Friday, 14 October 2016
Can you believe we are pretty much half way through October? I don't think I can, I feel as if it's snuck up on me and I'm not at all organised for Halloween. And no where near as organised as I thought I was for everything that comes after. I'd planned so many things to bakes and we had talked about doing so many things this month, but I think some may have to be put to the side now. We might have to go on a pumpkin hunt this weekend, maybe to the farm we got them from last year. What ever we end up doing, I'm hoping we can stop by Starbucks. A few days ago, someone told me to try a pumpkin spiced hot chocolate and I think it has to be done.
1. Halloween mini chocolate bars. I would love to say our fridge is full of them for them for that purpose, but at this point I'm seriously wondering if they'll make it until the end of the month.
2. Adding glitter to my nails because I'm feeling very festive
3. My new silver pleated skirt from Zara...it's beautiful.
4. 25% off at River Island when you buy Elle magazine...yes please!
5. Millie's cookies at home!! Yes, you heard me right. Iceland (the supermarket, not country) are selling boxes of frozen Millie's cookie dough for you to bake at home. My mum picked a box up for me earlier, and I'm yet to try them but I hope they're as good as the ones you buy from the counters.
6. Finding a tasty new place for breakfast in Edinburgh, Paul had the french toast with bacon...it was huge!
7. Cinnamon spiced hand wash from Bath and Body Works that we've been saving to use since April.
8. Picking out some Halloween bits form Lush, I will be back for more soon!
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
There's also something very American about them...or at least there is to me. When I think of blueberry muffins, pancakes or pie, I always think of America.
I've had this recipe for a long time, and we've tried it with different fruit over the years too. Blackberries and raspberries where good alternatives, and I think I'd quite like to give apple a go too while we still have some on the trees.
1/2 a cup of softened butter
1 1/4 cups of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 a cup of milk
2 cups of blueberries
For the topping:
1 teaspoon of oats
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.
-Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in your eggs one at a time until well mixed.
- Sift your flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder together to remove any lumps. Add this to your mixture a little at a time, alternating with the milk.
-Separate just under half of your blueberries into a bowl and start to crush them with a fork until they've all been burst. Mix them and your whole berries through your mixture.
-Start to fill your cases, and unlike cupcakes, when baking muffins you should fill your cases almost to the top -that always feels odd to me.
-When you've filled your twelve cases, mix together your three ingredients for the topping and sprinkle over the muffins just before they go in the oven.
-Bake for 30 minutes until lovely and brown, then leave to cool before eating. Unless like us, you just can't wait, and have to have some while they're still warm too...no judgement here!
They're also just as tasty without the topping, so if you aren't a fan of cinnamon or just don't want to add it, they'll still taste amazing!
Friday, 7 October 2016
This week has been full of food, or to be more precise...sweet food. A huge salted caramel cheesecake that was a test run for Christmas, a pumpkin pie mainly for my mum, and a pumpkin bread, like banana, but pumpkin. The pumpkin bread was a spur of the moment bake when I realised I had an extra tin of pumpkin, but it's such a good treat to have with tea, it'll definitely be made again before the seasons out. Paul and I are ending this week with a Friday out in Edinburgh, with lunch and a little shopping -and I'm hoping a pumpkin spiced latte (or two). Tomorrow we're having dinner with Paul's family, I've been told we're having Mexican food so that should be fun. Then on Sunday, I'm hoping we can pick up a few paint samples. What are your plans for the weekend?
1. Using up left over tea from Easter, Bluebird Co. honestly do the tastiest tea. I can't wait to get some more of their Christmas flavours this year.
2. How you can now really notice the drop in temperature when you leave the house, and how some nights you can even see your breath.
3. Mini Milky Ways straight from the fridge.
4. Cuddles on the sofa with a little dog who will steal as much of the throws as she possible can.
5. Paul's thoughtful nature, and the little things he does daily.
6. New piping nozzles.
7. Trying on new autumn boots and coats, there are so many to choose from just now!
8. Having a lovely catch up and walk around town with a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of weeks. It was lovely to have a proper catch up.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
I feel sometimes, as if I'm waiting all year for October to arrive. For there to be a chill in the air, for there to be leaves on the ground and for there to be spiced pumpkin flavoured food everywhere. To say I'm happy it's finally here would be an understatement. When we do finally make it into what is by far my favourite month of the year, it really does feel as if Autumn has arrived and that makes me so unbelievably happy. I was thinking about all the things I'd like to do this October and through the rest of autumn, so here is my Autumn to-do list!
- To have a picnic by the beach on a sunny but chilly day. With a basket of treats that include hot chocolate for warming up those cold fingers.
- To make spiced pumpkin cake...not just more pumpkin pies. Even though, lets be honest -there will be a few more of them in there too!
- Carve pumpkins with Paul, the designs seem to get more elaborate by the year, however this time round I want to stick with the classic pumpkin face!
- Make the most of those beautiful October days and explore new places and areas of cities we already love.
- Have a Halloween night full of my favourite non-scary films.
- Make a huge batch of chilli and cornbread, we haven't done that in ages and it's perfect for this time of year. You can find my recipe here.
