Category Archives: Advice

A Liittle Bit Of Exciting News!

Dear all,

It may have become apparent that I have not posted for a couple of weeks. Well – there’s a reason for it, and it’s not just laziness.

I am hugely excited to announce the launch of The BritPop Bakery, my very first little mini-venture!

The BritPop Bakery is my new baby business, selling little organic bites of cake on sticks. I’m very excited.

However, as a sad result, this does mean that I won’t be able to post here each day any more. If I did that, i’d have no time for anything, not even exercise, and now that I am attempting to run a cake business, exercise is extremely important.

I will still post recipes and things here occasionally so do please keep checking back – but, if you are curious and want to make my day, i’d be hugely honoured if you’d pop over to the new website and take a look.

I can be contacted through Facebook and Twitter – if you have any thoughts on the new site and would like to share them, i’d be incredibly grateful.

Lots of love, and I really hope that you are all well and happy!

Jessy xxx

 

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Video Tip! How To Peel Ginger With A Teaspoon

Well…so this is exciting! The Daily Home has officially now entered the world of the moving picture. How amazingly modern.

This video illustrates a genuinely useful method which has saved me loads of time and countless bits of ginger. Enjoy!

(Also, please bear with me; I know that my filmaking skills are worse than rubbish, but they will get better. Ahem…)

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Foolproof Frosting: Easy Buttercream Icing

As promised, to go with the Foolproof Basic Cupcake Recipe, here’s my recipe for easy buttercream icing.

This is the simplest way to get that lovely, light whipped cupcake frosting and it’s never gone wrong!

What you’ll need:

This quantity will yield enough to cover the quantity listed in my Basic Cupcake Recipe; approximately 12-14 standard sized cupcakes, and about 30 mini cupcakes.

100 softened butter (unsalted, if possible)

150g icing sugar

1 tablespoon hot water

1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence

Equipment:

A bowl

A wooden spoon or spatula

A handheld electric whisk, balloon whisk or freestanding electric mixer with whisk attachment

Step One:

Put the butter in your mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon for a minute or so until really soft.

Then, using your electric or handheld whisk, beat it for two minutes until fluffy.

Step Two:

Add your icing sugar, and whisk in carefully – you might want to give it a stir into the butter first to avoid having an icing sugar explosion in the kitchen!

Now, add the hot water and vanilla essence and whisk on high speed for at least three to four minutes – the longer you whisk it for, the lighter and fluffier your buttercream will be.

Around five minutes is ideal!

Step Three:

If you are colouring your buttercream (the example here is pale pink), add a couple of drops of natural food colouring of your choice to the mixture, and beat for another minute or so until the colour is even and thoroughly incorporated.

If you are icing your cakes immediately, your buttercream is ready to use straight away! If not, it will keep happily in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

 

 

 

 

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Foolproof Basic Cupcake and Mini Cupcake Recipe!

I am going to be trying out lots of different cupcake ideas over the next couple of weeks – especially with Halloween and Christmas coming up! – so I thought it might be a good idea to give you a basic cupcake recipe.

This is my favourite!

I much prefer the taste of good-quality butter in cakes, but using Stork or something similar produces an undeniably light texture. To get the best of both worlds, I have replaced a spoonful of the flour with a spoonful of cornflour.

This makes the sponge wonderfully light and keeps that yummy buttery taste.

These quantities will yield approximately 12-14 standard sized cupcakes, and about 30 mini cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

150g softened butter

150g caster sugar

140g self-raising flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

2 teaspoons good-quality Vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Equipment:

Standard or mini-sized cupcake cases

A standard cupcake tin or mini muffin tray

A large mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

An electric whisk, bowl whisk or handheld whisk

 

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius if you are making standard sized cupcakes, or 160 degrees Celsius if you are making mini cupcakes.

Line your cupcake tray with your paper cases.

Step Two:

Put all of the ingredients together in the mixing bowl.

Make sure that you hold the sieve up high when sifting in the flour, try to get lots of lovely air in!

Step Three:

Stir your ingredients together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Now, using your electric or handheld whisk, give the mixture a very good whisk for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. The colour will turn lovely and pale – this is perfect!

Step Four:

Divide the mixture among your paper cases. Fill each case roughly 2/3rds of the way full.

Pop into your preheated oven.

If you are making standard cupcakes, bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

If you are making mini cupcakes (as I am in the pictures) bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes (I know this sounds exact but honestly it’s the perfect timing!)

Your cupcakes are done when they are nicely risen, and the surface feels just firm to the touch.

Do not be tempted to leave them in for an extra couple of minutes; if they brown, they will be dry.

Step Five:

Place on a wire rack to cool, and repeat until you have used all of your mixture.

 

Once you have baked all of your cupcakes and they are fully cooled, you can decorate them however you like!

(I’ll pop on a recipe for frosting tomorrow; it’s twenty past midnight and I am tired of baking and wish to sleep. Well…perhaps just a little bite first!)

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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The Daily Home is on Holiday (Yippee!)

Hello, my darlings;

I am going on holiday tomorrow. Thus, I hope that you will understand if The Daily Home takes a short break. I will be back on the 2nd of October; until then I will be sampling the delights of South-East Asia. I promise to wear suncream.

