Category Archives: Cooking


we had another fab day today, nipping on a latinetc field trip [ :lol: ] to colourbox [as arranged by our field trip organiser] despite dire warnings re parking, there actually was loads. I did park in the wrong place [the place google suggested!] but they said it was OK [i think they thought i was seeing a truancy team] and we walked round in fab sunlight to struggle a bit to actually find the venue – though succeeded!

really enjoyed it [sorting flickr photos prob next week!] as did the girls. they both enjoyed the dark maze best! we started in a room with white spotlights that then changed to the primary light colours and these overlapped etc. I think the kids much to fascinated with shadows to be overwhelmingly bothered re light blends, but we tried! anyway, the loved it, particularly lobbing penguins around. we then moved to the dark maze. michelle and i tried to get through it first before the kids with torches, and nearly succeeded. it was absolutely entirely pitch black, and i did enjoy it. the kids also raced through, and bb was v proud when she went through on her own without torch!

then into the white room, and played with light boxes and prisms – my fav! making rainbows, splitting light and then bouncing it around mirrors and trying to join it back up. we adults had endless fun. to be fair the kids did too, before going back to dark maze to play a wild ghost game. def recommend it, and apparently we get a video too!

everyone came back to ours, which was lovely. lots of playing in the garden [must remove pirate ship before weekend!] and adult chatting. SB and chloe cleaned the garden furniture, and then in true apprentice style [DOH! I missed it tonight!!] realised they hadn’t agreed a price structure in advance. cleverly they tried to get chris to sign without reading a document – but failed, canvassed adults on the appropriate price, and i agreed to pay them double what i thought the job was worth, and half what they thought! a good lesson!! eventually just kirsty and kids who are staying over. Kirsty laughed at me lots as i cleaned [and moaned about it!] the kitchen cabinets and then sorted and cleaned the pantry. i really am not a cleaner. when i do it, i go all mazportico, and concentrate on a minutiae rather than a global pic too!! well, you have all seen my house [i think!] so i guess you are not expecting miracles!!

SB had brownies then judo and BB, m and a all did some fossils with air drying clay [i shew them my fossil collection!!] v late bedtimes, and i have made a v plain and simple veggie pasta bake for the weekend

space, the final frontier…

we went to Leicester space centre today to have a look around. the journey wasn’t too bad, and loads of parking. what’s more we could swap our tickets into a year pass and therefore go back again! We ate at their tiny cafe -rather lovely broccoli soup. Going in i was a bit nervous of the number of school parties, but they were easily absorbed. we loved it! there were lots of interactive bits big displays and sound bite info – so easily accessible for SB and BB. I loved the visuals in the planets bit. SB says she loved it all, and BB loved the shop!! the becoming an astronaut bit was good, and the job i was given was… medic!! rofl. We all enjoyed the star show visuals [though def aimed for key stage 2 rather than me!] and enjoyed seeing the rockets and satellites. It was a v visual museum that encouraged exploration and talking about things, and we are keen to go back.

leaving on the later side to get back, we weren’t sure that we would make it to SB’s swimming. luckilly we were just a few moments late, and got to see how much she has improved since I last went. her strokes are all strong and recognisable now, though the butterfly is a bit shaky [i never ever got the hang of it] and her diving was more of a jump/fall! but most impressed.

so finally back home, and i got the choc eggs out to add another layer [they apparently need 4 for best effect] and girls are alternating milk/white [BB] and plain/white [SB]. BB had a few books read, and then we did an eino kit on optics. might need more sun for the pinhole effect!

finally some sylvanians and bed in disgrace for sb when i found the alphabet written in pencil on marble fireplace. TBH wasn’t aware she could write the alphabet out. BB helped me clean, and squirted window cleaner in my eye. i appear to still be able to see.

definitely awake!

we have had a busy and productive day here chez haricot. i had today off work – yippee!! and having worked the weekend, decided to use it well – ie stay at home. really i should have gone into town and done some fairly urgent banking stuff, but don’t know where the forms are :roll:

