Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Not much to report today kiddies...I bought Dolly the most amazing red and white polka dot dress but she is too much of a fatty for it so i need to take it back and get her a size up.  Today was her first ever walk- she loved it and it was so cute seeing her trying to keep up with Noah. The walk took about an hour longer then it usually does, mainly as every man, woman and child was stopping and fussing over her, I felt like a proud mother! When we got home I had a bit of a clean out of the cupboards and I had some bread that was going slightly stale, so I decided to make a Bread and Butter Pudding. I've never eaten one before, never mind made one but I knew they were easy to make so I thought i would give it a go. It came out pretty well and gave me a really great base to practice from but I think next time i'd like to take it up a notch and maybe pop in some panatone and maybe some orange marmalade or maybe even a chocolate and coffee one. 


Sunday, 29 May 2011

newer hair!

For a while now I have really wanted a lilac rinse! stuck the dye on today and i am in big love with it! I just wish it was the tiniest bit greyer but give it one or two washes and i will have perfect bingo ready hair! 

Dollys not keen.... 


Sometimes, everyone needs a pic me up. A message from someone special, just letting you know:

A message letting you know that it's okay to have doubts, just turn them into something better:

A message telling you, you do have a nice arse.
and that you are perfect just as you are.
If you are enough for yourself, you are enough for anyone.

Well today has been a productive day in the food stakes... I'm road testing my rainbow cupcakes and so far- pretty positive! It's all very well for me to say "these are genuinely the best thing to be invented since the wedge platform..." but I need genuine independent, non bribed and biased confirmation. If these are going to make it into the book they need to be indestructible. It needs to be a failsafe method that will not disappoint and after a lot of toil I think i have achieved it. I think. The pictures posted yesterday came from my 14th batch of cupcake batter and along the way there have been some horrors. We had batch 5 where I got cocky and thought I may have broken a kind of universal baking barrier and science no longer applied to me. I was wrong. The outsides and top just kind of crusted over and the inside was a sunken eggy/milky/curdled mess.. Too much wet not enough dry. Then there was batch 8, in a kind of over compensating for earlier mistakes mode, which was hard as iron and we could have used it to hammer in nails/bowl with. It takes a lot of work to iron out all the kinks in an idea but slowly Im getting there and "cooking kawaii" (working title as yet) will be an awesome, stupendous, fantazmaghorical oracle of cooking!! Promise! 


cooking kawaii

Here is treat one from my kawaii cooking series. I think they could genuinely be the best  cupcakes i have ever made... Sometimes when I make a cake, you can forgive a maybe not quite right frosting or a mildly bland crumb because it looks so good but these tiny monsters have both. They have the good looks and amazing taste to back it up! When I decided i wanted to take on the rainbow cakes, i was thinking about design and what would really compliment them and for some reason coconut came along and would not budge...I just had this vision of the tops looking like heavenly little clouds and then cutting into the cake to reveal this amazing rainbow interior. I am beyond proud of them so please, sit back and enjoy...dum,da,da,dum (that was ment to be a drumroll, kinda thing...But you got that yes??!!) 

Dreamy Rainbow Cupcakes.....

 makes 16
  • for the cupcakes:
  • 340g of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups of vanilla sugar
  • 6 medium eggs at room temperature
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, crushed fine. (if you only have free flowing table salt then 1/4 tsp please!)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 150g of desiccated coconut
  • red, pink, yellow, green, blue and violet gel food colourings. (please invest in the gel ones the runny watery ones are bad and the gel ones will last you ten times longer too!) 
  • for the frosting:
  • 110g of cream cheese
  • 85g of butter at room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g of icing sugar
  • to decorate:
  • 200g bag of desiccated coconut
  • pearl lustre dust and candy stars (these are both optional)

