Sunday, 19 February 2012

Birthday Boy!

I thought I would share this photo of my eldest son and his lovely girlfriend with you.  They do look such a lovely couple.

When asked what type of birthday cake he would like, he couldn't decide between chocolate, coffee or fruit.  Well I could not decide either so thought I would combine them all.  Here you see a coffee sponge with chocolate chips, filled with crab apple butter and mocha buttercream, topped with a white chocolate ganache and 3 types of sugar sprinkles to make the water effect.

Boats are one of my son's passions along with climbing, windsurfing and cycling.  So I knew a cake around one of these ideas would be good.  Blue is a colour I try to avoid with icing and foods, but having had to go into 3 different supermarkets and with cakes in mind I did check out the cake decorations.  It is amazing how many varieties are available now.  These ones were all good and not too hard on the teeth!

There also seems to be lots of cupcake toppers around at the moment and quite pricey too but not having seen any boat ones I decided 'we' should make our own.  This is the 'we' as in I sketched out roughly the idea, as in draw half a boat, mirror image it and colour in, then scan into the computer and copy numerous times before printing.  The actual doing of this I left to my daughter.  We then cut them out and stuck them around a cocktail stick.  I think she did an excellent job.  Personalised cake toppers at a fraction of the price. 

I did make him a few cakes to take into work too.  Chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache (and used up some of the blue sprinkles) and apple custard cakes.  Using my new cupcake carrier that I had for Christmas meant there was still a few left at home for us to sample!


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Happy Valentine's Day

A happy Valentines Day to you all.  

My daughter was given these beautiful roses by her boyfriend.  Ah, how romantic!

We have just enjoyed a delicious dinner cooked by my youngest son.  Chicken stuffed with crushed olives, in a creamy tomato sauce - delicious.  I got to make dessert, far more enjoyable to me than cooking main courses.  What did I make?  A heart shaped pavlova, topped with cream, blueberries, passionfruit and raspberries (from the freezer but grown in the garden).

It didn't stay like this for long, but there is still some left if you would like to visit.  You may have to be quick though, it's so tempting sitting there in the fridge, I may succomb to a late night 'Nigella' moment!  For those of you who are wondering what that is, Nigella is one of our TV chefs who effortlessly rustles up culinary delights and always at the very end of the programme is shown making a late night visit to the fridge to sneak an extra helping!  How she stays so slim is a mystery.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Missing Suki

I know I haven't posted for ages, Christmas seems so long ago, and yes, it was very happy, but memories of it have been overshadowed by the loss of Suki, who was run over on New Year's Eve and killed instantlyMy neighbour found her and it must have only just happened she was so warm.  We are all missing our precious little one, who wasn't even 3 years old.  To lose her so young just seems to make it worseIt was such a shock, she was scared of strangers and cars and we didn't realise she was crossing the road, I just imagine that she was happy and chasing a bird or squirrel.

How tiny she was when we first had her, and she never grew very big, but so full of mischief and she grew into a real character.  She loved to be with us, always there, and so inquisitive.  Suki, like most Bengals, loved water and sat watching whilst I had my shower every morning and then had to pounce on my toes whilst I was getting dried.  You only had to call to her that it was time to peg the washing out or get it in and she would be there, running around by me whilst I was outside.  In the kitchen she loved sitting on her climbing frame watching the cooking and ironing, happy to be up high.  

She liked collecting feathers and was always so proud when she brought one in.  Even better were the mice, which she happily shared with her brother.  How carefully she carried in butterflies and most times they were undamaged and could be rescued.

Suki thought snow was wonderful and would mieow constantly for someone to go and throw snowballs for her to chase.  We would tire of the game well before she did!

Poor Samba is really grieving too.  He has only just started playing again these last few days, before that he just slept or sat looking out the window for her.  He went round the house, peeking round corners expecting her to pounce on him.  Suki may have been small but she was the boss and Samba knew it.

It is so hard at the moment, so many times every day I am reminded of her, I miss her so very much, but I thank God that she came into our lives, and that she had such a happy perfect life even though it was so short.  For such a small cat she has left giant pawprints on my heart.