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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bake-arama! It’s the birthday special!

It’s my annual birthday baking bonanza post. Hooray! My birthday means I get to bake what I want. As long as I can do it in between nap time, snack time, playing with toys and cooking tea, that is… And this is a short blog as the baby is currently bellowing at me from his Daddy’s arm. So I’m choking down a cup of (decaf) coffee and blogging at the same time. Go me.

first up – lime yoghurt cake. Used Mary Berry’s Lemon Yoghurt Cake recipe but with lime instead. Is YUM but unfortunately is a bit thin… Too big a tin I think…

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(Lime is for show, not actual decoration)

second – Norwegian cinnamon bun things from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. GORGEOUS recipe

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Dont be alarmed by the burnt bits, is totally edible. Burny bits are actually the egg wash glaze on top. This smells beautiful. And with a metric tonne or there abouts of butter and lots of cinnamon, it should do!

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Happy birthday to meeeee!

it seemed like a good idea at the time…

I promised my mum I would make the cake for my dad’s birthday. Easy peasy – I’d do a madeira cake. But I wanted to decorate it. And asked the 4 year old what she thought it should look like.

“BLUE! fFor a boy. And a plane.”

Fair enough. Sounds simple. I had no fondant icing but surely buttercream will be fine. So we made the cake and baked it and once it was cool I set about cutting it. With no real plan as to whst i was doing…

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I thought that the simplest way to make a plane would be to cut so there was one middle piece, then slice the two “sides” to form two wings and a tail. And it would probably work out very well indeed. Ahem.

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To be fair, it was looking alright here. Looks vaguely like a plane and a lot like a cake. I did end up with a wedge of cake that I didn’t really know what to do with. A problem I never thought I would have – extra cake. No matter! I stuck the wings and tails to the main part of the plane with some jam. I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do but, hey, cake + jam = tasty.

the point I struggled with was the icing. I really struggle with icing, especially with buttercream because I get crumbs everywhere and it drives me mad. I googled a bit and read about doing a crumb coating, so prepared some buttercream and thinned it down a bit with milk and slapped it on the cake. Crumbs everywhere. Oh dear. I let it all settle down a bit and mixed up some more buttercream but this time with the blue icing. And when I say blue, I mean BLUE.

Like I said, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

and then to overcome the crumb issue, I found my piping bag and decided to just pipe everything everywhere with the blue icing. And then, to make it a bit more… Aeroplaneish… I stuck on baubles and things. Because… Well… It was late and the blue was really BLUE. So the baubles went on to break up that colour a bit.

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I still had no idea what to do with that extra wedge so I just iced it too. Blue. Obviously.

yeah… Blue cake. It tasted great though.

Magazine review – Stitch Your Style

Last month I bought a sewing magazine. Hooray, I thought, a magazine with free patterns and lots of handy hints and tips to get my sewing mojo back (and somehow generate an extra 5 hours a day to make use of all these things).

I’m sure I’m not the only person who stands in the newsagent staring at the seemingly abundant options for hobby magazines. There are all sorts of quilting, crocheting, knitting, paper crafting, modelling, stitching and sewing magazines out there. After rifling through a good dozen or so, and discounting those that give you patterns for two dozen item but prints them all on the same page which makes me cross eyed and grumpy before even attempting to cut or trace them, I went for Stitch Your Style (June 2015 issue).

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The magazine came with 3 free proper patterns:

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This one I might well make for my daughter.

plus two other adult onesimage

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The first set, trousers and tunic tops, look pretty… Retro. In not so nice a way. The dress pattern looks simple enough. BUT the patterns are all petite.  PETITE.

isnt that a bit of a gamble? Not all readers are going to be petite. Nor petite refuges from a 1970’s cocktail party.  I felt slightly annoyed, I should have checked the size before I bought, I know, but hadn’t expected the patterns to be so small.

In addition, the magazine itself has only been flicked through. Initial readings showed it to be quite dated, whether that’s a reflection of the free patterns or me being (un?)reasonably annoyed with it from the start I don’t know. I

I’m not going to buy it again though, there are LOADS of other magazines I can buy that looked interesting.

if I manage to use the patterns, I will blog. But at the moment this magazine gets a thumbs down from me. I’m a harsh reader and easily disappointed.