Thursday, 29 March 2012

Quick Dessert!

What do you do when your husband follows you around for a couple of hours at least, asking for a dessert, because he will burst if he doesn’t eat any sugar?
Do you tell him to actually eat a spoonful of sugar? Well, I admit it, there were a few times when I told him just that, because I was not in a baking mood. 
Yesterday though I decided that he had suffered enough and I baked a little something quick, using whatever I had available in my pantry.
I made a banana-petit beurre biscuit thing…
I chopped bananas, drizzled with a simple sugar syrup and then crumbled a few biscuits on top, added cinnamon, raisins and a little butter in very very small cubes.
I used an oven proof glass dish.
I don’t know how long I baked it, I was just checking for the banana to “feel” melted.

Surprisingly it is really tasty!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Style thing!

Do you know "Polyvore"?

Well, I didn't.
I just found it and it was like I was living in isolation.

I have been taking photos of my clothes, shoes and bags and keeping them in organized databases in my computer (please don't freak out, I am this organized!!!), because I have a lot of them, especially shoes, 100+ at least!
And when you want to wear black shoes to an outfit, you must know what your choices are and not forget that you have a particular pair......

I have been printing style cards of my clothes and accessories in various combinations for quite some time now to keep them at hand and therefore have outfit suggestions ready all the time. And there is a whole site dedicated to this? Making it easy? Oh my God!

So I am addicted... I love the huge huge pool of images, the ideas, everything!

This is where you can find my style!!!

Because of my many shoes and accessories and other stuff, I needed an appropriate space to put them in. So I had to move G. out of a room.... More in a later post!!!!!!!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Vanilla cake and cupcakes!

We went to visit my sister and naturally I wanted to make a cake to go with our coffee.
I used my vanilla cake recipe, which I have been using for years!
As it yields a lot of batter (the recipe is enough for 2 bundt pans), I also made cupcakes!

Vanilla Cake

500gr self rising flour with vanilla flavor
250gr butter
400gr plain sugar
4 eggs
260ml milk

Beat butter until fluffy, add sugar, beat and then eggs 1 at a time. Beat for 3 more minutes. Beat in slowly flour and milk in turns.
Bake in a preheated oven 180o C for about 1 hour for a whole cake or about 30 minutes for the cupcakes.

It is really simple and you can put anything inside.

I used colored sprinkles in the batter and milk toffee candy in the cupcakes.

I always weigh my batter in the pans!

This is how my little darlings came out of the oven:

See the sprinkles? The milk candy went to the bottom of the cupcakes and melted like caramel, so it was really a nice crunchy surpise!

You cannot believe the smell!

I decided to do something else with the bundt cake. I cut it in half and spread apricot jam. Then I covered it with milk chocolate ganache!

More sprinkles!!!!!

We took the bundt cake to my sister and kept the cupcakes for us.......

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Baking disaster turned around 180o!

I found a recipe of Vegan sugar cookies, which I wanted to try because I love sugar cookies and I want to be able to make them during Fasting periods.

Well, as it turns out, for me at least, they were a disaster. The taste, the texture, the shape… I don’t know, maybe I did something wrong.   
I didn’t want to throw them away either, so I had to improvise and still be in the Fasting spirit!

I was inspired by the cake pops method. I crumbled the cookies and mixed them with melted chocolate, in which I had put some margarine. 

I rolled them into small balls, some I rolled in confectioner's sugar, I put them in the fridge for a couple of hours 

and… Ta da!
Tasty chocolate treats!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Birthday present!

A little while back it was my niece’s birthday and I (well, G. and I, but I almost always choose the presents) wanted to give her something special.
I generally do not want to buy ready-made presents. If I have the time I want to make or put together something or at least search more for a present that corresponds to the person’s interests, lifestyle and age. I only buy a present without much thought, if I don’t have time or don’t really care…

Anyway, our niece is 10. She is a smart girl, who likes doing a lot of things in her free time. 

I decided to put together a “BAKING HUMPER”!!!! 
It was only natural for me to go this way, as I love baking!
I bought a lovely box and filled it with goodies.

An apron, a chef's hat and an oven mitten!

Cookie cutters, cupcake cases and cards with recipes!

Cake tools, almonds, raisins, dates!

3 basic liquid colors, measuring spoons and pastry bag with tips!

This is a selection of homemade jams (by me!!!!),spices, colored sugar and almond essence!

I found sugar decorations (hearts, small lips non pareils and other girly designs), which I put in a box!

As she likes red, fuchsia and pink colors, I tried to keep that scheme!
I printed my own labels and recipe cards with the images on them corresponding to the cookie cutters: the letter “M”, lips and crown! 
I used pink and red ribbons, as well!

She absolutely loved it! 
It was a big surprise and she especially liked the fact that it was a personalized present!


Friday, 2 March 2012

Healthy muffins!

I wanted to bake something for G. to eat for breakfast (in the car, while going to work!).
The obvious solution was muffins, so I made wholegrain muffins with honey and raisins and a little coffee glaze on top!

 Ready for the oven!

 Ready for glazing!

I also made a couple of loaves and put confectioner's sugar on top!

Wholegrain muffins

500gr whole grain self rising flour
250gr butter
300gr sugar
150gr honey
4 eggs
300ml milk
zest of 1 orange
vanilla essence

Beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add the zest and the vanilla. You add the flour and the milk in alternating order (flour - milk - flour - milk - flour).
You bake in a preheated oven 180oC for about 1 hour (if you are making one large cake) or 30min for the muffins.
The batter is a lot. It is enough for a large bundt pan.

I glazed them with a simple glaze, which I made with confectioner's sugar, instant coffee and milk. Whisk everything together, adjusting the quantities, until you have a consistency like a very thick syrup.