Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Great British Bake Off

‘THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF’ is back and looking for amateur bakers

Do you love home baking and fancy putting your skills to the test? BBC Two is looking for amateur bakers across the country to take part in The Great British Bake Off series two.

If you’re interested and would like to find out more, email or call 020 7067 4879.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS. To apply you must be over 16 on 1 April 2011. As an ‘amateur baker’ your main source of income cannot come from commercial baking in a professional environment and you cannot have ever worked full-time as a baker or chef. You cannot have acquired any formal NVQ or other professional catering qualifications in the past 10 years.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Festive Cheer in a Glass.....

Evening folks, I wanted to share this glass of festive cheer I'm enjoying with you all! It smells and taste's so christmassy and yummy.

Place a carton of apple juice in a pan with a cup of water, an orange and a lemon chopped up, some grated nutmeg two cinnamon sticks and about 3tbsp brown sugar, although I didn't measure the sugar. simmer for 30-40 mins then enjoy ....yummy. You could keep this warm in a slow cooker, for all those guests visiting on Christmas eve. :o)

Now I was supposed to be showing youl my finished craft project from yesterday, but it's not finished yet. I had some family pop over this afternoon so didn't get around to it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get it done.

I've noticed that I have 197 followers how lovely is that. Thank you all so much for following my ramblings folks.  So I'm planning a little giveaway, as soon as I reach 200 followers, so keep your eyes peeled.

Have a lovely warm and cosy weekend folks.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Her Indoors....

 Well title say's it all really. Due to the snow and ice and the roads being so treacherous I was ''her indoors'' today. Schools cancelled again so another whole day to myself ...bliss. Now I should really have been finishing off decorating the hall or cleaning the bathroom but didn't really feel like it, nothing unusual there then :o). Besides I had the urge to create something, so out came the sewing machine and my fabric stash and I was off. Its not quite finished yet but hopefully I'll finish it and post some pics on my blog tomorrow, what could it be????
 We haven't got much in the cupboards, which is a disaster as it's difficult to get to a shop at present. And being stuck indoors does really give you the munchies. Luckily I had enough ingredients in to make a Victoria sponge, yummy. I had a slice earlier with a cup of tea glass of wine, lol.

Very nice it was too!

I hope you are all manging to stay safe and warm, and hopefully you are getting creative in the kitchen or craft room too.


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Woofing in a Winter Wonderland

 Well here it is the obligatory snow post! How exciting it was when I woke up to a rather a lot of snow, about 8 inches in places I think. Well I was excited until it dawned on me that I had to drive to work in it this morning. So I got up a little earlier than usual and got myself ready for work. Listened to the local radio and was logged on online to check traffic and weather reports. They all said to only venture out if it is an emergency. I work as a playworker in a breakfast club so was waiting to here if the school was closed. But although most of the local schools had decided to close, the school I work at hadn't made a decision arrrrgggg. So I phoned my boss and she decided that it was too dangerous to go to work today, so today is a snow day whooopppeee.
 The dogs have been driving me mad all day. They constantly want to be out in the garden playing in the white stuff. Woody my older springer is far more into the white stuff than Beau pictured above. They have been pushing it along with their noses and hiding the ball in it. I had such fun watching them from the warmth of the lounge :0)

 This is how much snow was nestled on the shed this morning, but we've had more since then.

 It looks so pretty!

Look at this poor little bird nest in the tree, I hope there arent any inhabitants.

My snow day has flown by, and I haven't really done a thing. I've browsed the Internet, looked through some craft books and I've drunk copious amounts of tea, to keep warm. After tea tonight though hubby's taking me for a snowy drive in the landy :o)

Now, as my blog has been a little neglected these past few months I hadn't shown you all my recent-ish Cath Kidston purchases so here they are.
 I'm loving theses tins especially the book sewing tins. I just need the button one now to complete the collection.
I also fell in love with these espresso cups. I love the pastel loveliness. All I need now is an espresso machine to make a decent coffee to drink out of them.

Well I hope you've all had a great snow day, keep warm.


