Guardian Girl

Jumping, fair trade

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on February 22, 2010

Steak salad, fairtrade cake, jumping in a pink minidress. That was the weekend for me. Wasn’t it for all Guardian readers?

Today I took the day off work and went to the Nicole Farhi show, being sure to take a packet of Mini Creme Eggs in my pocket (see this week’s Measure). I found it a curiously pleasing experience to eat chocolate while watching those coppices of bony thighs breeze by. It was like watching The Snowman in front of an open fire.

I also popped into Jigsaw and tried on the drape-front cardigan that gets the thumbs up this week. It was lovely and soft, a good colour and a great shape. But I still couldn’t make myself spend £79 on it.

Tonight, fried pineapple and ice cream. Happy times.

Mango, avocado and steak salad

Mangled avocado and steak salad

Shorts stuff

Warthog

Banana chocolate cake

Bedraggled chocolate cake

Conclusion:

• So far, the week is good and the food is great. The fashion, notsomuch.

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Task #3: A Chocolate Spread

Posted in Food by guardiangirl on October 29, 2009

I would’ve loved to be able to do today’s task properly, as it involved going to The Connaught for a special afternoon tea created with Valrhona. It isn’t mentioned on the hotel’s website as far as I can see but I’ll take The Independent‘s word for it.

However there were several obstacles to achieving this one.

First, I’ve run out of holiday at work so I’d only be able to go on a weekend day, which is a very tricky time to book afternoon tea at a posh London hotel at short notice. I know this from experience. Second, it would cost about £50 a person and, even if I was willing to save up that cash to spend on a eating chocolate at an exclusive location, I doubt (m)any of my friends would feel the same – particularly those with kids (apparently this is designed to be a family affair). All in all this item on the agenda didn’t seem to be aimed at me. It seemed to be aimed at wealthy parents with lots of spare time. Hmm, bells are ringing.

Not to be deterred from the challenge, though, I popped out for half a flapjack and a Chupa Chup to eat at my desk instead. It ain’t posh but it’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

Varhona

Valrhona

 

Chupa Chup

Chupa Chup

Marks out of 10: 3

I did make some sort of effort here but two of the classic obstacles to success are rearing their heads once more: time and money. We can’t all afford to spend half a ton and a day’s holiday on chocolate, despite what the left-wing press might think. Photographs brought to you by Nokia today as I left my camera at home. You can’t tell, can you.

 

 

 

Thursday 6 August

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on August 7, 2009

Hehehe, check out today’s outfit. I don’t have a fur stole to hand so I had to make do with the tiger I’ve had since I was eight or so. I thought of pinning him to my shoulder but this might have been distracting for the others in the office, so I just balanced him there for the photo and then he went back in my bag. To be honest I removed most of the accessories – bar the belt – once the shutter had closed.

I quite like what the woman in the picture is wearing but if you’re going to go mad on accessories like that, they really need either to coordinate or clash properly, or you just look like you’ve gone mad.

Coordinate

Coordinate

 

Reprobate

Reprobate

 The jumper is FARHI by Nicole Farhi menswear and is lovely for belting cos it’s made out of very soft, draping fabric.

I got the loopy bit of the hairstyle on the wrong side of the head. Before this project began I thought I knew my left and right, but I get muddled up between cameras and mirrors or something. It’s OK, I’ll pick it up eventually.

I was extremely excited about getting home because I was making Dan Lepard’s rocky road rock cakes. Gahhhh, just look at the recipe! I’d been looking forward to this all week. My usual casual chopping style left mine looking more like Alpine goat-path cakes after a mudslide, but we know it’s what’s inside that counts. I was a bit more careful about my measurements than I have been before after Dan Lepard linked to my blog on his baking forum and a legion of po-faced bun experts came barrelling over the brow of a cyberhill brandishing rolling pins and admonishing me for using the wrong equipment and overcooking stuff. I think they were being helpful. So yes, I was more careful (more careful, not necessarily actually careful) about quantities. However because I used such big chunks of chocolate and walnuts, the dough couldn’t really be made into golf ball-sized scoops. This is where I used my initiative and made one big blobby cake in the bottom of the tin instead, which I then cut into smaller pieces after it came out of the oven. I couldn’t wait for the chocolate topping mixture to cool before I stirred in the marshmallows, which meant they melted into a marbled swirl. I’d just walked six miles in the bucketing rain, hadn’t eaten since lunch and was standing over a pan of  hot, glossy, ribboning chocolate gloop to dot it with little-fluffy-cloud marshmallows. How was I supposed to wait for the thing to cool? I also tasted it liberally before it made it to the pouring stage, by which I mean I ate nearly all of it – along with the marshmallows and peanuts that didn’t go into the recipe. This meant that by the time I came to eating the rock cakes, I already felt slightly sick. But that didn’t matter because the cakes were so, so good. Eating a mouthful was like inching into a just-too-hot bath – a spreading feeling of semi-religious pleasure tinged with the slightly guilty suspicion that what you’re doing probably isn’t that good for your veins.

arrghghhghhghhrghrgrhhgr.

I put what I couldn’t eat in the freezer, but not before I had a second go at them after they’d cooled, thus making myself feel sick twice in one evening. Some people never learn.

Another great thing about these cakes was that they were easy to make, even for me, and the process was quick – except the whole palaver of getting things to this and that temperature (I hear in some places they call it ‘cooking’), which I could afford to ignore because I alone had to eat the result. Oh yeh, and also, if you make them, do put at least some salted peanuts in (I used a mixture of peanuts and walnuts) cos it makes them taste of Snickers.

I turn 30 in a few months and I might actually bake my own cake just so that I can have a whole mountain range of these. I could get in some real goats to climb around in this mountain range, as I love goats. It’d be like a budget version of the Arctic scene, complete with snow leopard, that I heard Jocelyn Wildenstein had in her house. And I could get some surgery for my birthday too, so I look more like my cat, George. My life plan is suddenly coming together.

Rock cake

Rock cake

 

Boulder cake

Boulder cake

 

Conclusions:

  • What a brilliant day! A tiger on the shoulder and the most enjoyable-ever chocolate cake stuff in the belly.
  • The path to enlightenment isn’t a path after all, it’s a stream – of condensed milk, melted chocolate and butter.