Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Cake Bandit.

Whenever I'm homesick for feeling listless I bake, this process usually involves something sweet from my childhood or scones. If its scones they're all we'll eat for about two days and then we're back to lovely things like vegetables and other non scone items. We emerge from a crab haze no worse the wear for it.

But if I'm in a sweet making mood then the Cake Bandit comes out to play, otherwise we wouldn't actually be able to, you know, fit through the door to leave the house. So after we've had our fill with a cuppa, the offending sweets get wrapped up and deposited in the arms of friends and workmates. I am the cake bandit.

Today I donned the cake bandit cape. I made Millionaire's Shortbread, which to the rest of the world is Caramel slice. It takes me back to primary school, the dinner ladies used to offer it as a pudding option.

It take a bit of time, so pick a day when you've got time to float about and procrastinate, or cheat. More on the cheating later. The Recipe consists of three parts, the chocolate top, the dulce de leche middle and the shortbread base.And its all easier than you think.

Millionaire's Shortbread

300g chocolate (or if you're afraid of tempering chocolate, a bar of cake topping does fairly well)
50g caster sugar
100g plain flour
100g ground rice (but 200g of flour will still result in a perfectly serviceable short bread if you've no ground rice)
100g butter and a little extra
A pinch of salt
A dust of cocoa powder
A small (379g) can of condensed milk

Peirce the lid of the condensed milk, put the tin in a pot or slow cooker, fill with hot water till it reaches 3/4 of the way up the can and leave to simmer for three hours or so.

Dump the flour, rice flour, salt and flour into a bowl, cut or rub in the butter. press the mix into a lined tray with your hands or the side of a glass to get a nice and even surface, jab a few times with a fork then pop into a medium hot oven till it just takes on a golden suggestion of colour at the edges. Set aside to cool. Given that the dulche de leche takes forever to cook, this shouldn't be an issue.

Once the condensed milk has reached its lovely golden toffee colour (it bubbles through the hole in the can, if you didn't make a hole then the can would explode) its time to spread that lovely stuff all over the short bread, this doesn't need to be neat or pretty. Melt the chocolate with a tiny teeny amount of butter in a bain marie or in the microwave in 15 second bursts. Pour over the lot, sprinkle with cocoa powder before the chocolate sets and pop it gently into the fridge.

If you don't have time to sit about and wait for the condensed milk to do its thing you can pop it in a pan with some butter, a little brown sugar and a pinch of salt and simmer the mix gently till it thickens. This will give a more complete flavour but its a tricky one to gauge, if you boil it you'll end up with a talky sugar crumble. Which is nice, but not what we're looking for here.

Look at all that squidgy goodness. MMMMmm. Squidgy.

Monday, 15 August 2011

O hai life!

So life has been really busy, nothing particularly interesting, just busy.

So given that I've been meaning to do loads this past twelve months and achieved squat its not surprising. Sigh.

Time to make time right? Should be fun, I'm up for some adventuring if you are!

Cryptically yours, Minnie xoxo

Friday, 15 April 2011


It's awful. I turn into this terrible grumpy cow. Ugh. I phoned Dad last night, being grumpy and sad.

And guess what? It was his birthday. I suck. Sigh. I'll spend some time on Sunday crafting something up for him.

I've decided that the best way to deal with my homesickness is to enact The Plan. The Plan isn't actually anything very specific its just all those things you file under "wouldn't it be awesome if I did x, y or z?" So Sunday is going to be all about The Plan. Scary? very. But oh so worth it. I've had a year to piss about and, yeah being an adult isn't so bad, but I'm the only one who can make it awesome. At least that's the theory. I like theories, they make everything seem so simple.

Anyway this adult is off to make the house seem more liveable.

Take care, Minnie xoxox

Monday, 4 April 2011

I am so sick right now. Ugh.

I'm not good at being sick, Saturday I wasn't feeling too hot but I convinced myself that I was fine. I'd just misread the label on the new fruit loaf I'd bought and it had in fact contained a pint of whole milk, or something. So off to work I went, "I'll be fine" I said and took some paracetamol, "Look I have tea, honestly I'll be okay.". My co-workers gave me that look, and I should have taken heed. I lasted two whole hours, walked the twenty five minutes home and promptly passed out on the bed.

Then ugh, it was horrible, I was so violently ill, I couldn't even keep water down. Its Monday and I'm just up and just wobbling about. I've had a shower, yay! I brushed my teeth, double yay! I can drink tea again, rejoice!

