Saturday, 22 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 19: Christmasy

On the nineteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a few Christmas Things!! 

Thought i'd share a few snaps of Christmasy Things that i had on my iPhone. 









LoveLx 


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 18: Petite Sweet Mince Pies

On the eighteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me  the cheats way to make Sweet Mince Pies!!

As much as i love Christmas time there never seems to be any time to always bake things from scratch, especially sweet mince pies between making the pastry and all that. 
So i cheat a wee bit and buy the mince meat and pre rolled pastry because who doesn't, buying pastry is so quick and easy. 
These take no time at all to make and bake perfect for unexpected guests or just a wee treat for yourself these are the perfect bite sized pies for all to enjoy. 

You can finish off Mince Pies two different ways the traditional way and then the way my mamma sometimes does them with a swirl of toasted meringue!! 

These ones are petite sweet mince pies i love baking everything mini for 1) you don't feel so bad if you eat a few and 2) I feel like a dolly that should stay in a pretty dolls house. 

You will need:
Good Quality Sweet Mincemeat
Sweet Short Crust Pastry
Baking Beans
Grease Proof Paper 
Non-Stick Mini Cupcake pans
Circle Cookie Cutter 
Tangerine 
Large Rolling Pin 

They don't look very christmasy due to the fact my mamma has missed placed my mini christmas cookie cutters, but i will upload a picture of how i usually make them. 

My favourite way to have sweet mince pies is when they are swirled with toasted meringue.. yum!!



Step one: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Dust your work surface with flour to ensure the pastry doesn't stick to the surface. 
Make sure you also light dust the top of the pastry and rolling pin with flour.


Step two: Roll out the pastry moving all the time to ensure it doesn't stick to the surface, once the pastry is the thickness of a 1 pound coin. Using the circle cutter cut out 24 disc's before placing one in each bun making sure each one fits before moving onto the next. 

Step Three: You have two choices before preheating the shells 1) Prick each shell with a fork. or 2) Placing in some baking paper and baking beans into each shell. This stops the pastry from filling with air  bubbles. Place the pan of shells into bake for 10-12 minutes keeping your eye on them.

Step four: Meanwhile zest some tangerine peel into your mince meat giving it a good mix. You can add in some small pieces or tangerine or stewed apple to give a little more sweetness.
Once the shells are pre baked leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before filling each one with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat.

Step five: Once all the shells are filled with mince meat you have a few choices again. 
1) Roll out the remaining pastry and cutting out 24 discs to place on top, gluing the edges together with cold water and dusting the tops with cinnamon sugar. 
2) Roll out the remaining pastry cutting out mini christmas shapes and placing them on top and dusting with cinnamon sugar. The pretty option. 
3) Swirl each petite pie with fluffy white meringue and placing under the grill to toast. 

Step six: Place the petite pies into bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees. Once baked remove from the pan placing the pies onto your favourite christmas plate and dust with a snow fall of powdered sugar. 

My not so pretty pies!!


LoveLx 

Countdown to Christmas Day 17: A Very Cosy Christmas Eve

On the seventeenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Very Cosy Christmas Eve!!

There's something about coming in from visiting on Christmas Eve to a warm cosy house and spending the rest of the night snuggled up with the family.

Each Christmas Eve my mamma gives me and my sisters a gift box each filled with our new pyjamas and a few other things. We all put on our new pyjamas, make hot chocolate and cosy up on the sofa with Christmas Movies before heading off to bed. 
Even though were all grown up we have never lost the excitement and magic of Christmas, we all still get up early and sneak into the living room to see if Santa's been then go waken up our mamma. 
Then we spend the morning opening gifts and trying everything out before helping to prepare the Christmas Lunch. While we are opening our gift my mamma always writes everything down for us so we know exactly who to send thanks you cards too, i also think its lovely to receive a hand written thank you so i write every single one out. 
Our Christmas Lunch isn't always traditional in years gone by we've had dishes like orange creme caramel, tarte tatin, fillet of beef with porcini mushrooms wrapped in parma ham, salt encrusted sea bass. Of course we have the traditional dishes like roast turkey and all the trimming, but i'm prefer red meat or fish to turkey or chicken.


Ok back to Christmas Eve:

You will need

Your Favourite Christmas Movies
Cosy Christmas Pyjamas 
Festive Treats 
Blankets 
Mulled wine/cider 
Hot Chocolate 
 and of course Family/Friends 
maybe a few board games if your into that.


