Sunday, 19 May 2013

Boston Cream Cupcakes.


 
Oh my god these cupcakes are delicious! And the chocolate frosting is sooo good. I found this gorgeous recipe in my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook which, is fast becoming my favourite recipe book ever! I decided to make them on Friday and I'm sharing the recipe now because they were just so yummy.
 
Sponge, custard and chocolate frosting; it's an incredible combination. With the addition of the milk the sponge is lovely, soft and moist and the custard adds a nice creamy texture and subtle flavour which, perfectly compliments the rest of the cupcake. If you try it on it's own it sort of tastes like the custard in egg custard tarts. The chocolate frosting is so rich and luxurious as well so all in all this is a pretty great cupcake. I'd love to go to the Hummingbird Bakery.
 
 
Recipe - makes 12-16 cupcakes
 
For the Sponge
 
80g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
280g (10oz) caster sugar
240g (8 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
240ml (8 1/2 fl oz) whole milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla essence
 
For the Custard Filling
 
250ml (9 fl oz) whole milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence
2 large egg yolks
50g (1 3/4 oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp. plain flour
1 tbsp. cornflour
 
For the Chocolate Frosting
 
400g (14oz) icing sugar
100g (3 1/2oz) cocoa powder
160g (5 1/2oz) unsalted butter, softened
80ml (3fl oz) whole milk
finely grated dark chocolate, to decorate
 
Method
 
1. Preheat the oven to 190C, Gas mark 5, and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
 
2. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
 
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a jug and whisk by hand, then pour three-quarters of this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium and keep mixing until smooth and thick, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat until combined and smooth.
 
4. Spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them by two-thirds. Any remaining batter can be spooned into more cases in another tin. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until well risen and springy to touch, then leave to cool completely.
 
5. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Pour the milk and vanilla essence into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients together by hand in a bowl until smooth and well combined.
 
6. Once the milk is boiling, remove from the heat and pour 4-5 tbsps. into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen, then return this mixture to the pan of hot milk, stirring to incorporate.
 
7. Return the pan to the heat and bring to he boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Boil for at least 1 minute to ensure the flour is properly cooked. Once thickened, tip the custard into a bowl and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming, then leave to cool completely for 30-40 minutes.
 
8. To make the frosting, use the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with paddle attachment to slowly beat together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter until sandy in texture. Gradually pour in the milk, then increase the speed to high and whisk until soft and fluffy.
 
9. Using a sharp knife or apple corer, make a hole in the centre of each cupcake about 2cm in diameter and 3cm deep, reserving the scooped-out pieces of sponge. Pipe or spoon the custard into the hole in each cupcake, then replace the sponge lid, trimming it if necessary to ensure the top is fairly level. Divide the chocolate frosting between the cupcakes, smooth the tops with a palette knife and add a swirl. (That is the hummingbird bakery way, I piped a swirl using a large round piping nozzle instead. This icing is great for piping; soft enough to pipe but, thick and stiff enough to hold it's shape.) Sprinkle with grated chocolate to decorate.
 
 
Enjoy!
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x



Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tuesday Tunes.

 
Song of the Week: The Maine- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
 
Today, I am feeling a bit under the weather :(. I woke up feeling really poorly this morning and I don't think this glum Cornish rain is helping me very much. I've mainly spent my day so far just watching telly and looking at recipes on the internet and I just decided to do a Tuesday Tunes as well as I haven't done one in a while. I really loved Mayday Parade's cover of Jason Derulo's In My Head on the Punk Goes Pop albums which, got me flicking through some of the other songs on the albums to see if their were some other amazing covers and I happened to come across this one. I am a huge fan of the original ofcourse; Cyndi Lauper is amazing and Girls Just Wanna Have fun is such a classic and everybody loves it. I love the up-tempo, cheerful, catchy nature of Cyndi's original but, there's something about The Maine's version which, I really, really love. It's sort of haunting and very deep, meaningful and powerful. I love the rocky, heavy vibe they add to the song and the leader singer of The Maine; John O'Callaghan has the most gorgeous voice which, you can really hear in this song too. I think it's an amazing cover and I really hope you enjoy it too!
 
Thankyou for listening!
Love Courts x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Rich Chocolate Mousse.

