Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The best chocolate chip cookies in the world!

I made 40 good sized chocolate chip cookies on Monday afternoon, and in a day and a half they've all gone. Whenever I bake I find things don't last long, but I had hopes for this last batch, I should have known. I have a lot of recipes for chocolate chip cookies, but this one is, without doubt, the most popular one in our family! Drum roll, here's the recipe, I've tried to give all possible combinations of measurements:

7 oz/175g/1 cup butter
7oz/175g/1 firmly packed cup brown sugar
7oz/175g/1 cup granulated (or caster) sugar
2 eggs beaten
7oz/175g/2 cups quick oatmeal OR porridge oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
8.5 oz/210g/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
0.75oz/20g/0.25 cup wheat germ OR wheat bran
6oz/150g/1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate is better than milk)

Take the butter out of the fridge to soften a bit before you start, it makes life easier! Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F. Cream the butter and all the sugar together. Add the eggs, oatmeal and vanilla and mix, I use the back of a fork to mix everything throughout this recipe. Add the flour, soda and salt and combine. Add the wheatgerm or bran, and chocolate chips and mix. Now make walnut sized balls of dough, press them flat so that you have small, thick discs. Either grease a baking tray or line it with Baking Parchment. I can fit between 9 and 12 on one sheet. Bake them for about 15 minutes, but start checking after 10 minutes.

Warning: Wait 'til they have cooled down before trying them, if you have one warm, you won't be able to stop yourself...

Monday, 27 July 2009

My first attempt at crochet...

Well, the night spent in the (new) tent in our back garden was not a success. At 3am I decided I'd had enough of being cold and hauling Little Man back onto his inflatable mattress, so we wandered back to our own (warm) beds. My conclusion was that I need a MUCH warmer sleeping bag, not the 15 year old, thin, warn out one my darling husband assured me would be fine!
While I was lying awake, shivering, I realised the crochet blanket I'd brought with me was keeping me warmer than the said sleeping bag. I am inordinately proud of my crochet blanket, it is a bit lopsided and the colours aren't the ones I would usually choose, but it is my first completed crochet project and I taught myself. Well, that isn't strictly true, there's this wonderful lady, Theresa, who has spent huge amounts of time recording short, really easy to follow, crochet tutorials on You Tube. I sat with my laptop on my lap, a sturdy pair of headphones clamped to my ears, my crochet needle and wool at the ready and Theresa taught me some basic crochet.

Once I'd got the hang of (very basic) crochet, I decided I wanted to make a blanket. The trouble is that I have no patience and I always want to see results fast, so granny squares weren't really going to fit the bill. I went to the wool shop in town and bought the thickest wool and thickest crochet needle I could find. Then I set to with double crocheting my blanket, after a week, spending about two hours a night, I made this:

If you're interested in learning to crochet, or you can't remember a stitch Theresa has her own blog, 'The Art of Crochet' that you can link to it here. She is amazing!

So I have achieved one of my life's ambitions and learnt to crochet, and now I'm doing a twirly whirly scarf for someone's Christmas present this year. I'll post a picture when I finish it.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Tent Blogging

I am blogging from a tent this evening. It all started this morning when we put our new tent up in the back garden, in order to avoid jeering and heckling from other campers on holiday at the end of August. After about 45 minutes of tension fuelled team work we stood back to admire our handy work, and little man decided we were going to spend the night in it. My quick-witted husband told him that 'yes, mummy would love to spend the night in the tent with you', little man looked at me with his big blue eyes and here I am. It's cold, I've got bed socks on, I'm wrapped in a sleeping bag and a blanket and I'm going to be up at the crack of dawn, yea!
On a more positive note, we all had a great day with my brother and his partner, we had lunch at Pizza Express and then spent the afternoon flying kites at Whittenham Clumps, I love it up there. I'll post some photos tomorrow.
We've got friends coming for lunch tomorrow, so I should try and get some sleep...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Busy bees

The kids and I on holiday, so I'll be going back to work for a rest on Tuesday (I work four days a week)! My two little people haven't stopped all day. They watched a thunder storm in the morning and we all made our pizzas for lunch. Then we went into the garden and found a mouse Wicket (our cat) thought we might like, so we held a burial, a lot of time was spent 'decorating' the grave (you can just make out the cross little man made with sticks):

The somber mood and tears were soon forgotten as they blew bubbles in the garden and made a blueberry tart:

Then they wrote, they painted and they made a mess...
Tomorrow will be another wow of a day. My brother and his partner (the kids' two favourite people) are coming over, and then we're probably sleeping in the garden tomorrow night. We're going camping at the end of August with friends, so we've bought a tent and we need to practice putting it up. I can't wait.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

My first blog...

Everyone's gone to bed and the house is quiet at last, so now's my chance! I've been reading other people's blogs for weeks, and now I'm going to lay claim to my own corner of the Internet. I'm under no illusions, there seem to be trillions of blogs, so my readership will probably be limited to one (me), but as I have no idea what I'm going to do with this 'space', that's probably no bad thing.

I always seem to be slightly late joining trends. I gave up trying to follow fashion a long time ago, it wasn't great when I was the only one still wearing leggings - and sadly no, I don't have the legs for them! I did have a huge mobile phone when they first started to become mainstream, but I kept it for a bit too long. I got very excited when I set up my Facebook account only to realise that half the world had beaten me to it. So, given my reluctance to blaze a trail into the unknown, I am shocked to find myself blogging, but then everyone else is doing it...