Sunday, 30 June 2013

Don't Forget...

Google Reader is closing down tomorrow, so if you want to keep following your favourite blogs, import them over to Bloglovin' (or an equivalent site).
You can follow me by clicking on the heart in the side panel, or by clicking here.
Easy peasy.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

I'm Loving... Vinyl

I think I'm turning into a hipster. Except not one of those hipsters that likes everything 'before they were cool'. 
No, I think I'm a hipster for vintage... Is that even possible?
Does that mean I'm a hipster for things 'after they were cool'?
I already have a Polaroid camera, and I'm building up a collection of old china tea sets. But now I've seen the next thing I want to add to my (admittedly small) collection of vintage items. I want a turntable.

I saw one on Instagram a few days ago. It was from Elsie of A Beautiful Mess (if you don't know about this blog, a) where have you been, and b) go follow them right now), where she was advertising an update on their new app, and in the picture was a turntable. Immediately, I saw how cute it was, it looked amazing, especially compared to other turntables I've seen previously. 

Over the next few days, I kept thinking about this turntable, I mean, come on, it looks so cool. But I couldnt bring myself to make anything happen, because do I really need a turntable? And then I thought, 'Just because I don't need it, doesn't mean I'm not allowed to treat myself and have it'. So I started to investigate.

It turns out that the one I saw was a Crosley Cruiser Turntable. They come in a range of colours, and they look so chic. And they cost around $99, which I thought was reasonable. Until I saw they didn't deliver outside of the US. Bummer.
Next stop: eBay!

Eventually, I found one, which my mum then claimed as a birthday present for my 21st, which is in a few months. So I'll have to wait a bit until I can have it. But I don't mind, because just knowing that I will have one is enough for me, right now at least. And anyway, this will give me a chance to find some records.
Look at it, isn't it just adorable :)

Is there anything you're finding yourself lusting over at the moment?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The End of an Era

I officially have a degree.
I have a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry.
And I have no idea what I'm going to do next.
But we're not thinking about that just yet.

I've also (mostly) moved out of my uni house (apart from one last trip after my graduation in a couple of weeks). It was weird to see the house so empty; my housemates and I managed to really make it a home, and to see it without our pictures, cushions, throws etc. was quite surreal.

One of my housemates and I made the most of our last week, and did everything we wanted to do in Nottingham. Such as renting a boat on the university lake in front of the Trent Building, having a picture with the Robin Hood statue, and visiting Wollaton Hall for one last time. 
For those of you who don't know, they shot scenes of The Dark Knight Rises at Wollaton, using it as the newly built Wayne Manor. Unfortunately for us, they filmed it during the summer after our first year, so we weren't around to stalk Anne Hathaway or Christian Bale *cries*.
 Trent Building, University Campus
Wollaton Hall
 I am really going to miss Nottingham, it has become my home over these past few years.
It is such a wonderful city, full of amazing little places.
I almost don't want to say goodbye...

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A First Try at Meringues

I'm sorry it has been a while, I actually did intend to have a few more posts out at the beginning of the month, and I had the material all ready and waiting. However, we unfortunately had a death in the family, so for the past few weeks all of my time has been spent looking after my family, and helping to arrange the funeral.

But enough time has passed, and I thought it was time to come back into the blogging world. Honestly, I don't even know what people have been doing, so I've got weeks of posts to catch up on.

So I decided I would have a go at making meringues. They kind of seem like a nightmare for amateur bakers, and you tend to hear stories of how it can go wrong. But honestly, I found them very easy (admittedly I used a stand mixer), they are just very time consuming. They weren't perfect, but you learn from your mistakes, and I will know for next time what to do. They are a definite 'must try at least one' type of thing.

I read online a few hints on making better meringues, such as having the egg whites at room temperature, and not opening the oven door during the first hour of cooking, as this can cause the meringue to crack. As you can see from my pictures, this happened to mine, but it didn't make much of a difference.

I made a large batch, due to having a load of egg whites left over from another baking experiment, so the normal meringue recipe normally requires half the amount of egg white and sugar below.
6 Egg Whites
350g Caster Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1/275F/140C, and line some baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Add the egg whites and salt to a greaseproof bowl, and using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on a low setting for 1 minute.
Then increase to a medium speed, and whisk for 2-3 minutes, so that the egg whites form stiff peaks.
While continuing to whisk, add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, until the mixture becomes thick and glossy, and the peaks are stiff. This can take up to 10 minutes.
Using a metal spoon, place spoonfuls of meringue onto the baking trays, and put in the oven.
Bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, until the meringues are crisp on the bottom, and are a pale brown colour.
After the time is up, turn the oven off, and leave the meringues in the oven, letting the oven cool down.
Once done, store in an air tight container, and they can be kept for a couple of weeks.

Of course, the most obvious thing to do with meringue is to make Eton Mess. Sometimes there's nothing better than mixing together whipped cream, meringue and strawberries.
I actually jazzed my cream up a bit by adding a couple of handfuls of frozen raspberries while whipping the cream up, adding a bit more sweetness to the dessert.
I admit I had trouble not eating all of the strawberries, they are just so lovely this time of year :)