Sunday, 29 April 2012

A Cake Chain

Have you ever heard of a Herman or Friendship cake? Well until recently I hadn't. I was handed one at work the other day in a Chinese tub, with a list of instructions telling me to stir, love and talk to my cake. Sounds mad doesn't it, but it's actually fun, instead of a chain letter I suppose it's a chain cake.
So here's a basic recipe to start your own that I found searching on the Internet at Cherished by me

460g flour
500ml milk
230g sugar
90ml warm water
2 tbsp dry yeast

1. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the warm water.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over this mixture and leave somewhere warm until it doubles in size.
3. Weigh out all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and slowly mix in the yeast and water mixture.
4. Cover loosely
5. Place in a warm place and stir everyday.

These are the instructions that I have been given, now you need to carry on feeding and loving your cake until you are ready to part with some-

Day 1,2 and 3- Just stir me.
Day 4- Add 100g flour, 200g sugar and 250ml milk and stir me.
Day 5,6,7 and 8- Just stir me.
Day 9- Add 100g flour, 200g sugar and 250ml milk and stir me. Then split me into 4, give 3 away and keep 1.
Day 10- Make me into a cake, add 200g sugar, 200g flour, 2 eggs, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 peeled and chopped cooking apples, 140g dried fruit, 1 tsp cinnamon and 190ml Olive oil. Mix and pour into a tray bake. Bake at 170C or gas 4 for 45 min, cool and ice with glace icing. Cut into slices.
There are many varieties of cake that you can make, why not try carrot and coconut or banana.

Don't forget to pop back and let me know how yours turned out!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Vintage Fairs

Last weekend I attended Chic Vintique in Stockton on Tees it was wonderful, a large Marquee in The Parish Gardens, that was full to the brim of stalls selling allsorts. Some were companies, some were selling off goods that they no longer had the room for. There was cake stalls selling all different types of cakes and bakes, stalls crammed full of nick-knaks and some full of vintage clothing, scarves and hats! The patterns and different fabrics were incredible.
Here's some photos from that day.
An old suitcase full of vintage scarves


A mixture of tablecloths, napkins
and tray cloths.


Vintage hats all piled up on a table, there were
some absolute beauties!
And some of the items I bought.

Pretty embroidered napkins and some
 lovely little silver plated sugar tongs.

Lovely little Violet teaset


I can't wait for the next one in July!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Nothing like a Street Party

I don't know about you but last year with the hype of the Royal Wedding, I wasn't really that fussed about watching it. But I am SO glad that I did, it made me feel proud, the way that everyone came together to support and watch.
So this year with the Queen's Jubilee,I am the force that is driving our party. My Mother-in-law and I are organising a street party and I cant wait!
Here's some of the things I've been looking at for inspiration. Make sure you keep checking back for updates on the street party!


This is my Mum's Jubilee Tea caddy from 1953


Don't you just love the Corgi



Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Leek and Potato Soup

I love soup and I feel that, a big bowl of steaming hot soup is a cure all. From a broken heart to a full blown cold, a bowl of soup will always make you feel better.
I'm privileged enough to have a Farmer's Market that is on my doorstep, and the people who have stalls there are wonderful. A mix of plants and herbs or American Cupcake and treats, to spice mixes for curries. The atmosphere is fab and bubbling with chatter as you walk down the Market.

One of the stalls is a veg stall which seems pretty normal, but he sells the most amazing vegetables, I don't know what it is about his veg but it just seems to taste so much better. On his stall he sells soup bags where you get all the veg you need the recipe and the stock cube- simple! I always buy the Leek and Potato.
So here's my recipe for it.

2/3 Large leeks that still have the dark green tops
1 large onion
2/3 large potatoes
chicken stock or chicken stock cube
2 pints of water
salt and pepper
20g butter
1tbsp oil

1. Clean up the leeks, take the very tops of the leeks if brown.
2. Add the butter and oil to a large pan and melt over a low heat.
3. Chop the leeks into rounds, place in a colander and rinse under the tap to get rid of ant bits of dirt.
4. Place into the pan to soften.
5. Rough chop onion and add to pan. .
6. Once the leeks and onions have softened, add the diced potatoes, and add the stock.
7. Add salt and pepper (remember stock can be quite salty)
8. Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer.
9. Once the potatoes are soft, remove from the heat and leave to cool before blending.

