Sunday, 31 July 2011

White Chocolate Panna Cotta Roses

We had Mr Right's mum over for tea a while back and it gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the White Chocolate Panna Cotta Roses from the Cupcakes Galore book 
They're simple to make, look impressive and what's more they taste amazing.  I served mine with some maple syrup as I didn't have time to make the passion fruit sauce in the recipe (there's always next time right?!).

I used a silicone soap mould which I discovered was suitable for baking (watch this space for rose shaped buns)
I also attempted some little heart shapes and lego bricks as the recipe made far too much (as per usual with American quantities!) mixture and I had the moulds handy but they proved a little tricky to extract and didn't come out quite as nicely as the roses but they still tasted great.

I was stocking up on some more cupcake cases in Lakeland this week when I happened upon these larger rose moulds (£4.99 for 6) so I will certainly be making the white chocolate panna cotta again.

Friday, 29 July 2011

No Longer The New Kid On The Blog

Today is my one year blog-aversary and to celebrate 365 days of quality blogging I've decided to host my first give-away, just a little something to mark the occasion.
If you're a regular reader you'll know that I've virtually baked my way through the Hummingbird Bakery recipe books and blogged the results here so I thought that this would make an apt prize.
It's a Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes And Muffins Kit

'Discover the magic of the Hummingbird Bakery
with this delicious collection of recipes for irresistible
cupcakes and muffins

The kit includes a book with 28 easy-to-follow recipes
from Tarek Malouf and his Hummingbird bakers
and 100 coloured paper cases for stylish baking'

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this wonderful mediocre prize is leave a comment below with a suggested cupcake flavour, maybe a tried and tested favourite or (preferably) something off the wall and I'll pick a winner at random.

This competition is open to UK residents only and one winner will be selected after 8pm on Friday 5th August.

Good Luck!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Eat Me

My current Alice In Wonderland obsession continues apace.  I simply had to attempt something Alice in cake form, after all cakes play a vital role in the story, but how could I incorporate her in patisserie?  

It was something that was troubling me for a couple of days until I was just dozing off the other night when it struck me that it might be possible to draw on rice paper with an edible ink pen, so as soon as I got up the next morning I gave it a go with quite pleasing results, sketching an Alice and a Mad Hatter.
My Alice on the right next to the original on the left

My Mad Hatter on the left next to the original on the right

I made a couple of quick and dirty rectangular sponge cakes and iced them with ready-to-roll icing, cut out the two pictures and placed them on the faces of the cakes.

I then used a little Easter bunny cutter I had to make lots of White Rabbit shapes and framed each cut-out using the bunnies.

pimp myspace

This post links up with Handmade Thursday over on White Lily Green, go take a peek at the other makers.

Inspire Me Beautiful

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I'd Like To Thank...

This post is for the lovely Madison over at Madison Makes who has been kind enough to nominate me for not one but three blogging awards!

Thank you Madison!
The Awards

I'm not sure where they originate from as Madison received them herself and the point of the awards is to pass them on to bloggers you love (gotta love a bit of traffic generation)

I understand from Madison's post that the Leibster Blog is specifically for blogs that have under 300 readers.

Anyway, I need to spread the love so here are my five nominated blogs

The White Approach
Chipper Nelly
The Babylon Lane Tales
Scarlett Loves Elvis (I know she's already been nominated but I love her darn blog that much!)
Faith Hope & Charity Shopping (ditto above)

Apparently I also need to volunteer five random facts about moi, so here goes

*  I hate pork pie jelly and the fat windows you get in ham

*  I love the impromptu bubbles you sometimes get when you right a bottle of washing-up liquid

*  I cannot under any circumstances consume cheap shit wine and cheese in tandem or I will be an emotional wreck

*  I love the smell of petrol and creosote

*  As a child I once drank a whole bottle of Venos cough mixture because I loved the taste so much

So there you go, all that remains is for me to thank Madison once again for bestowing the awards on me and apologise for not getting round to writing this post sooner (she gave me the awards last month but life laziness got in the way)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

An Excess Of Accessories?

