Saturday, 23 May 2015

Recipe | Nutella Topped Blondies



I know, I know, i've done it again, I swore I wouldn't bake anything else but i don't know how to stop myself anymore! What with Ben working and no-one to tell me no, I just HAVE to! ;)

This morning I actually made some chocolate cookies from a recipe online, it was flourless and butter free (I was trying to be healthier see!), but they were just awful, literally just tasted like eggs dipped in cocoa powder, not good at all! So I hadn't fulfilled that craving so obviously HAD to make something else!

I've seen a lot of people baking Blondies recently and thought i'd give those a go (minus the chocolate and butter as I didn't have either), and came up with this! I did base it on a recipe online but changed the measurements of a few things to suit me better!

Enjoy!

250g Plain Flour
170g Light Muscovado Sugar
40g Granulated Sugar
2 eggs
150g Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt



Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C

1. Mix together your flour. salt and baking powder in a bowl

2. In a separate bowl add your sugar, vanilla extract, 2 eggs and vegetable oil and mix together until combined 

3. Now add your dry ingredients and mix together until everything comes together evenly

4. Line a 13 x 9 baking tray with parchment paper (you could use 2 8x8 pans too)

5. Push down the mixture into the corners and edges, make sure it is evenly spread

6. Place in your preheated oven on the middle oven shelf for 18-22 minutes
To check it's cooked through, place a cocktail stick or knife into the centre, if it comes out almost completely clean, it is ready :)

7. Leave to cool for 30 minutes


8. Now spread across your Nutella, it's up to you how thick you want it
Cut into squares, again, it's up to you what sizes you would like

And serve!

Quick, easy and so so yummy!





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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Recipe | Nutella Stuffed Cookies


Just reading that title makes my mouth water, what could be better than gooey soft cookies, stuffed with the deliciousness that is Nutella? Nothing, that's what.

There have been tons and tons of Nutella inspired recipes online recently, in fact since pancake day, they seem to just be everywhere! As cookies are one of the easiest baking treats to make, I thought i'd keep it basic and make these for you all, the recipe isn't mine so here is the original, I can promise you that this is probably the best batch of cookies you will ever bake! 

110g unsalted butter
95g Light Muscovado Sugar (or regular brown sugar if you don't have this)
30g Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
190g Plain Flour
100g Chocolate Chips

This recipe can make around 18 cookies if you roll them into smaller balls, these will create flatter but still gooey cookies

I made mine pretty big which made 10 lovely chunky ones!


1. Preheat oven to 170 degress C (350 degrees F)

2. Heat butter in the microwave for 45 seconds (or until melted) and add to mixing bowl

3. Add the Muscovado Sugar & Granulated Sugar; mix with a spoon

4. Crack your egg into the mixture and combine well

5. Add the vanilla extract, salt and baking powder and combine again

6. Sift in your flour, before you mix it in, add your chocolate chips

7. Fold together until it forms a cookie dough (might take a good few minutes)

8. Using your hands, take some dough and flatten it in your hand and add a small (or large, I won't judge) spoonful of Nutella to the centre


9. Fold over the edges to cover the Nutella, then form them into a ball shape and place on your baking tray

10. Bake in the oven for between 8-10 minutes (keep checking on them after 5 minutes)
Once slightly golden on edges, take out the oven and leave for 5 mins, and you can serve :)

ENJOY!




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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Our Week!


I've not written one of these posts for a while, just a little rambling on what we got up to this week! To be honest this week was pretty quiet and uneventful, but I guess we can't be super busy all the time! 

Abbie's sleep has been AMAZING recently, she's been sleeping straight through for over a week now, which is literally the best thing since sliced bread for me, she usually stirs quite a bit at least, but nothing, just falls asleep and wakes up when it's light out, it's been amazing to feel human, no wonder all you guys who have children that sleep through early on, want another baby! This is easy! ;)

We headed off to Longleat on Tuesday, yes again, with it being just down the road, if the suns out, we go! There are still things we haven't done yet and others that we want to repeat! This time we thought we'd go on the Safari again but this time take Abbie out of her car seat and sit on my lap around it (don't worry, it's completely legal). She loved having front row seats and looking at everything! We also had a little walk around the house and gardens before stopping off at the little sweet shop and getting more pick n mix than we could possibly need and of course some surprise eggs for Abbie! (The only way to get her to get back in the car), oh and a cheeky Costa too! We then came home and had a yummy Dominos for dinner before getting Abbie in bed and chilling out with some Sporcle & Great British Bingo! We've also been watching re-runs of Friends on Comedy Central again, I swear I could watch that show all day every day and not get bored!



On Thursday Ben went off to his best friends wedding for a few days, so Abbie & I played out in the garden for most of that, it was lovely and sunny for the most part so just spent some time in our newly tidied garden, yay! Abbie has an obsession with the hose at the moment, she's definitely a water baby! So we made muddy puddles and listened to Abbie's favourite song at the moment, a bit of Taylor Swift & Shake It Off!

