Himalaya and cake

I have literally been unable to stop baking but, i think i'll take some time out now to write a propper post...

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Where to start - India!
Most definitely the best experience of my life. No doubt.
Following the aftermath of missing my new friends and life in a tent i have realised it's really opened my eyes and spoilt me a little. I'm now certain a gap year will follow the impending end of education and that working at the MetOffice is definitely not for me. I'm less sure of what i want to do but totally accepting of the fact that right now, it doesn't even matter! So much world to see, why bother tying myself down with mental lists of the future.
Here are some pictures of what i now consider the most beautiful place on earth (even over Disney!!)

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There are too many stories to bore people at home with but i'll tell everyone that Leh, is one of the most fantastic towns on earth and the world is a very big place so make sure you enjoy it!

Now, back to baking!!
I was at university on my own for a few days this week to start on my dissertation etc etc so obviously had to fill the hours and here is the latest Oaty Rounds and Lemon Tray Bake . Yum yum yummy yum! Both recipes are from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book (the lady off the Great British Bake-Off).

Oaty Rounds
So easy to whip together and not really that bad for you! Especially if you use a light butter like i do (clover lighter, remember the lecture!)

Ingredients
50g caster sugar
100 g soft margarine
100g soft rolled oats
50g plain flour
55g sultanas

Preheat the oven to 160 centigrade, line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream the sugar and marg. and add the remainder of the ingredients. Lightly knead the mixture until as smooth as the oats will allow and roll to a thickness of around 5mm and use a cutter (your preference on size!) or do what i did and break off equal sized pieces (12 for me) and flatten with the palm of your hand to make kindof even rounds. I prefer this way because oats should look a little rustic and oaty! Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy breakfast lunch or dinner (or pudding with some yoghurt).
I like to think of these as a cousin to the digestive biscuit and apparently the non-sultana version are great with cheese!

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Lemon Tray Bake
Very basic traybake with a little lemon added in. To make it chocolate take out the lemon and add 4 tablespoons of cocoa, 4 tablespoons of hot water and reduce the milk to 1 tablespoon. Top with whatever you like!! I topped mine with a crunchy lemon topping (juice of a lemon and 50g sugar) but you could use buttercream, icing or just eat it plain.
Ingredients
225g soft butter or margarine
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk
grated rinds of 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 180 centigradeand line a 30x23 cm roasting tin with tin foil (saves on the washing up!!).
Measure all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth - for about 2 minutes with an electric whisk and about 10 hours with a wooden spoon (no electric whisk in Sheffield so it can be said my arm ached after stirring the mix smooth!). Turn the mixture into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Once out of the oven immediately pout the lemon topping onto the cake (obviously leave to cool if using icing and especially buttercream). Doing it straight away means the lemon all soaks in but the crunchy sugar stays on top! I sliced it up into 24 even chunks once cooled and have been giving it away to anybody who comes to my house, including the Postman!!

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I have been so happy to be baking again and today i've made another treat for the family! I bet they'll be happy when i go back to uni so i stop feeding them constantly. Yesterday i bought another new cookbook by my all time favourite chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and it's all vegetable dishes. I'm not vegetarian but LOVE veg to a point where it may be coming an obsession so i look forward to getting back in the kitchen and actually cooking my meals again. Off to Cambridge for a few days tomorrow to end my jet-setting summer with a nice relax at a spa.
A good week to all xx

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back for good

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Here it is.

It has happened.

I. Have. Baked!

I can’t tell you how lovely it was to whisk and whip, stir and smooth. My entry back into cooking heaven took place with Raspberry Jam buns with Swiss Meringue buttercream.
They were delicious! I only had half of one myself but in an attempt to avoid eating all the cakes I gave them away etc etc and was assured they were lovely!

Ingredients - makes 12 cupcakes

Cakes
125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk (I used skimmed even though it said not to!)
4 tbsp raspberry jam
2 tsp vanilla extract
Raspberries to garnish

Swiss Meringue buttercream
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g softened unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 190(centigrade) or 170 if you’re using a fan oven. Cream together the butter and sugar until lovely and fluffy. Sieve the flour and add to the mix with the eggs, milk and vanilla. Spoon half of the mixture into 12 paper cases and spoon a little jam into the centre, cover with the remainder of the mix. The recipe didn’t call for the jam in the buns but I felt it went well with the buttercream and was a little treat for the eater!
Bake for 15 minutes and leave to cool!