 
These Chocolate Mousse's were beyond delicious! So rich, decadent and chocolatey. I honestly can't believe something so yummy can be made so, quickly, simply and from so few ingredients. They were incredibly luxurious and Gu like; just like a Gu ganache pot which, anyone who has had one will know is one of the most incredible, tasty things in the world. I decided to make this Chocolate Mousse last week as a little desert to have after the Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Haloumi salad I made as I was a bit worried we'd all still be hungry after eating it and boy was it a good decision, purely because the mousse is so gorgeous! You must try this recipe! It is any chocolate lovers dream and I can't wait to make it again. Whip it up in about ten minutes, pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill and then you are good to go with an absolutely amazing desert which, is perfect to serve up if you have a lot of people round for dinner for example, at Christmas as it is so easy and quick to make and unbelievably tasty. It will blow anyone away!

Recipe
 
Serves 4
 
175g (6oz) plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100ml (3 fl oz.) double cream
3 eggs, separated
cocoa powder, for dusting
 
Method
 
Put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and stir until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
 
Whisk the egg whites in a separate clean bowl until stiff, then lightly fold into the chocolate mixture until combined. Spoon the mousse into 4 desert glasses/ cups/ ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours (I left for about 4 or 5 hours and it set perfectly, even having some rich fudgey areas which, were amazing.)

Dust with cocoa powder before serving!
 
 
For chocolate & orange mousse- follow the recipe above but, add the grated rind of 1 large orange and 2 tbsps. Grand Marnier to the melted chocolate and cream. Then, continue the recipe as above. (I haven't tried this yet but, it sounds delicious so, I may try it next time. I think this would be perfect for a special occasion, particularly Christmas as I think it's nice, special and festive.)
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x


Thai Vegetable Salad with Sweetcorn and Kaffir Lime Fritters.








 
I decided to make another quirky salad recipe last
week in the hope of being a bit healthier again. I also made a Butterscotch and Pecan Cheesecake one day though and some Chocolate Mousse's so, I think my 'try to be healthy salad efforts' were a little bit wasted I have to admit :/.

I found this exotic, tasty sounding Thai vegetable salad in my Hamlyn 200 Veggie Feasts cookbook and decided to serve it with some sweetcorn fritters which, were also featured in the book. The thai salad was lovely, light and refreshing and had lots of juicy flavour and the sweet chilli dressing had a gorgeous sweetness and tang which, suited the salad perfectly. As for the sweetcorn fritters; it's actually difficult for me to judge if I'm honest as I don't really like sweetcorn :/... I know, why make sweetcorn fritters then? I have no idea either. I just thought they would go nicely with the salad and they did.

Considering I'm not a big sweetcorn fan these sweetcorn fritters did taste good but, I wasn't blown away. Then again, I don't think you would be blow away if you didn't really like the main ingredient. My Mum and Dad on he other hand, both really really enjoyed them so, I think they make better judges as they do actually like sweetcorn and so, I am sure that if you like sweetcorn then you will love these. They go perfectly with the salad and as they are fried they have a gorgeous crisp texture. I think personally for me though, the next time I make this salad I will try and make some Vegetable spring rolls to go with it as I think they would work perfectly with the salad and I absolutely adore spring rolls. Definitely try this gorgeous, unique salad though and if you are a sweetcorn fan then deffinately serve it with these sweetcorn fritters as they are nice and simple and I guarantee any sweetcorn lover will love them.
 
 
Recipe
 
For the Sweetcorn and Kaffir Lime Fritters- (Serves 4)
 
275g (9oz) can sweetcorn, drained
65g (2 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps. lime juice
4 Kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded (I couldn't find these in a shop but, you may have more luck than me, if not I purchased a pack of dried leaves for just 99p on ebay)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
 
For the Chilli Jam-
 
500g (1lb) ripe tomatoes
4 red bird's eye chillies
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
200g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
75ml (3 fl oz) rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
 
For the Thai Vegetable Salad- (Serves 4)
 
250g (8oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 green mango (I used a packet of Whitworth's dried green mango, available in Tesco on offer for £1 at the moment.)
1 large red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
150g (5oz) bean sprouts
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
small handful of Thai basil leaves
small handful of mint leaves
small handful of fresh coriander leaves
4 tbsps. unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
 
For the Chilli Dressing -
 
2 tbsps. Chilli Jam
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. lime juice
4 tsps. soft light brown sugar
 
 
Method

First, prepare the chilli jam. Roughly chop the tomatoes, chillies and garlic cloves, then put in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking, for 30-40 minutes until thick and jam like. Set aside to cool completely. (This can be prepared in advance to make things easier for example, the day before.)

Next, prepare the sweetcorn fritter mix. Put half the sweetcorn in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the egg, soy sauce and lime juice. Process again until combined and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining sweetcorn, lime leaves and coriander.