Now to tackle actual real food...

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Great Yarn Diet

I have decided to confront the beast. I've sort of been on a yarn diet anyway, but I wasn't knitting all that much. Alas if you don't knit the wool doesn't go away. Or rather while you knit the surprise blanket of doom, the rest of the knitting doesn't magically happen. Huh. Funny that.

So I've started uploading my stash to ravelry, everything is going to be allocated a pattern, light relief from the blanket until its done, then I'm tackling a few bigger projects. There will be a lot of socks, there is a fair amount of ugly yarn, which I'm sure made perfect sense at the time. Man socks, dull but they use up a lot of yarn.

So no new yarn in the house, I'm not allowed to buy any and bloke can't buy me anything. I am allowed to give some things to the charity shop, because I'll never find a use for some of the yarn I own. I was gifted a lot of acrylic and I hate the way it feels. Squeaky.

I've finished the first project in the great yarn purge.

The pattern is Chunky Dean Street hat by Nina of Ninaknits. It was a super quick knit, but I look really stupid in hats. So its getting gifted. One skein down, many more to go.

Anyway I have grown up things to go do thing like clean. I'm apparently an adult.

Take care,
Minnie xoxo

Monday, 21 February 2011


A pot of tea, freshly dyed hair and the desire to get things done. Yes this is the post dinner energy spike. I like it when this happens, I boost around the house getting things done, so I wake up the next day feeling like accomplished something already.

Loud music is a must, double points if its in Gaelic. Oi Polloi for the win bitches. I'm not gonna lie I can't touch the dishes when I'm feeling like this, but some hoovering (I'm always fucking hoovering) and putting up of artwork/building bloke a makeshift chest of drawers out of banana boxes. I'm all over it like plooks on a teenager.

Anyway I'm slightly hyper and this might as well be fueled into making the house a pleasant place to be. Then the laptop can be put to good use like printing off pretty pictures while I dart from room to room doing not much but feeling ever so proud of my self. Simple pleasures right?

Anyway I do hope your life is a bit cooler than mine,
love, love xoxox

Saturday, 19 February 2011

I have my Sunday off!

And I'm going to do a lot of hoovering. I always seem to be hoovering, bloody house and its bloody dust. Sigh. I have at least managed to acquire a large tin of pink carpet cleaner, blokes pals keep on spilling port on the carpet. To be fair it is an awful carpet. You know that blue one with white flecks that every office and hotel has? 

So tomorrow morning I'm going to re-do my hair and see if I can lift a little more of the ginger out, hoover and do some laundry. Aurally punish the neighbours some with something loud and screamy, the angrier the singer is with his parents the better. They like really crap dance music and their friends rev the engines of their shitty hatchbacks in the drive. Passive aggressive win!

I will make brownies tomorrow and I will be giving some to the other next doors, when the weather was crap the fence nearly killed the van. They came and told me, they showed me, then they moved it. They, thankfully, did not seem fazed by my spotty jammies, slovenly appearance or any other sartorial crime that I happened to be committing at the time.

Then its a pub lunch/coffee type affair to get me out of the house and socialise me before i become Mrs Doyle. I'm already far too attached to my cardigans.

Love, love Minnie xoxo

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I have:
  • Bought a new shiny hula hoop
  • Bought some rhubarb for the awesome aunt to plant
And I'm going to:
  • write up a handy book for my friend Cherry who's little boy is on a dairy free diet for the next few weeks
  • finish my dress, its so close to being finished its silly
  • tackle the underpinnings for said dress
  • service the sewing machine
Not a bad day really, there will be lots of tea.

Take care xoxo

Friday, 4 February 2011

Getting on with life and musings on being a house frau

So dealing with the crazy, which isn't really all that crazy just a common or garden panic disorder which sucks. I'm really sociable but too many people or just a few choice idiots and I'm a wobbly heap in the corner squeaking for tea.  Sigh.

But I've been coming on leaps and bounds! I have a job, and I only come across as slightly mad, I have friends! Also of the good. I'm sorting out uni, life and making grand plans regards to yon crafts. I've even got a hold on the house work which is novel.

We have birds nesting in the chimneys, a cat who guards the washing line and the books are slowly taking over the house.

Anyway I'm off to make another pot of tea (I'm trying to cut down on my ridiculous coffee consumption),

take care, Minnie x x