Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chocolate rock cakes

Just a quick update, I have been baking this morning, and made choc muffins with mini marshmallows - and will add that soon. I did these last week, and am catching up! I am off out to lunch today with Ann - we are just popping over to a garden centre and a local pub - this is not a crafty or a cooking friend so just gossip today! Went out with Jane and did some crafty shopping a couple of weeks am catching up on my status of a lady who lunches! Next week Clare is coming round.

I saw this recipe in a book and decided to just use my normal rock cake recipe
But instead of currants I used a combination of chopped glace cherries and apricots, and I added 1 oz of cocoa, using lightly less flour and I guess a little more milk to make it the right consistency.

I sprinkled with brown sugar as well before popping themin the oven. They tasted nice but wasn't too sure if they looked that nice. So I dusted with a little icing suagr to take away the browness! My son liked them - but still prefers the peanut butter choc chip cookies - which just do not seem to sell on Ampthill Country Market sadly.

Interestingly I slightly singed my ginger cake and so cut the top of it and iced it - and they all sold - so this week I have decided to ice the ginger cake as standard - and see if it sells quicker!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What's new on CBC

I sent out a newsletter to everyone that had registered on the guest book last week - which now amounts to more than 1000 of you, and as you will see I have been busy on the site. If you want to get and email - you just need to go to the site and click registerfor updates.

I have added new downloads, a new project on making your own mini bags, plus Joanne has added some great advice on the different inks, I am now keeping a list of the pages I add on a web page - so that you can see easily what is new on the site.

The Tanda Stamp competition closes this week - so I hope you have your entry in. I have entered - there are some fantastic entries on there.

I can reveal that there will be a big challenge in May - Sue has been busy organising it - and I can reveal it is fab!

Cranberry Cupcakes

Well I have had these cranberries in the freezer since Christmas - so I decided to make some cupcakes with them...I started doing the recipe and was confused by 5 and half tbsp of butter so did the same as the sugar and flourinstead...the recipe said makes 14 but I did 12.

so here is the recipe and they tasted delicious

3½ oz Butter or marg
3½ oz caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk - I just added anough to make it the right consistency
3½ oz self raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
just under 3 oz of frozen cranberries

cream butter and sugar together add egg, I then added the flour (sifted) and fruit and then the milk as I like to feel in control of the liquid side and added just enough to make the right consistency. Now I am failry certain I forgot to put in the baking powder and they were just fine, as it was SR flour.

bake at 180c/350f for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and golden brown...I tested one while it was still warm and it was delicious.

I iced the remainder and sold them on Ampthill Country Market stall

Sunday, April 13, 2008


So to catch up on the last week or so.

Thursday we went to Woburn Safari Park - the weather could have been much better but we had a nice time - it is so easy as it only take 10 mins to get there. We saw the baby giraffe that was born in March, and we also saw 25 pregnant Wallabies - with their little Joeys keep popping out!

Friday we had a mooch about and I promised Owen a KFC - when we got there - there was no power at the interchange retail park - so we had to come home and have a sandwich! We did pop over to my friends to collect my unsold items from the market, Owen had a nice time playing with Dora their dog...although she seemed very tired!

Owen is back to school now...and I am back to work!

Lynda - Grumpy Old Food won the challenge on Cooks Journal and she has now set a new challenge - I still have not posted her prize - sorry :(

There have been some great challenges on the cbc forum and also a competition to win 3 lots of Tanda Stamps - it is open to everyone - just join the forum and add your pic to the thread.

On the cake making front I did follow a new lemon cake recipe last week that turn out great - a square cake that I cut into 4 pieces to sell - sadly no pic - so will do one next time and put the recipe up.

I am still on a quest to find a bread pudding recipe (not bread and butter pudding)

I (and Owen a bit) have been clearing out his bedroom and getting loads of his old stuff sold. We took 8 boxes to the Maulden Nearly New sale yesterday and came back with 3 and a half! so he must have some money to come. I did wonder if I had priced thinsg too low - but it was nice to see them go to a new home rather than in the rubbish bin.

I am just about to update with some new pages, we have had some extra visitors this week, someone posted on the - Martin Lewis site - thank you - whoever you are.

More CJs

I have not been keeping things up to date on here once again. So will do a few posts to catch up!
Firstly as promised here are the pages I did on Nigel's CJ, his journal was entitled from Dusk until dawn...and was about anything that happened in this time. Well the first thing I do is have a cup of tea when I arrive home from work, and always have another beofre I go to bed - so thought this was the best subject!

I made a little pocket and and put a tea bag inside, and the other page there is a William Cowper Poem - which seems to sum things up nicely.

I have got mine back now - and have just taken some photos - but need to sort them out - so will post them later in the week.

I have mine already sorted as I took them before I posted the journal. And I thought I would add them now as they fit in nicely with a Challenge that is currently running on the cbc forum

Mine was all about chocolate - having read The Chocolate Lover's Club by Carole Matthews and then went to the launch of the second book - I came away with a free box of chocolates that were in a box that was such a great metallic copper colour. So this was the start of my journal.

I couldn't decide whether to start with a recipe, the history of chocolate or a quote. In the end I went for a quote.

Under the chocolate box cover is a picture of the inside of a box of chocolates - and the quote just seem to suit it!

