Boo!

10 Sep 2015 12:36 pm
bluespirit: (SGA huh!John)
My standmixer has just broken down. It's less than a year old but the guarantee says that you need the original box to return it.
Who keeps the box?!
bluespirit: (Buddy - hullooo?)
I'm making chicken tikka masala this evening & while I was making the marinade, I thought I'd better just check that we'd got naan bread in the freezer*.
Disaster - no naan!
So, I've found a recipe & will be attempting to bake my first lot of naan tonight. *g*

*I make our loaves of bread by hand but have always bought stuff like naan.
bluespirit: (Buddy yay)
What a smashing weekend!
Mr B & I went to the 'Cake & Bake Show' in Manchester on Saturday.  It was a great event with lots of demonstrations from various well-known chefs, including some of the Great British Bake-Off winners, as well as stalls selling all kinds of cake paraphernalia - & cake to eat!  Yum!  We shared a gorgeous slice of traditional Caribbean rum cake made by a husband & wife team that was simply divine! (Now I'm hunting for a recipe because I need to eat more of that! *g*)

Then on Sunday, we drove down to London so that I could meet the sweet & lovely [livejournal.com profile] hilde for lunch while Mr B went off & did his own thing.
It was so lovely to see [livejournal.com profile] hilde again & we had a very long - & very chatty *g* - lunch discussing lots of fandom things. :)
As Hilde is a bit (a bit!) of an Angliophile, I'd made her a Union Jack inspired cushion that hopefully will squash down enough to fit in her case!

IMG_8442a


Oh, & I've used some of that gorgeous black lab fabric that Mr B surprised me with to make a little bag that I took for a test drive this weekend. :)
It has an extra long strap so that I can wear it across my body.

IMG_8447a

The colour of the lining matches the collar of the labs on the fabric. I also included several inside pockets for my phone, Oyster card, lipstick, etc.

IMG_8448a

A couple of buttons just for some fun detail. :)

IMG_8449a

I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend!
*hugs*
bluespirit: (Buddy sleeping)
It was Mother's Day here in the UK yesterday.
I was very lucky - Buddy bought me some gorgeous long-stemmed yellow roses, a box of chocolates & the latest Thor dvd!  He also managed to make me a Moonpig card with pics of the two of us on it.  Such a clever pup! *g*

We had my Mom around as usual & I cooked lunch & then we were joined by my lovely in laws & sis in laws for an afternoon of cake & laughter.
What a smashing day!  Bud loved having so many of his favourite people making a fuss of him.  Poor boy was exhausted by the end of it. *g*

IMG_8417

I made a cake & some cupcakes:

a few pics )

I hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely day or just a lovely Sunday!
*hugs*
bluespirit: (baking: tea & cupcakes)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] pennyplainknits:

I don't know if I'll be able to think of anything appropriate, but I'd love to bake or sew something fandomy for this. :)



banner by [personal profile] ktcktc
bluespirit: (Buddy - hullooo?)
It's been ages since I posted. Real life has been pretty hectic - in a nice way but still busy.  My health has really improved, & I'm back to a regular running schedule in preparation for a half marathon in May.
Unfortunately, I still seem to have lost all of my writing/art inspiration *sigh* - but at least I'm baking & sewing (& hoping the rest will come back eventually).
I haven't been on LJ at all for a while, but I had a quick catch up through my flist this morning & it made me realise just how much I miss everyone & all of the fandom stuff.  Even if I'm not actively creative anymore, I love to see what everyone else is doing.
So, I'm going to get back to LJ & fandom life - even if it's more in a viewer type way than actively creating anything.

In the meantime, here are some pics of some of the baking projects I've been doing:

cupcakes for my niece's 6th birthday - yes, those are little Buddy cakes!