When I went shopping for F1 supplies a couple of weeks back I popped into Primark and H&M and managed to get some great accessories from both stores.

From Primark I purchased myself a large floppy sun hat, a cherry belt (I have a thing about belts) and two pairs of sunglasses all for under a tenner, 
I love the Farrah Fawcett-Majors 1970s look achieved by wearing the hat and a pair of the sunglasses together with a maxi dress and wedges.
Continuing on a bit of a 70s vibe I found these Strawberry Shortcake clips
and patches in H & M, great for Missy as stocking-fillers. 
And I know I've said before that I've fallen out of love with Hello Kitty but  who could resist this cute little Alice band
And these rings with the hint of the Alice In Wonderland about them, you know me and Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Alice Through The Picture Frame

Regular Junkshop Jewels/Magpie Monday readers might remember that I purchased this battered copy of Disney's Alice In Wonderland for a few pence a couple of months ago
Well I had been scouring the charity shops for a frame or two in which to display some of the salvageable images but nothing was forthcoming and with Missy moving into a big girl's bed we had a shuffle around of her room and were finally able to hang some pictures plus I was itching to make use of my find so I succumbed and purchased a new frame

Sadly no other baroque style frames have been big enough for the larger images so I bought some plain ones and framed four more images up, Alice and the White Rabbit
Alice and the Cheshire Cat
Alice with Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
Alice with the playing cards painting the white roses red for the Queen Of Hearts
I really enjoyed doing the last four as I was able to use my new gadget, a bevel edge mount board cutter. 

Incredibly I still have enough salvageable images for four more large frames and a few more mini ones too, I just don't have enough wall space!

Linking up with Handmade Thursday over on White Lily Green, jump down the rabbit hole and take a peek at the other crafters.

Inspire Me Beautiful

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Pedaling Mon Amour de Le Tour

This year I have found myself getting into sports that I had no interest whatsoever in last year, must be my age or the fact that Mr Right has finally brainwashed me into it.

A couple of weeks ago we went to the F1 at Silverstone and we're off to see the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship in London in a couple of weeks but the last two weeks have seen me addicted to this year's Tour de France, who knew that cycling could be so exciting, and really it is!

I've loved the coverage on ITV4HD, it's been entertaining and informative for a newbie like me and the race itself has been packed with thrills and spills, they say the tour is won and lost in the mountains and it's true, I thought the only edge-of-your-seat stuff would be the sprints and time trials but the mountain stages are just as exciting, plus there's all the team tactics and jersey competitions to add a bit more spice to the proceedings, plus the occasional puncture and mental costume-wearing fans to look out for too.
The infamous tour devil
Also who knew that cycling was such a risky sport, these men are fearless actually accelerating down mountains in torrential rain, there have been countless crashes and injuries but these amazing sportsmen just get back on their bikes (some with broken bones!) and carry on, often being treated by medics whilst still in the saddle!!!
Super brave Johnny Hoogerland being treated
in the saddle after being knocked off his
bike by a TV car into a barbed wire fence
The tour is in it's final week and ends on Sunday in Paris, so you'd better get on your bike if you want to see who wins!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Cupcapers - Bun Fight

Mr Right had some friends over to watch the David Haye fight a couple of weekends ago so I thought I'd make some cupcakes for him and his guests as I know that secretly big burly men like cupcakes too.

I made some vanilla cupcakes in red and blue cases and piped on some red, white and blue icing,
now I know what it's like to work in the Aquafresh factory!
I then fashioned some blue
and red boxing gloves out of some ready-to-roll icing and popped them on the top
Thankfully I didn't have a broken toe or I never would've been able to make them!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Sweet Bracelet

When the ever-stylish Mrs Z visited recently (along with her lovely family) I noticed she was wearing a cute little Dolly Mixture bracelet and I knew I just had to make one for myself.

