Little Girl Cake Topper – Home made!

IMG_4822Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a figure making class to learn how to make a little girl figurine as a cake topper! The class was amazing, 4 hours long with only 5 people in the class – meaning lots of attention and a really good pace!

‘Sophie’ was the finished product! Im so pleased with her!

I’ve added a little gallery below of all of the different steps involved to make your own figurines. The main ingredient is modelling icing and we also used sugar paste, gel and powered food colouring and a super steady hand!

I’m going to practise making a few more, so when I get round to it I will put some more pictures up! 🙂

Hope you like her! 🙂

Love, S x

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A beautiful walk to work: Spring…

I am lucky enough to be able to walk to work….and I love it 🙂

I walk to work most days, it takes about an hour each way and with it being around a 7 mile round trip door to door, it does wonders for my health and fitness!

More than just the physical benefits of walking 2 hours a day, I really appreciate the less obvious ones, such as having time to clear my head and be with myself, listen to my music or my audio books, the bonus of so much fresh air and the fact that it is much less stressful than getting the bus or driving…! I count myself lucky to be able to work off calories in such an enjoyable way! 😉

Recently I realised that as often as I walk to work, I don’t always look at whats around me. I know its there, its just sometimes I don’t fully appreciate it…that’s when I had the idea to share my walk with all of you and to keep a little photo journal of my walk for each season!

Today is Spring and it’s one of my favourites (they all are for different reasons!). Spring is amazing time for my walk; from all of the flowers that pop up on a daily basis to the cold, crisp but insanely sunny mornings that never fail to make me smile! 🙂

The photos are in order of my journey from the front door of our little flat to the very gorgeous James Graham Building at the Leeds Metropolitan University campus!

I have never worked anywhere so beautiful……

Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake…

IMG_3881Ahhhh…..back to reality….with a bump! Back at work this week and I’m spending most of my time chasing my tail.

Oh well, it was worth it 🙂

Some lovely friends had us over for dinner last Monday and they cooked us Jamie Oliver’s Crispy Parma Pork – It was completely delicious and afterwards we played a zombie board game! We survived! Woo! Thank you Pete & Nat! ♡

For some reason, its taken me an age to write this post…I have been busy, but no more so than usual. We’ve been to 3 gigs this week so that might have something to do with it! We have been lucky enough to see We are Scientists, Chvrches and Maximo Park 🙂  All amazing and all worth a listen (I’ve chosen some of there more popular tracks).

As much as I apologise for making you wait for this recipe…..it is most definitely one worth waiting for! I am often asked for this recipe and it is one of my most requested! Its the perfect balance of yummy zest and soft, gooey blueberries! Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For the sponge:

225g Unsalted butter (softened)
225g Golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g Self raising flour
Finely grated rind & Juice of 1 lemon
25g Ground almonds
200g Fresh blueberries

For the topping:

Juice of 2 lemons
115g of Golden Caster Sugar

Recipe:

1. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch square cake tin and preheat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

IMG_38503. Gradually add in the beaten eggs, a little at a time.

Tip: Add a little of the flour towards the end to prevent curdling.

4. Beat in the lemon rind, flour and ground almonds.

5. Slowly add the lemon juice, a little at a time. You will need around 75-100ml.

6. Fold in 135g of the blueberries, distributing as evenly as possible, and pour in to the prepared tin.

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7. Once you have poured the mixture in to the tin, smooth the surface and scatter the remaining blueberries on top.

8. Bake in the over for an hour and firm to the touch, or until a skewer inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean.

9. To make the topping, place the lemon juice and sugar in to a bowl and mix together.

Tip: You will need to make the topping 10 minutes before your cake is due to be removed from the oven.

10. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer (go deep!) and pour the lemon mixture all over the cake.

11. Leave the cake to cool in the tin until completely cool.

12. I decided to add some smatterings of icing to mine, so I just whipped up a bowl and used a fork to ‘flick’ the icing across the cake.

13. Serve & Enjoy!

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Love S & P x

Dinner at Morston Hall and meeting Richard Bainbridge!

IMG_3459It’s been a very exciting week……!

So, as some of you know, I disappeared for a few days this week and slipped off down to Norfolk with The boy, my mum and Papa G – It was wonderful!

Considering it was February the weather was perfect, cold but super sunny! ☀

Mum & G visit Norfolk around 5 times a year (It’s love ♡) and every time they book in a visit to Morston Hall for Sunday dinner – Morston Hall is ‘an intimate country house hotel with its origin in the 17th century. It is located 2 miles from Blakeney on the North Norfolk coast’ and it, like the food, is GORGEOUS!

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Owner and chef patron is Galton Blackiston who opened Morston Hall in 1992, and was awarded a coveted Michelin Star in 1999, one of only 2 establishments in Norfolk to hold the prestigious award.

Head chef is Richard Bainbridge…Richard has entered the Great British Menu 3 times, coming tantalising close to the finals in season 8, he was awarded a top score of 10 from culinary genius, Marcus Wareing. (Marcus is credited for earning the Savoy’s first ever Michelin star in it’s 115 year history in 2004)!

After an incredible meal (details and photos below) I was lucky enough to meet Richard (thanks mum for introducing us!! ♡) – I was super giddy and trying to act cool, which obviously meant that I was most certainly not acting cool! Richard was very down to earth and happily chatted to us about Moston and his time on the GBM. It was so nice to be able to meet the Chef that cooked us such an amazing meal 🙂

See below for the delicious menu that was served on the day:

Morston Hall menu Sunday, 23rd February 2014
Butternut Squash Soup
with Pickled Mushrooms
*
Locally Caught Wild Sea Bass
with Roasted Salsify & Raspberry Vinegar Jus
*
Leg of Norfolk Horn Lamb
with Buttery Mashed Potato, Jerusalem Artichoke, Purple Carrot & Rapeseed Oil Lamb Jus
*
Caramelised Apple
with Yogurt & Honey Ice Cream
*
Or
Classic Lemon Tart
Basil Sorbet

*

Or
Selection of cheeses with homemade biscuits, quince jelly and spelt bring
*
Coffee and Petit Fours
Naturally we ordered all 3 desserts (2 of the cheese boards) and shared them between us! Sharing is caring! 😉

It was Papa G’s birthday this week so Robert, the very lovely sommelier, arranged for a little birthday treat for Papa G in the form of honeycomb chocolate and marshmallow & white chocolate nibbles! Devine! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPA G!

Family <3

To accompany dinner we drank a lovely bottle of Fleurie (from the Beaujolais wine region) and to finish we shared some amazing port, a bottle of 1998 Burmester Colheita – the best port I’ve ever had!

So to sum it all up – an amazing meal! I highly recommend Morston Hall and if you ever get the chance to visit, let me know what you think! 🙂 If you are lucky enough, you might get to meet Richard too 🙂
Love Steph ♡