Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cinnamon Coated Gooey Pumpkin Muffins

I've yet to escape off to a pumpkin patch in the countryside this year, but I have managed to break into my stores of pumpkin puree! Oh those imported tins of american goodness!
Here's a quick little recipe for gooey pumpkin muffins. (To make them even more devilish, they're coated in cinnamon!)

Pumpkins and spice make everything nice.




For the Muffins:
1 3/4c flour
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1 can pumpkin puree (approx 3/4 cup)
1/2c heavy cream
1/2c brown sugar
1/3c sunflower oil
1 egg
1tsp vanilla

For the Topping:
2tbsp cinnamon
2/3c sugar
4tbsp melted butter

Method:
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, blend together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, brown sugar, sunflower oil, egg, and vanilla until creamy.

Stir in your dry mixture until everything is combined.

Evenly spoon your batter into a lightly floured muffin tin and pop into the oven at 180C for approximately 15min (or until your little pokey-stick tells you they are cooked through!)

Cool the muffins for several minutes, then dip each muffin individually into the melted butter. Finally coat your muffins throughly in the sugary cinnamon mixture. 

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Currently

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
The boy and I recently wandered on down to the British Library on a Sunday - which meant, sadly, that access to all the lovely books was shut down. Luckily we discovered an amazing little exhibition they're putting on called Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination.

The exhibition takes you through the origins of the gothic novel, starting with Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (who knew the son of the first prime minister imagined the first ever gothic novel?). It winds through to hand-written drafts of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Percy's comments written in the sidelines), bringing you into the Victorian era of gothic tales - in which writers like Dickens and the Bronte sisters brought horror to the present day. With Jack the Ripper and Penny Dreadfuls, it was hard for the the Victorians to separate the realness of present day terrors from the horrors which stemmed from their imagination.

The exhibition illustrates modern day horrors with commentaries from Neil Gaiman, Sarah Waters and Ben Wheatley. There are even costumes by Alexander McQueen, movie memorabilia (including a puppet from Walace and Grommit's Were-Rabbit), and a section dedicated to goth bands and the Whitby scene (Bauhaus darkly sounding from the overhead speakers).

The exhibition only costs £10 (free if you're under 18!) and is perfect for the run up to Halloween (it ends 20th January).
Go ahead and book here.



Plenty More
Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook is taking it's turn in our kitchen at the moment (sorry Jamie). This week we took a stab at the tagliatelle with walnuts and lemon, and boy was it scrumptious!
This book would be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of any of you veggies or friends of veggies for that matter.




Sneak Into My Room

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mini Biscuit Collection: Beware the Moon

Last week the moon was full and I took a hand at transforming one of my favourite scary movies into a biscuit collection.

Beware the moon...

American Werewolf in London


stay on the road. keep clear of the moors. 

remember the alamo 

the slaughtered lamb 

bad moon rising 

can i have a piece of toast? 

benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face and neck? 

jack

aroooo...werewolves of london

inside the wolf pen

a naked american man stole my balloons

Thursday, 9 October 2014

(Rainy) Date Night In



It's raining, it's pouring and we just want to stay inside.
We're making the most of these drizzly nights, curling up on the couch with our favourite movies and enjoying eachother's company. Here's my little list of must-do's on a rainy date night in:

{One} Who says you need to dress down? Wear some simple jewellery that makes you feel good. This ring and this bracelet are on the want list.

{Two and Three} Slip into a cozy jumper and your favourite pair of jeans

{Four} Surround yourselves with comfy pillows.

{Five} Pop your favourite nibbles into a cute popcorn box! Puppy chow always works well.

{Six} Grab a couple of your favourite cold drinks.

{Seven} Turn on a classic movie or mini series on Netflix - T recently introduced me to When Harry Met Sally (why did I wait?), and we're currently watching State of Play.

What are your favourite things to do on a rainy date night in?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

There is a noticeable new crispness to the air, which means all I can think of is snuggling in chunky knit jumpers and getting cozy with some comfort food. 
This week's soup recipe had me at the word 'lentil' - a little legume that's quickly finding a welcome place in our pantry.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
3tbsp evoo
4 garlic cloves
2c lentils
1tbsp cumin
2 quarts vegetable broth (2 cubes + 2 quarts water)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme (I used 1/2tbsp dried thyme)
dash-o-salt and pepper












Method:
In a large pan, bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add the stock cubes and leave to simmer.

Roughly chop the onion, carrots and celery then saute in a large pan with your olive oil until the onions become opaque. Stir in the chopped garlic.

Add the lentils and cumin to the mix - stirring until the lentils & veg are well coated in the olive oil and spice.

Add the vegetable broth. Toss in the bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper and leave to gently boil until the lentils are plump and fully cooked (approximately 25minutes). Honestly, the longer you leave any soup to stew, the better the flavour will be!

Garnish with a sprinkling of parmesan and side with home baked foccacia. Serve and enjoy.

Original recipe here.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Comic Con of Cakes take two - Cake and Bake 2014


Today I roamed the deliciously crowded stalls of the Cake and Bake show at Earl's Court (remember last year's trip to the Comic Con of cakes?). Bumping shoulders with the Bake Off gang and picking up cake painting tips from the wonderful Nevie Pie in a mini classroom session. 

The Fabulous Baker Brothers schooled me on how to make doughnuts with a chocolaty rum sauce, while Peter Sidwell showed me how to simmer polenta covered dough balls in a pool of beer. Ed Kimber even commented that I had excellent taste as I thumbed through an advanced copy of his new book - I like to think so.

I left with a tote filled with new gel colourings (a biscuit decorator's dream!) and a few new techniques to try.

Here are some pictures from the day.
Enjoy.x
















Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mini Biscuit Collection: Around the World

This mini biscuit collection was commissioned for a birthday boy and lover of architecture.
I had a lot of fun with this one (a Gaudi?? what!?) and am super pleased with how they turned out!

What are your favourite buildings?



 Sagrada Familia

London Eye 

Sydney Opera House 

Pyramid 

Gherkin 

Eiffel Tower 

Statue of Liberty 

 Golden Gate Bridge