I spent ages trying to find some images for the sign out page - and ended up taking pictures of the chocolates!

Vegetable planting

I have finally planted some things in the garden today.

Worn out now as it all had to be dug over first! So I have put in a few potatoes, and some onions (more than I thought I was going to Dad bought them!) And then I planted some seeds - no idea if they will come up - I have limited success this early in the year, but have planted lettuces, carrots, spring onions and radishes.

Then I have popped some seeds in the propogator - I never know when to plant seeds indoors as if I do them too early they get 'leggy' as I can't get them out. I do have a cold frame - so must clear that out ready for the new plants.

So planted butternutsquash, cucumber, basil and garlic chives. I shall pop some courgettes in as soon as some come up.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

CJs...the end

The Circle Journals that have been running for a few months have come to the end. I was in a group of 5, I thought I would show a couple of layouts that are back with their destination today...more later when they have arrived.

First was Hazels which was entitled in my of course in my dreams I hope to win the lottery!

I used the Robo to cut the shop front, and used my own papers that are on the web site, as they co-ordinated with the scheme I wanted. I seem to worry so much over these CJs but when they are all finished - I am dead chuffed - so maybe the stress is good for me!

The rest was just Prima flowers and glitter glue, and printing on the PC.

So moving onto Lisa - hers was a Fairy story, so she started the story followed by Steph then it was me.

As I am totally useless at making up stories I got Paul to do the story and I just designed the page. As Paul got a bit carried away I decided to publish 'Our Chapter' as a book as I couldn't fit it onto a page!

So you will see from his story below - I felt that I needed to make a castle door. I started with some green corrugated card, and painted it with a few colours to make it look like wood. I then made the 'bolt' from card and brads.

I am still not certain whether the inside was quite right, but it was supposed to depict the scene from the chapter. I used black chalk to make it look stone like on the walls, and the rest was just punches and card.

This was Pauls story...
…a ruby jewel….a sword….a magic potion
The dragon-slayer and his horse, Star, set off immediately on their new quest. They had already journeyed for many miles and darkness soon began to fall. In the distance the dragon-slayer spotted a strange looking castle. Now that he was no longer humble stable boy, the dragon-slayer boldly approached the dark locked doors of the castle. Using his staff, he hammered on the doors and hollered to wake the castle guards.

He hollered and hollered, but no-one appeared - just as he was about to give up and continue his journey, the large heavy gates opened slowly with a terrifying squealing noise that made the hairs on the back of the new knight's neck stand on end. Star was also frightened, and it took all of the knights’ strength to stop his horse from bolting away.

When the gates were fully open, the knight and Star started forward into the dark shadows of the castle courtyard. From one of the guard towers weak candlelight could be seen. The knight tethered his frightened steed and pushed open the door to the candlelit room.

The room was empty apart from one small table and a wooden chair - but to the knight's surprise there was a veritable feast of food and wine and by the door was laid food and water for the horse.

Both man and horse forgot their fears and started to eat and drink heartily as they were starving having not eaten before setting out on the fairy's quest.
After about 5 minutes of non-stop eating and drinking, the knight began to feel dreadfully drowsy and Star seemed to be suffering the same.

Suddenly, the darkness of the shadows was lit by a bright flash and the knight felt himself falling, falling, falling forever into blackness and the last thing he saw before he passed out was a hooded old crone cackling with laughter.

When the erstwhile dragon-slayer finally awoke he felt strange, but his head ached so much he couldn't even open his eyes. But then he heard a strange voice half cackle half scream - it was the old crone speaking - of that he was certain.

"Not so brave now, my proud sir dragon-slayer - are you? ha ha ha. You see I am the wicked witch of the east and I have turned you into a humble frog and as for your stupid horse - to suit his name he is now a new star in the night sky. And the only way that I will turn you both back to your former selves, is for you sir knight to swear on your life that you will bring me the treasures that the fairy has set you to find."

The dragon-slayer turned frog could hardly contain his anger - he desperately wanted to fulfil the fairy's quest, because the kind fairy had made all his boyhood dreams of being a nobleman come true only hours ago. And now through trickery of this cursed witch and his own foolishness all was about to be lost.

He needed a plan and quickly......

Just to see where I started from this was the story so far...

Lisa started with....
Once upon a time in a kingdom far far away, there lived a little boy who dreamed of one day becoming a dragon slayer. As he was so little, the King appointed him a stable boy.

One day he was walking through the forest, with his favourite horse star. He came across an old woman in a worn out cloak. She asked if he could spare food as she had not eaten in a long time. The stable boy gave the old woman his last piece of bread.

The old woman thanked him and the boy and the horse moved on when suddenly….

Then Steph followed with...

There was a huge flash and where the old woman once stood there was now a fairy. The little boy and star stopped in their tracks and stared at the fairy.

Whhooo are you? Stammered the frightened boy. I am aurora Queen of the fairies and because of your kindness I will grant you 1 wish.

The little boy thought and looked at star and then he thought some more.

Well I have always dreamed of being a dragon slayer but the king says I am too small.

The fairy smiled and with a wave of her magic wand the little boy became a man.

You must now travel the road to the farthest reaches of the kingdom on a very important quest, the fairy said seriously.

To complete this quest you will need to find the following things…..

I will do another one Nigel has his back