Archive | March, 2012

Nice Day For A White Wedding…

31 Mar

I think I may have mentioned in a previous post that I am to attend 3 weddings and a christening this year meaning I am spending most of my spare time planning outfits.

The task of choosing a perfect wedding outfit is one that fills me with dread as the weddings & Christening are all for friends & family of my boyfriend, meaning I have no prior knowledge of what I will be expected to wear and no-one to really ask!

I was lucky earlier in the year and found some amazing bargain dresses in the H&M Sale including this orange number that will probably be saved for the Autumn wedding later in the year.

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I was super excited when I received an email from H&M letting me know they had another sale on giving me the chance to maybe pick up a few more outfits. There wasn’t a huge amount available but after routing and digging around I did find a few bargains…….including these beauties:

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The A-Line dress looks great with a belt and looks a lot better on than it does hanging limp on a hanger!

I also treated myself to a little clutch bag……because as we all know girls You can never have too many bags:

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Hopefully I am now ready for all these events and hopefully I will be dressed appropriately for each one (Fingers Crossed)

XOXOX

Home Again Home Again Jiggly De Jig…

29 Mar

Well I am back after my holiday in Florida. The weather was hot ( although I am still a whiter shade of pale) and I ate my own body weight in food and all in all it was a fabulous break.

We skipped all the usual tourist traps like Disney and Universal and instead decided to have our own style holiday. We ate out alot and went for lots of drives finding some amazing places and lizards on the way.

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We were going to visit Cocoa Beach but on the advice of a local taxi driver visited Clearwater instead and it was totally the right choice, White sands, lots of sun, pelicans and funnily enough very Clearwater.

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It was a yummy break away and it was nice to get some sun on my cold bones but I have to say coming home was lovely too seeing all my family (March is a big Doolallytat birthday month) and enjoying the English sunshine and a good cup of tea.

Also being able to get a salad without dressing and more than broccoli covered in butter has been really nice. Not to mention getting away from food like this:

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Hopefully we will have more craft fair and Diamond jubilee news to share soon.

XOXOXO

It’s All About The Bread!

23 Mar

Ok so I know probably not the best thing to eat, especially if your trying to be good but I love fresh bread the smell the taste…delicious. After spending a small fortune weekly at our local bread shop it got me thinking what about making my own bread. Now I have tried making bread the old fashioned way but I really don’t have the patience for all that proving malarkey. So thought lets try to think of ways to start putting my case across to the hubby as to why it would be awesome to have a bread maker.

So I started to do some research on bread makers and it’s a minefield, conflicting views and people saying that they don’t work properly the bread isn’t right when it comes out. Which started to make me think is it even worth getting one at all. The more reviews I looked at one bread makers name kept popping up the Panasonic SD2501 it was a little more expensive than I had been looking to pay but it had an automatic nut and seed dispenser and you can make jam in it too what more could a girl ask for!

So told the hubby how amazing it was and how he would be able to have fresh bread everyday, how lovely his lunchtimes would be and to be honest I think he gets so bored of me going on that he would say yes to anything!

So just after Christmas my Panasonic SD2501 or Big Boy as I like to now call him arrived. He’s rather on the large side you need to either have a nice big cupboard to put it in or it does take up quite a bit of room on the side. I’ve got him on the side which is fine as I haven’t stopped using him since he arrived.

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When I brought him I brought a separate bread maker book but to be honest other than having a flick through I haven’t used it and have been using the booklet that came with the bread maker. You have to first get your head around that the quickest it can make bread is 1 hour and 55 minutes and some of the other programmes are up to 6 hours but it has a timer so you can just pop all the ingredients in set the timer and have it ready for when you want. I can definitely recommend the french bread recipe and the seeded loaf is delicious too.

But yesterday I made the spiced fruit loaf it needs to go on menu 03 which is a four hour programme which at some point tells the bread maker that it needs to open its automatic raisin and nut dispenser to drop in the mixed dried fruit.

1 tsp Yeast
400g Strong White Flour
2 tsp Sugar
75g Butter
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed Spice
2 Eggs
100 ml Water
100 ml Milk
150g Mixed Dried Fruit

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And the result yummy yummy Spiced Fruit Loaf which is delicious toasted with butter or even better with ice cream.

