Sunday, 30 October 2011


The boys have been busy today drawing scary faces and deciding on how their pumpkins should be carved! They have done really well and we let them use knives to do some of the carving, supervised of course, now that they are a little older. There is plenty of pumpkin to make a nice soup with for lunch tomorrow too, I'm going to use a tried and tested pumpkin soup recipe that goes down well with all the family, replacing the butternut squash with pumpkin! 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

seasons change...

maybe it's because I was born in autumn that I have such an affinity with this season, or it could just be the romance of kicking leaves and the smell of woodsmoke! The light is so romantic, dancing through the turning leaves and I greet the chilly mornings with thick tights and my fingerless mittens. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

the best things in life are made by children...

the boys made their dad a birthday cake, chocolate of course! They wanted Chinese AND Indian food for supper as they couldn't choose what his favourite was, so we had a fusion of both, which was interesting! 

I'm loving these homemade dollhouses, so much nicer than anything you can buy, don't you think? 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

eating for two...

I'm so tired and so hungry in this pregnancy it's awful, and it's playing havoc with any social life I might otherwise have! I have to go to bed early and eat constantly, small meals, and really plain things, like cereals, potatoes, bread and cheese. I've been craving barbecue spare ribs from the Chinese takeaway and other really unhealthy things, my husband put his foot down and refused when I asked him to get me a burger, fries and a milkshake! I'm also craving all the things pregnant women aren't meant to eat like runny eggs, red wine, soft cheese and pâté. This is going to be a long hard slog!  

Monday, 10 October 2011

toffee apples...

I have finally made toffee apples without the toffee slipping off! I realised after borrowing a friends thermometer that I don't heat up the mixture enough. This is how I made them...

(makes 25-30 small - medium sized apples)

tip. I used locally picked apples that are unwaxed, if you buy very shiny ones from a supermarket, wash them in boiling water first. 

800g golden caster sugar
7 tablespoons of golden syrup
200 ml water 
2 teaspoons of vinegar

wash apples in boiling water.
push sticks into apples, I used real twigs rather than lolly style sticks for a rustic look. 
heat sugar and water in saucepan for a few minutes.
once sugar has melted add golden syrup and vinegar and boil to 140°C, my thermometer had 'hard crack' on it. 
Take off heat and dip each apple in the mixture, a dip and twizzled a bit to drip off excess toffee. 
Place on baking parchment to set. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

the getaway...

We had been looking forward to our weekend away for what seemed like ages, but it proved not to be straightforward with childcare not quite working out the way we had planned and friends stepping in to save the day. 

We had decided to treat ourselves to a weekend away and found the most amazing beach hut in Devon, unfortunately we couldn't book a weekend near our 10th wedding anniversary in August, so we opted for whatever date was available, which was the first weekend in October. 

I had imagined us sat in woolly jumpers on the beach, how wrong can you be - we had a heatwave! It was as if we were in the Med.

Our own private beach and wood fired hot tub too, which was even more exciting as our boiler at home has been broken for over a week. 

We watched the fishermen check their lobster pots, people kayaking by, and two blobs in the distance that we thought could be seals turned out to be two swimmers who wanted to investigate the beach hut a little more closely! Definitely too busy for skinny dipping!  

more pics on flickr...
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