Wednesday 29 September 2010


I had a nightmare of a day last week.  
I had 72 cupcakes to make for a post-wedding party.  
At one time I would have cleared three days for this amount,but I can bake them up in a few hours now.
Well, first I accidently made twice the amount of vanilla batter that I needed, and then I realised I had used salted butter instead of unsalted. I could taste the difference, and felt I couldn't let them go out of the house.  So off to Waitrose for more butter to make the batch again, this time managing the right amounts.
Later on I had two batches each of vanilla, lemon and chocolate cupcakes buttercreamed and ready for fondant.
After all the cakes had been baked and I was tidying up, a packet of fondant fell onto my gorgeous Nigella mixing bowl - smashing it into pieces!
Then as I was putting the kids to bed I heard a huge crash and came downstairs to find all the chocolate cakes had mysteriously fallen off the cooling tray onto the floor. At this point all I felt was weary resignation, but I took an alternative bowl and started mixing .... again.
Ah well, my client was really pleased with the final result though -
which is all that counts!

Sunday 26 September 2010

P.. P ...P ..P...PICK UP A PINATA!

Aha! Finally, the pinata tutorial I promised you!
I have found that even though pinatas aren't an English tradition, they are the highlight of my kidlets parties - and to be honest, which child doesn't enjoy hitting things with a big stick?
They are really easy to make, although they can be time-consuming...but my kidlets love to be involved in party preparation and this is a great project
for them to help with.

 Little fingers are good for this fiddly job!

While we had the paper mache paste out the kidlets decided to do some junk modeling aswell.  So they created some amazing robots!

Here are my handy tips for surviving a papermache session;
1; Always use a pvc table cloth, this has become invaluable to me during our crafing sessions.
2; And this is a big one if you don't have kidlets yet or have babies and are considering investing in new flooring ALWAYS get lino or wood NOT EVER carpet.
This is a small section of the room after the kidlets had started!

Sorry it's so out of focus but I was just contemplating the clean up!
Anyway have fun making and if you do make some I'd love to see the pics.

P.S Thanks to Anon for the title after I couldn't come up with anything pithy or witty!  Or maybe it should read P...P..Papermache a Pinata.

Saturday 25 September 2010


Hi All!
I need your help!
Someone has stolen a picture of one of my cakes and is passing it off as her own to try and win a competition!
I know... I'm a tad annoyed.
I really don't want to have to start watermarking all my photos bnut it looks like I may have to start.
Any way if you have a spare minute could you click HERE and flag the picture as inappropriate.
I have tried contacting the site hosting the competition but they haven't even replied so I figure if enough people flag her they may get an idea that something is up.

Thankyou lovely readers for your help!
They have now taken it off their site, so thankyou all for your help, I really appreciate it!

Thursday 23 September 2010


Six years ago, not long after the birth of our eldest I bought Mr Lemon Drizzle this poster.

I felt we needed to remember the sentiment when this small bundle of baby was keeping us awake for months... actually it was years!
At time it was very rare and not the phenonemon it has since become.
The day we saw it as the front page on The Sun was the day we knew it had to go! (I think it was a message to the English football team if you are wondering).
However finding a replacement is proving difficult.  Here are some options.

We both love typography and this is so fun.


A My Neighbour Totoro poster. See here for more Totoro madness!

And although fake moustaches are something of a blog trend I do love this.

Or we could always make something ourselves!
What do you think?

Tuesday 21 September 2010


I was hosting my monthly book club meeting last week and a More Than A Mama meeting to discuss our next fair.

I decided I would make some goodies inspired by the book we had read, which could also be suitable for morning coffee.
The book we were reading was Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant.  Its a great book and everyone enjoyed it, giving it an average of  7 1/2 - 8, an easy interesting read.

As it was set in a medieval Italian nunnery I plumped for biscotti with prosecco.  

There are many beautiful descriptions of the choir's singing so I tried to find some similar mood music for the night but the best I could come up with was this.  Fortunately one of the book club members had been googling and discovered this dreamy ethereal music which was recorded from contemporary music of the period especially to compliment the books publication.

Ooh just remembered to say they were dark chocolate and sour cherry flavour, and I soaked the cherries in some homemade cherry kirsh from my Mum.

Friday 17 September 2010


On Sunday I have been invited to take part in a radio show to help celebrate Cupcake week.
 The host is Nick Coffer who is a keen blogger, check out My Daddy Cooks where he videos himself and his adorable little boy Archie cooking together.

 Anyway I have to bring a recipe so I thought apple and blackberry would be nice and seasonal.

I took a trial batch today twhen I visited the fabulous Gretel, my old friend from university.  We haven't seen each other for nearly twenty years but she hasn't changed! 

I will try and post a link so you can listen again if you wanted too!  And you do need to tune in to BBC Three Counties Radio if you want the recipe!

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Vintage Butterfly Cake

I made this cake last week for a lovely lady who was celebrating her fortieth birthday.  

She wanted a pretty cake but not too pink.  So I open my Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady for inspiration and gave the cake a vintage feel.

 On a separate note if you fancy winning some vouchers for CSN like I did here have a look at Me Old China.

Sunday 12 September 2010


What's that.... you're here for the party?
Oh no!  I'm so sorry but you're a few days late.
What?  You'll settle for seeing the pictures instead?
OK, here we go.  Pink dresses on, please!

We have bedecked the whole house in pink.


Luminarias and bunting.

Pink banners

 Pink flowers.

 Even pink owls... a contribution from big kidlet (we all love to party plan!)

Of course, what would a party at Amelie's House be without a cake...

I took the motif from the invites.


 Iced gems.

 Cake pops.

And party bags.

We didn't even hold back on pink for the boys.

The party bags had pink wand cookies for the girls and pink dinosaurs for the boys, pink sweets, pink balloons, pink torches... a lot of pink.
Fabulous pink feltiness from the wonderful Marie.

And then we had the party games. As they were only little children at the party we made do with 'pass the parcel' and 'musical bumps' for entertainment. At the very last minute I bought a selection of bubble wands and just sent the ten 4 year olds into the garden to play, which was a great idea!

I promise the pinata tutorial really soon!  It was highlight of the party for most of the kids.

 And within two hours, all that was left of six months planning were happy memories and cake crumbs!