Tag Archives: OhSoBoHo

Creative beginnings

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So the new year is well and truly underway but I think I will start to blog some of my own personal favourite Danbo creations linking directly from my Flickr stream.

Since I got my second and bigger Danboard at Christmas I am finding myself even more inspired with my Danbo creations this year.
Ideas just’come to me’ now and having two little cardboard robots is actually making it easier to create.
I was worried that wouldn’t be the case, and undecided for most of last year about getting a second Danboard but now, I am without a doubt glad I did. Thank you Santa ^_~

So this New Years scene creation was my first Danbo image of 2012. I handmade the tiny bunting one evening – I love anything arty so having the chance to use it in my photography is relaxing and fun for me. The other tiny props are dolls house accessories, apart from the tiny guitar which is actually a fridge magnet and the Japanese cat which is a mini Maneki Neko ornament for Good Luck.

So far so good with my photography this year. I am feeling good about my progress. In my abilities with the camera to using photoshop and honing my post-processing skills.
For me, Danbo photography inspires me in all the other areas of photography. It keeps me imagining and thinking creatively constantly and that to me is what every artist needs. It brings me joy to know my images can bring a smile and even inspire others.

Via Flickr:
Happy New Year from us to you! May all your dreams and wishes come true in 2012 xoxoxo

All rights reserved ©.
Images may not be copied or used in any way without my written permission.

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Chocolate Layer Cake

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A birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without a cake! So this year for my 28th birthday I decided to make a cake using a wonderful recipe that I adapted from a Mary Engelbreit book I bought in the Goodwill Store for $3!  I hadn’t made a cake like this before, or anything Mary Engelbreit for that matter (I recognised her name from her sweet illustrations)  It turned out scrumptious and was really easy to make!  I will definately make this again and again in the future, perhaps with a different frosting or an extra layer…O_O!

I used my best ingredients for this like a really good vanilla extract, Ghirardelli chocolate baking chips and my favourite baking cocoa Schaffen Berger  and oh boy it was totally worth it. The richness and chocolatey heaven of this cake is any chocolate lovers dream.

Serves 8 — 10

Ingredients:
For the cakes

185 g / 1 2/3 cups cup of plain flour

75 g / 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder – preferably Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tspn baking powder

1/4 tspn salt

1/2 tspn baking soda

175 g / 3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

340 g / 1 1/2 cup sugar

3 large freerange eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract

330 g / 1 1/3 cups of sour cream

Utensils:

Two mixing bowls,whisk,spatula,wooden spoon(s), sieve, hand mixer (if possible) two 9-inch round cake tins

Method:

*Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4

Grease and flour the two 9 inch round cake tins

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt

In another mixing bowl, ‘cream’ the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (If using an electric mixer use a low speed)

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla extract.

Next add half of the flour and all of the sour cream. Continue blending everything well ( or beating on a low speed) and then add the remaining flour.

Pour the batter in the prepared tins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.

Bake the layers for approx 30mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 mins before removing from the tins. Let cool completely on the racks while you prepare the frosting. (It is important for the cakes to be cooled before frosting as heat would just cause your frosting to melt)


                          

Ingredients:      

For the Sour Cream Fudge frosting ( makes 2 1/4 cups )

10 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate pieces or coarsely chopped

330 g / 1 1/3 cups of sour cream

1 tspn vanilla extract

Utensils:

A heatproof bowl, saucepan, mixing bowl, wooden spoon and icing spatula

Method:

Over a medium heat melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl placed on a saucepan of water. Stirring occasionally until smooth.

Meanwhile in a bowl combine the sour cream and vanilla extract. Next gradually combine the chocolate and sour cream until smooth and shiny (If using an electric mixer use a medium setting)

Let stand for approx 20- 30 mins until room temperature and slightly thickened stirring once or twice.

Frosting Technique:

Before you begin, remember to brush away loose crumbs. Spread a layer of frosting over the first cake layer evenly but without reaching the edge as the weight of the top cake layer will do that for you once you centre it on top. Continue to spread the frosting smoothly using the icing spatula over the top of the cake and all around the sides. Finish by topping with chocolate sprinkles and last but not least enjoy!

Basic Pancakes

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Prep work

A well over-due recipe on pancakes! Not that it has to be a special pancake day to enjoy them. I do mine the Irish/English way so they are thin and crepe -like but not as lacy in appearance and then served with the usual traditional toppings. Personally, I love mine with lemon & sugar…..So, how do you eat yours?

Ingredients:

110g / 4oz / 3/4 cup of plain flour

2 free- range eggs

200ml /7  fl oz milk mixed with 75 ml / 3 fl oz water

50g / 2 oz butter

Utensils:

A Sieve,spatula,whisk/fork,ladle,mixing bowl,small bowl, frying pan, palette knife or pan slice.

For keeping the pancakes warm as you make them –  A pot of simmering water covered by a  plate and some sheets of greaseproof paper should do the job.

