I wasn’t going to blog this. I kind of dislike when people talk about the good they do. I was taught to be humble, don’t brag… all that jazz. But a few folks asked for the details of these baking kits we are selling at my son’s school in the week before the Easter holidays and if it helps other people raise money for good causes, then hey, it’s worth sharing. So here I am talking about how altruistic I am. Apologies. Anyway, if you end up making some of these up I hope they sell well and raise lots of money. READ MORE
How are the resolutions going? This year I decided to absolutely not make any new year’s resolutions. I’ve made many in my time and have found, after a good few years of research, that they are more often than not, pointless. READ MORE
We’re back. The routine has started. At first painful, clunky, chasing out tails. Then the groove came back and now we’re whistling along. A flurry of book bags and water bottles and untucked shirts, crooked ties and shoes on the wrong feet. My second eldest has started school and I am not sad. I am very happy for him.
Babies have no respect for sleep. It’s wasted on them. Kids too. Zero understanding for how wonderful it is and the scarcity of it in adult life.
Sometimes I day-dream about especially long sleeps I remember BK (Before Kids). There was one time, in the late 90’s, after a night shift where I delivered two babies, that I slept for so long I had no idea if it were morning or evening when I awoke. I did what any sensible girl would do and called my Dad. He knew. Dads always know if it’s day or night. READ MORE
So Lawrence could barely sit unaided until recently and now all of a sudden it’s action stations. Yesterday I rescued 2 remote controls, a Lego helicopter, a calculator, two mobile phones, a box of tissues, a nappy (unused), another baby, 3 plastic Octonaut toys, a laptop, a Hot Wheels track, a whisk, a rolling pin, 2 wooden spoons and some post from Lawrence. He’s one of ‘those’ babies. He’s wonderfully exhausting.
So what with all this racing about, I need Jaffa Cakes. Homemade ones. With a LOT of dark chocolate. Here we go…
Mother’s Day is looming. This recipe isn’t a Mother’s Day suggestion. Not that these cookies aren’t delicious and a wonderful gift to bestow on any well behaved mother, but well, they’re not quite formal enough for my liking. I think Mother’s Day needs something a little more old fashioned and restrained.
So, Mother’s Day gifts. I have been contemplating buying some frames, filling them with prints of the children and wrapping them in pretty tissue paper for the family matriarchs. But then it occurred to me that this could well be the worst kind of self absorption. Obviously I would never frame a picture of myself and bestow it to a family member. That would make me seem rather in love with my own reflection, a little bit of a horror frankly. But giving photos of my offspring seems okay, thoughtful even. But is it?
They’re my greatest life’s work, my biggest, most important project. They’re the thing I point at as an excuse for my under eye wrinkles, sagging belly and constant yawning. So to frame photos of them as a gift, is it really a right and proper gift for Mother’s Day? Or is it akin to an ex boyfriend of mine who prided himself on buying his girlfriend’s massage courses for their birthdays. As in ‘how to massage’ courses; not a course of massages. Perhaps these photos are a similar indulgence. A projection of being obsessed with oneself and ones achievements. A silent scream of “Look what I made! Aren’t they just wonderful?”
Or maybe I’m over thinking it.
Chocolate chip cookies
Makes about 15
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan over a low heat until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the flour, sugar, and bicarbonate of soda and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon. Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the chocolate chips.
Using your hands, form handfuls of the warm mixture into balls about 4cm across, you should make about 15. Place them on the lined trays, making sure that there’s plenty of space for them to spread in the oven. I leave a 5cm gap between each. Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until the dough has spread into cracked looking biscuits.
If you like your biscuits with a bit of ‘chew’ (more cookie like) then take them out when only the sides are brown. If you like them crunchy then let the whole biscuit get a suntan. Let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
What a year! What a glorious year. My third baby born, my first book also ‘born’ (ahem), I’ve become one of the Huffington Post’s recipe writers, am proud to be one of Scoff’s recipe presenters and this here blog is going to be 5 years old in 2015. I might even hold it a birthday party.
That’s quite enough showing off for one blog post (no-one likes a show off do they?) Instead, here are your top 10 blog posts of 2015:
1) A very humble ginger cake that I made with the folks at Scoff. You just mix it up (not even with a mixer… just a spoon will do), bung it in the oven and top with a little icing sugar. Easy as.
2) Spiced apple cupcakes with gingerbread buttercream. Another no mixer cake recipe. I am completely and utterly with you on this one – easy wins every time.
3) Psychedelic school fair rocky road. Best to make this in gargantuan quantities and then remove from the house asap.
4) Flourless chocolate cake. Now if you want this gluten free then be sure to source GF chocolate. Not all chocolate is created equally.
5) Cut out vanilla biscuits. The best biscuit dough ever for making cute cut out shapes. Ice or don’t ice.
6) Carrot, courgette and cheese mini pancakes. Mini pancakes or fritters? Whatever you call them, they’re delicious. My sons love them, my Dad loves them. I love them. Canapés that work as weaning fodder get a big tick from me.
8) Easy chocolate cupcakes. Another easy recipe with no mixer required. These are way too easy to whip up. Pass the chocolate ganache icing will you?
10) Lemon drizzle loaf. Classic, simple. Yes please.
What does 2015 hold? Well there will be very few giveaways I’m afraid. They take me way too long to set up and with three boys and loads of other bits and bobs of work I just can’t spare the time. I’ll be trying to shoot some videos (which will likely be dreadful at first so bear with me please) instead and will continue with the weekly recipes I so love to blog. Probably included will be a fair few weaning and finger food recipes, for that is what life is about at the moment. Little Lawrence may even make a guest appearance in some of the recipes.
I wish you all a healthy and happy 2015!