- ▼ April (6)
Winters here with force and so are dark afternoons and if your little ones are anything like mine they’re bored! So heres a couple of thi...
Last week I was sent Baking Mad Easy by Lorraine Pascale from the lovely WHSmiths (currently less than half price!) Being one of the large...
As you’re probably aware I have a lovely sponsor this year in the fabulous Nursery Paint Company. They offer the most amazing range of ...
Who needs the gym? Three ways to get active at home after Christmas So you’ve overdone it with the turkey and mulled wine. Haven’t we a...
How many of us out there have expensive chefs kitchen knives and no idea how to use them? Hmm well hopefully this guest post will get you ba...
Today I had the most amazing Banana cake and wanted to share the recipe with you only to discover when it was passed on its gluten free! I...
As you know I adore luxury (who doesn’t) but when I had my eldest I noticed that while you could have luxury baby clothes, luxury mama c...
“I emptied my bubble bath into the tub, Determined to get myself thoroughly scrubbed. The bottle had said "ONLY ONE CAP OR TWO",...
I've been a big fan of Trisha Ashley for a good few years and having followed her on twitter @trishaashley (do follow!) I asked her if s...
My eldest is coming up to four and has never been interested in books except as something to chew on. I have tried him with nearly every f...
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at Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I was trying to find a fairly simple gluten free chocolate loaf recipe today and couldn’t actually find one anywhere unless you wanted 5 different sorts of flour. However I decided to try just tweaking a normal one created by Sarah Cook.
I swapped the normal self-raising for gluten free self-raising and likewise with the baking powder and made sure I added more liquid in (gluten free flour tends to be dryer) Then rather than heaping the products in together I whisked (about 45 secs) after each one to give a lighter effect (tip I learnt from Harry Eastwood) Amazingly it worked pretty well. The only problem came when I took it out the oven as neither of the boys could wait till the tin cooled and convinced their daddy to tip it out early hence the lack of stylish sliced pieces! However if you look at the last photo you can see how fluffy and springy it was and it disappeared by the end of the day so guessing they enjoyed it to!
175g softened butter , plus extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs (medium sized)
140g self-raising flour (gluten free or not)
85g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder (gluten free)
100ml milk (add an extra splash for GF)
4 tbsp cocoa powder (I used hot choc powder)
50g plain chocolate chips or chunks
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with a long strip of baking parchment. To make the loaf cake batter, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs (whisk) flour (whisk gentle) almonds, baking powder (whisk) milk and cocoa whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, and then scrape into the tin. Bake for 45-50 mins until golden, risen and a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the tin, then lift out onto a wire rack over some kitchen paper. Melt the extra chocolate chunks separately in pans over barely simmering water, or in bowls in the microwave, and then use a spoon to drizzle each in turn over the cake. Leave to set before slicing.
Its that time of the week again to join with Fiona over at Coombe Mill & her Country Kids Linky. Ours this week is the beach. We had to go down to Dorset and we couldnt not go down to the sea while we were there! It was a quick trip as this month rain showers kept threatening but it was beautiful and sunny between down pours!
|The horizontal line was to see if the tide was coming in or not....|
|it was so we threw sand at it!|
|and tried to make a moat to keep it away.....|
|But that didnt work so we moved back up the beach....|
|and sent daddy to get water to add to the dry sand.....|
|so we could make sand castles!!!|
|Absolutely beautiful day!|
This week we were sent the Moon Dough Fun Pack to review from the lovely Blog Match. Light and fluffy with claims of less mess than other brands, easy to clean up and allergy free…..The Moon Dough Fun Pack comes with 15 moulds, 3 tools and 3 colours of moon dough all in a handy carry case which both boys loved. Moon Dough is for 3 years and over but my almost 2 year old had a fabulous time playing with the dough as did his 4 year old brother. It feels slightly strange not like sand, more like a light fluffy foam and with the youngest playing with it to it’s rather nice to know its hypoallergenic and gluten free!
|Sorry for the stock photo the boys couldnt wait!|
Both of them spent ages playing with the moon dough and loved the variety of moulds which are included in the fun pack. Its fabulous that you can press the dough into the moulds and they don’t stick (don’t use silicon moulds) because of this it’s made it a lot more fun for the youngest as he understandably gets a bit frustrated when things stick and don’t do what he wants them to.