Then make the Thai vegetable salad. First make the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Put the tomatoes, cucumber, mango, chilli, spring onions and herbs in a bowl. Fry the bean sprouts in some olive oil and tip into the salad. Add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle over the peanuts.

Finally, fry the sweetcorn fritters. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Drop in 6 separate tablespoons of the batter, pat them flat and fry over a medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until cooked through and bronzed. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 12 x 5cm fritters. Serve the fritters hot with the Thai salad and a dollop of chilli jam.



Enjoy!
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x
 



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Glazed Doughnut Recipe.




I am absolutely in love with Doughnuts and when I happened to stumble across a rather delicious sounding recipe for Krispy Kreme style doughnuts, I knew I had to try them. They are honestly bloody gorgeous and just like Krispy Kreme with a lovely soft, doughy middle and crisp outside and oh my, the glaze... so sweet and delicious! I could literally just eat a whole bowl of it but, I think I'd feel a bit chubby after that. I made all different sizes and all of them worked out great and looked amazing and I even used some of the mini ones to make these lovely little Doughnut Cupcakes which, I will be posting the recipe for soon. I have such a sweet tooth and doughnut obsession so, they were the perfect treat for me and if you also love doughnuts and would like to make some homemade doughnuts as good as Krispy Kreme, I highly recommend you try this recipe. There's a great and helpful page to see the original recipe with pictures here.

Remember, if you don't want to make the full 30 doughnuts though (which is roughly what I ended up with :/) don't forget to half the recipe! I started weighing out the ingredients thinking, wow this recipe uses a lot of ingredients and then only when I had already mixed the full amount of yeast with the water did I decide to check how many doughnuts the recipe actually made. 39! :O From then on I started doing a third of the weight of each ingredient however, because I have so much common sense :/ I accidently forgot to do a third of the sugar and vegetable fat and popped it straight into the bowl with the milk, water and yeast etc. so it was all soggy and then there was no going back. I had to make the full mix, my mixing bowl full to the brim and I ended up frying about 30 doughnuts and doughnut holes in the end. It was actually really fun though and definitely worth it for the end result as it's not something I'd typically make in everyday life so, it's quite exciting to be able to make some doughnuts like the ones you buy from a shop. They also taste lovely and even if you do make the full 30 doughnuts, I guarantee you will eat almost all of them, if not all of them. I thought, 30 doughnuts! That's insane, we'll never eat them all but, I think in the end there were only two left which, ended up going to the dogs which, I think they were pretty happy about.  

Recipe - makes 30 doughnuts (about 10 small, 10 medium and 10 large krispy kreme size doughnuts).

For the Doughnuts -

3  7g packages yeast (21g total)
120ml water  (40-46C)
530ml milk, boiled, then cooled
170g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
113g vegetable fat
 940g plain flour
 vegetable oil for frying


For the Glaze-
115g butter
375g icing sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla essence
100ml evaporated milk


 
Method


1. Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm water.  Mix it up and let it rest.
 
2. Scald (bring to the boil) the milk in your microwave or on top of your stove, and let it cool.

3. Combine the yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, vegetable fat and 375g of the flour.

4. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.

5. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.

6. Carefully stir in remaining flour until smooth.

7. Cover with oiled cling film and let rise in a warm place until double, 60 minutes. 
 

8. After the dough has risen, turn the dough onto a floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.

9. Gently roll dough to about 6mm thick with a floured rolling pin.

10. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. (I didn't have a doughnut cutter and just used a selection of round objects I found in my house from a Sherry glass, a Cup and a medium sized round cookie cutter. I then used different sized round piping nozzles to cut out the centres.)  Separate the doughnuts and holes, as they take different frying times (but are equally delicious).  Save your scraps - they are both great to test your frying time and to snack on while you're making the rest!

11. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes. (This is optional, mine were fine without extra rising but, if you want more doughnuts or chunkier doughnuts, feel free to let rise.)
 
12. I used a deep fat fryer to fry my doughnuts which, worked great. If you don't have one I'd use a deep pan half filled with oil. Heat your oil to 180C.
note. use a doughnut hole or scraps to check the temperature and frying times.
 
13. Carefully place the doughnuts in the oil, a few at a time to prevent over browning/burning.  Cook on each side for about one minute. Remove from the oil when bronze and place on greaseproof paper or kitchen towel if you would like to drain a bit of the oil. Leave to cool.
 
