September 13, 2015

what a load of betty crock(er)...

I've been cheating on you guys with my oven. I've been so busy whipping up some new recipes and revisiting a bunch of favourite ones that I totally neglected/was too busy eating it all to share them with you. I recently went through a bit of a brownie bake off sesh experimenting with some fun ingredients that include bacon, Baileys, Ferrero Rocher and cookie dough to name a few. Buttered popcorn cookies, the best chocolate cupcakes ever and nutella sandwiched oreos also feature below. I made myself some indulgent birthday scrolls, whipped up a cat cake covered in salted caramel buttercream & filled with smarties for a favourite feline loving friend and played around with a traditional rocky road recipe by adding one of the nation's favourite baked goods, the stroopwafel. Next weekend i'm baking up some cookies inspired by one of my favourite fabric designers...could you possibly (think giant poppies) guess who?

note for the blog title: i don't have a problem with betty crocker cake mixes (i used them every day in 2006) so won't judge those who do - unless you're donna hay.

turtle krispie slice. think rice krispies caught in a marshmallow bath topped with more than the recommended amount of chocolate chip, pecan and caramel conditioner. god bless america. 
baileys cheesecake brownie. why didn't i make this sooner? (oh that's right, i drank all the baileys).

oreo & nutella brownie bites. after the recipe asked me to sandwich two oreos together with nutella i knew it was time to join the gym.
nectarine & blueberry buckwheat cake. i thought i should throw in SOME fruit amongst all this chocolate?!

strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream.  possibly the sweetest cupcakes i have ever made and by sweet i mean teeth falling out never going to trust martha stewart's sugar content in recipes again kinda sweet. 

zeeland cherry spiked blondie. what does one do with a box of zeeland's finest cherries? (see above for answer)

guinness chocolate cupcakes with homemade salted caramel popcorn. baked for a cute colleague and guaranteed to sweeten any working day!

gluten free banana bread. the best, fact. if eaten for breakfast, don't expect to feel hungry until about 6pm. 

pineapple & raspberry frangipane slice. i had two pineapples leftover from a photoshoot so decided to bake this. best decision i made all month. 

pizza birthday cake. i made this for my boyfriend's 35th birthday. i know, i'm a keeper. 

abbey rocky road. it was one of those weeks when all i was listening to were the beatles and everything i made was inspired by their lyrics. cute huh?

ferrero rocher brownie. no explanation needed. 

cookie dough brownie. are you sensing a decadent theme here?

the best ever chocolate cupcakes. like i wasn't going to test that theory. tried and tested and completely true. 

bacon brownies. because, why not?!

buttered popcorn cookies. fun and a total party pleaser, even if you are 35. 

dirty chocolate & espresso cinnamon scrolls. a firm favourite and if my metabolism could cope, a daily breakfast choice. 

stroopwafel, white chocolate, speculaas spread, hazelnut and marshmallow rocky road. i'm not sure what ISN'T in this thing. 

cake batter cinnamon scrolls. because everyday can be your birthday!!

fully dressed cake batter cinnamon scrolls. served warm and covered in sprinkles....i know. 

nutella & sea salt fudge. seriously, just because. 

August 9, 2015

marrakech (city of my dreams).

Back in March I made my way to Marrakech to meet up and explore the city for a few days with two of my favourite ladies. I arrived there nervous about food poisoning, spending too much money (I wasn't born to haggle) and not obeying local customs and appearing rude. I left four days later with a mind blown with pastel colour, a new appreciation for Moroccan mint tea (which we drank at every opportunity) and a tummy full of cous cous. I have never been so pleasantly surprised or inspired by a city. I often dream of wandering the souks laden with spices, rugs and teapots which makes me even more eager to return there one day soon. It has only taken me 5 months to write a post about my experience as I truly believe that words cannot do this city justice. You'll have to go and see for yourself! 

The places we went and where we stayed are listed below.

Our riad (Dar Al Kounouz) had moroccan tea available on demand morning, noon and night. Only a few minutes walk from the centre of the medina, I would recommend this place to anyone.

Peach and mint, a match made in heaven 

The combination of tiles, stone carving and peach made me not want to leave.

Blue skies and peach walls for days.

The Koutoubia mosque was not only one of the most beautiful buildings we saw but it was a point of reference to help us get around the city (and most importantly back to our riad).

Vintage fabric adorned the street stalls.

I was never scared wandering the quiet alleyways in this city. 

Happy faces on peachy buildings made me soooo happy. 

Tassels, tassels, everywhere. 

I was in homewares heaven. 

The incredible Ben Youssef mosque.

Kittens around every corner. 

I wanted ALL of the rugs.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought the Jardin Majorelle in 1980 and saved it from falling victim to a real estate project and becoming a hotel complex. Today it is a cobalt blue oasis with gardens full of incredible cactus.

The best orange juice I have ever tasted. So many vendors to choose from and the stall holders will charm the pants off you for your business. (We rather enjoyed it.)

Cobalt blue magic at Jardin Majorelle.

Stalls are open around the clock. 

The patterns...

A corner of the beautiful Bahia palace. 

Seriously guys...the tiles.

Peach wall!

Treasure troves in every alley.

Jardin Majorelle beauty.

Now forever my favourite colours. 

Everywhere you look...

Cous cous for every meal.

Lunching on a roof terrace with my ladies. (I ordered cous cous).

Peach ombre effect anyone?!

Spices piled high.

The view as we left our riad.

The beautiful Bahia Palace.

Rugs, everywhere.

We stumbled across Dar Cherifa, a light and airy literary cafe hidden from passers-by.

Can't stop, won't stop.

I was close to hugging this wall. 

Door details to pine over.

Ben Youssef in all its glory.

The bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa (market square).

Make sure you empty all of the photos off your iphone/memory card before you go...

My kind of golden arches.

The weather. I know. 

Peach and mint green should ALWAYS be seen.

Inside of our beautiful Riad. Our hosts Youseff and Zach couldn't have been more welcoming.

Our roof terrace adorned with my favourite colour combo.

Moroccan pineapples. An image that will inspire many future artworks/interiors/dreams.