipped to see who goes first then all persons taking part stand in a circle.

 

5. The person who has won the toss, turns to the person on their right. Both hold an egg each, pointy end of the egg out.

 

6. The winner of the toss, has first hit of the other person’s egg. Just one hit at a time!... If the hitter cracks the other egg, (pointy end). The egg that is cracked has to be tuned to blunt side of the egg. The person that has cracked the other persons egg gets to hit their egg again.  (So the second hit can be pointy to blunt end or any combination). Whichever egg has annihilated the opponent’s egg. (Both ends of one egg cracked). The winner moves onto the next person. The person that has lost this round chooses another egg, and waits their turn as the egg games goes around the circle of players.

  … Are you following?  The new opponent must use his pointy end first …

 

7. You follow this procedure until you have a winning egg .. Even if that egg has one end broken .. But has destroyed all other eggs at both ends ..

 

Okay it is a bit mad! But it is very funny and strangely competitive … For those of you that are going to complain that it is a waste of eggs .. Use the broken eggs to make egg mayonnaise sandwiches which you can enjoy later with your ‘High Tea!! …

 

Some Tips …

When my children were young they loved to decorate the eggs .. They used to drop them and crack them before we even started the game, so a good way for small children to decorate them is once boiled to put them back into the egg carton and get the children to stick transfers and stickers on the eggs. Then once they have done one side you can turn the eggs so they can be decorated on the other side.

 

Without the special egg colouring papers provided by the German friends. You can colour hard boiled eggs by using food colouring and vinegar with boiling water. If you want to be really arty-farty then you can decorated them in all manner of ways, we like to draw faces on them and personalise them…

 

The winner gets …

Well when the children were younger it used to be a chocolate egg as a prize to add to all of the other bits of chocolate they already had. Now they are all teenagers.. It is money!

 

So there you go …. The Paddick Family Egg game ….. Enjoy … 


LookBookSpeedofSound

posted by Natalie Paddick

 
What Fun For a New Year ...
..... The Speed of Sound ....
Are to use some of my Pictures for their new Video ..
{to be released later this month .. I will keep you briefed}
 
Here is a quick peek of two of the stills;
{Also included are some of the originals}:-


John Armstrong - Guitars/Vocals
Kevin Roache – Bass 
 & (since October 2014) eighteen year old Owen Deane on Drums. 
 
Some background information:-
Speed of Sound have been ‘lurking’ in Manchester’s underground scene since 1989.
They have been described as:-
****“a cool mix of punk and The Byrds 5th Dimension LP” 
         by Berlin based counter-culture DJ Lord Litter
 
****“a merger between Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed”
         by MusicVsTheWorld blog; 
 
The Speed of Sound’s music is a brand of original independent music, unfettered and unchained by mainstream music industry trends. 

Their song Checkered Land (inspired by Alice Through The Looking Glass)
was on their 1989 EP and is a live favourite, the band picked it as the next video and rerecorded it with the new line-up.
The audio will be released as a download after the video is completed..... I am officially so excited .....
 
Asked how the band can enjoy playing songs older than some of their audience John said;
"A lot of modern popular music is choreographed to death, but we like to keep things fresh with a bit of improvisation,
the songs evolve all the time, especially when the line-up changes and live performance brings that out, it keeps the creative process going.”

On the video itself, John said “We’ve used some of the John T

enniel illustrations too, 
but I was really excited by Natalie’s photographs crossing Alice with Alex from A Clockwork Orange,
it just sparked as some ideas do and it was great when she agreed to us using them in the video."
 
Two CD albums and a 7” double-A-side-single are already available, while their third album (featuring all new songs)
has passed the demo stage and will be recorded during 2015.

The Speed Of Sound are on Bandcamp, iTunes, CDbaby, Spotify, Amazon, Reverberation, Soundcloud, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook... etc  




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