Monthly Archives: April 2012

Brownies

I haven’t made brownies in years, probably the last time was when I still lived in my old flat! I thought about them all the way home from Glasgow and googled a few recipes for ideas. One thing I’ve learned today? There’s a lot of freaking brownie recipes out there!

Once I’d written out my ingredients, I realised this was going to very much be a ‘make do and mend’ kind of recipe! I couldn’t get the scales to work, for one thing, so I had to measure the flour with a measuring spoon. No idea if that’s worked! Then I had no baking tin, do a ceramic oven dish had to do. Oh and I only had parchment circles to line the dish, so I came up with some creative laying of the circles!

It’s an easy recipe, prep time was fairly minimal and you can of course add things to the batter before baking. I went with walnuts, chocolate chunks of the milk and dark variety, and a drizzle of butterscotch.

Ingredients

200g butter
250g dark chocolate (I used valrhona noir at 68%)
85g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
50g milk chocolate, chopped
50g dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
200g caster sugar
75g dark muscovado sugar
75g chopped walnuts
Butterscotch or dulce de leche

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie (place a bowl over a pot of simmering water). Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease and line a tin, or in my case a roasting dish!

Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. In another bowl combine the eggs and sugars, beating with an electric mixer until fluffy – this should double in size. Fold in the melted chocolate and butter. Now sift the flour in and fold it on as well. Add chopped chocolate and nuts.

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Pour the batter into the lined dish and drizzle with butterscotch.

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Bake about 30 mins until top cracked and the mixture no longer jiggles when you shake the dish! They should still be gooey in the middle. Now my oven is on its last legs so it took far longer than it should, but for this recipe about 30 minutes should do it.

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Allow to cool and cut into squares. Devour. Share if you must.

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Oooh! Lighting porn!

All by Moooi.  So beautiful.  I think I am in love…The Dear Ingo light, which comes in white and black, is destined for my drawing room.  One day.  When I have £2500.  Or when I rob a bank.  Sh…

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My dream kitchen!

 

 

I have been craving a new kitchen for so long, it’s the room I spend the most time in and when I have friends over, the party always ends up hanging out around the island.  Where there is currently no seating whatsoever!  I have a very clear image in my head how I want it to look, with very minimalist styling, white cabinets along the walls and a beautiful walnut island framed in granite.  Lovely natural materials, warm, welcoming, and with tonnes of storage space for all my stuff!  I want a wall (or at least a part of one, from floor to ceiling) devoted to my vast collection of cookbooks, and the wall between the kitchen and the cupboard in the hall knocked through (yikes!) for a much-needed pantry.  Industrial cooker hood, and of course the much talked-about ‘lighting porn’, some serious statement lighting in the form of a hanging cluster above my island!  A girl can but dream!

Well, this summer I will be getting my dream kitchen!  The lovely designer at Harvey Jones has come out to measure my exisiting kitchen, I’ve discussed (at length) my wish list, and she will be sending me the initial layout incorporating all my essentials…the American-style fridge, dishwasher, double oven, pimped up hob… Harvey Jones’s ‘Linear’ range is exactly the look I had envisaged, clean lines and none of the ubiquitous Shaker cabinetry!  Then I will be sending the layout to the lovely Michaela at Michaela Noelle Designs, who will be working with me on the perfect kitchen design!

SO excited!

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Today my dog may have come out of my closet…

…wearing a spotted wee skirt! I walked into my bedroom to find he’d climbed onto my bed and into the skirt I’d just changed out of.

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Pretty stuff at ‘Under a Glass Sky’

Pretty things make me happy, I have always been fascinated by the aesthetics of ‘stuff’ (hence the desire to move away from environmental management and towards sustainable engineering and design).  Sometimes pretty things have a purpose, but being pleasing to the eye (whether this makes them more useful and efficient or not) can be a purpose in itself.  Sometimes it’s just nice to be around beautiful things.

The lovely Emily from Under a Glass Sky really just embodies all this.  I’ve known Em for years, she’s a gorgeous 50s era pin up girl with the most fabulous sense of style and awe-inspiring cooking skills!  Whenever we’ve met up we end up talking food and vintage dresses… What I didn’t know until quite recently is, she also makes stuff which she sells on Folksy.  Well, I ambled over to her shop this morning and thought I’d share some of her pretty, pretty pieces… I adore her wee matchbox vignettes!

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Changing tactics

It has been a bit quiet here lately, mostly due to a whole heap of stuff happening…a field trip to Firbush for a week, my parents turning up a few days later, new tattoos, meeting up with old friends, and some very good weather that just screamed for outdoor fun.  After 10 weeks of relentless uni work, I just decided to step away from the computer and go outside.

Well fortunately for this blog (but perhaps unfortunately for my general wellbeing and sanity!) I am back at school for the next 10 weeks, so of course more activity on here.   I’ve already decided this will be my last term at this university, as though this course had appealed to me at first, the lack of options (particularly in the areas I am interested in) was really starting to get me down.

I love being outside, I really enjoy being out in the coutryside and there really is nothing I like better than going for a wee cycle on a gorgoeus day.  I’m interested in how we use and treat our environment, and I do believe the way most of us live and consume is NOT sustainable.  I just don’t think the way we are learning about resource use and environmental issues will give me the skills I’ll need to enter the job market in a career I’d be interested in.  I’m a built environment kinda girl.  Let me look at something and tell you how I can make it better, more sustainable, more efficient and goddamn it, more aesthetically pleasing!  In every essay I’ve written, I’ve thrown in a little something about engineering, track building, wind farm design.  I don’t want to stand on a hillside identifying a species of plant that may or may not exist!

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Reclining a la chat

This is my kitten…

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This is my kitten on Valium!

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