Saturday Ben came back and sneakily bought a swimming pool, skittles set and some other garden toys for Abbie to play with, so we spent an hour or so just relaxing in the sun, Abbie in the pool with her adorable new swimming costume on and having the time of her life! I can't help but watch her sometimes, just sat there playing, not a care in the world, looking so happy and like she was doing the best thing in the world, takes me back to my childhood and spending most afternoons in a paddling pool too, I remember how much fun I used to have and feeling the way she does!




Today we are off to a fete not too far away, there's animals, toys, cakes, mini golf, ice cream and lots of fun little stalls too! Hopefully the sun will stay out for us, it's meant to get a bit gloomy later on! Fingers crossed! 

The next few weeks are going to be jam packed so hopefully my next weekly post will be more eventful, my Sister and her family are coming down sometime in the next fortnight so that'll be amazing for all the kids to get together! We don't get to see each other much, in fact it's been about 18 months since we all go together last! We will then are off on our second Butlins trip very soon, so look out for lots of photos on Instagram! I've been trying not to pack everything now, the excitement is too much for me! Can't wait to have a whole week away just the three of us! :)

Hope you've all had a good week!

x
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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Giveaway | £50 Primark Gift Card!


It's been a while since i've hosted a giveaway, so I thought I would put together this one to say a thank you for everyone who has read my posts, followed on social media and left comments too, I honestly appreciate every single one of you so thank you so much for supporting my little blog :)

My most successful giveaway to date was the Primark giveaway I held last year so I thought I'd make another one for you all this time too! Primark is one of my favourite shops and with Summer coming up super fast, it's great timing for you to get out there and top up your wardrobe or get some bits for the little ones, or even as a gift to someone else! It's up to you how you spend it, it's all yours :) Just imagine what you could buy with £50, so so much! 


Primarks Summer Collection
"With whimsical patterns and dainty broderie anglaise, we’ve created the perfect wardrobe for those hazy, lazy summer days that are finally gracing us with their presence. We can finally throw those inconvenient jackets to the wind and embrace floaty maxi dresses, light wash denim and, of course, endless guilt-free ice creams."


Whether you’re lucky enough to be jetting off on your jollies, or looking forward to a little escape to the coast, there’s no reason not to dress for the occasion when it looks this good. We’re channeling boho vibes with paisley patterns and peasant blouses, ideal for those weekends away or catching some rays at next door's BBQ. Now that the sun is officially here to stay, we've updated the collection to take you straight from the poolside to party - just don't forget the suncream!



And the gorgeous new Kid's Collection too!


To enter just read the rules below and get entering, good luck!

T H E   G I V E A W A Y


A £50 Primark Gift Card!


How do you win?


Enter the rafflecopter below, the more options you complete, the higher your chance of winning! What are you waiting for? Read the T&C below and happy entering :)


T&C's


1. All entries will be checked and verified so please don't cheat
2. If the winner does not respond to my email with 7 days, another will be chosen! :)
3. Open to UK & Ireland
4. The competition lasts for 30 days!


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Recipe | The Best Cookies Ever!


Happy Sunday everyone! 
Hope you've all had a good week! I've been wanting to cook up another recipe for a week now but have been putting it off to stop me scoffing my face, but today I just couldn't resist any longer! Before I get started on the recipe itself, I need to tell you a little secret...I completely made this recipe up, I went off looking online for an easy chocolate chip cookie recipe but they all seemed a bit, well, boring, plus I didn't have enough of the ingredients in any of them, so I decided to use what I had and to see how they turned out, I added a few random things just as a test and I can honestly say, these are THE best cookies, I have ever eaten, not trying to blow my own trumpet or anything, I'm a pretty modest person, but these overtake Millie's Cookies, and cost a lot less too ;). I didn't weigh out most of the things in this recipe, just kinda threw stuff in so the measurements below are my best guestimates! 

Here is what you will need;
(Makes 15 medium cookies)

175g Plain Flour
85g Self Raising Flour
225g Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten before being added)
2 tsp Lemon Extract
1 tbsp Agave Nectar
70g Milk Chocolate (I used Dairy Milk)
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1. Cream together your sugar & butter in a bowl
2. Add in your beaten egg and mix together
3. Now add your sifted flour until well combined
4. Now add in your chocolate, lemon extract & agave nectar
5. Mix everything together until combined well
6. The mixture won't be sticky like most cookie recipes, so add in your vegetable oil and mix together to help it stay together.
7. Roll your cookie dough into balls about 3cm apart from each other onto a lined baking tray, remember this makes 15 cookies so try and use this as your guide on how big to make them. 

Use the back of a fork to push them down evenly


8. Cook in the oven for 8 mins (check on them after 5, 6 and 7. just to avoid overcooking)

You will know they are done when the edges are slightly golden, if you press on the centre of the cookie, it will feel underdone, but won't leave an indent.

