Birthday Tea Party

I can’t believe I’m 17!

I can legally drive!

This is all too crazy…

Okay, so I am now one year older than the last time we spoke.. weird huh? I have also settled into amazingly quickly into my new school, and am really loving it. The first day I came home with the biggest smile on my face, and knew things could only get even better! I found a lovely group of girls who have really looked after me and welcomed me in, and after only 3 days with them, we already feel like best friends! I am definitely excited for this year ahead now, although the hard work and studies have already studied, so it won’t all be fun and games.

Tuesday was my birthday. And with one extra day off school, I spent the day wisely. I baked! I had invited my three bestest friends over for tea, and I wanted to throw them the prettiest little birthday tea party, (and also just unleash the little girl inside me and have fun with pink and colourful pretties!) I’m not exaggerating when I say that I spent all morning and most of the afternoon in the kitchen. I literally never sat down.. you guys might know how this feels. I just went in circles around the kitchen, busying myself with different components of the evening’s spread.

I only had major disaster.. a rose meringue shaped one. But we’ll just not mention that one!

I successfully made:

  • Mini pink profiteroles
  • Rose Cupcakes
  • Cake Pops
  • Pink Popcorn
  • One enormous birthday cake!

I had the best night, sharing thoughts of our differing first days back at school with my girls, and just having a good catch up. I was overwhelmed with their gorgeous presents, and then left speechless when my Mum presented me with a huge baking themed hamper complete with cake tins and tea towels, when I thought I had received all my presents earlier that morning! I knew I would really miss my three best friends, but I know now that I have made the best decision to spread my wings, and make my own way in a different school. It was however, very poignant this morning, as I waited for the bus on one side of the street, and 15 of my closest friends from my high school were waiting on the other side of the road, in a completely different uniform, waiting to board a bus to take them in the opposite direction…

I hope to share with you over the next little while, separate posts showing each of the sweet treats I created for my tea party, and hopefully show how easily you can create something similar for yourself!

A x

Spiced Carrot Soup

Hold on a second…  a post about soup, yes soup, on a baking blog? What’s going on?

You aren’t seeing things, no, I just decided that today this gorgeous soup deserved its own spot, a little moment of glory, and a chance to make it onto my blog. Right now I am sniffling, coughing and trying desperately to fight off whatever the heck I’ve got which is making me feel this yuck! Today nothing else would do, what I needed was a huge piping hot bowl full of soup and full of soul.

This soup provides a kick which really does warm you up, right down to your toes. Its creamy yet light, spicy yet fresh and makes such a delicious little lunch. I first made something similar for my GCSE Home Economics practical, though it used red lentils, and I just decided to leave them out today and play about with something a little new. With help from a recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food, a website I can always rely on for perfect recipes, I whipped up this yummy soup. Have a look..

I tucked into this bowl of bright orange goodness whilst tucked up on the sofa watching what else but the Olympics. It really is mind blowing, and I’m loving every minute. Great Britain are bringing home the medals and each day it gets more and more exciting! Last night’s 100m final had our whole family on the edge of our seats, as did the men’s tennis final, when Andy Murray finally defeated Federer to claim Gold, in some style! Could not be happier. Long may it continue!

This soup is best served with some thick cut bread, such as this Irish wheaten, or whatever takes your fancy. Grab a spoon, cuddle up and eat!

Spiced Carrot Soup

1tbsp vegetable oil

1tsp cumin seeds

pinch chili flakes

1/2 garlic or squeeze of garlic paste

1 onion chopped

450g carrots chopped

1 potato chopped

1l vegetable stock

115ml milk

1. Heat the oil and chop vegetables. Add cumin, chili and garlic and cook for 1 min. Add onion and soften for 5 mins.

2.Add potato and cook for a further minute. Then add carrots and stock and bring to boil. Stir in milk.

3. Reduce heat and cover, cook for 20 mins til carrots are tender.

4. Allow to cool slightly, then blend with a hand blender or in food processor till smooth.

5.Serve hot, with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of cumin seeds.

Happy Father’s Day

Just a quickie to say Happy Father’s Day to my lovely Daddy, and all the other fathers out there!

As you can see there were some cookies left over from yesterday’s dough disaster, but these were the slightly better bunch and this morning they were looking decidedly plain, and a little in need of icing…

Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to Sweetopias perfect icing recipe, I managed to get these bad boys decorated and looking slightly cute and yummy, ready for Father’s Day tea.

Mr J is chief cupcake tester and eagerly encourages me with each new delight I whip up.. he loves cake almost more than me!

Just glad I can brighten his day a little in some small way, after all he does for me!

Happiness is Homemade…

Ever wondered why those cakes you buy in the shop, just don’t quite taste the same as the one you carefully measured out, beat, whisked and spent all morning creating? One simple thing, LOVE. (and a few less additives and nasties too of course!)

A cake is a gift to someone, straight from the heart. A shared joy that many can delight in.

It can say ‘I love you’. ‘I’m wishing you the very best birthday possible’ or simple, ‘I love spending time with you’.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, eat Cupcakes as if you’ll die today.”