Food: Sugar Cookie Lemon Tarts

It was my turn to bake at work last week, it feels like forever for it to get round to my turn now that so many of us are on the baking rota. This is a good thing really because it means I can eat (and silently judge) everyone’s efforts.

I always favour a lemon flavoured recipe because it’s such a simple ingredient to bake with and always produces such a great end result. I’m always a champion of lemon drizzle cake but wanted to try something a bit different.

If you’ve ever come across Pocket then you’ll know how easy it is to see a link and save it for later, and then forget that you saved it for later and never read anything. This is how I discovered the recipe for sugar cookie lemon tarts.

I vaguely remember that Lauren Conrad shared the link to the Inquiring Chef and found it really interesting because it wasn’t just a recipe but a post on millennials and what people do after doing some obligatory travelling and then returning home.

She spends some of her Saturday afternoons baking and she shared the tarts as one of those recipes.

Not one to brag *ahem* but these turned out perfectly on the first bake. Such a simple recipe to follow, I was surprised at how easy the cookie crust was and how the filling baked nicely.

The dough was straightforward to make and I would certainly recommend trying to keep it in the fridge for the full half an hour, I made two batches of this and the second time I didn’t leave it in as long and was a lot stickier when moulding into the bun tins.

The lemon filling was probably fiddly just for the pure reason that I had to separate the yolks from the white and put them in the right bowl.

Pour in the filling bang in the oven and they’re done in 12 minute on the dot. Sprinkle over some icing sugar and a squirt of whipped cream for decoration!

 sugar cookie lemon tart

All pretty:

finished lemon tart

Recipe

For the cookie crust:

115g unsalted butter, softened
100g granulated sugar
1 egg
190g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch salt

For the lemon filling:

2 eggs
3 egg yolks
60ml cup whipping cream
Juice from 1 large lemon
¼ cup granulated sugar

For topping
4 tblsp icing sugar
120ml whipping cream
(or alternatively squirty cream)

Method

1. To make the sugar cookie crust, in a standing mixer (or by hand) beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes oh high. Add the egg and mix on medium until fully incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt all at once and mix on medium just until no spots of flour remain, about 20 seconds (do not over mix). Wrap the dough in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.

While the oven is preheating, make the lemon filling by whisking together the eggs, egg yolks, whipping cream, lemon juice, and granulated sugar until smooth.

3. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Divide the dough into quarters and divide each quarter into six even balls of dough. Press each ball of dough it into a space in the muffin tin. Using your thumbs, press the dough into the tin so that it is evenly distributed along the sides and bottom. (Don’t worry if it is a bit thinner in some places than others.) Pour the lemon filling into the centre of each sugar cookie cup, stopping just below the top of the crust.

4. Bake until the filling is set and the crust begins to turn golden, 10-12 minutes. (Do not over bake – pull the tarts out just when you see any golden colour on the crusts.) Allow these to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Before serving, dust the tops of the tarts with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Beat the whipping cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spoon the whipping cream on top of each tart. Serve chilled.

Summer #nailart round-up

Here’s what has been happening on my nails during these lovely summer months! I always find that my white nail polish goes down quicker during summer as it’s definitely my most used shade.

Lilac Gingham

2014-06-30 20.37.55I think I need to get used to using a striper brush because this is not as neat as I wanted it! After trimming down the bristles on the brush to make it stiffer it’s still difficult to get the straight lines when not using a pen!

The colours are really complementary though, so I will definitely be trying something like this again.

Sophynails signature Eyenail

2014-07-06 17.23.07Bloody loved this nail. Sophy Robson posted this on her Instagram page last month and there’s a video tutorial for it on Youtube.

I wanted to mix up the colours slightly so instead of using just one blue for the background colours I used a selection of my Barry M collection I have.

On Sophy’s tutorial she starts with the white half moon first and then fills in the blue around the shape, but I think it’s easier for those not as steady with their hands to paint the base coat of colours first and wait for those to dry and then draw the white half moon of the eye afterwards. That way you’re not going over the white with your blue.

If you choose to do that anyway, you can still neaten up any overlap with the outline of the eye. Sophy uses a dark blue for the outline which is effective but I used my black Barry M nail pen and it still gives the same effect.

