20 years of Titanic obsessions

I love Titanic. Not the movie (although that did fuel me on even more) The Ship. The grandest ship in the world in 1912.

I don’t know what it is, it just fascinates me. This huge liner, biggest one ever built that crashes into an iceberg on its maiden voyage, and takes 1500 people to their grave in 2 hours and 40 minutes.

I have watched countless documentaries, some more than once just to see a glimpse of the ship.

If you are as obsessed as i am, then you should take a trip to Belfast to see the Titanic Exhibition. It is the greatest thing ever. You are in the exact place, The Harland and Wolff shipyard, that the ship was built along with her 2 sisters, the Olympic (who came first) and Britannic (who came last).

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Go back 106 years and imagine how bustling this yard would be!

 

We did the exhibit tour and also a walking tour where a guide takes you round before the main exhibit and talks you through a bit of the history. After that we went over to the Nomadic, the very last White Star Line ship in the world, which has been fantastically restored.

I can’t recommend it enough if you love history and Titanic then it really is for you!

 

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First class menu

There is too many photos to share, it was a life long dream for me to go and i loved it. I would go back in a second, my boyfriend does not share my enthusiasm though.

Do you have any Titanic questions? I would love to answer them, make me feel like the Titanic historian i always wanted to be!

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Spring baking Creme egg cupcakes!

It’s almost Easter, which means one thing in the UK – Creme Eggs people! 🙌🏻

Everyone loves a Creme egg chocolate and fondant, sugary goodness!! 🤤

These are made with the teeny mini Creme Eggs.

You will need:-

Creme egg cupcakes

Makes 12. 180degree oven or 160 fan

Cupcakes– 12 Frozen Mini Creme Eggs– 150g Unsalted Butter/Stork– 150g Light Brown Sugar– 3 Medium Eggs– 125g Self Raising Flour– 25g Cocoa PowderButtercream– 150g Unsalted Butter, room temperature– 300g Icing Sugar– 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract– Yellow/Orange Food Colouring– 1-2tbsp Boiling WaterFirstly you freeze the eggs first until they are solid that way they won’t completely melt when you bake them. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs flour and cocoa and mix until combined. Spoon in about half of the mixture into your cases and pop a frozen Creme egg in the middle and plop some More batter on top until the egg is no longer visible, you want them 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 mins but start checking them at about 17 minutes. Leave to cool completely. To make the buttercream, mix your butter until light and fluffy and slowly add your icing sugar. Split the mixture into 2 parts and add your yellow colouring to one. In a piping bag put your white buttercream into one half and your yellow on the other side and when piped together it should do a two tone icing. My bag burst and they just smooshed together and it didn’t look as effective. Or you can put into two separate bags and then put them into one big bag and snip off the ends and it should pipe, Ive never tried this so let me know if it works!Once you’ve piped pop a little halved Creme egg on top and you’re done!

Imagine Dragons, Glasgow, best gig i’ve been to!

Let me start by saying by tastes in music have evolved from going to seeing Boyzone, ( i love you Ronan banner in tow) to Girls Aloud in my late teens ( i still have slight soft spot for Love Machine) Calvin Harris and Tiesto (i’m sorry but it was amazing and i raved away) to now Imagine Dragons.

Was never really into them that much then i heard a couple of songs off their new album Evolve and was hooked, so much that i stole my brother in laws ticket and made my sister take me lol. He wasn’t fussed just to clarify.

The lead up to the concert on Sunday was a little nerve wracking. Central and East coast of Scotland got hit by the “beast from the east” weather front and the snow was atrocious, it was so deep and caused pandemonium every where, you’d think that we’d never seen snow before, deliveries weren’t making it to the shops and they were running out of bread and milk! People were panic buying the most random items, if nows the time for 35 frozen pizzas and 6 bags of frozen chips in your freezer then who am i to judge.

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Paisley snow

This was my sisters house. Where i live had virtually no snow, (hooray) but i had to make it to my sisters on Sunday.

The snow started on Wednesday and by Sunday it was still all there but the roads were clear and i made it.

We were staying in Glasgow after the concert and getting to Glasgow was met with some obstacles, our train broke down and we were left sitting for ages! When we got going again we shlepped through the snow and slush to get to our hotel. It was tempting to just stay in the room lol but no Imagine Dragons awaited!

We went for dinner at a bar called Striphouse where we had a couple of cocktails and we both went for burger and fries.

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Striphouse burger and fries

The burger wasn’t great, but the cocktails and the tin cup my sweet potato fries came in were great. my idea of stealing the cup was frowned upon. Pfft.

