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Lemon Drizzle Yoghurt Pot Cake

Easy baking with the kids!

I’m always looking for recipes to make with the kids. I’m trying to enthuse them a bit more to getting involved in the kitchen, without the added stress I put myself under when we do anything that might be messy/wasteful/chaotic. I know if I end up shouting because of spillages, flour clouds or wasted ingredients, it will be another reason why they won’t want to get involved. So the easier the better.

I am doing recipes that require measuring and weighing too, but sometimes just being able to chuck it all in a bowl makes things more fun.

He’s always enjoyed helping, I’m hoping this is the year he starts taking charge!

I remember a friend telling me about a yoghurt pot recipe years ago when she worked in a ski chalet for a season, and I’ve finally found one that works well. Much like the American ‘Cups’ system, the base unit for this recipe is the yoghurt pot, so all references to the ‘pot’ refer to the pot of yoghurt.

This will make one round cake or 1lb loaf. 12 generous muffins or 20 smaller cakes.

You will need:

1 x 125g pot of any plain yogurt *

2 eggs

1 x pot caster sugar

3 x pots white SR flour

¾ x pot vegetable oil

Grated rind of one lemon

For the lemon drizzle:

Juice of ½-1 lemon and 1½  tbsp icing sugar

* You can use a pot of flavoured yoghurt, in which case leave out the lemon and the drizzle. Maybe make a complimentary icing instead.

I’m sure if we get round to doing this again, I’ll post the results here. I’m thinking raspberry yoghurt cake with some of those freeze dried raspberry pieces in the icing?

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170-180 deg C / 350 F and prepare tin or muffin pans etc
  2. Pour yogurt into a large bowl, stir in the oil and wash out pot.
  3. Add the grated lemon rind.
  4. Add pot sugar, then other ingredients and mix well
  5. Pour into the tins and bake until golden brown (10-15 min for buns, 35-45 mins for a tray bake)
  6. Prepare the lemon drizzle mix – stir the icing sugar into the lemon juice and mix until smooth.
  7. Pour over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven.

Sorry, we were eating it before I remembered to take a picture!!

Fame at last…

I volunteered to help out another Mum from the school recently. Someone else who has a creative spirit and is trying to find her niche for a new photography business.

She is developing her ‘documentary’ style of photography and wanted to do some candid family shots of us, at home just chilling out. Nice. Early morning? Not so easy………

We normally are quite relaxed at the weekend. The kids are usually the last to be dressed as they slow down after a busy week of school. Unless there are parties and plans, we tend to hang out at home. There is still so much to do, from hanging a few pictures to building benches and taking delivery of new beds! The garden is a whole other realm of busy……I have loads of jobs from weeding and planting to creating new areas of interest – currently in the making is a ‘wildflower walk’ around the edge of the veg patch.

David just likes his machines and will find something to mow, chop, strim and ultimately burn!! He needs a lot of close management.

This weekend in particular Beth had two parties and Harri and I wanted to go shopping for holiday clothes. We had family visiting and I had to pick up our holiday currency at some point. So we were mostly up and dressed and ready when Sarah arrived. As you can see from her pictures, Harri was a bit shy, but Bethan loved the limelight!

I didn’t really have a plan of what we would do, as long as the situations she chose didn’t show too much chaos and clutter! I love the idea of the house and garden eventually being used for magazines/tv shows (as I’ve been told several times its ideal) so I thought this may be a good chance to show it off  a bit. It also meant I could use some proper photography for this blog, rather than my shaky efforts with the BlackBerry!

Have a look at Sarahs’ Facebook Page. The link to our photos are here.

Brotherly Love

At Easter we had a week in Disneyland Paris. I’m going to leave that there as there is too much to say about taking two children to Disneyland and then around Paris for a week.

One day stands out in our week away, however, the day Bethan slept in with a poorly cheek. For context, both kids have a rare condition which means that when they have an underlying bug or infection, their salivary gland just under their ear can swell and become very painful. Harri has looked like he has a golf ball in his cheek before now.

Typically, being on holiday, it was Bethan’s turn. We think she was just run down, over tired, it had been a long Easter break already! She was dosed up on paracetamol which is all we can do, but she hadn’t slept well the night before (therefore neither had I) and so she and I had slept in. At midday we got going, as we had lunch booked with the Disney Princesses at 2pm. I know, we were all beyond excited!

Bethan woke, but was not up to much and despite packing 3 princess dresses she did not want to wear one that day. Having squashed these dresses into our carry on luggage, we were desperate to persuade her, but she would not budge. So Harri stepped up, a bit to encourage Bethan but mainly to hurry us all up and to get out of the hotel room. He said he would wear a dress too. Luckily one did fit and while he pranced around the room Bethan got herself ready.

