It’s December, the month of food! This month, Heather Corker of Corker and Mills catering brings us a tasty dessert you just have to try – it’s not as complicated as you might think!
For the coffee, booze, biscuit, chocolate and cream lovers – meet Tiramisu. Tiramisu is like dessert royalty. It has it all. Eating Tiramisu is not for the faint-hearted (or lactose intolerant) – it most definitely fits the description of a “taste explosion”. When the Italians do food, they don’t hold back.
While this trifly dessert may appear to be as intense and complicated to make as it is to taste, Tiramisu is incredibly easy to bring together and the finished product always, always, puts on a good show. And it will make the host/hostess (i.e. you) look like a culinary god(dess).
What you’ll need:
- 300ml Double Cream
- 300ml Whipping Cream
- 250g (one tub) Mascarpone
- 75ml of Madeira (or Marsala)
- 5 Tablespoons of golden caster sugar
- splash of vanilla extract or flavouring
- 300ml strong coffee – made with 2 tablespoons of coffee granules and 300ml of boiling water
- 175g (one package) of sponge fingers
- Chunk of dark chocolate
- Cocoa powder for dusting
Bringing it all together:
Put the creams, mascarpone, Madiera, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk or beat together until the cream and mascarpone have completely combined and the consistency is like a thick whipped cream.
Now its time to get your serving dish nearby and ready to use!
In a separate, shallow, dish pour some of the coffee and dip your sponge fingers in, turning over in the coffee so that they are completely soaked, but not soggy (work quickly! True to their name, sponge fingers are very spongy and will soak a lot of liquid up very fast).
Layer the soaked sponge fingers into your dish until the base is completely covered. Then, layer on half or part of the cream – completely covering the fingers. Grate dark chocolate over the cream mixture – to your own, personal, desired amount – and then dust with a little bit of cocoa powder.
Then, repeat the process, ending with the cream layer on top!
Chill this dish. Tiramisu is best made the night before, in order to let the flavours set and mix together in all sorts of wonderful ways. Tiramisu will keep up to 2 days in the fridge.
Enjoy. This goodness goes quickly – I almost didn’t get a picture before it was gone!
Maybe it’s just me but I love buying the lottery tickets where you have to scratch off the grey block to reveal your fate. My mind races as I imagine everything I could do (or more likely buy!) with that extra cash; that Chanel dress, a holiday in the Bahamas, a new car, a new house…
I admit, it usually ends in heart-breaking disappointment, you win nothing, or worse, you win 10p. But, what if you could design them yourselves? Admitedly it would lose the ‘what if‘ factor, but then the prizes could be more fun.
For children, home-made scratch cards could be an incentive to tidy their room, gambling on whether they win a Mars Bar or a trip to the zoo. For couples, the concept could be a little naughtier but what a wonderful way of spicing things up. They’re also a great way to aid a secret Santa and can be the decider in an endless ‘what shall we do this weekend?’ saga.
I’m thinking about making a batch and keeping them in a jar in the kitchen – it’ll be an excellent perk-me-up on those rainy days when I just feel like a treat.
So after all that build up, how can we make our own? I found a handy blog post from ArtMind which gives a step by step guide:
Here is what you need:
Cardboard, a print-out of your lottery ticket, glue stick, sticky back plastic (contact paper), metallic acrylic paint (preferably silver) and washing liquid.
Method: (Note: the paper cutting was prepared beforehand so that part of the tutorial has been skipped)
1. Beforehand you print out a design that you want to be on the scratch off lottery tickets. If your printer can take thick paper you can print it directly on the cardboard and skip this part. If you do it in two steps, it is nice to get a fun color background paper and glue the design onto the card.
2. Then you take a piece of sticky back plastic and put it onto the design.
3. Mix some metallic acrylic paint with washing liquid. Try to use 1 part washing liquid and 2 parts of paint. Mix the substance.
4. Paint the plastic part on the ticket and let it dry. Make sure that the picture underneath the paint is hidden. Add another layer if this is not the case.
5. And then… scratch away!
As leaves drop from the trees we see our world change from summer green to tones of red, yellow, orange and brown; a beautiful combination. As Autum now turns to winter, here are a few ideas about how we can infuse one of my favourite autum colours, mustard yellow, into the home.
Children are often at their happiest when given the time to simply scribble. Give them a packet of brightly coloured pens, a selection of paint and thrown in some glitter for good measure. Once the initial excitement has passed, the home settles to a gently hum of small creative minds. It may only last half an hour but that’s still something!
The thing is, these scribbles and random lashings of paint, often only clutter a kitchen fridge or pinboard. The sheer volume created can often mean a rotation system is put in place and memories are slowly hidden away in dusty attic boxes. What if there was a way of using your children’s creations to create your own form of art?
I came across a blog post on Putti Prapancha which gives a little incite into how adults can take control and create order in a sea of colourful imagination. Roopa re purposed her daughter’s drawings as Easter cards but the same can be done for Christmas and general art around the home.
Why not get creative with your shapes and creative something really abstract. I think this idea would work wonderfully with silhouettes of your children as they grow. Whatever your style, this is a great way to make more of your children’s art work.
As someone who will always be trying to travel my way through life, these lamps really appeal to me. I love travelling and have spent a great deal of time and money backpacking my way around the globe. This is such a simple yet inexpensive way to infuse my passion for all things globe-trotting in my home.
This idea got me researching other creative ways in which a traveller can display their passion across their home. Here’s what I came up with:
A short but sweet post; I’ve just come across this fabulous chair on a blog called Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News. I want one of these in my life!
The bookinist from Nils Holger Moormann costs 2,187 euros. I better start saving my pennies!
