I’m on a roll

I’m cooking on gas today people.¬†Figuratively speaking of course, we’re actually all electric in this house, bit of a bind during a power cut to be honest but now I’m just babbling!!

 

So, today I’ve made blueberry and cranberry muffins (recipe up soon), I’ve been liaising with the designer for the labels for the cosmetic company that my mum set up and I’m now on board with, we’re so close to getting everything launched in a huge way, I’m so so excited! Even our logo makes me smile! Thursday we go to see the web designer, eeeeeeeeek! Of course I’ll be sure to keep you all in the loop because, well, I guess a shameless plug never did anyone any harm, and I genuinely love what I do and think it’s nice to share with the world ūüôā and, WE CAN SHIP INTERNATIONAL BABAAAAY! ¬†We’re hoping to sort an Etsy shop out soon too. Whoop!

 

I’ve been hunting out cosy soup recipes too, you know the kind that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. My mum made me the most amazing green lentil soup yesterday, which was red oddly enough, and I’d finished it by the time she’d sat down for hers haha next time she makes it I’ll be sure to post the recipe for you, I know you’ll all love it as much as I did. I had the blended version because I can’t eat the skins on things but mum had hers chunky.

 

Well, there’s no stopping me today, I have some energy from somewhere and I need to get as much done as possible before I crash haha

 

XOXO

 

 

The best laid plans….

Well, you know how on the last post I mentioned a few ideas I’d had for dates through the year with my boyfriend, and top of the list was a night out at a Comedy Club. I thought this was a pretty cool idea and really unique, until last night. You know that moment when your heart sinks, or at least thinks, CRAP thank God I never booked it, well last night was one of those moments. There we were sat watching Live at the Apollo, laughing away, me thinking smugly that this would be a great date night when the boyfriend says ‘I’ve never fancied seeing anything like this live, it’d just be boring’. Yup. There it was. So my amazing and unique idea just got flushed down the drain like one of those spiders that doesn’t pay rent therefore has no right to be in your house let alone the bottom of your bath. Boooo.

 

So, whilst pondering over what food I want to start making when I feel better again and not like I’m swallowing a dozen tiny hedgehogs, on Pinterest of course, I came across a crockpot bbq beer chicken sandwich. This may just have to replace the date night OUT and become a date night IN. If nothing else it’ll be an experience for him having my cook because, well, I really can’t cook. Though last summer I made a nice stew (yes in summer, yes we nearly passed out from such a hot meal and yes I wish I’d made a salad but this is what happens when I have brainwaves and decide to cook.)

 

Here’s the link, now how amazing does that look and sound? I think I’ll make it April time when I get the kitchen to myself at home because mum’s away, it can be a¬†surprise¬†for him haha. Now I’m off to feed my addiction, AGAIN, for the rest of the night on Pinterest and plan dessert!

 

One date night out of 12 is a start right??

 

Ciao for now xoxo

Valentines Day

Now, even though I have a boyfriend, I do sometimes get the feeling Valentines Day is kind of a holiday created by Hallmark. And I do kinda think that why is this one day the only day you should be telling your other half how much you love them? THAT BEING SAID…who am I to pass up on any potential presents? And there is bound to be some food involved somewhere, I do love food (when I can swallow it that is!)

So, as a huge The Hills fan (pre LC departure, obvs) I follow LC on Twitter and her blog is pretty awesome, especially when it comes to gift ideas, even if you don’t go with exactly what she says because of country restrictions for example, its still inspiring.

One of her latest Valentine blogs contained a really unique idea that she had read about herself, via a blog……¬†http://www.laurenconrad.com/post/tuesday-ten-valentines-day-gift-ideas¬†and number 5 really caught my attention. SO, I’m currently trying to figure out whether this is a good idea for me, the whole 12 set dates thing, or rather my boyfriend, I think it’s quite unique. I may buy him some special cheesecake too and slap a ribbon around it, to show effort haha really though, he does love his cheesecake, it’s like a whole new¬†revelation¬†for him!

I’m pondering over ideas at the moment and have made a shortlist….

  • Comedy Store night out
  • Bowling Alley night
  • Summertime picnic (I really don’t do the cold weather)
  • Indoor picnic? (I do do central heating though!!)
  • Try a completely random new restaurant
  • Spend a night in York
  • Visit a vineyard
  • Sit and create a mini memory album
  • Ransom night (where I basically kidnap him and take him wherever I want to go that night, I like this one!)
  • Cookery workshop

And then there’s a few local days out. The thing is, we always say lets go out more but, we either hit the same old restaurants which I do love but, you do get a bit bored of the same old thing, or we end up sitting in watching tele because we’re both a bit skint!

So, on with the pondering……

 

Ciao for now xoxo

Box of Chocolates Chocolate Birthday Cake

Here it is folks, as promised, I’ve finally shifted my lazy ass and put the pics of my cake onto the laptop. I’m really really happy with how it turned out, it got the seal of approval from all our guests and got plenty of compliments. Just be aware, you need self control, the chocolates sitting on top are far too easily removed and eaten before you realise what’s happened (that’s not just me right?)

