Friday, 29 January 2010

Call me fickle........

..........but I would quite like more snow.  Sure the sun is shining but it's all a bit bare and brown.  Under usual circumstances this would be the ingredients for a glorious winters day but that white velvety, thick blanket of the early lain snow was so beautiful.  Fluffy and soft and so lovely in the evenings reflecting in the orange glow of the street lights.  Crisp and sugar sparkly in the day time sunlight.

Look at these and tell me you do not agree....
.....from our recent jaunt to the Highlands.  Loch Morlich and the Cairngorms.  I am pretending to myself that everywhere looks like this to justify my desires of more snowflakes a falling.
Walking back from school this morning there were tiny flakes flickering around me.
I really would like more snow please!

I'll leave you with this photo of eldest Biscuit that tickles me, looking like a still from the famous Abominable Snowman film.
I'm off to make up a snow dance so if it snows on you this weekend you can blame me.  I have very powerful gypsy genes! You wait!!  Heehee!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Good Moorneeng!!! (bad attempt at policeman from 'Allo 'Allo)

I do love mornings, they are positively the best part of the day.  It's the potential they bring.  Of a morning after dropping my gorgeous Biscuits off at school, I potter for a little time and then I must have a cappuccino.  I don't do caffeine much, it doesn't agree with me, but I have this one caffeine ritual everyday.  I then force myself to sit and ponder the deeds for the day............
So today, apart from the usual (B.O.R.I.N.G!) necessary domestic chores like dusting and hoovering, I need to replenish our frozen baked goods as stores are running low.  Cakes, biscuits, tray-bakes etc freeze really well and it means each day I can put a little something the the Biscuits' lunch bags for a burst of energy to get them through the afternoon at school. Hubby Biscuit can help himself too!!  So a  peruse of baking books me thinks!  Also I'm feeling like a plateful of comfort food this evening, macaroni cheese with added cauliflower (Hubby hates it so will add after his is served) with lots of green veg.  That does sound nice, not that I need a recipe to work from, but I love the photo in Rachel Allen's Food at Home book.  I, like many of you have been making varying forms of macaroni cheese for years, with or without onions, spring onions, pancetta, mascarpone, gruyere, strong cheddar, peas. The variations are limitless!  Has to be Marshalls Macaroni though!  I am strict on that.   But in all else, it's one of those 'what do I fancy?' meals. Yummy!!  I can't wait!!
A couple of stitches here and there and a little looksy at my favourite blogs and I'm set for the day!


Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Great Reveal!

I am calling this post 'The Great Reveal' out of sheer joy that I have finally finished.  The cake, THE CAKE, I have been working on all week, is done, dusted, cut and scoffed with great delight by family and friends with compliments abound.  I'm sure you are all bursting with excitement, maybe a little wee had already escaped, so here it is........
I am very, very, very pleased with the end result.  Relieved it went well as it was a practice run for a friends wedding this summer.  She wants me to make her cake even though I had never done it before at the time of asking.  Ever the practical I embarked on giving it a bash first with a single tier cake for my Mum's 60th and now with this Ruby Anniversary two-tiered one.  I just wish the light had been better for a better photo but I was too scared to move it nearer more natural light, what if I had dropped it?  I am a dropper, clumsy Mummy remember if you read the earlier post.
Suffice to say I am feeling really good it went well, my beautiful parents-in-law loved it, their guests ate it heartily and I got very drunk and danced the night away with lots of mental, tummies filled with fizzy juice, children running about the dance floor bashing each other with balloons.  So a good family party then.
I have crowned myself Queen Ali today if that's OK with you!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Food for the sole(s).........

Take the remains of a stripped, scrummy roast chicken, as if it can't be scrummy, and bung (I love that word) it in a pot with onion, carrot, celery, thyme or a bay leaf or your herb of choice, peppercorns, water enough to cover and simmer for half an hour or so. 
Sieve into a jug and you end up with golden joy to behold......
Add this amber nectar to some veg and the stripped pieces of chicken to make a yummy, scrummy in my tummy, soup.
And as Gordon Ramsay would say with lots of 'yes' hand gestures 'yes':
Enough to give me fuzzy warm feetsie's even if I am still pratically living in my apron at the minute.
and if I could have, I would have repeated the joy of a few weeks ago and had one of my very, very favourite treats by adding some of this.....
to the usual ingredients and do this for two hours............
and end up with this beauty..........
to devours, in a lady like fashion of course.