Swiss Meringue buttercream
Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl and heat over a bowl of simmering water. Stir, stir, stir for five to ten minutes or until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk on high speed like you are making meringue! Continue until thick and glossy and semi-stiff (technical term I know!) Add the butter (cube it or it will be VERY difficult to mix in!) and jam. At this point I thought I was having a small personal nightmare because it turned to the consistency of double cream. 15 minutes in the fridge sorted this a little and the buttercream was more like icing. I preferred this consistency as I wanted a smooth shiny topping, if you wanted to pipe the mix and it is as liquid as mine was leave it in the fridge for an hour or so and pipe away. Decorate with yummy sweet end of summer raspberries.

It must be remembered this can be done with any jam really and I’m sure it will be just as yummy!

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Life as ever has been rather hectic in the run up to uni but of course there is always time to bake. In the past two days I have made 2 other tasty treats but I shall save them for another post as this one is getting rather laborious! An India post is also in need.
For now, this shall be all.
Happy Weekend! xx

Pining for piping

I am currently sat in the hotel lobby, it's almost 40 degrees outside and my new penchant for the shade is not being fulfilled in the midday sun! 
Every day I have to eat (well I'm not exactly forced but you know) bad cakes and mother bought me a book about a girl who is opening a cupcake shop (chic-lit crap but I've read two hard books and my brain needs a rest!!) and this is such a long sentence but I just want to bake! 
 Want to get home, bake, show and tell you all about India and my new life mantras and just get back to living again! 
The next few weeks are going to be tough, what with moving back to uni, starting my dissertation etc etc etc but I promise to you all, baking will always be high high high on my priorities, that and losing weight for the two balls I'm attending this Christmas! 
Tough challenge I know, but someone's got to do it!! 
Xx. 

P.s. Sorry for any spelling mistakes! My brain is still semi-mush

Hello traveller

Goodness me it's been a while! I'm back online for one day only as after my Indian adventure I'm off to Egypt for a relax and calm before university starts again! I have so many stories to tell, some even involve cake. Please be patient, I will be back forever in a mere 7 days.
All my love,
Kate x

Swan song

I'm not dying or running away but this post does feel like the end!!
Silly me!

Please enjoy yourselves whilst i'm away and to all my close friends and family, i love you and please keep a gossip log so i dont miss out on too much!!
I'll be back on the 27th of August for just two brief nights then off the Egypt for some R and R.

Have a wonderful month and i'll see you on the flip side!!

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xx

bake bake bake around.

Saturday night, the first bit of peace i have had all week!
I've been busy packing and training and worrying about all this India malarky and havent really had a moment to spare until yesterday!
It's sad because i can't really fully justify my tardy blogging, as in my whirlwind week i have still managed to steal some baking/eating time! I really must stop keeping all the baked things i make in the house! I keep trying to give it away but mum is always like 'ohh we might want it'. Honestly though, i think i have reached a point where i no longer want to eat what i bake, just give it out to make other people smile!

So, this all takes me to now, I actually started writing this post this morning in bed then obviously something needed to be done/a cat got in bed with us/mum wanted a coffee/ etc etc etc you get the idea! I then had to go off to the gym and to Jim's graduation (sob!). Now look at the time!

One of my greatest achievements of the week was finally sorting my wardrobe. Something i said i'd do before i went to uni... i'm going into my third year in September!!
I wish i'd taken before and after photos, the results are a beautiful colour coded wardrobe with piles of clothes i can actually look through!

I also went to ikea and saw some dream rooms and this cute rabbit in a garden centre across the road!

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Now, on with some of the things i've baked.

Earlier in the week i made these Brown Butter Jam Bars.

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Mine were more just Butter Jam bars as i don't use real butter in my sponge, only in frosting and buttercream, so it didn't brown as much as i think it should AND it was sticking a little to my pan and i though non-brown butter was better than burnt butter! (as a side note, I'm a fan of Clover Light because it stops sponge being too greasy!) So here it is, adapted from Crepes of Wrath (i'd have a look at her pictures as some bits need a picture to make sense!!) They were amazing and oozy and yummy and delicious and i will most defs make them again for my housemates!

