Tuesday, 23 August 2011

7. Apple Pie Recipe

A traditional pudding which can be enjoyed all year round. During summer, it can be served with cream and during winter, custard makes a great accompaniment. This recipe has a bit of a twist with the addition of marmalade and cinnamon and tastes superb.
General information:
  • Serves 6 (if you use a 23cm pie dish)
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • This recipe is suitable for vegetarians, of course ;)

  • 23cm pie dish
  • A mixing bowl
  • A knife
  • Baking/greaseproof paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Baking brush
  • Wooden spoon
  • For the pastry:
  • 250g plain flour
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 185g cold butter, cubed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Milk, small amount used for glazing
  • Caster sugar, small amount used for sprinkling

  • For the filling:
  • 4-5 green cooking apples, sliced (I use homegrown Bramley apples but Granny Smith apples are also suitable)
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 30g butter (the initial temperature does not matter as it will eventually be melted in the pan)
  • 30ml water

  1. Grease pie dish. Place the flour, icing sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Mix in the egg using a knife until a dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a ball.
  2. Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly bigger than the other. Roll the larger portion between two sheets of baking paper to fit the pie dish (don't worry if it's slightly larger than the pie dish, you can easily trim off any excess later). Roll the smaller portion of dough between two sheets of baking paper to fit the top of the dish. Leave both pastries in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  3. Add the apples, sugar, cinammon and water to the pan. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring often until the apples have softened. Remove from the heat and mix in the marmalade and butter. Leave to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (fan). Line the pastry dish with the larger sheet of pastry, pour in the filling and place the pastry lid on top. Trim off any excess, seal the edge using a fork and brush the pie with the milk. Make some holes in the lid using the fork to allow steam to escape preventing the pie from bursting in the oven. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 10 minutes then reduced the oven to 180°C (fan) and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you have any questions about this recipe then please don't hesitate to contact me either by leaving a comment below or via Twitter. Also, if any of you do try out this recipe, tell me how it went (a photo would be nice).

6. Blog revamp

Wow it's been a month since I last posted anything on here. Hope you're all well. I've been quite busy doing a lot of thinking about my future seeing as I'm applying to university pretty soon and then there was the painful wait of results day. I can't say that I'm not a little disappointed but hey I passed everything, they could have been worse and hopefully with a few resits, I'll push them up. I've also been thinking about what to do with this blog because I think it should have a purpose rather than me just moaning so I've decided to post recipes/ film and book reviews. With the books, I won't do one for this post because I'm currently reading the Harry Potter series and many of you have read it or at least know what it's about. I've been doing a lot of baking during the "summer" holidays so ithe first recipe I'll be posting is my Mum's favourite- apple pie :) After getting my results last Thursday, my friend Lauren and  I went to watch the highly anticipated Inbetweeners movie which I will be reviewing very shortly. As you probably already know, I volunteer at the Whitworth Park Oxfam shop in Manchester where I am a member of the food team and once Ramamdan is over- I'll be experimenting with some our brilliant Fairtrade food products to create some more recipes. Fingers crossed they'll turn out well and I'll be able to post them on here. Keep reading for some new posts being put up very soon, Mancunian Sheep x