Enjoy!


Friday, 20 April 2012

Doily Decor

I love anything to do with lace and doilies. I have a basket under my desk which is over flowing with both lace and doilies, both old and new. Although I have so many, of many different colours, I have nothing to do with them.
So, because of this I decided to have a search to see what I could do with them. I'm currently in the middle of making the Doily Table runner.
Here's my top Doily Decor DIY projects-






1. Doily Table Runner 2. Doily Bunting 3. Doily Lampshade 4. Doily Tea lights 5. Doily Cushion

Monday, 16 April 2012

Flora

I love floral's and if my husband (Mr B) would allow it I'd have floral's everywhere, and I mean everywhere! So because I'm not allowed too many floral's, although I do sneak them into the house slowly so he doesn't notice, I have to search for floral's to inspire me on the internet.
Floral's just put a smile on my face, there's nothing nicer than a bunch of flowers no matter what they are. I always try to have a bunch of flowers on my windowsill in my little office and in the kitchen.

Floral fashion's-
What a gorgeous bag if you don't want to wear the floral trend this Spring, this bag would look great dressed down with skinny jeans and a cute T-shirt. 

I love this Blue floral Hydrangea dress from Oasis, defintely one for a Spring/Summer wedding! 

Floral decor- 


I do love a tin, so these floral tins from Cath Kidston would brighten up any Kitchen work surface. 

Or how about this beautiful Velvet laptop sleeve from Cox and Cox


Or for the brave how about this beautiful wallpaper from Harlequin called Elodie. 

And finally Floral food- 

I've never cooked with Lavender before but I might have to give these a try, Lavender Shortbread biscuits


How unbelievably pretty are these Violet cup cakes, so very very pretty!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Tea Time

Yesterday Florence Hetty Teas had the honour of catering and styling for an Birthday Afternoon Tea. Going with a Spring time theme of Crisp Green and Pale Dusky pink, the table overflowed with finger sandwiches, cupcakes and scones. Tea and talking flowed late into the afternoon.


Preparation for the Afternoon Tea, my sister and I spent Friday afternoon sorting all the vintage china into sets. Looking at what worked well together and what plates would be used to serve what foods. using mismatched china to create a relaxed vintage feel to the day. 



We used vintage linen to help style the table, using vintage doilies, napkins and table cloths to create a vintage style that fit with what the client wanted.



 A mixture of savoury and sweet were laid out for everyone to enjoy!


Dessert served in a teacup to finish the day off nicely!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Styling

Evening!
I'm currently busy getting organised for an event this weekend. Lots of baking and packing to do!
To get inspiration I like to look at friends blog's as well as magazines and journals but most recently I have become addicted to Pinterest. It's such an easy way to create inspiration boards that are all in one place.
Here's some of my inspiration for this weekend. 

http://pinterest.com/pin/99360735498978387/
http://pinterest.com/pin/99360735498878116/
http://pinterest.com/pin/99360735499037949/

http://pinterest.com/pin/99360735498870819/

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Collars of lace

My recent post about The Retro Room seems to have been a hit, I do love going there and try go at least twice a week to see what new items the lovely staff have placed so lovingly around the room. It really is a must if your in the area! I guarantee you'll find something to buy from your childhood.

These are my most recent purchases from The Retro Room, some lovely lace collars that are just so sweet!



Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding

I love this recipe for Bread and Butter Pudding but with a twist, by using up leftover Hot Cross Buns it adds another flavour to the pudding with the spice and fruit. Plus no waste!
This can be made into a large dish for a family meal or it can be done in individual portions (I like to serve mine in teacups, one hot cross bun for each teacup)

6 hot cross buns cut in half and buttered
300ml double cream
300ml milk
6 egg yolks
2 eggs
150g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 160C or Gas 2
2. Layer the buns in the bottom of your dish (or one in the bottom of each teacup)
3. Bring the milk, cream, 1/2 sugar and vanilla to the boil, then remove from the heat.
4. Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until it thickens slightly.
5. Pour milk mixture over the eggs and sugar and whisk.
6. Pour half  the milk mixture over hot cross buns, then add the tops of the buns, cross side up ( makes it look pretty)
7. Pour over the rest of the liquid and leave to soak for approx. 20 min.
8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 min, until golden and bubbling.

