Sunday, 16 December 2012

Gingerbread House



Dear Santa:

I've made a gingerbread house. Do you like it? I promise to be good and not eat it all in one go.


So, can I have a real house for Christmas? Pretty please?

***


Have a great week and Merry Christmas! You can see below step by step of how I made it =)


Monday, 22 October 2012

Strawberries and cream cake

Is anyone else gutted that James didn't win the Great British Bake Off?? James, you were my favourite. So to keep in theme with the baking, I've given some pointers on how (I do this) to channel your inner baker. This doing the following:

- Think about food all of the time.

- Think about baking food all of the time.

- Think about scoffing, ahem, 'taste checking' all of that food you've just baked. All the time.

- Write a food blog...? ...Nope, just me? Am I alone on this one?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies (Green & Black's recipe)

So I don't know how long (if at all!) you've been following my blog, but I've kinda cheated.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Pistachio and Rosewater cake


"At University, 70% gets you a First. At work, 70% gets you fired".

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Blackberry & Almond Meringue Cake


Quickly! Quickly! Make this before summer is over! 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Olympics Sports Bento Box


On Saturday I went to see the (amazing) rhythmic gymnastics final, and whilst it did inspire me to dance and twirl, I didn't get much further than going into the splits before almost pulling a muscle. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Lemon Getting-What-You-Want Cake


A few weeks ago I found a (fiction) book called 'Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe', by Jenny Colgan.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies


Whoopie! Whooooopppppieeee! These pies make me happy just by saying the name.

(Oh, I've also just realised - my blog is two years old today! Whoopie to that :-)

So what is a whoopie pie, you ask? They came from Pennsylvania and are sort of a dense cake/fluffy cookie, with a frosted filling sandwiching (usually marshmallow fluff) two cakes together. I guess they must be like some sort of pie, seeing as that's where the name came from, but these are as far from apple pies as apples are from oranges. But more.

According to Wikipedia (but isn't everything these days?) when farmers found these in their lunchboxes (baked by Amish women, obviously), they would shout 'whoopie!'. My theory is that they're whoopie 'pies' because the farmers would shout whooo....ppiiee! Whoop..piee! Whooopie...piee! Whoopie pie! 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

May Week in Cambridge

After the last Economics exam - this photo was taken by my very talented photographer friend Oliver Crawford =)

This post is a little overdue, but better late than never, right? May Week is (bizarrely) held in June anyway, so I'm not actually that late.

So what is May Week? It's the week after everyone's finished exams and Cambridge hosts all of the May Balls, garden parties and other (sometimes strange - yes, I'm looking at you cardboard boat race!) traditions. It used to be held in May before people started taking exams seriously (when was that? Like 800 years ago, probably).

BUT I bet 800 years ago they didn't spray champagne (um, well, cava) at their friends after coming out of their last exams! So ha to you, Mr. 13th century monk man.

May Week is usually good for injecting the fun back into Cambridge life after its all been sapped out by exams, and you can usually tell when the celebrations begin because Sainsbury's starts stocking champagne cava in place of the healthy brain food and energy drinks!


But *sob* alas, this year will be my last.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Graduation Bento Box

As graduation season rolls around (and is over for some), I thought I'd try to make that newly graduated 'Hello World!' feeling last that little bit longer, with a graduation related bento box =)



Saturday, 30 June 2012

So long Cambridge, it's been fun!


So that's it. I'm officially a graduate! I have a BA (Hons) Economics from Cambridge... 

Well, that was not an easy three years.

My Facebook is currently filled with statuses of "congratulations to all, I have made some wonderful friends, you have made my time special etc. etc." and I really do mean all of these things too but I thought that if I wrote a (very) long paragraph about how great all my friends are that would sound quite cheesy. So I'm going to be concise and sum it all up in two words that you can usually hear me say (not usually together though):

Yay Cambridge!

Some of the Trinity College Econs together - this was when the photographer told us to 'look like we liked eachother'. So we did.

Before I go any further, I've got to warn you that this is a really long post and you might fall asleep before the end. So I'm going to put the video that was going to go at the end here, whilst you still have some patience. I know I know this actually is quite cheesy but something in me thought that it would be less cheesy to put it in my blog than directly a link on my facebook. Please don't judge me I'm a sentimental person!


Congratulations to you all! :)

************

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Oreo Brownies


You really, really, have to try this.

There are cookies. And then there are Oreos. And sometimes there are brownies. 

But this is a chocolate chip cookie AND Oreo AND brownie mash up cookie cake thing. Can't get any better than that... especially if you've finished your degree! (As an Economist I'm making the simplyfying assumption that I've passed them.)

Yep, I've finished my degree! That's pretty scary stuff. 

....Why hello there Real World, are you ready for me??

*****************************************

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rose Cupcakes

Exams in a week, so shall keep this post short and sweet!



Rose essence works very well. Though I would add a bit more than the original recipe called for, which I've adapted for. Really yummy and perfect for summer :)


See you soon and good luck to all those who have exams! Counting down the days until freedom...



Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Triple Chocolate and Ferrero Rocher cupcakes


For a few of us, it is now halfway through Exam Term in Cambridge University. This usually involves countless cups of coffee, and many books opened, stared at, and fallen asleep on. This year though, I have had a new addition to my revision schedule - The Busker Outside My Window. 

There are many of them. They seem to take it in turns right below my window, usually singing (I think...), or humming, and sometime juusstt a little bit of screeching. 

