Living in Spain and bringing up a Spanglish family during the current 'crisis' and trying various ways to make some 'dinero'. Enjoying life in the sun, crafting and blogging as much as possible.

27 Jul 2012

Argos Alien Cushion

I often get strange requests from friends and this is definitely one of them!. Have you seen the Argos Alien advert? 

This is the advert!

Well, a friend of mine's daughter is expecting a baby girl very soon - and it was mentioned on one of the scans she looked like the argos alien. This then got my friend thinking it would be nice to give her a gift with the Alien on! - not being able to source anything, she turned to me and we decided a cushion cover would be most appropriate! So this is an organic fleece cushion with a felt design of the Alien (but in pink for a girl!)

26 Jul 2012

Nice Suprise from Guest in B&B

Another happy guest left us today and she also left us this painting that she did during her stay - beautiful (shows the guest courtyard and entrance into the cave dining room)

"Thank you Sally for suce a great time. Slept like a top. Wonderful food. Booze Bar !!! Loved every minute. Gorgeous weather!!!! SYL"

Merging my shops

I did have 3 shops on Etsy but I have decided I am going to merge them all back into Dengra Designs only. I think all the crafts under one roof might help draw a few more sales when people can see all the others things I make too!!!

Lagrimas de Sirenas has already been moved into Dengra Designs and I am currently working on moving Vida by DD (however there are a lot of listings in this shop so might take some time!!!)

Fish and Chips - Spanish Style

Just a quick post - I had to write this! My spanish hubby decided he was going to cook English 'fish, chips and mushy peas' for the first time ever! I was really suprised with how yummy they were!!!

24 Jul 2012

Memory Wire Wrap Bracelets

I was going to wait until the end of August to list these as they are currently coming along with me to the Medieval Markets - however I felt I had to put them onto Etsy and sold one within 2 hours of listing it!.....trying to keep making more to keep up with demand!......some fabulous designs coming soon (when the beads arrive!)

They are all on Etsy

22 Jul 2012

El Capricho Summer Fayre

 Today has been a long day but enjoyable. I think there have been a few lessons learnt (i.e. never host one of these days in the summer! the Pabellón was so hot it was like being in a greenhouse). Lots of people attended the dog show and I am sure lots of money has been raised for the doggies of El Capricho (Infact I think they were on course to raise about 2k!).

I wasnt as busy as I had hoped on my new stall but at least it has got me prepared and ready for this summers medieval markets!

My new stall

Funky lollies

Here is one of my handpainted t-shirts being signed by all the people that were there!

Ali turned up with Nana towards the end of the day so he could have a little bounce on the 'jumpy jumpy'

20 Jul 2012

Craft Fair Sunday - BAZA

I will be here with a very full stall!!! on Sunday 22nd July at the Pabellón de ferias in Baza......see you there

14 Jul 2012

Capers and Caper Berries - Foraging!

We are lucky to have a couple of caper bushes on our land (they grow just randomly almost next to the road below us) so today we have been out foraging - we are a little late in the year to start .....we should have done this in June but we have been busy so today was the day. Ali and out set out with our little buckets and a BIG warning to Ali that there are nasty spiky thorns on these plants!

The pretty flower

A caper bud

A caper berry (I am not so keen on these)

The plant/bush

Ali with his enormous caper berry

I didnt realise (until I read the article below) that you can pick and pickle the leaves.......might give that a go one day too.

I can't wait to pickle our collection......we use them all the time in our fish dishes and I make homemade tartare sauce and they are delicious in it.

This article was sourced from 'Penniless Parenting' a fabulous blog! - click here

Homemade Pickled Capers, Caper Leaves, and Caper Berries

Foraged lacto-fermented capers
If you live in a warm dry place, you've probably seen these plants growing everywhere. Any place that looks too inhospitable for any plant to possibly grow, thats where you'll find these, whether you're talking about in the middle of a wall of pure rock or in dirt that hasn't seen any water in months. And they're stubborn little things- once this plant decides to set its roots somewhere, it digs them in long and deep, and you'll have no luck killing the plant, no matter how many attempts you make on its life.
What plant is this?
Capparis spinosa, the caper bush.

Caper bushes have been a source of food millenia- I know there are references to this plant as a food source even in the Bible! But how the first person who started using caper bushes as a food source ever got the idea is beyond me, as every single part of the plant tastes quite nasty when first picked off the bush and needs some preparation in order to make it palatable. (Probably the same person who discovered olives are edible, as they also taste vile straight off the tree.)

