Marble Cake recipe

It's simple, it's moist, and it takes less than 5 minutes to throw together. What more could you possibly want from a cake!?
Ingredients: 4 eggs  //  225g butter  //  225g caster sugar  //  225g self-raising flour  //  3 tablespoons milk  //  1 tablespoon vanilla  //  2 tablespoons cocoa power

Method: Set the oven to 180 degrees. Mix all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) in a mixer. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder to it. Grease a round baking tray. Now the fun bit - dollop alternating spoonfuls of mix into the baking tray! You can have so much fun with this bit, seriously. Then use a cocktail stick and swirl it round a few times to marble it some more. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

Et voila. It's crispy on the outside like a rock bun and soft on the inside like heaven. And it's sooooooo pretty when you cut into it. Such a crowd pleaser. Treat yourself - it's Sunday!

Friday Nights are for Prezzo Takeaway

Second only to Cote (and I think it's only the French twang that swings me...), Prezzo ticks all the boxes for me. I'm one of those people who values the decor in a restaurant almost as much as the food. And every Prezzo I've ever been to, with its swanky gold and brown colouring and mirrors, just works. I can eat my meal in happy decor peace. Which makes my food taste better. Tell me I'm not the only person who thinks like this!?  

Anyway, Prezzo recently(ish) started doing takeaways. I don't know how it's taken me so long to finally get round to having one because if I could live on one restaurant dish for the rest of my life, it would be Prezzo's caramelized onion bread starter. Oof. So when Mikey suggested yesterday morning that we get one that evening, I was very, very excited. I put off snacking all afternoon in preparation. And that's a commitment. 

All of the joys of eating Prezzo's delicious food in the comfort of my own home wearing trackies, with no make up on or a bra. You can't really beat it. If you haven't got a Prezzo takeaway before, I would highly recommend it. It's Sunday tomorrow, treat yourself!

Easy Chocolate Flapjack Recipe!

You might have guessed by now that I'm a bit of a sucker for any recipe that's got 'easy' in the title. This isn't because I'm lazy. It's because I once made a cake from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.

If you've ever used this cookbook then you'll know that you end up using pretty much all of the utensils, appliances and surfaces in your kitchen, dining room and bathroom. And are left with a big fat huge mess. And a chocolate cake that isn't really any tastier than a basic sponge (though you may disagree with me on that point).

As far as I'm concerned, baking is about fun. It's about easy. It's about straight forward. And it's about not having to spend the rest of the day washing up 50+ utensils and telling your mum you can't get cake mix off the ceiling.

So, I give to you my no-fuss, five minute chocolate flapjack recipe!

Ingredients: 250g porridge oats  //  125g butter  //   125g caster sugar   //  3-4 tablespoons of golden syrup  //  chocolate for melting

Method: Oven to 180 degrees and line a square baking tray with greaseproof paper (I tend to grease the actual paper with butter as well just to make sure I'm not left picking paper out of my teeth when I'm trying to devour them!).  Whack all the ingredient (minus the chocolate) into a food processor and pulse-blend until they are well mixed up. Squish this mixture into your baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Let them cool down, melt some chocolate and spread on top. And then for the most important step - lick the bowl!

Would love to know if you give these a shot and what you thought of them! Like most sweet treats, they go down oh so well with a cuppa and a magazine. I urge you to try this combo.

Moist chocolate cake recipe!

My dad doesn't like chocolate cake.
And before you think the next line of this post will read something tacky like 'but I've found one that he loves' - he's actually on holiday right now. And when the cats away, the mice will play. This is moiiiiiiiist and delicious and craving a cup of tea and a sit down with a magazine.

Ingredients:  (For the cake) 175g unsalted butter  //  175g golden caster sugar  // 3 eggs  //  3 tablespoons golden syrup  //  175g self-raising flour  //  pinch of salt  //  40g cocoa powder
(For the filling) 85g butter  //  175g icing sugar  //  40g cocoa  //  tiny splash of milk

Method: Preheat oven to 180c and butter two tins. Whip butter and sugar together, then gradually add the eggs. Stir in the golden syrup. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder together. Fold this into the mixture. Split between the two tins and bake bake bake! 30 mins should do it.
When it's out and having a cool down, make the filling by whipping the butter with the icing sugar, adding the cocoa and maybe a splash of milk to moisten if necessary. ASSEMBLE!

