Category Archives: DIY

My Carrot Cake Recipe: a video

A while ago Meg and I escaped to the countryside to cook, read and sleep for a weekend.
This is a bit of what we got up to…

Video by Meg Gagnard
Recipe and cake by Olivia Cummings

Click here for the recipe.

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Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

When I cook, I go all out. There is no such thing for me as having friends over and making frozen pizza (heaven forbid!). For Valentine’s Day I made J vanilla cupcakes with salted caramel hearts and chocolate icing. I used this recipe but replaced milk chocolate for dark chocolate for the icing and simply added a spoon of my salted caramel before baking in the middle of each cupcake instead of the berries in the other recipe.

J is French and I’m Australian so the frog and koala seemed so appropriate. And funny!

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

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Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

Don’t forget to enter our GIVEAWAY here. Entries close on the 6th of March.

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DIY for Valentine’s Day

I adore making things with my hands and what better way to show your love for somebody than by making them a gift? Whether it’s a meal, a present, a card, a poem, a song, a garden or anything at all- aren’t homemade gifts the best kinds? J and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day because of it’s commercialness but also because for many years we were going between France and Australia and it sort of slipped through the radar. But I think it’s sad not to celebrate a day of love just because it’s commercial, don’t you? I mean, nowadays everything is commercial, so it’s not a really good reason in my eyes. I strongly believe that we don’t celebrate love enough. When we look at the news we see negative images, we complain about the government and the system, about each other, about our lives and situations. For too long we have been taught to complain, almost as though being constantly positive and happy is too close to gloating, therefore should not be done.

I am here to remind you that celebrating our lives and those we love is a great thing and does it really matter if it’s cheesy? Life is all about the nitty gritty details and the things we feel. So tell me, how do you celebrate love?

Here is a little gift I made for J for Valentine’s Day. (He is subscribed to my posts so he may see it before Thursday. If this is the case J, please pretend you didn’t see it and act surprised Thursday!)

It was so simple- I went to a photobooth and did a strip of photos with a blank piece of paper as a sign so that I could write what I wanted on it later on to make it look like a sign. And with my amazing stamp set from Germany I printed little hearts on the photo.

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

DIY for Valentine's Day

DIY for Valentine’s Day

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On Saturday we are going to go to the Pont de Arts and put on our lock next to all the other lovers…. do you know this bridge? Here is a good image of it that gives you an idea. Oh la la, how romantic.

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A special birthday in Paris

in Australia, my birthday falls in Summer so I am still not quite used to the idea of a cold birthday. It never quite feels like I remember it should. Nonetheless I had a lovely day and was very spoilt by my close friends, my J and my family despite them being far. (As soon as the sun comes out here and the temperature rises by about 15 degrees I’ll be able to show you my to-die-for silk skirt my parents got me in India).

J was cheeky and organised me a surprise party with my besties last night. And he revealed his big secret: We are going to Rihanna. I know, I know, I’m a diva… but I won’t hide the fact that I adore Rihanna and I am sure the concert will be incredible! It’s in June. Eep!

Fridge birthday love

Fridge birthday love

My adorable friend Meg, who features very frequently on my blog and vice verca as we are always loitering around together, gave me two very precious gifts. Below, a container for my herbes de Provence and as she is from Denver, a native American dream catcher which I will put photos up of very soon. She posted wonderful photos of my birthday here.

Anthropologie herbs and spices storage

Anthropologie herbs and spices storage

caramel au beurre salé

caramel au beurre salé

Morning tea

Morning tea

blueberry pancakes and fried pears

blueberry pancakes and fried pears

Meg came around for a birthday breakfast yesterday and I made us my latest recipe: egg-free, almond meal blueberry pancakes with fried pears. If I can say so myself, they are very delicious. Here is the recipe:

1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of almond meal
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of water
2 cups of whole milk
5 tablespoons of melted butter (or ghee which is clarified butter and much better for you)

How to:
Mix the dry ingredients
Add milk, water, and vanilla. Whisk together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix – it should still be slightly lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While pan is heating, add butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add melted butter to pancake batter.
Return pan to stove and stir butter into batter.
Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Add the blueberries after putting the mixture in the fry pan. Carefully flip pancakes with turner/spatula and cook until golden brown.

Serve with fried slices of pear and a drizzle of honey. YUM!

Limoges breakfast cups

Limoges breakfast cups

Limoges breakfast cups

Limoges breakfast cups

Blueberry and spinach smoothies

Blueberry and spinach smoothies

I also made blueberry and spinach smoothies with super greens powder.

new shoes from Eden shoes

new shoes from Eden shoes

As a little present to myself, I bought these for 24 euros. Not bad at all I think.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everybody and until next time xo

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Adorbale Cupcake Toppers to Brighten up Any Day

These cupcake toppers are made by a lovely lady who is supporting her family because she is an American Army Wife. I cannot imagine what this must be like but what better way to make her role as a mother and army wife meet by being crafty to support her family. Her Etsy shop is filled with cute cupcake toppers. She is offering a 10% discount for all of my readers on her Etsy shop for the month of November with the code: PARIS10. Why don’t you stock up for Christmas?