Saturday, 23 July 2011

5. Becoming a sweet 17 ;)

Yes, I know it's usually a sweet 16 but I can bend the rules this once, right? Anyway, hello darlings! My "birthday post" is 9 days late (oops) and the only reason I'm writing this is because I'm waiting for some DSA driving theory test CD to finish installing on my lappytoppy -_- Ah yes, where was I- my 17th. I didn't really want a party if I'm quite honest but Mother dearest insisted upon it so we invited over a few neighbours, 2 of my closest friends and a couple of family friends. The night before I had been watching the Apprentice semi final where they had to open up a fast food restaurant. I was also decorating the house at the same time (bit of advice- if you're 5 foot 4 and want to stick balloons up on the ceiling-then DON'T). It was harder than the January 2011 AS Core 1 Mathematics exam. K that last sentence has made me sound incredibly stupid, oh well. Thank you to all of you who sent me birthday texts/tweets! The first thing I did when I woke up at 8am on the morning of the 14th was hoover the entire house while my Mum kept hitting snooze (mate, I'm supposed to be the teenager). This may sound a weird thing to do but I am pretty sure that I suffer from OCD and hate it when somebody else hoovers. After hoovering, I tidied up a bit and had a little dance around the house. Next came the dolling up part ;) I had a shower and then straightened my afro hair which for once took less than a century :O I'm liking these new hair straighteners. Time to pick up the cake from Martin's bakery with my friend who met me there. She was there for some moral support, to stop me from dropping the beast. When we arrived back at Chez Shaz- Madbo (my supportive friend) shoved lots of pins in my hair to make it a bit puffy like Amy Winehouse but it failed, miserably. We also took some photos on my sexy  red Nikon S3000 (formerly shown before hollyoaks last year). Can't blame a girl for trying, eh? Then arrived another fwend- Samsung and we went out to buy some starters and get our other friend, Lauren who in her own words, looked like a botanical garden and yes, she couldn't have described it any better. A sheep, botanical garden and a mobile phone then shuffled back home because two of them were wearing rather inappropriate footwear. The sheep should not have worn those pink patent gladiator sandals and the botanical garden was regretting wearing some painful brogues.By this time, Madbo's adorable younger sister- Eliza had arrived :') All 6 of us ladies started chatting away, munching on choccy and crisps and sipping cold beverages (non alcoholic that is, just in case PC Plod is reading). Somehow we ended up watching Dinner Date and Deal or No Deal because we were too lazy to do anything fun :L Then it was time to tuck into FOOD xD Mummy dearest had made some pilau rice which had peas in it and I ended up preparing the lamb curry after hoovering while apologising to the poor lamb constantly saying I was only doing this because my Mum was in the shower :'( We cleaned up and then as we were about to cut the cake, two disasters struck:
1) There were no matches :O
2) Madbo burnt her hand while trying to light the candles
1) Eliza and I ran to the corner shop where the shopkeeper almost refused to serve me the matches. I protested "I need them for my birthday cake, I'm NOT going to burn down any houses). In hindsight, I should have worn my "birthday girl" badge as solid proof but the term "birthday GIRL" didn't seem right at the age of 17.
2) Lauren came to the rescue of Madbo with her lighter, NO- she doesn't smoke. Lovely Lauren isn't stupid enough to buy lung cancer in packs of 20.
I failed at blowing all the candles out once and I failed to make a birthday wish -_- I am such a bell end (see previous posts). There's always that one little candle who wants all the bloody attention and doesn't go out until you're blowing like the big bad wolf. The busy neighbours came back from work and came over to give presents and we gave them food in return. Lots and lots of food. The guests gradually left until there were only three, well four but my Mum went up after a little bit. Oh yes, it was the moment we had all been waiting for- the battering of Ryan Giggs the pinata. I whacked its face off, then Sammia and Lauren had fun destroying the rest of it, in the end- Lauren got the last blow. Sammia left and Lauren and I took a few photos, watched some funny videos on Youtube including the Inbetweeners movie trailer. Remember to bring your wellies because we're going to be knee deep in clunge! Haha. The next day, I went for my first driving lesson which went much better than I expected. I stalled only once. My instructor took me for a spin around the showcase cinema car park. The reason I stalled was a coach was approaching and I started saying "oh dear, oh no" because I almost pooed myself that I was about to die and kill the instructor too as the coach would've hit poor Ruby first :'( Hmm, what else have I been doing in my first week of being 17- well I've had another driving lesson on the Tuesday just gone (19th July). This one was for 2 hours and I was mastering left turns which for the first 45 minutes was pretty bad because I was holding onto the steering wheel so hard that my knuckles were turning white. However, in the second half I loosened up and actually did alright. I also volunteered at Oxfam on Sunday and Wednesday as usual which like always was pretty fun. I went into town on Wednesday to buy some books and body shop stuff. On Thursday, I made apple pie for the very first time using home grown apples from our two apples trees. On Friday, I made chocolate rice krispies cakes and started making revision cards for the work we did at college after our exams for a few weeks.I have a busy week ahead too so my next post won't be up for a little while so take care and enjoy the remaining of the long summer days.
Below are a few photos from the birthday bash:

      Madihah and Mum


Samsung, Ana (busy neighbour), Mummy dearest, Sheep, Botanical Garden.

