Thursday, 15 March 2012


These cookies are the bomb. They also taste slightly like brownies and make A LOT. For example, yesterday I made 159, because Ethan asked to make star biscuits after school and the only star cutter that I could find was only 1 and a half inches across! It worked out alright, because I got to give lots away as well as have a tub at home.

As requested, here's the recipe...

3 cups Plain Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder
1 cup Butter/Marg - you must use butter if you want to roll it out rather than just make blob cookies
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 bags of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Mix the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.

In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and add the chocolate chips. Mix to a smooth dough.

If it's a hot day, refrigerate the dough for an hour before rolling out. otherwise, go to town! Roll out, cut out, place on baking trays covered in greaseproof paper. If you've got less time you can just roll it into balls and flatten with a fork.

Bake for 15ish minutes, depending on the size of them.

Eat with milk. Sigh contentedly. Get fat.

You're welcome ;)

Update: This blog has now moved to - Hope to see you over there!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Weekends are the best!

My lovely parents visited us this weekend as they've just returned from New Zealand. It was awesome! The boys totally adore them, we went to the Light Railway again as my Mum loves steam trains, and then met up with my sister Amy and her kids to go geocaching. It was fun and we found two caches, with only moderate mud traipsing.

The only massive downer was that Rich had to be off schmoozing clients and missed out. He had Friday off in lieu so we managed to get shopping done and stuff but it's not the same. Plus the shopping made us late to pick up Ethan from nursery school. I had to ring the school receptionist to tell her we were on our way and then literally run (I do not run well. at all!) to his class from the car to get him. He was upset of course, but only by the fact that Daddy didn't get out of the car and come pick him up. Charmed!

Today we went to church where I got to actually listen to almost the whole 3 hours without child related interruptions. I also heard that my friend had her baby yesterday which is always lovely :) I'm excited for the impending cooing, I do love a squidge with a teeny one! Later we had a delicious dinner and put off the parents leaving as long as we could :( I hate that part, though we do at least know that we'll be seeing them again soon for Easter. Also sad - Jess didn't come with them. Then comes the depressing looking at houses near to them and realising how ridiculously expensive it is down there, though the gap is slowly lessening.

On a happier note, I looked at my bookmarks and discovered some semi forgotten blogs to look at, which always cheers me up a bit. And there's always pinterest!

Update: This blog has now moved to - Hope to see you over there!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The day in which I get completely spoiled

Yesterday I was treated to a day of spoiling, it was lovely!

I was woken up with two bunches of flowers.

Why two? well, Rich and Ethan were picking the flowers, and Ethan picked the bunch of yellow chrysanthemums. Rich tried to persuade him to pick the more colourful (and probably more expensive) bunch. Apparently, the conversation went like this.

Ethan: These ones Daddy, these are pretty.
Rich: Yes they are, but how about some with more colours in?
Ethan: No Daddy, these ones! Girls like yellow too!
Rich: You're right they do, but these ones have lots of different flowers in.
Ethan: Fine! I will just get them with mine own money!

Considering he's 3 and has no money to speak of, Rich decided to let it go and got both as the chrysanthemums were very cheap anyway.

I was brought downstairs and told to close my eyes, and they each brought their bouquets forward. It was so sweet, Ethan's little hopeful face that I would like his flowers broke out into a huge grin when I said they were lovely. He then took me into the kitchen to put them in water where I was shown....

Donuts! 12 Donuts, no less. Well, one less actually, as Ethan couldn't wait til they got home. The numbers quickly diminished, as we have 2 small boys who love donuts as much as life itself, something they have not inherited from me, oh no. Ahem.

I was then treated to a whole afternoon of shopping, and bought a very summery dress (that I forgot to photograph) for church today. I'd originally planned to wear it out for dinner that evening, but Rich told me the restaurant wasn't really a fancy place. He was right, I'd have felt silly, and this way I got to show it to people I know :)

My lovely in-laws babysat for us so we could go for dinner at
Fazenda in Leeds.

Picture from here

This place is amazing. You sit down and order drinks, and the moment you're at the table they bring you a little basket of dough balls and what can only be described as mini pasties. Then you go to the salad bar. Oh, but it's so much more! Salad, potatoes, a fish dish, cured meats, veggies. Some sort of black bean stew that I avoided. Pork and Apple stew stuff. Two kinds of bread. A cheese. Rich told me that when he went with his work team, the cheese was the size of a barrel. It was a bit smaller last night but still, a huge cheese!
Basically, you could eat your whole meal right there, but then you'd miss the meats, and oh... the meats. 15 different types or cuts of meat. Pork, chicken, gammon, sausage, and of course, steak.

That green circle that looks like a beermat? Everyone has one, and the other side is red. If you turn it to green, the chefs come to your table and slice meat off a big sword like skewer, and you grab it as it comes off with your individual tongs. Turn it to red, and they stop. Great system, as you get to try a little bit of lots of stuff, totally removes the difficult "argh, what shall I have?!" moment!

Their signature meat is the cap of rump steak and it was so so amazing. The outside had a crispy texture, it was just mouth wateringly delicious.
The desserts all looked amazing, Rich had a trio of sorbets, apple, mango, and cactus and lime. Cactus and lime is very odd, it tastes almost spicy, but odd in a good way. I had a
Marquise de Chocolate I think it was called, and it was so good. Chocolate biscuity base with a brownie/torte middle, with a layer of toffee and cream on the top. Heaven! The service was brilliant too, everyone was so happy and helpful.

Clearly, I would massively recommend it! My lovely husband has been working so hard that his boss gave him the money so we could go for dinner there as he'd planned it for a team bonus, but said that Rich deserved it even if the team didn't make the target. I am so blessed to have such a hard working husband, and not only that, but one who noticed I'd been a little down and so kindly decided to give me a lovely pick me up. I knew about the dinner, and that I was going to be able to buy something new (desperately needed, I miss my
black skirt!), but the donuts and flowers, and lovely moment with my biggest boy were all lovely surprises. Thank you Rich x

Update: I ate the last donut. Less than 48 hours after they arrived in the house.

Update: This blog has now moved to - Hope to see you over there!