Monday, 29 April 2013

Monday Bake - Victoria Sponge

Last Tuesday my wee blog was 1. Blog birthday, blogiversary, not actually sure what to call it.  Anyhoo I am really pleased I have managed to blog every week for a whole year.   I enjoy writing my posts, I think the once a week theme helps to keep me to a regular schedule but with no pressure.  (Still want to aim for more Thursday Makes posts....) Some weeks I know what I am going to waffle about but some weeks I don't decide until the Monday morning. 52 weeks of cakes - phew!  As I said at the end of last year I also love seeing where my readers come from:  

Here are my top ten countries ranked by pageviews:

United States

A big thank you to all my readers, especially my regulars :o)

On Saturday morning TheInlaws came round for coffee and cake.  I made a Victoria Sponge sponge, sandwiched and covered it with vanilla buttercream.   I love making cakes for visitors - my beautiful cake slice comes out too. 

Thanks for visiting, hope to see you next week.  


Today's top three Spotify songs:  (I have added a link to my Spotify playlist if you would like to listen to the songs)

1. One Night in Bangkok - Murray Head
2. One More Time - Daft Punk
3. One and One - Robert Miles, Maria Nayler

Also today is BestFriend's birthday so a special extra three songs for her :o)

1. The Game of Love - Wayne Fontana, The Mindbenders
2. Crazy Horses - The Osmonds
3. Sweet Talking Guy - The Chiffons

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday Bake - Twit Knit Club Silver Clay Weekend - Orange Polenta Cake

I have mentioned Twit Knit Club before - my fabulous group of online twitter buddies who share so many of the same interests as me.  Well this weekend we had a mini meet up.  Back in November I received a very exciting DM on twitter from @silverpebble2 inviting twitknitters to attend a Silver Clay workshop at @jennyjhoward's house (a fellow twitknitter) in April.  I had already met @mhairigirl back in October and @goldenblades91 briefly while delivering Milky (see the Twit Knit Club link). But the others were just friends in my phone.  I jumped at the chance to meet the others and learn a new craft so I secured my place.

It seemed an age away and then suddenly the weekend was here.

@mhairigirl, @faithyb33 and I arrived on the Friday and stayed in a hotel.  @addiebabe arrived on the Saturday morning and was also staying in the hotel that night.  @goldenblades91 would be travelling there and back on the Saturday. @jennyjhoward's best friend @barbaragallan would also be there, including @silverpebble2 there would be 8 of us. 

On the Saturday morning we arrived at @jennyjhoward's house - and here is the best bit - it was like we had known each other for a long time - much hugging, laughing, chatting and yes....shrieking took place.  I have been chatting online to these people for nearly 2 years but I had never met the majority of them.   @jennyjhoward made the good point that the internet can be a very very good thing but it can also be a very very bad thing and horrible things can happen online.  To some people going to someones house in the middle of the country with a group of strangers is just something they wouldn't do and yes we all have to think about online safety but as the others had also met other members of the group I was very comfortable meeting these people.  As @mhairigirl said - if one of these people is a nutter then they have kept up the knitting/crafting pretence for a long time!

At 11am it was time for the workshop - we each had our own work area with tools provided.  And then down the middle of the table was sooooo much crafty treasure: lots of cutters, moulds, buttons and various things to make different patterns in the clay.

@silverpebble2 gave us a demonstration, we doodled some ideas and then we were let loose with our clay! 

One we had made our pieces, our tiles were placed in the oven to bake.

The pieces turned from grey to white.  

You then smooth the edges with a wet wipe.  

Then they are placed on the gauze on the hob - a brief flame (so exciting!) and plopped into a bowl of water to cool down (the noise was like a little fairy sneeze!) 

Then the most exciting part - brushing the pieces with a wire brush - as if by magic they turn silver.  You can then polish them to different shines. During the workshop there was much ooohing and aaahing!

@jennyjhoward had provided a gorgeous lunch which we ate in the garden half way through the workshop - the sun shone all day.   There may have been some fizz consumed.....   Those of us travelling had provided cakes. 

Oh the cakes and treats that everyone brought.....gorgeous scones, blondies, chocolate cookies, tablet, top hats, flapjack, marmalade cake, lemon polenta biscuits and chewy chocolate biscuits, you can never have too much cake!

I made an orange polenta cake - it's gluten free.  You can find the recipe here.  I also made my trusty gluten free brownies.

If you are able to go to a @silverpebble2 workshop I highly recommend it.  She makes it looks so easy and is a very calm and helpful teacher.  I felt really inspired by the whole experience.    We all made lovely pieces. @silverpebble2 gives you the choice of having them fixed to the necklace provided or have them so you can put them on different chains. I went with individual fixings. I am so pleased with my little charms, for a first attempt. I am wearing my necklace now and my heart charm is on my bracelet. This is something I could do at home and I'm going to have great fun searching on the internet for the various bits and pieces needed.

On the Saturday night the four of us staying in the hotel went out for chinese and then ended the day by having drinks in @addiebabe's room - where more chatting took place! 

It was very kind of @jennyjhoward to host the workshop in her home - her and her husband also ferried us all to and from the stations/hotel - a big thank you to them. 

