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Lemon and lime cupcakes


How are you today? The sun’s out shining down on Ireland again – every dry day is a sunny miracle over here and we have been very blessed this year.  Miracle magnet!

My weekend was relaxed and happy. The weather was lovely all day Saturday. Even wore light, summer clothes. White linen trousers and pinky-lilac linen shirt with my favourite purple sparkly flip flops. Very pleasant afternoon. No goose-bumping at all.

Did a bit of shopping in Blanchardstown. Fabrics (beautiful, beautiful *sigh*) and notions from Hickeys. Thinking of making some kitchen utensil sleeves – you know, for wooden stirring spoons and spatulas – and giving them away as Christmas presents.

Yes I am thinking of Christmas already. Have two Christmas cakes already made, I’ll have you know. Also got some cheap but good little finds in Dealz (someone’s just contacted me to say they think it’s Poundland in UK) and Heatons. More about them in a minute.

I baked cakes yesterday. Lemon and lime cupcakes. Usual cupcake recipe with the zest and juice of a couple of unwaxed lemons and limes in the mixture and buttercream topping. They were delicious. Seriously good.

Want the recipe? here you go:

Lemon and Lime Cupcakes – makes about 24 cakes


250 g soft butter
250 g self-raising flour
250 g caster sugar
4 tbsp of juice from the lemon and lime (save half for the buttercream icing)
4 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 small lemons and 1 small lime (save half for the buttercream icing)



1. Put all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk  until mixture is smooth.

2. Place the baking cases on a baking tray and divide the mixture between them.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 20–25 minutes until nicely risen and light golden brown.

4. Put the cakes onto a wire cooling rack, and leave to go cold.


Lemon and lime buttercream icing:

375 g soft unsalted butter
625 g sifted icing sugar
The juice and zest saved from the sponge mix
Edible cake decorations. I like holographic edible glitter. It’s sparkles without any colour.

1. Put the butter and half of the icing sugar into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk until  smooth. Add the lemon/lime juice and the rest of the icing sugar and beat again until light and fluffy.

2. Ice the cakes using icing bags and nozzles or use a spatula to spread the buttercream on.

3. Decorate with edible pretties.

You can see how mine turned out in the pictures above.

They all fit in the super cupcake carrier box (see above). It’s very well designed and perfect. Dealz do some small, one tier ones for 1.49 which are absolutely brilliant for the price. I think they can carry 8 or maybe 12.

For information, they also do square and round cake boxes for single large cakes. Also the fabulous €1.49 Stealz-Dealz price. I bought a round one of those and now both my Christmas cakes are sealed away and safe.  Just can’t go wrong at those prices.


Also, I just could not resist these Shiny Things. They are sooo pretty. Non-stick pan friendly scourers in beautiful glitter colours. Pack of three for €1.49 from Dealz. They became MY shiny things and came home with me. Aren’t they gorgeous?

And my best find? Had to be a catering pack of 100 Fairy all-in-one dishwasher tablets for €15.00 from Heatons. I always use Fairy and this is the best price I’ve ever got them for. Brilliant.

Apart from some baking and a bit of gardening my weekend was very uneventful. Still flew though.

Talking of flying, noticed that bird behaviours were a bit odd. Yesterday we hardly saw a bird and that was very unusual. Normally get lots of interest in my bird table cuisine. Choice delicacies – meaty fat, bacon rind, seeds,  nuts, fatballs… it normally attracts a lot of visitors.

However, I did see huge numbers of big black birds – don’t know if they were crows or jackdaws,  in what seemed to be their  hundreds, flying off somewhere. Even so, the garden was empty of the other usuals, my cheeky robin, the blackbirds, the starlings, the song thrushes… where were they? Very weird.

Then remembered, there was a big event called Flight Fest going on somewhere out Dublin way. Flight Fest was an air show put on as part of a celebration called ‘The Gathering’ which was meant to unite families dissipated and dislocated by the diaspora of Irish nationals that went abroad to find work and set up new lives in other countries. Or as one ex-pat put it, to come home for a family gathering and spend money in Ireland. Our economy isn’t in best shape like the rest of Europe’s.

So, bet that’s where the birds went for a good laugh. ‘Look at that big bird – had to take a run up for at least half a mile before he could get lift off!’ ‘I know. And where would it get a bath big enough to clean itself off? Big, doirty wagon’ (Caws and hoots of manic bird laughter). They must have loved it. Apparently, a Vulcan bomber was supposed to have been coming across from Uk but couldn’t  fly over because of ‘technical difficulties’. Birds would have larfed their feathered britches off at that.

So, that was my weekend. A good one. Hope yours was, too.

