Baking Fashion

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

There are a fare few things happening at the moment that I can't say I'm completely happy about, and one that I'm really rather disappointed by. However, this series is to recap the happy little things from the week, the small things in life that make you smile, so lets get onto them instead, shall we? This weekend is my birthday weekend and I'm so excited about it all! I can't wait to show you my cake...I'm really very pleased with how it turned out, Paul had dubbed it "The Unicorn Cake"...you'll soon see why. I've also been told that tomorrow will start with breakfast in bed, and as you can imagine, I'm quite pleased with that.

1. The kindness of strangers. A local car park that we use quite regularly had put its prices up by 10p and we had no idea before turning up. After fumbling around the car trying to find change, a lovely lady over heard us laughing about it, and gave us the 10p we needed.

2. How excited Paul's been all week to give me my birthday presents this weekend.

3. Catching up with my best friend, we've kept on missing each other lately so it was lovely finally get to spend some time together.

4. Going in to The Body Shop to pick up a moisturiser, and leaving with a few sale bargains. That somehow didn't cost all that much more than the moisturiser I went in for.

5. Starbucks dark roast, especially perfect when you have an early morning and you've had not nearly enough sleep.

6. The most beautiful white peonies that were an early birthday gift from Paul.

7. Winning a pair of tickets to the Absolutely Fabulous premier next week.

8. Penguin biscuits and tea, absolute perfection when you suck the tea through the penguin. If you've never done it I suggest you give it a try. You can thank me later :)


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Friday, 17 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

I had the idea at the beginning of this week, that this weekend would include at least one alarm-less morning, but I've since been told that's not likely to be the case. But on a more positive note, it does mean we get more of the days to enjoy. It's also that time of the month when the kitchen cupboards start to look a little bare, so we will have to make a point of getting some food shopping done -I'll have my lists at the ready. But before we get into a weekend of to-do's and possible long lunches, here's a few things that have made me happy this week...

1. Birthday Cake Oreo's! If you follow me on Twitter (here), you may have already seen me mention these, but they're so good it needed saying again. Kind of sad we only bought one packet now.

2. Snacking on beetroot with chilli flacks.

3. Every so often my gran buys me fancy sugar cubes, or crystals to use when we want something more special. It's something we never think to buy ourselves, but always enjoy when we have them. This week she gave me a pair of antique silver sugar cube tongs to use with them -such a lovely gift.

4. Writing lists for food shopping. To some it's a chore, but I enjoy it.

5. With the weather basically consisting of rain, rain and more rain this week, I've enjoyed quite a bit of baking. Probably more than I should have, but I'm using the excuse that "I'm using up left overs" -that's believable, right?

6. Waking up 15 minutes early so Paul and I can have breakfast together before the day begins.

7. Sitting at the back door and listening to the rain as it falls and hits everything in the garden. It's so calming and peaceful.

8. Large vanilla iced lattes. Even when it's raining, they can't be beaten.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Pecan Butter Biscuits

pecan-butter-biscuits

Do you know, each and every time I write the word biscuits, I spell it biscuites! I've no idea why I repeatedly do this. Anyway...

If you remember a couple of weekends back, I mentioned that I had this huge urge to bake, well -the urge got the better of me and biscuits were made -and then devoured over the next 24 hours. A banana bread (that you can find here), and a lemon drizzle cake (my first one ever) soon followed. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that the baking urge has stuck around...I blame the weather. It's taken a turn from glorious sunny days to being rather wet and grey, and one of my absolute favourite things to do when the weathers like this, is bake. I mean, what better smell is there to fill your house with?

I've made these butter biscuits countless times before, they are incredibly simple and are kind of similar to short bread. Something I've never done however, in all the times I've made them is add anything extra. Which is crazy when you think about it because they're the perfect little vehicle for so many flavours. I'm thinking lemon and poppy seed next, perhaps? This time though, I went with pecan nuts. I had exactly 75 grams left in cupboard, and after chopping them fairly fine, I added a little at a time to get a good ratio -but 75 grams turned out to be just right.

The pecan nuts are a great addition, and I can confirm that the disappear just as quickly as the originals do.

pecan-butter-biscuits

Ingredients:
175g salted butter (room temperature)
90g caster sugar (plus a couple of tables spoons extra)
250g plain flour
75g of finely chopped pecans

pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits

-In a bowl with a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, cream together your butter and sugar until smooth.

-Add in your flour and start to mix through -it's best to use your hands for this stage.

-When your flour is nearly combined, add in your pecans and knead for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth thick dough. It's sometimes easier to do this on a worktop instead of in the bowl.

-Start to roll your dough out into a long sausage shape that's about 30cm in length, then sprinkle your work surface with your extra sugar. Roll your dough in the sugar until it's coated.

-Then wrap it in cling film or tin foil, and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

-Pre-heat your oven to 160°C and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper.

-Cut you're dough in to slices, as thick as you like -I usually get around 20-23 biscuits, and place on your baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are a very pale golden brown.

-Leave them to cool completely on the baking tray, and then eat however you see fit.

pecan-butter-biscuits
pecan-butter-biscuits








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Friday, 10 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

This weekend my mum leaves for 10 days, she's off on a little holiday somewhere sunny -or at least she hopes. While she's away, we'll have the little fluff ball staying with us which is a lovely start to the weekend. I'm not too sure what we have planned over the next couple of days but I'm pretty sure that tomorrows breakfast will be that tasty pecan banana bread in the picture. Happy Friday everyone! 

1. Paul waking me up in the morning with a cup of tea.

2. Freshly made banana bread. The smell filling the house as it bakes is perfection, and even better is a warm slice with butter.

