Archive | Food

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pretty Pretty Chocolate Chip CookiesIn my quest to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever, I found this delicious version on the Australian Cadbury website. It’s a really easy recipe with just the right amount of chewiness and firmness needed in a choc chip cookie. In fact, it was so good that even Alexis (who is NOT a biscuit fan) was caught with his paws in the cookie jar around tea time.

I haven’t adapted the recipe at all from the original, except to subsitute normal flour and baking powder (we never have self raising flour at home). Oh, and I also added in more chocolate chips (why not?)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

All you will need:
125g butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups of all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup white chocolate chips

Here’s how:
1 – Preheat your oven to 160°C.
2 – Cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.
3 – Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
4 – Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. While the mixer is going slowly add this to your wet batter.
5 – Finally mix in the chocolate chips. You should have a fairly stiff mixture.
6 – Roll little balls of the dough and place them onto a greased baking tray. Gently press each ball down with the back of a dessert spoon.
7 – Pop in the oven and bake for 13 minutes. Keep an eye on these lovelies as you don’t want them to burn. The chocolate batter is fairly dark & you may not notice them getting too brown.
8 – Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a huge glass of ice cold milk.

Pancakes anyone?

Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday and tomorrow the beginning of Lent. I have to admit that I am a bit of a pancake nut. Pancakes where probably one of the first things my Mum taught me how to cook, not the fat American style pancakes (similar to what I know to be flapjacks) but the super thin, crepe style pancakes that you can safely eat a dozen of.
We always had then sprinkled with lots of sugar and cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon – bliss!

Tonight I shall be donning my apron to make a sinfully massive pile of these delicious treats, after all Lent only starts in the morning.

Here is my recipe for the perfect pancake, it comes out of a very old and much loved cook book of mine – Mrs Beaton’s Everyday Cookery (published in 1963) This cookbook is full of recipes I grew up with, and to spite its dated photos and horrid blue cover its a favourite in my collection. I love that certain pages (like the pancake page) are covered in little splash marks and finger prints, evidence that these recipes have been made often.

Basic Pancake Mixture.

250g plain flour
500ml milk
1/4t salt
2 eggs

Prepare batter by sifting the flour and salt into a basin. Make a well in the middle of the flour and break the eggs into this. Slowly add the milk in, stirring consistently until you have created a smooth batter OR if you have a food processor (and this is not in Mrs Beaton’s version of the recipe) wang everything into the processor and whizz it until you have a smooth batter.

Set the batter aside for at least a half hour.

Heat up a your frying pan with a small amount of oil (I use canola), wait for oil to just start smoking, then swirl in enough of the batter to cover the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to make sure the batter covers the pan evenly. Cook the pancake till it’s a golden colour and then carefully flip it over to cook the other side.

Once done pop the pancake onto a plate, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar and roll up. Store the finished pancake in a warm place till you are done making the rest.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and a nice cuppa tea.

Enjoy!

The Pancake Poster was created by WILDISH&CO.

Barbershop Paris

It is no secret that I have a small problem when it comes to all things typographic. I can’t abide badly set type and I applaud the beauty of hand lettering. I recently fell in love with the work of Alexis Taïeb. He created this phenominal piece for the Parisian restaurant Barbershop. It highlights 35 dishes and drinks from their menu – simply gorgeous.

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

Barbershop Paris

See more of Alexis Taïeb’s work here

Got cake?

Chocolate CakeChocolate Cake

Trying really hard to avoid doing real work, I decided to make a cake. I had been drooling over the How Sweet It Is blog for some time now, and seeing the photos of her chocolate fudge peanut butter cake just pushed me over the edge. I had to try this cake.

The recipe was relatively simple. Although you would never had said so from the ton of dishes I managed to create… but who cares, after all what’s the point of having five spatulas if you cant use all five of them in one baking session? Generally I am a tidy cook, I like to wash up as I go and I repeatedly wipe down surfaces and mop up spills. But for some reason when I bake, no matter how careful I am, I always seem to create a bomb site. I am positive I am not the only one, maybe other people create the illusion of tidiness by shoving dirty bowls and whisks in the dishwasher before they can be noticed. Sadly our tiny little kitchen is sans le dishwasher, so poor me has to tackle my own body weight in mixing bowls and sieves.
Dear Alexis know’s not to come near the kitchen when one of my baking frenzies is going on, mainly for fear of volunteering to wash the odd spoon and then being entrapped into washing the contents of all our cupboards – bless him!

Anyhow, here is the divine recipe for this marvelous chocolaty creation. My version doesn’t look anywhere near as glamorous as her’s but it tasted flipping fantastic. Only word of caution I would give is don’t over cook it. Mine was slightly dry – I personally prefer a slightly more moist cake.

Spier Secret Festival

This past weekend Alexis and I where lucky enough to attend the Spier Secret Festival (read more about it here). Naturally I took the opportunity to snap some photos of all the festivities – we listened to fantastic speakers, scoffed delicious food and sipped on chilled wine.
All in all a fantastic day.

Spier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret FestivalSpier Secret Festival

Delicious Accessories

I have no recollection of how I got to Miam’s website. I often click on a zillion links to read later when I am madly busy with work (serious work avoidance syndrome). For my sins I have spent the better part of the day working up quite a sweet tooth ogling over her amazing little creations.

They all look so delicious and totally edible, thankfully accessorizing with one of these cute teatime treats won’t cost you any extra calories. However, it will be a nagging reminder of the inevitable and before you know it you find yourself standing in the queue at Woolies with a basket full of pastries.

