Cowgirl Cupcakes

Its My daughters 16th Birthday today and I have a bunch of Cowgirls camping out in my garden…

Just finished making them some girly dolly mixture cowgirl cupcakes… they lasted all but 2 minutes!   Guess who will be making another batch later on this evening 😉

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Cupcake Addiction….?

I love being off work, I get to be with the kids, my pets and play in my kitchen till my heart is content..

This morning I made the kids pancakes for breakfast, they had maple syrup, homemade raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant jam on them, they were absolutely delicious (I must put my recipe on the blog).  

I also have my 14yr old niece staying with me for a month, she has travelled over from Greece, so I have 3 ravenous teenagers to feed 🙂

I also made some Salsa (cooked version) which I will put into a sterilised Kilner Jar, which will be used at the weekend for my daughters Cowgirl party, I have decided to do Tex-Mex food for it, and i’m making things piece by piece 🙂

The kids have just come back in from a bike ride along the local coastal path,  I have just finished Icing the cupcakes I made about an hour ago,  as soon as they came into the kitchen they homed in on the cupcakes I guess they won’t last very long!   I did however, manage to get some pictures of them before they disappear

Soooo I’m thinking I might just have a bit of an addiction where it comes to cupcakes/fairycakes, they are just easy to make, and I looove coming up with different toppings for them ..

Raspberry Pavlova

for the Merangue:

  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  1. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl until you get to the soft peak stage
  2. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until fully mixed
  3. Place on parchment paper on a baking sheet
  4. bake at 140 degrees C Gas Mark 1 for 1 hour

 

For the Cream:

  • 1 large carton of double cream
  • 3 tablespons of icing Sugar
  1. Put the cream in a mixing bowl and whilst it is whizzing round add the icing sugar
  2. Whip until soft peaks are formed.
  3. Smooth over the top of the merangue
  4. cover with raspberries and dust with icing sugar

Topping:

  • Fresh Raspberries
  • A dusting of Icing Sugar

Chilli Burgers with Coriander and Spring Onions

Chilli Burgers with Coriander and Spring Onions

Ingredients :

  • 200g/7oz canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 450g/1lb best steak mince
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies, such as jalepeno, deseeded and chopped, or to taste
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper

Salsa:

  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and mashed
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red jalapeno chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander.
  1. Place the kidney beans in a food processor and blend for 1 minute
  2. Add steak mince, chillies, garlic, spring onions, coriander and salt and pepper to the food processor and blend for a further 2 minutes.   Shape into 4 equal size burgers, then cover and leave to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salsa.   Mix the tomatoes, avocado, spring onions, chili and coriander together.   Place in a small bowl, cover and leave for at lease 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  4. Heat a non stick frying pan until hot.   When hot, add the burgers and cook over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden or until cooked to personal preference.   Serve with the salsa.

Fresh Fruit Salad

We’re all having fresh fruit salad for after our tea this evening… my mouth was watering just making this today 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Red Gala Apple, Diced
  • Half a Galia Melon, Diced
  • A tub of Strawberries (we visited a pick your own shop)
  • A tub of Raspberies      ”               ”            ”              “
  • 4 Small Donut Nectarines
  • 1 small Pineapple, cubed
  • 1 small glass of fresh orange juice (to stop the apples discolouring)

Mix together, cling wrap and chill in the fridge until required.

My Daughters Cowgirl Themed 16th Birthday Party!

My daughter will be 16 on the 22nd July.

This weekend she is having 5 friends round for a birthday party here at the house, a cowgirl camping out themed party and I have a heap of organising to do for it… 

My other half wont be around much for the next 2 weeks, he is working flat out so this leaves me with more or less everything to do…

Today I am planning to erect the 8 man tent! … goodness knows how on earth i’ll manage that, I remember every time we went camping it took us a good couple of hours to suss out how to put the thing up!    Now where did I put that big groundsheet? its been a good few years since we’ve used the tent  🙂

We went out shopping the other day and picked up balloons and streamers all adorned with 16,  also some glitzy sparkly hanging things that I can decorate the tent with, tablecloth, napkins, plates and cups, all 16 themed.   The little pink organza party bags are made up and good to go, they contain a cupcake cell phone charm, sparkly beads, a lovely hair clasp, a small bag of thorntons sweeties and a bottle of nail polish, hopefully the girls will love them.

