Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tough Chicks

I'm a bit of a softy these days, sometimes I wish I was more of a tough chick. Check out these tough chicks in a video I found via Design*Sponge.

I think I have a girl crush...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Burning down the house

Yesterday it was my sister-in-laws birthday BBQ and I promised to make her a cake. She hadn't told me what sort of cake she wanted so as I got to choose...chocolate!!

While I was googling for a recipe I stumbled across this recipe for a double chocolate layer cake. It has over 1000 reviews which apparently makes it the most popular recipe on epicurious, so I thought it was definitely worth a try.

As I have a small oven I had to bake the 2 layers separately. All started off well, the first layer went like a dream, and then I popped in the second. About half an hour later my sister-in-law came running out of the kitchen yelling "FIRE! FIRE!!". The smoke alarm was bleeping and smoke was bellowing out of the oven - my 2nd layer was a disaster! It seems the oven must have automatically switched back to its maximum heat (which I dint't see) and I then was baking my cake at 250 degrees rather than the 150 the recipe called for - not so good. To say the least I was not a happy chappy.

That was enough baking for one night, so I got up early the next morning to attempt layer 2 for the second which actually ended up turing out better then the 1st (you can see in the bottom pick the top layer was much more moist). Then it was time to make the ganache which had almost half a kilo of delicious Callebaut chocolate....mmmmmmmmm...and then had to wait for what felt like forever to cool it down in order to ice the cake.

I have to say, despite the close call with setting the kitchen on fire, I am very proud of the end result. I would not say it was the best chocolate cake I have eaten, but it was damn good. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it too!

But now, 2 days later, you can still smell the burnt chocolate cake throughout the house.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Budget Breaking

I put myself on a tight budget last year and I have to say I am very proud of myself. I've never been a good saver and it meant curbing two of my biggest addictions: shopping and eating out. Ok well every now and then I do buy things or go out for dinner but believe me its minuscule compared to before.

When starting my budget shopping and eating out were not the only things I reduced, another thing I stopped was my magazine subscription to VT Wonen (amongst others - only Martha Stewart Living made the cut). It's a Dutch interior design and style magazine which I absolutely LOVE. When I'm in the super market I make sure to walk past the magazine section as swiftly as possible to ensure I don't go weak at the knees when I see all the covers teasing at what's to be found inside.

Yesterday my college pulled out his copy of VT Wonen to show me something and I almost squealed. I asked if I could flick through it and he said why not sure borrow it for a few days and give it back once your done. Well as soon as I got on the bus to go home I ripped it open and poured over all the pretty images.

When I first starting buying this magazine I was so proud I was reading a Dutch magazine! Who was a kidding - all I wanted to do was look at the pictures!!

So it seems I have reignited my love for VT Wonen. Out of sight was kind of out of mind but now that I have seen it again, I don't know if I can miss it again. At the end of the day it's not even €6 a month! I'm sure that'll fit in the budget. Maybe I can skip a few coffees (oh but can I?) or text a little less; either way VT Wonen is here to stay.

Here some images for you kids, I'm off to read my magazine...