The Crust:
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
64g powdered sugar
192 g all-purpose flour

For The Filling:
3 large eggs
201 granulated sugar
119 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
64g + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 table spoon of ground almond
1 cup jam or jelly, dealer’s choice

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To make the crust, melt 1 cup of butter in a pan at medium-high heat till the butter starts to brown. When the butter is amber in color and smells slightly nutty, strain through a sieve into a heat-proof container, such as a small glass mixing bowl. Place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes until thickened and semi-frozen. Combine the powdered sugar and flour in a large bowl, then use a pastry cutter or your hands (I prefer my hands) and add in the butter until a dough is formed. Press into a lined and/or greased 9×13-inch pan and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden and set, then remove from the oven and set aside.

2. To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Brown the remaining butter, then pour the butter into the egg mixture very slowly, whisking as you do it so the eggs don’t scramble. Whisk in the vanilla.

3. Pour half of the filling over the baked crust, then spoon large dollops of the jam over the filling, reserving about quarter to top the bars with. Pour the rest of the filling over the jam, then spoon small dollop over the top with the remaining jam (you can add a bit extra jam if you feel like it needs it). Don’t worry if it looks a little messy or weird, it’ll look pretty when it’s baked! Bake until the filling is golden brown in color, about 25 to 30 minutes, also at 375 degrees F. Or in an Aga on the bottom runners of the top oven with the cooling rack for 30 minutes and 5 minutes without the cooling rack to crisp up. Allow to cool completely (not that i ever do!) and cut into bars. Enjoy!

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Next thing i baked were some Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I had the urge to bake at 10.30pm on Thursday night to show Jim just how much of a wizz i was in the kitchen. I think he was less enamoured with my skills and preferred the fact i smelt of cookie dough for the rest of the evening!! Again i used a Crepes of Wrath recipe because the Jam bars were so damn incredible!! I must admit they spread a little more than i thought but i love thin crispy cookies that are a little chewy in the middle, and that they were! Perfectly delicious but i am thinking up ways of getting them all to be perfect sized so i can give them away as gifts!

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Last but not least, the Red Velvet Cupcakes for my sister's return (i have infact only got to see her for 20 minutes today as i had to go to the graduation!). This was a difficult one. I tried the Hummingbird Bakery recipe initially following it to the letter (which i rarely do!!) and the cakes weren't even red!!! They were just really chocolaty so Mum came to the rescue and found the Magnolia Bakery recipe and again these weren't as red and smooth as red velvets i've had in the past but defiantly a step closer; at this point after 6 tablespoons of colouring i'd run out of patience and made do with the second batch! If i was to make them again i would use the recipe from Lorraine Pascal's cookbook because it is an English recipe. Apparently there is issues with red colouring conversion from American to English recipes due to discrepancies in what is used to make it red or some rubbish about poison. All boring! I did make a delicious cream cheese butter cream though, sadly not using any scales!!

I will put the pictures up tomorrow as they are on Jim's phone! Silly meee. My piping skillz have improved and i was fairly happy with the results. Not quite perfection yet though... When i open my dream cake shop (i wish!) They wouldn't be on the menu just yet.

So quite a productive week all in all in terms of baked goods, training and preparing for India.
I'm not going to lie i am TERRIFIED, in a good way!
Tomorrow will be my last post. Maybe i'll write something worth reading!!

xx

p.s. i just tried on my airport outfit (no Louboutins and a Birkin bag for me sadly! it's walking pants and BSES t-shirt all the way!) and it made me realise nothing but the fact that i hate trousers! that is all :)

12.43

it's past midnight and i should be sleeping.
I am so sorry for the lack of effort on here i hope people haven't given up on me!!
Tomorrow mega update and yummy treat post.
Friday i'm baking again for my sister's homecoming.

Please don't give up reading coz i'm a lazy blogger!!
MWAHHH x

NEW BLOG ALERT

OH WOW OH WOW

Crepes of Wrath

you will all be in LOVE

It's me or the Dog

Watching tat like this on a saturday morning is what i live for! My favourite cooking show isn't on due to the golf so i'm stuck with dog training!
I must be hoest though it is nice just to sit and do nothing, be it only for a few hours.