A fabulous weekend with fabulous people :o)


This weekends top three ipod songs:

1. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
2. This Is The Life - Amy McDonald
3. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah & The Whale

I nearly forgot - @faithyb33 spotted that @silverpebble2 had brought along her beautiful Attic24 bag.  Again there was much ooohing and aaahing!  Such lovely colours - just like the Attic24 blog.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday Bake - Scones

The easter holidays are over and Minibakebakegirl goes back to school tomorrow for her last term at primary school.  And what a jam packed term it will be - with SATS, a school journey to Wales for 6 days and a school production of The Lion King.

I asked Minibakebakegirl what she would like to do on the last day of the holidays and she chose a train trip to Cambridge.  I think I have said before how much we like going to Cambridge - sometimes we just go to the shops, sometimes a wander by the river or a looksee down the wee sides streets.  Today we did all three.

On our travels today we found this clock - the photo isn't great as the sun was shining (I'm not complaining - the weather has been good this weekend!) - there is another clock like this in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh with a different insect (the bottom picture).  The link explains about the clock and also has a video of it in action.

We went for coffee and hot chocolate and shared the most enormous piece of rocky road before getting the train home.

Yesterday Minibakebakegirl and I made scones.  I don't have a regular scone recipe, I seem to do a different one every time - but they are all pretty similar.  Yesterday we tried this one from a magazine:

225g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
40g butter (fridge cold and cut into small pieces)
125ml milk

Preheat the oven to 220c/200 fan, GM7.  Put the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, rub in the butter, until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the milk until it comes together. (You may need to add slightly more if it looks too dry).   Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hands to 2cm thick.  Cut out six scones with a cutter.  Put on a non stick baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and risen.  Cool on a wire rack. 

Unfortunately we didn't have any jam.....but they were still good - served slightly warm with butter.

Thanks for visiting,

Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. Zombie - The Cranberries
2. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm- Crash Test Dummies
3. Girls and Boys - Blur

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday Review - Edinburgh

We arrived in Edinburgh on Thursday.  On the way up the sun shone for the second half of the journey.  As it was so nice after we had arrived at Sisters and had yummy cheesecake brownie we decided to go for a walk.  Niece2 suggested Cramond.   When we got there we checked the tide times and saw that we could walk out to Cramond Island and back and not get stuck!  

It was a bracing walk out there but the views were incredible.

On Friday we went to the National Museum of Scotland to see the Pisces balloon sculpture by New York based artist Jason Hackenwerth.  This is made with thousands of biodegradable balloons woven together. I would have loved to have been there when they were building/creating and unveiling it.  

I love the atrium in the museum - with the sunlight flooding in through the skylight, its such a bright airy space.  This was where the Millennium Clock Tower used to be.  No trip to the museum is complete without a visit to see it in its new home near the entrance to the Discovery gallery. I can kind of see why they moved the clock as it is quite a dark piece - some people find it creepy - but I did prefer it where it was - I wonder if the museum did too as the website shows it in it's old home.....

Today we went to Hopetoun House.   We went round the house first, then had lunch at the Stables Tearoom.  Minibakebakegirl and I had hot smoked salmon sandwiches and Sister had the soup.  The sandwiches were lovely, however Sister's bowl of soup was on the small side.  We fancy going back for afternoon tea - as everybody else seemed to be having that and it looked lovely!  After lunch we did the Sea View walk - and saw the deer and the amazing views across the Forth.

Thanks for visiting.


Todays top three Ipod songs:

1. Echo Beach - Martha and The Muffins
2. Mermaid - Train
3. (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me - Sandie Shaw

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Thursday Makes - Wee Little Stitches

My first crafty love is cross stitching.  I usually buy complete kits that provide the pattern, threads, aida fabric and a needle.  However I recently discovered Wee Little Stitches.  This is a great site where you just buy the patterns.  I have completed so many cross stitches that I have a huge box of left over threads so this is a great way to use them up - I just had to buy a couple of colours and some aida fabric. 

Last Christmas I made Niece1 a Big Bang Theory cross stitch. 

I have also completed a Batman one for Nephew1. 

These are great fun to do, there are lots more great patterns including Doctor Who, Star Wars and other super heroes, I plan to do a few more.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Monday Inspiration - Easter Cupcakes

Happy Easter - I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you :o)

We have had a very lazy long weekend.  We popped round to see SisterInLaw and family on Friday and took them some Easter Cupcakes.

We made basic chocolate cupcakes and topped them with chocolate buttercream.  Then Minibakebakegirl drew faces on some Mini Eggs with edible pens.  The girl ones are Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga (!).   We cut out little stars and flowers for their hats/hair.  I saw this idea on the cover of Good to Know Recipes magazine. 

The easter weekend is over - so I should have really done this post last Monday but nevermind - these are still fun to make in the Easter Holidays.

Our little daffodils in the garden are still braving the cold weather.  They all seem to have their heads down trying to ignore the icy wind. Can someone please fix the weather....we need some warm sunshine!

See you next week,


Todays top three spotify songs:

1. Telescope - Hayden Panettiere
2. Being Boiled - Human League
3. The Chauffeur - Duran Duran