Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Frozen Party for Boo's 7th Birthday

Frozen is the new Disney film that came out last winter, it's full of snow and ice and a funny snowman....so you can imagine my joy when my daughter wanted a Frozen party for her birthday....in July! Not only that but one of the hottest Julys in my memory!  Has it been hotter than 1976? ahem, yes I do remember that far back and my little leather look hotpants!

So, off to Pinterest I trotted and found a whole host of Frozen party ideas. Then I decided that I wasn't clever enough/creative enough and decided to come up with my own ideas.

The cake I did find inspiration for, but I have been having a bit of a lost mojo moment with my cake decorating lately. I decided to make it easy on myself and grab my daughter an extra birthday present in the process and I bought the figures on Ebay. The cake itself was two tiers of chocolate deliciousness, you just can't beat a moist chocolate cake. I was desperately trying to find a sugar thermometer that didn't cost as much as the entire pack of figures so I could make the 'ice' but then my local cake shop man...Thanks Richard from Love Cake Supplies...gave me a great idea. I bought a bag of Foxes Glacier Mints and placed them on tin foil on a baking tray. I baked them at a medium temp and kept an eye on them until they melted, about 5 mins. They came out as a flat sheet of minty candy which I left to cool and then broke up to make into ice shards for my cake. So much easier than making your own sugar candy.



Cake sorted, I turned to a party supplies shop for my cups and plates and table cloth. Frozen ones are popular at the moment and you can get them anywhere. Then I bought some polystyrene 'snowballs' from Ebay. You can get these at Hobby Craft if you have one local. I went for 9cm but they were a bit big, so I bought some more at 5cm which were perfect and the bigger ones we used for a bowling game.

Frozen Bowling:
I printed off some A4 size cut outs from the characters of Frozen, then glued them onto plastic drinks bottles. (I used these sheets from Red Ted Art and made them a little bigger) I covered a big cardboard box with a sheet in an attempt to make it look like a big iceberg and then placed the bottles on top. The children were then given the larger polystyrene snowballs to knock them over.



Making Olaf

Olaf is the funny snowman in the film. He comes apart and you can put him together whatever way you like. I found an Olaf cut out and printed off loads and put all the parts in a shoe box. I then gave the children some glue and told them to stick them together in whichever way they wanted.




Making Snow.

I bought a tub of Insta Snow on Amazon. This is amazing stuff, truly. I sorted out some plastic tubs and gave shared them amongst the children. I then put just two teaspoons of the Insta Snow in each tub (it comes with a handy scoop) and gave the children a beaker of water. They all added the beaker to the tubs at the same time and the party was filled with awe and amazement as such a tiny amount of powder turned into half a tub of soft snow. The kids loved it, the way it changed, the feel of it, they were just totally amazed. (If I'm honest, so were the adults) I let them play with it and we added some more snow to the tubs. Then my eldest son took a tub of 'snow' and sprinkled it from the bedroom window while the children ran around in the sprinkling snow. I then gave them the smaller polystyrene snowballs for some fun snowball fights and they played on until home time.  I still have nearly half a tub of Insta Snow left!




Boo told me she had a fantastic day, and we couldn't have wished for nicer weather for a garden party.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

What Not to do When you get a New Car!

I've not had a car for two years so imagine my excitement when on Saturday morning I picked up my lovely new car. Buying that one way bus ticket was a lovely feeling.


Here is my first photo of the new car, so shiny you can see my reflection...boy does my bum look big in this car!

So, day one, I do a bit of driving picking up friends and bringing them to our house for a party for Boo.
Day two, we take Boo to Toys R Us to spend her birthday money.
Day three I go to the supermarket with ED, the first time I've been able to do a big shop, not online, for so long!

So, it's about 5.30pm and ED and I are packing away the shopping in the boot when Ed decided it's not all going to fit and wants to put some on the back seats. I think I can get it in so reach into the trolly to get some more bags and ED closes the boot.

