Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bite Size Burgers

Why this is the best canape recipe...

1. They are delicious
2. They are cute
3. They are so easy
4. They are burgers!

I think #4 sells it enough. These can be whipped up in 20 minutes and will be wiped up by your guests in 30 seconds.

I'm going to get right to it, no faffing. Firstly, the bun, 1 bagel = 4 mini burgers. Of course any buns can be used but bagels are thick, doughy and work very well.

To cut your buns take a shot glass, I used plastic one as they are sharper around the edge and cut through the bagel better, if you only have glass cut around the edges with a sharp knife. For both the top and bottom of the burger bun cut from the inside of the bagel.

Now for the burgers, you won't need much mince as they are so tiny, I used most of the mince to make normal sized burgers. Put 500grams of mince in a bowl and mix in one beaten egg yolk, 10 finely crushed cream crackers, one tablespoon of tomato ketchup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll out to around 1/2cm thick. I use lean mince from the butchers and they often mince it twice for me, I find the crackers absorb better and enjoy the final texture more.

Again with a shot glass cut out your mince burgers.

Heat up your buns.

Here you add a little cheese, leave it to melt for a couple of minutes.

To keep them hot whilst you cook the rest put them in the oven at 90C with your buns.When ready put your burger together, layered up and place a toothpick through the middle to hold it all together. I added plum tomatoes sliced and lettuce. Gherkins, bacon, guacamole, whatever you want can be added now.

So now I've finally found a great canape recipe and I'm so excited to make them again. Any others to share??

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Salted Caramel Flapjacks

One of the best things about being a student is the spare time you have. Yet there's the continuous problem of budgeting. I'm pretty geeky and do a lot of work and when I get bored nothing makes me happier then whipping up something new and exciting.

I raid my kitchen cupboards and gather all my staple foods and decide on my options. I have all the ingredients that I bought when I first moved in, the items left over that can't be grabbed and eaten on busy days. This week whilst experimenting I had a major, major, major breakthrough. Salted Caramel Flapjacks. These are just too easy and cheap to make, ridiculously quick and too insanely delicious to be true. 

Sweet, salty, chewy, filthy and beyond perfect.

There's something dreamy about the combination of sweet and salt, the holy trinity of fat, salt and sugar. This recipe just ticks all the boxes. Getcha' oven mitts on.

200g soft brown sugar,
200g of butter
3 heaped tbsp golden syrup
250g porridge oats
Pinch of sea salt
Butter for greasing

For Salted Caramel Sauce
100g unsalted butter
100g light muscavado sugar
25g caster sugar
3tbsp golden syrup
100ml of double cream
1 1/2 tsps of sea salt

and 75g of melted chocolate for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 9" x 13" baking tray.
2. In a saucepan place the butter, sugar, syrup and salt. Simmer whilst continuously stirring until all the butter has melted away.

3. Once your mixture has no butter lumps slowly pour in your porridge oats mix until you have a thick golden mixture for around two minutes.

4. Spread the mixture evenly into your greased tray and bake for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown. When you remove them from the oven they will still be slightly soft, but they will harden once they cool.

5. When they are cooking it's time for the 'cherry'. The salted caramel sauce. Melt the butter, both sugars and golden syrup in a pan, continuously stirring, let it simmer for 5 minutes and add your cream and salt and stir for a minute or so. If you want a thicker sauce add a little more sugar, but it will harden when it cools. Pour it out into a jug to prevent it from cooking further.

6. Cover your masterpiece in the caramel sauce and melted chocolate.

I recommend a bib. Sharing these can get messy! You can eat them hot with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream or cold, wrapped up for work and they are great for dunking. They will last around 5 days, but if they last for more than two I'd call 0845 4647 to have your symptoms checked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Who can say no to pizzas and cocktails?

I got very excited about the snow and forgot to tell you about the fact that I want to my first ever bloggers meeting! It was held in B-Soho a little hidden Italian joint just round the corner from Oxford Street. This is just a short post and I'm sorry about the picture quality it was half camera/half iPhone, I was too busy gossiping, eating and drinking.

I went with the gorgeous Georgia from Supercalafashionistic, we had a great time and managed to sneak in a Starbucks and quick shopping trip. She's a fashion student and I'm a confessed shopaholic, it was a little inevitable, both of our student loans have no hope. Her outfit posts are dreamy and her post on our day has great pictures I'd recommend a peek.

