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How to have an Olympics party

30 Jul

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Put on your union jack* tights, paint your nails red white and blue**, bake a red white and blue** layer cake and write 2012 on the top with star sprinkles, bake vanilla cupcakes and ice with a red white and blue** swirl. Pour yourself a gin & tonic (cucumber garnish optional), settle into your seat for a crackers and very British opening ceremony. Party, done!

union jack tights

red white blue manicure

red white blue swirl icing cupcake

red white and blue layer cake

Red, White and Blue** swirl icing
Makes enough to ice 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
125g butter, very soft
250g icing sugar
food colouring

Method
Blend the butter and icing together in a food processor until just combined. Split equally between 3 bowls and add small amounts of food colouring until you have your desired colour, making sure to fully mix the colour through the icing.

Get 4 icing bags and snip the ends off each. Put the 3 colours into 3 separate icing bags. Then insert your chosen icing nozzle into the remaining icing bag, and then put the 3 full icing bags into the one with the nozzle. It’s best to put all 3 bags in at once so they fit equally inside the main bag.

You’re now ready to pipe your desired pattern on your cupcakes. A word of caution – red white and blue in a swirl looks remarkably like a well-known brand of toothpaste!

*substitute tights with your national flag here
*substitute the colours of your team here

Rain stops play, but not the awards

16 Jul

I was hoping to tell you all about my swim in the Thames from Hampton Court to Kingston today. I was going to tell you how, after 7 months of swimming coaching and weekly pond swimming visits to the Kenwood Ladies Pond with Mog (who won the wedding bake off, remember?) paid off. I was hoping to recount race perfection, an easy 200 metre warm up before a good (for me) paced race for the rest of the 2.25 mile swim. I would have told you how I didn’t panic in the open water and swam front crawl the whole way. But I can’t, because the Hampton Court Swim I was due to take part in on Sunday was cancelled. Bah humbug!

Thank heavens, then, for not one but two “One Lovely Blog” nominations that came my way last week.

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

The first was from Amy at Snazzy Biscuits, and the second from Ester at Pies & Cookies. Thanks ladies, you rock!

With nomination comes great responsiblity, here’s what I happens next…

  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you – yup
  • Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere. – mmm hmm, in triplicate
  • Tell us 7 facts about yourself.
    1. I was christened on Christmas Day.
    2. I can play 3 musical instruments “officially”, and many more unofficially.
    3. I have the old Channel 4 Tour de France theme tune as my phone ring tone.
    4. My surname isn’t really Cakes…
    5. I don’t really like chocolate cake.
    6. I’m a pedant, or I would be if I were clever enough.
    7. I can swim 100 metres in 1m50s
  • Nominate 15 other blogs you like for this award.
    1. Dave Johnson’s Photography– Dave is my brother-in-law, cyclist, and photographer. His photography blog is a bit of alright! (and he did the wedding photos for me & Mr.Cakes)
    2. Carla Kirste – Carla is an amazing seamstress, and she made my wedding dress!
    3. Wild Woman Swimming – One woman’s wild swimming adventures in the west country, I wish I was there!
    4. Rhubarb & Rose – the source of my cake pop fascination.
    5. 10k Marathon Swim – if you like open water swimming, read this. Inspiration.
    6. Planet Byde – Rosemary’s amazing tales of adventure racing, more inspiration.
    7. Skinny Freezer Meals – some yummy eats right here.
    8. San Diego Fitness Diva – Asia is on a journey to completing her first Ironman triathlon – go girl! Even more inspiration.
    9. Avocado and Basil– hummus and black cherry jam in a sandwich? If anyone is going to convince me, it’s this blog…
    10. The Bubbly Baker – adventures in baking? Yes please!
    11. The Thankful Heart – more delightful cooking. Thank you.
    12. 400 days til 40 – one blogger’s quest to figure out life by age 40.
    13. London Review of Breakfasts – the most important meal of the day? Too right.
    14. All Seasons Cyclist – helpful advice to keep you cycling all year. Much needed in this biblical summer weather.
    15. Pitfield London – cakes, eats, gorgeous homewares. And all on my doorstep. I die!
  • Post a comment on each of your nominees’ blogs telling them about the nomination. – consider it done!

Well done nominees. If you fancy taking part, please do. If not, no worries.

And now, back to business. Swimming. Oh what could have been! If only it were still May, sunny, and Mr Cakes and I were back in Padstow swimming in the Doom Bar (and later downing pints of it…) And this weekend’s bread – a Sour Cream sandwich loaf, Dan Lepard style.

doom bar swimming padstow

Dan Lepard Sour cream Bread