Thursday, 26 May 2011

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me

I made some giant cookies for the kids yesterday, I had no chocolate chips so I used smarties instead, I dare say I could have used pretty much anything as an alternative to choc chips like M&Ms, rolos, magic stars, Mars planets etc.

I have to say, it was hard to resist eating the dough because it looked (ok ok... and tasted!) so delicious. I got nine large cookies out of the batch of dough so not bad at all.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Blogger is really starting to yank my chain in regards to my lack of a dashboard and inability to edit my profile. I had already edited my profile with a little intro and stupid Blogger has apparently stolen it, never to be seen again. Annoying.

I have another Christmas inspired recipe (with pictures) to add, as soon as I find said recipe... I have it scrawled on some paper which I thought I had tucked into my (personal) recipe book, but it isn't there... So as soon as I locate it, I will share.

I have some pictures from our Easter activities to share too, we had a great time painting eggs and having an egg hunt in the garden, and I created little Easter baskets for their goodies, stuffed with eggs and jelly beans and lollipops and other yummy things. So, those will be coming soon!

And finally, hello to all my new Blog followers!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents... your dinner. [Meal plan]

Monday 23rd May - "Night Breakfast" full English
Tuesday 24th May - Cottage pie
Wednesday 25th May - Rigatoni alla amatriciana
Thursday 26th May - Gammon, chips & peas
Friday 27th May - Fajita Friday (not SW)
Saturday 28th May - Spaghetti Bolognese

Sunday 29th May - Roast chicken & trimmings
Monday 30th May - Baked cannelloni

Friday, 20 May 2011

Christmas Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

This is one of my favourites, this recipe is from the "good mood food" blog and is just fantastic.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
(Makes about 12-15 cookies)

110g butter, softened and chopped
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
¼ cup (25g) cocoa, sifted
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
120g dark chocolate, melted
280g dark chocolate, extra, chopped
120g candy canes, chopped

- Preheat oven to 160°C/ Gas Mark 3.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until light and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Add the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and melted chocolate and beat until just combined.
- Fold through the extra chopped chocolate.
- Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into rounds.
- Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly.
- Press the chopped candy canes into the tops of the cookies and bake for 12–15 minutes or until the edges are firm.
- Allow to cool on the trays

  • The cookies on the plate are Christmas 2009, the others are Christmas 2010

Easy Gingerbread Recipe

Sorry to spring some Christmas-inspired recipes on you in May, but at least you'll be able to store them away for when the time comes, because these are great recipes and definitely worth taking note of.

This first one is a foolproof gingerbread recipe, it never fails to taste amazing. I used this recipe to make some mini gingerbread men for H to take in for his class, and also to create a delicious gingerbread house that the Mr & kids had a whale of a time decorating on Christmas Eve, it was a really fun activity for them to do together. I made the house over a couple of days, using a cutter kit I got from eBay.


350g (12oz) Plain Flour
175g (6oz) Light soft brown sugar
100g (4oz) Butter
1 egg
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1½ tsp Ginger

- Mix flour, butter, ginger and bicarb together in a bowl until crumbly
- Add the sugar, syrup, egg and combine until it forms a dough
- Now here is where the original recipe calls for it to be rolled out, however I choose to wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface, and cut out the required shapes
- Place the shapes on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven (180c/350f/GM4) for approx 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes). You may need to adjust times to suit your own oven.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Cheese Biscuits [Recipe]

A quick and simple recipe for cheese biscuits is always handy to have, and they make a perfect addition to lunch boxes and as a tasty nibble for picnics. These yummy snacks are a firm favourite with my kids, especially E who can often be found clutching four or five as she trots around the house. A girl gets hungry, you know!


• 120g butter, softened
• 450g grated Cheddar Cheese
• 250g plain flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6. Grease a baking tray.
 In a large bowl cream butter and cheese. Stir in flour and salt; mix well.
 On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1.25cm in thickness.
 Cut into 5cm strips and sprinkle with chilli powder, if desired. (I actually use cookie cutters for this part to save time)
 Place strips on prepared baking tray 3 to 4cm apart.
 Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp.

Thanks to my dear friend Ruthie for this great recipe.

Monday, 16 May 2011

This belly ain't gonna feed itself, woman [Meal plan]

The title is a direct quote from the wonderful Logan! As before, all meals are Slimming World unless otherwise stated (recipes provided on request!).

