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School’s out, treats are in!

Yesterday was Beatrice’s last day at school.

It was a very emotional day as she won’t be attending this school next year so there were many goodbyes to her lovely friends and teachers, lots of pictures taken to remember another milestone in her precious life.

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When I arrived, all classes were already out ready to say goodbye one to another and it was a magical atmosphere full of joy and laughter.

schools out

Please notice my wrinkles are wrinkles of joy!!

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Nonna Marta looking rather overwhelmed…

last day at school

I spent this week preparing treats not only for the teachers but for the lollipop lady and for the lollipop man who kindly and patiently looked after the children day in day out during school terms. For them I baked some cookies with the lollipop sign.

lollipop cookies

I sealed the bags with this lovely “home made” stickers I bought online.

end of school treats

For the teachers I bakes some vanilla cookies, I covered them in black fondant so they looked like boards.  To make the chalks I melted some colorful chocolate candies and fill giant straw to give them the right shape.

It was so tricky to write the message on the board as the chalks kept melting in my hands (it’s chocolate duh!)

edible chalk

For her main teacher and head teacher I prepared some school’s out themed cupcakes with edible toppers which included pencils, rulers, little books and apples.

schools out vanilla cupcakes

edible toppers

board cookies

Boxed them in a lovely gift box

treats for teachers

edible mini books

edible cookie board and chalk

I found these cutie thank you teacher bags which were perfect to carry the cupcakes boxes.

thank you teacher

Mrs Callander has been a special, wonderful teacher to Beatrice and Beatrice will miss her a lot!


best teacher

Now the tricky bit is.. what am I going to do at home with this monkey for the next 6 weeks!??!

Our celebration for Daddy’s 40th birthday

Although this picture looks like it was taken in 1973, it was actually from last Sunday when we celebrated Daddy’s 40th birthday!! As promised, I organised a surfing dessert table in memory of his surfing adventures.daddy's 40th birthday

 I took the Friday off from work and baked baked baked !!! There was a cake, nope actually two cakes, many cupcakes, cake pops and different cookies: sharks, surfers and surfing boards.

40th cake

 We had a very relaxing day. It was beautiful and sunny outside so while I was finishing the last touches for the table, daddy enjoyed the gorgeous weather and played outside with the kids. In the afternoon we had some friends coming over to make a toast (we had a huge bottle of Taittinger – oh yeah!) and plenty of sweets as you can see!

40th cupcakes

The day before, I organised a piccola surprise. I had two of his best friends flying over from Italy and they surprised him by pretending to be burglars and attempting to steal his beloved motorbike! Imagine his face! I actually made a video which is incredible funny and I might share it with you in the near future…

beach dessert table

cookies

dessert table

happy birthday daddy

You cannot imagine how difficult it was to stick those £$*@ waves on the cake! I spent hours and they kept breaking until my genius husband proposed to place them on a parchment paper and transfer them on the cake, brilliant! It saved my night!

surfing cake beach

shark cookie

shark cookies

surf cookies

surfing board cookies

On a Friday night I started making these beach ball cake pops. I was up until 1 am and at that point I have to admit, I actually started to enjoy making them and could have carried on all night (sick I know lol).

surfing cake pops

surfing cake

surfing sweet table

I had bought two giant balloons to decorate the table but didn’t want to include the full picture as one was bigger than the other.. explanation? They were so big that a full tank of helium wasn’t enough to fill both of them! #fail 🙁

surfing table

Daddy’s 40th birthday was an amazing one and we celebrated the way my husband wanted, low-key surrounded by good friends and good food!

Daddy blowing candles

“Tanti auguri a teeeee, tanti auguri a teeeeee, tanti auguri feliciiii, tanti auguri a teeeeeeee!!”

Buon compleanno Daddy!

 

We are ready for Christmas!

I can honestly say this year I’m particularly emotional about Christmas. Both my children are now visibly excited about this magic time of the year and I’ve wanted to do my best to create the perfect Christmas atmosphere and enjoy every single moment all together.

In the last few weeks we talked about Nativity, sang Christmas songs, watched Christmast movies and obviously baked Christmassy cookies and treats for the whole family!

We started celebrating the countdown at the beginning of December when we made our Cake pop advent calendar.

Then we made a garland of little gingerbread Santas and some Christmassy cookies: a boot, a tree, an angel and a star and we put them in little boxes to give to our neighbours.

Christmas cookie

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We made Christmas cake pops!

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We made glittery candles to place on the top of the fire place and to decorate our Christmas golden table.

