Gluten Free Polenta, Cardamom and Honey Cake

Hello everyone, I hope you're in a baking mood as this cake is so delicious, plus its gluten free. I've been pinning recipes like crazy recently and looking through so many wonderful photos and blog posts all about food left me wanting to create something for myself. This cake is really good, its moist and quite light but you don't get that heavy sick feeling from it like most cakes.








Serves 6-8

Butter, for greasing
1 heaped tsp cardamom
200g ground almonds
100g polenta
1 heaped tsp baking powder
200g brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
225g butter, softened
3 large eggs
Creme fraiche, to serve

For the Top

Sliced almonds 
1 tbsp honey

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 and grease a 20cm tin, then line the base with baking parchment.

2. Add cardamom to a bowl together with the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder.

3. Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until the mixture is light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Tip the bowl of dry ingredients into this mixture and fold with a wooden spoon until just combined.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place it on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

5. Gently dry roast the sliced almonds over a high heat until just turning brown, take off the heat as they will continue to toast. 

6. Dust the cake with some icing sugar and sprinkle the almonds over the top with a drizzle of extra honey.

7. Serve in slices with a little creme fraiche.


My Little Box

I recently subscribed to My Little Box, a French company that sends you a little box of goodies every month for £11 for each parcel. I've looked into a lot of subscription boxes and never really been that impressed but after doing a little bit of research I landed on My Little Box. The thing I like about this particular subscription is the mix of beauty, lifestyle and fashion products they send you. You also get a magazine which makes for a great quick read on the tube. To me £11 a month is a pretty good deal as in my last box I received a Nails Inc polish which is worth £15 on its own.

If you'd like to subscribe too here's the link. See below to find out what treats I got in my first two boxes...


The December Box full of wrapping supplies, moisturisers and a knitted headband. Perfect for Winter.


The January Box had a fitness theme with a gym bag, calendar and post work out beauty products.



All the beauty products from both boxes. 

Everlane

Ok so this is going to sound like a sponsored post but I promise you it isn't, I just love these companies!

A few months ago I discovered Everlane. Everlane is an ethical and transparent company that provide information on all their factories and costs so you know that you're getting the best quality clothing and accessories at the best price.

Taken from their site... "We spend months finding the best factories around the world—the very same ones that produce your favorite designer labels. We visit them often, and build strong personal relationships with the owners. We believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make. At Everlane we reveal our true costs, and then we show you our markup."

As well as all this Everlane actually produce beautiful clothes. If I could rebuild my entire wardrobe with only their products I would. My boyfriend and I are planning to put a big order in!

Oh by the way if you don't live in the United States but need, or like, to order stuff from the US you can use a company called MyUS that provide you with a storage unit. You can order anything you like from an American site, get it shipped to MyUS, then MyUS post it to you.  Its free to sign up and you just pay for the postage costs, I use them all the time and its really opened up shopping online in America for me, I just ordered so many craft supplies from Martha Stewart!

So if you love the stuff from Everlane but don't live in the US you can still order from them, yay! Also if you click here and order something from Everlane I could receive a $25 voucher for sharing... www.everlane.com/r/hello59 go one be nice! You could also receive a $25 voucher too so get inviting your friends!

Now for my wish list...

The Italian Slingback Sandal


The Twill Backpack

The Swing Trench

The Short Sleeve Sweatshirt


The Poplin Long Sleeve


The Silk Pocket


The Silk Camisole


The Petra Crossbody


The Modern Loafer


Goodbye Christmas

This Christmas has been great. Simon came to visit my family and we spent New Years in the North East for the first time together. I got some wonderful gifts and I've eaten way to many different kinds of meat ( I'm actually going to try out being vegan for a while! ) Here are a few photos of my Christmas this year.

One of the many displays my mum makes

My Christmas presents to my brother with handmade feathers

My Christmas presents to my brother 

Christmas dinner table

Boxing Day walk

Fire in the back sitting room

Ferns in my mums garden

NYE fireworks off the Tyne Bridge

Hadrian's Wall walk

"Robin Hood" tree featured in Prince of Thieves at Hadrian's Wall

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hello Everyone, I hope you've all managed to have a wonderful holiday this year. I hope it was full of magic, fun and tales to tell. I'm feeling a bit tired and sad now its all over. I'm still back in my old family home in the North East of England but I'll be heading back to London in a few days. Being back home is always bitter sweet for me especially now all the celebrations are over. My boyfriend Simon left to go back to our place in London yesterday as he had to work and my mum has driven off to the Yorkshire Dales to see other friends and relax after catering for us. My friends have also all left to go back to their various cities so its just my brother and I in the house now. Its all very quiet.