P.S Organic, Free Range chicky meat makes for happy, happy feet!!
Food for the sole(s).......

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I've got a right bloody cheek.............

......not in a literal sense, just in a "I need to get a grip and cheer up a bit' sense.  I've just had a lovely weekend away in the Highlands with family, food and frolics but still feel down in the dumps and restless.  I've spent the best part of today avoiding housework (avoiding everything if I'm honest), shopping with my mother-in-law for her 40th Anniversary Party this Friday.  Not only did I buy a new outfit, I had a lovely cappuccino with an almond croissant on the side AND lunch, blethering and being girly.  Still feeling moody now I'm at home wondering which chore to deal with, which to prioritise as I really should be baking those eight and ten inch cakes for aforementioned Anniversary Party.  I can't seem to find the time to sew that brooch I'm in the middle of making, OR finish those ipod socks for ickle cousins and get on with those cushions for the sofa that have been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks.  We're in the middle of changing the mortgage and it's my own Anniversary tomorrow and I haven't even thought about it yet.  I feel I am getting nowhere fast.  Forget January Blues, I'm going mental!!! Plain old fashioned let me lay down in the middle of the room and pull my hair out mental. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

I am doing that thing I said I wouldn't do.  I'm using my blog to rant.....please fellow bloggers tell me it's ok.  Tell me we can't always make up funny rhymes and post lovely photos.  Sometimes we need to have a wee strop-a-rooney, place that rant out into the ether and shout out
because I do, I do and I don't want to anymore!

Actually I feel a little you go little rant.  Off you go!  That's it off into the ether..........

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Ooh I don't want to clean the toilet.......

Ooh I don't want to clean the toilet.
I think I'd much prefer a little read.
Ooh I don't want to clean the toilet.
But unfortunately I have boys so it's covered in wee.

Ooh I don't want to clean the toilet.
I'd much rather knit, sew, make and do.
Ooh I don't want to clean the toilet.
But like I said I have boys so it's covered in poo.


Can you tell I'm feeling a bit daft today?  I feel like a bit of mischief but I'm all on my ownsome with no one to play with so way hey for blogs, bloggers and the land of blog, blog street, blog town, blog world.  I am crowning myself the Queen of Procrastination today, a worthy recipient I ams and if I could, I'd eat cream cakes like Aunt Sally and watch Valentine Warner (I have such a crush...sigh!) and drink lots and lots and lots of tea.

Anyone care to join me?
(N.B I am NOT sharing Val, no way, no how!)

Aaah! Cream cakes and Val.........heaven! 
Together?  Now there's a thought.......

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The end of a love affair!

Up until about a week ago, if anyone asked me about my feelings for snow I would have proclaimed child-like joy about it. Not being a driver, snow is a wonder to be, walk, play in, something rare and something magical, not really an inconvenience at all. If you asked me now, well I've had enough. Our part of Scotland has had snow now for over three weeks but have had no more than a teeny amount of fresh snowfall in the last week or so. There is the Great Thaw during the day and to be honest it's lost it's appeal for playing in. Icy snow is not fun. It's just sooo cold out there. We are suffering from Cabin Fever. One plus side is our family visitors from Australia are in awe, even Brother-in-law who is a native of these lands. For them snow is magical still.
Yet, if  I can carry on the moaning, due to our visitors we are all supposed to be heading to Loch Ness for the weekend, a lovely family getaway to enjoy the views and together time, but on Friday there, we were told the property's (gorgeous 1930's, five bedroom beauty on the banks) pipes have frozen, it'll be refund more than likely and that's pants!  I know, it could be worse.........much worse but it's enough.  My love affair with snow is dying a death and it's sad. Sad. Sad.
My 'cup half full' philosophy leads me to focus on school going back in the morn (fingers crossed, please no frozen pipes or heating issues), weekend away (we'll cross that bridge.......), a two tier Ruby Anniversary cake for my parents-in-law (never done a tiered cake-eeek!! It'll be fine!) which will be mucho fun while I'm doing it, and their Anniversary 'do' to enjoy family, drinks, food and dancing and more dancing and maybe some more dancing.  Real things to look forward to.
So here's me jumping on the band wagon of snow dissing after wishing for it each winter, come next winter I'll be ready to rekindle my love affair.  Desire for fires and cosy blankees, warm wine and chocolate will come to the surface again and I will greet snow like a lover ready to embrace and enjoy.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

What is it about a cupcake?

