Things that make me go Ooh!

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It is a bitterly cold day here in the bleak North,but I am happily ensconced in my cosy little world,we had snow through the night,not a great deal so far,but enough to keep me indoors for fear of making a complete fool of myself tottering around in it!

So! what better time to do a totally self indulgent post about all the little things that make me a happy Bunny,These then are the little things,obviously my Children,my family and friends bring me untold happiness,but I also think that there are such a lot of little things,often taken for granted,that if we think about it are so very precious,are you ready?

  1. Oranges. I know,odd but I could eat them all day,especially at the moment when they are so juicy,when I was pregnant with my oldest Daughter,I used to take a bag full into the office to eat,one of the older ladies told me my baby would come out orange! She didnt.
  2. My bed.I adore it,that moment when I sink into absolute comfort,preferably with something marvellous to read,I am in Heaven.
  3. My Kindle fire.I resisted for so long! but Oh my! what an absolute gift the kindle is,I am constantly downloading something to read,being able to try a sample first is just brilliant.
  4. My garden.the never ending fascination of things popping up from the earth in springtime is surely natures greatest metaphor.
  5. Tea in a china cup.Call me old fashioned,but it seems we live in an age where it is neccesary to sell a kidney in order to purchase a tall skinny latte/cappucino/macchiato ,whatever happened to a grand cup of tea? if I come accross a nice old fashioned tea room with china cups and saucers,I become slightly delirious with joy.Leading nicely on to number 6…..
  6. Cake.Oh sweet baby Jesus,I do love home made cake.Nuf said.
  7. A delivery from Amazon.Despite as stated in point 3,loving my Kindle like a third child,there are certain books I prefer in actual ‘book’ form,the joy of seeing an amazon package in the Postmans hands is frankly enough to extract actual whoops of joy from me.Poor Postie,he is terrified.
  8. Walking on the beach.The sound of the sea and sand between my toes spells absolute bliss for me,I cant wait for Summertime,I also get really excited if I find unusual rocks and shells on the beach,wonderful therapy.
  9. Handwriting.Letters written by hand are surely becoming a lost art,I fear I may never receive one again,but they are so personal,texting and emailing of course are very convenient,but I feel like prose is lost and we all know how I feel about bad grammar and text talk!
  10. Pinterest,blogging and social networking.The internet has its faults,but you cant deny that it has opened doors and brought me,for sure,lots of lovely new friendships.I never tire of feeling very excited at the discovery of a new interesting blog or stumbling upon a great inspiration on pinterest!Social networking again has brought me into contact with some like minded people,it just requires a bit more caution I feel.

So there you go! ten pieces of useless information about me! But do tell me…..what is the one thing that makes you go “Ooh” (clean answers only)

Chicken soup for the soul(not the book)

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So after the humongous Sunday lunch I was left with a fair bit of chicken and a pile of bones,whats a Gal to do I ask you?

Make chicken soup of course.Here you go,easy peasy.

Chicken soup.

Boil carcass with a few onions,carrots,Swede or any veg you have left over to make stock.

set aside stock,dice some onions and cook in a little oil until soft,add diced carrots,swede and potato,return stock to the pan and simmer for about 30 mins.

when all the veg are soft,put around half the soup in a blender and whiz it up,this adds thickness if you dont like a watery kind of soup,return to the pan and add your left over chicken,I added a handful of spinach just because I love it and its so good for you.

Season to your own taste and Viola! perfect Winter comfort food,serve with a crusty bun and feel virtuous for being so clever with your leftovers and also for being super healthy at the same time!

Sunday,the lurgy and cake….

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The inhabitants of Chez King have been struck down by the lurgy,Youngest Daughter has been off school,after passing it on to everyone else,but hey ho,  Myself I have rallied as one must,but I have to be honest I am glad the week is nearly over,we are all on the mend thankfully and I felt the need to celebrate by way of making a cake.

Ahh cake,the answer to everything,the cure of all ills,a cup of hot strong tea that you could stand a spoon up in and all is well in my world.

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I have long endeavoured to find the easiest and most foolproof recipe for the perfect Victoria sandwich,past attempts have seen them sunk in the middle,to thin,too thick,soggy bottom.Ahem.

But friends eventually I had an epiphany! and here it is,the simple truth that has completely evaded silly me for so long.

You weigh your eggs.

YES!!! as fellow bakers will know you use equal quantities of fat,sugar,flour and eggs,the eggs for me being the tricky part,just how many eggs are the equivalent of  250gms for example?DOH!, weigh them you numpty.

So here is my foolproof recipe,I weigh the eggs first and then use the same amount of other ingredients.

The best Victoria sandwich cake recipe.

4 eggs(250g)

250g caster sugar

250g unsalted butter

250g SR flour

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

Cream  butter and sugar until soft and creamy,add vanilla essence.In a seperate bowl mix eggs,add eggs,baking powder and flour a bit at a time,folding gently,lightly grease two medium cake tins and line with baking paper,then divide the mix into  them.Bake in a moderate oven around 180 for roughly twenty minutes(keep checking obviously) when springy to the touch or you can stick a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean,they are ready.Leave to cool before turning gently out of tins.Sandwich together with your favourite jam and buttercream icing,then dust the top with a little sieved icing sugar.

Bliss I tell you.Bliss.