Archives for May 2013

Recipes: Three Things For An Ice Cream Maker

I’ve been debating buying an ice cream maker, but I don’t want to buy yet another pointless kitchen gadget that can only do one thing so a friend offered to lend me hers to see if I could come up with things I liked to eat. I thought I’d share the three things I attempted to make – I mean…it’s supposed to be summer, so we should be able to eat ice cream all the time, right?

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First up – well, I had to do something with Nutella because I still have that huge jar of it in the cupboard. This recipe – well, it was so simple, I feel a bit silly calling it a recipe – only has two ingredients, and I already had both of them lurking in the cupboard. I used a can of condensed milk (which I bought to make some dulce du leche sauce for ice cream but hadn’t been bothered yet) and threw that into the ice cream maker, along with a few heaping tablespoons of Nutella (I only ate one myself).

It was super sweet, and needed a little extra freezing, but if you like that sort of sweetness, you’d love this.

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This one is even less of a recipe than the Nutella one! So…fro yo. It’s awesome, right? Alex had gone away and left some of those yoghurt drinks in the fridge which I don’t like, so I thought I’d chuck them into the ice cream maker. In 10 minutes, I had fro yo. Pretty awesome, right? (Yeah, photos aren’t great in the evening in the kitchen!)

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Finally, my favourite (no surprise there). I knew I wanted to try and make gin and tonic sorbet after hearing that the Ice Cream Farm sells it. Since I don’t live in Chester any more, it was unlikely I would be able to get some of this sorbet myself so I found a recipe on a blog (which I’ve lost the link to, damn!)

I made a sugar syrup by putting half a cup of sugar in with an equal amount of water into a saucepan and heating it gently until the sugar was dissolved. (Science!). Once it’s all dissolved, add in the juice of a large lime (which I replaced with lemon juice because I had lemon juice in the fridge) and let it cool. (I was super impatient, so I surrounded the jug with ice to cool it quicker!). Make yourself a gin and tonic, and then make another one for the sorbet (with about 3 shots of gin and two and a half cups of tonic). When the sugar syrup/juice mix is cool enough, mix with the gin and tonic and taste it. (Then taste it again, I mean, you don’t want this to be horrid) Pour into the ice cream maker and follow the instructions on your maker to make the sorbet. (You’ll be able to tell – it will get slushy at first then will be a bit harder.) If you’re not going to eat it straight away, pop it into the freezer to harden it up a bit more.

I think this will be perfect for BBQ’s in the summer…now I just need the good weather and a boyfriend at home for a few weekends!

The Lazy Girls Make Up Bag

I’ve never been very good at wearing make up. At school, the rule was no make up, which most girls translated to “what’s the least you can get away with wearing”. I was such a goody goody – I could just about wear a bit of mascara (brown, so it wasn’t so obvious) and maybe a tinted lip balm (both applied, of course, while on the bus to school). At uni, I’d put on make up for a night out and wipe half of it off because it just felt weird – I didn’t really start wearing foundation until about 5 years ago.

But I have always loved buying makeup. Show me a silly claim about how this mascara will make your lashes curl, be longer (not too long though please, I wear glasses, and I hate my lashes grazing the lenses), run faster, jump higher…sorry, gone a bit Lonely Island there.

These days, I have a make up bag in my handbag (which I only started carrying about maybe a year or two ago?) with certain items in that I can apply while on the bus – after 17 years (woe) of practice, I’m pretty good at putting mascara on while the bus is hurtling along the motorway.

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The BB cream is one that I can apply on the move – it sort of smooths everything out, but I’m not sure about the improve skin condition claim. The Photo Flawless mascara is black with a hint of blue – I think it’s supposed to make my eyes look blue-er? The Revlon balm stain are amazing – I have five different colours! Rimmel Scandal Eyes eyeshadow crayon is perfect to apply on the bus, and excitingly, more colours are coming out. The deoderant and the perfume atomiser are fairly obvious, then there’s two lip balms (Bare Minerals and Korres) – both tinted because I haven’t grown out of that yet. Finally, my two favourites – a violet scented hand cream which I recieved in a goody bag from Label Lab when we visited as part of the Bath in Fashion bloggers trip and the life saver that is a Tide pen – Vanessa introduced this to me after I dropped half my Diner lunch down my dress: it’s a pen with stain remover inside, so you scribble it on a stain, and it’s gone when it dries. (It’s about £5 on eBay – I wish they’d bring it out in the UK!)

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Something I do like to have though is perfectly polished nails. (Well, mostly perfect. There’s always one nail you wrinkle or smudge). I usually have a pale pale pink on my nails, but when Debenhams got in touch, I let them choose the colours for me and they sent over these three from Lancôme – the middle one (Peach-e Doll) is my favourite (of course) but I love the Corail in Love one as well – coral is such a lovely summery colour!

So, what’s in yours?

Introducing: Bonjour, Blogger!

Well, this is awkward, dear blog.

I’ve been neglecting you. Ironically, so I can write about blogging. I’m sorry. Let’s be friends again?

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For those who have no idea what I’m on about, or for those who have missed out on me talking about it (what feels like) constantly on Twitter, I’ve been busy the past few months, and super busy the past few weeks.

I wrote a book.

OK, so it’s only self published, and the version up on Amazon at the moment isn’t quite as finished as I would like, but I wrote it. I wrote 20,000+ words (over twenty flipping thousand words – probably more than I wrote in essays in my entire degree) and I’m going to be writing some more (which I’ll republish and make sure everyone who has a copy so far gets – because it’s kinda sucky when new versions of things come out the day after you bought the old one)

I’ve been working on this book since before Christmas, writing bits before work, in lunch, while on the bus – everywhere and anywhere I could, I wrote things. But then I realised that the problem with a book is that it isn’t updated as soon as something happens. While writing the book, I had to change things I’d written to account for sites closing down, sites being merged and just things not doing what they used to. I will aim to update the book when major things happen, but for certain things like explaining how to do something, a website works better. (Especially the way I like to explain things, with lots of pictures and screenshots. That just couldn’t work on Kindle)

So I made a website as well

bonjourblogger.com (and indeed the book) were created because while I love sites like IFB and iFabbo, I didn’t really feel like they were catering to their audiences very well. Both sites assume that all bloggers will want to become professional full time bloggers, but every blogger I’ve asked are just happy to bumble along and if they make some money, awesome!

I felt like there needed to be a more central sort of place that bloggers could find out tutorial style things (maybe you’re wondering about how to make a Google map of your favourite places or how to remove the WordPress admin user – which I didn’t really know until I did it recently!) or have discussions that are a bit more than just a tweet or two (like whether you’re disclosing everything you should be).

I’d really love it if you followed bonjourblogger.com – and if you have anything that needs to be answered (or you want to give some information out to other bloggers), I would love to hear from you too!

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