Baking with Mrs Bouw!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hi there! The last few weeks have been quite hectic indeed! They've included house hunting, a trip to Sydney and back (more on that later), organising bits and pieces for our big move, booking removalists, flights, a little packing and I have had my inlaws visiting since last weekend all of which has been keeping me on my toes! But rather than bore you with all of those details I thought I would do a LONG overdue 'Baking with Mrs Bouw' post! I had a lovely ladies morning tea to attend yesterday and thought these bite size cupcakes would be ideal! It was my first time baking these little suckers and I must admit, they were super easy and so delicious! The original recipe is from 'The Hummingbird Bakery ~ Cupcakes and Muffins' cook book but as always, I played around with it a little by adding a few ingredients I thought were missing. Ooh, and I decided to try their recipe for the cream cheese frosting (as I found that the quantities I had previously used from other cook books gave an inconsistent result) but this time the icing turned out just perfectly so I'll be using this one going forward! And those of you who have been following my baking posts for a while now know that I love my frosting! This recipe makes 12 standard size cupcakes, however, I used slightly smaller patty cases which made 16 cupcakes.

Place the dry ingredients and butter in the bowl of
 an electric mixer and beat on a low speed until
 combined and of a sandy consistency.
Add the milk, eggs and vanilla essence and beat well ensuring
 you scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl.
This is what your mixture should look like.
Add the pumpkin puree and stir by hand until evenly dispensed.
Here's what your final mixture should look like.
Cupcakes before being iced...
And after!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream cheese frosting
1 cup all purpose plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
Pinch of salt
50 grams (3 tablespoons) butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup full cream milk
2 eggs
200 grams canned pumpkin puree

Cream cheese frosting
2 1/3 cups icing/confectioners sugar, sifted
50 grams (3 tablespoons) butter at room temperature
125 grams cream cheese

- Preheat oven to 170° C
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, salt and butter in an electric mixer and beat on a slow speed until combined and of a sandy consistency.
- Add the milk, eggs and vanilla essence and beat well ensuring you scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree by hand until evenly dispersed.
- Spoon the mixture into paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack and covering with a clean tea towel to cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting
- Beat the icing sugar and butter in an electric mixer on medium-slow speed until mixture comes together.
- Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely combined.
- Turn the mixer up to a medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Be careful not to overbeat as it can quickly become runny.
- Spread or pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.
- Enjoy! :)

And yes, they are as sweet as they look! So go on, give them a go!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! This is the second last one we will spend as expats... because in just 13 sleeps we will be home sweet home... this time FOR GOOD! Exciting times indeed! Enjoy and happy baking! :) x

Allegra's first word!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hello! I have been meaning to share the following with you for the last week, however, as you know I had been having a few issues with my blogger account including not being able to leave comments, upload videos or pictures... all of which have now been fixed thanks to the help of a few fellow bloggers! :)

The first video you are about to see was taken last Wednesday. This particular evening Allegra seemed to be mastering the art of blowing raspberries and I managed to capture her in all her splattering glory... I present to you Exhibit A... WARNING: It's pretty darn cute! :)


When one of my girlfriends saw the above video she made a comment that 'Daddy won't be far away now'... I'm not sure how she gathered that from Allegra's raspberry blowing but she was RIGHT! This second video was captured just two days later... I present Exhibit B...


So there you have it, Allegra's first word. And yes, at just 6 months and one week old our little lady is indeed destined to be a chatterbox! I know many of you can probably relate to my initial feelings of slight envy that her first word wasn't Mumma BUT then the pride set in that our clever little girl had spoken her very first word AND she sounds sooooo ridiculously sweet saying Dadda that it's just one more thing to add to our list of Allegra's heart melting moments :)

And just to share a few more of those moments with you, here are some recent pics of the one and only Allegra...

Beautiful Allegra.
Blackberry obsessed just like her Daddy!
Caught red handed and looking a little guilty :P
Earlier this week I put Allegra down for her midday sleep
and found her playing with her top pulled over her head...
I was a little to slow to get the camera but she
gave me this cheeky smile when I caught her out :)
For those of you who have never seen Allegra
 with wet hair and without her trademark bow!
She looks so much more like a baby here! So gorgeous.
She loves eating din dins in just her nappy :)
Cheeky chops :)

I know most of my posts these days are all about Allegra so I sure hope you enjoy receiving these updates!

On a separate note, I have a busy and exciting few weeks ahead which will hopefully result in me having lots to fill you in on soon...

