Cupcake Decorating Course Part 1

I am a lucky girl, as a xmas gift my parents treated me to a place on a four week cupcake decorating course.

I can bake a cupcake fine but icing them and making them look pretty is not my strongest point.  I practice when the time and the diet allows me to and I am slowly improving.  But now thanks to my course I have some of the professionals tricks up my sleeve!

For the first lesson we were shown how to ice our cupcakes with animal print fondant icing.  Here is my effort.

Roar! cow, zebra, leopard & tiger print decorated cakes

I really enjoyed making these and had a such a giggle. I cant wait for next weeks lesson!

Tuesday Tune

I have decided to start a feature, whether I stick to it is another thing.  But I have decided to start Tuesday tune’s.  Basically I am going to inflict my musical tastes on my readers – Hello Mum!  Plus I can just post a YouTube clip and be lazy but fill my blog content.

Forget Lana Del Ray (pun intended) that rubber lipped, pouting, over-marketed strumpet. Here is a much better singer-songwriter lady type called Lianne La Havas.  Enjoy.

Twhitt – Twhoo!

I can’t believe I googled “owl sound spelling” for the title of this post!

I love owl paraphernalia, I have an owl cushion, an owl t-shirt, and owl knick-knacks galore. So when I saw this embroidery in my favourite charity shop, it caught my eye.

Wise owls. Nobody's perfect especially my photography skills!

I ummed and errrd over it though, as its not my usual style.  But in the end I purchased it for £1.50 and it now hangs in our bedroom.  It is on a nail that the previous owner kindly left behind in the wall.  Yes it needs to be re-framed, and eventually it will need to find somewhere to hang permanently.  But it has really grown on me and I love seeing its sweet little message every day, it makes me smile!  For £1.50 that’s worth every penny.

Is it just me but when I see other blogger’s charity shop finds they seem so much cheaper, try 30p or other silly amounts, than all the loot in my local branches?  Maybe its because I live in the south east?  Or maybe they are telling porkies?  Just saying.  Well I may not be able to find unbelievable bargains but I am happy to pay a little extra for a good cause.

Pizza!

I love to bake and I love trying out new recipes. When I came across this recipe sometime ago, I just had to try it out as it blends together two of my favourite cuisines Mexican and Italian. Plus I am currently on a mission to use up all the tins of food in my store cupboard before we rip out our crumbling kitchen to fit the new one.

So the project of use up random tins continued with me finding a can of re-fried beans that had been lurking at the back of the cupboard for over a year.  We ate half the previous night with the fajita’s I made, then the rest went on this pizza.

Steamy natcho pizza!

It was tasty but very messy, and vegetarian (shh don’t tell Rob!) The pizza dough was made from scratch as you can probably tell from the photo!

I am currently on a quest to find the perfect pizza dough recipe, and have tried out several with varying results. Now I am experimenting with different types of flours and yeasts. The funny thing is that with all my experimental tries, Rob has eaten them up and not really noticed any difference between them! Well all except one which I accidentally added too much salt to – whoops!  But my quest continues and just like Heston Blumenthal I will continue my search for perfection……..or give up and call Domino’s!

Our Daily Bread

Well I feel its only right that my first proper blog post is a bread related one!  I have just become the proud owner of a pink Wesco bread bin!  I have been hunting for the perfect bread bin for years and have got through a couple of so-so ones.  At the moment I am using this one pictured, but I find it too awkward to reach across the work top and reach into the deep tin to pull out my loaf so I end up plonking my bread on top of it.  I guess I am either just too short or too lazy to use this bread bin!

Out of focus pic of current set up with value scotch pancakes plonked on top!

So the other day I was browsing ebay as you do, when I happened upon a pink Wesco up for auction and promptly made an impulse bid. Which I then started to regret……

After a few days wait with mixed emotions I won my breadboy.   I say mixed emotions as after placing my bid I immediately got buyers or rather bidders remorse, and I started to hope that I would be outbid.  Me and ebay have a love hate relationship – I never seem to win the stuff I really want. I always lose out by 20p at the last minute!  I only manage to win stuff that I bid on without thinking, things that nobody else wants, like broken coffee tables (I will go into that another day!) and other tat which I pay more for *ahem* than its worth!  I guess that is why people call it evilbay.

But I own it now and I paid less than a third of the retail price including postage. Maybe I paid too much for it, but I have the perfect bread bin to go in my (eventually) beautiful retro pink kitchen.  And buying secondhand is better for the environment.  And there is no way I would ever pay £95 for a bread bin not on your nelly!  So its win-win I guess!

My new breadbin, stored in the bedroom with a paint sample on the wall!

 

Hello World!

Hello Mum!
Hi, welcome to my little corner of the interwebs.  Does the world really need another baking/home decor/lifestyle blog?  Nope – but here is Using My Loaf!

To be serious though I have created this blog as I love reading blogs, I love all the pretty pictures and fluff!  So much so that my google reader’s unread items amount scares me sometimes, ok most mornings!  But the internet can be such an inspiring and happy place!

I have also started my blog to improve my IT, photography and writing skills so please bear with me and wish me luck!