tilly makes & bakes

Always striving to achieve a state of domestic bliss!


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One person’s junk…

… is another person’s treasure! Isn’t that just the truth!? Those who know me, are aware that I am partial to a touch of second hand shopping. The great British Charity Shop is maybe not the most stylish high street haunt these days but I couldn’t love them more. I try to take little H at least once a week to see which new bits and bobs we can find. Oh the excitement… you never know what will be waiting for you each time. The whole concept of the charity shop appeals to me as obviously things that would otherwise be chucked out and end up in landfill are sold on to be given a whole new life. And all the while money is raised for a local or national cause.

I am very excited to share some of my recent finds here. There was this perfect children’s chair.

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I am in love with the pattern and colour of the little cushion. Chair and cushion were a steal. Little H made me chuckle as she sat in the chair by the till whilst I paid.

We found this lovely hand crochet cushion cover.

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It has since been filled with a pale blue cushion and it looks very stylish on my comfy rocking chair.

We have recently picked up a few of these lacy shawls and tablecloths. They usually cost around £1 and we use them to set the dolly kitchen for tea parties or on the floor as a picnic blanket. Can’t wait to build pretty dens using these with the girls in the garden when the weather brightens up.

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I am currently loving vintage inspired illustrations and so I was thrilled to find some gorgeous old books (one was actually given to us by a friend who was sorting through her grown up sons old books).

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How sweet is this little lady?

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I have spent ages poring over the gorgeous pictures.

Besides these we have picked up a slightly garish plastic fairy castle because we are planning on planting up a fairy garden in a big barrel outside. I am thinking violets, pebbles and glass nuggets as paths, a little playmobil bench perhaps. We are just waiting for a sunny day to start our project and of course I will share here how it all went.

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Peanut butter chocolate cups

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I found a recipe for these in a magazine just before last Christmas and made a batch as little gifts for those unannounced visitors or to bring along when we were invited around people’s houses around that time of year. They looked really lovely in cellophane bags adorned with Christmassy ribbons and needless to say I was in everyones good books wherever I turned up with these yummy treats in my bag.

The reason why I have dug these out is because I want to make an Easter/Springtime version, topped with mini eggs this year. I am thinking I might go all white chocolate for that and maybe try almond butter instead of peanut. The beauty with this kind of recipe, where you just melt some chocolate and stir everything together, is that you really can go wild and add any extra bits and bobs you like. I will keep you posted on how the Easter version turns out but in the meantime here are the quantities I used for the choc cups in the photos.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Ingredients

50g chopped white chocolate

100g crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

150g milk chocolate

150g dark chocolate

25g salted cashew nuts (or could use honey salted peanuts)

1. Melt the white chocolate and stir together with the peanut butter and vanilla until it forms a paste.

2. Melt the milk and dark chocolates in separate bowls.

3. Pour 1tsp of melted milk chocolate into your paper cases. Add 1 tsp of peanut paste and top off with enough dark chocolate to cover and “seal” the chocolate cup.  Sprinkle with the cashews or peanuts (or your choice of topping). Leave to set outside of the fridge (you can cover them with a piece of greaseproof baking paper, although this is not essential).


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Oaty fridge cookies

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I was looking for a cookie or biscuit recipe that my four year old could mostly cope with herself and I knew that rolling out dough and using cutters would need too much input and help from me. Whilst looking for a recipe (Hello Pinterest!), I came across several different versions of so-called ‘fridge cookies’. Ah yes, I remembered cutting discs from chilled logs of dough as a child – anyone for checkerboard biscuits? Perfect for tiny hands. As my ‘big’ little girl is starting school in September, I am trying to make the most of our now counted days of weekday freedom. I really will miss all our mornings of pottering, crafting and baking.

Oaty fridge cookies

150g soft butter

150g brown sugar

5 drops orange essence

2 medium eggs

200g rolled oats

150g ground almonds

1teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Whisk the butter and sugar until creamy. Add orange essence and one egg at a time.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and gradually work the dry and wet ingredients together until a dough forms.

3. Split the dough into two and roll each half into a sausage shape about 30cm long. Wrap in baking parchment and refrigerate for at least an hour or two.

4. When you are ready to bake, roll each dough sausage in some coarse sugar (Demerara is good), before cutting each sausage into half centimetre thick disks.

5. Place the cookies on a lined tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C (160 if using a fan oven) for about 12 to 14 minutes.