What a lovely chilled #bankholiday we’ve had today. It started with a dog walk, before it got too hot, I love this photo of my babies.

Then we had breakfast in the garden, it was 17 degrees by 9am I think this morning.

I mowed the lawn and cut the edges with my grass scissors 🤣 and set the paddling pool up.

We’ve all spent the afternoon dipping in the pool, playing on the trampoline and even a little bit of crafts.

This evening we carried on our Marvel fest, we’re doing the chronological story order (not the created order) and we’re up to Iron Man. It was brilliant. A great action movie.

I’ve never seen any of the marvels. Until now. I’m so grateful for @disneyplusuk keeping it all in one place!

Have you seen them?

#mummyphotoaday

What a lovely chilled #bankholiday...

This evening we had a little family scoot around our town, with a very special mission in mind.

My beautiful friend @gembro82 has started off a very long and colourful snake. The idea is you decorate a rock and add it to the snake. 🐍 Over the past 2 weeks its grown to over 400 rocks.

We loved it. It’s quite moving seeing all of these rocks, #rainbow themed or character themed. It shows just how many children are sitting at home missing their friends and that interaction.

It also demonstrates how we can support each other and work together through these daunting times.

Do you have a #SnakeRock near you? Or, do you have something similar?

#mummyphotoaday

This evening we had a...

Would you believe me when I tell you this was this morning? It was. It was directly in-between 2 rather scary looking rain clouds that unleashed their power!

The kiddies didn’t mind. They loved splashing around in the river, despite us warning them the weather would be changing very soon. Thankfully the blustery rain showers were short, albeit powerful.

The kiddies love this spot. They’ve asked to go every single day since they discovered it. I see it being a popular choice over the Summer.

This was taken with my phone. I am completely in #love with the camera on this phone. I love the fact I can take clear, vibrant and detailed photos whenever I have my phone with me.

Have you got a favourite spot that you visit more frequently than before lockdown?

#mummyphotoaday

Would you believe me when...

A great way to spend some time whilst waiting for the best delivery of your life! It was fun watching the kiddies play this game; daddy had to find the kiddies on the trampoline. I love how vibrant the colours are in this photo. Especially the #orange opening.

It seems easy but it’s quite disorienting. The kids love it. I love the anticipation of when Daddy will get them!

Our big delivery was our garden furniture. I’ll post some photos when it’s not quite so windy. The wind blew the cushions all over the place this afternoon. Our rather large patio is looking like a cosy spot to spend the summer now!

I’m hoping we’ll get in some chill time this weekend, enjoy our garden and just be safe at home.

What are you up to this weekend?

#mummyphotoaday

A great way to spend...

We are very excited to announce a fabulous competition with @toysforapound_ - they are giving away 2 bundles of 25 toys for 2 of my followers.

The kiddies had fun going through all the toys, there is a great choice of toys too. Something for everyone: including little ones. Or even the grown ups.

Enter on the blog, link in bio or check out my competition stories. You’ve got to be in to win it!

#Quicktip if you want to impress the kids this summer order a bundle of toys from @toysforapound_ - they were amazed with the amount of goodies in the box!

If you want a 10% discount code, please use CONSTANT10, this will work once per customer!

Good luck! #mummyphotoaday

We are very excited to...

I had precisely 30 minutes of sunshine this evening to test out my new iPhone camera. I absolutely love it.

The photos I have taken are stunning. The quality of the colour and the light, the fun angles of the new lens. I took this photo by accident, I adore it.

It’s world #bee day today and when I was taking this photo all of a sudden I noticed 5 or 6 buzzing around me collecting the pollen. 🐝 They fascinate me.

I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with this new phone... Anyone else have any cool tips for the new iPhone?

#mummyphotoaday

I had precisely 30 minutes...

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, this week, and the topic is KINDNESS. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing, but the effects of being kind to someone can have many benefits. I would definitely say cost vs value, value wins every time! 🤣 I think that kindness is more important at the moment as everyone needs that extra lift to make them smile.

Smiling releases hormones, endorphins, which makes us feel happy and also helps to reduce stress. So, it’s a good circle: be kind to someone - make them smile - make yourself feel happy in the process.

On Sunday Hubby showed me kindness when he took the kiddies out for a bike ride and gave me some time on my own. I needed the headspace as I’ve felt frazzled over the last 2 months. He knew that, subconsciously, and knew that taking the kiddies out would make a difference to my day. It did.

I smiled. I painted. I chilled. I felt happier.

In honour of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek - I want to spread a little kindness in my teeny square part of the world!

Comment on this photo and I will reply to you with kind words, which will hopefully make you smile.

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

#kindessmatters

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week,...

I find I spend most of my days, at the moment, just watching these 2. When they are friends, they are the best of friends. They have the most bizarre conversations and talk about the most random things. But I love listening to that!

One of my #projects over this lockdown period is to get our garden into tip top shape for Summer and another is to take more photos. I love taking photos, it’s my favourite hobby and I’m looking forward to trying out the new iPhone 11 camera at the end of the week.

This photo was taken with my iPhone 8 Plus. I think it takes amazing photos. So I can only imagine the 11 will be better! 💛 Have you seen my iPhoneography tips on the blog?

Do you have any Summer, lockdown, projects?

#mummyphotoaday #eagrammers

I find I spend most...

