Baking Fashion

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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Little Love Letters

Love-Letters

Happy Valentines Day!

Do you have plans today, are you celebrating?

We aren't big on Valentines day, it's nice and all, but we never do the fancy dinner out, or bother with cards and gifts. I'm just going to make a nice dinner tonight, something a little more interesting than the usual Thursday night dinner. Plus, it gives me a chance to use the heart shaped dishes in the cupboard, and make a unnecessary dessert. I'm thinking really gooey dessert brownies and extra thick cream.

After that, I think we'll just spend the evening on the sofa, watching a film or series on Netflix. So, if you're going out, staying in, spending it with someone, a bunch of people, or on your own...I hope you have a lovely time.

And just because it's the day dedicated to love, here are some little love letters from me...


Dear Giant New York mug...
I love you for your ridiculous size. I love that you remind me of one of my favourite places on earth, and the first time I ever got to visit. I love that a cup of tea made in you, can last twice as long so I don't have to move on cold days. I don't know what I'd do if you broke! Please never do.

Dear Working Boiler...
After spending three days without heating, I appreciate you so much more than you could know! It was so cold without you, and although it gave me the chance to live in cosy clothes and blankets...I'm glad you're working again.

Dear Loreal Mascara...
You are oh so special to me! On those mornings when I'm leaving the house still basically sleeping, you somehow manage to make me look alive and awake!

Dear Sun...
You have returned and it's glorious!! You're making it feel like spring and I'm here for it!

Dear Kurt Geiger Boots...
I've been in love with you for as long as I can remember, but you're currently out of my price range. Please go in the sale, I promise I'd wear you all the time!

Dear Sketchers Trainers...
While you are most definitely the most comfortable shoes I own, I'm just not wearing you enough right now. I'm sorry about that. I will start exercising again soon! It's just been cold outside, so I haven't felt like getting out as much.


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Monday, 11 February 2019

Ready for Valentines Day? Raspberry Sugar Cookies

Valentines-sugar-cookies
raspberry-sugar-cookies

I've said many times before on here, that Paul and I don't really do anything for Valentines Day.

We might end up cuddling up, watching a film, or making a nice dinner together, instead of just having the usual, but we don't buy gifts or do anything crazy just because it's February 14th.

However! I do always love an excuse to bake, and anything themed is always fun to do. So, bring on the ridiculous heart shaped, pink food stuff!

I have a cupboard in the kitchen that I like to keep stocked with essentials in case I feel like baking. Things like sugars, condensed milk, different chocolates, lots of flour...stuff like that. There are also a couple of bags of sprinkles and some candy canes left over from Christmas. I was having a clear out of this cupboard recently, just to make sure nothing was out of date, or anything that needed used up and I found that my freeze dried raspberries were reaching their best before date. Now, I know that doesn't mean they have to be used up right now, as they're freeze dried I'm sure they'll last forever. But! It was an excuse to bake something using them.

I had a little look online for inspiration, and I found a few people using them not just for the flavour, but for the colour too, and it gave me a great idea for Valentines day.

Of course, it had to be something heart shaped, so I went with sugar cookies. They are the tastiest little biscuits, and they always go down a treat with everyone. Instead of the usual royal icing, I thought cream cheese frosting would be a nice change. Cream cheese frosting and raspberries is one of my favourite combinations, and it does not disappoint in the recipe either!

heart-shaped-sugar-cookies
raspberry-cream-cheese-frosting
raspberry-heart-sugar-cookies

I stuck with my old faithful cookie recipe, you can find it here, here and here! 

For the frosting...

Ingredients:
75g of room temperature butter
125g of room temperature cream cheese
425g of icing sugar
4 table spoons of freeze dried raspberries (crushed into powder)

- whisk the butter until pale and fluffy, add in the cream cheese and continue to mix until combined.

- slowly add in the icing sugar and keep mixing until it is all incorporated and you have a smooth icing.

- separate in to four separate bowls, and add as much or as little raspberry powder as you like.

- spread the cream cheese frosting on your cookies, and enjoy!

I cannot explain how good these are! Freeze dried raspberries give you such strong flavour, a flavour you just wouldn't get from fresh, and it's a great balance with the sweet cream cheese frosting.

If you give these a go, let me know what you think of them...I'm away to have another!

raspberry-heart-sugar-cookies


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Monday, 28 January 2019

Hello There...

Chatty-Post

Well, this feels odd. I feel almost like an impostor, being somewhere I most certainly don't belong. It's been a while, hasn't it? (understatement of the century).

I wanted to get back into the swing of things by having a little chat - so, how have you been?

January's been a tough one for me this year. I mean, nowhere near as bad as it is for some, but much more difficult than I've experienced before. I like to keep things happy and positive, and that's because I really am that sort of person. There's nothing that can't be sorted, there isn't a mountain that we can't climb, and even when the the to-do list is longer than your arm and leg...I always think you find a way. But this month, I seemed to lose my spark a little.