Mummy dearest and Ryan Giggs

Sammia and Ryan Giggs
Me and a faceless Ryan Giggs

Muhaha Lauren striking the last blow

Until next time... Mancunian Sheep x

Monday, 4 July 2011

4. Striped feet.

Hello/ Hola/ Bonjour/ Guten Tag/ Aloha, how are you doing lovelies? Thanks for bothering to even read/visit my blog. Still no comments yet, not happy! Anyway, I may as well start off by explaining the title of this post- I have striped feet due to the sunshine and it looks fairly odd. You have my natural skin tone, a slightly darker shade of brown from when I was in Stoke on Trent  (while on the train from Manchester to Stoke, I saw lots of sheep while on the train, BAA!) with a friend and then today I achieved the darkest shade whilst walking  around with year 11 students around my college campus to help them find their way. I realised how much I want to fulfil my passion of becoming a chemistry teacher after today. Although the people I was working with are only a year or so younger than me, I enjoyed helping them carry out a basic titration in their chemistry session. I know it's not teaching but it's still getting hands on with people younger than you in a classroom. Hmm what else have I been up to since my last post...WIMBLEDON! Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a British finalist. Hopefully the 73 year wait ends next Summer. Despite not reaching the final, Murray was on top form this year and he really should be proud of the high standard of tennis he played this year. Every mens singles match I was lucky enough to watch, (if only Wimbledon had started after college ended)  I was on the edge of my seat!  Congratulations to Djokovic on not only his win but also his world #1 ranking. Friday was community day at my college which involved many activites including a staff play, zumba, henna, face painting, a bouncy castle and a talent show to name a few. My friends and I participated in doing some zumba which was enjoyable, might even join the classes next year. However, I think the highlight for anyone who goes to Xaverian reading this and was lucky enough to watch it was the staff play! Seeing the head of chemistry (a male by the way) dressed up as Lady Gaga while singing "p p p pencil case" with the majority of the staff dancing and singing with him was the best thing ever! The play was called "Harry Potter and the deathly module". As well as Lady Gaga, we had a maths teacher playing the part of Thor who lost his hammer, a PE teacher (again a male) taking on the role of Hermione, a Maths teacher playing a mad Russian scientist. We also watched the talent show which was called "Xav's got talent" and hats off to the acts because they must have some real guts and stamina to perform to the entire college, I could never do that, even the thought of it makes me feel a little sick. One last thing, those of you who have finished school, college, university for the summer and are keen readers, I recommend the following book: Tony Parsons on Life, Death and Breakfast. It is amazing, I've read over 100 pages in a day, at times it has you laughing and others, almost in tears. It is great for both male and female readers of all ages. Anyway, I think that is all I have to share, until next time...
Mancunian Sheep x

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

3. 02/06/2011 Bell ends.

Hello there, it's time for me to tell you all about my recent day out. It was amazing as all my days out with the fabulous Lauren, Alfie and Jenny are. Here goes, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
I was sat in Piccadilly gardens with Jenny waiting for Lauren and Alfie to arrive. The water feature looked spectacular as usual and it made me feel old watching the little children play in the fountains. I spotted Lauren looking superb in her beautiful coat and power walked towards her and gave her a big bear hug. I also handed her my early birthday present which is of course a ticket to Adele's concert, the smile on Lauren's face was priceless :)
We spent the next hour sat in Starbucks drinking our frappuccinos and casually chatting about our wonderful, trouble free teenage lives (haha, we wish!). While we were sat in there, we discovered our shared love of the Inbetweeners. If I could some up our day in one word, it would be- bellend. It may seem pretty weird but you'll find out why later, I promise. We got the bus down to Whitworth park to finally have our long-awaited picnic. Lauren and I went to Subway with Alfie and Jenny in tow. Unfortunately, they got my order wrong, giving me a veggie delite instead of a veggie patty. They also weren't amazing at packing our subs but oh well, that was the least of our worries.
Lovely Lauren and I found a bench in a good spot in the park but then, bellend number 1 arrived... a middle aged man on a bike drove past us twice (for those of you who have visted Whitworth park, we were sat by the round flower feature in the middle of the park) and complimented Lauren who was less than pleased. However, who can blame her, what sort of perverted middle aged bell end does that? Meh. After munching our subs and snacks, we sat on Lauren's Gran's blanket because of course, no picnic is complete without a blanket. Now it was time for us to face some more bell ends.. we spotted a group of ninja squirrels . There was FOUR of them, not 1, not 2, not 3, yes 4. This was living hell for me. Fortunately, Lauren helped me to calm down. We took some snaps of Jenny and Alfie and Alfie's friend whose name I can't remember unfortunately.  As we were leaving the park, a golden ball appeared in the sky ready to give Manchester some overdue sunshine. We headed to the bus stop to go back into town whilst looking around like nervous wrecks as we were pretty scared of bumping into some more middle aged bell ends. While we were on the bus, our gardeners rang because apparently my Mum wanted my opinion on the paving we were getting done in our front garden. That'll be bell end encounter number 3 then.I love how my Mum didn't tell me herself, meh, that's life.
Lauren is extremely talented at art so we had a look around some of the arts and crafts stores. She also helped me to buy some wool and knitting needles. We then visted a vintage clothing shop called Junk Shop, I highly recommend it. The shop assistant was really helpful. I bought a denim shirt which I'm in love with, it's such a staple wardrobe item. They have some stunning dresses and are also running a dressmaking course. At the end of this post, I'll leave the link for you to find out more. I was dying for the loo and Lauren suggested Afflecks palace. I've never been in before which is something only a few Mancunians can say haha. Blimey, they have hundreds if stairs. It felt like a workout at the gym. To round the day off, we went to Oklahoma which is a lovely gift shop/cafe. Lauren got some refreshing ginger beer and I got some organic lemonade. We had a little chat and then it was time to head home.
That was a lovely day and I can't wait to go out with my marvellous friends soon.
Thank you for reading once again.
Shazia x

