More Baking

Hello everyone!

So I have baked some more yummy treats the past few days- and my waistline is also feeling it!

I think my piping skills are getting abit better and I feel that I have more of an understanding of what nozzle gives what effect. I also know some people like to have the icing all around the cupcake and not just the middle (I prefer less icing- how about you?)

Here is my latest cupcake attempts- half are chocolate and the other is vanilla both have lemon frosting and sprinkles πŸ™‚ they make me think of the yummy lemon ice cream on a sunny day πŸ™‚

Our bottom oven has now been fixed so to celebrate at the weekend I made a chocolate salted caramel drip cake! (wanted to use up my homemade salted caramel) – safe to say it was moist as the caramel soaked into the sponge and by the end of the day there wasnt any left!

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Last night I mad quick peanut butter cookies but this time used the ice cream scoop – normally they not as chewy but I think the scoop helped to make them crunchy around the edge and soft and yummy in the middle πŸ˜€

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So that is all the baking news so far…. will hopefully be doing a few new recipes with peanut butter πŸ˜› Also make some coconut ice next week- oh and I finally discovered the food network channel πŸ˜€ Do you watch it?

Have you baked anything recently?

x

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Cupcakes

Hello everyone πŸ™‚

The other day (luckily before the bottom oven broke) I tried out two of the baking tips from my book I got at Xmas (Oh and my new piping set)

1- I didnt have any self raising flour (as you know im coeliac so every recipe or baking I do I use Gluten Free) They have not had any in stock for a few weeks now and one supermarket has stopped selling them. So I used Plain flour then used two tablespoons of baking powder

2- Used an ice cream scoop to transfer the mix to each case

The result was great! They all rised well and were all even πŸ˜€ I was very happy that they worked!50312663_2171887389728618_8607800595094437888_n

I then made two lots of frosting- Pink buttercream and the other Chocolate cream cheese.

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The buttercream frosting I used one nozzle which I think was more for writing, the second I used a rose type nozzle.

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I tried to drizzle with homemade caramel but it should have been warmed beforehand as it was stiff to work with.

So a nice quick late night baking practise!

Question: Do you like cupcakes in a dome shape or flat? This debate popped up on one of my facebook baking groups

x

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Character Art

Hello Everyone!

So a while ago I asked on the Nano forum if anyone could sketch me two main characters and this is what I got back πŸ˜€

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This is Carmen from my Manicures and Murder WIP πŸ˜€ Isnt she lovely!

 

And this is Death :p

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How amazing does he look! He is from my other book “Deaths Apprentice”

Both I described as much as I could with them and they are just brilliant seeing them on paper and not just in my head πŸ˜€

Go check out other briliant artwork over atΒ https://acaciastorycorner.wordpress.com

Think its inspired me to maybe try and draw some characters!

Thank again hun

x

 

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3 years ago today…

So on my timeline 3 year ago today I went on a college afternoon course on “throwing a pot”

;D

I booked it up as an xmas prezzie to myself πŸ™‚ it was messy fun! Never seen a potters wheel or seen one in action in real life apart from on tv (yes I watched Great Pottery Throwdown and thought give it a try) so it was interesting seeing it in action.

There were a total of 10 people on the session so we split into 2 groups as there were only 5 wheels- I was the group that used the wheel first (only had 20 min) so teacher demonstrates how to use it and the three steps involved as a whole group then left us to it! :s

Here was my wheel:

We made up three balls of clay each (cut them in a block with a wire then pat them into balls) then we used the wheel- we threw them into the centre so it sticks to the wheel (check that it has as the first time I done it I thought it stuck but when I turned the wheel on it spun off) πŸ˜›

First step was centring so your flattening it out abit then stage two is to create the hole while steadying with other hand then last stage was to get the height and thin out. It was really hard and had to put all your weight into it! These were my first attempts (one is too thick so will split in the kiln) they are smaller then everyone elses- two people had big milk type jugs and a pot to put plants in so felt abit embarrassed with mine…. and taking them off the wheel was tricky!

 

So cleaned the wheel and went to the other side to attempt the pulling technique for handles (this I found much easier) made the clay into a sausage then drag hand down to create length while keep on wetting it. Then it was back to the wheel for a second time- this time I felt it went much better and my last bowl I went abit creative as ran out of time to make a plate so went for an odd bowl.

If it goes wrong on the wheel you have to restart again and that takes time as have to clean the centre or will ruin the next bit of clay that goes on

In total I think I used 7 balls of clay for only three finished pots!

Last 10/5mins we used slip- felt abit rushed so just done spots and messy type design!

The course was good but not long enough (2 and a half hours was to quick) and could have demo twice instead of just once- also could have spent more time going round to everyone and helping them out or checking if all ok as first time doing it (It was a beginners session) wasnt sure if thick enough and especially when people next to you are getting it :s or you forgotten what to do next….

