Weekly Wonders #1

Weekly Wonders #1

I was trying to make a clever title to sum up what we got up to this week, and this is the best I could come up with.

As most people in the world, we are currently on lockdown. New Zealand will be on lockdown for at least four weeks, then see how the situation has progressed. So that’s at least a month where I will hopefully be able to come back into blogging. The aim is at least twice a week, but who knows?

So this past week has been okay. Just feels like we took some leave off work and are hanging out at home. The only difference is, if it was just a holiday, we’d probably head out to the shops and parks at some point. Although, I’m still working a little as we have an online platform that we’re using to keep connecting with the kids and their families.

Here’s some highlights of the past week. Or ‘wonders’ to keep it in line with the title.

Chocolate Cupcakes

dsc_0557

So I was originally going to make a chocolate cake to bring into my work to celebrate Naomi’s birthday last weekend with the kids…but that didn’t happen. So instead, I made a bunch of cupcakes using this recipe from Nerdy Nummies. I also added the wafer daisies which I got to be on the cake. I love this recipe, the cupcakes are so light and airy, and with vanilla buttercream on top, it’s just so good. We three, demolished them.

Mini Fort

img_20200326_173158

As part of my job, we post videos and activities that the kids can do at home. I was brainstorming ideas and thought of blanket forts. We decided to make a mini one in the living room and see if Naomi would like it. She did…for around a few minutes before deciding she’d rather play elsewhere. Still, I count it as a win.

Staying Connected

img_20200328_115822

Good old Skype. It’s awesome that we have so much ways to keep in contact through online means. I caught up with my family, and Naomi enjoyed seeing everyone’s faces and hearing their voices. I’ve also been messaging people on Facebook, Whats App and Insta just to keep seeing how everyone is.

Keeping Busy

I’ve been staying on top of cleaning, I like to spread it out everyday. I used to try do everything on a weekend day, but now I got more time.

I have started a 30 Days of Yoga with YWA. I’ve been doing with keeping up with it. On top of that, I try do occasional other workouts too.

When we can we go for quick walks outside. It has to be quick cause we’re carrying Naomi. Why don’t we bring her in the buggy you say? Because she hates being restained and just screams at us when we put her in it, that’s why. She enjoys being outside. She likes touching leaves and trees.

Also, I’ve been doing my best to keep up with blogging. Reading posts, planning content and such.

Finally, I’ve also been reading, cross stitching, playing some games, and obviously hanging with Rory and Naomi.

What have you been up to this past week?

Angela.

Let’s Bake! (Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes Edition)

One of our cupcake flavours during the wedding was Choc Peppermint. As my last wedding anniversary celebration post, I wanted to try recreate one of our desserts! I settled on Chocolate Peppermint.

I found the recipe online here. It makes 18 cupcakes.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • 100g baking chocolate
  • Frosting
  • Green food colouring
  • Dark chocolate for decoration

choc mint 01

In one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

choc mint 02

In another bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each time.

choc mint 03

Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix some more. Add in the mint essence and melted chocolate.

choc mint 04

Spoon the mixture into the tins. Bake it for around 25 minutes at 160 C.

choc mint 05

They rose up a lot in the oven. But because of that, they sank a lot in the middle. I’m not sure what I could do to stop that. It was a bit tricky to work with.

Once they were cooled down, I made the frosting and added a drop of green colouring to change the colour. I piped it on, and added a piece of dark chocolate on top for decoration. It came out pretty good!

choc mint 06

I think I should have added a few more drops to the frosting to make it more greener. It comes off yellow in the pictures which is funny. It was a very light green in real life, I swear!

choc mint 07

I had fun taking some photos and then I dove in and ate one. It was quite sweet, and I think I prefer the other chocolate cupcake recipe I made a few months ago. I always love giving a new recipe a try though!

choc mint 08

What cupcake flavour do you like?

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Let’s Bake! (Red Blood Cell Cupcakes Edition)

Welcome to another baking post! As always, I’m delving into my Nerdy Nummies book. I can’t help it, there’s so many cute and creative things I want to make. This time, I went with a Science-themed one. Although it also came out kind of creepy and horror  themed in the end. Either way, making and eating it was fun! Unlike my previous baking post, this one took a while to make. A few hours, but it was worth it!

Here we go!

