Sunday, 29 November 2009

Cookie Time


A friend bought me this book for my birthday back in July and ashamedly, despite admiring the pages, I had yet to actually make anything from it. So, after recently discovering this blog and then through it this blog, I knew I just had to choose the Peanut Butter Cookies as my first introduction to the The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.


Here is my baking process and the recipe to try it out for yourselves if you so desire. I only used half of the quantities listed below as 24 cookies is far too many for me to get through, it made 10 large cookies.


Ingredients:
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g crunchy peanut butter
340g plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
75g chopped dark chocolate
4 baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper


Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F) Gas 3








Put the butter and sugars in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy.




Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.


Turn the mixer down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.


Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate until evenly dispersed.


Arrange 6 equal amounts of cookie dough on each prepared baking tray. Make sure that the cookies are spaced apart to allow for spreading while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and quite flat.


Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies should be soft and chewy.


Devour with a nice cup of rose tea. Ok, that bit is not part of the recipe. But a nice cuppa and biccies are the perfect mix. I would definitely make these cookies again and in this quantity. I did have to keep them in the oven a little longer on a lower temperature. And I used some Galaxy chocolate I already had but it definitely needed a stronger darker chocolate as suggested, so I would stick to the recipe. But other than that, very delightful!



Friday, 27 November 2009

Window Shopping

Everything from mail order company Plümo is so beautiful. I have been receiving the catalogues through the post for many years now and have actually kept each one, they are so pretty. Here is a selection from their current stock, their sales are pretty amazing though, so definitely worth waiting to buy.

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Source: all from plumo.com

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Winter Pastels

I have had this dress for a couple of years now. It is very much a spring/summer dress with it's sheer, sugary fabric and yet why not make it into a winter piece by teaming it with some cosy accessories in my shade-of-the-moment grey. I think I can now get some wear out of it all year round.


















Top Shop pastel pink ruffle dress ❖ Zara grey cardigan ❖ John Lewis girl's tights ❖ Office suede shoe-boots ❖ Laura Ashley faux pearl & ribbon necklace ❖ diamond ring ❖ Barry M grey nail polish

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Lovely Luella

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I know the news of the Luella label having ceased trading is old news now, at least in terms of the fast pace of fashion. It may already be the case that there is new information on this that I am not aware of but fingers crossed she manages to find new investors. The news brought to my attention that even though this is one of my favourite labels, I own very few Luella pieces. So I have had a browse through the Spring 2010 RTW collection and picked out my favourites, that in an ideal world I would love to buy.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Boyfriend Style

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Top Shop Unique oversize coat ❖ Chanel handbag ❖ Tabio heart tights ❖ Russell & Bromley quilted patent flats

We have had the Boyfriend blazer, jacket, jeans and watch. And now this coat I think could be the Boyfriend overcoat. Very wide and with huge pockets, you could probably fit two people in it! One of my London buys, it is not really fit for the winter as it is lightweight and being so roomy it will be a little draughty. But I loved it straight away and had to have it regardless, it reminds me a little of Yohji Yamamoto from years gone by.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Shades of Grey

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Laura Ashley necklace ❖ Next hat ❖ Barry M nail polish

After seeing grey nail polish here and here recently, I too got the bug and went and bought some for myself. It did not stop there though, I also ended up with another winter hat and a faux pearl and ribbon necklace.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

My Saturday

You know those days, when it's rainy and windy outside. All I want to do is stay inside and be cosy in my own home.

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I did venture out first thing however, to a garden centre. I am certainly no gardener but when I revert to winter nesting mode, I do enjoy a browse around pretty garden centres. There are some really good gift ideas too, they are not all about gardening. The Lady Muck mug really made me giggle as my dad specifically pointed it out to me. Hmm... wonder why?

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I seem to be obsessed with buying little decorative birds at the moment.

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I've decided that my bedroom needs a little makeover, so I went to Laura Ashley and chose this bedding, wallpaper and this cushion. They are all the exact shade of duck egg blue, even though they look slightly different in my photos. After procrastinating for far too long, I will need to return again tomorrow to actually purchase them (they have a 25% discount on homeware this weekend).

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And what better, on my return home, than to make some mulled wine. This is the perfect winter drink.

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My afternoon finished by reading a pile of magazines I never seem to get around to reading... while sipping my mulled wine.

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How are you spending your time this weekend?

Friday, 20 November 2009

Ladurée

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Ladurée is to me what Tiffany’s is to Holly Gollightly, a place to visit to combat the mean reds. My last visit was to rue Royale in Paris, this time Harrods in London.

Although photographs were not allowed, I did manage a couple of sneaky shots and of course I bought goodies to return home.

Ladurée has everything I want from an afternoon tea. The chance to relax in feminine, romantic, stylish and very French surroundings whilst eating the most decadent sweet treats with charming cups of tea.

On this visit, I ate a lovely praline sweet along with my favourite macaroon flavours, rose, pistachio and caramel with salted butter, Rose tea was my flavour of choice. These were also my buys from the shop afterwards.

But mostly for me, the appeal is in the presentation, I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging and presentation. Even a simple jug of water was brought out in a stylish manner. A crackled glass jug filled with water, a glass tumbler filled with crushed ice, a tray of thinly sliced lemon segments with cocktail sticks and a beautiful wine glass from which to drink.

As an Afternoon Tea lover, I have sampled many but none live up to Ladurée, it is surely in a class of its’ own.