Party Time… 🍸🍹

Just a brief one today, we have been busy getting stuff sorted for the party – I don’t think the queen has this much fuss – I know it’s self inflicted, no sympathy required 😋

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Hubby is on garden duty, the gazebo is up, chairs and tables ready to positioned, electric is available for the DJ boyfriend- neighbors have been warned/invited – thankfully  sadly this will all be over by 10pm at the latest 🤣🤣

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I have been baking, which is lovely on the hottest day of the years so far 🌋

As I said yesterday I use Nigella’s cupcake recipe, it’s simple and tastes great

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for 24 cupcakes I mixed 250g unsalted butter with 250g sugar and a blob of vanilla bean paste, till light and fluffy, add 4 eggs, one at a time to the mix, then add 250g of self raising flour about 1/4 at a time – add a little milk till the mixture is ‘dropping constantly.

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Spoon into the cases, don’t overfill them, half to 3/4 full is enough

IMG_4100Into a preheated oven (200) for 15 minutes, then leave to cool.

 

I made the icing sugar yesterday, the buttercream icing is simple, add 250g unsalted butter to the mixing bowl with a small blob of vanilla bean paste, beat till pale, then carefully add 500g of icing sugar, a bit at a time so it doesn’t look like a snow storm in the kitchen.  You can colour this at this point – I am making 2 batches, one natural, one pale pink.

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Spoon you icing into a large icing bag, with a star nozzle at the end, in today’s heat I popped this into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm a little.

IMG_4106I start with a blob of icing in the middle of each cake, and with a continuous swirl.

Decorate to suit – these are truly easy to make and look lovely, even if I do say so myself – great fun to make with kids 🤗

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The salads are finished off.

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The watermelon sliced and plated.

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The cakes arranged.

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Cocktails are go…

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Hubby is Grill King

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Lets Party……….

 

 

Party Prep 🥂

Tomorrow we are hosting a Birthday BBQ for our Daughter and her friends for her 21st.

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Today is prep day and we have been out shopping, the BBQ meat is from Iceland, as I saved some vouchers especially for this purpose- just the normal Burgers, sausages plus spices Chicken Wings and Tiger Prawns as they are her favourite – we are not going OTT. I have some Field Mushroom and Halloumi for the Veggies 😋

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I also got some frozen Macaron- they are so pretty and taste amazing and at this price I couldn’t make them.

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For a healthy sweet kick, sliced watermelon

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To go with savoury I am making 2 basic salads, one a giant Cous Cous Salad – I boil this in plenty of water for 10 minutes or until tender, drain and pop back into the pan with a good glug of olive oil to keep it from sticking together – I am leaving this to cool, and will add finely sliced spring onion, cucumber, red pepper and a whole pack of chopped coriander and mint, Stir though with salt, pepper and lemon juice till ‘right’

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The other a homemade coleslaw

IMG_4089I make this in the Magimix with the slicing and grating blades – I could make it in the Thermomix, but it Chops the veg and I prefer it sliced – this will be finalised tomorrow.

Instead of a Birthday cake, I am making 21 cupcakes, the base recipe I use is from Nigella’s Domestic Goddess book. These will be made tomorrow.

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I make my own icing sugar in the Thermomix a kilo of icing sugar costs £1.70 on Sainsbury’s website, a kilo of Aldi granulated sugar is 59p

IMG_4067I add 250g of sugar and a teaspoon of cornflour to the Thermomix bowl and whizz at speed 10 for 10 seconds, stop, shake the bowl, and whizz again for another 10 seconds – I pop a sheet of kitchen roll between the measuring cup and the lid to prevent a billow of icing sugar

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Repeat this till the sugar is used – hey presto – a kilo of icing sugar 🤗

I am keeping these simple with pale pink rosette icing with shop bought ‘toppers’

When Grace was tiny, she couldn’t pronounce ‘Grace’ and as everyone called her Gracie, she shortened her own name to Ce-Ce (see-see) that was lengthened to Cupcake – like Families do 🙄  So her birthday cake had to be Cupcakes 😇

IMG_4080For drinks, I said I would provide a toast drink, we are making Strawberry Dachari’s for those who like them from Homemade frozen Stawberry purée , vodka, Lime juice, crushed ice, whizzed up in the Thermomix 😉 Aparently Cocktails are very ‘in’, I personally would prefer an Expresso Martini 😇

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We also have a huge bottle of Prosecco to toast her with – I might even share it with others 🤣 Loads of soft drinks too

I am sure she will have a fab night, they are going onto a night club afterwards – we will be on Cleanup duty then flaking out 🤣 Just one more 21st to go (youngest) then they can arrange their own parties 🤗

Birthday Treats and Baking…

My Birthday is 3 days before Christmas, as a child it was a pain, never had Birthday parties, as friends would be away visiting family, or we would be and it all sort of merged into one with Christmas. As an adult, going out for a birthday meal is no fun, full of Office Christmas parties and tinsel and Turkey.

