No-prove iced buns

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These deliciously squidgy, thickly iced buns are the perfect sweet treat and ready in 20 minutes! This no-prove recipe is a firm favorite in our house, whilst the kids opt for a million sprinkles on theirs, I simply love a glace cherry…just like the old days.

Makes 12

Bake time 20 mins

Ingredients

285ml semi skimmed milk

2 large eggs

340g self raising flour

1/2 tsp salt

55g butter

85g caster sugar

150g sultanas

12 glace cherrys or sprinkles

For the icing

200g icing sugar

Water to make a thick spoonable consistency..1-2 tsp.

Method

Pre heat oven to 190c, 375*,gas 5

Line 12 muffin tin holes with bun cases

Put milk and eggs in a jug and whisk until combined.

Put flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers, or use a food processor.  Stir in sultanas and sugar.

Mix in the beaten egg and milk muxture to make a batter.

Spoon into bun cases making sure they are 2/3 full.

Bake in a pre heated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Take out once baked and let cool.

Make icing by mixing icing sugar and water. Spoon generously over each bun, smooth over with a small palette knife and top with a glace cherry or sprinkles.

ENJOY!!

This recipe is taken from the book “bake me a cake as fast as you can” by Miranda Gore Browne

 

 

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Make a wish with Pepparkakor

lick n drip caramel cake-2.jpgHow did I not know about Pepparkakor!

Whilst munching on ginger snaps, my friend cracked hers in her hand and said

“oh I didn’t get to make a wish”.

…puzzled… I then had to know what she meant. After a quick conversation and a Google search I was quick to learn that Pepparkakor is a traditional Swedish festive treat, baked with dark flavoursome spices and rolled nice and thin for that lovely crisp snap. Pepparkakor is an integral part of the Christmas feast in Sweden and is also used to decorate their Christmas trees, often iced with decorative patterns and images.

Swedish customs says you should place the Pepparkakor in the palm of your hand and press it with your thumb. If the biscuit breaks into 3 you get to make a wish!

So I get to eat biscuits AND make wishes!

All my dreams had come true!

I simply HAD to make some!

My children were so excited that we were making a wishing biscuit that all 3 decided they wanted to take some to school so ALL their classmates could try the custom too.

Overall we made around 90 biscuits in a very short time, so easy to make and beautiful and crisp, it’s ridiculously hard to resit eating them as soon as they come out of the oven!

The recipe for Pepparkakor is right here if you want to try it.

PEPPARKAKOR RECIPE

Pre heat oven to FAN 180

Line several large baking sheets with greaseproof paper

Ingredients

250g Butter

300g Caster Sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon golden syrup

450g plain flour

2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of ginger (more if you really like ginger!)

2 teaspoons of ground cloves  (we omitted these as no body likes them in our house!)

METHOD

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.

Stir in the egg and syrup.

Sift together the flour, spices and bicarb and add to the mixture.

Roll into a dough.

Roll out till its approx 0.25cm thick and cut into shapes using a cutter.

Place on baking tray and bake for approx 20 minutes or until flat, dark and crisp.

Cool on cooling rack until cold and store in air tight container.

May I suggest a lovely stroll, on a long winding path, surrounded by trees whispering in their branches, a river gently ebbing and flowing, a pocket full of wishing biscuits and a loved one by your side, break the biscuits and wish for your future adventures.

x

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Kid chaos in the kitchen

It’s the weekend!

It’s time to slow down the usual morning rush around and enjoy the comforts of being at home…but I soon get itchy fingers and want to get baking! It’s the weekend and weekends mean the kids get to bake too!

My 3 young children Tom, Robin and Libby see me baking ALOT, and often sit and watch, stir, throw things in the bowl, pester me until I forget what I’m doing and wait around until it’s licking time…the bowl that is! Sometimes I banish them from the kitchen altogether if what I’m doing is for a client or is very important, and that makes me feel bad because they want to learn, but because of all the questions, and pestering, and poking, and licking, sometimes its just not feesible, so out they go!…until the weekend!

Questions, pestering, poking and licking!

So this weekend we decided to make a Treacle Spiced Traybake ..(insert yummy, yummy noises here…)

It’s a really easy recipe that involves putting 8 ingredients in a bowl and mixing like crazy!

So I put my 6 year old in charge of the weighing scales, (this will obviously help with his maths I’m thinking) and my 5 and 2 year old in charge of dumping in the ingredients and mixing!

Weighing out is great for number recognition, adding and subtracting!gingerbread traybake-2.jpg

Of course there’s always one who doesn’t like their designated job and soon starts to squawk and chirp about the fact that “Libby is mixing too hard and I can’t get my spoon in”..or  “why has Libby got to break in 2 eggs and I’ve only got to break in 1?” (cos theres 3 kids and 4 eggs love and she’s the cutest, decision made) .

Remember your baking ‘memories’

In all seriousness though, baking with children is a fantastic shared experience, you’re giving them a skill for life and hopefully providing happy memories (unless I’m your Mum  and then you get some nice memories followed by a personality change into Gordon Ramsey when my OCD kicks in about how much mess 3 kids can make in half an hour! )But honestly, if you can stop worrying about how much mess it makes, and time (it takes sooooo much longer!), the experience you get when baking with children is amazing, and they amaze themselves too when they see what a few simple ingredients make.

If you are a brilliant parent you can actually get your children to clean up with you afterwards, but my kids are too busy licking the 20,000 spoons they have used and any cake batter that has happened to fall on the counter with their tongues! gingerbread traybake-3.jpg

When we finished our bake I said to my children, so ‘who’s had fun?”

