Macarooned On A Desert Island

So, it’s been a while!!??  I’ve been going slightly crazy, a weekend with noone but the kittens for company took its toll…  It’s even lead to a drastic decision – I’ve deactivated my facebook account 😮  It had started to feel like facebook was using me, rather than me using facebook.  I’m not sure if it’s a permanent thing, but since I took the step I’m not feeling a great sense of loss.  Time will tell.

It was also a bake free weekend.  Strange times indeed.  I have found the next recipe I want to try out.  Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a very possible looking chocolate macaroon recipe.  I need to line up a few eaters first as they contain fresh cream so will have to be consumed promptly.  Expect a full account of macaroon making soon.

Going Nuts

The new cake recipe is something of a triumph, despite my reservations about getting it out of the tin it went amazingly smoothly.  My only complaint with it so far is that the oven is hotter one side than the other, resulting in a slightly wonky top, which as an upside down cake, results in a wonky bottom!?!  Still, I suppose it adds to the ‘homemade’ look…

It still has to face the taste test, so I won’t be trumpeting complete success just yet.  A team meeting tomorrow provides the perfect set of tasters, a couple of seasoned Tea Room samplers along with some new blood.  One of the seasoned samplers has also given me a run down on nuts, so watch this space for more nutty recipes 😀

I do have a top tip for anyone trying out this recipe; wash up the cake tin straight away.  I left mine overnight, which lead to a sticky situation this morning.

Today I am planning a trip to the wider world, leaving Leith again **yikes**  I’ve yet to make it out of the front door though, haha.  I’m also thinking of broadening my horizons in other areas, a possibility of an adventure into the baking of biscuits…hmm…food for thought.

A Battle Of Wills

This morning at 5am it started…meow…crash…meow…crash…scratch…MEOW…CRASH…MEOW…MEOW…CRASH CRASH CRASH…

I resisted, pillow over head I managed to block out the kitten’s desperate attempts to force her way through a locked door.  I managed to hold off until 7am, at which point I was worried for the lock!  Out of bed I discover that the little beast isn’t hungry at all, just bored and lonely.  Her sister has taken up residence under the bath and she just needed someone to play with.  I’m easily persuaded so some catnip mouse chasing and general shenanigans were soon underway.

I have a feeling a 7am start is going to be something of a feature in the Tea Room from now on.

Meanwhile on the cake front, I’m trying out a new recipe.  Banana and Walnut Upside Down Cake.  It looks good in the picture, though how exactly you manage to get it out of the tin remains to be seen.  The caramel and walnut topping is currently cooling, it’s looking promising (ie it hasn’t all just dribbled out of the bottom of the tin into the bottom of the fridge).  I need some sour cream for the cake batter and a friend is going to deliver in exchange for some lunch, so until then back to the catnip mouse 😉

Givin’ It Big Licks Glasgow Style

Having arrived safely back in The Tea Room I thought an update was in order.  My trip to Glasgow has been a good one, we even managed to dine al fresco last night which is a welcome change.  The hardcore party did not go quite to plan, and we found ourselves asleep in front of Inglorious Basterds by about 10.30.

Breakfast in Glasgow was also a triumph.  We had a trip to Big Licks ice cream parlour, I had mint choc chip, oreo cookie and (the best of the bunch) curly wurly flavours.  Closer to home I noticed that La Cerise on Great Junction St also has an ice cream sundaes menu, which looks like it might require a test drive 😉

Bananas In Pyjamas

It’s a beautiful morning in the Tea Room, sun is streaming through the windows, the washing up and hoovering are done, and the kittens have behaved themselves all night.  To top it all off there is fresh coffee and banana cake for breakfast, which of course, tastes better eaten while still wearing pyjamas!!  Fair enough it is nearly midday and little progress has been made towards losing the PJs, but it is Saturday right??

Today I am actually leaving Leith (it’s been a while) and heading west, Glasgow is my destination, a friend and I are off to Dazzle, (http://www.dazzle-exhibitions.com/dazzle/) a jewellery exhibition…I’m hoping my luck is in and I will walk away with the winning raffle prize.  You have to be in it to win it!?

It means there is a possibility I will go a whole weekend without baking, probably a good thing – time to STEP AWAY FROM THE OVEN – I’m even dreaming in cake!