Budcakes


more pics )

And life isn't complete without my beautiful baby Bud ♥

Bud & Sean the Sheep

Happy Tuesday, all!
*hugs*
xxx
bluespirit: (Buddy Xmas)
Yesterday, Bud hosted a tea party to help raise funds for the Labrador Rescue South East & Central (who brought him to us), & we managed to raise £60! \o/
His Aunties [livejournal.com profile] lantean_drift, [livejournal.com profile] saffron_1 & [livejournal.com profile] battyoldflapper came, too & there was much laughing, chatting, tea drinking, cake eating & Bud worshipping! *g*

Here's the Budster 'working hard' to entertain his guests... LOL
IMG_8183

He was a bit partied out at that point as he had had to leap about & give everyone big snuggles as they arrived. *g*  (Not to mention all of the 'baking supervision' that he'd been doing for the past couple of days. *g*)

More pics of cakes & Bud!

Click! )

Happy Nearly New Year's, everyone! :)
*hugs*
bluespirit: (SGA McShep all I want)
So, I was up at 2am this morning having failed at getting to sleep & was online shopping on Amazon - buying earmuffs, as you do - when I got an email about some kudos on a story that I couldn't actually remember writing from the title.
So I followed the link & re-read it.  I have the usual British reticence about saying anything good about myself, but I actually thought it was pretty good.  I haven't been able to write anything in so long & it was really nice to remind myself what I used to be able to do.

If you fancy a quick read, the story in question is my contribution to the 2010[livejournal.com profile] sga_santa

Turn the world all which a way
John/Rodney, 3000 words, PG

I have a story that I've been working on on & off this year.  It's only short - a companion piece to my vampire!Rodney story.  If I can polish it up in time, I'll try & post it as a little Christmas offering.

And in a festive frame of mind, I've been doing lots of baking (as usual!) & wanted to rec this gorgeous & easy recipe for mince pies from The Great British Bake-Off's Paul Hollywood:

Scrummy mince pies

They really are delish!
I also added a splash of brandy to the mincemeat as well as apple & satsuma. ;)
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean anim good morning)
Just a quickie (ooh, err! *g*)

+ I'm love, love, loving Spn!  Not that that's news really - but it's a new season & there's always that worry that it might not be as good. But. It totally is! \o/  Also, how can Jensen look even better than normal?  I mean, he has a newborn in the house & he's looking younger & more gorgeous than ever?

+  I had an Spn dream last night.  It was a proper plot with Dean & Sam.  Unfortunately, I can't remember any of it now - except that there was a part where Dean had to go & do something & Sam leaned in & kissed him goodbye.  Just a quick peck on the lips (though he also cupped Dean's cheek with his hand *melt*) - like it was something they do all the time! ♥

+ Other things I'm watching & really enjoying: Great British Bake-off, Agents of Shield, Person of Interest, The Blacklist, Castle, Perception, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, By Any Means, Amazing Race, Sleepy Hollow.

+ Things I'm waiting to start airing here again: Bones, Criminal Minds, Elementary.

+ I've been soaking the fruit for our Christmas cake overnight (in brandy) & am ready to bake today.  In the immortal words of Mel & Sue - 'On your marks, get set - bake!'. :)

+ I'm running the SGA Art Santa again this year.  We've had a good number of folk sign up, & the assignments have been sent out.  Now it's just a matter of waiting for the lovely art to roll in.  Hopefully, we won't have the need for any pinch hitters & so far, there's only been one thing that's made me think 'why do I bother giving my time & energy to this, if people are going to act like that?'.  ;)

+ Depression-wise, things are okayish.  I'm attending CBT, which is hard, but I think is helping.

+ I've managed to pick up another cold, just as my previous one was clearing up.  Mind you, being soaked to the skin on the carrot walk with Bud yesterday probably didn't help.  Never mind - there's actually some sunshine today.  It's cold but the sun makes everything seem better. \o/

+  Bud is as gorgeous & adorable as ever.  Here he is cooling his paws in the River Teme last month, after we'd been walking on Offa's Dyke. ♥

Bud in the River teme

+  Happy Thursday, all!
*hugs*
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ J2 Jared on Jen's shoulde)
How awesome is this?!
*loves*



