Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pink & Lilac Fairy Cakes

On Saturday I made 20 pink & lilac fairy cakes for a 2nd birthday party. A light vanilla sponge topped with vanilla buttercream and various sprinkles, and of course plenty of glitter.

I was determined to take some nice photos, so here are my favourites:

And as they only wanted 20 cakes I had a few left over for experimenting & play! Where I discovered my new favourite way of piping buttercream:

Monday, May 17, 2010

minirhi bakes, challenges & bento

Just a quick update on everything I haven't blogged about recently!

minirhi bakes!
I have registered my kitchen with the Environmental Health people and am due to open for business on 1st June. I have scrubbed my kitchen and am in the process of sorting everything out, getting rid of the clutter and getting everything in place for a kitchen fit for baking. I am going to meet my uncle (accountant) this week to find out where else I need to register and what records I need to keep and have to work through my 'Safer Food, Better Business' pack. Exciting times!

I have set up a new blog (yes, another one) where I will blog all progress, I have a Facebook page with 26 fans, I am tweeting as @minirhi and have a flickr photostream - so choose your favourite method of staying in touch and come and say Hi. :)

Fitness & Scaredy Cat Challenge
I've been a bit rubbish as the kitchen has taken over my spare time at the moment. But I have set up my mini trampoline and will be using it from tomorrow. I have made very little progress on the Scaredy Cat Challenge and will be starting again on the weekend. Very little to report!

I discovered Bento via @BentoBoxUk on Twitter. There's a good description on Wikipedia but essentially it's a meal that has been prepared to look pretty. Search for bento on flickr and you'll find loads of images. Anyway, tonight I had a go myself. I call it 'Tea & Cake'.

 Ingredients are mixed leaf salad with tomatoes and olives, potato salad, cous cous with bread beans, peas and pepper, chicken slices (cut into teapot shape with cookie cutter), mini bowl of caramelised onion hummous and carrot sticks. Really looking forward to digging in tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Making Cookies

I had a go at making cookies for the first time this week. I found this post by Vanilla Bakery and found a recipe online (apologies, can't remember where I found the recipe, so if it is yours feel free to let me know.)

Cookie Recipe

175g Butter
200g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
400g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Salt

1. Cream butter & sugar together with a mixer until pale.
2. Add eggs & vanilla extract, then beat until combined.
3. Sieve the flour, baking powder & salt together then add to butter & egg mixture.
4. Mix gently to form a dough. If it's still a bit sticky, add a bit more flour.
5. Split the dough in half, wrap in clingfilm & put in fridge for 30 mins.
6. Roll the dough to 5mm thick & use cutters to cut out shapes.
7. Bake in oven preheated to Gas Mark 4 for 8-12 minutes until firm & lightly browned.
8. Leave to cool & decorate as required.

Note: I got around 24 cookies out of 1 half of the dough & they took closer to 12 minutes than 8 to cook.

For pictures of my first cookies check out the Cookies album on my Facebook page.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Welcome to my new blog - minirhi bakes!

After a lot of baking, soul searching & being told to get on with it I have finally decided to start selling my cakes. This is really early stages at the moment, so I'll be blogging about the setting up a business process over the next few weeks.

A little bit about me

I have always enjoyed cooking, especially making cakes & deserts. They're always a bit special and I love the reactions you get when you bring out a gorgeous cake or a stunning pudding. They can be a bit naughty or fabulously light. So two years ago I made a cake for a friends birthday. Looking back now it was a bit crap, but they loved it, and it went from there. Last year I found a beginners cake decorating class in Port Talbot, which me and my mum went to. It was great & we were shown how to cover a cake, how to make figures, roses and bunnies. Then we went onto advanced sugarcraft where we made acorns & oak leaves, sweet peas and poinsettias. And I loved it!

In real life I am a marketing/web designer, and spend a lot of time on Twitter. I found myself following lots of cake making people and got jealous of their pictures, their tweets, their job. So when my husband went in for an operation I took a few days off work to look after him & started looking into what I would need to do to start a cake making business in my spare time. I phoned the environmental health people at Swansea Council - who were very helpful - and I have now registered by kitchen as a food business. I know I have stuff to do to make sure it meets with all the rules & regulations (by 1st June), but it's a start. I am meeting with an accountant (who happens to be my uncle) soon for some advice on who else I need to register with & what financial records I need to keep.

