Shopping for School Clothes

Yesterday we hit the shops…  for school stuff for the kids! 

What an adventure that turned out to be, usually its my daughter that turns her nose up at everything we look at, but yesterday it was my sons turn (he’s 13), I was surprised even sarah lost the rag with him!

Every shop we went into I asked him to look at the trousers that they had on display and pick a pair that he liked..  now he just stood beside me, glanced over to where they were and said “I dont like any of those”!!  EEEeeeeeekkkk, talk about pulling teeth!

In the end we just went to Marks & Spencers and got a 3 for the price of 2 in his size and made the decision for him.

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Cakes, Bread & Car Smashes

What an eventful day its been and its only 4pm!

Started off this morning with a phonecall from my other half at 7.30am, he had written his van off on the motorway, thank god neither he or anyone else was injured, a lorry driver who had been travelling behind and saw it all said that it was a miracle, his van did a couple of 360 degree turns hitting the central reservation twice and missed 3 other cars in the process…… and the driver who instigated it all by honking his horn and flashing his lights.. well he continued to drive! .. a combination of his stupidity and wet and greasy roads.. .. … rant over…

 I didnt bother going back to bed after that shock to the system, so I went downstairs and got stuck into the kitchen, the laundry is now all done, just got to iron it and the dishwasher has been on twice…

Its my daughters 15th birthday this weekend and she wants a party in the house, so I have been preparing for that tomorrow, I got myself into baking mode and have made the following so far…

Fairy Cakes (jumbo muffin sized ones)

heart shaped Custard Cream Biscuits

Ciabatta Loaves x 2 (they will be turned into garlic & basil bread tomorrow)

Wholemeal Rolls x 12

I make cards … so I made her a birthday card too, tried to prise my son off the xbox360 to make her a card but no luck so far lol

I’ll pop back later on this evening and post some piccies of the goodies I made… I have to make a birthday cake too so thats my next challenge in the kitchen

A Busy Wee Day

Today has been a really busy wee day.

This morning we had a home visit for something that we have in the pipeline, it went well (I think).. At least we have the ball rolling and we are loking forward to progressing with our plans.

This afternoon the kids went out ten pin bowling with their gran and grandad, they also had their tea there too and were dropped off around 7pm ish.

This allowed me and my other half to have a relaxing afternoon together, which was great.  First of all we went along to the pet shop to pick up dog food and rabbit food, then we popped along to the post office to send away a parcel that someone bought from me on ebay… From there we headed back home and had our tea in peace and quiet… felt strange not having the kids around and the usual chaos that ensues every tea time!

This evening I was back in the kitchen,  I made chocolate Brandy Truffles and Coconut Ice… also and made the kids supper, which was chicken fajitas which was left over from tea time and no sooner had they finished that and they were moaning they were hungry again… so off they went upstairs armed with a bag of crisps each and a bowl full of cajun spiced chickpeas that I made yesterday and a large glass of juice each..

This has given me the chance to update my blog for the day..

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Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

I made some Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes this afternoon, they turned out quite yummy.

Here is the recipe:-

125g soft unsalted butter

100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

300g morello cherry jam

150g caster sugar

pinch of salt

2 large eggs, baten

150g self raising flour

12 bun muffin tin.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4

Method:

Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt.  When nearly  completely melted, stir in the chocolate.    Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted.   Now add the cherry jam, sugar, salt and eggs.   Stir with the wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated stir in the flour.

Scrape and pour into the muffin papers in their tin and bake for 25 mins.

Cook in the pan on a rack for 20 mins before turning out.

Cook Fest Fortnight

I’m off work on holiday for 2 weeks (yay!) we are not going anywhere this year for several reasons..

  • Trying to save money plus we cant afford to go anywhere.
  • Lots growing and going on in the garden and greenhouse that would probably die if we went away for 2 weeks
  • Our niece is over from Greece staying with us for 2 weeks
  • Too many animals to put into kennels and cattery, would be more expensive than our holiday!

