Thursday, 2 November 2017

Downstairs Shower Room

We have recently moved to a house that has two bathrooms.  I only had a downstairs bathroom in my last house.  With everyone's towels and showering accessories strewn everywhere it was difficult to keep on top of daily with the fear that a visitor would need to use the toilet.

Now I have the upstairs bathroom for everyone's cleaning needs and downstairs is way easier to keep organised for that desperate visitor (so far it has not happened but I'm ready for you! ⚥)  There was a shower already installed when we moved into the house and we wanted to keep it as a shower room because it is always handy to have two but so far we have all been using the upstairs bathroom so it's a win for me.  I would rather keep it that way than have to worry that my 7 year old has left shampoo streaks or my teenager's pants are left on the floor (I wouldn't make a surprise visit to my upstaiurs bathroom as you are quite frequently met with underwear 😷)

I am disappointed in my photography and that this is the only picture I seem to have of the 'before' but you get the picture.  Lovely lemon sink, matching toilet to the right hand side and that's the shower you can just see beside the sink.  This is mid destruction of the foam tiles that lined the roof.  The electrician came to see the house to see the work we needed done and he immediately switched the light off in here and told us not to use it again as they were sunken in downlighters that were touching (and heating up) the foam.  I am sure the people who lived here before never had an issue and hopefully Graeme was just being over cautious but we quickly got rid of that ceiling!  🔥🚒

Right under the stairs this little cupboard also has access to the foundations below

You could not make up the story we have about the shower tray.  It honestly took months of back and forth to finally get this blooming thing fitted!  We ordered two shower trays exactly the same for upstairs and downstairs.  With so many tradesmen in the house and deliveries every day the shower trays were signed for and we thought no more about it.   When it came to fitting the upstairs one the plumber realised they were two different tray sizes that had been sent.  I phoned the company and they said they would collect the tray and deliver another one (after a bit of a battle to tell them I had not ordered the wrong tray they had sent the wrong tray).  The next week came the day for collection and delivery - I received the correct sized tray and the boy took the wrong one away.  One day later while I was out a different driver came to the door and said to one of the tradesmen he was there to collect the faulty tray so unknowingly he gave away the correct shower tray to the second driver.  I came home to find out I now had no shower tray!!!!  Again onto the telephone to the company who could not understand what had happened.  Weeks went by with them trying to trace it and me having to phone over and over and explain the story to countless people before they finally sent me the correct tray.  We hid it away from anyone until it was time to be fitted :D That merry day came and lo and behold the bl##dy thing had a massive chunk out of it.  We could not face any more of the hassle so we got it fitted and now live with it :(   

 As it was least of our priorities with having an upstairs bathroom useable it looked a mess for a few months but eventually after the shower tray saga we were ready to get it organised.  We picked tiles from Wickes for the floor and two of the walls
The shower room is under the stairs like a little Harry Potter cupboard :)   My Dad painted the little cupboard white - this looks like the first coat. 

We got some panelling on the roof as it quite a low ceiling for the shower to be under and didn't want it to go mouldy (although I don't plan on anyone routinely using the shower anyway!)

 Shower screen on
 Sink fitted
 Toilet fitted and cupboard second coat of paint
 Finally looking more like a shower room

 Heated towel rail and some Maison du Monde towels
The steps leading down to the shower room from the lobby - we don't have a handrail as we are all used to it but both sets of parents have said we need one.  Do we???  It is quite dangerous...

 Added some finishing touches but it still needs more - going to paint the old tiles on the top of this cupboard white

I just washed and re-hung the little lace curtain that was originally there when we moved in because I really like it in the tiny window.  A Kilner bottle with a little bunch of carnations in it - I have always loved bathroom flowers.  Grant used to be quite offended when he gave me a bunch and I would put them in a vase in the bathroom but they really brighten it up.

 Looking for some bits and pieces to complete the room like a soap dispenser and toilet roll holder but otherwise very happy with the transformation

              ^^   BEFORE ^^                                                                   ^^  AFTER  ^^

Follow me on Pinterest where I get most of my ideas and Instagram (@MyGuideToHomeMade) where I play along with #myhousethismonth.  See my post on my beautiful pantry here

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cherry Bakewell Bites

It's our annual Macmillan coffee morning at work this week and I wanted to try the cherry Bakewell I made for Grant's birthday (photos at the end of Eliza's Princess and the Wizard party).  I would never have normally picked a Cherry Bakewell to eat but really enjoyed it.  I am not an almond flavour fan so I missed out the extract last time but my sister did say "I didn't think you would like that it's very almondy" so I must be getting better  (this year I have changed my tastes a lot - must be getting old!  I now like red peppers and coffee.  So weird.  Next I will be telling you I enjoyed a tin of tuna 😷)

Instead of a tray bake type of Bakewell this time I thought it would be easier to use my Pampered Chef individual square tin.   I didn't even realise pampered chef had ceased to exist I love all of my PC stuff I have tons!  I am sure Lakeland will do similar tins though they have some amazing things.