Dear Busker - I don't care if you can play Mission Impossible on the piccolo, and tourists like to take photos of you, but my roommate and I have many a time pondered throwing a bucket of water on your head.

Mr Busker Man, I know you probably won't be reading this blog, so I'm just generally having a bit of a whine about you. But please go away and leave me to fall asleep on my textbooks in peace.

Many thanks,
Xinmei


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Doraemon Bento


I'm doing a post today because I've handed in my dissertation!

Hurrah! Let's celebrate!!!!

.........

.........

Okay celebrating done I never want to talk about my dissertation again four exams left am freaking out so moving on who wants cake? :D

Actually, better still, who wants to photos of a bento version of Doraemon? I do I do!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Apple and cinnamon cakes and a marzipan Easter bunny

Did you give up chocolate or sweets for Lent? Are you looking forward to stuffing your face this Sunday? I would be!!

Well, I would be had I given anything up. When I was 10 I gave up chocolate for Lent. Then, on Easter Sunday I ate so many chocolate eggs I was almost sick... I decided not to bother for Lent after that =p

The cake recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook. I absolutely love this book as it's got the cutest photos ever and all of the recipes are sorted into occasion. As you may have guessed, this cake recipe is from 'Easter'. I had to modify the baking times as I wan't making cupcakes as the recipe was originally for, and also changed the frosting, but if you follow my recipe below everything should be juuusstt dandy.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Barcelona baby!


So I've just finished my penultimate term of University! I've done my last ever dance society's annual show, I've handed in my dissertation (sadly only a draft), I'm home for the last ever Easter holiday before I enter The Real World. 

I must warn you, however, that my brain has been turned into frazzled mush from last term at uni. Most days, anything that goes in one ear comes out the other as"blah blah blah Economics mumble mumble supply and demand yada yada yada profit and loss! ZzzzZzzz", therefore I apologise if this post is a bit all over the place.

So, last week I went to Barcelona with my parents. I'm not sure why. I really should have been revising instead. Hm.

The food was good though =)

*************************************

A man (a busker man?) playing the guitar in the Park G├╝ell.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My first guest post! A wombat bento, of course!


I am so very excited (even more than normal, I've had to tone down my use of exclamation marks because they took up the majority of this page), because today I am doing a guest post for.... *drum roll*... Jill Colonna! If you didn't know by now, Jill is the author of 'Mad About Macarons!: Make Macarons Like the French' (oh la la), and an inspiration to macaron lovers and foodies everywhere.

Mmmmm....macarons....

And not only is Jill herself a super lovely and funny person, she also has a awesome blog that I like to spend time (when I'm supposedly doing my dissertation) drooling over the photos on. So when Jill asked me to a guest post, I thought, wow. A real blogger wanting a post by little me on their site? Yes please! We've been in touch ever since last summer to try and arrange a guest post but I really wanted to make something very 'me'  for the egg yolk series on Jill's site, and with academicy work related things it has taken me 6 months to finally think of something I was proud of :)

I decided on an egg yolk bento because bentos are my latest 'thing', plus a wombat theme dedicated to someone special :) Plus a story about me, a hen, and an egg.

Be sure to hop over to Jill's site and check it out here!

A guest post! So eggsciting!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Panda Bento



Meet Pandi :)



Pandi was a present to me when I was 7, and as all imaginative 7 year olds are I gave him a very creative name, obviously =p Pandi has been with me through thick and thin, through when I was 10 years old and playing dens behind the sofa to coming to New York with me and being a lucky charm for my exams. So I'm dedicating this post to you Pandi! (You talk to your pet dog. I talk to my teddy bear. Same thing really, except mine doesn't come and sniff my bum. I think of that as a good thing :)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Chocolate and Orange Tart

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I'm not back at uni and swamped with work so have been running around like a headless chicken (actually, I wish. I have been sat at my desk buried in my notes like a bookworm). This is probably why it's taken me about a week to write this post. I keep writing a bit, going back to do some homework, coming back to this, and then wondering what on earth I was on about...

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Awkward Moment When Your Dad Starts A Blog

The even more awkward moment when you realise that blog is about you.

I won't post the link here to my dad's post here, because it's a little embarrassing. Probably because it depicts my life. Mostly because he's got more page views than me.

********* 
p.s. update! Okay, I give in. Some people have asked for the link and I feel rather mean so....Here's the link!(It's all in Chinese though, apart from a few words here and there but that could be enough to get the gist!) 
*********

(Before I go on, these are lotus root and pork fritters. It's a Chinese dish so quite fitting for what I'm going to say next.)


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year! (Lady Baltimore Cake)

Happy New Year! 

Firstly, may 2012 bring you happiness and joy and all that jazz :)

Secondly, I shall sum up most important (um... well, kind of) I have learnt (through food, because after all, this was what my blog was originally about... "a journey of self discovery through cooking, chocolate and Other Important Things") in 2011:

1) The longest I can go baking tee-total is 2 months. After that I start having spasms and everything starts looking round and spongey and smells of vanilla.

2) A cake can make good bribe. "I'll bake for you if you let me copy your essay!" (then give them a Sainsbury's Basics fairy cake with a bit of homemade frosting. Muahaha.) Not that I've ever done this.

3) If you ever think 'you need to get off facebook and put your face IN A BOOK. Then made a book cake, and put your face in it. 

4) I discovered bento boxes. And I liked it.

5) You can write with 99% dark chocolate (see?). So when you become a top secret MI6 spy you can write notes with chocolate and then eat the pen. No danger of fingerprints being caught then.