Sunday, 16 August 2015

My Little Thatched Cottage

Dress - Vintage - eBay 
Bag - c/o Vendula London (here)
Shoes - Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo - thrift 

Last week the weather was fair and I just about felt well enough to put my face on and dress up in one of my favourite vintage dresses - a must grab with both hands opportunity. I couldn't resist taking my new thatched cottage bag by Vendula London creative bags for a little outing. I've been really excited to share the photos with you as it's been a while since my last outfit post, mostly because my health has got a lot worse but also because of the weather. The summer here in England is well and truly a British one tis year. That means unpredictable days of rain followed by a few rays of sun if we're lucky, but something needs to fuel our conversations and complaining about the weather is a British past time.

I bought this 60's dress about five years ago but I never knew what to wear with it, I love it so much that every now and then I would try it on and swish around before putting it back in my wardrobe. I would have never imagined putting this dress with these accessories, it was my mum who suggested it while I was seeing what would go best with my new vendula bag. At first I didn't think it would be a good match, but we all know mums know best. right?! It turns out I love this outfit.

When the lovely people at Vendula offered to send me a bag to review, I couldn't resist choosing this amazing thatched roof cottage bag which reminds me of all the amazing old buildings in the villages near by. The detail that's gone into this bag is amazing, from the windows to the tiny flowers underneath, even the back is decorated. A perfect little house for any borrower - if you were a child in the 90's you will know what I'm talking about. It's also a good size and not too heavy. Being physically weak I struggle a lot finding a bag that isn't going to weigh me down, I feel like Goldilocks saying this but - this one is just right. More than just right, I can't wait to wear it into autumn - although I hope the summer shows up before then otherwise I'm going to feel very cheated - I can't help being very British. As well as now feeling like I'm able to wear this incredible 60's number, I can imagine teaming this bag with denim dresses or adding it to a more casual skinny jeans and striped t-shirts. Oh so many possibilities!

Emma Xx 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Gluten Free Cookies Topped With Coconut Chocolate

The Great British Bake Off is back on Wednesday! Hurrah! To celebrate the return of one of my favourite tellybox shows I've made some super easy cookies which are deliciously crunchy on the outside but chewy in the middle. There's nothing worse than watching the Bake Off without a treat to nibble on, trust me! I thought I would get prepared in advance, so hopefully I'll have one or two left by Wednesday! I know a lot of people bake along with the show but being chronically ill means that isn't really an option for me. Instead I like to settle down on my sofa or bed with a tasty treat so I don't feel like I'm missing out on all the yummy creations on screen. I'm still waiting for the invention of eat along TVs a la Willy Wonka style! Wouldn't it be fabulous if after Mary and Paul have tasted the bakes that Mary, Queen of Cakes, said "...and now, let's see what the viewers think" and magically plates of samples turn up in living rooms up and down the country. There could be a whole new way of picking a winner and dining for that matter, but I better get back to talking about my bake before I get too carried away with this fantasy!
This recipe is gluten free because 90% of the time I try to avoid it.  Being gluten free is a big pain because gluten is in so many things and gluten free flour isn't that easy to bake with as it can have a very floury taste, but fear not, as I am the master (through trial and error) of making tasty gluten free treats, I have taken this into account with the quantities and have tested these out on my gluten eating family who all loved the cookies. I don't think my brother even knew they were gluten free. The cookies are pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.  If you don't have gluten free flour then normal self-raising will be fine. For an added summer flavour I've used the amazing Coconut Intense chocolate by Lindt. This dark chocolate and coconut flavour really compliments the cookies for an indulgent treat. 

 Makes 20 cookies.

170g Self-raising gluten free flour 
190g Condensed milk
125g Butter (room temperature)
125g Non refined golden sugar 
2X 100g bar of Lindt Excellence Dark Coconut


Preheat the oven to 160c for fan or gas mark 6. Cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a bowl until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and mix until you have a soft dough. Spoon about two tea spoons of the dough into rough balls on to a non stick greased baking tray, leaving room for them to spread in the oven. You might need two trays or to bake in two batches. Cook for 12 - 15 minutes until lightly golden.

While the cookies are baking break up the Lindt chocolate into squares which you need to add to the top of the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. Take the cookies out and leave them on the trays, add a square of chocolate to each cookie which will melt from the heat and fix itself to it. Leave to cool and for the chocolate to set again before enjoying! 

I would love to know what you think of my recipe especially if you do try it out.
Happy baking!
Emma Xx 

Chocolate c/o Lindt, recipe, love of chocolate and all things baking my own.