Easter Cupcakes!

For some reason, I have really got into Easter this year. Unfortunately I still live with my parents, but I know that if I had my own place it would be kitted out in Easter decorations! One thing I could do while still living at home was bake something we could all munch on over Easter weekend. Typically, I would make rice crispie/corn flake buns (which I am still doing, but I’m pretty sure you all think of those anyway!), however this year I decided to make something I wouldn’t normally think of – Carrot Cake Cupcakes!
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Now unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to make things like this from scratch, especially since my mixer is now broken, so I took a trip to morrisons and decided to try out their carrot cake box mix. For anyone who dosent know how they work, it is basically all your dry ingredients and all you have to do is add eggs and liquid. I was really impressed with this kit, as it also had a package of cream cheese icing which I just needed to add butter to – finally a mix that has it all!
I do feel like I’m cheating when I make box mixes, however when your short on time they are perfect!
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I put my cupcake mixture into pink, yellow, green and blue polka dot cases and decorated them with the cream cheese icing which I added orange food colouring to. I wanted to add a little decoration but didn’t think a mini-egg would go too well(!), so I just sprinkled some cinnamon over the top.
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These went down a treat with my family, and I feel like I’m going to have a lot of requests for more cakes now!!
Hope you all have a lovely Easter
Hannah xxx

Valentines Day Cupcakes!

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I got some cherries a while ago, and couldn’t think what to make with them. I decided that with it being valentines day this weekend I would make some cupcakes, as the red cherries show off in the bake! I don’t have any plans for valentines day other than working, but these will go down very well in my house! I was going to share the recipe for these, however my bake turned out quite bad! If you would like to make something similar (but with a better bake!) follow a simple vanilla cupcake recipe and add in the cherries at the end. Hopefully, yours wont end up looking like mine!
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I baked my cupcakes in red cases with white hearts on that I found in Tiger for £1, and finished them off with simple buttercream icing!
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What do you like doing for valentines day?!
Hannah xxx
p.s, I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m posting these when they turned out so bad (Mary Berry wouldn’t be impressed with them!), but baking is always trial and error, and with being ill this week I’m surprised they didn’t turn out worse!

Christmas Baking – Mince Pies

I’m not a big fan of mince pies, as much as I wish I was! They remind me so much of christmas and the special treat at this time of year! I’ve been really into baking this year, so I thought I’d give making mince pies a go for my family.

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I followed Zoe Sugg’s recipe, however found that the ratio of flour and butter was wong (could be something to do with the scales we used, but I only needed half the butter and got double the amount of pastry!) and I used a Morrisons Cranberry filling rather than the Waitrose standard mince meat filling.

Overall I think they worked really well, especially for a first attempt, and they were super easy to make! Everyone who’s tried one is impressed, and I am now glad I have pastry left over as I can make some for christmas day too!

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To find the recipe click here.

Hannah xxx

Simple and Tasty: Banana Bread Recipe!

Banana bread is one of my favourite things to bake. Its easy, resourceful and delicious! I started baking this in my second year at university when my bananas went past they’re best, thinking it might get nibbled by my housemates and I had my evening treats sorted, but instead I found myself fighting for a slice and the plate being empty the next day! It became my staple bake at uni, and I’ve continued to make it now I have moved home and my family love it!

The recipe I use is Mary Berry’s, of course, and although I tweak it slightly on occasion its the staple recipe I go to when the bananas are looking sad!

Ingredients;

  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g softened butter or margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

Instructions;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
  2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with baking parchment (if you have a non stick tin you may not need baking parchment, I don’t use it on my bakes)
  3. Break the bananas into pieces in a mixing bowl and mash until separated slightly
  4. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown.  A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

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You can tweak this slightly by reducing the sugar and substituting the flour, I personally do half wholewheat flour and half self raising. I also took out 100g of sugar for these bakes (I first doubled everything as I was making 2) and it didn’t make a noticeable difference!BB_4

This is so nice to have as a snack, evening treat or even with custard for a sunday dinner dessert! If you bake this send me a picture on twitter or instagram to @cosycaitlin!

Have fun and enjoy!

Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Biscuits!