On a completely different note:
I made chocolate tiffin the other day from this super easy recipe & it was soooo good. Yum!
Sorry - no pics as it didn't last long enough. *g*
bluespirit: (Buddy silly)
We hosted a little 'Paws for Tea' party at Chez Buddy last Sunday in aid of The Blue Cross animal charity.
Eighteen assorted family & friends (including the fabulous
[livejournal.com profile] lantean_drift, [livejournal.com profile] battyoldflapper & [livejournal.com profile] saffron_1) joined in the fun, & there was much chatting, laughing, tea drinking & cake scoffing.  And Bud snuggling, of course! *g*
We also had a 'Lucky Dip' which helped raise a few more pounds.  Thanks to the generosity of all present, we raised £125.60 for The Blue Cross! Woo-hoo! That's enough to vaccinate 25 kittens or microchip 6 litters of puppies or provide veterinary care for a dog for the length of its stay with the Blue Cross.
I'm so grateful to everyone who came along. :)

It also gave me the perfect excuse to 'get my bake on' *g* & here are some pics from the day (mainly of cakes & a certain handsome someone!)


pics this way... )

I really enjoyed putting this on & would love to do it again.
I also have to make special mention of Mr [livejournal.com profile] bluespirit_star who valiantly spent the afternoon making cups of tea for a house full of ladies! :)
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean/Sam full body hug)
+ This is just the most happy-making, smile-inducing vid ever - HUGS!!!

I Need a (Supernatural) Hug by[personal profile] ash48

I can't believe all the hugs we're getting this season! ♥

Dean wuvs hugz

And a new ep is airing tonight!
*dances*
Can't wait to watch it tomorrow.
*dances some more*

+ We've entered the ballot for next year's London Marathon. There were 130,000 ballot slots & it closed in 11 hours! Wow.
Now we have to wait until Oct to see if we're lucky enough to get places. *fc*

+ We saw Ironman 3 last night! Woot!
It was amazing!

+ Bud & I passed by a house today that had a TARDIS nestbox.  How cool is that?  I couldn't see if anyone had started a nest there yet.  Oh, & we passed a field with a Shetland pony & a tiny foal in it!  Too cute.  (And of course I didn't have the camera with me today.)

+ I've been trying out some new recipes & made Malteaser Cupcakes (malted cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing & Malteaser decorations. *g*) They seemed to be especially popular! :)

malteasercupcakes
 
+ happy May 1st/Wednesday everyone!
*hugs*

bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean/Sam full body hug)
+ This is just the most happy-making, smile-inducing vid ever - HUGS!!!

I Need a (Supernatural) Hug by[personal profile] ash48

I can't believe all the hugs we're getting this season! ♥

Dean wuvs hugz

And a new ep is airing tonight!
*dances*
Can't wait to watch it tomorrow.
*dances some more*

+ We've entered the ballot for next year's London Marathon. There were 130,000 ballot slots & it closed in 11 hours! Wow.
Now we have to wait until Oct to see if we're lucky enough to get places. *fc*

+ We saw Ironman 3 last night! Woot!
It was amazing!

+ Bud & I passed by a house today that had a TARDIS nestbox.  How cool is that?  I couldn't see if anyone had started a nest there yet.  Oh, & we passed a field with a Shetland pony & a tiny foal in it!  Too cute.  (And of course I didn't have the camera with me today.)

+ I've been trying out some new recipes & made Malteaser Cupcakes (malted cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing & Malteaser decorations. *g*) They seemed to be especially popular! :)

malteasercupcakes
 
+ happy May 1st/Wednesday everyone!
*hugs*

bluespirit: (SGA John dress blues)
I'm hosting a tea party, 'Paws for Tea', in a few weeks in aid of The Blue Cross animal charity.
I've got some cookie cutters (including one that's dog shaped - naturally! *g*) but the only problem is - I don't have a recipe to use to make cookies that I can cut out! LOL  
Does anyone have a rec please? :)

And in super exciting news - the fabulously talented & just all around fabulous [personal profile] sgamadison  has released her latest novel!

