Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mini Bramley Apple Crumble Pies

mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp

The perfect alternative to a mince pie! (with a crumble topping twist)

My ideal Boxing Day - crackling log fires, cosy homemade comfort food and playing a load of silly board games with my family.

It was such a treat to be able to spend the afternoon in the kitchen with my mum, covered in flour and crumble mixture, baking apple crumble pies mm mm. I'm not the world's biggest mince pie fan, so I decided to bake a delicious alternative for the family.

Serve with a dollop of brandy butter and it's a Christmassy explosion to your taste buds!

What You'll Need //

2 lb bramley apples - peeled & cored
1 lb mixed fruit -(raisins etc)
2 oz soft light brown sugar
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 lemon - zest only
1 roll of short crust pastry - or here's a 'from scratch' recipe
a little demerara sugar for sprinkling

Crumble
120g plain flour
60g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter -room temp & chopped into cubes

Preheat oven to 190 degrees


mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp


Chop your apples into bite sized pieces and throw into a large saucepan on a low heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon & ginger also. Stir often and leave to simmer for 30 mins.


mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp



Add your mixed fruit and lemon zest. Stir & simmer for another 20 mins or until soft and mushy.



mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp


Whilst waiting for your sauce to cook, roll out your pastry and cut out as many circles as your cutter will cut! Place circles in a cupcake tray.


mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp


Now for the fun part - the crumble. Tip the 3 crumble ingredients into a large bowl and gently rub between your fingers and thumb to make a light breadcrumb-like mixture. Try not to overwork it.


mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp


Add a spoonful of the apple sauce mixture to your pastry moulds and sprinkle over a spoonful of crumble to each. Finish off with a pinch of demerara sugar on each.


mini bramley apple crumble pie recipe the betty stamp


Bake for 20 minutes and leave to cool on a cooling rack before gobbling up with a glass of mulled wine.

I hope you all had the merriest of Christmasses gals and guys! Take a look at my boxing day chutney recipe for a scrumptious accompaniment to your left over turkey.

Betty x



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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Barry M // New Years Eve Nails


I plan on staying in a festive mood for as long as I possibly can. And what better way than with super sparkly nails!

Good old Santa crammed my stocking full of these Barry M twinkly polishes and boy was I pleased.

I have a bit of a nail varnish obsession and will paint and repaint my nails twice a week, Barry M is my favourite as the range of colour and textures are phenomenal and they don't break the bank. But if I'm going to really spoil myself then OPI and Essie are the princesses of polishes. Barry- you're the king.


These two Barry M polishes are from the Aquarium Collection and have more texture to them with bigger bits of glitter. The pink one is called Atlantis and the green Mermaid



Or these two are finer pieces of glitter. The pink named Socialite is from the Glitterati range which I'm wearing and the rainbow colour is called Masquerade. My beautician friend Emily from Emily Victoria thought I'd had a shellac manicure done when she saw my Socialite nails! See my post on her London salon here





What's your favourite nail polish colour and brand? I want to try some new ones!

Betty x


For more Betty Stamp antics, find me on Twitter , Instagram & Facebook



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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Caramelised Onion & Apple Boxing Day Chutney


Come Boxing day I will be donning my stretchiest pair of p-j bottoms, feeling the size of a house and verging on popping point…yet still I will find a way to fit in just a teensy weensy bit more turkey & stuffing. Anyone else?
And what better way to top off your turkey & stuffing than with an almighty dollop of homemade chutney. Mmm. Yes please.


This was my first ever attempt at making homemade chutney and definitely not my last, it made the entire house smell like sweet pickle and apples. They make such great stocking fillers as well, and let's face it, who doesn't love a chutney. Just when you thought you couldn't possibly fit anymore in, chutney saves the day.  A piece of cheddar and a spoonful of caramelised onion & apple chutters and that's me done. Belly content.

I based my homemade recipe on Jamie's Caramelised Onion Chutney, threw some apples into the equation and slightly tweaked a few ingredients.

What You'll Need//

3 tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 lb Red Onions
1.5 lb Apples
10 oz Dark Brown Sugar
7 fl oz Malt Vinegar
3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
3 Crushed Garlic Cloves - I used the lazy kind
Pinch Salt
Pinch Paprika
1 Small Chilli

Makes approx 6 jar-fuls.

What to do //

Peel your apples and remove skin from onions. Slice finely until you are crying and have a huge pile like this…

Or do what I didn't think of doing and use a food processor!

Glug the olive oil into a large saucepan and soften the onions/apples on a low heat. Do not let them brown.

Stir in half the sugar and cook for a couple of minutes until a nice caramelised colour. Add the rest of the sugar and all other ingredients.





Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes until a beautiful syrupy consistency. Have a taste. YUM.

