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Halloween Costume Ideas For Grown-Ups

1 Oct

I saved all of these as screenshots when Storify shut down and printed them out and posted them to Agnes for prosperity.

Here is a nicely un-flowing list of all the Halloween costume ideas you will ever need.

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Pastry Fail

4 Apr

I think that being able to cook your own food and to not be scared of trying new things, whether they’re tastes or something you thought would be too complicated – like profiteroles or  bone marrow pie funnels for instance – is hugely important, and no one should be worried about having to knock something up for supper or when having people over. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time I don’t WANT to cook, but it’s nice to know I’m able to.

Over the last few years I’ve been really surprised by how calm I am in the kitchen, and how if something goes wrong I tend to do a quick bit of heavy swearing and then just start again or try and fix it. Until Tuesday. Until Tuesday when I tried to make some pastry and a Hulk rage took over. NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN. Except for tomorrow when I’m attempting to hand make pasta without a machine.

I knocked this together the night before and let it rest in the fridge. I chopped the big ball of it in half to make it easier to manage and started to roll it out to line some tart cases. It was cracking quite a lot but on went a rictus grin and I kept it up.

Pastry FailTits, arse and tits again. I went to roll it out again. It didn’t crack so much this time, so that was good. Yaaay.

Pastry FailThen I tried to lift it to put it over the tart case.

Pastry Fail

At this point my boyfriend was suddenly concentrating very hard on his work while I mimed taking the window out with the rolling pin and hissing. I tried to put it together again to roll it out. Again.

Pastry FailOmg. Omg I hate you so much. One more go. One more go.

Pastry Fail

I gave up on that bit of dough as it was getting very warm and just crumbling and being SHIT. SO SHIT. I think I whacked at it with the rolling pin for a bit until my arm started to hurt. By now my mum had slunk out of the kitchen just in case she breathed too loudly or tried to suggest something that might help.

I started on a new bit of the dough and FINALLY FUCKING FINALLY OH MY GOD got it to line one of the cases. And then had to do it twice more. I tried that first bit of dough again to make a nice even four, and then flung it into the bin trying not to then set fire to it.

Isn’t all the patching around the sides good?

Pastry Fail

I had to blind bake these to fill later, so had a fight with some grease proof paper and some baking beads. Finally though, it was coming together.

Pastry Fail ONLY THE BASE WOULDN’T COOK ENOUGH UNDER ALL THE BEADS AHAHAHAHHAHAH.

I poked some holes in to try and stop it rising while I browned it off a bit.

Pastry Fail

Finally, though, I had some slightly crappy but DONE, actually FINISHED pastry cases for the pudding I was making. Not the four I had hoped for, but one for me, one for The Chap, and one for my mum. Phew. Aaaaaaand, relax.

Pastry FailYou know what? Just put it in your bum. Whatever. I don’t even care.

Pastry Fail

 

Have a lovely weekend xxxx

 

 

 

No-Knead Bread

25 Jun
No-knead bread

Hello.

TUMBLEWEED.

I’ve been incredibly lazy and haven’t blogged for aaaaages, but this is an amazing recipe I stole off Sod Nigella and the Mountain Bakery for the most delicious home-made loaf you will ever eat.

This is so terribly easy but does take a bit of time – I tend to make the dough in the evening and stick it in the oven the next morning.

You’ll need:
  • A casserole with a lid
  • 400g strong white bread flour (On Morgan’s advice I tend to throw in a big tablespoon of extra flour to get the bread a bit firmer.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.
  • 350ml tepid water
  • ¼ teaspoon of dried yeast

As always, make sure the water isn’t too hot otherwise you’ll kill all your yeast and then where will you be, hey? Sad and hungry, that’s where.

Mix in the yeast and leave it to one side for a minute – it should go slightly gross. This means it’s working.Stick the flour and salt in a nice big bowl (you want lots of room for the dough to rise) and add the water. Mix it up a bit but don’t worry about it too much.  It’ll end up as a very sticky, wet mess. It doesn’t need to be all glossy and together.Cover this with clingfilm and leave it somewhere warm overnight. That’s right, OVERNIGHT.

When your dough has proved it’ll seem like it’s gone all wrong. A big, bubbly sticky mess that looks like it’ll fall as soon as you touch it. It should be like this, or always has been when I’ve made it, so deep breaths – you’re fine.

Whack your oven up as high as it will go, probably 250ºc, and stick in the casserole with the lid on to heat up.

Flour a surface really well and, being careful not to knock too much air out of it, get your dough out of the bowl. Fold it over on itself so the top is all floured and cover. Everyone seems to be using a tea towel but I can’t be bothered with the washing so use clingfilm.

Once your pot is nice and hot plonk your dough in it, put the lid back on and stick it in the oven for half an hour. After this take the lid off and stick it back in for another ten minutes or until it’s golden and crusty on top.

No-knead bread

Done. Told you it was easy.

So easy EVERYONE has been at it.

Mike Fleming made it:

Kate DH made it:

One of the guys from my office made it:

I made it again and again and again…
 
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