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IF: Launch

June 21st, 2011

This is how, my little Bubba Bee, shooting stars launch themselves into the night sky.

Pizza Dough

June 18th, 2011

Homemade pizzaI’m bored of ordering the same old pizza here. Don’t get me wrong the Fiorentina from Tutto Tuci is the best but if my only choice is between that and Magherita, well, it’s a tad boring; the others tend to have salami, pepperoni and other ingredients that I don’t consume.

So yesterday, I had a quick google for thin crusty pizza base recipe and for the first time ever, had a look at a Jamie Oliver’s recipe just for a rough measurement as I do know the basic ingredients anyway which are flour, dry yeast, sugar, lukewarm water, oil and salt.

Why I didn’t do this ages ago, I don’t know. It is more practical as I could put whatever topping I want… and yesterday it was spinach and shredded roast chicken. Bubba loved it!

Vanilla Banana Ice Cream

June 6th, 2011

A few weeks ago, there was an ice cream van parked outside work offering free ice cream. Unfortunately it wasn’t the weather for ice cream and the ice cream itself is not that amazing that I would run out to get one.

It’s not like the ice cream you get in Italy. It was just a normal Mr Whippy ice cream, the 99p ice cream with flake… only it was in a cup and without the flake.

I told my colleague homemade ice cream must taste better than what we get in the shops.

So, here’s my weekend effort. Why ‘effort’? Because I don’t have an ice cream maker and won’t have one. I just don’t want another gadget in the house… plus, I have able hands and arms, so, I can stir no problem. The ice cream might not turn up as smooth but hey… it’s made with love :)

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas
400ml milk
50g unrefined caster sugar
2tsps vanilla extract

So how do you make ice cream without an ice cream machine?

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it’s smooth. Pour the mixture into a wide bowl, cover and put it in the fridge for an hour.

Remove from the fridge and transfer it into the freezer for 40 minutes. Take the bowl out. It should have started to freeze at the edges and still soft in the middle. Beat the mixture well and making it smooth again.

Place the bowl back in the freezer for another 40 minutes and repeat the above again. Repeat this about 4 or 5 times or more if you have the patience.

Once the mixture is nice and frozen, your ice cream is ready!

OK… this is the first time I made it and the texture is more like a sorbet than a smooth ice cream. I just need more practice, which won’t be a problem as I have something yummy waiting for me in the end :)

Carrot Cupcakes

June 5th, 2011

Each time Hubby takes Bubba Bee to Cafe Nero, they will share a slice of carrot cake. I’m not too keen on it as the carrot cake there, as at most places, has raisins in it.

I’ve never made carrot cake before as most of the recipes has raisins in it plus grating the carrots just seem to be a lot of hard work to me. What changed my mind? Bubba Bee will be two in a few months time and I want to make something nice for her to bring to Nursery and share with her friends… and as we were invited to Ivy’s second picnic birthday party yesterday, I thought it was a good time to experiment.

So Bubba Bee and I started on our mission.

Before I list down the ingredients, you might have noticed that I’ve put this under baby/toddler safe. It is safe for your baby after six months… as I used baby led weaning with Bubba Bee and nut allergy doesn’t seem to run in both mind and Hubby’s families… at least I haven’t heard of any. It’s just a warning as this recipe does contain walnuts… but then I guess you could omit that if you want the way I omitted raisins!

Oh! By the way… you can get the recipe for carrot cake from Joy of Baking and I altered it to suit Bubba Bee and me.

Ingredients:

CARROT CUPCAKES
4 large eggs
150g unrefined granulated sugar
240ml corn oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
260g plain flour
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
340g finely grated raw carrots
55g walnuts, lightly roasted and coarsely chopped

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
110g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g soft cheese at room temperature
150g unrefined icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon zest from 1 lemon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180C or gas mark 4.

In a large bowl, wish the eggs, sugar,oil and vanilla extract until slightly thicken. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon into the wet mixture and mix well. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts.

Divide the mixture evenly into 24 muffin cups and place them on the middle rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool them completely on a wire rack.

In another bowl, beat the butter and soft cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and continue to mix until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Pipe or with a knife spread the cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

It Has Arrived!

June 3rd, 2011

It came through the post today!! How exciting!! And now I’m wondering why I chose ‘Forever in a Nutshell’ as the title to my project…