Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back...with Nutella Cupcakes





Wow the summer really flew by didn't it?! I can't believe it's back to school time already, I feel so sorry for the poor kids having to get back in to their uniforms. 

I am glad its September now though, its the kinda month that makes you want to get organised! I mentioned in my last post (way back in early summer-oops!) that I was afraid my laptop was gonna explode - well it almost did! I got some scary warnings about it being too full to work. So rather than actually deal with it I just shut it down and pretty much left it switched off for the last couple of months. And I actually didn't really miss it that much. I checked my emails and read blogs on my phone and then after being in work on a computer all day I didn't have the slightest urge to try and turn it on.  But, with it being September and all,  I finally decided I should sort it out, especially  since I'll be back studying soon and could do with a computer. So I got my husband to magically make some space. He took all my thousands of photos off and now I've an empty computer that no longer gives explosive warnings! So I'm finally back in action and ready to fill it up with more photos of cakes!

Monday, July 2, 2012

M.I.A



Oh I feel really  bad,  like I have abandoned this poor little blog for the past few weeks. I'd like to tell you that I have been busy making and baking so much stuff that I just couldn't drag myself away from the oven/sewing machine, ahem, but I haven't really. I have actually spent most of the last few weeks sneezing! I'm really not loving hay-fever season! I'm constantly going around wearing my giant sunglasses with packets of tissues shoved in every pocket. Is it bad that I'm looking forward to Autumn already?!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I ♥ toasted sandwiches!



Over the weekend I came home after a night out and  decided to make myself a cup of tea and a toasted sandwich. As I sat in the kitchen contemplating life, my mind wandered to THE toasted sandwich. I think it is completely underrated in society these days. Maybe I'm being biased, I mean I am a major toasted sandwich fan. And, when I say toasted sandwich, I'm not referring to just toasting some slices of bread and putting fillings in between, or making a sandwich and placing it under the grill. I'm talking about toasted-sandwich-maker sandwiches!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cupcakes, Bicycles, Picnics and Sunshine!



Wow, isn't the weather amazing?! For the last week or so I feel like I've been on holidays, even though I most certainly have not been! But everything seems so much nicer and brighter when the sun is out!  Over the weekend, I decided I needed to make the most of the sun, just in case this is the only bit we get this "Summer".  So, I started with a nice strawberry daiquiri on Friday after work, with my lovely friend Emma. Then, all day Saturday, even though it was lovely out, I spent most of the day indoors making cupcakes! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A quick quiche!



I've always liked the idea of quiche, but then it seemed to me like there was an awful lot to it - with the pastry and everything. Most quiche recipes I have come across in the past require you to chill the pastry in the fridge for an hour, then blind bake it, which all just seemed like a bit too much effort.  I was afraid I might starve before the quiche even made its way into the oven. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lovely Bargains!



I love a good bargain, do you? Recently, I've gotten some good ones. Like this little table. Ever since I brought it home, when anyone comes to visit, I get them to guess how much it cost. So far my sister's boyfriend has been the closest. He guessed three euro, but it was actually only two! Isn't that amazing?! I got it at a charity fair thing a while ago. The guy who was selling it was lovely and when I asked how much it was, he said I was the first person all day to show any interest in it. (Don't know what that says about the table, or me!) So it was mine for two yoyos! I think I was destined to own it!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Beetroot Salad


Up until  about two years ago, I'm ashamed to say, I had  never eaten beetroot. I don't know why, but it was just one of those things. I didn't really like the look of it and presumed I wouldn't like the taste either. Then I remember talking to my friend - the lovely Lisa - about onions one day, as you do, and I was horrified to hear she didn't eat them! I wondered how she got by in life without eating onions and I even questioned our friendship, knowing this about her. I mean, you have to eat onions, they are in everything and they make things taste better! So I decided some tough love was in order, I told her she needed to grow up and eat onions! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

China Cabinet Revamp!



