Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Easter!

I made some Easter biscuits this week - we always without fail go for an Easter picnic with the whole family. This year it will be waterproofs and sledges but we will be there rolling our eggs in the snow!  I got alphabet cutters the other week and I have been dying to use them.  I love to make biscuits - decorating does get me stressed out but I love the idea.  Check out my pinterest board on biscuits / cookies.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE cutters.  I have a real obsession.

This is the box that arrived the other day of cutters!  I already struggle to fit the ones I have in my cupboards!  It is ridiculous.  Like my ribbon obsession I can't stop myself!  This box doesn't even include the alphabet set!

The Easter biscuits or sugar cookies recipe I used was adapted from Kate Shirazi Cookie Magic.  Usually I use her recipe and the biscuits always work out but I read somewhere online about changing quantities to stop problems with crumbliness so I adapted and these worked out really well.
 I had fun with Finlay making up words out of the Easter biscuit letters...

For the icing I had read about using corn syrup to make a hard icing that could be stacked but I live in Scotland and to get corn syrup you need to go to a specialist shop - I don't do planning for baking and buying in advance so I knew I would never get round to doing that.  I looked online and found you could use golden syrup - which I always have - or "sybit" as Eliza likes on her toast but I was very dubious.  Milk and syrup mixed with icing sugar and a drop of lemon juice...sounds wrong to me.  But it worked!!!.  My photos look terrible as usual with flashback I really need to learn but the icing has set very hard and isn't wet like it looks on here!

I have not attempted to freeze these but I have regularly frozen Kate Shitrazi recipe biscuit dough as soon as I have made it and it works really well.  You can also freeze them already cut.  How I would love to have a stash of every letter of the alphabet in my freezer for when I'm having an ass of a day.....

Tee hee.....Finlay thought this was the best combination.  Haha.  I teach him such great life lessons.  Bite my ass.....

Recipe I used for biscuits
225g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
375g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven 175°C.   Cream together butter and sugar, add in vanilla.  Add egg.  Add baking powder/flour.  Chill half an hour.  Roll, cut, place on baking paper, chill 5 minutes, bake at 175 °C on same baking paper.  Remove after about 10 minutes when just browning.  Allow to cool on same baking paper.  Move to cooling rack on baking paper and leave to harden.  I tried to move these with a spatula and they broke every time so I couldn't use my Pampered Chef stoneware for these whereas the original Kate Shirazi recipe allowed these to be picked up almost immediately.  These biscuits that I made though seem to taste better (in Finlay's opinion anyway - and he eats them without icing as he doesn't like it)

Icing recipe for those who do
I just threw together what I thought for quantities but I just looked online and there is a recipe similar:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbs milk
1tbs syrup (they say corn but golden worked well - has a slightly yellow colour though so white icing may be a problem)
1 drop lemon juice

If you need a cutter I am bound to have it.....

Friday, 22 March 2013

Superhero Cricut-ing

Well it is getting nearer birthday season in our family so I am getting organised for party number 2 of the year 2013.  I have always been into entertaining - I hate to have people round to my house and have no home baking to put out - but since the arrival of Pinterest in my life parties have never been the same!  People have sooo many ideas!  It really inspired me.  I think it was about this time last year that I signed up for  Pinterest and I have never looked back.  As soon as I heard about it I knew it was something I would love.  I get irritated and anxious if I have not pinned or looked at my pins for a few hours - work really gets in my pinning way :o

It is the best resource in the whole world for planning any event or task - the best thing since pen and paper :)  So I have been very busy pinning party ideas for the rest of the year.  My sister and I now advertise our dessert tables as a local business - where we live is not really ready for it in the scale I want - I want to move to America - people throw fantastic parties there!  We did do the Puppy Party earlier in the year as our first party for someone not in our family and it was really great fun to plan and organise.  I prefer doing that than it being a party I am hosting I think because I have to think about the real food items too which I have struggled with today - in life as in parties I hate to think about real food I love to think about cakes, sweets, biscuits and crafts :D.  However I found some perfect party food ideas from other pinners so I am feeling better about that now.

My plans for my big boy's party are Superman inspired - of course!  Finlay LOVES Superman.  He is my favourite hero too!  (On a different note even though he has TWO places to keep lego men he has managed to lose lego Superman :( Hopefully he will fly back from saving the day soon I miss that little guy.

There are so many hero parties out there!  I feel like Finlay is probably verging on too old for this theme but he loves heroes.  It is all he talks about and all he plays so why can't he have a hero party??  I have some big boy and girl games planned and who doesn't love a fancy dress party?

