Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!!

I saw these on Pinterest and I just had to have a go.....

Happy Halloween to you all.....

Monday, 28 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday

What a blowy day! I don't want to leave the house today but we are out of essentials - booo so will wrap up and fly my way over to the shops.
Last weeks meals were delicious as always ( as I cook them of course they were!) My favourite dish was the fish pie with filo pastry - I made lots of it and put another one in the freezer minus the filo so will have that this week with mash on the top instead.
Here is how the week is looking...

Monday - Fish pie with a sweet potato mash topping
Tuesday - Paneer curry
Wednesday - staying with my mum
Thursday - Spooky Halloween pie
Friday - Home made fish and chips.

If you would like to join in with meal planning or would like to browse other peoples menus head on over to Mrs M

Cupcake Decorating Course

I am useless at decorating cupcakes and my piping is shocking - looks like a child crayoning with their left hand! So when I saw this course advertised in one of my favourite cake shops Sweet As.. in Leamington I signed up immediately.
it was a one of course on a Saturday afternoon in a hotel in Warwick. The course promised to show us how to decorate cupcakes in four different ways. It was hosted by the owner Jenny , she demonstrated four different techniques using buttercream, fondant, marshmallows and lots of glitter! She of course made it look so easy as she is a professional ! It was then our turn, there were about 20 of us and we worked on large round tables, I was quite pleased as I went on my own and everyone else was part of a group so it was fun to work together. My piping is still terrible and I am slightly disappointed that this wasn't covered as much as I thought it would be but I still had a fun time.
We decorated 6 cupcakes and got to take them home in a lovely presentation box.

This is our table full of buttercream, tools and glitter....
The marshmallow flowers with glitter were my favourite ones to make - they are simple but pleasing decoration and I will definitely do these again. Love the glitter!!


As you can see I got a bit carried away with the photos!

My rose made of fondant was also a good one , slightly trickier but you can hide a lot of it in the butter cream.

The other 2 were a bit of a Disaaaasterrr Darling and I do need a lot more practice of these ones!

After all the hard work of decoration we were treated to coffee and some of the gorgeous cakes that they make in the shop

And this is how cupcakes should be piped! They make it look so easy!
And this is the finished box of delights... afterwards I was in a shop and someone commented on how pretty and professional they were.. I was so pleased... glad they didn't look too closely!
I would love to do another of their courses... mmm thinking of the chocolate one....

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Ghost Pancakes

Whooooooo Whoooooooo
No I'm not an owl - that is my scary ghost voice....
I don't know whether you have noticed but it is Halloween soon.. Everyone is posting on their blogs and Pinterest is awash with it all, so not one to miss out on anything I have decided to join the bandwagon and here is the first of a few posts to this scary night.
It looks like a child has made these which makes them all the more adorable! I did use a ghost cutter and some raisins....
Booooooo hoooooooo
wooooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh wooooooooooo

(Right I'll get my coat)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Over the top?

We went to London to celebrate Molly's birthday a little bit more!! (you are only 1 once after all!) with the help of family this time, I said that I would make a cake... I knew exactly which one I wanted to make - I have seen these all over Pinterest and was dying to have an opportunity to make it - but it had to be with a large gathering of people as I could see that it would be really really huge!
This is the cake!
(not the best photo! I still keep forgetting to take pictures when I have made things!)

As it was going to be a bit decadent I spent a little more time on making it ( yes I found the time!!) I used a mixture of recipes both from the Hummingbird books - the triple layer sponge was the Brooklyn Blackout Cak e from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and then I made a salty caramel filling from the Sweet and Salty Chocolate cake from The Hummingbird Cake days. I love both of these cookbooks and also have the other one Home Sweet Home which I have yet to use.
I was a bit worried that the cakes would be too high for the Kit Kats but they didn't rise as much as I thought they would which was just as well. For the icing I again used the Dr Oetker fudge icing - I needed to use a lot for 3 layers and to go all over the cake.
This is a very forgiving cake... It doesn't matter what state the cake is in the Kit Kats hide everything! I used about 10 packets of Kit Kats ( that came in packs of 5) - Don't think about the calories! I found in Sainsburys pink Smarties that are on sale for Christmas - perfect!! I used 2 big tubes - I am really really pleased with the end result and would make it again - Stephen couldn't stop laughing when I made it and called it a monster! It was really rich and gooey thanks to the salted caramel - a slice with 2 Kit Kat fingers was more than enough. However I may have had a few helpings!!!
This is how it looked after we had attacked it...... ( there were 8 of us!)

