Eleven Questions

This has come from Caitlin‘s blog, and I encourage you to answer question 11.

1. In baseball each player gets a “walk up song” that plays on his way up to the plate. What song would you pick?

 Aaargh! So many songs but this one always brings a smile to my face and gets me wiggling :

2. What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?

 Well, last weekend I turned 27 and had a lovely afternoon tea with my parents. I promise to post pictures soon.

3. If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?

I would be Jane Russell’s character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Dorothy Shaw. The outfits, the songs, the elegance, and well this number may just say it all :

4. What actor/actress would you have play you in a movie of your life?

I’ve got to go with a British actress, and although she’s only come to light in the past couple of years, I think Joanna Vanderham is who I’d want. We’re not much alike looks wise, but I like her attitude in her shows.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1336778752/nm4092740

5. What is your favorite quote?

 “There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive” Garbage, The World Is Not Enough

6. What was your first concert?

My parents arranged for me to see Take That as a surprise one evening, and it was the infamous tour with Howard Donald’s bum!

7. What Internet website do you visit the most?

Facebook.

8. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you the best and why?

 Doc, because I wear glasses and according to the Wikipedia entry he mixes up his words a lot, which I seem to be doing at the moment!?

9. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

A cheese and beans toastie, followed by a bowl of good quality vanilla ice cream all washed down with San Pellegrino Limonata

10. What is the background of your computer?

As I’m on Windows 8, I have a slideshow of images from France to inspire me for both my studies and our upcoming Road Trip.

And the eleventh question is… to you!  Answer one of the ten above!

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Quick Cake – Malteaser Teaser Cake Trial

Posted On 26/03/2013

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I love Malteasers, so much so that I wanted a Malteaser cupcake for my upcoming birthday.

After posting this photo on Facebook earlier to several comments, I give you the Malteaser Teaser Cupcake Trial :

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This isn’t a full recipe as I didn’t take any pictures whilst making it, but it’s pretty straightforward.

For the cakes I used the Betty Crocker Chocolate Swirl Cake Mix. I made the mix according to the recipe and then put the vanilla mix into my Mini Sandwich Cake Tin, and topped each filled tin with a blob of the chocolate mix.

Cakes were baked until done and then topped with a malty chocolate buttercream and a Malteaser.

Malty Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

  • 75g Stork margarine
  • 175g Icing sugar
  • 30g ish of melted milk chocolate
  • 1tbsp ish of Horlicks drink powder

Cream the butter, then add the icing sugar gradually into the butter. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Finally, add the Horlicks to taste and mix.

The verdict?

It looks quite pretty, but I’m not too sure on the taste quite yet. I may have to pick another cake to try for my birthday.

And so it begins

I’ve had these for a while now, but it all hit home today as I had my first tutorial.

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Not having spoken French properly in nearly eight years, I have to admit I was somewhat nervous

(okay I didn’t sleep well last night because I was bricking it!)

But I couldn’t have been more wrong, today’s session in Nottingham was tiring but I think I handled it pretty well. My French was far from perfect but that’s fine, only the tutor is fluent at this stage!

I’ve spent the past week working through the first Session in the materials and learning all about how the French holiday, as well as trying out the educational version of Skype.

It all seems to be going well at the moment, but I think it’s really going to hit home when I have my first TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) to submit in a few weeks time.

In other news, I bought too many blueberries earlier this week and have already produced Blueberry and Lime muffins, with a Blueberry Upside Down Cake to follow this afternoon.

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If I have some extra berries after all this, can anyone suggest another recipe I could use?

Bake of the Month – Baizelnut Muffins

Apologies this post is so late in coming. I was planning on writing it when I left work early last Friday due to the snow, but it took me 5 hours to get home so that went out of the window!

But now, this is the inaugural post on my brand new laptop – yay for being back in the 21st century!

Onto the post. As a new feature for 2013, I will be doing a Bake of the Month which will usually be themed on what is going on in my life at the time.

January’s Bake of the Month is my personal favourite Baizelnut Muffins (whilst thinking of the ingredients I needed on the way to work I had a brain fart and the name for these bits of heaven was born!) These muffins are a Hazelnut Baileys Muffin topped with a Nutella buttercream and just the perfect gooey winter warmer for those of us who had the best intentions but have already forgotten about them (raise your hands, you’re not the only one!)

