Tag Archives: sweets

Just Another Day…

Just Another Day…

…made up of little things that seem inconsequential really.  Still I have to remember these times, because they’ll be ammunition for when my kids are 21 and I want to embarrass them.  Cos I’m nice like that.

I bought Sausage and Darlek a small bottle of Vimto (or Vomit as I call it) on the way home from school.  Darlek happily drank hers, no problemo.  Sausage said it was ‘spicy’ but decided he liked it when he realised he could do brilliant burps with it.

As a result the last 10 minutes of the way home were very noisy.  If I had closed my eyes I could easily have pictured a sea-lion lolloping alongside me up the hill.

‘Baaarph!’  ‘Boooooaaark!’  ‘Brrrraaawph’  ‘Buuuargh’  etc etc.

I kept telling him that he’d make himself sick, but to no avail.

Darlek is acting like a teenager too, which is great.  I told her she couldn’t have a sweet at 8.45pm because she was just about to go to bed.  So she went to the fridge, opened it, threw the sweet in and slammed the fridge door with more than a little venom.  I told her if she slammed anything like that again she’d get sent to her room immediately.  So she burst into tears and I felt very guilty.  I hate arguing with either of them.  I slam things around when I’m annoyed so I guess she’s growing up just like mum.  I reckon the next time I slam a door she’ll tell me off and tell me to go to my room, and I’ll deserve it probably.  What goes around, comes around.

Last day of school today and I was supposed to pick them up at 2.30pm.  At 2.45 I was drinking a leisurely cup of tea when the phone rang and a rather annoyed receptionist told me my children were still waiting to be collected.  Oops.   It’s definitely not just my kids who act a bit daft sometimes.

Good news!  I saw my consultant yesterday and he has booked me in for an urgent flexi-sigmoidoscopy, but didn’t seem too worried about my recent symptoms.  He said that urgent flexi-sigs are done by surgeons, so if I need any work doing whilst they check out my innards they can sort that for me.  I’m hoping they have some good drugs because I don’t fancy being conscious whilst that’s going on.  The good drugs are the only nice bit really.  It’s a great excuse to get off my head and not have to worry about getting told off by my mum.

Horace has had a stinking cold but has been typically dedicated to his job and has gone in anyway.  Which is admirable, although I’m still rather unsure whether or not his colleagues will appreciate him giving them a cold for Christmas.  I’m sure they’d prefer a small bottle of vodka or something.  But if he wants to give them mild influenza, then it’s up to him.  It’s cheaper at least.

As for Christmas…well.  Our Christmas tree is up and decorated.  I have ordered a turkey too.  There were only a few turkeys left in the shop so I had to get the smallest one, which incidentally looked like it was actually ostrich rather than turkey.  I think we’ll all be a bit turkeyed-out by New Year, there’ll be tons left!  I might do a series of recipe blogs, ‘Turkey a-la-fried’  ‘Turkey a-la-microwave’ ‘Turkey wrapped in turkey parcels’  ‘Turkey with added seasoned turkey’.  You know when you say something too many times and it starts sounding stupid?  Turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey….. (downs small glass of sherry)..tukey, turkey, toonkey…. toorkney..turkey…twoknee…tooknees..toorkee…

Anyway!  I have a nice little Christmas craft tip to impart.  You only need two props.  A) A Christmas Tree and B) A box of Quality Street.  Are you up for it?

Right, Step 1:  Prise open huge tin of Quality Street. (make sure no-one else is around so you don’t have to share it)

Step 2:  Eat all the caramel barrels first before anyone interrupts you.  This is important.  They are the nicest ones.  If anyone comes in and asks where they are, say that they must have forgotten to put any in this tub and blame poor packing standards. That way you’re blameless.

Step 3:  Pile the papers in front of you.  Do not stop eating until you feel vaguely sick.

Step 4:  Get each sparkly wrapper, nip them in the middle and squish them upwards so they look sort of like scrunched up flowers.

Step 5:  Hold as many sweetie scrunched flowers as you can in both hands and lob them at the Christmas tree.  Most will land on the branches and will nestle there like delightful multi-coloured decorations.  Fallen Quality Street flowers blend nicely with the bits of shredded tinsel and pine needles embedded in the carpet.

