DIY your own ‘House Warming’ Hamper

My friend bought her first home, and to celebrate this she invited the girlies over to a dinner party.

Knowing that I cant go empty handed I decided to look around for a house warming gift, but the problem here was I didnt have a clue what her house looked like, or what colours she had gone for.

I didnt want to be in a positon where I bought her a vase, or a tableware set and she would put it as far back in her cupboard as seemingly possible, so that her hands never come across it….. (come on we have all been there with gifts we dont …..really use or like)

so the one thing I did think of is a hamper, the thing I love about hampers is that, theres so many things to it, you can just keep adding, and you can choose what you want to give, so customise it to your own… or their preference…

I had a look at a few ready made hampers, and then decided ‘hold on- I can do this myself’.… and I did… and now ill share it with you all….

1. Buying the Products

The first thing is buying the products, since its a new home, I thought of candles (no body says no to candles) diffusers (nobody says no to diffusers) chocolates (nobody says no to chocolates) sweets (nobody says…. you get me right?) drinks( nobody says…. ok ok. im stopping now!) and generally leaning towards that kind of stuff. So themeing it according to event is important… so baby shower would hold different things, as would a hens night.

Here are a few products I bought

2. Colour Co-ord

Colour coordination makes a difference, seriously it does, notice online, how the hampers with similer colours look so much more better and ……’together’ then the ones that are just bunged together. Not that theres anything wrong with the others…. just it looks better for sure. But you know your friend/family better and do what you think is best.

as you can see I have stuck to pink and golds

3. Basket

It doesn’t have to be a basket, it can be a board, like a cake board, it can be a box, evan a general shoe box would work, just make sure you cover it well. All you need is something to chuck all your things into! and that something… just has to be preety…. ok? make sure its preety…. do not put it all in a carrier bag! please DO NOT, unless you dont like him/her, then ill give you permission. (*eye wink).

I used a wired basket -these things are preety, they are handy and because they are see through, you dont need to worry about the contents drowning into your hamper.

4. Doublesided Tape

Always have this ready! It is needed to put everything together in the end…

5. Tricks

The best way to do it is, choose a front…. once you have chosen what you want at the front, take all the longer items and put them first at the back, and then the smaller items at the front so that each item can be seen, whether that be just the tops coming out or through the wired basket in my case. The same rule applies if you have chosen a closed basket/box, make sure the bigger and taller items are at the back, and sit the smaller ones on top or at the front so that everything can be seen.

Heres a quick video of how I did mine

6. Rules

There are none, as you can see evan I took out and put back items, keep doing it until you feel it is right. Its ok to put things on top of each other

Make sure you ‘jiggle’ the contents, see what’s wobbling and tape it on.

Get the girls together and share the cost, you can make the hamper bigger and better this way.

7. Take pictures

Take loads of pictures because it’s so damn pretty.

Don’t forget to share your creation when you make them.

Love and regards

M11bna

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Chicken Karhai… The Easy Way

It’s winter, I’m retired, I’m hibernating, I’m bored, so ….. I start cooking. Im sure I don’t like cooking. Baking yup. I (use) to enjoy that, I also love ironing (*gasp*) but cooking I’ve never been a fan off. But all of a sudden with all this extra time- I’ve turned into Cook of the Year…. Okay exaggerating abit here…. I just made my speciality dish. Chicken Karhai.

Since I was in a good mood, and had loads of time, I took pictures and I’m now sharing my recipe. (Also this is now officially logged on the world wide web- proof that I do cook more than chicken fillets!)

It’s a really quick and easy recipe (hence why I make it) but it’s also damn delicious. Considering I am not a fan of cooking, I do have three extremely hungry and fussy men in my house who go mardy if not fed properly. Also I don’t like the idea of going out to get takeout – it’s too damn cold.

So here goes, let me know if you do try it

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Fillets cubed
  • 1.5 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoon chilli powder (or according to taste)
  • 3/4 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • 1.5 Tablespoon Dhania Powder
  • 2 large Tablespoon liquidated Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 1 large Tablespoon Tomato puree
  • Green chillies (according to taste)
  • 1.5 cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 onions chopped finely
  • 2 tomotoes chopped finely
  • 4-6 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 onions cubed
  • 1 green pepper cubed

And Now to put it all together aka- Method:

Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric, garlic and ginger, tomoto puree, green chillies, Dhania powder and Greek yoghurt to the chicken fillets and mix together.

