Carrot Cake

Whilst tidying out the fridge prior to going shopping, I realized we had a surfeit of carrots (Like 2 kilo bags).

I think the problem was heading to Tesco around 9pm one night and grabbing a bunch of reduced to clear veg….carrots were 5p, pairs of avocados 2p (we’ve been eating homemade guacamole by the bucketload).

Anyway, as we also had a glut of walnuts (thanks to a previous haul of reductions!) I quickly concluded that a Carrot Cake was definitely the way to go.

As it turned out there were still carrots left, so I popped the remainder through the food processor with the other veg that was lurking in the salad drawer, a few chillis, & a chunk of ginger and rustled up a pot of Asian-inspired soup.

Now, usually I’m a weigher rather than a measurer. This may surprise you, given my proclivity for quick & easy shortcuts, but I just prefer scales to cups.
My digital kitchen scales are ancient, I think I bought them the summer we moved in here (15 years ago) and I use them ALL the time; for cooking, baking, checking postage.
The batteries have been a bit iffy recently and up until now I’ve got away with taking them out & giving them a quick rub (WHY does that work? Is there actual legitimate science behind it? Or is it just MAJYK?)

Finally, today they just wouldnt start up; and unsurprisingly; the particular batteries it needed were the one type we didn’t have, so I found myself converting my metric amounts into cups – which felt pretty weird, as normally I’m doing it the other way round!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups Self-Raising Flour (250g)
  • 2 cups Caster Sugar (400g)
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Vegetable Oil (350ml)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Carrots (350g)
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (120g)

Frosting:

  • 1 cup Cream Cheese (225g)
  • 1/2 cup Margarine (110g)
  • 4 cups Icing Sugar (450g)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (120g) (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease & line 2x 23cm cake tins
  3. In a bowl; combine flour, sugar & cinnamon IMG_20150822_144050694
  4. Add oil & eggs IMG_20150822_145148686
  5. Stir in carrots & walnuts IMG_20150822_145846043
  6. Distribute evenly between the tins IMG_20150822_150503327
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer; inserted in the centre; comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven & allow to cool
  9. To make the frosting; whisk together the cream cheese, marg, vanilla & icing sugar then incorporate the additional nuts if using IMG_20150822_214427247
  10. If your cakes are firm enough, split them both in half horizontally, giving you four layers of cake to build with (on this occasion, mine were too crumbly)
  11. Spread one cake with a generous layer of frosting before sandwiching another on top and adding another layer of frosting.
  12. Repeat, finishing with a final layer of frosting and adding your choice of decoration:
  • additional walnuts
  • Marzipan or fondant carrots
  • Grated orange zest

Do you have a favourite recipe for using up leftover ingredients? Please share in the comments!

Also, I’d love to hear if you try this one! 

And perhaps yours won’t collapse like mine did…

I wasn’t going to add this picture, but in the spirit of honesty and to show that we all have shameful disasters in the kitchen; THIS is what happened as I went to take a picture:

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😂😂😂😂

It still tasted fantastic though!

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I think I might turn the rest into cake balls & coat them in melted white chocolate.

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5 Fandom Friday : Crossovers That Would Make My Heart Explode

The 5 Fandom Friday prompt this week is so perfect, That It Could Make My Heart Explode!

Crossovers are something that (I believe) happen a lot in fanfiction but not as often as we might hope in actuality.
(Unless you count Grissom stopping by to help Horatio Kane on a particularly tricky case…)

So, I set to thinking which crossovers might make my heart explode.

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1. Alice in Neverland

I imagine Alice would get on well with the Lost Boys. I also imagine the Queen of Hearts would be as worthy an adversary to Peter as Hook!

2. StarTrekGate

I really enjoyed SGU, the latest offering in the StarGate franchise, possibly in part because it reminded me of Star Trek. It was a pity it wasn’t renewed for another series.

3. Indiana Croft

We all love Indiana Jones, even with his somewhat misogynistic tendancies but imagine the sparks if he had to buddy up with the very capable Lara in Tomb Raiders of the Lost Ark.

4. Wholock

I’m both a Whovian and a Sherlockian, and have been since before the current incarnations. That being said, I haven’t watched a huge amount of the ‘new’ Sherlock but from what I have seen, I think a crossover could work pretty well.
Given that they are both BBC funded/produced and some of the crew go between the two already, logistically at least, it looks like it could/should work.

Indeed, there have been hints and rumours circulating for a while of such a thing so you never know!

5. Hitchhikers Guide to Middle Earth

I adore the writings of both Adams and Tolkien, and although they are vastly different, I also see a lot of similarities in their storytelling.

What about you? Which crossovers would you like to see? Please share in the comments below.

Exploding heart graphic by Kahlia Knox

All good things must come to an end…

And that includes IGGPPCamp and school holidays!