  1. pre heat your oven to 160 centigrade 
  2. line your cupcake tray with the paper liners and put to one side
  3. cream your butter and vanilla sugar together until they are fluffy and pale
  4. into a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. pretty please, sift twice,  it really helps to remove any lumps and gives you dreamy light flour
  5. mix together your eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a jug
  6. in 3 stages, add the egg and milk mixture and the the dry flour mix into your butter. adding them in these little stages stops the mixture from splitting and makes your batter more manageable. after each addition, give the bowl a good scraping down to really combine any lurking clumps of flour at the bottom
  7. congratulate yourself on a job well done!
  8. now fold in the desiccated coconut
  9. now comes the slightly fiddly bit but stick with it its easy enough just only a little repetitive
  10. split the mixture between six bowls, with the first bowl having the most batter then slowly getting slightly and slightly less in each bowl you fill
  11. with the handle of a teaspoon (this being my weapon of choice) take a small amount of your red gel and mix it into the largest bowl of batter. Mix in your colour well until you have achieved a shade of red your happy with. Remember you can always add more gel colour but you can't take it away so be subtle with your additions
  12. repeat stage 11 with each further colour till you have six different pots of coloured mix from red to violet
  13. take your red batter and with a spoon, put a blob of the mix into the centre of you liner. it should come maybe a quarter of a way up the case. next move onto you pink. take just slightly less mix and drop this into the centre of the red. you need to be able to see a ring of red around the pink (its not an exact art and you don't get perfect circles but it all comes together when baked) continue with each colour using less and less batter with each addition 
  14. bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. test they are cooked by sinking a cocktail stick into the middle. if it comes out clean, there done. if it's still wet, pop them back in for a few minutes. when the cakes are finished, take them out of the oven and leave them in the pan for 15 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely
  15. while the cakes are baking you can get on with the icing
  16. the butter needs to be at room temperature and you need to cream it until it is very smooth, as light as you can get it
  17. add the vanilla and cream cheese to the butter and combine. I think the best way to do this is to push the cheese and butter through a mesh sieve. it gets rid of any lumps of butter and really amalgamates the mixture. it only takes a few minutes and is so worth doing. you should be left with a runny "icing"
  18. sieve in the icing sugar and fold everything together
  19. by now your cupcakes should be thoroughly cooled and resemble glorious rainbow hills
  20. take your coconut and lustre dust and mix them together on a large plate so that the strands of coconut are gleaming with powder - a teaspoon of dust should be enough to cover this much coconut
  21. dip the exposed part of your cupcake into the icing, as you bring it out, hold it above the bowl for a few seconds to allow most of the excess to drip off
  22. roll the icing covered peak into the coconut, stick as much of the coconut to it as you can and set aside. pop a star in the top and voila! 
your done! now all you need to do is finish off the rest of your cupcakes. I know its a long recipe and there is a bit of fiddling involved but come on!! look at them!! so worth it!! also hope you like the gratuitous cupcake eating pics- especially the one of Baby Winnie being a sink dwelling batter thief! The cheek!!


Friday, 27 May 2011

If I had babies I would SO be kitting them out with this amazing Totoro diaper cake! Is it acceptable to buy one for a pug?? 

With the weather being as horrid as it is, I've been working a lot on my Illustration. Here's just a few I've been cracking on with... I think I'd like to turn them into postcards. I love receiving actual letters, no one sends them anymore and it's the nicest thing to see a letter drop onto the mat! So i think I'm going to get some of them printed up and see how they look!


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Becoming slightly obsessed by Deco Nails! I could never in a million years be able to function with them on and I imagine they weigh a ton but still- super kawaii!! 


So, hello, what are possibly two of my most favourite things ever...like ever ever??? Yummy food and tattoos I hear you say? Yes correct! 10 points! Have some sweets in celebration! I have found a simply wonderfluff website that is about these 2 very things. Win for me!! (and you, its www.yummytattoos.com) a few of my favourites have to be: 

Which is your favourite?