If you have a yummy bread maker recipe that you would like to share I would love to hear about it.

xoxoxo

Cooking Up A Storm

19 Mar

Saturday I decided I was going to make a Chicken and Vegetable Pie a recipe I have been wanting to do for a while. The hubby loves a bit of pastry actually i think that maybe his favourite bit of the pie, but by the look of his empty plate I think he liked the filling too!

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You can find the recipe here. I used any vegetables I had in my fridge plus the compulsory frozen peas and sweetcorn I also used puff pastry. It’s a pretty easy pie recipe and doesn’t need cream or a million different herbs or strange ingredient so you can pretty much whip it up with store cupboard ingredients. The only thing that takes a while is pre cooking the chicken but you can just pop that in the oven and kind of forget about it for 40 minutes. I was unable to take a picture of the full pie as everyone had started to tuck in before I got the chance. But here’s a look at the half eaten pie! I served it with some extra green Vegetables and good old mash potato.

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I decided to doubled the pie ingredients and have frozen it as it will make a quick healthy midweek meal to have with some rice. Creamy Chicken and rice is one of my favourite dinners Yum yum.

I have also been baking again and had to share this recipe with you. If you like coffee cake you will love these. Give them a go super easy too. The icing was delicious and not at all sickly. You can find the recipe here

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I made them for Sunday a joint celebration for Mothers Day because Mums Rock! and for Doolallytat JJ’s birthday as she will be in sunnier (hopefully) climes for her actual birthday. The cakes went down a storm and were gone in a flash and mum loved her Doolallytat creation handmade card.

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So here was to a weekend of happy cooking and crafting xoxo

Easy Style…

15 Mar
Easy Style

Things We Love Thursday…

15 Mar

This week has utterly flown by and we even had some sunshine……..Oh and masses of Sea Mist!

But through the fog we have still had time to fall in love with lots of beautiful things so here we are to share:

1. Buttons Buttons and More Buttons

For some reason Buttons make me very happy there is something about them all shiny and colourful. I remember thinking that they were really something special when I was little and I would love looking through my Grandmas button box as if it was a sort of treasure chest.

I now have my very own Button jar and just bought these beauties to add to the collection:

They are such yummy pastel colours and some of these pretty little gems will be made into rings and hair clips for the Doolallytat collection.

2. Freestlin’ Crochet

Not actual crochet you see but self taught and looking good but not quite Crochet, Crochet.

There has been talk of Crochet lessons although I am liking no actual I am LOVING the gusto of just giving it a good old go!

3. Holidays!!!!!

Yes I am lucky enough to be heading off to my favorite hotel in London at the weekend, A gig on Monday and then off to sunny sunny Florida after that. I have so far packed my bag, unpacked it and packed it again at least 7 times and I am guessing this will happen a few more times before take off.

Well on that note I guess I better go and check my bag again!

XOXOX

 

 

 

 

 

Any Excuse For Cake…

13 Mar

I’m off on a day trip out tomorrow to the lovely Wakehurst place where they have beautiful gardens and is home to the millennium seed bank, they are hoping by 2020 that they would have banked over 25% of the worlds wild plant species. The work they do is hugely important and the gardens are especially great for picnics and what is the most important part of a picnic….yep you guessed it CAKE!

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I have been meaning to make a marble cake for such a long time and I love making cakes in my Bundt tin so I thought what can be better than a marble Bundt cake. I think my love of Bundt cakes is mainly because I like saying Bundt cake it sounds much more special than a cake baked in a regular tin and how easy they are to cut, which make them ideal for a picnic as you can cut them into easy to manage slices.

So you can find the recipe here. It’s super easy as you just bung the ingredients minus the coco powder (I use green and blacks as its my favourite and gives a lovely chocolate taste) into you blender. Then separate half the mixture, mix in the coco into one of the mixtures then dollop alternatively into your tin then the fun bit using a knife swirl the chocolate and vanilla gently together to create the marble effect.

A little top tip as I used to struggle getting my Bundt cakes to come out of the tin in one piece, I use a spray sunflower oil so you can get the whole tin coated and the cake should release like a dream.

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So here it is…..And as I’m going to pre slice it to take it to the picnic I can have a slice with a cuppa and no one need know!

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Yum yum!
XOXOX