Happy Bloggaversary to me …8 Today !!!

Ok Ok so I’ve completely neglected the blog and you guys for an absolute age … and I’m probably in the very bad books with you all and for that I can only apologise – If I could have found the energy and wherewithal to blog everything that has  gone on in 2018 I reckon I’d have bestseller going out on the streets … However it all kind of sapped me of everything and therefore I fell silent !!  But you’ll be pleased to know that I’m feeling quite chipper at the moment and I’m enjoying being me again – amazing what a bit of perspective can do for your inner well being !!!

So it popped up on my Facebook profile that today is the 8th anniversary of this blog !!! 8 years !!!! Cor Blimey Guv’nor !! 8 years of inane ramblings and mediocre recipe sharing !! You guys are the luckiest  I tell thee !!  So I’ve made a decision to dip my toe back into the water and so hopefully shall be back soon regaling you with all my sorry tales and all my tasty recipes … even my complete disasters ( I have a lot of those )  but for now … Thanks for sticking with me you beautiful people ! I love you all – yeah even you !! 🙂

See you soon

Ju xx

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Sometimes all you need is simple …

I’ve had a few tough weeks …starting with flu , followed by norovirus , then moving house and this past week I’ve slipped a disc in my back … all in all it’s been a bit shitty …except the moving house which whilst exhausting is already proving to be the best thing for all of us – the twins are so much happier at their new school, they’re loving having their own bedrooms after sharing everything for the last 10 years , they’re like different children full of life and adventure !! Bill thinks it’s brilliant we are so close to my parents …he comes and goes as he pleases , Chris has still to settle in after working away …and me ? Well I’ve come home … And I can’t wait for my adventures to begin !!
So Last week was pretty tough …I had this brand new massive kitchen that I’ve been dreaming of for so long – I’ve got lists of things to bake,cook and blog …  But when you slip a rotten disc in your back and the nerve becomes compressed that any and every movement is complete agony then baking takes a back seat to codeine and tears !!! I’ve consoled myself with flicking through cookbooks and magazines when I could concentrate for long enough –  I reignited my love affair with Twitter and tweeted a few folks … But mostly I’ve sat staring at the TV dreaming of baking !! So this morning as I lay wideawake on the sofa as the clock hit 6am after another fitful nights “sleep” I decided that I’d have a go at making a cake – by 8.30am I’d decided I probably couldn’t stand up that long so in stepped F … He loves to bake and this was the ideal opportunity for him to learn the most basic of baking skills – The Victoria Sponge !!!

So he weighed , he cracked, he mixed and he baked and he is now my fully fledged Vic Sponge head baker 🙂 

Here’s his simple but delicious recipe …

175g caster sugar

175g margarine/softened butter ( we use stork)!

175g self raising flour 

3 medium eggs 

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°c .

Grease and line 2 sandwich tins .

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together – no really it’s that easy ! 

Split the mixture between the two tins .

Bake for 20 mins . 

Cool on a wire rack for 5 mins then turn out to cool fully .

Once cooled sandwich together with jam and whipped cream (optional) 

Then stick the kettle on and cut a  huge slice … 

Could it be any simpler …or indeed any more delicious !! F is now hungry for more so watch this space for more of Frank’s induction into Baking …I’m sure Ted will join in too …!!! 

GBBO … Thoughts ? 

Well I rushed around like a wild mad thing last night fitting in numerous trips across the city , a trip to Aldi and the cooking of meals for the eldest boy and then for me and the husband (I didn’t starve the twins btw they’re at the grandparents) …almost meeting myself coming back just so I could be seated and ready for the start of the all new Channel 4 Great British Bake Off … So super healthy chicken stir fry in hand I sat and waited to see just what on earth C4 may have done to our beloved institution …

What can I say ? I loved it !!! I’ve always been a fan of Prue …and whilst I obviously adore St Mary of Berry … Prue was fabulous – witty ,fair, honest and kind . I had wondered how Sandi and Noel would fair and I was pleasantly surprised , in fact I thought Noel was brilliant and all my fears of Boosh like comedy infiltrating the tent were washed aside with the beating rain !!! 

