Homemaker

I've taken a week of work and I plan to spend it reading, volunteering, spring cleaning and cooking new recipes to spoil myself & Adam with. I really enjoy being at home, pottering around doing my own thing..


Here's a classic Victoria sponge recipe, i recently baked. If i get married, this'll be the cake for me. 



It's easy, prepared in 20 minutes and baked within 25 minutes.

Ingredients


  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 225g baking margarine (plus a little extra for greasing the cake tins)
  • 55g butter (for buttercream filling)
  • 110g icing sugar (for buttercream filling & a little extra for decorating)
  • 1 cup strawberry jam (for filling)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (for filling and decorating)



Step by step

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas mark 4 and measure out/prepare your ingredients.


2. Grease two 8"/20cm round cake tins. To do this, tear a small piece of baking paper (or cheat and use your fingers) and use it to spread a little margarine on the bottom and inside of both tins.


3. Put the caster sugar and baking margarine in a mixing bowl. Mix together with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth texture. (Now prepare yourself for a little workout!)


4. Break in one egg and lightly cover with a large dessert spoon full of flour. Use a sieve to make sure there are no lumps.


5. Fold the egg and flour into the mixture and repeat this process with the three remaining eggs. When all the eggs are mixed in, add the remainder of the flour (again, sieved) and mix well.


6. Divide the cake mixture evenly between your two cake tins. The mixture will naturally rise more in the middle, so ensure there is slightly more mixture around the edges to help make the sponges even out. Don't worry about any lumps or bumps in the mixture, these will smooth out whilst baking in the oven.


7. Pop the cake mixtures in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes and watch the magic happen! A perfectly cooked sponge will feel springy to touch, not soggy in the middle. The edges of a well-baked sponge will slightly, begin to pull away from the edges of the tin.





8. Once baked, take the sponges out of the oven and leave them in their tins to cool for approximately 2 minutes. Then, take the sponges out of their tins and transfer to a cooling rack. (Remember to place the cakes the right way up, as the rack may mark the sponges)





9. For the buttercream filling, take your butter and place it in a mixing bowl with the sieved icing sugar. Add a dash of vanilla extract, cocoa powder or finely grate lemon zest. Mix together until light, fluffy and easily spreadable. 


10. Spread the buttercream onto the under-side of one of your sponges. Make sure you spread it right up to the edges, this way, the filling will look deliciously full when the cake is whole.


11. Spread the jam on the other sponge and then add sliced fresh strawberries on top. Again, make sure the filling goes right up to the edges of the sponge.


12. Gently lift one sponge on top of the other, sprinkle/sieve some icing sugar on top, add a few strawberries and ta-da! You should now have a very pretty and yummy looking Victoria sponge cake.






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Friday Favouirtes




(Via Atlas Artisans)
Love a good sofa throw, or bedding piece.

(Via Old English Co)
I am searching for a couple of fancy cushions for my plain black sofa.. this one caught my eye.


(Via Unknown)
I saw this dinosaur ornament/holder whilst flicking through Instagram, it was a repost so i have no idea where it's from :'(


(Via Sainsburys store)
It's a known fact that I have far too many cups to actually use... however I bought this little beaut in Sainsburys and it was a bargain. It was a must. 


(Unknown image from Pinterest)
This hair colour is divine. 


(Via Live Sweet Hamilton)

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Cotton Tails

Recently I started volunteering at the RSPCA and Cat's Protection. I've being prioritising my Mondays and Tuesdays to socialise with some of the rescue cats and rabbits. I've also been enjoying the little bit of sunshine we've had by walking a couple of dogs through East Ardsley. One of my favourites is a rabbit that resembles a Dalmatian and a Saluki doggie. I've also made some new like-minded friends which, i have been grateful for because the first couple of days felt like starting a new job. Enjoyable, but worried that i might be doing something wrong.

"Do what you can, when you can."




