Candice Brown’s Banana, chocolate, coconut loaf.

After being absent from the baking scene for about a month, a made a bunch of bakes for Christmas then got the flu and i couldn’t be arsed, i had no motivation. I decided last night to use up our old bananas and make this loaf from Candice’s cook book Comfort. Its really yummy although i will say the banana on top is overkill, i actually picked it off as it did nothing for me.

What you will need is:

2 over ripe bananas

70g plain flour

1/2 tsp of baking powder & bicarb

15g cocoa powder (i use Green and Blacks)

50g unsalted butter

75g dark brown sugar

1 large egg

50g desicated coconut

75g dark chocolate (the recipe called for minimum 70% cocoa but i refuse to pay for it so i used Bournville)

Basically all you need to do is mash up the bananas then add everything else.

You can add a sliced banana to the top when you’re about to bake it but i didn’t like it so i wouldn’t do it again.

Banana

 

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Being French in Annecy and road trippin to the Grand Canyon

I thought i would share a few pics of our travels last year. Having a full time job means you don’t get to travel as much and as far as i would like, but we managed a couple of holidays!

First up was our trip to Annecy in France for a friends wedding in June. My boyfriend and his friends all studied Animation at college and every year there is a huge Animation Festival in Annecy and the wedding was slap bang in the middle of it.

I’ve never been to France it was my first time and we also hired a car which was also a first and possibly last time. To get to Annecy you have to fly to Geneva (Technically i’ve been to Switzerland!) then cross the border back into France and head to Annecy, i really wish we had been told about the tolls and passes that are required to drive on the motorway in France, my god. Imagine needing a pass to drive a Swiss car on a French motorway, its mental.

But it is worth it, Annecy is beautiful and at the height of summer, it is hot! You definitely need a car to get around as if you’re not staying in Annecy itself (which we weren’t) its hard to get around. Also Europcar tried to charge us 300 euros for a scratch on the bumper which we absolutely did not do, but we managed to get it dropped, thank god.

It is so picturesque and it has the most amazing lake that is crystal clear, its the cleanest lake in Europe.

Annecy

I was a little apprehensive about travelling to France as i’ve never been and id heard French people aren’t always the friendliest, but it was great, the people were lovely and i used my worst french to talk and we got by. The minute we got there i got a chocolate eclair and let me tell you the pastries are amazing. I got a warm croissant straight out of the oven and its one of the best things i’ve ever ate and the macarons were to die for. I also ate this strawberry tart (tarte aux fraises!) and half of my boyfriends torte as he couldn’t finish it and also i’m greedy and couldn’t let him waste it!

Pastries

All in all it was a very lovely week in France at the height of the summer and the wedding was lovely, such a lovely place to have it. One of my favourite memories was my boyfriend and i, headed out for dinner, found a pizza place, split a pizza took it down to the lake with 2 cans of Coke at sunset and just ate and appreciated where we were it was amazing! I would definitely go back and i can’t wait until we do!

 

In October was our main holiday Las Vegas! I’ve been before but BF had never so off we went. We though going in October would mean it would be cooler, wrong! It was unseasonably warm for that time of year, was in the 30s all the ten days we were there. Now we went 2 weeks after the shooting at the Mandalay Bay and we were staying at the Luxor next door. We were a little apprehensive but didn’t let it hold us back. We did go to the Vegas sign and pay our respects, but a lot of people were taking selfies with the memorial crosses and taking pics of the smashed out windows at the MB which, to me, just isn’t right.

Las Vegas is one of those places where there’s just too much to do. We’re not big into shows (i would’ve gladly went to Britney, BF not so keen, typical) but we did a couple, we managed Tournament of Kings (Ireland woo!) and Penn and Teller. Also a trip to Vegas isn’t complete with a Grand Canyon trip! It truly is spectacular and this time around i did the Skywalk, which is terrifying if you don’t like heights. It’s when you look down and see the 2 mile drop to the bottom, we couldn’t let go of the hand rail! We managed to shuffle round and get the hell off of it lol.

Grand canyon

There’s so many places to eat and so many people, (watch out for the timeshare people trying to sell you a condo, for cheap show tickets!) sometimes i felt a little out of my comfort zone. Makes me a bit anxious.

 

You definitely have to head up the Eiffel tower to watch the fountains at the Bellagio, its a must from up above! We also managed to find the Pawn Shop when we headed Downtown, think my BF dream was realised he couldn’t believe he was actually inside it after watching it for so long. No Rick or Chumlee  though!

I always recommend Vegas to everyone, we went for 10 days which was enough for us.