Because It’s Cool For Cats

The kittens have struck again, last night I was tucked up in bed when loud and I mean LOUD music starts filtering through to my sleeping self.  All set to march upstairs in my pyjamas I jumped out of bed, thankfully before I flew out of the front door in a rage I encountered two very guilty (and frightened) looking kittens.  Further investigation revealed that the music was indeed coming from my stereo.  The kittens have added switching on the radio and selecting Radio 1 to their list of skills (I suppose in cat terms they are teenagers now…lol), that means this week they have figured out door opening, the bathroom tap and the radio – whatever next!?!

Yes, We Have No Bananas

I’m winning the battle, finally my excess of fruit is starting to come back under control.  I managed to ship Mum home with a few apples in her car picnic (along with a couple of slices of apple and carrot cake), and this morning I baked a banana and walnut loaf.  I decided to use a different recipe, and the results are very pleasing.  It also meant that I used up all the butter in the fridge, and the last of the brown sugar and walnuts.  So along with the over flowing fruit bowl, the overflowing fridge and bursting cupboards are being gradually brought back to manageable levels.

Other news included my success in getting a ‘gravatar’ or little picture into the feed on The Leither website, which was somewhat simpler than I had anticipated.  The hard bit turned out to be getting the picture scanned, which thankfully was done by a friend who is something of a techno-whizz.  Said techno-whizz also supplied me with the latest episodes of House MD, which provided entertainment while the banana bread was baking.  Sopranos and The Wire may be brilliant, but I think it’s safe to say I love Greg best….deep sigh….

No essay progress to report besides typing ‘socialism and health care’ into Google, and I think that only counts as progress if you actually read any of the links Google provides???  I’m sure inspiration beyond TV and cake will strike eventually (fingers, toes, and eyes crossed).

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

HURRAY!  We have sunshine on Leith!!  I’m even considering going out this afternoon without my fur-lined parka…

What better way to recognise the start of summer than with ice cream?  I’m also in finishing up mode.  The complete lack of space in fridge and freezer means no more cooking, and the imminent essay deadline means comfort eating is growing steadily out of control.  Chocolate chip ice cream lurking in the back of the freezer has been the star of the show this afternoon.

The cake chat and the ice cream eating has taken me back to friend’s birthday parties and a particularly spectacular hedgehog shaped ice cream cake.  If I remember correctly the hedgehog’s spines were made from Matchmakers…GENIUS!  Perhaps I should borrow some small children whose birthday parties I could cater for in the near future!?

In the meantime I think I will suppress my creative ice cream urges and make do with some sprinkles to jazz up my otherwise dull grown up ice cream eating.

I’m off to work on my tan 😀

Rinky Dink It’s Cullen Skink

Adventuring in Edinburgh today took us to Cramond.  I’d never been before and Mum was in need of a cold and wet walk.  We finished our walk off with a trip to the Tea Room at the bottom of Cramond village (checking out the competition).  They had Cullen Skink on the menu, but had sadly run out, inspiration struck and after consulting several recipes online I got creating…

…the results were gobbled this evening with buttered brown toast, the perfect antidote to the wind whistling round the window frame in the Tea Room With a View (it’s wild out there).

Tomorrow Mum is off to hillwalk, so essays must be thought about, gulp, there is literally zero space left in the fridge or freezer so cooking is no way out and the even the hoovering is done – school work – no excuses…hmmm…

How Do You Like Dem Apples?

To celebrate the end of my hangover I have been having a cook-fest in the Tea Room.  I’m still suffering some collateral damage, the nerve endings are still a little jangly, but otherwise a few early nights will sort me right out.

The celebratory dishes so far (in chronological order), full cooked breakfast for three, apple and carrot cake, lasagne, and roast chicken.  As I type the cake is cooling, the lasagne and the chicken are in the oven and the breakfasts are consumed!  I am going to make cream cheese icing for the cake, full reports and photographs to follow.

There are still piles of apples, the youth club donation was followed by the arrival of Mum with a bag of apples – to do me good – so the Dorset apple cake and the possibility of an apple pie remain.  I just need to recruit some more eaters!  Either that or commence the installation of a chest freezer in the boxroom…