Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes

Ah my old reliable - 6, 6, 6 and 3. I will always remember this combination from my childhood days of baking fairy cakes with the mother and it's always used whenever I need to whip up some last minute treats. It's also usually the only time I work in ounces too. 

These cupcakes are ideal for a Mother's Day treat this weekend.



Ingredients:

6oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Baking Butter
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Madagascan Vanilla

Topping:

500g Icing Sugar
250g Baking Butter
1-2 Tblsp Milk
1 Tsp Raspberry Flavouring
1 Tsp Vanilla Flavouring
Rose Pink Food Colouring


Method:

  • Preheat oven on 170 degrees (I have a fan oven)
  • Mix the sugar and butter first until creamy
  • Sift flour and add a little bit at a time along with one egg at at time.
  • Leave to mix in the food mixer for a few minutes while you get your cake cases and trays ready. This is how I get my light and fluffy sponge.
  • Add vanilla essence
  • Divide mixture between cases and then using a cocktail stick even out the mixture. This helps the cakes to rise flat rather than uneven which makes them easier to ice.
  • Bake for approx 20 minutes.
  • Once cool, beat the butter for the icing first until creamy and then add in the icing sugar, at this point I would also add in 1 tblsp of milk and add the more in needed, sometimes the mixture can be quite thick and the milk will help the make it easier to ice the cakes. 
  • Add in flavouring and colouring and mix 
  • Ice cakes as desired. 
  • Toppings optional - I used mini marshmallows and Vermicelli strands.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Playlist Of My Life

The very lovely Nicola over at Simply Homemade Blog is hosting a link up for a Playlist Of Your Life and I couldn't not join in.
I love these kind of posts! It's not an easy one for sure, there are so many songs I could include, (y'know the ones that automatically transport you back in time or make you feel the exact same way you did back then) but that would take forever so breaking it down to a small number has been hard.

Here we have the Playlist Of My Life...to date:

Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer


This one brings me right back to driving to Wales from Slough for us to get on the Swansea / Cork ferry in November 1992 as we packed up our life in the UK and headed to the Emerald Isle. My mam had bought the Now 23 double cassette and we played it for the whole journey with boxes, kids and dog squished into our blue Ford Sierra.

The Lifeboat Mona - Luke Kelly


I grew listening to Luke Kelly a lot and I think by now that everyone knows our own Luke is named after him. My Dad was and still is an avid fan of Luke Kelly and he always had his cd's blaring at the weekends as he worked in the house or up in the shed. This song was the first one that hit me with feeling, I was only about 7 / 8 and the lines "The howling wind and the driving rain" and "We'll never see land or home again" were sung with such conviction, I would feel those words in my chest each time I heard them. 

An Angel - The Kelly Family 


Oh I'd say my parents curse the day I ever heard this song! I was 11 and it started a an obsession that was to last a few years but brought so much to my life. I think they were played on 2TV once and I managed to record it on a video and I cherished that bloody video. It was through The Kelly Family that I really developed my love of music and made me want to pick up an instrument, I got my first guitar at 11. They bought a big house down the road from us so I became obsessed with them at the right time and would often see them around. I also met lots of people, their fans, who used to come and sit outside their house for weeks on end. At one point I had 90 penpals, most of whom were through being Kelly Family fans. A huge part of my childhood.

Westlife - Swear It Again


My first boyband obsession. I was 14 I think when this came out and I was a devoted fan for ages, had all the cd's, books, video's, dvd's. I used to buy all the magazines with them in and my room was plastered in posters, ah the innocence. I remember paying for Sky box office to watch their first tour live and then record it on video in a family friends house, I watched it over and over and then let my bestie borrow and her brother recorded over some it....I was distraught, I still don't think I'm over it! I lost count of how many times I saw them in concert, and I was there proudly shedding a tear at their farewell in Croke Park not so long ago!

Crawling - Linkin Park


Ah the "nu metal" phase, well actually it wasn't a phase I still listen to all this kind of music but they were the first band like this that I was hooked on and it was a perfect match for my teenage angst. My first boyfriend before he was my boyfriend told me to listen to this, he was trying to impress me I guess and it worked! I'm all about the lyrics and this spoke to my 15 year old heart. The whole album, Hybrid Theory is still one of my all time favourites, from start to finish it is a masterpiece. 

Outside (Live) - Staind


This video was all over Kerrang! music channel, oh god can't you just feel the angst of the teenage years in Aaron Lewis' roar towards the end?! I saw these guys in concert in The Point when I was 16 and it was still one of the best concerts I was at, in the mosh pit, the guitarist spat in my direction, getting squashed by all the sweaty over enthusiastic Staind fans, I loved every minute of it!