For the Red Velvet Cupcakes, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 stick butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tbsp red food colouring

For the Red Blood Cell decorations, you’ll need:

  • Red Fruit Chews (Starburst Fruit Punch)
  • Little bit of red frosting
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

cupcakes 01

You need multiple bowls for this bit. In one bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat together the bitter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue whisking together.

cupcakes 02

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and milk. Alternate the dry mixture and wet mixture into the large bowl. Add the red food colouring in early and continue mixing.

cupcakes 03

Pour the batter 2/3 into the muffin liners. Bake at 180 C for 18 to 20 minuntes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Mine took just over 20 minutes.

cupcakes 04

I decided to cut off the excess liners from my muffins to make them easier to decorate. Time for the blood cell decorating! So in the Starburst packs, take out all the red ones.

cupcakes 05

Unwrap the chews, and cut them into quarters. Then you roll them into circles. The last step is to indent them in the middle to get them to look more like blood cells. Ro suggests using a circular fondant tool, but I don’t have one. I used a baking bead, it worked really well. This part tooked the longest out of the whole process.

cupcakes 06

Use a small dab of the red frosting to use an adhesive and place the cells on the cupcakes, however you like.

cupcakes 07

Now it’s time to make the raspberry puree. Ro suggests just using red buttercream icing for this part if you’re in a rush, but I wanted to do the original recipe. In a pot, combine the water, sugar and raspberries. Boil it then simmer for up to 30 minutes. After this, pour it through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

cupcakes 08

Return it to the post and gradually add cornstarch to thicken the puree. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down.

cupcakes 09

Now to add the final bloody touch. My puree was a bit watery, but I like the effect it made. It was bleeding all over the cupcakes. Which is why mine ends up more horror themed than science.

cupcakes 10

Still, it looks awesome! I’m so happy with it!

cupcakes 11

cupcakes 12

What do you think of them? Is it more of a science themed treat, or maybe horror? I like to look at it as a mix of both!

Angela.

Find me elsewhere:

Instagram                   Pinterest                  YouTube                  Bloglovin’

Wedding Sweets and Treats

Wedding Sweets and Treats

*This was originally posted on June 8. I’ve updated some info, and added more pictures*

Last year in May, I emailed two businesses about wedding cakes, one called Sweet Bakery and Cakery, and  the other one called Stiletto Studio Cakes. I had heard amazing things about both places. In June, we went to a tasting at each one.

First, Stiletto Studio Cakes is incredible. They do amazing and creative designs.

We went into the tasting with no idea about what we wanted. We just thought, hey…cake. The tasting was a group one with around 20 people. Everyone milled around trying cake. They had lots of little pieces of different flavoured cakes, as well fillings, icings, examples, and all sorts. The lovely people who worked there asked us what we were thinking for our wedding cake. We wanted something small ish, as we were having a small wedding, we didn’t want a huge cake, as who would eat it all? Other than that, we had no idea. We liked a few flavours (vanilla, and lemon and raspberry stuck out a lot), and said we would email through ideas or any questions we had.

Next, we went to Sweet Bakery and Cakery. They were a smaller business, but just as recommended. They did more ‘naked’ cakes, they looked less ‘spectacular’, but just as beautiful.

  

This time, the tasting was one on one. We met with the owner Grace, (who apparently is friends with our wedding florist), and she had brought lots of mini cupcakes in a range of flavours that we were interested in. In our original email, she asked what kinds of flavours we liked or were interested in, which we appreciated. I scoffed down all the mini cupcakes as we talked about details and what our thoughts were. She was the one who first suggested a cupcake tower, with a small one tier cake on top. I really liked that idea, and it stuck. I saw a few on Pinterest which I emailed through.

Displaying wedding cake and cupcake idea 1.jpg    Displaying wedding cake and cupcake idea 2.jpg

After talking with Grace, and seeing the designs they did, we decided to go with them. We liked their style better, and we really got along with Grace. It was just a matter of personal preference.

Now, it took us aaaages to land on the flavours for the cakes and the cupcakes. We went back a few times to try out different cupcakes, because they were all just so delicious. Also, a week after our tasting, they opened up a branch of their bakery literally minutes from Rory’s work. I found out when he came home with cupcakes. I think it was fate to choose them.