This is my new christmas mug and i'm in love, for the past couple of years i buy myself a new festive mug/cup. I'm a wee bit obsessed when it comes to all things christmas if i had my way i would change everything out in the house to be christmas themed durning the festive period. 

This year i decided to go with the Emma Bridgewater personalised 1 pint mug..
Its huge which is prefect for me as i have to consume quite alot of caffeine each morning to make me human. 
To whom ever hand painted my mug must have been thinking is she crazy!!  
I'm maybe just a wee bit but the reason for it is because i most of the time i answer to Ratty and not Louise, family and friends have called me that since i was young. Incase anybody wondering its a pet name for me they are not being nasty or horrible it just kinda stuck. Most people called Louise get called Lou, Lulu and so on which i get all also, to be honest i actually have quite a lot of pet names the list is actually endless. 




Love, Lx 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 16: My Top Christmas Movies

On the sixteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me My Top Christmas!! 

I want the same movies every year on repeat much to my mothers annoyance, to be honest i generally want the same movies on repeat doesn't matter if there christmas or non-christmas. 

These are my three ultimate christmas movies that i've loved for years i have no particular favourite!


How the Grinch stole christmas: i've loved it for years and i've always wanted to be a Who. Seriously who wouldn't want to live it WhoVile.




The Nightmare Before Christmas: this is a love/hate when it comes to christmas movies but i love it personally. I love Tim Burtons works and the fact this includes two of my favourite holidays in away. 

Home Alone 1 & 2: I think this have to be up there with everybody's favourite movies to watch durning Christmas. I think its every kids dream to be Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) at some point.


Few others that i love to watch:

Miracle on 34th Street 




National Lampoons Christmas Vacation 

It's a Wonderful Life

The Santa Claus 

The Muppets Christmas Carol

Love, Lx 



Monday, 17 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 15: Make Up Bag

On the fifteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Whats in my make up bag!

This is what i currently have in my make up bag filled with the products i use on a daily bases.
I rarely ever keep Lip products in my make up bag as they generally stay inside my handbag.
My make up is based on what mood i'm in on that particular day if i'm feeling lazy or in a rush i opt for my classic good base, gel liner/mascara, highlighter and lippy or if i've got time i will opt for something for time consuming. 

I also never go to bed with make up matter how tired i am i try to wash my face twice with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish if not i will use a make up wipe (which i hate using to take of make up). I've learned from years gone by never to sleep with your make up on as 1) its unhealthy for your skin and 2) total nightmare to remove the next day. 



Base:
Dior: Skin Nude Fluid Foundation - 010 

Laura Mercier:  Secret Camouflage Concealer - Sc2

Bobbi Brown: Corrector - Light Peach 

Chanel: Universelle Compact Pressed Powder - 20 Clair 
(I've used this since i was about 13 years old)

Benefit: Hoola Bronzer 

Becca: Shimmering Skin Perfector - Opal 

Bobbi Brown: Powder Blush - Apricot 


Eyes:
Maybelline: The Falsies Mascara - Black 

Maybelline: 24hr Colour Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow - Eternal Gold 

Mac Cosmetics: Eyeshadows -  Patina, Satin Taupe & Vanilla 

Clinque: Gel Eyeliner - Black 


Brows: 

Clinque: Super fine Liner for Brows - Soft Brown 

Mac Cosmetics: Brow Set - Begulie

Lips:

Revlon: Just Bitten Lipstain

Mac Cosmetics: Matte Lipstick - Russian Red 


I haven't forgot to include some of the products but they seem to have gone walk about!

LoveLx 

Countdown to Christmas Day 14: Sealed with a Kiss


On the fourteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to the lipsticks i wore on the show!!

I have a wee bit of an addiction to lipsticks i must admit I've worn lipsticks all through my teenage years i guess because thats what my mum and grandmother wore. I can justify my addiction because its something i wear almost everyday apart from lipbalm. I love the textures and formulation of lipstick compared with lip glosses i do wear them on the odd occasion but having fuller lips i tend to look well.. like i've had botox!! 


I thought this would be the easiest way as so much of you guys have asked what Lipstick i wore durning the filming on 'The Human Mannequin'.

I'm most certain i have missed few but if i remember or find them i will add them in later. 