Today has been GRIM! The weather is rain, rain and more rain. So I reverted to being a child where, when it was a rainy day the box of glitter and glue and pens and paper came out and we did some drawing. Except mine involved a little computer work (I would have killed for some glitter!!) 

The all you need is love picture is SO my favourite. Im really pleased with it! 

Also the horrid weather has produced a day of much tea drinking- win!!! It seems Dolly likes tea too...


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I'm having a period of a post honeymoon hankering. In Hawaii, I developed an almost un natural addiction to Miso soup pots, noodles and asian food in general. We've been home a few weeks now and I need my hit, so today I made my version of a Chicken and Sweetcorn soup (and I can't stop eating it! HELP!!) I don't know how authentic it is but it tastes mighty good and keeps me in fine honeymoon mood! 

  • 2 whole corn on the cobs
  • 3 large spring onions
  • 2 organic chicken breasts, pre steamed
  • 1 large red chilli
  • large handful of rice vermicelli 
  • 2 litres of good quality chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • small bunch of coriander 

  1. Bring your chicken stock up to simmering point in a large pot and let it bubble away but don't let it boil
  2. Meanwhile strip the cobs from their outer husks and slice off the corn kernels, then finely slice the spring onions and the red chilli into small rings. Drop into the simmering stock
  3. Add your fish and soy sauces
  4. Pull apart your pre steamed chicken breasts. I think the easiest way to do this is with 2 forks going against the grain of the meat. You could slice them but i like the more rustic look. Add these to the broth now
  5. Let the broth simmer again, only for a couple of minutes then drop in the rice noodles. Rice Vermicelli are so fine they take maybe 3 minutes to cook if that.
  6. When the noodles are cooked, decant a portion into a bowl and sprinkle over a flourish of chopped coriander

Like i said, I don't know how authentic this is but i DO know that it is addictive also virtuous and saintly in the calories department. This is the reason I can convince myself that its okay to eat three bowls in a row. Also ...HOW CUTE IS MY SOUP BOWL!! Its a little china man in a paddy hat. Beyond excellent! Any excuse to use that is a bonus!!


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

my new head.

Just thought i'd do an update on the general head situation. I've wanted to snip off all my hair for a while but i couldn't find the kind of thing that I was quite after. I then tried to bleach it blonde myself and the result was that a snip was more of a necessity, as i resembled some kind of crazy Wurzel Gummage character with a straw head; needless to say it wasn't my chicest of looks. So now I am sporting a blonde ode to Mia Farrow via Kerry Katona... 


maybe one day..

I think, when I grow up, I want to be a Blythe Doll... Im already the right height... 


Monday, 23 May 2011

a few little sketches by lil' old me..


I want I want I want!

 Love a bit of kawaii jewellery action. In major big squishy love with the panda necklace.

find them at www.punkypins.co.uk

hello new favourite thing!!

Give me a deer, a unicorn or cute food and you know that I'm in... While having a little trawl through my beloved ETSY this morning (original Babycham glasses with ornamental deer, you will be mine!!!) I stumbled across the cutest site that provided me with all 3, victory in epic proportions! 
Beyond excited about some of these babies!

 (click to enlarge)
They come from

Go there, Love them, Buy them!! 



A new and thoroughly magnificent addition to our household which I need to tell you about since I've been away is the wonderful baby Dolly... I have always wanted a pug and she is beyond amazing. An absolute tiny horror, but amazing! I cannot wait to be able to dress her up, I know some people think it's mad to dress up a dog and I would never dream to dress up Noah but a pugs face screams " PUT ME IN TINY OUTFITS" and I am more then willing to oblige...

Chocolate...and BEETROOT?! It can't be done.....