"arrghh! what have you done?" I cry!
"I'm going to put the rest on the back seat" she replies

Not possible, my car keys are in my handbag, along with my purse and phone. My handbag is on the shelf above the boot space which has now been closed and locked. Of course, I was stupid enough to only unlock the boot and not the car!

So, a quick word with customer services and they allowed me to use their phone to call the RAC. It's ok, he'll be here in less than an hour...and he was.

However, he couldn't get into my car!
He called a lock smith who said he could be there in about forty minutes....and he was.

"It's ok" said the RAC man, "this lock smith is good, he has a hundred per cent record and will have the car open in ten minutes max."

It took him two and a half hours!

We hadn't packed all of the shopping so we had a little picnic, half a bloomer, crisps and a bottle of water. We were lucky, in case of emergency we had toilet paper and Tampax!

Why, oh why did we pack the doughnuts so soon?

When they had got me in my first objective was to pack the rest of the shopping in the boot..and I did manage to get it all in. In the meantime they men had jumped in my car and were fiddling about with all my gadgets...typical, every man that's been in the car so far has fiddled!
mmmm, thank you very much for getting my car open, but please may I go home now!!

Looking on the bright side, its quite reassuring that it took them so long to break into my car, I don't think it will be easily stolen...unless they break a window. That was always an option, but who wants to break the window of their new car?

I also didn't have to cook for the rest of the family or do the bedtime routine, poor OH had to do it all by himself. Instead I spent the evening in a car park watching two men trying to break into my new car!

So, I have learnt some lessons!

1. Separate my keys, I had my spare key on the same keyring..of course I would have separated them but in my defence I'd only had them a couple of days, a couple of very busy days in which I'd thought of separating them but just not got around to it.

2. Never unlock the boot without unlocking the rest of the car. I suppose it is a useful feature in a way, but every other car I've had the boot has opened only when I've opened the rest of the car so it's not necessary.

3. Stick to shopping online...um probably not, I've not had much luck with my shopping deliveries either! Ok, alternative option, stop eating food at home!

In the meantime, Boo is at home writing a song about my escapades:

ohhh wat have I don got a new car
and I locked my keys in the car
oooooh I am silly
ooooh yes I am silly
sha la la la la I locked the keys in
silly I shud keep them out
I am so sad
I hate it
I opened the car and locked the keys innnnnn
It's a silly song




Wot So Funee?
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Kids in the Kitchen - Toasted Sandwiches

Hello and welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen, the linky where we can all share our adventures in the kitchen with the kids. This week we did something simple and made Toasted Sandwiches, more about that later.

Each week I like to say thank you to those that linked up the previous week.

Over on Autism Mummy, little D helped to make Mrs E's Bran loaf, I really have to give this a try, what a great way of getting some extra fibre in your diet.

On Fun For Families even the lego helped out in the kitchen and they made some Awesome Almond Cookies.

Our regular little chef, The Beautiful Miss T from The Beesley Buzz (just take a look at the first photo, adorable) made some tasty looking Panko Chicken Nuggets.

Thank you for linking up everyone, I hope some more decide to join us this week, it's so inspirational sharing our recipes and enjoying the help (and I use that word lightly, lol) from our kids in the kitchen.

Toasted Sandwiches.

We had a really, really busy weekend. First I had a new car, picked it up first thing Saturday morning so of course we wanted to go out...but we also had a birthday party for Boo on the same day. So the trip out had to wait until Sunday, which meant not much time to spend with the kids in the kitchen, although I did have a little help with eating all the party food!
So yesterday the Little Man was the first to volunteer to make lunch for us all. I picked something nice and simple and we all had toasted sandwiches. 
I remember when sandwich toasters first came out and my friend's family had one. I swore that I would have one in my home and I would use it every day! Well, ours is pretty old, and to be honest it doesn't get used that much, but it's a nice change from a regular sandwich and you can use your imagination when it comes to fillings.
We chose just cheese for the littlies and bacon and scrambled egg for the grown-ups.

