Thursday, 30 September 2010

Banana Frog Blog Hop...

I meant to upload this first thing this morning so i have to apologise for breaking the blog hop chain!

Im in love with the new BF Christmas stamps - so elegant, look at this cute reindeer! If you have come here from Julies blog then welcome and im sure you know what to do - leave a comment below and hop on over to Michelles blog for another chance to win a set of Banana Frog stamps :)

Good luck!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Roasted Pepper Soup, Pineapple & Coconut Cupcakes and Coffee!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup ( sounds cool even though its not roasted!) lol
8 Potatoes
4 large leeks
1 large onion
3 large peppers
200ml chicken stock
2oz butter
salt and pepper to season
double cream

Roughly chop all the vegetables and sweat in a pan with the butter for approx 10 minutes. Once the volume has reduced add the chicken stock, season and leave to thicken for 30 minutes. When you can break the potatoes against the pan with the back of a wooden spoon your soup is ready to be blended.
Using a hand blender break down all the vegetables and taste. Season again if necessary and serve with a swirl of double cream.

Pineapple and Coconut Cupcakes

8oz Self raisng Flour
8oz Caster Sugar
4oz Butter
3 eggs
1tsp Baking powder
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tin Pineapple chunks
4 oz Dessicated Coconut
8oz Icing Sugar

Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between each addition. In a seperate bowl mix together the flour and baking powder and sieve. Gradually add the flour until well mixed.
Cut the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces and add 3/4 of the tin to your mix. Fold into the mix and using an icecream scoop fill your cases.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Once cooled make up your butter icing and top the cakes. Dip in the coconut and top with a piece of pineapple.These go down well with freshly brewed coffee! I have the pleasure of reviewing a coffee machine and of course had to try one (..or two cupcakes!) for research purposes!

Thank you for the sweet comments yesterday about my new apothecary jars. The two smaller ones are from Next (they are in this new directory and instore - £10 for the small one £14 for the larger) and the big rounded one was from Furniture Barn - dont even go there unless you want to spend some serious money, it isnt expensive at all but i guarantee you will want one of everything!! LOL Good Luck!! ;)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Need sleep...or extra hours in the day!

Evie now has her bottom 2 teeth through! They are SO sharp and when she gives you those ' grab you by the hair chew on your jawline' kisses its starting to sting a little! lol

Some quick snapshots for today as im wanting to do some paper crafting - i have so many ideas and not enough time in the day lately. If anyone has any extra hours they can spare throw them this way please, i can repay with cupcakes :) oooh or some sweets from my new apothecary jars!! lol I popped a bottle of Stickles next to them so you can see just how big the jars actually are! The boys love it when they can get the little sweet bags and come up to me asking for a mix up - they know they arent allowed to help themselves as im worried they will smash the glass! lol

I made another 2 recipes tonight for tea.... Roasted pepper soup and for dessert pineapple and coconut cupcake - yum!! Recipes to follow :)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Jamaican Coconut Prawn Curry - full details week 38 recipe :)

Voting opened today for the second stage of the Published Food Blogger competition over at Foodbuzz! It is so exciting to read all of the fabulous dishes that everyone has prepared - theres food from India to Iraq and Bali to Brazil, I have added a whole new section to my 'want to try' list!
Good luck everyone :) If you would like to vote for me for my Jamaican Coconut Prawn Curry then just click on the link at the right there ------------------------->>>

Thank you xxxSurprisingly this recipe does not have many ingredients but tastes devine and so much better than store bought jar sauces! We only ever had Korma before when having curry but now I really will branch out and try more - its not just about the heat, its about the depth of flavour! I borrowed and adapted this recipe from

Ingredients needed:Serves 4

2 large Sweet Potatoes
Oil for deep-frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
1/4 cup (59 mL) olive oil
2 pounds (907 g) large shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and deveined 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely chopped
1 Scotch bonnet chile (chilli), seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
2 cups (473 mL) coconut milk

To make the sweet potato fries, pour oil for deep-frying into a large saucepan and heat it over a medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Season the sweet potato planks with salt and pepper and deep-fry them in batches until cooked and crisp, about 1 or 2 minutes.

Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep hot to serve with the shrimp when ready.

To make the shrimp, pour the 1/4 cup oil into a heavy-based saucepan or skillet over a medium heat. Toss in the shrimp, garlic, bell pepper, and chile and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the curry powder.

Stir well and cook for a further minute, then add the coconut milk.

Season with salt to taste, turn the heat up to high, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce is much reduced and thick, about 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy :)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Foodbuzz Round 2 - Jamaican Coconut Prawn Curry with Sweet Potato Fries

Thank you to everyone who voted for me in round 1 of the Foodbuzz Food Blogger Competition! I made it through to round 2!! :D

The title of this round is The Classics: How well can you tackle a classic dish from another culture? We're bypassing the French and Italian standards in favor of more challenging cuisines.

Since we are a good old fashioned comfort food loving family I knew this one was going to appeal on many levels, I get to try something I dont normally do and the boys get to see ingredients that ive never used before, we even bought a chilli plant (with ready to use chillies!!) to grow on the windowsill!We all really enjoyed the taste and appeal of trying something other than the 'normal' quick fix sauces from a jar! Heck if we ever have curry a Korma is about as wild as we get- we dont do spicy!

Another first for me....I have never de-headed prawns before andit was an experience lets put it that way, not one I would rule out doing again. They had so much more flavour bought straight from a fishmongers than in a prepacked carton from a supermarket! We left the tails on and it was great to see the kids not only enjoying the food but holding the prawns in their hands to get the last little bits from the tails. Theres something comforting and rustic about being able to eat with your hands - yes, even if it is a curry!Voting starts tomorrow for round 2 so I am including step by step pictures and receipe in tomorrows post of how this meal was made as week 38 of our 52 week challenge :)

Please let me know if you take part and remember to share pictures too - enjoy xxx

Friday, 24 September 2010

CSN stores giveaway :)

CSN stores are taking the world by storm! Ive never known a more generous company to give away and let you review products via blogs. They sell everything from toys to cooking equipment, barbeques to Wardrobes.

Im giving you the heads up that theres a giveaway for CSN stores over on Gingerpies blog (my bestestest friend) If you would like to win £30 worth of vouchers then head on over HERE! You only have until Monday so get entering for your chance to win :)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Mag projects ....

I havent been able to share these projects until now and the pictures arent the best quality as i took them quickly before i sent the items away.

First up is one of Evangelines birth announcement cards, they are delicate peach which isnt showing up too well in the photograph :(
Supplies used:

Dress template - Craftwork Cards
Patterned papers - Craftwork Cards
Sentiment and butterfly stamp - Papertrey Ink

Baby Girl Frame
I adore this project and cant wait to get it back so i can pop it on the wall above Evies cot :)
Supplies used:

Butterfly stamp and die, Sentiment stamps - Papertrey Ink
Patterned Paper and Ribbon- Bo Bunny Double Dot
Edging punch - Martha Stewart

Big fashion right now is to use doilies on cards, layouts, projects etc so when i was asked to make a doily card i knew i wanted to do something with the Hero Arts Doily stamp...I stamped and embossed it with P K Glitz embossing powder and embellished with little gems from The Hobby House.
My final project is using the Boardwalk papers from Bo Bunny alongside the FABULOUS surfboard stamp from Waltzing Mouse boy set of stamps! Dont they go so well together, i made the little surf boards pop by layering glossy accents until they had the sheen i wanted.
Im back in the making grove and hope my mojo has returned for good - in fact now ive done the housework for today im off to play with some papers! :) What are you doing today?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Week 37 - Orange Flower Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Im really excited about this recipe! Ive combined citrus tastes using orange flower water and lemon rind with dark chocolate and hazelnut.....mmmmmThey taste divine and only needs the smearing of the ganache on the top. I wouldnt pipe a large swirl on top as it would just be too rich!

