Saturday, 30 April 2011

I love you like a fat boy loves cake..

Mmmmm....This is my favourite cake recipie, I'm not a fan of sponge so this fudgey cake is perfect and chocolatey. Normally I leave it as is, but seen as it was my birthday yesterday I decided to indulge with added chocolate wafers and a tub of strawberries. YUM!

Sorry there's none left. I didn't eat it all. Less than half. Just.

Its a slight variation on the Bruce Bogtrottor cake from 'Rold Dahl's revolting recipies' (the cake from Matilda?)

220g dark chocolate
175g butter
220g granulated sugar
4 tbsp plain flour
6 eggs separated

And for the topping:

220g dark/milk chocolate (according to preference, I loved the dark with the strawberries)
approx. 200ml double cream

To make:

Melt the butter and chocolate together and mix in the sugar, flour and egg yolks.

Whisk the egg whites till you can hold them over your 3 year old's head without them falling out then fold them in.

Bake in a silicone/greased and lined 8 inch cake tin for 35 mins at 180 degrees C.

To make the topping simply melt the chocolate and cream together over a pan of water, I am lazy though and just microwave them but you do have to watch it to make sure it doesn't boil the cream.

Leave the mixture to cool a little and thicken and when your cake is cool spread it all over!

The best thing is, because it's so easy to spread it doesn't matter if you just plaster it on because it will still set smooth! Wahoo! For mine I then pushed in wafers broken in half around the outside and threw on some halved strawberries (a 300g punnet).

Easy and delicious!

Oh yeah I heard there was a wedding yesterday too, but I'm sure you, like me, were just thinking of my birthday and nearly forgot too :)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Pin Board (and the death of peppa pig)

It was my sister's birthday and I decided to whip up a pin board for all of her important notices now she is a responsible grown up and going off to uni in September.

So I found a large frame in a charity shop and removed the glass and back.

Then sanded...

And cleaned.. 

Do you love all the actual action shots? I totally fix up things with a camera in my good hand.

Then laid some papers down and perched the frame on top of some milk bottle tops. Cos I'm a pro you know.

(Please note it is not a good idea to use old Peppa Pig magazines while your daughter is napping as she will notice when she comes to inspect your spraying and be distraught.)

Said bottle top.

Poor Peppa.

After the first coat. I did two and was quite libral, but when I was looking today the side seemed like it could do with another coat. Just because the angle was trickier to see (plus it was really windy outside!).

The next steps I don't have photos for as my husband was busy watching a very important football game. El clasico? Anyway I wrapped some fabric around the back board and hot glued pulling it tight, and then glued the ribbons. On a wonky angle of course, I need my non conformist ribbons to match the student :)

Nice shot of husband's shoe neatly put away.

Then of course some thickers and a fabric flower (do I embellish with anything else?).

Now I know I should have probably used some cork behind, but lets face it, I'll be far away from her student pad when she realises that she's ruined her rented house and any chance of getting her deposit back. But it looks pretty. Anyway I'm sure that won't happen, and if it does how much harm can she do over the phone?

Purse Re-do

My grandma is a hoarder. I mean she anything you could ever need and a spare! When she came for Izzy's birthday she brought an old wooden rocking horse (which I'm in the process of doing up), a piece of carpet, a teddy, a teddy, clothes for each of us, magazines from when I was a teenager (girl talk if your interested, and I loved it!) and a vintage purse.

I thought it was great quality and very roomy for my endless recipts and cards. Though not quite enough personality. So...

A little bit of hot glue, ribbon and of course a fabric flower!

And I'm all set!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Happy Easter!


Yep, she got straight back on after that back flip.

nappy changing...

Great talks in church...

Just kidding, I mean the talks were great, but unfortunately not done by Izzy.

Then after an egg hunt we decorated our big eggs to look like scenes from the Easter story...(use your imagination)

"It is Easter e'cos it has eggs and chocolate and stars and sprinkles."

The empty tomb. (My dad)

I think, the empty tomb with Jesus (the chocolate rabbit obviously), his disciples (the marshmallows) and Judas as the mouse (but you'd already guessed that I'm sure!). (My sister Sophie)

An action shot.

And I'll leave you with the obligatory Easter volcano. (And I know you'll understand about the blurry photo as volcanoes are notoriously hard to photograph.)

What was your Easter full of? I can't be the only one whose was crazy!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Party Time!

Izzy turned three this week!

She had a princesses and super heroes party (and another party in the evening for all our families! And yes I am still recovering!).

My favourite things...

The capes I made being debuted.

The cutest tea party ever!

Marshmallow castles (flags are cocktail sticks with strips of paper glued on with a sticky dot) thanks to my long suffering sister.

Of course blowing out the candles! Though not loving the not-so-glamerous shot of myself!

My first attempt at a birthday banner.

Some princess swinging.

And a birthday badge (which she loved but wouldn't wear), though I am thinking it would be fine to let her wear it on a "normal" day. Maybe it would even result in special treatment at monkey maze or a restaurant...

(These were the only ones left at the end!)

Inside the girls.

Hair bands I made using this tutorial and just sewed it on a plain elastic.

And inside the boys (cape from this post).

And Izzy loved that even she got a party bag! Although because she'd helped stuff them all she had a few bonus 'extras'.

Phew I'm tired again just thinking about it! But loved every minute! And I am very proud that I survived my first ever kids party :)

So do you have anything that really works for you? Any parties you've done or been to? (I am thinking a little less sugar next time!)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Is it that obvious how rarely I get flowers?

So my husband says its something about hayfever and that when there's flowers in the house his nose gets blocked and eyes itch all through the night. Plus he is magically able to remember the one time I told him when we were dating that cut flowers were a waste of money (but somehow cannot remember the hundred times I've told him about the bedroom/hallway/living room floor NOT being the correct place for dirty and/or saving-for-tomorrow jeans.).

Anyhow I'll get to my point, I (hopefully like other people out there) don't get flowers very often. But I do love them! I love them on the window sill (where other women can be jealous of admire them) and I especially love them on the kitchen table, however I hate when a few start to wilt, and even if you take those out the vase still looks sad because it now looks like a pathetically small bouquet.

Well this is my solution:

Get your surviving flowers and cut the heads off.

Then float a few in a goldfish style bowl.

The best thing is you can fill the bowl with ten to fifteen heads or even just float five or so.

Izzy has informed Andy as well that she thinks "the flowers look pretty in the bowl." So at least I have another girl on my side too!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Why to buy an extra three easter eggs

Or how I justified this purchase to my husband (and the subsequent consumption of the afore mentioned (big) eggs)

Though I must point out they were on buy one get two free!

So a really quick simple Easter idea for your kids and/or babysitter :) (thanks and most credit to my wonderful sister Bethany who has been over all week helping to entertain and reorganise my home).

Buy up your eggs according to number of participants. Then empty the smarties/malteasers/mini eggs into little pots. Unwrap the eggs and either decorate as a whole egg or break it up for smaller children as my daughter struggled with the whole egg rolling around.

I used melted chocolate mixed with about one third cream because it stays runnier longer and tastes really good with banana dipped in for the extra!

And then let the kids go to work!

I let even Ethan participate too...

Such a sweet innocent face...but covered in chocolate!

Copying off her mum and dipping banana in the chocolate sauce! (remember to keep it in the fridge cos it has cream in it.)

Some of our lovely creations:

And they were goooood!