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bird Box Love

Browsing the Next Christmas catalogue, I totally fell in love with this gorgeous caravan bird house, so I had to order one didn't I?. Went onto the next website only to find out that's it's sold out :o(. I've looked all over the Internet for one and can't find anything. If anyone knows where I can get my hands on one of these beauties please let me know, I really really love it. I seem to have a thing for caravans lately which is quite bizarre don't you think?. My mum and dad have promised to give me and hubby their old van and I can't wait to make it look all pretty and retro, ready for camping in the summer.  

It's so cold here today, but sadly no snow :o(, I have two pots of beef stew bubbling away. One for us and one for the in laws. It's smelling yummy and I want some now, but have to wait until this evening :o(. I don't think a cheese sarnie will suffice this lunchtime. perhaps some hot buttered toast and a brew instead.

Hope you are having a good week folks.


Saturday, 27 November 2010

It's been a while

It's been a while, so I thought it was about time I popped in to say hello to you all. I'm sorry I've been away so long, it's been a bad few months. My nan sadly passed away on bonfire night and my mother in law is poorly with cancer, so I've had nothing cheerful to blog about, and have been rather busy. But anyhow less of the doom and gloom, lets lighten the mood. Christmas is less than a month away now and I love Christmas :o). I had a stall at two small local Xmas gift fairs last weekend and today, but sadly the turnout was poor, I think the cold weather didn't help today. So I thought I'd show you a couple of things I made. The two doll's above were for the fair. I only finished the sleepy one at midnight last night.

I took along some jams and chutney.

And some gingerbread men, as well as other dolls and hearts etc. I will be popping some bits and pieces in my blog shop in a minute if you wanted to take a peek.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Christmas bear fair in Beaulieu with my sister in law, perhaps if your in the area you could visit, its always a lovely fair.

Have you all written your Christmas lists for Santa? I expect a lot of them will be dominated with Cath Kidston, I know mine is.

Hope you are all well, and not too cold.


Friday, 1 October 2010

PuMpKiN sOuP & cUpCaKeS fOr A sToRmY dAy

I don't know about you but chilly autumn days make me want to snuggle up indoors with hearty comfort food, especially as now is the perfect time for one of my favourite seasonal veg the pumpkin. So I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen yesterday whipping up some lovely warming pumpkin soup to eat with some homemade fresh honey bread for lunch today.

500g pumpkin, skinned and cubed
1 med onion
1 med potato
1tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
150g spit red lentils
1.2l veg stock
2 tbsp sunflower oil

chop onions and fry in the oil until just soft, add the spices, chopped and skinned pumpkin, potato, lentils and veg stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 3o mins. When cooked blend with a hand blender or put in a food processor, return to pan to reheat and season to taste. yummy!

I also felt that some baking was on the agenda for today so whipped up a batch of cupcakes with pale pink icing. A bit extravagant when they are not for any particular occasion but as it's the last day of my week off work I thought what the hell. I had all the ingredients in the cupboard, and felt like something sweet and naughty. Not that I'll be eating them all though!
I found out today that I've also won a giveaway in blogland. It's a giveaway from Gill at The Vintage Gardener. Her lovely bunny Archie picked my name out of the trug so a big thank you to Gill, can't wait to receive my goodies.

I've had Halloween on my mind in the past few days. I'm a bit of a Halloween-aholic and love decorating the house for the spooky season. Carving pumpkins is a bit of a speciality of mine and each year I like to try something more artistic than the year before. I'm on the lookout for some new pumpkin carving templates so if you know of any good ones please let me know. I'm having the girls over on the 30th Oct for a witches tea party, fancy dress is a must, although I haven't decided on my costume just get, but there are some wicked wigs on e-bay.
I hope everyone is tucked up in the dry today out of this stormy weather, please help yourselves to a cake, and have a lovely weekend.


Friday, 24 September 2010

Apple Cake

I've been meaning to make this cake for a while, and as I've been given some lovely windfall apples I gave it a go yesterday. It's fairly easy to make and has a lovely autumn flavour, perfect with a nice hot mug of tea.

