Thursday, 31 January 2013

Coconut, currant and lemon cookies


I am feeling VERY delicate to say the least.

You know when you see people waste food and you just feel SO upset? Well, I am experiencing that exact upsetting pain but 10 times worse. Actually I should probably say 100 times worse(Sob, Sob). You see, I’ve been dreaming about making this Milkybar, cranberry and coconut loaf. Doesn’t it sound epic? I was even going to melt Milkybar on the top and then sprinkle coconut on before the Milkybar set. In my dreams it looked PERFECT.

Tonight was the evening I was turning my visions of this picture perfect loaf into a tasty reality.  Lets just say the loaf was certainly NOT picture perfect. It will now feature in my nightmares. Even Instagram couldn’t make it look appealing. I can only describe it as a raw, soggy mess and I simply could NOT come to terms with the fact I had to throw it away. Surely it deserved more than the bin? So instead of saying bye to the entire loaf I allowed my belly to say hello to some of it. Definitely not one of my best decisions I’ve made as I am now feeling upset AND sick. 

The raw disaster...





It was a very upsetting Milkybar moment as you can probably imagine.

All of this wastage and much much more...


I’m not too sure what went wrong with the loaf, possibly the fact I substituted vegetable oil for virgin oil? SSssshhhh!


So anyway... a loaf takes around an hour to bake and I was NOT prepared to stare at the oven for 60 minutes. Therefore I thought my best friend would appreciate it if I whipped her up some ‘oh so doughy’ cookies. I followed a recipe from my ‘I LOVE SUGAR’ book. It was for cranberry and coconut cookies. However I’m sure you all know what swallowed up my cranberries? Yep, that loaf which we no longer speak of! I therefore decided to add currants with the coconut along with some lemon zest. Good alternative?

What you will need:

225g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
pinch of salt
40g desiccated coconut
60g dried currants
1 lemon


1. Mix your sugar and butter together, then add in your egg yolk and vanilla essence. Remember to lightly beat your egg yolk before adding - I clearly was in a rush to bake these bad boys and forgot! OOoops!




2. Sift together your flour and salt and mix in your lemon zest. Then add it into the above mixture. 

3. Now it's time for the two C's - Currants 'n' Coconut!




4. Yep, you guessed it...work those bingo wings and mix the two C's into the mixture. 






5. I then divided my mixture into a cupcake baking tray. I know this isn't the 'normal' way of making cookies. But come on, I'm not normal! I wanted thicker, soggier cookies rather than flat pancakes! Since my addiction to MINNIE'S COOKIES in Florida I simply can't settle for a flat, crunchy cookie. 



6. TADAH



7. If you're not a lover of hot drinks then serve with milk to compliment the doughiness... 




8. OR if you're feeling a little wild then get in that freezer and whack the ice cream out. A warm doughy cookie accompanied by cornish vanilla ice cream. You know that sounds the shizzzz! 





More importantly make sure you have those maternity pants on and enjoy every mouthful as if it were your last! Let your hair down, after all it is Friday in less than an hour! 

Despite the fact MY loaf is now suffocating in the dustbin and my Friday breakfast is now looking rather bland; I stuck to my word. These ARE for my best friend and I really hope she likes them. If not, I'm sure I can take them off her hands! Obviously I had to test one and I must admit I did go a little weak at the knees. Therefore Steph will be greeted with 11 cookies tomorrow rather than 12. Perhaps even less - It all depends on my cravings tomorrow! 

 

9. Present them in a box lined with tissue paper and perhaps even sprinkle some extra coconut over them. Then hand them over to your best friend OR snatch them back and do a runner - you decide! 

I'm off to sleep now, if only I had the excitement of waking up to a massive slice of Milkybar heaven for breakfast.


Night all.




Saturday, 26 January 2013

3 course meal on a budget

Did you rinse your December wage celebrating TOO hard on New Years Eve? Or perhaps you were a little too generous when purchasing Christmas presents for your loved ones? Well my friend, you are not alone. I’m sure lots of bank balances out there are still suffering and feeling the strain (mine definitely is). M&S did us NO favours with all those Christmas food adverts; we really did NOT need to purchase the entire food hall did we?
(yes we did)

But anyway, all of the above was SO worth it so lets not dwell on the past. January is the month we need to go a little careful with those pennies. This doesn’t mean we have to survive on SmartPrice rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner - it means we have to spot the bargains! So, if you have a spare £13 then I suggest you sign up to VoucherCloud (if you haven’t already) and get yourself down to Pizza Express. Come on, 3 courses for £12.95 that’s a bargain! With no washing up or loading and unloading the dishwasher either! Definitely a win, win deal!

So, Alice and I scraped our pounds together and headed to Winchester to feast on a scrumptious deal.

