Suggestions Please

24 10 2014

012

As you will have noticed I have been attempting a little baking while I am on maternity leave. I don’t want to be a total cliche but I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those Mums who cannot make their son a birthday cake. Not that I  am making any judgement about those who do choose store bought options – after all there is a wide range of fantastic cakes and treats available now without the hassle or the almighty mess that baking creates in ones kitchen. However for me it is about choice and having never baked a single thing in my life I felt that it was a case of now or never.

So far I have successfully attempted two simple recipes for Cheesecake and Pavlova.

To inspire me further, FOMS came home the other night with the object pictured. A dinosaur shaped baking tin (there is a bit of a ‘dino’ theme happening in our household at the minute).

The only issue is I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Next week I am taking my son to his first Halloween party and have been tasked with bringing a dessert so I implore any of the bakers among you to give me some suggestions of simple tried and tested recipes utilizing my dinosaur tin. Preferably something that will make me the envy of all the other Mums 😉

I will of course post a picture of the finished product.

Advertisements




Dream Home – Living the dream

23 10 2014
825

Visit to our property with Joseph in May 2014.

 

Anyone who has been following my blog will know that my longest held ambition has been to own a home of my own.

During my absence from blogging while I was pregnant with my first son, I achieved my dream. FOMC and I found a place in November 2013 and after much paperwork and going back and forth between solicitors, agents and builders we finally exchanged on 15th September 2014.

I love my new home. It is bright and airy, clean and fresh and the perfect environment in which my boy will grow up.

I have spoken at length in the past about how much home ownership means to me  and to be sitting at my computer writing my final post about getting onto the property ladder is simply the most amazing feeling in the world. On Saturday morning I was woken by my husband with a cup of hot tea and some buttery toast. I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes as I walked into my living room to find my boys paying peek-a-boo on the floor with cartoons on the TV in the background. It made me feel really blessed and I realize that our difficulties in the journey to that idyllic Saturday morning will only make us appreciate it all the more.

 

Family on the balcony

Enjoying the view from the balcony September 2014





Pregnancy Photoshoot

21 10 2014

 

 
222-IMG_7264-bwcBack in January I posted about my upcoming maternity photo shoot.

I was looking for ideas for some bump photography as a keepsake of my first pregnancy.

Today I wanted to share the final image we choose.





Pavlova

20 10 2014

Pavlova

My second attempt at preparing a homemade dessert required a little more technical skills than my first.

My Mum has always made a fab pavlova and I was keen to recreate one of my childhood favorites

I did not have quite the same success as I had with my cheesecake and will need to change the cooking time when I do this again but it was nevertheless a good effort.

Ingredients

4 egg whites

250g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornflour

475ml whipping cream, whipped

Fruit of your choice

Meringue

1/ Pre-heat oven to 150C or gas mark 2

2/ Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper – some people trace round a dinner plate to mark it with a circle template.

3/ In a large bowl beat 4 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Do not get any egg yolk into the mixture.

4/ Start to gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating the mixture until it becomes thick and glossy.

5/ Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.

6/ Spread the mixture onto the greaseproof paper using the circle as a template. Leave a slight depression in the centre to fill with your topping later.

7/ Bake for 1 hour then turn the heat down and leave to cool in the oven.

Topping

1/ Put the meringue on a plate and fill the depression with whipped cream.

2/ Decorate with your fruit.





Go, go, go Joseph

31 08 2014

 

I am from a very musical family. So perhaps it was inevitable that naming my son after a musical would result in some spontaneous outbursts of song when my whole family came to visit shortly after Joseph’s birth.

However my sister went one step further. A week after my family had returned to Northern Ireland I received a parcel in the post. It contained the baby-grow pictured above and a card with the following rewrite of the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice collaboration.

 

Go, go, go Joseph, you know what they say.

Come on wee Joseph, stop eating ALL day,

Sha-la-la Joseph, Mummy is tired,

And Daddy is knackered, more night sleep is required:

 

Go, go, go Joseph you know what we say.

Our baby Joseph grows bigger each day.

Sha-la-la Joseph you’re doing fine.

And with your new dream-grow you’ll be ahead of your time.

 

Go, go, go Joe!

My family are nuts – my poor boy hasn’t a chance 😉





Strawberry Cheesecake

30 08 2014

Whilst on maternity leave I am determined to pick up some new skills. I have never ever made any home made deserts before so I thought I would give it a go.

It turns out that FOMB (father of my boy) loves strawberry cheesecake so I got a recipe from my Mum and gave it a go.

The results were fab and I was pretty proud of my first attempt pictures above.

If you want to try to make your own version of this cheesecake the ingredients are listed below:

Ingredients

8 ozs crushed digestive biscuits

4 ozs margarine

1tsp cinnamon – optional

1 large can evaporated milk

1 lemon jelly – flavour of your choice

¼ pint boiling water

8 ozs cream cheese (e.g. philidelphia)

4 ozs caster sugar

Lemon colouring

Lemon flavouring

Once you have all your ingredients ready just follow the simple steps below:

Base

1/ Grease 7” loose bottomed cake tin in a dish

2/ Place digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

3/ Melt margarine in a pan then add the crushed biscuits.

4/ Spice mixture – optional

5/ Press mixture into the tin and place in the fridge while preparing the top.

Topping

1/ Beat evaporated milk until thick and creamy and leave to one side.

2/ Dissolve jelly in the boiling water. Alternatively dissolve in microwave without adding water.

3/ In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add all ingredients and beat together. Add flavouring and colouring at this point if desired.

4/ pour mixture over the base and leave for minimum of 4 hours to set.

5/ Decorate with fresh cream, fruit, grapes, flake or even nuts.

 

I made some changes such as using strawberry jelly instead of lemon and I left out the colouring and lemon flavouring.





Post Pregnancy Body

2 06 2014

 

 

Image

Four short weeks ago i gave birth to my beautiful son Joseph. I already love him more than words can possible express but if truth be told he does not currently do a lot other than sleep and eat.

I am off on maternity leave and although Joe has a talent for demanding my attention at regular intervals during the day it has become apparent that I need a few hobbies to prevent me totally losing the plot during the coming year.

With this goal in mind I came across the Body back baby 30 day abs and core challenge. I have blogged about my attitude towards my physical appearance before and it has never been a high priority in life for me to be a size zero however as I would appear to be the target audience for this particular challenge I thought I would give it a go and if nothing else it will be a fall back topic for my blog over the next 30 days as I can provide updates about my progress.

So bring on the rock hard abs and athletic body I am told I want by all the celebrity magazines.

If you want to check out the challenge you can find the details on facebook.