I am really excited! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fitness & a Scaredy Cat Challenge

I have been trying to find an aim for my new fitness regime. So far I haven't found anything. I want to be more toned & I want higher energy levels. Will that do for now? :)

On Twitter I am following a number of FLYbabies - people that follow the FLYLady way of life and some of them @DianeDenmark and @lareine27 have set themeselves Scardey Cat Challenges. An aim to do something they have been putting off, for example sorting out their garden or painting furniture. I realised yesterday, that quite of my own accord I started my own challenge.

I have a spare bedroom, a 'little room' and a study, all of which have become dumping grounds. The plan is to have the spare room always available for guests (with additional storage), to transform the little room into the study/craft space and make the study a walk-in wardrobe as it's right next to our bedroom and doesn't have any windows or doors (there's just a little arch off the landing). Yesterday, in true FLYlady fashion, I set my timer for 15 minutes and started to clear a space in the spare room. I then spent 15 minutes ironing clothes that needed putting away, and spent another 15 minutes today. You can now see the floor!! My aim is to have the spare room clear by the weekend, so I can move furniture out of the little room and start painting.

Wish me luck!


Monday, May 03, 2010

What to Wear: 04/05

Here is my planned outfit for Tuesday, 4th May.

Shirt & cardigan from New Look, skirt & belt from Jane Norman, shoes from Dorothy Perkins. Marc b handbag.

Bank Holiday Craziness

It's been a funny old weekend! What with Matthew not being able to get around. It's had a bigger effect than I expected, but think I've been pretty good. :) We've managed to watch the entire first series of Merlin in 2 days, I've cleaned the kitchen and found out about registering my kitchen for cake making. I made 2 birthday cakes. And have had urges to iron & exercise. 2 things I haven't done in a very long time. I have updated my FlyLady control journal and sorted out my calendar so I keep on top of everything.

Part of this includes laying out my clothes for work the night before. I always struggle with what to wear for work and rarely get up with enough time to spend time considering my 'look'. I work in an office doing marketing & web design. We have a dress code that states no jeans (among other things) and I have to look professional. Although being in a creative job does allow for a degree of - what my friends call - quirkiness. So, I have decided that for the month of May I will post photos of what I will be wearing in the hope that I'll put more thought into it, with maybe a slight influence from Glee's Emma Pillsbury. I also need to sort out my wardrobe and inject a bit of colour and these posts should help me see what I actually wear so I can get rid of the rest. :)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Fitness Challenge

I have been trying to think of a challenge to set myself for getting fit. Although I am small (height: 5 foot, weight: just over 6 stone) and am classed as underweight, despite eating well most of the time - my big failing is not eating breakfast - I am not fit. I could do with a bit of toning up and having more energy.

I have a mini trampoline, a rebounder I believe it is called, and a wii fit. There are roads outside and I have floor space to do sit ups, crunches etc. I need a plan.

1. Eat Breakfast
2. Clear exercise space
3. Get on with it!!!!!!

Super Choc Cupcake Tower

My nephew is a bit of a choc fiend, so this is the cake I made for his 13th Birthday. Chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream & topped with Curly Whirly, Flake, Malteasers, white chocolate drops, chocolate buttons, chocolate marshmallows and drizzled dark chocolate. My teeth were aching just being around so much sugar! But it went down well and I was very pleased with it.

Cakes, Baking & Balls

On Friday I spoke to a lovely lady at Swansea Council Environment Department about registering my kitchen. She was very helpful & apparently I can register and bake from my kitchen as long as the cats aren't in there while I'm baking & all services are disinfected before I begin.


So the plan now is to sort out my kitchen, maybe paint a little bit. Sort out storage & whatever else I need to bake & run proper kitchen. Very excited!  And I promise to blog about my progress and provide links to help anyone else along the way.

This weekend has been pretty busy. I have made a birthday cake for my 7 year old neice & a cupcake tower for my 13 year old nephew. Plus I attempted cake balls, which looked ok, but didn't taste great! :( Not enough buttercream I think. Here they are: