Sunday, 27 April 2014

Coffee Lover's Cheesecake

Last weekend, the three of us went for a walk in Ironbridge an stopped at the Tea emporium for a coffee (a slight contradiction I know!).  The coffees came served with ameretti biscuits which I love, and it got me thinking.

The results of these thoughts were this coffee lover's cheescake which I made for Sunday dinner.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

House-warming Saffron Buns

My sister and her family recently moved house after a very (VERY) long time of trying to do so.  I wanted to bake them something nice to celebrate and decided on Saffron buns.

My Grandma grew up in Devon and even after moving to Shropshire, raising a family here, and confessing to a love for her adopted county, she still thought of herself as a Devonshire lass.  We spent a fair few holidays in that part of the world as children and my sister opted to attend university there.

Pasties, saffron cake, and clotted cream have always been popular not just in our house but with all of the family and whenever my sister came home from university she did so laden with huge boxes of pasties, many tubs of cream and saffron cakes ordered by our many uncles.  I remember one time visiting her at Uni before coming home together and we spent the morning driving round several bakeries and clearing them out of stock in order to get as many pasties as needed!

So saffron cake or buns have quite a special place in my heart, and the warming saffron spice seemed an appropriate choice for a house warming gift.  They are also on my current list of bakes to try.

I used a recipe from The Great British Book of Baking, and while I wasn't expecting them to match up to the standards of Budleigh Salterton (small bakery there many moons ago, hands down best saffron cake I have ever tasted) they looked like a tasty bake.

Unfortunately this house-warming gift did not warm well, my dough did not rise.  Not after the 3-4 hours that was suggested, and not after the 24 hours I left it just in case.

Dough after mixing (left), and dough after 24 hours (right)
I didn't bother baking them, it didn't seem worth it.  Still, I do dearly love saffron buns (and am rather fond of my sister!), so will at some point try again.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Walled garden walks

I read somewhere that babies who get at least an hour of fresh air and daylight during the afternoon sleep better at night that those that don't.  So in an effort to improve our night times, Jen and I have an enforced hour of outside time each afternoon.  Providing the weather is not hideous, we go for a walk (well I walk and she generally sleeps!) otherwise we sit outside on our covered patio, but she doesn't seem to enjoy that as much, and really neither do I.

One of the places we have been walking most often is Attingham Park a National Trust property.  We are National Trust members, so going is free which is a big attraction, but it is also a really lovely place to walk.  The grounds are huge so plenty of different routes to explore, the paths are well kept and easy to use a pushchair on and there is lots to look at, woodlands, the deer park, the mansion, tea rooms, a book shop and my current favourite the walled garden.

Attingham Park - view of the mansion 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Time flies...

So you may have noticed it's been a little quiet here on the blog of late, an I'm sure you can understand why, I've been busy being a mama.

Our tiny bundle (weighing in at a not so tiny 8lb 15) made her appearance in early February and life as we knew it ceased!

Eight weeks on we are beginning to adjust to our new life as a family rather than a couple.  It has been an amazing, awe inspiring, and incredibly difficult couple of months.  No matter how prepared you may think you are, how many books you've read or advice and experience others have shared, nothing can prepare you for the relentless nature of having a new life totally dependent on you for their survival.

It has taken quite some time but we now have a routine allowing us to eel confident enough to leave the house and which includes more than 3 hours of sleep at a time overnight, making a huge difference to our days.  There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a torture.

Jen changes and impresses everyday, learning new things and developing new responses, I still find it incredible that we had a part in making this amazing person and am so excited to help her to continue to learn and grow :)

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