Well, it was back to work on Monday, with the kids being back in school on Tuesday (which was somewhat of a shock to the system!).

I probably won’t be continuing to post daily, as I did during my break and may take a few weeks to work out what days & times are going to work best for me. I hope you can bear with me.

 

Iggle news

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Camp was a huge amount of fun and I can’t wait till next year!

I participated in lots of activities, from crafting to baking to building blanket forts.

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I also had altogether too much fun doing the Everyday Cosplay Challenge

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And attempting a bunch of the photo scavenger hunts

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Actually, talking about Scavenger Hunts…
Troop Lumos won the Troop Hunt!
Because we’re awesome!
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#TroopLumosForever

My fellow Lumosites are a total hoot and although Camp is officially over for this year, there are still plenty shenanigans afoot in our cabin 😉

In other news…

Do you remember my recent stationery giveaway?
Well, news has been filtering in of the goody bags being delivered and so far the winners seem pretty happy with what they received.

In the meantime, I might have purchased more stationery…so look out for another giveaway coming soon!

One last hurrah!

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Monday evening was gorgeous (have you noticed that is always the way? School starts back, weather immediately gets good!?) so we set off across the river for fish & chips by the water (followed by a walk to tick off my last few scavenger pictures!).


I’ll be back soon with another crafty DIY, bye for now!
Crafty x

Camp isn’t camp, without a care package!

In the UK, Summer Camp isn’t as big a thing as it is in other places. Sure, as a kid, I attended camps with Girl Guides or with school; but it was only ever for a few days, a week at most. My own kids have had a similar experience; school, Brownies & Guides or BB, and the odd family camping expedition.

The idea of spending weeks off away from the rest of the family? I’m not too sure about that! Sure I’d have enjoyed all the activities & camaraderie but I think I’d have missed sharing those experiences WITH my family.

My own two are 16 & (almost) 20 and we still all enjoy family adventures.

I guess that’s why the idea of IGGPPCAMP appealed to me! A weeklong adventure; building blanket forts, telling ghost stories, making new friends, toasting marshmallows, trying new things.. plus I get to share it with my equally geeky household! (Teen 2 is also registered but he’s in a different Troop, so I am envisioning ALL sorts of shenanigans!)

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Now, according to those in the know, these extended summer camps that we haven’t experienced, involve one very important thing: CARE PACKAGES!
I do actually have some experience of sending these as when Teen1 spent 1st year living on campus at University, I would post her a little goody bag every Thursday. She’d go to collect her mail after class on Friday morning and look for a bag or box all covered in stickers and full of little things like stationery, sweets, recipes, vouchers, postage stamps etc She did get flustered one time when the young guy who worked in the accommodation office asked her what was in these packages – I don’t think she wanted to mention there was usually a new pair of unmentionables, so she could stave off the dreaded laundry run for another day!!

Anyway, back to IGGLE Camp; one of the activities in preparation of camp was a Camp Care Package Swap. We all filled out a detailed form about what we were looking forward to ‘at’ camp and information about our likes; favourite snacks/activities/ colours etc.

We were then assigned someone who we would make up and secretly send a care package too.

It was a HUGE amount of fun! (So much so, I did it twice … more about that later)

Sending Out

My assigned camper was KamalaGeek, A.K.A. Nadine from Germany.

She actually shares quite a few similar likes with myself, so her package was quite straightforward to put together.

I tried to make the parcel kinda exciting on the outside too...

I tried to make the parcel kinda exciting on the outside too…

One of the first things I decided to put in was a personal piece of campsite. After I received these samples, I discovered they were a perfect postcard size and thought they would be fun to send to some of my Postpals kids, THEN I realized they would be perfect for camp swaps 😀

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I also thought everyone needed a camp notebook. Ya know, for lists and things... 😂😂

I also thought everyone needed a camp notebook.
Ya know, for lists and things… 😂😂

A personalised notebook to write down those all-important camp details.

A personalised notebook to write down those all-important camp details.

A mini sharpie is useful for marking your name on your belongings. I've packed enough camp bags to know : you label EVERYTHING!

A mini sharpie is useful for marking your name on your belongings. I’ve packed enough camp bags to know : you label EVERYTHING!

A tunnock’s teacake poncho seemed like a useful addition for showery campfire sessions, and a post-camp clean-up kit allows for a little pampering.

I tried to include a variety of fun stuff

I tried to include a variety of fun stuff

To keep my camper busy, I included:

  • Camp themed stickers
  • Whoopee cushion
  • Loom band kit
  • Yoyo
  • Dr Who model kit
  • Camp themed rub-on embellishments
  • Some cute jewellery
Camp Snack Pack

Camp Snack Pack

I included some tea, biscuits, chip flavour shaker, sweets and some BBQ recipe cards.

This was a really fun package to put together and I’m glad to report that Nadine was pleased with it.

