Ice Lolly Invites

20130609_125224For my birthday this year, I decided I just wanted all my close friends over for a picnic in my garden. I wanted something cute and summery so I decided on making Ice Lollies!

They are so easy to make and are really different to usual invites.

You will need:        Lollypop sticks             Double-sided tape            Scissors         Card Alphabet Stickers (for your guests names)                  Glue Stick

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I had some red pre-folded cards with envelopes that are perfect for this, all you need to do is cut the corners off the top to make it rounded, so it’s more of an Arch.

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Opening the card, I then cut “bite marks” into the back side of the card.

20130609_121740For all the information about my party, I made some labels using avery labels and just printed them off, cutting them smaller than the card, and glued it onto the card.

20130609_122237To finish, put double sided tape on the top back of a lolly stick, leaving the bottom half tape-free.

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Stick on to the back of the invite so all you can see is the bottom of the stick,

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Add recipients names and they’re good to go! I wrote a secret message on the back of each lolly stick to make them that bit more personal.

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Peppurr-mint Creams

Around Christmas time, I needed something easy and thrifty to make as gifts for people. Chels (the best friend) and I decided on Peppermint Creams as you need minimal ingredients and are quite fun to make together. We also made Truffles which are just as easy to make but I have forgotten which recipe we used. 397713_10151352277521907_1113220323_n I had so many compliments about these as for some “older” recipients, it reminded them of their childhood and christmas memories. Children also love them.

P.s As you will be using only egg whites, you may want to make some mayo, hollandaise or aioli with the yolks, super easy and impressive!

You will need        2tsp Peppermint Essence          Juice of 1 Lemon                                2 Egg Whites         900g Icing Sugar         Bar of Dark Chocolate          Electric Whisk        Shot Glass            Mixing Bowl      Rolling Pin

Whisk the Egg Whites in a bowl until they form stiff peaks, it takes a while but persevere and you will get there. Then slowly whisk in the rest of the ingredients (except the chocolate) until it forms a sort of paste.

On an icing sugar dusted surface, start rolling out the paste to your desired thickness, the paste will not be very wet but don’t worry as it will set later on.

Now the recipe says use a small cookie cutter, I don’t have that sort of kitchen, but I do have shot glasses which I think is probably the same thing! Start cutting into circles and place on a baking tray/plate/chopping board. Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Melt the dark chocolate, I usually just zap in the microwave but you may want to use the ‘melt over boiling water’ method, less chance of burnt chocolate. Using a spoon, I dipped it in the chocolate then swirled liberally over the (now set) peppermint creams. Put back in the fridge for the chocolate to set again.

These will last in the fridge (in tupperware) for about 4 days. When you are ready to give them out, wrap in cello and curling ribbon. You can even attach vintage-style labels to them to make them that bit more special.

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Jammy Layer Loaf Cake

Loaf cakes are one of the easiest things to bake and go down really well with a cup of tea! Great to take into work as a treat and to have on hand in case you have a surprise visitor.

This loaf cake in particular was made with my besties chickens eggs. I think it tasted a whole lot better and if I had the space I would TOTALLY get some chickens!

As Delia has taught me, If making a basic sponge, always go by the rule 2oz sugar, flour, butter to every 1 egg. No matter how big/small the cake, if you stick to this your cake will always turn out well.

Ingredients               6oz Butter              6oz Sugar             6oz SR Flour               3 Eggs           Jar of Jam (you will not need a whole jar but to taste)          Vanilla Extract            Loaf tin            Loaf tin liner

Place liner in loaf tin and heat over to 160C. Using the “all in one” method, whisk up all ingredients (minus the jam). When mix is light and fluffy, place half the mix into loaf tin.

Spread jam over mixture in tin according to taste, do not spread all the way to the ends as the jam will burn when cooking, so leave a small border.

Pour rest of mix on top and bake for about 40/50 mins, until golden. Skewer middle of cake to make sure cooked all the way through. Halfway through I usually cover the top with tin foil so the top doesn’t burn.

