23 February 2011

Lemon Drizzle Bars

Firstly I wanted to say a Happy Birthday to my sister! I can't believe your 16  Jaz....

I received a late late Christmas present from Ians Aunt. There was a mix up with delivery...but it got here eventually!

I LOVE it! It has been a book that I've been after for a while but they stopped printing it for some unknown reason...


It's my first proper cook book...one that will live on a shelf in our first home (whenever that will be...who knows?!)

I'm aiming to make something from it at least every month and share the recipe with you all.

The first thing I have made are Lemon Drizzle Bars....perfect for spring/summer!

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 175g/6oz Sugar
  • 150g /5.5 oz margarine, plus extra for greasing
  •   Grated rind of one lemon
  • 175g / 6oz self-raising flour
  • 125ml/ 4fl oz milk
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 7 inch square tin or a 8 inch round tin
For the syrup:
  • 140g / 5oz icing sugar
  • 50ml/ 2 fl oz fresh lemon juice


Pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4. Grease your tin and line with non stick baking paper.

Place the eggs, sugar and margarine in a bowl and beat hard until its smooth. Stir in the lemon rind, then the flour, folding lightly and evenly.

Stir in the milk, then pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until its golden and firm to touch.

To make the syrup, simply place the icing sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat gently. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

Prick the cake all over and spoon the hot syrup evenly over the top, until it's absorbed.  

Leave to cool on a wire rack and cut into 12 pieces,  dust with a little icing sugar before serving.

It is really light, fresh and lemony.

If you give it a try let me know what you think!

We are going out for a meal tonight to celebrate my sisters birthday...I'm really looking forward to it! Until then i'm off to my room to complete a few orders : )

Gemma x 

16 February 2011

Busy busy busy!!

 Good evening : )

Sorry for going AWOL for these past few days. Everything has been super hectic around here and I literally haven't had much time for blogging.

I've been busy...but the good kinda busy.

A surge in sales ( thank you! ) has meant that I'm getting back from work and carrying on with my other work. I'm definitely not complaining but it's tiring!

I hope you all had a lovely valentines day. Ian & I kind of agreed to not really 'do' anything this year as we are trying our *best* to save...plus I had Brownies on Monday evening ...but he had other plans!!!!

I was surprised with a knock at the door this afternoon, to find a very handsome Ian holding a bunch of flowers. He secretly took the afternoon off work and took me out to the Cinema and for a meal...what a sweetheart.

We saw 'Paul'....it was hilarious...I would really recommend seeing it if you liked Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz.

I know I mentioned this in the last post but I really am thankful to each and every reader or this little blog. I've been writing it for just over a year and I never imagined that I would get one follower let alone over 80!! Thank you for being faithful readers and thank you for commenting and inviting me to into your world : )

Gemma xXx

10 February 2011

Flowers in the window...

Firstly I want to say hello and a huge thank you to my new followers! Thanks for joining my journey : )

It's nearly Friday! Going back to work has made me appreciate home and the weekend a whole lot more...ahh...

I'm hoping for gorgeous weather this weekend. We are off to St. Albans on Saturday to check out a craft fair. Fingers crossed its great and I can potentially sell there!! 

It's been a dark drizzly day today and i'm ready for spring RIGHT NOW! I'm looking forward to watching my plants grow, eating gorgeous 'lighter' food and getting back into Sunday walks in parks...I miss them.

I've started planting some seedlings already...is it too soon?!

I've got the first round of seedlings planted, they are sunning themselves in my bedroom. They are Cabbage, Leeks and Onion..yummy : )

 I'm still getting into the swing of gardening. Last year was great fun and the beginning of my whole self sufficient adventure.

Apart from that I don't have any particular 'news'. Join me tomorrow for a great recipe I recently discovered...it is so yummy if you like bananas!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Gemma x

7 February 2011

Back to Work

I felt so sick this morning...with nerves! So nervous I could barely eat. I really don't know why I get like that.

Bravery was my word of the year...so brave is what I tried to be! I went to work..with a tummy full of butterflies...but I was, of course, fine.

It was only a matter of time before I slipped back into 'nursery' mode...I don't hate it but I don't particularly like it.

Roll on the days when I'm my own boss...designing, making, sewing, crafting all day, everyday!

I'm loving this particular quote at the moment...

'Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life'

It's something I'm working towards right now.

Hope you all have had a great Monday.

Gemma xXx 

4 February 2011

Sugar Cookies

Hi All!

Happy Friday : )

Seeing as this is my last week off I wanted to make the most of it. Baking is one of my favourite things to do so I searched the net for a new recipe to try.

I came across a great website called The Brown Eyed Baker.  
Everything on there is m-o-u-t-h-w-a-t-e-r-i-n-g

So grab your mixing bowls and wooden spoons and join me in these Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies...perfect for the weekend.


You will need:

  • 2 Cups / 10oz Plain / All purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup / 8oz of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup / 7 oz Caster sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Method :

Line or grease two baking trays. Pre-heat your oven to 190c , 375f or Gas Mark 5.

Cream the butter and Sugar together (brown and caster sugar) until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a doughy consistency .

Place the remainder of the Sugar (1/2 cup) in a shallow bowl. Fill another bowl with cold water. Dip your hands in the water (this is so the dough doesn't stick to your hands but allows the sugar to stick to the dough.

Roll 1½ inch balls in your palms and then lightly roll in the sugar. Allow 2 inches between each ball on the baking trays.

Finally lightly butter the bottom of a glass, dip in the remainder of the sugar and lighlty press on each dough ball until they are about ¾ inch thick, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2 or 3 cookies).

Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the two trays halfway through, until they are lightly browned around the edges, and slightly set in the center.

These are the best Sugar Cookies I have tried to date - A definite keeper!

After I finished baking my grandparents popped over and helped us demolish a few of these..they are great dipped in tea : )

Have a great weekend !

Gemma xXx

2 February 2011

Junk Shopping

Hi Ladies!

I love blogging. I love blogland .

I've learnt soo much through blogs, it has opened my eyes.

I have a new found love for things I had never even thought about before blogging.


Furniture Renovation.



I love ALL these things. Blogs have allowed me to improve my skills in photography, they've showed me new crafts (a whole long list that I WILL do one day...one day).

What has really intrigued me though is furniture renovation. Some of my favourite blogs are ones that show the treasures they have uncovered in thrift stores or yard sales. The transformations are impeccable...and best of all these projects barely cost anything.

They somehow frustrate me though... A LOT! 
It isn't 'Carboot' season here at the moment and these are the places that I am most likely to find some 'junk'. I've looked online but there isn't any local antique stores around here...so it looks like I will have to wait a month or so!

I'm hoping to find a mirror with a beautiful frame as my first project...I will paint it white or a lovely cream and it will take pride of place in my bedroom (which I have yet to show you!!!)...and hopefully it will cost next to nothing!

I have to admit I love a good old treasure hunt...heehee!

Happy February : )

Gemma xXx


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