Tag : cheesecake

Top 5… Valentine’s Crafts!

I love Valentine’s Day.

Yes, I know it can be commercial, and yes it can sometime’s can also be tacky and yes – just an excuse for you to HAVE to spend more money on your dearest loved one. But, that is kind of the point? I feel I can say I love you to The Husband on any day of the year – and, I do buy him little gifts for random meanings and occasions (and yes, he is lucky, right?) and not just because it’s a ‘special day’. However, I do like that it is a very specific romantic day of the year where, should you desire – tell the person you love, secretly – or not, declare the reasons you’re with that important person in your life, just make someone feel loved and special.

I wouldn’t EVER go to a restaurant for it, or in fact at the weekend’s around then – they cram the tables in, put on a ‘special’ menu, charge over the top, you are sat with everyone trying to have a personal and private moment – and you invariably are sitting so close you can actually hear what the other people are saying. I usually opt for cooking The Husband dinner – and occasionally – him cooking one for me. Gifts? I don’t NEED an extravagantly purchased item to make me know that I am thought about… perhaps just some flowers? Even from the garden… haha! Or just my favourite chocolate bar? Damn – shouldn’t really be writing this! The Husband usually reads the blog… and so with that in mind – of course if he would really like to spontaneously cave into the commerciality (unlikely!) then please do dearest! Those Alex Monroe earrings would be pretty special… 😀

Anyway – one thing I do always feel is important is to give a card. Now I know what you are thinking – well, you would say that – you sell your own greetings card range! But, precisely – that is part of the reason I designed greeting cards in the first place. They aren’t just a bit of paper – they allow you to express your thoughts and emotions inside! (By the way, you can get a special offer at the minute – FREE delivery on all orders on The Crafty Lass greeting cards on our Etsy store with code TCLVAL16!!) Enough of plugging the promo, and back to the real point. I just think that the opportunity to pen a few lines to your other half, your special one, your snugglekins (!) can be a special moment.

I wouldn’t ever expect a blank card to be completed with “Dear Janet, Love John x”… What, that’s IT?? You need to put some effort into it! Maybe I should be grateful of a card at all – and it certainly sounds upon reading that I am a crafty little Valentine’s diva – but I certainly keep my ‘special’ cards in a shoe box for ever more, to be annually, or perhaps decadely reviewed every now and again with an ‘awwww’ and fuzzy feeling moment – so you had best be writing something that little bit more emotive!! For those that already do this – high five. Just take the opportunity whenever you can to just make someone your focus and let them know you care, however that might be.

Whatever your thoughts on the big February 14th, presents or no presents, card or no card, here are some suggestions of cute little crafty ways to make it special. There is a bit of a ‘hearts’ theme going on…

 

1. DIY Heart Card

If you are planning to MAKE a card how about this lovely DIY embroidered card idea!

 

2. Heart Gift Wrap

Craft knifes at the ready! If you are buying a gift for the special someone – what a simple, but ever so effective hearts gift wrapping idea with the red and brown paper. There are two ideas in one here, as they also offer a creative stamping effect too – simply using a pencil eraser!

 

3. Heart Garland

Another gift wrap idea here, but could also be used as a decoration garland afterwards! Cute, again – simple but effective!

 

4. Chocolate Shortbread Heart Cookies

If baking is your thing (you can’t beat a bit of baked goodies to certainly make someone smile) what about this lovely chocolate shortbread and sprinkles idea. There is also a good US measurements converter here at Good To Know. You’re welcome!

 

5. Heart Cheescake

Still on the baking theme – just how amazing does this hearts cheesecake look?? It must be SO satisfying to make that swirl… wow!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Categories: Foodie Delights, General Craft, Sweet Tooth Scrumptious Stuff!, Top 5, Valentines, Anniversaries & Lovey-Dovey Stuff

The Crafty Lass does… Easter ‘Egg and Soldiers’!

Are you having friends and family over for dinner this Easter? And need an interesting dessert? Well, look no further than this scrummy delight of ‘Egg and Soldiers’!

I made this last year for a post-Sunday-roast-pud, and it went down a storm! Even serving it in empty egg cups/boxes, for extra presentation points! 😉

I was inspired originally by Raspberri Cupcakes – where she makes these, and with such beautiful photos and ideas – I couldn’t resist giving it a try for myself!

I used ‘Kinder’ eggs as the outer shell – perfect size, and actually, on the day I was hunting for hollow chocolate Easter eggs – after four separate supermarket visits – they were the only ones anywhere had!! This was Easter Saturday and everywhere was sold out! However, they worked just perfectly in the end… Our nephew especially loving it – as he got SIX Kinder surprises!

Gently taking off the top, without cracking the main part of the egg was the hardest part…

Top Tip! Leave the foil wrapper on, and put the eggs in the freezer for around 10-15 minutes to slightly harden the chocolate before gently carving off the top with a sharp, ideally serrated knife… Just be gentle! 🙂

For the ‘egg white’, I used a ‘Nigella community recipe’ – Quick Vanilla Cheesecake – (it really does do what it says on the tin and is quick and simple)…and then, just simply spooned into the eggs. Ideally, I would have piped it in – which of course you could do, if you have the time/a piping bag/nossle to hand! Then – simply pop into the fridge for around an hour or so, or until slightly set. Using an empty egg box to put them in is ideal at this stage – as it ensures the ‘eggs’ stay upright whilst setting!

 

The ‘yolk’ was made from a fresh and juicy mango and around a tablespoon of caster sugar. I cubed a whole mango into a saucepan, added in the sugar and heated gently until a slightly thicker, and gloriously yellow puree, before allowing to cool. For the six eggs I made – I had quite abit of coulis left over, which I had the following day with ice-cream (just like a Solero!) So, maybe adjust to however you see fit… I am sure it’ll still get eaten if any left! 😉

 

Whilst the cheesecakes were setting, and the mango cooling – I made the amazing shortbread. It is a Jamie Oliver recipe – and the clue is in the name… The Best Shortbread in the World from his book ‘Cooking with Jamie‘. I can’t find an ‘official’ link for it, but here it is on one of Jamie’s forums.  It takes a little longer than ‘normal’ shortbread, but it is thick, buttery, crumbly, sugar coated amazing-ness. It makes the kitchen smell truly fantastic!!

 

Once the cheesecake was set, I simply spooned out a small part in the centre (reserve, and eat later!), poured in the coulis – and ‘et voila’!

Then, served up in egg cups and/or boxes – with the ‘soldiers’ on the side.

Enjoy! Let me know if you give it a go!

Categories: Easter, Sweet Tooth Scrumptious Stuff!, The Crafty Lass does...

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