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So there we are, a loaf cake with “built in” Jammy layer! I’m pretty sure you could use lemon curd as well if you fancy!

 

 

Lolly Tree

For another birthday, I made my dear friend a chuppa chups tree, although it looks more like a bush to be honest! It was really easy to make but I underestimated how many lollies I would need.IMG_20120827_104902

You will need               Small Bucket/tin          Oasis Ball              Oasis square            Pencil             Around 30/40 lollipops

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I bought the mini bucket from Hobbycraft for about a pound, along with the Oasis. To make sure the tree isn’t too big and falls over, the Oasis should just about fit in the bucket.

For the Base, I cut the square of Oasis to size so it fitted into the bucket snugly. I stuck a wooden pencil into the Oasis base through to bottom of the bucket. I then covered with green tissue paper so it looked a bit prettier!

I then started cutting the lolly sticks to about half the size so I could start putting them into the Oasis Ball. Starting at the top I put them in a circular pattern.

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Once I had filled the ball with enough lollies, I just pushed onto the pencil (attached to the base bucket)

Overall, it cost around £5/6 to make but makes a super cute gift!

My Birthday 2012- A Year Late!

So last year, I made my matchbox invites and was preparing for my party, life got in the way and I forgot about my blog :(

We made most of the decorations ourselves and they have now been moved to my room and hanging in my windows

Here are just a few pics, I didn’t take as many as I wanted as I was too busy making Jelly Shots and Birthday Cake!

We made paper chains and hanging decorations using ribbon and attaching bits and bobs with craft wire, string and ribbon. My best friend made me birdcages that are my FAVOURITE!!!!

We made them outside using my washing line to help hold it up!
We made them outside using my washing line to help hold it up!
Paperchains made from strips of paper, we punched the paper with balloons and stars etc
Paperchains made from cut strips of paper, we punched the paper with balloons, flowers and stars.
Paperchains all round my greenhouse
Paperchains all round my greenhouse
Decorations were put up all around the parasol we were sat under all afternoon.
Decorations were put up all around the parasol we were sat under all afternoon.

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A few fairylights for the evening.
A few fairylights for the evening.

 

Birdcages. I don't have a better picture of them but they are so easy to make. You will need paper, string, a round jar lid (ie nutella lid) and some sparkles. These are so lovely, think I may make a tutorial.
Birdcages. I don’t have a better picture of them but they are so easy to make. You will need paper, string, a round jar lid (i.e nutella lid) and some sparkles.
These are so lovely, think I may make a tutorial!

 

My cake! Which I ended up making myself, glitter, stars and crowns were necessary!
My cake! Which I ended up making myself, glitter, stars and crowns were necessary!

 

My dads wallpaper table! Covered with sweeties, bubbles, eye patches and Jelly Shots!

Graveyard Cakes

These were made for Halloween but I guess you could make them all year round if you like a bit of gore! The finger biscuits really look like headstones but I’m sure if you can’t find any, a square biscuit could work too, or even an After Eight?

You will need: Cupcakes, Chocolate spread, Rich Tea Finger Biscuits, Flake, Chocolate writing icing, Skeleton Jellies (or anything else grave related!)

Firstly whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes (or buy some plain cupcakes) you could also add a jam centre for a bit more horror!

Spread with chocolate for a base and sprinkle crushed Flake on for a “dirt” effect.

To decorate the finger biscuit headstones: You will not need the whole biscuit but enough for it to be pushed down into the cake and have the headstone too. Some of them were lightly coated in chocolate spread, others weren’t. Using the writing icing pens I decorated with R.I.P and borders.

Push biscuit into the cake towards the back so it stands up alone. Add a skull jelly or a jelly worm in front of headstone.

Please note I found the biscuits went soggy after being left in the cake overnight so serve immeadiatly or add the biscuits just before serving.

