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!


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.


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) 


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!


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: 

-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)

The Teens Birthday Wishlist!

April 13, 2013

Hey guys, I'm very VERY sorry about having to wait a month for this post. I really wanted to make my brand new blog special, hence the absence of me from this blog. But here I am, back and busting!

Soooo, My birthday soon, as well as some other peoples :) and I have been sent a special request by Emma, in Nottinghamshire, to do a Birthday post for her 12th bday in late April (An early happy birthday from me!)

She emailed a few days ago saying the blog's amazing *blush* and she's a big fan *double blush!* and she wanted some clothing ideas and accessories for presents! Of course I happily replied, saying I would and here it is! Dedicated it Em, here's a Teen's Birthday Wishlist!

  1. Mustache Ring, New Look
  2.  Fragrance Crayons, Claire's
  3. Nail Art pens, Claire's
  4. 3 side nail art pen, Poundland
  5. Mustache Necklace, ASOS
  6. Makeup Bag, Poundland
  7. Strawberry Milkshake, Sports Direct
  8. French Manicure Set, Poundland
  9. Nail Art Stamp, Poundland
Rachel xoxoxo


My Birthday Wishlist!

April 11, 2013

Hey people, 

Not only is April the start of the blog month, it's also my birthday month! Whoop, Whoop! This year this knitting chick is turning something-teen again, ;D. There are usually SO many things I want and I thought to give you an idea of the type of person I am, I'd tell you my top 10 things on my something-teen birthday wishlist!


Between Shades of Gray and Shrinking Violet | Book Review

April 09, 2013

Today I thought I'd talk about my favourite books this month which are "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys and "Shrinking Violet" by Jean Ure! Leave me a comment please with your opinion, if they're all or mostly positive I'll do another post like this! I hope you like the April Book post!

1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


"It's difficult to understand what freedom is, because there are so many things we take for granted, and until somebody takes them away, we just assume they're part of life,"
George Sepetys, Author Father and Refugee.

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honour her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

This is my definitely my favourite book at the moment, I was actually supposed to return to the library last month, but I have been constantly renewing it! The quote picked is actually from the video, but on the blurb, it says, "That morning, my brother's life was worth a pocket watch". This book makes me cry, each time I read it. It is one of those books which you can never get enough of, it will never, ever be boring, but always heart-wrenching and tear-jerking. 
Everything about this book is unforgettable. It is so vivid, it really puts you in the place of Lina, making you feel her suffering and pain. There are many moods that she goes through, fear, hunger, sadness, anger. This book also shows you the other side to the World War II, the side that was never told, when the The Baltics were annexed into the Russia with the Soviets, how every trace of every person was hidden, how completely vanished their whole lives were, it was like they didn't exist. Sepetys made the book, but History wrote it.

I know that I am gushing, but the main point is that I seriously recommend this book, it is completely A-MAZ-ING! I haven't read anything like it, yet. Anyone who loves books like the diary of Anne Frank or just diaries, or things about the Second World War in general, please, try out this book, you'll enjoy reading it as much as I do.

2. Shrinking Violet By Jean Ure

"I am a twin. Unfortunately! It's not always easy being a twin, especially when one of you is lily loudmouth and the other a shrinking violet."

"Sometimes i feel like telling lily that she is ruining my life. if she wasn't so shrieky, I might not be so shrinky."
Lily and Violet are twins- physically identical but quite opposite in character. Lily is brash, up-front and in your face. Lily Loudmouth, her dad calls her. Violet is timid and shy. She lives very much in Lily's shadow, a shrinking violet. Finding it difficult to make friends, Violet finds the perfect solution in Katie, her new pen pal. Soon the two are writing at a fast and furious pace and become very attached to each other. That is, until Katie suggests that they meet.

This book is a middle grade/young adult fiction novel about polar opposite twin sisters Lily and Violet (and I didn't pick up the book because my older sister is also called Lily haha) I have read other Jean Ure books in the past and I really enjoy them, I would say she is a more mature Jacqueline Wilson if anyone read her books. I read this book a long while ago but I still remember the plot now because I enjoyed it so much and plan on rereading it soon, it is a thrilling, high energy book about a bright but shy, quiet girl. The plot is excellent, I enjoyed the book a lot but it is not written for my age group, it is more for preteens. I read this when I was about 10 or so. If I felt like it I would read through it again (because I have a mind of a 9 year old) but apart from that, I loved the book! If I said anything about the plot it would kind of ruin great parts of the book but, yeah. Jean Ure is a great writer, I've read loads of her books and this is probably in my top 3 of her books. It is awesome! The book really made me smile, and still makes me smile when I think about it now!

I recommend this book to all the preteens reading this blog post and to anyone who likes diaries. It's an awesome novel, and it's very enjoyable!

This was originally posted on the 9th of April 2013 but was edited on the 6th of June 2017