Sunday, 26 April 2009

Red Bead Bracelet

Due to recurring pantsness at remembering to take photos of the things I've been cooking (peach and almond tart, more bread and sesame coconut and mango muesli bars), it's another craft post. I promise more cakes soon tho! I've recently got a haul of beading books from the library and this is the result of my first bead experiment with some mixed red glass beads. I'm pretty impressed with how it has turned out...
Keep checking back over the next few days for more cakes....!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Wedding Cakes and Table Decorations

Well, despite the fact that I made a whole load of baking, cooking and general kitchen chaos over the Easter weekend (including cucumber and radish pickles, thai prawn curry, lemon and cashew chicken, Easter cupcakes, Dr Pepper brownies, chicken and vegetable pie, tropical fruit trifle, and pear and rhubarb jellies with yogurt and honey!!!!) I took a total of zero photos of any of them. And given that it's all been eaten, it's a bit late to do anything about it now!

So I thought I'd stick up a few more makey-cakey wedding photos instead. We discovered during planning our wedding that we had a whole load of really talented friends and family - so talented in fact that we had several potential wedding-cake-makers (after much internal debating and fighting the urge to make it myself!). In the we asked my sister Lisa, our friend Jen and my at-that-point-future-mother-in-law Sheila to do a tier each, and to go crazy. They had free reign of colour and style to be as creative or traditional as they liked and the results were fab.

Here's a shot of the whole creation (a shame the backdrop wasn't a more sympathetic colour!), and wee close up of each tier.

Sheila's lovely traditional fruitcake bottom tier (which was decorated with fresh flowers on the day)

Lisa's amazing gold dusted autumn leaves middle tier (hiding a tangy lemon and almond cake)

Jen's gorgeous gingerbread gerbera's to top it off with!
And to prove that the wedding wasn't a girls only making fest, my Dad made loads of these table centre-pieces after I ran out of time, using dry oasis and recycled "New Civil Engineer" magazines. They were very cool (and I still have a stash of them in our spare room looking for homes if anyone wants one!!!)

Monday, 6 April 2009

Friday Night Baking Frenzy

For some reason after work on Friday I was feeling riduculously full of energy and inspiration - even after a trip to ASDA!
So I started off trying out a recipe for beer bread. I have to say I was skeptical at first that the ingredients list was so small - just SR flour (3 american cups), sugar (3 dessertspoons) and beer (375ml). But it turned out amazingly.... still upholding my skepticism I sieved the flour, stirred in the sugar and poured in the beer and gave it a quick mix before tipping it into a loaf time and bunging it in the oven at 180C.
I left it in for about half an hour, then took it out and brushed the top with an egg and milk was as I wanted a shiny chewy crust, then popped it back in for 5 mins and voila...


Then since that seemed so easy I felt slightly cheated of the whole 'baking' process, I decided to make some shortbread. I have to confess that despite being a)Scottish and b)distantly related to the Walkers shortbread making giants, the only other time I've made shortbread was during home economics classes in 2nd year at high school.
And since I'm in a confessing sort of mood, I have a pathological inability to follow any recipe exactly. So instead of making just plain old shortbread, I decided to stick in some lemon rind and poppyseeds, and I'm glad I did. The poppyseeds gave it a really nice crunch and the lemon wasn't too overpowering but quite a subtle sweetness. I even had time to play with my camera a wee bit and attempt some arty shots!


Then to top the evening off, rustled up a big pot of spinach and sweetcorn and soup with creamed coconut and chilli to see us through the weekend. No photos, but it was creamy, spicy, yummy and very very green!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Butterfly Table

Enough of the cakes - I thought it was time to post some making.
I had an old folding Ikea table in the spare room that had seen better days! Its top was covered in some green paint and quite a few big scratches, so I decided it could do with a bit of a revamp.
I've been fascinated for a wee while with paper - specifically magazines and books - the the scope for using in a million and one different ways! So I decided to go for a recycled paper themed table top, using a much read trashy novel (obviously not read by me tho'....;o) and an old copy of Glamour, some glue, a black sharpie pen and some electrical tape.
Here's what I started with:

So here's a very out of focus photo of mid-sticking - but it's the only one I've got so it'll have to do:

Once the paper strips were all stuck down, I sketched on some swirly patterns with the Sharpie, and then cut a bunch of butterflies out of pages of the magazine and scattered them over the tabletop. Several coats of PVA glue later, I edged it all with electrical tape, and voila! Definitely an improvement if I do say so myself.

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