The lockdown baking continues…
The recipe that everyone needs.
It’s a really easy recipe:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of self raising flour
1 tablespoon of chocolate
Mix the butter and the sugar and then add in the flour and the chocolate.
If you want to make more, you just double or triple the quantities.
Sometimes I use brown sugar or swap out half the flour for cocoa powder instead.
And any chocolate works so left over Easter eggs would be perfect.
Then in the oven at 180 until the top is golden.
I haven’t written on here in ages
It seems like I always have a thousand and one things to do, between work, a toddler, a home to look after and continuing to study.
But then the c word that we’ve all come to dread hearing made us all stand still.
Whilst the wider population have to remain indoors for three weeks (unless they have to leave for essentials or a key worker job or to take their one allowed period of outdoor socially distanced exercise) I am one of the lucky few who has to stay inside for 12 weeks.
And those of us that have the misfortune to fall in to that category don’t even get to go outside our front doors, much less to go for a run round the block. The advice for us is very specific – stay three steps away from everyone in your household, don’t go outside the front door, just open a window.
Today is the third day of the 12 week period, if you include the day that it started.
My work day finished earlier because I didn’t have to drive home. I just turned off my computer.
I didn’t have to stop on the way home to pick up bits for dinner. At 5:30pm when I would usually be in a supermarket, dinner was already cooked and Amelia was eating it.
The free time that I haven’t managed to find in over a year is suddenly spread out infront of me because I’ve been forced to stop.
3 weeks seems likes a really long time. My 12 weeks seems even longer.
But if it means I get to spend the rest of my life going out whenever I like then I will gladly stay indoors.
It really isn’t the end of the world.
Yes. I dared to say the C word.
I cannot wait for Christmas this year. I mentioned Christmas to Amelia this morning and she said ‘presents?’and raised both eyebrows at me to emphasise the importance of the question.
Apparently she has her priorities set for Christmas already. (Puzzles are her new favourite toy so she is very hopeful that Father Christmas leaves her some new ones.)
I’m surprisingly organised this year. I thought it would be less stressful if I started shopping early. I’ve already finished off buying all the gifts for the little ones in the family/friend group and I’ve actually wrapped them this morning. (The bags were overflowing and I couldn’t handle the disorder of it.)
I’m very lucky to work for a company that are closing for 2 weeks over Christmas. Completely unexpected, given that I would have been working Christmas Day if I had stayed in my previous job.
I’m trying to plan days out and activities to do with Amelia throughout December. Christmas markets. Baking. Going to see Santa. Looking at all the Christmas lights. Costa Christmas drinks are always lovely and little lady likes coffee almost as much as I do so no doubt we will do a few Costa trips.
She’s been given quite a few Christmas jumpers and T-shirt’s by family and friends so her wardrobe is all set for the festive period. She really likes dinosaurs on her clothes at the moment so if anyone sees a dinosaur themed Christmas jumper then send me the link. Amelia will be very appreciative!
Just to scare you all a bit there is 108 days til December 25th.
(And no, before anyone asks. My tree is not up. The photo is one from a previous Christmas.)
I can’t remember the last time I wrote on here!
Between working, uni and having a toddler who is more active than average – her nurseries words – I haven’t really had the chance.
All amelia wants to do recently is draw and colour and show mummy and daddy her sticking. She’s become so kind and creative. So creative in fact that it wasn’t me that designed the layout for the Halloween themed photos – I came into her room to find her emptying spider sequins over the floor and waving her trick or treat bucket around!
But look at the face! How could I be annoyed with her when she looked so cute?
A website that I particularly like at the moment is Mrs Mactivity – I was gifted a subscription but a lot of the resources are free. It has lots of activities, colouring sheets and guides for little ones learning to read and write. There’s even some Halloween themed ones. I’ve literally been counting down the days until Amelia could do more craft type activities – that she’s shown such an interest in making pictures has made me happier than is reasonable.
I’m going to try and post more regularly. Wish me luck!
To a Lecturer From an Anxious Student
One thing I have learned from being at uni that isn’t to do with my subject is that not everyone is as kind as they could be. Some of my lecturers, particularly the guest speakers, seem to forget that we all have our own thoughts and feelings.
To a Lecturer From an Anxious Student
Announcing to your students at the beginning of the lecture that you like to pick on the student you think will be most uncomfortable isn’t funny. Telling your students that there is no such thing as a stupid answer and then making the brave student who raised their hand feel silly for getting the answer wrong isn’t fair. (Yes, he was as you correctly guessed a rugby player but that doesn’t mean speaking in a room of 150 students is easier.)
To the lecturer who said ‘I’ll stare at whoever doesn’t maintain eye contact and make them answer’ that’s not building confidence the way you hope. After you said that I saw at least two quiet students sneak out and several more who didn’t return after the break. You justified this by saying ‘you must build confidence now before going out into the real world and working’ as if all employees are forced to speak in front of hundreds of people daily. Please tell me when a sales assistant or a barista or a hairdresser or a nurse or a police office has to stand up in a lecture hall and speak to 150 of their colleagues on a regular basis. If you can show me that is the case, then by all means expect each and every student to do the same.
To the lecturer who locked the door at exactly 1pm, meaning any student even a minute late had to knock and draw the attention of the entire room to get in, how did you think a student already having a bad day because they missed their bus or had lost their keys was going to feel?
