Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cake!

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Today We were invited for tea at my sisters house – a last minute informal tea πŸ™‚ I decided to make a cake, had a look through my baking bookmarks and found this: perfect Victoria sponge

This is such an easy to make sponge cake – literally put the ingredients in a bowl, mix, put in tins and into the oven. It rose brilliantly and tasted lovely, making a big cake. This would be great to make with the kids too, except today when. Asked Amelia if she wanted to help me bake, she replied with ‘maybe later, mum.’ Everyone enjoyed it after tea too, always a bonus!

This is another recipe I will be making again – ill probably add lemon / orange zest and juice next time as I love the flavour of them in a nice sponge cake.

Xxx

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The things I don’t Manage…

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The things I am no good at in the world of full time mum are:

1. Ironing. I absolutely never iron unless it is a dress that is so so creased it can’t be worn unless its ironed. And then I often ask my boyfriend to iron it – he’s better at ironing than I am.

2. Gardening. My front garden (especially my drive) is full of weeds. Cutting the grass is the most I can manage, everything else can sort itself out.

3. Washing up after tea. About 80% of the time I leave it until morning. I know I shouldn’t but I just can’t find the energy to wash them at night, so I leave them.

4. Myself. I don’t seem to manage anything to make myself look nice. Getting a shower is usually a good day, so drying my hair / putting make up on or wearing anything nice is generally not going to happen unless its a special occasion.

5. Washing windows. They seem like a huge job, so I just close the blinds!

6. Car cleaning. It usually gets absolutely full of junk that accumulates and I can draw patterns on the outside because of the dirt, then ill clean it. That’s about twice a year.

7. Keeping my house tidy. I do try, but its an ongoing war, and as soon as my back is turned the rooms ate full of toys and clutter again. It’s like our house has mess fairies (or maybe that’s just us!) and it’s impossible for it to stay tidy.

The things I am good at in the world of full time mum are:

1. Listening to my girls. I love to listen to my older girls (3 almost 4) chatter about nursery, life and anything else, and to my baby’s (5 months) random babble.

2. Playing. My baby loves peek a boo and tickles, my older girl loves races, hide and seek, tig, pirates, parks, painting…the list is endless.

3. Cooking. We almost always have a good home cooked meal each evening, and a couple of times a week ill do a home cooked pudding. I get my older girl to help me, and we have fun and always have something good to eat.

4. Talking to my girls about right and wrong, good and bad and making sure they have boundaries and structure in each day.

5. Exploring the world – we learn something everywhere we go – it could be finding and talking about acorns, numbers, social skills. We love going out and about and it’s so good for the girls.

6. ‘Summer school’ as we still call it – spending time with my older girl doing some fun educational activities – letters, numbers, art etc.

I am sure there are some parents out there who can somehow manage everything and have a beautiful house while being a brilliant parent. That parent isn’t me, but I guess if some things have to slip, I’d rather it be my house type jobs rather than my parenting. As long as my girls are happy, smiling, confident, interested in the world and having fun, i think I can live with the undone jobs.

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Wait for it – homemade (and very easy!) crisps

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Today I was thinking about what jobs I should be doing, while actually sitting reading my favourite blogs, when I came across a really exciting idea, and just had to get up and try it straight away! It was for homemade, microwaveable crisps – and, using just three ingredients! The original post is here:

This mummy http://thismummy.com/easy-microwave-homemade-crisps/#comment-15737 in case the link doesn’t work – I’m still a bit new (this maybe should read rubbish!) at blogging.

Basically, you get a potato, slice it as thinly as possible (I just used a knife as that’s all I had, but a grater works well (and possibly better) too. Spray a plate with oil (I used olive oil, but decanted it into my spray light oil tub as that had run out) and then place the sliced potatoes on a plate. Make sure they don’t touch each other as they will stick together. Spray the top and sprinkle with salt (I also added a bit of vinegar to a batch of mine, which also worked).

Microwave the crisps for anywhere from 3-6 minutes – I did it for 2 minutes and then a minute at a time and kept an eye on them. When they go crispy and start to brown they are ready.

It takes a few batches to cook a full potato (mine took 4 batches and about 25 minutes) in total, but I then did them as an amazing picnic dinner for me and my little girl – healthier than fried crisps, and delicious. We both loved them and this is definatly going to be a regular recipe idea for us -I also think it will be great when we make our ‘buffet dinners’ when we have people come for nibbles – they look impressive but are very simple and yummy.

I’m going to try the same thing with sweet potatoes next! And maybe some herbs, see how that goes. Lots of possibilities.

Hope you enjoy too!

Xxx

Weaning…

My baby, Rosie is 5 months and a week old, and so I’ve started getting ready to wean her. I didn’t realise how controversial weaning actually is – there seem to be three main sections when it comes to baby weaning:

1. Purees. This is the traditional method of purring vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, pears, bananas etc, and spoon feeding a baby from 6 months, starting with lump free and gradually increasing the lumps and textures.
2. Baby led weaning. This is allowing a baby to self feed from 6 months, and is basically an ‘anything goes’ as long as there are no allergies etc, and with a few exceptions (whole grapes, olives and more) just. Giving a baby what you have, letting them play with it until they decide to eat it. I heard it described that baby led weaning is teaching a baby to chew first while pureeing is teaching them to swallow first.
3. Jars. Self explanatory really, using just jars of baby food.