When I met my lovely Hubby, he surprised me with an ‘Unbirthday’ a month before my real one, and this has carried on. He is treating me to a very special meal out tonight at a very upmarket restaurant which uses as much local produce as much as it can, and the food is out of this world….  the last time we went was 2 years ago and  we still talk about the meal, it was that good 😊 It not the type of place you take photo’s but here’s the link to their website of anyone is interested Thompsons

Anyway, it is also my Mum in Laws Birthday on Sunday, she will be 85. We are taking her out for lunch at a place she loves i.e. They do massive puddings – I think it must be a hangover from war time rationing, but a lot of older people I know are the same, they do love a good pud 😉 And if I make it to 85, I will eat whatever I please 😇

She has most things she could want, she has 4 children who all do their bit in one way or another, so I decided to bake her some cupcakes, as I know they will be appreciated.

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I use a basic Nigella recipe from ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ here’s the Link

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I start by making the icing sugar for the frosting in the Thermomix 200g granulated sugar whizzed on speed 10 for 30 seconds, I put some kitchen paper under the measuring cup to prevent a snow storm 😇 Then add 10g of cornflour, this acts as anti caking, you can leave out if you like, then blitz on speed 10 for another 30 seconds – done 🤓 I make this in batches and store in a lock and lock as I Bake quiet a lot .

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I am making the cake batter in the Kitchen Aid, as I like to see the consistency. Pre heat the oven to 200, then Weigh out into the mixer bowl 125g sugar, 125g chopped butter, 125g self raising flour, 2 large eggs, a blob of vanilla bean paste and a splash of milk.  Using the beater attachment, start slowly and build up the speed till the mix is smooth and silky, you want this dropping consistency.

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I line a muffin tin with individual cupcake papers, and I use an icecream scoop to put the mixture in each case, I put the ice cream  scoop in a jug of water, this stops the cake mix from sticking.  The scoop method ensures you have even amounts of mix for each cake too 👍

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Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes till golden on top, remove from oven and place the cupcakes on a cooling wrack.

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Time to make the icing – now this is where you can get creative, the colour and flavours are up to you, I am doing 2 lots, one lemon flavoured with a splash of yellow colouring, the other vanilla flavoured pink icing. For each batch, I start with 120g butter and 350g icing sugar, whisk together for approx 4 minutes till pale, add your flavouring I did 1 tsp of lemon flavouring (more intense) and 2 drops of yellow colouring for lemon, and a half teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 drops of pink colouring.

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I have put piping nozzles into each icing bag, 1 large star and 1 small star, fill the piping bags with the icing, I then put them into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit, not too much or it will be too hard to pipe.

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I am not the best at piping, and I watch in awe and admiration these amazing people who say, just do this and that and they have produced a stunning product which you would not want to ruin by eating…..  I do my best and I think it look pretty.

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Make your cake, and eat it.

Hi all,

Friday night is Date night, which basically means I don’t cook dinner.  We pop out to meet a few friends for a drink, then generally Hubby will get a takeaway or cook something simple, he is a very good cook, but rarely has the time.

We have family over on Sunday, my eldest son and his girlfriend, so I thought I,d make some cupcakes, busy tomorrow.  My eldest son is about 6ft 2, slim build and eats for England, as soon as he walks in the door, it’s a hug for mum, then straight to the kitchen to see what there is to eat 😏

I make the cake batter in the Kitchen Aid, I like to be able to see the consistency, I use an icecream scoop to put the batter into the cases, it makes them all even.

I make my own icing sugar in the Thermomix – 90 seconds at speed 10 and ta-da icing sugar at a third of the price of shop bought, then added butter, and in this case cocoa powder for butter icing, a quick wizz and then using a silicone spatula, put it in an icing bag with a star nozzle – I put it in the fridge for a while, just to firm it up a bit.

Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate butter icing and grated white chocolate – for my Baby Boy (22 yo and over a foot taller than me) – his favourites X

 

Happy Friday all X