Sunday, 27 March 2011

In The Mix

There has been a plethora of birthdays during March, with more to come. Amazing son number 2 turned 8 last weekend and we had a wonderful day with a trip to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (his choice, I was just glad it wasn't Pizza Hut again this year) with a few of his friends, then on to Sugacane (think sweet heaven for young boys and try to not imagine the ensuing sugar high) to get them all some pick n' mix before heading back to our house to watch a DVD. All good fun and the Lego cake pops were an outstanding success too, although I now have a feeling that the bar has definitely been raised for all future birthdays and that an ice cream cake may not cut it any more.

Somewhere in the mix was my birthday and I turned "that old" - thank you lovely friend for that. I had a number of different celebrations over the week and it was really special. Out with friends for lunch, dinner with the amazing husband the following day, and a weekend with my family in Cheltenham. Happy times. Plus I've got the excitement of my birthday present to come - a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I'm almost giddy at the thought of the bread, pasta, cakes etc that I'll be whipping up in no time once it arrives.

First on the list will be 'macarons' though - I can hardly wait. What flavour to make first, that is the question?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Simply Too Much Fun

The Lego head pop cakes for amazing son number 2 are now finished. I got a little over excited about making them and couldn't wait any longer. I'm assured they will be fine until Saturday but I am so tempted to put one in each of the amazing sons' lunch boxes on Friday as a surprise. I think I would make them a little smaller next time but I am really pleased. I think that amazing son number 2 is going to love them and it will be a total delight when I see his face. One problem though - where exactly do I put the candles?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lego Head Cakes

The amazing son number 2 is turning 8 on Saturday and is completely Lego mad. I have lost count of which different Lego sets he has asked for or is planning to buy. Our playroom is usually covered with Lego pieces (perfect excuse not to hoover too often in there, you never know what you might accidentally suck up). I usually make an ice cream birthday cake (softened vanilla ice cream, bashed bourbon biscuits, lots of different chopped chocolate bars all stirred together and frozen in a spring form cake tin) and served with either hot chocolate sauce, hot caramel sauce or hot chocolate/peanut sauce - thank you Nigella. However, I've been inspired to break with tradition and make individual Lego head "cake pops". That's cakes on a stick to you and me. I've got as far as the basic shapes which now need to have a lollipop stick inserted and to be dipped in melted chocolate and decorated. So far so good. I'm planning on doing a bit more to them over the next couple of days and will post some more pictures when they are finished. You can see the big Lego torch I used to model them on is keeping guard in case either of the amazing sons get the midnight has been known!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Food to Soothe....

It's been a tough old week in a variety of ways really- glad to have got to Friday, although that in itself hasn't been straightforward. Amazing son number 1 refused to come into the house for nearly 2 hours following a shoe shopping trip after school this afternoon- I was ready to give him his sleeping bag and camping mat out there but I am glad to say he is now tucked up in bed after the gorgeous husband intervened. I have to say that if I was taken out and bought 3 new pairs of shoes (3 pairs!!! I can only dream....) I wouldn't be stropping about it.

So, food to soothe was a mushroom and tarragon pearl barley risotto alongside a nice glass of Marlborough Savuignon Blanc followed by a home-made chocolate chip brownie. I'm too tired to think about how I cooked it all and write the recipe down, but it was delicious. And the best thing is that pearl barley is so tough (the gorgeous husband understandably refuses to eat reheated risotto made with risotto rice) it can withstand being warmed up a second time  - so there are happily a couple of portions in the freezer too. Although I'm hoping that next week will be a little easier and I won't be eating it for the same reasons.

Monday, 7 March 2011

.....Any Excuse for Chocolate Sauce

It is Pancake Day here on Tuesday. I usually forget and we then have them the following day after I've been to Sainsbury's for the necessary ingredients to redeem myself. However this year I have managed, quite uncharacteristically, to be organised. I also realised that Tuesday is going to be busy so we had pancakes for tea yesterday. With lemon, sugar, chopped bananas, mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce. I don't remember anyone having all 5 toppings at once thankfully. I stuck to the lemon and sugar predictably - but I did burn my mouth when making/tasting the chocolate sauce (hard job, someone has to) so wasn't wanting any more but was reliably informed that it was "delicious" (thank you gorgeous husband and amazing sons) with the bananas and marshmallows (or was it marsh-melons?). I do feel that although Tuesday is too busy for pancake making we might have to keep with tradition and have pancakes on Wednesday again.......plenty of chocolate sauce left. I probably should say that the 'ice cream' table cloth in the picture was chosen by the sons. I did promise myself a more sophisticated one once our kitchen was finished but my organisational efforts seem limited to pancakes for now as we actually finished the kitchen nearly 3 years ago!