A few weeks ago Si and I decided to sign up for a local veg and fruit box scheme. I have been enjoying the locally grow produce and not knowing what we are getting week to week actually helps me stay interested in what I’m cooking.
This week in the box we got a couple of courgettes, this is veg that Si will not eat…some veg he is not overly keen on but we still eat, courgettes however are where he draws the line. I was trying to think how best to use them up so I suggested I make a courgette cake.
I used this recipe and then toped with the cream cheese recipe from my hummingbird cookbook.
The cake took quite a bit longer in the oven that stated in the recipe but I think this is probably my fault for using a small loaf tin. As can be seen I had a fair bit of mixture left and made up some muffins (we had already eating a couple before the photo).
The cake is really tasty, the courgettes add a nice bit of moisture. Si is enjoying the cakes too so definitely worked out as a good way to use up the veg.
Back in August I had a first attempt at making some macaroons today I had a second attempt and am pleased to report that these macaroons are tasty and a bit prettier!
I used the exact same recipe as previously so how did they turn out so differently? Firstly as commented by the very lovely monster yarns on my post about my first go, I added more colour…and by more I mean a lot more!
I was going for a dusky pink, I still haven’t got that colour however this current colour is much better that the pinky orange of my first attempt. The second thing I did was I made them much smaller, this has the advantage that I made a lot more but I thought making them smaller would mean the top would be less likely to crack. It appears to have worked.
Here is the macaroon from the side to show off their icing:
I feel very happy with this second attempt, and pleased to report that the flavour hasn’t been affected by the improvement in looks.
Shortly after finishing the macaroons I headed off to my swimming lesson so I placed them safely in the cupboard, away from little one. She is a menace about food and helps herself to anything on the kitchen side, as much as I love her there is no way she is laying a paw on them.
One of my Make and Do aims for 2013 was to learn to make macaroons. I absolutely love them and always treat myself to some when I go to Westfield in Stratford. This is my first attempted and I followed this recipe, the recipe was nice and easy to follow and I did all the steps including banging to make the foot.
Here is my first batch:
And from the side:
I used pink food colouring (not that you can tell) and strawberry flavouring…and I have to say they taste delicious, unfortunately they just are not very pretty. One of the things I love about macaroons is the prettiness of them and the bright colours, how has mine turned out orange? I then decided to give it another go:
I think these were a little more successful, they are much smoother on top but still look orange despite the pink food colouring. I am using a gel based colour and the mixture looked lovely and pink:
I did the icing vanilla flavour and it goes beautifully with the strawberry of the macaroon, so really it is just the colouring I’m not so happy about. I am not going to tick the macaroons off my make and do aims yet because i really want them to be pretty as well as tasty…does anyone have any advice about the colouring?
At the start of this year S and I went for a holiday in America, we started our trip with five days in Chicago where we spent some time with FK. FK very kindly looked after us and treated us to an amazing meal out. We finished this meal with a delicious cake, and in my rather merry state (induced by pear martinis) I said that I would make him the cake when he was next on London. This was a very flippant comment because I had no idea what the cake was, never mind having a recipe.
This Monday saw FK coming to London and some rather panic cake name finding. I found out that said cake was in fact a Humminbird Cake and my google search turned up this recipe.
Here is my finished cake:
And from the side:
The cake was huge! There were only there of us eating cake (despite Little One protesting quite loudly that she would like a slice…not a very dog friendly recipe) and between us I think we probably ate about an eighth.
The cream cheese frosting was delicious, and went perfectly with the banana and pineapple flavours of the cake. We had so much left I was a bit concerned about keeping it nice and fresh however FK gave me the best advice. He recommended putting in a bit of water in a ramekin in the tin:
I don’t know why this works but it has worked perfectly, the cake is still nice a moist so it is tip I’ll definitely use again.
Whilst out walking Little One in Epping forest I stumbled across some Rose Hips:
Little One sat and waited patiently whilst I picked a few:
When I got back home I found I had picked just over a pound of rose hips which was perfect for making Rose Hip Chutney. It took a ridiculously long time to top tail and seed the hips but finally here is the finished chutney:
I just have to wait for one month now before finding out how it turned out.
Tomorrow I go to Paris (think I may have mentioned that I few times already). I am ridiculously excited about going fabric shopping and have been photographing the back on my patterns so that I can carry the information with me on my phone. Although my focus had been taken by the prospect of fabric shopping, this trip has been arranged to go to the horse racing on Sunday.
Last year I did very well on the horses in Paris and backed the winner of the big race meaning that I very nicely went home with more money than I arrived with…after paying for my holiday bits. Being very sensible I put the Euros to one side and this is now my fabric budget. So in thanks to the horses and jockeys and because I am sure S will enjoy these too…I have made some horse racing inspired biscuits:
The jockeys are meant to sit on the horses, but by the time I had added on their icing jackets they don’t fit…hopefully they’ll still taste nice and give us something to enjoy on the Eurostar tomorrow.
This evening I have completed the arm on the baby jumper:
Now for something completely uncraft related….In June I hit the big three ohh. Today my dad popped in to drop off my birthday present from him and mum (I will see them the weekend before but S, Little One and I are off for a week in the Cotswolds so will be travelling light). They said that I could open the present right away and this is what they have brought me:
A set of six pans….is getting excited over a nice set of pans a sign of getting old???