This week i've been to a theme park, massively expensive but fun fun fun all around. Out for lunch a few times, bit of shopping with mum.
But most importantly, the macaroons!

I won't go into the recipe because it was a pretty standard one.
Sadly, because of the aga there were a few issues though.
Our mix tasted fantastic and macaroony, and our piping skills weren't fantastic but we were rather proud of the results! Now, i must admit we forgot the 'leave on the side for 30 minutes' part so that was probably the first hurdle we fell at! Then, the aga. I got told by a friend who did an aga course how to do it two ways, i do believe i chose the wrong way! The macaroons came out too sticky and not set on the underside with a lovely crisp top! We did two batches and the second was much better coz we left them in for 10 minutes longer. This meant they browned a little too much but they were much much more macaroony.

We made a pretty little pudding with the good/not so good macaroons and named it 'Macaroon Mess'.
So far i'd give my macaroon skillz 5/10, i will succeed one day soon. Probably after India, or maybe today if i get bored of 'test packing' my cargo 100 litre bag. yippee!!

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HAPPY SATURDAY xx

Weekend!

I hate feeling like i have neglected the blog and i have, i am sorry! Had such a crazy week with visitors and training and last minute buys and trying to also sort for my holiday (yes another trip abroad) after India!
Tomorrow, i will write a beautiful, poetic, fantastical post all about recent events and of course...the macaroons.

xoxo

being proud

to be proud and happy for someone is such a good thing.
My Jim has finally got his website set up and running and i couldn't be happier for him.

I just thought i should share.
I'm also a little sad to say tomorrows macaroons may be my last cooking venture for a while (except for other macaroon variations!) as health and India really do need to start being my main priority for the next week and a half (eek!).
This is not farewell, far from it, i have almost 2 weeks before i leave.
It is merely the end of the beginning.

waiting with bated breath...

tomorrow... i'm making macaroons.
The day has come.

Apricot almond Cake

Apricots or peaches, neither myself or Jim could decipher what i was actually putting in the cake i made yesterday but it sure is tasty! (they were apricots!)

The idea came from the fruity tray bake i was going to make for mum's birthday but my friends dad made a totally amazing cake for her instead. Obviously my need to bake was not satisfied so in a rush yesterday i decided to bake a quick cake.

It is totally lovely and crumbly and i bet it goes perfect with hot custard.

Ingredients
100g Plain Flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
250g unsalted butter
200g Caster Sugar
100g Light brown muscovado Sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Almond oil (anything almondy!)
2 apricots
Flaked Almonds

Cream together the butter and sugar (i used an electric whisk for the first time in years, you would have think i'd split the Red Sea how happy i was). Add the dry ingredients, eggs and the rest! mix to a smooth batter.
Pour into a greased cake tin and place the apricots attractively on top! Sprinkle with almonds lovingly.
I baked mine for about 60 minutes (i did forget to look at what time it went in though!). Because of the aga it was rather brown round the edges but it all adds flavor i say! I'm sorry i have no temperatures or anything but the aga is set, i'd say around 180˚C/160˚C fan/350˚F/gas mark 4 (note how i researched that for y'all!!).

Totally yummy even though the fruit did sink, maybe more flour next time even though it was a pretty think mix anyway! If you have any non-sinking fruity/cakey adventures please let me know your secret!!!!

[Once again pictures will be added shortly when i can be bothered to charge my phone sufficiently for usage!]

have a sing song instead


Enjoy the weekend ahead
xx

Birthday Tea

I am currently sat on my bed, drinking Pimms after a lovely dinner and a little too much cake! Today is my mum’s birthday hence the celebrations.

Does the Pimms make me a little like a middle-aged woman?

I know what does make me a little middle aged, the fact I am UNABLE to sleep past 7.30 am, yes in the morning. Not ever. Not when I’ve had a late night, not when jim stays over, not when it’s Sunday. Not even on a Tuesday when I have nothing to do! I think I am ageing prematurely. 20-year-old students are meant to sleep all day and drink all night. I rarely do either!

