Thursday, 26 May 2022

Hosting a Jubilee party? Four tasty recipes for entertaining!

I am so looking forward to the extra long weekend celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. At the moment we have no plans but there are plenty of things going on locally. I will be baking up some tasty treats, defiantly the scones and the Bakewell Tart Traybake and of course things like sausage rolls and maybe some quiche. 

Union Jack flags

With four whole days to celebrate the 70th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign there’s plenty of time to get baking and enjoy eating these regal bakes with friends and family.

Will you be doing any baking? Here are a few ideas for you:

Leek & Asparagus Traybake Tart.
Makes one 20x30cm tart.

Leek & Asparagus Traybake Tart

Ingredients.

400g plain flour
200g salted butter + 30g for the leeks
2 Leeks (500g, finely shredded)
350g full fat cream cheese
150ml double cream
3 eggs + 1 for egg washing
2 packets of fine asparagus (200g)

Method.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan).
2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter with your fingers until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add 4tbsp of cold water and bring together to form a pastry dough.
3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle large enough to line the baking tin.
4. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin, drape over the tin, then lift and tuck into the corners and up the sides. Trim any excess and place in the freezer.
5. Finely chop the leeks and soften in butter in the frying pan over a medium heat until slightly translucent. This should take 3-4 mins. Set to one side.
6. Wipe out the large mixing bowl and pour in the double cream, eggs and cream cheese and mix together until smooth.
7. Add the leeks into the mixture, season to taste and then pour into the chilled pastry case.
8. Arrange the asparagus spears on top and lightly fold in the pastry around the edge. Beat the remaining egg and brush the pastry edges. 
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling has set and the pastry is golden.
10. Allow to cool slightly or completely before slicing and serving.

Classic Scones.
Makes 8.


Ingredients

200g of self-raising flour.
60g of unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
30g of caster sugar.
2 eggs (1 is for eggwash)
2 tablespoons of milk.

Method.

1, Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) and line the baking tray with the parchment.
2. In the mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar then add in the butter cubes and work them in with your fingers.
3. Once a crumb consistency has been achieved, make a well in the centre and add 1 egg and the milk. Bring it all together until just combined to form a dough, being careful not to overwork it. 
4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 2 cm thickness, cut out rounds, bringing the offcuts together and re-rolling until you have 8 rounds. 
5. Place them all on the baking tray, rub the tops with eggwash using your finger or a pastry brush if you have it, and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden on top.
6. Allow to cool before serving with jam and clotted cream.

Rhubarb Traybake Tart.
Makes one 20x30cm tart.


Ingredients.

500g plain flour.
250g unsalted butter.
60g icing sugar.
750g rhubarb.
200g caster sugar + extra for sprinkling on top.
40g cornflour.
Zest of one orange.
Egg for egg washing.

Method.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan).
2. In the large mixing bowl, rub together the flour, icing sugar and butter with your fingertips until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add 5 tbsp of water and bring the mix together with your hand to form a pastry dough.
3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, break off about a quarter and set to one side (this will be the top of the tart) and roll the remainder into a rectangle large enough to line the baking tin.
4. Roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin to pick it up, then drape over the tin, and tuck into the corners and up the sides. Trim any excess (add this to the reserved quarter of dough) and place the lined tin in the freezer.
5. Chop the rhubarb into 2cm diagonal pieces and put into the (cleaned) large mixing bowl. Add the 200g caster sugar, orange zest and cornflour and toss the rhubarb so it’s all coated.
6. Spread the coated rhubarb into the pastry-lined tin, and fold in the pastry around the edge to create a crust.
7. Roll out the reserved quarter of dough and cut out some different sized circles using cutters/a tumbler/a bottle lid then randomly place them on top of the rhubarb so there are still some gaps where you can see the fruit.
8. Brush the pastry with egg wash, sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and the pastry is golden. 
9. Leave to cool slightly before serving with cream, custard or ice cream.

Bakewell Tart Traybake.
Makes a 20 x 30 cm traybake - 15 bars.


Ingredients:

150g of Plain flour.
150g of Caster sugar split into 50g and 100g.
200g of Unsalted butter, softened and split into 2 x 100g.
150g of Ground almonds.
1 Egg.
200g of Raspberry jam.
A handful of flaked almonds.
Icing sugar to dust.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 165°c.
2. Put all of the plain flour and 50g of caster sugar in the mixing bowl before rubbing in 100g of unsalted butter with your finger tips. When the mixture resembles crumbs, pour it into the lined traybake tin, spread it evenly and press it down so the crumbs loosely join together. Bake the base for 15 minutes.
3. While the base is baking, combine the remaining 100g of butter, 100g caster sugar, ground almonds and the egg in the mixing bowl with a spoon to make the frangipane topping.
4. When the base has had it's 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and add the jam, spreading it with the back of the spoon to make an even layer over the top, followed by all of the
frangipane mix (this will be a thicker layer) and a sprinkling of flaked almonds before returning to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
5. When the traybake is golden on top, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust the whole thing with icing sugar, slice into bars and top with more flaked almonds.

Are you doing anything special over the Jubilee extra long weekend? 

These recipes are from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

(Ad - Gifted) The Gillette Labs Exfoliating Razor with Magnetic Stand!

 Father's day is next month and it's time to start thinking about gifts for those special men in our lives. I know anything shaving or beard related is always a hit with the dad's especially around Father's Day.

If the man in your life prefers the clear shaven look the latest drop from Gillette Labs, the Gillette Labs Exfoliating Razor will make morning routines more effortless with the first ever built in exfoliation bar, accompanied with a lifetime warranty!

