Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mushroom and Broccoli Quiche

There are a few things that I will always believe taste a thousand times better home made than store bought. One of these is quiche, so yummy hot out of the oven or cold in a packed lunch. I'm not even sure I can describe the difference between homemade and shop bought quiche, I guess you'll just have to try it out for yourself! Suffice to say I will rarely buy quiche but having it homemade I always get excited and look forward to.

I tried making it for myself recently, always having had it made by my mum in the past. Using her recipe, it's a bit of a rough science but I think it turned out great, not the prettiest looking thing in the world (it was a bit wobbly when it was hot) but very tasty. So here it is for you to have a go too, I hope this recipe isn't supposed to be a family secret or anything XD

Quiche

Mushroom and Broccoli Quiche

This is for a large flan dish, roughly 9inches or 24cm

Ingredients
~ Shortcrust pastry (homemade or shop bought is fine)
~ Broccoli and mushrooms (or any other filling you want to try! I used a small floret of broccoli and a handful of button mushrooms)
~ 5 Eggs
~ 4oz of creme fraiche or soft cheese
~ Cheese, grated
~ About a pint of milk

Method
~ Preheat oven to 180c
~ Roll out the pastry and line the dish, put it aside for 5 minutes and then trim the edges once the pastry has had chance to relax and shrink back. Blind bake for about 10-15 minutes and then remove from the oven
~ Whilst the pastry is cooking you can prepare its insides. Chop and par boil the broccoli and lightly fry the mushrooms
~ Beat together the eggs with the creme fraiche/soft cheese in a measuring jug then make up to 1 and a half pints with milk
~ Sprinkle the grated cheese over the pastry base and then arrange the veg on top, sprinkle on more cheese
~ Poor the egg mixture into the case until it's almost to the top. Transfer to the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes. It's done when the top is golden and the middle is no longer runny

I hope you will try this and let me know how it goes :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Peanut Butter Obsession?

I'm not sure what it is lately but all my baking seems to involve peanut butter. I'm not even that big a fan of it on its own, spread on toast or however you might eat it normally. It's when it's mixed with sugar and/or chocolate that I love it. If you could get Reeces peanut butter cups over here for the price they are in America I would be totally addicted (and the size of a house)!

A few weeks ago I baked these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars although I would say they're actually more like brownie. But man was it good! I didnt even get round to taking photos of it before we'd eaten it all up. I made a second batch for my friends house warming barbeque and I'm going to assume that they were a huge success as total silence fell upon the room as everyone was busy munching their square :D

Then the weekend before last I went on a cupcake baking spree. First of all were these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, frosting is such a great American word, we should use it more! I really want an M1 icing tip, it's what everyone uses to make those perfectly iced cupcakes. Anyway, this chocolate cake was gorgeous, super soft and moist but then that caused the problem of it literally falling apart especially under the weight of the icing. Speaking of the icing it had a good balance, sweet but not overly sickly, very nice :3

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Secondly, whilst I was out shopping I spotted a box of "Peanut Butter Cups" which reminded me of a post I'd seen on Epicute where someone had used Mini Reeces Cups to make 'mini cupcakes' to go on top of regulare cupcakes and they looked amazing. I don't think my effort turned out quite as well but still cute, I used a cupcake recipe with peanut butter in it to carry on with the theme and just regular butter icing. It turned out that the off brand peanut butter cups were nothing like Reeces and didn't taste fantasic either, which isn't really surprising for 99p a box, but their job was to look pretty so I think they did ok :D

Cupcake With MiniCupcake

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Another Quick One

The amazing magda is having another give away, I love her minature food, it looks so tasty I just want to eat it! Go check out her blog mmagda


On another note I have been busy sewing lately. Have almost finished work on a strawberry print lolita skirt, I have learnt a lot of new techniques so will post about it once it's done. Have also been adding some things to my Etsy shop so you will be hearing about that soon too. Maybe I will have an "official launch" and a little competition?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Peace Offering: Cupcake Recipe

Oh wow, it has been a really long time! Not really sure why I haven't blogged, it's not like I'd given up on crafting. I guess I have just been finding motivation a bit lacking lately so what little I had was concentrated on actually doing things, no effort left for writing! Anyway, I wanted to let you all know I'm still here, you don't get rid of me that easy :D

To apologise for my absence I will share with you my simple, straight-forward cupcake recipe. It is actually the only baking recipe I can ever remember off the top of my head which proves how easy it is! So I hope you will give it a go and I want to see pics of what you've made!

