Life with two Smalls and a fistful of daydreams


Final week of the Summer Holidays, hard to believe next week is going to be September – the year is flying by!

Monday: Cheese & Bacon Quiche with salad

Tuesday: Stuffed marrow

Wednesday: Chicken with vegetables & new potatoes

Thursday: Pasta bake

Friday: Sausages, chips & peas

Saturday: Make your own pizza

Sunday: Honey & Mustard chicken with rice & mixed vegetables

I'm linking up with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday linky

I’m linking up with Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday linky

 


Bread Week fills me with fear but is never as disastrous as I expect – I should really make bread more often.

So, I don’t like Rye bread so that ruled that out, I’ve made ciabatta before (and they were so *cough* wonderful *cough* that I gave them to somebody else) so that just left the stuffed/filled showstopper loaf option.

Erk.

I knew I was never going to make a ‘showstopper’ beauty so decided to just try and pull off a successful bake. I kept it simple and had a fairly ‘dry’ filling to try and minimise gaps and unbaked middles – Prosciutto & Parmesan Bread.

bread2Prosciutto & Parmesan Bread

Ingredients:

  • 450g strong plain white flour
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250ml lukewarm water
  • 50g Prosciutto ham
  • Extra flour for sprinkling OR cornmeal

Method:

  1. Put the flour, cheese, yeast, salt and pepper in your mixer and, using a dough hook, mix in the olive oil, egg and water on minimum speed until it forms a soft dough.
  2. Knead for one minute on minimum setting and then four minutes on speed 1 or until the dough is soft and elastic. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover it with a damp teatowel or lightly oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Use the dough hook on minimum speed for 30-60 seconds to gently knock the dough back. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Flatten each half into a round and sprinkle over half of the ham.
  4. Fold each piece of dough in half then sprinkle over the remaining ham.
  5. Roll each piece up and tuck in the sides to form stubby loaves.
  6. Transfer to a floured baking sheet (or one dusted with cornmeal if you have some to hand), leaving a gap between the loaves. Cover again and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200·C
  8. Brush the tops of your loaves with water and sprinkle with flour/cornmeal. Slash the top of the loaves then bake for 20 minutes or until the loaves are golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Slice and serve!

breadweek1

I didn’t really slash my loaves bravely enough so they looked quite plain and I think I left them in a few seconds too long as they were edging out of the ‘golden’ colour range and into the ‘dark brown’ one. I also didn’t distribute my ham very evenly in one loaf as it was about four slices in before I got to any. When I did find it though, it made a very pretty swirl which was satisfying.

The bread itself was a lovely texture and not too dense, it has a soft crust and has a subtle cheese flavour that isn’t overpowering and is well complemented by the sweet, salty Prosciutto. It is incredibly moreish.

bread3

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GreatBloggersBakeOff
I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
-
To see the other great entries in Bread Week click here to see the linky on MummyMishaps

234auToday was an extra special day as it was the Christening of not one but two very special little ladies – Edith & Lily. I am one of Edith’s (very proud) Godparents and this is a picture (clearly taken by Caius and not me, as I’m in it) of the two stars of the show and their parents and godparents with the minister who held the service.

235auOver the last couple of weeks these two have got a little fed up of each other’s company and there have been lots of fights, including a bit of blood loss on ocassion, so it was nice to see them having big relaxed cuddles watching TV this morning.

236auWe went to visit baby Edith again today and had some more awake cuddles than we had on Sunday. She is a whole month old today and all kinds of gorgeous.

237auTori rediscovered her Fuzzy Felts today and made this picture of Nannan and Grandad’s house. Apparently that is also Grandad’s car, although I don’t remember it looking quite like that last time I was in it…

238auWe went to visit English Folkfan this afternoon and the Smalls had fun discovering and playing with a lot of Caius’s old toys – here they are exploring his old bath toys and later they moved on to playing with his old dolls.

239auI have been meaning to have a go with the ice cream maker attachment on my Kenwood for a while and tonight I made apple, blackberry and cinnamon frozen yoghurt in it. It is very yummy!