20161207_173644

After literally weeks of discussion, we landed on Lemon and Raspberry for the cake. Grace talked about buttercream roses for the icing (we aren’t fans of ganache or fondant), and we decided we’d sort out the cake topper. For the cupcakes, we landed on Mocha, Choc Peppermint and Peanut Butter Choc. We rented a cupcake stand from them, signed the contract, paid and that was that! This was all sorted during June of last year. It was one of the earliest parts we landed on, along with the venue and photographer. It was also one of the most fun parts of planning our wedding!

So, to wrap up this post, here comes some photos of our wedding cake and cupcakes on the big day.

Angela&RoryWedding185resize
Cake and cupcakes
Angela&RoryWedding186resize
Close up of cake and cake topper
Angela&RoryWedding187resize
Close up of cupcakes
Angela&RoryWedding188resize
“Love is Sweet”
Wedding 23
Rory digging into the desserts
IMG-20170326-WA0024
My best friend and M.O.H. Kruti took this lovely photo of her cupcake choice (Peanut Butter)

Now, I will end this on a serious, sad (at least for me) note. I did not eat any of the cake, and barely any of the cupcakes on my wedding. I KNOW! How could I?? Look, I really wanted to try them leading up to it, but on the day (and the rehearsal the night before), I didn’t feel hungry. It was really weird, I had scoffed all the previous cupcakes I tried, but the whole day, I  just didn’t feel hungry. I did eat between the ceremony and reception though, as food kept being thrown in my direction (Rory and Kruti’s doing). But I barely tried our amazing desserts. Our guests loved them though. We got more cupcakes than guests, so we encouraged people to take them home, which many did! Also, we split the remaining cake between our families, as we were off to Fiji and didn’t want it to spoil. Long story short, all those jokes about people saying that you wouldn’t eat much on your wedding day turned out to be true for me. That is probably my only regret on the day. If/When you guys do/did get married, remember to eat cake.

Angela.

Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)

Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)

While going through Anni’s blog for my Have You Met series, I came across all her delicious looking cupcakes. So I decided to try her Lemonade Cupcake recipe. Be sure to check out her post as she is the one who originally shared it 😀

Also, I can’t wrap my head around mls and grams, as I go by cups, so I’ve done some conversions.

As always, first make sure you have what you need.

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 1/4 cup (almost) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (almost) Fanta (or other orangey sodas out there)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (almost) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (not quite 3/4 but more than 1/2) sour cream
  • 1 package vanilla pudding powder

20170625_141524

Continue reading “Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)”

Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)

Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)

Another weekend, another batch of baking.

While going through Anni’s blog for my Have You Met series, I came across all her delicious looking cupcakes. So I decided to try her Lemonade Cupcake recipe. Be sure to check out her post as she is the one who originally shared it 😀

Also, I can’t wrap my head around mls and grams, as I go by cups, so I’ve done some conversions.

As always, first make sure you have what you need.

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 1/4 cup (almost) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (almost) Fanta (or other orangey sodas out there)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (almost) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (not quite 3/4 but more than 1/2) sour cream
  • 1 package vanilla pudding powder

20170625_141524

Continue reading “Let’s Bake! (Lemonade Cupcakes Edition)”

Wedding Sweets and Treats

Welcome to another TBT! Today’s is another wedding related one. Last year in May, I emailed two businesses about wedding cakes, one called Sweet Bakery and Cakery, and  the other one called Stiletto Studio Cakes. I had heard amazing things about both places. In June, we went to a tasting at each one.

First, Stiletto Studio Cakes is incredible. They do amazing and creative designs.

We went into the tasting with no idea about what we wanted. We just thought, hey…cake. The tasting was a group one with around 20 people. Everyone milled around trying cake. They had lots of little pieces of different flavoured cakes, as well fillings, icings, examples, and all sorts. The lovely people who worked there asked us what we were thinking for our wedding cake. We wanted something small ish, as we were having a small wedding, we didn’t want a huge cake, as who would eat it all? Other than that, we had no idea. We liked a few flavours (vanilla, and lemon and raspberry stuck out a lot), and said we would email through ideas or any questions we had.

Next, we went to Sweet Bakery and Cakery. They were a smaller business, but just as recommended. They did more ‘naked’ cakes, they looked less ‘spectacular’, but just as beautiful.

  

Continue reading “Wedding Sweets and Treats”