The format has hardly changed so we could all melt into the comfortable familiarity of baking. The ooohs and aaah’s, the gasps of astonishment ,the groans of failure – the Hollywood handshake ,the laughter ,the tears ,the heartbreak and hopeful smiles …it had it all !!! I didn’t even mind the ad breaks – it meant I could catch up on social media or put the kettle on … Or as my local radio station attempted …they made an ad break cake in a mug !!! 

So it’s not all bad …in fact …I really quite liked it !!! Now to decide what to bake this weekend … Somehow I don’t think it will be quite as adventurous as our new bakers …  Or will it ??? 

What do you think of  GBBO 2017 so far ?? 

Teddy in the Kitchen: FlapJacks

Last month I promised you simple is as simple does and you don’t get much more simple than flapjacks !!!

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Ted had been ill for a few weeks … yes WEEKS … with a flu like illness that neither we or the NHS could get to the bottom of ! So in a last ditch attempt we decided to remove all gluten from his diet … only for a short time but it worked !! In that time we decided to get some GF baking under our belts – the cake we attempted in all honesty was a bit rank ! More work needed there !!  But the flapjacks were a hit …

We use a very simple recipe that the kids can handle  and we keep it plain although you could add in whatever you liked — chocolate chips , sultanas , seeds , dried apricots …. its entirely up to you !!

Here’s Teddy’s recipe for his favourite flapjacks

Ingredients

 

  • 225g (8oz) butter,
  • 225g (8oz) demerara sugar,
  • 75g (3oz) golden syrup,
  • 275g (10oz) porridge oats

Preheat oven to 160 degC / Gas 3. Grease a 12 x 9″ tray/roasting tin
Melt the butter in a large saucepan with the sugar and syrup then stir in the oats. Mix well ,

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Turn into the prepared tin and press down flat with a palette knife or back of a spoon.
Bake for 35  mins or until pale golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 mins before marking into 24 squares. Leave in the tin to finish cooling.

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Teddy making his favourite snack

 

It couldn’t be any easier … and the kids love them – as does my next door neighbour who always get a share of the goodies !!

Changes are afoot …

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Oh dear ! Has it really been that long since I graced you with my presence ? My sincere apologies !! In the last 6 months or so I have gone through major life changes and somehow I lost a grip on the things that made me me !!

For one … I got made redundant  AGAIN !!! I know its like a bad habit of mine … I then went from having worked part time for 17 years to my first full time position since before my first born entered the world … and believe me a transition from a 15 hour working week to a Monday to Friday 8 until 4 timetable is punishing for the soul !!!  Not in an altogether bad way ! I’m now working in finance – who saw that coming ??? Its tough and I’ve got oodles to learn but I’ll get there …

 

Next in the ever continuing saga that is my life – I became ill !! I thought I was just tired due to the above ! But when after some rest time ( well as much rest time as you get with 3 kids and a mad dog) I was still enormously fatigued and having lost all zest for everything – work .. home … recreation .. . cooking .. writing … ( you catch my drift I’m sure)  – I took myself off to the docs  for some answers !! Over Christmas I had some bloods done and then a summons back to my Doc ! It appears I have something called Pernicious anaemia  and folate anaemia !! The folate side of things I’m dealing with by taking folic acid and increasing my intake of leafy greens  … I guess I should enthral you all with some recipes with them huh ??  The pernicious anaemia is being dealt with via regular B12 injections – just call me a human pin cushion !! I can’t say I’m feeling the benefits just yet and have spent the last month struck down with a plethora of colds, viruses and chest infections but I live in hope that I’ll improve in time !