I know we're coming to the end of it now - thank god!!, but I thought I can't pick up this blogging thing again without speaking on it.

January as a month, has the reputation of being a little bit rubbish in general. Cold, dark, no money from Christmas and New Year. So the usual stuff, but this year there was more getting to me. I think it comes down to a few things. First of all, and probably the biggest one of all, was the wedding. Or more so, the fact that it was over. Paul and I had the most crazy, wild, mad, dream like year in 2018. We were so busy planning, organising the trip and the wedding, and making the most of all the appointments we had. We really enjoyed every last second, knowing that it's not something we'll ever do again. We didn't find it stressful, it was just all so much fun! Then came the trip, the wedding, the being there with the people we love most in this world, spending 10 days walking around New York. Spending a whole day running around in a wedding dress, in a vintage cab, having photos taken, it still feels crazy to think it even happened at all.

Then we came home, and we had a weekend of plans. We had Bon Fires night, we had a few days out, we then had a party to celebrate with everyone, then Paul's birthday at the start of December, and then it was Christmas. There was no lull, no drop in excitement. There wasn't a chance to sit and feel like "oh, it's over now". That didn't come until January. Also, at the same time, my polaroid project ended. A whole year of taking an Instax picture a day had come to an end. It kind of felt like everything was ending, all at the same time. Leading to that feeling of "now there's nothing".

I understand that could come across to some as  little dramatic, it's not meant to be. I simply mean that there was so much going on, and then -all of a sudden, there wasn't. It all stopped, and as we spent so much money last year, we knew this year was going to be quieter. Saving had to happen, so there's nothing big planned for 2019. So without anything to look forward to, and with those things getting to me, I just found it had to pick my mood up again.

So all of that, topped off with the fact that I haven't posted here in months, well...it left me feeling really rubbish!

Basically, I've just found it hard to feel motivated or inspired this January, and I've been working had to change that because it's not a great feeling.

However, we're coming to the end of it now and I'm feeling much more like myself again. I'm excited for the year, I'm looking forward to things we have planned. Smaller things, like dinners with friends, birthday's...the slightly warmer weather. All those good things. And being back here! It's an odd thing, but I've been tapping away my thoughts, recipes and anything else, here for so long, that I miss it when I stop.

One other thing before I go. We live in a world where speaking this way can be seen as moaning. Where expressing how you feel can be seen as moaning. I'm not moaning. I love my life, I love and appreciate everything Paul and I have, and all that we've been able to do. But I think it's important to remember, that no matter how good and wonderful everything is, you can always feel a little down. Isn't it better to talk about these things that let them grow and get worse? Of course it is.

Happy Monday!!!

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Apple Pecan Blondies

apple-pecan-blondies
apple-pecan-blondies
apple-pecan-blondies

Since moving into this house, we've had to come up with new and fun ways to use up all the apples we get from the garden. We do give a lot away, Paul's mum makes a lot of chutneys for Christmas time, and my gran likes to cook them down and keep them in the freezer for when she wants them. We also make apple pie, apple crumble, and cook some down for apple sauce, but it's nice to try new things with them too. This recipe has turned out to be a huge success, now that I've got it right...although, I don't think anyone was complaining about the test batches.

I love the combination of apples and pecans, they're such a good match, and with a tasty cinnamon blondie mix, it's just the best thing for right now, on chilly autumn days! They keep well too, as the apples give quite a lot of moisture, they don't dry out quickly. They will be fine for 7 days, kept covered in the fridge.

apple-pecan-blondies
apple-pecan-blondies
apple-pecan-blondies

Ingredients:

120g melted butter
100g caster sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2  teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
180g plain flour
50g chopped pecans
2 small/medium apples, cut into small chunks

Method:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line a 8/9 inch square brownie tin.

- Peel and chop the apples and set to one side, it doesn't matter if they start to brown.

- In a large bowl, mix the caster sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the melted butter, a little at a time, mixing as you add, until you have a pale smooth mixture.

- Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a separate bowl. Add a tablespoon of this mix to the chopped apples and coat well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

- Mix this well, and then add in the apples and flour, and fold them through.

- Pour this mixture into your prepared tin and flatten with a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes.

- Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, and then transfer to a wrack or board to cool completely. The apples give a lot of moisture so you don't want to leave them in the tin for too long.

