Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Baking with Beckie | Macarons

1 egg whites 
50g ground  almonds
50g | 3 1/2oz (caster) sugar
50g | 3 1/2oz icing (powdered) sugar
1 tsp lemon juice or vanilla extract
Food colour

Buttercream to fill ( I used the pre-made Betty Crocker one)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C 
  2. Place in a bowl and mix the almonds and icing sugar.
  3. Put the egg whites and powdered egg (if using) into a bowl. Start mixing slowly at first, then at highest speed until the egg whites form firm peaks. Start adding the sugar, slowly,whisking until each spoonful is completely incorporated before adding the next. Continue until all the sugar is in and the meringue is glossy and thick. Add the colour and mix it in. (N.B the easiest way to know if your meringue has firm peaks is you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and it not fall out) 
  4. Tip the nut mixture into the meringue and fold it in using a silicone spatula. Mix it well. 
  5. To test for the right consistency. Drop a spoonful of batter back into the bowl. If the batter starts to slowly spread out it is ready – do not mix anymore. 
  6. Put batter in piping
  7. Pipe the macarons  spacing them apart on the tray.
  8. Bang the trays on a counter top, then leave them out for 30 minutes to dry. 
  9. Bake for 14 mins. When the macarons are ready they should relatively easily come of the baking sheet.
  10. Fill with buttercream 
I have found that using a silicone sheet rather than baking paper makes it much easier to get the macarons off (this is especially helpful when you are macarons for the first time)

Happy baking :) 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The British tag

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? + How many sugars? -> I'm pretty unusual on this one as I don't drink regular tea or coffee. However, I am partial to some fresh peppermint tea and will have about a cup a day.
2. Favourite part of your roast-> stuffing (has to be sage and onion) or yorkies (yorkshire puddings)
3. Favourite dunking biscuit-> Rich teas
4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime? To play,hockey and croquet (though I'm rubbish at both). To watch, polo.
5. Favourite words? -> Propensity; ephemeral; bubble 
6. Cockney rhyme slang? "the dog and bone" (telephone)
7. Favourite sweet-> Sherbert lemons
8. What would your pub be called? The unicorn.
9. No.1 British person-> Baroness Trumpington. Shes intelligent, hilarious and humble. At 91 she's showing no signs of slowing down.
10. Favourite shop / restaurant-> Boden / Alimentum
11. What British song pops into your head? Jerusalem is probably the traditional song I would first think of. 
12. Marmite. Love it <3, but I think I prefer vegemite more (conflicted dual nationality probs)

I am leaving this as an open tag to all my British readers to complete the tag.
Happy Sunday :) 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Scalloped flats || J.Crew vs Boden

I have had J.crew's Harper Scalloped Suede flats in my basket for quite some time as I have a pair of scalloped flats I picked up last year from Monsoon that have seen better days. What has put me off buying the shoes is the price at £128 I was finding it hard to warrant such a big spend. Today I stumbled across some really similar shoes at Boden for £49-59 (and in the past I have found J.Crew's and Boden's shoes to be comparable in quality). Plus Boden have an even wider selection of colours to choose from !!

Monday, 28 July 2014

College Bound || Agenda organisation

So my new Lilly agenda for this academic year finally arrived (I've been so excited for it arrive as I ordered it a while ago).  I loved using my Lilly agenda during my first year of law school and chose to stick with the large size that I had last year. I find them extremely durable (last-years diary survived a lot) and the colourful designs make organisation that bit more fun :) Plus whats more they come with the most adorable stickers.

On the monthly view pages I note key events (and try to colour-code, though I often find myself without my coloured pens). My work for the Law Society and Law Review means my weekday evenings get booked up pretty early on and I have to be careful events don't clash. When I was working over the holidays I also found it really helpful to put in the monthly planner when I had shifts (and sometimes I would also log my hours). While on the week to view pages I note down seminars I need to prepare for (and what I need to do for prep). When it gets closer to exam time I use this section of my diary as a revision planner.

When I first started couponing I would keep them in a separate A4 binder. However, I quickly realised that this took up way too much space in my bag and instead decided that the front pocket of my agenda is a much more practical (and accessible) place to keep them. I also like to have a few stamps incase I need to mail a letter urgently and I'm away from home(#snailmail). 

I found myself using the notes section a lot last year.Though some people really criticise this part of an agenda's design and prefer to have a separate notebook on hand I like to be able jot down all my usernames and other people's contact details in this part of my diary. I also outline my annual budget, as I like to have this readily accessible. Though I like having an additional notebook I prefer to have important information in my diary as I know I rarely go out without it,whereas, my notebook usually stays in my larger school bag. Plus I primarily use the notebook for random notes and blog inspiration.

How do you organise your agenda? 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Bonjour Paris

At the thought of not spending any of the summer away my Mum and I decided to book a mid-week getaway to Paris. So we jumped on the Euro-star and were off to Paris.

We unintentionally booked to arrive on the 14th which is also Bastille Day. It is a huge celebration and Paris was incredibly busy. People were setting up camp to watch the fireworks 3-4 hours before they were set to start. 
When looking for somewhere to eat we stumbled upon Le Relais de l'entrecote. Unbeknown to us it is one of Paris' most famous steak-houses due to their renound secret sauce. But the highlight of the meal ware the desserts.

We decided to start of the day by going on one of guided bus tours. They are really good for getting a clear view of all the main tourist attractions. We then strolled up and down the Champs Elysees, did some (window) shopping and then popped intp LadurĂ©e for lunch. The interior reminded me of a traditional afternoon tea parlour. The food was delicious and they even served propper chips (not the normal frites you find in France). After lunch we wandered over to Palais Galleria who had a beautiful collection of haute coture dresses from the early parts of the 20th century. 

We started of the day by visiting the Petit Palais with their beautiful art collections. The impressive and ornate architechture was so beautiful that I often found it drawing my attention away from the artwork on display. 
In the evening we popped over to the Bastille opera house to watch the Notre Dame De Paris ballet coregraphed by in the critically accliamed Roland Petit. The performance was beautiful and it was lovely to go to something not as touristy (pretty much everyone their was French) 

And of course what would lunch be without some macaroons. 

We had a couple of hours to kill before heading of to the Garre de Nord for our train home. So after strolling around we decided to pick up some macaroons for the journey. I seriously cannot get over how yummy these are and they have such a huge selection of flavours. The flavours of the ones below are Rose, Peach, Pistachio, Orange Blossom and Lemon.