SO we thought we would start with a bit of normals. SB keen to show me she had moved onto the next piano piece [i am trying to play this v cool - cf violin!] and she has played it v nicely. BB was a tad jealous, so brought me her maffs to do – so we did that, and SB went onto Junior English Book 1 [we are doing this in tiny bites so on 1.5! but we are at least considering things]. I suggested that for the galore park, that although i am unbothered by her spelling elsewhere, she might want to use the dictionary to spell things for this [cue wails as couldn't find circus]. bb and i did jigsaws and then a marble run and sb did some maths – see we have been productive! then we had lunch :lol:

both girls wanted to do some science, but ‘on their own’ and bb chose to investigate magnets and sb an eino burglar alarm that she has done before. after this they fancied craft. BB chose air drying clay and initially made more fossils. SB looked at a Middle Ages Activity Book (Crafty History)
and chose to play 3 mens merrels. we decided it was a fun game, so she has made a board and counters out of air drying clay too. then they have both spent ages sticking jewels into air drying clay as middle ages treasures!!

Now BB is watching magic school bus and SB is at ballet. plan to make some scones when chris comes back with cheese. actually chris been gone a while – might have forgotten and gone into hayloft. hayloft currently has a dead animal aroma [something of a concern] so he is investigating!

edited to complete! we made cheese scones – yummy – as planning to visit science museum wed unless things go pear shaped! BB did a short nice recorder practice and then a v long hideous one, so banned to the stairs!! SB grumpilly did 5 mins recorder practice, and then decided to make up music for me to copy, and then made up some more etc etc so did about 40 mins in the end!! i love the fact she is so unthinkingly confident about making it up, and also often modal rather than modern tonal. much reading – she is working through the roald dahl books she happily got for her birthday.

BB was particularly spectacularly ‘not tired’ at tea tonight and after screaming and shrieking in the pantry for about 10 minutes while we all pretended she didn’t exist, came back and let me feed her before falling asleep at the table – so not tired! tho she woke up and pretended she had been pretending and was again not tired, so we got the whole rigmarole 2ce!

party week!

this week does seem a bit busy! there are 3 family birthdays on sequential days, one of which also pancake day, and then a friendly family party at the weekend. we are also having visitors tues and wed – so v sociable. i think i need sociable at the moment. a glass of wine and some opportunity to be not me as it were!!

good news is that the GP has now agreed that i am high risk, and is initially requesting an appt at the geneticists re the various familial breast ca genes, and also, if no joy, would support a request for a bilateral mastectomy – though sounds scarily drastic, so would want to make sure i ponder this rather than knee jerk. A bit weird, because the only thing i think of when i think of a bilat mastectomy is that i couldn’t breastfeed again, and i really enjoyed breastfeeding. :roll: as this is not really likely to be an issue! it was the nice [male] GP rather than the annoying female one that assumes everything is my fault because i am fat!!

hmm, the girls were busy whilst i was at work. SB did some piano and some handwriting, as well as make a fimo present for chris. bB, well, bB’d!! when i got home, BB and chris went out for cycling practice and SB and i looked at her eggsperiment. v weird!! the egg lost its shell and felt quite unnerving. we then looked at a Rainforest Adventure (Code Master) book she has loved in the past, and she really loved it again!! we worked out the code again – i surprised myself by remembering it though :lol:

when BB came back, we decided to see whether our shell-less egg would bounce, unfortunately it went splat!! i think great experiments are remembered by the failures!! anyway, we put the remaining no-shell egg in water and have seen it gradually swell up. so proven that the shell is the waterproof bit.

hmm, I went to gp [see before] Sb and BB cycled off to ballet for SB and park playing for bb and I made SB’s cake. the girls were a bit wild on return, and didn’t manage to settle infront of that salmon documentary. BB ended the day spectacularly with the amazingest tantrum so far of her life wrt to going to bed. she was still tantrumming about being not tired when she fell asleep… horrible. todays sb game was uno.

my blog post – the weekend

yep, i am feeling challenged with title finding! in fact, feeling challenged wrt blogging at the mo. but we have done things, so should do it.

Fri - well, the morning was chris’s – looking at his bright kites [cos thats how i know anything!] SB took ages to do some maths, BB fimo-ed more snowmen [merry, you need to teach her to make something else now!!] and chris tidyed up the room of doom!

chris’s parents came over, and my sister and family on the way back from their family holiday, which was lovely, but we had family news to impart to each other which meant hugs were in order. the kids ran about wildly and then collapsed in front of the tv, we adults drank lots of tea. my sister left, nana and SB played games and me and BB played games. I think we did some french all together, and SB did some piano for nana, i think that was it!!

later that night i consumed too much chocolate. i wish stressful things made me not eat, as i would be really thin rather than really fat.oh, and nana bean went off and did the dcsf consultation!! well done. she did laugh at mine, as i printed it off, and it was a bit ranty!!

