Baking

Baking from scratch? | Cookie Dough Cupcakes

November 01, 2013

With the help of my beautiful Ernesto Cookie Press, shown in my last post, I was able to bake from scratch.
I love baking but I never really have time for it. If I bake, unfortunately it comes from a packet or it takes literally all day to do! So I can't really do it very often due to it being so time consuming for me!
On Wednesday, I made cookie dough cupcakes with vanilla icing and spritz cookies and a chocolate bud (wow, that's a mouthful, I am glad I'm not saying it), which I have been raving about (in my head) for like a few months now!
First of all I found the wonderful recipe made by the wonderful Jennifer on Jennifer's Cakes. Thank you very much...The icing recipe was off the BBC Food website and the Spritz cookies can be found here.
P.S. half the recipe for the spritz cookies if you have and are using a cookie press because I did follow the recipe with the exact measurements and it came out with 5 trays like the photo below, of around 24 cookies on each tray, therefore I am giving some away to my friends! Also bear in mind that before baking these you should put the chocolate chips in the centers of the flowers as they melt on the hot cookies if you put them on afterwards. 
P.S.S. You may also want to double the recipe for the icing because I covered about 14 cupcakes with the first batch of icing, and I had 16 left!








Baking

Ernesto Biscuit Press | Budget Cookie Press- In Depth Review

October 26, 2013

If you have read my Birthday Wishlist post from back in April, you would know that I wanted a cookie press. Well, I finally got it!
This is first Cookie Press that I have actually seen in the UK as previously I have never seen one in any cooking stores. There have been a few online but the one that I wanted, in particular, however they were significantly more expensive than this, but I am very grateful I got it, after a long 6 months! I first saw it in LIDL which is found in the UK and Germany I think (apologies to you guys in the US, but I am pretty sure you can go online and on Amazon you might be able to find one). 

I have an Ernesto Biscuit Press with an 18 piece accessory set, including 8 piping nozzles and 10 press shapes. It came to £6.99 altogether which I think is amazing! It also comes with photo instructions and a recipe (But the recipe doesn't say how many it makes which is a bit annoying).


It is a stainless steel gun with a black plastic trigger, the barrel isn't clear, so you can't see when the dough is finished and you need to refill it, but you are still able to tell when the dough has finished, because no more squirts out. Just so you know the barrel holds approximately 250ml of dough or icing.
One downside is that there is no heart disc! There is a "windmill" looking one but no heart. Other cookie presses that I have seen do come with a heart, but unfortunately, this one does not.





I have used this product a few times now and I really like it. It creates uniformly shaped biscuits which are easy to decorate and really nice. It is fairly fiddly to wash due to all of the different parts but after using it once or twice it is fairly easy to use. 
I would recommend it for use to make cookies and biscuits but I feel that I have less control piping when I am using it to make icing. Icing is also a lot harder to get out of it because there are a lot of pieces. It can also only be used for buttercreams which are fairly thick, because other icings will drip out of the nozzle.
I also wish that this product came in a case or something similar because this box will not last whatsoever. I know that other Biscuit/Cookie Presses come with a case and that is definitely something that this could use. However for the price I suppose that you get what you pay for, as this is one of the less expensive cookie presses that I have seen.

Overall, I like this product and think that it will be really useful for any baking themed antics that
I get up to in the near future. If you can find it in your local LIDL or ALDI I would tell you to pick it up, as a neater alternative to cookie cutters.

Knitting

Jessica doll (or Mini Crazy!) | Knitting

October 16, 2013

So, if you have been reading my blog, you'd know that I took on the greatest knitting project that I have done so far, a doll. And great news, I have FINALLY finished my niece's doll (and, yes, it is like 2 weeks after her birthday) 
She is 11.5 inches tall (not including hair, around 12.5 inches if you do) in height, so slightly different than the doll pattern I followed! 


I followed the pattern pretty much exactly, apart from the fact that I never check my gauge before I make a project and when I measured the legs and body whilst knitting, I was a little liberal so the end result was a little taller. That doesn't really matter to me though.
The hair and the face was a little complicated to do but I worked it out in the end. I tried a few methods and watched a lot of Youtube videos but I was pretty happy with the end result. I do not think that it will be pulled out easily!

I also chose I few clothing items for my doll to wear, such as;

-a knitted pink crop top and "jeans" (an idea from a friend)
- A pair of knitted knickers and vest
- 2 dresses- one floral, one purple which were both ideas from friends
- a skirt and top
I haven't made this yet, but I plan to hopefully try to in the future. I know that I will probably have to make my own patterns though.

BTW I got the pattern from Wee Folk Art, it is really good, easy and simple to follow, and the end result was well worth it!

Definitely trying out one of their patterns first before I get start on the clothes (I'll give the doll to Baby for Christmas).

Until next time!




Books

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot | One Minute Book Review

June 15, 2013

The Princess Diaries By Meg Cabot


All she ever wanted was for her best friend's brother to notice she was alive—and to pass freshman Algebra. But now that her dad's told her she's heir to the throne of the country of Genovia (and that her horrible Grandmere is going to be giving her princess lessons every day after school) Mia Thermopolis has enough problems to fill a lifetime of diaries....


I am literally ADDICTED to these books. Seriously, I have read the first 7 in two weeks! They have such a range of emotions and reading them is really like a rollercoaster ride; they are funny, sad and exciting, all at the same time.  HRH Mia has a lot of fun with her friends Tina and Lilly, as well as the rest of them. I can barely put this series down after I starting reading it, there's always something exciting around the corner. Probably the best ever book series I have ever read so far!



Birthday

My Birthday Haul 2013

April 23, 2013

Hey Everyone,
So on the 16th of April it was my birthday! 
I had a really fantastic day, even though I had to go to school. I had the okay-ish lessons though, and I am still eating leftovers of my birthday cake! I also had a small party with my closest friends, and they were really kind and got me some amazing gifts. I thought that today I would share with you what I received this year.



What I got: 

-Money
-A House of Crafts Soap making craft kit;
-a Make and Create Candle making kit;
-Make and create knitting yarn;
 Knitted Mug Hugs by Val Pierce;
-Assorted Stationery (too much to individually name but pens, pencils, colouring pencils etc.);
-A Boots gift card;
-A knitted wristwarmer kit;
-A pottery painting voucher;

Yeah, I have a large family! That is what I got for my birthday, I had LOADS of fun and hopefully if your birthday is coming up you have one as good as mine. I want to say thank you to everyone who got me a gift, it wasn't necessary but was very kind, I will be using these in the near future (hopefully)




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