Friday, 28 September 2012

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Was a huge success! I made;

Peanut Butter Fudge, Honey Sponge (from honey harvested on the farm where I work) Victoria Sponge, Gingerbread Cake, Apple Cake and Cookies. I raised £102.05 from my cakes alone and I'm waiting to find out the grand total from everyone put together. Job well done :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Macmillan Coffee Morning - Prep

Macmillan coffee morning is fast approaching, this Friday for anyone who doesn't know! And preparation has been hitting full steam in my house. Today I have made; Victoria Sponge with Homemade Raspberry Jam, Honey Cake with honey from the farm I work on, Cookies, Vanilla Fudge, Peanut Butter Fudge, Peppermint Creams and Chocolate truffles. Recipes to follow!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sunday, 23 September 2012

I love baking!

half way point

I love..

Can you guess where this is headed?

My humble (and cluttered) abode

I am often asked about my bedroom, from family who are refused entry, friends who wonder where I put everything and strangers who read my blog and want to see more. So i've put together a tour of the beautiful place I call home.

Even before you've entered my bedroom there is a taste of things to come (colours, patterns and lots of the letter J!)

The first item of furniture you're likely to bang into is the chest of drawers that triples up as my dressing table and bedside table all in one. This is where I keep my many many nail polishes, latest sewing/knitting project and inevitably a cup of tea.

(Art pictured is a Gee Vaucher - Liberty, Moths by John Dilnot and a reflection of a Kosyndan - Great Wave. The teacup on the mirror is a thank you card from Hazel Nicholls when I brought her 'It's nice to be nice' print)
Next is where the magic happens (or not!) I sacrificed my double bed for a single in favour of more space and it was so worth it, I always end up feeling a bit lost in a double bed and I find it so much easier to seek out nice single bedding than double!
(Art pictured is 3 Disneyland Paris postcards, an IKEA 3m by 2m world map, a Ben Eine J commissioned by my mum for my 18th birthday. Butterflies by Pip Cooke (my half-sisters grandfather) Hazel Nicholls 'It's nice to be nice' and a Josh Keyes that I can't remember the name of!)
The dream-catchers I made myself with DMC thread and old bangles, after my beloved feather and suede one was devoured by my cat Charlie..
At the foot of my bed is a 1950's wooden end table, it was originally cream all over with a turqouise background to the decorative door and drawer covers - I in my infinite wisdom decided to paint the whole thing in white gloss and have regretted it ever since!
(Art pictured - Josh Keyes, he has ownership of this side of the room, too many prints to mention)
This is the home of my watches, sunglasses and rings and inside the cupboard is...
really boring! Snacks and games that I take with me when I travel, up top and my electrical hair contraptions beneath.
Moving sideways is wardrobe territory, but with a lack of wall space even the wardrobe isn't safe (If it's flat I'll nail a picture to it)
(Art pictured - L to R - Josh Keyes x 5, Adam Crosland 'a thin pigeon' signed Peter Kay and Jenson Button photographs, 'Buy more shit or we're all fucked' by Modern Toss, signed Nick Moran photograph and a collection of Victorian mounted butterflies left to my by my grandad Max.)
There are of course more J's and also more of my gorgeous hand painted glass bird doorknobs from Hunter Gatherer
Inside my wardrobe the clutter, colours and patterns continue.. Lots of beautiful dresses I've never worn and dodgy coats I probably shouldn't
My shoes (my babies) are all in their own see-through shoeboxes so I can quickly grab the pair I want. I can't bear not being able to find one shoe! My handbags on the other hand are a little less organised...
Moving away from the clutter is what is affectionately known in my house as crafty corner.. It's where my baby sewing machine lives and where most of my craft projects begin or end their lives. The trunk is the wooden toybox I had as a child (another white gloss victim I'm afraid) with an old chest of drawers top so if I cover it in paint or drill a hole in it the box will be protected. All of my sewing and knitting stuff is housed here, but it's just too messy to show you!
(Art pictured - Map wrapping paper that I framed, Rob Ryan laser cut, 'Little Girl Scream' I can't read the artists signature but it came from Tiny Showcase, Modern Toss postcard and Ma Boite d'Afrique by 100drine)
Crafty corner extends into reading corner..
Which in turn migrates into my favourite collection, my DVD's. Anything worth watching is on these shelves.. this does not include Pulp Fiction, Titanic, From Dusk till Dawn or Die Hard because they are rubbish!
(Art pictured - Kozyndan bunny blossom, Rob Ryan ceramic tile, vintage Kohler tin advertisement and Alice canvas from Disneyland Paris)
This is also home to my newest collection, lucite and crystal table lighters, I paid a small fortune for these but they're so pretty and are good at holding their value (I hope!)
(Pearl in an baby oyster shell)
(Cut Crystal)
DVDs are slowly taking over my room, but I'm okay with it
Of course I need somewhere to watch the DVD's as well, and a Sky Box to enjoy my beloved Good Food and Sky Sports
(Art pictured - Kozyndan - 'The Fall' Rob Ryan ceramic tile, Nun postcard and 'Pigeon Fancy' brought in Frank in Whitstable, again I can't read the artists signature!)
The only thing left is a narrow wicker chest of drawers (a third white gloss victim) that is home to the last of my jewellery and all my work papers
The queen postage stamp I stitched myself and the earring holder is an old canvas I glued ribbon to!
This unfortunately brings us back to the door and the end of my bedroom. I only have two pieces of furniture that seem to roam about and they are my IKEA white leather egg chair and the last white gloss victim! a small wooden stall, they tend to follow me where-ever I go (because I'm lazy!)


