Thursday, 27 September 2012

An Apology, an Out of Season Cake, and Chicken

A random combination, you might think. Well I'll explain, and hopefully all will become clear. First, the apology. I know I've been a but rubbish with posting lately, but I've been so busy moving into my university accomodation and getting sorted. I hope to be able to carry on blogging as regulalrly as possible, although it will mainly be the meals I make as I won't have much time for crafting!

Next the out of season cake. I haven't managed to take photos of anything recently, but I found a photo of what I believe to be an Easter cake when I was organising my photos. It's Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Easter Cake- sort of chocolate, meringue sponge contraption. Easy to make, and of course, absolutely scrummy!

Lastly the chickens. Not much explanation needed, they are some chickens I crocheted from a Nikki Trench book- Super Cute Crochet, I believe it was.

Now I must love and leave you, as my reading list awaits!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Zebra

Unusual title for a post, you might think. I can't take credit for thinking it up, though. It's the name of a cake from Lorraine Pascale's newest book and television show, which my mum and I made yesterday. Believe me, it's a two person job. It was rather a rather messy process. But oh well. It tasted good. I don't want to give away the secret of how it's made, but it was a wonderful mix of plain and chocolate orange flavoured sponges. We had some batter left over, so we also made a few cupcakes. I also made her Shameless Shortcut Cookies and Cream Cake Pops. Less messy, but they still tasted, quite frankly, amazing. I made them for work, because everybody chipped in for a gift card for me as I'm leaving for university this week- argh!

The top of the cake- it looks pretty amazing sliced, as you can probably imagine!

A haphazard display of deliciousness!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Birthday and Cake

Not birthday cake, birthday card and completely separate cake. More about that later, first the card. It's another colleague's birthday tomorrow, so naturally I made her a card. Usually when I start to make a card, I rifle through my (rather large) card making hamper, choose an embellishment, a coloured pen, a paper (or something along those lines) and work around that. This time, I happened across two little presents I'd recycled from another card- pale green on a pink background. This is what spawned from them!

My mum and  I also made Welsh Cakes today.  We used a variation and put mincemeat in, as we had a jar that needed clearing up. Rather nicely, the amount in the jar was just the amount we needed. Very satisfying. We still kept the currants in. There's no such thing as too many currants. If you've never had a Welsh Cake, the best way I can probably describe them is flat little cakes about the size of a Scotch pancake, or Drop Scone. If that fails to spike your imagination, here's a photo.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Clarence and Mr Jingles

Finally, a photo of Jolly Mr Jingles and Clarence, the Christmas Postbox! I would have finished Clarence a little while ago, but had a few problems with wool running out and having to unpick a large chunk of him.But other than those, in the grand scheme of things, minor issues, he was fun to make, and I'm glad I did it. He is shortly going to be tucked up safely in a box with Mr Jingles (who my mum made), ready for Christmas... which isn't actually that far away. Expect a fair few Christmas crafts and cookery in the coming months!

 And don't forget the cooking side of things! These are some good ol' chocolate chip cookies I made for a colleague's birthday. They are a recipe I tested from a student cookbook- I'm trying out as many recipes as I can before I go to university in two weeks time. They are everything a cookie shoud be; soft in the middle, slightly crisp round the edges, and sweet, vanilla biscuit interspersed with morsels of chocolate. I never thought I could make a cookie sound that poetic.

And for those who remember my last post about an abundance of prouce from our garden, this is one of the products of the produce. It's Pico de Gallo relish, made to a Mary Berry recipe to go with beef fajitas- although it's also delicious by itself. I used our homegrown tomatoes in it. They're sweeter than shop bought ones, which I think made the relish sooo much nicer. I think it's always worth growing your own if you can.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Five (or fifty) a day

When we moved into our house in April, we found ourselves with a bigger garden, so we've now got a nice little veg patch. Well, what I mean is that we have various vegetable plants scattered around the garden, but the principle is the same! There are three or four each of blueberry and tomato plants, at least ten different herbs, and an Alpine strawberry plant in pots by the back door, a runner bean plant, four 'corn on the cobs' and a courgette plant. I think that's it. For a while, we had a lot of green tomatoes, but now they've all started turning red really quickly. Everything seems to be growing in sync, hence the fifty a day! Actually, everything except the corn, but it's getting there. Even when there are no vegetables, the flowers on the plants are really pretty, so it's a double win. Here are some of our crops!

Courgette flowers

The runt of the corn litter...

The place in our garden that most resembles a vegetable patch -three corn plants and the courgette plant.

The largest tomato plant

An intruder on the runner bean plant!
 Comomg up: A card that I'm quite proud of, and chocolate chip cookies