Now for the how-to :

I amended the recipe found here, substituting the packet of vanilla sugar for 1tsp vanilla extract, used 80g chocolate chips instead of 40g cranberries and 40g chocolate pieces, and added Hazelnut Baileys.

Whisk the sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until slightly frothy.

P1070320

Mix in the sunflower oil, followed by the Baileys.P1070321

I mixed in the flour and baking powder until just combined.P1070322

Then I added the chocolate chips, in hindsight I should have either folded these in or added them once the batter was in the muffin cases as they did sink to the bottom.P1070323

The batter was then poured into the muffin cases and put in the oven until fully baked.P1070324

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Once they’d cooled I topped them with the Nutella buttercream recipe found here.

P1070327

Resolutions for 2013

I decided this year not to make any resolutions as a lot of what I want to do with my life, aims and such I put into my 101 in 1001 list.

There are a few things I will/aiming to accomplish this year though from the list :

3 – Go on a road trip

We will be going to France this summer camping, and going on our first road trip!

9 – Finish decorating the bedroom

We are nearly there now, and I want to try and get it sorted before my degree gets underway, if not, it will be November before it gets done!

11 – Have Christmas all organised and ready to go in advance

This is going to be especially important as my exams will be in October – my normal Christmas prep period – and I would like to not have to be stressing about Christmas the same time as I try to remember basic rules of french grammar!

21 – Create a menu plan according to French Women Don’t Get Fat and 27 – Shop seasonally for at least four months

Already started this as part of a healthy start to the year

35 – Restart my degree

35 - Restart my degree

35 – Restart my degree

Countdown to 2nd February!

37 – Learn how to park in the Honda

The Honda is poorly at the moment, so this may not be needed, but if it recovers I need to get on top of this before I have to travel for a tutorial. Not being able to reverse park in the leviathan is embarrassing!

45 – Organise paperwork
I will be finishing this task this weekend in order to prepare my desk space for OU study.
54 – Cross a glacier on foot
I had forgotten about this until just now, but I may be able to do this when we go camping …
59 – Go to a comedy club
We will definitely be doing this as we were given a voucher for dinner and a comedy night at Jongleurs by my brother and sister in law.
69 – Tidy up my eyebrows
This will be a birthday treat as I swear they are trying to take over my face!
70 – Grow my hair out
It’s now just below my shoulders, and I’ve got another 8 inches to go.
Wow, 12 items and I still have more which will be done at some point this year. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t do resolutions?
Whilst I chew on all this, I’ll leave you with the promise for my first Bake of the Month post coming up this weekend – Baizelnut Muffins.

For Mr H

Posted On 08/01/2013

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To the man I love :

“Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.”

Here’s to two years of being happily married, and to many more.

And for those who haven’t seen it, here’s the highlights reel.

Our Wedding Highlights from Kiri Humphreys on Vimeo.

Dear 2012

Dear 2012, You have definitely been busy this year :

January

Mr H and I welcomed you in at a Halloween themed party.

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

A very last minute witch costume for New Years Evil!

We celebrated our First Wedding Anniversary.

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

Mr H with his eco friendly walking stick, and me as the Shadow

We got dressed up 50’s styley for a friends 21+29th Birthday.

jayne's birthday

February

Bit of a quiet month, life just ticked by.

March

I attempted the Chase Walk and Mr H actually finished it.

Celebrated my 26th Birthday and the end of the first blog.

April

Not a lot happened here again as we were gearing up for our holiday.

May

Took a gorgeous trip to Malta – promise I will post about that in 2013.

Welcome to Malta!

Welcome to Malta!

Launched my new blog, albeit a few months later than planned.

We had a Eurovision party.

June

A freak hailstorm took out our conservatory roof.

July

I saw Garbage in concert, whoo!!!!!

I put together my 101 in 1001 list.

August

Mr H and I hosted a backyard campout and released some sky lanterns.

Sky Lanterns

Sky Lanterns

September

Mr H and I went to Festwich, where I managed to get sunburnt(?!?).

My best friends got engaged in dramatic fashion.

