Tag Archives: Other blogs

Busy busy busy

Today is turning into one of those I-thought-I-had-loads-of-time-but-suddenly-the-day-is-full-and-I’m-running-out-of-time kind of days.

So, as briefly as I can make this post, this is something I picked up at a charity shop yesterday:

  • Lace on the edges to be ‘repurposed’ –  on gifts instead of ribbon, and possibly another attempt at fabric flowers.
  • Floral fabric – as well as a bit of  ‘bleach & dye’ experimentation (a little bit like this), I intend making a teething/nursing necklace (like this)
And I stopped in at the greengrocer to see what looked good, and ended up walking away with some strawberries and this fruit box:
I know the photos don’t really show the box very well, but I just got so caught up in photographing the lettering and the cool red heart…

I was very chuffed with myself for asking him (Simon, the very friendly greengrocer) about what he does with the fruit boxes… usually I would just gaze longingly but chicken out of actually asking such a question in case he 1) thought it was a ridiculous question and that I was a loony, or 2) laughed at me because of course he re-uses them and would never think of giving them away, or 3) offered to sell it to me, which I would decline and therefore look like a cheapskate trying beg stuff off others for free [which I was].
Great news! He loved that I loved the box and happily emptied the oranges that were being displayed into a different box. He then proceeded to offer me others, even though he does re-use the boxes for home deliveries. I was walking with the pram so I could barely take the first box, let alone any others, but he’s keeping some for me. What a nice man 🙂

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Filed under Oh Sweet Food, Oh Sweet Handmade, Oh Sweet Life

Recipe Book

Last week I posted a hot cross bun recipe and mentioned my recipe book –  I  knew I wanted to put a picture of the HCB’s in the post (I always like to see food pictures, and I love what the buns look like, all pressed together in a round tin) but because I hadn’t actually had the time to make the hot cross buns myself this Easter, I took a photo of the picture in my recipe book. It felt pretty strange, to be honest!

Anyway, it got me thinking about what to do about my very nearly full recipe book.

I have not organised the recipes in any way – I just glue them in if I’ve cut them out of magazines, or write them down, wherever there’s a space. This has worked fine for me so far – I can usually remember if it’s  a newer (look near the front of the book) or older (look near the back of the book) addition, or maybe I can picture the other recipes that are on the same page, and so on. But I know there is just no way I could keep track of two books in this way.

So I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas for simple ways to organise recipes. Bearing in mind that some are cut outs, some are hand copied, some are very long with step-by-step details pictures, some are just tiny scraps of paper.

I expect I’ll do some trawling on Pinterest and etsy and other blogs, too, but any ideas would help me a lot!

A sneak peek at my book at the mo:

The photo I took for last week’s hot cross bun recipe, before editing it.

And this is what my well-worn and food-splashed recipe book looks like on the outside. Fancy, huh?

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A kewel home blog

(That’s ‘cool’ by the way – a cool home blog)

I just had to share this blog with you… I love checking up on this family every now and then and seeing what they’re up to. Their posts are well written, photos are lovely and they have a home that they are making beautiful on a sensible budget. They seem like the kind of people I’d want to be friends with.

I guess that’s the trick – to write a blog in such a way that readers become involved and want to keep on reading, keep coming back for more because what you have to say is interesting, funny, helpful and relevant.

That’s why they are professional bloggers (yip, blogging is their job) and I’m just a nothing-particularly-exciting-to-say-but-I’ll-sneak-in-a-post-while-baby-sleeps kind of blogger. Suits me 🙂

But enough about me – go and have a look at their blog. Unleash the stalker in you and snoop around their home!!

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Red Velvet…

Even just typing the title got me singing Black Velvet 🙂

So… I have discovered something to top chocolate cake. I know, who would’ve thought it possible??

I found this recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes on a blog called Annie’s Eats. I copied and pasted the recipe from the blog, but have changed a couple of things, like using the word ‘icing’ instead of ‘frosting’ and adding some different measurements for some ingredients. I sometimes find the American way of listing everything in cups and tablespoons quite hard to use for certain ingredients, like butter.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
30ml/2 tbsp. liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the icing:
300g tub cream cheese
75g/5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
10ml/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups icing sugar, sifted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 18 minutes.  Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the icing sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Ice cooled cupcakes as desired.

Ok, this is me again, not the recipe.

Helpful stuff:

* The author recommends using vanilla flavouring (colourless) for the icing rather than vanilla essence for a nicer colour and texture. I did, and I liked it 🙂

*I piped the icing on top using a ziploc bag with a little snip in one bottom corner. It’s not exactly pro-looking, but it was something different to just slathering the icing on top with a knife or spoon. I don’t think I’m ready to actually go out and buy piping bags and fancy schmancy piping tips.

*I decorated with mini mini marshmallows (yip, that’s what the box called them) on some, hundreds & thousands on some, and cherries on the rest. I thought they looked cute, and carried on the pinky-red theme of the cakes.