Anyhow, who cares – you only live once after all. May as well have your cake and wear it!

MiamMiamMiamMiam

Check out more yummy goodies here.

Sketch and Raw Color

Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed, was recently responsible for the lavish redesign of London’s Sketch Restaurant. His bright and festive interior is a unique exhibition, actual artwork and restaurant all rolled into one. He hand picked each individual item and no two pieces are the same. Miss matched cutlery, plastic garden chairs and priceless antiques all sit comfortably along side one another in this glorious riot of colour and style.

Sketch RestaurantSketch RestaurantSketch RestaurantSketch Restaurant

Inspired by the ingredients in signature dishes from the restaurant’s menu, Eindhoven-based design duo Raw Color created these amazing still lifes. I love the stark geometric simplicity of them, a trait not often seen in mainstream food styling.

Raw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw ColourRaw Colour

Read more about Martin Creed here
More info on Sketch here
Find out more about Raw Color here

Kitty Cat Love

Lucky Pet Love
Cat love

I have to admit that at least half the photos on my phone are of Stripes. When you live with the world’s bestest cat it is hard to resist snapping shots of every cute thing she does. Thus far I have resisted the urge to blog about Stripes (although she did sneak into a photo here). If you are like me and snap WAY too many shots of your cat or dog then you might want to check out my Instagram photos (luckily we are not alone in our pet obsession!)

Being the trendy Instagram cat celeb (wanna-be) that Stripes is – she was asked by the folks at Lucky Pet if she would participate in their Lucky Pet Supreme Cat Census . Stripes was also lucky enough to receive a super gift from them – a cardboard box full of kitty toys and treasures. Stripes was in cat heaven!. Honesty, they could have just sent the box and she would have been happy – she loves boxes and can’t resist climbing, sitting on and shredding up any cardboard that comes into our house.

But back to the cat parcel, it was filled with lots of great goodies – everything from a scratching post (essential for any humans with a leather couch) to a really smart folding cat tunnel (essential for any cat wanting to ambush said humans in the dead of the night). Best part of the whole gift was the packet of Kibbles. Being a strictly Hills Science Diet household, Stripes has only ever known the delights of Hills in her bowl. Needless to say the new smells where very overwhelming and before I could get the packet out of the box she had managed to tear a little hole in it and scoff down a few Kibbles.

Much to Stripes’ annoyance the Kibbles are now stashed under lock and key, it seems they proved to be so irresistible that during the night we found the mended (with some sticky-tape) bag and helped our selves again.
Stripes LOVES them – so they are now given out as a small snack and on special occasions (else we will land up with a tubby doorstopper for a housemate!)

Make sure your cat gets counted in the Lucky Pet Supreme Cat Census too.

Thank you Lucky Pet for the great gift, you have made our Stripey Cat very happy!

Cat Love

All photos where taken using my iPhone.

Sparkly deliciousness

If you love chocolate cupcakes then you have to try Kathcake’s Favourite Cupcake recipe.
I whipped up a batch and iced them with chocolate butter icing (yum) and finished them with pretty gold glitter – so glamorous.
If you have ever used edible glitter then you will know it goes everywhere, thankfully this is the perfect time of year for a super sparkly kitchen.

Go on, you have to try making these scrummy delights, they are so SO delicious, super moist, really chocolatey and very morish.
You can find the recipe here. Thanks Kathcake for filling my tummy with sparkly deliciousness.

Sparkly Deliciousness

Toast anyone?

Isn’t the smell of bread toasting just the most intoxicating thing? It’s the kind of smell that makes your tummy rumble even if you aren’t hungry (a bit like the smell of bacon frying).
Well now you can look forward to the very prettiest toast ever. Minale Maeda have come up with the cleverest toasting pan and coordinated Delft plate, so once you have toasted your bread it will blend perfectly into your side plate. All matchy matchy – isnt that sublime?

Cupcake Creatures

A while back (infact way back in 2007) I blogged about cupcakes (again) and it was then that I spotted the cute animal birthday candle holder (see post). Recently, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest, I spotted another rendition of the cupcake candle holder. Only this time there was a tutorial on how to make your own.

This is a truly inspired little project, it constantly amazes me how many really crafty people are out there that come up with such ingenious ideas. Thanks to This Is Glamorous and also to The Sweetest Occassion for inspiring me.

Never wishing to miss out an oppurtunity to use my Dremel tool, I quickly dug out some plastic farm animals and got drilling. A couple of sprays of gold paint later and I had created my very own little Cupcake Creature. I had such fun making them that I made quite a few. If you would like to purchase a box (of 5) of Pretty Pretty Cupcake Creatures please drop me a line (jo(dot)reidy(at)gmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I would love to see them going to loving homes where they will can be proudly displayed on delicious treats.



If you are interested in how I made them, here is a little DIY lesson. It was so much fun making them, I hope you enjoy it too.





Thanks once again to This Is Glamorous and The Sweetest Occassion for the inspiration.

Cupcake Love

I am planning a small product shoot tomorrow afternoon. It’s hopefully the first of many as I document new Pretty Pretty products, so watch this space!
Anyhow, one of the key ingredients of tomorrow’s shoot is cupcakes, yippee! What girl is not tempted by icing and sprinkles? Here is a real stunner to fill the gap till tomorrow (photo from Angela Bax).
For more cupcake inspiration check out my Pinterest cupcake board.