The Boys of Summer

(Just click on the link for all the info.)

I've just bought my copy & am so looking forward to settling down for a nice, long read!



bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean approved)
We went to Worcester for lunch yesterday & while there, we called into the Lakeland shop.
As he held the door for me, Mr B said, 'Go on, get your bake on'! LOL
Oh my goodness - I was in bake!geek heaven!

I got a fabulous 3-tier cooling rack (with a small kitchen, counter space is at a premium) & two amazing non-stick cookie sheets, plus a few other things like a mini-muffin tin, etc.
And when I say the cookie sheets are non-stick, they really are! I didn't even have to grease them - just put the cookie mixture straight on there & the baked cookies lifted off perfectly! Um, because yeah - I've had to test them out & have baked cookies this afternoon; milk choc chip & white choc chip (Mr B loves white chocolate.)

Here are a few pics:

cookies!! )
+ mmmm, cookies!
cookies01
 


Here's the recipe I used. I got the original here, but I've played around with the quantities, etc a little & have found that this works perfectly.

Big chewy choc chip cookies

makes approx 12-14

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter - melted
150g soft brown sugar
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
160g choc chips

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Grease baking trays or line with parchment (or do neither if you have super-duper new cookie sheets! *g*)
2. Sift together the flour, bicarb & salt; set aside.
3. Cream together the melted butter, brown sugar & caster sugar until well blended (I use an electric hand mixer.) Beat in the vanilla, egg & egg yolk until light & creamy. (Again I use the electric mixer.)
4. Stir in the sifted ingredients by hand until just blended.
5. Stir in the choc chips by hand. (I split the dough into two & mix 80g of white choc chips into one half, & 80g of milk choc into the other)
6. Drop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet, with each cookie made of 2 tablespoons of dough. Do not flatten the dough. The cookies should be about 8 cm apart.
7. Bake for 12-17 minutes in preheated oven or until the edges are lightly toasted. (Take them out sooner rather than later - when they're still soft in the centre - as they harden slightly on cooling.)
8. Cool on baking trays for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.

Then scoff! *g*

Oh, [personal profile] sgamadison  - reading some of the comments with the original recipe, it looks like this works well with GF flour, too. \o/

ETA:  These cookies freeze really well.  Just wrap in clingfilm & then pop into a ziplock bag. :)


As there was no new Spn this week (sob!), I think I'll drown my sorrows with a cookie & a good story. :)

Here's to a great weekend, everyone!

j2
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ TANDEM!!)
I had a lovely weekend!
I baked on Sat afternoon making ginormous choc chip cookies (half with white choc chips & half milk choc), & also cheese & herb scones which went very nicely with fresh soup.
I would post some pics, but I wasn't quick enough before they were gone! *g*

But I did manage to snap the carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing that I made on Sunday to take around to Chez [personal profile] lantean_drift & battyoldflapper's for a cuppa & cake & squee session! It was such a great afternoon - so much chat & laughter (& cute, cute dogs to play with! ♥)  And [personal profile] lantean_drift  had made some gorgeous cake pops - they were divine!
Thanks for a fab afternoon, girls!
*hugs*

Some of my carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing:

2013-04-07carrotcupcakes

I got the recipe from a fabulous book that the sweet & lovely [personal profile] hilde  sent me - Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.
Thanks again, Hilde!
*hugs*

the recipe )
I have to say that I was very pleased with how these turned out. They were moist & tasty & the icing had such a lovely tang of orange with the sweetness of the cream cheese. Yum!





bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ Dean anim good morning)
After chatting with [personal profile] xanthe  & caffyolay, I tried my scone recipe again with a couple of tweaks.
1.  added tablespoon of soured cream to the milk
2.  added tablespoon of baking powder to the flour & sugar

And as I'd decided from the first attempt, I added the milk a bit at a time (& didn't need to use the whole amount) & also cooked them for a shorter time (by about 4 minutes).