*I decided to do some research into how full you’re supposed to fill cupcake liners… apparently 2/3 is the accepted amount. Based on some other cupcake advice I found at the same time, I used a 1/4C measure (not completely filled) to pour the batter into the cake liners so that each had the same amount of batter. I’ve always just guessed in the past, and used a couple of normal spoons. This way took out the guess work, was quicker and less messy. Hurray!

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Filed under Oh Sweet Chocolate, Oh Sweet Food, Oh Sweet Handmade

Foodie blog!!

Yesterday morning I stumbled upon a very cool food journey blog

It’s amazing what one might find when searching for a cheese straws recipe! The aforementioned blogger had left a comment on the bbc recipe, and since I had some time on my hands (what?????) I sauntered on over to pay a visit to her blog. I liked what I saw! And since I had all this time on my hands (how????) I also left her loads of comments. She probably thinks I’m a stalker. Oops.

So how is it that I had all this time on my hands, you ask?

This miraculous occurrence was brought about by a really really really rubbish night. After numerous NUMEROUS (yes, I’m shouting in my head) wake-ups in the night, I finally got Little Man to settle by lying with him in the spare bed at about 4:30am. He then proceeded to sleep for more than four hours without even stirring – twice as long as he had managed to go for at any stretch during the night! Usually, I would’ve slept right along with him for all of those four hours but of course, as life always seems to go, I had to be up early to wait for a technician who might arrive at any time between 7am and 1pm. 7am and 1pm! That’s a lot of waiting.

Ah ha! That would be why I had all that time on my hands.

So, I had blurry eyes and a fuzzy head (and still haven’t quite recovered) but I did find a great new blog 🙂

Every cloud has a silver food encrusted  lining, huh?

PS I made uber easy cheese straws using puff pastry. And cocktail sausage pigs in blankets. And red velvet cupcakes. {I wish I knew what blogger code is to show that I’m singing the cupcakes bit in an operatic voice. Bold & italics together maybe?  Red Velvet Cupcakes! Did the capital letters help at all with the operatic theme? How about *Red Velvet Cupcakes* ? Yes, I think the asterisks do it. } More on this food fantasia to follow….

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Embrace The Camera

 

Emily over at The Anderson Crew has a lovely idea – Thursday is ‘Embrace The Camera’ day… Click on the picture above (or the button over to right below my categories) to go over to her blog.

 

Basically, it’s a way to ensure that you take photos with you in them.

Huh?

It’s so easy in the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of every day to miss moments. And before you know it, weeks or even months may go by without you taking photos to remind yourself of the now.

I write ‘you’ but of course I mean me. This way, I’m committing to taking a picture at least once a week. And not a perfectly posed, ‘I’ve showered this week and my hair is not greasy’ kind of photo… A real ‘this is my life right now’ kind of photo.

I find that kind of photo hard to take. Who wants to show off their bad hair days?

No need to show them off. Even if you just save the photo onto your computer and don’t look at it again, it’s evidence of you and your life on this day. One day you can go back and look through all your dodgy photos and have  a good ol’ reminisce and chuckle… That’s awesome!

Go on, do it.

Click.

Eek -terrible light/shadows! But at least we have photographic evidence of sunshine in Plymouth, UK.

My Embrace The Camera moment. Proudly showing off my washed hair and my spring-hayfever-red-eyes 🙂

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Challenge OVER!

Wow. Last week’s challenge to limit my ‘line-age’ had a pretty severe effect on me… it’s quite scary. I found myself looking at lots of other blogs when I usually would be writing mine, and I’ve landed up with a scary case of blogger depression. Something like withdrawal symptoms combined with wondering why on earth I’m doing this, along with a complete and utter inspiration failure. And then add some serious blogger envy to the mix, too. Those ‘real’ bloggers out there have such talent. They seem so perfect. They make pretty things, and their photos are gorgeous (and in the background of their photos, their homes are spotless and immaculate and so stylishly done up). I’m a loser! I am never going to have such abilities!  My crafty aspirations aren’t happening (I just don’t have the time!), my limited imagination and vision mean all I can do is copy others’ ideas. My house is a mess! Did I mention I’m a loser?

 

But then, as if destiny herself were guiding my mouse clicks, I came across this little lifesaver.

Sigh. I’m ok. I’m normal. This is me. And part of my journey as a blogger – nay, mother/wife/woman/human being – is that I will have good days and bad days. So far this blog has been fun and easy and just the right amount of stretching. And then I hit a bad patch. I thought the challenge of reducing my words for four days would be good for me. Huh, I was wrong.

But that’s life. Sometimes we make bad choices. And then we learn from them.

So what have I learnt?

I have rediscovered that, sure, I want to be challenged and inspired to try new things. I want to evolve and grow and improve. But I am still me:

This is my web log, my journey, my words, my days.

 

 

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