 

3 little hands went up…and thats why we bake x

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Recipe -Treacle spiced traybake

Ingredients

225g soft margarine

175g caster sugar

225g black treacle

275g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

Icing sugar to finish

Method

Pre-heat oven to Fan 160, 180, gas 4.

Grease and base line a 12 x 9 inch tray with greaseproof paper.

Measure all ingredients into a bowl and beat well for  2 minutes until well blended.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin.

Finish with water icing or a dust of icing dust of icing sugar, whichever your preference.

The stone of Fate

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In April 2013 we got married. We already had 3 boys and hubby said ‘enough was enough’. I couldn’t blame him , our life was fairly hectic.
Here we are sitting on a stone on Ilkley Moor on our wedding day havibg our photos taken. Unbeknown to us , here on this very rock was a name of a girl, chiselled into the rock that we were sat on.

Written in the stars.”

September 2015, we went for a walk and visited the rock that we sat on on our wedding day, except this time we took not only our sons but our daughter too. Libby.

Libby was the name written in the stone.

Im a firm believer in Fate, and I know that she was written in the stars long before we even thought it was possible.

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The Airedale Heifer ,Sandbeds

I’m a foodie.
I love food, but it has to be good to get a review from me.

The Airedale Heifer at Sandbeds delivers just that, good food!

‘The heifer ‘ as I’ve always known it, has been a pub for as long as I can remember.  My Dad used to frequent the Heifer on a regular basis.
At one point the chef there did an amazing job and it was full to the brim every week…then as most chefs do at some point in their career,  they move on. Sadly this was the death of the Heifer.

Chefs leaving causes the death of the Heifer
For many years it continued to run as a pub that offered mediocre food at best, which suited my dad, as it meant he didn’t have to share the pub with lots of foodies!
Years rolled by and our only local saving grace for good food was The Busfeild Arms http://www.busfeildarms.co.uk in East Morton or travel further afield to The Grouse Inn, Oldfield .http://www.thegrouse.co.uk.
As a family we often still visited the Heifer and even had my dad’s wake there, but we didn’t eat, it just wasn’t good enough.

Then along came the re fit!
We contacted the Heifer in regards to holding our Daughters christening there and found out we couldn’t as they were having a re fit. I was extatic! I told every one! 
The Heifer had a major overhaul and was completely re invented into what it is today.

Micro brewery on site!
The Airedale Heifer was re born and it was executed in such good taste I was thrilled for them. The decor is warm and inviting, modern but cosy and now more of an eatery than a pub. At last we have great food on our doorstep!

At last we get to sample the food!

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After waiting for the rush to die down , the hubby and I had a date night. We were greeted straight away by the bar staff and shown to our table. The waitress was friendly and prompt and delivered our drinks quickly so we could enjoy them whilst perusing our menus.
We had a few questions about some of the menu dishes and the waitress answered our questions with confidence and ease, no rushing back to the kitchen with unease and panic, what a refreshing change!
To start we ordered soup of the day, and sweet potato tart. (Pictured). It was so beautifully presented and tasted delicious.  We then had fish and chips which came with a bucket of scraps and doorstep bread and butter, yummy , and I went for the burger, not my usual choice of dining but if they can get this right they can do it all right in my eyes. It came in a brioche bun with delicious burger sauce and a solitary onion ring which I loved. It was top notch and could eat it again right now!
A solitary onion ring was all it needed!
We were stuffed! Hubby was in food heaven but I always leave room for dessert!
We chose the Beerbockerglory.  Yes…beer icecream! And it was good! Very creamy and hoppy! 
That was us done. 10/10 and if we had more time, money and baby sitters we would be there every week!
The main things we look for when we dine out are
Good food 👍
Good ambience 👍
Comfortable surroundings 👍
Excellent customer service 👍
Local produce 👍
Happy staff 👍
The Airedale Heifer has it all 😆
http://www.facebook.com/Airedaleheifersandbeds

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Cornish castle chaos

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The stunning Cornwall coastline is one that keeps me longing for more,  8 hours in the car means that we do not visit often, in fact I’ve only been 2 times in my entire life! We visited this summer and tried to cram as much as we possibly could into our 10 days.

armed with 3 kids, endless crap that you need to keep them, fed, watered, clothed, lubed and medicated through the day, an off roading buggy and a flask of tea for me, we purchased a book about all the”best” beaches in Cornwall.

(ISBN 978 085025 422 8)

It proved to be the best book ever listing so many beaches we hadn’t even heard of, lots of information too on accessibility, local amenities, parking, disabled/pram access, dog friendly, etc, so armed with the book we headed out most days to explore.

We headed to Marazion, to the great castle in the sea that is St Michaels Mount. The kids weren’t too fussed about the castle, and we were so busy trying to watch that they didn’t fall from a turret that we were glad to escape to the gardens…

the gardens are beyond belief, Ive never seen anything as stunningly beautiful in England before. The whole island has its own micro climate and because of this tropical plants of all varieties grow and flourish here. They are 20 times as big as what you would see in that lovely warm area in your local garden centre, all blooming with flowers and curly leaves, hidden around corners and winding pathways.

We would have stayed all day, except the tide was coming in and I didn’t fancy lugging my off roader down 30 stone steps to the boat, along with 3 kids and the army of essential crap.

I have to say though, I also sampled the crab linguini and a cornish cider which along with the gardens made my day!