Outline your white half moon with the black pen and then draw a large circle in towards the upper of the eye for the pupil and then go around the edge of your nail too. Then draw the lines for your eyelashes, if you have a dotter tool then you can use a black polish to make perfect circles or stick with the nail pen and draw them yourself.

Don’t forget the all  important white highlight in the pupil, just use your white nail pen or a white polish to make the small dot. After the nail art is dry add your topcoat to seal your nails. I’d recommend a couple of top coats especially on the edges because I found after a few days the black edging does come off.

Orange V

2014-07-16 21.22.41-2Ok so these went a bit weird. It was supposed to be a V shape, and they were not supposed to really touch in the middle. Because they did I had many comments saying they looked like flags.

Umm no. If anything I thought they ended up looking like the colour of the fish Nemo.

I think because the white stripe went too close and then when I outlined them with the black they touched, if I do these again I’d make the Vs further apart and less diagonal. But that’s the fun of nail art try and try again!

Floral Ombre

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I really liked this design, there was a lot to it and it definitely got messy.

First I started with a white base and topped that off with the Seche Vite fast dry top coat. Then using a makeup sponge (you can get a pack of about 20 from Primark for £1!) I painted a light shade of blue on and dabbed that on then while that was still slightly wet added a darker blue on top to blend it in.

You can also do that another way, by painting the light shade on the sponge and the dark on top and then applying it straight to your nail, which ever you find easiest!

Build this up a little so you get the full ombre effect, you can wait for this to dry or add another Seche Vite coat but bear in mind every time you add a clear coat it makes your nail varnish thicker and thicker and sometimes is more likely to chip.

After this had dried fully I added the black flower in the moon of my nails and the using the nail brush of an orange dabbed little circles of colour. I should have left a little bit more space for the gold in between as it did prove to be a tight squeeze, and you can always make it a bit more 3D by adding gold jewels instead. To finish another top coat.

San Diego #ComicCon: Marvel

The Marvel Comic Con panel is the one everyone waits for, with rumour of people not daring to leave Hall H as soon as they get a seat early on in the day. The presentation was expected to bring some big news and footage reveal with the nearly 7,000 people packed into the gigantic Hall H who were there waiting with baited breath.

It was odd then that Marvel had already announced release dates for their next stage just a week before Comic Con, with new films hitting theaters July 28 and November 3, 2017; July 6 and November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019, as for what they are Mashable had a pretty good guess at predicting which sequels and originals would be out. And then at the preview night on Wednesday Entertainment Weekly revealed an exclusive poster concept for Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd as well as teasers of the Avengers concept art.

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Avengers battle sequence

Should Marvel have saved some news for the panel instead of just teasing the audience with some footage of Avengers: Age of Ultron and a confirmation that there will be a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy in 2017? Even the panel questions according to Collider seemed a bit lacklustre with most of the cast, including Robert Downey Jr, Jeremey Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L Jackson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, Elizabeth Olsen and surprise guest Josh Brolin, regurgitating “how excited they are to be [insert superhero] and part of the Marvel universe”. Collider also seem to think that Marvel were in the stages of putting something together to reveal (Doctor Strange perhaps?) but it couldn’t be finalised in time for a Comic Con reveal.

Still the audience in attendance did get some footage of an ‘Avengers party’ scene where each member of the superhero team tried to lift Thor’s hammer, not even Hulk could budge it with only Captain America (as seen in the original comics) the only one to move the hammer which apparently makes Thor visibly nervous. Then the Avengers are visited by the first incarnation of Ultron (James Spader) and then an action-packed montage ensues. With a broken Captain America shield most prominent…

Ant-Man

Ant-Man has had a couple of setbacks most recently with the original writer/director Edgar Wright leaving the project after putting in eight years of labour due to ‘creative differences’. Whilst it’s a shame that this new movie from Marvel won’t be helmed by Wright, it’s something that fans have to move past and get on board with the new guy at the helm Peyton Reed, even if he apparently did get a lukewarm reception at the panel on Saturday.

