Monday, 28 October 2013

Hey stranger

I'm really sorry for my lack of recent posts. I'd like to have a real reason for appearing to be so busy, but really I'm just the biggest procrastinator in the world.
Don't you just love rainbows? This one appeared last week while I was in the car and I was so happy. They make my day :).

Love Shay. xo

Monday, 21 October 2013

Two minute microwave cookie dough

A while ago I made a cookie similar to this. It’s safe for me to say that it was more of a dry, crumbly cake. I still ate it, but that’s beside the point. I saw it again recently on Tumblr, and thought I’d try to make another microwave cookie. I’ve made plenty of microwave cakes before, but I knew that I wanted something different.

After a quick Google search and clicking on literally the second recipe I saw (it's official, I'm the laziest person I know), I decided to try again, It was much more ‘hot cookie dough’ than ‘cookie’, but I didn’t mind. With a dollop of ice cream, it was delicious, but I still feel like I’m cheating by calling it a cookie. It has been stripped of that title.

Without further ado, the quickest cookie dough you may ever make in your life.

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
Tiny pinch of salt
2 tbsp. milk
4 tbsp. plain flour
Chocolate/chocolate chips/Dreemy (it’s Aldi’s version of a milky way, and they’re delicious). You can use however much chocolate you want, or none at all, it’s completely up to you. I used two Dreemy bars.


1)      Melt the butter in a small microwaveable bowl. It took me two fifteen second blasts, stirring in between

2)      Add the light brown sugar and whisk until incorporated

3)      Add in the salt and milk and whisk again until combined

4)      Carefully whisk in the flour until your mixture is thick

5)      Chop up your chocolate (if needed) and stir into your batter-y mix

6)      Cook in your microwave for thirty second intervals until it looks cooked but is still soft. Leave it to stand, or just dig right in like I did

7)      Put a dollop of ice cream on the top and eat while it’s hot.

This is the original recipe, take a look!

Love, Shay. xo

P.S. On Saturday I got a fringe! I love it quite a lot...

Monday, 14 October 2013

Brownies and cookies and tea, oh my!

On Sunday me and Kate had a little bit of a baking session. We made fudge-y brownies and cake-y cookies. They were really fab, so I simply had to share ;)
I found both of these recipes on Pinterest, but we tweaked them a little bit. The links for the originals will be at the end, and you should definitely check them out.

First up, chocolate chip cookies. Now I’ve made plenty of chocolate chip cookies in the past, and I’m really not fussy when it comes to cookies; chewy and soft or hard and crunchy, cookies in any and every form are the best. 

Chocolate chip cookies
These cookies in particular were really cakey and soft. They were good, but when I make them again I’ll probably flatten them down a little bit more.

Ingredients, also known as step one- (note that you can’t see all of the ingredients – thank my new found editing skills)
For this first recipe, you’ll need the following things:
o   ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
o   ¾ cup brown sugar
o   ¼ cup caster sugar
o   1 medium-large egg
o   1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
o   2 cups plain flour
o   2 tsp. corn flour
o   1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
o   Pinch of salt
o   As many chocolate chips as you like! (the recipe actually says a cup, but I won’t blame you if you go a little overboard)
Step two + three- Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. For us, this was about five minutes on a low speed with a hand mixer.
Step four + five- Mix in the egg and vanilla.
Step six- Add all of the dry ingredients, other than the chocolate chips (do they count as dry ingredients?) and mix together on a low speed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Step seven- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for about half an hour. This makes the cookie thicker, and a little bit easier to roll.
Step eight- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Roll about one-tablespoons-worth of dough into a ball shape and flatten down. The ones pictured were our second batch, and they were thinner than the first. I thought they were better than the first lot, but it all depends on how thick you like your cookies.
Step nine- Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and pop your cookies in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Take a tea break if necessary.

The brownies were originally supposed to be cookies, but obviously that didn’t work out. It may have been because we didn’t follow the instructions properly, or maybe because we weren’t too confident with the definitely-not-dough mixture we had. Either way brownies are the best, so does it really matter?
Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but the instructions weren’t very clear for this cookie recipe, so me and Kate just made it up as we went. 

o   Around about 2 cups of chocolate, broken into pieces
o   4 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
o   ¾ cup caster sugar
o   3 medium-large eggs
o   1 tsp. vanilla extract
o   ¾ cup cocoa powder (we used hot chocolate powder)
o   1 cup plain flour
o   ¼ tsp. baking powder
o   Pinch of salt
Step one- Melt the chocolate and butter together. You can do this in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, but we just did it in the microwave. If you do it in the microwave, cook on high for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each, until everything is melted. Set aside.
Step two + three- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat for about five minutes, until pale yellow and thick, using your electric or hand mixer.
Step four + five- In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. On a low speed, mix the dry ingredients into your egg mixture until everything’s incorporated.
Step six- Add the chocolate/butter mix into your batter. Beat for a minute until it’s all mixed in. Put your bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Step seven- When your chocolate-y mix out of the fridge, preheat the oven to 180c. Line a baking tin (or a casserole dish in our case) with greaseproof paper. Carefully pour in the mixture and spread out evenly (ish).
Step eight- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

For dessert last night my whole family had a brownie with a scoop of ice cream.