Sooo.. rather than spend a  small fortune feeding us all for 2 weeks, I have given myself a mamoth challenge of feeding a family of 5 with what I’ve got in the cupboards/fridge & freezer for the next 2 weeks… It should be achieveable because I’ve got lots of store cupboard essentials.

I’m making bread twice a day, thank god for the invention of the bread maker, I have been trying out different recipes from a book that I picked up cheap in the sales last year and they are all turning out quite well I have to say…  pictures to follow of the different kinds once I get the camera organised.

Everyday I also try to make a pudding for after tea, and make a fruit loaf / cakes / biscuits for having with a cuppa.. I’ve made the following so far…

Scottish Shortbread

Banana, Coconut & Choc Chip Loaf x 2

Aunty Molly’s Fruit Loaf x 1 (used sultanas, cranberries and chucked in a few dried prunes)

Breadsticks (poppy & sesame seed varieties) – the kids scoffed them last night with chilli dipping sauce and Salsa.

Lemon & Raspberry Trifle (got the kids to pick wild rasps from the woods for this)…

I made everyone real drinking chocolate last night (with the couture chocolate that I got from one of my Suma co-op meets) It went down a treat, so I have a feeling it will be high on the agenda most evenings with the kids… they loved watching me make it.

I feel that i’m never out of the kitchen at the moment, but I have to say i’m really enjoying it…

Apple tree disaster

I normally take a walk round the garden every evening, I kinda gives me a lovely humble feeling… but not last night..

 I planted a Bramley Apple tree at the begining of the year, which duly flowered and was growing the most amazing little apples, they were coming along just great and looked fab, that was until chunky, our springer spaniel pup decided to eat all the apples off the tree complete with the branches that held the apples… so say i’m devestated is an understatement.. I love my little apple tree and I love chunky…. but last night I would have gladly kicked his butt and sent him to the dog house for a week had I “caught him in the act” …..Rant over

The Sun has got his hat on!

Hip Hip Hooray!… the sun has got his hat on and he’s come out today to play (LOL)

What a gorgeous day.. makes a change from all the torrential rain that we’ve been having over the last few weeks.

Work today, was much the same as it usually is, except this is my last week before I break up for my 2 week summer holiday, its times like this when I wish I was a school teacher..at least they get the whole summer off!…

Mince and Potatoes for the tea tonight and my other half made it… god I needed a spoon to eat it, it turned out like mince soup … bleuch!

Scottish Shortbread (bestest recipe ever!)

 Scottish Shortbread

This is just the easiest and the most scrummiest recipe ever and takes no time at all to make…. I make it most weekends and sometimes throw in some choc chips or raisins to vary it slightly.

I once grated the rind of a whole unwaxed lemon into the mixture and once baked and cooled, I melted white chocolate and half dipped them into the chocolate and allowed it to set… delicious!

Cinnamon and Raisin version is gorgeous too just add half a tbsp of ground cinnamon and a couple of handfuls of sultanas

INGREDIENTS
8 ozs (225g) Plain Flour
4 ozs (100g) Cornflour
4 ozs (100g) Icing Sugar
8 ozs (225g) Butter

METHOD

Chop butter into small pieces and place into processor with sieved flour, cornflour and icing sugar.

Whizz until it gathers into a ball.  

either….

Turn the mixture out onto floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thick.   Cut into rounds with pastry cutter and place on a greased baking tray.  

Or Roll into a large sausage fill a plastic bag with some demorara sugar put the shortbread sausage into the bag and coat the outside edges in the sugar.. remove and cut into thick slices (my preferred option its quicker!)

Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350f/ 180c / Gas 4 till firm and light brown.   Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while warm.

Tip – to keep shortbread fresh and crisp, place in a plastic bag when cool and then in an airtight tin.

Hello world!

Hello World!

Well… this is day one of my blog, exciting stuff!

 Its a normal lazy sunday for me, apart from sitting on my bum all day on my laptop Ive not really done much at all, Ive made the tea, but thats been about my lot…

I did stick some stuff on ebay, the theory is to raise enough money to be able to move somewhere rural within the next 2 years, or at least thats my plan.