I hope sometime soon Simon and I can host Christmas at our place instead as I think it would be great to get both our families together for a few days of festive fun. Either way its been a great few weeks and I'm really looking forward to spending time with my friends and Simon back in London.



Handmade Christmas - Natural Soap

 My second project in my Handmade Christmas series is this very easy natural soap recipe. I've always wanted to try my hand at making soap as I love making other bath time products like body scrubs and bath oils plus it’s a fun afternoon project you could do with a pal. You could easily add different scents and exfoliating ingredients for each of your friends making perfect personal gifts.

What you need:

Mould - I used a cleaned out juice carton
Soap Base - I used a shea butter one
Essential oils - I used Spruce, Rosemary and Mandarin
Exfoliant - I used Rosemary
Rhassoul Clay - you can skip this but clay helps to soften skin and gives a deep cleanse, drawing out dirt and impurities

Cut your soap base into cubes and slowly melt on a low heat until melted. Use an old pot that you don't cook with otherwise you'll have to do a lot of scrubbing! My soap base took a long time to melt as I wanted to make a lot of finished soaps, so be patient. Using a metal spoon, so its easier to clean, stir continuously so your soap doesn't burn at the bottom of your pan. 

Once your soap is melted take it off the heat and add your oils. As I was making a lot of soap I added a total of 20 drops. Please make sure you buy cosmetic grade oils that are safe to be applied to the skin. As a rule always buy the most expensive essential oils you can afford. 

If using an exfoliant add that now or you can sprinkle on the top of your soap as its setting in your mould. I wanted my rosemary to be evenly dispersed so I stirred it in the melted soap. I finally added in the Rhassoul clay and poured my soap into a clean orange juice container. 

The next day I cut open the mould and cut the soap into chunky slices. I used my soap this morning and it smells amazing, plus the shea butter makes its very moisturising. 

Enjoy! 

How to Make a Wreath

Back in November I made and styled four Christmas Craft projects for the Guardian. My favourite item that I made for the shoot was the traditional wreath.  The whole article was featured in last Saturday's paper and just in case if you didn't buy a copy I have re-created how to make the wreath here on my blog.

It was such a fun project and very inexpensive as it relies on you to go gathering for most of the materials. By adding in dried oranges, bay leaves and cranberries you also have the satisfaction of your home smelling lovely as you make it too. Carry on reading to find out how to create this gorgeous wreath.







Things to gather:

Ivy or Holly
Bay leaves
Berries
Pinecones
Berries

Supplies:

Wreath form
24 gauge wire
Scissors
Dried orange slices
Cinnamon Sticks
Raffia









To begin the basic design of your wreath take a look at everything you have and plan where you'd like to place them. I really recommend thinking of your wreath like a clock face and focus on placing your decorative supplies at 12, 3, 6 and 9 to ensure even distribution. I started with bunches of cinnamon sticks tied with raffia and orange slices alternately around the wreath, I then added the pinecones and filled any gaps with berries and greenery.

 Before you start to attach anything to your wreath make sure you've got a clear idea where you'd like to place everything. Wrap wire discreetly onto your various decorative objects and foliage and overlap every time you place something down to hide any wire that may be showing. Using ivy and holly to hide the wire works well too. I pierced the orange slices and berries with the wire and simply wrapped wire around the cinnamon sticks before using the raffia to make the bundles look extra festive and pretty.

Its a simple case of building up slowly and ensuring that you hide any wire ( or glue if you are using ) to make the wreath look as natural as possible. Once you are happy with your wreath simply tie a bunch of raffia in a bow and leave a long tail to attach to your door.

Enjoy!

Top Ten Christmas Decorations

Oh wow I am so excited for Christmas! My mum came down to London to visit me last week and we spent a lovely day trawling around soaking up all the beautiful festive things in the shops. I have to say West Elm won it for me and Selfridges was surprisingly disappointing. Oh by the way you must visit the Fortnum and Mason's Christmas Lodge at Somerset House, it was the most festive place I have ever been to in the U.K. Here are my top ten Christmas decorations...


Card from Present and Correct

Light from Ikea

Aged Bauble from H&M
Bumble Bee from Terrain
Jingle Bell Garland from Terrain


Narwal from Anthropologie
Oh Joy for Target


Watermelon from Leif
Fox from West Elm

Milk Wood Baubles from Toast
















blogger template by lovebird