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I seem to have caught the baking bug again recently, and what better excuse to make some sweet treats than Halloween?! I decided to make some pain biscuits with pumpkin faces on, inspired by Zoe Sugg’s Nala birthday biscuits!

I used a recipie from my Cookie Jar book for Simple Cookies, which they really were!

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Ingredients

  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 115g softened, unsalted butter (I used stork baking margarine and it worked perfectly)
  • 50g caster sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c
  • Sift the flour and nutmeg into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until it resembles breadcrumbs (you can also add this into an electric mixer which will also give you a breadcrumb texture)
  • Add the sugar into the breadcrumb like dough and knead it all together until it forms a stiff dough
  • Flour your surface and roll out the dough until it is around 5mm thick
  • Using a cookie cutter of any shape, cut out your cookies. Roll out any unused dough and continue cutting until it is all used up. Place your cookies on a large, non stick baking sheet
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely

For the Icing

You will need icing sugar, water and food colouring. I didn’t measure out any of my items (rubbish, I know!) but basically mix until you have a thick, but still runny consistency as you don’t want it to run off, but still want it to flood inside the border. Remember that food colouring is a liquid, so make your desired colour and then readjust your consistency.

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I love how these turned out, they’re super cute and festive whilst also tasting really nice! The icing makes the biscuit quite soft, so try overbake slightly if you like a harder biscuit. I loved these and will definitely be making them again for other seasons!

Food Haul: My Weekly Shop

Bit of a different kind of haul for this week! This is one of my favourite things to read on other blogs or watch on youtube, and thats what people get for their weekly shops. I just find it interesting what others eat, so I hope you like it!

This shop should last me a fortnight, and includes my Weight Watchers friendly foods! There are essentials like fruit missing here, simply because this is what I get delivered and I like to pick my fruit myself.

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Fridge
4 pints Skimmed Milk
2x Unsweetened Almond Milk
Mushrooms
9 Muller Light Yoghurts (Toffee, Skinny Cappuccino, Banana & Custard and Coconut & Lime)
Chicken Breasts
Bagged Salad

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Freezer
Mixed Veg
Veggie Burgers
Thai Cod
Lemon & Pepper Butter Salmon
WW Chicken Hotpot
Mini Twister Icelollys

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Cupboard
Chopped Tomatoes
Brown Sandwich Thins
Pickled Onions

What do you guys get in your weekly shop?
Hannah xxx

Follow me: Homey Saturday

Good afternoon everyone! Hope your having a good weekend. I thought I would do a ‘follow me’ blog for yesterday, which was a fairly standard saturday for me! Enjoy!

gym
8:15am
After snoozing my alarm for half an hour I finally got up and ready for the gym. I always set off an hour before my class so I can call and get my friend on the way! I went to body pump this morning which started at 9:15 and was an hour long. Starting my weekend off right!

breakfast
11am
On my walk home I stopped off at Asda to pick up some more fruit to have with breakfast and bits for tonights dinner. Finally at 11 I was home with breakfast and a coffee. I had my usual porridge with chia seeds, banana and strawberries, I topped it with honey and cinnamon today as I was craving sweet things already!

films
12pm
Finally showered, dressed and ready for the day I settled down with the first film of the afternoon: Lilo and Stitch. I wanted a feel-good movie to lift my spirits so this was perfect! I followed this up with Red Riding Hood. Whilst watching the films I also did some uni work and bits on my blog 🙂
Oh, I also had lunch! at around 2:30 I started making lunch, I had butternut squash soup with half a pitta bread and a green tea. I only ended eating half of what I made though as I somehow managed to spill most of it over the counter!

7pm
Bit of a time jump (and no picture!), but oh well! I headed over to my friends for the evening for a bit of company and change of scenery. We stayed in and watched Britain’s Got Talent and had a takeaway (whoops!). The girls all had a donner kebab and I had a chicken shish kebab, which was a lovely treat after having a bad day!

11:30pm
I got back from my friends at 10:30 and started getting ready for bed as soon as I got in. I managed to get myself curled up in bed at a fairly reasonable time (for a uni student anyway!) ready to wake up early and head to the gym again. Thankfully it didn’t take me too long to get to sleep!

How did you guys spend your saturday?
Hannah xxx