Happy I done it though and its another craft I can say I dabbled in (will stick to air drying clay models)Β  But throwing a pot is harder then it looks and I remember even now that my back was killing me for a day after!

Here are my finished pots:

 

My favourite is this one:

And all three are still going strong! My favourite is on the kitchen window shelf πŸ™‚
Always good to try new crafts!
Have you tried any new crafts or any you want to try?
x
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January Prompt

So one of my writing groups on facebook have launched monthly prompts πŸ˜€ Head over to their blog to see other stories or join in! (https://writersuniteweb.wordpress.com/write-the-story)

This was my take of the picture (I didnt make him a skier in the end but thought as long as it is related to the prompt as such it should be ok)

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The Climb

The chill of the air and only the sound of the breeze surrounded him – he felt like he was the only person in the world.

 

“Just a little bit further” he thought looking out to the view of vast clouds below.

 

The high altitude they warned him could make the trip very hard and that some adventurous people who also travelled up with him had to turn around at the camp ending their dreams- but not his and he was determined since the day he booked the flight a year ago. She made him promise he would and he couldn’t turn back that promise- and he is so close to the summit. Taking the necklace out of the warmth of the jacket he opened it and turned it around to also take in the extraordinary view.

After what seemed like hours the guide called out to notify him of the final climb and noticed the sky had darkened once more.

“Let’s do this Polly” He whispered

Making sure he had all his gear from the tent he nervously proceeded to follow the guide knowing that this was the last push but also the most dangerous. The last of the group; two other men and a lady- he got to know abit about them at base camp drinking some tea in the lady’s tent to try and warm up from the cold.

 

The lady shared the same dream and the other two men have climbed mountains before – apparently one of them is a blogger but had to leave his laptop at base which wasn’t a happy sight to see before starting the climb.

The breeze now turned into something like a gale as they said goodbye to the last of the camps and the safety. His cheeks were burning and his legs starting to really ache after all the walking he was near the front and could see the others were also struggling as there axes tried to cut through the ice and his light on his helmet flickered warning him of the impending danger.

 

Not sure how much longer he could last he turned the corner then the gale started to calm.Β Β A long way in front was a big flag- guessing a half hour walk.

 

The sunrise finally welcomed them to the destination that some never made as he noted on the route. But he made it -overjoyed he knelt down and a wave of tears started to clog his goggles.Β A hand patted his shoulder- turning to look and find one of the group or the guide it was Polly

 

 

 

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New Year Goals

Hello everyone!

So 1st week gone already- how has it been for you? I actually wrote last night (318 words) but its a start!

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I have also thought of some goals for this year:

  • Finish one of my WIP’S
  • Write for another anthology
  • Blog more
  • Start writing a recipe book
  • Crochet a writing blanket (attempt)
  • Finish temp blanket
  • Decorate a birthday cake properly (I can bake but cant decorate well)
  • Visit some expos
  • Make more jams and chutneys (one day in future to sell?)
  • Grow more edible plants

That is a few of them anyway πŸ˜› Be interesting to see what ones I get done. Reading I will take my time as last year I set a goal of a certain amount and it actually started to stress me out and not want to enjoy reading – so stopped and only started reading again but wont pressure myself again (for any goals as after all they are only a guide)

One thing I have been focusing on during the Christmas holiday is to blog more of my baking journey as I love putting the recipes up- I love writing, taking photos and baking so all in one! So a separate section on baking will happen I think….

I also want to grow some fruit and veg as this year we are properly designing the garden now the grass has grown back from the neglect from previous owner- so will log their journey too on the baking side of it!

Crafts are going well I picked up the crochet hook the other day when felt poorly- and managed to create something πŸ˜€

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A bookmark πŸ˜›

I have nearly finished another month of the temp blanket! 4 of 12- 8 more to go!

So thats some of plans put onto paper (or blog) How about you? what would you like to do this year?

X

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Gluten Free Mince Pies

Hello everyone πŸ˜€

So even though its the start of January I still class it as the Christmas holidays till tomorrow when Jess goes back- so why not share my attempts and recipe of the festive mince pie!

So I have never made pastry before- shock! I have grown up knowing how to bake cakes and biccys- but i was never shown how to make pies of sort.

So my 1st attempt I didnt use enough flour so it ended up looking like this:

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But on second go the pastry turned out well (like shortbread and knead very quickly) and was actually pleased that it looked like a mince pie and tasted crumbly delicious!

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So here is the recipe I used (this is from the goodfoods site) adapted by using gluten free flour

Ingredients

350g Gluten Free Plain Flour

250g Butter

100g Sugar

Mincemeat

1 egg

Icing sugar to dust

Method

1- Make the pastry by rubbing butter, flour and sugar together

2- Roll into a ball and use a size of your palm take it and press down into the tin

3- Spoon a tablespoon of mincemeat into each pie

4- Take a smaller amount of the pastry and pat it between your hands to make the lid

5- Place on top and brush a beaten egg onto it

6- Bake for 20 mins at 180

 

They will keep for 3 days in a container πŸ™‚

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The only problem was getting them out the muffin tins- I used a pallet knife to wedge them out- next time will use a case!