Ding Dong Song - Gunther


Oh god even the name of this song is cringey nevermind listening to it!! If I close my eyes while listening to this I am back on the dancefloor in "The Comm" on a Thursday night after a big bottle of WKD or 2 bottles of Kopperberg (I was a lightweight, still am!),  I more than likely had school the next day, being 18 in Leaving Cert year had pros and cons. It's one of those stupid songs that got everyone on the dancefloor.

Tipsy - J-Kwon


I think we all got a bit too tipsy in the club when this song was around! It was guaranteed to get everyone out on the dancefloor, hands in the air, bouncing around like we from the ghetto!! Bottle of Smirnoff Ice with a straw dancing up on the balcony in "The Comm", (I spent a lot of time in there in my teens/early 20's) with my knee high white boots and black rara skirt, sure I was the bomb altogether! A time where a night out turned into 3 nights out, only going home to get showered and changed. I still don't know how I made it into my part time job after a night out back then but I did. Ah good times.

Broken - Seether ft Amy Lee 


A Seether fan and an Evanescence fan, I was bound to love this track. This reminds of a time when I first moved away from home to work and live in a holiday park, it was such a life changing experience filled with so many ups and downs. It was a time when I had to experience some hardships without any of my family or childhood friends around, it was a roller coaster of a time but I wouldn't change any of it.

Everytime We Touch - Cascada


What a belter! This is mine and my good friend Jen's song. We loved this, we both worked in the holiday park together for half of my first season there and every night we'd blare this while getting ready to head out to the pub on site. It reminds me of us just laughing and getting up to mischief. If we ever get the chance to meet up these days we might still give this a listen.

The Noose - A Perfect Circle


Not long turned 19, finished school, but hadn't settled in college, was working in the local Centra, had a boyfriend who I had messed around a bit too much, god love him I was still reeling from my first heartbreak and he got the brunt of it but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted in life at that moment in time. Then someone came along and introduced me to this album and it was a game changer, a brief dalliance and all too soon I was on my way to the next chapter in my life. This song always reminds me of that time, exhilarating but didn't last too long, which was good when I look back now! 

Beachball - Nalin & Kane


Ah everyone loved this song point didn't they?! Cruising in my white honda civic with this one blaring, it reminds me of laughs, sunny skies and having fun. This made a it of a comeback around 2006 I think or else it was just still being played but I had just come out of a bad car crash and lived to tell the tale, I had to move back home which was a blessing in disguise  and this one always reminds me of finding my feet again and going out with my friends, it was definitely a summer of fun that year. 

Umbrella - Rhianna


Before I even left for Australia I was bloody homesick and this song was out around the same time. My bestie was a Rhianna fan and it was played everywhere in Oz and all I could think about was how much I missed my friends and couldn't wait to see them. I'm just not built to spend long periods of time away from home. 

Big Casino - Jimmy Eat World


It's no playlist of mine without these guys in there. If I close my eyes to this one, I am right back driving (well in the passengers seat) the Brand Highway in Western Australia in a 1986 Ford Falcon which promptly broke down not long after we reached our destination. This album was released mid road trip and we stopped off in Karratha if I remember correctly to buy it. It's one of the fewer times in Oz where I wasn't homesick or wanting to be anywhere else and at that point of the road trip I felt free as bird and genuinely excited at what was ahead.

Polaris - Jimmy Eat World



After returning from Australia I found it hard to find my feet at home again, although I was delighted to be home and I think I'd expected everything to fall back into place like it was before I left but obviously it didn't and I spent a couple of years trying to find my way and figure out just where it was I wanted to be, I think this is pretty standard in your early twenties though. Anyway this song reminds me of that time, where everything was up in the air and I wasn't really myself but I knew I would be ok. The line "In your darkest time it's just enough to know it's there" is tattooed on my arm, it was kind of a reassurance to myself. 

Many Of Horror - Biffy Clyro



This one signifies a who change in direction in my life at the end of 2010. I'd spent the previous 2 and a half years trying to make a relationship work and it just wasn't ever meant to be, I probably should've given up long before I did but it was one of those where you're not quite sure if you're better off out of it or to put up with it and accept it for what it was. There was lots of back and forth and eventually there was the final break up and at the time I just knew in my heart that that was it and there would be no going back and I remember driving home and feeling strangely elated but incredibly sad at the same time and this song was on which played havoc with my already running high emotions!! Even now when I hear it, I just think back and remember finally being able to break the cycle and knowing it was better off for everyone involved. Everything changed from that point on and I'm a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. 