Recently I've been moving furniture around. I always seem a bit short on space, probably because I have hardly any. I'm really looking forward to the day when I have a walk-in-wardrobe and another  separate one just for shoes! But in the meantime I'm making the most of my lovely little home. I actually really like it, it is small but I get to to share it with my husband and there's no one else I'd rather be living in such a tiny enclosure with!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Auntie Mary's Vegetable Wraps



After making Auntie Mary's bean stew a while back, I decided I needed to pay my lovely aunt a visit. So a few weeks ago, on a lovely sunny day I headed off to see her. I think I mentioned before that I love going to visit Mary, because I get to see her (obviously) and also get to eat her delicious food.  And on this occasion I also came armed with my recipe folder and a shiny new pen to steal some of her knowledge and recipes! Anyway, I had the best day ever. I got to sit around eating, chatting, and admiring Mary's library of cookbooks. I also got to meet her new Kitchen Aid - OMG I love it! And I want one! It's just so  beautiful! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Bee Birthday Cake!



Friday the thirteenth! It's my little sister's birthday today. I say little, however she's well over a foot taller than me! But she's still just my baby sis. Anyway, she is great, she's the type of person that doesn't miss a thing. Like back in November when I made my big sis a birthday cake and wrote how I'd made that cake for "every special person's birthday" - little sis or Anne-Marie as we call her, immediately pointed out I never made her one! Oopsy! I so have to be careful how I word things on here! Anyway,  since then I've been thinking I'll have to make her a "special cake".

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Egg Nest Cake



Hope everyone is having a lovely Easter! I decided to make a chocolate cake since I gave up chocolate and cake for lent. I actually stuck to it this year, so it's definitely time for a celebration cake!

I had been thinking for a while about the type of cake I might make and then I came across Nigella's Easter Egg Nest Cake recipe which I thought would be perfect! I had envisioned two chicks on top of my Easter cake so I made them with golden marzipan - that was actually my favourite part of the whole cake making process!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A very fast noodle feast!



I recently made a discovery - to do with seasoning. I sometimes find it hard to come up with ideas to make things tasty without having to throw a jar of something on top of the main ingredients.  But then I discovered that soy sauce and ground black pepper make an excellent combination. Which led to this little dish that is now one of my favourite and quickest ever meals to throw together. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spinach and Feta Scones


A few weekends ago I saw this recipe in a Sunday paper. I thought it sounded interesting, but then again I always think random recipes seem interesting. But when I was on the phone to my friend Lis that night she said she'd something amazing to tell me: that she had found a recipe for spinach & feta scones in the paper and that I had to make them! So if that wasn't a clear sign I needed to make these...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Fruit Salad


So I am actually counting down the days to Easter now. I mentioned before that I've given up eating & baking cakes for lent but I've also given up chocolate - so as you can imagine life is pretty hard at the moment!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring is in the air, put flowers in your hair!


I love this time of year, it's so nice out and although it's only the start of Spring I think it feels like the start of Summer. Feels like it's time to wear Summer dresses and all things flowery! Last week I got to thinking I'd like some sort of flowery thing for my hair. But I had the same problem that I face on a regular basis: what I envision in my mind never seems to appear on the shop shelves! So after a bit of a search I decided I'd just have to make it myself. It being a flowery hairband of course.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thai Green Curry



Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! I did, in fact so much so  that I forgot to post a Monday Meal yesterday! Oops! Well it was a bank holiday after all! Anyway here it is, a day late. 

I decided to make a Thai Green Curry in honour of our Patron Saint over the weekend. I love Thai Green Curry and have made it loads of times before. But this one was different because I actually made it from scratch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

R.I.P Doris Daewoo



Your first car plays a very important role in your life, doesn't it? I mean it's a major milestone to finally have your own set of wheels. I was so happy when I got my first car many moons ago. Getting her was one of the top things on my to-do list in life at the time, partly because learning to drive was also high up on that list.  And nobody seemed that keen on lending me a car to practice in, my Dad mentioned something about how expensive crash repairs were when I suggested driving his. He was right, now that I think about it. Anyway, I saved up and finally found my dream car online. She was beautiful. A maroon, 1.4 litre, kinda sporty looking, hatch-back Daewoo Lanos. With electric windows! I was in love! I was also really afraid she would get snapped up quickly, and I had to work at the time, so I sent my Dad to go and have a look at her for me. He's good with cars. He came back with a great report. So I decided I'd buy her!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup (with chili and coconut!)


