Sunday, 30 August 2015

Half a Century!

So, this year I turn 50. I can barely believe it, how did that happen?
I am feeling old.

When I turned 20 I felt grown up. I actually got married just before I was 21. Looking back now that seems really young, but I didn't feel young, I felt like an adult and I felt that I'd met my life partner. I wasn't even pregnant!

When I turned 30 my husband had decided that he didn't want to be with me any more.  I became an Independent Woman (throw your hands up at me!) with my two kids and my full time job. I didn't really mind being single, life was good.

Turning 40 was life changing again. I'd met my current partner in my late 30s and we had decided to have a baby together. I'd hoped it would happen before I turned 40 and I just about made it. My daughter was born three months before my 40th birthday. I went on to have two more babies in my forties, so for me, my forties were the new thirties! All the time I've been forty I haven't felt old. I don't know whether that is having a younger partner or three small children that has made me feel younger, but my age really hasn't bothered me at all.

Approaching 50 didn't really bother me either, until a night out in February. Some bloke was asking my friend if she liked his shoes but she was brushing him off. He was a bit worse for wear. His friend, who was not so drunk asked me what I thought and I politely told him they were ok. The drunk guy turned around and said "If I wanted the opinion of fifty something woman I'd have asked!"

That one comment from a drunken guy totally deflated me. I know it shouldn't have but it did.

I was going to be a fifty something woman, I was going to be old. Half a Century old! My opinion didn't count because I was an old lady. It just went round and round in my head.

The guy wasn't even that young, probably his early 30s....I was still old enough to be his mum!

This getting old lark is not easy.

So I googled the best things about turning 50 and most of them don't apply to me...like the kids being grown-up, having more freedom, having the house to myself etc.
Some of them I really don't like, who wants to be happy because it's ok to forget things, or do daft things, or give lame excuses about your age for things you don't want to do?
Ah, and apparently you don't have to care about your appearance any more, no more nips and tucks or botox once you reach 50...I think I've missed something somewhere?

So 50 really is old.

It's all downhill from here.

*Insert suitable swearword*

I'm going to write my bucket list of things to do before I'm 60! It's only 10 years away and the Little Man will be doing his GCSEs by then!






P.S, would you have a party for your 50th? My family are trying to convince me but I'm really not sure I want to celebrate. Not only that but my family couldn't organize a p*ss up in a brewery let alone a party so I don't really want to be doing all that work...not at my age anyway!




Saturday, 29 August 2015

My Sunday Photo 30 August 2015






















We went to a summer fete and the Little Man had his first candy floss. By the time he had finished (or rather had enough because he didn't manage it all) he had a big sticky sugar beard!


OneDad3Girls



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Friday, 28 August 2015

Bake With Bake Off Week Four

This weeks Great British Bake Off  was Dessert Week.

The Signature Dish was creme brulee, gorgeous pots of baked custard with a caramel topping..but no blow torches allowed.

We saw quite a few problems amongst the bakers in the tent with only Ian and Tamal having perfect custard. The others either had scrambled eggs or runny custards.

Onto the technical challenge and Mary set them the task of making a  Spanische Windtorte, which despite it's name is a combination of Swiss and French meringues with a  fruit and cream filling and decorated with tiny fondant violets.

Most of the bakers knew their meringues and there were not to many problems. There were a few, however, that had no idea what a violet looked like.

It was Paul and Ugne who came out on top with first and second place.

The Showstopper was three tiers of cheesecake.

Ian wowed the judges with his flavours, using tarragon and apple, pecan and rosemary.
Tamal also did really well with his mango, hazelnut and rosemary.

Sandy, however, had a really difficult week and her cheesecakes refused to stand on top of each other. She was told they were raw on the bottom and not cooked through and the fruit was too clumpy. Sadly, it was Sandy's last stand and she was sent home.

The Star Baker for the third week running was Ian for experimenting in a professor type way!

I am a huge fan of cheesecake, it is one of my favourite desserts. I've made them in so many different flavours..but...I've never made a baked cheesecake! So that is what I chose for my Bake With Bake Off Challenge this week set by Silver Mushroom.