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we made salty dough to prepare some glittery gingerbread men

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The night of the 12th of December we prepared our shoes for “Santa Lucia”. In my family waiting for Santa Lucia and her donkey who arrive during the night while the children are asleep, has always been an exciting experience. When we were little my mum thought Christmas was too much about presents and very little about the real meaning , so she used to have Santa Lucia bringing us the presents instead of Santa.

We had to prepare our shoes in line and leave some water and bread for the donkey. The next morning the shoes overflew with sweets and presents and I can still remember the excitement in my dad’s voice ” E’ arrivata Santa Lucia, e’ arrivata Santa Lucia” (Santa Lucia has been here!) so we used to jump straight out of bed and go and check our shoes.

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Amazing memories which will be with me forever. And this is the reason why I was very keen to carry on this tradition. This year Bee and I carefully prepared the shoes, the bread and water for donkey and we wrote a letter asking Santa Lucia to make sure that donkey didn’t poo poo inside the house (Bee saw me cleaning the floor during the day so she was concerned lol!). It was really funny and spending time together preparing for her arrival was magic.

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Yesterday we made more gingerbread dough to make an Edible Nativitiy and more vanilla cookies to fill with jam.

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Then in the afternoon we baked 6 little baby panettoni and a big one to eat all together on Christmas eve.

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We covered some oreos cookies with white chocolate…

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And made more chocolate treats!

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Last week we have been watching Christmas movies like “Home Alone” and “The Polar express”, many nights we put our Christmas cd on and danced all together! We truly are into the Christmas spirit and we love it! Tonight we all will be wearing our new Christmas jumpers (I bought one for every single member of the family)  and will be singing Christmas songs and being silly! What a wonderful precious time!

Buon Natale everyone!

“Murder she wrote” dessert table

My mum is literally obsessed with the TV series Murder She Wrote. In Italy they still show it every day at lunch time and this has been going on for probably 20 years! I’m not joking when I say that she knows by heart every single episode!

So when I heard that Angela Lansbury was back on stage in London for the first time in 40 years, I quickly phoned my sister and together we decided that a ticket to go and see the famous “Jessica Fletcher”,  was the perfect present for my mum’s birthday. Note, my mum doesn’t speak or understand a word of English but still we thought that  meeting her fictional hero would have been the experience of a lifetime. And it truly was!

This happened back in May and my mum was all over the moon! She flew to Edinburgh to see us and then with my sister went down to London to see Angela Lansbury performing on stage, she even managed to meet her after the show when she was leaving the theatre, wonderful!

Inspired by this I decided to create a Murder She Wrote dessert table to remember my mum’s experience in London and her birthday.

Murder she wrote

For this table I thought using our antique typewriter would have been perfect! To be honest my first idea was to make an edible one but it’d have been too challenging. For this table I made a chocolate book, knife vanilla cookies and glass cupcakes. I wanted to make finger prints on the marshmallows but after I dipped my finger in dark edible colour and press on one marshamallow it just looked to messy so I just added them to the table as “marshmallow clues” (any excuse to eat marshamallows!).

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Making the chocolate book was pretty elaborated.  I found a video on youtube which explained how to do it and it made it look so easy! Definitely wasn’t! The chocolate was not melting properly, then it was too sticky to work with, then too hard to fold urgh! I had to make around 25 white thin chocolate pages and I got fed up and made only 10 which are not as thin as they were supposed to be but I thought they did not look too bad. To make the writing I just piped some yellow chocolate on parchment paper which was placed on the top of the font letters “Murder She Wrote”.

murder she wrote book

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Murder she wrote dessert table

To make the glass cupcakes first I made “the blood” by cutting some strawberries and cooking them on gentle heat with some sugar until they become soft. Then I passed them through a sieve so I could get  a smooth sweet sauce.

The cupcakes are just normal vanilla ones and the fosting  is a simple butter and icing sugar mix. The tricky part was making the “glass” . I found different recipes which called for corn syrup (a kind of Golden Syrup but with no colour). I could not find that in supermarkets so I decided to follow Martha Stewart recipe which adviced to cook some sugar with water and just before it starts turning golden colour, you take it off the heat and spread it on a parchment paper. Didn’t work first time as I got distracted by the kids. Second time around went better and although the sugar glass is not crystal clear I think it looks alright.

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To make the “Murder knifes” I made simple vanilla cookie dough and used a knife cookie cutter I bought online, to cut the shapes. Once I baked the knife cookies I prepared some royal icing (this time using meringue powder), added some black edible colour for the handle and made some grey edible colour for the sharp part.

TIP: did you know that to make the grey colour you need to use white royal icing and then add few drops of black edible colour and a tiny bit of blue edible colour? If you only add black rather than grey you get something that looks like light purple

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