Crochet Hooks

I tried really hard, but crochet is just not for me - so these beautiful things will be purely decorative from now!

Super Sunday

Singapore GP, United Vs Liverpool, Cooking, Baking, Bed, Electric Blanket.

This is why Sundays are everyone's favourite day.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Apple Cake - a Bradley family recipe

Yesterday I made my mothers Apple Cake and thought I would share the recipe - its a wonderful stodgy satisfying pudding that is always our go to when we need a sugary carb fix - I had mine with custard (Bird's of course!) which is perfect on a chilly autumn evening.

My mum's recipe book is well loved as you can see! She isn't one for writing huge amounts of details so I must admit I did have to laugh when the first line was 'mix ingredients together'

Weigh out 2oz of plain baking lard (please don't use butter, this cake needs lard!) and 6oz of granulated sugar, cream together just as you would with a normal butter mix. The lard should have been left out of the fridge for at least an hour before you start.
Once creamed, add one large (pre-beaten) egg and mix in. Please don't expect the mixture to be lump free, when baking with lard you will NEVER be free from lumps but they will cook out during the bake!
Next you need to mix a batter by adding 6oz of self-raising flour and 4 fl oz of semi-skimmed milk. This is quite hard to do because there's an awful lot of flour and not a great deal of liquid, it's easiest to do this in two half and half stages!
Once you have your batter, pour into a round, square or loaf cake tin (ensure the tin is lined with greaseproof or teflon)
You may have noticed that there's no apple in the cake as of yet.. fear not.
You'll need two large green cooking apples - technically they should be peeled (I forgot but it was still fine!) you need to core and segement them, if you have one of these amazing contraptions from IKEA it won't take you more than 10 seconds. Layer the segments on top of the batter so the entire cake is covered.. don't leave any gaps and don't push the segments into the batter just let them sit on top.
Once the segments are layered mix 1tbsp of sugar with 1tbsp ground cinammon and cover the top (I went a bit OTT but it was still delicious!)
Bake at 190 (Gas Mark 5) for 30 minutes

Serve hot with cream/custard/a cup of tea!


Colour Combination;

Rimmel Lycra Professional Finish - 420 Aqua and Liberty Print Jersey Tank Dress for H&M

Friday, 21 September 2012

A game of blame

Why must people spend their time proportioning blame for the events in their life they are not happy with?

In life there are no villains/heroes/innocent bystanders, just people and the choices they make, or the choices they choose to ignore. If your choice was to not fight for what you wanted, to let yourself feel, or to continue when you should have stopped, the blame lies solely with yourself.

There is nothing worse than a person who feels hard done by. Especially when they should be grateful for what they had, or grateful to be rid of something they never wanted anyway.

The true game of life is shutting up and getting on with it.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Vineyard at Stockcross

A couple of weeks ago I went for a work dinner at The Vineyard at Stockcross followed by an overnight stay at their sister hotel Donnington Valley, I thought I would share some photos and the menu that we ate..
We arrived at Donnington Valley after work and checked in to our rooms to freshen up and change for dinner. We were all in Deluxe rooms which is the third category at the hotel, this was ideal for me because when I'm travelling the most important part of my room is the bathroom and this one was massive with a bath and power shower so I was happy straightaway.
Once we had all changed and were suitable for dinner we made our way out to the bar and onto the small terrace area at the back of the hotel to have Tattinger and Canap├ęs
After we'd finised our drinks and nibbles we went for a quick tour around the hotel and then got into taxis for the 10 minute journey to The Vineyard.
Once we arrived at The Vineyard we had a tour around the meeting space, spa, and amazing wine cellar
We took our seats for dinner and the food was absolutely to die for, this is what we ate;
Confit of Duck Foie Gras, Poached Peach, Red Chilli
with a glass of Louis Guntrum, Reisling, Rheinessen, Germany, 2011
Diver Caught Orkney Scallops, Apple, Radish
with a glass of Rias Baixas Albarino, Pazo Senoran, Galicia, Spain, 2011
Pan fried Red Mullet, Pink Grapefruit, Coriander
with a glass of Waterstone, Pinot Noir, Los Carneros, California, 2007
Scottish Fillet of Beef, Braised Oxtail, Carrot and Horseradish
with a glass of Bolgheri, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Le Volte, Tuscany, Italy 2010
Strawberry Clafoutis, Lime and Strawberry, Straccieatella Cone
with a glass of Familia Deicas, Licor De Tannat, Juanico Valley Uruguay, 2008
Tea and Coffee with Peach Maccarons, Crystalised Ginger, Praline Truffles
The above led to crys of either - 'oh my god, yum, amazing, delicious, I want more'
'Eww foie gras, I don't eat that, what is that, gross'
I suppose you can't win them all!
Had I been in charge of the bill for this evening it would have been £110 per person including the wines, for me that is amazing value for money, the service was impeccable, right down to the teddy bear seated at place number 13 (the house rules apparently) I will certainly be back for more..