So the word on the proverbial street is that Loom bracelets are number one thank you gifts for teachers this year. When I was a little girl parents were all about buying the Body Shop goodies for teachers, Brownie leaders at the end of term. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with chocolate or wine. I must admit feeling a stab of envy when my friend told me her teacher husband got around 20 bottles of wine and 10 boxes of chocolates at the end of one school year (that’s the entertainment in the summer holidays sorted then!)
Anyway, some lovely people from Cadbury sent me some thank you chocolates which are adorably shaped like flowers. They would go perfectly with a bunch of actual flowers (to keep with the flower theme) or anything else you fancy. I adore hazelnuts and praline and Cadbury praline is pretty damn good in my opinion.
Anyway, as someone who was brought out of my shell by certain teachers at school I think these would be a perfect token of thanks. You could even give them to other helpful people in your life. Everyone deserves recognition and appreciation and the way to a lot of people’s hearts is chocolate.
(If anyone wants to send me wine or Loom bracelets I would be very pleased indeed).
Another installment of my attempts to do crafts. This time I decided to slightly adjust one of my boyfriend’s t-shirts. This coincided with a trip to a music festival (ok, it was Slam Dunk and it was about 5 weeks ago!) I customised his beloved MC Lars t-shirt so that D could show off his tattoos. Anyway, here’s how I did it:
Fold up the sleeves of your t-shirt and pin in place
Loosely tack the sleeves with a different coloured thread that you will find easy to see and remove the pins.
Take a little more time to sew the sleeves with a similar coloured thread and use an iron to finish off the sleeves to make the whole thing neater.
This shirt actually appears on several interviews conducted D who is a part time music journalist.
Sometimes I think with baking its nice to revisit something you loved as a child. Everyone remembers having these beauties at birthday parties or when your mum or grandma fancied doing a spot of baking. Sometimes going back to old school baking is best (and makes you very popular with all involved). As a coincidence this is also one of those recipes that is ingrained into my memory (including Yorkshire puddings and oaty biscuits).
To make your own butterfly cakes you will need:
For the cakes
225g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
Your favourite jam
140g butter softened
280g icing sugar
A splash of milk
Food colouring (optional, but fun)
(Makes approximately 22 cakes)
Line a cupcake tin with cake cases. Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a large mixing bowl use an electric whisk to whisk up your eggs and sugar into a thick pale yellow mixture.
Melt your butter and leave to one side. Fold in your flour and vanilla. Slowly add your melted butter.
Fill your cake cases around 3/4 full. If you don’t have a enough room in your cake tins do 2 batches. Try to keep the level of cake mix consistent so they cook evenly.
Bake for 17 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and so that a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool before you decorate them.
To make your buttercream beat together your butter, milk and icing sugar until no lumps of butter remain. Then if using add your food colouring.
To make the butterflies cut a small circle out of the top of each cake and cut the circle in half. Fill the hole with your jam and buttercream and use the cake pieces to make butterfly wings.
Serve with a cup of tea or as part of an array of party food. (Presence of children entirely optional).