1950s Stylin’

Good Afternoon Guys and Dolls,

This week I took my cooking experience to a whole new level. I enjoy the time I spend in the kitchen and I am often quite surprised at my own ability when a recipe on paper ends up being a delicious dish all of my own accord. But sometimes whipping up a plateful of cupcakes can get a bit repetitive, messy, scattered, frustrating, time consuming, stressful and so on and so forth. I am definitely one to get flustered when things become overwhelming and this got me thinking about the ladies of the 1950s whom inspire me so much.

I know they were housewives built into societal roles of mother, wife and homemaker ultimately given the job to spend their days within the home but they were still pretty amazing at maintaining an immaculate home and appearance. Now I’m not in any way trying to glorify the ’50s or compare the women of today to those over 50 years ago. We all know their lives were not perfect. But their sense of style and grace was flawless.

Nobody wants to return to a time of patriarchal prime in which women were restricted to the home but maybe we can take a few tips from their composure or even borrow their beauty tips on the occasion. I don’t know about you but when I’m having a bad day not much helps more than getting dolled up to put a smile on my dial.

Just think about it though. We have to give these women some credit. They were dealing with;

  • the end of World War 2
  • the heating up of the Cold War
  • economic changes
  • advances in technology
  • the threat of rock’n’roll and
  • rebellious teenagers

All of this still with fresh lipstick and not a curl out of place. If only life could be that simple. It’s no wonder that whilst we have advanced in so many ways including gender equality, technology and opportunity we still look to the past for inspiration in today’s fashion. Every day we can see the resurfacing of vintage garb; the coiled up do’s, the perfect pouts, the hourglass figures. It can’t hurt to also seek cooking inspiration from these lovely ladies surprising the family with some sweet treats, trying out some cake decorations for a friend or making a sunday roast to bring the family together.

The 50’s weren’t all bad for the women.  

In case you hadn’t noticed already, I love the 50’s era and I may have a slight obsession with Marilyn Monroe. As such, in true 50’s style, I decided to spice up the usual routine of baking by getting dolled up and making cupcakes with a slight twist. Unlike the vanilla cupcakes with butter cream frosting that are an easy fave I decided to try out the special Red Velvet recipe; one I have never personally tried or made.

I even altered the frosting combination to use Activia Cream Cheese which actually helps lower cholesterol. Always a plus when craving something sweet whilst maintaining that hour glass!

Maybe you can try out some dress ups and baking too. The recipe can be found at;

http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/search?q=red+velvet+cupcakes&x=0&y=0

Lady Jayy. xo

Baking the Blues Away

Good evening dolls,

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying a lazy Sunday evening as am I. Unfortunately, my weekend hasn’t been the best focussing mainly on assignments and trying to, though unsuccessfully, avoid the dreaded procrastination monster. I was also struck down with a little bit of the Winter blues yesterday which included;

a) a lack of concentration

b) mood swings and

c) the disorganization of any plans

I was left exhausted and restless reminiscing about my childhood as I enjoyed the gentle comedy of The Princess Diaries with my princess of a puppy Ruby.

However, after a long and much needed sleep I woke this morning in a better place ready to channel my inner fifties housewife and bake my blues away. Being the health conscious person I am, with the self control I have, I wanted something a little bit sweet without the added guilt.

What better way to spend a cloudy, cold, winter’s day than indoors baking up a storm and shaking some action to Nova’s daytime tunes in some bangin’ leg warmers? 

I had the kitchen to myself and after finding a delectable recipe for zucchini bread on foodgawker, I was sold. Cakes, slices, muffins and breads that use vegetables are always the underdog; tasting far better than they sound or one expects. It’s also the loophole to getting a daily dose of veggies in. Win win.I’ve done banana bread before but this was a first meeting for zucchini and I in the baking sense but I like a challenge. Bring it on. 

Baking is one of the best ways to zone out and stress less, especially when there’s no deadline or expectations weighing down on the concoctions. Add some tea and tunes and I’m in heaven. The recipe came from the app ‘foodgawker’ on my iPhone which linked me to a food blog where someone else had already tried it out. It got me thinking about how social having a blog can be and how easy it is to stumble upon a common interest with the click of a button.

I know I’m only an amateur and I’m not planning on becoming anything more to be honest. But I think that’s the appeal. It’s what I like about other food blogs when I get my stalk on. They;

  • talk to me on my own level
  • include success and failures and
  • give simple steps

If you want to try out your own baking skills I recommend giving zucchini bread a go. Easy, tasty and healthy! 🙂

Here’s a link to the blog I stole it from but I just used normal salt, not kosher, on the ingredients list.

Better start cleaning up my mess. -.-

Have a good week kids!

Lady Jayy. xo

The Competition

Hey dolls,

Surprise, surprise!

There is about 20 (not exact number) google pages filled with various different blogs that have the same goal as I do; to showcase different recipes and anecdotes that revolve around food. They ultimately pool together to become both my competition and my resources. This everlasting list of references begs one to think about the process of blogging in itself. When one can be inundated with a register of copious web pages with the click of a button that have stability, an avid following and much more relevant posts to one’s interests it get’s one thinking,

“Why would any one choose mine?”