I will over the next few days be posting quite a few recipes, of all the things I make for the party, what have I let myself in for 🙂

We Picked Our Own Today…

Pick Your Own

Originally uploaded by T o w n i e

Today the kids and I went off to Craigies Farm Shop to pick our own Raspberries.

The plan is to freeze half and make jam with the other…

I love to make trifles and fruity jellies in the winter months, it kinda makes you reflect back to the summer and think about the day you picked them 🙂

So tomorrow morning will see me in the kitchen slaving away over a big shiney jam pan 🙂

Vegetable Savoury Rice

Recipe:

  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 8 Mushrooms, quartered (I quarter mine so the kids can pick them out easily)
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas
  • A small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced, no seeds included
  • enough long grain rice to serve 4
  • Light and Dark Soy Sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method :

  1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet
  2. Put all the vegetables into a large non stick frying pan and saute until soft
  3. Once the vegetables are soft and the rice is cooked, add the rice to the same pan as the vegetables and stir in enough soy sauce to coat the rice and heat through until piping hot… and serve.

My OH loves this rice with Scampi piled on the top

Ginger Crunch

 

Ginger Crunch

Makes 16-24

For the Base:

  • 225g (8oz) Plain Flour
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 150g (5 1/2 oz) Butter, cut into cubes

For the Icing:

  • 150g (5 1/2 oz) Butter
  • 60ml (2fl oz) Golden Syrup
  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) Icing Sugar, Sifted
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Ginger

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Line a deep-sided 18 x 27 cm (7 x 10.5″) shallow baking tin with baking parchment
  3. To make the base, put the flour, sugar, baking powder and ginger into a food processor.   Pulse several times to combine then add the butter.   Process for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.   This can also be done by hand.   Press the mixture evenly into the tin and level off, using the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, put the butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and heat until just melted.   Add the sifted icing sugar and ginger and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until smooth.   Remove from the heat and pour over the base.   Leave to set.   Remove from the tin and cut into squares or triangles to serve.

Recipes extracted from the book “Cookies” – ISBN 978-184537-681-9

How the Veggies are progressing…

A bit of a mixed reaction with the growing season so far… it started out great, lovely and warm, then it kinda went downhill after that.. its not been that sunny and it has rained a fair bit, and I think this has had an impact on the veggies growing both in the greenhouse and in the garden.

Here is an up to date report on some of the veggies growing in my garden..

First of all the peas… I have some planted straight into the garden and also some growing in a trough on the high wall..

Both were sown inside the greenhouse then planted out about 2 weeks apart, the result for both is that they have grown about 10 – 12 inches tall (not really that big), they have produced pea pods, but not that many of them, I’d be lucky if there was enough to serve up onto one plate let along freeze a bag of them so we could enjoy them in winter.. so verdict on the peas 1/10 really disappointed.

Now on to the tomatoes in the greenhouse… I have around 10 plants all seemingly doing well but not a lot of fruits, in fact I had to take 2 off the plant this morning as they had blossom end rot, I always remember my dad moaning about it when I lived at home, cursing the blossom end rot lol, now i’ve got it!

The micro tom tomatoes… I dont think I will be growing these again, for me, its a bit of a messy looking plant and the fruits are too close to the soil.

 

The Potatoes are doing really well (I think)!   Grown in big spud bags, they should be ready to harvest quite soon.

Next… the onions, I’m not sure if they are doing well or not to be honest, I would have expected them to be bigger than they are, but we shall wait and see what happens..

The Carrots seem to be doing ok, must get some weeding done this weekend before the weeds take over..

Courgettes… well they seem to be doing just grand, in full blom at the moment, here’s hoping I get fruit this year, last year they rotted away just after forming because it was soooo wet.

I have some flowers growing in the garden too, which are adding a lovely splash of colour….