Sunday, 8 February 2015

Baking and Cake Decorating In The New House

As you may know, last night I gave my KMix it's Maiden Voyage, and very pleased I was with it.  I made a batch of basic chocolate cupcakes, using a dark soft brown sugar for a toffee like flavour.  I still need to come to grips with the oven.  Tonights batch of cakes shows that I am heading in that direction, oven temp still needs a little tweak to allow for it being a fan oven.

Mary-Jane had spotted that there were cupcakes to be decorated when I got in from work.  Once bathed, I set Mary-Jane up to decorate said cakes.  She was happy and pleased with her results.  I let her have a gave her the sprinkles and let her have a free hand.
The frosting is also a First.  I used Sugar and Crumbs Jaffa Twist Icing sugar, with my very own soft yoghurt cheese!  I bought the yoghurt cheese maker from Lakeland in the January sale.  It is so easy to use it is silly.  Pour one tub of natural yoghurt into the container, close the lid, put in the fridge for 24 hours and hey presto!  I first discovered properly Sugar and Crumbs last year at the Cake Show in Manchester in March.  I might have been sceptical at first till I was encouraged to try samples of the lovely stuff, then I was smitten.  If you want to make your cake special then use some of their icing sugar, you will note be disappointed.

I tried not to put too frosting on each cake, however I ended up with just under half left.  So I just had to make another batch of cupcakes up, be rude not to -  and because I am now Queen of My Own Kitchen again!

View From The Front Door

This is the view from the front door, looking left, down into the village
Same View, with a zoom added.  Stunning.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

New Home

I am starting to settle into the new house - our new home.  Since we have been here, I feel like all I have done in the main is have tea, sleep, go to work, repeat.  The only time I really saw the garden for the first three weeks was each Saturday morning, a novelty.  I am enjoying being here, and am finding myself relaxing a little.  This morning I had a lie in to 8 am, unheard of!  Mary-Jane had had a disturbed night, so in turn did I.  But 8 o'clock, get me!

Mary-Jane had a party to go to at lunchtime in Whitehaven, lots of fun had there.  As we had the regular weekly shop to do, HK agreed to stay at the party whilst I went to Tesco.  I fell off my perch, HK has never been to any party with Mary-Jane.  All was achieved and I started to have a strange sense of calmness creeping in to my personna.

When we got back, I left HK to put the shopping away whilst I whisked Mary-Jane off to Mawson's Ice Cream Parlour at Seascale.  It was their re-opening day after a well deserved three week break. Mary-Jane had Triple Chocolate and Kendal Mint Cake Ice Cream and I had Chocolate Orange and Reese Ice Cream.  Scrummy.

Another first this evening - my KMix has had it's maiden voyage!  Oh how excited I was getting watching the smooth batter.  I made a batch of chocolate toffee cupcakes, ready for decorating (and eating) tomorrow.

Work is very heavy going at the moment.  The less said in public the better.

I am starting to get enthused again about baking and cooking.  My thoughts have already started to turn to Show Season in the summer.  Lots of planning, preparation and practice between now and then will be the key.

Will try for photos next time!

Saturday, 27 December 2014


My beautiful Mary-Jane in the Summer Holidays this year, at Mawson's Ice Cream Parlour, Seascale

It's been a bit of a while.......

Yes it has been a bit of a while, lets call it a year for arguments sake.  I have not much been in the right place of mind to blog over the last year.  However I have had a light bulb moment this evening and thought I would blow the dust off.  I am not going to make promises of blogging so many times a a week, just gently ease myself back into it, now life is looking more upwards.

Mary-Jane was four in August, she started school in September and loves it to bits.  I am still working, and now have nearly 15 months under my belt of being there.  Work has been quite changeable and stressful.  Ian is a Stay At Home Dad.  We are in the process of moving to a house in a village three miles away.

I am quite warming to the idea of continuing to blog, let's hope I can keep it up and run with it!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Laptop

Have you heard the one about the dog chased the cat, the cat jumped on the unit, knocked a lead crystal vase onto the laptop then both things fell to the floor and smashed to smithereens?  So said owner of laptop had to go out and blow nearly all her savings on a brand new all singing all dancing laptop?  Well you heard it hear too!

We have a new laptop with Windows 8, which I am slowly getting my head around.  It's quite different from Vista and the touchpad is so much more sensitive.  We have lost about 7 months worth of photos, mainly of Mary-Jane.  Luckily she was not in the room when it all happened as she would have got hurt from it, with our room being so small.

Work is starting to get busy for me, and will continue to be for a couple of months.  Some of this busy-ness includes more meetings and more training days in Bury/Salford area.  I have been into work today, my day off, and have clocked up a mere 7 hours time owing plus travel.

I haven't done any knitting.  I am still cross stitching and enjoying it.

The only thing I have baked is a gingerbread house cake, using a Nordic Ware tin. I am lusting after a bundt tin that Lakeland have got.  I am trying to put that purchase off till next month and am therefore seeing it as next months treat, let's just see how long that line of thinking lasts.

I will try to start taking pictures - Mary-Jane has grown so much.  Did I tell you that I got myself a new camera the day after getting the laptop?  The laptop came in under budget and didn't have a portal for my old memory card so I just had to buy a new camera (oh the hardship!).  It was in the sale, with nearly a third off, so I did well with that as well.  The Laptop was in the sale as well, with £150 of that too.

I am enjoying having spending power again.  I have new clothes for the first time in nearly five years. I have new boots and posh smellies from Lush and The Body Shop to put in my bath.

Sylvia - if you're reading this please get in touch - I don't have your new address!

Thursday, 2 January 2014



The second day in and I have had the urge at last to re-commence blogging.  Let's see how it goes, before I start making promises of what I may do.

Literally half of 2013 was spent painfully waiting to start a new job.  With the new job would, naturally come money, a thing that has been a very rare commodity this last couple of years.  And with wages, comes the ability to kick down doors and start to live a better quality life.  The protracted wait took it's toll on me.  Provisional start dates came and went.  All I felt I had to talk about was the wait and how it made me feel, so I stopped.  Even I was getting fed-up of reading how fed-up I was.

So now, I am three months into my job.  Life for the three of us is improving and we are getting used to having money again.  I no longer worry myself stupid on how am I going to feed and clothe my family on £50 each and every week.  I can now look forward and feel I can hold my head up.

Blogging can now re-commence my friends!