Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday Bake - Lemon Curd Marble Muffins

We had more snow on Saturday - the forecast said it would snow all day and it did, but mostly the fine powdery stuff - no good for sledging.... :(  We walked into town on Sunday afternoon - it was bitterly cold, but all the roads and pavements were clear. - Today the snow is still here but just on the grass and plants - frozen solid!

I have liked Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall since the days of "TV Dinners".  We have watched all the River Cottage series.  Hubby saw these muffins being made on River Cottage Every Day at the weekend and asked if I would make some for him to take into his work.   You can find the recipe here.                           

Really quick and easy and as with most muffin recipes the key is to just mix until combined - don't over mix.

See you next week,


Todays top three radio songs:

1. Army of Two - Olly Murs
2. Just Give Me A Reason - P!nk
3. If I Had A Heart - Andy Burrows

Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday Bake - Lemon and Blueberry Loaf

Since Christmas Minibakebakegirl has been working hard rehearsing with year 5 and 6 pupils from her school for The County Dance Festival.   Every two years, schools from across Hertfordshire take part in this two night event.  On Wednesday Minibakebakegirl had a very early start as we dropped her off at 7.30am.  They went by coach to the Alban Arena, rehearsed in the morning, performed the matinee, had tea at Pizza Express then performed in the evening which we went to see with FatherInLaw and SisterInLaw.    The theme was "A Night At The Movies".  There were dances inspired by films like Twilight, Scream, Men In Black and The Lion King.  I am probably biased, but their routine was one of the best.  Minibakebakegirl loved it and has been wearing her school County Dance Festival hoodie ever since!

On Thursday we went to see Matilda in London.  We all loved it; the girl who played Matilda was excellent, as was Miss Truchbull.   The set was amazing - I loved the way the desks came out of the floor and the scene with the swings would have been a bit scary if you were in the front row!  The night before we went, there was a power cut and, unfortunately for the audience, they didn't fix the problem in time to do the show that night.

After such a busy few weeks - we did nothing this weekend. We slept in late both days, I  pottered around the house doing housework and did lots of cross stitching and TV watching.  The weather has been really wet and windy, so perfect for staying indoors.

Today I made a lemon and blueberry loaf cake.  Lemons always make me think of warm summer days and I love the way they make the whole kitchen smell so yummy. I also love blueberries - I can easily eat a whole punnet without realising. Also I noticed I haven't made a loaf cake on my blog since before Christmas.

200g margarine
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
zest and juice of one lemon
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
150g blueberries
1 tbsp demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 180c/Fan 160c/GasMark4
Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner (I use Lakeland)

Place the margarine and sugar in a large bowl.
Cream together until light and creamy.

Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each one, add the lemon zest and juice
Sift in the flour, baking powder and almonds.

Spoon half the mixture into the tin, then scatter over half the blueberries.  Cover with the remaining mixture and scatter over the rest of the blueberries - pressing in slightly.  Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes. (Check after 45 mins - if the top is browning too quickly cover with some foil)

Check the cake is cooked - when an inserted skewer comes out clean - if it doesn't pop the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes - then check again - repeat as necessary.
Leave to cool in the tin. 

Practically all my blueberries sank to the bottom - this time, but I do like their squidgy jamminess in this cake :o)

See you next week


1. Do Your Thing - Basement Jaxx
2. Super Massive Black Hole - Muse
3. Footloose - Kenny Loggins

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Monday Review - Edinburgh

I was back up in Edinburgh this weekend.  FriendS who is currently living in Vietnam is over in Edinburgh for three weeks.  So the girls all got together on Saturday.  It was great to see FriendS - apart from seeing her on Skype, I haven't seen her since May 2011.  We had lunch at Hamiltons (I had the pulled pork and parsnip chips) and watched the rugby. (won't say anymore about that...)   We ended up at night in the Ghillie Due which had a really good band that played some great music.  FriendS stayed out till 3am - I didn't, however, we did start drinking at 1.30pm! 


On Friday night BestFriend and I watched The House At The End Of The Street.  We both quite enjoyed this - wasn't our usual horror - it is described as a psychological thriller.  It has Jennifer Lawrence from The Hunger Games and Elisabeth Shue from Cocktail in it.    

Charles Jencks Land Form in the grounds of the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art
On Sunday, Sister, Niece1, Niece2 and I went for a walk along The Water of Leith to the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art for coffee.   I have been before Cafe Modern One back in August 2012, this time we went to Cafe Modern Two.  Sister couldn't decide which cake to have so we shared a fruit scone and a mini loaf cake.  Both were good.  Niece1 had Millionaire Shortbread and Niece2 Brownie.  

It was very cold all weekend and there were the occasional flurries of snow, however, on Monday we woke to a couple of inches of snow.  Sister and I went into town - dodging the worst of the snowfall.  At times there was blue sky but mostly it looked like the photos below!

We had lunch at Jamie's Italian. We had Jamie's Proper Italian Feast to share.  Antipasti of cured meats, cheeses, pickles, salads & freshly baked focaccia, wild mushroom risotto, slow-cooked hunter’s chicken stew with tomato, garlic & olive sauce, pasta alla Norma and polenta chips.  It was delicious - the polenta chips were amazing.

I came home to lovely Mothers Day presents and card from Minibakebakegirl.  Perfect end to a great weekend.

See you next week.


1. Don't you want me - Human League
2. Sit Down - James
3. A Little Respect - Erasure.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Inspiration - Spring Cupcakes

Last Tuesday I went to see The Bodyguard with FriendD.  Oh my goodness, it was amazing, you must go and see it if you get the chance.  FriendD was basing her opinion of the show on who was playing the Kevin Costner role and we were both impressed with Lloyd Owen.  The Whitney character had a great voice and we both thought the sister had an excellent voice.  I want to see it again!

It definitely felt like more spring like today - the sun shone for most of the day and the temperature has increased slightly!

So today I made some daisy cupcakes - I have made these before and shown them on twitter but not put them on my blog and today seemed like a perfect day to make them again.

I'm not sure where I first saw these but they are so simple to make, a little bit fiddly - just a little patience is required.

You will need:
12 plain cupcakes
Mini marshmallows - snipped in half diagonally lengthways 
Orange chocolate buttons 
A small bowl of buttercream

Spread the top of each cup cake with enough buttercream to stick the marshmallows to.

I usually start by putting the chocolate orange button in the centre and then stick the cut marshmallows around for the petals for one row - cut side up.  Then for the next row stick a marshmallow in between each of the first row, keep going until the top of the cupcake is covered in petals.

Hope to see you next week.  I am back up in Edinburgh on Friday.  FriendS who has been living in Vietnam since August 2011 is over for 3 weeks, so all the girls are getting together on Saturday.  I'm staying with BestFriend and then Sister so another busy weekend to look forward to.

Todays top three radio songs:

1. Cut, Copy Me - Petula Clark
2. Sticks and Stones - Arlissa
3. 50 Ways To Say Goodbye - Train