In light of this question I decided to have a look at what I’m up against and to ignite some inspiration as a new entrant to the blogosphere. Here are the pros of a few foodie blogs I found.

http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/

One of the first blog’s I stumbled across was ‘bittersweet,’ created by an 18 year old young vegan woman. The pros;

  • Relatable
  • Recipe creator
  • Photographer
  • Recipe book author
  • Vegan. It appeals to a niche market

Hannah Kaminsky knows what she’s talking about being a vegan herself and she is clearly popular with a few of her own cookbooks having been published. Another of her definite appeals would have to be her age. It shows that you don’t have to be a mum or a chef to create your own food style and recipes.

“I don’t use egg replacer for most things just because I see it as a whole new craft, I’m not replacing things, I’m not taking them out, I’m just creating something from scratch.”
– Hannah Kaminsky

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/

‘Bake or break’ was another blog that stood out. Established for a few years it’s byline describes itself as, “the adventures of an amateur baker.” The pros;

  • Demonstrates trial and error
  • Well established with an avid following
  • Inspiration comes from family
  • Sentimental connection to cooking
  • Focusses on baking (niche market)

Once again, ‘bake or break,’ has a specific target market focussing only on baking. Her relation between family and cooking is especially evident with her blog posts which I think creates a special connection with her audience.

http://www.101cookbooks.com/

The premise of ‘101 cookbooks’ is an ideal example of the digital age we live in. Heidi Swanson, the author, describes what started her blog saying, “When you own over 100 cookbooks, it is time to stop buying, and start cooking. This site chronicles a cookbook collection, one recipe at a time.”

  • Established in 2003
  • Open journal
  • Easy to read
  • Various recipes
  • Reads like an unlimited recipe book

It encapsulates the ideal that in today’s age when you no longer have room for the physical written word, there is always room in the cyber world.

From my competition it is easy to deduce that for me to create a food blog of success I need a few basic things:

  • A love for food and recipes
  • A possible niche
  • A desire to write
  • An exploration of something new

Hopefully I can be just as good as these guys!

Lady Jayy. xo

Breakfast of Memories

Hey Dolls!

I decided for my first recipe trial I’d go with something simple and new. Now pancakes are the usual all American classic smothered in maple syrup, ice cream and whatever other concoction your willing to throw in there. However, I felt this was a little over done. Instead, following an invigorating run in the slice of sunshine Melbourne decided to share yesterday, I decided to whip up Pancakes’ French rival, Crepes!

Aware of how thin crepes are intended to be and despite their seeming simplicity my fear of screwing them up and having nothing to write about but a failed recipe started to kick in. However, before I was able to curl up into a ball in the corner of the kitchen, hugging a spatula to my body a good song came on the radio and the good vibes started flowing. Motivation arrived ready to try something different.

The recipe was simple enough;

  • Plain Flour                                   
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Banana (topping)
  • Honey (topping)

How hard could it be?

I started to get into the swing of things in no time; pour batter, swirl it in fry pan, wait, flip, wait, place in oven to keep warm. The smell was enough to take me back to my trip to Europe last year.

Location: Paris, France.

Encountering crepe stalls WHEREVER you walked. Eiffel Tower. Crepe Stand. Outside the Louvre. Crepe Stand. Strolling down the Champs-Elysees. 20 Crepe Stands. You get the picture. Though I’m not complaining. The temptation was overwhelming and it wasn’t long before I caved. I will never forget standing outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, Nutella and banana crepe in hand. Absolute bliss and a winning photo op. 

This can hands down be one of my favourite things about food. In just seconds the smell of something cooking, it’s taste or appearance can transport you back in time. It can bring back memories that usually sit in the dusty corners of your mind usually covered in spider webs. Special memories that you hope you never forget. I don’t think I will ever eat a crepe without thinking back to my first European trip. My mum, my travel partner, even asked if I had Nutella and banana in the ones I made the other morning.

Lady Jayy. xo

Hello and Welcome!

Hey hey dolls!

I issue a warm welcome to you who has ventured the limits of the Internet to explore my little blog.

I have to admit I am a blogging virgin, in terms of writing about something I enjoy and aside from the short “blog” responses that we are required to do for uni in relation to subject content. This can be considered the official loss of my “B Plates,” if you will and I appreciate your presence in this matter.

Over the coming weeks I will be utilising this space as an exploration of my own into the magnificent world of cooking, baking and food in general. Over the significant 7 week holiday break I have just encountered between semesters (yes, I am an arts student who is lucky enough not to have any exams) I found myself with a little bit of spare time here and there as a recent life change seemingly opened my calendar right up.

I think my obsession officially started when I decided to make cupcakes for an upcoming friends birthday. Personally, I’m not the biggest sweet tooth and can often be described as a bit of a health freak when it comes to food, however I love it in every form. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I revel in the ability to create something delicious from just a few ingredients. I can’t help enjoying the happiness that comes from a gesture such as making cupcakes for a friend or letting mum take the night off from being head chef.

Now my mum is no masterchef but she always amazes me with her ability to make a meal with no recipe and no measurements. I don’t know if it’s my personality or my fear of making a mistake but when I cook, I follow the recipe to the T!

This blog is ultimately my desire to learn how to cook more than just cupcakes. I want to try to recreate recipes for every meal of the day, even the sneaky treats, with the help of my iPhone app, ‘FoodGawker.’ I’m not looking to be the next chef anywhere, I just want to try something new and if it tastes good in the process that’s just an added bonus.

I hope when you read my blog you can try to understand some of the fun and enjoyment I’ve had and who knows, it might give you the motivation to try it yourself. 🙂

Lady Jayy. xo