Makes 24 large Cupcakes/Muffins

8 oz unsalted butter
16 oz caster sugar
10 oz self raising flour
8 oz plain flour
120ml semi skimmed milk
2 tbsp orange flower water1tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

You all know how to make the cupcakes by now LOL

1. Cream together butter & sugar
2. Add an egg at a time and cream some more
3. Slowly add the flour, vanilla, orange water and milk to the creamed mix and carry on mixing for a further 5 minutes
4. Bake in the oven at 180 for approx 20/25 minutes

Chocolate Ganache

200g good quality dark chocolate
180ml double cream

Gently bring the cream to the boil and pour over the broken dark chocolate. Leave 5 minutes then stir until completely blended. Let cool completely before whisking and topping your cakes.

Garnish with grated lemon zest and finely chopped hazelnuts :)Enjoy xxx

For a chance to win some fantastic prizes - including a gorgeous Raspberry coloured KitchenAid mixer then check out the Jordans Cereals Facebook site!

Also, if you fancy a day out they are having a ploughing match on the 23rd October. They will have modern and vintage tractors and horses all in competition together. If you are in the Royston area go and see this vital countryside skill in all its glory and celebrate the launch of The Prince's Countryside Fund and nature friendly farmers at the same time. Check out the Jordans homepage for more details.

Good Luck everyone :)

Sorry youre feeling....WOOF!! lol

I have really enjoyed taking part in some challenges again and here is my first card. I am entering it for 2 of the challenges - BasicGrey Challenge blog (little doggy is BG June bug paper) It was also Basic Greys sketch. Also putting it in for the Stampin' for the Weekend Challenge as I have included a little tag with the sentiment :)

Monday, 20 September 2010

So much to say....

Im going to make quick one liners and will update tomorrows post with pics etc...

The 3 ladies that won the Amazon wishlist goodies - they are on their way :)

The Ribbon Girl have set their first challenge - go see the box of goodies they have up for grabs!! Wowza!

Voting is now open for the Foodbuzz Food Blog Challenge - There are only 3 days to vote in this first round so if you want to help me out just click on my vote button to the right there -------->

I am going to start and put a recipe shopping list and step by step up on a Monday AND Wednesday - thats the full thing start to finish twice a week!!

I have a little girl that is maxing out on up to 2 hours sleep a night and has got her first proper cold which means im shattered and coming down with cold too! Us girls like to share! lol

Saturday, 18 September 2010

P B & J Cupcakes

Bang goes the diet again...well would you take a cupcake from someone who doesnt try their own recipes! No, didnt think so, thats my excuse and im sticking to it! ;)

I followed the same recipe as for my other basic vanilla cupcakes and added 2tsp of peanut butter into the cake mix before baking, it doesnt need much so its just the slightest hint of taste youre after. After cooling i injected approx 5mls of jam into the centre of each cake. You know to stop injecting when it starts oozing back out of the top! lol

The peanut butter icing was made with 1part icing sugar, 2 parts peanut butter and 4 parts cream cheese (i used philly but marscapone would work just as well) - add more peanut butter if you prefer a strong taste and you can add additional spoonfulls of icing sugar to keep it sweet.Grind up some peanuts and sprinkle on top.

Once these have gone im starting on the orange flower cupcakes with dark chocolate ganache topping....mmmmmm!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Please help me win a weekend in Rome!!

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with the book EAT, PRAY, LOVE! Well, did you know the movie is being released on Friday 24th of September - yep less than a week away! EEK!

I of course had to join the official UK page on facebook for the movie and they are currently running a competition, we had to upload 3 photographs depicting Eat, Pray and Love and the runners up win a pair of tickets to the UK Premier of the movie (announced on Monday) and the overall winner wins a weekend in Rome for 2!!

These are the 3 pictures i uploaded and they are in the specific galleries for each word. All you need to do is like the Official UK page for the movie and then click like or comment on each of my photographs...make sure you go into the finalists gallery for each word and leave your comments or click like there as i think thats the only place that counts :)

EATPRAYLOVE...please, help me out, I would love to visit Rome and maybe im a little biased but i think my photos are the cutest! ;)

Foodbuzz Project Food Blog - Round 1! EEK!