Love Florence

DIY Easter

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you have an excellent day, whatever you do.
Here's some DIY ideas for this rainy day.
http://pinterest.com/pin/189714203023128346/
http://pinterest.com/pin/259801472224121626/
http://pinterest.com/pin/79868593361813181/

Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Retro Room

The Retro Room is a hidden gem found at the back of an Age UK shop near to where I live, it's absolute treasure trove of items! And I love it!
The Aladdin's cave that is the Retro Room, is full vintage clothing that over flows off the rails around the room, suitcases piled high spilling with vintage lace and doilies. Gorgeous old dressers and cupboards full of glassware that is surrounded by handbags and fabrics. An over flowing cupboard full of retro and vintage games that everyone knows and loves!




Friday, 6 April 2012

Things I love- tins

At the moment I'm going through a phase of collecting tins, a couple of months ago my mum found an old Rington's Jubilee Tea Caddy and gave it to me, since then I have gathered/collected an old Quality Street tin with depictions of a lady and soldier around the side, as well as other Rington tea tins and a Highlander Shortbread biscuit tin that belonged to my Nana.
I love that they add a bit of 'quirkiness' to my office yet keep my sewing bits and pieces tidy.




What do you love that adds a bit of 'quirkiness' into your life?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter Chocolate cake

This Chocolate cake is one that my mum use to make for me and my siblings every Easter, it became a tradition where we would fight over who was going to decorate it using chocolate flakes and mini eggs (more decorations got eaten than put on the cake). So with it being Easter I thought I would share this recipe so you can do the same and have a baking and decoration session.

Cake ingredients
200g self raising flour
225g castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
25g cocoa powder
100g margarine
2 eggs
5 tbsp evaporated milk
5 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 180C or Gas 4, grease 2 8 inch tins (not loose bottomed)
2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and cocoa together.
3. Rub margarine into dry mix, the beat then eggs with milk.
4. Add egg mixture, vanilla extract and liquids into the dry mix, and beat well.
5. Pour mixture evenly between the 2 tins and bake for 30-35 min.

Chocolate icing (this stuff is amazing!)
60g margarine
1 tbsp cocoa powder
250g sieved icing sugar
3 tbsp hot milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Melt the margarine, blending in the cocoa (do this slowly as it make become lumpy)
2. Stir in icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract.
3. Beat until smooth and thick.

You can use this icing to sandwich the 2 cakes together.
If you slowly pour the icing over the top of the cake and use a palette knife to spread it evenly around the sides. When I was little we used crushed up flake to create a nest and mini eggs to finish it off!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

What Katy Did Next

Katy of 'What Katy Did Next' is an amazingly talented friend of mine from University, who produces inspirational and imaginative headpieces ranging from 'Classic' styles to more theatrical 'Wonderland'. As well as these she also produces the cutest cake toppers which can be personalised to suit you and other items to make your wedding day personally yours in every way possible.
When I got engaged a couple of Christmases ago, I knew I wanted something a bit different instead of tiara. So I got in contact with Katy and she made me a beautiful headpiece now called 'Laura' which features in her collection over on her website.
If you have a nosey over on Katy's blog you'll see that she loves to create inspirational mood board's for any theme or colour scheme, so I set her the challenge of Spring Pink and Green theme and she worked her wonders and produced this beautiful board for me.

http://what-katy-did-next.co.uk/blog/2012/04/tea-time-with-a-twist-of-spring/
Thank you Katy xx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Rainy Grey Days

Rubbish weather here today, so I'm spending some time in my little office trying to sort things for an upcoming event and have a general tidy up.
I'm currently working on a couple of things so have lists galore!
Styling ideas and inspiration, Bunting and hearts to make, menus and baking to do, not to mention the dreaded school work.
Here's what I've been up to today and some images of the office.