Really though, what is it about a cupcake?  Is it all that heavenly spongy cakeyness packed into miniature? Yes! Definitely!  Is it the wealth of designs and variations; cupcakes for children, cupcakes for grownups?  For me it's cupcakes for all.  Yes, yes and YES!
I love a cupcake!
Whether it be knitted like these.......
.........or felty like this one made by Alex from LimeMoose at Etsy.
or fabric like the one I bought recently from Kitty Eden at Folksy......
or giant edible ones like this........
....or regular edible ones.  
I love a cupcake!!
I love to choose the cases for them, purist white, spotty, Halloween, Christmas, silver, gold, pastel or chocolate brown. Which recipe? Vanilla, chocolate, moreish lemon stuffed with added lemon curd.  I love to  bake them, have a rummage in my baking drawers (Oh-er Mrs!!) deciding how to decorate them, Royal Icing or American Style Frosting? Which colour? Sprinkles, smarties, glitter, hundredsandthousands, sugar flowers, wafer roses, coconut (my favourite! I'm drooling!), sweeties; broken or whole, crumbled Flakes or crushed Maltesers..........the possibilities are endless.
I can go Girly for a friend, refined to shabby chic for afternoon tea or my favourite; either myself or my boys going a little or a lot OTT with a bit of everything.
I have forgotten something I hear you say, the best part of it all!  The unwrapping of that paper case to reveal the cupcake in all it's glory, from the first nibble to the licking of the icing adhered to the case.
Aaaah!! She sighs!
So today I opted with creative input, if not actual physical endeavor, from my boys, to celebrate Christmas Selection Boxes and Celebrations/MiniHero tins. Not forgetting a little Girliness for me!
Mrs B I chose the stand to show what incredibly good taste we share!
It's not just any cake stand, it's a M&S cake stand!
 .......and after.
packed away......
(like that lasted for a few seconds after the photos, my boys were there scoffing before the icing was set!)
and the bowl ready for licking, I barely got a teaspoons worth............still it's all about the cupcake!.....but I also love a biscuit particularly any of these..........
...or any, really. NOT Garibaldi's....Y.U.C.K!
Or a fabby brooch to wear on a cardi like this one that came today from HomemadeHome at Folksy...
You can also get a jammy dodger and a bourbon and I will have to at some point I'm sure.

I love a cupcake and I love a biscuit but which is better? There's only one way to find out........



Could you have guessed a post about cupcakes and biscuits would be a long one?

Monday, 4 January 2010

I'm all of a kerfuffle in the comedown of Christmas!

Is it just me in these depths of confusion? I'm confused to what day it is, what time of day it is and what on earth should I be doing just now? The answer to that last one at least is 'the dreaded' ironing but I'm putting that off for a mo......I'm just in all kinds of a kerfuffle in these first few days of 2010. I was SO busy leading up to Christmas with no time unaccounted for and then suddenly the 'nothing to do time' I was craving came and it was nice for a time but I felt like a rocket that was going so fast that even when I stopped, inside I kept going, not feeling like I had stopped at all.
Things feel out of sync.
People are here, people who are not normally here in the main daytime hours, namely Hubby and our Biscuits so my routine is out the window. I'm feeling all kinds of uninspired, unsure what to make and do but with a deep sense of needing to create something.
My little corner is calling to me but I don't have an inkling of what I want to do or be there.

Yet the teeny optimistic voice inside me is trying to get my attention, trying to remind me the January Blues will pass, that's it's a crazy, unsettling time and all will be good. The voice will grow louder and louder still until it becomes my own and I will feel balanced once more.  I'm going to try and listen really hard.



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