Paul Rudd who admitted he was a Comic Con virgin helped debut new footage alongside Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll who had been confirmed as Yellow Jacket, and a new character at the panel, Evangeline Lily who has been confirmed as ‘Hope Pym’ and said that the panel was the first time she was officially allowed to talk about the role and hadn’t even seen a script yet!

The movie is due to start filming in two weeks and Rudd said in a quick Q&A with Collider that he’d been working closely with script writer Adam Mckay “every day for six weeks and we’ve spent a lot of time on it.”  He went on to say “I love where we’re at.  It’s still the story that Edgar and Joe wrote and created and while we’re still polishing some things, I feel really good and excited about where we’re at.”

I hope that Ant-Man turns out how it should be, I love Paul Rudd and I’m sure Marvel wouldn’t have invested so heavily in the actor if they didn’t believe he could bring the character to life and do it justice on the big screen with the right script of course…

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Best bits from San Diego #ComicCon 2014

San Diego Comic Con 2014 was chock-a-block full of television and film stars, directors, showrunners and producers all ready to dish out the best in teasers, trailers, characters, release dates and character reveals to their adoring audiences.

There’s simply too much information to digest from the four day event, so I’m just rounding up the best bits, from the shows I watch to the movies I’m excited about as well as other little tidbits that came out of SDCC!

Game of Thrones

The show storylines and new castings confuse the hell out of me because I still barely know what is happening or who anyone is.

One thing I can get on board with is a reet good blooper reel!

Arrow (The CW)

If you don’t already watch this show then what is wrong with you?! The nicest guy in television and in possession of possibly the most amazing set of abs ever, Stephen Amell, stars as the green-hooded vigilante Arrow aka Oliver McQueen.

Stephen Amell Facebook

Those abs.

The CW show just concluded season two and the cast are currently in the midst of filming season three, for which an awesome action-packed trailer debuted at Comic Con.

After a happy season two ending this trailer promises that things will not be as smooth sailing for the third season, even thought there’s a date for Olicity it also reveals who the Big Bad will be – Ra’s al Ghul. Known as the head of the League of Assassins, most recognisably played by Liam Neeson in The Dark Knight trilogy, executive producer Marc Guggenheim said of the season three villain: “We really wanted our Ra’s to be very different — at least our own Arrow-ified version.”

The Flash (The CW)

A sorta-spin off from Arrow, but as we know a stand alone superhero in his own right, The Flash gets it’s own show starring Grant Gustin (Glee) as the titular character Barry Allen.

As a side note I was a little reluctant at Grant Gustin’s casting purely on the back of how much I hated his character in Glee, but all is forgotten!

Starring in two episodes of Arrow’s last season we saw lots of lovely chemistry between Felicity and Barry before a massive lightning storm set off by a reaction at S.T.A.R Labs causes something to go very wrong with Barry and he disappears from Arrow.

The Flash debuts in October and we won’t have to wait long before there’s a crossover episode between the two shows, episode 108 and episode 308 respectively, but Felicity will be first to crossover into Central City in episode four without her right-hand man.

The audience at the panel got a sneak peek at the pilot (which I’ve also seen and it’s freakin’ awesome) and here’s the trailer for the show:

Teen Wolf (MTV)

Another fantastic show that bares no relation whatsoever to the Michael J Fox movies apart from it’s name.

MTV are doing really well with their original scripted shows and this has just been renewed for season five and we’re only half way through season four. Great news for the Teen Wolf cast which includes Tyler Posey as alpha werewolf Scott McCall, Dylan O’Brien as his human BFF Stiles, and the rest of the ragtag bunch include Holland Roden as banshee Lydia, werecoyote Malia played by Shelley Hennig, beta werewolf Derek Hale played by Tyler Hoechlin, Arden Cho as Kitsunay (basically a fox) Kira and JR Bourne as the hunter Chris Argent.

The last season saw several big losses from the main cast as they got killed off and basically asked to leave the show to pursue other roles. Fair play to them but it meant that season four has given the writers the chance to revisit some of the more fun elements of the earlier seasons when Scott was just learning to deal with his new life as a wolf with this time new cast member Dylan Sprayberry as the newbie.

