Sunday, 30 September 2012

I'm a Sweet Tooth; Marshmallow Blondies

We were invited to go and hang out with Paul and Gemma (brother and sister in law) last night and I had agreed to bring something sweet for afters. 
Well the thing is Paul doesn't like nuts, or coffee flavoured things so I was in a bit of a pickle because well we all know most everything I bake or cook either has some sort of nut butter or nuts in it. 
I was excited though because it meant to make something a wee bit differently. 
I just don't know what you'd categorise these as. They are almost cake like but soft like a brownie at the same time. 

I wanted to do something non chocolatey. Even though this has some cocoa powder in it, you can hardly taste that it's very chocolatey. I would have loved to make this pumpkiney but if you are on my Facebook you'll know I'm on the wonderful journey to find some. So therefore to make this recipe a bit Fall like I added a bag of Spiced Chai. 

You will need:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup oats
6 tbsp of butter (or replace with flax seed and water, I did half and half)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup and some extra for drizzling
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsp pure cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp Baking powder
5 large sized marshmallows (we still have some from when I brought them back from America. Using sparingly until mom sends some more (hint hint))
1 Spiced Chai Tea bag (tear the bag open and place in flour mix)
Pre-heat the oven to 170 C
Mix the butter, flax and brown sugar until a smooth creamy texture. Add the maple syrup. Whisk the eggs together and then add into the mixture. Add in the flour, baking powder, Chai,  and cocoa powder. 
Once all mixed add in the raisins. 
Once all mixed together add into your pan and spread out evenly. I then halved the marshmallows and placed them randomly in the top of the mix and placed in the oven. Put the timer on for 20 and stepped away for about 10 and came back and swirled the melted marshmallow around the mixture so that it spread through out the mix. 
Beep beep twenty minutes is up and you have this marvellous wonder out of your oven and ready to eat. Well after you drizzle a small amount of maple syrup across the top. 
Now, I'm not speaking from experience or anything but right when they come out the oven is basically like melt in your mouth ooey gooey chewy OH MY GOD can I eat the whole thing goodness. 
Not that I would know. Ok maybe I had one piece or even two. I may have even licked the bowl. Well I mean I used a spatula to get the remnants out of the bowl so that makes it totally acceptable. Don't judge me. I know you do it too. It's the admitting you have a problem thats the non acceptable part ;). 
Let me know what you think!!! 


Saturday, 22 September 2012

I'm a Sweet Tooth; Chai and Date Muffins

I have really been digging chai lately. Everyday when I have had my daily chai in work I have thought to myself that it could be such a lovely touch so some muffins or even cookies (recipe to come). 
So while hubby went to coach today I did my wife duties. 
I give you Chai and Date Muffins (for once a recipe without peanut butter ;). 

1/4 cup flax (instead of butter)
1 1/2 cup oats (instead of flour)
11/2 cup almond
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/3 cup agave
3 chai tea bags
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup soy milk 
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp baking powder
1 egg white
1 1/2 cup dates
banana chips

for an added treat icing:
one egg white 1 cup icing sugar 1 tbsp buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 175C.
Put one tea bag in the cup of milk and let soak. The longer the more flavoursome. 
Place the oats in a food processor and process until you have a very fine flour like texture then move in a bowl to one side and do the same in food processor with hazelnuts and almonds. 
Mix all the dry ingredients together. 
Take the tea bag out, I squeezed all the milk out of the tea bag to get every last bit of the flavouring. 
Whisk the wet ingredients together. (egg white, milk, oil) 
Let the dry and wet combine. 
Add the dates. (I did big and small pieces) 
Fill the muffin tray (unlike normal muffins/cupcakes these will not rise so the amount that you put in will be the size that they come out. They will expand a small bit but not much so fill that muffin tray to the brim baby).
 Leave in oven for 15 and some change. I just kept my eye on them after they started browning. Every oven's power is going to be different. The centre is nice and gooey so you want the outside to be a little more brown with a slight crisp to keep them all together.  

Place on a cooling rack.
I put half a banana chip in each of the muffins. 
These would be perfect for a morning pick me up on the way to work. 
No extra added sugar. Flax instead of butter. No Flour. 

For an added sweetness Icing:
Now this is really hard. Lots of steps. 
Phew, hope you can manage that ;). 

The finished product kind of reminded me of a cinnamon roll but much much lighter. I am not a big cinnamon roll fan. I know crazy right? They are just so overwhelming and powerful. I like a bite and than that's me done which is quite the surprise because usually once I start with my sweet tooth it's hard to stop. I like this version because the muffins are so light and the icing isn't too over powering. I literally did like a 1/2 tbsp each just for a small bit of sweet. 


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I'm a Sweet Tooth; Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Do you ever have one of those days that start with the thought of chocolate? If you're like my husband it would be everyday. God love him. Well my husband has started coaching a new football team of the weekend so this weekend while he went out and coached I did the wife thing and baked. I wanted something that wasn't my usual cookies, cobbler, or cupcakes. I wanted something very rich to hit all the spots. So I decided to play around with a few recipes to make my own little goodness.