This is a brilliant Christmas tip if I say so myself. I came up with this idea because I am very environmentally minded and am an avid reader of BBC Wildlife magazine and National Geographic.  I care about my surroundings.  So, save energy!  Don’t walk to the bin, throw pretty litter at the tree instead.  Recycle!  Repurpose sweet wrappers as Christmas decorations.  That way it will disguise exactly how many you’ve eaten too, so your partner won’t be able to sit there and look at you with that ‘I know you’ve eaten all the caramel barrels’ expression.

It’s a win / win situation.

Happy Christmas by the way.  Wishing all my readers a stress free, sparkly, family friendly, chocolate filled, sherry infused, drizzly with patches of sunshine, wonderful Christmas and an even more fabulous 2013.

Love from me. x :O)

Eggscellent Eggs From Chocolate Madness!

Eggscellent Eggs From

Chocolate Madness!

Beautifully packaged and decorated!

After all my ranting about manky eggs, I thought I should really write about nice Easter Eggs too.  Just so you’re not put off them for life.  Chocolate Madness are a completely different company to the one I featured the other day by the way!

You see, Eunice at Chocolate Madness contacted me to say she was sorry I’d had such a bad experience with the mouldy egg, and she very kindly offered me two eggs for my kids to help make up for all the disappointment.  This is not a sponsored post by the way, this is just me writing about a really generous thoughtful lady who obviously makes quality chocolate, as opposed to the other company who made rather less appealing chocolate.

Nice eggs made here!

These Easter eggs arrived packaged in rouched cellophane tied with curly yellow ribbon, and they were neatly decorated with each child’s nick-name in swirly white chocolate icing.

These belong to my daughter, not to Dr Who's nemesis.

White chocolate smiley faces fell out of the egg after Darlek gnawed the end off it.     They were very quickly eaten!

Cheery chocolate!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m used to chocolate eggs that you can snap fairly easily with your fingers – they’re usually not amazingly thick…..but Chocolate Madness have obviously gone completely mad and have made mega thick chocolate.  This is what happened when Darlek decided that she wanted to smash the egg so she could eat it in little pieces to make it last longer.  Watch this!

(Sorry, I can’t use the slideshow option properly on here because I’m an idiot!  I just wanted you to see the photos of Darlek whacking the top of the egg with a wooden spoon, it took ages to smash!  This was an indestructi-egg!!  Very luxurious thick bomb-proof chocolate! Eunice said that her eggs were made with thick chocolate to make sure they survived the Royal Mail experience.  50 delivered and none smashed apparently!

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So, Chocolate Madness sent beautifully presented, immaculately decorated, luxurious thick chocolate Easter eggs that tasted delicious!  And I know this because I nicked a piece when they weren’t looking.  Bad me.

If you’d like a look around Chocolate Madness, here’s the website! Chocolate Madness!  They make cake toppers, wedding favours, novelty lollipops and far more, all at what I’d call sensible prices.

Many, many thanks to Chocolate Madness! The kids say thanks very much too and send chocolate smudged kisses.

Cooking with Caramel Nibbles from Cadbury!

Cooking with Caramel Nibbles from Cadbury Dairy Milk.

The ingredients! (there are two invisible eggs on there, I erm...forgot to photo them)

Ages ago I was sent some Caramel Nibbles to cook with.  It was way before Christmas and somehow I never managed to get around to the actual cooking bit.  This was mainly because the main ingredients kept getting eaten, and had to be rebought on two separate occassions. Anyway, yesterday I managed to get on with it and I’d love to share the recipe with you, my lovely, chocolate starved readers.  I know you’ve run out of the Christmas chocolate now and the withdrawal symptoms are kicking in.  Here’s how to get your sugar high back.

At the end of the blog I have included the ingredients  list and the method as it was passed to me, just in case you want to do this professionally and properly, unlike moi.   I had a go!  You can’t knock me for trying!  At no point have I ever EVER said I’m a cupcake genius

So! Here we go!  First of all I enlisted my son to help with the complicated cookery mixing and sieving and weighing out bits.  As you can see he spent most of the time licking a cupcake mixture covered spoon instead.

The sous chef checking the mixture had been mixed correctly.

First things first, I creamed the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and then added the eggs, flour and milk.  I have not been able to assemble my mixer since having had the new kitchen and not being able to locate random bits of it so this was done badly by hand.

This took forever and I couldn't get the lumps out. My fault entirely.

Then I melted one packet of Caramel Nibbles in a bowl over a pan of hot water.  Don’t over fill the pan of hot water, it spills everywhere.  I know!

Maybe gentle microwaving would be easier?