I am entering this in the Alphabakes cake challenge hosted by Caroline Makes and Ros at The More than occasional baker. Each month a letter is chosen at random and this month it is C - I expect there is a lot of Chocolate and Cake!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Meal planning Monday

Evening! Bit late on the meal planning this week, have had a hectic day cooking. I made some delicious salmon fish balls for Molly and she wouldn't eat them!!!!! Arggghhhhhh its so annoying!
Last weeks meals went to plan although some of the days were jumbled. The aubergine lasagne was very delicious! I cut a few corners and rather than steam the aubergines for 30 mins, I blasted them in Mickey the Microwave for 4 mins! (BTW you have to name all your household goods.... Derek the Dishwasher is currently on his rinse cycle...)
I have also discovered these meal planners that are in the sale from Joules at a bargain of only £2.70 and free delivery to your local store if you have one nearby. You can tear off each week and attach to the fridge. I bought a couple for Christmas presents. Feel so smug!
Back to this week..... I found in my pile of a squillion cookbooks one of the freebie little magazines that is entitled Fresh Family Food ,20 minute suppers - right up my street so I shall be using it this week..
Monday - filo topped fish pie and plum and pecan crumble from Novella Lawson Domestic Goddess cookbook.
Tuesday - crusty pasta and broccoli bake.
Wednesday - creamy backed haddock & tatties
Thursday - off to Walberswick for the weekend so probably a curry.
Friday - Fish cakes of some sort (easy to take with us!)
Saturday - lunch with Stephens parents which I am cooking thinking of Rosti bolognase pie.
If you would like to see what everyone else is cooking this week, head over to Mrs M .

Monday, 14 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday

Another week and as I type this the rain is coming down and it is really dark for a Monday morning - but it makes me feel very cosy!
Last weeks meals seemed to go to plan apart from the Aubergine lasagne didn't make an appearance and instead we had a potato gratin which had layers of smoked salmon in it... mmm delicious...

So here is this week...
Monday - Mackerel Carbonara ( Jamie Oliver recipe from his new book)
Tuesday - Prawn Curry ( recipe saved from Delicious magazine)
Wednesday - Out for dinner with the girls ( can't wait!!)
Thursday - Aubergine Lasagne ( Another Jamie !! going to try and make it this week!)
Friday - Pesto , Pasta Surprise - The Surprise is whatever I happen to find to add to it!

Will also attempt to make a few desserts this week - I have a freezer full of raspberries and lots of lemons to use up.

As usual if you would like to look over at Mrs M and check out what everyone else is making , click here...

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Molly's 1st Birthday!!

It was Molly's 1st Birthday a couple of weeks ago and we had a few celebrations for her! The first was a joint party with 2 other babies who were also one in the same week - we hired a hall and had a soft play area - it was great fun and Molly loved it but she was exhausted! I couldn't not make her a birthday cake and fretted about it for weeks! I was obsessed with Pinterest and tagged lots of pictures for inspiration. It had to be simple ( of course! everything I do has to be!) but also look pretty. I really wanted to make some sort of cat cake but in the end I didn't have the time so I looked for decorations that had good old smarties in them! You can't fail with smarties and it is a traditional 1st birthday decoration style - well it is now so there! So once I had the smarties sorted it was what cake to make?? Chocolate of course - Every baby has their 1st birthday cake made of chocolate... So I used my old faithful through it all together cake  and  I also cheated by using ready made chocolate icing - as usual I didn't leave myself enough time to make everything!
And here is the finished article... not as pretty as I wanted it to be as some of the chocolate got on the smarties...

My mum also made a fab cake too....
Isn't it sweet! It is 2 fruit cakes - one of them is in the freezer as we were over run by cake!!
We all decided that we wanted to make a cake each for our daughters and these are the other 2.
Alexa made this very yummy white chocolate cake..mmmmmm
Hannah didn't have time to make a big cake so cleverly made lots of little cakes which were delicious!
 And this is the birthday girl!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday

Beginning of the week again!
My intentions of doing this weekly have failed ! Never mind. I will as usual ue looking after Molly as my excuse!
This week I am using my Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals for inspiration for most of the dishes and also his online website has some lovely meals that I will use.

Monday - Tasty Crusted Cod  with pepernata
Tuesday - Having an Indian takeaway  from Kayal Oh they are delicious!!!
Wednesday - Smoked Haddock chowder
Thursday - Aubergine Lasagne
Friday - Basa Fillets with somehing!

I am hoping to stick to this but who knows! I normally end up forgetting something so that I can't make the dish or come back late from somewhere and can't be bothered or don't have time to faff about in the kitchen.
As usual please click here which will take you to Mrs M's blog and see what everyone else has planned..