Gillette Labs set
Gillette Labs Exfoliating Razor

The Gillette Labs with Exfoliating Bar is the world’s first razor with exfoliating technology built into the cartridge. This means that it is designed for a quick and easy shave that is no longer a chore but something to be enjoyed. The exfoliation bar removes dirt and debris, such as dead skin cells, before the blades pass, thereby allowing for a close and accurate shave.

What's more, the 2D FlexDisc technology used will move according to the contours of your face to help ensure comfort and close contact is maintained with every stroke of your razor.

Razor head

This razor is designed to be used with Gillette Labs razor blade refills which are also compatible with the Gillette Labs Heated Razor.

This men's razor has a durable handle that can easily last for up to five years. It's metal handle comes with a premium magnetic stand so you can store your razor and handle conveniently after each use. 

razor and stand

This is available to buy from the Gillette website for £22.49 but I suggest you do shop around as supermarkets are also selling it for a lower price. It is a fantastic set and looks so fancy,  stylish and is a great addition to any bathroom.

As well as the Exfoliating Razor with Magnetic Stand you could pair it with the Gillette Rapid Foaming Shave Gel. This shaving gel rapidly foams and easily rinses off, leaving no sticky residue. It ensures seamless razor glide and helps protect your skin from shaving irritation. It cools and sooths the skin and is made with sea kelp and without any alcohol or dyes. It has a light and refreshing fragrance of cedar wood and orange peel which when combined creates a sophisticated and masculine scent.

Are these the type of gifts a man in your life would appreciate?

We were sent the The Gillette Labs Exfoliating Razor with Magnetic Stand & Gillette Rapid Foaming Shave Gel free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Funny things that my girls have said.

A few years ago I used to write blog posts including the funny things that my girls have said. I haven't written one in years, it's not that they don't say funny things anymore, it's just I never got around to writing those posts. 

Happy faces

These are some of the funny things that my girls have said lately:

Becky bought herself a new phone case and it arrived with smudges and mucky marks on it. She said "I didn't pay for these smudges" and Ellie says "think yourself lucky, you got them for free.

Ellie was off out to play with friends. I asked what time are you coming home meaning pick a time. She just said "I'll text you". The cheek, it will be 7pm then. When she was getting ready to go out she asked for some money for a drink. I had no change and she went towards Becky's purse and said I'll borrow some from her, she won't realise she's asleep and has too much money anyway.

The kids have got it into their heads that they want a dog. They're not getting one but they're not having it. They were looking at dogs online. They don't want an angry looking one or one with long legs. Ellie wants an German Shepherd but Becky says they're fighting dogs, no, no, no says Ellie "they're the one's that save you when you're up a mountain". I really don't know where they get their ideas from. lol 

While talking about dogs it turns out Becky doesn't know how to say Chihuahua and then had me saying it wrong too. At least Ellie knew how to say it and corrected us while rolling her eyes.

Becky tells me not to tell her about episodes of Grey's Anatomy that she is watching but then goes on to ask if so and so get together, does she die and so on and when I tell her she tells me off for telling her.

What do you's want to eat next week? I asked the kids while meal planning. Takeaway, sushi, trifle, pop tarts and Pot Noodles. I don't think so, when will the learn that when I ask I mean they have to come up with meal ideas, not snacks.

Ellie has done pretty well in her mock exams and her predicted GCSE grades are better than we expected. She is taking great pleasure in telling us that she's more clever than everyone and now thinks it means she doesn't have to do any revision. She's wrong. lol 

Neither of the girls had any interest in the Johnny Depp trial until all the TikToks appeared. Every time anyone says "jar" they sing "I've got a jar of dirt" and we say the word "pint" the kids say is it a mega pint. 

Ellie went to meet Becky from her training at work just so she would buy her some fizzy pop because I said no to giving her money to buy some. We have plenty or juice and water in the house. As well as the pop Ellie stung her sister for a bag of chips too. 

I dragged Becky out for a walk and she did nothing but complain. It's too hot, too bright, there was too many bugs, it was just too much effort. I don't know what is worse toddlers or teenagers.

What have your kids said lately which made you chuckle?

Monday, 23 May 2022

Our weekly meal plan! 23rd - 29th May. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan!

Last weeks meal plan went OK. The Peanut butter chicken and rice was nice but not amazing and the fish pie was not a hit, it was too fishy and there were too many peas according to my family. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I am just glad that my family are willing to try new meals. I didn't get around to cooking the quiche, I was waiting in for a parcel I had already missed and just couldn't be bothered when it got later. We had omelette instead which is near enough the same thing as a quiche, just without the pastry. lol

We got an Iceland food shop delivered a few days ago purely to stock up on ice cream and ice lollies since the weather is so nice. I do love to get the food shopping from Iceland for all the chicken products, frozen meat and veg. The only thing that lets it down is the tins are so expensive but I suppose it's not really a supermarket, it's a freezer shop.

We don't have much on this coming week, it's a pretty normal week although the kids do break up for half term on Friday. It seems to have came around so quickly and then we will be on the home run to Becky leaving college, starting full time work and the summer holidays. Hooray!

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Hunters chicken, mashed potato and broccoli.
Tuesday - Chinese fakeaway. Sweet and sour chicken balls, chicken chow mein, egg fried rice, spring rolls and prawn crackers.
Thursday - Chicken goujons and salad in wraps.
Friday - Fish, chips and mushy peas.
Saturday - Pizza, we might make our own again.
Sunday - Sausage Traybake from Pinch of Nom.

I am linking up with Karen over at Cat's, Kids, Chaos who is the host of the meal planning linky. If you blog about your meal plan do come and link up!