3. Deliveries from Anthropologie that always contain the most beautiful of things.

4. Our cherry tree has the teenie tiny beginnings of actually cherries. I'm over the moon with this because I honestly didn't think we'd have any fruit from it this year.

5. Else where in the garden we've added a few pretty flowers. While they're still small and need time to spread out a little, it's so lovely to see them there.

6. Having fresh pineapple sliced up in the fridge. I could eat it all day long so it's been my go to snack this week.

7. Getting the all clear at the dentist earlier this week. It was just a check up, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go without feeling anxious and worked up!

8. Paul switching his day off to come with me to the dentist. He knows how worked up I get so I really do appreciate it when he does things like that.
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Friday, 3 June 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy

This has quite possibly been the quickest week of my life! I mean; how is it Friday already? Maybe the bank holiday Monday has had a lot to do with it? I also feel that I should have had a lot more done over the last few days than I have, but I think everyone feels like that sometimes. We have one or two rather lovely activities planned over the next couple of days, one of them being planting flowers in our garden with Paul's gran. She's kindly giving us some from her beautiful collection of pretty plants -hopefully we wont immediately kill them! Also, I may have to give into an urge I've had all day to bake. Nothing fancy, just something tasty -maybe cookies? What are your plans for the weekend?

1. Dark chocolate! I'm a total convert, and not just with the raspberry one I've mentioned. It's a great pick me up in the afternoon with a cup of tea.

2. Bank holiday Mondays, they need no explaining really.

3. The beautiful, bright, sunny mornings, they make waking up early so much easier -even enjoyable!

4. Its June! I like June for lots of reasons, but the most exciting one of all is that it's my birthday month.

5. Lattes in the garden, in the sunshine, in my pyjamas. one of the loveliest ways to start the day.

6. A bacon roll for dinner, sometimes the only thing that will do. Especially when covered in tomato sauce.

7. Our watermelon hand wash from Bath and Body Works -it's the perfect summer scent and leaves your hands feeling super soft.

8. Finishing off some left over Easter chocolate we found in the cupboard.
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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Bank Holiday Weekend

bank-holiday-weekend

We've just had a rather glorious bank holiday weekend, one of those that's been both equal parts relaxation, and productivity. Leaving me feeling pleasantly content. I found a few random pictures on my camera from over the last few days so I though, why not share. 

On Saturday morning Paul had to go into work for a little while, so I spent the morning having breakfast in the company of Saturday morning television. I do love the cookery shows that are on over the weekend. After finally getting myself dressed and ready, I gave the house a little tidy up, did some laundry and cooked a couple for things for the freezer. Feeling very pleased with myself and very satisfied that all the boring things had been done, I took myself and our fluffy little pup for a walk in the sunshine. She had spend most of the day by this point, laying on the grass in the back garden, soaking up as much sun as she could. We arrived back at the house in time to meet Paul, and seeing as we were both starving by this point we made start on dinner. It was very tasty, my favourite parts were the rosemary focaccia -which has left me quite excited to try and bake our own, and the oh so naughty dessert of chocolate cheesecake and whipped cream. 

bank-holiday-weekend

Sunday had a much earlier start. With much more do to we were up at a more reasonable hour and after having breakfast we headed out for a day of garden centres, diy and tile stores and a visit to Paul's brother. With all that had to be done that day ticked off our to-do list, we headed home for an impromptu BBQ to finish off the day. We spent that evening enjoying the last of the warmth in the garden before the sun disappeared, drinking fresh lemonade and enjoying our freshly cooked food. FYI - halloumi and pineapple is perfection on the BBQ.

bank-holiday-weekend
bank-holiday-weekend
bank-holiday-weekend

The next day Paul made us breakfast in bed, for me it was porridge with a pile of fresh raspberries -one of my favourites. We spent the late morning and afternoon visiting Paul's gran, she made sure we were well looked after with all the tea and biscuits we could manage. After a few hours of talking holidays, gardening, and new homes we left (full of biscuits) and headed home to edge a rather large flower bed. I can't say we're a particularly green fingered pair, but we are getting better as we muddle along -helped most of the time with Googles endless advice. Hopefully by the end of the week it will be full of pretty flowers, that I'm sure will make me want to spend even more time in the garden.

bank-holiday-weekend
bank-holiday-weekend

And there you have it, a rather lovely, rather perfect weekend -and one very well spent. 

How was your three day weekend?
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Friday, 27 May 2016

Made Me Happy This Week

made-me-happy-this-week

I feel as if we've had more than the usual amount of Bank Holiday weekends over the first half of this year -not that I'm complaining! I love these longer weekends, they feel slower and much more relaxed, and the extra lazy morning in bed isn't a bad thing either. I'm hoping we have time for at least one late lunch or brunch. Tonight though, we are kicking off our weekend with a night on the sofa, a good film and those doughnuts up there. Seeing as I'm the worlds biggest Nutella fan I've told I have to try them -I have high hopes! How are you spending your Bank Holiday weekend?

1. Our new cherry tree, I think I mentioned last week that we were going to get one. Shes (yes shes a she) so beautiful, and while I'm sure she wont produce any fruit this year, we can still enjoy how pretty she is.

2. The drive home with our new cherry tree. It was really quite funny. Clearly we hadn't put all that much thought into the transportation aspect of thing. All very safe though, I promise.

3. My new choker necklace, I have to say -something I never thought I'd wear but I really rather like it.

4. The white and purple flowers brightening up our living room.

5. How every time I visit my gran, she gives me and who ever I'm with sweets or chocolate of some kind. She's such a sweetie.

6. Long drives on rainy afternoons.

7. Dealing with the most friendly, helpful girl when calling customer services. It always makes a big difference.

8. A lovely morning spent having tea with my grandma.
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