14. Now prepare the glaze because it can sit at room temperature. Melt the butter and stir in the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the milk and stir. If you would like it a bit runnier add a touch more milk or some water until the desired consistency is reached. Now dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze on both sides and return to the greaseproof paper so, the glaze can set.
 
Then enjoy!
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Garlic and Basil Ciabatta Recipe.

 
This recipe is really delicious and dare I say it, pretty simple. It does involve leaving the ciabatta mix over night to rise which, adds a certain element of faffiness to the overall product but, when you think about it all you have to do is add some water, flour and yeast each time and mix which, is pretty easy and doesn't take too much effort. My ciabatta didn't really rise very much at all though, as you can see from the pictures but, that didn't really matter as the garlic bread still tasted lovely. I'm not sure why it didn't really rise but, then I did halve the recipe I used as I only wanted to make one loaf so, perhaps because I only had a very small amount of mixture it didn't rise very well. I adore garlic bread so, I really wanted to have my own recipe and I really enjoyed this one. The garlic butter topping is very rich and creamy which, is nice too. I originally planned to slice the ciabatta and then spread some garlic butter onto each slice and grill but, as the ciabatta didn't rise I just spread it on top which, worked just the same.
 
Here is the tasty recipe which, I served with some homemade Caramelised Red Onion Quiche, Roast Red Pepper and Veggie Bacon Quiche and some Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Haloumi salad to which, you can find the recipe here.

Recipe
 
    Ovenight preparation-
     125g Italian type '00' bread flour
    100ml water
    7g yeast
        To finish the bread-
    125g Italian type '00' bread flour
    7g yeast
    100ml water
    6g salt
     
    Garlic Butter Topping-
     
    1tbsp. Mayonnaise
    2 tbsps. Butter, softened
    1 bunch basil
    2 tbsp. grated cheddar
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
     
    Method
     
    1. For the overnight preparation, mix the flour with the water in a large bowl and add the yeast. Whisk for three minutes and leave to rise overnight (or at least eight hours).
    2. To finish the bread, add the remaining flour and yeast to the bread mixture and mix well.
    3. Gradually add the rest of the water to the bread mixture. When nearly all of the water has been added, add the salt to the remaining water and mix together for a further five minutes, until a sticky dough is formed.
    4. Transfer the dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to rise for one hour.
    5. Transfer the dough to a heavily floured work surface and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
    6. Preheat the oven to 240C/465F/Gas 8.
    7. Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave for ten minutes.
    8. Transfer the dough to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
    9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
     
 
10. Heat the grill to high. Beat together the mayonnaise, butter and garlic cloves until smooth. Chop the basil, stir through and season with salt and pepper. Put the halves of the ciabatta, sliced lengthways, on a baking tray and spread with the butter. Sprinkle with grated cheddar, then grill for 2-3 mins and serve.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wondering.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Motel Paisley Dungarees - Topshop.
Black Crop Top - Topshop.
Belt - Primark.
Ankle Socks - Topshop.
Creepers - Ebay.
Bowler Hat - Ebay.
 
I am in love with this adorable Motel Rocks Paisley Dungaree Playsuit. It is so pretty and girly and it is perfect for the spring and summer months... well, maybe not perfectly suited to a British spring and summer but, pop on a jacket and you're good to go. The only size Topshop had left though was a size 12 but, I just had to order it as it was so sweet and 90s so it is a bit baggy on me as I usually buy clothes in a size 10 but, I thought a little black belt might help to make it more fitted and I hope it looks okay. I think it's sold out now too in Topshop, Motel Rocks and ASOS so I'm glad I ordered it in time. I popped my little black Topshop crop top underneath too and then popped my Topshop ankle socks and Creepers on my feet to add a bit more of a grungy, edgy element to my outfit to contrast with the cute, pretty, pastel blue dungarees. I am obsessed with dungarees at the moment and I would really love this pair from Yayer but, the funds are rather low at the moment so, we'll have to wait and see.
 
What's you're favourite trend at the moment?
Hope you're having a lovely day!
Wondering is one of my favourite Good Charlotte songs; it is just really cute and catchy. Good Charlotte are also one of my favourite bands and they have been since I was about 8 so, I hope you enjoy Wondering too!
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fashion Icon.

