Friday, 30 August 2013

Cinnamon Finger Buns #GBBO Week 2 Dough

Every so often the old man and I find a programme that we both really enjoy and make a point of settling down to watch it just the 2 of us and steal a nice quiet snuggle in the process. 
With me loving to bake and him loving to eat my baking we were both very happy to hear that a new series of The Great British Bake Off was back on our screens?!
With the competitors being set a new theme every week I am always encouraged to make something that fits in with the theme for my fiancé to enjoy. So you can imagine how excited I was last night when I stumbled across a blog post over at The Mini Mes and Me, a recipe for cinnamon swirls that was part of a Great British Bake Off bloggers challenge. Intrigued, I read the post very carefully and followed the links to the other blogs which contained all of the details; Mummy Mishaps and The Crazy Kitchen

That was it, I needed no more encouragement, with this week being dough week I scoured all of my recipe books and some of my own personal recipes and narrowed it down to 2.

I opted for the recipe that I hadn't made in a while and one the kids could help with, so without further a do here are our Cinnamon Finger Buns.

7g pack of yeast
1 cup of warm water
300g of strong white flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3 heaped tablespoons of brown sugar
100ml oil
 3tablespoons of butter
1 heaped tablespoon of cinnamon
3 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar

1) Firstly mix the yeast and cup of warm water together and set aside

2) Combine the flour, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl

3) Once the dry ingredients have been combined, mix in the yeast and warm water mixture followed by the oil.

4) Knead the dough until it has a shine to it and is smooth(approx 15 minutes)

5) Lightly flour the bowl and return the dough to it, cover and leave it to rise to around twice the size.

6) Whilst the dough is rising, grease and line a sided rectangle baking tray.

7) Once the dough has risen, put it into the prepared baking tray and press it into all of the corners of the baking tray. Using a knife, cut the dough about 2/3 deep, into lengths. Cover and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.

8) Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees and bake the dough for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

9) When the finger buns are nearly ready, melt the butter and in a separate bowl combine the cinnamon and icing sugar.

10) As soon as you remove the finger buns from the oven, brush them with the melted butter(use all of the butter)

11) Generously sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix all over the finger buns.

Serve whilst still warm, but make sure you take yours first because once the kids get hold of them they will disappear!



M xx

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Simple Life

On Friday we made our annual pilgrimage to Grays Pick Your Own Farm in Wokingham.
Since discovering this PYO farm by accident one day a few years ago it has been one of the days out the entire family looks forward to most during the summer holidays.

"Mum, can we have lunch now please?" Were the first words out of the children's mouths once we had arrived. So we set up our picnic right by the raspberry hedges and enjoyed a lovely lunch.

I felt like a kid in a candy store; raspberries, runner beans, blackcurrants, courgettes, marrows, sweetcorn, I couldn't wait to begin picking. I had no particular list but what I did have was hundreds of recipes running through my mind that would taste delicious with these fresh ingredients.

The kids had other ideas, raspberries, strawberries and sweetcorn was what they had their sights set on and between the 3 of them they filled their baskets to the brim.

It's so heartwarming to see their faces alight with real enjoyment without a computer game, arcade, mobile phone or amusement park in sight.

It's days like these that make me realise that our dream of moving out to the English countryside and becoming more self sufficient are not just dreams but a reality that we are working hard to achieve and as hard as it can be at times is definitely worth pursuing.

Until next time...

                            ...M xx

Our New Art Installation!

So now I'm a fully converted Pinterest addict, I have trawled the site for things to keep the kids occupied this summer that aren't going to bankrupt me.

One particular craft project that caught my eye was some canvas prints of a family tree. I pinned it knowing that I could play around with it to make it something the kids could do.
Abandoned one afternoon by the older 2, I asked the 4 year old what he would like to do "paint something" was his reply! I saw this as my opportunity to try out said craft project. We popped into town and grabbed 4 canvases from the poundshop so we could 'paint something'.

We rummaged around in the cupboards to find some poster paints and paint brushes that I just knew we're hiding somewhere(leaving a trail of mess behind us!) and off we went.

We painted 2 of the white canvases black and left them to dry. Whilst they were drying the little one painted on of his hands black and printed it onto one of the white canvases and we did the same with Daddy's hand(and arm and belly and get the picture!)

Once the now black canvases were dried I painted Big Sam and Baby Sam's hands white and we repeated the printing process.

Now we have a gorgeous new art installation up that everyone loves and cost just £4!

                                 M xx

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Ray of Sunshine

A super quick post from me today. Nothing sums up Summer and sunny, lazy days better than this...

                                M xx

Thursday, 8 August 2013

What a difference a week can make!

Aaaaaah, after a well needed week away I feel ready to take on the world!
Life felt like it was running away with me so counting down the weeks until we went away was keeping me sane. 
The day before we left was as hectic as hectic could be. We had the cleaners in, had to finish packing 5 cases, went to the salon for a manicure and pedicure and had to wash,blow dry and braid up my daughters hair amongst other things.

Even after arriving at our hotel in Turkey at 5am I felt like a weight had been lifted and that for a whole week all of the 'normal' stresses of life could be forgotten.

4 excursions, many visits to the mini golf by our hotel, shopping and gorgeous meals out, busy, but most definitely needed!
Now, 4 days after arriving home I feel refreshed, full of vitality and ready to really start living life again. 
It really is amazing what just a weeks break can do.

Soooooo, with all of this energy I have look out for some fab new recipes, DIY projects, school holiday activities and arts and craft tutorials coming soon on my blog!!

                                M xx