Method:

Sift the flour into the mixing bowl. Hold the sieve high as you do this to let the flour get an airing.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the 2 eggs into it. Whisk the eggs and flour together adding  the milk /water mixture gradually as you do so.

Whisk until all lumps are well blended and use the spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl ensuring all bits of flour are encorporated into the batter. Whisk some more until the mixture is completely smooth.

Now melt the butter in the pan and spoon 2 tbspn of it into the batter mixture, whisking it well again.

Pour the rest of the melted butter into the small bowl as this will then be used to lubricate the pan as you make each pancake.

Next get the frying pan really hot and then turn the heat down to approx medium just before you begin. Now use the ladle (or spoon the mixture into the ladle) to scoop and pour your batter mix easily onto the pan in one go. Usually the first pancake is a ‘test one’ to judge how much batter mix to use per pancake, it also depends on your pan size. I find approx 3 1/2 tbspns of the batter into the ladle covers a 9 inch frying pan – but this can be easily judged by trial and error. No need for exact measurements.

Don’t forget to keep whisking the batter in between pancakes too!

As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tilt it around until the base is evenly coated with the batter mixture. It should only take about 2 minutes or so to cook. Lift the edge to check for a golden colour and once this is reached it’s time to flip!

The other side will need approx 1 minute or less, then slide it out of the pan onto the plate. I like to sprinkle with caster sugar and the lemon juice straight away.

Stack the pancakes as you make them on the plate placed over the pot of simmering water and between sheets of greaseproof paper (to avoid sticking)

To serve, fold in half or into triangles or just simply rolled up.

Serve sprinkled with a little bit more sugar (& lemon –  if desired!) & try some honey too for more added flavour!☺

Am I doing this right?

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Am I doing this right?

Originally uploaded by .•۫◦۪°•OhSoBoHo•۫◦۪°•

So this self- portrait is for a lovely group I have just joined recently on Flickr called ‘Bench Monday’ – and the point of this? As the rules state;
‘Stand on a bench. Make sure it’s Monday. Wear something pretty.’  Any excuse eh!
A bench or ”bench” because if you can’t find an actual bench, you improvise, which makes it more interesting and fun(ny)!
I have also just joined ’52 weeks of BAM’  &  a few other ’52 weeks’ project groups  in which you post a self portrait once weekly for 52 weeks – I can (will) manage that. (As I am in my 20s I am sure this is something I will be happy to have in the years to come)
Not sure if I could handle a 365 dealio. I don’t have enough ‘BAM’ or whatever you like to call it for that much posing.
So far I have only done my ‘shoots’  in the privacy of our garden or the playground around the corner from our house (during school hours to ensure I don’t have an audience and so I get the slides all to myself- bahahahahaa!)
I’m still a bit self conscience when it comes to self -portraiture and I have come to realise that I don’t really smile or seem that happy in pictures I have taken of myself!(!) Something to work on, but we are our own worst critics right? I’m not really a moody mare , I swear! (Well only sometimes and usually this can be appeased by a nice cuppa rosy lee)

So the jist of it really is, that these weekly ‘projects’ are hopefully going to challenge me and  help me like being in front of the camera a bit more, as well as being behind it – and by the end of it I will have a cool and creative photo set that reflects just me.

iLove.

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iLove.

Originally uploaded by .•۫◦۪°•OhSoBoHo•۫◦۪°•

my little photography muse – mini Danbo!
I thought I should blog about my wee robot pal and introduce him to the rest of you.

The name ‘Danbo’ or ‘Danboard’ for those not familiar with him is from the Japanese word ‘danboru’ which means corrugated cardboard.   ( ダンボー )  As he is indeed a little ‘cardboard’ box robot!

Danbo was commissioned by Amazon Japan through Revoltech – from Azuma Kiyohiko the creator of the manga character Yotsuba-chan, from the comic of the same name ‘Yotsuba&!’. I first came across him in 2008 through Flickr (there were only a few Danbo fanatics back then), fell in love and had to have one. I think I have a penchant for Japanese toys & collectibiles (Blythe, Danbo, Sanrio,Monchhichi…yep I see a pattern too)

Danbo has become my favourite inanimate object to photograph.
I have to keep thinking of new ideas and adventures for him to have, thus keeping the creative juices flowing. Imagination is key, but he is so very very cute and lovable so it is rather easy. Part of the challenge is working with his one blank expression and how it can be transformed into something more. I tend to use props & objects I already have at home in each scene to ‘bring Danbo to life’.

I keep referring to my Danbo as a ‘he” because for me, he is a boy.
Don’t ask me how I know this, he just is. ☺

Shooting Danbo (as he is plastic) means I am learning more about natural light too and how to use it better in my photographs.
Plus it’s a whole lot of fun!