Leave to cool before spooning into jars- I made about 6 jarfuls. I bought a pack of 12 of these jars at Hobbycraft




Make some pretty tops and secure with an elastic band or festive ribbon. Sneak them into your loved one's stockings or just keep them all for yourself and become festively plump :)





Merry Christmas blog buddies! :) For more festive treats visit my Betty Stamp Christmas page

What's your favourite Boxing day treat? I'd love to try them out!

Betty x

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Must Have // Seasonal Sparkly Slip ons


Everybody needs a winter pick me up, and mine are these oh-so-sparkly-slip-ons. Just in time for Christmas!
They got Scout's stamp of approval- he enjoys them a lot too and wishes he had a pair. He kept staring at them. Like a Magpie.










I found my twinkly trainers on Asos for £25 and they also have them in black! Probably safer for my bank account that I only just realised.




Scout thinks they're pawfect.




I couldn't resist showing you all what I walked into on Friday lunch…




'oopsy' Somebody's been playing in a muddy puddle…

I digress. Back to sparkly shoes. No need for dreary wellingtons and horse riding boots. Whilst highly impractical when raining- who cares when your feet will look so PRETTY!

Merry Christmas one and all :) For more festive filled posts, follow this Christmas link

Betty x


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Monday, 15 December 2014

I Got Ma Hair Did // Honey Colour Balayage


If you're looking for ways to spice up your locks for the festive season, I have a highly recommended option for all you chocolatey coloured brunettes.

After having every other Londoner parading their funky dip dyes in front of me, I couldn't resist any longer. It is Christmas(!) after all- why not treat ourselves? As my wisest buddy says - 'You wear your hair everyday so why not spend money on it' - very true. After all, I would spend the equivalent in Zara to what I'm paying for the balayage!

This is my very first hair colour experience! Yes, you heard correctly my friends, I have been au natural my whole life (bar a few henna shampoos…pretty wild huh?)

And what better excuse for new hair, than a Christmas Wedding. I was asked to sing at a friend's wedding this weekend down in sunny Somerset, so wanted to add a splash of seasonal colour to my locks. It was starting to look a little drab. So I headed to Gro on Clapham High Street for my new look - it's pretty fancy shmancy in there, far too quirky for the likes of me, but they made me feel very welcome and the receptionist was a hoot! 




I realise I don't put many pictures of myself up on The Betty Stamp anyway so you probably won't know what my hair looked like before really, but it was a pretty bog standard dark brown.

Here's a snap of my new huurr & what I wore - a Ted Baker looky likey but it was actually from the Zara sale *shhh*... and was £20! *even bigger shhh* Here's the real deal from Ted Baker

Janey's dress is actually a real-life Ted Baker and is STUNNING - *cue dress envy*. It's so festive and shimmery, she looked the bees knees. Find her Ted number here.




Here are a few Pinterest examples of honey coloured balayage for other style options.





Pictures found on the following links

Everyone have the best 10 day count down to Christmas!! And make sure you eat ALL of the mince pies in sight.

Betty x


For more Betty Stamp antics, follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook


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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Blogging Tips // A Stress Free Mind

Snap founhere

There is nothing I love more than scrubbing an item off my to-do list. Yes, that makes me a sad sad human, but there really is no better feeling than when all your errands are run and you can kick back, make a cuppa and put Modern Family on.

This last month has been bu-sy, I have about 6 jobs at the moment - teaching, dog walking, various recordings & concerts, assistant choreographer on a show and blogging (if that counts as a job.. more pleasure).

All in all, this means I have to stay on top of things or my head feels like it's going to implode.

So here are my 5 top tips for staying sane and getting organised for your work & blogging adventures!


1. De-Clutter Your Room & Work Space
I cannot get anything productive done if there's a mass of clutter around me. I'm my own worst enemy with this one - I LOVE things being tidy yet just can't help throwing my clothes/shoes/hairdryers etc on the floor after I've used them. My mum calls it my 'Floordrobe'. So this is why I do most of my blogging/song learning in my lounge which is a more neutral, relaxing, (tidy) space.
Do whatever you have to do to feel relaxed & de-stressed - hoover, wash up, paint a wall, whatever it is that's distracting you from your work. Make sure you do it before you start work or you will find your mind wondering & thinking- 'I really don't like that shade of puce on my statement wall, maybe I'll just quickly look up wallpaper ideas on Pinterest' and before you know it, work is out the window and Pinterest has taken over your life!



2. List Making
Have a couple of list making methods up your sleeve.
a) On the go - I carry around a little notebook like this to scribble down ideas that come to me when I'm walking the dog or on the tube. I prefer writing things by hand - it makes me feel more productive!
b) You're mobile/Ipad/Laptop whichever you find easiest to use. I like to jot down ideas on my 'Notes' on my iPhone for blogging ideas and use my 'Reminders' for my To Do lists.

Tip: Make sure you note down ideas/ errands as they pop into your head! If you're anything like me, you'll forget within seconds of thinking of your golden nuggets and then that nugget is gone forever! Should have written it down.