I already know that I’m quite anti jars. If people do use them that’s their choice and everyone has their reasons, but personally for me, it’s cheaper, healthier and more interesting to prepare a baby’s food and so I’m not planning on giving Rosie jarred food.

Between the other two I’ve been debating which is best. I think I’ve settled on a combination of both – I used purees with my now 3 year old daughter and she now has a good appetite (even if she does have more of a sweet tooth than I would ideally like her to have!) but she loves fruit, will eat most veg and try new things. I can’t ask for much more, and I’m a firm believer that when babies are introduced to healthy foods when weaned this carries through to childhood and beyond.

With Rosie I think I’m going to use purees – I’ve started getting some ready, and have made carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips so far – I’ve made them in ice cube trays and frozen them – enough to make loads of meals. I like purees because its cleaner, there’s little risk of choking, and I know the portion she’s getting is right (one ice cube serving is one portion, and I can just increase this as she gets older!) but I think that I like the idea of also giving her foods to control herself, especially fruit I think. So – I’m going to start with purees, and once I’ve introduced a few staples food and I feel confident, ill start to introduce ‘finger foods.’

I can’t wait to start!! I don’t know why, but with Rosie I feel so much more impatient to start feeding her, but am waiting until 6 months or until I am sure she is ready – I keep telling myself that jus because I want to wean her doesn’t mean that she wants to be weaned.

If anyone has any advice, suggestions or tips these would be gratefully received – I’m still just muddling through!!

Xxx

Two birthday cards

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These are two cards that I made for my second cousins 1st birthday. I stuck with stuff I already had, used some leftover papers, and tried to make the colours I used appropriate for a 1 year old. Ones going to be from me, one from my sister. Which do you prefer? I can decide – I like the button flower as that’s something different for me that I haven’t done before, but I kind of think that the overall look of the rabbit card works better.

In other news, my mums operation went well, she’s home now and her card made her cry ( in a good way!) she’s doing well so I feel really relieved.

Xxxxx

Get well soon card

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This is a card I’ve made for mum – she has an operation today and she is going to feel rubbish for a couple of months so I wanted to make her a get well card so she knows how much she means to me. I used the flower image as I felt that it was quite nice for the message I was trying to give. I hope she likes it…we have also bought her a bag of get well things – chocolate, books, magazines and tomato soup lol.

Hope you all like it

Xxx

Engagement card

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This is an engagement card that I made for my sister and her boyfriend, who got engaged two days ago. She has asked me to be bridesmaid, which is a huge honour – me and my sister are like best friends, and I’m so pleased for her and her new fiancΓ©, who is also just like part of the family already.

Anyway, to return to the card, I wanted to make a simple card with a nice central I,age – something clean and tidy. I didn’t have any specific engagement / wedding material so I had to improvise and use what I had. I decided on a paper from my new paper pack, Wellington made by hallmark. I used a flower image, and entwined it so represent the engagement. I really like the result of this card – I could probably have done something lovely with specific stamps for engagements, but without spending any money I feel that this is a card that my sister will like and appreciate.

The writing on the message says ‘just for you with love’.

Hope you like it too πŸ™‚ xxx

Malteaser and baileys cheesecake!

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This is my home made baileys and malteaser cheesecake πŸ™‚ I love making cheesecake – it’s simple, fun and so tasty. This is for after a BBQ today – it’s perfect as it can be made in advance too so no rushing around one everyone arrives! The reason I enjoy making it so much is that nothing has to be too exact – a little more or less cream/ cream cheese /icing sugar won’t affect the end result at all, and once the basic recipe is there, you can flavour it however you fancy! I’ve made a mint chocolate one, a Turkish delight one and a lemon one on other occasions and all have tasted lovely.

I prefer a hobnob base as I find it adds more crunch and texture, but as an alternative digestives or even ginger biscuits or Oreos could be used.

Basically, just experiment and see what works for you.

Here’s the ingredients and recipe I used:

Recipe

300 grams hobnob biscuits
140grams butter
200 grams philedelphia cream cheese (original not light)
60grams icing sugar
A generous splash of baileys (use according to preference πŸ™‚
A small box of malteasers (or more if you want more malteasers in it!)
250mls double cream

1.Line a 20cm springform tin with greaseproof paper, and grease the edges ( I use lard).

2. crush the hobnob biscuits with the end of a rolling pin, until they are mostly crumbs. Add softened butter, mix together. Add to the tin, patting down firmly and creating a ridge around the outside of the tin. I like quite a deep base and so do use quite a lot of biscuits for this part of the recipe! Put this int the fridge while the next steps are followed.

3. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar until they blend together.

4. In another bowl, add all but 12 malteasers and crush them gently (I again used the end of a rolling pin.) add the baileys to the crushed malteasers, to taste. I didn’t measure how much I used, but added quite a generous amount, enough to moisten the malteasers. Mix together and add to the cream cheese mixture.

5. In the now empty bowl, add 250 ml double cream and whisk lightly until firm, then add this to the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together.

6. Spoon the mixture onto the base – flatten as best you can with a spatula or spoon. Put in the fridge overnight.

7. The next day, I take the sides from the tin and slice my cheesecake up (you can either do 8/12 slices depending on how generous you want t be!) then I add a malteaser to each slice, and dust with edible silver litter using a tea strainer (this is optional – cocoa powder could be used instead if preferred).

8 serve and enjoy πŸ™‚