3 Cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced      
5oz butter softened
5oz soft brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
8oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2oz sultanas
2oz glace cherries, halved
grated rind of a lemon
1 dessertspoon demerara sugar for sprinkling

Cook the apples with a little water until soft, then sieve to produce a smooth puree; there should be 4 to 5oz. Allow to cool. Set oven to 350 f or mark 4. Grease and line a 7 inch round cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Sift together the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt and stir into the mixture. Add the dried fruit. Mix the lemon rind with the apple puree and fold into the mixture. Put into the tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle a dessertspoon of demerara sugar over the cake to give a crunchy topping. Bake for 45 Min's or until golden brown and springy to touch. Cool in the tin for 15 Min's, then turn out onto a wire rack.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Great British Bake Off

Tuesday nights are my absolute favourite night on TV at the moment, and that's purley down to one show, The Great British Bake Off. But alas my enjoyment will be short lived as tonight is the last show in the series; the final, which happens to be an afternoon tea party :o) YIPPEE. Already brimming with anticipation here. Roll on 8 o-clock BBC2.
And look what arrived in the post today. The book to accompany the show which I ordered on Sunday. Look at the eye candy!!!! Vintage crockery, Emma Bridgewater tins, and on the show every colour of magi mix imaginable and smeg fridges galore, not to mention oodles of pretty bunting. It's got to be every girls dream hasn't it? I can't wait to get baking from the book. I think I'll start with Miranda's Vanilla Biscuits. I need to get me some of those gorgeous girly cutters, e-bay here I come.
Also giving me much enjoyment this week are the bargains I picked up from the banana bookshop on Sunday. I've been hankering after these two books for a while. Mainly for the vintage-ness of them. And at only £4.98 for the two, they jumped straight into my basket.
And then these jumped in too ''The wonderful weekend book'' I have already flicked through and it looks great and the other two look a good read too. Having seen so much on ''Pay it forward'' in blog land I couldn't resist this book. All three for £5 again a bargain I think. :0)
Last but certainly not least adding to this weeks enjoyment factor has to be the new Cath catalogue. Full to the brim with lovelies. I'd do a wish list, but basically I want it all! If you ladies spotted the large Provence jug in the pages which was priced at £15 and can't seem to be able to order it, it's because it's not available until November :o(  I phoned them and asked, cos I really wanted it.
Well that's it for now folks, hope your all having a lovely week.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Hobnob Recipe

These are my husband's favourites. He bugs me all the time to bake them for him, so as he's being good at the moment making a radiator cover for the hallway and a wardrobe for the spare room, I thought I'd treat him to a batch :o) lol!  I was going to make an apple cake as well, but decided that could wait until Saturday. So I whipped up a batch of hobnobs and a warming beef stew and dumplings for tea, comfort food indeed.

Hobnob Recipe - Makes 45 (although the size I make them it's more like 35)

8oz/225g self raising flour
8oz/225g sugar (I use vanilla sugar, but any will do)
8oz/225g porridge oats
8oz/225g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Mix the dry ingredients together, melt butter, syrup and water very gently, let it cool slightly then pour on dry ingredients. Mix well and form into balls the size of walnuts. Put on a greased tray and flatten with a fork dipped in cold water. Bake at 180 or gas 4 for 15 mins. Leave on a tray a minute then put to cool on a rack.
You could also melt some chocolate and make choccy hobnobs yummy.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Another Year Older.....

I can't believe I haven't done a blog post since June! I really don't know where this year has gone, it just seems to be flying by. I have had a busy summer and have lots of pics to share with you all, from our holiday, camping trips, jam and chutney making, swaps received etc, but can't possibly put it all in one post, so I'll just show you some pics of flowers and cakes instead.
I turned 30 last week :o(, which I had been dreading for ages but my lovely hubby and my brothers girlfriend arranged a surprise party for me, which was lovely. I received lots of flowers, champagne, a pamper voucher, and lots of other lovelies. My brother took me out for the day, so I wouldn't suspect what was going on. We visited the pack-house in Farnham, and the cath kidston outlet in Bicester and were out for 7 hours! I'll show you my purchases another day. Thought I'd put my feet up when I got home, but nope the house had been taken over by family and friends shouting surprise at me!
My Sister in law made these gorgeous cakes, they were so pretty it was a shame to eat them, but we didn't take too much persuading, all gone now.
A great time was had by all, and I had a sore head the next day.

Well just a short and sweet post I'm afraid, to get me back into the swing of things. Hope everyone is well and had a great summer.

TTFN from an old git!