Formal attire seems almost dated in an age where sweat pants and stained t-shirts have become staples in the common man’s/woman’s closet. Even at official events jeans are common place and the most formal part of people’s appearance is their makeup (at least as far as women go). I feel for many of my most treasured and distinctive apparel, there is simply no occasion to showcase them. This year despite the effort involved, I intend to try and dress up as much as possible. Hopefully I can still let my dressy clothes shine while they still hold their fresh or unique appeal.

The outfit I put together below contains a very sentimental article of clothing. The skirt war purchased in Singapore (where I lived for 2 years) and is part of the uniform for flight attendants. Though I also own the top (substitutes nicely as a layering piece) I wanted the skirt to shine individually. I paired it with a thin cotton blouse, adorable bowed peep toe heels and socks due to the chilly conditions. The ring is an online purchase and despite its large size, the intricate detail makes it delicate when paired with other loud pieces.

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I know,  I know, my post was a little delayed, but I fully intend to make it up to you in the form of these delicious biscuits. And at any rate, what would a new year be without the chance of redeeming and revolutionizing past failure or ‘ahem’ plain absentmindedness? This New Year will certainly  hold new beginnings for me. Not only have I developed a new-found appreciation for writing and sharing my cooking enterprises , I can now share my passions with a far wider audience then I had ever previously imagined. Blogging fills me with a real anticipation that I can hopefully offer some inspiration to other budding bloggers and find a new connection and insight into the web.

My fully attainable (optimistically) resolutions:

1. Expand and develop  drizzled with chocolate

2. Focus on the organic, or at the very least, healthier aspect of cooking

3. Participate in some community service

4. Run in some more 5K runs

5. Walk the dog routinely

Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays, Happy 2011!

Now to the part you’ve been drooling for, crescent jam biscuits (cookies). Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Crescent Jam and cheese cookies.

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter (soften)

8oz of ricotta cheese (leave on a paper towel to harden slightly)

2 tbs sour cream

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour (with additional flour for rolling out the dough)

Pinch of salt

1 jar jam

1 small bowl milk (to brush biscuits before baking)

1 small bowl powdered sugar (sprinkle on top of baked biscuits)

Method:

1. Use mixer to cream the butter in a large bowl. Push the ricotta cheese through a sieve and add to the butter and mix the two. After adding the sour cream and vanilla extract, using a separate smaller bowl to sift flour and salt together. In small additions, whisk the flour mixture into the buttery mixture. Chill the finished dough for a minimum of 2hrs and 30 mins.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F . Thoroughly flour the work surface and rolling pin, and roll out the dough very thinly. Using a large circular cookie cutter cut out circles form the dough. Fill with 2 tbs of jam (less is always more as the jam tends to explode out of the pastry when used in large quantities). Fold the circles over  and seal the sides by pressing down firmly several times around the edge.

3. Brush with milk and bake for 17-19 minutes (until the tops are golden). Wait till cool and dust with the powdered sugar. These sticky delights can be paired perfectly with hot chocolate or early morning coffee.

After stuffing myself silly with dozens of Christmas themed delicacies, I was frantic for some new flavors in my life. The mint-chocolate or rich-spicy concoctions had run their course by mid-December. I broke out my brand new (and pristine)cupcake recipe book.  After flipping through pages of heavy and berry orientated indulgences, I happened upon coconut cupcakes with a lime filling. Since our small town has yet to experience a single flake of snow, their glimmering white exteriors and artfully coconut topped summits called to me.  A little tropical paradise thrown in to brighten boxing day and beyond? I think so.

My recipe is adapted from The book Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski .

Coconut Cupcakes with lime filling

Ingredients:

40g sweetened and shredded coconut

(with extra for topping each cake)

155g flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

220g sugar

125g butter

1 large egg and 1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla extract

125ml coconut or regular milk

180ml Lime/Lemon Curd

Coconut butter cream

(make regular butter cream but add  1 tsp of coconut extract)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°C, 180 °F or gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup pan with cases.

2. Whisk the coconut, flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium size bowl. In a separate larger bowl, beat the sugar and butter till fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture into the buttery mixture in small quantities (4 or 5) beating well after each addition.  Then whisk in the milk, again in small quantities and beating well.

3. Pour the mixture into each case about 3/4 of the way full . Bake 18 minutes , and test with a tooth pick (The pick should come out clean or with crumbs when stuck into the cakes. If not, bake for a further 2 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool.

4. Hollow out a round piece in the center of each cake about halfway through. Fill each hollow with lime curd. Frost each cake with the butter cream and garnish with shredded coconut. Serve with chilly lemonade and a sunny smile!

My confession and origins of this blog:

Drizzled with Chocolate is my latest venture in a long list of food/travel/fashion/domestic blogs, I have attempted to launch. So far the sheer task of having a concrete writing schedule and the responsibility of maintaining a modern chic website in a world where new blogs are so common, has overwhelmed me. However self-expression and all the interests above are important to me. So I am determined this will be my final attempt and fingers crossed my first success.

So, what will you read about?:

I have decided to narrow down this particular blog to food with my various daily happenings thrown in. I feel if devote too much time to all the aspects of my interests, I will overwhelm myself and any passing blog browser.

Disclaimer:

Please bear in mind since I have just started seriously blogging the site may be a tad unorganized. Hopefully the longer I can maintain it, the more professional it will look!

Also feel free to use any of this site’s content, but please remember to credit and email me! I’d love to hear all your compliments (hopefully), comments and criticisms!

Emma xo