The convervatory roof was finally fixed.

October

We went to Wales to celebrate Mr H’s birthday.

Honey Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

Went to a Hallowe’en party and posed Gangnam Style!

Hallowe'en Gangnam Style!

Hallowe’en Gangnam Style!

November

Busy with family stuff. but nothing really blog worthy.

December

Mr H and I had an early second anniversary get away.

2nd anniversary

Christmas and New Year came and went with the norovirus and a family bereavement.

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Cherry Bakewell Cocktail and Downton Abbey Christmas Special

Coming Up in 2013

2013 promises to be a packed year :

I will be starting my Open University course in February…

… for which I will be getting a shiny new laptop so I can blog a lot easier!

I will be introducing a new Bake of the Month feature.

Mr H and I will be finishing off getting the house done as we may be moving house! *eeeeeeee!!!!!*

Parkin for Papa

Posted On 05/12/2012

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First of all, this isn’t a post about driving skills. For those of you not in the know, parkin is a traditional Yorkshire ginger cake made for Bonfire night.

My dad (not really papa but I like alliteration) loves the stuff and as it was his birthday at the weekend (hence being off the grid), I made him a Parkin Birthday cake.

For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the BBC website.

To start, I lined my square tin. The instructions call for a “small, deep baking tray”, which sounds an awful lot like a cake tin to me!

Most of the dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal and ginger) were mixed together in a bowl.Parkin - Dry Ingredients

The sugar, butter, treacle and golden syrup are melted together in a saucepan – this is a heavenly smell and I struggled not to dip my finger in!Parkin - Melted Gooeys

Ooh, as a tip I saw on TV once, when spooning out treacle or golden syrup, douse your sppon in very hot water, this will stop the syrup or treacle sticking to the spoon and slide straight off – making it easier to measure.

Pour the contents of the saucepan into the mixing bowl and add the eggs and milk.Parkin - Complete Mix

Stir well. If you have a large mixer give it a go, but this is the kind of recipe I find needs a bit of muscle.Parkin - Ready to Go

Pour the mix into the tin and put in the oven, as per the instructions.Parkin - In the Tin

When it’s all cooked, let it cool slightly before removing from the tin. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.Parkin - Fresh out of the Oven

When the cake is completely cold, wrap tightly in cling film and store it for three to five days to mature.

As a side note, when I did a trial run of this cake earlier in the month, I used rolled oats instead of oatmeal.

The cake did sort of work, but it was a bit drier than it should have been, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find oatmeal – but do check the cake to keep it at the sticky stage, rather than relying on the normal timing.

And on a final note, the verdict from me father is “Right flavour, texture is a bit close”

I might try another recipe next year.

Gifts from Switzerland

Posted On 22/11/2012

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Little pressies from Mr H’s recent trip to Switzerland. Not sure if I’m more grateful he’s home or that he’s home with lindt goodies!

A Christmas Wardrobe

This year Mr H and I will be celebrating Christmas Day by ourselves, so I plan on wearing my pyjamas for the most part of the day.

However, I do have a couple of Christmas lunches to go to at work, and we have a little family gathering to host so I have been thinking about what I could possibly wear.

I posted this dress on Facebook last night to mixed reviews :

Bernie Dexter Dress Osterley in Winter Print

And as much as I love this dress, I don’t love the price tag for a dress I may only wear a couple of times a year.

But it has got me thinking about what I could wear for the Christmas season.

I thought of this for the work Christmas lunches, I already own the coat in black and it’s so cosy! A nice dress with an empire waistline to accommodate the over indulgement, and knee length boots for walking to and from the restaurant, topped off with the wrap around coat and a punch of Christmas green with the earrings.

Christmas Work Lunch
Christmas Work Lunch by mrshpresents featuring knee high heel boots

And for the family day, a loose wrapover top with jeans to cope with all the running around in and out of the kitchen. The slipper shoes a smarter version of the fluffy boots I could be sporting! Smarten up with this beautiful necklace and a strong lip, and I definitely will be in need of a hot chocolate.

Christmas Family Gathering
Christmas Family Gathering by mrshpresents featuring lip makeup

Seriously tempted to do some retail therapy now … anyone got any other ideas for a Christmas wardrobe?
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