Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Toadstool tales

On Monday night we went for a late night stroll through our neighbourhood and stumbled upon these bad boys! yes thats right they are cute (but very poisonous) little toadstools!! I thought they were so pretty that I took my camera down early the next morning and snapped a couple of pictures to share with you.


I used Poladriod to 'age' and polariod them (if you haven't used it before you should head over to their website and download it because its the coolest!)

I don't know about you but to me there seems something really magical about a toadstool. I can totally  imagine tiny pixies or gnomes making their homes in one! After doing some research on google I found out some little known toadstool facts. For instance, did you know toadstools only grow in autumn? and the name toad comes directly from their likeness to poisonous toads? ek! Good thing I refrained from touching one lol.


I also found these very cute toadstool cupcakes! I have a HUGE piece of fondant in my freezer that desperately needs using so I am going to try my luck at making something autumn themed this weekend, I'll keep you posted x

Monday, 21 March 2011

Toll house cookies

On the weekend I baked some delicious cookies and I discovered what I think are the perfect chocolate chips. Check out these bad boys:

They are called Nestle choc bits I've seen them a few times but they cost about 5 dollars so I usually pass them up for regular choc chips. But this week they are on special at New World so I got some and wow! They are great, make a huge difference in your choc chip biscuits. They come in white,dark and milk, I used the dark ones but I think a combo of all three could be amazing! Triple choc cookies, yum!



I made the Nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe from the back of the bag and placed some extra choc bits on top too (just for good measure). They kept thier shape perfectly when baked, I was so impressed!


Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of Nestle baking bits

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

New name

I've been thinking about renaming my blog for awhile now. I've been "Sezasaurus" for almost two years and while the name has meaning to me its a bit hard to remember for new readers (let alone spell!). I also just wanted an excuse to make a new banner so thought it was about time for a change! This morning I asked my Facebook for new name suggestions and I got some amazing ones! Who knew my friends were so clever? Actually I did! You guys are the best.

I'm just trying this name on for size. Its was one of my Sisters suggestions and I think its awesome because I adore Elizabeth Gilbert's book 'Eat,Pray,Love' plus its just cute and catchy don't you think?

If not, the name is still very much up for negotiation, so leave me a suggestion!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Happy (Almost) St Patricks Day!

Its my brother in laws Birthday on Thursday (Saint Patrick Day) so in honour of Neil and of Saint Patrick's I baked some delicious cupcakes today.

Chocolate Pot of gold cupcakes:

Chocolate Cupcakes:

1/2 cup (50 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup (240 ml) boiling hot water
1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 
Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups (160 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Add the boiling water to cocoa and mix, let cool. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients.Finally add the cooled cocoa mixture and combine. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Combine the room temp butter and icing sugar and beat with a cake mixer until light and fluffy. Add a dash of vanilla and chocolate mixture. If you don't have real chocolate you can substitute the chocolate for a couple of table spoons of cocoa.

Pot of gold:

When cupcakes are cooled cut small holes out of the top of the cupcakes and fill with a caramel sauce, I use herseys but any store bought or even home-made caramel will do.


I decorated mine with little shamrock sprinkles but you could use green jelly crystals or make your own out of fondant.



Here are some of my favourite Saint Patrick's cupcakes I've seen on the net this year (click on the pictures for the sources)


 These are pretty hardcore, but awesome right?

 I love these little pints of Guinness too.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

books,books,books!

This year I set myself the goal of reading a book a week (or there abouts) and its been going fantastically! Every night I try and read for a bout an hour or so before bed and before you know it you've read a whole book! 

 (Isn't this an amazing library room? Its not mine but I wish it was!)

Usually I read maybe a book or two a month so this is a pretty big jump and I'm proud to say I'm really enjoying it instead of just watching T.V every night. I remember when I was about 12 or 13 and I was completely obsessed with books, I went to the library several times a week and would read pretty much non stop! Some where along the last 10 years I just sorta stopped, books become more of reward or treat after i'd done all my other work that needed to be done. But this year I've made it more a priority and am falling in love with books all over again. 

 
In the last month I have read two especially AMAZING books that I want to share with you. The first is a book called

One For My Baby- by Tony Parsons
  
It's the sweet but sad tale of a man who loses his wife and has to find himself so he can learn to love again. Totally a girly read but I adored it! It's the first Tony Parsons book I've read and needless to say I will be reading many more of his from now on!

 The second book is by far the best book I have read in years! Its called

The Memory Keepers daughter- by Kim Edwards.   


Truly an amazing and gripping book, I couldn't put it down it felt like the pages were turning themselves. She writes with such conviction and compassion, I fell in love with her characters from the first page and just couldn't stop reading! You might read the plot outline and think its not going to be for you or judging from the mixed Amazon reviews think it could go either way but its worth giving it a try. A truly great and memorable read, the story haunts you for days after you've read it. Go and get it out from the library now, or better yet buy it because I'm going to:)

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