Monday, 5 December 2016

Monday baking

Been a while since I have put my KitchenAid Ruby to work so we started on Panettone today.  Takes ages in proving being it is an enriched dough but here was the first mix. had to be beaten until it looked almost stringy as it was beating.

This was after first rise then knock down. Already looking good but anemic.  We had new lights put into the kitschen a few years ago.  Although it is easier to photograph in the kitchen at night everything now either looks to dark or washed out/ So you will have to imagine the buttery yellow colour this looked like at this stage

Divided into 3 molds/cases and ready for the second rise/proving.  At this point I was pretty concerned I should of used just 2 cases.  But then remembered my last ones and how they almost overtook their cases.  Left it all to the cooking gods and got on with other things.

Swiss roll has been requested as one is to be made in school tomorrow so we gave one a trial run.  No idea what is going into the one at school but we decided to go for the basic swiss roll with jam this evening/  He is ours rolled up and cooling.

After bath/shower times we were both still pottering in the kitchen and the Swiss roll needed finishing and filling while the panettone was cooking in the oven.

The boy did good, look at that swirl! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would be so proud of this boy. I think he is taking after me in the kitchen.  I am so proud.

And here are the panettone, I did cover them in foil and they aren't quite as dark as they look in this photo.  Tomorrow we will open one and see how it looks inside. 

Pretty much all that has gone on here today. I was at the gym this morning with my daughter and spent some time with her as well. So a wonderful day all in all 

Take care 
Jules xx

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sunday, all is calm and bright

Today there is a fair bit on in our little village.  There was a Christmas fair at the local community center and in the evening there is the turning on of Christmas lights in the village square.  The weather is absolutely lovely. We decided on a walk around the village and popping into the Christmas Fair.  First thing though walk over the old railway line and down through to the water meadows.  It was cold but such a bright and clear day so took a few photos.  First is our local church.

Then the Water meadows, loved how calm the water is and how the reflections are so clear. 

And a shadow photo of youngest son and I.  Yes he is the tall one on the right.  Someone forgot to tell the baby of the family to stop growing.  I saw these shadows and just had to take a photo.  Somehow it hit me more clearly with the shadows and him growing than just looking at him.  Strange but true.

Eventually we got to go round the Christmas fair.  Now I cannot show you most of what we bought as there are a few presents I don't want there being a chance of seen by others.  But we did get this lovely hat for Luke.  It's 100% Shetland wool and warm.  Am very surprised at his choice but is a lovely choice.  

Pretty quiet day other than that, we are going to have a fairly calm afternoon and evening and enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Will catch you all tomorrow 

Take care 
Jules xx

Saturday 3rd

I love Pokemon I really do but I don't love trying to do Christmas shopping with a screen addicted Pokemon addict who is not listening to what I am trying to convey.  Joys of parenthood I guess.  We did manage to get out of TKMax without me having to do my Mum voice and with teenager intact. I am not a big lover of shopping anyway.  I can play Pokemon, not walk into people, shop and hold a conversation if needed.  Apparently I can multitask well. 
Last year we had an amazing Yankee candle advent calendar and I am kind of kicking myself I didn't think to get one this year as we loved it.  So todays advent mission was to go choose a Christmas scented candle for the house.  Having not bought any Yankee candles for months I was in my element in the shop. How on earth do you pick one? Good job the festive scents were 30% off.

Luke's been banging on about sprout stalks for weeks now.  I think he finds them funny because if you asked him if he wanted sprouts with his dinner he would say no thank you. Had to do some vegetable shopping on the way home for the evenings dinner and even got a smile and pose.

 Treated myself to some Christmas teas. 

Quite a selection I thought.  And a new big cup for drinking my tea in.  So far  have hardly had an coffee since we came home and I really do run on coffee almost exclusively.  May suffer for that later but we will soon find out.

We couldn't pin down our choices to one candle so we came home with 3.  They will keep us going all through the season no doubt.  Candy came lane was my favourite from last year so it got my vote. Snowflake cookie took a bit of choosing between that and Christmas cookie.  Macaron treats is a new scent but so far my favourite. can't get enough of it.

Just to round the day off I made some balsamic glazed beetroot and carrots from the Jamie Oliver Christmas book.  With sprouts !!!  All in all a very eventful if not busy day. Nice one though as my Dad and his lovely wife came to see us in the evening on their way home.  Always good to see them and catch up :o) 

Oh and I finished my coat, don't all faint in shock, all I needed to do was sew one some poppers to do the coat up and I did that today.  So I can now wrap up in style.  Hopefully will get some photos soon 

Take care 
Jules xx 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

advent day 2

Todays advent mission was a simple one.  First Christmas hot chocolate of the season.  

Not sure what he is checking out here? Right ratio of cream to hot chocolate perhaps? It was enjoyed anyway.  It's been a busy interesting week so all that was wanted this evening was a relaxing evening and he got it.

I have been a lady of leisure today.  Tea, cake and baileys hot chocolate with a friend in the morning, and coffee and catch up with another friend in the evening. And as I am home now I am reading Jamie Oliver's Christmas cookbook and drinking sweet rhubarb tea. Making plans for cooking and baking for the weekend ahead.

I am not usually one for fruit teas but this sweet rhubarb tea by Taylors is delicious. 

So not a massively busy day, or wildly interesting one but it was a lovely day full of wonderful people and relaxing times

Take care 
Jules xx

Thursday, 1 December 2016

advent? blogmas? not sure what to call this

So our first box held the instructions to ask Mum for the first decoration of the season and put it together ready to display.  A 3D star with lights. 

I love Tiger the shop.  Full of lovely things and often fairly cheap to.  But this was a sturdy cardboard 3D star, which went together really easily actually.

Bit of fanning and and unflattening each spike of the star and adding the lights to the interior before using the toggle on the drawstring to keep it all in place.  Luke says it will look great on top of the tree when it goes up.  

And when finished.  Will look great in a lower light later in the season I bet.

I did also make up my quilt block. I used the log cabin method on this one but not really keeping it a true log cabin with light and dark sides. Does this make it a scrappy log cabin block? No idea but I like it.  Already have an idea on what to do with tomorrows block. 

Spent the day shopping with my daughter and got a few Christmas presents. So a pretty eventful but fun day. Tomorrow looks just as busy, with a both more sewing involved.  Unfortunately some of the things I am sewing are gifts so I cannot really share them just yet.

For now I am going to catch up with a few online obligations I have to do and get the bits ready for tomorrows advent box adventures.I think I get more excited over these things than any of the children ever did. 

Take care
Jules xx