For the bottom layer you will need:
125g butter, unsalted
1/4 cup caster sugar 
1/3 light brown muscovado  
 4 cups plain flour 
2/3 cups fine semolina
1 tbsp cinnamon

For the caramel center:

 1 cup light condensed milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 brown sugar
1/3 butter

For the chocolate covering:
1 1/2 cups dark semi sweet    chocolate morsels
1/2 cup peanut butter
 about 2 tbsp sea salt


To prepare:
Pre-heat oven to 150C

We will start from the bottom and work our way up. Place the butter, sugar in mixing bowl and mix together. Once mixed add the semolina, flour and cinnamon. I mix to get a bit of consistency and then I start folding with my hands, it will become quite crumbly. 

Place this in a pan of choice. Whatever shape or size your wanting I used a round cake tin that has the push bottom. I know I know I'm so technical with my terms. Mooooving on. Place the crumbley stuff and press it down nicely into the bottom of the pan. I rubbed a bit of fat around the baking tin just to get that sucker out easier in the end. Place this bad boy into the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. 

While thats getting a nice tan lets move onto the sticky.  The Caramel. Actually hold up, I want to know... how to do say this word? Carahmel (as in melanie) or Carmul. My guess is the first. Unless your from good ole' Murica (thats America for you non yanks) we say Carmul. Off track again.....

Place the butter and sugar into saucepan. Once the butter has melted add all the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to constantly stir unless you want your saucepan to look like tarmac has been placed inside it. The mix will start to get brown that's when you kind of decide how you want your center to be. The less dark it is the less dense and more soft it is, the darker the chewier. I went for a good medium. I want it to be a bit gooeyier (is this even a word? well it should be... ) in the middle.  By the time you've measured, stirred and decided what kind of Caramel you'd like, your biscuit base will be ready. If not lower the heat and keep stirring until the base is done. Once the base is done I would place it on a cooling rack for just a mo. Once reasonably cool, let that carmul and biscuit meet. Place in the fridge for the caramel to form and cool. This will take about an hour or so depending on the temperature of your fridge. 

When your on the last stretch and your caramel and biscuit base have found a love for each other and bonded start making the third wheel. 

Place the Chocolate and peanut butter into saucepan and melt together. Now pour the chocolate over the biscuit and caramel love. Sprinkle sea salt over the top. Once it has settled cut into pieces and serve. Keep in cool place.

Now why the sea salt? Now you may NOT be like myself but if you are you will understand. Let me explain. When I have something sweet, afterwards I have to counteract it with something savoury. I just need something salty. This may be why I absolutely love chocolate covered pretzels. Oh goodness me. Wow I've just now thought how brilliant would broken pretzel sticks be mixed in with the chocolate. Ohhhhhh please try it and tell me. Oh my mouth has started to water again... 

Hope you enjoy :)


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

It's never too late

Whats for Dinner?

Green Thai Quinoa and Chickpea Vegetable Curry
You'll need:

1 cup Quinoa 
1 cup of Chickpeas
Garlic clove
A glass of white wine(maybe even two one for cooking and one for yourself)
2 Carrots shaved and cut 
1 Medium Red Pepper
A couple Baby Tomatoes
4 baby Courgettes
half of an Onion 
Coconut Greek Yoghurt( I used Rachel's Bio Live organic)
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
2 tbsp Green Thai Paste

To cook the quinoa I put one cup cleaned Quinoa in a pan with 1 cup cold Water and brought this to a boil. Once boiling, fork through the pieces and lower the heat, put the lid on and let simmer for about 12 minutes. 

In the mean time in a medium pan heat a small portion of the White Wine, Garlic Clove and Onions. ( You could swap Olive Oil for the wine or even use it as well)

Once warmed a little add the vegetables. Stirring occasionally. Now I like my vegetables to get a bit of that chargrilled taste so I dont stir just as much. 

Once the vegetables are cooked through, add the Green Thai Paste more or less to your tolerance of spicy taste. This is where the yoghurt comes into the mix. It will help counter the spicy mix. My husband although working up his tolerance doesn't have much for spicy foods. So we add a bit more Coconut Milk and Yoghurt to his. The more Yoghurt the creamier and less spicy. Place on a very low heat and let stand while the Quinoa finishes.

Once the Quinoa is cooked and soft, drain the water and let stand for about a minute or two. Then mix the Quinoa and chick peas into the curry pan. Let the heat mix between the two. 

Serve up. 

I hope you enjoy. 

What are you you cooking up for dinner tonight?


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Being a Finder at Vintage Village

Soooooo.... This Sunday I had the privilege of heading over to The Vintage Village not only as a guest but as a Finder. I was to select 10 to 15 items of choice and description of why and such. You can read all about my selections here. Why not follow The Vintage Village on twitter or go like her Facebook page. :)

Hers and His Date Night

Hers and His Date Night

Hers // His

Monday, 3 September 2012

Louise Gray for Topshop

Louise Gray for Topshop

I adore this new line Louise Gray is doing for Topshop.
I don't think I could possibly be ballsy enough to wear these colours but I feel very inspired. 
I have a passion for bright and bold colours. 
I wish I had somewhere to wear a sequinned dress and I just might actually be that bold. 
But I don't think this quite calls for coffee with the husband?  

