Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A - Z Challenge


The list is open again and in just a few days has gown hugely. I love this challenge though my posts are really not very good, it's just so enjoyable trying to keep up and I do love to read other people's blogs while they are doing the same thing. But do it again this year? I find it hard to post each day although I do try to make a start on them earlier on. I keep having sneaky looks at the list as it grows and check out the odd blog, maybe it might be better to not do it this year and just read and comment. But as time goes on I can feel myself linking in. Hmmm.

Arlee Bird's idea was such a clever one, so simple but so hard at the same time, Challenge is the correct term for it. Make a new post each day for 28 day days in April, each one beginning with the letter of the alphabet in order - you get Sundays off. Easy! Or is it? People often use themes, such varied and interesting ones, that's what sucks me in, really. Even the ones without a theme make you wonder what they'll be posting about on the next letter to come.

So tempting, but so hard.

The community spirit is another factor for the the enjoyment, you're all in it together, many others finding it hard to fit around life commitments or just to come up with ideas, but all bucking each other on in the comment boxes. Helping each other.

I am, I'm going to do it. I even have a theme idea but need to check it out. Linky list - here I come...

Monday, 27 January 2014

Caterpillar Birthday Cake

Would you like to see the wonderful birthday cake creation I made for Daughter#2 the other day? Actually, as usual I didn't get around to making her one, and, even worse, didn't manage to buy one in secret for her. Usually I choose something lovely and tailored to her likes but this time I didn't and don't even have the excuse of being too busy. However, it was not a problem as she went out with The Chauffeur and chose one herself. A supermarket chocolate caterpillar one which really is intended for young children. She was happy enough with it to post it up on facebook saying that 'actually she liked it', the comment and photo was in turn 'liked' by many of her friends.

In an attempt to jolly it up a little we popped it my brand new cake stand added a few edible flowers around it and stuck in some tall thin candles which were of the fizzing variety.

The ubiquitous blowing out photo. This needed lots of blowing as the candles are not only fizzing but re-starter types. It didn't taste too bad, surprisingly. Unfortunately The Chauffeur liked it a little too well and finished off the last slice a couple of days later before Daughter#2 got to it.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cranberry Bread

Mmmm, the smell of freshly baked bread, is there any better smell? Of course there is newly mown grass, brewing coffee, the sea.... I could go on, but fresh bread is definitely up there near the top. 

Here is my easily accomplished effort at making a loaf of what's called half and half these days - white flour and wholemeal - A few other ingredients including salt, sugar and water, with some left-over-from-Christmas dried cranberries as a filling. Easily accomplished as I just used my trusty old bread maker. Although it tastes better and the texture is also better when mixed by hand and kneaded for 10 minutes, leaving it for two hours in a cool area and then again for half an hour, the bread maker gets used more often, precisely due to the steps just mentioned.

The flour being weighed out, good strong white flour and a decent wholemeal. The choice of flour does make a difference, organic is preferable, and stoneground. I sometimes mix up the flours to cut costs.

The Cranberries (one of daughter#2's favourite groups has this name - darn it, wish I hadn't remembered that, now I have "zombie zombie" going through my mind). 

Being cooked in my Panasonic SD-253. This one is widely held to be one of the best. I've only used this one but people who have tried different makes and are able to compare generally rate this as very good. I bought it on the recommendation of friends and they were right, it is very good. I remember texting one of my friends whilst choosing it in the shop to check I was getting the right one. Texts are so useful.

The finished loaf, you can't see the colour properly and there aren't as many cranberries in the slice photographed but it is very nice, ready to be eaten with a slither of olive paste as an interesting crossover of flavours. Wish you had smell-o-vision.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Random Photo

Taken at my Aunt and Uncle's place last Summer. If anyone could tell me what kind of orchid this is I'd be grateful.