I should tell you all (not that a. enough of you probs care or b. you would have known if I hadn’t said) I am writing this post on word (on the 8th June), ready to post asap.
My internet and phone line is down you see. No contact to the world. To those of you that read this and know me I live in the middle of nowhere and also get no phone signal to I am living like the Amish (who I LOVE). Except of course I still have a car, lights, running water etc etc etc but I know they don’t do Internet in a general sense! I can see i’m rambling a little…

Back to the Pimms after the Pimms I will continue to watch a magic show that’s on and read my book and Elle magazine and Cosmo and sit with my cats and do all the stuff I’m sure Amish people do. So far this post is one big digression!!
Mum’s birthday…. To your surprise and horror (I imagine) I didn’t bake!!!!! I know right! But I did the other thing I’m pretty alright at and that’s cooking!
I made a Summer Pasta, tomato salad and Garlic bread.
YUM.

In the future (when I get my loan next September!) i’m going to buy a pasta machine and make my own pasta (something I have never tried but am very excited to) and obviously I’d make my own bread (today I just made the filling as I had other things on my mind like exam results!) but in hindsight is doesn’t even matter because it was all so lovely! Modest I know… here’s how it’s done:

Summer Pasta
This is an adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Wonky summer pasta’ (see how I made the name!) and was totally amazing.

Ingredients
200g grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
Extra virgin Olive oil
finely chopped basil
Lemon juice (1/2 lemons to preference)
finely chopped chilli (or a little chilli sauce to taste)

It is so easy, put it all in a large bowl (the bowl you'll serve in) and stir. In terms of the oil you want to put enough in to make a sauce consistency. I did about 6 good swirls into the bowl. Next step, boil your pasta in salted water. Tagliatelle, pappardelle, spaghetti anything long and thin - fresh is best because it's so quick but dry is always delicious. Then transfer the pasta to the 'sauce' using tongues to make sure a little of the cooking liquid too goes into the bowl.then stir, lift, do whatever to mix it. The raw yolk will cook in the residual heat of the pasta and the cheese will melt. This is yummy and yummy and yummy yummy.

Tomato Salad
EASY PEASY. Put all of the tomatoes (i used a plum and cherry mix) into a colander and over salt them, like much much more than you would usually! Then cover in water and leave to drain for half an hour. They are so tasty served halved in balsamic and olive oil.

The Garlic bread was just a parsley/garlic butter served in the deep grooves of a french loaf baked for 15 minutes in kitchen foil.
(I do have some pictures but i can't put them on right now i'll put them in the edited post if anyone REALLY wants to.)

I'm making a cake tomorrow.
Look forwards :)

Hope you have a good weekend etc etc.
xx

non-post days

It's weird, i hate not posting on here, almost like i'm a let down!
but is there any point in a post when i've got nothing to say and not baking to discuss?
I will mull over this thought as i wait for jim to get rid of his horrible beard.

love xx

Festivals and Food

'Just coz it's a party, don't mean you have to play the top 40'

As you may have seen from my previous posts i've been down in The Garden of England (Kent) since thursday! I am now clean, almost tidy and very very tired.
The amount of dust that came off me was unreal! I am intending on trading that dust for glitter like Prince. I won't go on about him any more just be aware he was phenomenal, totally mind blowing!!
Other highly commendable performances were Tinie Tempa, Iggy and the Stooges, Carl Barat, Dry the River, Aloe Black and Newton Faulkner (who was actually stood behind us during Prince's set!!).
Music done.

Food...
Festival food is not renowned for being all that fantastic and as a bit of a non-fried food snob i wasn't looking forward to burgers and chips all weekend (sweeping festival stereotype!) but wow! Hop Farm put on quite the spread. With it being a little 'hippie', there was loads of vegetarian and vegan food (which i love coz my little sister is veggie) and then other GOOD quality meat, burgers, indian, noodles etc etc etc. It was pricey but we expected that. Yum yum yum yum yum!
Here are my two favourite vendors:
Pie Minister
The Wide Awake Cafe


Now, it's my mum's birthday Friday so i'm need to find soemthing special to bake.
Maybe a healthy cake as i have been going down the nutella, peanut butter, chocolate route recently! Summer Berry Sponge anyone? Keep your eyes peeled!!
Busy week ahead, interviews and friends to meet.