During the Comic Con panel they released a freaking brilliant mid-season trailer that promises so much I could not be more excited!

The Maze Runner (20th Century FOX)

Yet another movie based on a series of young adult books, you may groan, but I read them and couldn’t put them down. They are that good.

Here the movie stars Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, a boy who wakes up after having his memory erased surrounded by a group of boys who live in The Glade. He soon finds out that they are trapped by a maze and will need to escape with his fellow ‘runners’.

Every 30 days in The Glade a boy is delivered via the lift shaft and Thomas was expected, but the next day a girl, Teresa played by Kaya Scodelario (Skins), is delivered and everything changes.

The movie also stars another Brit, Will Poulter, who is definitely on the rise in Hollywood! During the panel Dylan accidentally revealed a massive spoiler when asked by the audience what his hardest scene was to film, but to be fair if the fans of the books were there they’d know it anyway!

The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

The Vampire Diaries is heading towards it’s sixth season and *spoiler alert* season five saw the demise of main cast stars Ian Somerhalder’s Damon and Kat Graham’s Bonnie, they went into that bright white light on the other side with no way back.

I have to admit this show annoys me somewhat, it took me a few episodes to really love it in season one and then I was enamoured by the show. Then every season since sees it have a good opener then it dips so low beyond bad that I always come close to giving up on it, then just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse someone dies (but probably always comes back to life) and then it gets good just for a crazy season finale.

I think some shows that have a long run of around 22-24 episodes per season will always struggle to keep the action and storylines above average and so this is expected and which is why I always end up coming back.

Anyway panel for this show had all the cast present from Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, the return of Matt Davis as fan-favourite Alaric, AND Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham. So they’re not going to stay dead for long then (dammit).

Here’s the very funny trailer they debuted, a possible Damon-Bonnie spinoff? I don’t think so:

#Spideradcliffe

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was at Comic Con this year to appear on the panel for his new movie Horns, which looks brilliant.

But that wasn’t his only appearance… He shared a picture to his Google+ page of him dressed in full Spiderman costume hitting the show floor! Well done Spideradcliffe you fooled everyone, not sure Andrew Garfield would be too happy… Haha!

DanRad spiderman 2 DanRad spiderman

Batman v Superman

At last year’s Comic Con they announced this epic superhero battle and now Dawn of Justice debuted it’s cast on the panel, and they didn’t utter a single word. Director Zack Snyder was worried the audience would ask too many questions so didn’t let stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill or Gal Gadot speak at all!

And according to Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub, Ben Affleck actually walked the show floor with no security and not one person recognised him. Way to go incognito Batfleck!

What we did get though was an awesome image of Gal Gadot in full costume as Wonder Woman. I love how they’re sticking with the gritty theme and have discarded that traditional red, blue and gold costume we all know and love. Instead it’s all dark burgundy leather and warrior-like. Love it.

Gal Gadot

 

Mad Max

The first trailer for prequel Mad Max: Fury Road debuted at Comic Con and it looked suitably apocalyptic. The cast including Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Zoe Kravitz spent months in Namibia, South Africa filming giving the desert backdrop a hellishly authentic feel.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The first sighting of Jennifer Lawrence‘s heroine Katniss in this full teaser trailer. Note that we’ve had two teasers, less than 30 seconds long, then we have the first teaser trailer which is just one minute long. I reckon we’ll get another couple of teaser trailers, before a full length trailer which could potentially last more than two minutes, by that time I will be more annoyed by the way marketing departments are dribbling out these multiple trailers instead of just releasing one or two. Grrr.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook where I tend to post more pics and celeb updates than I blog about!

Emma Watson for Dior?

Emma Watson may have just been announced as the latest Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, but I think she should be named as the face of something else.

That would be Dior of course.

Emma has more than proved her Christian Dior fashion game when dressing in the french brand, with a perfect example being earlier this year at the Golden Globes.

She was my joint best dressed with Lupita Nyong’o at the awards, dressed in an edgy red open back Dior couture dress with black cigarette pants. By far the most amazing she has looked EVER.

