So two of my friends got married last month, in a really cool, very personal, very unique wedding.
I had to share partly because I made the wedding pudding, but also because it really was inspirational…

All the flowers down to the button holes were kind of rustic posies… my favourite! (From Bella & Fifi)

The boy’s had a bit of trouble…

They got there in the end… and they all looked great stood together in their navy blue suits… As you can see the streets are wet, that’s because right up until it was time to leave for the ceremony it was raining cats and dogs…

But as we got in the taxi to leave the sun broke through and by the time we got to the registry office…

They tied the knot in the old council house on Corn St which is BEAUTIFUL! Outside and in…

Really ornate with lots of old paintings and a lovely feel to the room… the ceiling is so pretty…

So we have seen the boys… what about the girls? I LOVE that each bridesmaid had her very own dress design… and different shoes… each showing their own style, great not just for originality but meaning that each bridesmaid felt not only comfortable but (I’m guessing) gorgeous!

And the bride… a 50’s style day-gown, a shorter style, showing off her lovely shoes and strapless with some detailing on the bust… this dress was made by Gilly Woo, a Bristol based dress/corsetry maker, Kate highly recommends her… Gilly Woo

Finished off with a matching facinator and short veil…

And a fur stole, although I doubt it helped much with the cold, although she now has a hubbie on her arm for that…


The sun was really low in the sky when we came out…

We caught the bride and groom having a little moment…

Then we all jumped into cabs and got ourselves over to the venue for the reception… Kate and Jeff had a proper London Cab…

which is a beautiful old church, that is now, mostly, a circus school! Weddings on the side…

More of the gorgeous flowers in that muted pallet…

As usual I adored the personal details with this wedding, the bride and groom are sociable people and like a party, so their tables were named after raves, festivals and parties they have enjoyed…

And on the back, lots of old photos of them and their friends…

Very funny :)

We were served canapes and Champagne whilst we looked around the venue…

Rosemary infused bruschetta with Parma ham and parmesan shavings

Creamy, peppery mackerel pate on crusty bread bites with a twist of lime

And the best one… Smoked camembert in a box with shattered glass breadsticks

And the tables were laid with vintage plates, each one different, the cutest place settings ever, with hand stamped tags with our names on…

Now a fun detail, which I think should be at every wedding was that everyone had a little piece of a disguise to wear, which made for some great photographs later on…

Masks…

Moustaches…

And red noses! Loved this, the photos are brilliant!

Then as if they hadn’t wowed us enough…

They had some of the students from the circus school perform!

This was brilliant, they are so talented… photographs do not do this justice! One on the ropes…

And then after dinner one on silk…

Now to dinner… now as you can see so far, this is not the standard wedding… and neither was dinner…

Yep, Pie! And Mash! Annnnd mushy peas… with gravy or “groovy” … a maze ing!

We had a choice between Chicken of Aragon or Matador pies…

if you don’t know about the Bristol based company Pie Minister you need to get to know… check them out here they did all the catering on the day.

So the dessert… I will add the recipe and I can do it without referring to books/pieces of paper etc because after making 28 meringues… you know it well! I can also add that it is a very easy dessert that looks so good Kate and Jeff had it for their wedding pudding!

This is the finished dessert for the top table, a triple layer Pavlova!

But there were a lot more tables to feed… every other table got a double layer… this is about half of the wedding!

They were so delicate but we just about made it without them collapsing under the weight of all the cream!

I was so chuffed to have been asked, and so proud that I had done it that I almost wanted to plonk them on the tables myself and say I made that! … but I was too shy!

Still I think everyone liked them… People always make fun of me for taking photographs of my food but I saw plenty of guests doing so with my dessert… best thing ever!

And then the first dance… not your usual soppy slow dance with Kate and Jeff, no no!

Kate donned her brand new trainers… (cute!)

And off they went… hands in the air!

They had the Rinky Dinks play… and they dressed for the occasion…

Such a great day guys, thanks for inviting me and for letting me blog this! But mostly for trusting me to make your cake!

The meringue recipe… I think I got this from a magazine ages ago and is a recipe I have used many times before this too.

You need;
4 large egg whites
pinch salt
230g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour (not completely necessary but makes a better meringue)
1 tsp white wine vinegar (again as above but makes for a goey middle)

to serve;
300ml double cream
Fruit… I used strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, I would add cherries unless you’re making lots as they need to be de-stoned!