Perrie Edwards

I don't really know if you can call Perrie Edwards a fashion icon as such as Little Mix haven't been around for very long but, for me I absolutely adore her style. She literally owns my dream wardrobe and I would love to dress like her and to steal some pieces, if not every outfit from her closet. I really like her herself too; she seems really sweet and down to earth and I really wanted Little Mix to win the X Factor the year they did so, now I'm really pleased for them and how well they're doing. Perrie is just really cool and super pretty. I'd love to have her hair too, especially the lilac colour she was sporting a couple of months ago. I really want lilac hair myself but, I'm still not sure whether to go through with it or not yet. It's always easier to get a great finished product when you have an expensive professional hair styling team doing it for you whereas for me it would just be; me, a bottle of bleach and some la riche directions hair dye which, doesn't sound as promising.
 
Still, at the moment I am a big fan of Perrie's style and here are some of the outfits she's been wearing recently which I have loved and hopefully they can give you some inspiration too. If only I could sing. Wouldn't it be great to be in a famous girl band earning lots of pennies... purely so you can get free clothes or buy all the clothes you've ever wanted ofcourse. I know I'd clean Topshop right out.


 
As soon as I saw this amazing UNIF Cake Sweater from Dolls Kill I instantly fell in love with it's oversized fit and the pretty, girly pastel colours but, no sooner had I seen the £92 price tag did I realise that unfortunately it would have to stop exactly where it was. £92 I hear you say! Are you insane? I don't even think it's a particularly designer brand or shop. What regular everyday 19 year old girl can afford that? And even those that can I would seriously hope they would really have to justify spending £92 on a jumper first. I do love it though. Maybe one day. That day is currently very far away though :/. I also love these amazing Molly T-bar Geek Shoes from Topshop. They are very cute, school girly and I think they would look amazing paired with a pair of dungarees and thankfully the £35 price tag seems far more realistic. Still, not really achievable for me at the moment but, we'll see. They are also leather though anyway and as a vegetarian I'm not sure I would ever buy anything leather. I refused to buy Uggs when some of my friends had them in school and so I feel it would be very contradictory of me now to buy leather shoes. They are adorable though. Why do all the shoes I want have to be made of leather?
 
 
This is what Perrie wore to the Brit Awards earlier this year and I loved it. Again a cute pastel theme which, I adore. I love pastel colours but, I don't seem to own many pastel things actually, if any. Just my new Motel Paisley Dungarees which, I love. She looked fantastic and her outfit actually inspired my New York entry in my Worldwide Wardrobe Travel Supermarket entry which, you can see here. The amazing lilac hair again too. I love the floral crown too although I have a feeling I'd look a bit odd with one perched on top of my head.

 
I think this Daisy Tits Crop Top is amazing. I really want it! You can find it for £24 on a website called Red Rock. I love it. I'd also love a pair of Doc's but, again with the leather! They are incredible though aren't they; so grungy, chunky and cool.
 

 And finally Perrie was spotted the other day wearing this really sweet and girly Floral Tea Dress by Motel. This is like my perfect dress; cute, simple and monochrome. I think it would look really lovely with some chunky, Doc style boots and it's just very pretty and perfect for spring. The good thing about Motel Rocks is that they seem to keep selling their stock for quite a while so, hopefully I can get my hands on this lovely dress at some point so, please Motel keep selling it for a few more months if you would be so kind, thankyou!
 
So, there we have it. Perrie Edwards amazing style and some of the items I would love to own myself. I hope you enjoyed! Do you like Perrie's style? Who are your fashion icons?
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Tuesday Tunes.

 
Song of The Week: Beyoncé - Love On Top.
 
This is a bit of an odd Tuesday Tunes for me; you won't often find me listening to pop music or Beyoncé but, for some reason as soon as this song came out I loved it. That's not to insult Beyoncé as I know she's an incredible singer and she's absolutely stunning it's just my ipod is usually playing anything from The Cure to Paramore and All Time Low to The Used. Still, I think this is an amazing song and it's really catchy and sweet.  I'm being very girl power at the moment actually aren't I? There's been P!nk, Christina Perri, Paramore and now Beyoncé. This song is lovely and fun and I hope you enjoy it! I can't stop hitting repeat (:
 
Thankyou for listening!
Love Courts x

Monday, 22 April 2013

Roast Dinner- Toad In The Hole, Roast Vegetables, Golden Syrup Carrots and Dauphinoise Potatoes.

 
Yesterday, I thought as it was Sunday why not try and make a nice yummy Sunday Dinner. Whenever I cook I always try and make something a bit unique and different and end up needing to buy a million different ingredients so, I thought it would be nice to do something a bit more traditional for once and just jazz it up a bit. Obviously I had to buy a few extra ingredients to make the meal as it wasn't the roast dinner we usually have but, it was mostly just vegetables so nothing too expensive.
 
