Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recipes and Jelly :D

Yesterday I had my 17th birthday party :) It was such a laugh, there was a ridiculous amount of food, (most of which is sitting in my fridge-people stop getting hungry after the 3rd round of cakes and quiches) and I got to spend some time with people that I love being with :) So, in honor of the many left over delicacies waiting to be eaten in my fridge, here are a few recipes for the things we had last night :D



For the base

225g plain flour

100g caster sugar

225g butter
100g semolina

For the topping

175g butter
175g caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

397g condensed milk (this seems extraordinarily precise)

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces


Set the oven to 160C/gas2. Lightly grease a 20cm x 33cm oblong/ Swiss roll tin.

2. Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz together until they form a smooth dough (if preferred this can be done by hand in a bowl).
Press the mixture into the base of the Swiss roll tin and prick with a fork. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.

Bubble the mixture gently for five to eight minutes, stirring all the time until thick and fudge-like. Pour over the cold shortbread in an even layer. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Pour the chocolate over the toffee and leave to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

Thanks to Katie and Xander who made the most delicious millionaire shortbread like..ever.

We had a few quiches last night and they were so good (Thankyou Emily, Ruth and Katie) but I don't have their recipes :( .. I made a really good quiche lorraine for my junior cert practical like 2 years ago and it was delicious. So here's my quiche lorraine recipe.



For the pastry

175g plain flour

75g butter
1 cup cold water

A pinch of salt

Or you could just buy those rolls of ready made pastry..

For the filling

250g grated cheddar cheese

4 sliced tomatoes

200g chopped bacon

5 beaten eggs

100ml milk
200ml double cream

Salt and pepper (to taste)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme (to garnish)

1. To make the pastry, sift the flour together with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough cold water to make the crumb mixture come together to form a firm dough, and then rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a 22cm/8½inch well-buttered flan dish. Don't cut off the edges of the pastry yet. Chill again.
3. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line the base of the pastry with baking parchment and then fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for another five minutes to cook the base.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pastry base and add the sliced tomatoes if you are using them. Fry the bacon pieces until crisp and sprinkle over them over the top.

Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a bowl and season well. Pour over the bacon and cheese. Make sure ingredients are evenly spread around the pastry. Sprinkle the thyme over the top and trim the edges of the pastry.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set further.

9. Trim the pastry edges to get a perfect edge and then serve in wedges with a nice glob of relish and a rocket salad :D

My <3>
Anyone who knows me well, will know that I am completely obsessed with jelly. It's like the most delicious thing in the entire world, it's dirt cheap and ridiculously easy to make. A few evenings ago at 5pm, I made a huge bowl of raspberry jelly, put in the fridge and at 11pm, took it out and devoured the entire thing while watching Big Brother. It was the best almost-midnight feast of all almost-midnight feasts.

Yesterday, for my party, Sarah made a huge bowl of my favourite kind of jelly. RAINBOW JELLY. :)

So here it is:


1. Follow the instructions on the jelly packet for your first layer. You could choose any colour, but red would be ideal if you are a perfectionist like me. The instructions are usually along the lines of cutting the jelly cubes up into a large bowl. Jelly cubes dissolve a lot quicker and more evenly if, with sharp scissors, you cut the block into cubes following the mark lines, then cut each individual cube into quarters. It takes a little while, but it means much less stirring trying to dissolve whole jelly cubes. You must then pour a pint of boiling water onto them. I think it's a pint but I'm not entirely sure. You usually have to then top up the red gloopy mixture with a pint of cold water, and put it in the fridge until set. With Sarah's magical rainbow jelly, one also adds sliced strawberries and whole raspberries, which float to the top and set into the jelly.

Once the first layer has set (I'm hoping you made it red), repeat step 1 as many times as the size of your bowl will allow, but with various different colours. Sarah decorates her rainbow jelly with a full layer of sliced strawberries on the top of the jelly, which looks really pretty :)
Another thing I've done in the past is using the same method, but instead of a big bowl, I've put lots of clear glasses or plastic cups on a tray and filled each one evenly for each layer, to create individual jelly portions. It's really good for parties. :D And now because I love it so much, we're going to fill the rest of the page with delicious jelly. NOM NOM NOM.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sore arm..

This morning I was at the doctor getting a rabies jab. I'm sorry, but every time I think of rabies, all I can see is a gross mangey dog.