Think that?? Then where have you been? Chocolate and Beetroot are the new "it" thing when it comes to desserts. Goodbye Carrot Cake and Hello Beetroot cake. I've heard Beetroot cake is the new LBD, THE new black, the..new Gaga?! It is equally as crazy peppered with originality and a little something amazing that you just can't put your finger on... My discovery of the blessed Beetroot cake comes with a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin. My Honeymoon has sadly taken its toll on my waistline with me racking up an impressive 7lbs in just over two weeks; America I salute you and every deep fat fryer in your blessed country, you know how to do some good food. Good food it is but healthy food it isn't. Im back home and paying the price for my indulgences now but one problem still sticks: I am a complete fat girl that loves food and refuses to neglect even a chocolate brownie. My solution to said problem? Do it the skinny girl way. My skinny girl way lends favour from one of my most used cookbooks, Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. The recipes are sitting just on the right side of sinful with a great dollop of healthy reassurance. The best things about their recipes are that they are so customisable, so with a few tiny tweaks I have created my dream Brownie.

  • 400g of peeled raw beetroot cut into small cubes
  • 130g whole hazelnuts 
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 220g light muscovado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 150g of dark chocolate, the best quality you can afford but at least 70% cocoa solids please!
  • 2tbsp white rice flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp fresh espresso coffee
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Warm your oven up to 160°C. 
  2. I use a 30cmX20cmX5cm brownie tin which is non stick but still rub it with a tiny bit of flavourless oil, like groundnut to prevent any sticking at all. 
  3. Pop your cubed beetroot into a microwavable bowl and heat for 10 minutes with a tiny splash of water 
  4. While the beetroot is cooking, blitz up 100g of the hazelnuts to the finest powder you can. You really need a food processor for this to create the finest crumbs possible, it wants to look like dust
  5. Whisk up the eggs, sugar and salt for a good 5 minutes with an electric whisk. It can be done by hand but will take a little while longer and a lot more arm strength. You want the mixture to have tripled in volume and to look light and bubble filled
  6. Smash up your chocolate with careless abandon, i tend to leave it in the packet and attack it with a rolling pin- very satisfying feeling...
  7. By now the beetroot should be cooked. Sieve it to remove any excess water and fling in your dark chocolate shards. Cover the bowl with some clingfilm and if the room is cool, a tea towel also. Leave it to stand for a few minutes and the beetroots residual heat should melt the chocolate. After a few minutes remove the cling film and with a hand held blender, puree the chocolate and beetroot together to form a deep sludgy mass.
  8. Mix the now powdered hazelnuts, rice flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso and vanilla extract into your fluffy egg mixture
  9. Add the chocolate/beetroot pulp now and mix until combined but don't spend too much time on it. The secret to a perfectly squidgy brownie is to not mess with the batter to much. A little austerity never did a brownie any harm. 
  10. Pour your mixture into the tin and sprinkle on the remaining 30g of hazelnuts. I like to have bashed the hazelnuts slightly with rolling pin so they are splintered and bruised. A rolling pin and a bit more attacking usually works a treat. 
  11. Cook in the middle of the oven for between 30-35 minutes. Begin checking at 30 by sticking a cocktail stick into the middle to the tray. Brownies are ment to be ever so slightly damp so a little chocolate colour on the cocktail stick is fine, if its still a little too loose, leave in the oven for the last 5 minutes. 
  12. Remove from the oven and cool the brownies in the tin for 20 minutes before cutting into individual portions and releasing them into the wild. They won't last long i promise!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

I am a bad bad person!!!

But i am back!! 
I can't believe how long it has been since I have blogged!! I have a whole bountiful sack full of excuses as to why i haven't blogged in, what feels like a age but the main two are the now HUSBAND!!! yes thats right, the wedding finally arrived; broke my laptop and what with a wedding to pay for and shoes to buy a new laptop just sadly wasn't my number one buy... and the second of course was the wedding... It was terrific!!! 

Just a few little snaps there of the wedding, which was ridiculously tacky and therefor profoundly excellent in my book!! 
I leave you with my Brownie promise that i will be back soon all kawaii/foody/cutey blogged up, I have so much to tell you, and so many new recipes to share with you all!!