Sunday, 21 March 2010

Mairzie dotes and dozie dotes...

...and little lambsie divies.

Is what I really tried very hard not to hum when visiting the lambs this afternoon at Prestwick Farm. They were indeed very cute, and two new ones plopped out as we were visiting! This is a mosaic I made of the best of the pictures, some nice earnest looking sheep portraits and curious lamb faces too!

Out of my own curiosity I just had to look up what that daft song is about, and apparently it translates as 'Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy', which, of course, they do not at all, which just makes it even dafter.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Millicent Chop's Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

This is Millicent Chop.

She likes vanilla cupcakes and raspberry jam. She's been ever so careful not to get any crumbs or sticky jam dabs on her dress because very soon she is going to live with Jeremy Sock (formerly Bill, The School Sock Elephant). She is rather looking forward to this and if she had a little suitcase I imagine it would already be packed and by the door - pink tutu, angora cardigan, and very, very soft and tiny cashmere socks.

Poor Millicent waited ages for me to finish her, but quite by chance, as well as finishing Millicent today, I have made some cupcakes that combine her favourite foods. She is absolutely delighted with them as you can see.

Millicent Chop's Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes
(Makes about 8 substantial cupcakes or 12 smaller ones)

You will need:
100g soft butter
100g caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g self raising flour
25g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
a couple of handfuls of ripe raspberries, lightly squished.

To decorate:
50g very soft butter
100g icing sugar
2 tsp milk
a tiny drop of red food colouring
8 nice fat raspberries

What to do:
1. Line a cupcake tray with 8 large cupcake cases and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
2. Beat the sugar and the butter together until smooth and creamy. Combine the eggs and vanilla essence then add to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well. Fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, and then the squished raspberries, distributing evenly.
3. Fill the cupcake cases to two thirds full, then bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden brown and springy to touch. Stand the cakes on a wire rack, and when cool combine the butter, icing sugar and red colouring* to make a frosting. Spread all over the cakes, and top each one with a raspberry. Delicious!

*tip: use a cocktail stick to add just the tiniest trace of colouring to make a very pale pink. Then beat, repeat, until desired tone is achieved. A little goes a very long way.

Millicent was inspired by a project in 'Sock and Glove' by Miyako Kanamori

Monday, 1 March 2010

Is it Spring YET?!

Surely it must be. If it isn't, it must be just around the corner, the first crocuses are in bloom. And look! They are *almost* the same colour as my wellies! :-D