Thursday, 31 May 2007

Cake day!

Hmm actually that title sounds like something the Order of Pie might like......

So yesterday we made cake! and have been eating it ever since, yummy. I didn't have any choice but to make cake, as need to do something with all of the apples I seem to be left with after the event. Seems the crew didn't take many of them out for HAP points as they should have (reminder to boot Andy to sort this out for next event) So as I'm sinking under apples, the girls and I made Apple Muffin loaf yesterday. Loaf, as my muffin tins are lent out at present.

Details are:

7.25 oz Self Raising Flour
5oz Plain Flour
1.5 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
3 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
5oz Unsalted Butter (or Marge)
3 Tablespoons Honey
2 Eggs
5.5fl oz Milk
3 Apples peeled and chunked
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon extra
2 Tablespoons Caster Sugar extra

Oven 200 oc (Gas 6)

Either Grease Muffin Tin or Loaf tin, or put in cases/baking paper into tin

Sift the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar into a large bowl, then make a well in the centre.

Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir continuously until smooth.
Remove from heat
Whisk eggs and milk in a small jug.

Add the butter mixture, egg mixture and apple chunks to the well in the dry ingredients, all at once. Then using a metal spoon stir until just combined, do not over mix, mixture should be lumpy.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, fill each 3/4 full. (or loaf tin if you like) Sprinkle with the combined extra cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 20/25 mins or until skewer come out clean in the centre.

Leave muffins to cool in the tin for 10 mins, before lifting onto a wire rack to complete cooling.

As I said before, yummy, eat with Custard, Ice Cream or just on own with a cuppa, mmmmmm

Now to have a think, as to what to do with the rest of the apples, caramalise perhapse?

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Bank Holiday

So we went to work as usual. Took some friends with us, which went OK for us all, I think? bar the small incident with the Tesco version of Fabreeze and the rain.

I should elaborate really, I can see my friend is waiting to on her blog, fire away says I ;-)
Seems we nearly had a disastrous mishap with the aforementioned bottle of stuff, courtesy of the 3 year olds......who managed to get it out of the boot of the car un-noticed, take the lid off it and put it in the middle of the drinks on the table, Que dd2 grabbing it for a drink.......argh! luckily for us all, when it hit her head and eyes, she shut her mouth. Dh spotted it happening and yelled 'dd2 NO' friend rapidly turned around and grabbed bottle, I dropped everything, dh and I grabbed dd2, ran to the standpipe and lobbed her under it at full pelt. She was not amused. It was rather cold. Dragged a 1st aider over and saline administered to eyes, dd2 all ok, didn't look like she'd drunk any of it, no soapy taste/residue in her mouth. Kept her hair smelling nice for a few days though, not that I'd recommend it.

Re the rain, it absolutely pelted it down on the Sunday, so we decamped to the arcades, a nice Italian coffee and ice cream shop and finally the soft play, until it stopped. Funny thing in the soft play, CD on was playing Spanish music from our hols, so now we have the details of the music, to get it off the Internet for dd1 and 2 to learn the words properly :-)

Friend also came back with kitten from the weekend. Alys is her new name and she is the cutest little stripey grey kitten I've seen in a long time. She was being given away free at the cream tea place in the village near where we run events, what a cutie :-)

All in all a good weekend. Think friend and her ds had a good time, if anything my dd1 was the annoying child of the weekend and that was only on the Sunday night, when it also turned out she was feeling a bit poorly too :-(
Guess its not a bad thing when you can get two three year olds to get on for four days on the trot! Let alone the adults!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Lemons and Blackbirds

So I guess I should start by telling you I'm not going to stick any blackbirds in a pie, certainly not 4 or even 20 of the cute little things and especially not because I have an ickle biddy baby one toddling around the back garden as I type. I spotted him this am. The border looked odd, kind of ruffled, so I took a look out of the upstairs window and there he was, with mum and dad, hopping around looking out for him taking him food, bless. He should be fine, as he's shuffled into the budlia tree base, which is in range of the cat scarer. Wonder if the birds picked our garden to learn to fly in because of that?

Now this is where the Lemons come into it!
Have made yummy Lemon Trickle/Drizzle Cake :-)

4oz Butter
4oz Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Lemons (or in my case 1 lemon and some lemon essence)
8oz Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
50g Icing Sugar

Oven Gas 4 or 180 0C

I Chucked the lot in the blender, bar the icing sugar and and the lemons. But I'll tell you what your really supposed to do with them

Heat oven! Get a load tin and grease it.

1. Cream butter and sugar until light n fluffy, gradually add eggs, beat well between each one. Stir in 2 teaspoons of lemon rind.