You can't visit Pizza Express without consuming the garlic dough balls can you? We were therefore quick to order these with the mozzarella garlic bread. Unlike Joey Tribbiani we are able to share so we decided to have half and half.


 Garlic clove anyone?

  Swiftly onto mains...


My favourite dish from Pizza Express is the cannelloni so I felt like I had to be loyal to this delicious dish and choose it again!


I never get bored of it!

Whilst Alice had the Melanzane Parmigiana 
Aubergine, b├ęchamel sauce, mozzarella and tomato, gluten free breadcrumbs, grana padano (no pasta).


Alice fell in love with the Melanzane as much as I fell for the cannelloni all over again!

Desserts... 

I originally ordered the Chocolate fudge cake but after my main I really wasn't feeling it. I'm not really sure why I just knew I had to quickly change my order! I opted for the baked cheesecake and boy oh boy it was OHmazing! 


A little slice of heaven.

Do you know what, I think I have some crazy Mystic Meg food powers (if there is such thing). I mean, the waitress informed Alice they ran out of Chocolate fudge cake and presented her with these little chocolate cakes instead...


Don't get me wrong they do look insane BUT not quite the same as warm choccie fudge cake hey! Thanks to my Mystic Meg food powers I was able to know in advance and alter my order!



The lip smacking cheesecake was far TOO tasty which made me crave seconds (and thirds and fourths).



I do feel slightly bad that neither of us had Pizza!

Anyway, Alice and I thoroughly enjoyed our £12.95 Friday night treat. The deal is currently available from Fri-Sun so why not celebrate the last weekend in January with 3 delightful dishes! 

I'm sure you've all been to Pizza Express but just in case you haven't then here is the MENU for you! 


Night all, I'm off to sleep - smelling and feeling like a big fat garlic dough ball may I add! 



Thursday, 24 January 2013

Trago Lounge


Do you ever find yourself wondering why on earth does Starbucks not open until midnight?  I definitely DO!

On these ARTIC nights I find myself just needing cosy coffee places to be open after work hours. I’m not asking for too much am I? Well apparently so! When you live in Southampton you should NOT be asking for such thing! Unlike London, Southampton apparently does need sleep. However I was determined to not let this get in the way of myself and a late night pot of tea.

You will be pleased to know my best friend and I found a lovely tranquil cafe/bar in Portswood last night - Trago Lounge. The sofas were SO inviting and extremely snug! From the minute I sunk into the sofa I knew this place was going to become a regular. I was so content - the only thing I was missing was my snuggie (perhaps I’ll bring this next time). Having said that, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you were offered a blanket upon arrival? A hot water bottle and some slippers wouldn’t go a miss either! Anyway, enough side tracking, my best friend (Steph) and I had a FAB evening. You see, Steph has been superglued to her desk the past few months, damn her Masters degree for kidnapping her from me! So, with a few exams down we decided a massive catch up combined with calories was long over due.

It's Instagram O'clock...



Now can you understand why I felt so snuggled?




My dietician advised me to start introducing fish back into my diet, so what a perfect way to start it off...

Fish finger sarnie 



She also advised me to NOT eat chips, apparently the skins are hard for me to digest BUT I must have somehow 'accidentally' forgot about this! I promise from this day forward no more CHIPS!
No more chips Kirsty. I repeat NO more chips.

Steph had the pulled pork panini which I think was delish as she actually stopped shouting talking (this rarely happens by the way). 




You can check the menu out HERE. As you can see it isn't fine dining, it's all about the comfort eating. I'm going to be honest with you we even ate ours from our laps and the great thing is nobody judged. It really is like your Nan's cosy lounge (well only if you manage to bag yourself a sofa). 

Now comes the pot of tea...

 

oh and obviously we NEEDED puddings...




I indulged in the warm chocolate brownie with ice cream, thankfully chocolate is still on my 'allowed' list! Phewwwwww!

Whilst Steph opted for the sticky toffee pudding...



Feeling all warm inside from our 'T & Puds' we chatted away until realising the place was now practically empty - it was sadly time for us to depart. After all, we've got to remember we don't live in the city that never sleeps!

If like us, you LOVE cosy late night cuppas then check out their website HERE. If you pay them a visit I really do hope you manage to get your paws on a sofa - I advise you to wait at the bar until you do! 

So what did I wear?
I've been meaning to pop to Grandads to collect his tripod as I really want to start including outfit photos in my posts. I can then start using my SLR, however until then I leave you with a shabby Iphone pic... 




I'm really NOT a fan of 'selfies' but fingers crossed one day I will get more confidence. 

So, I wore my new TOPSHOP treggings...





Flock grid ponte treggings - £28.
Click HERE for more info.