Ruffled bootees

I always wanted to make a pair of these bootees having seen them on Ravelry a while back. Here is the first of the two. Delish. Frou-frou, frilly dilly and lovely. Like leg warmers from Fame!

I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as I didn’t want to do all the front post, back post stitches for the upper shoe and used the pattern from the crocodile stitch bootees that I like.  That made the shoe part super easy. The ruffles….. oh the ruffles.

Lovely as they are, like a southern belle’s frothy underskirt,  I found making them (I’m still only a rookie hookie, don’t forget) fiddly and very, very exacting. I got them, and me, into more positions than the Karma Sutra. What a labour of love.


The wool is from Elann (via Amazon) : Pippi Longcolors : ‘crystal spring’.  I love how gently the shades blend into a smooth gradation but have made each row of ruffles a band of colour.  They were made using a 4.5 mm hook. The sole length is 8 cm with a width of 4 cm. The height of the bootee (measuring right up to the top of the upper row of ruffles) is 10 cm.

The pattern can be found on B.hooked crochet page or on Ravelry – click the link below:

Crocheted ruffled bootee pattern

I shall go make a pot of tea as a reward for the effort. I will be baking lemon and lime cupcakes this afternoon (recipe). Then, after a sweet treat and a bracing cuppa, will begin the next bootee.

Treasure Hunt

Lucky, lucky, lucky find! A visit to a local charity shop yielded this amazing treasure trove. Bags of ‘lucky dip’ bags of beady things – bracelets, necklaces, etc for €1 each. The tub above cost me €3.00. I soon chopped through the manky old strings and nylon bindings holding them together and gave them a quick wash with some detergent (Fairy – Pomegranate scent, my favourite at the moment).

They’re mostly ceramic or glass with a few wooden ones. They are so FAB I love them. So very lucky find, I think.

Modge, Podge and a Recipe Book

A variation of Efemera’s owl template can be found on the net. I thought I had saved the link – I think if you search for ‘Gataria’s fold-over owl’ you should find it easily enough. Let me know if you can’t find it and want the template as I have amended it and added to it a little so think I can probably give it away for free.

Anyhoo, her pattern makes for a flatter back and a more rounded, Friar Tuck fat belly. He’s called ‘Podge’. He looks like he’s a very well fed owl; very content!

I enlarged the pattern and made a template from A3 paper (300 gsm, Modged to keep it clean and as durable as possible).  He’s sitting on what will be the cover for a recipe book when I get the inner papers and Bind It All on the job. The paper is from a swatch of wallpaper that we got from B & Q. We bought some rolls as well to do some would you believe, wallpapering!  The covers are made from the thick, hard cardboard that backs ‘proper’ water colour pads and the wallpaper is Modged on and Modged over.


And some babies. Cute little fella’s.

Lemon Curd Ice Cream

I was going through some recipe books looking for inspirational recipes and dug out some old WI books. These are fab and I don’t think you can get the boxed set like this anymore but you can get the individual books (Amazon!).

I love these books. The retro design looks fresh and modern these days (have to say they’re not THAT old) 2002, I think… but everything about them is just so gorgeous.

Anyway, I made some Lemon Curd Ice Cream – so simple! Jar of lemon curd (1lb), large pot (says 1lb) of natural yoghurt, 1/2 pt whipping cream and the juice and zest of a fresh lemon. Blend and beat till smooth then pour into a suitable container and freeze. It’s THAT easy. The ice cream was delicious. My hubs loves citrussy things but likes a bit of sweetness with them. This hit the spot for him – in a total knock-out fab-U-lous make some more kind of way! Well, what domestic Goddess doesn’t appreciate that kind of compliment?! My smugness and gloaty face put Mrs Doyle with her Sheep Tea proud face to shame!

The shelf unit thing make over

I never take before pictures. I wish I could remember.  I will in future. You’ll just have to picture it in your mind’s eye.

It was pine. Dirty. Had no back. No dowelling piece across the top.

Now it’s painted and lined with wallpaper (Modged, of course). A hardboard back was attached and a length of dowelling (also papered and Modged) was drilled through and inserted to form a hanging ‘rail’.

A different shot which, because of the angle I took the shot, makes the dowelling look as though it’s not straight. An effect called Parallax. Sounds like a toilet cleaner, doesn’t it?

Lookee here! See the fat bead on the end of the dowelling – size of a medium conker. It’s wooden and painted in beautiful shades of midnight blue, rich egg -yolky yellow, cobalt blue, and limey greens to match the paper.

A different bead on the other end (I didn’t have a matching pair).  Same size as the other but the colours are lovely and match the paper brilliantly.

The shelf will be mounted on the wall in my little sewing room as somewhere to keep folders of appliqué stencils. The dowelling is perfect for hanging things over. It will be very useful to me and beautifully decorative.

Stoned Love

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