Sunday, 23 November 2014

Easy Dinner Party Canapes

Here's two really simple dinner party starter ideas that you can prepare before and bring out over drinks. Figs are in season right now and they look so wonderful as part of an Autumn canape.

Figs with blue cheese and grapes with smoked cheese skewers
This one is really easy & can be made in advance. Place 1/8th of a fig and a cube of blue cheese on each skewer, or a grape and a cube of smoked cheese (I used applewood).

Figs with honey & Parma ham
Cut fresh figs into quarters, place onto a baking tray and drizzle with honey. Wrap each fig in parma ham, placing the edge downwards. Bake in a hot oven for 2-3 mins and serve immediately.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Bake Off 2014 - Final!

I loved this year's Bake Off and my only complaint about it is that it is too short (can we start again please?) Well, that and some overly dramatic editing - I don't watch Bake Off for the drama!

I'm glad the final was "back to basics" and to be honest I would have been happy for any of them to win, but well done to Nancy. Wednesday nights are so quiet now!

I decided to cook Tarte au Citron from the final episode, and found a Mary Berry recipe which seemed very fitting. I don't have a food processor so I had to rub in the pastry by hand (Mary didn't even say what to do in this case, I mean, who doesn't have a food processor?!) but it really felt like everything was back to basics so I was even prouder when this one turned out good. I'm not really experienced with pastry and I struggle to tell when it's done, but Mary gives really detailed instructions and I followed all the cooking times exactly and it turned out wonderfully. Here is her recipe for a 23cm pan (very detailed) and a slightly sparser recipe for a gigantic lemony 28cm tart.

I've loved baking from the programs, I've learned a lot, got a lot of practice with my stand mixer and ticked a few things off of my baking wishlist. Plus I became really popular at work! This tart is definitely in the top 3 bakes, but my absolute favourite from the series has to be the florentines - they were so amazingly delicious.

So, now onto Christmas crafting!

Mary Berry recipe Tarte au Citron 23cm

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Nautical Conservatory Cushions

Our conservatory has a nautical theme - a lovely wooden poster, bunting, wooden fish, a lighthouse thermometer - but needed some matching cushions. I found 3 lovely fabrics at a local craft centre (I believe they are all by Janet Clare) and got sewing. The whales are my favourite! 

Whale, ship, blue white nautical fabric

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg
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