Because the moon dough fun pack is contained in a little carry case we have carted it round! After a week spent looking at cars we decided to take this along with us one day and because its so easy to pick up the boys spent ages playing with it and a tray on the lap! Happy calm parents! Beats dragging children screaming and complaining! The only problem we have is that the colours mixed up very easily but I think that to have kept them separate would be impossible at their age. And they couldn’t open the catches themselves (a bonus though to my mind!)
|Some of the creations|
A certain other brand of “doh” is banned in our house (nannys house only!) after being walked into the carpets, rugs, clothes etc and is almost impossible to remove. Moon dough claims its can be picked up by a larger bit of dough and it never dries out and therefore won’t stick and I can confirm…..they’re correct! It’s amazing! Despite the fun pack being played with in the kitchen it inevitably got brought through to the lounge and on the carpet. The larger parts picked up easily with another bit of mood dough and the smaller bits got sucked up by the hoover. My husband even went so far as trying to rub a bit into the carpet to see if it would get stuck…it didn’t!
I have to say they are now allowed to play with dough in the house (preferably in the kitchen obviously) but I no longer dread coming in to find purple or lime green patches of dried mess on the carpets. Its priced pretty competitively starting at £10 for this pack. Do check out the Moon Dough website as they have tips and hints which are worth a read!
|Like a marshmallow|
at Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Just before Easter we were incredibly lucky to be sent the Ozbozz scooter to review from the lovely people at Blog Match. We had actually been looking at one for my eldest whose almost 5 but we were a bit unsure of the two wheel ones and the whole safety issues linked up to them at such a young age. At school they are the latest craze among the “bigger” boys of school so you can imagine how excited someone was by their first ozbozz one! We did sneakily look at it before we handed it over as we wanted to check it out and also make sure we could easily build it and I have to say we were incredibly impressed! Its very very easy to put together and ozbozz provide you with the allen keys you need so no screwdrivers needed! Also, and this is my favourite bit, it has four wheels! Plus it saves you money as ozbozz have designed it to grow with your child. You can change it from four wheels to three wheels when they’re bit bigger and then to two wheels so you don’t need to buy a different one as they improve and grow.
Ps there will be more photos coming but blogger keeps twisting them round at the moment! Will retake some tomorrow!
Jack immediately started playing on it despite the fact it was raining outside and had shot up and down the hall and round the lounge about a hundred times before he allowed his 2 year old brother to yank him off so he could have a go! (It does work just as well on wood, carpet and grass by the way!)
Ozbozz have made it great for control with the four wheels so I think we’ll keep them both on those for a while and I have to say it makes the school walk so much easier and when he’s exhausted at the end of the day he pushes himself along the field on that and I don’t end up carrying two children back! I also discovered (I should have read the instructions perhaps!) that it folds up! Ozbozz scooter provide a canny little pin which allows the handle to fold down to make it great for flinging in the boot! I honestly can’t think of a downside or negative to this version and neither can my husband and although we got this one sent to review it does make me want to go out and get another one for my youngest!
at Saturday, April 14, 2012
At last we have managed to link up to Fiona's Country Kids again! This weekend we decided to visit the river (well stream) by my parents. They are big fan of Halcyon River Diaries so we do make regular trips down to check it out. On the way my eldest decided to point out all the bits of Spring he's been learning at school so we have spotted new seedlings and learnt to tell how old a tree is.....
|From little acorns mighty oaks grow....|
|Letting the leaf boat go...|
|Poo Sticks means...|
|our little bit of the river...|
|Counting the rings!|
|And then being too tired to go on.....|
at Saturday, April 07, 2012
Since his trip "the long way round" I've been a huge fan of Charley however I only managed to watch a couple of episodes of this series so I'm giving the book ago before its repeated!
Daphne Du Maurier was my chosen author for world book night and I recently was sent an email advising me to try the sequel to Rebecca written by someone else however to me if you've never read Du Maurier then if you liked Rebecca you'll love Jamaica Inn - so much so I'm having to read it again!
French cookery last month - Italian this! Will be trying to make them gluten free to so wish me luck!
I could read this book every month! If you havent yet - whats stopping you? A classic for a very good reason!
Another world book night author and so well worth discovering! Snuff's been out for a while but my mum borrowed it first and only just handed it over!
Another amazing book - to me far better than the film which was amazing in itself.
I havent read Forster for a while but I used to be a fan of his while a teenager (yes its been that long) so I'm attempting to read his works again.
So thats my list for this month although no doubt far more will be read any suggestions you have leave a comment!