Monday, 31 December 2012

Hogmanay Stovies

Well it is the last day of 2012 - where did that year go??  I thought I should really try to master stovies this year.  I love to eat stovies over the new year celebrations and I have only ever attempted to make them once before - total failure!  I am much more practiced in my culinary skills now...still a few mishaps but getting better :)

So here goes
 Onions slowly cooking in lard - puke!  Yes LARD!  I didn't even know they still sold this but apparently stovies need lard to make them taste stov-ie

 Nicely softening

 In go my tatties

 Add water and a meat stock cube and bring to the boil

 And left to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on - stirring occasionally

 Until the tatties are lovely and soft

 Add corned beef - how the hell do those tins open by the way??  I had no idea how to use the little key and after a ridiculous amount of time trying I used my tin opener :)

 So here is my bowl of stovies of course served with bannocks

And a slice of corned beef

Salty fatty yummy stovies for a Scottish Hogmanay night.

I am sitting watching Julie and Julia and I feel like I am Julie! Although I am not going to be working my way through all the recipes in a fancy cook book I think I need a challenge for 2013.  Any ideas?  I need to make more real food less sweets so maybe a real cook book to work through would be a good plan.  One recipe a week?  It's an idea...possibly my new year's resolution :)

Happy New Year everyone
Lang may yer lum reek wi other folks coal......

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Marshmallow Fluff Fudge or Flu-dge :)

Months ago I came across a recipe I was writing down when I came to marshmallow fluff so stopped there - an American ingredient I couldn't get in the UK.

Then I found this...and I had to buy it of course:)

But I couldn't find the recipe I first saw the ingredient in :(

I couldn't even remember what kind of recipe it was....and I have spent so much time on the internet looking at TONS of recipes I have no hope of ever finding it again.  My first check was through my pinned foods but no luck.  It could even have been pre-pinterest!

So the marshmallow fluff sat about in my cupboard for a few weeks wondering what to do with itself .  Today I found 5 spare minutes away from my newest hobby - Mario on the 3DS!!  I can't get enough of it.  Obsessive tendencies coming through again I know!

I found a recipe for marshmallow fluff fudge here.  I got a new sugar thermometer for my Christmas itching to be used

I set about making my marshmallow flu-dge ;)

 Look how white and Christmas-sy this looks

It smelt delicious :) Finlay thought I was making him custard!

 Brought to boil for 10 minutes - soft ball on my new thermometer :) How did I ever make anything like this before I had the thermometer?? And look how brown it turned!

And it feels sooooo soft!  It slipped out of my pan so easily and cut smoothly.

A lovely slice of marshmallow flu-dge.  Can't wait for my cup of tea tonight:) 

I will parcel some of these up for First Foots too since we only have one more day of 2012 left -  I surely won't eat all of it by then?? :D 

Recipe for marshmallow flu-dge 
300ml condensed milk 
1 jar Vanilla Marshmallow Fluff  
350g caster sugar 
100g unsalted butter 
¼ tsp salt 

Mix all ingredients in pan over low heat until sugar dissolved and butter melted.  Bring to boil, boil for around 10 minutes  stirring continuously until sugar thermometer is at soft boil stage.  Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.  Pour into greased 8" tin.  

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Just a quick little post to say Merry Christmas everyone.  I will show you a couple of the cakes we made for orders today.  Nice and Christmassy!

Chocolate orange holly on logs

                          Fruit cake with a snowman and penguin scene

                          Chocolate orange, chocolate mint and vanilla Christmas cupcakes


                            Skating penguin

                             Mini chocolate orange cupcakes

                            Christmas box of 4 with some pretty ribbon

 Another snowman and penguin scene...thats the theme this year :) Santa made his appearance last year.

               Pretty red velvet cakes before decorating

                    A lovely big box of Christmas cakes (toffee, lemon, baileys, strawberry and white chocolate and red velvet)

                       All wrapped up ready to go
                      Sparkly Christmas box

I have barely left my kitchen the last few days.  Tonight I have been making some puddings for tomorrow.  Santa is away to have his cuppy and cake - or coke and mars bar that has been left out - so traditional this year!!  Haha Finlay thought Santa would like a change.  Rudolph has an apple - I forgot to buy carrots but Finlay thought he would like a change as well this year :)   Enjoy yourselves tomorrow I will update you on all the puddings me and my sister have created for tomorrow - you can't have too much variety!.  One of mine was a failure unfortunately so now I have a tub of caramel sauce with no home...oh dear Santa LOVES caramel sauce straight from the pot!!

Merry Christmas!!!


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Craft Night Christmas Special

On Saturday night we had craft night Christmas Special at my house.  We have had a few "craft nights" this year where we have never brought any crafts to show and rarely even discuss crafting it is just a chance to sit and chat without the interference of children for a change :) Although we do speak about our children and child birth a lot!!

