Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Budget Carrot Cake

I decided to share my recipe for the carrot cake. This is for personal use only!
For the sponge

225g Self raising flour                         100 ml Sunflower oil
1 teaspoon Baking powder                   3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
2  teaspoon Ground Cinnamon            3 medium Carrots, peeled and finely grated
2  teaspoon  Ground Ginger                 water for consistency
175g Castor sugar 

Note:  For the wheat free version, I substituted the flour with doves farms wheat free flours, mixing the plain and self raising together (50/50) with a  teaspoon of baking powder.

  • Preheat oven Gas 4/180C.   Line a 12x9x2 inch baking tin with greasproof paper
  • Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and sugar in a bowl. 
  • Gradually add oil and eggs, then stir in grated carrot. Add about 3 fluid ozs of water.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for about 40 mins until golden and risen.  Cool on a wire rack.
  • I would leave the greaseproof paper on the bottom as it gets rather moist after a day or so.
If you like to have icing, you can use your favourite  or this one

Mix 170g cream cheese with 450g icing sugar, add vanilla to taste (recipe calls for 1 tablespoon) and a tablespoon or 2 of milk. Cream together and spread over carrot cake.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baking Day

After a few days of complaints that I'm being a little laxy daisy when it comes to baking these days, I decided to bake 3 cakes today. Two of which were wheat free and it's the first time I've tried to convert these recipes.
I thought that since I was having a motivated day....... this is usually a good sign, that things would go well. It would appear that I was right as the carrot cake, pictured left, was a success. I like it just as it is and find it sweet enough. I used to used the white Betty Crocker icing for the frosting, back in the day when I worked in a cafe.  I can safely claim this recipe as my own now.
Next up was the ginger cake, another wheat free conversion of my mums old faithful recipe. It also appears to have turned out well, although I think it was in the oven a tad too long, but we'll see in a few days if it goes as moist as the wheat version.

Of course these were so that I could eat them too, however I made the usual weekly Madeira cake too for the man in my life, he just loves it.   The only thing with all this baking is that you have to wait for it all to cool down!!  And with the fabulous aroma floating through the house to torment you that is not an easy task at all!
The Madeira cake recipe is from Nigella Lawson.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Crochet and stones

Oh wow do I just adore these Crochet covered Pebbles Which I stumbled across on my cyber travels. 
Created by Resurrection Fern
Perhaps when I get the hang of crochet I may try this, instead of just painting my pebbles.

Check out the crab on this page, now that must've taken the patience of a saint!  But it is very groovy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slapping a card together .....


I'm trying to broaden my horizons with card marking a little.  I'm just used to pressing flowers and arranging them in aperture cards.
Anyway with my friends 40th today and not being able to find anything suitable in time...... I just don't get out enough ;)  I did a quick(ish) Google and found some free papers and images. Actually I took longer trying to locate my paints!
Painted the girl and arranged on card.  I like how it turned out.... seemingly Forty is the new F word....
She won't get the card until the weekend..... hopefully it arrived ok, as she came all the way from the Outer Hebrides to Dublin to see Dirty Dancing in the theatre with her sister, isn't it nice to do something different on your birthday for a change!  I wouldn't be surprised if her family arrange a surprise party for her when she gets back at the weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cake........ no thats a lead weight!

I've  had an usually hectic week and at the beginning I was trying to get some baking done, and I mean trying.  I was just trying to bake a simple sponge with a jam and cream filling.

Well there I was, used my last eggs and marg, mixed it all up together and popped it in the oven....... only to realise later I'd forgotten to add the baking powder........ arrggggghh..... and it's not like you can just take it back out of the oven and mix it in!!

It's at times like these I hate being tired and doing wheat free baking, no sireee I did not have all my faculties in tact at all that day!!

So when it was baked the top was nice and crumbly and the bottom was like rubber........ I think even the birds were hopeful of a good feed.  Unfortunately for them,  I have a use for these disasters......... I make a trifle.

Of course the DH came in just after it came out of the oven and said "that smells good" to which I replied "aye, but it's best used as a diving weight!..... It'll do for trifle"

I did bake the proper sponge on Wednesday and turned out perfect :O)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Retro Feel

I don't think this yarn is ever going to be finished, anyway I've put the last bit out of sight for now!  I thought that making this retro style crochet top would finish it, however it looks like I could get another one done with what's left.

I quite like the pattern so I've dug out my green yarn and doubled it up, it's looking good on the top part of the pattern, although I'm not sure how the shells are going to turn out.
It will certainly be a bit more lacey than this one.

The vest pattern is available here. It's worked from a chart, so this was a good learning experience for me...... perhaps I will be able to decipher the other Japanese patterns in the future.

I've tried to show the pattern in the second picture, but it's probably best to follow the link to the pattern for a clearer view.  It was a bit weird making a back and front, although I think this will keep the pattern straight as the last time I crocheted a top in one piece the pattern slanted to one side.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CD Calendar

Well for the first time I've not bought or received a calendar.  I decided to make a desktop on this year, as I had saved an empty CD case  from last year sometime with the intention of doing this with it. Actually it could have been 2 years ago!
The thing is when I first saw these there were free templates all over the place, of course this year I couldn't find any. I made my own dates with spreadsheet software and used images from free wallpapers online and some images I had collected through other sources.
I would have been nice to have used my own photos taken through out the year, but I don't have enough worthy ones yet.  It would also make a great gift if you take family photos throughout the years.
I printed out all the months using my cd label software to get them 12x12 and fit perfectly.
Then you just turn the lid of the case back to front and remove the inside.

The little tray at the back is good for storing small bits, that seem to fly around your desk............okay so I'm not the tidiest person, but I have an organised mess ;O)

I've also printed out the monthly parts on A4 so I can reuse the picture of last years, I just have to get a paper punch so I can put it together.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

SlĂ inte, sonas agus beartas airson 2012!  Which translates to "health,  wealth and happiness for 2012"