Sat - a rude awakening as there was an emergency at work, and although not rostered, it was an all hands affair. so i sobbed all the way home in the car some 3 hours later. i was hoping for a better year this year, but … I will just have to hope for more resilience instead. BB was adorable, and hugged and kissed me loads. SB rolled her eyes, and carried on reading her book [ ? this one Narga the Sea Monster (Beast Quest) i bet the author is laughing all the way to the bank, there’s loads of those books, a bit like those rainbow fairies, and SB and other of her friends love them], hmm!! but, proudly, i did then spend the afternoon being at least moderately cheerful, and def interactive!

yep, we were rang by chris’s mum about going out that evening for an early celebration of her 70th at a local italian, so we had no pressies, and set about making them. BB made a fab fimo butterfly pendant, and SB a princess pendant – also fab and took her ages. they painted cards and then both did a painting of a tropical bird for sketch tuesday. i was most impressed as bB did a humming bird how much she seemed to know about them. SB did ‘one of those with hair’ and hers was rather dramatic, and def exotic. we had nearly run out of green paint, so i have overordered paint from baker ross!!

getting into the car, BB realised she didn’t want to part with the butterfly pendant, and instead gave nana bean the snowman she had made the day before. there i was thinking we could make snowmen our geocache theme!! we took flowers.

so we went to the italian and actually the girls were pretty good for the 2 hours we were there – service a bit slow, and waitress obviously new. but they liked the garlic bread and the pizza and ice cream. it is a shame that sb and bb decided to draw toilets and then proceed to scream that quite loudly :roll: and BB lost it totally at the end over something trivial, so i carried her out, and then she was sweet as pie again!! bless her, but SB fell asleep in the car on the way home, she is so exhausted and has a bit of a hacking cough. hope it clears up soon.

Sun: i overslept. so wasted the morning, but did need the recuperation time!! got up and got going, we did some snuggly HE on the sofa, as BB wanted to do maffs, so we did some earlibird 1B – getting towards the end, and then a little bit of her before the code before she got bored and went off to skate around in way to big inline skates. she is pretty good at skating in these inlines. if she had a nearer birthday, and wasn’t going to get a ds, i would be tempted to buy a pair. [hmm, googles!]. SB had another go at a bit of galore park english – i think we are chapter 1 part 4 now, and this was underlying nouns. we had a bit of discussion about whether day was a noun, since it isn’t a person, place or thing, but a time :roll: . SHe also did some music theory.

after lunch SB and i did some baking – well, TBH, SB did it with me being companionable and listening to Handel’s firework music. we then set of the egg in vinegar experiment – btw it still hasn’t finished bubbling, and the shell still hard, so we are leaving it in vinegar overnight. BB went off practicing pedalling with chris, and then had a ride on the back of the tandem [my heart in mouth, its not been used since SB's accident as she won't use it again]. they watched a bit of magic school bus, then chris and BB baked cup cakes, and me and SB started her new piano book!!Sugar and Spice: Rhythms and Tunes for Beginners

SB and BB did a lot of skatering about, and we then read a french book on days of the week [ Les Jours De La Semaine (Max et Mathilde) ], and then listened to the correct pronunciation on the CD! we finally finished with tea and the second part of the cybermen part 2. Oops, SB and I also played a lot of games today, blokus, castle keep and landlock.

A Slow News Day

i am feeling a bit glum it has to be said wrt this parenting lark. but what ho, i am sure we can focus on improvement!

girls had a fun day today – that I am REALLY hoping that chris will blog. SB went to an animation workshop and loved it – they did a flip book and stop animation. chris dropped sb off and then whisked BB off to a police dog handling session which she really enjoyed. particularly telling me that the dog bit his arm… anyway, quite a first, SB being left at a totally new venue without parents, but she did know most of the other kids. not sure how many of their parents were there as i think they were all ferrying their kids to the dogs session.

so, when we all reconvened at home, SB did some piano practice, and then decided to make an off the top of the head baking, which ended up being hot chocolate, yeast, sugar, self raising flour and
mixed fruit in random quantities. it would have had breadstick bits, but as we are supposed to eat this, i nixed this! [ it is, however edible as we have all eaten some] BB did primary brainbox electronics.