You may have noticed a couple of new banners on my blog pointing you in the direction of Foodbuzz. Well, I am now an official Featured Foodbuzz publisher and I dont know what has possessed me but I have signed myself up to take part in a 2000 strong cooking competition!! Talk about little fish BBBBIIIGGGG pond!! EEK!

Project Food Blog will whittle down from 2000 to 1 - yes 1!!

This is a bid to find the next 'Top Chef', believe me I know there are a lot of fantastic chefs/bakers/cooks and as much as I like to think my family give me unbiased criticism, well, theyre family arent they! lol So I have decided as long as I do this for me then its all good!Our first challenge is to describe what defines us as a food blogger and why we deserve to be the next Food Blog Star.

I am a mummy, wife and full time cook to a family of 7! We all eat the same meals and we stopped buying cakes and biscuits from the store a while ago - we just prefer homemade food! I love cooking, it relaxes me, its my time! I can go into the kitchen with a promise of chocolate muffins all round if they play games with Daddy for 30 minutes....its win win! lol All 4 of our boys have always eaten a majority of foods put in front of them and I can bet Evangeline will eat everything in sight soon too! We are all enjoying the 52 week recipe challenge I started at New Year, it is broadening my cooking base as well as putting proper home cooked meals on the table. Im not knocking the occassional take out but I think there is a lot to be gained from watching your family enjoy and tuck into a meal that you have made from scratch.
With this competition I can challenge myself as well as try new things at the same time, I love cooking sweet desserts so it will be fun to stretch further afield into different cultures etc. As you progress through each round you get set a new challenge, ranging from setting a dinner party to recording a video of yourself cooking - ok im sure im not the only one dreading that one! lol

Voting opens on the 20th of September so I will pop back and put a link through to the vote page on Monday :)

Eek, wish me luck.....Ive seen the other contestants and think im going to need all the help I can get ;)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A girls best friend....

...needs to love sloppy kisses! This girl is certainly good at giving the sloppiest, most love filled kisses ever!Layout made using Echo Park papers, Prima Embellishments and The Ribbon Girl dotty buttons and twine :)
Go shop - you know you deserve it!! :)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Week 36 -Raspberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes *step by step*

Place the margarine & caster sugar in a food mixer and blend until smooth.Add the self-raising flour, baking powder and eggs and again mix until smooth.
Add 150g of the raspberries and 200g of the grated white chocolate and fold gently with a spatula to combine but not overwork and break the chocolate pieces.
Using an ice cream scoop fill your cupcake/muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees c for approx 25 minutes.
While they cool add the whipping cream, icing sugar and 150g of raspberries to your mixer and beat on high until all combined and fluffy. Add to the tops of the cupcakes and finish with a fresh raspberry and sprinkling of chocolate. (a little boy is to blame for me not having a fresh raspberry on top of each - those little hands and mouth work fast!!) lol
The topping for these cakes is made with fresh cream so it is best to bake the cakes in advance and decorate on the day to be eaten :)

Enjoy xxx

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Popcorn and Peek!!

These are some of the cards i did for the Crafters Companion Popcorn Die Cut launch on Create & Craft last week. This little bear never fails to make me smile - i only hope i did him justice :)

This is my last little scallop card - i bought them from Craftwork Cards when the Harrogate show was on in March....really must get another order in as they are just too cute!
On the die cut sheets were 4 little blocks of pictures so i thought to use them too and made them look like a parcel. I think it worked well and I got LOADS of dimention from Collall Glue - im now a complete convert and wouldnt use normal silicone again, this glue is odourless!! Wohooo!!
I cant resist sharing this one as i keep looking at it and im in love! This is an upcoming project on the Chickensoup Challenge blog...Thats not meant to be big headed or blowing my own trumpet, what i mean is i love the colours and the flower and the sentiment and the fact its VERY shabby chic! :)