 Louise Gray for Topshop - Mexican Wave
 Mac Matte - Russian Red
Chanel Rouge Coco - Venise
Chanel Rouge Allure - Famous
Tom Ford Rouge a Levres - Aphrodisiac 19
 Revlon Colour Burst Lip Butter - Tutti Fruiti 015
Dolce and Gabbana Classic Creme Lipstick - Italian Monica
Mac Matte - Party Parrot
Chanel Rouge Laque - 75 Dragon
 Chanel Allure - L'Exuberante
Love, Lx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 13: Chocolate Truffles


On the thirteenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me the recipe for Chocolate Truffles!!

I enjoy making my chocolate truffles because they are great fun and also creating different concoctions and experiment with different flavours. 

For someone who doesn't eat chocolate hardly i've managed to write 5 blog posts containing the stuff!! 
Chocolate is something i can easily live without i'm not one of those girls who's addicted to chocolate i tend to eat more around christmas as theres always boxes of it lying around or in our christmas sweetie jars but i never really eat it the rest of the year. 
I used to receive a box of Godiva Chocolates every year they are one of my favourites but i'm the type of person that takes for ever to eat sweeties so everybody else devoured them before i could get the chance!! 

These Chocolate truffles i concocted myself they make a perfect treat for yourself as you can keep them in the fridge without any coating for a couple of weeks and just take them out when you fancy a treat. 
or
They make the perfect trear to take round to somebodies house or give to friends and family this festive season. 

I've just made one tray as i only made them to photograph for this post but you can make as much or as little as you want!! 


Recipe 


  1. Pour 400ml of Double cream into a medium saucepan along with a teaspoon of good quality instant coffee on a medium heat warm the milk until its gently simmering. Keeping an eye on it to make sure the milk doesn't burn.
  2. Meanwhile chop up 500grams of good quality chocolate (milk or dark) and place in a large bowl. 
  3. Once the milk in simmering remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate leaving it to melt. 
  4. Its best to leave the chocolate to melt in the warm milk for a couple of minutes as its easier to combined them together. Using a rubber spatula start to stir the mixture until its fully combined remember to scrape round the bowl. You should be left with a smooth and glossy chocolatey goodness. 
  5. Line a baking pan (rectangle or square) using cling film (plastic wrap) it should cover the sides and over lap the sides. If you find the cling film doesn't stay put place a little bit of butter or rub the tin with oil before covering with the cling film (plastic wrap). 
  6. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and to even out the surface. Place the tin of chocolate ganache into the fridge for a good 6 hours but best to be left in over night. 
  7. Its now time to look out your different coating for your truffles, i've used what ever was lying around the house. Cocoa Powder, Chopped Hazel Nuts and Melted Chocolate with fleur de sel. Boil the kettle while your looking everything out.
  8. Taking you set ganache out of the fridge turn upside down onto a clean work surface and giving it a few taps on the bottom to release the bar on ganache. If it doesn't come out turn it back round and release it yourself they can be a nightmare sometimes. 
  9. Pour the boiling water into a mug/jug after you've done that remove the cling film from the brick of ganache. Warm your knife (Sharp and long) in the water drying it off before you slice your squares.To create my perfect squares i used my kitchen ruler (very handy to have) measuring each square out to be the thickness of the ruller. Its the perfect amount of truffle i've found. 
  10. Now time to have some fun and cover your truffles in your chosen flavours.
  11. I chose to dust some with cocoa powder, some with Fleur De Sel and some with salted peanuts 




I've chosen to do square truffles because personally i find them neater and easier to work with but if you prefer round ones go ahead! 

Another few idea's of mines on how to infuse your truffles:
Instead of using instant coffee (we only had that or cafetiere coffee) use around a handful of coffee beans to infuse the milk while its warming and remove before pouring over the chocolate. I would use dark chocolate as it would work best and hey presto you have Chocolate Coffee Truffles.

Leave out the coffee this time as heres something with a little kick:
If you can get a hold of ancho chilli perfect but if your like me and your local super market doesn't stock them just add a tiny pinch of dried chilli flakes.  Along with the chilli add a tea spoon of ground cinnamon to infuse the warming milk. This again works perfectly with good quality dark chocolate remember to sieve the milk before pouring over the chocolate. 

This ones easy:
grate  the zest of one orange on a microplane zester and add to the chocolate (dark or milk) then pour over the warmed milk. Terry chocolate orange but better!!

LoveLx 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 12: Chambord Berry White Chocolate Ganache Layer Cake

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Chambord Berry White Chocolate Ganache Layer Cake!! 