SB had some good news in that she can move to the wednesday brownie pack, and some bad news at ballet, that she didn’t pass. she is quite philosophical about this, and will practice more next time! bB and i read a fair number of magic key books and on SB’s return we did some french together reading Leo Le Chat Goes to School (First French Story) and recommend it. ermm, i think from there we went on to watch harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban, and eat tea and SB’s cake. where i am at the moment! oh, i have flickred xmas day, and now onto the rest of xmas. will get there!

ooh, forgot tosay that SB got her ds back, but bb not got dinosaur duplo. bb has had some more goes at weblanding, and has v much enjoyd it

Happy New Year!!

SORRY for my tardy blogging, extenuating circumstances ‘n all!!
where did I get to – reads own blog – ah thanks for all the well wishes! only Monday. i really am dreadful if there are a few days to catch up on. i had better read brightkite as well for clues!! [it wasn't that helpful]

SO, tues was a working day for me, and chris took the girls to his parents for a final play with uncle and cousins. much enjoyed! i got home v late!! [that was quick wasn't it!]

wed we did some home ed type stuff, as BB v keen to be able to read by 5 and win her DS. nearly everyone she knows seems to have one or access to one now, and she is most put out. however, entirely in her favour, she isn’t being grumpy, but pro-active. i liked the fact she got out her get ready for the code and said she was doing the whole book that wed! she didn’t – obviously! but did 4 pages, and can recognise a t now!! She also did more writing – being v keen on that, even with limited letters. they do look like words, though obviously not in a language i use! she also did various drawings and craftings. Oh, and a fair amount of ‘putering – mostly on poisson rouge.

SB did a bit of her spelling book, and read some of the crusaders book and then mostly got on with making chocolates, wrapping chocolates and decorating a box for the puddle girls. it took her most of the day, and she received negligible amounts of help. she thought to use the molds of the advent chocs, and made plain and milk choc. i was most impressed!

I made the thankyou card on publisher, unfortunately no photo printer paper, so relying on chris to get that so we can get thankyous out quickly – the girls have to write a smidge in them, rather than a whole wallop, so gets it done easily. i also cut bb’s hair at her great insistence at it was getting too long. SB doing some magic trick demonstration put her off sitting still, so a snotch later and adjustment it is shorter than planned, oh well, it does grow quickly.

in the afternoon, waiting for the puddles arrival we read loads of books. we did some french – based around a french book initially, but then cherchez le all over the rooming! we read lots of nice readers with bB – those quentin blake illustrated books from the book people [ Fantastic Daisy Artichoke , Zagazoo , Cockatoos (Red Fox picture books) ]Just So Stories stories and a rather lovely book The Glass Heart

merry and girls [and max – sorry] arrived – woohoo, though i still miss the merrymobile. and we got started!! the girls all ran off and played, with ds then dressing up and generally having fun. BB and josie took a bit more getting going, though the happy street and blokus seemed to help [merry won]. kids had a make your own pizza, toasted marshmallows, chocolates from SB and then watched fireworks provided by Max [we forgot this year - oops] . it was a touch cold!

packed off the younger 2 to bed, the older 4 got ready and ds-ed and very quietly got on with it – no idea when they fell asleep, but before midnight! merry and i played more blokus [my left hand playing as BB won] and we had a take away curry. Chris and i were not au fait with time, so we missed toasting the new year! – oops, but we did have baileys, mulled wine, ‘real’ wine and cups of tea [rofl] and a lovely evening. [we really know how to party, but...] anyway we chatted, chilled and were aspirational

Thurs morning i toddled off to work, but got back before lunch, and in fact before everyone was up. the girls were rampaging about, and ready for second breakfast. Josie and BB integrating well after a good sleep. CHris cooked about 2 billion pancakes for brunch, which were all devoured in the end. The Babs and family arrived during devoural phase, having heard via brightkite that some might be in the offing and nipping down the A14! We waved goodbye to the puddles having seen the new year in in lovely fashion – thanks v much for coming.

they were just going to stay for afternoon tea, but our new Agricola proved too tempting. we set up, puzzle over the rules, and decided to just get on with it. it took 5 hours to play the first game :lol: . During that time the children played fabulously, got their own food and drinks, and sorted things out. they were obviously v aware that parents were not likely to intervene. even more fabulously, when they did get parental attention, we were pleased to find the house still in one piece! bB and R are real cuties together, and BB has joined the throng of small girls with a crush on B – tempting him to play lego with her with the promise of dinosaurs! lots of dr who games in play anyway.