We’re thinking of possibly going to Florida this year but nothing has been decided yet. I love travelling and if i could do it full time then i definitely would!

Back with a bang

Hello! I’m back, i got the Aussie flu and have literally never felt as bad in my life. Now my boyfriend has it and i’m probably due to get some strain of it again. Woe is me.

Anyhoo, i thought i’d launch right into 2018 with a list of things that really piss me off. Yes this might be a sweary post. So hold onto your hats.

  1. Selfish people. I look at myself as a very giving person, i like giving people gifts and i don’t expect anything in return. What i do mind is those people who constantly take, take, take and just don’t reciprocate. What i’m referring to is because i like baking i take a lot of the bakes into work to share so it gets eaten. But there is one person who is constantly happy to eat all this and they never think, oh ill go buy some muffins and take them in to work, another person occasionally goes and gets chocolate bars and on my desk i sometimes find a Wispa which i’m very happy about as i think that’s nice they’re making an effort to give back. It may make me sound petty but i just don’t do it anymore i don’t see the point of me making the effort if they don’t, i know you don’t give to receive but make the effort once in a while.
  2. On top of this selfish post, one person in my office decided to open the biscuits we got at Christmas not tell anyone she had opened them and proceeded to eat them all to herself. There’s literally 4 left and it’s the ones that nobody likes. Who does that? I only happened to clock the fact that she came back from the kitchen with 4 biscuits in her hand one day and a cuppa in the other and i went eh? so i went through to the kitchen and lo and behold the tin was open in the cupboard and not a word was said. Who opens the biscuits for the whole office, (there’s 3 of us in admin who tend to munch away at goodies) and doesn’t say oh i opened the tin btw if you want one. I’m am literally fucking seething at this point. Again, may sound petty but what the actual fuck people?
  3. People who drive in the middle lane. These people should be made to retake their driving test and learn the proper way to drive, this is an overtaking lane, if i am in the left hand lane and you are doing 50 in the middle lane i have to cross all the way over to the fast lane to pass you and get back over because i can’t undertake you in the left lane. Just move over to the left. You hold people up by staying in this lane.
  4. Also people who don’t indicate.
  5. People who don’t listen and make me repeat myself 3 times. Once fair enough, maybe you didn’t hear me, twice you’re just starting to piss me off.

I think that’s all, its the selfish one that gets me the most. I may sound like a moany bitch but i literally get so worked up about it that i get incensed.

and breathe.

Peace out lol.

Baltic nights & Scottish comfort food.

Being from Scotland, i dont know if you are aware, it tends to get a little bit chilly!

It could be May or it could be December and there would a forecast for snow. The weather can be a little unpredictable.

Which is why i love it when on these cold dark December nights you can get the comfort food made!

I recently made a batch of brown sugar shortbread which is the first time ive made it and it came out a little dark, but stills tastes yummy. I adapted it from Jamie Olivers 5 ingredients cookbook.

  • 150 g unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g brown sugar

Just rub it all together in a bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs then press it into a tin so its 1cm thick and bung in the oven at 190c and bake for 20 minutes.

This isn’t my preferred method of making shortbread as i cant judge properly how thick the dough is when you press it into the tin. I prefer getting a ball of dough chilling it then rolling it out. But hey, this still tasted pretty nice if a little bit uneven, but it looks rustic and reminds of the shortbread we used to get in school dinners when i was in primary school!

 

I also made some bacon and lentil soup. I think if you get a good soup recipe that works for you then you stick with it. The ingredients are:

1 bag of soup mix (you can pick this up at Tesco and saves so much time, rather than chopping up veggies, although if you want to do this then its totally fine)

1 tsp garlic puree

1 pack bacon lardons

1 litre of water

4-5 ham stock cubes (this is based on taste i find 4-5 is perfect to give the soup a flavour.

150-200g red lentils

Black pepper.

Method:

Stick the puree in a large non stick pot and fry it off for a wee minute and add the bacon lardons and cook them off.

Add the veggies and toss them through the bacon garlic mix let them cook down for a few minutes.

Add your water and then the stock cubes, i would add the cubes maybe 3 at a time and let it cook for a bit and then taste, you can always add more in. Its easier to add in as you cant take any away!

At this point depending on how thick you like your soup you would add in the lentils, i find this amount is perfect to get a good consistency.

Give it a good stir and let it simmer on the heat for 30 minutes, keep checking it.

Finish it off with the black pepper.

IMG_7893

Delicious!

Whats your favourite soup?

 

 

Ultimate Christmas Movie list, this is the list you want, all others are irrelevant!

DVDs

What are your favourite Christmas films?