Pearl  +  Danbo   4eva

Tea Scones

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Whenever I think of  fresh scones still warm from the oven, I think of home.This recipe is one my Mother has made all through my childhood ( and still does when I am back visiting) and can be made plain or with added raisins or currants. It yields about ten small sized scones (with a teensy bit of dough left over, that when I was very little was always made into a ‘mini’ tea scone for my Care Bear, Poppy ☺ and scoffed by me of course)

I personally like mine with real butter and jam (easy always on hand ingredients) whilst they are still slightly warm YUM! But as the scone is the main component of a ‘Cream tea’ or ‘Devonshire tea’  it probably should be served with clotted cream, jam and tea.  A delicious afternoon treat you can find in tea rooms up and down the UK, but especially in the South West of England. I had my first ‘Cream tea’ about two years ago in the Cotswolds one sunny Sunday with himself, and it was simply gorgeous. I wish we had the tea room tradition in Ireland – being avid tea drinkers ourselves and scone lovers too!

Makes 10 Scones

Ingredients:

8 oz / 225g Plain flour

1 tsp  baking powder

2 oz /  55g butter / margarine chopped up & at room temperature – plus a bit for greasing.

1 oz /25g caster sugar

2-4 tbsp of milk

1 free-range egg

(a squeeze of lemon juice if desired to slightly sour the milk for a more ‘buttermilk’ flavour)

Utensils:

A baking sheet, mixing bowl, rolling pin, hand whisk,  2 inch /5 cm cutter, a pastry brush & wire rack.

* Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/ 425°F /220°C

Method:

Sift the flour into the bowl and add the baking powder.

Next rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and stir in the sugar.

Beat the milk and egg together separately using the whisk and  add it slowly to your mixture keeping back a little for glazing.

Mix together and finish off using your hands. The sides of the bowl should be clean. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If too dry add some more milk, a teaspoon at a time.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough until it is approx  3/4 inch / 2 cm in thickness.

Using the cutter, stamp out (do not twist) rounds until you have used up all of the dough.

Place the rounds onto the greased tin and glaze with the left-over milk/egg mixture before baking for approx 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown in colour & well risen.

Cool for approx 5 minutes on a wire rack before serving with a good jam/butter/clotted cream a freshly brewed pot of tea (preferably Irish tea ☺) …& Enjoy!


Sticky Toffee Pudding

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This yumdiddleyscrumptious recipe I got from my sister & is one of her ‘notoriously good’ desserts. It really is yummy and probably a favourite with many – it most certainly is with my husband which is why I will always have the necessary ingredients on hand in future! This is something he seems to order constantly as ‘pudding’ when we dine out. This is a classic British treat (Some say it has English origins others, Scottish) consisting of a very moist sponge made with finely chopped dates (sometimes prunes) and covered in a toffee sauce.

The cake itself can be kept in the freezer for later use, so it can be useful to make up several at once. Both the pudding and sauce actually taste better the day after baking I think, as it gives all those richer ingredients a chance to mingle and blend together. They can be re-heated then (separately!) and served with ice-cream or cream (I personally love good auld Vanilla Haagen Daaz) or custard.

Makes 2 loaf tins

Ingredients:

For the pudding

8 oz /16 tbsp butter chopped up – plus a tiny bit extra for greasing

8 oz / 1 cup of golden caster sugar

3 eggs

12 oz / 1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

4 oz / 1/2 cup milk

4 oz / 1/2 cup water

1 tsp vanilla essence

12 oz / 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped & pitted dates

For the Toffee Sauce

16 oz / 2 cups of light muscovado sugar / tightly packed brown sugar

10 oz / 1 1/4 cups of double cream

2 oz / 4 tbsp butter

4 oz / 1/2 cup of finely chopped pecan nuts

Golden Syrup (if you have some in your cupboard, but not a necessity for the recipe)

Utensils: A loaf tin, a spatula, saucepan & a food blender if you have one, if not elbow grease works just as well 🙂

 *Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4   & grease your tin well with the ‘extra’ butter*

Method:

Start by blending together the butter and sugar until combined into a pale and creamy mixture.

Add the eggs one at a time. Using your spatula scrape down the sides making sure the eggs are combined well, and not stuck to the sides.

Combine the flour & baking powder and add to your mixture while slowly adding the milk and water as you combine all of the ingredients into a smooth batter.

Lastly fold in the dates and  pour half of the mixture into the greased tin.

Bake for approx 45 mins (times may vary depending on your oven 30 minutes may be sufficient) or until a fork inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Repeat with the remaining batter mixture for the second loaf.

Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin for 5 mins before removing from the tin and continue cooling for another 10 minutes.

In the saucepan, bring the cream, butter and sugar to the boil stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer, add the pecan nuts and continue stirring over a low heat for approx 5 minutes.  (For an even more toffee flavour add 1 tbsp of golden syrup)

Cut the loaf into slices, pour over the warm toffee sauce and serve with a scoop (or three!) of vanilla ice-cream…and enjoy!