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Archive for the ‘Edible’ Category

Siberian weather eh? That’s nice.

Actually, it’s not. I’ve been over-wearing the only really warm cardigan that I own, layering up with Uniqlo Heat tech, wearing Uggs in public (yes, I hate myself a bit for it!) and I’m still cold!  So in an attempt to thaw myself out, I decided to make an attempt at chilli hot chocolate.

I obviously used the easiest recipe I could find, and the result? Pretty damn good.

It’s apparently going to start getting warmer this week… but don’t let that stop you trying this out.

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After 3 years in the wine cupboard, I finally had a reason good enough to open the prettiest bottle of champagne ever. And it was definitely worth the wait.

But what to do with the bottle? Hand painted with Japanese anemones, designed by Emile Gallé, the creator of the Art Nouveau movement, in 1902, this is one bottle that’s not destined for the recycling bin.

Instead, filled with clear-corded fairy lights, it’s the perfect addition to the book shelf.

But perhaps I need another bottle so I can make bookends? I wonder if anyone would like to buy me more?

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What do you do when it’s too cold to leave the house, and you’re too poor to leave even if you could scrape together a few pence? You bake.

Butter, flour and sugar

This idiot proof Millionaire Shortbread recipe might not make you any richer, but it sure is tasty.

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My freezer compartment has been filled with home-grown (I say home-grown, I didn’t actually grow them… they were already growing in the garden when I moved in!) blackberries (well, actually 49% blackberries and 51% frost and ice) since I moved in to Three Small Apples HQ almost 18 months ago. And since I’m probably not going to get around to thawing out the freezer anytime soon, I decided that it was probably quicker and easier to make blackberry and apple jam!

Blackberries, Ice, frozen, fresh frozen berries

Home grown berries. And home frozen ice.

Three Large Apples

Three BIG apples.

chopped apples, green apples

…gulp…(poor apples).

Sieve… Look how fast the spoon is moving!

Add a wee bit of sugar…

Actually, add body weight in sugar.

Ta-da!!

TA-DA!!! x 6

Now, to lounge around, eating jammy toast and feelin’ smug.

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The holidays are over, the decorations are down (my tree isn’t actually down, it’s staying up till next week as the council tree collection won’t pick up till the 12th.. bad luck? What bad luck?) and we’re all back to work. Depressed much?

This is the only thing that’s cheering me up right now.

Yankee Candle, Carrot cake, scented candle

Carrot cake without the calories. Mmmm… thanks Jacq! x

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It’s probably because I’m addicted to anything that could be deemed ‘twee’, but I do love a home-made gift.

Anything hand knitted, home sewn or personally stewed gets a two thumbs up (or the modern, less geeky equivalent…) from me.

Home made mince meat, floral, kirstie alsopp, fruit

Viv’s home-made mince meat, complete with floral cloth lid (*love*), does look a bit better than my slightly charred Earl Grey tea loaf…

Now, can I use this in my own mince pies and still call them home-made? Or would I guilty of mince meat theft?

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Call it a little premature, but I’ve already cooked the first Christmas dinner of 2011, and it’s very likely to be the first of 4 this year.  I just can’t get enough of the little pigs in blankets!

And of course, every meal that includes mini sausages wrapped in bacon is usually accompanied by a lovely little present(or 3!) to open.

Long gone are the days where you bought everyone a £5 bath set from Boots (Charlie Red EDT and Body Spray gift pack, anyone?)…  Instead I was lucky enough to get these gorgeous goodies:

Tea Shed, Alessi Birdie Kettle

From Gaelle:

Designer tea from The Tea Shed.  With cute names such as “Rosie Lee” and “Baby, it’s cold outside”, my Alessi Birdie Kettle couldn’t be happier!

From The Countess (not to be confused with Jimmy Savile’s mum, who was The Dutchess):

A  bath set that combines two my favourite things, ditsy Liberty print and Hello Kitty (who just happens to weigh the same as three small apples…)

Hello Kitty tries her hand at “Where’s Wally”…

And lastly, a little something from H:

Because my hands need to eat too…

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Dumbo syndrome

After experimenting with multiple ear piercing in my youth (3 in one ear, 4 in the other (including one of those stupid piercings at the top…why?!) I’ve long decided that I can’t wear earrings. My ears are a bit too big (“They’re not big, they’re just long” is what someone once told me!) and I prefer necklaces, rings and bangles anyway so need to leave something out to ensure that I don’t look a bit too overdressed.

But if I did decide that I wanted to wear earrings, I’d probably wear these:

Wired Jewellry £4, cherry bakewellCherry Bakewell earrings

£4 from Wired Jewellery

I just bloody love frangipane!!

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Meh.  Just had a rather disappointing chicken gyoza noodle soup from Wasabi.  Too much liquid, not enough veg and a huge chunk of raw onion (which was the first thing I put in my mouth, obviously!).  Also, there is no polite way to eat noodle soup in an office, although I did try, which resulted in a slightly soupy work space.

A recent lunch at The Ritz with Jacq was much more successful, despite not really knowing which piece of cutlery to use, and getting told off for taking pictures.

I did manage to take a little sneaky one though:

My starter consisted of a scallop (yep, ONE. True it did say “Scallop” as opposed to “Scallops” on the menu … but I thought they were using the same kind of language that’s so popular in fashion circles… referring to “a boot” instead of “boots” and so on…) with a smoked haddock foam (mmm foam(!)…the foam was actually very tasty), pancetta and some kind of long cracker thing. It was TINY, but incredible.

A minuscule portion of squab pigeon followed, and the meal was finished off by a midget cheese board.

But believe it or not, I was so full that I didn’t eat for the rest of the day.  You don’t snack after a meal at The Ritz (you probably couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).

One last sneaky photo… pretty!

Ps. Thanks to Mummyapples… t’was a lovely Christmas present.

Pps. Itsu gyoza soup is much better than Wasabi

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God I miss Borders.

Borders, starbucks, magazines, cafe

Where else could you go and have a hazelnut latte and spend 3 hours reading all of the international and biannual fashion magazines that you couldn’t afford to buy?  £10 for a glossy magazine? No thanks… but I might just read it while eating an apple and cinnamon muffin and I promise I’ll be careful not to get crumbs on the pages.

But those days are long gone (probably because of people like me who very rarely bought a book from there…whoops! Come back…I’m sorry!!).

Is there anywhere else in London where I can go and brush up on the newest sartorial knowledge (and perhaps eat cake) without being given the hairy eyeball?

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