I had to have a wee rummage through the old dvd collection to find these but I prevailed, eventually!, I ended up sorting them out by genre and putting all the box sets in series order, do you ever get waylaid this way? lol.

My top 4 fave Christmas films ever, ever, ever!

Number 1. Elf, duh anyone who doesn’t like Elf, then there is actually something wrong with you, sorry but there is (lols I joke).

Number 2. The Holiday, a more recent number but Kate Winslet and Jack Black and Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, such a random mix of actors but works so well! Its so heartwarming, I just love it.

Number 3. The Muppet Christmas Carol. I’ve loved it since I was wee, “in all the places you find love, it feels like Christmas!” Just lovely.

Number 4. Home alone. Just a classic Macauley Culkin at his mischievous best.

I’m currently writing this watching Vlogmas with a skinny hazelnut iced latte and a slice of yule log. Its -2 outside, no snow yet a slight sprinkling a couple of days ago, but its freezing now and soo sunny outside.

Im off now to bake some orange shortbread! Tis the season and all…

Have a lovely Sunday all.

She’s 100 years old! 1-0-0 years on planet earth.

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My wee granny has done it. She has hit that landmark milestone. 100 years old. 100! Let that sink in a bit. She has been on this earth for 100 years. She has seen 2 world wars, numerous changes in fashion, running water in a house, 9 weans (5 girls 4 boys) a toilet in a house, airplanes and a million other things!

As i’m now known as the baker in the family, for my sins, i got the added pressure of making cupcakes for the occasion. As i’m a people pleaser and i don’t like to say no when my auntie asks me lol.

We threw her a party in our hometown where she has lived most of her life, in the West coast of Scotland. In the bowling club because that’s where most do’s take place in Scotland, cheap drink, what more can you ask for?

So, i had to think what flavours would everybody like? My other auntie made victoria sponge cupcakes so i couldn’t do that. So i went with classic chocolate, everyone loves a chocolate cupcake right? and salted caramel with a hidden caramel centre. Now i have to admit that after icing these a leftover copious amount did end up in my mouth straight from the bag (lols) because i hate waste and apparently i am a gannet.

Do you want the recipe, should i share the recipe on here? I’m going to anyways, don’t know why i asked!

Chocolate cupcakes:

– 175g Unsalted Butter/Stork
– 175g Light Brown Sugar
– 3 Large Eggs
– 135g Self Raising Flour
– 40g Cocoa Powder

Buttercream icing

– 150g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
– 300g Icing Sugar
– 40g Cocoa Powder

Salted caramel Cupcakes
– 175g Unsalted Butter, Softened
– 175g Light Brown Sugar
– 3 Large  Eggs
– 175g Self Raising Flour
– 2tbsp Whole Milk
– 12tsps Caramel*

Salted Caramel Buttercream
– 150g Butter
– 350g Icing Sugar
– 1 tsp Dr Oetker caramel flavouring

Now im told on good authority that they were great, i never got one. Plus i never really want to eat them after im done baking them, anyone else like this?

Happy baking my lovlies.

First blog post

So here we are, very first blog post.

I think this is going to be a little mish mash of all things baking, what im getting up to and i may throw in a few life dramas, not that i have too many these days!

Do you ever just think that you’re meant to be doing something great? Ever since i was little i could never decide on what i wanted to be growing up, it went from Policewoman, to archaeologist to Egyptologist (Thanks to The Mummy and Rachel Weisz, still love this film!) to lawyer (Ally McBeal) to Pop star to actress to teacher to  Titanic historian (in fairness i still want to do this) the list was endless. I could never stick on one thing and i never went on to further education because i could never choose and i didn’t want to choose something that one day id be bored of and want to do something different. So after school i went into office work and possibly it was the worst mistake you could make. I hate it and I’ve been doing it 15 years. (Wow i’m old) its the same mind-numbing rubbish everyday and its just not what i want to do.

About 10 years ago i started baking, a few cupcakes for my then boyfriends birthday. They were pretty rubbish, dry as a bone and covered in green icing. I don’t think i did much after that. Then i started making Mary Berry’s fairy cake recipe, teeny cakes with some icing on, they’re perfection and so tasty. From there its progressed into shortbread, scones, traybakes, brownies, birthday cakes and its something i do love. I enjoy making something for someone else and they enjoy it.

So here we are, i’m still in an office job but now i do baking in my spare time and i thought id try a blog and see where this could take me! Probably nowhere but you can but dream.

So let me know what you think, was this completely rubbish for my first post? Should i be doing things different, i have no idea.

But i am willing to learn.