September 17, 2014

One of my all time favourite things to make is a corned beef pie. There's something really comforting about sitting in front of the telly on a chilly autumn night with a big slab of pie smothered in gravy. It just happens that Tom loves corned beef pie too which gave me the perfect excuse to go ahead and make it again. It also gave me the opportunity to use my gorgeous red polka dot pie dish that my friend gave me as a housewarming present! She even got me the matching jug which I love to use as a vase. What a star!

For the Short crust pastry
200g Unsalted Butter at Room Temp
400g Plain white flour sifted
Couple of tablespoons (very cold) water
Pinch of Salt
For the filling
1 tin corned beef
2 Large Baking potatoes
1 Onion Chopped finely
Squeeze tomato Puree
Salt and pepper to season

First of all make the pastry. Add the flour and butter (cubed) into the mixing bowl. With very cold hands gently rub the butter and flour together with light quick movements. DO NOT over mix or the pastry will become greasy. In the end the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt.
Slowly introduce the water a few drop at a time. Use a knife to cut the pastry with the water. Once the dough is starting to bind use your hands to mix and form a ball. Again don't over handle the pastry. Wrap in Clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, dice and boil the potatoes, then mash. Fry off the chopped onions till soft. Add the corned beef, potato, onions and a squeeze of tomato paste into a bowl and mix, (tomato paste is optional but really yummy!) Season to taste.
Take your pie dish (mine is about 30cm diameter) and roll out a layer of pastry to cover the bottom and sides. Blind bake for 5 minutes or so to make sure you don't get a soggy bottom!
Fill the dish with the corned beef mixture.
I decided to use cute stars to make the topping for my pie (a tip I picked up from the lovely Briar Rose blog!) instead of a traditional flat top. It looks much more impressive!
Finally bake at 180 degrees for around 30-40 minutes or until the top in golden brown.


September 16, 2014

For those of you know know me personally or even follow me on twitter you will know that one of my primary loves in life is dance. I've danced since I was 3 years old and never stopped! 

My primary specialty is ballet. Although I don't do as much as I used to, there is something very special about ballet to me. It takes me to a completely different place and I feel like a different person. 

Have you ever seen a ballet? I mean a proper ballet in a theatre? It such a magical thing. Everyone gets dressed up and there are amazing costumes and the dancers just look so graceful. There are so many amazing ballets to see, but for beginners I would recommend the classics. Choose a story you know and can follow along such as sleeping beauty, the Nutcracker or even Swan Lake which is my all time favourite ballet. 

So for me when online shopping I often would rather look at new dance gear and costumes than clothing. These gorgeous tutus are off Ebay would you believe it! I don't know how amazing they will look in person but I'm floored by these beautiful designs. I may have to save up and get one, or even make one myself. Although making a classical pancake tutu is probably one of the most complex things ever in terms of the amount of fabric and hours put in! 

What about you guys? Do any of you dance? :)


September 09, 2014

You know when you get ready to go out and you look in the mirror and think "OMG my hair has actually gone right!" Well that was me the other night. I managed to get my unruly mane to do as it was told. Unfortunately it was chucking it down and as soon as I stepped outside it collapsed. Oh well. 

I've wanted to do a tutorial for this for a long time. Unfortunately by the time I had gotten ready the other night it was already dark and the best I could get was a couple of snaps with my iPhone! So I really do apologise about the quality!

This style is a lot easier to achieve than it looks and is such a classic style. It tends to work best on mid length hair but I think on a bob or even long hair it could look really nice too! 

1 // Part your hair to one side. I tend to wear my parting to the right when working with this style. 

2 // Using a curling wand or tongs, curl each section of your hair. Try not to do it in a top and bottom layer but in small equal side by side sections. (Hmmm this is hard to describe!) Basically, you want all the curls equal, sat next to each other going all the same way. I curl away from my face to get that sweep. 

3 // Spray with hairspray and leave to cool. 

4 // Taking a paddle brush gently brush the curls through smoothing them in place and sealing with a bit more spray. You are almost brushing the curls out and turning them into softer waves. 

5 // To finish, pull the side with the least amount of hair back and secure with a couple of grips. I added an orchid hair clip for that extra vintage glamour!

Hope this was useful. If anyone tries it please send me some pictures I would love to see! 


September 03, 2014

So today I was feeling in a vintage mood. You know one of those days where you just want to make a bit more effort. I love vintage and I love dressing vintage. I should really do it more often. I love the culture, the way the women in the 40's and 50's dressed and how home cooking was just a given.
One of the best things for me is good old fashioned baking classics. You know the sort that Grandma can whip up with her eyes closed. I love the idea of having the knowledge to just produce an amazing bake at the drop of a hat!
One of the ultimate classics for me are fruit scones. There's something comforting about a scone, smothered with cream and jam (or butter if you're my other half). This recipe is an adaptation of a couple of different recipes. Originally I had some issues with the consistency of the batter. It was far too gloopy and sticky. However, adding a little more flour seemed to solve the problem.

125 ml Milk
1 Medium Egg
300g Plain Flour
3tsp Baking Powder
60g Butter
60g Caster Sugar
100g Dried Berries
5cm fluted cutter
Baking Sheet Buttered

Mix the egg and milk in a bowl. Reserve a couple of tablespoons for brushing over the tops. Add all the other ingredients into a mixer and mix into a firm dough. Roll out to around 2cm thick and cut out as many scones with the cutter as you can. Re-form the dough and re-roll. Cut out the shapes again until the dough is all used up.
Place on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg and milk mix.
Bake at 200 degrees for around 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove and place on cooling tray. Easy as that!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...