Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy Halloween,

Tomorrow is Halloween, so we have been gearing up a bit.  We had some friends round for dinner this evening so a bit of a halloween theme ensued.  We had chilli and hot dogs follwed by a rather embarrassing amount of cupcakes I had made. Not vegan this time but still all gluten free.  There should be some left for any trick or treaters tomorrow.

 Vanilla Sponge with royal icing. Spooky spider webs and spiders (except that one in the middle)
 Red Velvet Cake with vanilla buttercream and some icing devil horns. These were my fave of the day
 Purple monsters are strawberry sponge (with a hint of blue for the gory colour) vanilla buttercream again.
Orange ones are cinnamon pumpkin and cinnamon vanilla buttercream
 This is my witch I had to make after I made one for a craft swap. Along with the knitted pumpkin I recieved in the swap from Crafty Helen

I have had this pumpkin tealight house from Partylite for goodness knows how many years, and although lots of partylite has passed through the house and been sold as my whim changes, I cannot see me ever parting with this.

 Here is my little homage to All Hallows Eve on the mantlepiece. There are witches hat candles from the swap in the candle holder in the middle but it was hard to get far enough away to get the whole shot and make them vsible. Trusty laptop was not supposed to be there but thats where it always seems to be so why pretend otherwise
Happy halloween to one and all, x

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Gluten free and vegan but definitely tasty Red Velvet Cupcakes

As you know, I love to bake cupcakes.  It has for some time been a dilemma for me when my dear daughter comes to visit because she eats vegan but loves cake.  So last week I had a search around for vegan cupcake recipes.  Several problems cropped up. The first being that they were all US recipes that called for cups as measurements.  Now this is odd because I didn't have anything accurate for measuring that. Then as if by magic, I had a birthday last week and my work colleague got me these measuring cups as a gift. Timely or what!
The next thing is its a double whammy for us because I have to eat gluten free. Sheesh!
However, I found a recipe. The first batch was less desirable, so I tweaked the recipe and the results were very pleasing. Those raspberries just keep on coming.

This is what I used. You will need measuring cups for this. I know mine came from Waitrose but i guess you can get them other places.

Gluten Free & Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

.75 cup gluten free flour-I used glutafin  This has a bit of raising agent so if you use a plain one, up the baking powder by another teaspoon.
1tsp baking powder

1tbs cocoa

1.5 tbs veg oil

.5 cup sugar, maybe less, bit sweet I used unrefined caster

.5 cup water

1.5 tsp cider vinegar (if you dont need gluten free you can use white malt vinegar)

.5 tsp vanilla essence
.5 tsp strawb food colour. you can add a bit of red colour too if it does not look red enough.
I made 9 in bun cases. Just mixed it all thoroughly in the food mixer and put in cases.  Baked at 180degrees centigrade. My oven took around 18 mins but do check them as our ovens all vary.

For the frosting,
this is in ounces as that's how I work I am afraid.
6oz icing sugar
2oz vegetable based margarine
1oz white veg fat. I prefer Trex
Dash of vanilla extract and a little water if needed.

This mix gives nice flavour which is not too sickly IMO.  Just beat it all together until its nice a fluffy and soft enough to pipe.  The raspberries and cake stand are not obligatory but they do look kinda nice

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Folksy Friday on Spider Saturday!!!!

Its nearly halloween and so i have left the best till last. SPIDERS!!!!
My family think I am weird.  I love spiders.  Yes they do make me jump when they hurtle across the floor while we are watching TV, and no, I would prefer they are not in the bedroom when I go to bed. That said, I think they are the most amazing creatures.  I love nothing more than to watch them at work with their webs.  Ultimate crafters if you ask me.  My poor other half is terrified of them and gets quite upset when they spin a web across the garden path.  I must confess to a little snigger as he leaves for work in the autmn when its most likely with his hands in front of him to protect him from the webs.  So I hope you like my selections this week.  Just click on the title to take you to the full listing but be careful of the cobwebs!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

New Cups and New Cupcakes, Everything stops for tea.

So last week I told you about the vintage cups and saucers given to me from my Nans collection.  I am still searching for more of the delectable pink ones but I found these two shiny black ones on ebay and to my delight I got a free trio for a predetermined spend.  How nice do they look with the non vintage cakestand?
This is the trio I got free and I have to confess I have just ordered the other two sets they had left as I have become quite smitten with them. This is my little birthday present to myself.  I cant believe that china from around the  1912 -1930 era can still be around. I am going to have to be so careful because I have broken modern china so quickly in the past. thankfully, the dining room is a carpetted sanctuary. They would not stand a chance in my tiled kitchen and all its chaotic mayhem. 

