i am currently…

…in the process of making fudge brownie cupcakes with cookie dough icing courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction and I am BEYOND excited asjkdsajdasjdaskjbnjakd.

It’s just like eating raw cookie dough out the bowl (minus the egg!) BUT ON A BROWNIE CUPCAKE.

Oh god.

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a lot of reasons why today has been a rubbish day and all i want to do is scream

MEH.

I’ve been taxed – twice. Pete’s gone to Europe for a month and even though he’s skyping me when he gets to the hotel later tonight and I’ll probably hear from him quite a bit I still feel rubbish about it because I’ve had a rubbish day and trust my luck for him to go away on a day I really want to talk to him 😦

Meh.

Someone bought something from me on eBay and hasn’t paid for it and I want rid of it because it’s the four Twilight books and I hate twilight now I have become a semi-mature young adult.

I can’t write tonight – everything is stupid and meh and AHHH.

I’m so low on money and I’ve been taxed about £100 and I  neeeeeeeed that money and my parents are away so I can’t get help from them to get it back.

Ahhhhhhh. I just want to scream.

My dog is being a nuisance and keeps looking at me like “f***k you” every time I tell him to do something.

It’s raining. And it’s really really cold.

I planned to go for a nice hot bath with my new sugar scrub – but the water isn’t hot enough…so it turned into a luke-warm bath with bits of gritty body scrub in the bottom and I had to shower myself off afterwards which totally defeated the purpose.

Everyone is being annoying today.

I made prawn salad for dinner and it was disgusting.

The only good thing about today was the roast chicken and herb mayonnaise sandwich I had from Starbucks for lunch.

 

MEH.

I really hope tomorrow is better 😦

how to break into a bottle of wine when you can’t work out how to use the corkscrew

Tonight I had a couple of friends come over for dinner and wine and chatting. We started reminiscing on all our secret drinking times that we had when we were younger (drinking dusty cans of whatever-was-available from the back of the cupboard/bottles of stuff we hadn’t ever heard of and was probably years old/trying to remove corks from bottles with a compass – the kind of compass you use for drawing circles in maths.)

The latter was probably one of the funniest of these “secret drinking times” (after my first drunken experience where we managed to get red wine on vintage curtains (and subsequently turn the stain blue while trying to get the stain out with Vanish Oxi Action), get me so drunk I sang Wonderwall over and over and over again, and then spew in my friend’s sink).

It was summer a few years ago and we’d decided to sleep outside in a tent…my friend bought a bottle of red wine (clearly forgetting the events that happened last time we drank red wine) and asked me for a corkscrew. I ventured into the kitchen where my older brother was sitting and casually started opening kitchen drawers pretending to look for something – anything, other than a corkscrew. I managed to sneak it back outside without him noticing (afterwards he told me he knew exactly what we were doing – damn. Busted.) and preceded to open this bottle of wine. After about twenty minutes of failing to get the thing to work we were considering all other options (including smashing the bottle). The next great idea was to try picking at the cork with the sharp end of a compass which just resulted in red wine full of tiny bits of cork.

Of course, we drank it anyway.

So today, three years on and supposedly wiser in the drinking world after a year of uni, we were faced with the same scenario. How that bloody corkscrew works I’ll never know. Something about twisting it in and wiggling it out, but regardless of how much twisting and wiggling we did, all we managed to do was bore a hole in the cork.

So we turned to google.

Safe to say we felt very much like a pair of desperate alcoholics.

When Pete Came To Stay

So for the last few days Pete has been up visiting me before he goes away for a month to travel around Europe! We picked him up on Thursday after I went to my brothers graduation (I’d put a photo up but they’re on my Dad’s camera and he’s just gone on holiday too..). But it was a lovely day and we’re all very proud of him 🙂

The weather was rubbish all weekend (apart from today, which is when he had to leave!) so we didn’t really do much (also due to the fact that I live in a really rubbish place and there’s not really much to do!).

On Saturday we made pizzas which were really yummy and so much cheaper than ordering in.

The recipe is really easy too, so I’ll share it with you! We use a breadmaker because it kneads the dough to save your arms so it rises properly. I think it saves faffing about with the yeast too, because after making doughballs I think you have to leave the yeast in warm water to do its’ thing’ and then leave the dough in a warm place to rise…the breakmaker does all that for you!

To make enough dough for two pizzas (the size of the ones in the photo) you will need:

1/2 a teaspoon of yeast

300g of white bread flour

1/2 a tablespoon of sugar

15g of butter

1 tablespoon of milk powder

210ml of warm water

(the recipe also has 1 teaspoon of salt in it, but we leave it out because with all the toppings etc it can get a bit too salty.)

When using a breakmaker you just shove everything in (yeast first) and put it in, following the instructions on your machine. Ours has a ‘pizza dough mode’ especially for this purpose!

