Sunday, 29 April 2012

The waiting game.

So, we are still waiting for our barn conversion.  Apparently we are close to starting building, but I have heard that many times before- and we are currently looking at saying 'in by christmas', but for the 3rd christmas so I'm not so convinced.  Hopeful, but not convinced.

Baby three is due in August and kicking like a bucking bronco.  The bump is definitely growing and I have already had several total strangers call to me across car-parks, and at checkout queues, etc amusing things like 'look at your bump, its massive!' 'are you having the baby today?  'are you sure its not twins'... Naturally I find this both flattering and hilarious.

As the barn was taking so long, we decided to move to somewhere a bit bigger.  Living in the cottage next door to our homing heroes was fabulous, but with number 3 on the way, we just needed
                                             m     o      r      e               s    p    a    c    e .
We have been in our new place now for nearly 3 months and it's great.  Having a playroom and a grownup sitting room is the most luxurious thing I can think of.  Well, one of them.

So, we wait on.  Is patience a virtue? or is life what happens to you when you are making other plans (as a very wise man once said)

Waiting for our baby, waiting for Handsome husband to finish his course, waiting for Downton Abbey series 3 (exciting people, very exciting) and for the new John Lewis in Exeter to open in December.  We might even be in the new barn by christmas?

There is so much in the pipeline, we just need to remember to enjoy the waiting game.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Salted caramel and chocolate tart

This is the second time I have made this for Sister in laws birthday  Its her most favourite combination and what the birthday girl wants, the birthday girl will get.

We had this in the evening, when the boys were in bed- it is definitely not food for children.  Too salty, too sweet, too chocolately, too good!

I also made a day-time birthday cake that Darling boy and Little brother could join in with.  After all, it was a special big birthday (but don't tell Sister in Law, I don't think she is too pleased about turning this particular number) and therefore deserving of not just one, but two birthday cakes.  I will be posting about the day-time cake soon.

This one went down a storm with Sister in Law and her Lunnun chums- they were all down in Devon helping with the celebrations and larking about on the farm.  All that fresh air and quad bike action meant we were hungry.

photo by Dancing Steve

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Easter = chocolate

Here we are Easter egg hunting on the farm with Little brother and the bump.  The walk up the (tiny) hill to the orchard justifies the unbelievable amounts of chocolate we put away that day.  Little brother is very much a 'now' kinda man.  When he finds a chocolate egg, he eats it straight away, seeing little point in the basket that silly mummy keeps going on about.

The day before, Darling boy had drawn a map for the Easter bunny (so the easter bunny would know where to come of course) and we left it outside the kitchen.  We then walked around the house ringing the school bell and when we got back to the front door, the map had gone! Eye witness reports feature seeing a flash of white running across the fields- which must surely have been the Easter bunny.  Darling boy was totally caught up in the excitement and magic of the Easter bunny, Little brother remained focussed, like an olympic athlete on the consumption of chocolate. Clever boy.

photo by Dancing Steve

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

90 years of birthday cakes...and here is the 90th

It was Handsome husband's Granny's 90th birthday last week and we went on a (super long) road trip to see her.  Oxford and back in one day from Devon is no joke, especially with two under 4 year olds and a big bump in tow.

Great Granny eats like a bird, but has a legendary sweet tooth and so a super-mega chocolate birthday cake was called for.  It also had to be something relatively compact as although we were taking the big car, we were also taking my in-laws too.  Our 7 seater car was to be carrying 6 people, 3 changes of clothes (small boys need wardrobe changes much like Lady Gaga does, though for reasons of water, mud and chocolate, not high fashion so much) plus toys and books to provide suitable distraction for the aforesaid little ones, and, of course the cake.

I wanted to go feminine, but not too girly.  So I opted for a simple round shape, and went with the ribbon effect chocolate buttercream and pastel flowers, with matching glitter.  The cake recipe is one I hadn't tried before, but will definitely be doing again.  Chocolate cake is often not all that chocolately, and more often that not, a cocoa disappointment, but this was everything you'd want a chocolate cake to be, rich, moist, and actually chocolately.

The birthday girl seemed keen on the cake and half of it was eaten on the day by us partygoers, and the rest was carved up and taken home by the rest of the family, wrapped in napkins and stashed in handbags.

I asked Great Granny if she liked being 90 years old, and in true Great Granny style, she quickly said 'No'.  I asked her is she preferred being 89 and she said 'No'...Though she did say her favourite age was 40 as I'm 33 this year, it means I've got something to look forward to!

Onwards and upwards I say.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter cupcakes all grown-up

...And for the grownups, here is my Easter cupcake for you.  This one is an Easter spiced cupcake, with honey cinnamon buttercream icing, topped with a crystallised primrose for added adult sophistication.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Easter cupcakes

Here are some yummy cupcakes from my kitchen...Chocolate cupcakes topped with a double layer of buttercream icings, the bottom layer is a honey cinnamon buttercream, and the 'nest' is made with chocolate buttercream studded with mini eggs- it is easter after all.

Happy chocolate season everyone!