The little man helped make the sandwiches. We don't always put butter on cheese toasted sandwiches but I think butter spreading is a useful skill to learn, so I had the Little Man buttering the bread first then assembling the cheese before I put their sandwiches in the toaster. I cooked the bacon and eggs and then let the Little Man assemble our sandwiches. Do you put butter on bacon sandwiches? I always find this strange for some reason, but I know some people do.


While the sandwiches were cooking, the Little Man decided it was time for a glass of milk.




Then we all tucked into toasted sandwiches, thank you Little Man.

As you see, Kids in the Kitchen doesn't have to be about complicated recipes, it's more about getting the kids in the kitchen helping out. Of course it's also nice to share recipes and gain inspiration, but I'm happy for all sorts of posts to be linked up.


If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
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.





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

School Report Time

My Facebook timeline has been filled with proud parents posting about their kids fantastic school reports and that's great, it's so lovely to be proud.

I'm really proud of Boo, not only has she changed school and had to make heaps of new friends, she's had to fit in even though she is a slow learner and has had a lot of catching up to do. She might not be the brightest in the class but she is the youngest. She no longer needs an Individual Education Plan and is keeping up with the rest of the class. She's gone from not being able to write or spell to producing some lovely stories. Her drawings are really good and she's always got a pen and paper in her hand. What has really surprised me is that she's really good at mathematics, I don't know where she gets that from! Her report praises her for coping with the change of school so well and being good at making new friends. She's also really well behaved and attentive in class. She tries really hard and it's obvious that she really wants to learn. So, even though she doesn't get the best scores in tests, she is a little trouper and I'm sure one day she will prove how clever she really is.

The Little Man's report reflects his personality. He talks to much, he doesn't listen, he does his own thing. He does play nicely with the other children and is not disruptive or naughty, so I'm not too worried about him. He can write his own name and recognise a lot of letters and numbers. He is bright despite being the youngest in the class (yes again, thanks to me only having babies in the summer holidays!) but he doesn't like being told what to do. (He gets that from his Dad!) I'm hoping he will be more settled when he starts reception in September.

So, no A+ in our house (yet) but I'm still a really proud Mummy!



Linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements, currently being hosted over on  AutismMummy

Ethans Escapades

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Soda Bread

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen, This week the Little Man helped me make Soda Bread, which is really easy and quick to make, and it involves kneading, and kids love kneading. It was such a lovely loaf that I've decided to enter it into the Bakespiration competition.

Last week, Little Miss T showed us how she makes Naan Bread over on the Beesley Buzz. Thank you for joining in and I hope that there will be others joining us this week as I'd love to see what everyone is up to in the kitchen with their kids.

If you would like to know more about Kids in the Kitchen and why I started the linky you can read all about it here. Sometimes it feels like a task to get the kids in the kitchen, and it can be very very messy. It's all worth it though because they have so much fun and are learning all the time. My mum never cooked with me (although I did do a little baking with my nan) and when I left home to get married at 19 (I know, I was a bit young!) I did not have a clue. My husband had to teach me everything, even how to boil an egg. It's funny, he was watching me decorate a wedding cake a couple of weeks ago and commented on this! I guess I've learnt a lot in the thirty years since. (eeek!) I digress a little...what I'm trying to say is, I want my kids to be able to cook, it is, after all, a very useful skill to have.

So do come and join us, find some inspiration and encourage your kids to cook with you, you won't regret it.

Soda Bread

I remember watching Masterchef not so long ago, that part where they are shown some food and have to write down the ingredients and then go and replicate the food. Well, in this particular episode there was Soda Bread and I was amazed at how many of the contestants had no idea and where trying to make bread in various ways such as proving it in a warm oven. You see, that's the beauty of Soda Bread, you mix it up, knead it and then pop it in the oven. No need to leave it under a tea cloth for a couple of hours to rise! It's so quick and easy to make. 

Ingredients:

500g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp salt
300 mls of buttermilk


If you don't have buttermilk you can make it by leaving the milk at room temperature for about an hour after adding 1 tsp of lemon juice. Or another alternative is to use half milk and half natural yoghurt. 