Monday 16th May - Sesame chicken & mixed pepper bake, with baked potatoes

Tuesday 17th May - Cottage pie
Wednesday 18th May - Homemade burgers with chips & salad
Thursday 19th May - Baked cannelloni
Friday 20th May - Fajita Friday (not SW)
Saturday 21st May - Spaghetti & meatballs

Sunday 22nd May - Roast chicken & trimmings

Orange Honey Muffins [Recipe]

8oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Caster Sugar
6oz Butter, softened (I use Stork)
3 eggs
2tbsp milk
1tbsp honey
1tsp orange essence

- Cream butter & sugar
- Mix eggs, milk & orange essence together in a separate bowl
- Alternate adding the flour, & the egg mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until combined
- Add honey and beat mixture until combined
- Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and place in preheated oven on 190 for approx 15 mins (may need to adjust to suit your own oven)

** This is my own recipe, and any similarity to others is unintentional


Ok I am still missing a post (my Orange Honey muffin recipe) which is annoying, and I cannot get to my dashboard, so I am tentatively posting to see if it works... I'm also wondering if my other post (and actually, all the formatting I did) will return, or whether I have to rewrite it... Rewriting it is not a big deal, but to know one way or the other would be nice!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Culinary Delights [Pictures]

I wanted to share some of my cakes and other culinary creations. They are not professionally made or anything fancy, they're just homemade creations made for me and the family to enjoy, and here are some pictures! If you want recipes please just ask I am happy to share.

Birthday Cupcakes
1st Birthday Cake

Joshua's 10th Birthday Cake
Matching Cupcakes

Erica's Matching Birthday Cupcakes
Mini Victoria Sponges

Blueberry Muffins
"American Style" pancakes

Triple Chocolate & Toffee Muffins
Vanilla, Double Choc & Triple Choc Muffins

Stuffed Double Choc Oreo Muffins
New York Cheesecake

Banana Bread
Jam & Lemon tarts

Peanut Butter Fudge

Dinner dinner dinner dinner Batman [Meal Plan]

I'm currently thinking about our meals for next week. I really only have a day to organise myself before I need to get online and order the shopping. Online shopping makes my life so much easier. No wonky trolley wheels, no rowdy kids (mine, or other peoples!), no ignorant shoppers standing in front of things I need while they gab on their phone. Also, the temptation to pile up the trolley with things that "look nice" is removed, and it in turn saves me money (and about 10lb off my a*se). Our meal plan for the last two weeks has been a mixture of old favourites and new recipes courtesy of Slimming World, the best thing about SW is that they are good healthy meals for all the family, which is a win-win for me. For anyone looking for inspiration I thought I would share our meal plan, and when I have finished (or indeed, started) next week's I will share that too. If you would like recipes for anything I have posted just shout, all of these are SW meals unless otherwise stated (PS: SW chips are the BEST).

Tuesday 3rd May - Rigatoni alla amatriciana
Wednesday 4th May - Chicken & mixed pepper bake and mashed potatoes
Thursday 5th May - Gammon, chips & peas
Friday 6th May - Fajita Friday (not SW)
Saturday 7th May - Kids choice, as Adam and I went out for date night.
Sunday 8th May - Roast chicken & trimmings
Monday 9th May - Baked cannelloni with baked potatoes & salad
Tuesday 10th May - Egg, chips & baked beans
Wednesday 11th May - Cottage pie
Thursday 12th May - "Night Breakfast" full English
Friday 13th May - Fajita Friday (not SW)
Saturday 14th May - Spaghetti & meatballs

Sunday 15th May - Roast gammon & trimmings

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Trek Ben Nevis 2011

On 10-12 June 2011 I will be trekking Ben Nevis for The National Autistic Society. I have met my £500 minimum but I would LOVE to raise so much more. The National Autistic Society provide information and support for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. Help them campaign for a better world for people with autism. You can sponsor me at People like me, the mother of a son with ASD, rely on the support that NAS provide, and very much appreciate every single penny donated to the cause. Thank you!

My life & kids, a brief intro...

I've meant to start my "mumoirs" (as I lovingly refer to them because it sounds cute, others might consider them more insane ramblings) for some time, however time is something I don't always have.

I'm not a writer, or a journalist or anything like that. That is not to say that at one stage of my life I didn't want to be those things, because I did. But it didn't work out like that, and while I think it might have been nice I am happy with where I am today.

My name is Julie and I am a mum. I have five gorgeous kids ranging from tween to toddler and a husband, Adam.

Alicia is our tween, she'll be 13 in July and don't we know it! Joshua is 10 and a budding young Footballer. Logan will be 8 in August and is our little computer games enthusiast. Harrison is 5½ and an aspiring Fireman! Last but not least we have our princess in training, miss Erica who just turned 1 last month.

We lead an average life - school, housework, errands... Adam works all the hours and when he isn't working he is coaching Joshua's Football team. We grab every opportunity we can to do things together as a family because our time can be limited by the daily grind, and so we want to make every minute count.

Parenting to us isn't a chore, or just an obligation, it's a pleasure. The sun rises and sets on our children and we want to give them the best childhood we can. We don't have wads of cash to spend on the kids, but in our opinion the best thing to spend on kids is time and quite frankly, there is nothing else I would rather do than be in the kitchen up to my elbows in cake mixture, or covered in mud from a bear hunt in the woods.

This blog is primarily somewhere for me to share thoughts, ideas, recipes, activities & pictures of what we spend our time doing.

So... Welcome to my world. Think of it like a curly wurly... Sweet but a little bit twisted. Enjoy!