Cling film this up and this should be kept for up to 4 hours (or more in fridge) this part can be done overnight, or I did it in morning before I went to work. This allows all the spices to be infused into the chicken.

Next put oil into a pot and add in your chopped onions. Allow the onions to brown on a low heat… Halfway through doing this add in your mustard seeds.

Once onions are brown add in the chopped tomatoes and on low heat again allow the tomato to caramelise.

Once caramelised add in your mixed chicken. Mix this in and put onto a high heat.

Once it’s boiling add a top on and leave on high heat. The yoghurt and the chicken will release water and to get a thick consistency you need all the water to evaporate, so keep it on a high heat and stir occasionally. ( Should take 20 minutes max)

Once the sauce starts getting thick. Add in your cubed onion and cubed green pepper. This needs to be done near the end, as you don’t want to throughly cook the onions and green peppers. Put the top back on and leave on high heat once again. (5 mins max)

And Voila. Chicken Karhai ready. Add chopped up coriander once done. And serve with garam garam (hot,hot) nan.

So that’s a quick and easy recipe. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know of any variations you make. If I have it in me to make chicken Karhai again, I might try it.

And when your making it- don’t use the amount of dishes I did! Just chuck it all in…. I have a load of dishes to wash now! Urgh! All for aesthetics!

Love and regards

M11bna

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Pancake- Cake?

I had a weekend off from baking, and a Friday all to myself. So what did I do?

I baked a cake (*rolls eye* )

I had arranged a breakfast party at my house with the girls, and it just so happened to be one of the girls (Ayeshama) birthday on that day. What better way to suprise her?

Keeping to the theme of breakfast I created this

Yup that’s a cake. Really! (Don’t believe me? Check out the cut picture at the end)…..and I’m super proud of it too. Especially because no one believed me until the birthday girl cut it.

So how did I do it? Here goes a step by step version (just a little bit oldschool considering people make videos now- but I’ll get there)

I used 3 layers of 6 inch sponge- to make it a tall cake. In between the layers are jam and buttercream- and then I dirty iced it with further buttercream.
I added a tiny little amount of nude gel colour to white fondant and kneaded out to get this colour.
Roll the fondant out to thin long strings. You will need a few of these depending on height of cake.
Press down each strip with fingers- do not thin out too much- needs to be the depth of a pancake. (This does not need to be neat.)
After pressing down- cut each strip into 2. Once again this does not need to be neat.
So you will end up with a load of these.
Take one strip and use the flat end and press onto the buttercream, take the strip around whole cake and cut off when the ends meet- and put together as above.
You will need a yellowish colour gel paint or food colouring- I use sugerflair egg yellow, but you can use any similer.
With a thin brush lightly dab the yellow paint on to the fondant,just on the top- try and avoid sides and dab in random places- do not paint!! use strokes of brush for effect.
Take another piece and repeat…
Build up layers with the strips. Do not forget to add the yellow paint in between. Remember this does not need to be neat in any way. It may feel like a mess- but I promise once done it has the best effect. So no pressure and have fun.
Now to cover the top….
Roll out fondant – keep it thick like size of pancake, use top of cake tin to cut top, cut it out slightly off the edge- do not cut a neat round circle. (Gosh. I’m fed up of the word neat!!)
Put on top of your cake- round off edges.
Add brown to the yellow gel colour.
And with random brush strokes paint using dabs the top of the cake…
Use a leaf shaping decorating tool (I’m a baker I have these gadgets🙄) or anything similer you have in house, and in random places wedge in little dents…
You can see dents better in this pic. Add abit of brown on edges of some of the pancakes.
Transfer cake onto stand. Add strawberries and blueberries, and drips of honey and maple syrup….and there you have it. Pancake….Cake.

It really is simple once you break it down. And it looks dramatic

Stay tuned on what I did for my breakfast party, here’s a teaser…..

Love and regards

M11bna