These are also amazing with vanilla ice-cream while they're still warm! So if you just can't wait, dig straight in.

apple-pecan-blondies



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Monday, 22 October 2018

The Polaroid Project Update #3

The-Polaroid-Project-Update-#3
The-Polaroid-Project-Update-#3
The-Polaroid-Project-Update-#3

This little project has been one of the best things I've ever done! I knew I'd enjoy doing it, but it's become such a fun part of each day, that I honestly feel sad at the thought of not carrying on. I have had a few people say "why don't you carry on then?". I did think about it, because it's become part of my everyday, but a) that would be a very expensive habit to keep up permanently, and b) it makes this year less special in a way. I thought about doing it this year because of the wedding, and the build up, so I'm unsure. I still have just over three months left to make up my mind. 

Today, we're flying to New York...for the wedding!! These are the pictures I've been most excited about. I knew at the beginning, that I'd be taking to camera and carrying on the one-a-day pictures while we're there, and I've even had a few of them planned. I imagine I'll take others too, with the polaroid and other cameras, I'm jut hoping I don't forget with everything that's going on. 

I'm still 100% happy, that I chose to go with date and number. You wouldn't believe the amount of times we've been stuck as to what we were doing, and I've been able to look back and see. It's also been fun changing the colours with the seasons. At the moment, it's all orange and yellow, with a little bit of brown. I'm looking forward to the reds and greens that Christmas will bring though. 

So, today is day ???. That's how many days have passed, how many pictures have been taken. Yet still, it doesn't seem possible to look at it. It doesn't seem that most of a year has gone...but it has, and I have snap for everyday! 

The-Polaroid-Project-Update-#3

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Friday, 19 October 2018

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week
(see you soon, New York!)

Oh. My. God. It's here. It's the weekend before we leave and I am feeling very anxious. I'm obviously exited, but I get anxious when we leave to go anywhere. You know, in case I've forgotten something, in case I didn't do something important...but I'm sure it'll all be fine! I'm trying to make sure this weekend is nice and relaxing. We have everything we need (I think!), and we have all the bits and pieces you usually take on holiday. So after a couple of manic weeks of running around and appointments, it'll be nice to end them with a couple of calm relaxing days. I'll be fine when we get to the airport, there's nothing you can do at that point. If you've forgot it...you accept it, or buy another. That's it. So, apart from giving the house a tidy up, we're done, and next we'll be married!!

1. Showing my Auntie and little cousin my dress, they loved it, and we stopped at a cafe for a little cake and coffee.

2. Being spoiled by friends and family at the moment. Everyone is being so kind and generous, it's really very sweet.

3. My little fluff! She makes me so very happy, I'm going to miss her so much while we're away.

4. White chocolate covered hazelnuts, from Aldi. They're very good!

5. My new shampoo. It's the one my now hairdresser uses on me, and it's 96% natural. My hair feels so clean and soft, and it doesn't leave a build up like most others.

6. Picking Paul's brother and his girlfriend up from the airport. They've just returned from New York! They had a great time, although said it was quite cold!

7. The wardrobe I've planned for New York. I'm so pleased with it!! However, if it's that cold, I may have to rethink some of it.

8. The low sun as we walk around Edinburgh. Coffee in hand.
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Monday, 15 October 2018

Wedding Gifts

wedding-gifts
wedding-gifts
wedding-gifts

I've had to wait until now to share this post, just in case it ruined the surprise for anyone. We wanted to give the friends and family joining us, little gifts, but didn't want to go down the road of the more traditional jewellery, or ...actually, I don't know what other traditional gifts would be.

Anyway, as this is a trip to New York as well as a wedding, we thought the best gift we could give, would be something to help capture all the memories that'll hopefully be made. We came up with the idea for gift boxes, containing a few little things, and kind of sticking to a theme. We found really lovely craft paper photo albums in Paperchase, and then we had the idea to get disposable cameras! When was the last time you used one of them?! We haven't, in a loooong time, so we have one each too! After that, the boxes came together quite easily.

wedding-gifts
wedding-gifts

The boxes include...

a photo album
a disposable camera
photo corners
New York scrap book stickers x2
a Pritt Stick
black Sharpies
metallic Sharpies
tea and coffee
chocolate
Compeed
tissues

The last few things aren't obviously to do with the photo albums, but we thought fun little additions because of the trip we're taking. Tissues, of course, for if there are any tears at the wedding, Compeed, because there is a lot of walking in New York! The chocolate is a treat for the flight over, or to keep in the hotel room, and the tea and coffee, is just because, who doesn't love a cup of tea after a long day. Doesn't matter where I am, I always love a cup of tea! Although, saying that, I do go a little coffee mad in NYC. One of our friends specifically, he's been to New York before, and was going crazy without his Tetley in the morning, so hopefully he'll be pleased.

We chose boxes that match the albums, again from Paperchase, black tissue paper to match the inside of the boxes, and most excitingly of all...I got to use my label maker! There just aren't enough opportunities in life to play with that thing.

They were really fun to put together, i'm really glad we chose to do them. Now, all we have to do, is give them out tonight. Fingers crossed everyone likes them!

wedding-gifts

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