Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Kelly's Birthday

My daughter is horse mad, so I decided to do something different this year and booked a beginners trek. We hired the horses, Kelly invited a couple of friends and booked the party at the stables which had its own cafe.

The trek itself was really good - I even had a ride on a horse myself (a huge stallion that wouldn't leave the female next to it alone)!

But the cafe - Oh Dear! It was absolutely awful - and filthy!! How we got away without food poisoning I'll never know. I started drinking my coffee and there were bits in it - Ugh!

The kids seemed to enjoy it though - but next time we take our own food!!

Sunday, 18 July 2010


I don't normally sew - well when I say sewing I mean actually making something from scratch such as a dress, skirt or cushion etc. I love other crafts but apart from the odd bit of sewing a button on or hemming a garment I am absolutely useless!

This is not really in keeping with the way I was brought up. I learnt to knit when I was 3 and my grandmother was a seamstress. She spent hours and hours teaching me all she new about everything. But sewing had me baffled! I admit I don't have the patience to keep pressing seams and going from the sewing machine to the ironing board - and I really don't know why!

And sewing machines - well they're another matter! I inherited a little old singer from a family member. It had worked for years - until I owned it! Thinking it was just getting old I decided to buy a brand new one with grand ideas of making all my own clothes and soft furnishings.

Yeah sure! - the machine is wonderful when its working - but why do they play up so much? I faffed around with the thing one day that by the time it was working I had completely gone off the idea of doing any sewing at all!

I have come to the conclusion that I am much better sewing by hand. I managed to produce a lovely little patchwork cushion and a Shabby Chic rabbit, without even going near that flaming sewing machine of mine!

The machine (out of use as there is something wrong with the bobbin - I think it is the way I wound it, but I don't have the patience to find out) is now at the bottom of my wardrobe hiding away from me (I think it may have found itself through the window if I had spent anymore time with it)!

But I have had much better results sewing by hand - without going near that metal contraption. Maybe the seams are not as strong - but a least I am still in control of my mind!!

One day maybe, I will become friends with my sewing machine - but I really can't see it myself!

Jaffa Cake Pudding

I came across this recipe in Best's 'Just For Kids' recipe collection, however I changed the make up slightly as I thought is was a bit fiddly.


1 Orange Jelly, cut into squares
375ml Orange Juice
1 x 10in Sponge Base
275g Plain Chocolate
350ml Double Cream

Heat 150ml orange juice until boiling and use to dissolve jelly, add remaining juice. Leave to cool and partially set for a few hours - jelly should be quite thick but not completely set.

Spread jelly onto the sponge flan case and refrigerate until set.

Break chocolate into a bowl and add half the cream. Set over a bowl of hot water and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.

Whip remaining cream until it forms soft peaks and fold into chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until set.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday, 28 February 2010


As tomorrow is St David's Day, here are a couple of my favourite recipes.

250g Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
125g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
75g Currants
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbs Milk

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar and currants. Add the milk and egg until the mixture makes a firm dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out to approx 5mm/1/4in thick. Cut out rounds approx 2 1/2 - 3in in diameter.

Heat a little butter in a heavy based frying pan (if you have a bakestone - even better). Cook the cakes for approx 4-5mins on both sides. Transfer to a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar. Leave to cool.

BARA BRITH (speckled bread)

225g Mixed dried fruit and chopped mixed peel
225ml Strong Hot Tea, strained
225g Self Raising Flour
1tsp Mixed Spice
25g Butter
100f Brown Sugar
1 egg, Lightly Beaten

Put the fruit in a heatproof bowl and pour over the tea. Cover and leave overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 180'C/Gas Mark 4, Grease a 21b loaf tin (or use a liner).

Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then add fruit with it's liquid along with the beaten egg. Stir well to make a mixture with a soft consistency.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin and level the surface.

Bake in the oven for approx 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Sunday, 14 February 2010



1 Medium Egg

50g Caster Sugar

50g Soft Brown Sugar

75g Golden Syrup

80g Butter

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

375g Plain Flour

Preheat oven to 180'c. Rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the dry ingredients. Add the egg and golden syrup and bring together to form a dough.

Roll out onto a floured board and cut out hearts using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Arrange on a greased baking tray and bake for approx 20mins, until they are a golden colour.

Decorate with icing or icing pens.