Preheat the oven to 140°C
Line a baking sheet with non-baking paper , you can mark a circle if you would like a guide.
In a large bowl, using electric beaters, whisk the egg whites and salt together, until soft peaks form.

Gradually add the sugar, whisking after each addition, until the mixture is thick and shiny and forms firm peaks when the beaters are lifted out.
You should be able to turn the bowl right over without the mixture falling out.
Sift the cornflour over the mixture and fold in with two turns, using a large metal spoon.
Don’t beat again.
Gently fold in the vinegar.

Spoon the mixture to go just over the circle line on the paper and pile up around the edge, leaving a slight dip in the middle.
Immediately turn down the oven to 110°C in order to keep the meringues pale.
Cook for 1 ¼ hours.
Turn the oven off, leaving the meringue to cool in the oven. (I couldn’t do this because of the time it would have taken and they turned out great)

When cold, either peel off the paper and serve piled with whipped cream and your fruit (I left it all whole except some of the bigger strawberries as I think this looks more rustic and pleases me!

 This recipe made 1 large one and two little ones, or one medium one… or one massive one!

So of the many many blogs I read, Orangette is up there as one of the best, written by a bona fide food writer; Molly is one of the early bloggers who have truly followed their passion and made a career from her love of food. She now not only writes about food but has a restaurant Delancey in Seattle…

Check out the blog and the restaurant site (it’s so pretty!), if I am ever in Seattle I hope to visit.

Anyway last week this recipe caught my eye, the story is lovely and I adore carrots, especially the baby Chantenay carrots which are so sweet so I was desperate to make this, and on a particularly freezing day last week in Bristol… I decided to make Toad in the Hole (proper comfort food!) and wanted to compensate that with some yummy healthy vegetables… the perfect time to try these skillet carrots… take a look at the original post here

You need;
olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced from root to stem
salt
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
500g Chantenay carrots, the bigger ones cut into lengths
4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs
½ tsp. red wine vinegar, or to taste

Instructions from Molly…

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When it’s hot, add a good amount of olive oil, enough to film the bottom of the pan.

Add the onions – they should sizzle – stir to coat with oil. Salt lightly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened but not browned.

Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a few more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the carrots, thyme, and a couple of generous pinches of salt, and stir to mix. If the carrots look dry, add a little more oil to lightly coat them; this dish needs more oil than you might think.

Cover the pan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the onions are very soft. (I never seem to pay attention to how long this takes, but I would guess that it takes somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.)

Remove the pan from the heat, and discard the thyme sprigs.

Sprinkle the vinegar over the carrots.

Stir gently to incorporate: the vinegar should subtly brighten the flavor of the carrots without being discernible itself.

Add more vinegar, if needed, and salt to taste.
(I didn’t have any vinegar and it was still yummy but I don’t doubt it would be better with)

One of my birthday gifts was a little book of easy to make treats (thanks to Sarah and Jim)…

and of course working in an office you have to provide treats on your birthday…

now with very little time to bake during my birthday week this book was great, and reminded me I had never actually made shortbread myself…

Who knows why, because it is super easy!

You need;
300g butter
140g caster sugar
300g plain flour
140g rice flour (two different flours is not necessary I am informed, Thanks Mairi! I think they suggested it because it is mega light and made for a light crumbly shortbread)

Place the butter and 140g sugar in a large mixing bowl and whizz using an electric whisk until smooth.
Tip in both the flours and a pinch of salt, then whizz until mixture comes together. (Mine looked like sand at this stage)

Spread the mixture out in a baking tray. I used a square cake tin and a round springform cake tin, both 23cm.
Cover with cling film and smooth over.
Place in the fridge, uncooked, for at least 30 mins.

Heat oven to 180C.
Remove cling film, then lightly mark the shortbread all over with a fork.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar, then bake for 20-25 mins.

Leave to cool in the tin, slices.

This will keep for a week in a biscuit tin!

Mine came out quite thick, because of the tins I used… but it was a hit at work… so even though I had totally cheated by making something so easy (Another birthday boy the same week made his first victoria sponge, which was amazing and totally shamed me!) no one seemed to mind one little bit!