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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Finding Evening Entertainment.

Taking some time out as a parent isn't always an easy thing to do, it's finding someone you trust and know to look after the children, trusting the children will behave and not play the baby sitter up, and getting your friends to get the same child free night as you, and that's just three potential obstacles that I've just thought of in seconds.

With my three grown up children, I only trusted my parents and their father to look after them when they was younger, and with my youngest, I only have my partner, her father to look after her because we live four hours away from family. I've always said and I always will you can't trust anyone with your children, and I would never take the risk just for some free time!

Instead, once a month, when my daughter is sound asleep in bed, me and my partner get a classic board game out and enjoy thrashing each other just like children all over again. Recently though, we've been getting bored of the same old games, and knowing who's going to win at what game because clearly we know who's the best at certain games!

We've tried a number of other ideas for entertainment, like movie nights but we end up falling asleep on the sofa, which the cat kindly reminds us of as that's her favourite place to sleep! We've tried reading but to be honest, none of us are big reading fans, we read the newspapers every day, but that's about it as far as it goes.

We've tried having a few local friends around once every now and again, which actually wasn't that bad, but now we've moved again and working patterns have changed for our friends, that soon stopped sadly. We have found some success in online gaming with sites like M88, although none of us have yet to win big, enough to stretch to a takeaway but not a lovely new car!

I'm always baking and my partner is always cooking so we've thought about a bake off this month for some entertainment. Our judge will be our daughter and if its all successful, we will repeat this when my three grown up children and grandchildren come down for there yearly holiday to ours, that way we will have more judges and it will seem more like a competition!

Not to blow my own trumpet, but I do make gypsy tart perfectly, not something everyone can do successfully, so I'm just giving my partner a heads up on who's going to win! My older three children love gypsy tart, they're always asking me to send some down in the post, obviously they're kidding, but one of my daughters did ask me to send it by courier specially wrapped up!

Right, I best go, if I've not made you bored and tired already, I will if I carry on!

M x

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

I have made these so many times and they always go down well with family & friends, so here is the recipe below.




For the base

125g butter or margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour, sifted

For the filling

200g condensed milk
125g butter or margarine
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
175g milk or plain chocolate, broken into small chunks.



Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and grease an 18 x 28cm Swiss roll tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy then fold the four into the creamed mixture until well mixed. Press the mixture evenly into the base of the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes until golden (slighty less time in a fan assisted oven)
Make the filling by placing  all of the filling ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a gentle boil, then continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring continuously. You need to stir quite vigorously as little bits of caramel will stick to the pan but should come away easily and dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has turned a light caramel colour, take the pan off the heat and spread the filling all over the cooked base. Leave to cool.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the pour it over the caramel. Leave to set for 2 hours or until the chocolate is firm. Cut into 12 fingers.