Monday, 31 October 2011

Lemon Pudding recipe from the Stylist - tested

Every Wednesday morning I get the Stylist Magazine - a free fashion and lifestyle magazine available in London. And I saw the Lemon delicious pudding recipe - and more importantly the picture, and I knew I had to make it. Pictures are really important guys - I don't actually buy cooking books without picture, as I don't like not being able to see what I am supposed to make - I am weird, I know. Anyway, the recipe is worthy of a post because it is indeed delicious and very simple - and according to M one of my best cooking efforts.

However I changed the recipe a bit. I wanted it to be a bit more lemoney so I added a lemon glaze, and I did not have any cream of tartar (and could not be bothered to go out and buy some) and replace it by bicarbonate of sodium (did some research on what it was supposed to be like). So the recipe is the original and you will see what I added.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (serves 6)
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225g golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
(I used 3) + 3 more for the lemon glaze
4 large free range eggs, separated
50g self-raising flour
225ml whole milk
Half level teaspoon cream of tartar (I used bicabornate of sodium)

Icing sugar, for sprinkling and for lemon glaze

How can I make it?

1) Heat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4 and place a roasting tin half-filled with water on the centre shelf to warm up.

2) Butter a 1.5-1.75 litre soufflé or other ovenproof dish. (I made individual cakes in some muffin tray I had)

3) Whisk the butter in a large bowl until soft, add the sugar and whisk until fluffy. Gradually whisk in the lemon juice, followed by the grated lemon zest and egg yolks. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir it in with a metal spoon, then gradually stir in the milk. Stir thoroughly until very smooth. (Bring on the Kitchen Aid)

4) In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar using an electric hand mixer until they stand in soft peaks. Then, using the metal spoon, fold them gently into the pudding mixture, a quarter at a time.

5) Pour the mixture (looks like a pancake mixture - apparently it is supposed to) into the soufflé dish and stand it in the roasting tin of water in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or slightly less, in a fan oven, until risen and golden brown on top.

6) Make a lemon glaze (mising lemon juice and icing sugar) and pour on top of the cooled-down cake.

Serve hot or cold (they are suprisingly nice cold), with a little icing sugar sifted over the top if you like (Xmas effect).

So we have nearly eaten all of them over the weekend... and I may have to make a new batch - or find a new recipe... As always guys would be great to know if you got inspired and made it!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Today's 5 pinterest favourites

Cari-Jane at Hybridhandmade started to publish her last 5 pins on pinterest. What a great idea! The only problem is that I do not go on pinterest as much as I used to (happened with facebook - I get bored really easily), but when I do go on the site I pin like crazy... So I am not sure I can do my last 5 pins, but I can certainly do my favourite 5 of today's pinning session.

1. Can we start getting excited about winter yet? Guys, if you thought (rightly) that I loved the Autumn, you have no idea what will hit you with Winter. It is my favourite season (and my birthday)... Love this cozy interior...

2. The Art of Upcyling...The only problem is that I have an idea, I find the material and ... that is it. We bought a couple of weeks ago a coffee bean bag and I need to turn it into cushion(s)... This is a gentle reminder of what it could look like..

3. Photography... I thought this was a beautiful shot, the colours, the sparkling.. Would make a great birthday card..

4. Mittens, embroidery and colour coordination. Not sure about the felted mitten effect but love the embroidery work on the light grey medium.

5. Stylin'it Blair style. I want a cape, I do, I do, I do. And this is great styling lesson out of Gossip Girl..

So what are you last 5 pins or your 5 favourite pins of the day! Would be great to see them! Mine are available @noaslibellule.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Whose scarf is it going to be?

I finished Wayfarer and I loved knitting it. I did not even flinch when Jared told me to knit another 30 inches of the same two rows. I measured every inch of the scarf to make up the 76 inches recommended. And when I finally blocked it (across the whole landing), I wondered... Was it really for me? Isn't it a bit too masculine for me? No, no, no, two attempts and one solid week of knitting later, and all I could think is whether it is for me, seriously???

The colour is definitely me, I am liking more and more the yellow/brown blends (Rowan Silk Twist). But the garter stitch and lack of lacework... not sure it is for me.

Don't get me wrong it is a beautiful scarf, cozy, long, perfect for the autumn. That is in fact why I wanted to knit it. I also learnt a lot from the pattern (turbular cast on anyone? and turbular bind off!). I love the stitch over two rows and the edging (so clean). The pattern is SO clear, so well-written. Honestly it was a great project. I did not change a thing (needles size:5mm).