The next step was to mix this brown gloopy mixture in with the yellowish eggy floury gloopy mixture.  Ideally you use a blender to mix it thoroughly together.  I could not find the bottom half of my blender and after much rooting in cupboards and getting annoyed I gave up and tried to mix it by hand via whisk. I suspect the colour should be more evenly distributed, I had sort of coffee looking blotchy stuff with lumps in.

After it had cooled a little I poured this mixture into the cupcake wrappers with the help of my little sous chef who was by this point very sticky.  I’ll tell you this for nothing, Caramel Nibbles could be used as a replacement for superglue if there was ever a superglue famine.

I think Sausage had eaten half the mixture by this point.

They were put into the oven for 18 minutes and came out looking like this!  So much for even heat in a fan oven.  Guess which were on the top shelf…..

Taaaah Daaaah!!!! *Does jazz hands*

For the icing I heated up some double cream and added a whole packet of broken up Caramel Nibbles (minus approx 12 for decoration).  Once the Nibbles had melted into the cream I removed it from the heat and bunged it all in a bowl.  Once it had cooled I removed the cling film, and added a ton of icing sugar.

The muddy coloured mixture was poured into a bowl and covered with cling film to prevent a skin forming while it cooled.

Finally I dolloped the cupcake icing onto the cupcakes and artistically balanced Caramel Nibbles on the top of them.  Then I carefully sorted through all of the buns to find the most presentable one, which I have thoughtfully photographed for your viewing pleasure.

MMMMMmmmmmm.........

The others are blurred in the background because they looked like they were the work of a 3 year old.  I could have pretended that they were actually the work of a three year old, but I have decided to tell the truth.  I iced them like that.  They dripped all over the place because again I couldn’t find a goddam whisk so my double cream wouldn’t go fluffy.  Still they tasted lovely!  Definitely sweet, in fact sweeter than sweet.  I suggest brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating, if you’re teeth aren’t glued together that is.

The over all judgement?  I’m rubbish at making sweet stuff, so these could have turned out much better.  I reckon that this recipe would be beautiful in the right hands.  Why not give it a go, instead of hoarding left over chocolate oranges from Xmas in the back of cupboards?  Or is that just me?

This is the proper recipe bit if you want the finer details!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Nibbles Cupcake Recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 220g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Icing ingredients

  • 1 x 175g pkt Caramel Nibbles
  • 180ml double cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  • Edible gold glitter (optional)

1.       Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/180c/Gas Mark 4. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, add the vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the eggs, flour, baking powder, milk and mix until thoroughly combined.

 2.       Take the first packet of Caramel Nibbles and melt to a paste in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Add the paste to the cupcake mix and mix well with an electric mixer to distribute the caramel loveliness thoroughly. Place cupcake wrappers into your cupcake pan and fill each wrapper with cupcake mixture 2/3rds full.

 3.       Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden on top then allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

 4.       For the frosting take the second packet of Caramel Nibbles, take out 12 Caramel Nibbles and set aside. From the remaining Nibbles measure out 120g and chop into small rough pieces to make the frosting.

 5.       Place the double cream into a pan over a low heat. Add in the chopped Caramel Nibbles and continue to heat gently, stirring to melt the chocolate pieces. Keep the mixture moving with a spatula to encourage the pieces to melt. This will take about 4 minutes over a low heat. When all the pieces are melted down, remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool. Cover with food wrap, pressing it down onto the surface of the Caramel mixture to stop a skin forming.

 6.       When your icing mix has cooled, completely transfer to a large bowl and add 200g of sifted icing sugar. Mix well with an electric mixer. If the mixture is slightly too runny, add a little more icing sugar to stiffen.

 7.       Now we’re ready to go! Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes or pipe for a professional finish. Add one Caramel Nibble to the top from those you set aside earlier. Finally a sprinkling of edible gold glitter!

 Recipe created by Ruth Clemens, please credit to her blog: www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk .

I was sent two 75 g packs of Caramel Nibbles, no other financial reward was given which is a shame because I must have bought four packets of these things as a result of this blog.  They are very moreish!!!

Jelly Snakes and Rainstorms

Jelly Snakes and Rainstorms

It has been virtually hurricane weather today, as far as English hurricanes go that is.  The river at the bottom of the hill looks twice its size and about six times as fast.  I’ve heard the wind howling around the roof whilst in the attic and seriously wondered if I it might blow off and should I move things downstairs and all in all it’s been a crappy, crappy January day.

