Monday, 29 July 2013

Monday Review - London

Sister and Nieces are staying with us this week.   On Friday we went into London.  First stop was to Dalston House by Leandro Erlich.  This is the front of a victorian house flat on the ground with a huge mirror at an angle - it makes you look like Spiderman scaling the walls! Very, very clever.  This is free and open until 1 August; however it is is very busy - we got there for it opening - you get 5 mins on the piece in groups of about 7 (there is plenty of space for you to play around and take photos!) and we were done within an hour.   When we left the queue was huge.   

Next stop was to Camden Town.  I hadn't been here for years but it was just as I remembered it, lots and lots of lovely stalls to wander round.  After lunch we had lovely fresh fruit lollies.  Minibakebakegirl got her ears pierced last week and she bought a lovely pair of earrings, even though she has to wear her studs for several more weeks.   

From Camden we went to Trafalgar Square.  There is a large blue chicken on the fourth plinth at the moment....great introduction by Boris on this video!

We then got the Routemaster bus to Tower Bridge and went for dinner at ASK by the Thames.  After dinner Sister and I both had the coffee and mini chocolate almond cake, it was delicious.  Then, as it was such a lovely evening, we walked along by the river.  There are water fountains by City Hall and there were lots of children in swimming costumes running through them.

We also passed The Monument in Pudding Lane - this is a much sunnier picture compared to when we went in May.

Back at Kings Cross we found one of the 5 Lego maps - celebrating 150 years of the London Underground.  This one is how the tube will look in 2020.

The other maps are in South Kensington, Green Park, Stratford and Piccadilly Circus.

Thanks for visiting, 

Todays top three Spotify Songs:

1. Will You - Hazel O'Conner
2. Piano In The Dark - Brenda Russell
3. Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody

Monday, 22 July 2013

Monday No Bake - Chocolate Slice

It's the start of the school summer holidays here.  Minibakebakegirl really enjoyed her last week of Primary School.  They performed three nights of The Lion King, we went to see it on the Wednesday night - it was excellent.  It has still been very hot here and the Headmistress did say that they had recreated the Africa ambiance in the hall!  After the show there was the Year 6 presentation for all the leavers where they were each presented with a dictionary.  There was a slide show with photos of all her year from reception to their school journey last month.  I did have a lump in my throat - little diddy Minibakebakegirl - where has the last 6.5 years gone....

As I said it has continued to be hot here (apart from Saturday and early Sunday which was very cloudy) so I didn't fancy baking today.  Instead I made a fridge cake.   Fridge cakes are great as you can just throw in what you like: nuts, maltesers, other biscuits, chopped dried fruits - they all work well.

80g butter
200g marshmallows
1 tbp water
200g chocolate - chopped
125g digestive biscuits - broken into small pieces
125g glace cherries
100g raisins

This can be made in any sized baking tray or even dolloped into cupcake cases.  it depends how thick or thin you would like it to be.  Today when I made this I halved the ingredients and made it in a loaf tin with a loaf tin liner.  If you are making this in a tin it is best to line with cling film, this will make it easier to take out and slice. 

Place the butter, marshmallows and water in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until melted.  Add the chocolate and again stir until melted and combined.  Remove from the heat and stir in the biscuits, cherries and raisins until coated.

Pour into the tin.  Place in the fridge and chill for a couple of hours until firm.  Slice and enjoy.  This is best kept in an airtight container in the fridge - actually I might get in with it to cool down!

See you next week,

Todays top three Spotify Songs:

1. Love In An Elevator - Aerosmith
2. Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
3. Dude (Looks Like a Lady) - Aerosmith

Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday Fun - Cucumber Presse

Sister and family stopped over at ours a couple of Fridays ago on their way to France.  I made a jug of this cocktail for us to enjoy.

1/2 cucumber - chopped
the leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
150ml vodka
3 tbsp caster sugar
300ml white wine
bottle of tonic water
juice of 1 lemon

Whizz the cucumber and thyme leaves in a food processor, then strain though a sieve into a large jug.  Discard the pulp.  Add the vodka, caster sugar and white wine to the jug and stir well.  Top up with tonic water and add the lemon juice according to taste.

Add ice cubes if you like - my jug has a bit down the middle for ice cubes - so it doesn't dilute the drink.  However as it has been so hot here I needed lots of ice for this picture  - I served the drink in a marmalade jar with a sprig of mint and a retro straw!

This is a really refreshing long drink - perfect for summer - enjoy!

Have a good weekend.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Monday No Bake - 15s

The weather has continued to be excellent here - finally a proper spell of summer weather - Saturday was hitting over 30 degrees.  Hubby was in Durham on a "man" weekend and Minibakebakegirl was in town with a friend, so I spent my time between the house and the garden with my book.  Our house thankfully, stays nice and cool downstairs in this heat.

Last week Minibakebakegirl made 15s.  Minibakebakegirl found this recipe from one of the people she follows on Youtube.

15s get their name from the fact that there are 15 each of the main ingredients!  The recipe is really easy and you can find it here

Instead of making one long sausage shape to slice into pieces, Minibakebakegirl rolls small balls of the mixture and puts into petit four cases.  A great messy job!

Thanks for visiting.

Todays top three Ipod songs:

1. Laura - Scissor Sisters
2. Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
3. Choose Life - PF Project - Feat. Ewan McGregor

Monday, 8 July 2013

Monday Bake - Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

Yesterday was an exceedingly lazy day, split between sitting in the garden reading a book in the morning and sitting in the living room watching Andy Murray win Wimbledon in the afternoon - what a match, it was so exciting, the last game especially, it had me on the edge of my seat!

This week's recipe is from a couple of weeks ago when we made brownies for Minibakebakegirl to take into school for her birthday treats.    We made Marian Keyes Ultimate Chocolate Brownies - omitting the nuts.  We also baked them for 30 minutes as I didn't want them too gooey.  

Minibakebakegirl reported back that her class mates thought they were good!

Hope to see you next week,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Get Lucky - Daft Punk
2. Tangled Up - Caro Emerald
3. Sunday Girl - Blondie

Monday, 1 July 2013

Monday Bake - Banana and Raspberry Loaf

British raspberries are at their best this time of year - especially Scottish ones - which we can get down here.  We are growing some in the garden - Hubby states that these are "coming along", so hopefully we can be eating them soon!

This recipe was in a recent Asda magazine, it's another good way to use up brown bananas.

125g margarine
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas - mashed
225g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180c/Fan 160c/GasMark4.

Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner (I use Lakeland) 

Place the margarine and sugar in a large bowl and cream together with an electric whisk until light and creamy. 

Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each one, add in the mashed banana and mix well.

Fold in the flour and the bicarb and then finally fold in the raspberries.

Spoon into the tin and cook for about 55 minutes.

Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle - if it comes out clean - it's done, if not pop the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes - then check again - repeat as necessary.

Leave to cool in the tin.

I love the squidgy raspberries!

Thanks for visiting.

Todays top three Spotify songs:

1. 5-7-0-5 - City Boy
2. 5 Year's Time - Noah And The Whale
3. Promise You Made - Cock Robin