Emma Watson Dior back

Emma Watson in Christian Dior Couture at the Golden Globes 2014

Emma has also proved she has the modelling chops on countless magazine covers and was even the face for British fashion brand Burberry alongside her brother back in 2009.

Even more convincing that Emma Watson should join the likes of Dior girls Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron and Zhang Ziyi, was her FROW appearance at Couture Fashion Week in Paris on Monday (July 7).

It takes a lot to pull star power away from everyone’s favourite celebrity Jennifer Lawrence (she even got facepalmed for her efforts) but Emma did just that by being the best dressed in Dior by a mile.

Emma Watson JLAW

Jennifer Lawrence isn’t so happy that Emma has taken her Dior crown

Charlize Theron did provide a little competition in her sparkling gold mini dress, but Emma killed it in a unique layered look accessorized with Dior shoes and Dior clutch. Could J-Law have pulled this edgy look off, yes probably, but this fashion win was bestowed upon the actress formerly known as that girl from Harry Potter.

Emma Watson Couture Week Dior Source- Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images Europe

Emma Watson in Dior at the Christian Dior Couture Fashion Show, Paris

And just when I thought she’d given us her best, Emma was pictured later on heading to a private Dior dinner in a floral printed Resort 2015 mini skirt and chic flowing top alongside her new BFF J-Law, Marion Cotillard, and Elsa Pataky.

Emma Watson dior party

Emma Watson in Dior Resort 2015 at a private dinner for Dior

For more looks from Couture Fashion Week head over to my Pinterest page

Nail art of the week: Nautical nails

I was feeling inspired last week when it came to my nails and I had quite a bit of spare time on my hands so I went back to the drawing board with my nail art pens.

Looking through the WAH Nail Instagram page for ideas I came across Margot Robbie’s nautical nails that she had done for her holidays.

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I chose the base colours as close to their design as possible, red, white and instead of black I went for a dark blue and a light blue. My favourite nail was the anchor detail with white stripes, super simple and effective. The blue and white striped nails actually have different backgrounds and definitely could have been neater!

I added a cute wheel from other nautical nail art I’d spotted and a gold accent for the ring finger just for a little pizzazz. I really loved the colours together and would definitely just wear them together without any nail art!

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Nautical nail art

Blushing brides: Kim Kardashian vs Poppy Delevingne

The only wedding I’ve written about on The Importance of Being Oreo was the royal wedding and that most beautiful Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton wedding dress.

But I can’t pass the opportunity to speak about the wedding of the year and that bespoke Givency wedding dress.

That’s right, the Kimye wedding. I’m only slightly ashamed to admit I watch The Kardashians, who gives a toss, it’s insane, crazy, mental, and a funny insight into the world’s vainest family. What’s not to love?!

There’d been mounting speculation on the designer Kim Kardashian would pick to make her fifth wedding gown, that privilege was awarded to fashion BFF Ricardo Tisci. The Givenchy designer made up for his Met Gala floral catastrophe with an undeniably exquisite lace confection complete with a cut out back – well it is Kim Kardashian after all…

With all the hoopla over the Kim Kardasian and Kayne West wedding in Florence, another celeb wedding was able to go pretty much under the radar. Although to be fair Poppy Delevingne had already wed her new hubby James Cook in London on May 16th, she had a second wedding in the gorgeous setting of Marrakech with a few of her closest and coolest celeb friends in attendance.

Poppy Delevingne had already stunned in a Chanel creation but managed to go even more hippyish with her second dress by designer and close friend Peter Dundas. The Emilio Pucci creative director fashioned a boho wedding dress for Poppy featuring floral appliques and that seemingly popular tunic style feature which turned into a super huge skirt. The temperatures in Marrakech are currently in their 30s so I’m guessing she had a bit of a sweat on carrying that about!

What I pose to you dear readers. Which dress do you prefer? Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy couture creation, classic with a modern twist? Poppy Delevingne’s first wedding gown, a heavily embellished Chanel dress and her retro side-parted hair or her second boho Pucci dress very much in keeping with the bride’s hippy personality.

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poppy delevingne wedding dress pics

Wedding season is upon us so see how to be the perfect wedding guest with my latest Shopcade list:

Be the perfect wedding guest on Shopcade