9. Cool for 5 minutes! You can either eat them now or leave them to cool completely, I personally prefer them warm! :)

Let me know if you make them too, would love to hear what you think! 
As with all recipes, you can change things slightly, if you're looking for more lemony cookies, use more extract or add more chocolate if you want more too! It's all about personal preference, but I will definitely be making these again!

x
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Fire Safety Tips!

We've all seen the adverts about Fire Safety, checking your smoke alarms etc, the messages are out there and there is coverage on tv, but do you really know how you can help prevent a fire occurring in your home? Aside from the obvious things, you might not even realising certain things you're doing can be the trigger to a house fire! MoreThan have created an informative and powerful video to get you clued up on exactly what you can do to keep you and your family safe, as well as 5 other tips from around the web below!



Turn off appliances!
I'm now pretty obsessive about turning my straighteners off after i've finished using them, when I was about 15 I left mine on whilst we went out for dinner, I remember walking into my room when we came back and could smell burning, turns out i'd left my straighteners on and it had burnt the top of my chest of drawers slightly, that was just in the space of about 2 hours, could you imagine what would happen any longer than that?

Candles
I love candles s much as the next person, but you have have HAVE to remember to never leave them unattended, i'm more aware of this now I have Abbie because I have to keep her away from them too, but they can so easily become too hot in their little glass jars, or even start to burn the wallpaper that it's next to! So always always remember to blow them out before you leave the house or go to bed!


Lights & Sockets
Flickering lights, fuses that blow and circuit-breakers that trip unexpectedly, unusually hot plugs and scorch marks around sockets are all indications that that there may be something wrong with your wiring. Aging wires in particular can spark and cause fires, so make sure you always quickly replace any electrical cables that appear to be deteriorating. In addition, power cables should also be regularly checked – and take particular care to spot missing grounding prongs on plugs.

Smoke Detectors
Put smoke detectors on each level of your house and also outside each bedroom. It is best to have two types of detectors (ionization and photoelectric) as each works in a different way. Test all smoke detectors once a month and make sure they are all in working order! When we first moved into our place the smoke alarm was broken and kept going off during the night, so we headed out the next day and bought new ones which were all fitted the same day, DO NOT just take the battery out and leave it, that could be detrimental if a fire ever was to start in your home! Also make sure you check when your smoke detectors were put in, if it was over 10 years ago, they will need to be replaced!

Fire statistics in the UK between 2013-2014;

Fire and Rescue Services in Great Britain attended 212,500 fires in 2013-14, continuing the generally downward trend of the last 10 years. There was a 10% increase on 2012-13, but this previous year had been unusually low due to wet weather conditions. 

The most common time for fires to be reported is in the hour of 8pm-9pm (with 9% of all fires). While only 11% of fires occurred between midnight and early morning (5am), these fires caused one fifth of all deaths in Great Britain in 2013- 14. 

Over two thirds of fire-related deaths occurred in accidental dwelling fires and more than half of the victims were aged 65 years or older. 

Dwellings with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in home fires in Great Britain, and nearly one fifth of deaths occurred where no smoke alarm worked. 

Smokers’ materials (e.g. cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco) caused the largest share of deaths in accidental dwelling fires (37%), while cooking appliances are the source of ignition in more than half of accidental fires

More than a third of fire deaths in non-domestic buildings were caused by smokers’ materials or cigarette lighters. 

The risk of dying in a fire for people aged 80 and over is more than four times higher than average. People aged be- tween 65 and 79 also have a higher than average rate. 

*stats from GOVUK

As well as the above, have a look through this informative Home Fire Safety Checklist from the Red Cross, you'd be surprised at how many triggers you could have in your house right now!

x

*in collaboration with MoreThan
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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Recipe | Easy Shortbread Biscuits, Dipped in Chocolate


Happy Sunday everyone!
Today I have a super easy recipe for you to try, yummy chocolate dipped shortbread biscuits! What's great about this recipe is the base can be used to create so many other treats too, using only 5 ingredients, you can create some delicious shortbread biscuits!
As always I like to post recipes that are easy, quick and cheap for everyone, also you don't need any mixing appliances either! Yay!

125g Plain Flour
60g Icing Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
60g Unsalted Butter
130g Milk Chocolate

ONE
Mix together your flour and icing sugar using a wooden spoon, then add your softened butter and egg yolks and combine well. Use your hands to turn the mixture into a crumbly texture (my favourite part)



TWO
Roll your mixture into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. I didn't have any cling film so used foil which worked just as well!



THREE
Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper

FOUR
Roll out your shortbread to a thickness of your choice, mine were about 3/4cm. Use a cookie cutter to cut your shapes out and place on your baking tray.




FIVE
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. The biscuits will turn a light golden colour when done. Cool the biscuits to room temperature.


Once cooled, melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30 second intervals to avoid burning







Dip half of each biscuit in the melted chocolate. Place the biscuits on a tray lined with a baking sheet to set, then transfer to the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

And enjoy!
We ended up eating all of these within a few hours, whoopsie!


x
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