2. Sift flour and salt together, add to mixture and fold in gently

3. Stick in tin, level surface

4. Cook for approx 1 hr, test with skewer, when this is clean take cake out of oven, leave in tin.

5. In separate saucepan, heat 50g icing sugar with juice of 3 lemons (I used 1 and had previously bunged in lemon essence as an extra into the cake) whilst it melts skewer your cake approx 12 times all over the top. When its melted, pour over the cake (which is still in its tin right!) and allow to absorb. Once its fully cooled, put in an air tight container and it'll keep for 5 days or so, but I bet you eat it first!


So that's been my day really. Oh I did get our new tent today too, quick pick up from shop, it can stay bagged until I need to fathom it on Friday. I did also manage to squeeze in a trip to a friends for a cuppa and a borrow of her drum!! and a trip to twisting tots, so all in all busy day.

PS: No aches from the Aqua Aerobics last night!! for those that want to know?

Monday, 21 May 2007

The weekend

Well the weekend got divided into four sections really

Sat am I took the kids out to a friends, got two nice cups of coffee and an ear to listening to my whinging about dh working all morning. I know he has to do it, but just wish he'd share the workload a bit, when he could if he wanted to, if you get my drift. He's just rubbish at delegating/letting go of control! arggggghhhhhhhhhhhh she screams.

Sat pm, Strangehaven writers meeting, they assure me this went well, cause I was upto my eyeballs in kids as usual, I love em, but sometimes I wish they'd play happily by themselves you know! still I'm sure they'll grow up too quickly anyway, and then I'll be wishing they were small again. We did get to go out for a nice walk around some local woods (bar the dog muck, people don't do bagging very well round here at all, hurumph) so the woods may get used for the odd smaller event at a weekend!

Sunday am we dashed for a swim, then upto Leeds for ss's birthday. Bowling with the step family, all rather odd, dh said his ex FIL was being nicer to him than when he married his daughter, lol. SS had an ok time we think, bar the middle bit, where he decided he hated bowling? but they did Quasar as well afterwards, so hope he enjoyed it, meal and Dalek cake too.

Got back here and fantastic friend did us a BBQ, so didn't have to faff with food for everyone, love you lots mate!
Shame dd2 had to fall down the step mind and graze her hands, but she's gotta learn, right?
So bed for the little ones, then more work for us!! the joys of self employment.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Cats n my garden!

Whilst I'm on the subject, my newly working anti cat device is doing the trick again. No poo on the grass today. Don't mind cat's myself, if they use the borders and bury their doings. Very happy for them to use a litter tray . Quite happy to have them in the garden, so long as they don't poo on my grass!

We did have a cat, Gandalf, whom we inherited from a friend with bad asthma. He was a huge furball, fantastic cream thing, but bar his rotting teeth,stinky breath, his inability to not sit on the keyboard when dh or I typed, he was fine. Just the extra small people make it hard on him to stay. Dd1 used him as a duster for the hall floor........when dd2 came along and he tried to sleep on her face for 3 days running, we had to say goodbye. The kids still miss him and ask when he's coming back. Although there has been bleatings for a Fish and a Rabbit lately.

He's gone back to his old owner, whose asthma has gotten worse again since he's gone back, but she loves him so much, and she was glad of the break he got down here. Up until then he'd been an indoor cat. Now he's big and brave and goes outside! He also stands from no rubbish from the other cats in the house. He was bullied before by the others in the house. So looks like a bit out outside battling over the use of our garden sorted his macho side out. Saved our grass from poo for a while as well. Still now we have the anti cat device powered up again, we should be sorted. Either that or dh will get an air rifle......

Party Plan

Did the Pampered Chef thing last night, wasn't as bad as I'd been expecting. The woman who did it, was very good at her job, didn't seem as hard a sell as some of these things I've been to. Apparently she used to do Tupperware before, lol. So Pampered Chef is the new Tupperware! they've gone from flogging plastic, to flogging other types of assorted plastic/silicone and stoneware.

Anyway I got suckered in a bit and brought a tart dish with a push out bottom and fluter. It does mean I can now make the white chocolate and cherry tart in this months Sainsbury Magazine though. I think I'm having delusions of being Nigella. At least on the cooking front, lost all hope on obtaining her lifestyle. Makes mental note to ensure kids marry millionaires.

Mind you money isn't everything. The kids are however our current pension plan, which is a dangerous game at the best of times. Time to start making some money soon me thinks. Might try to hang on until Neve is two before doing anything major though. Or maybe three. Its so unfair for them to have to loose me to work, when they're so small. I know thousands upon thousands of mothers do have to work full time and have no choice, so I should consider myself very lucky to be self employed and ticking by not earning much at the moment, and working around the kids needs. However realistically we do know this situation cannot go on forever, as long term there will be nothing set aside for retirement. Should I set myself a goal to be a millionaire by 43, that gives me 10 years right!

I tangent! back to the party. Can you believe I also managed to win something!! only the smallest of small prizes, but lots better than nothing. I got a kiddy safe knife for dd1, which no doubt dd2 will end up using at the right age too, hurrah! I also ordered a silicone spatula, as managed to melt my plastic one that came with my mixer/blender thingy. This one swears it won't melt, which is great as far as I'm concerned, as I appear to be far to good at melting apparatus accidentally.