I really really loved this roast dinner actually as I always love a good gravy meal anyway and all of the components of this one made it a bit more exciting. The toad in the hole was lovely as Yorkshire pudding always is, it rose nicely and tasted delicious with a lovely crisp edge and my favourite soft, squidgy, gravy soaked middle. Thanks Mary Berry. The Dauphinoise potatoes; oh god one of the best things I have ever tasted. I had never made them before and had always wanted to try them so I thought why not give them a go. I made up the recipe myself and they tasted so rich and creamy with a lovely light cheesy, garlicy flavour and the potatoes were lovely and soft. They weren't the most healthy thing on the plate with a whole 600ml double cream pot added but, it's nice to have a treat every now and then isn't it ;)? The golden syrup carrots had a lovely sweetness and light orangey flavour and the roast veg was gorgeous and vibrant as it always is. Do you ever do anything a bit different with your roast dinner? If you give this lovely dinner a go I really hope you enjoy it and definitely give the dauphinoise potatoes a go if nothing else!
 
Recipe
 
Toad In The Hole- Serves 6
 
16 sausages (or veggie sausages)
125g (4 oz) plain flour
3 beaten eggs
200ml (7 fl oz) milk
A pinch of salt
 
Dauphinoise Potatoes - Serves 6
 
1kg Potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edward)
600ml Double Cream
100ml Evaporated milk (optional)
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
120g grated cheddar cheese
3 spring onions, chopped finely
Salt and pepper
 
Roast Vegetables - Serves 6
 
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 Red Pepper, cut into medium chunks
1 Yellow Pepper, cut into medium chunks
3 Large Red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
2 Parsnips, chopped into medium chunks
1 Medium Sweet Potato, chopped into medium chunks
 
Golden Syrup Carrots - Serves 6
 
2kg Carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped into quarters lengthways
30g butter
2 clementines, zest and juice
1 tbsp. golden syrup
 
Method
 
To make the Toad In The Hole -
 
  1. Place the sausages in a large roasting tray and pre-heat the oven to 200C. Lightly brown the sausages in a little bit of olive oil for 15-20 minutes (only 10 minutes for veggie sausages).
  2. While the sausages are cooking prepare the Yorkshire pudding batter. Sift 125g plain flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well and add 3 beaten eggs and a little milk taken from 200ml. Whisk the milk and egg together in the well with a little of the flour from the sides, then whisk in the remaining milk, gradually drawing in all of the flour to make a smooth batter.
  3. Remove the sausages from the oven and pour the Yorkshire pudding batter around the sausages into the hot oil.
  4. Bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until the Yorkshire pudding is well risen, golden and crisp. Cut into 6 and serve immediately.
 
 
 
To make the Dauphinoise Potatoes -
 
Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices about 3-4mm thick.
  2. Place half of the potato slices into a baking dish and pour over half of the cream and milk. Scatter with 60g of grated cheese, 1 clove of crushed garlic and 1 chopped spring onion.
  3. Place the rest of the potato slices on top and pour over the remaining cream and milk. Scatter with the other clove of crushed garlic and 2 chopped spring onions. Season with salt and pepper and cover with the remaining grated cheese. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 1hr 30 min until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is browned.
 
 
For the Roast Vegetables -
 
  1. Remove the seed from the peppers and chop into medium chunks. Peel the sweet potato and parsnips and chop into chunks. Peel the red onions and chop each into 8 wedges. Place all of the vegetables into a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Bake in an oven at 200C for around 45 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and lightly bronzed/ golden.
 

 
For the Golden Syrup Carrots -
 
1. Cut the carrots into quarters lengthways and place in a small pan over a low heat.

2. Add the butter, clementine juice and zest and golden syrup. Season, then cover the carrots with water, put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced to form a syrupy glaze.

 
Enjoy!
 
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x
 
 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Just A Little Note To Say...

Hello again :). Well, again I'm not doing too well at this whole blogging malarkey but, I am still determined to keep blogging and improving what I post as I really enjoy it. Hopefully I can gain a few more followers along the way too as it would be lovely to see people enjoying what I write but, if that's not to be then never mind and I'll still keep at it anyway ^_^.