VectorCupcake

Ingredients

~ 3oz butter
~ 3oz caster sugar
~ 1 egg
~ 5oz flour
~ 1tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method

~ Preheat your oven to 180c, line a cupcake tray with 12 cake cases

~ Using a wooden spoon or electric whisk cream the butter and sugar together. The butter needs to be soft for this so it helps to leave it out of the fridge for a few hours before (although I always forget!)

~ Once it looks light and fluffy beat in the egg

~ Seive in the flour and fold in gently until combined, add the vanilla if using. If the mixture seems too thick add a drop of milk

~ Spoon evenly into the cake cases and put in the oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until risen and golden on top. To check if they are done insert a toothpick or skewer, it should come out clean

~ Place on a rack to cool

Icing

~ For buttercream icing mix equal weights of butter and icing sugar. Spread or pipe onto the cakes once they are cool and decorate as desired :D

Variations

~ To make chocolate cakes or icing replace 1 tablespoon of the flour or icing sugar with cocoa powder

~ Or for something more fruity mix a handfull of sultanas or chopped glace cherries into the cake mix after the flour and ice with icing sugar mixed with a little water

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A couple of quick things

Hello again! Just wanted to mention a couple of quick things today.

First of all go check out mmagdas blog, she makes the most amazing miniature food jewelery! Plus she is having a giveaway at the moment :3


Secondly, seeings as I'm into making graphics at the moment I am thinking about making some free downloads but want to know what people would be interested in. So if you've got a minute please let me know either by commenting or using the poll over there *points to the left*

And lastly from now on I'll but putting all my photos/pictures on flickr so if you just want to look at the pretty things all together in one place take a look at the Two Days Slow flickr

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Tiramisu

Up until recently I was actually under the impression that I didn't like Tiramisu. I hadn't tried it since I was little and I guess as a kid I didn't enjoy the strong flavours of coffee and alcohol. However, as a favourite of my mum and my boyfriend I decided I would make it this past Sunday for mothers day and see if my feelings for it had changed. I can official confirm I have been converted, it was absolutely delicious! It was so light and creamy, sweet but not sickly, I could quite easily eat much too much of this.

As I hadn't made it before it was a bit of a challenge surfing around trying to find a recipe that sounded right. There seems to be a lot of variations on this dessert, all I knew is that I wanted one that included Kahlua (coffee liqueur). I eventually settled on this Classic Tiramisu recipe

All the parts

I went with this one because it didn't use anything fancy or difficult to get hold of, the american ones all seemed to use things like pudding mix which to me seems to slightly defeat the point of making something from scratch. Also a lot of them used egg whites but this one used the yolks as well so that meant I didn't have to worry about storing them and figuring out what to use them for.

Yummy sponge fingers

It was fairly straight forward to make although a bit time consuming, beater washing and refrigerating between steps. There was a lot of whisking involved so certainly wouldn't recommend it unless you have an electric beater. It felt very satisfying assembling it, dipping the sponge fingers into the coffee mixture and arranging them in the dish, covering with a layer of the cream and then repeating. I did make one small change to the recipe, I added 1/3 cup of Kahlua to the coffee for soaking the sponge in as it was the general consensus that we would like it to be more boozy!

Finished Tiramisu

As an extra bonus there were some sponge fingers left over to dip in the coffee and then use to scrape the cream mix bowl clean :D

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Something Different This Week

Sorry cake fans but I've not had any time to bake yet this week, two other things have been keeping me very busy. Firstly I've joined a gym, shock horror! I'm never going to be any good at dieting, I just enjoy cooking/baking and eating too much so I figured I should probably try and do more exercise instead. I know it's only been a week but I'm enjoying it so far, lets see how long I can stick with it! Gyms have some really crazy equipment these days, anyone had a go on a wave machine? It's like a stepper but instead of moving you're legs up and down you have to push them out side to side. Ugggh, it's horrible!

My second distraction has been Final Fantasy XIII. I guess it doesn't come across from this blog so much but I'm actually a massive geek :D Especially when it comes to Final Fantasy, I have been waiting for this game for what seems like forever and it finally arrived yesterday. It's actually had pretty mediocre reviews but personally I'm loving it so far. Sure it's a bit slow to get going and there are a ton of cut scenes but that's because it's all about the epic story and I like the cutscenes, they are absolutely gorgeous.

Never fear though, I haven't been totally uncreative and unproductive!


Tada! A vector art portrait I made of myself. Considering I haven't done much in the way of art for years I'm pretty pleased with this as a first attempt. I keep thinking maybe I should add more detail to it but then maybe that would ruin it?