So I reckon this one should stay at home but should be my husband's. Anyway he keeps saying that I make scarves that are too short for him (it is totally true, I usually get bored and bind off). I can still borrow it some days... It does look good.

PS: Thanks to M for taking the pictures and be patient with the model...

Monday, 24 October 2011

La tarte a M'man

Attention, attention! This is officially serious cooking. I decided to tackle my Mum's recipes and one of her favourites - or at least I remember distinctively eating a lot of it when I was younger (and not really liking it, then). Here is her TARTE A LA MOUTARDE (or Mustard Tart) - which is in fact more a mustard and tomato tart.

So I mentioned - in passing - that I did not really like it... So why, oh why making one? Well Mum used to go a bit heavy on the mustard, and I thought I could improve on this... Less mustard, first and some mozzarella on top second to soften the taste a bit.. So here is the revisited recipe.

You are going to need:

- Puff pastry (but you can try with shortcrust as well) - I buy puff pastry, cannot bring myself to make it.

- 5/6 big tomatoes, thickly sliced

- Mustard (of course)

- Mozzarella (optional)

- Olive oil and herbs.

How do you do it??

1) Blind bake your puff pastry to avoid the base to go all soggy (not a good look guys!)

2) Mustard up the base of the tart - how much you want to put is up to you, I personally spread it quite finely..

3) Arrange (nicely) the tomato slices

4) Add some mozzarella on top (or in slices in between some tomato slices)

5) Add some herbs (Herbes de Provence will do) and olive oil on top. Et voila!

6) And in the oven - 200 degrees, for about 15 minutes (I think, was watching the Xfactor so did not pay a lot of attention).

Easy cooking for everyone... and you get to watch the Xfactor as well. What else do you want? Hope you all had a great weekend, and having a Happy Monday!

Let me know if you try to recipe...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rich Coffee by YSL - the test

I finally tested it ... after having splashed out on it 2 or 3 months ago (at least). The Rich Coffee La Lacque (no 36) nail varnish was this morning put to the test.

This morning, I had 5 minutes max - and in that time I also needed to take pictures to show you! Let's face it, this could have failed really badly.

But it did not. As you can see within 5 minutes: nail varnish was applied (not beauty salon style, but that is all down to me), nail varnish dried and pictures were taken (blackberry). I was seriously impressed. I love that deep brown/purple colour - goth but not too goth.

I did not even had to really be careful! It has already lasted through a lot of key searches in my handbag, mugs cleaning, notes writing, and looking at it now, it has not changed! Not the cheapest, but woth the money

AND it goes super well with the mittens I knitted last year (definitely out now).. I am a convert, YSL (nail varnish) all the way...

Next time, the blue version...

Monday, 17 October 2011

TOAST Inspiration

Hello guys, Happy Monday!! Did you have a good weekend? This weekend I finally had a chance to really indulge with flicking through magazines and catalogs - and my favourite one is the new TOAST House & Home A/W 2011 catalogue - a company based in Wales. I love it! This is totally my style - a mix of vintage, clean lines, querky yet simple designs and general coziness without pretention.

First of all the editing of the actual catalogue is beautiful, I read it like a deco mag - full of inspiration and vivid colours. It presents a mix of 'styling' and individual pieces to purchase. The overall setting is meant a converted barn/ranch (my dream home) full of crates, bare brick walls (heaven) - and has a general untidy feel to it.

It is a real source of inspiration if you are into knitting and crochet-ting (I wonder who would be into that sort of thing). The blankets and cushions are beautiful just by their simplicity (I told you granny squares were bang on trend this winter) and the colours would brighten up any chilly nights to come (yes, I am getting obsessive about yellow).

I never knitted socks - but I am really considering starting since I saw this picture - I love the green colour...

So unfortunately this unstated luxury comes at a price... So it is a good job it is also a source of homemade home inspiration - definitely a keeper and something I will go back again and again.

So guys, are you inspired? Ready to embrace Autumn and Winter?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Swirling Old Gold

Hello guys! Yes, Friday is here and that can only mean one thing, in 5 hours it will be the weekend!! Yeah!! My winter coats are now out, and I finally knitted my first EVER hat/beret. I knitted this specifically for the TOAST coat I am wearing on the pictures. I love that colour combination. Also M was allowed to touch THE camera... And I think he did a good job actually.

