August 29, 2010

Organising my magazine stash!

I seem to never be able to throw out a magazine. Probably because on Page 85 there is a small photo of curtains that I like, or a recipe, or an interview with an inspiring woman who has perfected the work/life balance and has two rosy cheeked children called Freddie and Delilah and a brilliantly behaved springer spaniel. I never throw out the magazines because I'm afraid I might forget all this 'stuff'. What if one day I wake up and can't remember if that beautiful bedroom was painted with Farrow and Ball's  'Elephant's breath' or 'Mouses back'? Well I have come up with a solution. Thank God.

August 27, 2010

Unbelievable Banana Loaf

You know me. Usually I stick flowers all over the cakes I make. Loads of icing. Berries. Cream. More Icing. Crystallised flowers. Stuff everywhere.  But let me tell you, this beautiful cake needed nothing. No rum flavoured syrup, no peanut butter icing with banana chips. It's just a lightly spiced honey flavoured banana loaf. The texture is soft and pillowy. When I had it for breakfast I sighed. I have to make it again soon.

August 25, 2010

I'm in love: Theodore Deck

When we were in Bordeaux recently we went to The Museum of Decorative Arts. It's basically a load of pretty china and painted gorgeousness all stuffed into incredibly beautiful rooms. Real Boudoir style pastels and huge chandeliers, Gold chairs with velvet seats, plump feather filled day beds covered in hand embroidered fabrics. Everything is opulent and beautiful. The walls are lined with glass cases, and the cases are full of china. Cups, Saucers, Teapots and plates. I have never seen so much gorgeous stuff!

August 22, 2010

Cute Book Cover / Dust Jacket tutorial!

So last night I fell asleep thinking 'I must read more...' and then I dreamt that I made this! So then when I woke up I had to make this cute book cover. The main idea is that it's like a copy book page and you can write whatever you want on it! Nobody will be able to see what you're reading and it will keep your book safe and warm! If you like you can write 'Ulysses' or 'Advanced Arabic Arithmatic' or 'The Lord of the Rings:  The Klingon Translation'. Your friends will be so impressed!

The only things you will need for this is a book, fabric, thread, a pencil, a permanent (or fabric) marker and also probably a ruler but I couldn't find one anywhere today.

August 16, 2010

Blackberry Crumble Cake

The second blackberry recipe I tried is adapted from a really nice cherry cake. A few years ago there were about four Rachel Allen 'Bake' books floating around on Christmas morning, that type of thing always happens when you have five sisters! I ended up with one book anyway and have made the Cherry Crumble Cake a few times, really easy and nice with a touch of cinnamon. I knew it would work well with blackberries too!

Rachel actually has the original Cherry recipe here, Perfect! Just substitute the cherries for blackberries.

August 13, 2010

Blackberry Recipes!

This time of year the hedgerows are beginning to drip with blackberries. This year we seem to have a bumper crop! But I don't seem to be able to find any gorgeous blackberry recipes! When I was small we used to be 'sent out blackberry picking' and I used to dread it because I really didn't like blackberries and don't like blackberry jam. Yet all winter every tea time the jam would be lurking on the table. But this year I made it my mission to use our native blackberries as if they were raspberries, A berry to be loved and celebrated! I've been eating them all week! Here is the first recipe I tried: Blackberry Sponge.

August 12, 2010

The Winner takes it all!

So we have a winner! I ended up just pulling a name out of a hat (well actually a cake tin) and the winner is none other than the Stained Glass world's Darling Jaboopee! Hurrah! I'm busy picking loads and loads of blackberries and I hope to be back tomorrow to show you what I made this week! HINT: I had blackberry crumble cake for breakfast this morning!
Lilly x

P.S These photos are from when I made a Cherry Tart. Alas, I can't find the damn recipe.

August 6, 2010

A Vintage Homemaker Giveaway!

That's right buddies. I know how much you all love that 1950's publication; Homemaker Magazine. For the past week I have been the proud owner of Issues 1-5 and I want to give them to you! I fought tooth and nail to win these babies on E-bay and then when I did get them I didn't really know what to do with them! It's all about the hunt.

August 2, 2010

Things to do in Bordeaux!

So we went to Bordeaux in South West France for a weeks holiday. It was one of those last minute 'Where will we go?' holidays. Only a two hour direct flight from Cork, Bordeaux was perfect! The cute animal in the photo above is from a travelling Circus that passed through the city whilst we were there.

The photo above is the 15 euro sea food platter or 'Assiete de Petit Commerce' that I got in the incredible seafood restaurant Le Petit Commerce. It was incredible value, two large prawns, two oysters, periwinkles, whelk things, and a load of shrimp, and garlic butter. It really was gorgeous and some lovely crisp white wine. It was chardonnay and it actually tasted buttery. We went to Le Petit Commerce three times. When you find a good thing, stick with it! We also had a huge bowl of razor clams and they were gorgeous! And grilled mussells, a huge platter of grilled langoustine. And the fish platter for main course is unbelievable, Tuna, Swordfish, Salmon, Langoustine and a few prawns for 21 euro??!! Cest tres cheap, no? The atmosphere is bustling but relaxed, the staff are so nice and friendly but also very relaxed so don't expect to be in and out in half an hour!