Method:

Sieve the flour, soda and salt into a large bowl
add the buttermilk and warm water and mix to a sticky dough
turn out and knead on a floured surface for about 10 minutes
shape into a dome and then cut a cross in the top.

Cook at gas 190C/gas mark 5 for about 1/2 hour

Easy peasy!

The Little Man was proud of his loaf

so delicious with gooseberry jam

If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
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.





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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Monday, 21 July 2014

School's Out for Summer

At last, school is over for this term and the summer holidays have begun. The Little Man starts school properly come September as he enters Reception class and goes to school full time. Boo is moving up into Year Three, not such a big wrench at her current school. Had she still been at her old school she would have been moving into another building as the school was split into infants and juniors (like it was when I was at school) Star is going to be in Year Five, but we don't have a school for her yet. I've already decided that she's not going back to her old school and it's been arranged that her home tutor will come back in September to continue her education until we find a school suitable for her. I haven't made up my mind yet because I don't know how disabled she is going to be once the halo is removed. Will it have worked this time, will she be able to hold her own head up? Will she be able to move her head? Are the plates and pins in her neck enough to keep her head on? I know that sounds weird but in laymen's terms it's the truth of the matter. Her ligaments are not strong enough to keep the bones in place, so it will be down to the plates and pins. We won't know anything until after the halo comes off.

Despite Star being home schooled her tutor decided that she still deserved an end of term party. So, Star worked out a menu and wrote a shopping list for what they would need. Then her tutor did the shopping and they set too making a lovely party lunch for us all. Star's choice of food was pizza, four different kinds which she made from scratch and remembered what each of her family members liked best. Garlic bread, spaghetti hoops (one of your five a day!) and chocolate cake.

The tutor also bought party plates, napkins and a table cover and a bag of sweets.

Lunch time came and we sat around our kitchen table at home along with her tutor and had an end of term party lunch. Star worked so hard on the party and thought about everyone making it a really special occasion. Not everyone was home at the time so we had to same some food for the other family members who were at school and work.

I was so proud of my Star.


Star with her pizzas ready to be cooked.



Stars End of Term Party


Linking up with Jaime's Magic Moments over on The Oliver's Madhouse


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Banoffee Pie

I was sent a lovely box of Soreen goodies to try and come up with a new recipe. When I told my friends and family this they were outraged
"noooo, Soreen is lovely as it is, don't do anything with it!"

They were right, of course, Soreen is lovely and we all like it in our house. However, my curiosity prevailed and I found a whole host of Soreen recipes on the website, and here is a little video showing how easy it is to make Soreen flapjacks.




I'm going to have to give these a try!

So what did I come up with....in the nick of time as the rest of the family were fast consuming my box of Soreen? I decided to make a Soreen Banoffee Pie.

I went for a quick and simple recipe. I'd not actually made banoffee pie before but I knew it had a base, then a toffee filling with bananas and cream on top. I used a Banana flavoured Soreen loaf for the base and decided not to add bananas. It wasn't a complete success, I'll explain why in a minute, but it did taste yummy and I would make it again with a little adjustment or two.




Soreen Banoffee Pie.

Ingredients:

1 loaf of Banana Soreen
50g butter
1 can of Carnation Caramel
300ml double cream

Method:

To make the base of the pie I whizzed up the Banana Soreen loaf into crumbs (sacrilege, I know)
I melted the butter in a pan and then added the Soreen breadcrumbs and mixed them together.
I squashed the mix into a small tin (7in) which I'd lined with foil...the idea was I could lift it easily out of the tin by lifting the foil when it was ready. It would be better to use a loose bottomed tin, but mine were too big. (I guess I could have used two loaves??)
I put the tin in the fridge for about 1/2 hour.

When Mary Berry makes the filling for a banoffee pie she puts the caramel in a pan with muscovado sugar and butter and heats it slowly while stirring for five minutes.