P.S. Here's the link I mentioned earlier: http://www.junkshopuk.com/

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

2. It's already June

Hello again! It's me the Mancunian sheep ;) Since my last post a lot has changed in my life. Here is the list:
  1. I discovered possibly the funniest television show ever- THE INBETWEENERS! I watched all 18 episodes over the bank holiday weekend and I haven't laughed that much since I started college which sucked all the happiness out of me. I can't wait for the film which is out in August. I can't stop saying "bell end"
  2. Barcelona won the Champions league. In other news, Scholes has retired and the media has stopped talking about super injunctions.
  3. I managed to get some voluntary work to give something back to the community and make my personal statement look a little better.
  4. My Adele tickets arrived this morning :D
  5. I helped my best friend revise psychology today and realised how many studies the poor sods need to know for the exam.
  6. I made chocolate brownies for the first time yesterday.
Last night, I couldn't sleep so while the clock struck midnight and we entered the sixth month of the year, I was dancing with my rag dolls. On this note, I think it is a pretty good time for me to introduce you to Jenny and Peggy (my dance partners last night). 

This is Jenny, she is 9 years old and loves food and dancing.

This is Peggy, she's 14 years old and loves pink glittery stuff and hugs.

I'm also thinking of learning how to knit over summer so if any of you are also keen knitters, leave a comment below. Also, you're welcome to leave your opinions on anything else mentioned in my blog.
To say a little thank you for visiting my blog,  here is a link to a song that is on repeat on my iPod at the moment:

Enjoy. I hope you all have a superb month whatever you have planned.
Shazia x

Friday, 27 May 2011

1. What a hectic week!

Hi everyone! Firstly, I'd like to thank you for even bothering to come and check out my blog. Today, I finished my exams and I thought I'd be happier than I am. Perhaps my brain is too tired to even acknowledge that I won't have to do any more revision. Hoorah! Anyway, enough rambling on about nothing. I have BIG news my friends, I am going to my first ever concert this September. I am going to see Adele with my friend Lauren who is one in a million. Those of you who follow me on Twitter are probably sick to death of me repeating this but I don't think you understand how big a fan I am of Adele's. She is outstanding. I am sat on the sofa in my living room pretty bored, I'm watching Made in Chelsea again. I actually like it but nothing or no-one is ever and I repeat ever going to make me watch TOWIE (the only way is Essex). I've seen enough oompa loompas on the "My big fat gypsy wedding" series this year. I seem to have gone off topic. Sorry. As the title of this post says, hectic, I should expand on that. Basically, I had 4 exams this week. One of which was today and didn't go as well as I'd wanted but that didn't surprise me because it was Chemistry Unit 2. I also had Biology Unit 2 and Statistics Unit 1 yesterday. For those of you who care,  Statistics went better than Biology. On Monday, I had my Chemistry unit 1 resit which went quite well. I HATE the fact that I resat both Chemistry unit 1 and Maths unit 1. I feel so incredibly stupid, resits were non-existent to me at GCSE level. Although my exams are over, I am still a busy bee. I am taking part in the Manchester Access Programme which enables me to expericence the University of Manchester better than those who aren't on MAP by attending several useful events and writing a 1500 word assignment on a topic of my choice. I need to do all of my research, planning and write up the 1500 word assignment preferably before I go back to college. I shall relax for this weekend however after doing 7 exams in the space of 9 days. Tomorrow is the Champions League Final! Come on Barcelona! Good luck to those of you who still have exams and if you'd like, you can leave a comment expressing your views on exams, Made in Chelsea, TOWIE, the champions league final or anything else I have mentioned in this post. Take care, Shazia x