One Saturday back in February I decided to go on a day trip, so after a bit of research I settled on Mount Usher Gardens in Wicklow as the destination. I'd never been before so I thought it would be nice to spend a few hours walking around some lovely gardens, in the freezing cold! I was very excited, then when we got there and walked up to the gates we were met with a big sign that informed us the gardens were closed until March! Typical! Anyway the one consolation was that the Avoca cafe there was open and serving food! So we went in and I got the most delicious soup of Sweet Potato and Carrot. Followed by a chocolate tart! It was definitely worth the drive and made up for the lack of garden walking. I was delighted later that day when I looked up the Avoca cookbook that my friend Emma bought me last year and discovered the recipe was in it. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kirstie's Banana Cake



So I made this Banana Cake a few weeks ago. I was flicking through the Kirstie Allsopp Craft book that I got for Christmas and was surprised to see a Food Crafts chapter.  When I landed on the Banana Cake page and then glanced at the almost gone off bunch of bananas hanging in the kitchen, I knew I needed to make this cake. It's a really quick and easy recipe with simple ingredients.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cabbage Soup/Stew



This might not sound like  the loveliest of meals but I think it's actually quite tasty! Remember a while ago everyone was going crazy on the cabbage soup diet? It basically involved eating only cabbage soup everyday and then you loose like ten stone in a week! Or something crazy like that!  Anyway this is my version of cabbage soup but because I don't blend it and it's kinda chunky I consider it more of a  cabbage stew. I like it because its's really easy to make and full of cabbage and vegetables which are good for you! Also most of the ingredients like the celery are seemingly 'negative calorie' foods and that sounds good too! Anyway I don't think I could live only on cabbage soup and I wouldn't advise anyone to either. But if you just want a different kind of soup for lunch, or if you want to make yourself feel like you're being very healthy then you should try this. I bet you'll be surprised at how nice it is!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes



Don't worry, I haven't broken my lent promise to not bake cakes! I baked a couple of things a while ago that I never got round to sharing, including these babies that I made back in January. I made them for my Mother's birthday to accompany her lemon birthday cake.  I got the recipe from The Great British Bake Off How to Bake cookbook which my Mam actually got me for Christmas.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Tomato Soup


I've always liked watching Jamie Oliver. I love how passionate he is about whatever it is he's cooking and I also love how he's trying to save the world and make it a better place by  ensuring children have good healthy food in schools and all that. While I've always watched him whenever he's on TV, I never really paid too much attention to what he was cooking.  Anyway things have changed. My husband got a present of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food cookbook for Christmas and one day he made the most amazing scrambled eggs from that book. So I decided to rob it off him and have since found that there are lots of interesting meals and dishes inside of it. Most of the ingredients are simple ones that you don't have to search high and low for, and the recipes are laid out well with easy to follow instructions, which I like, a lot. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

A top transformed!




So, I was on the lookout for a new top the other day. I picked one up from a rail; it was cheap,  navy, a plain v neck, so boring looking. And I thought: Perfect! I'll take this one!

You see I was looking for a top that I could transform. Last Summer my Mam told me she brought me something back from a weekend away. She then gave me a little bag and I peeked inside  to glimpse some old fashioned lace. I was like "oh thanks Mam, a giant doily! just what I've always wanted!" She then went on to explain that the doily was in fact a vintage lace collar that ladies used to wear on different dresses/outfits to jazz them up a bit. Finally her gift made sense!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bye bye baking! (For a little while)


So, with Lent having just started and everything, I have  decided this year to be practical about what I'm going to give up for 40 days and 40 nights. I usually set myself up for failure, giving up general stuff like chocolate, which never really goes according to plan. It just makes me want it more. I've done this for years, since I was a child, and I never learn. Not only would I eat some chocolate, I would also slyly start eating my easter egg that was hidden high up at the back of a press  which I needed a ladder to get to. And I would usually finish it off way before Easter  and neatly fix the foil back into the egg-shaped plastic, leaving it looking as though it had never been touched. Of course I always got found out eventually.  But I didn't mind, I was quite happy that I had eaten it. It seemed to taste even better having to wait til the coast was clear and then climb up and finally get my hands on it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leek and Mushroom Risotto



I was in Easons a while ago, with my Dad, we both love books and he had a voucher so we spent a while browsing the shelves. My Dad quickly enough picked out some historic saga and then insisted that I used the rest of the voucher. (Dads are the best aren't they?!) So I took a while trying to decide which out of all the wonderful books I might bring home and eventually decided on a hardback fashion memoir of some American reality star (that I'll hide at the back of my bookshelf behind War and Peace) and a tiny little cookbook  with a nice photograph of risotto on the front. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birthday Brownies!