Baking is something i've loved to do since i was young probably because i've always loved to cook.. 
My mum has always been an amazing baker and actually studied patisserie when she was young but unfortunately never kept it up after having my sisters and i.
I've been lucky enough to be surrounded by a family of great cooks/bakers and have picked up the trait! 
I could speak about food all day and never get bored but i'm also very secretive about certain recipes as they've either been passed down or i have concocted them myself. 

The recipe for the cake its self is one i'd like to keep a secret as its the best one but everything else is pretty easy to make. 

I actually made this a few months ago so i can't remember the exact quantities and we always have chocolate ganache in the fridge (i make every few weeks when it runs out).

Chocolate Ganache is best made the day before you need it as it gives it time to set and it lasts in the fridge for a couple of weeks when kept in an airtight container. 
Its pretty quick and easy to make which is great when you don't have much time but also takes practise to get the best consistency. 


This is an 8inch round deep pan cake


Bake your favourite Vanilla Cake (don't buy a pre made one) the night before to give it time to cool completely.
While the cake is baking warm 900ml of double cream until its gently simmering keeping your eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. 
Meanwhile break 900grams of good quality white chocolate into a big bowl once the milk is gently simmering remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Don't stir the mixture for a few minutes to give the chocolate a chance to melt a little.
 Once the chocolate has melted a little begin to stir until the ganache is completely combined and theres no chocolate lumps. Using a spatula scrap down the edges of the bowl to make sure there is not chocolate left unmelted.
Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge over night.

Just before you begin to assembling the cake its the prefect time to prep the berries and take the ganache out of the fridge. 
Its now time to prep the berries i used a mix of raspberries and blackberries around a pack of each. Always wash the berries before your about to eat them to remove any yukky bits and check for any rotting berries too. 
Once you've done that place the mixed berries in a bowl and pour over a couple of table spoons of Chambord  Liquor leave the berries to soak while your prep the rest of the cake.  
Soak half the berries first for the inside and then the 2nd before you start the final layer of ganache!!

 Once the cake is completely cooled even out the top of the cake to make a flat surface (keep the 
knife flat to the cake) then slice into 3 even layers place.
Place the top layer upside down (its now going to be the bottom layer) onto a cake board or cake plate using a bit of chocolate ganache to keep the layer in place. 
Spread the bottom layer with chocolate ganache and cover with some berries, now repeat this process once  more  once you place on the top the layer of the cake put the cake along with the ganache into the fridge for 20-30 minutes to give it time to set up. 
Chocolate Ganache warms up the more you work with so to get the best finish its best to do it in stages. 
Now its time to crumb coat incase you don't know what that is its coating the cake with a thin layer of ganache to even out the surface and seal in any crumbs. Once you've done that place in the fridge to set the ganache. 

If you would  like a smooth finish warm up your metal spatula (using a blow torch or boiling water always dry it first) or if you would like a more rustic finish just swirl the ganache with your spatula. 

Take the cake and ganache out of the fridge and its time to start soaking the berries. 
Once you've taking everything over to your work station start to apply the final layer of ganache evenly all over the cake. Its best to keep your spatula as clean as possible so just scrape onto the side of the bowl.
Then its time to decide if you would like to do a smooth or rustic finish to your cake, once you've finished take your berries and create a mountain of wonderfulness on top. 
To finish the cake dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and to add a final bit of pizazz sprinkle over edible glitter.

Serve the cake at room temperature to get the most out of the cake and enjoy!!

LoveLx 

Countdown to Christmas Day 11: White Chocolate Cocoa


On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me a recipe for White Chocolate Cocoa!! 

This is just a quick and easy recipe i just made up tonight as i faniced something cosy to drink.
I used to love this when i was younger my mamma always used to buy the powder from Whittards of Chelsea, but since i never had that in the house i just made it up and hoped for the best!! 
I know some of you may think it shouldn't be classed as hot chocolate because it doesn't have any cocoa solids in it but i have to admit it was yummy. 

You couldn't even call it a recipe as it involves just 4 ingredients!! 

First up pour 1 cup of milk (FullFat or SemiSkimmed)  into a saucepan on medium/low heat keeping an eye to make sure it doesn't burn. Meanwhile chop up around 50 grams or less of good quality white chocolate depending on how sweet and chocolately you want it to be.
When you see steam rising from the pan whisk in your white chocolate, 3 teaspoons of horlicks powder and a drop of good quality vanilla extract until the chocolate in melted. 