I'm lazy, I read the side of the can of caramel and it said to just put it in the pie and chill for 10 mins. So this is what I did.

Then I whipped up the cream and put it on the top.

When I came to serving the pie the filling was really sloppy and the result was a messy looking pie :(
I so wished I stuck to the Mary Berry recipe, you can't argue with the experts. Or maybe I could have just chilled it for longer because the next morning the remaining pie looked much firmer! The presentation is important, but this still tasted really nice despite it's floppy look.



Disclaimer: I was sent some Soreen to try out and asked to come up with a new recipe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Hospital, Word of the Week



This weeks word of the week is Hospital, but don't worry, it's just that we've had two routine appointments this week and we are hoping for some good news soon.

On Tuesday we took Star for her regular check-up and tightening of screws. It sounds quite horrific, it looks quite horrific, but Star takes it in her stride. We do have some yowls and maybe even some tears sometimes, but overall she is, as her name suggests, a little Star. The Doctors and nurses are always taken aback by her reactions and I wondered why, then I found some posts after seeing a You Tube video by a young man who made his film to express his anxiety of wearing a halo. There were lots of comments from young people afterwards some positive, some not. It helped me to see a little of what my girl is going through seeing as she is not very good at expressing herself. Do watch the video if you have a minute to spare, it's quite harrowing, but he does say that he didn't adjust the halo himself or pull on it, that would be incredibly stupid, it's just to show his anxiety.

Then on Thursday it was back to the hospital for a CT Scan. Now, Star is a pro at these, she's had so many, but this time they had a new machine which threw her a little. Not only that but there was a smell. I'm not sure but I think it was the smell of new plastic? Star however, thought it was anaesthetic gas and began to panic, which then caused her to wretch. We made it through though. I gently reminded her that she had never been put to sleep in the CT scan. She knows the removal of the halo is imminent and has developed a big fear of anaesthetic.

So, we are nearing the end, hopefully. Once her consultant has examined her scan pictures he will decide when to take the halo off. Star is terrified but she knows she cannot keep it on forever. I've just watched a video of a young lady having hers taken off while awake, and although you could see she was terrified, she didn't seem to feel too much pain. I really believe that Star could handle the pain, but I'm not so sure she could handle the anxiety of having it removed. It may be an option. I will talk to her consultant. To be honest, I don't really want her to have the anaesthetic again, she has suffered so much since the last time. Now her hair is falling out which is probably an after affect of the anaesthetic. I know it serves a very good purpose, but it's so toxic and horrible, I hate having to put all those chemicals in my little girls body. Maybe 15 minutes or so of stress would be a better option. I could be there holding her hand (and her daddy would be there too) and we could give her something for the pain. She would be home the same day, with no sickness and no more after effects. She may even get to keep her hair, what's left of it.

I'm linking up with the lovely Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence, do pop along and join in with your Word of the Week, or see what others have been up to.



The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer

One of my friends the other day was complaining about someone mowing the lawn early on a Sunday morning. Yes, well, that's a sign of summer. When I think of summer I think of noise. Windows are open to let in some air and noise. lawn mowers, kids playing, ice cream vans (around here it's constant, one after the other) birds squawking, dogs barking, music blasting. Where do you get some peace? Maybe I'm being petty, I'm not really a lover of summer.

Parents let their children play out later because it's still light and warm. In the meantime I'm trying to keep my little ones in their routine, but they can't sleep because they can hear the other children. Even with black out curtains they know it's light outside and don't want to go to bed until it's dark. Night times become a struggle, and then they are up early again the next morning because it's light, or because the birds wake them up with the dawn chorus. I don't get much sleep in summer. Not just because of the kids but who can sleep when it's hot and sticky, so you open the window and let in all the noise.

Then of course you get outside parties. It generally starts with a Barbecue, then the alcohol flows and the music gets louder and the noise goes on until the early hours.