Look at the moisture on this baby! Would love to know if you give it a whirl.

Lemon Zest Cookie Recipe.

Here's a little treat for you just in time for Mother's day (and I baked these for my own wonderful mum!). These Lemon zest cookies are suuuuper easy and totally, utterly divine. Although I do have a little confession - I think I might have got a little too zesty with mine, so if you're not a fully-fledged lemon-lover - stick to the one lemon or you might end up wincing a little and that is not what you want from a cookie.

Ingredients: 100g butter  //  100g light brown sugar  //  1 tablespoon golden syrup  //  1 teaspoon lemon extract  //  juice & zest of 1 lemon (or 2...!)  //  200g self raising flour. 
Method:  Whack the oven on 180 degrees and grease 2 baking trays. Beat together the butter and sugar. Then add golden syrup, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually fold in flour until a looovely soft dough is formed. 
This should make around 20 cookies. Roll them into little balls and pop them around 4cm apart on your baking trays. Bake these babies! 10 minutes browns them perfectly but keeps them beeeautifully moist. Leave them to cool down (...or just eat them fresh out the oven. No judgments here). 

Would love to know if you bake these, or if you're baking anything else for your mama this weekend!

BTS ¦ #3 Utopia Magazine Shoot

Today was the second shoot for Utopia Magazine (the first two you can see here and here). I can't show the final images yet but here are some behind the scenes pictures. As you can see, it was a very futuristic feel and I can tell you that covering someone head to toe in metallic paint - hair included - takes a lot longer than you'd imagine.  And then only 10 minutes of serious baby-wiping and elbow grease to take off, which was pretty impressive from the model, Kay. The images are being published at the end of May so then I will be able to fiiiinally post them on here. Very excited!

Three cheers!

I'm not one for a soppy post. Hmmm...okay - I am sometimes one for a soppy post. But today I have a legitimate excuse because this Tuesday marked three years since I bumped into a certain well-shaved, well-cologned, and sort of well-spoken guy in a night club.
Since that completely random and - dare I say it without cringing - fateful (nope, definitely cringing) night, this little chap has made me laugh, has made me happy and has made me dinners. From highs of him frying chicken nuggets in a wok after a night out when we were living in Paris, to building a fort in my front room and eating so much Chinese takeaway inside it we felt sick, he has been the best boyfriend in the world and the bestest, bestest friend. 

At some point this week I am going to be forcing him in front of my camera and barking at him to give me Blue Steel while he pretends to hate it. I will fill up a different blog post with these pictures but I promise I won't go mushy again. 

I would also like to add that he has impeccable flower selection skills. And even better tea making ones. 

Hamm House.

A million years ago when my Dad was in his early twenties, he was kindly left £1,000 by his uncle. Most twenty-something's would blow this on a car, jaegerbombs or an all inclusive holiday to Las Vegas, but what did my dear old Dad purchase? A life time membership to the National Trust. I remember scoffing at the thought of this when I was 18 (and drinking jaegerbombs on a daily basis), and thinking that it was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on looking at ancient houses, trees and gardens. Why would anyone in their right mind want to gain lifetime membership to something so boring when there was a world of vodka shots and hangovers out there!? 

Four years later and I'm past the 18 year old binge-drink phase, worryingly into 'home decor' blogs and pretty obsessed with home-baking. As well as this, I've recently been spending a large amount of time getting to know Dad's National Trust membership card. I've grown up so much in the past few years that I even entertained the thought of a 'national trust checklist' yesterday. I know - stick me in some crocs and hit me with a zimmerframe, right?! Never did I think I'd see the day when spending my Saturday's wandering round a landscaped garden would be something I actually looked forward to doing. 

I also like to drag my boyfriend on these excursions. So we went to Hamm House in Richmond last Saturday when the sun was shining. It's a 45 minute ish drive from my home so we rolled the windows down, turned the music up and took the scenic route. On the drive home, we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset and spent the evening in pyjamas drinking tea and watching rubbish television. Perf. 

