Sunday 8 November 2015

Halloween 2015

We have always celebrated Halloween, and usually done so with a party and this year was no exception.

Some of our Halloween decorations

Although due to lots of reasons it was a much quieter affair than in previous years!

So we decided that as we are busy preparing for next years Star Wars Celebration in London by making our own Mandalorian armour that this years party would be Star Wars themed...
Boba Fett style!
So not a full set of armour just yet...Boba Fett dress but helmet and blasters all made by my fantastic hubby, Simon, with a little assistance by yours truly!

Sunday 1 November 2015

A Bit of Baking!

Now readers of my blog will know that well over a year ago I embarked on a new healthy eating lifestyle and therefore a post about baking may seem a little strange.

I have always enjoyed baking, when I got the chance, but nowadays my baking skills tend to be reserved for charity bake sales at my pre-school!

Most recent endeavours for pre-school cake sale

While I was making these I remembered an old recipe that me and my mum used to make when I was a child for an apple and oat cake; I searched high and low but just couldn't find it anywhere. I was convinced that I had a copy of the recipe somewhere but when I couldn't find it I decided that it must be at my parents house. Now as some of you will know my mum sadly passed away earlier this year so I couldn't ask her about it. Mum was great at 'throwing' ingredients together and making some fantastic bakes whereas I like to follow recipes, so even though I had a rough idea of what was in the recipe there was no way I'd attempt to make it without the recipe in front of me! So me and my dad had a good hunt through my mum's old recipe books but alas it was no where to be found.

I even searched the internet as I was convinced it was a recipe that we had gotten off a children's TV program called Blue Peter back in the late 1970's/early 1980's...but even the internet couldn't help me :(

Fast forward to last weekend and my thoughts turned towards a bit of Christmas baking! My mum always made the Christmas cakes and puddings for the whole family (and even friends some years!) and in the days before having children I followed the family tradition, and family recipe, and made my own cakes and puddings. But in the last few years I had relied on my mum providing me with a cake that I would then decorate....Disney style of course!
Mickey snowmen he he he!
So now the mantle has passed to me and it was time to go hunting for the family recipes. Now I like to think I'm quite an organised person and on my kitchen bookshelves I have all my Christmas cook books together and I had an inkling that the recipes would be inside one of these books. Sure enough inside a book from Marks & Spencer, bought a lot of years ago...
Dated 1990!!
...I found my recipes for Christmas cake and pudding...
Handwritten recipes, passed through our family.
But guess what else I found, hiding amongst the handwritten recipes? The apple and oat cake recipe I'd been looking for a few weeks earlier!

 A well used piece of paper with recipes 'typed' up on a proper typewriter...just shows how old this recipe is; I have distant memories of typing this as a young girl!

Well as I'd found it there seemed only one logical thing to do...get baking!
Ready to go in the oven
All done...and yummy too!
So with a week off work (our half term break!) I decided to use my time wisely and make my own Christmas cake and puddings following our family recipes leaving the house with a lovely smell of Christmas and me a feeling of accomplishment. I even ended the week with a spot more baking making rocky road muffins and cappuccino muffins ready for our Halloween party. And then Molly got in on the act by making cookies; chocolate marshmallow and snickerdoodles - yummy!!

I think that'll be all the baking for a while now....ok a few weeks as I have a Christmas Fair coming up for pre-school which might just require a few more cakes...