Incoming!!

I received MY care package from UK Iggle, Jo. She chose such perfect things for me!

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I love the camp notebook, it’s so cute! The sweet little decorated gel pens and lucky cat erasers are fab, and I can’t wait to settle down, in our blanket fort, with my colouring supplies.

Isn't this little foxy keyring adorable? Plus, after all the rest of camp has been packed away until next year, I can still use this every day and remember how awesome camp was!

Isn’t this little foxy keyring adorable?
Plus, after all the rest of camp has been packed away until next year, I can still use this every day and remember how awesome camp was!

Tasty (& posh!) Camp Snacks!

Tasty (& posh!) Camp Snacks!

I later learned that this was Jo’s first swap package. She did an amazing job, don’t you think?

Sending Again

Oh, yeah. I mentioned doing it twice, didn’t I? It turned out someone was going to be let down after their sender dropped out, so after a bit of juggling, the swap organiser assigned me an extra camper to send a package to.

BlueLulu also stays in the UK, so it was pretty straightforward for me to make up a box of goodies & get it in the mail to her before camp.

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The first things I put in BlueLulu’s care package were; her own personal bit of campsite, a personalised camp notebook with pen and a snuggly camp blanket.

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Next was a Camp Snacks bag

Fun stuff to do came next. I found a cute origami insects kit that I thought was suitably camp-y. Some beads, stickers, a loom band kit, colouring sheets & pens, a yoyo & chalks for playing hopscotch or marking arrows for tracking made up the rest of her 'keeping busy' kit.

Fun stuff to do came next.
I found a cute origami insects kit that I thought was suitably camp-y. Some beads, stickers, a loom band kit, colouring sheets & pens, a yoyo & chalks for playing hopscotch or marking arrows for tracking made up the rest of her ‘keeping busy’ kit.

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I also sneaked a sock cake into the box.

Finally, I included some clean-up items. Afterall, no-one wants to be the pongy bunk mate ;-)

Finally, I included some clean-up items.
Afterall, no-one wants to be the pongy bunk mate 😉

Oh, I almost forgot! There was one last thing:

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I couldn’t resist prepping one of these and rolling it up in BlueLulu’s soft cosy snuggly camp blanket. I hope she can forgive me…

Have you ever sent a Camp Care Package? What did you include? What would you like to receive in one? Please share in the comments…

I’ve arrived at Camp, and I never want to leave…

So today was the first day of IGGPPCamp (or IggleCamp to those in the know) and it has been an absolute blast!

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I have participated in so many fun activities and there’s still another 5 days to go!

The activities are split into different sections, and everyone has the option to joins in as many or as few as they wish. Some are open to the whole camp, where you participate individually; others are only open to members of the same troop, whist yet more are to be completed b working together within each individual troop.

My first activity of the day was The Great Closet Cosplay Challenge , an Everyday Cosplay challenge with a different daily prompt. The idea is that you create a wearable nod to your chosen character, using only items from your wardrobe. The Day 1prompt was Disney Prince OR Princess, I grabbed a soft brown skirt, matching vest top & turquoise pendant before brushing my hair out straight(ish)…and….Voila!…emerged as Pocahontas (if you were standing 100 feet away and were squinting).

TroopLumosKitchen

Next was a spot of Troop Lumos cookery with Camp Counselor Dittany .   She has put together a fabulous collection of daily dishes for as all to cook together, and very kindly supplied us all with grocery lists so we could be prepared. She is really committed and repeats the live cook-together THREE times a day, so as many Iggles as possible can take part whenever suits them best.

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Today’s recipe was Pizza Pockets, and they were DELICIOUS!

IGGPPCamp Craft ChallengeAnother popular activity is the Daily Craft Challenges, hosted by Counselor Gillyweed.

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Today, we were making the cutest little painted wooden Hakuna Matata pendants.

Crafts Troop Lumos

There are also Troop craft activities, and Dittany had put together a neat tutorial on making adorable little paper lanterns. I fondly remember making these at school so couldn’t wait to give it a go!

I also finally got to open my awesome Camp Care Package Swap. I have waited patiently for camp to arrive and the lovely goodies my care-giver chose for me were so worth the wait!

I’ve actually got a blog post all about the Care Package Swap, I’m just waiting to publish it once I get confirmation that the extra Angel package i sent has been received. I don’t want to risk ruining any surprises!

In the meantime, here’s a quick peek at the contents of the box I received from Jo:

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And can you believe? There was still more!!

There are a number of different photo scavenger hunt challenges held over the course of the week.

The big one is The Troop Hunt, each troop gets the same 30 prompts and the first troop to submit their completed (& verified!) list, wins.

The catch is, each person can only submit ONE photo, so you have to think cleverly.

I chose No. 16 and submitted a photo of my Hakuna Matata pendant.