Speaking of every part of the plant... I don't know of another plant where so many different parts of the same plant are edible and are used for food! In capers, the roots are used medicinally (as well as many other parts of the plant), and the shoots, leaves, flower buds, and berries are all eaten as food. I have no experience eating the shoots or roots of the plant, but have prepared capers (the unopened flower buds), caper leaves, and caper berries (the fruit of the plant) to eat and its quite an experience, I have to tell you.

The foods taste like no other, with a smell like dirty feet, but they're a great addition to all sorts of Italian and Greek dishes, making them worthwhile to prepare at home if you can find a bush (or two or 10) in your area.

How do you identify caper plants?

Note where its growing! In a tiny crack between an asphalt sidewalk and a stone wall!
Well, they're a thorn bush, for one, so if you don't see thorns, its not a caper bush.
They usually sprawl everywhere, in many different directions, without any apparent rhyme or reason.
They've got round green leaves ranging in diameter from dime to half dollar size, and they're a bright green.

Quite often the stems are bright purple, but they also can be a muted maroon-sh brown.

The best way, really, to identify a caper bush is by the unopened flower buds along the stem or by their beautiful luscious flowers.

To find a caper bush, you'll want to look in the most unlikeliest of places, places where you're sure no life can grow. The ramparts of the castle of Santa Bárbaraare in Spain are one of the many absurd places that capers grow. But the best place to look for capers is in the same exact spot that you saw a bush the year before- because as I said above, no matter how many times you try to cut them down, capers won't die, and won't disappoint, for every year you can be rest assured that they'll be there, barring some miracle.

As usual with foraging, the most annoying weeds, especially thorny weeds, often make very good food. Capers are the perfect example of this. A prickly bush that you can't kill no matter how you try? Might as well put it to use in the kitchen, as I do thistle and nettles.

To pick and pickle your own capers, caper leaves, and caper berries, you'll want to first identify your caper plant.

Caper buds (capers) before pickling
Once doing that, decide what you want- do you want plain capers, the leaves, or the berries? (You won't usually find caper buds and berries at the same time on the same plant, as the buds open up to make the flowers, which then become fertilized to make the berries.) Bring a bag or container to hold each of these, and pick away, keeping the different types separate. Expect to get pricked one time or a million unless you use gardening gloves. (I prefer to work gloveless and have become somewhat adept at avoiding the thorns.) All sizes of caper buds and leaves are fine, but the bigger berries often don't taste as good.

Caper leaves in a jar before pickling.
If you dare, taste them now. They're vile. They're filled with mustard oil that you'll want to release in order to make them palatable. To do so, you'll want to soak them in plain water, changing it daily, for a week.
During this time, you'll see many changes happening to the leaves, berries, and buds. They'll go from a bright green (and sometimes purple) to a drab olive green, with lighter green splotches on their surface. At the same time, every time you come near the jars of your soaking caper parts, you'll catch a whiff of a disgusting odor, and that's good, because it means the bad stuff is getting released and isn't remaining in the food you want to eat. The water will also likely change color to a yellowish, greenish color, possibly with little white things floating on the surface. You want that to happen- it means things are working out right!

At the end of the week, when your plant matter has changed color and finished releasing most of its bad flavor, you'll want to pickle these.
A salty vinegary brine is the typical way to do this, but lacto-fermenting it in salt water also works great. (If you do want to do it vinegary, just mix salt, vinegar, and water to taste and pour it on to the caper parts.)
This time, I chose to make mine lacto-fermented, using approximately one tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. (This will be very salty, saltier than your standard lacto-fermented pickles, but you want it salty, as capers are supposed to have a salty taste.)
Keep your lacto-fermenting caper parts in a warm place for a few days, tasting them daily. When they have the right amount of tang and saltiness, put them in your fridge. They should last a long time, as a little bit goes a long way. Fortunately, capers don't spoil if prepared properly, so you can keep a batch made in the summer all year round, until capers are once again ready to be picked.

Foraged lacto-fermented capers
Capers have a taste that is extremely complex, and according to many, is an acquired taste. Its sharp, piquant, and quite strongly flavored.

Foraged lacto-fermented caper leaves

Caper leaves, in my opinion, taste somewhat like salty hardboiled eggs, but you'll have to try them yourself to see if my description is good or not. They're typically eaten together with fish.
Pickled caper berries
Caper berries taste rather like caper buds, with a slightly different taste.
And oh yea- one last final thing- capers grow only in the summer! I'm finding caper buds now in May on some local bushes, and these bushes will likely be continuing to have more buds and flower and eventually make berries all throughout the season until September or even later.

Note: Bugs LOVE capers! Be sure to check your caper buds or leaves for bug holes or other signs of infestation if you want to avoid eating little ants, etc... with your capers.