I paired the treggings with my little black Radley boots, my sister's black bomber jacket with contrasting panels, my Topshop cross ring and my Michael Kors watch.

Present time...

With more exams and a HEFTY dissertation still to complete I felt like this was the perfect little gift for Steph...



PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. 

Anyway, I had a great evening as you can see and I definitely will be returning. Hhhhmmm I wonder if they allow reservations for the sofas? I'm not too sure I could settle for a normal chair after this relaxing experience!

Have a great day, 



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Monday, 21 January 2013

My EBAY bargains...

I felt like such a Miserable Mary opening my wardrobe doors this morning. 
I'm SO SO bored of my clothes. 

 I just wish I could give all my clothes away to charity and start fresh. A massive London shopping spree (preferably with an unlimited budget). How perfect would that be? A whole wardrobe filled with NEW clothes, organised neatly, and all with tags on. But anyway, enough of the dreaming and feeling sorry for myself. Ebay is there for a reason, therefore I decided it was time that I made use of it. 

If I want new clothes then it's only right that I sell some of mine (stop being greedy Kirsty). Now, who DESPISES Januarys long old wait to get paid? If like myself you are counting the seconds days until PAYDAY then you might want to check some of these bargains out...

The bids all end this Saturday and each garment has £2.99 added on the below prices for standard delivery.


Ralph Lauren slim fit shirt (size 8)
£7.99


Click HERE for further details.
Sorry about the creased look, it's Monday let me off!


ZARA boob tube dress (size XS)
£4.99




Click HERE for further details.



Urban Outfitters oversized jumper (Size medium)
£4.99



Click HERE for further details.


Topshop denim skirt (size 10)
£4.99



Click HERE for further details.


Topshop knitted dress (size 8)
£4.99



Click HERE for further details.


MISO one shoulder playsuit (size 10)
£3.99


Click HERE for further details.

I've also put a few other bits on but I thought I'd just include my favourites in this post. It is going to be sad to say goodbye to these garments but I'm sure I'll be smiling when shopping for new ones! 

I can't wait to freshen my wardrobe up and I really can't wait for January to be over. Also, if I can help cure some other girls January blues with these bargains then that will be the icing on the cake.

Anyway, have a lovely evening everyone and feel free to purchase all some of the above! 

Help a Sister out!


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Terry's chocolate orange muffins

Who ADORES these?



If the answer is YES to the above question then it’s time to grab your apron and BAKE these Terry’s chocolate orange muffins. I’m 99.9% certain that you will feel extremely satisfied after you’ve eaten one of these flavoursome treats. However, one will lead to two, and two will lead to three. Trust me, they truly are irresistible.

So lets start by breaking that delicious chocolate and chopping it up. At this stage the chocolate orange smell is so overwhelming you will probably find yourself chomping on a few segments! Mr Terry would be SO offended if we didn't, so go ahead and enjoy those segments (please try to save some for the muffins).



Don't worry about chopping the chocolate up too small - it's always nice coming across a generous amount of oozing chocolate isn't it? Also, feel free to put a little to one side so at the end you can melt and drizzle it on top of your muffins!

If you still have some Terry's left to make the muffins then you will also need the following:







  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 80g caster sugar
  • Terry's Chocolate orange 
  • 2 eggs , lightly beaten
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • I followed the recipe from BBC Good Food which you can find HERE. As you have probably gathered I simply substituted the chocolate chips for the Terry's - an excellent substitute if I do say so myself! 

    Simply add your Terry's instead of the chocolate chips when you get to that stage...




    My mixture baked for around 18 minutes, I then drizzled some melted Terry's on top, captured a fair few photos and now I present you with my Terry's chocolate orange muffins...




    Dawn French needs to get her hands on these bad boys!





    I ran out of the plain melted Terry's but lucky enough my Sister had some dark Terry's chocolate so I drizzled this on top of the remaining muffins. The contrasting flavours of the Terry's actually work really well together so I'm thankful that I ran out of the plain!



    I treated Father to a pint of tea along with a Terry's muffin and a slice of my blueberry and lemon loaf (daughter points).
    The BEST thing ever is when you bake and people enjoy sampling your goodies and then give you positive feedback! I definitely can't see the Terry's lasting very long in this household.




    There's nothing better than watching a film in bed, snuggled up, with a hot beverage and cake (especially a film with Ryan Gosling in). Therefore I put Crazy, Stupid, Love on and indulged in my Terry's treat...




    It's not Terry's, It's MINE

    If like me, you have a household filled with TERRY'S top fans, then I suggest you treat them to these muffins asap! You will be in their good books - I promise you (well until the last muffin has been eaten).

    Good luck & make Dawn proud!





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