peppermints & poppies

where life imitates art

happy easter… April 4, 2010

Filed under: Baking — Katherine @ 11:07 am

Happy Easter, love me xxx

Have some lovely chocolatey cupcakes in celebration!


happy new year! January 7, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Project Projects! — Katherine @ 10:22 pm

Ok, it’s been nearly a week since New Year’s Day, when I fully intended to write a post about how my New Year’s resolution was to update my blog more regularly. Woops. And even worse than that, I’ve spent the last 3 days marooned in my house because of this:

I’ve mentioned before that a couple of inches of snow brings the whole of England grinding to a halt, no? This week we had 8 inches in one day. And it’s snowed every day since. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to drive a Ford KA in 8 inches of snow up a hill, but it’s not an experience I’d recommend, especially when fairly pregnant and extremely hormonal. So no work for me. Hooray!

Anyhoo, I’m posting now. Yay!

I considered undertaking another resolution, of sorts. To complete 52 projects in one year. One for each week. Then I remembered I’m having a baby this year, and thought 52 projects was a little ambitious. So now I’m attempting 35 projects in one year. I think that’s more do-able. And I’m borrowing 2 projects from last year, to start with. If you can’t win – cheat!

So here I present projects 1 and 2. Made for my parents for Christmas, cause I’m poor and they so love the handmade goodies.

For my dad – oreo balls (recipe shortly!) covered in peppermint-scented dark chocolate (his favourite) with cutesty choc sprinkles.

For my mum – oreo balls covered in white chocolate, with pretty pink sugar sprinkles. I did these first, so they’re not as neat as the others, but they still went down well!

Oreo balls are the easiest things EVER to make, and they taste lovely. Here’s how:

Empty 3 packets (the 170g (ish) packets, NOT the boxes!) of oreos into your food processor and blitz until you can’t see any of the white bits and the crumbs have the texure of sand. The finer you can get it, the better the texture of the finished product will be.

Then chuck in one packet of Philadelphia or your equivalent supermarket branded full fat soft cheese. The 225g (ish) packet, not the huuuuuge one! Blitz again until it’s combined.

Take your gooey mass out, wrap it up and put it in the fridge for a while. I left mine overnight, but a few hours would do it. When it’s all cold and firm, roll into walnut-sized balls and chill again.

Then dunk your chilled balls in the melted chocolate of your choice to coat them. I used a mug and two forks for this, but there are other ways. And if you want to put sprinkles on, get them on FAST, cause that chocolate hardens superfast!

Place on non-stick surface, chill til the chocolate is hard, and serve!

You should keep these in the fridge between servings, and eat them all within a week (oh, the trauma!). That said, my mum was still eating hers well over a week later and didn’t die. Hooray!

Go forth and enjoy your balls. I’ll be digging my way off a very snowy hill.


white christmas…? December 21, 2009

Filed under: Baking — Katherine @ 5:22 pm

Yesterday it snowed. A lot. Which made for rather a beautiful morning this morning:

However, it was a beautiful morning where nobody could get their car up the hill and out of our estate. Woops. But yay, hooray, woohoo if it wasn’t a snow day!!

Anyone who is not from England may be thinking, ‘Are you kidding me, that’s like 3 inches of snow, and you can’t drive your car?!?!’. And you’d be right. Embarrassing, no? It usually doesn’t even take this much. A solid inch, and there’ll be chaos all day. Makes me so proud 😉

Anyway, my poor, feeble little English car and its poor, feeble unsuitable-for-the-weather tyres were getting further sliding down the hill backwards than driving up the hill forwards, so I gave up on it as a bad job, and stayed at home.

Not to mention I had work to do. Specifically, Christmas buns to bake:

I trialled two new cupcake recipes for these, which was probably a bad idea for an order, but actually worked out pretty well. They’re just chocolate and vanilla (with my tried and tester choc and vanilla buttercreams). I’ll definitely be adding both to my recipe book. I’ll write out links and my UK-ified version of the recipes another day. You should try them too. Everyone needs a bit of cupcakey goodness in their lives.

This was my favourite for today:

Mmmmm. Cake.


one year on… September 29, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Photography,Writing — Katherine @ 10:19 pm

On Friday, 26th September 2008, I married my soulmate.

That was the start of something. Something bigger than just me. The start of a life. The start of a family. I finished that day with a new ring and a new name and a person who’d been mine for a while already, but not quite so officially.

One year later I still giggle a small, secret giggle whenever I call him my husband.

Five days ago my husband and I (*giggle*) hopped on a train and sped off under the sea to celebrate the one year later.

By the way, did I ever tell you that I love trains? Well, I do. I’m generally not a great traveller. I hate cars, hate buses, hate boats and ferries, hate planes. But trains? Love them. I love the sounds, the rhythms, the mindlessness. The freedom to wander. The buffet cars! The platforms and announcements and whistles and guards and everything.

And all these things took us on our very Parisian anniversary trip.

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Champ de Mars

Arty shot!

Arc de Triomphe from the safety of the street

Stunningly awesome cake in an expensive-looking shop on the Champs Elysées

Tree-lined sides of the Champs Elysées

Artist at work in Montmartre

Sacré Coeur in the late afternoon

Dahlia in Jardin des Plantes

Caged birds at the marché aux oiseaux, Ile de la Cité

More to come!


things that would have been on my last post… September 19, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Crochet,Photography — Katherine @ 9:07 pm

If wordpress hadn’t carelessly discarded that last post, I would have told you this:

One day last week I looked out of my kitchen window and thought the world was ending…

It wasn’t of course, just an evening sky to delight shepherds, but I do enjoy a spot of dramarama from time to time, so I went with it.

I would also have told you that my brief concern that armageddon was on its way frustrated me somewhat, because I am absolutely not ready to die. Not least because I have now finished EIGHTEEN of the TWENTY-FOUR blocks of Baby Granny Blanket. Yes, my crocheting is slower than the second coming of Christ. But definitely moving along now.

Hopefully it’ll be done before the chills of autumn really gets their fingers into me, and I can snuggle under it’s weighty woollyness until spring skips along to thaw me out.

Finally, had yesterday’s post not flitted off out into cyberspace, I would have showed you my latest bun order. Vanilla buns, with vanilla cherry, and mint choc icing. Yummy.


show us yer buns! August 15, 2009

Filed under: Baking — Katherine @ 1:52 pm

Busy week, this week, for the bakey cakeyness! I had another order from work – twenty vanilla/vanilla cupcakes in little boy blues. And a chance to test out my new cupcake boxes!

And then for my mum’s birthday party later today, she requested buns, and so I tried out Rachel Allen’s lemon cupcake recipe (from the book ‘Bake’) only subbed the butter for Vitalite to make them dairy-free, as my cousin’s little girl is allergic to milk. I’ve only tasted the buttercream so far, cause the recipe made just enough for 12 cupcakes, but that was really very tasty indeed, so I feel pretty confident.

Topped with jellybabies just for giggles:

Aren’t I a lovely daughter?


custom cupcakes July 22, 2009

Filed under: Baking — Katherine @ 6:00 pm

For an order. My brief was: Vanilla on vanilla. Girly colours.

I did half plain buttercream, and half tinted pink. I made the lilac flowers and butterflies from scratch. It was epic.

Apparently they were a hit, which is always nice to hear! Hooray for girly cupcakes!