If you've been to any National Trust places in Surrey - I'd love to hear about them and get your recommendations! I was only half joking about that checklist...

Chartwell House

Last Saturday was a miserable, cold, rainy day. Where I'm sure most people stayed tucked up indoors with blankets, tea and chocolate, me and Mikey ventured out into the car and drove to Winston Churchill's old crib. Because we just love getting cultured on the weekend. Nah but in all seriousness, it's nice making something of a dreary day and wrapping up warm - because when you get home again it feels even more cosy.





Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photographs inside. I found this out by almost being tackled to the floor by a serious jobs-worth woman as I tried to take a picture of Lady Winston's dressing room. Why people never seem to be able to ask you politely not to take pictures is beyond me.  But lo and behold, I have zero pictures of the inside to share. Anyway, after getting our history on, we (obviously) stopped off for tea and scones in the cafe. And yep, that was the highlight of the trip.



Reading List #2

I didn't mean to leave quite so much time between my first reading list post and this one but, well, life. Specifically fourth year. Anyway, the second book in my reading list is....

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

'We'd reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: all of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves.'

I read this book during those middling teenage years when you don't really have a clue what you're doing or why you're doing it. Those years you spend feeling a bit weird and shitty about general stuff that you will later realize really doesn't matter. Growing up, eh - isn't it exciting! While I'm happy to say that I never went the whole hog and ended up on a ward (far from it!), this book really struck a chord with me. It's an autobiographical memoir of Susanna's time spent in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s and not only is it really well written, but it is - in a weird way - just completely relatable, whether you're a bit loopy or not. In fact, the writing is so beautiful that I actually highlighted half the book. This is an uncontrollable habit of mine that means libraries have been out of the question for me from a young age. Instead I had to buy everything, highlight the shit out of it and then stick it under my bed. Imagine my glee when Kindle's came out and they had a highlight option - all my highlights in one place(!!!)...I went into literary meltdown.  Anyway, this book has turned into a bit of a cult classic, especially since being made into a film with Angie Jo in 1999 (which, by the way, I would highly recommend seeing, who doesn't love Winona Ryder in the circa-1990s-Johnny-Depp days!?). I think this will always be the book that reminds of my later teenage years, and rereading it will always transport me back to that odd time in my life, where life didn't really make all that much sense. In the best of possible ways.

I would be interested to know your thoughts about Girl, Interrupted if you've read it or if you plan on reading it. Or if you have any other books you think I might enjoy, I always love book recommendations!






Links I Love

There is a definite home-ish theme to my recent favourite online posts - can you tell I'm itching to move out already!? I have definitely not spent the past few weeks browsing ridiculously expensive houses on primelocation in the hope that I win the lottery soon. Yep, I have definitely not been doing that. But if I had been doing that, it's safe to say that this Parisian apartment is my favourite find so far. As well as this absolute dream, I have been loving...

  • This blog post featuring my second favourite dream apartment and basically everything I aspire to have in life. So beautiful.

  • These gorgeous tablescapes making me never want to use a table for eating on again.

  • This other apartment I would happily occupy if the other two weren't available.

  • And this amazing photographer who has made me desperate to get my teeth back into wedding photography this summer!

What have been your favourite posts this week? Send me them to read - especially if they contain beeeeeautifully expensive houses!

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BTS #2¦ Utopia Magazine Shoot

A few more behind the scenes pictures from my latest shoot for the upcoming Utopia magazine. You can read more about it in detail here. The second part of this shoot is happening in a few weeks time and I am so excited because the concept is possibly even cooler than this first shoot ( be honest - I'm really just excited to be able to pig out on chocolate digestives and bananas for 6 hours while spinning around on a wheely chair and photographing every few hours or so, perks of being the photographer and not the make up artist!!). I cannot WAIT to share these pictures soon but at the moment I am on a tight-lipped promise to keep them secret until their official publication. So,you'll have to wait and see!




katie-leask-bts-03Make up by: G.L.C Make up  //  Model: Jessica Brewer  //  Styling: Alex Stone

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