Last week, myself and Adam attended an open day at the College of Animal Welfare in Tingley, to gain more knowledge about their Veterinary Nursing degree. There was a short but thorough presentation and we were shown around the site. It was really impressive, there's a veterinary clinic, hydrotherapy pool, grooming salon, kennels and cattery pens onsite. These facilities will give the students valuable opportunities to gain real hands on practical experience within a veterinary practice. Not to mention that the first couple of months is theory work based at the college site and the rest of the year spent in your chosen veterinary practice/placement. Another bonus is that the course accepts 25 students each year, so its quite different from the hundreds that other universities tend to take on.
The facilities were professional, there's plenty of space and learning resources available. 

Soooo now I'm currently working on my application to apply for this fall. Wish me luck!






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Mint Tea Recipe // Natural Flu Remedy




Mint tea tastes so good and fresh! This week I've been feeling under the weather with flu, and like always i comfort myself with herbal tea, honey and other flu remedies. My mother reminds me that "the flu can leave you dehydrated so drink lots" do i need a better excuse to drink out of pretty cups? I think not. 

Fresh mint tea is so fragrant and relaxing, prepare yourself to develop a new addiction. In terms of flavour and quality, there is no comparing fresh mint to dried tea bags. Dried tea does have a longer shelf life and is tasty, but it can become bitter if over brewed. There isn't that problem with fresh mint. If anything, the longer the fresh mint brews, the more oils are released into your cup of goodness!




Recipe:

There's no need to remove the mint sprigs or leaves from your cup before drinking. I find that the mint is sweet enough without any sugar, but add a squeeze of honey to your own taste. 


Ingredients

  • A handful of mint leaves or whole sprigs 
  • 250ml of boiling water
  • 1-2 table spoons of honey


Directions

Boil the kettle, grab a handful of sprigs and place them into your cup. When ready, pour the water over the leaves and let it to brew for five minutes before drinking. Voila, Enjoy!






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If we were on a coffee date




Thanks to Kasia, over at Dipped in Rococo, I was introduced to an excitingly new link up created by Heartnatured. Using this platform will help talk about vulnerable or silly topics, our likes and dislikes or stories and adventures that we're thinking about. It's my treat, so what's your order?


Classic Hot Chocolate & Salted Caramel Brownie @ HC
If we were on a coffee date, i'd order a Hot Chocolate.. and would begin by telling you how excited i am for my interview at the RSPCA (Leeds/Wakefield) tomorrow! And that I plan on going to The College of Animal Welfare's open day, next Saturday to see their facilities and to gain more knowledge about their Veterinary Nursing Degree/Diploma courses. 

I would tell you that i had my very first performance appraisal at Hotel Chocolat and i can finally relax as it went well. I was feeling nervous about it, even though i know that i work hard but there's always room for improvements.. It was a nice reward, hearing that the management team had noticed my efforts and thanked me. I also set goals that i aim to reach within set time frames. Those goals are,

  • To learn the current cocktail specs/classics by heart and also to utilise the 'one touch' pouring technique when making a large order
  • Be able to recommend one of every beverage and have knowledge of the product to entertain and hold a conversation with customers
  • Creating a cocktail or adding a twist to an existing one, using HC products and have it featured as a Cocktail of the Month or added to the menu
  • Being promoted 
Hotel Chocolat, Roast & Conch Bar

I'm really enjoying my job at the moment, it's beginning to get busier which is a nice change from 'Dry-anuary'. So if you're in Leeds (or London, Rabot 1745), pop in for a cheeky Praline Soother (if you're a chocoholic) or maybe a Coco 75 (for the gin & prosecco lovers!) ;)


Praline & Salted Caramel Soothers
I would also like to admit that I've had Walking Dead withdrawal symptoms but watching Blind Spot and American Horror Story has been a temporary fix.

And finally i'd like to mention, that there maybe another cotton tail around here soon, I'm looking to adopt another bunny to keep Ruby company. 






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