Another mum in the school playground was complaining because it wasn't so hot as it was yesterday. No, at last, it was bearable. I hate feeling hot and sticky, it makes me tired, it makes my feet sore when walking. Bright sunshine gives me massive headaches, and I hate the way that sunglasses slide off the sweat on my nose. I don't like getting sunburnt, so I have to put on smelly suncream which makes me feel like I've basted myself for the roasting. When I was 17 years old I had the worst case of heatstroke and I actually got sunburnt on my eyelids so bad that I couldn't open my eyes. My own fault for sunbathing..in my mum's back garden.

Oh, and in the summer, everyone thinks it's their right to drive around with their windows wide open blasting their music.

I'm sorry for being such a downer on Summer!

If I'm honest I have to say that I really don't like the cold either. However, you can get away from the cold so long as you stay indoors. I used to live in a drafty house with no insulation, no double glazing and no central heating. Back then you really needed a duvet on your bed. Seriously, who really needs one now? Our house is so warm in the winter, day and night, I'd be quite happy under a sheet instead. No longer do I have to shiver while I quickly change out of my (very warm and thick) pjs into my layers of warm clothing for the day. It's not so good if you have to go out, especially when it's so cold it doesn't matter how much you wrap up warm there is always some part of you suffering.

I love snow, so long as I don't have to go out in it. Yes, it's very pretty picture indeed when every is covered in whiteness, and everything is blissfully quiet. It's always best though when it's outside and you are in. As for driving in the snow, no thank you. Nope, I stay indoors if I can.

I truly think that Spring and Autumn are the best seasons. Not too hot or too cold. In Autumn everything dies, leaves, flowers, plants, the animals that hibernate disappear. The trees change before your eyes in glorious colour before becoming barren and bare. Then in the spring time, everything comes to life again and the dullness of winter changes to the brightness of blossoming flowers and trees.

Back to Summer though, because it is summer right now. Apart from all my moaning I do actually enjoy having the children at home for the holidays. I love trips and holidays and especially the sea side. I love being able to let the children out into the garden as often as possible to run around and play. I love having barbecues and summer parties myself. I love picnics and walks in the woods or hills. I love that all my little ones have summer birthdays so loads of celebrations.

Ah see, I'm not so down on Summer after all.

How do you feel about Summer? What's your favourite season?



Lovely summer days with the family

NB. All photos above where taken before Star's neck trouble started. We are hoping that we'll be able to enjoy some of this summer when her halo is removed.




Monday, 14 July 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Cheese Pies

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen where I hope to inspire you to get your kids in the kitchen cooking with you. Each week we have lots of fun and have made lots of food. We have also been inspired by others who link up. This is a real easy linky, just write a blog post about something your kids have cooked and link it up at the bottom of the page. You have until next Monday to join in. If you have an old post then that's fine too. Come and join us, it's fun!

First I like to thank those that joined last weeks linky. First up we have the wonderful Beesley Buzz and this week it's a lovely recipe from J as he shows us how to make some fabulous Sultana Scones. J also had a very good taster day at his new school which you can read about.

Then we have the The Brick Castle showing us how to make baked doughnuts in just 30 minutes. mmmmm doughnuts!

Thank you for joining in, I can't wait to see what everyone else has been cooking.

This week, we had a teatime dilemma. I was going to make pizza but we were out and got back a bit late to make the dough. (Note to self - make sure you have some ready made bases in the freezer for occasions like this.) So I thought we could make puff pastry pizza which is one of the favourites of the adults in the household. However, the littlies are not so keen on the ingredients I put on it so I asked Boo what she thought we should put on it. She said just cheese and tomato. Their favourite pizza is margherita. I thought that it would make a rather soggy looking puff pasty pizza so suggested making tarts instead. Of course this would mean cutting the pastry into circles and Boo was really up for that. So this is the recipe we came up with together. Only, Boo decided that she wanted to put the smaller rings she'd cut out on the top, making pies rather than tarts.

