Summer fruits upside down cake.

This is so simple to do and is an ideal summer desert. Buttery, moist with a slight tang from the fruit.

Ingredients:

Base:

360g frozen mixed summer fruits

40g icing sugar

Sponge:

110g sugar

110g softened unsalted butter

110g Self raising flour

2 medium eggs

1tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Place 360g of frozen mixed summer fruits in the bottom of a greased oven proof dish.
  2. Sprinkle 40g icing sugar over the top.
  3. Make a basic sponge mix. Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy then fold in the other sponge ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour over the top of the fruit
  5. Cook in a 200oc preheated oven for 20 mins or until the sponge is cooked. (Has risen and a golden brown on top)
  6. Cool for 20 mins in the dish and then tip out onto a plate so the fruit is on top!
  7. Serve with cream, ice- cream or on its own.

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Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies.

disclaimer: I may use affiliate links in this post.

These are sweet and crunchy and very moreish, I had to give away almost all of my test batch to try to save my waists line.

They are exactly how I feel a cookie should be. Crunchy on the outside and a little gooey on the inside.

Give these tasty little nibbles a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Almond and chocolate chip cookie.

Crunchy on the outside and just a little bit gooey in the middle. Delicious!

 

Equipment:

Large Mixing Bowl

Baking Paper

Baking Tray

Wooden Spoon

Ingredients:

35g Ground Almonds

100g Unsalted butter (Softened)

100g Light brown sugar

1 Medium egg.

40g Good quality dark chocolate chips

35g Oats

100g Self raising flour

1 Tsp Almond essence

30g Chopped almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter until the butter is light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and almond essence and stir until combined.
  4. Fold in the rest of the ingredients, except the chopped Almonds.
  5. Using your fingers, gather the dough into a ball and then place it back into the mixing bowl.
  6. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Lightly flour your surface and then roll the dough so its 2cm thick and using a cookie cutter, cut out your cookies and lay them on a baking tray that’s been lined with grease proof paper.
  8. sprinkle and then press the chopped almonds into the top of the cookies.
  9. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven until they are golden brown on top (about 12 minutes)
  10. Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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Looking at the world through my daughter’s eyes.

In a lot of ways I wish I could see things in a similar way to both my toddler and my baby. They are constantly fascinated with everything around them. A coat hanger is mind-blowing. A brush or some tin foil is a toy that will amuse them for hours. This is something I envy so I decided that taking a few photos from my toddlers perspective was a good idea so that I could try to catch some of that enchanting wonder.

It didn’t quite work like that, I have somehow grown up too much to see the world with that much wonder but it did give me a wonderful insight into how big everything looks to them both. It’s both really overwhelming and rather exciting in equal measure.

Each of these photos was taken in line with Evie’s eyes to try to get the most realistic angle. Enjoy a small look through a tiny persons eyes and then join me in lamenting that they have to grow up so quickly.

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What being a mother means to me.

Being a mother is many things, both great and difficult. It has been the biggest and most terrifying challenge of my life, and it’s a challenge that you get no prior training for. Your thrown in the deep end and expected to swim, hanging onto life rafts that are basically contradicting advice from well-meaning busybodies, but in the end you do fine.

Mostly.

 

It’s hard work and messy hair.

It’s a messy house filled with loud noises.

It’s wanting a few minutes to yourself to drink a warm cup of coffee while anxiously hovering incase something goes wrong.

It’s two-minute showers to wash off the worst of the puke, snot and poo and then getting covered in it again seconds later.

It’s mischief and naughtiness and attitude that makes you feel like you are somehow failing. (Don’t worry you’re doing great!)

It’s worrying that somehow you’re doing something wrong and then getting mad when someone interferes.

It’s complaining that: ‘you can never be alone, you’ve lost your body and somehow every conversation is about your kids and how they are doing.’

 

But then..:

It’s sloppy kisses and chest crushing hugs.

It’s smiles and giggles and tickles.

It’s watching with pride as your baby grows and hits every milestone.

It’s when your child runs to you to make them feel better and then smiles when you kiss their booboo.

It’s scribbles being gifted with a pride and love that makes you want to keep them forever.

It’s painting, crafting and making a glorious mess of happy memories.

It’s dancing to the postman pat theme in your pajamas and loving every silly second as your toddler squeals with glee.

It’s knowing that even though it is hard work and tough, it will go too quickly and soon they will be adults.

It’s enjoying every second and knowing that you will love them forever.

It’s the best thing in the world and I feel proud to be doing it.

 

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60 second Microwave Poached egg.

Oh dear, oh dear I mentioned the word microwave in a cookery/lifestyle blog….. But never fear because this a useful little cookery hack which will come in handy time and time again.

The difference in taste and texture is negliable when compared to ‘the real thing.’ Plus poached egg on whole grain toast is a healthy breakfast that sets you up for the day.

It might take a little trial and error to get the timings right because every microwave is different but it’s worth the effort. Mmmmm, yummy!