So what'd you think? 


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Liverpool Food and Drink Festival

 I'm typing this from my food coma. Today, the Adens decided to head to Sefton Park for the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival. Lets just say we ate, and then we ate and then we ate some more. We had some Pimms, and some Rekorderlig. Lots of good food I must add though. David tried numerous pulled pork sandwiches, had some frog legs and we indulged in churros and chocolate, honey roasted cashews which are a person favourite and to top it off we both got a cupcake to go home. I mean if your going to go to a food festival you need to pull out the Man V. Food style eating. 

Well not exactly that far but we definitely are done for the day and probably could be done for the week. Stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving, I am. 

This is happening right now:

Oh yes my friends. I'm eating my oreo cupcake as I type up this post. Sorry if I just take a moment and say I'm kind of in cupcake heaven right now. 
If you didn't know, oreos are on my list of weakness.
Random question how do YOU eat your oreos? When I'm not devouring them in cupcakes, I prefer them mostly with peanut butter. Who would have guessed? Me, adding peanut butter to something? No wonder I can't keep a jar in my house. I have to just stay away. Small doses. Or I'd end up like Ben Stiller in the end of Dodgeball. No, actually I can't see that ever happening either.

Honestly though, dying right now. 

And it's gone. Now for some pictures, I was going to do an instagram post but I'm sure you've already seen them on instagram so no need for me to upload those. Here are a few snaps from the day. 

Hope you had a lovely weekend! xox


This is what happens when you give your husband the camera. This is just fuzzy me drinking a Pimms. What better way to make the day even more healthier than by adding alcohol. 



Tell Me About it Stud

Tell Me About it Stud

Source//Source//Source// Source//

I'm kind of having a studded obsession lately. 
I went shopping with my friend Kerry yesterday and we constantly were oohing and ahhhing over all things studs. 
Somethings, are a bit too much but I think there is something about adding a bit of boldness and edge to your outfit. 
What are you loving right now? Tell me about it stud... 

Hair breakthrough

So have you ever had one of those moments where you find a product and you ask the product where have you been all my life? It probably won't respond because products can't talk but it's that good that for a moment you forget and you just really want to know the answer? Well that happened at about 11 o'clock in the morning yesterday when I was in the shower and I put this stuff on my hair. I mean AMAZING.

I'm sure you can imagine how damaged my hair is I mean just in this last year I've gone ombre, auburn, dark brown, lighter, bleach blonde to light blonde. Maybe I should have a hair intervention? Here goes, Tanja stop colouring your hair. No but really, my hair is very dry. Imagine yourself in the middle of the dessert in the middle of the day and you've been walking for hours. Imagine how parched your mouth would be, that my friend is my hair. Well was my hair.

I've been wanting to try a conditioner without sulphates because although conditioners make my hair feel nice right as you wash it out and you think wow its going to be so soft but then when it dries it goes back to being that brittle fried looking hot mess. Sans Hot. Not a hot look. Back to wanting to try new conditioners.... I've tried loads of conditioning masks, different brands, I've even tried Morocanoil which is supposed to be the biggest miracle worker but nothing has really made any difference. I've heard that Sulphate free is the way to go especially if you have coloured your hair. I wanted to try some Bedhead products as I have heard they are pretty good for sulphate free. When I was walking through Boots on Friday night I saw this Loreal Everpure Colour Care System and I also saw the price and thought to myself, probably won't work but I'll give it a go. I also thought it was going to smell really not so nice.

Let me just say; Oh my rosemary and mint, the smell is just the added bonus. You know when you go to the hair salon and they start to wash your hair and it just smells amazing and then you don't want to wash your hair for days because you don't want that smell to go away? I mean obviously if you leave it for say, a week it's not going to smell like roses. But those roses really smell like boo boo. Stay on track Tanja; yes anyways, back to what I was saying. It smells like that. It's a mixture of Biolage and maybe Bumble and Bumble? Which are probably two of my favourite shampoo/conditioners. Not so much on the price.

Smell aside, I put it all over the head and then extra on the ends, left it on while I shaved my legs and rinsed. Oh my silky. I put even a little bit more on the ends just because my hair is THAT damaged. THen rinsed immediately. Right so most conditioners pass this test of being silky smooth when the water is going through but it's the finished product I'm after. I blow dried my hair. I didn't need to straighten it. That right there, if you have ever seen my just blow dried would know this is basically impossible unless I'm going to an 80's party. My hair is so smooth I can't stop running my fingers through it. Even David yesterday ran his fingers through my hair at one point (no not in that way, although... no I'm just kidding.) and said wow your hair is so silky. All I have to say is if a MAN is going to notice how soft hair is, that right there shows you how good it is. Seriously guys. BREAK THROUGH!!! I'll let you know in a week if it's still holding up to the test.