It’s about that time again, chaps. Heather from catering duo Corker and Mills is bringing us the November installment of their tasty recipes.
This month we’re baking with everyone’s favourite November flavour, pumpkin. And who better to take us through some taste sensations than our resident Yank….
Pumpkins derive most of their fame from being turned into scary Halloween Jack-o-lanterns or pretty princess carriages a la Disney’s Cinderella and some bibbity-bobbity-boo.
But I, personally, like to eat them. Pumpkin soups and pumpkin seeds and pumpkin breads and pumpkin pie and pumpkin lattes… yeah, good.
I use tinned pumpkin when I bake / cook because A) boiling and disecting and scraping the inside of a pumpkin is a pain and B) I’ve tried the boiling-disecting-scraping game before, only to discover that after all my efforts – and blood and sweat and tears to be authentic and rustic and cool – my pie/bread/soup ended up tasting THE EXACT SAME as using the can. No love is won over for extra effort here. (quick tip : Waitrose has just begun selling Libby’s tinned pumpkin!)
Pumpkin loaf (makes two loaves)
These loaves can be kept in the freezer for up to a week after baking. Let cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap/ bag and pop it in the freezer! (and obvs let it thaw for a few hours – 3 or 4 is good – before trying to slice and try and a later date)
- 2 cups flour (approx. 240g)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or nutmeg)
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) soft
- 1 cup sugar (approx. 200g)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (approx. 220g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- Sift dry ingredients, set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix in one at
- a time.
- Beat in Vanilla and the pumpkin puree with the last egg.
- Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into a lined loaf tin
- Bake at 180 C for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the
- middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Very excited to bring you this stylish offer this week, from online kid’s clothing store LatteMama.
LatteMama, Swedish for ‘yummy mummy’ (how cute is that?), stocks British and Swedish brands for all ages up to 4 years, from onesies to raincoats.
LatteMama is offering Nested readers an exclusive 20% discount to celebrate the launch of their shiny new website.
Just quote Renew321 online, offer closes 30th November!
If they made any of these in ages 20-30, I would buy the whole store.
Leaving for university can be emotionally tough on a teen, I know that the move away from the family home hit me hard in the first few months. I have been out of university for some years now but a recent chat with my Mum highlighted an issue that, until now, had never occurred to me.
Upon flying the nest, I left my mother at home with only my Dad and a younger brother. The impact of this sudden male-centric change never occurred to me. With rising fees and student protests across London, financial worries often cloud the fact university is a big deal for the entire family and not just the students involved.
Although not totally relevant to this blogs usual area of interest, I think this is a real issue that needs to be talked about. When doing some further research, I found that many universities don’t provide support for parents. I suppose my mum was lucky, she still had her boys to look after her, but what about those single parents who suddenly find themselves alone?
Research has suggested that with university fees set to rise, many will have to limit their education choices to those local to home. However for others, like myself, home didn’t offer me a huge range of options. On Monday I read a parenting and education survey called Degrees of Separation. Conducted by the University of Sheffield, the results have shown that 70% of parents will find their child leaving for university “emotionally difficult” with 40% believing that they will miss their child more than their child will miss them. With teens around the country stretching their wings and flying the nest, it is difficult for the parents who have put a roof over their head for all those years. I can admit that I didn’t consider the effect my departure would have on the family rhythm as much as I should have.
So what can we do about this? I think more support is needed for families from universities themselves, especially smaller families who really feel the gap of a child. It is also important to get this talked about within the media and the education system; the more informed parents and teens feel, the better they can adapt to radical family change. I didn’t realise the toll it tool on my own mother until she told me. I hope that by writing this blog piece more parents will know that it is ok to worry and they are not alone. The University of Sheffield actually provided tips (copied in below) for parents in their survey, which although relatively generic, is a really good start. Let’s just hope more universities use this example and continue the conversation.Happy households can only help towards a balanced society right?
Hints and tips from University of Sheffield:
- Take practical steps with your children to ensure you are confident they are prepared. Whether it’s shopping with them for basic kitchen equipment or making sure they have the right stationery, it can help your peace of mind.
- If the student has had health or psychological difficulties (e.g. depression, an eating disorder) in their teens or ever been diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia etc, DO encourage them to share this information with the relevant service in the University. Starting university can be stressful and old issues can recur. There will be lots of help available, provided in confidential settings.
- Stay in contact with your children – but don’t overdo it. You want them to feel they have all your support if they need it, but you need to recognise they need space to go it alone.
- Help out your children with practical tools they can use: a printed weekly budget sheet for example – see our online money planner www.shef.ac.uk/moneyplanner. They may not use it all the time, but you’ll be confident you’ve helped them out as much as you can. If you haven’t already taught them how to shop economically, now’s the time!
- Make sure that they know how to cook at least two dishes that they like – at least then you know they can look after their stomach.
- Remember that universities invest in lots of services to help students: at Sheffield we have a university health service, residential mentoring support, a counselling service, front line information and advice based in the Students’ Union building, a multi-faith chaplaincy and personal tutoring support… It’s hard to let go, but they are in safe hands.
On my usual Friday flick through Not on the Highstreet’s catalogue, I found these amazing pillow cases for kids (or adults…).
These would be brilliant stocking fillers, or you could use them as the stockings!
Very cute! His and hers would be amazing – headphones and a crown! Available for £15 each at Not on the Highstreet.
This year Christmas has crept up on me. Suddenly there are lights on Oxford Street and it’s dark at 5.00pm. So before I’m too late it’s time to get those cards done and sent.
With money on the mind, many people will be getting crafty and creating their own cards this year. I’ve collected some great examples of how you can put a bit of yourself into your Christmas this year.
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