But still, some things must always be done!  Darlek has to be walked to school and back with Sausage in tow, no matter what the weather brings.  It’s only just after Xmas so I’ve just been getting back into the swing of the school run, and it’s not pleasant!

This morning I gave Sausage marmite on toast for breakfast, he wasn’t happy and demanded honey on toast instead and threw it on the floor.  I resolutely picked up the carpet encrusted toast and told him he’d have no such thing because there wasn’t time and that sort of behaviour wasn’t going to earn him any favours.  So he screamed  and yowled ‘Tooooaast!’ at the top of his lungs over and over and over again whilst fighting me off him as I tried to get him ready to go out.  He refused to put his hat on, his gloves on, his coat on, or his wellies and simply flailed around yelling.  Darlek tried to save the day by doing welly puppets with her hand, but even talking welly boots wouldn’t cheer him up.

No way was he  moving!  In the end  I physically picked him up, coatless, wellyless, hatless, scarfless and joyless, and plonked him in the pouring rain on the wall outside the house.  I had no alternative, Darlek was going to be late and he just couldn’t be allowed to get away with behaviour like this.  I locked the door so he couldn’t get back in, although he tried whilst padding around in the puddles in his socks.

Sausage pounded on our front door, shouting ‘Tooooaast!’, alternating between an aggressive ‘Help me I’m being attacked’ tone and an ‘I’m very, very badly hurt!’ tone. I swear I saw curtains twitching. Maybe they thought I was a terrible mum, having him out in such awful monsoon weather so underprepared.  Who gives a flying feck.  He was not going to win this battle.

Eventually he put his wellies and his coat on, although he was still screaming blue murder and refused his hat and gloves.  We began the trek down the  hill – Darlek and I had to cajole him every step of the way, as he stood still, raised his hands in the air in desperation and howled ‘Tooooooaaast!’ every few yards.  It was a nightmare and we were terribly late.

My neibour came out of his house at this point and I felt so embarrassed.  I thought he’ll have heard all the screaming and yelling and will be wondering if I’ve been beating my kids or something.  As it was, he offered us a lift down the hill and once we’d got Sausage in the car (again a difficult feat, he decided he didn’t want a lift) – my neibour simply said he knew what it was like to have a family and chuckled at me going on about honey on toast tantrums, wet socks and Daisy making welly puppets.  Consequently we were on time, and I was very grateful for the help this morning.

And we had to do it all over again this afternoon!  This time Sausage simply flung his wellies off all the time, saying his socks were ‘itchy!’ ie, he was wearing ravenous sock-eating welly boots.  Again his feet were soaking.  It pelted it down with rain, and we had to keep having ‘itchy – foot’ stops.  Again we were on time though!  But this was not the end of the traumas.

I bobbed into the shop to buy some milk and let both kids have huge jelly snakes as a treat.  This meant that Sausage slowed down considerably on the route home, in the rain, and the wind, and the cold – because he was having an indepth conversation with his jelly snake about which team the snake was on or something.  I think Jelly Snake was on the Bad Team personally because he made all of us walk very slowly and risk pneumonia.

We got home, soaked to the skin.  Horace arrived home late because our car stalled after navigating a ford, the kids were bickering, it’s been awful. Sausage began spitting because of the hairs Jelly Snake had picked up because he’d got sticky from the rain and from being carried around so much.  I know Sausage hates hairs in his mouth with a passion – but I still can’t excuse spitting!  Some of the doors handles are ‘orrid and stickly too now because of Jelly Snake’s antics.

The one thing that has made today bearable is my daughter.  This morning she got herself up and dressed, shoes on, teeth brushed…everything.  Brilliant!  When her brother was acting like a badly behaved banshee and I’d completely lost my temper, I saw her sat in the middle of the living room with her arms wrapped around him as he sobbed hysterically.  Darlek was comforting him as best she could because she knew I just couldn’t cope with his irrational, aggressive behaviour anymore.  He wouldn’t take the comfort from me anyway, if I’d have tried it would simply have prompted louder shouting and more of his new fad, which is door slamming.  Darlek is such a love and I’m so grateful for her support.  She is only just reaching 7 years old, but she has the calmness and compassion of a child much older than her years.  This morning, she put me to shame.

And you know what…we have to do this all over again tomorrow morning and this evening the wind and rain howling down the road outside our window, sounds like a train.  I hope it’s sunny tomorrow! If it’s not, I think I may just refuse to get up or hide under the bed.  Anything to avoid the school run. Anything! *whimpers*