Dd2 has just squeaked at me for a few minutes, turned out she was trying to say she wanted to sit on the sofa, and 'read' a book to herself, but silly me, I interpreted it as she wanted her books on the floor. Que lots of screaming, until I realised that clawing to get up my leg, onto the sofa, then pointing at what I'd put on the floor for her, meant 'mummy your rubbish, just give me the books and I'll sit here in comfort, thank you'.

My stalker was at the party, but looks like we're over that phase now, phew! There were enough people there too. None of whom myself or my poor friend who I dragged along for moral support knew. So she really needn't have badgered me into going so much. I know every little helps for these party plan things. Also they did spend money with me, when I did a virgin vie, to help out a friend last year, so guess we're quits then? No doubt there will be more around on the run up to Christmas. Bodyshop anyone?

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Toy Library

What a grotty start to the day eh? more damn rain....yuk....still its doing the garden some good me thinks. Bar the new tomatoes that have gone out, they appear to be a little distressed at the sudden change in weather, but they were getting a bit leggy, so had no choice really.
That damn cat is back to poo'ing in the garden as well, grrrrrr, have rung dh and told him to bring home a 9v battery, to get the anti cat device going again. Bah!
Did Toy library this afternoon at Belper. I don't think its as good as the one at Crich. Actually its not that they toys aren't as good, because they are. But the setting that's lacking. Its in an old hut, also used for playgroup. But there doesn't seem enough adult chairs for my liking, which I think is actually my main beef with the place! I'm odd eh?! But when you get to my age, a nice seat is so much the better!
The dd's didn't seem that impressed by it either. It's more suited to the younger ones than the older ones.....dd1 has asked if we can NOT go again.
Off to Pampered Chef party tonight with my stalker and another friend, so shall see what the evening brings.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The weekend and everything after

So for the rest of Saturday, we got the girls their measles jabs (I've gone single vaccine route, as neither dh or I could live with ourselves if anything did go wrong that we could have prevented) so dd1 had her pre school booster and dd2 had her 1st jab, neither of them cried, so hurrah big brave girls. Dd1 is currently fascinated by the Dr's as her 'Auntie' has just qualified as a Dr, so she insisted on watching the needle go in, with a look of horror on her face, but she didn't moan until we got outside, and she didn't cry at all, which is a huge bonus.

It's ss's (stepsons) birthday next week, so we did birthday tea at Grandma's. Dad's old friend and one time worker, G popped over to see him, he's just been promoted at work, so now has nice office and car :-) great to see he's doing well for himself. I do like to see someone whose worked hard get up the ladder. It was even nicer to hear, he's earned so much in the last year, he's just had two months off to prevent him going into the next tax bracket! Oh how I dream of doing that!! Mind you if I'd have stayed in my old job, I would be doing that by now, only without the two months off a year like G, and that's really not worth it with the kids, after all they're only young once!

Sunday we were supposed to go to BIL/SIL's for the day, but BIL ill, so I ended up sorting out washing/ironing, boooooo, cleaning dd1's room with her and putting up a pile of pics, I've been meaning to do for ages. The boys played world of warcraft, sigh......there's something wrong there isn't there? me working on my day off?

So got revenge yesterday and once all kids at school, pre school and nursery, I dragged myself into Derby. Got dd2's broken buggy swapped, got a new phone and tariff, hurrah! can now do photos, vids and music on phone, very techno for me :-) and did coffee and cake with Daemara. Then another friend popped by in afternoon, so shucks, more coffee and nattering. I successfully didn't get any work done, so better make up for it today, the accounts are looming, bah!

Mile for Maude

So we did Mile for Maude on Saturday with the Derby Crew, was a nice walk, it even managed to hold off with the rain, bar one quick, heavy shower! M came and did photos for us, Clary has ensured they're in the paper this coming weekend, with a bit of spiel :-) so hopefully we've raised a bit of money for FSID . Maude's case will be in the papers over the coming weeks, as her mother has sold the rights to make money for FSID. This is indeed a truly worth cause. Her case is unusual, as she was aged 2, when it happened, having her afternoon nap :-( most cases are babies (under 12 months) when this happens, so its vital that further research is done into the matter, to try to save other parents the heartache and pain that Maude's family are going through.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Well and truely shattered today, now sorting out the aftermath of our event at the weekend.
A nice long sleep tonight and all will be sorted. In the meantime I've been busy washing clothes and kit, and cleaning the house up, as have a friend coming to stay over tomorrow night, so figured the least I could do would be clean the bathrooms and mop the floors.
Poor old dd2 keeps falling over, think she's on the grow a bit, mind you she did bang her head on the radiator earlier, hoping it's not that, making her all wobbly.....which reminds me, as its mile for maude this weekend, I should really go and email Clary.....