The hat is knitted in 'Old Gold' MeriSilk Aran. I bought the yarn AGES ago on
Folksy (the UK equivalent of Etsy) from Babylonglegs (who now has her own website). In fact the yarn was never supposed to become a hat, it was meant to be a scarf - and to be specific Wayfarer from Jared Flood. I knitted along - probably 3/4 of the scarf - and realised that I would not have enough yarn, and more worryingly that there was nothing like it in terms of colours out there, AND there was none left (I contacted Babylonglegs). There was only one solution left, to frog the whole piece... and start something new.

As well as having quite a big stash of yarn (and fabric, and craft stuff in general), I also have a few patterns that I bought but never got round to do. Whimsical Little Knits is one of those patterns book I loved, bought, and left in my Ravelry library practically untouched. I wanted an easy and portable project (business travelling -friendly), and this was ideal. I finished in 4 days (I only knit at night time, and there is no public knitting involved), and took it with me to Liechtenstein..

Just a couple of technical details... I used 5mm DPNs and needles, and added a few rounds in the middle and at the end because I was worried it would not be slouchy enough - did not change the number of stitches. The start is the most difficult part, it is a bit akward for 10 rounds, but then all fine. Do use markers guys - really you cannot avoid it. My border is a 2x2 ribbing - again added some rounds here- and I finished by the surprisingly stretchy bind off
method - it is amazing! Nothing major as amendments..

Here we are... What do you think guys?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Resuming activity

Hello guys! happy Thursday! So blogging, tweeting and commenting on other blogs have been on hold for a bit - too many business trips, not enough sleep and a general shorter days' sluggishness. Not the greatest excuse but that is all I have... But I have a wonderful picture of my flight back from Milan...

So am I forgiven? Hope you are all great wherever you are and whatever you are doing!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Alexis Mabille inspired

Hello my lovelies! Hope all is well for you ... So unless you have been on another planet, you know that this week is Paris Fashion Week, and yes I decided to pay a bit more attention this time - 1) because I am French and I used to live in Paris - and I love to hear where they are hosting the shows; 2) because my favourite brands are presenting their SS2012 in Paris (Celine, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Vanessa Bruno...). But what caught my eye as well is the Alexis Mabille collection, it is really young and fresh and I KNOW there is a DIY project there.

I love the men shirts turned tops and the use of sleeves as belts (100% upcycling) - I mean that is genius right? The first outfit is TOTALLY wearable at an evening work do - even now at this time of the year. I really like the combination of the flower pattern and stripes of the second outfit, so cool for the summer days. Third outfit, again, show more shirt upcycling alternatives - it can be a top or a skirt... So time to raid your husband, boyfriend, partner wardrobes... or local charity shop!

This inspiration is coming at the right time for me as I decided to think about the Buy Nothing New Month initiative..

So the aim is to buy nothing new in October, with the exception of essentials (food, drink, medications, hygiene products) and borrow, swap or buy secondhand whatever you need (they also mention get fit and repair...). You just buy nothing new. This particular initiative is Australian, but I am sure that you will find ways to apply it wherever you are..

So I may have to change my daily web browsing routines to new websites such as ebay and gumtree... and check out again these charity shops and other flea markets... Plus use some of the yarn and fabric that has been sitting for a while in my hobby room. I am actually quite excited about this!!! I will let you know how I get on.. By the way if you have done something similar in the past, let me know, I would love to hear your tips!!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Weekend tweets, humour and travel plans

Hiya guys! Happy Monday! How are you all doing? Did you have a good weekend? I cannot do a Monday post today without talking about the weather over the weekend... It was AMAZING! My garden is not in its greatest state (it is our 2012 project) but you get the idea of how great the weather was (Do you recognise the quilt??)

Some of my tweets over the weekend were about our newest purchase... The Wii fit. We are preparing for autumn and rain - but don't you know the autumn is the new summer and you will be able to run all the time outside.. until that is proven on a long period of time, I can play the Kungfu game (M is demonstrating here) which is great; I love the boxing one too - nothing like a bit of anger management when you are copied into irrelevant emails during your weekend...

And I made some cake pops according to last Friday's recipe... So it did not go quite according to plan, and they ended up a bit too goo-ey and sugar-ey - and that is entirely my fault for not reading the recipe properly and being a bit too keen to get involved... Will have to have another try.

Finally it is Monday, and we all know I need a bit of humour to carry me through the day... and the picture reflects adequately how I felt this morning (not a very healthy weekend). I really needed the wiifit..

Hope you had a great weekend guys! Oh, and I almost forgot, I also need your help guys. I am off to Liechtenstein this week for work and Milan next week - any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!(restaurants, bars, fabric/yarn shops???) Have a great week...