More cakes were produced today.  These are cinnamon raisin with cinnamon maple buttercream. This is all thats left after the boys spotted them.

 These are St.Clements cupcakes.  Orange sponge topped with lemon vanilla buttercream.  I do love anything lemony.  Dear daughter will be sad as they are not vegan.  I have found a recipe or 2 and as I have next week off day job, plan to have a go at those. 

 Lastly, on the teatime theme.  I made my friend a tea cosy at the weekend.  Quite chuffed with it and think I might need one for my kitchen now as mine is a little shabby.  She just text me to say it was a perfect fit.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A new Obsession

Last week I spent a lovely afternoon with my parents and made these yummy cupcakes (if I do say so myself).  `This is no new obsession` I hear you cry!  `She is already obsessed with cup cakes!`   Very true indeed and there is a closer pic of the strawberry flavoured treasures with raspberries from the garden (so proud of those berries) at the bottom of this post.  The cake-stands are nothing new either. Love those too!

The focus of the new found love lies clearly at the door of that pink teacup and saucer in the picture.  This was my Nans. It came with a few others as Nan has gone to live in a care home where she can be pampered a bit as she is 90!  It has to be said that Nan and I do share a good few traits, and pretty things like this is  just one.  Some have been squirrelled away but once I noticed how well this one went with my cake stand I just had to have more.  I also kept out this lovely trio and a colour scheme was borne.  The dining room has a oyster/black colour scheme but I think it can take an injection of pink.

I have just bought a couple more on ebay so really looking forward to adding them and the free trio I got for spending an undisclosed amount of money.  Don't worry its not megabucks, but prob more than I would pay for modern china.  Anyhoo, think I must now stay away from ebay and sit on my hands for a while.  I will show the new acquisitions when they get here and I have a feeling that the charity shops and jumble sales may get more visits than in the past. I really would like another of the pink one. Probably spend the rest of my life looking as I don't know much about it other than it is Queen Anne.  Do feel free to enlighten me.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

what I sent for my swap partner.

A couple of posts ago, I showed off the impressive parcel I received from my partner Crafty Helen. Now I know she has mine, I can show it off to you guys. I forgot to take `wrapped pics` so if you pop over to Helens` lovely blog she has some.  While you are there check out her lovely makes for her craft fayre. They are just yummy.
 The contents of her parcel are here. 

Friday, 8 October 2010

Witchy Folksy Friday

The halloween continues through October. This week, inspired by the witch I made for the craft swap, I have chosen some of my favourite witchy folksy finds.

 Cat and the Moon by Witchy Woo

Witch Necklace by Mirabilis

Witches Shoes by Sparrow Primitives

Hattie Batty and Hecate by Flossie Limejuice
Not So Wicked Witch Doll by The Hunny Bunny Company
card by GweddusArt

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

My Giveaway box of goodies Has Arrived

A few weeks ago, I entered a halloween/autumn swap over at Crafty Helens` Blog.  I got Helen herself as my swap partner. gulp!
My package arrived last week but I wanted to wait until I had sent hers` off to her. Well, today was that day. So Helen, look out for that postman tomorrow or at worst Friday for your surprises, `cos they are on their way!
Really hope she likes what I have sent (will share pics when I know she has them) as I was bowled over by my parcel. This is what the box looked like before I opened. Inside everything was wrapped in halloweeny paper, and there was loads of halloween confetti.  I ended up with a bit on my face and my son said it  looked like a witchy mole. Cheeky get!
Well we had such fun unwrapping it all, it was a bit like a birthday.
Here it all is. Look out,  there is a lot of it!  There was a lovley card too, but I seem to have lost the pic of that.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Do you like Pina Coladas?

Cupcakes that is. You can take them to work and not get in trouble though, unlike the title drink.

Well, retro they are, but I really do. No, BTW I hate getting caught in the rain. I have been trying to make these for a while and the US recipe I had was not very successful so I played around with it and these ones were scrumptious. Not Pina Colada as such, but sounds more exotic that pineapple and coconut. I want a more stands-up-alone buttercream style topping, so I will work on that and then share my recipe. This one tastes sublime, but I think the improved one will be better.