Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Bake: Cinnamon tear apart loaf

I don't know if I've mentioned, but I was recently gifted a KitchenAid (this is literally a dream come true for me - meringues? No problem - I'll just get the egg whites whisking on their own whilst I make a hair appointment!)

So, since I got it I've been trying out all the things I couldn't make before because all I had was a hand whisk.

First off - bread! The KitchenAid has a dough hook for breads and scones and other scrumptious treats.

This was an extra special cinnamon pull apart loaf, which I found on Pinterest.

What you will need for two 9x5x3-inch bread loafs:

For the dough:
5½ cups + 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
4½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz./100 grams) butter
⅔ cup whole milk
½ cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
½ stick (2 oz./50 grams) butter, melted

The method:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together four cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt together the butter and milk on medium heat until the butter is just melted. Remove from heat and add the water and vanilla extract. Let mixture cool for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and continue to stir until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The batter will be quite sticky at this point.
  4. Add the remaining cup and a half of flour and continue to mix with a spatula for an additional 2 minutes, until ingredients are well combined. The dough will still be a little sticky.
  5. Place the dough is a large, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise, until doubled in size, for about 1 hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough and knead the remaining four tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling. Butter the bread loafs.
  7. Cut the dough into two equal pieces, and place one piece back into a bowl and cover with the towel. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to 12 inches x20 inches (30 x 50 cm.).
  8. Use a brush to generously spread melted butter across the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cut the dough vertically into six equal strips. Stack the strips one on top of another and slice the stack into six equal slices. You should have six stacks of six squares.
  9. Place the squares into the prepared bread loafs, so that they are standing up. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  10. Preheat oven to 350ºF. (180ºC). Cover both loaf pans with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The center will be a bit soft. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
And here's what it should look like...

Marie ♥

Friday, 26 April 2013

Outfit: primary colours = Spring!

It's late April and it's finally Spring! I thought the sun had forgotten about the UK for a while there...

Spring weather deserves Spring clothes, so out come the brighter colours. And I realised when I took these photos that I'd dressed myself in red, yellow and blue!

The cardigan is new and is from Louche - it's so wonderfully soft but what I really love about it, apart from the lovely mustard colour, is the cropped shape and little bows running down the middle. The skirt and shoes are old summer favourites. The bright pink lipstick is this one.

And also step up my new favourite, this Ollie & Nic sales purchase red frame bag (got a bit of an obsession with frame bags!) - £40 down from £60 :)

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Make-up: Maybelline Superstay 14 hour lipstick in Stay With Me Coral

Well, first things first, this isn't really a 'vintage' colour in the classic definition of the word when you're talking about reds and dusky pinks... it's a big ol' bright fuschia pink. But I did choose it for its matte finish, so I'm sticking it in the series anyway! Also, Maybelline seem to have a funny idea of what 'coral' is, as you can see...

It is a bit drying as a lot of mattes are, so in these photos I'm wearing over some Carmex lip balm that has given the finish a slight glossy texture as well as muting the colour a tad - which actually I didn't mind for once.

  • Great unique, bright colour
  • Strong pigmentation
  • Good matte finish
  • Lovely fruity strawberry smell that doesn't transfer into chemical strawberry taste in your mouth
  • Packaging clearly indicates colour and is distinctive with a white lid - stands out from all the black cases in my bag!
  • Good price at £6.99
  • Very sticky texture after initial application onto bare lips that does go away after a bit when the lipstick dries, but means blotting with tissue is DISASTROUS
  • After a few hours, it's a bit drying - I like to apply over balm
  • Not easy to wear as a stain
  • After a few hours it sort of 'beads' together on your lips - the only way I found to get rid was to scrape them off and reapply, or apply over balm
  • It really doesn't have the staying power of 14 hours, so bit of false advertisement! I'd say you can get a good few out of it but after that it starts to go patchy

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Outfit: catseye glasses... for your jumper

Ok, so my clothes don't need glasses (that makes one of us), but what's a girl to do when she comes across a jumper that not only has a cute glasses print - but has a glasses print that is identical to an actual pair of glasses you own and love? 

Spot the glasses...

Slightly like I'm advertising my own (clearly fabulous) taste in eyewear, but I couldn't quite get over the fact that they are quite clearly my glasses and also that the jumper is largely made of cotton (win) and has a cute peterpan collar and intriguing peephole. It was about time I expanded my quirky knitwear collection anyway (my jumper with strawberries all over it will be pleased). The jumper is from Forever 21 - which means it was also a bargain. And if you're wondering about the glasses, see my previous post.

Not to get too cute, I threw in a denim pencil skirt and leopard print ballet pumps. Of course.

But the thing is, to wear both together is just going to look stupid...

Maybe not!

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Upcycle: pine bedside drawers

I've been pretty quiet on the blog lately (more so than usual) because I recently moved house. I've been really enjoying hunting for new stuff to fill our flat because it's about three times the size of our little one bed place we had before.

I've been doing a few little home projects that I'm going to share over a series of posts - and the first one is a little bit of upcycling.

Dave (my boyfriend) isn't that great at knowing what looks good and what doesn't in the home - he's a rustic kind of guy and loves a bit of pine (for the record - I HATE pine). So, when I tried to varnish his pine bedside drawers to give them a dark wood effect, he wasn't best please when it went completely tits up!

Here's what it looked like:

So, I had to remedy the situation asap. And this is where I introduce you to the wonderful world of chalk paint! Annie Sloane is the best chalk paint you can find, but I found a cheaper version from B&Q (readers outside of UK might need to give it a google to find where you can pick a pot up).

With just a simple lick of paint and some new knobs, found in a local junk shop, I managed to completely transform those yukky pine drawers into something that does our vintage school desk and port hole window justice!

I would do a step by step guide for this - but literally all I did was sand it down with sand paper, slap two coats of paint on and let it dry, then unscrew the old knobs and screw the new ones on. Simple! The beauty of the chalk paint is that it doesn't matter how good you are at painting because you can't see any brush strokes when it dries.

Just to note - most chalk paints will need a top layer of special wax to avoid scratches and water marks etc.

The flat is really starting to take shape - will do a room by room post as I make more progress.

Oh, and Max the Cat loves his new pad ;-)

Marie ♥

Friday, 5 April 2013

Outfit: teal, tan and a new frame bag

Supposedly the first day of spring began on 20 March - which is when the pictures in this post were taken. However, on the day in question it was about 2 degrees and threatening snow, which probably had quite an impact on the rather autumnal colours I found myself choosing that day... and it's not like it's gotten much better since then!

I've been looking for a while for a new frame bag that had a longer strap so I could wear it on my shoulder but not tucked so tightly underneath I can't open the darn thing without taking it off (when you commute, you look for the fastest possible ways to get a train ticket in and out of your bag with minimal effort). This one, which I believe is an import from Asia, is not the best quality in the world, but I love the colour and style. And how well it matches my cowboy boots and cardigan!

Seems the site I bought this from is out of stock in this colour, but you can buy it in dark red still.

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