I really need to get to bed earlier.
Love, Shay. xo

Saturday, 12 October 2013


This is just a super quick post to let you know you can follow my blog on Bloglovin

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I've also added a follow button on the side.
I'm currently doing my art coursweork, which means hard work. I've almost finished my sketchbook though, which is pretty exciting. Now I just have to get started on the giant pile of the rest of my homework. Blegh.

I wish you happiness and fairy dust and sunshine (With this weather? Yeah, right.).

Love, Shay. xo

Monday, 7 October 2013

Sweet potato pie

I made a sweet potato pie! And you should make it too!

When I first saw this I was totally confused. I was on Pinterest, and I saw a recipe for sweet potato pie – with marshmallows on the top. What? Marshmallows? Who on earth would think it wise to put marshmallows on a savoury pie? Turns out, no one. It’s a sweet pie. And it tastes delicious. It’s also American - If there’s one thing they do well, it’s the food.

This is heaven in a pie. Sorry for the messy look. I like to think 'rustic'.

After looking around the interweb, I came across a recipe that looked pretty easy to follow. My only issue was the timing - it seemed to take forever. I poked around a little bit more until I gave in and asked my mum how I could cook sweet potatoes without it taking an hour. She said she does regular potatoes in the microwave, and really how much different could they be?

So, this is the recipe I followed. I adapted the original very slightly. I also re-wrote the method. That was mainly for me. 
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not one for faff; if it can be done quicker or easier, I’ll do it. Maybe I’m just lazy….

Sweet shortcrust pastry
Now obviously, you could just buy some. It’s in the freezer aisle. However this is one thing that I don’t like to cheat with, ‘cause it’s already quick and easy. Plus we didn’t have any pre-rolled at home.
o 250g plain flour
o 125g cold butter, cubed
o 2 egg yolks
o 2 tbsp. caster sugar
o Pinch of salt
o 1-2 tbsp. milk, if needed
This pastry recipe is from Lorraine Pascale. I have one of her books, and it’s the best.

1)Put flour and butter in a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2)Add the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Stir with a knife (or whizz it again, like I did).
3)Squash the mixture - it should stick together. If it does, roll it into a ball shape, if it’s too dry add milk slowly, tablespoon at a time. Only add the milk if you really need to, because even though it’s slightly more difficult to work with, it makes a much nicer pastry without. Wrap the ball in Clingfilm.
4)Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. –At this point I started making my filling. When I was almost finished I took the pastry out to rest.
5)            Remove it from the fridge and leave to rest for a few minutes before using.

Clean your food processor so you can use it for the filling. This whole thing can be done with bowls and spoons if you don't have one, so don't let that put you off.
Pie Filling
o500g sweet potato
o125g softened butter
o150g caster sugar
o125ml milk
o2 eggs
o½ tsp. ground nutmeg
o½ tsp. ground cinnamon
o1tsp. vanilla extract

1)Peel your potatoes.
2)Put them on a plate or bowl with cling film over the top (pierce the cling film).
3)Heat up in the microwave for 5 minutes. Turn them over so the top is now the bottom and cook for another 5 minutes. If it needs more, cook for 2 minute intervals until the potato is soft enough to mush in a food processor.
4)Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
5)Roll out the pastry and line a 9 inch pie tin (I used a flan tin. I lined it with greaseproof paper, then greased the paper with a little bit of butter). Carefully put the pastry into the tin and press it against the sides. Lightly pierce the base with a fork, not all the way through, or you’ll have leaky pie.
6)Put the potatoes into your food processor.  Blend them until it looks like super-smooth mashed potatoes. Add the butter and mix well. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and spices. Beat until the mixture is smooth. I literally did all of this in the processor, and it worked great.
7)Pour the filling into pastry base.
8)Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
9)Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top.

I really hope that if you make the pie, you’ll love it as much as I did!

I promise that not all of my photos will be bad quality, but autumn means darker evenings, so there wasn't enough natural light by the time the pie was done.

Now, it’s late and I’m sleepy. Night night!
Love, Shay. xo

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Hello rainy day

Image found here.

I'm sat at the computer drinking soup and that makes me very happy.

Watching- Pretty much every video Gabrielle Aplin has ever uploaded to You Tube.
Listening to- Said videos. And the rain pattering on the roof.
Planning- How many blogs I can look at before I have to go back to school. It's none. I have to go in about ten minutes :(.
Thinking about- What a pretty day it is.
Loving- Autumn weather.
Stressing about- All the homework and coursework I need to catch up on.
Looking forward to- Eating cake later on.
Reading- Nothing in particular. I keep re-trying to read The Name Of The Wind. It's an amazing book, but I've found it difficult this time around. I'll keep trying.
Making me happy- My favourite season of the year.
Wishing- School wasn't always so stressful. Super-powers would be nice too.

I pretty much stole the idea for this post from . In the future I'll probably tweak it to fit me, but right now I'm rushing. I hope the rest of your day is peaceful and happy.
Love, Shay. xo

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Pinch, punch, first of the month

Happy first of October! Where on earth has September gone? How have I been back at school for an entire month? When did that happen? 

Sorry for the bad quality picture, by the way. It's early morning and iPhone cameras aren't fab without natural light. 

I hope this month is great for you, and you enjoy the rest of autumn, because come on, autumn is the best. 

Love Shay. xo