Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm posting this at the risk of spoiling the surprise, but in the hope that a dodgy internet connection means the intended recipient won't be reading this. It's either a birthday cake or, if there are too many of those about, an Easter cake. Whatever the official designation, it's a big lot of chocolate yumminess!
I used Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe from Nigella Bites. I halved the ingredients as, despite her claims that if dumped you could eat this yourself in one sitting, in my experience, the full monty feeds a lot of people. I also substituted the dark chocolate in the frosting for white chocolate, partly to ring the changes, but mainly to achieve the correct colouring for the sheep. A little extra melted white chocolate for the legs and to stick the sugar flowers on and some dark chocolate for the face completed the effect.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A good Wednesday

Wednesday has a bad reputation round these parts, for reasons I think I've grumbled about before. Today was a happy exception. I knew even before I opened my eyes, as in the midst of a week of a windy, wet and cold return to winteriness, there was sunshine coming through the window (it didn't last!). Not only that, but I was opening my eyes at a time I chose, since P was contentedly playing with his bag of 'good morning' toys, chattering away to himself as he had been for maybe an hour (!) without any apparent need for me. Okay, so I discovered when I went in to see him at a comfortably later hour than normal that he had also been munching the spine of a book. Why, when left alone with them, does he eat books? What is lacking from what appears to be a healthy, balanced and generally home-cooked diet?! Oh well, doesn't seem to be doing him much harm and I really enjoyed my lie-in.
Once we finally got ourselves up and breakfasted it was time for me to do some work on the results of a slightly stressful painting session yesterday afternoon (suffice to say, grumpy toddlers who haven't napped are not best combined with paints). I made an egg template and used it to cut shapes from the best bits of his daubings, then let him loose with some crayons to add further embellishments. Actually, he mainly broke the crayons in half and tried to eat them, which makes me more motivated to invest in some nicer, and possibly more nutritious ones (!). We bought these for a friend's second birthday and I've been meaning to get some for P since then.
Anyway, with embellishments added, I cut a slit at the top and added some dotty ribbon I had stashed to make a hanging loop et voila Easter cards for various family and friends.
As for this...

...I couldn't resist sharing my delight in the project I've more or less finished during naptime today and this evening. It's something I've been meaning to get sorted for ages and now that I've got on with it, it hasn't taken too long to complete (just waiting for a delivery from Greenfibres now). Aren't the zingy colours just the thing to drive back the last blast of winter? More soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carpe Diem

According to the weather reports, it seems we've been a bit fooled by the signs of Spring. Next week promises colder winds, lots of rain and even snow. This makes me even gladder that we've been getting out and about as much as we have recently. It also spurred us to go out this afternoon, despite the need to continue the big sorting out job we've begun on the house (a move is imminent, we hope, so we are trying to reduce our possessions before we have to pack and move them). Yes, Tarn Hows is becoming a bit of a predictable choice for us, but when you just need to get out and catch that last little blast of Spring weather predictable and easy fits the bill.
We found a little sunshine...

We somehow avoided the promised showers that glowered picturesquely from those beautiful hills...

We met some of the local residents...

...and did some of the stuff you just have to do when you're a toddler and there are sticks, puddles, stones etc...