 

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

These were made for my friends birthday last year as she loves Cheesecake. They are baked cheesecakes that are baked in cupcake wrappers and then turned upside down so you can see the whole Oreo cookie. They do not look perfect but they taste amazing and are perfect for sharing!

Ingredients   21 Oreos (15 whole and 6 coarsly chopped)          16oz Cream Cheese      1/8tsp Salt             1/2Cup Sugar             1/2tsp Vanilla Extract             2 Large Eggs             1/2Cup Sour Cream

Before you start pre-heat your oven to 190°C. Line a cupcake tin with 15 paper cases and a whole oreo in each case.

Method

Whisk the Cream Cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well mixed.

Beat Eggs and Vanilla. Add Sour Cream, Salt and chopped Oreos. Stir in to Cream Cheese mix by hand.

Fill mixture to the top of each cupcake case.

Bake in the oven for 11mins, then rotate the tin and bake for another 11mins.

Cool overnight or at least 4 hours.

Remove cupcake case and turn upside down for effect.

 

 

Alternative Tree Decorations

Ok, so I know Christmas is an age away but it is never too early to start thinking about what to do with your lovely tree.

Last year I didn’t want baubles as I never use them year after year, so I opted for something a bit different: Sweeties! It also meant I was eating sweets well into the new year, shame!

I bought lots of candy canes, chocolate coins and retro sweets in wrappers such as Love Hearts, Drumsticks and Refreshers and just attached curling ribbon and hung on my tree that is really too big for my flat.

Adding the traditional fairy lights, gold beads and a gold star it really cheered me up on a cold dark night to see a twinkling tree filled with sugar!

Matchbox Party Invites

Matchbox Party Invites.

These are my invites to my birthday this year. Inside is a small “scroll” with all the details for my barbeque! They are very cute and cost almost nothing to make. The paper was bought from Tiger along with a few stick on jewels from the pound shop!

To make you will need a printable template for a matchbox. I went to http://www.etsy.com/storque/media/bunker/2010/01/traditionalmatchboxtemplate.pdf

I printed on different paper and then mixed and matched the drawers/sleeves.I then put a border of the same drawer onto the sleeve.

To decorate I added cupcake and flower stick ons, and to make the matchbox look like a drawer I added a small Diamante to the sleeve.

I printed out a small message with all the details, rolled up and secured with another diamante (the same colour as the “drawer handle”!) It fits perfectly! I think it beats an invite via email/text!

99′ Cupcakes.

’99 Cupcakes

These cakes have to be the ones I’ve been most proud of. They are very simple, just took ages but were SO worth it when the compliments came rolling in. Perfect for when the weather isn’t hot enough for the real thing! Apologies for the photo quality, taken on my mobile phone.

Ingredients

For the Cake110g Caster Sugar         12 Flat Based Ice Cream Cones       110g Butter       2tsp Vanilla Essense                        110g Self Raising Flour           1tsp Baking powder      3 Large Eggs

For The Decoration:  225g Butter        450g Icing Sugar            2tsp Vanilla Essense               4 Large Flakes (or 12 little ones)                      Colourful Sprinkles

You will also need Tin Foil, a Cupcake Pan, an Icing Syringe/Icing Bag with Star Tip. Before you start: Cut tin foil into 15cm squares and place into cake tin holes, place cone in hole and use the overhang of tin foil to secure the cones in place.

Method

Cream the Butter and Sugar together. Beat in 1 Egg at a time. Add Flour and Baking Powder a third at a time, then add the Vanilla.

Spoon mixture into the Cone, filling to just below the top of cone. Bake for 20mins at 180°C. Leave to cool.

Whilst waiting for the cakes to bake and cool, time to make the Buttercream.

Beat the Butter, still beating, add the icing sugar then the Vanilla.

Fill your Icing Syringe/Bag with Buttercream. Swirl onto the top of the cake to create a “Mr Whippy” effect.

Add a Flake and Sprinkles and Ta Dah! You are a true genius and everyone will want one!