Now onto the concert, it was just amazing, Dan Reynolds is great live, they started with I don’t know why and ended with Radioactive. In the middle they did an acoustic set where they also sung a Scottish classic, 500 miles by the Proclaimers! He sung it to perfection and the crowd went wild!

I wish i could put my videos up but they were just too large to send through and i’m not sure how else to link them up! Here’s a video from You tube someone else so kindly took:

Imagine Dragons 500 miles

So here are a couple of photos:

 

 

I honestly can’t recommend going to see them enough, if you get the chance please go you won’t regret it. There were so many people there of all ages, i was surprised to see so many kids there.

Take me back Tuesday, Maltesar Bunny cupcakes

Since the weather has been so lovely lately but so cold i decided to get the Kitchen Aid out on Sunday and bake some cupcakes.

Now i was just going to bake my Celebration cupcakes again, still trying to get rid of the sweeties from Christmas! but my boyfriend came up with this one so ill let him take full credit, as they turned out yummy!

We were doing our weekly shop in Tesco and when we got the the jam/peanut butter/spreads aisle he picks up a jar of the Maltesar spread and says you should make Maltesar cupcakes with this inside. Who am i to disappoint?

I decided on  just a basic vanilla sponge:

150g Stork
150g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
150g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Vanilla Extract

I beat my Stork until its light and creamy then add the sugar and give that a good beating. Then add the eggs, flour and vanilla and combine until mixed through, try not to overmix it.

Then back in a 150degree oven for 15-20 minutes. When a cocktail stick poked in comes out clean they are ready.

I let these sit for a while until they were completely cool and then hollowed out the middle of the cupcakes and filled them with the Maltesar spread. i put the spread into a bowl gave it a little mix (Shout out to my Ex! no? ok moving on) to loosen it up and put it in a small piping bag then piped it into the middle and popped the lid back on, eating the offcuts as i went!

 

To make the buttercream whatever spread i didn’t use inside the cupcakes i put into the buttercream along with:

150g Unsalted softened Butter
300g Icing Sugar sifted
25g Cocoa Powder
1-2tsp Boiling Water (to loosen if it feels a little stiff)

Just beat the butter until light and creamy then add in your sifted icing sugar a little bit at a time along with the cocoa and then the spread.

Pop into a piping bag and ice onto the cupcake, now i didn’t use a nozzle as i thought the bits of Maltesar would get stuck, its up to yourself. When i piped these they looked like a certain brown emoji and we couldn’t stop laughing so i promptly topped them with the mini Maltesar bunny!

Ten points for you if you can guess which emoji im on about? :o)

I enjoyed making these and they were a big hit so i hope you enjoy them too!

Memory Monday, salted caramel cupcakes

‘Ello treacles,

Thought id try a small throwback to when i made salted caramel cupcakes.

Everyone seems to love salted caramel, i don’t know what it is. It’s so trendy nowadays.

To make these lovely cupcakes you will need:-

  • 125g margarine / baking spread
  • 125g light brown suger
  • 5ml of caramel flavouring
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Salted caramel sauce (for the middles, you can make your own or buy some, sometimes i find it easier just to buy it)

Buttercream:

  • 125g salted butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 5ml of caramel flavouring

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Line a cupcake tin with 10 cupcake cases.

Cream together your butter and sugar until they are nicely combined and add the caramel flavouring.

Add in the eggs a bit at a time until they are incorporated.

Add the flour and baking powder and fold in until combined.

Fill your cases and bake for 19-20 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean.

I would leave them sitting for 5 mins until they’ve cooled slightly and cut out a small (or big!) piece of cake from the middle and fill with the salted caramel sauce and pop the lid back on. You can eat the leftover bits of cake you’ve hollowed out (bakers treat!).

To make the buttercream just whizz all your ingredients together in a mixer until smooth, or if you’re strong by hand. I’d always whip the butter for a couple of minutes first until its smooth then add everything else.

Pipe on and voila you have hidden salted caramel cupcakes. Its up to you if you want to drizzle with more caramel on top i think its a nice touch.

Salted caramel

Hidden salted caramel surprise cupcakes

These are probably my most popular cupcakes, i get asked for these a lot!

What is your favourite cupcake?

 

 

2018 Afternoon tea showdown

So, my sister and me like love an afternoon tea. We only started doing it a few years ago as it seemed like a nice afternoon out, you get tea, sandwiches, scones and cakes, what’s not to like!

At one point we became slightly obsessed and maybe did 10 in a year, last year i think we only managed a few.

So this year we’ve decided to crank it up a notch and try and do a few more.

I thought it would be fun to do a sort of rating of the teas we have!