I have started with my crafting very early so I am not hunting around last minute for some crafting ideas.  I have had a great time this week drawing a backdrop, cutting out a banner using the Cricut and designing invites. I have completed my party bag crafting so I thought I'd share them with you.  I wrote down all my sizes as I went so if any of you have a Cricut or similar here are my hero crafting sizes.

Captain America

I cut out a white star size 1 and a white empty circle size 2 The blue filled in circle was size 1 3/4 and the red outer circle was 2 1/4 - inner red circle 1 3/4.  These were all using Cake Basics Cricut cartridge but I think most of these could be found on any basic cartridge.


 Simple yellow oval from Cake Basics size 2 1/4.  The bat I cut from Holiday Cakes cartridge size 1 1/2.  Batman fans will realise this is not the right bat and I did do some cutting to make it look more like the real Baman but Finlay told me this one was better.  Hopefully there are no die hard Batman fans who have a problem with these:)

 Again I didn't have a specific spider shape but I found this spider on the Cake Seasonal sampler cartridge size 1 3/4 and a simple red circle in size 2 1/2 which I drew web markings on by hand.

Green Lantern
An empty circle again but this time a thicker circle than Cake Basics - this one I found on Holiday Cakes under "fall" and worked with base shadow size 2 1/4.  I then just hand cut two rectangles to stick on the top and bottom.  The white circle behind is size 2 1/2.

Of course I have the Superman Cricut cartridge.  How could I not when we are such fans??  :) I have used it a few times - covering Finlay's jotter for school in superhero writing but all my other attempts have failed. I still struggle a lot with the Cricut to get it to cut what I want especially small images.  I almost never used it for cakes that's why it is now in my livingroom cutting paper! I cut the superman badge in red size 2 1/4, and the yellow inner badge slightly smaller at size 2.  I would have cut squares into Superman shapes if I didn't have the Superman cartridge and just used an ordinary S shape which would probably have worked fine but since I had the cartridge I thought I better get some use out of it!

So here is the Superhero party bag line up.  I just stuck the emblems onto paper bags in matching colours.  I am really pleased with them.  I saw quite a few pins of hero bags with hero pants I did consider but these were simple (especially with the Cricut - but could easily be done just cutting templates out by hand.) I can't wait to fill these with my hero themed party bag goodies.  

I will keep you posted on more of my Superhero plans.  

<<<<<Check out more Superhero crafts and games or my Superhero desserts table posts >>>>>


Friday, 15 March 2013

the eve appeal ♥

We had a vintage tea party at work this week to raise money and awareness for the eve appeal - a gynaecology cancer research fund.  The staff, volunteers and patients at work donated cakes, scones, biscuits and loaves and we all enjoyed a tea party using vintage tea sets and cake stands,

      Chocolate loveheart themed cupcakes and cakes I made for the tea party with white chocolate icing.  There were also vanilla cupcakes in the same theme with love hearts for the eve appeal symbol

 Hearts cake, cupcake and biscuit

 Tea set

 Cake stand full of homemade treats

 Tea cups

 Stacks of loveheart biscuits waiting to be loved

  Another cake stand full of goodies

We all had a great time raising money for this fantastic cause.  Donations were taken for the tea party and we had a raffle and bags of tablet for sale.  Raising money while having fun.  And a tea party is right up my street I love cake stands and tea cups.  I am a granny in disguise with my china teacup :) 

Why not get involved and host your own vintage tea party?

Check out my mini tea for two party here

Cath Kidston ongoing project....

I have been very quiet since my two big posts on Puppy Party and Big Boy Quiet Book - they took a lot out of me!  But I have been quietly busy!  Cakes, biscuits, crafts...always something going on here.  I have also been working on a striped rug from a Cath Kidston book Stitch I was given last year for my birthday.  I started it last May and thought I would have it finished in a few weeks - it did say it would take months but I thought I would get through it much faster than Cath told me it would take!  Haha it is now March and I have only done about 20 rows...

This is the completed version in the book 

  The rows are all made out of different stitches.  It is great to learn new techniques - I usually only do cross stitch.


This pattern gives free reign to do any stitch you like with instructions for advanced stitches such as long-armed cross stitch, plait stitch, mosaic stitch and sloping gobelin stitch.  I still sit for ages before beginning each row deciding on the colour and then the stitch I am going to use next.

 My favourite stitches to look at are the plait stitches but these are very time consuming so I blame them for the time this project is taking!  
It will be so beautiful when it is finished though I love all the colours.

                                                                                             Here's my version

                     I still have a LONG way to go!
So when I am not baking, decorating my edible creations or eating them I can be found stitching!  I will keep you posted on how much longer this takes - goal is at least May 2015!