Ginger and Blueberry Baked Cheesecake



























Ingredients:

200g ginger nut biscuits
100g unsalted butter
1tbs cornflour
50g caster sugar
500g full fat cream cheese
1 large egg
100ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
100g blueberries
3tsp caster sugar

Method:

preheat oven to 160C
grease and line a 20cm loose bottomed tin
melt butter
crush biscuits with a rolling pin, or in a food processor
add biscuits to butter and mix thoroughly
spread in bottom of tin and press down with a spoon
bake for 10 minutes.
turn oven up to 180C
while base is cooling, put cornflour and caster sugar into mixer
add cream cheese and mix until smooth and creamy
add egg and mix
slowly add cream while mixing slowly
add vanilla extract and lemon zest and continue mixing until thick and creamy
pour mixture on top of base
bake for 35 minutes.
leave to cool in tin then remove carefully
leave in fridge for at least an hour
put blueberries in pan with sugar and a little water
simmer for 10 minutes
leave to cool
use to dress cheesecake when serving.

Now I've baked my first cheesecake I'll definitely be making more. The taste and texture was different to my normal, unbaked, cheesecake but it was really tasty. I'd love to experiment with more flavours.



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

His Own Room

This week the Little Man moved into his own room.
Now you may think that being five years old he would have been in there sooner but it wasn't quite so simple. We have lived in this house for nearly two years now, but before we were living in a much smaller house and the kids didn't have their own rooms.

When I met my partner and we decided to have a baby we knew there wasn't really room but my older two were already teenagers so we figured it wouldn't be too long before they were making their own way in the world. That was plan A. Plan B was to divide our huge bedroom into two. Of course, Plan B always seemed the most likely, particularly when the next baby arrived and the two older ones were not going anywhere.

The division of the room was not too difficult, the main problem was having to replace one of the windows. However, before we got around to this, the next baby was on his way! We had a problem. Three bedrooms, four adults and three kids. Time to move.

So, we moved into this house and the girls wanted a room together, which meant the Little Man could have a room to himself. Only, when we moved in we used his room to dump all the stuff that we didn't know where else to put. We kept saying we'd sort it, but he had his little bed in our room and after sharing with all three kids, sharing with one wasn't so bad. (Plus, I loved it when he'd wake in the night and come into my bed for a cuddle) So I didn't rush. I guess, I wanted to keep him as my baby too, it was hard to let go.

Then he turned five. He kept asking to move into his own room and we couldn't hold back any longer. It took us just two days to get his room ready. It still needs painting, but as it's been unused the magnolia walls are still clean and bright in there so no rush for that. He has a new bed and new curtains but we still need to get some new furniture.

I kept his toddler bed in my room in case he had trouble sleeping.

He didn't.

The first night I checked in on him five times throughout the night. He didn't wake once.
In the morning, he waited for me to go in and tell him it was time to get up.

He loves his new room. He plays in there with his toys,

He sleeps in there like a real big boy.

And for the first time in ten years we have no children in our room!




Monday, 24 August 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Soda Bread

Welcome to this weeks kids in the kitchen.
Each week I write up a new post and let you know what my little chefs have been up to in the kitchen. I also have a linky and invite you to share what you have been cooking with your kids, or even your recipes for kids. Everyone that links up gets a mention on my social media channels and their post pinned on my Pinterest board which is a great place to visit for inspiration.



Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

The linky is open for a month and you can join in as many times as you wish.


Soda Bread


As it was bread week on the Great British Bake off last week Boo was keen to make some bread. However, kids do get bored waiting for the dough to prove so we made some quick bread, or soda bread.

Ingredients:

250g plain flour
250g wholemeal flour
1tsp salt 
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
about 400ml of buttermilk

If you don't have buttermilk you can add a tsp of lemon juice to milk and leave it at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Method:

Into a large bowl put all the dry ingredients and mix together
Make a well in the middle and add the butter milk, mixing it until you have a sticky dough and all the flour has been absorbed.
Tip the dough out and shape into a dome shape.
Put dough on a greased baking tray and cut a deep cross into the loaf.
Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.

Tips, Only add as much of the buttermilk as you need, as soon as all the flour is absorbed you have enough, don't make the dough too wet and sticky. If you really don't like the soda taste you could use just half tsp soda. This dough does not really need much kneading, just enough to bring it all together and shape the loaf.









So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)








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