Saturday, 3 November 2012

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

It's one of my oldest friends birthdays tomorrow so we are indulging in our own version of afternoon tea, all handmade, before heading to the firework display at Shugborough Hall.

As my contribution I originally wanted to make Passionfruit Curd cupcakes after discovering some amazing curd at the Beverley Food Festival a few weeks ago. Alas, I felt that Passionfruit wasn't very in the spirt of Bonfire Night. Instead I made these peanut butter cookies.

The surprise is that hidden inside (or not so hidden on the few that I left in the oven for a minute too long) are little chunks of Mars bar that slowly melt but retain their nougat-y, caramel-y, chocolate-y goodness. The below picture has led to several recipe requests. As I blended a few recipes together (as my fridge is currently egg-less) I thought I'd share my version with you here. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Edward Turner: n i g h t

My taste in music has changed quite a lot recently. When my iPod is on shuffle I am continuously surprised at the music that I used to love and find myself selecting songs by the likes of Laura Marling, Sam Beeton and Daughter instead.

That's why, after Pegasus Bridge split a year ago, I was so pleased to hear vocalist and guitar player Edward Turner had recorded some new songs. I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of n i g h t, his EP, particularly as he was selling hand painted copies. It is the second CD I have brought within 5 years, the first was Pegasus Bridge's While We're Young, which says quite a lot really.

When my copy came earlier this month I was ecstatic, especially as it also came with a lovely little note from Ed, which is an amazing personal touch. He was right, it is best listened to in the dark.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Levels Results, Twitter and £9000 Uni Fees

As Twitter will probably have reminded you all, lots of teenagers got their A Level results this week. That means it is six years since I got my results and times have changed with social media, as Sabotage Times highlight in 'How Facebook & Twitter Ruined Celebrating A-Level Results'.

When I got mine back in 2006 Twitter had just launched and Facebook wasn't yet big in the UK, that would come part way through my first year at university. We were on the cusp of a social media revolution and so, the morning I got my results I was not on my iPhone tweeting (my little Samsung didn't even go on the internet). I was sat on my boyfriend's bed trying to convince him to check on the UCAS website so he didn't need to freak out worrying he hadn't got on to the Dentistry course he was hoping for whilst we were at school. (He didn't listen.)

I wasn't putting pictures of my results and congratulatory letters on Instagram after panicked status' that I wouldn't get on to my course. As a "Dignified Straight A student" I was rather quiet about how well I had done. As I wanted to do a creative course (Fashion and Brand Promotion with Journalism) I only needed a C in Art and Textiles so I wasn't concerned. My good results were just the icing on the cake, not necessary at all. 

Only those doing Dentistry or Medicine really needed to worry about their results, unless you had your sights set on Oxford or Cambridge but as a normal school in a sleepy village in Staffordshire we knew we weren't really posh enough for that. Now, with fees of £9000 a year and AAB becoming a prerequisite for hundreds of courses the new nature of A Level results day seems to have changed beyond sharing on social media.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Pantone Hotel, Brussels

Anyone that does anything with design will know the importance of Pantone references. When I came home from doing my Masters with a red Pantone mug as a leaving gift from my lovely friend Ashleigh my dad was so confused about why I was so pleased with my present. Now our house is full of knock off "Colour" mugs from B&M Bargains. He still doesn't quite get it.

When my boyfriend and I got cheap flights to Brussels there was only one place I wanted to stay - Pantone Hotel. When I realised it was within budget I let out a girly scream (very unlike me) and rang him straight away to say that's where we were staying. Thankfully, he didn't question it.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Not Quite Mary Berry...

If you've read my blog before then you'll know I'm quite fond of baking. You may not know that getting a new job and the fact our oven is definitely hotter than it should be all the time. I really should have known better than to try a Mary Berry recipe in our oven because it's sure to disappoint me. However, it was recently both Father's Day and as Victoria Sponge is his favourite I had to try the classic that is Mary Berry's recipe. I was really hoping for something that looked like this...

Mine was rather too brown, a little dry and not quite as perfectly level and looked like this...

Height wise I think I nailed (thin layers never look so appealing) it but I really, really do need to invest in a thermometer for the oven! I had tried my new springform glass bottom cake tins but nobody thought to tell me that the cake sticks to the glass. I thought it didn't, which is why I brought them! Thankfully, my dad is a fan of cream in his Victoria Sponge so that helped cover over the cracks I made. 

Have any of you tried this recipe? Did you go for classic Victoria Sponge, lemon or chocolate? I would love to hear your tips if you have or if you have a better recipe for me to try?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Fake Magazine: The Dreams Issue

You may remember that back in March Fake Issue 4 was released, featuring my article Good as New all about upcycling and independents. Well, the lovely Kerry and Sophie got in touch and asked me to write about dreams for their fifth issue.

I won't lie, I struggled with this. I was going to just write about my own dreams but I find my story so boring I decided to interview as many people as possible. What intrigued me when I did was that all these designers, makers and writers I interviewed lived at home... as do I. How, I thought to myself, is it that all these people that I think are doing amazingly cope with living with their parents? That is one of the things I have always felt makes my own story so boring.

The article deals with the theory of shifting focus and reevaluating what you really want out of life and which dreams are more important. Would you want to live in London, on peanuts, miles from your family and friends with no cash to get home? Or would you stay nearer to the nest where you can experience more, earn more, save lots and work your way to achieving your dreams. Sometimes going leaving when you're ready isn't such a bad thing...

The article features the wonderfully talented John Williamson of No Fit State (formerly Cuppa Tea) who also illustrated the article, Niki Lau of Hero & Cape and Victoria Jackson who is both editor of MWB and blogger extraordinaire over at I Heart Fashion.

The magazine is absolutely gorgeous in it's new A4 size so you should definitely see what else is in this issue and then go and order a copy. It actually came out a few weeks ago but I haven't had time to blog about it until now so make sure you order soon!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Back to Belgium

A few years ago, on a road trip around Europe, we went to Bruges. It was a stunning place, truly lovely, but ruined by the fact we were involved in a car accident. One that wasn't our fault I might add. Being surrounded by people speaking Flemish and refusing to acknowledge us whilst we were waiting for the police to arrive was not a good experience.

3 years later, having forgiven Belgium for not treating us well when we last arrived, my boyfriend and I booked to go to Brusells. The plane was delayed by hours, my iPhone was stolen within an hour of finally arriving in Belgium and then my boyfriend over indulged in Belgian beer and one day may as well have been a complete write off.

So, you can see, Belgium doesn't seem to treat me very well. Really, I'm not sure why because I love it. The mixture of Flemish and French, the contrast between the buildings at La Grand-Place and the Atomium!