A similar solo hunt has also proved entertaining, and I’ve ticked off quite a few on the list already.

There is also a Troop specific hunt.

I’ve been having a lot of fun snapping pictures for it too!

And the best bit is… we get to do it all again tomorrow!!

I’m heading off to toast some marshmallows now, but please share you favourite things about camp in the comments. 

Back to Nerd School

Today, Teen2 and I did a spot of back to school shopping.

I had a dental check-up first, so I left him in the waiting room with the task of writing a list of what he needed. I'm not sure whether the doodle was just that, or whether that's what I've to show the barber when we go for a tidy-up later in the week...

I had a dental check-up first, so I left him in the waiting room with the task of writing a list of what he needed.
I’m not sure whether the doodle was just that, or whether that’s what I’ve to show the barber when we go for a tidy-up later in the week…

It was all perfectly straightforward, almost too easy in fact! I find myself wondering what we missed….

He quickly picked out some smart shirts & trousers, in the regulation black and white, and a rather dapper pair of shoes; before getting down to the business of getting the ‘fun’ stuff…

First things first, you need a school bag:

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MARVEL COMICS Messenger Bag Primark £8

This Marvel messenger bag is nice & roomy, has a few handy zipped pockets; inside and out; and a useful variable length strap. It’s pretty sturdily constructed and definitely belies it’s very inexpensive price point!

Continuing on with the MARVEL theme, we also picked up this great notebook:

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MARVEL COMICS Hardcover A4 Notebook Home Bargains £1.29

Again, I was really impressed with the cost of this; it’s unusual to get ANY hardcover notebook this size at such a price, so getting a branded one was quite cool!

 

Swapping Fandoms, it was time to buy some pens:

LIGHT SABER Pens Tesco £1.50, twin-pack

LIGHT SABER Pens
Tesco £1.50, twin-pack

We also picked up a gift for Teen1’s Back To Uni supplies:

TASH TOPPER Pencil Hawkin's Bazaar Was £2.50, reduced to 20p!

TASH TOPPER Pencil
Hawkin’s Bazaar Was £2.50, reduced to 20p!

I couldn’t resist this fab Moustache-topped pencil. It’s ridiculous and I don’t know if she’ll even use it, but it was too funny not to.

Have you done any cool Back To School shopping? (whether you’re going or not!!) I love browsing all the Back To School stationery aisles!! 😁 Any geeky purchases? Please share in the comments below. 

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice…that’s what swap package are made of!

You know how I love a package swap, and I regularly participate in ones hosted over on the IGGPPC forums.

Last month’s theme was Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice and the prefects for House Organa (where us more mature Geeks hang out) came up with the idea for a sweet little swap.

The Swap Details

We were all assigned someone to secretly send a package to, there was a suggested budget of $5-10, and whilst there were some suggestions, we were left to interpret the theme as we saw fit

Sugar: Something sweet! This could be a candy, a homemade treat, dried fruit… something your partner enjoys nomming on!

Spice: Something spicy! From more food, to teas, to spicy scents… something to add a little spice to your partner’s life.

Everything Nice: Something extra special just for your swap partner. This could be something as simple as a lovely letter full of good things, or it could be you make or purchase something from their favorite fandom.

What I Sent

I was excited to find out I was sending to Susi, a fellow Scot, as we had swapped before. I really enjoyed putting together a boxful of goodies for her.

I stupidly forgot to take pictures before I sent off Susi’s parcel (I’m terrible fir doing that!) but you can see her Instagram pictures here and here.

  • Chai tea, spicy & sweet
  • Chinese pickled mustard, spicy, plus she loves Chinese things
  • A sock cake, with My Little Pony Socks, something sweet
  • Scented Sugar Rush sticker book, something sugary
  • Plus a little Everything nice box, full of Hello Kitty bits & bobs
These My Little Pony socks are quite fine, so didn't really fill the wrap. I rolled them around a cute pot of lip balm and in the end they fit quite snuggly.

These My Little Pony socks were quite fine, so didn’t really fill the wrap. I rolled them around a cute pot of lip balm and in the end they fit quite snuggly.

I’m still not sure if she knows it was from me!!

What I Received

I was really excited when the postman handed me a parcel with the return address of Shawna, in the USA. Shawna makes and sells amazingly cute things and I’ll be honest, I secretly hoped she might have included something from her store, Hello Quirky.

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Inside I found all sorts of goodies:

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  • Some spicy chai teabags
  • A gorgeous roll of washi
  • Some scented chocolate cupcake stickers
  • 2 of Shawna’s postcards
  • An adorable big sticker
  • A really cute notebook
  • 2 of Shawna’s lovely brooches
  • The cutest little handmade soap
  • and some delicious sounding green tea

Yep, she definitely spoiled me!! And certainly included something Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice.

As always, Thanks for stopping by xx