240Today I got down to my Great Bloggers Bake Off attempt – bread week is scary. I think the last time I made bread was last year’s bread week! The results are incredibly tasty – turns out Parmesan and Prosciutto Bread is good stuff.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky


Ah biscuit week. The one where I always think ‘oh I can do that’ and then fail miserably. Last year we had to make towers of biscuits and this year the challenge once again involved precarious balancing and a certain amount of artistic talent – something I don’t have much of.

First up I decided I would ignore the 3D challenge and just try out a new recipe. I have had the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home recipe book for months but have never dared attempt any of the beautiful recipes inside – this was the perfect excuse.

I picked out the reasonably simple but tasty looking Linzer Cookies and set to mixing and making. It made a very nice smooth dough which was easy to cut after chilling in the fridge however I should have kept a closer watch on them in the oven as instead of being pale and beautiful the majority of mine looked more like they should have been chocolate flavoured. ‘Over-Baked’ would have been understating it a bit – I took photos of the best ones to save face ;)

linzer cookies

I could have left it at that but I just wasn’t happy with them so I decided the next day to have another go but this time just use a simple vanilla sugar cookie recipe and try to construct a 3D scene.

I happen to be the proud owner of the Lakeland range of Doctor Who cookie cutters and decided I would try to make a scene of Daleks trying to surround the TARDIS (in honour of the new series starting next week) – I have no idea why I thought this would be a good idea after my failure at getting biscuits to stand up last year…

I did commit the cardinal sin and used ready to roll icing for decorating my biscuits but the artwork was all hand drawn on with an edible ink marker pen. This took aaaaages but was quite good fun.

dalek1

Once the ink was dry I mixed up some thick icing with water and icing sugar (in hindsight I should have added some egg too, but never mind) and began trying to get my three Daleks to stand up around my TARDIS.

The TARDIS was a total pain and had to be propped up with a rolling pin and various other kitchen implements to prevent a total collapse – it still looked a bit drunk in the end though. (Or, as my Dad said, ‘it’s just dizzy from whizzing through time and space.’)

The Daleks worked quite well though and once the icing had set I was able to remove all the props and nothing fell down!

Picdalek2Not the neatest 3D scene ever but I was pleased with it and it’s very tasty! There isn’t much left already!!

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GreatBloggersBakeOff
I’m taking part in the #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014
-
To see the other great entries in Biscuit Week click here to see the linky on MummyMishaps

Another week, another meal plan. Just me and the kids for dinner a few nights this week so there will be lots of lazy food.

Monday: Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken with noodles

Tuesday: Bacon & Tomato Pasta

Wednesday: Sausages, chips and vegetables

Thursday: Southern fried chicken sticks with spaghetti shapes

Friday: Fishfingers, chips and peas

Saturday: We might be out tonight, not sure yet. If not then it will probably be pasta of some sort.

Sunday: BBQ Chicken Wings and burgers with corn on the cob slices and salad.

I'm linking up with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday linky

I’m linking up with Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday linky

 


227auToday my crazy boyfriend completed his first ever Olympic distance triathlon (yes, the morning after driving home from Scotland) in an epic rain storm. He did it in three and a half hours and I am super proud of him.

228auMade the most of the sun’s appearance today and all went for a romp in the park together.

229auThe Smalls and I went on a day trip with my parents today whilst Caius was at work. We visited Harlech Castle (which is great for hide and seek!) and then spent half an hour paddling on the beach just outside Barmouth. It was very windy but the rain held off until we were driving home which was great considering storms were forecast!

230auSomebody was having a Cars day and was very pleased to discover his trainers match his play suit.

231auAttempted a new recipe for the Great Bloggers Bake Off today – this is about the only one I didn’t ‘overbake’ (read: practically burn).

232auRound two of Bake Off baking saw me doing a more basic vanilla sugar biscuit recipe but going a bit more all out on the decoration (I even tried making them 3D in the end!)

233auLazy dinner tonight, just because we can :)

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky


It is with great excitement that I can reveal the awesome front cover for the re-release of Gustavo Florentin‘s detective mystery-thriller The Schwarzschild Raduis, designed by Andrea Garcia and published by Curiosity Quills Press.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-manhattan-skyline-night-new-york-city-image28953902

Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student, descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared.

After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony.

When she finds Olivia, Rachel becomes the killer’s next target.

~

You can find Gustavo Florentin on:

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