Cheese Pies

250g puff pastry (ready made)
2 tbs passata
50g grated cheddar
125g mozzerella
1 beaten egg


Method 

Roll out the pastry to about 1cm thick
Using a large ring cutter cut out six rings
Using a small ring cutter cut out the middle of three of the rings
using a little of the beaten egg stick the cut out ring on top of the circles.
Fill the middle with a little passata, a sprinkle of cheddar and a slither of mozzerella
brush the edges of the tarts with beaten egg
brush the middle circles you cut out from the rings with beaten egg and put them all on a baking tray,
Cook in a medium oven gas 5 /190C for about 15 mins or until golden brown.

pop the little circles on the top once cooked.

Here is Boo at work.

rolling and cutting the pastry

Adding the filling and brushing with egg

The finished product

I think they worked better cooking the pie tops separately. The kids really loved them anyway.

If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
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.





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Barbecue!

It's really felt like summer here recently and that means it's time for a barbecue.
Well, we don't have one yet! We only moved here last September and we didn't bring our old barbecue which had seen better days and so far we've not bought a new one. No doubt we will do soon.

We do love a barbecue though, so we were happy when we had a card delivered through the door inviting us to a barbecue on the green just around the corner. So this lunch time we toddled on over and had a lovely couple of hours enjoying the food and listening to the music. Even No1 Son came and joined us which is very unusual, but then again, there was food involved.

Free BBQ


Star and the Little Man were having fun in the sun but sadly Boo was still at school. Never mind though, they are doing it all again tomorrow and it's Saturday! (I've checked the forcast and it's supposed to be sunny again until evening)



Enjoying the food



Enjoying the music





Linking up with County Kids from Coombemill where you can find lots of other outside fun posts.


  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

It's Only Facebook!

I love Facebook, I really do. It's such a fantastic way of keeping up with friends and family old and new.  I first joined mainly to keep up with a group of friends who had moved from a forum that I frequented daily. That was back in 2009 and I'm still friends with many of them today.

I use Facebook regularly, updating my status with practically everything and anything. I have spent hours playing Facebook games (Something I rarely have time for these days) and taken part in Facebook parties and events as well as spending the evening sharing music with friends.

My friends list is fairly compact, I have my family, some of whom I've not seen for years, I have friends from work, friends from school (jeez that was a long time ago!) friends from forums, a few blogger friends and even my ex husband! All the people on my facebook page I've known for a long time and 90% of them I've met in real life.

Facebook is where I share my joys and woes, where I post my photos and record my days out. It's where I go if I'm looking  for advice or have a questions I want answered. It's also where I check what's going on in my friends life. It's all about the sharing and keeping in touch. And Yes, I have been on  Facebook while a little drunk!

However, there is one thing I realise about Facebook....it's not my entire life. If someone dissapears off my friends list I wonder why then move on. If someone upsets me with their posts I block them and move on. If someone ignores me or doesn't click like on my photo's or status update, I don't fret. It's only Facebook after all. It's not going to affect my life.

What never fails to surprise me is the playground attitude prevelant on Facebook. Not amongst my friends, but dare to venture off into a group or community and that's where the trouble is. People not only get nasty as they hide behind their computer screen but you also get those that constantly attention seek and everything has to revolve around them, throwing a hissy fit at every opportunity. This is why I don't have those people on my friends list.

Then there is the washing line. Why do people air their dirty washing on Facebook? You get everything from infidelity to stealing, all sorts of accusations and outings. Everyone needs to grumble sometimes and that's fine. But if it's personal then keep it so, maybe talk to people in real life rather than on Facebook if you need. Or have a secret group of trusted friends to moan to. Don't put it out their for all and sundry to see, trust me, you don't really want every one knowing your business.

One more gripe...if you are going to write a status then write a status. Ok, a teaser is fine....'guess where I'm going?' but don't forget to come back and say where..too many people just leave it at that and never say anything again. I find it infuriating and I know I'm not the only one, it's got a name...vaguebooking!

So Facebook is perfect for those who suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and keeping in touch, playing games, arranging meetings and lots of other things. Facebook, however, is simply Facebook, it's not the be all and end all. Try logging off for a few days and you'll see, there is life after Facebook.

