Monday, 27 May 2013

Blueberry muffins

I made these for breakfast and even if I do say so myself there were fab:

  •  3 large eggs
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 140ml milk
  • blueberries
  • maple syrup

  • First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.  Add blueberries

    Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until until both sides are golden.

    Serve with maple syrup.

    Sunday, 26 May 2013

    Salcey Forest

    For my husband's birthday we went to Salcey Forest which is near Northampton, about an hour and  a quarter from Cambridge. We had a fab time walking amongst bluebells, looking at wild garlic and walking on their treetop walk which gave a fab view to what I think must be Northampton. We also saw lots of tadpoles which  I haven't seen for a long time!  It is very near the M1 but the road noise was only audible from a few points and the rest of the time we could hear lots of birds etc and G even saw a deer.

    There is a cafe (which we didn't try) and a rather fab climbing frame suitable for over 5s - even Miss I found it is challenge.

    Saturday, 25 May 2013

    Tim's birthday cake

    G made a sweetie cake for my husband's birthday.
    •  200g butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 200g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • milk
    • 125g m and ms

    First beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Then add then eggs, one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour each time. Fold in remaining flour and baking powder. Add some milk until the mixture is at a dropping consistency. Crush up the m and ms with a rolling pin and add to cake mixture.

    Divide the batter between 2 greased and lined 20cm cake tins and bake at 160oC for about 20 minutes.

    Turn out and leave to cool.

    Make some butter icing (200g butter and 250g icing sugar).  Add some to the bottom layer and place second layer on top. Then add some to the middle with some sweets (we used Liquorice allsorts) and then pipe some swirls.

    Sunday, 19 May 2013

    Shepreth wildlife park

    This afternoon G had a party at Shepreth so we decided to all go and the others could look at the animals too! I do like Shepreth - it is small enough for P to walk round (but it is also buggy friendly) and it has a nice play area. The enclosures are a little on the small side but the plus side is it easy to see all the animals. The staff are always friendly and always seem willing to answer questions - plus there is a really good range of animals too! We saw the tigers searching for food which was amazing and I love the bat house with free flying bats.

    chalk bodies - not the dead kind though

    P had been drawn round at nursery (and she keeps saying "Look at my gingerbread man"!) and when I asked her what she wanted to do today she asked me to draw round her. So we went outside and using chalk I draw round her and she chalked herself in.

    I also note we seem to have a lack of chalk - we get through a lot of it as it easily breaks or gets left out in the rain.

    P also found a dandelion so we blew it to find out the time

    Saturday, 18 May 2013

    foot painting

    P did foot painting today which she loved! I put some paint in a tray and she loved sliding around it as well as walking on the paper!  She only fell over once but wanted to keep going. She also decided to do some hand painting. It would have been better to do outside but as the weather wasn't great we did inside and we did some paint on the carpet - whoops!

    Sunday, 12 May 2013

    Chocolate cherry muffins

    G made these for her snack this week (I love muffins because they keep so much better than cakes and I was hoping that the chocolate may appeal to Miss I but she rejected them as they had dried cherries in them - oh well!)

    • 250g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 140g dried sour cherries
    • 100g bar white chocolate , cut into chunks
    • 100g bar dark chocolate , cut into chunks
    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 150ml pot natural yoghurt
    • 100g butter 

    1. Heat oven to (fan) 180C and put paper cases into a muffin tin
    2. Sift the flour, and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Then stir in the cherries, chocolate and sugar. 
    3. Melt the butter (we did it in the microwave)
    4. Add the beaten eggs, yoghurt and then the butter and stir to combine. Apparently it doesn't matter if the mixture looks a bit lumpy, it's more important not to over mix or the muffins will turn out tough.
    5. Fill the paper cases and bake for 20-25 mins until risen and golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.

    Monday, 6 May 2013

    custard creams

    Today G made these simple biscuits for her snack. 
    • 250g butter  softened
    • 100g icing sugar
    • 225g plain flour
    • 75g custard powder

    1. Preheat the oven to 145C/290F/Gas 2 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
    2. Add the butter and icing sugar to a bowl and beat until smooth, light and fluffy. 
    3. Stir in the flour and custard powder. Beat until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  
    4. (the original recipe suggests using a piping bag to pipe the batter into individual swirls onto the prepared baking tray). We used a spoon to make rectangles on the baking tray
    5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until firm to touch. 
    6. Whilst the biscuits cooled we make the icing.

    • 60g butter softened
    • 125g icing sugar

    1. Add the butter to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, mixing as you go.
    2. When the biscuits have cooled,  put some butter cream onto the underside of half the biscuits. Place the other half of the biscuits on top.

    The only downside was by the end of the week the buttercream had made the biscuit lose it's crunch - although the girls didn't seem to mind!

    Sunday, 5 May 2013

    Badminton 2013

    Today we took the girls to Badminton International Horse trials near Bristol which was about a 3 hour drive from Cambridge plus then an hour crawling through Badminton Village to get to the car park. We had pre-bought tickets and a carpark pass - although children under 12 are free.

    The weather was glorious and as we went on cross-country day we wondered all around the course admiring the riders as they made the enormous jumps look easy. We took a picnic (although there are numerous food places there as well)

    and found a space by the side of a gallop stretch to  eat it. the jumps were busier but if you waited people quickly moved on so you could get close (and the girls could see) - with the exception of the famous water jump - although we watched several horses from the other side which was fine!

    It was such fun and the girls loved it (not so sure about the husband). I loved seeing all the jumps I had for long watched on tele! There is also lots of shopping to do although we didn't!