So there we have it – I have my laptop back in working order after smashing the screen and subjecting it to a year lost under the sofa … and I have a slight stirring in my creative juices !!! I’ve also decided the change the focus of the blog back to how I started all those years ago – more focus on my family and boy friendly cooking ! Less focus on trying to run with the big boys … I’m just going to keep being me and bringing you fun family friendly recipes , cooking tips and anecdotes !!! I hope that’s ok ?

See you very soon  with a simpler than  simple family favourite 🙂 FLAPJACK !!!

 

 

 

 

Respect the Whirl -GBBO Week 2

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Ooooops I did it again ! This weeks Great British Bake Off  was Biscuit week – How hard could a biscuit bake actually be ?  As we watched the contestants tackle iced biscuits – surely a doddle ? Then onto Mary’s Viennese Whirls … followed by a ginger biscuit structure of epic proportions ! We gasped as biscuits tumbled to the floor , as time ran out , as the elusive snap was more of a rip … we held our breath as the whirls disintegrated into smooth velveteen crumbs of buttery deliciousnes … we all  cried with dismay as ginger constructions collapsed and snapped …  I was fair exhausted by the end of the show !!

I had originally intended to make a batch of vanilla cookies and ice them with artistic flair  however  I decided to embrace the technical challenge once again ! I have never attempted a viennese finger so a whirl might just be the ending of me !! I used Mary’s recipe as why tamper with the best ?? And the results … well catastrophic actually !!! The dough was that short that it crumbled beyond recognition – tasted blimmin gorgeous , so silky and buttery and delicious ! But looked an absolute horror … I managed to salvage 2 fully constructed whirls !!  The rest of the biscuits were put in a tub and devoured without an ounce of respect !!!

So I say to you all – never underestimate the humble biccie ! Respect the whirl !!! Its a technical feat which yet again beat this baker !!! Next week  I’m having it – I promise you !!!

I have joined in with Week 2 of The Great Bloggers Bake Off – you can join in too here  with Mummy Mishaps

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You can join in more baking fun with Tesco who kindly sponsored my bake this week ! Many thanks … Go visit their baking pages here 

 

Jaffa Cake- Epic fail !

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It’s back … we’ve waited patiently through an amazing Olympics and now we are enjoying the spoils …

The Great British Bake Off – fast becoming a great British institution  as is the fantastic Great Bloggers Bake Off !! Hurrah …

I sat with most of the nation last Wednesday eagerly watching as the new contestants were put through their paces … firstly a drizzle cake .. and I was feeling rather confident at that .. Ha ! Who can’t make a decent drizzle I thought to myself !! turns out quite a few find it a struggle … Next onto Jaffa cakes … Well I sat there giving my armchair advice quite literally shouting at the TV that surely it wasn’t that blummin hard !!! Then onto the showstopper – a mirror glazed cake ! I sat down to digest the first episode and thought well good on you BBC , finally bringing it back to basics ! To good old fashioned baking !!

So  , now it was my turn !! I decided to go with Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cakes  with the naïve idea of showing these so called bakers just how easy it actually was ! Oh boy oh boy oh boy – How wrong was I ? Jaffa Cakes ? Jaffa fail !!!! The sponges were fine , the jelly was fine , the chocolate was fine but on construction of this spongey orange morsel it all went horrifically wrong !! I am an impatient person by nature – the chocolate was still far too warm that it hit the jelly and melted the orangey centre then slid off into the waiting tray …. and this happened time and time again ! Meaning after only 3 successful ish Jaffa cakes  I declared the whole sorry episode an Epic Jaffa Fail and consoled myself with a cup of tea and some sponge mess !!! I now take it all back – sorry GBBO contestants – I apologise profusely for the names I called you all on Wednesday evening , for ever questioning your ability as bakers and your eligibility to grace my screen ! I truly am sorry – Jaffa Cakes are hard !!! I will never ever venture there again …..

I have joined in with Week 1 of The Great Bloggers Bake Off – you can join in too here  with Mummy Mishaps .

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