30.4.12

Blue skies



they're back - thank goodness for that.. This April has just been miserable - wet, cold, grey and just yuk, yuk, yuk! It was nice to step out this morning and to feel the sun shinning down and it had that wonderful smell of spring.

My weekend was good but it's definitely harder entertaining kids when you can't be outside. I got to experience Toys R Us - which is a horrid place but was cute watching the boy and his brother spend a long time looking over all the lego - I think the boy enjoyed it more! Dave has also pilled on the pounds in the past few weeks as he hates rain! He's now outside our office bunny hunting and sun bathing - I wish I could join him!

Hey ho back to work!

27.4.12

make it / macarons

So look what I made - and all by myself!

So a year ago I set myself a challenge - after the most disastrous batch of macarons ever I decide that one day I would be able to make theses bad boys perfectly. This batch just were awful. My first ones I had attempted for my sister in laws baby shower had been better - ok they we're big and ugly - but they has a certain shine on top and almost a skirt - this second batch wouldn't even come off the paper and were just nothingness. I think because of this disaster I had the impression that they were just impossible to make.

So negatively I set to work on Sunday afternoon. I'd given my mum this recipe I found of the inter web as one - it was written by one of my favourite cake bloggers Linda from  Call me Cupcake and two it just seemed so simple and informative - with pretty pictures! Mum had some success with it so I thought I'd try it and for once follow it to the dot - something I don't normally do!

So you can find the whole - and very good recipe here:

But for ease I've briefly outlined what I did and used:

Ingredients:

100 gr ground almonds (I used shop brought)
100 -110 gr egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged 1 day at room temperature covered with cling film
I used 105gr's of the amazing liquid egg whites from two chicks and got them up to room temp
200 gr  icing sugar
4 tablespoons (about 45 gr) granulated sugar

"In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out!"

I mixed and sieved the ground almonds and icing sugar together just so they were smooth and well mixed - but I did add in the bits left in the sieve anyway. I added it all at once to the meringue and started to slowly fold making sure I got the bits on the bottom.

"Fold the dry mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Add food coloring if desired and fold until fully mixed. The mixture should flow like a ribbon when you hold up the spatula. Don’t overmix! If you want to test if the batter has good consistency, just dollop some batter on a piece of parchment paper. If the dollop slowly “flattens”, you’re good to go! If not, just keep folding.

I usually find that a slightly under-mixed batter is better than an over-mixed.
If you, like me, find it difficult to fill a pastry bag with only two hands, put your piping bag in a tall glass or jar. Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets, I usually end up with two sheets. Remember that the shells will “flatten” once you’ve piped, so don’t make them too big. About 2,5-3 cm (1 inch) is enough.

Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin."



After the walk I popped them in my fan oven for 10mins on 150. The first batch looked perfect when they came out - raised with a shell and had a small puffy skirt around the edge - but me being me - I had to poke at them and thought they were under cooked. Turned out if I'd followed the recipe and left them till they were completely cooled they were actually perfect! So I cooked the second batch for a minute longer meaning they slightly browned. Lesson learnt - stick to the recipe!

I'd found these natural extract colours in waitrose the day before and used a pastry brush to colour them which was super easy and really effective.

As this was just a test to see if I could make them I didn't bother making a filling - I just used nutella - but mums made her chocolate ganache before and it's YUM. I think the nutella was a little strong but still a good quick fix!



I'm excited to try it out again - I hope it's not a one trick wonder but please let me know it you try it and it works for you! Have a lovely weekend. x

26.4.12

me


This is me messing around in the bedroom the other day! I liked the orange and blue..

I've also been messing round with a new logo.. as I've been designing lots for other people I thought I should spend some time updating this space. I'm kinda liking it but still have a few more bits to do but I'll leave those for another day.

Am feeling poorly today and have just come in from a busy day out and about. Looking forward to a thai green curry tonight made by the boy and an early night x

24.4.12

around the house












So here are a few piccies from around the house which I took on Sunday when I had a crazy day being a domestic goddess. The house was cleaned, washing done I got an hour of exercise in - a interesting mix of yoga and kick boxing - which I'm still suffering from.. walked the dog and made macaroons - which I'll be posing about soon! If you follow me on Instagram you would of seen the progress and end result.. and if you've followed my blog for a while you may of glimpsed my first results here and here!

I always seem to get so much done on Sundays when the boys away and as we work together it's always nice having a day on your own - well with Dave who spends his whole time watching and going out and in the garden!

23.4.12

BOOM



Well it's monday - once again! Where oh where is the time going? Sorry for my absence last week - I have so much to do and catch up on. I do have some lovely things that I'm dying to share with you so I'm going to try really hard to get on top of everything this week!

Just incase you were interested - I know some of you were - My Mum has posted the yummy Victoria Sponge recipe she made for Oli's birthday over on her blog. Check it out here....

For now though must get back to work.. hope you all had a lovely weekend!

11.4.12

just because..



it's spring and the sun is shinning today..

I was working on something fun last night.. but have to get on today - theses shortened weeks are causing chaos! hey ho...

10.4.12

happy easter

Hey - how was everyones Easter - been loving all the colourful Easter photos on blogs and instagram..





So my Eater was defiantly less eventful than last year - but I still had a good time! The boy, as always, was away so I was carless and dependant on others for entertainment. I was looked after by my lovely friend Sarah on Saturday - been taken to see friends in Holt and enjoy 1st birthday parties with Vintage Deli. Sunday I was enjoying the company of mum and dad and doing a little marsh hopping.. which dave struggled with due to his little legs.. And Monday - well my boy was back and we had a little day date doing a wee bit of shopping, eating and film watching in Norwich - so all in all a very good easter!

today I am exhausted - I seem to be having a mini breakdown at the moment.. hey ho I think it's all down to a bad nights sleep - too many things on my mind. Here's to a early night tonight and feeling better!


3.4.12

wild horses



hey - just wanted to let you know that I've uploaded a new post onto my TH Photography blog. There's some lovely images of a walk we went on with some of our best friends. Alex and Charlie got together the same time as us - Charlie was my best friend at Uni and Alex Oli's - 10 years ago we met then a year later we met each other and the rest is history. Theses two are very special to us and very understanding of my annoying habit of taking the camera for a walk with us.

The day was wet and windy and we had been enjoying the first qualifying of the F1 season - therefor we chose the local walk instead of heading to the coast - the decision was a good one as the wild horses decided to gallop to where we were walking and we had a magical moment with them.

You can take a look at the whole post here x

2.4.12

boys now 30

hello - back in the office just finishing up for the day.. catching up with emails and trying to get organised.. have an exciting, creative week planed - Vintage Deli photo shoot and I have a childhood heroes costume to get made.. would all be easier to sort out if I didn't have lots of work on!




So the boys now 30! here's a few photos from the boys Birthday. we had a really lovely time seeing his family during the week and followed it up by a big house party on Saturday night with all our wonderful friends. My mum made an amazing victoria sponge for the boy and we supplied rum cocktails, nibbles and beers.. I only got around to taking photo at the beginning and at around 2.30 in the morning when things were at their most craziest - all our friends dancing to dirty drum and base in our living room. When I feel off the sofa and somehow managed to land without hurting the camera - my arms are bruised and grazed - it was time for the camera to go back away! I would of played with my iPhone and instagram but I think early on that feel down the back of the sofa only to be found on sunday morning!







The next day was not pretty - the house and boy were a mess - but after an intense cleaning session - thanks for the help Alex - the house was back in order we made sofa nest and ate chips and ice-cream then the world was all good again!