Now I can bake them it will be an all year round bake instead of just for Christmas πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

x

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Happy New Year!

So as I sit here with a cuppa, Trolls on in the background and cuddled up next to Jess and Will I look back on 2018 with (mostly) fond memories:

It was the year Jess broke her collarbone (the only really really low point of the year- had a few down days here and there though)

It was the year my poem and short stories got published into three anthologies

It was the year I left my teaching jobΒ 

It was the year we started decorating the house (only jess room atm but we did take down the two massive trees)Β 

It was the year I took up gardening and grew tomatoes

It was the year I tried new recipes such as Chutney, Butter, Garlic Bread, Lemon Drizzle, Pumpkin Cake, chocolate truffle etc..

I tried some new things such as crochet (finally), Usborne and studied some new things such as photography, violin, accounting…..(and will study other things next year- more to follow)Β 

We have had snow back in February which was fun having aΒ  few family snow days- made an Easter Cake and went on a Easter egg hunt, Finished Camp Nano, made some paper flowers, Jess had her first sleepover, Jess turned 6 and Will 2 and they met batman and maui/moana and cinderella.

Diagnosed with osteoporosis – knowing that health is vital like family and we take it for granted at times

Me and matty celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary by going France for the day,Β  and in between the days involved lots of messy fun and some knitting….. oh and Jess going up reading levels and William saying new words. A new WIP idea expanded and many author interviews done….

 

 

 

 

48403006_10155932642911218_2741460561131732992_nAnd breathe…

This year has been “quiet” unlike 2017 (wedding and moved house) so it was welcome πŸ˜€ Those are just a few things this year ive done- I started to concentrate more on the blog too and made an Instagram page for it – also got to follow some great bakers and authors because of it.

This year my blog views have overtaken last year- to this date I have had 1, 136 views with 167 followers and 838 visitors! πŸ˜€ Many thanks to you all!!!!

So a summery post really and to remind me that even when the day goes quick- the memories last and to enjoy every bit of it! Jess and Will are growing up so fast and im so luck to be their mummy. I enjoy the days that jess reads to me and seeing her learning lots veryday- cuddles from both without asking and magic of xmas and things like loosing a tooth (jess has now lost 3- 3rd one was actually today) to name a few that I know will be gone when the turn into teenagers (AHHHH)

“12 Chapters, 365 new chances”Β 

What are your memories of this year? Any plans for 2019? (post to follow)

Enjoy your NYE and have a great New Years Day!

 

xx

 

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Rocky Road Yule Log Recipe

So today I thought I would share a festive non bake recipe that has become a firm favourite with the family….

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Yule Log πŸ˜€

But not just any yule log- a Rocky Road inspired one! I found it on the bbc goodfood site and had to give it a go! I adapted the recipe as didnt want to use banana chips etc..

I have made this twice now in a space of a week.

Ingredients

100g Butter

300g Chocolate

100g Golden Syrup

50g Marshmellow

50g Peanuts

100g Biscuits

50g Raisins

 

Method

1- Melt chocolate, butter and syrup

2- Take off the hob add rest of ingredients- mix well

3- This is slightly tricky but pour onto greaseproof paper and roll up then cover with cling film tightly securing the slides (I suggest let the mix really cool down before pouring so its abit more firm to work with)

4- Set in fridge for 3 hours

5- Melt 100g of choc and pour over log

6- With a fork drag across to make lines

7- Sprinkle with icing sugar

Keep in the fridge but it wont last long πŸ˜›

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Yum………

I hope your enjoying my recipes- is there any bakes you want me to try or to add? Let me know!

x

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Brandy Snaps Recipe

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good Xmas!

Today I thought I would share the Brandy Snap recipe. A classic, very quick and easy bake to make πŸ™‚

Perfect on its own or dip in melted chocolate and fill with whipped cream!

Ingredients

50g Butter

50g Brown sugar

50g plain flour

Some people put in 1 tsp brandy for an extra kick but I dont as feel it tastes just as good πŸ™‚

Method

1- Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and heat until melted

2- Pour into bowl of the flour and mix

3- Dollop a teaspoon onto baking tray and space well apart as the do spread

4- Cook for 8 mins

5-Leave for a min (no longer or they will set) before shaping- to shape oil a rolling pin and wrap the snap around for few seconds then slide off

6- Transfer to rack to cool and set

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And that is it! They make quite a few and I recommend doing them in batches (take one out oven and put next one in) as they cool very quickly and need to work quick to shape them. Dont over cook or they become bitter (dark brown colour and not golden) I put 4 dollops on each baking tray.

Enjoy!!!

x

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