i have to say, harking back to agricola, that we all really enjoyed the game. the possible strategies became clearer. we doh-ed over various rules when we got it wrong, and although it took 5 hours playing the simple version [2 decks missing - wow what a game with the other 2 in!!] i think one hour of that was setting up and working out the rules and confirming them and just fiddling, and then we prob could knock another hour off for not knowing what things did etc. so a 3 hour game on the simple rules. AM strongly thinking of taking it to Manor Borns tomorrow, but i think they prefer the shorter games?

chris is suggesting more games : 10 days in… under the ‘will be educational’ ruse!! [a ruse i obviously never use!]. ooh, there is a europe version as well 10 Days in Europe . i think Em is raving about the Stone Age game she got as a birthday present…

Where was I. oh yes, we took so long playing the game, that it was a late dinner for the kids. ANd also declared too late for The Babs and co to go home, so sleepover declared – woohoo! the children seemed to have found a number of sweet and savoury options in the day however, so not too dreadful over late dinner rustled up from left overs – not our best catering acheivement. we had them playing outside with headtorches to use up some energy before dinner and then bed. B was excited by SB’s The Magic Tree House Library: Books 1-28 collection – so went ot bed with one of those, whilst E and SB ds-ed. cutely, when we adults went upstairs, E was asleep clutching open ds – obviously had just collapsed asleep mid play!

Fri: unfotunately despite earlyish night and no alcohol due to work [and luckilly not called in] i awoke with storming migraine, and took every med at my disposal, so missed saying goodbye to Barbara and chris – sorry. it was really lovely having you over. I slept until about 2, and have taken more meds constantly since then, so am in ‘bearable but grouchy’ condition. the house was tidied, and children did some home ed things – sb pulled out the Junior English Book 1 she hadn’t been keen on before and did the first section of the first chapter. [i didn't realise galore park was available from amazon too] BB did some more Get Ready for the Code – Book a which she enjoys, and both girls did some writing. SB did a smidgen of singapore maths. BB practiced counting to 40 [as this is her new 'stair' target] and they both counted to 40 in french. we pretended this is SB’s stair target – not that she really ever gets sent to the stairs!! [we only introduced this as BB required different parenting, mainly because she is so strong willed and determined that sometimes we each need a short break to remember we are adults, so a count to 20 [now 40] on the stairs and return and both say sorry accomplishes this]

BB fancied doing a science kit, and chose the music one [University of Oxford Kids Pocket Science Kit MUSIC ]. SB and chris set up the lap top and her new microscope [ link for kirsty: QX-5 Computer Microscope ] in the kitchen. this was her main xmas pressie, and she was v delighted by it. she looked at salt, bicarb, hair, prev made crystals and their slide. it worked perfectly and easily so happiness all round. since at least one person out their is looking to buy something along that lines, 2 things really – at 200 the lighting isn’t quite bright enough. it is oK, but could be a bit brighter. and the clips to hold the slide aren’t brill – though OK. i could be being picky, as the only microscopes i have used in a long while are particularly top of range! i can’t remember altering a slide’s position by hand for example, so i may have a high bar here!! SB found it v easy and intuitive to use, and quickly started to use the computer interface too, so i think ideal for her for quite a while. we are certainly all pleased with the purchase! BB also wanted a go, but was firmly discouraged – at least for now – as this is SB’s present. she did enjoy looking at the pics though [ah donner and blitzen, migraine returned full force suddenly, will wrap this up.]

both did a bit of xmas xraft presenting – felt flowers precut to be threaded to make jewellery for BB, and a felt crafting kit for SB. SB tested me on my french knowledge today – she chose words from the Picture Dictionary in French (Picture Dictionaries) , and I had to get the french. only one wrong out of 10 – oops. she thinks i may need more practice… [it was fire engine as i guessed with lorry of firemen]

i have just gone back and bolded. i just prefer my long blogs to be BOLD!! :lol:

yay! i am on annual leave!!

and feeling lurgified. today was brought to you by a diet of diet coke and ibrupofen! the girls woke up early, and i was somewhat more tardy. however, when i heard the brass band play on the triangle, i hopped out of bed, and got the girls dressed so that we could go out and hear them. nothing like hearing christmas carols by a brass band outside! the girls both enjoyed listening too.

we came back in, looked at the house, and decided that we couldn’t make it look much worse! so we did some wrapping up in the front room, and finishing off cards for the muddlepuddle list, which we sent out. we then did some christmas crafting – ‘glass’ painting plastic christmas themed keyrings and decorations for the tree. I am always amazed at how careful BB is. i think i forget she is 4 now!