Have a lovely one.
xx

p.s. Please spread the news of the blog, it's so fantastic seeing more and more people from all over the world reading everyday. Thank you thank you i am so so grateful!

MONDAY

HELLO OH MY GOD I AM SO HAPPY I SAW PRINCE AND HE WAS AMAZING AND YES YES YES!!!

Calm.

I'm a little busy as of this second but to anyone who checks this more than once a day (a girl can dream!) i will do a proper music and food (yes you can't escape my foodie rants, even after i've seen Prince) update later when i'm showered and tidy and all that jazz.
Much love!

off to Kent

chin chin and all that.
Today is my boy's 21st so we're off to Hop Farm Festival for the weekend.
He's so old! To think we were both 17 when we first started going out!!

I'll be back baking on monday as ever.
Have a splendid weekend wherever you are in the world.

mwah mwah mwah.
xx

Peanut Butter Creams

Yesterday Jim needed cheering up and i had half a jar of peanut butter left over so my usual response was to bake.
I had found a recipe in a book in urban outfitters that was simply marvellous but it was too much hassle for a quick bake session and i didnt have the time to be kneading the dough whilst reading it poetry really.

So i settled on a good old BBC recipe and adapted it a little to make them nicer!

Ingredients

8 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar sugar
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 free-range egg yolk
50g/1¾oz butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp of finely chopped mixed nuts

icing sugar, for dusting

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Throw it all in the bowl and mix (carefully or flour goes everywhere and your mum will shout!) into a smooth dough.

Break off equal portioned cookies, mine were as stated and about the size of a walnut.

Squish with a fork to make a pretty patterns

Bake for around 10 minutes and then leave to cool on a cooling rack.

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Now, the verdict.
They are very very short, so i probably would use a little more butter and the whole egg in the future. I know the batter consistency would change but i like biscuits a little more doughy!
To make mine really yummy i sandwiched them together with some Vanilla Buttercream.
It made them not too dry and delicious!!

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Now all my peanut butter is gone so i'm not sure what to do next/with my life!!
Off to a festival tomorrow, gonna get to see Price!
xx

Praha

Here is possibly the most un-educational/classy/inspiring selection of photographs from my holiday in Prague!

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What all the food looked like!

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One thing we were warned is that the food is a little hit and miss and i can honestly say we had a pretty much perfect week of dining out (except for the hotel breakfast that WAS a total miss, every day!)
Here are my top 5 places to eat in Prague:

1. Cukrkavalimonada in The Lesser town
Literal translation 'Coffee, Sugar, Lemonade'! Hence the new blog name, I was so taken by this cute cafe off the main street in the Lesser town we even went back twice (we didn't repeat visits to ensure we made the most of the food!) From the beautiful chandelier and ceiling to the tastiest cakes around (VERY IMPORTANT), all cooked from scratch on the premises, this place is a must go. Apparently their hot chocolates are to die for but due to all the cake eating i never got a chance to try one.

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2. The Little Whale (U Male Velryby) in The Lesser town
Just around the corner from Cukrkavalimonada in the Maltese Square this place did the BEST tapas i've ever eaten outside Italy and Spain. We found the wine wasnt too bad either!...

3. The Bakeshop in The Old Town
Located in the posh part of the Old Town (past the touristy bits and onto the Gucci, Prada, Hermes streets!) this place was HEAVEN! I have never seen so many beautifully executed cakes, tarts, tray bakes, pastry etc etc etc. My eyes quite literally popped out of my head. We had the most delicious quiche and i ate a meranige bigger than my head (and i have a big head) which came back to the UK with me and was shared my my mum and sister. Essential for cake lovers everywhere.

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4. Mousetrap (Pasticka) in Vinohrady
A Czech gem! In our tour book it said it was a 'local joint' so we thought 'to hell with it we can be locals too!!'. The food was good and hearty and you certainly wouldn't complain about the portion size to cost ratio. Czech food at it's best (there is so much bad looking czech food out there i never thought we'd find somewhere decent!)

5. Here i am torn, french bistro or bagel shop...
BOTH!
you cant have a top 6 because that's weird so here's two names for you:
Céleste Bistro in the Old Town and Bohemian Bagel (Old and Lesser Towns)
YUM!