Easter Cooking – For the adults

kerrygoldlogoSo, something for the adults at Easter: Rachel Allen has shared some exclusive recipes with me to share on this rather wintery Easter Sunday. I really hope you like them. Kerrygold block butter is really good as it is not only naturally soft butter, but it is produced from the milk of grass fed cows! What with all the controversy in the news lately about where our food is coming from, I think its important to know that the cows are kept well and fed well. 

Rillettes of Fresh and Smoked Salmon with Melba Toast and Cucumber Pickle

Rachel Allen Rillettes of Salmon

Calories per serving (without toast): 198    Fat per serving: 14.7g

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 75g (3oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
  • 200g (7oz) smoked wild or organic Irish salmon
  • 1 tsp water
  • 200g (7oz) skinless fresh salmon fillet
  • Freshly ground pepper and nutmeg
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • 6 slices medium-cut white bread from a large sliced loaf

Method

  1. Melt 15g (1/2oz) Kerrygold butter in a saucepan. Add the smoked salmon and 1 tsp of water. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it no longer looks opaque. Cool and refrigerate until cold.
  2. At the same time, put the fresh salmon fillet into a saucepan and cover with water. Heat until almost boiling, then turn off the heat and let the salmon poach in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove, cool and refrigerate until cold.
  3. When cold, use two forks to shred both the fresh and smoked salmon – you are aiming for a coarse, slightly stringy texture.
  4. Beat the remaining Kerrygold butter in a bowl, then add the salmon and mix together, still using a fork (do not use a food processor). Season with pepper and nutmeg. Taste and add lemon juice as necessary. Cover and chill.
  5. Just before serving, make the Melba toast. Toast the bread on both sides. Cut the crusts off immediately and then split in half to create very thin slices. Scrape off any soft crumb, cut into triangles and put back under the grill, untoasted side up for a few seconds until the edges curl up. Serve with the rillettes.

Tip: Salmon rillettes will keep perfectly in the refrigerator for 5-6 days provided they are sealed with clarified butter. To make clarified butter, melt 75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter gently in a saucepan. Allow it to stand for a few minutes, and then skim off the crusty white layer of salt particles from the top. Underneath this crust there is clear liquid butter, which is the clarified butter. The milky liquid at the bottom can be discarded or used in a white sauce. Pack the salmon rillettes into individual pots or a larger pottery terrine and level the surface. Carefully pour the clarified butter over the top. Chill to form a sealed layer.

Cucumber Pickle

Calories per serving: 35       Fat per serving: 0

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced (unpeeled)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 25g (1oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml (7fl oz) cider vinegar

Method

  1. Combine the cucumber and onion sliced in a bowl (not a metal one). Add the sugar, salt and vinegar.
  2. Place in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator and leave for at least 4-5 hours or overnight before using.

Tip: Keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Additional Recipe Tips

  • Salmon Rillettes on Sour Dough: Toast or char-grill a slice of sour dough bread, spread with some rillette mixture. Top with a few tiny rocket leaves and some chive or wild garlic flowers.
  • Salmon Rilettes on Cucumber Slices: Cut two cucumbers into 5mm (1/4 inch) slices. Spoon a blob of the rillettes mixture on top of each cucumber slice. Garnish with sprigs of chervil, chives or wild garlic flowers. Arrange 3 on a plate with a little salad in the centre or serve as a canapé.
  • Extra Posh Salmon Rillettes: Line 6-8 individual moulds or ramekins with cling film, then put a slice of smoked salmon into each mould. Fill the moulds with the rillettes, then fold the ends of the smoked salmon over the rillettes to cover. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour. 

 

Almond Brittle Cake

Rachel Allen Almond Brittle Cake

Calories per serving: 623     Fat per serving: 35.5g

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 150g (5oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g (3oz) ground almonds
  • 2 tsp milk

Almond Brittle

  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 100g (4oz) granulated sugar
  • 100g (4oz) whole almonds (unskinned)

Almond Butter Icing

  • 225g (8oz) Kerrygold block butter, now softer
  • 450g (1lb) icing sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 x 18cm (7 inch) deep sandwich tins or cake tins         

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5. Grease the cake tins with a little Kerrygold butter and line the bases with baking paper or greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat the Kerrygold butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. Sieve the flour and baking powder together, then add to the creamed mixture with the ground almonds. Stir in the milk.
  3. Divide equally between the prepared tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes.
  4. While the cakes are cooking, make the almond brittle. First, grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil. Next, combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan. Put over a medium-low heat until the sugar turns caramel colour, carefully rotating the pan until the almonds are covered – this will only take a few minutes. Very carefully pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Cool. (TAKE GREAT CARE when making caramel and NEVER touch it – it reaches an extremely high temperature. Keep a watchful eye on the pan as you make it – don’t just leave it to cook).
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  6. To make the icing, beat the Kerrygold butter until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, using a hand-held electric mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract. Chop half the cooled almond brittle finely and stir it into the icing.
  7. To assemble, spilt each cake in half. Spread with butter icing, then sandwich the two cakes together with more icing. Spread the rest of the icing around the top and sides of the cake.
  8. Break off some shards of almond brittle and arrange on top of the cake. Coarsely chop the rest and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Tip: Use whole unskinned hazelnuts instead of almonds for the brittle.

“Rachel Allen is promoting Kerrygold block butter which is naturally softer and produced from the milk of grass fed cows.  For more information, recipes and tips from Rachel, visit www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK
 

 

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