Whilst the girls did this, i read them the Mary’s Story up to the point that they leave bethlehem, and also the hannukah section in While the Bear Sleeps: Winter Tales and Traditions . both lovely books! we also read one of our Camille ne veut pas dormir camille books from little linguist books. i have to say that at the moment I think this way of learning french is suiting us. I enjoy doing it, the girls appear to be picking up vocab. goodness knows what we will do when i start running out of vocab! – lots of dictionary work and ? rosetta stone??

obviously we then had lunch! chris , meanwhile was trying to put up the curtain my mum made when she was last here, but obviously fates were against us! we didn’t have the right hooks :roll: mum arrives tomorrow. kinda magically hoping that a tidying up christmas angel takes pity on us overnight as well.

After lunch we made chocolate brazils for grandad. SB was entirely self contained for this, she uses the microwave safely to melt the chocolate and all i have to do is carry the bowl to the table [nor repeating katy's mistake!] bB also fiddled with the microwave and i carried, and she also did some lovely choc brazils [well i did QA one of them!] M dad always puts the emphasis on brazils when they are choc brazils [his fav xmas pressie of all time] on the bra, so i think BB thinks thats how they are pronounced now, as when we are making them, that is what I say too!!

leaving them to cool we return to the front room [we all can't bear to look at the playroom yet] as we fancy listening too and watching carols on youtube, so i flick around allsorts. SB particularly wants tbirds fav ickle donkeeeey! we then dec curry takeaway boxes [we only have the takeaway for the boxes you understand!] with fake jewels to put dad’s choc brazzuls in. BB then plays a happy game being Jesus in my tummy, and SB rather faithfully reenacts the angel gabriel telling me the good news. however when i ask angel gabriel whether my baby will have a long and happy life, she scarpers! When she returns as SB, she explains that she thought telling me whilst i was pregnant that my baby would be crucified at easter might have upset me! luckilly BB is being baby Jesus to distract me, and then somehow morphs into a puppy. [after she has 'hatched' 2 or 3 times - childbirth may come as a shock to her!]. SB did a quick bit of piano. We read Katie and the Sunflowers
. Then the girls start making christmas crackers – actually SB also completes. I fear BB might be following me as an abject failure as completer finisher. I think only Marcus ,that I know, has scored worse.

Whilst I remember, here is a link to the Matisse, King of Colour (Anholts Artists) book, that didn’t come in the book people set. BB has it in her xmas book pile, but i read and enjoyed it!

chris’s parents came round for some extra bedding for their guests over christmas and a chat. they also brought some curtain hooks, but they didn’t fit into the ring things, never mind.

Eventually we had tea and sent the girls packing to bed. i have made the veggie filling for the lasagne, and having panicked that there wasn’t enough initially, there may now be too much. i have also made the veggie sausage and chilli bean hotpot and sag paneer. i think that is enough! trying to have enough energy after I have written this [after midnight] to do some more wrapping, or line the curtains, or tidy the front room or flickr [all jobs i had hoped to do before going to bed] i think the ones that allow me to stay collapsed on sofa are more likely to be winners here. [wrapping and starting to sort photos won the day]

Anyway, just have to say SB was a star of wonder today, helpful, happy, lovely. bB has obviously missed me… But i enjoyed lots of cuddles with both. Cuddles with SB are – during the daytime anyway – becoming rarer, so something to particularly cherish.

on the agenda for tomorrow: make up the lasagne; pour and mould soaps to make; christmas muffins; stollen; more glass painted decs? ; in eve, camp curry, dahl and ? leek and potato soup.