Until then, happy hump day my friends! x

Blogger help!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hmph. I am having some issues with my blogger account and am hoping someone out there might be able to assist! I have been unable to leave comments on other blogs for the passed few days now. Every time I attempt to do so I am asked to select my profile (ie. blogger, wordpress etc.) and then sign in to my account but when I do it asks me to sign in all over again... and this prompt keeps repeating! :{ I recall seeing a fellow blogger post about a similar issue they were having in the last week or so, however, I can't for the life of me remember who it was or how they fixed the problem! If you know who this was or you yourself have been experiencing a similar thing I would love some advice! Thank-you! x

A story TOO good not to share...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Without getting all spiritual on you, are you one to believe in fate? Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?! Well I am. And I do. I also love a good 'six degrees of separation' story (who doesn't right?!) and it turns out this little story I am about to share is a mixed bag of destiny, fate, Facebook (what good story doesn't involve FB these days :P) and six degrees of separation all rolled into one. But above all else it involves this wonderful universe we call the blogosphere!

At the beginning of 2010 I began this lil' ol blog of mine. One of the very first blog friends I made was the gorgeous Sally from Once.Daily.Chic. Emails flowed back and forth and over the passed year we have gotten to know each other (as best you can via email) chatting  regularly about blog life and our real lives and I would say Sal has become what I might call my best 'blog friend' :)

These last few weeks Sal and I have been communicating on a 'several time a day basis' as it turns out one of the houses Mr B and I are looking at purchasing as our new home in Sydney just so happens to be in the same suburb Sally lives in. Coincidence #1. As a matter of fact, last night Sally was kind enough to do a thorough inspection of the property for us (it helps that she is a talented architect) and we thought that in itself was strange enough (the fact that we have never met and all) and taht we might potentially become neighbours! But this story is about to get a whole lot crazier...

So, this evening Sal and I were emailing back and forth and there was something random she was describing to me that she said I might better understand if I have a look at a particular album of her on Facebook. So I got my Facebook stalk on and off I went (gotta love a FB stalk hee hee)! I was scrolling through Sal's albums on the lookout for a particular one and on the way got distracted by the cover of another album. It was a random photo of Sal's Mum and her Step Dad and I couldn't help but to 'comment' on how stunning (I think I actually used the word HOT haha) her Mum is! Within a minute I had a comment back from Sal's Step Dad (who got the notification of my comment as he was tagged in the photo)... asking if I was in fact Married to Matt Bouw aka Mr B! 'What the...' I thought. Coincidence #2.

It took a minute for his name to ring a bell in my head and then the penny dropped... and so did my jaw... and then I nearly dropped right off the couch! It turns out that Sally's Step Dad and Mr B know each other, have met and were speaking on the phone only yesterday! AND I had actually received emails from him over the last few weeks only knowing him as a work colleague of Mr B's. It turns out Sal's Step Dad actually recruited Matt for his new job in Sydney! I couldn't believe it. Being a Sydneysider, Sal was one of the first people I confided in when we were considering making the move from KL to Sydney and low and behold Sal's Step Dad played a BIG part in it too! Both without knowing the others involvement or connection to Mr B and I!

So you can imagine once Sally and I pieced together the 'less than six' degrees of separation we were both utterly gobsmacked (so were the gents mind you)! We then proceeded to get a little giddy like one of those Lyndsay Lohan-type movies where the sisters are separated at birth only to be reunited by sheer fate later in life haha. I had to do my best not to burst into song singing 'It's a small world afterall' :P

But it is isn't it?! This world of ours. It really does just solidify my belief that sometimes your paths really are meant to cross with others and that some things really do happen for a reason. Bless this crazy, wonderful blogosphere that opens up so many doors and presents us with friendships and opportunities that might otherwise not come about. And as much as I hate to say it, bless Facebook! Because if it wasn't for my random FB stalk, we would never have made the connection as Sal and her Step Dad have different surnames! I wasn't lying when I said I love these kind of stories. It has left me with goosebumps and warm fuzzies all at the same time. And I love that it is my story to tell :)

Has a similar thing ever happened to you?! x

Birthday goodness!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ok, so I was completely spoilt for my Birthday again this year! Not only did I have an early Birthday weekend getaway to Sabah a few weeks back, I also had three days of celebrations filled with my favourite things and of course my two absolute favourite people! Here are a few pics from the weekend that was :) 

Getting ready to head out for Saturday
 lunch followed by a spot of shopping :)
Potato Moustache :)
Me and my best girl out to lunch!
Out to lunch AGAIN on Sunday!
Allegra studying the menu...
Clearly taking her time :)
She loves me THIS much :)
The opening of the presents was
shared with Allegra...
And she loved every minute of it!
Gotta love hubby's envelope! Not sure if you can make
it out but it is addressed to 'Sexy wife' hee hee
The goods! :)
The 'Laurine' Swarovski ring was one of the items I listed in my
'Valentine's Day Gift Guide' on the blog Mimi & Meg
back in February! Check out the post HERE :)
My first Birthday as a Mumma...
And wearing my new Birthday dress :)
Family Bouw
And what a way to end a perfect and very special Birthday!
A few hours out on the town with a (rare) romantic dinner for two :)
On top of all this I did shop a just a little storm purchasing a few new threads, some new ballet flats, a bag and a purse! What a Happy Birthday it was thanks to my darling husband and baby girl... I'm one very lucky lady indeed!

And a big thank-you to those of you who were kind enough to send your Birthday wishes! x


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