Friday, 5 March 2010

Chocolate Heaven

Oh. My. Goodness. I was reading through my usual blogs last week and stumbled across these Marshmallow Crisp Brownie Bars. They looked incredible and after an entire day drooling over the pictures of them there was no way I was going to be able to go home and not make them. After a visit to the supermarket and purchasing a disgraceful amount of chocolate and other naughty ingredients the brownies were born!


I can confirm that they taste as good as they look, really not good as I actually want to lose weight, not put it on. The recipe makes a huge quantity so unless you are planning to share them (if you're anything like me you wont want to share, you'll want to hoard them all to yourself) you could probably half it. I split it between two tins anyway as I didn't have one big enough. Also I could have left them to cool a bit longer after adding the marshmallow layer, when I put the chocolate crispie layer on top it just sank into the liquid marshmallows.

On a side note my camera magically decided to come back to life! Yay, panic over. Also what do you think of the new layout? It's a bit of a work in progress, just adding/changing a little bit at a time.

Monday, 1 March 2010

It's Okay, I'm not Dead!

Yes that's right, long time no update but I'm still here. I'm gonna have trouble now thinking as far back as when I last updated though!

Well lets see, at least I have been keeping busy. I have been doing a lot of baking and cooking. At first I neglected to update this blog as I was really struggling to find the motivation to do anything for a week or so. I did manage to force myself to get up and do things but that took all my effort, then writing about what I'd been doing was just a bit too much. And since then I've just been super busy. It was my birthday and then my boyfriends and I have been being really sociable for a change! February was a really fun month but very tiring.

So, I've tried to keep track of some of the things I made in the hopes that I would get around to posting them eventually. Here's a couple of pictures to tide you over until I get round to posting about something properly.


This is the cake I made to take into work for my birthday. Yes it's a giant cupcake, that's a full size dinner plate it's sitting on. Awesome indeed and tasted great too, chocolate pound cake with butter cream icing. It's actually the second time I used this amazing cake tin that I got for Christmas, I'd had a practice run the week before as I wanted to make sure I got it right for my birthday :D


And this is the cake my wonderful boyfriend Chris got me for my actual birthday! It's Hello Kitty, enough said!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Can I Eat It?

Mmmm it looks so yummy but sadly the answer is no, you can wear it though! I made this marshmallow bracelet from fimo, as clay projects go it was pretty straightforward and I got lots of practice wire working (although I realised after that there was a much simpler way I could have made the adjoining wire pieces).


However once put together with the middle bead sections it's actually a bit too big for me. I could take it all apart and start again but to be honest I'm too lazy to do that so will probably just try and sell it instead. I took the photo using my new homemade light tent and I think it really does look much better than some of my previous attempts.

Also had a bit of a panic this week, my camera has been playing up. At one point it seemed to completely stop working, it wouldn't turn on and when I put it in its charging dock none of the lights came on or anything. I was convinced it was completely dead and as much as I'd like a shiney new camera I don't really want to spend any more money at the moment (I've had a pretty frivolous month *blush*). So after a very unhelpful call to Casio I decided to have one more poke at it today and it is now in its dock with the charging light on. Not really sure what I did, think it might be a problem with the memory card but fingers crossed otherwise the blog will be having crummy phone pics for a while!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Shopping, Plans and Traingles

So what have I been working on lately? Nothing major, just a few things but I've been thinking lots about what I'd like to do, particularly for this blog. I wonder if I ought to try and post on a more regular schedule? I'd also like to do some tutorials/videos/recipes of my own and I have a couple of ideas the first of which hopefully I'll get round to this week.

I went to ikea this week and got these cookie cutters. I think they're pretty unusual and should make some really fun biscuits to decorate! I mean how often do you see a hedgehog shaped cookie :3



Nothing special but I thought I'd post it as I think the photo of it turned out nicely, I madeassembled this headband to match one of my Lolita dresses for a meet I went to this the weekend. I just bought a plain headband and then super glued on some cardmaking/scrapbooking embellishments. I also covered my fingers in glue in the process, I knew it was a bad idea when I bough it :D fortunately though I'd done some reading before I started, yay for the knowledge that nail varnish remover (containing acetone) also removes super glue. Also speaking of photography, that's something I'd really like to improve on this year.



I've also made the ratties a new house this week. Following this amazing tutorial for a reversible triangle, I have no idea how she ever figured out how to make this in the first place, it's like magic. There were a few steps where I had to read the instructions several times wondering how on earth this works but then you do it and "ta-da" it all comes together, I love moments like that. It's not quite finished yet, you can probably see from the pins in the picture that the edges of the opening just needs sewing up. The outside is cotton and the inside is a nice snuggly fleece.