I fashioned the sweets out of home-bake clay, 
Spot the difference
made a hole through the centre of each one and baked them in the oven
When they were cooled I threaded them onto elastic and tied the ends together
I even had enough beads to make a matching one for Missy
I only hope she doesn't try to eat hers!

Now available to purchase from my Etsy shop

Linking up with Handmade Thursday over on White Lily Green, go check out the other crafty buggers

Inspire Me Beautiful

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Rocky Road-A-Coaster

The gorgeous Z family dropped by for Sunday tea and cakes a couple of weeks ago and Mrs Z brought along a couple of gifts with her.  She remembered how much I had raved about the Rocky Road she'd made for her twins' 2nd birthday party and she made some specially for us me, did I mention she has twins, oh and she works full-time?  Where on earth she found time to make this and present it so beautifully (I got to keep the cupcake tin!) I'll never know.  True to form it tasted amazing and I wolfed the lot in about a day!!!
As well as the yummy Rocky Road I was presented with this cute Matryoshka doll coaster, super thoughtful as I've blogged a couple of times about my love of all things Russian doll and it has pride of place on my bedside table.  Thanks Mrs Z, you're too kind! x 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

F1; It's Not The Pits

I've never been a fan of F1, I couldn't see what was so exciting about watching a load of cars driven round and round a track, that was until I was inadvertently sucked into watching this year's Monaco Grand Prix coverage on the BBC and since then I have been hooked, well imagine my surprise when Mr Right called from work to say that he had won tickets for the F1 Qualifiers at Silverstone!

The company he works for are one of the sponsors and very generously run competitions for staff members to win VIP tickets every year.  Every year Mr Right has entered but never won, how apt that he should win this year, what with my burgeoning interest in the sport and the newly revamped track and facilities at Silverstone it really couldn't have come at a better time.

I ventured out for some essentials last week, rain ponchos, ear defenders and picnic supplies and we were all set.
We arrived in time for the free practice session and took our seats in the Abbey Stand which I was super excited about as it was directly opposite the pits, great for watching the beautiful people and for a general overview of the proceedings as the Start/Finish Line is also located there, thankfully I thought to bring our binoculars too, so we were able to watch pit stops and the TV crews and presenters doing their thing in the pit lane.
Our view of the Start/Finish Line
The first thing that hit me was the noise, TV just doesn't do it justice.  Earsplitting is the only word for it, not only the cars themselves but the equipment they use in the team garages.  It's a noise that you can feel throughout your core.  I was so glad that I had bought the (pink!) ear defenders,
Me in my ear defenders with my VIP pass and FanVision
although our hosts had kindly provided ear plugs in a stylish metal vial we wouldn't have been able to use the headphones that came with our complementary FanVision hand-held TV device through which we were not only able to visually follow the overall proceedings but also listen to the BBC commentary too, a must if I was to understand anything that was happening.
I tried to take some photos of the cars during Q1, 2 and 3 but invariably ended up with either a car-shaped blur or a not so interesting picture of the track so I decided to take a video too just to try and capture the noise and speed
Another thing I wasn't expecting was to be able to smell the fuel, it was a tad overpowering by the end of the day, although didn't mar my overall enjoyment.  Likewise the stories of traffic problems getting into and out of the site from previous attendees seemed to have been sorted with a great park and ride scheme and slick organisation on the part of the Silverstone staff. 

Jenson Button made a brief appearance (the only driver to do so) before qualification which was a nice touch and there was more to the day than just the hour or so of F1, there was Porsche and BMW qualification and a proper race, as well as some live music and an after party (although Mr Right and I weren't able to hang around as we had small people to collect from knackered grandparents), it had a real festival feel about it with die-hard petrol heads camping out for the entire weekend, all in all it was a great day out and I for one will be keeping my fingers crossed that Mr Right is lucky enough to win tickets next year.
Eventual 2011 British Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso

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