She sent me koala toppers because I am Australian :)

And frogs for my Frenchman, J.

They are really well made, strong, perfectly cut and do not bend easily.

I cannot wait to make cupcakes with them and to post photos for you all.

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Pumpkin and Ginger Soup for Halloween

After being bed-ridden yesterday with the nasty germs that are going around Paris at the moment, and being Halloween, I thought that seeing I can’t go out dressed up with gruesome make up on I’ll make myself a pumpkin soup for the occasion!

This soup is for two people:

500g of pumpkin
1 onion
2cm of ginger
Herbes de Provence
4 cloves of garlic
Coconut oil (and not olive oil! Click here to find out why)

Cut up the pumpkin, onion, ginger and place them in the baking tray with coconut oil. Sprinkle on the herbes de provence. Bake for around 60 minutes and 20 minutes before taking the tray out of the oven, add in the garlic.

Blend everything up and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, chia seeds and some lime rind for zest.

I am so in love with the Autumn leaves falling at the moment and I love to bring them home.

I must say, this soup goes so well with the colours of these leaves.

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Cupcake Camp Paris III at Comptoir Général for Make A Wish Foundation

Cupcake Camp III was held last Saturday at the Comptoir Général. All of the Cupcake pros in Paris were there, like SugarDaze and Beauty Cakes and all of the proceeds went to Make a Wish Foundation France. In total we made a little over 5500 euros, which really shows the wonderful participation of everybody and great spirit.

Kristen from The Kale Project made kale cupcakes and you can click here to get the recipe.

The theme was Halloween so many of the cupcakes were oh-so-spooky!

These lovely ones were made by la Dinette de Nelly, a lovely young French woman who I found to be very creative and welcoming.

I made Flourless Chocolate Cake for those of you wanting a little break from the flour after downing a couple of high-carbohydrate cupcakes (hehe!). I used the same recipe as this one, but I didn’t put in the raspberries this time. My amazing sprinkles came from The Sprinkle Box Shop. More details here.

Thanks to Elodie Garbé for her marvelous illustrations, as always. She can draw whatever you want for a very reasonable price.

My J took a while to choose his cupcakes but came back with these three:

It was really a wonderful day and I’d like to thank Bryan and Cat for making it happen! I can’t wait for next year.

In other news, if you want the chance to win some lovely soap, click here. Or else a funky bracelet by OOAKjewelz, click here.

Want to decorate cupcakes? My readers have been offered a 10% discount for the month of November with the code PARIS10 on this website. All you have to do is enter the coupon code at checkout.

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The Best Cupcake Sprinkles I’ve Ever Seen

I was lucky enough to be sent a huge box of sprinkles from Laura from The Sprinkle Box Shop. Not only are her sprinkles bright and colourful, but they come in generous sizes and she sends them off quickly! The quality is really high, they don’t crumple or discolour like many sprinkles do.

Laura is a young and inspired lady that started her business whilst organising her son’s 2nd birthday party last year. Laura had ideas racing through her mind at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning while feeding their at the time 4- month-old baby girl. This turned into details on paper, which turned into conversations and connections, resulting in her own business a year later.

There is not a single colour that she doesn’t do!

I made flourless chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and the sprinkles rocked my socks!

Click here or here to access her shop, and like her facebook page here!

If you need wonderful illustrations done for you like the one just above I highly reccomment Elodie Garbé who is a young French graphic designer and illustrator. Her new site is here and her blog here.

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Roasted Chestnut and Pumpkin Soup

Soup in Winter is bliss. Particularly in Paris where Winter pierces my skin and goes straight to my bones. This soup really warms you up. Chestnuts are a plenty in Paris.

Soup for 2 people

What you’ll need:

10 chestnuts, roasted.
Half a pumpkin
A couple of slices of ginger
crème fraîche

To roast chestnuts, they should be rinsed and dried, and a small slit or cross must be made in the skin or they will burst. Pre-heat the oven to 200°CC. Roast prepared chestnuts, in small batches, for 10-20 minutes. Transfer to a tea-towel.

Roast the pumpkin in coconut oil with the ginger until soft.
Mix everything together and add a tablespoon of crème fraîche and a teaspoon of salt.

In case you didn’t know, chestnuts are very high in vitamin C and are a lot lower in calories than other nuts.

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Shortbread for all!

I love cute things. So I have a ridiculous collection of cookie cutters. I made shortbreads on the weekend. Here is my recipe:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 120g (2/3 cup) Rice Flour
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • Plain flour, extra, to dust

Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush 2 large baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease. Combine the flour, rice flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Roll dough out until 1cm thick. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut shapes from dough. Place on prepared trays. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until shortbreads start to change colour. Cool on trays for 1 hour.

Enjoy! Who said cookie cutters are for kids? I disagree, adults should use them so they don’t forget the small pleasures in life!

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