I made up the pastry using my beloved KitchenAid  in my A M A Z I N G new pantry.  I love it so so much the kids think I'm off my head I keep swooning when I go in (see pantry makeover here)

I took tons of photos of this recipe so it took forever to make!

 Ingredients are butter and plain flour, sugar and one egg
 Mix up cubed butter and flour until breadcrumbs
Add sugar and mix

Add egg

Mix lightly until combined

Remove from mixer and bring to a ball on lightly floured surface

Pat down to flatten a little

Cover in cling film
Place in fridge for half an hour

Move on to making the filling

 Ingredients are butter (I used Stork) and caster sugar, 3 eggs, self raising flour and ground almonds

 Mix butter and sugar
 When light and fluffy add three eggs one at a time with a spoonful of self raising flour
 Add the remaining flour and ground almonds
At this stage I remove from the mixer and use my big spoon to combine the flour/almonds with the other ingredients so they are not over mixed.

Moving back to the pastry I took it from the fridge after 30 minutes.  I tore off small pieces and rolled them into balls
 Then pressed them in gently to the squares
 Next a dollop of strawberry jam.. mine was from M&S but usually I would have Hartley's and sometimes Bonne Maman ❤
 Spread the jam around just using a spoon
 Back to the filling:  I used my pampered chef mini ice cream scoop but should have just used my normal sized one as mini was not enough filling and ended up needing two scoops
 Just scooped the filling on top of the jam
 Then spread it out as best as I could
 Into the oven at 180°C
 I watched them most of the time and set a timer at 8 mins
 Added another 3 mins but they needed 13 mins in total
 Let them cool slightly then used a silicone baby spoon to release the cake away from the sides.  Baby spoons with the flexible tip are my favourite for this part of baking they are just the right size and nice and bendy.
 Once released from the sides I was able to just turn the tin upside down and they slid out.  I didn't line or grease the tins beforehand they are just so well made they don't stick
 They look so beautiful and I was lucky enough that unfortunatelyI hadn't released one and it fell to bits so I had to eat it myself (oh shame!)
The back of it has fallen off but I wanted a photo of it iced and ready for my afternoon cuppy! It was still warm when I iced it and the icing still runny when I ate it 😁 I will wait until the others are fully cooled before I ice them and I really hope there are hopefully there are no more fatalities

While I was looking for my square baking tray I saw my mini muffin pan also from pampered chef but I know you get them in Lakeland as I have one from there too

 I wanted to try some of the recipe in here too.  I've made mini quiches before and they are so tasty when they are bitesized (see our Easter picnic)

 Same again I tore off small pieces and shaped them into balls
 The mini muffin pan comes with this handy little dabber to push the pastry into the bottom and up the sides
 So easy to use!
 Added a dab of strawberry jam
 Spread it out using the dabber

This time one scoop of the mini ice cream scoop was enough and I didn't flatten it out 

 These needed slightly less time and were out in11 mins  (180°C on bottom shelf below the square ones)
 Used the silicone tipped baby spoon again to release the pastry this time as it was quite far up the sides
 Then they popped out.  Totally different because they are sealed with pastry and really are an individual bite
 One's lid fell off so I iced it and ate it too (poor me 😝)
 I don't know which one I prefer they are so cute but I love miniature everything
If you were generous the square one could feed two...but there is no way I could have shared that today it was delightful.

Recipe if you want to indulge:

Pastry = 110g cold unsalted butter cubed
                225g plain flour
                  80g caster sugar
                      1 egg

Using mixer mix butter and flour until breadcrumbs, add sugar and mix well, add egg and mix gently until just combined.  Remove from mixer and roll on lightly floured surface into a ball, press to flatten and wrap in cling film in fridge for 30 mins.

Once ready remove from fridge and press into tin


Strawberry jam (I have no idea how much maybe less than a quarter of a jar? Not that much.     anyway I'm sorry!)
               175g butter (I used stork)
               175g caster sugar
                     3 eggs
               100g self raising flour
                 75g ground almonds (i dont like almonds so I used 75g but as long as the flour and almonds adds up to 175g you can choose which combination if you want it to be more almondy 😂)

Using mixer cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (not gritty at all).  Add eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour.  Once mixed remove from mixer and using a large metal spoon fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds.

Spread pastry with strawberry jam and add cake mixture on top.

Bake in oven at 180°C (time depends on which tray you are using.  If one large tray bake up to 40 mins but small individual tartlet tin took only 11 minutes or individual square tin 13 mins)

Allow to cool slightly and remove from tray using silicone baby spoon for individual tins.  Once completely cooled mix up water icing (I never weigh this out - lots of icing sugar and add a tiny amount of water at a time until the correct consistency.) Add a glace cherry and revel in their beauty.

I hope you are as fortunate as me and have one failure so you can eat it before anyone has to see it.  You really do need to taste test anything that you make though (just in case it is too good to share 😜)

Hope you enjoyed the recipe and let me know if you try it and which type of tins you used.

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