Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Pieday Friday ~ “Come on England!” chocolate & strawberry cheesecake recipe

Have you been watching the World Cup this week? Wasn’t it a shocker when defending champions Spain were knocked out after only two matches? I’ve been soaking up the atmosphere during the football games and have enjoyed watching both of England’s matches: the first game we stayed up late with friends after an England-themed BBQ and even though my eyes were closing involuntarily by the end of the 90 minutes (sooo beyond my bedtime these days!), it was exciting and I thought the team played well. I know the UK has high hopes for the national team and sometimes we are bitterly disappointed, but I just enjoy really enjoy the whole spectacle of watching international sporting competitions like this so it doesn’t matter to me how well England performs and you can bet that I will be glued the final on the 13th of July, whoever is playing!

Anyway, I’ve made a Pieday Friday recipe to celebrate the tournament and I took my little jam-jar cheesecakes to my friends’ house to munch during the England game. I found it easier to transport the cakes in individual portions (and most importantly, with lids on!) rather than holding a delicate cheese-cake in a pastry-tin on my lap during the car journey. These would be great for taking on picnics too, and will keep the bugs at bay with the lids covering up the sweet, sticky strawberries. Here’s how I made them:

Buttery biscuit base: 1 pack of digestive biscuits crushed up and mixed with melted butter until it resembles the texture of damp sand. I pressed this into the bottom of the jars before pouring a layer of melted white chocolate over the base and chilling for an hour or two until set. I’d recommend pouring a thin layer of chocolate otherwise you’ll find it hard to break through it when you’re eating the cheesecake! Luckily I found this out before I added the cheesecake mixture so I broke up the thick layer of hardened chocolate with a knife to make sure that a spoon could get through all the layers.

Cheesecake: Whisk up 200ml double cream until it’s thick. Mix in 225g cream cheese and whisk in 5 tablespoons of caster sugar. I added a little splash of vanilla essence but it’s up to you whether you’d like to add any flavouring. At this point you could whisk in some lemon juice to make it into a lemon cheesecake, or some melted dark chocolate or even a splash of Baileys for a boozy version! I dolloped the cheesecake mixture on top of the base-and-white-chocolate layer and smoothed over the top. Chill this until set, which might take a couple of hours or you can prepare it in advance and chill it overnight.

Strawberry topping: Slice fresh strawberries and cover with icing sugar and leave to become gooey and sticky before spooning the fruit and syrup over the cheesecake. If the syrup is too runny for you, you could even melt a little strawberry jam and spoon it over the top before putting the lids on the jars and refrigerating until you’re ready to eat.

I was desperate to eat the cheesecake but I waited until the game had started before insisting that we opened up the jars and enjoyed our creamy, sweet, naughty portions of cheesecake while the England team played on. It’s only really a ‘Come on England’ cheesecake because of the red and white colours, plus the fact that I want to eat it during every match now – I wonder how many more England games there will be in this tournament?? Let me know if you try out the recipe over the summer and you can tweet me photos of your jam-jar treats to @Cassiefairy :)

 


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England vs Italy – World Cup 2014

As the World Cup draw was being announced just a couple of weeks ago, there was a familiar mixture of feelings only an England football supporter can truly understand. A mixture of dread, anticipation, excitement and, oh yes, even a sprinkling of hope. It’s nearly time again for 32 great footballing teams from around the globe to come together, to battle, to celebrate, and to even cry, as the World Cup is up for grabs yet again. Whilst sport updates from Francesco Corallo can keep you informed with all things sporty and Italian, all eyes next year all be on the appending World Cup Finals in Brazil.

England’s campaign kicks off (pun intended) with the ever flamboyant Italians. They have a certain reputation for being fiery characters, and there is no denying this is one of their strongest teams in recent years. With the likes of De Rossi, Pirlo and the ever-entertaining Balotelli in the starting line-up, many are sadly predicting a loss for the England opener.  Next up on June 19th is Uruguay (yes, the date is already in the diary – hubby and I won’t be missing it!). For what will be an exceptionally difficult opening for the young England squad, there is a high chance it will be all guns blazing to get those remaining points to secure a top 16 slot. All eyes will be on Liverpool teammates Luis Suarez and Steve Gerard in yet another toughie, but we are optimistic for this game.  Continue reading


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Another amazing year in the UK

Amazing news has just been announced that the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour this morning! The whole of the UK are waiting for the news that the new heir to the throne has been born and I cannot wait to find out whether it is a boy or a girl, a new king or another future queen! I’m sure there will be lots of speculation about the gender and the name of the royal child until all the official announcements are made later today (hopefully!).

This royal birth is really the culmination of another fantastic year in the UK. 2012 was a fantastic year and I thoroughly enjoyed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations (see my photos below!) and had the best summer ever throwing myself into watching the London Olympics and counting up the gold medals, just like everyone else in the UK. It was a year to be proud to be British and we all thought that things couldn’t get any better.

Well, how about Andy Murray winning Wimbledon and becoming the first British winner of the men’s tournament since the famous Fred Perry all the way back in 1936 – that’s 77 years of defeat, brought to an end by our Olympic champion. Now that was a day to celebrate and Ladbrokes agreed by sending some lovely luxury picnic hampers to bloggers around the UK to celebrate and I was the lucky recipient of one of those hampers (below) - thanks very much! The yummy goodies certainly helped me to celebrate the tennis, and I’ll definitely be having another picnic feast to celebrate the royal birth!

It’s been a year of sporting triumphs, with England currently enjoying a 2-0 series lead in the Ashes, something that no English team has achieved in a home Ashes in 123 years. Plus news has just broken that Brit Chris Froome has won the Tour De France. Add that to Laura Robson’s great performance in the women’s tournament at Wimbledon (progressing further than any British female has in recent years – narrowly missing out becoming the first British woman to reach the quarter-finals since 1984!) and climbing to 27th rank in the world.

fortnum and mason hamper to celebrate prince william and duchess of cambridge royal baby heir

And earlier this month the UK celebrated the coronation festival to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s official coronation, with a concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and broadcast on the BBC. Pretty much, it’s been another fantastic year for Great Britain and with news of the new royal baby about to break at any minute, things can only get better!


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ St George’s Day

This week I’ve been making quite a few of these white ballet tutus with red ribbon stripe ready for St George’s Day today, although I think they’d be fab for any other day too – maybe as a Where’s Wally, lady bird or nurse costume :)

Red and White St Georges Day England Tutu

I’m also dedicating this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post to St George’s Day so I’ve had a good look around for some bargain red and white shoes, and here’s what I found:

tuesday shoesday red and white footwear st georges day high heel shoes and pumps

Summery wedges from New Look, pumps from Toms at Mr Shoes and heels from Debenhams


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The Olympics start this week – go patriotic with a UK tutu!

I’ve recently added a special section to the www.TutusWingsandPrettyThings.com website celebrating the olympics with a selection of pretty tutus – there’s a patriotic England flag tutu, ‘olympic rings’ rainbow colour tutus, and plenty of red-white-and-blue costumes as well as supporter tutus for every other country you can think of!

And best of all, every tutu on the website is available with FREE delivery this week - Use discount code ‘OLYMPICDEL’ to get free delivery on as many tutus as you’d like and celebrate the Olympics with us!