A group of us are going to Uganda in August (!/group.php?gid=107929615916145&ref=ts) so I have to get 6 injections all together. It's completely freaking me out hearing all the possible things that could go wrong and all the fatal illnesses that I could very easily get. And knowing my luck.. :(

BUT my excitement kinda outweighs my fear. The opportunity is incredible. I mean, how many people get to do this ? Very few. Which sometimes makes me doubt myself. Is there someone else who could take my place who would make more of a difference or who would contribute more than I could?

This is one of the places we'll be volunteering in. Its website breaks my heart. ( I hope I don't get in trouble for stealing stuff off the website..

This is the kitchen from which 40 children under the age of 5 are cared for.

That little area with the tin roof? Kitchen. It killed me when I turned from the computer and looked at our kitchen. I mean, if they had a kitchen similar to the ones we have, imagine how many more babies they could feed..?

More Uganda posts on the way :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A crazy week..

Ok I lie, it hasn't been that crazy, but the things that have happened have been pretty time consuming..

I spent today painting an extremely old and dirty house in Wexford with a group of friends.. It was only when I had started that I realised that I had never painted walls/doors/skirting boards/banisters before. So Sarah and I cleaned some windows.

For the duration of the car ride back to Kilkenny, 4 of us had what I can only call, a DMC. I love DMCs. Like, full on love. There's something amazing about thinking you have a person sussed out and then realising that you have so much left to learn about them. I love that when it comes to being a friend, there is never too much knowledge.. This is when Sarah comes into the picture. The term "best friend" doesn't quite cover Sarah. So everytime I learn something new about her, or realize a trait that I hadn't noticed before, it excites me that as friends, we still have a long way to go. But not in a negative sense, I mean in the way that our friendship can't ever be boring,
because there is so much more to discover.

Much like in Sense & Sensibility, when Marianne is talking about getting to know people.. "Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.".. so maybe it's not really about time at all :P

I need to think about this more, I haven't quite formed an opinion.. :/

Monday, June 14, 2010

Phew. That's better..

Okayy.. that's so much better ! Thanks to Leanne ( who is a genius. Follow her.

Went to see Sex and the City 2 with the girlies tonight.. It made me want to go out immediately and spend €500 on a pair of killer heels. So I settled for the best that I could get.. online shoe-browsing.

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From Christian Louboutin's 2010 Spring/Summer Collection, this shoe made me want to put on a lace dress and go to Paris tomorrow. Have you ever seen a more glorious item in your life? No, is the answer you are looking for. I mean, silver python shoes? Only Louboutin.

Another Louboutin creation, but this time from the upcoming Fall 2011 collection. There is something about red suede.. It just screams luxury and glamour and this shoe in particular.. it's like.. nothing I've ever seen before. Mmmmm...

This is a Manolo Blahnik sketch from this season. Alot of Blahnik's designs are outrageous and unusual, but that is definitely what makes them so incredible. If you have not already scoured the website for valuable inspiration, I would definitely recommend doing so.

I usually reaaally dislike Jimmy Choo, the plain, mother-of-the-bride feel of his designs seriously disagrees with my stomach. BUT - look at these. One word: DELICIOUS.

Vivienne Westwood designs are beyond incredible. Teaming up with Australian brand, Melissa? Genius. This collection has been out for aages, but I'm going to keep pretending they're new until I own a pair. They're the jelly sandal from when you were 5, mixed with the Cinderella pumps you had when you were 10, mixed with the heels from your wildest dreams. And they come in varied colours and designs. Complete LOVE.

I am 110% positive that there will be many shoe-related blog posts in the future, and that I have left out so many important names, but that is all for today..

“It's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes -- that's why you sometimes need really special shoes.” - Carrie Bradshaw

“Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world”
-Bette Midler

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.”
-Marilyn Monroe

“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.”
-Carrie Bradshaw

Am I the only one who would actually willingly live in a shoe?

Complete Confusion

I seriously don't understand this. Like, people say all the time, I don't get it, it's not working.. But i mean it. Blogging should be simpler. :P Well actually that's not what I mean, what I mean is, making my blog look pretty should be simpler..

The fish? They're doing their best. But a few floral motifs and maybe a swirly font would make such a difference. No one wants to read a blog with yellow stripes and a verdana font. Honestly, I wouldn't. But if anyone is actually reading this, bear (bare?) with me :/