I must say, Prague was beautiful and i could write down all the things we did and the places we ate, but i won't. You all deserve to go there and seek your own adventures and what not! So here's my review... Go!

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sob

i'm trying so hard to make technology work! I may have cracked it after about two and a half hours.
This song is helping me through though...



xx

chocolate and....peanut butter??

I know i know it isnt a new thing (especially my American readers!) but honestly the idea of the two together made me weep! how can soemthing as pure and fantastic be ruined by peanut butter? but...

I am a convert!

Yesterday i discovered Joy, Joy the Baker.
My new icon, idol and love. She is totally hilarious, visit her site at Joy the Baker. I read her article on how to impress boys with baking (not that Jim needs impressing) and i figured i should try a nice manly treat, she suggested these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies.
Three words - yum, yum, YUM!!
Not only boys like them, my mum, cousin, sister and friend liked them too (all girls!). Need to try one out on my dad really, if he liked them then it would be an achievement! (Jim liked them too, i took him some this morning).

My attempt...
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A little brown because of the aga but delicious non the less, because of the melting and whisking eggs in one at a time it's quite a long recipe, especially when you're converting cups to grams and your parents are having an inky nightmare in the kitchen at the same time, but that certainly isn't a bad thing. Not eveery recipe needs to take 15 minutes.
I'd give the recipe 10/10 very lovely, very very lovely.
Try this definitely!!

Prague post will come tonight or tomorrow, i've got abit of a secret project to do tonight so we'll see.
Happy start of the week
xx

Welcome

To the new blog.
I have moved all my posts here from 'unfenced existence' but i really felt the blog needed a better name and vibe etc.

If you read my other blog thank you for graciously accepting the move. If you are a new reader, HELLO, welcome to my ramblings about food and day to day life of me!

xx

breather at last

At last, a good honest post!
I wont lie i have been awfully stressed and arguey and awful the past few days/weeks(/life) but we all get over it!
Everytime i've done something oh so remotely interesting i've thought ohh blog blog blog. Not that much has happened except for lots of going to the gym and compensating by eating too much chocolate and sweeties. I'm allowed thought it's exams right?
I've also been thinking about my blog as a whole. I keep reading other people being profound and poetic and romantic and lots of other things and i just like them lots! Sadly my blog shall never be like that and be forever dominated by my massive over use of exclamation marks. (i was tempted to put one then and didn't!)

Anyway.
Food.
I've made some interesting things this week and have more interesting things tomorrow.
First thing's first.
Heart shaped foods... well, heart shaped anything.
I LOVE them, food in a shape of any variety makes me mega happy but heart shapes just always win.
Here are two examples:

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The first is heart shaped 'spinach and cottage cheese mash' and the second is a heart 'quick bake flapjack'. I won't bore with the recipe but rest assured they were both GOOD. (also please ignore the pathetic looking baked fish it looks awful but was really very nice!!)
Next, Banana Oaty Biscuits.
Lovely lovely, as with my banana bread recipe my flatmate and i added a few spices to punch up the flavour. The recipe needs some tweeking though to get it just right so if we make them again i will post it. N.B: the fresh banana goes totally black over night if you don't put lemon on them... we forgot!

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Finally, i think, my phone.

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Isn't it amazing! Before coming to university i was hardly a girly girl but now i just cant get enough of pink and cute and flowers and all things sickening!
I must get a grip before i have to enter the real world but until then i will be quite happy with my added sparkle :)

Now for future excitement, tomorrow Cate and I (Kate and Cate!) are hosting 'Cocktails and Cupcakes' at out house. By hosting it it more having a few people round for a mid exams knees up complimented with lots of home baking!
I am making a chocolate chip loaf, Percy Pig Cupcakes and Malteser Cupcakes!!!!!! That deserves exclamation marks agreed? Cate is making margarita ice cream using Nigella's recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/margaritaicecream_87463) and here is a cake another friend is bringing…

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Amazing yes - Oreo Cake.
God i'm excited.
More pictures will be taken on my terrible camera phone (I will take real pictures one day when i can be bothered to bring my camera around with me) and everyone will rejoice.

It's getting late now for an old lady like me.
xx