Result: lighter & even tastier scones! \o/

I took a 'DIY cream tea' basket over to my in-laws (freshly baked scones, jam & clotted & cream) & also some for my sisters-in-law.  They got a very positive response. 'Bostin!' LOL
My Mom's coming around for lunch today & we'll also be having scones later. :)

Next baking adventure - carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese topping, and/or chocolate chip cookies.  Or let's be realistic - both! *g*
I know - I'm becoming a baking geek! LOL

Happy Easter/Sunday/Whatever You Want to Celebrate, folks!
*hugs*

And a very happy birthday to [personal profile] vida_boheme .  I hope you have a smashing day, Finn!
*hugs*

Mmmm...

29 Mar 2013 07:04 am
bluespirit: (Tea ~ always time)
I've been baking again. *g*
I love having a cream tea but often the scones are fruit ones, & I prefer plain. So, I decided to have a go at making my own. :)

This is the recipe I used, & I was pretty pleased with the results.
I did have a couple of issues that I'll put right next time:
+ there was too much milk & so the dough was very sticky, meaning I had to work it longer than I would have liked & so the scones weren't quite as light as they could have been. (They still tasted lovely, but I think they'll be flakier next time.)
+ they didn't need as long as quoted in the oven. I'll set the timer for a shorter time next time. (They weren't burnt or anything - just a little more brown than golden on the 'golden-brown' scale. *g*)

A couple of folks wanted some pictorial evidence of my endeavours so here you go! :)

scones & a certain someone )
Happy Friday!
*hugs*
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ J2 baby makes 3)
<-- This icon has nothing to do with the post - it's just so cute & I wanted to use it. *g*

Thank you so much for the advice on my 'help-my-muffins-have-gone-soggy' problem. Heh - that sounds way too dirty. ;)
I've had a couple of good tips & am investigating.

However, the muffins I made yesterday didn't get chance to be a part of the experiment as they were practically all eaten in one go! I tried my first savoury muffin recipe - cheddar & leek - & we ate them freshly baked with a fresh tomato & basil soup. I have to say that they were rather yummy (though I think next time I'll use extra mature cheddar rather than just mature as I do love cheese.)
Mr B enjoyed them so much that he's taken the last remaining ones to work with some soup for lunch!

It was a nice, simple recipe that I got out of The Times. If anyone's interested, do say & I'll type it up.

ETA:  here it is! :)

Leek & Cheddar muffins
(makes 12)

275g self-raising flour
125g cheddar, grated
2 small leeks, thinly sliced
2 eggs
80g melted butter
175ml milk
2 tbsp plain yoghurt (I used low fat natural)

1.  Combine flour, most of cheese & most of leeks.  Season.  Beat together eggs, butter, milk & yoghurt, & stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
2.  Line muffin tin with paper cases & fill with mixture.  Scatter with remaining cheese & leeks.
3.  Bake at 190C/Gas 5 for 25-30 minutes until golden.

4.  Scoff & enjoy! *g*

---

And just because - that awesome, awesome scene from the end of this week's ep in gif form c/o of the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] fiercelynormal.

boys! )
bluespirit: (Supernatural ~ J2 baby makes 3)
<-- This icon has nothing to do with the post - it's just so cute & I wanted to use it. *g*

Thank you so much for the advice on my 'help-my-muffins-have-gone-soggy' problem. Heh - that sounds way too dirty. ;)
I've had a couple of good tips & am investigating.

However, the muffins I made yesterday didn't get chance to be a part of the experiment as they were practically all eaten in one go! I tried my first savoury muffin recipe - cheddar & leek - & we ate them freshly baked with a fresh tomato & basil soup. I have to say that they were rather yummy (though I think next time I'll use extra mature cheddar rather than just mature as I do love cheese.)
Mr B enjoyed them so much that he's taken the last remaining ones to work with some soup for lunch!

It was a nice, simple recipe that I got out of The Times. If anyone's interested, do say & I'll type it up.

And just because - that awesome, awesome scene from the end of this week's ep in gif form c/o of the wonderful [personal profile] fiercelynormal.

boys! )

*loves so much*
♥ ♥ ♥

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