Concrete Angel - Gareth Emery


That time I loved going to the gym for a few months! This was my treadmill song, I always put it on first to get me going in the gym. I really enjoyed going, it was the first time in a long time I'd felt healthy and body confident. I'm aiming to get back to that point at some stage in the near future. Even now it makes me want to put on my runners and get out and do something. 

Million Voices - Otto Knows


Summer 2012 was a blast and this song is the song that reminds me of it. Myself and the OH got together that Summer and this was a favourite of his. It reminds me of the start of our relationship, all giddy and excited and wanting to spend every minute together. He took off on boys holiday about a month into our relationship for a week and every time this song came on I pined for him, it was ridiculous..now I can't get him out of the house enough (just joking my dear in case you are reading this!!) 

Let Her Go - Passenger


Aww this song makes me so happy because it reminds of my little boy as a baby. This was in the charts when he was born and it was the only thing for ages that would literally stop him in his tracks. I can see him in my arms as a baby, only weeks old and he'd stop crying when this came on and I would stand in front of the tv just rocking him, so so tired but so besotted with him and for those few minutes it would be sheer bliss with my little baba. I used to play it in the car too if I was trying to get him to settle or go to sleep. Awww this makes me miss those newborn days...kind of! 

The Town I Loved So Well - Luke Kelly


Luke Kelly features again. To me my Dad was always this gruff, big, strong man who would fix all my problems (he still is!) but I remember sitting down to watch a documentary on Luke Kelly on RTE 1, I can't quite remember how old I was but I was maybe early teens, I was watching it with my Mam and Dad and this song came on mid way through the program and I remember looking over at my Dad and seeing him cry. It was my first time seeing him in any other way other than how I described him above. I remember being kind of shocked but knowing that this song hit him hard personally. If we happen to be watching one of the many Luke Kelly documentaries since I make myself scarce for this song because it's just so emotional and seeing the effect it has on him brings out the tears in me and I just can't cope!

Sweet Child of Mine - Guns 'n' Roses


This will always be a favourite of mine, it's one of those songs that I can remember at any time of life and when I eventually make it down the aisle to the OH I want this to be playing. It was my ringtone on my Nokia 3210 for ages!

So there we have it, a very brief look at the play list of my life, although it seems quite long when I go back over it but I honestly could've added so many more but there's a place called stop and all that. It wasn't easy picking the above videos but I'm quite impressed with my list above, a Spotify list has now been created off the back of this.

Are there any tracks that you associate with important or memorable times in your life? What's your playlist? I'd love to hear.










Sunday, 12 March 2017

Snapshot

Life right now. Linking up with one of my fell Irish Parenting Bloggers, Awfully Chipper, these are my favourite kind of posts!

Listening to: This very minute it's Cork's Red FM on the radio, it's the only station I really listen to although I may have to reconsider now that KC is gone in the mornings. Spotify is on through my headphones at home some evenings, I rediscovered Evanescence live album a few weeks ago so that's been playing on there. 

Watching: We are re watching Prison Break ahead of a new, long awaited series starting soon, I'm so excited to see it! Also trying to get through the last 2 seasons of Bones and the latest season of Criminal Minds 

Playing: Superheroes, all day everyday when the boy child is around, or good guys / bad guys: "You 2 be the good cop and catch me I'll be the bad robber" - he tells his Dad and I.

Reading: I'm easing myself back into reading at the moment, I haven't done it in so long and I was an avid reader previously. I'm reading a book by a local author set in my hometown so it's not too taxing on the imagination and easy to read. There's a pile of books on my bedside locker waiting to be read.



Looking Forward To: March being a quiet month, February was so hectic I'm looking forward to having no plans this month

Drinking: I'm trying to cut out all those bad fizzy / sweet drinks and usually they vdon't bother me but if I feel like one I'll try and get a can of the organic stuff from the local health food shop, it's quite tasty. The elderflower one is my favourite.



Wearing: Black, all black everything. It's slimming, not much but it does disguise a few lumps and bumps.

Eating: I have given up crisps for Lent and anyone who knows me knows how hard that will be! I'm actually addicted to crisps like, it's kind of scary, I'd devour any packet in front of me so to ease the blow I am eating these organic, gluten free corn chips from the local health food shop. They are surprisingly tasty.



Working On: A few things, being more active, making the blog more interactive and keeping on top of my to do lists, that just keep on growing.

Permanently Frustrated By: The weather, will it ever stop raining?! Traffic, always forgetting to take the meat out of the freezer for dinner, ruins my meal plans! 

Enjoying: Being able to walk into the spare room now that it's been cleared out a bit

Not Enjoying: The rain. Monthly wages, only one month in but I don't know whether I'm coming or going at the moment 

Head on over to Awfully Chipper to see a snapshot into some other blogger's lives right now.