Hooray! We were back in holiday spirits. I suggested taking a photo and at that point Harri remembered that he had been dared by some of his rugby mates to wear a dress this week anyway. So he went to town with Bethans make up set. ‘Clown’ isn’t a great look, but he pulled it off. 

At this stage we were just relieved that Bethan had brightened up and had her dress on. Harri had t-shirt and jeans on underneath and I expected to get the dress thrown at me at any moment.

We got the shuttle bus to the Disney Park, and once we got there he started to get lots of looks, and I mean lots of pointing, laughter and whispers. My maternal hackles were raised, what was the matter with these people? Hadn’t they seen a boy in a dress before? (Do I need to credit David Walliams with that?!)

But rather than getting upset or embarrassed he seemed to love the attention. He even curtsied for one woman to take a photo!

So my fear for his emotions turned to pride (again) as not only was he brave enough to don a sparkly blue princess dress for his little sister, he also wasn’t intimidated by the opinions of others. As I said to my mum that evening, he is a proper rugger bugger. He is obviously secure enough in his own masculinity to be able to prance around in a dress unencumbered, and even enjoy the attention. Now I can see I am going to be worried about what he gets up to on his future rugby tours……….

Potato Rose, Rose Potato

Has anyone tried this before? I’ve seen clips on Pinterest and Facebook about an easy and cheap way to propagate roses from supermarket bunches using a potato.

I think its to do with the starch in the potato that acts as a boost to the rose as it produces roots. Anyway, whilst I read more to learn the science, I thought I would give it a go. I have tried propagating from bought flowers before, but not to any great success. To be honest, I think if it was as easy as its made out to be, more of us would be doing it?

Anyway, I am prepared to do the experiment and feed back the results, but I would love to hear your views. Have you tried this, or something similar?

 

March 18th 2017.

Drilled a hole in a potato to about halfway. Chose a rose stem that was quite thick. It had been in water and rose food for a couple of days from the supermarket.

I cut the flower off and left two leaves, put it into the potato and put the whole lot into compost with some slow release food and have placed it in the greenhouse.

I’ll keep you updated…….

March 26th 2017

I took off one of the leaves as it was drying out and I didn’t want the rose to focus on the leaves rather than putting down roots. Otherwise it looks OK.

A (short) venture into making preserves to sell.

It’s all very well using up the ‘glut’ to make chutneys and jams etc for the cupboard, or even to give away, but it’s another step into the unknown and presume your preserves are going to be appreciated (and more importantly paid for) by others. Especially at that well known market place of the School Christmas Fayre.

I have had experience of this at our last school with some handmade door wreaths. That may be for another blog. Anyway, I have learned that, as you stand tentatively behind your table anxiously watching what other stall holders are unpacking and presenting, you can expect at least 4 types of prospective customers:

  • Those that say “oh, I make that myself” as if to excuse themselves from actually buying anything
  • Those that scoff at the price as “it’s cheaper in the co-op” – of course it is, that’s mass produced generic jam made from ingredients that have been bartered in cost from the suppliers and bought in bulk. (not that any seller can express that without offending, as with any response to the above comment)
  • There are always those that will buy from you as they are being supportive as your friend. Thus inducing a pinch of guilt for taking their money when you would probably have given it to them anyway!
  • And finally there are those people that you don’t know, seem genuinely interested in your product and are happy to pay what you ask. Phew, it might just be worth it….

I had made a few jars of courgette relish in the summer to deal with our mountain of courgettes. Thanks to a friends’ recipe. I already had 2 courgette cakes in the freezer. Again, one for another blog….setting myself up for more stories here!

 

                                              Mint Jelly, Rosehip Syrup and Courgette Relish

Anyway the relish went down well and after making my next batch, and a batch of mint jelly, I realised I had quite a collection in the cupboard. I took all the various jars and bottles out and stacked them up. I took a picture and posted on Facebook, where else?!

Feeling quite pleased with the achievement I realised I had actually been quite productive over the summer.

 

A few conversations at the school gates later and here I am, with another Mum, stood at a table at the Christmas Fayre with my jars, some flapjacks and a whole heap of expectations.

  • Christmas Mincemeat
  • Lemon Marmalade
  • Damson Jam with Gin
  • Quince Jam
  • Mint Jelly
  • Hedgerow Jelly

I have done this kind of thing a few times and always set myself high targets. The reality often crashes around me as I try to find storage space the next day for all that didn’t sell.

At least Christmas presents will be easy to find this year……….