Manomine


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I sometimes can’t help but wonder: when I was growing up, we had limited choices. Our town had 2 toy shops where most of mine & my friends toys came from. I was a little ‘mama’, with a few dolls and a pram as my biggest possessions. We had far less (I’m looking at the amount of toys we’ve accumulated for our 2 kids over the years and we’re still the ‘sensible’ parents…), appreciated definitely more and most of us were quite creative to compensate the lack of the ready made toys. I would have sold my little soul for the toys kids are so spoiled with in these days. Especially those toys that provide variety of usages… Handmade, brought to life.

I looked after my dolls for quite some time, playing good ‘mama’ to my babies, moving on to making clothes for them, house, furniture.  I then hoped to keep it all for my own girls I might have. I still look back and cherish the memories, my very few toys were such a true treasure. Although none of them survived to see this day ( thanks to an unfortunate event) I’m still looking for that longevity in the toys (or anything else) I buy and make.

Having kids provides us with another opportunity to engage in the wonderful world of play. To show and teach our dear offspring to learn, grow the imagination beyond the given purpose.

My brother’s family business MIELASIELA follows the same philosophy . They create simple, yet so beautiful timeless, natural wooden figures that, with care, will live to see the next generations. Simple they are, but imagine adding some paper/cardboard homes/stables, backgrounds, drawn or sewn play mats, accessories, stories or using these figures as a stacking game – one thing leads to so much more! More fun, for sure. For the whole family!

You can find full range here.

 

 

This boy, although all of the toys I make are special to me in their own ways, Bobs has a little bit bigger, personal meaning. He marks certain ‘new beginnings’. Good beginnings and I feel like passing him, along with the positivity he’s brought me, to somebody else…

Little bear stands at around 15.5cm or 6.1 inches tall, he needs a bit of an assistance with standing up on his own, but can sit, move his little arms and legs. Bobs has double jointed head, is shaded with oil paint, stuffed with polyester, some plastic pallets for the heavier weight and lots and lots of love!  This boy is not meant for the kids (due to small delicate parts and oil paint used)  and would rather be an adult’s companion… Bobs will go to the person who offers the highest bid by 28th March, 10pm UK time (time converter here). Use the comments below for your offers. Please, make a bid only if you’re ready to commit to pay the price you’re bidding, otherwise the item will go to the nearest highest bidder.

More photos of Bobs can be found here

Payment will have to be made within 12 hours after the auction is finished.

It will come carefully wrapped and sent (at no extra cost) as insured, signed for parcel.

Starting bid is £80, currency converter here.

Please note, due to monitor differences, subtle variations in photo colour  may vary.

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Raw mango cake

Raw mango/lemon/coconut milk cake

Simple, yet very delicious desert that takes 20min to prepare and is actually good for you!

Base

1 cup almonds
1 cup Medjool dates
¼ cup dried coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
pinch of  salt

Filling

1 cup soaked cashews  (I had to use almonds simply because I didn’t have cashews)
5 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice + 1 lemon zest
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup thick coconut milk
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
1 big ripe mango
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

In a food processor, mix all the ingredients for the base until it forms a nice dough. If you don’t have food processor, first grind the almonds  in a grain mill or coffee grinder. Melt the coconut oil,  blend the dates (I soak mine overnight) with 30ml extra water in a blender. A high powered blender would be best for this, but a hand blender or other type of blender should work well too if they are well soaked. Add a little extra water if necessary, not too much. Combine all of the ingredients to make a dough. Press the dough evenly into the base of a spring form pan. Place in freezer until solid.
In a high powered blender, process the almonds, coconut oil and milk, agave and chopped mango until it is creamy. Add lemon juice and zest. Mix it in.
Pour the filling into the base and place it in the freezer for a few hours. To serve, remove from freezer 20-30 minutes prior to eating.

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Best bread so far

No Knead Bread 

You will need:

3 cups of all-purpose flour (I used 1.5 cups plain, 1 cup wholemeal flour + half a cup of wheat germ) 
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rising yeast
1 1/4-1/2 teaspoons himalayan salt
1 1/2 cups cool water (I had to add a little bit more water as I used wholemeal flour in the recipe)

I added some ground pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds in to the dough and sprinkled some whole seeds on top (before baking).

In a large mixing bowl add 3 cups of flour. Add instant yeast.  If you do not have instant and you only have regular dry yeast, just proof the yeast before you use it by mixing the yeast with 1/4 cup warm water ( I also add a tiny dash of agave syrup to help the process).  Let it set for 5 minutes then mix the yeast in with the water.  Add salt.  If you only have table salt, you may want to reduce the amount of salt by 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon. If you’re using seeds, add them at this stage. Pour in water. Mix the dough together. Don’t over mix.

Cover the bowl & let the dough sit for 12-24 hours.

Heat your oven to 450 degrees F.  Once the oven has heated to 450 put your pot (it has to be cast iron or enamel one!) with the lid into the oven to preheat for 30 minutes. I use pizza stone, which is placed in the oven once I turn it on, so it gets nicely hot and keeps the high temperature for the bread once it goes in.

Now, get the sticky dough ready. Flour a surface. Gently form the sticky mass of dough into a round ball.  No kneading, just gentle forming. I use some olive oil to oil the pot and lightly dust it with the flour. Place your dough into the pot (if you’re not using pizza stone, then the pot should be in the oven at this point, so use a clean oiled bowl instead). Cover it and leave it for another 30 minutes before it goes into the oven.

After 30 minutes carefully place the dough into the preheated pot.  Place the lid and bake covered for 30 minutes.
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