SB’s chocolate marzipan hearts

sift 100g of flour and 25g cocoa powder into a bowl. add 75g chilled butter cut into chunks. then stir butter into mixture so coated weith flout, and rub until breadcrumby. stir in 50g of caster sugar. add 1 egg yolk [ie not the white] and stir mixture into dough, put into ball shape, wrap in cling film and pop into fridge for 30 mins.

sprinkle icing sugar sugar onto rolling board and roll out 100g marzipan until 3mm thick. cut out with a small heart cutter. redo – will need 12.

heat oven to 200C [400F or gas mark 6]

sprinkle flour onto rolling board and pin and roll out chocolatey dough until 3mm thick. use a bigger cutter to cut out 24 hearts.

use a paper towel to wipe oil over a baking tray [or use a magic thingy] and put half the choc hearts on the baking tray. put a marzipan heart on each one and put a second chocolate heart on top. press the edges of the biscuit together, bake biscuits for 10 mins.

sift icing sugar over them and then sprinkle some cocoa powder. leave on a wire rack to cool.

as dictated by SB from the usborn children’s book of baking

IMG_3914 IMG_3926

Not where we planned to be!

i was thinking that we might be in yorkshire, but a number of events changed our plans somewhat, and we will be wending our way up on mon. not least is the total exhaustion i feel at the moment, and a couple of chilled days with the family seems to be a good plan.

hmm, thinking back to thurs and fri – obviously chris days as i got back from work v late both days. the normal things i think, the nots and tots group thurs, with crafting and recordering, but too late for frenching. then some gym for each in the pm. i think SB did some spelling and maths and maybe a piano, but not entirely sure! BB has done quite a bit of geomagging, and also making long neck dinodoors from the maize packing fillers in one of the boxes we had. friday they waited in interminably for my phone, and unfortunately meant a missed visit to a monks event, which sounded great. the phone came and had the back of it missing anyway! of course, when it arrived, chris nearly instantly found my old phone! after a great deal of fussing about – and i have complained via email re customer service – i now have a working phone – my old one on the old number. other than that, i think the whole day was spent tidying up, and it does look better for it, and the room of doom is a room of gloom instead as it just needs a bit of cleaning, but chris has organised most of it!

and so today . the big thing, i guess is SB’s grading for judo. it is her first ever grading, and she enjoyed it. i hadn’t realised you got to sit in, so BB and i stayed at home and chris took her. he snapped a couple of photos. After the grading they did a bit of shopping – including wellies and some christmas card making supplies – and had a treat lunch out to celebrate SB’s new white and red belt. it does seem to be enormously long ? adult size?

i have had insomnia most of the week, with a standard to sleep time of 5-ish and a get up of 7-ish. so am feeling in desperate need of sleep. i am also quite considerably grumpy – so another reason to try and get some sleep before being sociable! anyway, i was wondering how i would survive the morning with BB as i just didn’t have enough energy to power a biowatch. luckilly BB had some ideas! we made cuisinaire rod patterns, read books and then sorted out my 2 sewing boxes, which BB had great fun in dong, and is now the proud owner of the sewing box i was given when a child, and the pin/needle holder book i made whilst at infants school! following this BB chose to make happy maize pictures, and we have now run out of happy maize.

she then was v keen to do baking, so we did that, and made pink sugar sprinkles cupcakes, which were then iced with various greens. hmm! anyway, loads to take with me to yorkshire. we had a more boring lunch and i did a short violin practice which she danced to, before we read more books together all snuggled up. At this point chris and SB came home and mayhem ensued!

SO with a few card supplies, and the brass rubbings we did a while ago, we made a start on making cards, and between us have made 12 – so not bad! then a bit of grumpyness tidying up, followed by a bit more work on the secret santa things from the girls, as both decided they needed more paint. and actually they both look better for it. i think SB’s really is fab [even with one upside down zebra] and BB added some detailing to hers, which elevated it from looking like a paint accident to a design! SB did a piano practice with me, and had a go at a christmas carol she thought would be too difficult in a different book. SHe was very impressed she could play it [we 3 kings] so that was good. then she is making fudge [rather than tablet, which i prefer] and it is currently in the fridge. So more tidying and then bathtime, and i red meg et mog les oeufs de meg [or something similar!] which is Meg’s Eggs (Picture Puffin)
book in french from the little linguist shop that was fab at delivery times etc and comes recommended! and also hurry up molly, this subterfuge makes me seem interactive, yet doing something easy [reading] educating [french] and ensuring that for once the majority of the bath water stayed in the bath rather than cause further damage to dining room ceiling. fab!
dinner and the bedtime. i think i shall hope for sleep tonight. i feel i should be able to sleep for centuries! SB also at somepoint today fitted in some music theory.