We have ratings on Location, Service, Sandwiches, Scones, selection of cakes andTea

So here are the ratings in stars:

***** Excellent

**** Good

*** Average

** Ok

*Awful / abissmal / Boaks / gags food back up (thankfully never had to do this).

So on Saturday we went to Glasgow and went to:

Carlton George Hotel

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Windows Restaurant Afternoon Tea

Location **** We were in the windows restaurant which overlooks Glasgow City Centre. Will be so nice in Summer.

Service **** Our server, Maria, was lovely, very cheerful and asked if we had any allergies / dislikes and i asked for a green tea which i was told no problem.

Sandwiches ***** I really enjoyed these, the bread was fresh and nice and soft, the fillings were delicious. There was cheese savoury, ham and tomato, tuna mayo and egg mayo. So yummy.

Scones *** More points if they were warm, but they weren’t. We had a little pot of Tiptree Raspberry Jam each, which is a bonus as you don’t always get Raspberry, its usually Strawberry which i’m not keen on. There was fresh cream and not clotted cream, which was also disappointing! It always has to be clotted with a scone, in my opinion. How do you take your scones, i do cream then jam (the Devon way) my sister does jam then cream (the Cornish way) Controversial, i know.

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Tiptree Raspberry Jam, i love the quotes in the lid.

Desserts / Cakes *** They were ok. The brownie if i was scoring it on this alone would be 5* as it was so good. But i wasn’t keen on the rest of the desserts, there was a teeny lemon tart didn’t taste very lemony to me, a sticky toffee pudding, not my fave i don’t like toffee really, victoria sponge, which was a little dense, it was nice but a little hard.

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Dessert Selection

Tea / Coffee **** I asked for green tea and i got it, my sister asked for coffee and she got it. Both came in a large insulated flask jugs so you could just keep pouring unlimited drinks for yourself and it kept the drinks piping hot too. I kinda want one of these for myself.

All in all for our first Afternoon Tea of the year it was good. It always seems to be the cake selection that’ bit hit or miss. These weren’t horrible just not all to my liking.

Overall all i’d give this Afternoon Tea 4 out 5 stars.

Not bad i’d say, here’s to the next one!

Dirty burgers and fancy teas.

Friday

Had quite the busy weekend.

On Friday me and the BF took ourselves off to Glasgow (after work, so unlike us) for a impromptu date night.

I had read about Smashburger a few months before and how they were opening a new restaurant in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

We tried to go last Sunday (when i had my small huff and took myself off to Largs because the trains weren’t running) but couldn’t so we made a point of going on Friday.

Wasn’t sure what the deal was, did you go in order and sit down or did someone serve you? But you wait to be seated then go up to the counter and order and they bring it to you. We were lucky for a Friday night it was pretty dead, which i quite like as you’re not struggling to hear over everyone else.

I got a Beef avocado club and tater tots! Tater tots must be the best potato based food, ever, i could eat them all day every day.

The verdict, i quite enjoyed it, was rather expensive, for 2 burgers, 2 sides and 2 drinks -was ÂŁ28, (bit like Five Guys that way) but it was still nice and let me tell you i refilled that unlimited drink offer a few times with cherry coke to get my moneysworth lol.

 

Afterwards we took a walk through the centre of Glasgow towards Royal Exchange Square to see the twinkling lights, twinkly lights just make anything pretty.

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Royal Exchange Square

Now this photo is wonky because i was waiting until a group of these loud and obnoxious boys walked by so they wouldn’t be in my pic, but then they started shouting “aw get that photo” “have to take a photo” and i immediately felt stupid and just snapped a quick a pic as i could. Little dickheads.

All in all a lovely night in Glasgow but it was baltic!

Saturday

I haven’t seen my sister since New Years day when she came to visit when i was full of the flu and crying because i couldn’t make the dinner they always have every year. It’s cool its rescheduled for March!

We love an Afternoon Tea and this was our first one of the year at the Carlton George Hotel in Glasgow.

Such a lovely hotel and we had the tea in the Windows Restaurant which gives rooftop view of Glasgow.

I think i’m going to do a little ranking of afternoon teas this year and give you my honest opinion on them. Yes that’s a future blog post!

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Carlton George Afternoon Tea

All in all it was yummy, sandwiches were great, scones were great, desserts hmmm not the best, the brownie was to die for though! You get a rooftop setting which would be great in sunny weather, but it was cloudy and overcast hence my dark pic!

And my new life motto was inside the lid of the teeny pot of Tiptree jam:

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Tiptree Jam Quote

“Eat well, love life”

Yes i think i will.