For pudding I made chocolate mousse too, because we had ice cream and strawberries to use up. The recipe I normally use is from a recipe book by a student  called Sam Stern, but I’ve left it at uni and couldn’t find the recipe online, so had to use one from the BBC Food website. It was a lot of faffing about with egg whites and such, and I must have done something wrong along the way because the chocolate solidified a bit and went “snotty” as Pete called it. So I’m not going to share the recipe here, although I would recommend Sam Stern’s recipe.

Then last night we made Fajitas with a box kit, chicken and a red pepper. Nothing difficult, just good food 🙂 Sat infront of the TV and watched the first two series of Gavin and Stacey too which was lovely!

We went to see ‘The Five Year Engagement‘ too which was a great film. Really heart-warming and funny, and not too girly, so Pete enjoyed it too!

Bit sad now he’s left though, and I won’t see him for another six weeks while he’s in Europe – hopefully the time will go fast!

Ten Reasons Why My Teddy Will Always Be Better Than A Man

  1. He has this amazing old, cried-into, dusty, cuddy, sleepy smell that no aftershave can ever beat. Ever.
  2. He will never answer back and will always have the right answer for “Do I look fat in this?” (i.e nothing)
  3. He’s got the perfect arms for cuddles 
  4. I literally cannot go anywhere without him and truly believe he has feelings (without making me sound like a complete weirdo). I feel guilty if he ever gets pushed off the bed. He just looks so sad!
  5. He won’t ever complain about being cried into
  6. He’s a perfect head/neck rest – especially when I can’t get comfy for reading in bed
  7. He’s been everywhere with me. He even has his own mini teddy passport from the Build-A-Bear Workshop. And his own birth certificate. Just Saying. (After a lot of whining and crying to my Dad on holiday because I just had to have it done).
  8. He’s so squiddgyyyy.
  9. He’s a great listener 
  10. He’s just simply amazing!

When In Doubt: Bake.

I have reached a level of boredom that has never been reached before. I’ve tidied my room, I’ve hoovered every piece of carpet in the house. I’ve tried (and so far, succeeded – to mine and everyone else’s amazement) to get fit. I’ve polished furniture, waxed the leather sofa and even considered tidying my brothers room (he has unopened Christmas presents from three years ago – mum is threatening some awful things if he doesn’t come home to do it). I’ve slept, I’ve read books, I’ve tried to come up with interesting things to blog about – and failed. And I have come to a conclusion.

When in doubt: Bake.

It being Fathers Day tomorrow, I do actually have an excuse, but I’ve been known in the past to bake stupid numbers of cakes/brownies/sweet things for them to sit in a tub for weeks and eventually be thrown out. So today, I baked a chocolate cake. A chocolate cake that has become famous in our family for being “Kristen’s mum’s chocolate cake” and is often the deciding factor in whether or not someone is going to attend my birthday parties. The recipe is from a book, but I don’t know which one. I just know my mum makes it all the time for every occasion: Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, People Leaving, Congratulations etc etc etc. It’s full proof. You need this recipe in your life!

You Will Need:

6oz Self Raising Flour

2 Pinches of Salt

3oz Cocoa Powder

4 Eggs

8oz Caster Sugar

8oz Butter/Margarine

6 Drops of Vanilla Essence

6 Tablespoons of Warm Water

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the cocoa powder. Add the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla essence. Beat with an electric whisk for two minutes. Add the warm water. Beat for a further minute. You’ll see it change to a lighter brown colour. Pour the mixture into a baking tin lined with butter/oil etc to stop it sticking.

Pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. It might need a bit longer, just check it. If it starts burning before it’s ready, put a sheet of greaseproof paper over the top 🙂

For The Icing:

4oz Sugar

4 Fluid oz Milk

5oz Dark Chocolate

2oz Butter/Margarine

2 Tablespoons of Double Cream

Vanilla Essence.

Heat the milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Bring it up to the boil and leave it, without stirring for 8 minutes. Take off the heat and add the other ingredients. Leave to cool, then put it in the fridge for two hours to thicken. Make sure the cake is completely cool before spreading the icing. Cut the cake in half and spread some through the middle too.  YUM 🙂

 

Fifty Shades of Grey

…I bought this book and it arrived today. In all honesty I actually didn’t realise it was ‘mummy porn’ until people at work were discussing it –  I just assumed it was a dark love story, just the typical kind of troubled-romance novel so it was just a little bit embarrassing when I openly said “Oh yeah! I recently bought that book, I’ve heard loads about it!” in front of about ten other women who I’ve only met in the last three weeks. (This was also followed up with a conversation about learning to read the book with one hand).

Perhaps even more embarrassing when my mum asked what was in my parcel and for the life of me I couldn’t think of the name of a novel that I could give her as an answer…

“‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘? Isn’t that the saucy novel??”

“Uhh – yes, Mum.”

Awkward.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about it – some say it’s ‘mummy porn’, others love it and truly believe it’s an example of literary genius. A few compare it to Twilight and others complain about the repetitiveness of phrases such as “her sex” and “she bit her lip” and “she whispered “Oh my!””. 

I can’t say I’m expecting much, despite the fuss being made about it I doubt it’ll win the next Nobel Prize of Literature.