It was my Mother-in-Law's birthday last week. She always makes really delicious food, especially deserts, so I thought she might like something sweet to celebrate turning another year older. I eventually decided on brownies! I love brownies, I think most people do, don't they?! I had been thinking of making them for a while, because I love them so much, and I wondered why I never bothered to attempt them before now. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

❤ Valentine Pancakes ❤


So this Monday Meal is of the breakfast variety!

I love this time of year, there are just so many random things to celebrate; Valentines Day tomorrow, Pancake Tuesday next week and before we know it St.Patrick will be popping up everywhere. Then there's Easter. It's just non-stop celebratory events! Anyway, my two favourites have to be Valentines Day & Pancake Tuesday; hearts everywhere and eating enormous amounts of pancakes on a  Tuesday. Life just  doesn't get much better than that, does it? So, what better way to mix them together than heart shaped pancakes!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ash's Grannys Lemon Drizzle Cake



It was my Mam's birthday a few weeks ago, so I asked her what type of cake she'd like me to make her and she said "oh that lovely lemony one". She wasn't referring to the lemon layer cake I made for her anniversary, no, she was talking about the lemon drizzle cake. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Colourful Stuffed Vegetables!


I like the idea of stuffed vegetables, it just seems a bit more interesting than chopping them up.  I tried stuffed vegetables a few times before when I've been out and they always tasted nice, but I thought it just seemed like a lot of effort to actually make them myself. Well, it does take a bit of effort as I've just recently discovered. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Auntie Mary's Bean Stew


Everyone seems to have an auntie Mary don't they? You just have to have one. Well, I have an auntie Mary and I'm just gonna say it, my one is the best! She really is! Not only is she a lovely auntie but she's also an amazing cook and baker. I used to love going on holidays to visit her, one of the main reasons being I'd get to eat all the fancy food she made every day. When I say fancy I mean she was making enchiladas and stuff back in the day before I even knew what they were.  Most of Mary's food is vegetarian which I didn't really notice until I became one. And when I did - become one- I went to Auntie Mary for recipes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lovely Sushi - without the dead fish!


I love sushi. When I was in Toronto I ate it all the time, all the sushi places were so good and so cheap and cheerful. And there were so many different types, it was amazing. Then, when we went to visit my lovely friend Ash when she was in Perth, we ended up eating sushi rolls nearly every day. Mainly because they were delicious but also because they were only $2 and we were on a bit of a budget. And then when we popped across to the other side of Oz they were selling them over there too. I was so happy. It's the perfect alternative to a bread sandwich, which you can get pretty fed up with when you're constantly traveling and living in a van for weeks on end. And sushi is so good for you! I know some people don't like the idea of seaweed but that is the best bit! It's nutritious and delicious!

Monday Meals



It's 2012 and I'm finished my exams, woohoo!  So,  I am now finally getting round to catching up on my 2012 to-do list, and my new years resolutions!

One new thing I've decided to do is make a new meal every Monday. And record it here of course! I'll still be making and baking lovely things too, but I am going to be very strict and disciplined in my new "Monday Meals".  They'll be savory and hopefully healthy. I think they should help balance out all the cakes. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Keep calm and have a cupcake! (or an almond croissant!)


Belated Happy 2012 everyone! I've been slacking in my making and baking of late, but with good reason; I've been swotting up. Yeah, I have spent most of Christmas  and the new year  trying to study and cram for college assignments & presentations (which are now done) and horrible exams, which have only just begun. But I can't go too long without sharing how  to make or bake something, so here's something very simple. How to turn a poster into some wall art!