My style seems to change every few months now and I've had many different and very very regrettable styles over the years. There were my cute, girly pre-teen days which were spent in skirts, cringey, glittery slogan t-shirts, patterned tights and fluffy boots and then my surfer twelve year old self lived in boardies, hoodys and skate shoes, shortly followed by bright orange crocs (it was never the best combination :/ but, we'll blame this style on growing up in Cornwall). Turning thirteen brought with it my emo, scene kid phase of living in brightly coloured skinny jeans, babycham trainers and blue banana hoodys and now I find myself with a whole bundle of different things in my wardrobe which, don't really belong to one particular style. If only I'd found the style I have now five years ago, I'd have so much more to wear and I definitely know it would all still fit as I literally haven't grown since I was 11, that I am sure of. I tend to be drawn to vintage, retro and grungy pieces more than anything and I dress in whatever way I am feeling on the day. I have always loved fashion and I am trying to currently make each outfit I wear more refined and complete so, that everything goes together well and doesn't look too mismatched. I've also been experimenting more with my hair and make-up recently and so, I'd really like to do some more outfit posts soon with better quality pictures to show my outfits more clearly.

I am moving to Liverpool in September to study Home Economics too at Liverpool John Moores Uni which, I am currently very scared, nervous and excited about. I went to hear about the course last Wednesday and it actually sounds amazing which is great, the Uni looks lovely too and Liverpool looks incredible. I'm a huge Liverpool fan too which, makes moving there that much more exciting and the prospect of bumping into one of the players while I'm there brings a big smile to my face; not that I'd ever be brave enough to go speak to them let alone get a picture or autograph from them. As I'm going to be cooking lots on my course I'd really like to get a lot of practise in while I'm at home too so, hopefully they'll be some yummy recipes to come as well.

Today I was mainly posting to share my latest purchases which, make up my first buys in quite a while and probably my last buys as well for quite a while as Uni calls for an unemployed person who desperately needs to keep every penny she has now. Still, that didn't quite stop me making one last splurge (and quite a hefty splurge at that :/) despite Mum and Dad's best efforts :P.


As always there were some ebay purchases including this Retro Batman Raglan tee originally from Primark. As I live no way near Primark I had to bite the bullet and pay an extra £6 to get it to me but, I do think it's very simple and quirky and I love baseball style tops and didn't yet own one so, I'll keep telling myself it was worth it :P. I also got some Black Vans Authentic to add to my large collection. I currently have 6 pairs of vans now so, perhaps they were a bit unnecessary but, I do love my vans and I know I'll wear them all the time as I love the classiness of the all black pair and I think they'll go with pretty much everything. Next, I bought this pretty vintage style floral blouse by Cath Kidston for about £14 in all which, I think is actually really good value considering the price Cath Kidston items normally retail for. It hasn't yet arrived yet though so, I really hope it's as pretty and girly as I thought it would be in person as I think it will look lovely under a pair of dungarees or tucked into a skirt or some vintage Levi shorts in the summer. I usually adore everything Cath Kidston so fingers crossed I should be alright.

Then I went a bit mad on the Topshop website yesterday and after trying to figure out which items I wanted the most for about an hour; that's if I could begin to justify buying any of them, I rather foolishly but, now very excitably added them all to my basket and ordered all of them. My paypal's being odd at the moment though so I do hope my order goes through. I guess I could say that if it goes wrong then that's a sign that I'm not meant to order all of them but... I do hope my very expensive order is still on it's way to me. I decided to order this cute, vintage Paisley Print Dungaree Playsuit as I'm trying to be a bit more girly as I feel like I live in leggings, t-shirts and jumpers at the moment. I also love the 90s dungaree trend at the moment and dressing like I did when I was 4 again sounds like fun. I ordered this pretty Lace Cream Crop Top to go underneath it as I thought it was nice and simple and would work well with it. Then I also decided to order the Motel Blue Demi Paisley dungarees as I fell in love with them the first time I saw them and I also featured them in my Passion for Fashion entry a couple of weeks ago too in a dream outfit so I figure it's meant to be. They are so cute but, there was only a size 12 left so I do hope they fit. Finally, I ordered this simple fitted Black crop top to go underneath which, again I think will work great with the dungarees. What do you think of my purchases? Spending that much money in two days, have I gone insane?

Anyway, I am very sorry for waffling to you for so long so I will now leave you with my tune of the week; Paramore - Still Into You. I wasn't sure what to think of this song when I first heard it as it was very different but, now I love it for that exact reason. It's very Gwen Stefani No Doubt-esk which, is always good. A lot of people are complaining about it saying Paramore have changed but, when I'm a big fan of a band I'm always really supportive of that as long as they don't lose who they are completely and Paramore haven't. They are still amazing, this song's great and really fun and catchy and I still wish I was Hayley, she's incredible. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the new album and I hope you enjoy too!



Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Worldwide Wardrobe 2013 Competition.

I thought I would enter the Worldwide Wardrobe competition TravelSupermarket.com are currently running as I love planning dream outfits and putting all of the different pieces together, especially when it's all done through the internet and you don't have to drain the bank even slightly. It's much nicer.

TravelSupermarket have launched an incredible competition which, combines a love of travel with a love of fashion and they have challenged fashion bloggers to put together five outfits to wear in five different destinations enjoying various activities, with a budget of £200 per outfit.  Each category winner will win a dream trip to the destination their outfit was inspired by, plus £200 to buy the outfit. You can enter all five categories, or just one or two, it's entirely up to you how you want to challenge yourself.

The activities and destinations are:
  • sightseeing in Paris
  • clubbing in Ibiza
  • shopping in London
  • cocktails in New York
  • partying at a Full Moon party in Thailand.
I have decided to enter the two categories; sightseeing in Paris and cocktails in New York as Paris and New York are my two dream locations and I have never been to either of them before so, I would be over the moon if I got the chance to go.

Outfit One: Cocktails in New York.


Vicky Lilac Dress- £65: Jones and Jones. Lilac Rose Headband- £20: Crown and Glory. Nude Peep Toe Heels- £34.99: Missguided. Embroidered Clutch- £45: Accessorize. Black Multi-Glitter Nail Paint- £2.99: Barry M. Geisha Charm Bracelets- £8: Accessorize.

Total Cost = £175.98
 
As I mentioned, I absolutely adore New York and for the last five years it has been my dream to go. It just looks so exciting and sophisticated and stunning with all the bright lights of the city. I also love getting dressed up and having girly cocktails however, I realise I am 19 which, although is fine to drink cocktails here, I know you have to be 21 in America so, I'm not sure what would happen there. I thought I would still enter though as I would love to just go to New York for any reason.  I went with a very pretty, girly outfit which, I thought would be perfect for cocktails and I chose this gorgeous, dainty, feminine Vicky dress from jones and jones which, I thought would be the perfect little cocktail dress as it just looks so glamorous and expensive. I went with a pastel theme as I love the pastel trend at the moment and I also love the pretty lace detailing and lilac colour of this dress. I thought it would work perfectly with this beautiful lilac rose crown from Crown and Glory in your hair to be a bit different and to turn a few heads like Carrie Bradshaw would. Then I thought I would add some more sophisticated accessories to suit the New York location with this gorgeous embellished clutch from Accessorize, pop on these elegant Nude Peep toe heels from Missguided, paint the nails black and slip on this cute, fun, quirky  geisha charm bracelet from Accessorize.
 
Outfit Two: Sightseeing in Paris.
  
 
Felt Boater: £20 - ASOS. Parisian Black Pinafore Dress: £22.99- New Look.
Vero Moda Stripe Top: £12.50- ASOS. Round Black Sunglasses: £1.79- Ebay. Arabel Cut Out Studded Boots: £90 - Topshop. Beach Shack Nail Varnish: £5- Topshop. Bicycle Ring: £3.99- Ebay. Mustard Polka Dot Satchel: £19.99 - Daisy Street. Winnie The Pooh Disney Couture Necklace: £20 - Ebay.
 
Total Cost = £196.26
 
Sightseeing in Paris is another dream of mine. I would love to walk the nostalgic and beautiful streets of Paris popping in all of the little vintage clothes shops and amazing French patisseries and I thought this little outfit would be perfect to do just that in. I went with this really cute and great value little black pinafore dress from New Look which, is very appropriately called the Parisian Black Pinafore dress. I then paired it with this lovely French style striped top from ASOS; again perfect for Paris, as well as this lovely boater hat from ASOS too. Pop these amazing, chunky, studded cut out boots from Topshop on your feet and accessorise with these super cheap and quirky round sunglasses from ebay, this  adorable Winnie the Pooh umbrella necklace by Disney Couture and this cute, antique, French style bicycle ring. Finally, add a nice splash of summery colour to this monochrome outfit with some vibrant yellow nails and this lovely, cute and girly polka dot satchel from Daisy Street and you are good to go and explore the streets of Paris. 

I hope you enjoyed looking at my outfits and have fun making your own. The closing date for entries is 5th June 2013 so you have plenty of time to get your entries in and make sure to check out everyone else's ideas using the hashtag #worldwidewardrobe on Twitter!
 
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x