Pour the cocoa into your favourite mug add marshmallows and pile high with whipped cream!! 
Now its time to snuggle up to read your favourite book or watch some tv.

LoveLx 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 10: Chanel Polish

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a  few of My favourite Chanel Polishes!! 

I love Chanel polishes they never seem to chip or go gloppy and thats hard to find in a polish. 
Having long nails i tend to do my nails every few days or when they start to chip because there is nothing worse than seeing a girl with chipped or un-manicured nails.
You may find it weird but thats one of the first things i notice when i look at a girl!! 
My mamma always told me that i have eagle eyes as i never miss a trick. 

Left-Right: Riviera,Morning Rose,Mimosa,Peridot,Coco Blue,Black Pearl, June,Inattendu,Paradoxal,Suspicious 


I store my some of my Polishes in an Old Sweetie Jar


Love, 
Lx 

My apologies for being 3 days late this past few days have been really busy for me but i'm excited to share it with you all in early january. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 9: Peanut Butter Ice Cream

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Peanut Butter Ice Cream


Ok.. I've had my ice cream maker for around 3 months now and have never found the time to make the stuff!
Better late than never i guess so today i decided i would give the whole ice cream thing ago again.. 
My last attempt was actually amazing i made two sorbets Lime & Pineapple back in the summer, I personally prefer sorbet and frozen yogurt to actual ice cream (its way too creamy to have all the time).

This recipe is one you need to have organise in advance to get the best possible icecream because the custard base needs to chills for at least 6 hours!


Step 1: Measure out 125ml of Double Cream and 250ml Full Fat Milk pour into a medium/large sauce pan on a medium heat. Once steam in rising from the milk turn off heat, don't allow the milk to boil.


Step 2:  Measure out 90 grams of Caster Sugar and separate 2 egg yolk then place into a mixing bowl.
 Whisk the sugar and yolks until they form a light and fluffy consistency. 

Step 3: Pour the warm milk into the egg mixture slowly whisking all the time until combined, once the mixture combined pour back into the saucepan.

Step 4: Turn back on the heat continually stirring until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Once the custard has thickened pour into a bowl and leave to cool, when the mixtures cooled place into the fridge to chill for a further 6-12 hours.
Step 5: Chop 25grams of unsalted peanuts and place to one side.  Once you've chopped the peanuts measure out 250grams of Peanut Butter (i prefer Reeces smooth). Place 50 grams of the peanut butter to one side along with peanuts for later. 

Step 6: Take the chilled Custard out of the fridge and place in the 200 grams of Peanutbutter into the custard, Using a handblender or mixer combined the two together. Once the mixture is completely blended pour the custard into the icecream maker.
Step 7: After the custard mixture been poured into the icecream maker turn on and leave to churn for 20-25 minutes. I kept an eye on the icecream to make sure i got the right consistency i wanted.
 
Step 8: While your icecream still churning melt down the remaining peanutbutter  and chop some peanut.
Once the icecreams finished churning remove the bowl from the maker and scoop the icecream into the container layering with the melted peanutbutter and chopped peanuts. 


Other Ideas:
  • Swirl in melted chocolate and reeces peanutbutter cups to make a reece peanutbutter icecream.

  • Layer with chopped pretzels, melted chocolate and peanutbutter m&m's.

  • Swirl in Marshmallow Fluff and serves with sliced bananas. 

  • Layer with crispy bacon, melted chocolate and chopped peanuts. 




I'm going to have mines with sliced bananas and a drizzle of melted chocolate because i've gone with the traditional peanut butter. 

Love,
Lx

Sorry for the quality of the photographs they were taken with my iPhone.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas Day 8: Red Brick

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Red Brick North!! 

Red brick was created back in 2011 by Karen Mabon who graduated from the Royal College of Art. 
I love the designs as they bring an eccentric quality to an every day outfit and are great fun to wear!!


First up is the Cat in the Brambles scarf this just so happens to be my favourite one out of all the designs.  
It reminds me of our cat Ebony (Kiki) a little black owly fluff!! 

Cat in the Brambles - Silk & Wool blend 1m by 1m - £60.00


Robbery in a Sweet Shop - 100% Silk 1m by 1m - £60.00

Canary and Eggs - Silk & Wool blend 1m by 1m -  £60.00



Wasp and Strawberry - Silk & Wool Blend 1m by 1m - Aqua - £60.00


For all Red Brick Products: Shop

LoveLx