I will do my utmost to post some delicious local recipes and things for you wherever possible; however, we will be on the boat for much of the time so internet access will be sporadic. At best.

If you need to get in touch, drop me an email at thedailyhome@hotmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Until October, my darlings, au revoir!

Lots of love,

Jessy xxx

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Recipe: How To Make Basic, Foolproof Chewy Cookie Dough!

I love cookies.

“But, sweetie!” I hear you cry, “that’s blasphemy! You are English! Surely you must mean biscuits?”

No, I do not mean biscuits!  I mean thick, soft, ridiculously chewy American-style cookies.

This is my favourite, tried and tested cookie dough.

It makes gorgeously soft, thick, chewy cookies – yummy!  It can be customised however you like, by adding chocolate chunks, peanut butter, marshmallows – anything at all.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make gorgeous strawberry-covered cookies using this recipe!

What you’ll need:

200 grams of caster sugar

80 grams of soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg, and 1 egg yolk

250 grams of plain flour, sifted

80 grams of ground almonds

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of baking powder

A pinch of salt

 

Equipment:

A greased, lined baking tray

Two mixing bowls

A wooden spoon

 

Step One:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Melt your butter in a pan or in the microwave. When it is fully melted, pour it into a mixing bowl and add your caster and brown sugar. Keep beating until it forms a smooth thick caramel!

Step Two:

Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk until the mixture is smoothly combined.

Step Two:

In another bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.

Give them a good mix together until they are also thoroughly combined.

Step Three:

A little at a time, beat the combined dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mix,  until it is all thoroughly mixed together and has formed a thick, stiff mixture.

Then chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour. Have a glass of wine (or cup of tea, if it is not yet six o’clock).

Step Four:

Take out of the fridge. Your dough will now be really thick and stiff – if you stick a spoon in the top, it ought to stay upright on its own.

You are now ready to shape your cookies! Using your hands, scoop some dough out of the bowl and roll it into a ball in your hands.

Place it on the baking tray, and repeat with the rest, making sure to leave a good gap between each ball of dough.

Remember – the bigger your lump of dough, the bigger and chewier the cookie!

Step Five:

Now, put them in the oven.

For large cookies that are very squidgy, leave them in for about 10 minutes – for a crunchier cookie, leave them in for 15. Take them out of the oven, and leave them on the surface to cool for a few minutes. Then carefully lift them with a cake slice and place them on a wire rack to cool fully.

NOTE: when you take your cookies out of the oven, they will seem much too squidgy. However, resist the temptation to put them in for longer; I promise, they harden up a lot when they cool.

Now, eat and enjoy!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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Guest Post! Garden Like A Mummy: What to Do With Apples

My Mummy is really green-fingered. I mean, seriously. Here is her garden, she grows flowers here:

…and here is her allotment, where she grows vegetables.

Gorgeous, aren’t they?

Sadly, however, Mummy’s talent for growing stuff doesn’t seem to be genetic.

I feel, therefore, that I ought not to attempt to broach the subject of gardening matters. So, Mummy has kindly agreed to advise us on all things green-fingered, in this case a nifty idea for using leftover apples to kill our winter colds stone dead!

Perhaps, if I pay close attention, my talents might improve until one day they resemble hers. (Well, I can live in hope, can’t I?)

On one of the coldest, darkest, bleakest days of last winter, its miseries compounded by the unspeakable awfulness of the common cold, I remembered the portion of left-over stewed apple in my freezer. Never has food felt so comforting, healing and jolly well good for you!

With that in mind, I rolled up my sleeves yesterday to freeze down some of our apples.

I can’t tell you what variety they are; all I know is that the tree was here when we moved into our home twenty-five years ago, and that when the ’87 hurricane blew it down it responded by lying prone for about a metre and then growing upwards again! Even at its advanced age it still grows a good metre a year if I let it, and its crop varies from 2 to 100+ apples.

However, many of them are damaged, partly because I garden organically and mostly because I’m pretty scatty and forget things like grease bands and codling moth traps most years.

I’m happy to share my produce with blackbirds, thrushes, hedgehogs, wasps, earwigs and assorted bugs and grubs, plus Jessica Rabbit and the guinea-pigs and, as a last resting place, the compost heap – but there are still many which look almost good enough to eat but have some flaw which means they won’t keep.

Yesterday I picked (and picked up!) about 60 apples and first of all, gave them a good wash. Here’s a tip I discovered – wash them under a strong hose jet and nearly all the creepy-crawlies, plus a lot of the rotten bits, will be washed off for you!

Having set aside the twenty or so perfect apples, I peeled the rest and cut out all the cores, bruises and generally yucky bits (perfect for compost!), cut what was left into roughly equal lumps and simmered them for twenty minutes in about half a litre of water into which I had stirred the juice of a lemon, a tablespoon of sugar (these are sweet eating apples – you’d need a lot more sugar for cookers), a tablespoon of ground cinnamon and a teaspoon of ground cloves.

After leaving it all to cool overnight, I’ve just put it in the freezer – six very generous portions of apple, bursting with sunshine and vitamins, for next time the dreaded cold strikes!!

So, that’s the end of our guest post. Thank you, Mummy, and hopefully there will be lots more green-fingered advice where that came from!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

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