So Saturday we had a special edition of craft night where we actually had to make a decoration.  Me and Gillian also decided it would be nice to put on a Christmas party table with a winter theme.  Lots of whites and gingerbread colours

Cheese and crackers, crisps and dips and various nuts for starters...

  And of course a new gingerbread house since the other one has been demolished :)

This time we made a chocolate gingerbread house and the people are staying inside out of the cold.  They have made a little snowman though and look at their little wreath on their door.  Not many sweets this time because I think that's why we couldn't resist eating the last one!  

We also had a homemade hot chocolate mix adapted from Jamie Oliver's best ever hot chocolate - which we decided was not actually the best ever so we adapted and this one really is!!!  Sorry Jamie :)  We also had a mint chocolate mix which I have not tried yet but what a lovely little gift for someone - the craft night girls all took a mix away home with them.

 Marshmallows for the hot chocolate, flakes and other chocolate sweets displayed on our newest cake stands.  They can also be separated into three individual stands - what a great buy from Costco!  

Snowman marshmallows on sticks in the background and mini baileys cupcakes in the front.  

Meringues with vanilla cream

Chocolate gingerbread cheesecake bites - I saw a pin for these here however they used Pilsbury dough and I used my own chocolate gingerbread recipe (see below).  I baked these in the mini muffin pan from Pampered Chef  so I didn't need mini cases because it is so non-stick.  

Brownies following Inspired by Chocolate and Cakes recipe here 

I added galaxy bubbles, flake, toblerone and mars to these brownies but I have made them lots of times with other toppings like after eights, turkish delights, dime bars, snickers, caramels etc.  They are very rich and chocolatey.  I made them this time in square moulds from Lakeland but I usually make them in a cupcake case.  I liked these square moulds but the brownies were very big in these (which is not really a bad thing usually but we had a lot of food to get through on Saturday!)

We also had hot mince pies and hot mini doughnuts when we were drinking our hot chocolates but we seem to have forgotten to take photos of the rest of the night :) 

We needed some refreshments to help us consume all of this food so we had cran-raspberry fizz - a non-alcoholic cocktail or mocktail :)  A lovely refreshing festive drink.  The first time I made this I did follow a recipe but it made no sense so I now just throw ingredients together until it tastes ok :) (See below)  We also had a Ginger peach drink but there are no photos of this one.

And the crafts we all made were: 

    Gillian's very pretty red and gold wreath.

 And a little red felt heart with a button and a bell sewn on.

 Rhiannon's star garland

Ending in a big 3D star

And a colourful circle garland

She made these using the Cuttlebug die cutter to cut out lots of stars and circles and then sewed them together using her sewing machine.

My Christmas tree cinnamon stick - I also showed everyone my santa wreath and mini bell wreath and felt elves I already showed you here and my wire hanger

And Jody showed us what she painted when she was at Center Parcs earlier this month

This looks really lovely - I was at a pottery painting place earlier in the month too for a work night out and I painted a jug and bowl and they didn't turn out well like this 

You can see all the brush strokes :( Jody told me you need to do loads of coats to stop this happening.  I wish I knew that before I went!!

And finally Finlay showed everyone what he had been making for craft night Christmas special

We all had a vote and Finlay won the contest :) He was very pleased with himself.  He has caught the crafting bug now and has been busy this week working on a phone pocket at school using cross stitch and he made a little stocking at home 

So a very successful craft night - Rhiannon brought her cuttlebug to let us see how it works so we actually did some crafting and spoke about crafting at this craft night.  And we all had lots of Christmas-sy food.  We are going to do it again on Christmas Eve for other friends and we will make some different food.  What are you all up to for Christmas Eve?  We have a lot of cake orders to get ready for then plus we are on puddings for Christmas Day so it will be busy busy as usual but I love it :) 

   We decorated our soap too because the bathroom was really lacking Christmas decoration :) We hot glued various buttons onto a soap dispenser and filled it with white soap.  The hat and scarf are just wool wrapped round the dispenser.


Chocolate gingerbread
250g unsalted butter
200g light muscovado sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
8 tsp ground ginger
8 tsp cocoa

Melt butter sugar and syrup in pan over low heat.  Add to sieved flour, bicarb and ginger.  

Cran-raspberry Fizz Mocktail
Ginger ale
Cranberry juice
Raspberry sorbet, softened
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix all ingredients together (I use smoothie maker) to taste.  Decorate glasses (Wet the glass by rubbing lime around the rim, dip in a mixture of lime zest and sugar) before filling with the mocktail and serving with sliced lime.    

Ginger Peach
Peach juice
Ginger ale
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix all ingredients together and serve with ice.  

These could easily be adapted to alcoholic by adding alcohol of your choice to taste.