I realize that these plants only grow in warm places like where I live, but wanted to share my tips on how to make these for those people in the same general region and just to have the information out there because there is a severe lack of information on how to prepare these on Google.

13 Jul 2012

Happy With Tophatter

I am so glad I was pointed in the direction of Already I have made 73 sales and have a good 45 positive feedback. Yes there have been a few 'eeeek' moments when I have sold items for such ridiculous prices as no-one else bid and a couple of none payers and a couple of 'bad feedbacks.......which are now in the process of being resolved' AND I have been removed a few times for 1, breaching a listing rule (I didnt realise you couldn't use all CAPITALS in one word!!!) and 2. for listing under the wrong catergory (although I blame Tophatter for not guidelining exactly what was and what was not permitted......they have since corrected this) and 3 removed for something I can't even remember what now......but it annoyed me at the time.

Anyway I have now realised what sells best out of my items and what not to relist! and things are going really well.

So hanging on in there and 'growing' with them as Tophatter learns along the way too has been the best option for me......really happy with my sales on there........

Click here to find me on Tophatter (I only list as and when I am successful with the scheduling as I still dont like 'standby'!!!!)

12 Jul 2012

Cueva Pedro - Sunday Lunch Menu and Tuesday Evening Menu

  • A record 17 booked in for lunch this Sunday and 9 for an evening meal on Tuesday. Here are the menus:


    A glass of Cava and a tapa on arrival
    ... STARERS:
    Carrot and coriander soup
    Egg mayonnaise
    Mozarella, tomato and basil stack

    Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
    Roast chicken and stuffing
    Poached salmon with parsley sauce
    Veggie option: Spinach, feta and toasted pine nut pancake "cannelloni"

    Lemon curd sponge and custard
    Banoffee sundae
    Old fashioned rice pudding with spiced fruit compote

    Coffee and chocs.


    A glass of Cava and a tapa on arrival

    Spicy lamb bites with mint and yoghurt dip
    Grilled grapefruit
    Cream of celery soup

    Braised beef in Guinness with mustard mash
    Home made fish cakes with chips and mushy peas
    Lemon chicken casserole and rice

    Pear and ginger sponge and custard
    Individual Tiramisu
    Sticky chilli baked pineapple
    Coffee and chocs

Incy Wincy Art Club

My friend has just set up a fabulous blog - great for us parents looking for ways to entertain kids at the weekend!

Click here to see blog

Hello! Thank you SO much for coming to take a look at Incy Wincy Art Club! We’re all about keeping it
EASY and FUN, so great for the arty/crafty amongst you, and greater still for those of you who are completely UN arty but would love some simple ideas to keep you and your little ones occupied.

Here’s what it’s all about, and how it works:
  • There will be a new idea posted every friday so you have some inspiration for the weekend ahead.
  • Ideas will be EASY and accessible for every age and ability of toddler, pre-schooler (and parent)!
  • Cost/equipment will be as minimal as possible. Yes – we can all try to build amazing fantasy castles with 20 million boxes, glue guns, craft tiles, modelling equipment and a spare few days, but for most of us, life (and budget) get in the way.
  • Incy Wincy Art Club is your Art Club. Get involved! Whether it’s trying out an idea, leaving feedback, or posting/tweeting pictures of your efforts – we’d love to hear from you. Keep an eye out for linkys.

Our ethos is all about having fun and spending quality, creative time with your little spiders! The finished article may not always look that polished or pretty – it’s more about the journey together, allowing your child to express themselves and take pride in what they can create.
We believe Art is a great leveller. Whatever your childs abilities in other areas, everyone can have fun and get messy with paint! Yeah!

Cookie Monster T-shirt

Available in all sizes - will be on Etsy in August

New Trampoline

A few weeks ago we bought a new trampoline on eBay - we were hoping it would arrive in time for some friends and their little boys being out here so we could have a pool, trampoline and computer games evening! (whilst us adults enjoyed the odd beverage!). Unfortunately it took a lifetime to get to us, many unanswered emails to the seller and then a tracking number that showed that they had tried to deliver and no one was in to sign for collection so it was returned to the seller (when we had all been in!). Anyway eventually the courier managed to get it to us and I signed for it yesterday.

I thought it would be a good idea to crack on putting it up early in the morning (although when you see the pic of the thermometre - it is far from cool at 11am!!!)

The temp at 11am!

Oh dear all the parts and I have to work it all out!

This is where it will be going

getting there

metal too hot - need gloves

blister already!

Ah finally the other half decides to help (after I do the hardest part!)

safety net

I am such a geek


Trampoline and pool what more do you need!

I jumped in fully clothed I was SO hot

The little monster loves it!