You will need:

3, 8inch Springform Cake Tins

Tin foil (just in case)

Greaseproof paper

Spatula

Food Mixer

Kebab sticks/Cocktail sticks

Sift

Large bowl

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake (2 layers)

3 Cups Plain Flour

2 Cups Castor Sugar

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (sifted)

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Oil (I used Sunflower but Vegetable would be fine)

1 1/3 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

Ingredients – Vanilla Cake

1 1/2 Cup Plain Flour

1 Cup Castor Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

1 Cup (250ml) Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup (4oz/100g) softened Butter

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients – Frosting

About 2 Cups (20 oz/500g) softened Butter (I used 2 Stork packets)

1/2 Cup sifted Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Icing Sugar

1/4 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

Now with the frosting, it’s all about taste, if you want more cocoa powder in then just adapt to how you’d like it.

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • Prepare your 3 cake tins. Line the base with greaseproof paper.

Chocolate Cake

  • Into a large bowl, sift your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Flour Mix

  • Into a large jug, pour your milk and cider vinegar and leave to sit for 5 mins.
  • Stir the milk mix as it will look curdled by now, it’s supposed to resemble buttermilk. Of course I guess you could buy buttermilk if you so wished.
  • Add in the oil, Camp/coffee and vanilla extract and mix very well again.
  • Pour your flour mix into the food mixer, begin to slowly beat and gradually pour in the milk mix.

I always use the beater attachment

  • When you have a well mixed batter, medium consistency (I messed up at first and the mix was very thick, but just keep adding milk until you have a pudding like consistency)
  • Evenly distribute the batter between 2 cake tins and pop in the oven for 30 mins.

All ready for the oven

  • After 30 mins turn the oven up to gas mark 6/200c for another 30 minutes. My oven was a little slow on this day and took a while to bake, if yours does the same don’t panic, cover with tin foil for 20 minutes or so, depending on how underbaked your cake is)
  • Wash up and get ready to start on the middle layer, the vanilla cake layer.

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • In your food mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Sift together your flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in a¬†separate¬†bowl.
  • In a jug, pour your milk, add the cider vinegar, leave for 5 minutes then stir.
  • Add your vanilla extract to the butter mix. Beat briefly until the vanilla is well mixed in.
  • Alternately, beginning with the flour mix, pour in your flour and milk mixes to the butter, eg, 1/3 of your flour mix, 1/2 of your milk, 1/3 flour mix, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mix.
  • Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Pour the whole mix into one cake tin and place in the oven for 25/30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Place your butter in the food mixer and beat until creamy.
  • Add your Camp/coffee.
  • Add half of your cocoa powder and beat.
  • Add your icing sugar gradually, if the mix gets thick, add your milk.
  • Add the rest of your cocoa powder until you have a fudgey frosting. It may look a lot but remember, you have a 3 layer cake to cover and fill.

Once your cakes have cooled, begin to assemble them onto a cake board. I misplaced my icing turntable, utter nightmare, the cake gets very heavy! Frost inbetween each layer, carefully assembling. Any excess, just spread it down the sides.

Assembled cake

Now, very very carefully, taking a sharp knife, cut out a ring on top of the cake. Luckily, on this occasion, I had a hump on top of my cake so cut that out.

The chocolates will sit in this hole

The cake scraps could freeze ready for cake pops, or you could just nibble at them all afternoon long so that by teatime you can’t face food (this happened!!)

I had a couple of cracks, as you can see just at the front, but you can cover this with your frosting if you’re careful with how you handle the cake. Once you have covered the whole cake, I would advise using some fondant to line the inside where the chocolate will sit. Spreading frosting inside that dip is no easy task, crumbs will come away and stick to your spoon/spatula but don’t fret. Fondant was my saviour on this day and covered up the mess in the middle, nobody had a clue….until now!

Finished product

 

Picture 2!

 

I hope I’ve explained everything clearly in this post, if not please just ask if you have any questions!! This cake feeds soooo many people but lasts about a week if you keep it in an airtight container.

 

Ciao for now

Xoxo

Box of chocolates birthday cake

Today was the day I finally decided what cake to make for Christmas eve! It’s mums fianc√©s birthday (hope I’ve used the correct spelling there haha he’s a man, just so ya know) and I thought it would be nice to do him a cake again, last year I did one which tasted great but….didn’t look the best, it was my first ever attempt at a cake. SO given that he’s an absolute chocolate addict, I thought I’d do a cake like a box of chocs ūüôā

20111220-152411.jpg

This is the cake that inspired me. I’m writing this from my iPod so the pic may need spinning around haha but you get the idea! I shall keep y’all posted.

Xoxo

Slipping into a food coma

Today I went out for a pre Christmas Christmas lunch with Le Familia ÓĀó

I have to say, the sight of snow this morning freaked me a bit, we need to restock on out tinned foods etc before we hibernate haha

Anyway, I feel a little like a feeble now after my Chicken Liver Pate on Melba toast, Roast Beef and lotsa veggies and a lush Apple Crumble! I am slowly drifting into a food coma, I am so beyond stuffed yet……I wonder what’s for tea?

I’m off to slip back into my comfies now before the Simpsons and X Factor!

Xoxo

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