We arrived and like professionals we hit the bar, running up a bill on cocktails and pizzas.

Browhaus were also doing free threading... being the big name in the game usually charging around £20 for less than 5 minutes work. The chairs were quickly ours.

Although the pizza and drinks were divine, being surrounded by so many bloggers was heaven on earth. I got to finally meet a few of my favourite bloggers, Hanushka who is the biggest sweetheart ever completely made my day and of course the lovely Pheobe, and Rose who hosted the event. 

The funny/crazy things about blogging is that you know everything about somebodys life who you've never met. You feel like you're life long friends, you know what they have every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the dates they've been on, their wardrobes, families and travels. However odd it is, you can make great friends.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Snowy Sunday

Everybody has been complaining about the snow, I do agree, it's a huge pain. But, moaning isn't going to make it go away, so you may as well embrace it.

My house is surrounded by forests, so I really do get housebound. Fluffy socks, fleecy blankets, chick flicks and a toasty fire make up for it. I've introduced you to my three girls, the musketeers, Coco, Chanel and Paris. This year instead of cuddling up to me on the sofa they longingly stared out the window desperate to play in the snow.

You just can't say no to three lots of puppy eyes.

We all set out, wrapped up warm with some seeds in our pockets in case we saw any hibernating, hungry birds. Unfortunately my dad was unable to join us, we have sent him off to fat camp for the week. My beautiful mummy is very happy about it..

We walked through the forests to my secret escape, a little gate into Narnia.

It's still beautiful and only six months ago me and Joe were having a picnic...

That's England for you!

A few snowball fights later I couldn't feel my toes! And we headed home, rosy red cheeks and feeling forever young.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Origins Make a Difference Review

I've decided to do my first ever product review.
It's a little exciting and I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't more than obsessed with this little moisturiser.

Calling it a moisturiser does it no justice. £33 for a tub that will last you months and produce absolute wonders. It's a hydrating treatment that over time gives your skin that glowing, tinted look.

I'm convinced that my body wasn't made for winter, I get the sniffles very easily, have to wear at least 3 layers, even in the house (a student problem) and my skin goes dry from the bitter winds. To tackle my dry winter skin I've tried everything, after way too many facials, dermatologist appointments and online reading I learnt that thick moisturisers are awful for dry, dehydrated skin. They give you black heads and spots as they clog your pores and instead you need a hydrating, thinner moisturiser.

I paraded the shops and brought this tub on a whim, a sweet old lady working on the stand seemed so passionate and was so lovely I couldn't say no. She won my heart! 

Anyway, I've forever longed for great glowing skin and I'm slowly getting there, my foundation sits much better on my skin as it is more hydrated and moisturised. This product is my absolute baby. I now use the whole Make a Difference Range but this is a necessity, you can't go wrong.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Red Velvet Pancakes

It's tuesday... It's a bad tuesday too. It's the tuesday 2 weeks into the New Year and everybody has realised that it's going to be a long time till the next little holiday break. I actually believe Tuesdays' are worse than Mondays'. Monday is always busy, you get to see people and talk about your weekend and it seems to go pretty quickly. Where as Tuesday always feels like you've got forever till the weekend.

So, here is a dreamy recipe of perfection, whip it up, leave it in the fridge and you can get a good batch of pancakes to keep you going till Friday.

This will make you around 15 pancakes, the recipe can be halved but I can assure you the mixture won't go to waste! 

2 cups of flour,
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tbsp of icing sugar
A pinch of baking soda and salt
2 large eggs
1 tbsp of red food colouring
Butter for frying
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk

For the cream cheese icing:
Depending on your choice for every heaped tablespoon of cream cheese, one flat tablespoon of icing sugar. I added crushed meringue to mine too.

If you can't get your hands on any buttermilk you can make your own! Pour two tablespoons of lemon juice into 1 1/2 cups of semi-skimmed milk and leave it for 5-10 minutes to curdle, give it a little stir and you have home-made buttermilk! The instructions are dead easy, sift the top five ingredients into a bowl, whisk in your eggs, colouring and butter milk until there are no more lumps. Lastly, fry your pancakes in a little bit of butter...

One month till Valentines day, get practicing, and if Valentines day is just another day of the year for you, these will change that, who needs men when you have food!
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