11 April, 2010

Pink Muffins

I really think I need to broaden my horizons. All I post about is deserts and pasta. Sorry :( I think that's my culinary calling...
Okay! After a lovely evening baking cupcakes with the gorgeous Abby on Monday, I decided to do some more baking today, since the weather wasn't as nice as it has been all weekend. Sucks, it's my day off, too :(

My boyfriend was around, and he likes to help in the kitchen (score!) so I bought some pink and blue food colouring to make girl and boy muffins :D Unfortunately, the blue buttercream didn't turn out so well... Fear not! It wasn't my cooking's fault - Asda's own blue food dye won't let you go a shade darker than baby blue, no matter how much you add. I added about half a bottle of colouring until I realised, "okay, this just isn't gonna work, and my buttercream has the consistency of water, now." Fail.

So... Girly Pink Muffins it is! Abby and I had a blast experimenting with buttercream the other day - we added two capfuls of Bailey's Irish Cream to the mixture and oooh! What a kick ;) This is all in preparation of my boyfriend's 21st... Remember I'm baking the cupcake tier-cake! :D Eeeeee!!


110g Butter
250g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
150g Self-Raising Flour
125g Plain Flour
120ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
2 tsps Vanilla Extract

For the Buttercream:

60ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
500g Icing Sugar
110g Butter
A few drops of food colouring (optional)

Any other toppings e.g. Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows, Buttons, Sweets, Mini Oreos etc.


1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with bun or muffin cases.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.
4) Gradually add the eggs into the creamy mixture, mixing well. Add your vanilla extract.
5) Sift both flours into the mixture, half at a time. Add half your milk, and fold well.
6) Add the remaining flour and milk together until light and fluffy :)
7) Spoon evenly into 12 bun cases, and bake until golden brown. This will be about 15 minutes later. Pop a skewer into the middle bun and if it comes out clean, you're good to go.
8) Leave to cool on a wire rack.
9) Sift the icing sugar into a new, clean bowl. Add your butter and milk until completely creamed together. If you are colouring the buttercream, add in just a few drops and mix really, really well.
10) Your buns should be cool by now. With a flat-edged knife, smear a big teaspoon-ful of buttercream over a bun, and repeat for all of them.
11) Add your toppings, and devouuur :)

Kirsten x

08 April, 2010

Vegetable Pasta Bake

Sorry, pasta again guys... It's so easy! And sorry also for not having a post in so long - it's Easter Break and I've literally just settled down after probably the most hectic month of my life. I had looooads of deadlines for Uni, had to plan my 4 Year Anniversary with my boy, then it was my birthday, and to top it off, my mum was in hospital :( So you understand why I haven't had time to tell you about the wonderful world of cooking...
Anyways,  this is uber yummy AND it's also Weight Watchers approved so very healthy all round, wouldn't you say? Pretty much, if you've tried my Cheesey Pasta recipe - think that with vegetables. Mmmm!
It's so simple, feeds a family, and it's healthy. Perfect meal, huh?
Okay, here we go:


1tbsp Butter
4 tbsp Plain Flour
As much Cheese as you want
Semi-Skimmed Milk - probably at least 300ml. You'll see why in a bit...
Vegetables - I chose broccoli, peas and carrots for my mixture. Add mushrooms, onions, green beans, potato if you want... It's whatever you fancy - veggies are good for you, go crazy with them.
125g Macaroni Pasta
Half a slice of wholemeal bread


1) Get 3 saucepans. As per my photo, use one for the Cheese Sauce, one for the Veggies, and one for the Macaroni. Get the kettle going for some water to boil the veg and pasta. Get these going as soon as possible.
2) Meanwhile, melt your butter in your remaining pan, and mix in the flour until you get a doughy mixture.
3) Gradually add small dashes of milk to your dough, mixing the entire time. You don't want dough to stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep doing this, gradually adding milk, until you get a creamy consistency like you would a carbonara sauce. Add in the cheese 'til it melts into the sauce. Hey ho - you've made a Cheese Sauce via the Roux method! Go you!
4) Okay, your sauce is ready. Your veg and pasta most probably is, too, by this point. Remember, if you can run a knife smoothly through the boiling items, it's ready to eat. Drain your veg and pasta.
5) In your largest saucepan, add the pasta, the veg and the cheese sauce altogether. Get a large oven-proof dish and pour your concoction into the dish, spreading evenly.
5) Whizz your bread in a food processor for a few seconds until you have breadcrumbs. Sprinkle these evenly over the pasta/veg/sauce mush.
6) Chuck the whole lot under your grill for 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden.
7) Voila! Serve, enjoy, and tell your friends :)

Kirsten x