Equipment:

A cup

Slotted spoon

Kitchen towel

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

An egg

1tsp of vinegar

Enough cold water to cover the egg

Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Spray the inside of the cup with cooking spray then crack in the egg being careful to not break the yolk.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add in enough cold water to fully cover the egg and then add in the vinegar.
  4. Cover with cling film and poke a tiny hole in the top using a knife.
  5. Place in the microwave on full power for 30 seconds and then gently turn the egg over using the slotted spoon and recover.
  6. Microwave for another 15 seconds and check. If its done, remove from the cup using the slotted spoon and rest it on a plate covered with kitchen towel. If not repeat.
  7. Great served on top of a slice of hot buttery toast.

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Deep Dish Chicken and Bacon Pie

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post.

I’m from the north of England so you can bet that I love a good pie, especially homemade with chunky chips and vegetables (because we have to pretend to be heathy right?) This pie is a bit of a faff to get done but it’s so worth the effort, almost all filling with crunchy pastry on top. Mmmm.

Fantastic for freezing, so it’s a good idea to double up the ingredients and make a second for when you’ve had “one of those days.” Freeze it when it’s fully cooled (covered in cling film.) Then when you need it you can just whip it into the oven at 150oC until its piping hot in the middle, served with some oven chips and some frozen peas on the side.

Job done, effort free dinner. Perfect for when you’ve been too busy to pee, never mind cook a meal from scratch.

equipment:

Large pan

wooden spoon

knives

Deep oven proof dish for the pie

Ingredients:

1 roasted chicken (Or 4 chicken breasts cooked and torn to pieces)

2oz flour

220ml milk

1 splash of single cream

220ml each of chicken and veg stock

1 pack of smoked bacon, chopped

2 leaks chopped

50g frozen peas.

30g unsalted butter and a tiny bit of oil

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Ready rolled Puff pasty (I won’t tell if you don’t)

Method:

1) preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

2) Strip the chicken of meat and place to one side.

3) Sauté the bacon, garlic and onion/leeks in the butter and oil until soft on a medium heat.

4) Add in flour and stir

5) Keep the heat set to medium and then add in the stocks a tiny bit at a time followed by the milk. If too thick add more milk, if too thin add corn flour. (Tbsp cornflour mixed with a small amount of cold water.)

6) Add in the tiny splash of cream.

7) Add in chicken and the peas and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 more minutes and then take off the heat.

8) Now if you want traditional pie, line the pie dish with pastry and blind bake the pastry for 10 mins.

9) If like me you just like a pastry topping place chicken mix in the pie dish and cover with pastry. Trim off the excess pastry and glaze with milk or egg.

Now place in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees C) and bake until the pastry is golden brown. Usually about 40 minutes but check it often.

 

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Cheeky Gin Truffles.

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This is a recipe I started to design back in high school, obviously booze free back then. It started as a simple cake based delight and then evolved into a boozie, chocolate indulgence. These make ideal gifts for birthdays and Christmas and are quite simple to produce in bulk.

Ingredients:

200g Good Quality 70% Dark Chocolate

100g Unsalted Butter

180g shop bought madeira cake (I won’t tell if you don’t)

200g icing sugar

100ml double cream

30g Desiccated coconut

40g chocolate Chips

1tbsp cocoa Powder

Gin 60ml (optional)

Coating:

Icing sugar

cocoa Powder

Ground Almonds (optional)

Desiccated coconut (optional)

Method:

  1. Break the chocolate into little pieces and cut the butter into cubes and place both in a large heat proof bowl over a pan of water.
  2. Heat the water over a medium flame and stir the chocolate continuously until its completely melted and blended with the butter. Turn the hob off and remove the bowl from the pan.
  3. Add in everything but the coating ingredients and the gin to the chocolate mixture and stir it until everything is nicely blended.
  4. Now add in half the gin and stir it in well, then taste it. If you want a stronger flavour add in the rest (and more again if you want them super boozy but taste after each 30ml) After each addition make sure you stir well.
  5. Get two baking trays lined with grease proof paper  and in a medium-sized dish put equal amounts icing sugar to cocoa powder.
  6. Each truffle should be about a heaped teaspoon. Dust your hands with the cocoa/icing mix and roll each teaspoon sized portion between your hands, giving each one a dip in the cocoa icing mix then place them on the baking trays.
  7. Then chill uncovered in a refrigerator for 15 mins.
  8. Put your ground almonds and coconut in separate bowls and then get your truffles out. They should be quite firm by this point but still sticky, don’t worry if you’ve left them too long you can quickly dip each one in a dish of water just before dipping to moisten the outside before rolling in your chosen toppings.
  9. I usually do 1/3 cocoa/icing mix, 1/3 ground almond and 1/3 coconut. Place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and leave to fully set before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  10. When you want to eat them they are best removed from the fridge 20 mins before serving because they are better at room temperature.

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Disclaimer:

I will be using affiliate links throughout my site to earn a little money towards general mummy costs. Don’t worry they won’t cost you a penny. Basically I get a tiny commission if you follow a link and buy something. This won’t affect my opinions on any items, if they are complete rubbish then I will say so.