Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Today is my son's birthday, he's 22 now.

Happy Birthday Ashley xxx

I hope you've had a wonderful day (he doesn't finish work until midnight)

Love you very much,

Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A lovely Sunday... walking the dogs and baking cakes.

Today we went for a really long walk over the fields with the dogs. When we got back I had a baking session...

This is a syrup loaf (Ashley had a slice before I took the photo!) It's really easy to make, just syrup, milk, flour, bicarb and a pinch of salt. I think we will have it with custard for pudding tomorrow.

It's Ashley's birthday tomorrow so this will be his cake, I just need to add candles, 22 of them!!!

Ashley asked me to make cake for him to take to work to share. This is a lemon sponge.

I'm actually ahead of myself and organised! This is for my Valentine, my lovely husband.

This was a new recipe - spiced fruit cake. The texture is strange because you add a crumble topping.

Gorgeous chocolate fudge cake squares. I have made these since Ashley was a baby when I was 19. The cake is very moist and the icing fudgy - yum yum! Ashley will take some of these to work too.

I've just watched 'Call the Midwife', a perfect end to a perfect Sunday. I wonder what Monday will bring??? Ashley's special day.

Mandy x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

My second draught excluder and the downstairs toilet!

Today I've had quite a lazy day - I been sewing for most of it!

I've finally made my second draught excluder

My lovely husband plastered our downstairs toilet today. We are doing our house up so that we can move away from this village we hate. At the moment we live close to the borders of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, but actually in Northamptonshire. I grew up in Oxfordshire (Thame and Chinnor) but was born in Chalfont St Giles. I would love to go back to South Oxfordshire (we are close to Banbury which is North Oxfordshire), but my husband is self-employed and is known in this area. Obviously he doesn't want to travel too far everyday.

So Steve has been busy getting our house ready to go on the market (although there is a long way to go yet).

For tea we had homemade beefburgers and sweetcorn relish - it was yummy!

Sweetcorn relish

1 onion - finely chopped
1 stick celery - finely chopped
little olive oil
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp vinegar
black pepper
2tsp cornflour - mixed to a paste with a little water
tin of sweetcorn


  • Gently fry the onion and celery in oil.
  • Add the sugar, vinegar, pepper and 2 good squirts of pasatta.
  • Simmer for 15 mins, adding more pasatta if necessary.
  • Stir in the cornflour and add sweetcorn.
  • Mix well and pour into serving dish.
This worked really well with my hamburgers -

  • Put mince in a bowl, add shake of paprika, pinch of mixed herbs, pepper, parsley and chopped onion.
  • Bind with a beaten egg and shape into burgers.
  • I grilled mine for 5 mins each side and then finished them off in the oven while I made the relish.
It's time to bake again tomorrow. I need to make Ashley's birthday cake for Monday.

Mandy x

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Flo, Snow, Baking and Knitting...


I've been suffering with headaches again (I need to stress less), so I haven't been on my laptop much this week. This is a bit of a catch-up:

I'm always taking pictures of Flo - we love her so much xxx

She's just so gorgeous and loves having her photo taken

Just sitting and watching

Flo loves the snow!

Peanut cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Fruit buns

Little cherry cakes

Flo in her new parka coat off for a walk in the snow

I don't have any photos for this part, but I have started knitting! I haven't done this for years and was never very good at it back then. However... I am giving it another go and have started off by knitting large squares to sew together into a blanket (hopefully)  :0)
I'll let you know how I get on!!!

Mandy x