-Have duvet and movie days when it's cold and raining outside.
- Host our very first Thanks Giving dinner. It's something we talk about doing each year but never do, so this time it's happening. Any must have recipe suggestions would be much appreciated!
- Go to a Bonfires night fireworks show and eat hot dogs and baked potatoes.
- Make dark sticky ginger cake.
What are you looking forward to this Autumn?
Friday, 30 September 2016
The weather today has been both beautiful, and at points intense! It's been one of those perfect days for walking around with a coffee, when its not too cold, but cold enough that you're happy you have something warm to hold. But then almost out of nowhere the darkest clouds and heaviest rain will come over, leaving you running for cover! What are your plans for the weekend? -I plan on making a huge cheesecake!
1. Finding a wood and marble (real marble) chopping board that looks as if it comes from Anthropologie, but actually comes from Sainsburys and was a fraction of the price!
2. Making apple pie with apples picked from our very own garden, you can see it here if you'd like.
3. Huge pumpkin spiced lattes with my favourite ever human.
4. Even though it's been raining quite a lot so everything's a little soggy and wet, I love seeing he leaves all over the ground. What I am looking forward to, is the crisp frosty weather so you can hear them crunch as you walk.
5. Finding pretty little details in the most random of places.
6. Playing with all the Halloween things that are popping up everywhere.
7. Buying our first Christmas decoration of the year, a very pretty star for the top of our tree.
8. The light in the evenings just now, it's beautiful.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016
I could have sworn I had -in fact more than once, but it would seem not. After racking my brain, multiple conversations and looking through old foodie (pre-blog) pictures it appears it's not something I've ever made! Crumble, apple cakes and cupcakes, mini apple pastry things, but no apple pie...until now!
We've had such a fantastic crop of apples this year that I really wanted to give it a go, and after reading through recipe after recipe online, I decided to go with one from Mary Berry. It's a basic traditional recipe so I added a few changes as I went, you can find the recipe I used here -and my changes below.
- the recipe says to use cornflour in the pie filling, I didn't have any corn flour left so I just used normal plain flour it seemed to work fine.
- it doesn't call for any spices, but I love cinnamon and all spice with apples so I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of all spice...it tasted just how I like it.
- the recipe simply says "sugar", I assumed this meant caster sugar but I used some demerara I had open in the cupboard. It doesn't give quite the same finish on the top of the pie, but tastes great with the apples.
It's such a great recipe, we had a slice each while it was still warm from the over with cold ice-cream...yum! I also had some left over pastry so made a few leaves and a little plait just for decoration. I will most definitely be making more with our bumper crop of tasty apples before the season over.
Monday, 26 September 2016
I don't mention nail products very often -not because I don't love them, because having very pretty painted nails makes me feel quite good. But because my nails can be so rubbish at times that I end up just not bothering with them. One of the issues I find with my nails, and why I think I find it hard to grow them is because they are quite thin. So when they're acting up and just not playing ball, I find the best thing I can do is try to protect them with a good coat of polish...leading me nicely to the reason for this post!
The Sally Hansen Gel Polishes are by no means new, but seeing as I wasn't bothering with my nails for such a long time I never got around to trying them. A good few weeks ago now I was in Boots, and I found one of the colours in the sale by the till. It was a pretty lilac shade, perfect for summer so new it wouldn't be a waste. A few days later I tried it on, it went on beautifully in one coat, I didn't add a topcoat, let it dry and that was that. After four or five days I noticed that it had lasted SO much better than other polish would normally on me, it had started to wear at the tips of my nails, but in comparison to other polish -which would have mostly come off, it was doing well. I was intrigued, so wen't back to Boots and picked up the set I have here which included the gel topcoat.
First of all I'd like to say that I have fallen in love with this colour, -it's called birthday suit, and I only bought this one because I didn't like the other options in the sets but it's such a pretty nude/pink shade. I think it would make a lovely wedding day polish.
I've now tried these polishes with and without a base coat (they suggest without), and that first time without the gel top coat. With the gel coat on top, I can go five or six days before I notice any wear on the tips of my nails, and at that point it's minimal. After eight or nine days I start to notice wear around my nail bed and that's when I feel as if I have to redo it, as it's lifting up and really not looking great. They claim to give you up to fourteens days of shine and wear, but for me I haven't managed to go that long. But for someone who can only usually go a day or two without chips, this is a huge improvement!
My only, and main issue with this product is the drying time...it takes forever!! I struggle to let my nails dry properly at the best of times so this is a major pain, and I'd suggest only painting them when you know you don't have to be anywhere soon. Even when they feel dry, and they are dry to touch, you can still smudge them beyond repair and have to repaint.
Even though I don't manage the full fourteen days, and even though they take forever to dry, I do love this product! The gel top coat is thicker than others I've used in the past, and it also dries very hard. It leaves my nails feeling protected and my thin little nails that can sometimes look quite sad, have actually had time to grow and get into a better condition. I know this isn't the intended use for this product, but it's one of the reasons I love it. Also, if you're like me and polish just doesn't last on you -for whatever reason, I'd recommend giving these a try.
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