A-Okay!

Yeah, that last post was a little emo. Even if I didn’t mean it to be.

But, life has a funny way of turning things around…

So, I know I said I was loving my job. I think it was just the people and the perks I was loving. It wasn’t until we settled into the role that I realised I am so sick of admin. I’ve done my stint and in hindsight I knew that this wasn’t the job I came to Whistler to do.

After a particularly depressing day at work, I came home to a glass of red wine and found myself applying for a role at the best bakery in town.

The next day, I went in for a chat and trial, and got myself the job. I’ll be working as front of house, with potential for coffee making and hopefully see some of the baking side to things. I’m so excited, and feel that this is the right choice for me. I hate to give up and let people down, so this decision was a little painful, but this is the time to be selfish and try and live that dream!

I’m good guys… better than good. The riding is improving as well, after getting back to basics and starting fresh. The sun is shining today, I have a smile on my face and I get to go home to the most supportive guy in the world.


Happy Thursday kids!

Hanbel.
x

Advertisements

Let Them Eat Cake!

So, I’ve been baking again.

And if you like chocolate, coffee, salted caramel, snickers or sugar and butter in general, you will LOVE these cupcakes.

Andrew’s Cousin (also Lucy’s bestie – Perth is too small) is getting married in under a month!!! We celebrated her kitchen tea this past weekend, and the bridesmaids asked if I could contribute my baking skillz.

I’m sure you all know by now that I will take any opportunity to bake, so this was a no brainer. Also, I found this video by Cupcake Jemma and was DYING to try it out. The name itself says it all: Salted Caramel Chocolate Mudslide Cupcakes. C’mon!!

IMG_0805

First up, we’ve gotta make some Salted Caramel, which is so much easier than you think!
Pop one teaspoon of vanilla extract (essence is way better, but this is what I had) into 1 cup of double cream, and put to the side.
Put a tea towel down on your bench, you’ll be needing this very soon!

Then, combine 6 tablespoons of tap water with a cup of caster sugar and bang it on the heat (that was a bit Jamie Oliver wasn’t it?). Now here’s the tricky part: leave it on medium heat for around 8-10 minutes. Do not touch it. No stirring, no whisking, no sloshing around. Let it do it’s thing.

When it looks like this:

IMG_0808

Take it off the heat, and add in your cream. AND NOW YOU GET TO STIR. Please don’t stop stirring while you pour the cream in steadily until it’s all combined. It will then smell unbelievable and look like all your caramel dreams. Which is when you add in a teaspoon of good quality sea salt flakes and set the jar aside for later on.

IMG_0811

Now, the actual cupcake part.
Make a dry ingredient bowl: 350g plain flour, 60g cocoa powder, 370g caster sugar, 1 teaspoon bicarb soda, a pinch of salt and 150g chocolate chips. Mix it up!
Then a wet ingredient bowl: 240ml cooled coffee (I made two cups that morning, one for the cupcakes, one for Hanbel), 240ml buttermilk, 210ml vegetable oil and 3 large eggs.

Add the dry into the wet and combine, simples!

IMG_0813

Pop them into cupcake cases, and then into a 180 degree oven for 22 minutes. While they’re cooking and getting even more delicious, move onto the icing.

Start by beating 300g soft unsalted butter until it’s light and fluffy (I use a hand mixer, but a standing mixer is perfecto). Next up, 540g SIFTED icing sugar is added in two stages. I say SIFTED in CAPITAL LETTERS because I didn’t sift mine, and had piping bag issues later on. It wasn’t the end of the world, but life is easier with sifted icing sugar.
Add in half of the salted caramel we made earlier (around 150ml) and whiz away.

IMG_0815

These bad boys come out of the oven, and it’s time for the sneaky part.

IMG_0814

Using a chopstick, or something similar, poke a decent hole in the top of each cupcake. This is where the rest of that amazing salted caramel goes!

IMG_0816

Frost your cupcakes however you like, piped or spooned on, and you’re almost good to go! I had a little of the salted caramel left over, so I drizzled that over the top. As per Jemma’s suggestion, I had also frozen mini snickers bars ahead of time, to chop up and place on top. Because these cupcakes didn’t have enough chocolate in them already…

There you have it, the final product:

IMG_0819

So dense, soft and delectable (I’m avoiding the M word, but you all know it). I went a little light on the frosting, but as these were very sweet and rich, I think it worked out well.

IMG_0820

Go on, give them a go. You know you want 24 of these puppies to yourself…

Hanbel.
x

 

 

Workin’ 9 to 5

So that’s it my friends. Almost four years at my job, coming to a close.

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, and I promise to report back with more details, but I can assure you that life is damn good.

Today is my last day in this office that I have spent far too many hours in. A place where I have come close to tears, laughed way too loud, made dear friends and pissed off so many people. A place where I’ve had to bite my tongue when people chew too loudly, to hang up the phone on idiots too many times and put up four lots of Christmas trees.

I feel like I grew up a lot working here, and definitely learnt the most from any job I’ve had. While every day hasn’t been perfect, and the last year has definitely been the most difficult for this industry, it has been an absolute pleasure.