Yes, we all know it is not appropriate to be late but we are all human and have days that don’t go as well as we would have liked. Instead of leaving the door unlocked for a few minutes for the students having bad days to slip in without interrupting, I would bet you scared off several.
Most people get nervous for one reason or another. Some people get nervous more than most and find daily life particularly daunting. There are the fears of avoidable things like snakes and big spiders. But not everyone’s fears are so obvious or easily dodged.
Please consider the students who found it hard to leave the safety of their student house where they were surrounded by friends. Please consider the student who may be caring for a sick relative and be a bit late because they had to make them lunch before they could leave for classes. Please consider the student who is terrified of public speaking and picked their modules so that they didn’t need to do presentations. Please consider that not everyone will be as comfortable in your lecture hall as you are.
Raspberry and white chocolate tray bake
4 ounces of self raising flour
4 ounces of sugar
4 ounces of butter
3 and a half ounces of white chocolate chips
3 and a half ounces of fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a small square baking tin by rubbing with butter and dusting with flour.
Cream the sugar and butter together. Add an egg and half the flour. Mix well and add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour. Fold in the white chocolate chips, adding the raspberries last so they don’t get to squashed.
Pour the batter into the tin and gently spread the mixture out so that the pan is evenly filled.
Cook the cake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and springy to touch.
Allow to cool and cut into pieces – I made mine into 9 good sized squares.
This recipe would also work with strawberries and milk chocolate or could be used to fill cupcake cases.
I served mine with squirty cream and extra raspberries
(This recipe is my own and so are my pictures.)
I’ve been a little absent on the blog recently. Christmas was extremely busy, Amelia has been waking more often through the night and this week and next week I have three essays due and an exam. I’ve been surrounded by text books and resources and still have a pile of 10 academic books that I haven’t even begun reading. Amelia, housework and coursework require more hands and brain cells than I have available.
Am I the only person who still has their Christmas decorations up?
Our flat isn’t as tidy as it should be, Amelia’s Christmas presents still don’t have proper homes and I’ve been drying the washing on the radiators as I haven’t had chance to put the clothes away that are on the airer. I still haven’t purchased an iron so our clothes are all a bit wrinkly and my steamer is still at my mums as I leant it to her for cooking Christmas dinner. I’m just not organised enough to have collected it yet. I go back to work in a few weeks and I’m back at uni too so free time is extremely limited.
But we are all fed and clean and Amelia is happy so everything else will get done when I have chance.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and new year.
In the run up to Christmas when we are all doing our shopping it is important for us all to have a browse of the products available from small businesses. The family run Facebook shops and the little stalls at markets that are the income paying mortgages and putting food on the table.
Their is a lovely business I found on Instagram called ‘stitchlings’ Instagram handle @stitchlingscreations. They make a variety of items including skirts, pants, hair bows and blankets. I purchased a lovely little taggy blanket for Amelia from them and it is perfect. It arrived this morning and she is already so attached to it. It is fluffy on one side and penguin printed the other, with red tags and silver tags.
The wonderful thing about buying items from small businesses is that they often help families afford dance lessons for their little ones, go towards christenings and weddings and allow families to have a delicious Christmas dinner. Not only is their the financial aspect their is also the joy of knowing that many of the products are made to order and are completely unique to you. No other person can have exactly the same one as they are hand made.
What small businesses have you found that you’d like others to know about?
December the 2nd and it’s finally the weekend. Today has gone quickly and as I write this our tree is sparkling, illuminated by the fairy lights. Our living room and kitchen are open plan and as I have had the cooker on for most of the day it’s toasty warm.
To start the day off Amelia and I made salt dough decorations. I managed to make two prints of Amelia’s hands and used the rest to cut out stars for on the tree. (Its extremely easy to make: 1 cup salt, 1 cup water and 2 cups flour. Bake for 5 minutes at 180. Credit for the recipe and idea go to the wonderful mummy deer. Head on over to her blog here.) We haven’t finished decorating them yet but I started painting the hand prints.
The second baking activity of the day involved lots of chocolate chips. We made some wonderful soft chocolatey cookies. The recipe is pretty easy:
80g caster sugar
80g brown sugar
225g plain flour
200g choc chips (I used half white chocolate and half milk chocolate)
2tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
Mix the sugars and butter together and then add the egg, vanilla essence, salt and flour. Add the choc chips and then spoon teaspoons onto baking trays (makes around 30)
They taste delicious warm and just as good once they’ve cooled down. We now have a tin full.
These days people are so quick to wish their lives away; can’t wait for the weekend, can’t wait to finish school, can’t wait for my holiday, can’t wait for my baby to sleep through the night.
The Earth has been here for more years than any of us can begin to fathom. We are here for so little time in comparison.
I am making a conscious effort not to wish Amelia’s childhood away. Every time she wakes in the night I don’t think of it as an annoyance or an inconvenience. It’s what baby’s do. Instead I let her snuggle into bed next to me and am grateful that I am that comfort for her.
Every time she smiles I treasure it, equally when she cries I love cuddling her to make it better.
My titchy princess is growing up so quickly already. She’s sitting, eating proper food, trying to crawl, jumping in her jumperoo. As I write this she is asleep on my lap.
So take the time to cuddle them a bit longer, give them that attention they are craving. Because they won’t be small forever.