Free printable to do lists pop up a lot on Pinterest, I prefer simple ones such as this or some of you might prefer a DIY rip off to do list ! 



Photo from here


3. A Daily Schedule
Without giving yourself a rough timetable to stick to, you will find yourself pressing that snooze button one too many times, eating at awkward intervals -giving your blood sugar levels a hard time, therefore unable to work to your fullest potential. I'm a sucker for lie ins but William isn't, so having him around is a good thing for my being proactive and making the most of my day. I like to use the 'Calendar' on my iPhone which is super easy to use and also just a bog standard wall calendar as a visual reminder! (I like the ones with pooches :) ) This gives me no excuses and a routine to stick to so that I don't feel guilty when I unwind at the end of the day with a hot choccie.



Find these great printable calendars on landeelu



4. Regular Tea Breaks
You will find your work being of much higher quality if you give yourself some space from it for 20 minutes. You'll also feel better in yourself if you've stretched your legs, gotten some fresh air or had a slurp of coffee/tea. If you find yourself getting stuck on a certain area of your work, go outside and have a breather and eat a banana. Don't get bogged down in something which, at the time seems huge and important, but actually if you step out of the swamp you've put yourself in and come back to it fresh in the morning, will probably not seem as stressful as you thought and a fresh idea or pearl of wisdom will probably come to you.




Can you tell I'm a tea lover <3….coffee - bluergh.


5. Think Ahead!
This is the most important in my opinion. If you have a lot coming up in the months ahead then you don't want to find yourself panicking in two months time that you'd forgotten about an important deadline. Especially with Christmas on it's way, there's a lot of distractions and temptations to steer off track. So make sure you're not only making lists for today/tomorrow but also for a few months time. Get things done as early as you can to take the stress off a bit. Make sure you're always one step in front of your work, this way you'll have peace of mind, a clearer head and more time to do fun things like Christmas shopping and drinking gin!




I hope you've found this helpful my friends. Happy Holidays! Only 14 more sleeps!!




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Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Perfect Everyday Necklace


In my venture to find the perfect everyday necklace there have been SO many close contenders. I've been hooked on the beautiful designs and shapes scattering websites and shops - it's so difficult to chose! I just want one of all of them please Mr Santa Claus. But if not…then you can find my very favourite choice at the bottom...


The Most Important Thing to Consider When Choosing a Necklace.

Which style suits your face shape?

I have quite a round face (or moon face as I like to call it)…somewhat Wallace and Gromit like! I am very tall and have quite a long neck so for ages couldn't figure out why shorter necklaces didn't suit me, until I realised it was because of said moon face! So now I'm more inclined to buy dangly earrings and longer necklaces to elongate my neck and moon.

If you're unsure of what face shape you are and which style of necklace suits you , take a selfie and check out this link.

So without further ado here are my favourite finds!


ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

These are the just the most perfect little acorns and there's two of them! I want them I want them I want them.




CREATURE JEWELLERY

Whilst knee deep in a Made In Chelsea marathon, being the sadO that I am- I hash tagged MIC on twitter and Lucy Watson's jewellery website popped up ! What a treat, these select pieces founded by the lady herself are really special, I particularly love this frog foot.









I recently came across this designer via their Facebook page and am so glad I did because they make the daintiest necklaces-I've fallen in love with quite a few of them! Sticking to the pinecone/acorn theme...












BEE GODESS

I know it's very pricey but I think it's stunning and I WISH I had a money tree just for this necklace.






William bought me a Links Mini Belcher Bracelet last Christmas and it hasn't left my wrist since. It goes with everything. I love the simple designs of the Links collections especially their round disc necklaces like this one.






Another Twitter find- Aubergine Fox. There pieces are so beautiful and affordable! I especially love they're Amethyst Druzy necklaces and for all you stationary geeks like me they also make glitter dipped twig pencils ! Who doesn't want a pencil dipped in glitter?! I certainly do. 








I love simple jewellery…can you tell. This one is on the list because of its name….a Sweetie Necklace (also because of the way it looks but mainly it's name)



ALEX MONROE

I have saved the very best for last. Anything and everything by Alex Monroe I would very much like in my jewellery box. I cannot get enough of him, every design is simple, delicate, intricate and I have never known a designer to make an upside-down-gingerbread-man-with-a-bite-out-of-it pendant, nor an asparagus bundle pendant, so…hats of to the guy.














So my winning necklace is…..drum roll please…..


ALEX MONROE'S SAILING BOAT !


Me and William met working on a ship and it may sound silly but the sailing boat pendant, to me, would be a lovely reminder of all the incredible memories we made sailing around the world.

Everyones favourites will all be different so I hope you've found at least one that you like! Let me know what you think and which your favourites are in the comments, would love your opinions!

Betty x





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