How time flies…

Four years ago today, on a sunny day in February, this happened …

Wedding clips

Cake

I love you Mr P

Happy Anniversary

xxx

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Peanut butter cookies…don’t mind if I do!

20130217-183103.jpg

A colleague of mine has a birthday this week so I thought that was a good excuse to get some baking done this weekend. I do think I’m reaching the point where I’m enjoying the baking bit more than the eating, as while the dough was chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours, I had time to make some fudge cupcakes too!

Anyway, back to the cookies!

I remember making these with my Mum when I was little, pushing the little fork cross-crosses on the top and waiting for them to cook.

If you want to have a go you’ll need:
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
225g peanut butter (I used crunchy but I think smooth would also work)
115g butter
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
115g brown sugar (I used some brown and some demerara)
100g caster sugar
2 eggs

Firstly, take two bowls. In one, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. You can sieve it if you feel the need.

In the other bowl, beat (or get your husband to do it as I did) together the peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract. Then add the sugars and eggs to this bowl. Beat together until smooth.

Next, add the flour to the wet mix. You may need to do this in stages. Then once everything is mixed, split the mixture in half and form into balls, wrap them in clingfilm and chill in the fridge (while you have a cup of tea, relaxing bath, or if you’re like me, make some cupcakes!)

After at least 2 hours, take the wrapped mixture out of the fridge and form into smaller balls – I got 22 out of this mixture.

Place these on a baking tray (I didn’t grease or line mine and they didn’t stick at all) and use a fork, dipped in flour, to make criss-cross marks on the top of each ball to flatten them down.

Then pop them in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

They should be lovely and golden when they’re done. Leave them to harden up a bit on the trays before moving them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies should keep well in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Lessons in being lovely: It’s the little things

Dear Elliot,

I thought I’d start some posts to give you some pointers about being generally lovely when you’re all grown up and in a relationship of your own. It feels strange writing this now while you’re still little and currently asleep in your cot upstairs but I wanted to let you know the things you can learn from your Daddy.

The first is quite fitting as it takes me back to my very first Valentines’ Day with your Dad in 2007. We had really only just met about a month before and were still in the early days, finding our feet and learning about each other.

I didn’t want to let Valentines’ Day pass without marking it in some way, but it felt too early for elaborate displays of affection, and I’m sure you’ll be aware by the time you read this, that this really isn’t ‘us’ anyway! Instead I just found a card I liked (I think it may in fact have had monkeys on or something equally non-valentinesy) and popped a message in it about how excited I was to be spending time with him, and slipped it into his bag one evening after work. We then went to our respective flats and I sent him a quick message telling him to look in his bag, and then got a reply back telling me how much he’d liked the card.

The next day he presented me with a little gift. He’d bought me some hand-warmers as I was going to the Baltics with work (in February, in the snow), and said they were to keep me warm while I was away from him. I still have a couple of them left, in a little box of memories.

So, little Elliot, take hints from this and always remember it’s the little things that count, not the big huge bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates. Those hand warmers were some of the nicest things I’ve been given, as they were so thoughtful.

Lots of love, Mummy xx

My handmade Valentines' Day card this year

The MADS – if you’ve got a spare 5 minutes?

Hi there dear reader,

I address you in the singular as I’m pretty sure there’s just one of you that keeps coming back and looking at my blog rather than a whole horde of people. But do you know what? That’s ok with me, and I love you all the same no matter how many of you there are. The intention of this blog is to record things so that my little man can read it when he’s older and (ignoring my rants about random topics) find out what he was like when he was little, so I’m not really after a huge readership (although that *may* be quite nice…)

I, on the other hand, have spent the last couple of days looking at other blogs – most with huge followings – and coming up with a list of nominations for the MAD Blog Awards. These are awards for Parent bloggers and quite frankly what seems like a perfect excuse to get out on the town!

I am under no illusions that I could actually ever get to go to this event you’ll understand, but if you did feel like nominating little old me you can do so on the MAD Awards site (or have fun nominating the masses of other simply amazing blogs there are – I have had such great fun doing this, can’t wait to see who wins!)

MAD Blog Awards
 

Lemon curd *warning, this is addictive*

I recently made some macarons (or maybe that’s macaroons?) which turned out to be an awful lot easier than I was led to believe from watching the Great British Bake Off!

mmm macarons!

mmm macarons!

To fill the centres I used homemade lemon curd, which again seemed RIDICULOUSLY easy to make. To be honest I was left wondering why I’ve never made it before. So much so that I thought others may like to make it!

If you’d like to give it a go you’ll need:
3 lemons
140g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp cornflour

Firstly put the zest and juice of all the lemons in a pan over a low heat, then add the cornflour and mix to dissolve. Then add the sugar and stir until it’s all combined.

Once that’s done you can add the eggs. Give them a bit of a whisk first, then add them to the lemon mixture.

Then increase the heat to medium and stir constantly while it thickens. It takes less than 5 minutes. I thought it was never going to happen and then suddenly it was lovely and thick.

Once it’s nice and thick you can put it in a jar (it makes enough for one jar) and once cooled it can be stored in the fridge for about a week – if it lasts that long in your house, it doesn’t in mine!

See, easy or what? Enjoy!