Thursday, 3 November 2011

I'm back from beyond!

Hello ladies! Apologies for my prolonged absence - oh my gosh I've been working so much and as soon as I get home I have just about enough energy to make something to eat and then I'm fast asleep!  To make matters worse, I went over my usage limit for date on my phone, so haven't been able to do quick blog entries, or even check on it at all this week!  I'm glad you are both managing to keep up the blogging, enough for all three of us :) 

It looks like you have both been busy doing some smashing stuff, so I thought I'd share some of my own adventures from last week.  

Here was my first culinary adventure... CAKE POPS!  Don't read any further if you are hoping to see amazing cake pops... you will be sorely disappointed.  If you would like to find out how they turn out when you aren't properly prepared then by all means go ahead and read :)

This is the recipe I (very vaguely) followed, its a lovely website with loads of ideas on it! 

The main ingredients I had to buy - really cheap sponge
 mix, strawberryflavour buttons for the coating,
 lilac food colouring and sprinkles to decorate.

As you can see in the photo, I had to scrape my cake out of the tin - not the best start although luckily it was all going to be mixed up anyway! I had planned on my cake pops being lilac on the inside, but when I mixed the lilac cream cheese frosting into my cake crumbs, it turned a kind of paper-bag brown colour... not terribly appealing to look at! 

How my sponge turned out *the shame*

The rest went pretty well, apart from some sizing issues (read: me getting lazy and trying to do it in a hurry!) The pink coating was fabby, it is very easy to use and looks gorgeous once dry! The big problem was when it came to dipping them in the lovely pink mixture, I hadn't thought at all about how I was going to sit them to dry.  Setting them back on the paper was definitely not an option, it made one huge sticky pink mess all over the place.  I read some other recipes which suggested a styrofoam block wrapped in cellophane to stand them on until they have set.  I think this would work really well and will try to find some before my next attempt.  For the time being I had to make do with an improvised stand - an upside-down egg carton, which worked well for the 6 pops it was big enough to hold! 

My cake balls

Haphazardly stuck with lollypop sticks

*realises there is a problem*
*quickly fixes with an egg box*

I would recommend that anyone who is going to try making cake pops should definitely try to get the other kind of lollypop sticks, like these, as my ones were far too big - they split the pops in half so only a few survived the whole process (crumbled ones taste jut as good as whole ones, for the record).

Two of the better looking finished pops

 I must have been in the mood for cooking this week, as I also made a huge pot of seasonal butternut squash and sweet potato soup.  I peeled and diced all the ingredients (see below) and then added them to a pan with some hot oil to sweat for a bit.  After about 10 minutes I added about 1 litre of vegetable stock, brought it to the boil and then let it simmer for about 45 minutes.  I love pepper and added lashings of white pepper to mine and just a dash of salt.  

Butternut squash, 3 sweet potatoes, 2 small onions
and 2 small rooster potatoes
Once I checked the vegetables were all cooked through I blended it with a handheld food processor, which I somehow managed to melt and the blade attachment came flying off just as I was removing it from the soup! Food processor swiftly binned and soup practically sieved to check for any pieces of metal or plastic! Luckily none was found and the soup tasted fantastic! So easy and healthy and it lasted for three days worth of lunches at work.

My beautifully blended Hallowe'en soup
And finally my beloved pumpkins...

Puking pumpkin (copied from
other pumpkins on t'internet!)

Pukey, Jack Skellington and the Oogie
Boogie Man

This one was a bit more tricky - the dragon
from Sleeping Beauty.  

The sad news is, despite my collection of pumpkins and big bowls of sweets... not even one trick or treater came to our house! Devastated doesn't even cover it! 

Now it's late and I can't find any tights for work tomorrow, so I am off to do a washing.  

Night, Bow xxx

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