So, I'm opening up the bag here, what bugs you on Facebook?
Are you a Facebook liker or hater?
What do you use Facebook for?



oh, and post about Facebook wouldn't be complete without a link to my Facebook Blog Page would it, come and find Raisiebay and say hi!
Also, I have a page documenting my Star's health and journey if you are interested.

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Lemon Marmalade Cake

Hello and welcome to this weeks kids in the kitchen.
Last week I was given a homemade jar of lemon marmalade and I was thinking of how I could use it in a cake. My favourite cake is Lemon Drizzle Cake and I know you can make Orange Marmalade Cake so I thought it would work with lemon marmalade too. The result was a sharp and tangy very moist cake. I added a drizzle of sweet icing which rounded off the flavour nicely.



I asked who would like to help me bake a cake and the Little Man and Boo jumped to the task. I'm afraid Star still isn't feeling her best, but I'm sure she'll be up and cooking again soon.

Last week just one person joined in with the Linky and that was the lovely Miss T from The Beesley Buzz who showed us how to make sausage rolls. Thanks for joining us and showing us that cooking can be tiring as well as fun, believe me, I've had quite a few tantrums in the kitchen.

Do come and link up your posts too. We love to see people cooking with their children, it's such a fun and important thing to learn. It's not always easy, I know, sometimes I find myself wondering why on earth I do it, especially when it generally means twice as much mess for me to clean up. I can't wait until they are big enough to clean up too! It is so worth it though, my kids are always willing to come and give me a hand in the kitchen now, and Boo aspires to be a chef when she's older. Details for linking up at the end of the post, in the meantime please enjoy our Lemon Marmalade Cake.

Lemon Marmalade Cake.

Ingredients:

175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
3 tbs lemon marmalade

topping:
1 tbs lemon marmalade
icing made from 3 tbs of icing sugar mixed with 2 tsp water

Method:

Cream together the butter and the sugar
beat the eggs and add half to the butter and sugar, when mixed thouroughly add the second half
fold in the flour
gently mix in the lemon zest and marmalade

put in a greased and lined 20cm cake tin
bake at 180C or gas mark 4 for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean

When cooked leave for 1/2 hour before turning out and leaving to cool

Make topping by warming up the lemon marmalade and spreading it on the top of the cake.
When marmalade has cooled drizzle the icing over the top, leaving bits of marmalade showing through.



The Little Man loves to crack the eggs and mix them.






Boo is the best mixer!


Lemon Marmalade Cake



If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
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.





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Welsh Cakes

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. We had a busy weekend making a birthday cake for Eldest Daughter, but that wasn't enough for the Little Man who seems to be my keenest little chef lately. He wanted to make something else so we decided to have a go at Welsh Cakes.

Welsh Cakes

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 3 tbs milk
  • 25g raisins

Method

This was an easy recipe that the Little Man was able to do mostly by himself.
First he measured out the flour into a big bowl.
We then added the butter which I'd cubed and put in the fridge to keep really hard and cool.
He used his little hand to pinch and rub the four and butter together.
Then we added the sugar and the raisins. 
(well, ok, he ate the raisins, so we measured some more and added them!)

Then we mixed up the egg yolk and milk and he added it to the mix.
I had to help him mix it all together as it was quite stiff and he's a little shy to hard work.

The fun bit was rolling out the dough and then cutting out the cakes.

Then it was over to mummy to cook the cakes in a dry frying pan. If the cakes stick then you can add a little butter to the pan, but the idea is not to fry them. They cook really quick in just two minutes each side.
This mix makes around 12 welshcakes.

They are really nice eaten while still warm.


adding raisins and finished welsh cakes
rubbing, rolling and cutting

I asked the Little Man how much he liked cooking and he gave me this look!






Now it's your turn. Last week we were joined by the lovely Miss T from The Beesley Buzz who showed us how to make Easy Ciabatta Bread, we are really going to have to try this one very soon. Thank you for joining in. If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
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.





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay



Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me...is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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