If you like reading my blog then why not subscribe to the RSS feed so that you know when there are new posts? To be honest I don't know much about RSS readers I just use the thing that's in firefox that lets you add feeds just like a bookmark, so easy. Also if you know anyone else who might be interested then please share the link with them, I'm thinking of doing a giveaway in the near future so the more readers I can share with the better ^_^

Monday, 18 January 2010

Alien Scarf

Remember the alien scarf that I first mentioned here? Well here's a progresss report!

Unfortunately I had a bit of a falling out with it before christmas. I was about 40 rows in and dropped a couple of the stitches and couldn't rescue them >_< So I ended up just ripping the whole thing.

I started it again on my christmas travels but have only really been working on it in earnest this last week. I've almost finished one whole alien face now, it's supposed to be six faces when complete however I would like to make it longer if I have enough wool. I would really like to have it done before this winter is over and if I can just keep at it I think I might be able to.

No pictures yet, you'll have to wait until it's done as otherwise it will kind of give it away :D

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

First Ever Sugar Cookies

After hours of drooling over gorgeous pictures of cookies from the likes of the Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle and Sweetopia I decided it was about time to have a go myself.

I can't seem to find the recipe I used for the biscuits but there are tons out there on the web. I used the trick of rolling the dough out between two sheets of baking paper and then refridgerating before cutting out the shapes. It's amazing doing it this way as you dont make any mess on the worktop or rolling pin, only need to refridgerate them for about half the time and when you cut out the cookies they keep their shape really well.


Baked Cookies

After they were baked and cooled I left them in an airtight container as I wasn't going to have time to ice them right away. A day or so later I came back to do the icing, helped in huge part by this tutorial from CakeJournal: How to flood cookies with royal icing. I liked the idea about the squeezy bottle for the runny icing but didn't want to spend a lot of money and have to order online and wait for it to be delivered so I just got some cheap sauce bottles which actually worked out great!

So first you have to outline the cookies with a thick icing to create a barrier to hold the flooding in. This took a bit of practice, the first half of mine looked like they had been done by a toddler with the icing wiggling all round the edge of the biscuit! However the more I did the better I got and by the time I got to the end I was chuffed by how professional they (almost) looked :D After leaving that to dry for as long as I could resist (was dying to see how good they looked finished) the final step was flooding. Easier than the outlining but it took a while, I really need to learn to not slouch over the counter so much as my back was killing me by the time I finished.


I only have christmas cookie cutters at the moment but I thought stars, snowmen and pink wellie boots (from the stocking cutter) would still be ok! I love how smart and neat they look. The only bit I couldn't figure out was how do you make the join from the start and end of the outline nice and neat?


Pink to match my own wellies

Will definately be making these again in different shapes and designs and will try to be more adventurous and do some further piping on top of the cookies as well as practicing more to get my outlining looking lovely and smooth. And not only did they look great but they tasted fantastic too!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Phew! Happy New Year!

Wow, it's been a while hasn't it! Happy new year everyone and hope you all had a fun festive season. I can't believe how busy I was in the run up to christmas. I managed to finish 3 of the 4 cross stitch cards I bought to do though and had some very nice complimets on them :)

Unfortunately didn't end up with much time for baking, all I got done was my first ever gingerbread house, although it was a pretty mammoth project! I made it from scratch including modifying my own template and making the gingerbread dough. it took over 5 hours from start to finish but I was so pleased with how it turned out, it was definately worth the effort. I can't vouch for how it tasted as I don't actually like gingerbread but it got completely devoured at work so I'm taking that as a good sign. I used this recipe, I'm not sure if I did it right though as the raw dough seemed really oily/greasy but it was fine once it was baked. Also I've not made royal icing before and I didn't make it thick enough so it was taking ages to dry, I had to stand there holding bits and pieces whilst the icing set and ended up wedging some of the bits in place with sweets so that I didnt have to stay there holding them for hours. I was also pretty convinced that the whole thing was going to collapse but it stayed standing.


 


I was travelling all over the country over the christmas holidays so didn't get much done then apart from a bit of knitting (I'd messed up the alien scarf so had to start again). Back home and back to normal routine now though which also means back to work *sigh* And I have absolutely no energy at the moment but I'm going to try and force myself to do some baking this evening. I want to have a go at making sugar cookies and decorating them using the flooding method with royal icing (need to make it runny on purpose this time).

I also got a couple of crafty gifts for christmas which I can't wait to try out and hopefully I will write some reviews once I have done. First was the Polymer Clay Cookbook which I has asked for and the second was a lovely surprise, a cake tin in the shape of a giant cupcake similar to this! I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out ^_^