My highlights include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Having a PR Guide Dog visit the floor, after we decided to sponsor a puppy

guide dog.png

  • Go-Karting with our clients
  • Tequila shots with other clients

tam

  • Getting to visit our site near Karratha, wear high vis and experience donga life

ktwon

  • Having a tour of our vessel, a once in a lifetime opportunity for an admin gal

2016-01-29 09_42_52-Hannah Bell _ Hanbel (@hanbel) • Instagram photos and videos

  • Way too many beautiful presents and Tiffany necklaces from my boss

tiff

  • Working in the heart of the city and sourcing Perth’s best coffee with my caffeine addicted work bestie
  • Meeting George Calombaris

george.png

  • So many cupcakes
  • The most extravagant Christmas parties in which we deliberated over the “Hot Wife Award”
  • The people.

God, I would stay for the people in a heartbeat. I think that’s why I stayed a year longer than I should have. There are some damn good souls in this place who put up with more than they should, give the best advice, encourage and support one another and who I will miss seeing every day more than I even want to think about right now.

It’s been real, but it’s time for something new.

Peace out.
Hanbel.
x

 

Love is in the Air

And it’s making me a little sick.

Kidding, I am so goddam happy right now I don’t even know what to do with myself.
You see, on Friday afternoon two of my best friends announced their engagement. They are also the first from my close friends to enter into this huge life step. [This is already too much to handle!]

12400481_10153887824664878_54832823511226474_nPhoto of Brooke and Sean, taken by the beautiful Anh, who put aside her sickness to celebrate!

As, you can imagine we were all overjoyed. Like, way too much. So many hugs, screams, stories, glasses of champagne and loud cheers!

My favourite part of the evening was hearing Sean describe how it all played out, which I won’t share on here because it’s their story. Listening to him recall the sequence of events with such pride concreted every thought I’ve had about these two.

They’re the faux parents to our crazy little group, the couple we all idolise. They are far too smart for their own good, but they also never stop laughing, play fighting and searching for new adventures.

IMG_5998.jpg

Being friends with these two over the last 8 years (almost 10 with Sean alone) has taught me so much about kindness. It’s a quality, that in my opinion, that is highly underrated. I could ramble on forever about this, but trust me when I say that you’ll never come across kinder hearts than those of Brooke and Sean.

The out-pouring on social media over the past few days has been insane, and I have already added to that, I guess I just wanted to say a little more. This blog has created a monster, I am no longer able to contain my emotions in 140 characters or less.

To my wonderful friends, I love you. I’ll stop gushing now, but GODDAM I AM SO HAPPY.

Much love to all! Life is good.
Hanbel.
x

10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Summer

IMG_5987.JPG

  1. Balmy summer nights, eating out late and people watching
  2. Prawn, Mango and Avocado salad
  3. The perfect time for a pixie haircut
  4. The Fringe Festival!!
  5. Those frozen yoghurt cravings
  6. Andrew cooking Jerk Chicken on the BBQ
  7. And then eating dinner outside!
  8. All of the upcoming Weddings, Hen’s Nights and Kitchen Teas
  9. WINE TOURS
  10. Summer road trips are the absolute best! A Perth summer is incomplete without at least one of these. Bring on February!

Hanbel.
x

New Year, New Mug

In a time of fresh starts, new beginnings and resolutions to be made, I’m feeling a little lost. I spent the last two weeks on “holidays” running around like a mad woman, picking up and preparing food for Christmas day, organising costumes for various events or recovering from those days.

When I did sit down to relax I felt guilty, like I should be organising something or socialising with someone I haven’t seen for a few days. I honestly couldn’t switch off, but at the same time got bored very easily.

I think I’ve been so used to be horrendously busy, that when the time came to wind down my mind flipped the hell out. Enter moodiness, feeling fidgety and over-eating. Also, a lot of “taking it out on the ones you love”.

Now, back at work I’m sitting here wondering why I didn’t take advantage of those days off. I did enjoy myself, don’t get me wrong, and this was the most wonderful Christmas with my beautiful family. I think I’m just regretting some of the grumpy days. Anyway, following on from last year’s lessons, here are mine for 2016:

  1. Whenever you’re on holiday but you don’t actually go on a holiday, book yourself a massage! Budget for it in your Christmas spending and let it be your present to yourself.
  2. Similarly, write a list of things you’d like to do so that when you get bored you have something to inspire you.
  3. Let yourself binge on Netflix shows, it’s okay to be lazy sometimes.  Especially on 40 degree days where an air conditioned lounge room is the only place to be.
  4. Find friends with pools. They should be your best friends. I failed on this one, miserably.
  5. Find new outdoor activities to try out; stand up paddle boarding is actually pretty awesome.
  6. Keep up your current hobbies, but if yours is mountain biking please make sure you wear knee pads. If you think you don’t look “cool” in them, come and check out my knee. I’m not cool anymore.
  7. Get in the kitchen and create! Whether it’s cooking a “sorry for being so drunk and annoying last night” dinner for your boyfriend or a batch of cupcakes to palm off to the in laws – get creative!
  8. Cut your hair, change up the style or dye it a bright colour. Holidays are the best time to freak out over a huge change.
  9. Go nuts on the fruit mince pies, Christmas ham, boozy trifle and stuffed turkey. These treats come around but once a year, and what’s a new year without a truckload of guilt?
  10. Make sure you have a new mug to take to work, it’s the one thing that will brighten your day. (Thank you Brianna!)

IMG_5978

In addition, I’d like to give a shout out to one pretty awesome dude.
I’m sorry I’m so grumpy and you have to put up with my bad moods, but I do bake you cupcakes, so I hope that makes up for it a little?

You were the best part of my 2015, and I know you’ll be my 2016 highlight.

Happiest of years to you all!
Hanbel.
x