HonestlyLucy – Hitting the Market?

baking, blog, career, childline, cookies, cooking, cupcakes, doughnuts, festivals, lifestyle, naughtiness, naughty recipes, nottingham, wellbeing

Recently I’ve been having a think about my career, and whether or not I’m on the path I want to be on. Not headache inducing at all, she says, words dripping with the thickest sarcasm known to man. The thing is I do enjoy my job. I like the team I work with and I’m pretty lucky to be given some quite cool opportunities. I’ve been working in my role for about 2 years and I like to think I’m pretty damn good at it. It’s taught me an awful lot about working in an office and at events, the importance of details and the art of juggling professionalism with a ‘quirky’ personality; and I’m really grateful for all of that. The thing is, as much as all of those statements are true, my job is largely an admin role, and it’s not really what I did my degree for. At uni I studied Psychology with English Literature, whilst volunteering as a counsellor at Childline and an assistant at The Stroke Association’s weekly group meetings; whilst also being a programme rep for both the Psychology department and the English department. It was hectic but I really, really loved it. I’m used to having a billion and one things to juggle, and right now I only have a couple, and it’s starting to make me itch. So it’s time for a new challenge.

The idea of selling the things I bake has been loitering around the jumble sale that is the back of my mind for months now. I’ve even got a food standards agency certificate for my kitchen to prove it – 5 stars I’ll have you know! I just haven’t known where to start. The closest I’ve ever got to studying business is watching The Apprentice, and I’m fairly confident that Sir Alan has no interest in my cookie topped brownies. I’ve had fleeting thoughts about maybe applying for a stall at Summer food festivals, which I’ve then shooed away. I’ve attended enough of those to know that they get busy as all hell, and I don’t know that I’m quite ready for that yet.

I’ve worked enough manically hectic Christmases in a discount store to know how to handle a queue of customers – I ain’t scared! The retail side of things I can solidly say, I have down – references upon request. It’s more the production I’m concerned about. How much of everything do I need to bake? Do I buy boxes to put customer’s stuff in, or are bags better? Do I need an adapter for my phone so I can take card payments? I have been knocking around good old planet Earth for long enough now to know that these are the kinds of questions that can only be answered with experience. I’ve also picked up and dropped enough hobbies to know that it’s all too easy to end up severely out of pocket with not a great deal to show for it if you move too fast, too soon. And hello, I’m a broke millennial, I ain’t got time for that!

When I first moved to Nottingham, Andy discovered a company called Phat Doughnuts (which swiftly changed to The Nottingham Doughnut Company after a few name related legal implications). Their premise was essentially: doughnuts on delivery. We ordered from them for my birthday one year and fell in love. In addition to the delivery service, they traded at local markets. That company eventually grew into a pretty massive business success story. Within about 18 months, they went from delivering doughnuts by hand, to running a hugely successful store and having several employees. These days I am 100% convinced that they are the sole reason I will never be a size 8. Seriously. If you’re ever in Nottingham you absolutely NEED to track them down and try one. Anyway, I find their story really inspiring. They really did start from nothing and build what has the potential to be an empire. Far be it for me to assume that every story will be as successful as theirs – this much I have learned from Sir Alan. But it certainly gives me food for thought – no pun intended. Ok, pun definitely intended.

So I had a think about the local markets they used to trade at, and paid a visit to the vegan version of Sneinton market which takes place on the first Saturday every month. I imagine the vegan market is a bit smaller than the regular market, but visiting helped me to realise that it’s not out of my reach. With all of that in mind, I’ve just submitted my application to trade there, which feels very bizarre. I’ll have to wait to hear back of course – maybe they have no use for yet another baked goods stand? But if they do, I shall be sure to blog about it.

 

 

White  Chocolate Oreo Fudge

baking, cooking, food, naughtiness, naughty recipes, recipes

This is my idea of perfection because a) white chocolate and Oreos, duh; and b) it consists of 3 ingredients and requires precisely zero faffing around. 

You melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water, add the condensed milk, add the crushed Oreos, flatten into a baking pan and Bob is your proverbial uncle. All you have to do from there on out is resist the urge to cram the whole pan into your face before it has set into delicious, delicious fudgey goodness. 

Here’s how I set about creating the best treat in the world:

Melt 500g white chocolate in a bowl, above a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water!

When the chocolate is melted, add in one tin (approx 400ml) of condensed milk. I used the lighter version, but to be honest I kind of felt like I was applying a barbie plaster to a severed leg. 

Once mixed together, add in your broken/crushed Oreos. I like mine to be chunkyish, but you could play around with a blender to get different consistencies if you prefer.  
If you manage to complete this step without snaffling a square of chocolate, then you are a better person than me.   

Load your mixture into a baking tray or Pyrex dish lined with grease proof paper, and spread out. Pop in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. 

  I’m particularly fond of the way that the condensed milk sort of semi seizes the chocolate so that if you only have enough ingredients to make half a pan, you don’t have to worry about making the world’s thinnest fudge. Also, very much enjoy feeling like Moses parting the sea. 

 Remove form the fridge and cut into chunks. Above you can see the finished product. Filthy, isn’t it?

Red’s True BBQ – Nottingham

barbecue, food, naughtiness, naughty recipes, restaurant reviews, reviews, Uncategorized

Let me start by saying I am of the belief that if pulled pork were a person it would be a squeaky clean child star, living a fast and exuberant life, experiencing the world, being admired and envied by hoards of adoring followers. Until one day, it all becomes too much. The fresh faced child star we once knew and loved can’t cope with the demands of their relentless schedule and gradually vanishes before our eyes, leaving behind a mere shell of an MDMA addicted twenty year old, realising their career peaked when they were 12, leaving them no choice but to crank out cheap rom coms or dub step albums….

Basically, I think it’s overdone to shit, and the majority of the stuff out there now is simply cheap cuts of slow cooked pork mixed with an additive loaded BBQ sauce from a bottle. Aaaand the same can be said for a lot of BBQ food since it became popular in the UK.

  
Well, the meat at Red’s is no has been child star. If the meat at Red’s were a celeb it would be freakin’ Beyoncé. Prime cuts of meat, aged, rubbed and smoked to absolute perfection. Myself and the lovely boyfriend went for an anniversary treat. I had the brisket and burnt ends sandwich with 2 giant onion rings and slaw. I legitimately want these very sandwiches served at all future birthdays, my wedding and my funeral.

  
The brisket was deliciously savoury, melting in my mouth the moment it touched my lips. The burnt ends were like little nuggets of smokey BBQ heaven. And DEM ONION RINGS….

  
100% recommend the restaurant not only for its day making food, but also for its quirky, almost industrial style decor, friendly staff and the true ‘experince’ of eating out. Worth every penny.

Try not to drool as you ogle the food porn.

Choccie Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting and Cookie Crumbs

baking, cupcakes, food, naughty recipes

Yup. I went there.

I’ve been feeling SO tired lately. Not in a sleepy sort of way, more in a ‘it’s been 6 months since I had a break from work and if I don’t inject a hit of something different into my life soon I’m going to fall apart and it won’t be pretty’ *sharp intake of breath* sort of way. And in the most minor of ways, these cupcakes are that hit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still counting down the days until my week of annual leave starting August the 3rd; but I think this will keep me going until then. Also see: Lucy, disperse your annual leave more wisely across the year.

It might seem a bit bullshit-esque for somebody who predominantly blogs about food and baking to describe baking cupcakes as something different, but actually, I can’t remember the last time I baked cupcakes. For a long time I had a bit of an axe to grind with them. I kind of just saw them as sponge cake with a fancy hat on, and I’ve never really been a hat person. However, nutella hats are quite a different beast.

This recipe is from sallysbakingaddiction, a blog I am ridiculously late to the party on. I love it though! I love that she ‘translates’ her ingredients list for us UK folk who are too lazy to download a conversion app. The only things I changed were swapping out granulated sugar for soft light brown sugar – just a preference, I think it adds more depth of flavour to chocolatey cakes; and skipping the double cream in the frosting recipe – because I forgot to buy it. The cookie crumb was my own little ‘sod the diet it’s a Sunday’ addition. I’m quite looking forward to taking these into work tomorrow. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it but I’m currently on a temp contract but will be interviewing for permanency this Summer. Our business manager has a sweet tooth. You connect the dots. Anyway, here is a 3 part architectural journey of these delicious little treats:

Slutty Naked Cakes:

Showing Off My Limited Skills with a Piping Bag

Hiding My Limited Skills with a Piping Bag in the Best Way Ever  

In other news, I still haven’t ran since I felt my ankle start to weaken. I’m supposed to have a 3.5 miler tomorrow, but I think I’m going to walk it instead, to test the waters. Ohhh I don’t know though. Maybe I could walk a mile, run a mile, walk a mile, run half. From a mental health perspective, I’m finding that I’m really missing the benefits that regular cardio brings. Dilemmas, dilemmas. I wish I had a little Personal Trainer Fairy hovering above my right shoulder at all times, telling me what the best thing to do is.  I now have images of my old PT, Will, who is heavily tattooed, shaved headed and very much PT looking, wearing fairy wings, a wand and a tiara with his sports gear. I think he would look fabulous.

WELL. That took a turn I was not anticipating when I began writing about cupcakes. I think I’ll go now, but enjoy the food porn!