This week I’ve gone with an Italian theme in order to boost energy levels and hopefully eat more healthily. The last week or so with poorly children eating habits have well… mainly been take away, nice at the time but afterwards blurgh! So this week it’s all Italian.
This cake must be eaten in wodges. It’s a wodge kind of cake.
what you need:
4oz caster sugar
4oz self raising flour
5tbs custard powder
5tbs icing sugar
what you do:
preheat the oven to 180C
cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl
beat the eggs in a jug & add slowly to the butter/sugar mix
sieve in flour and 3 tbs of custard powder
add the 2 tbs of milk and mix into smooth batter
pour into a greased cake tin (I use an 8 inch heart-shaped silicon mould)
bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
once cool mix the icing sugar and remaining custard powder in a jug with a tiny drop of boiling water – splat the icing onto the cake from a height, for no other reason that it sounds nice and splatty.
A really versatile recipe which can be used to make sweet or savoury bread. In this recipe I’ve used sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan but I have made it using plain cheese, cheese, ham and mustard, pesto and olive or my most favourite of all Nutella.
what you need:
600g strong white flour
1 1/4 tsp dried fast action yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil
approx. 350ml tepid water
filling of choice
what you do:
tip the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and oil into a large bowl.
gradually add the water, mixing with your hand until a nice pliable dough is formed.
tip dough onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes
return to the bowl and cover with cling film, leave to rise in a warm place until double the size (around an hour)
alternatively do as I do and use the dough setting on a bread maker for the stages above.
tip dough onto floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle
add the filling of choice – this time I blitzed sun-dried tomatoes (approx 8 big ones & some of the oil in a food processor) and sprinkled on finely grated parmesan.
roll into a big sausage – think swiss roll.
slice into 1 1/2 inch rounds and place into greased loose bottom cake tin (I put surplus into loaf tins)
leave to rise for 30 minutes – I use the oven for this on 50 C.
once the bread has doubled in size…
bring the bread from the oven and turn the oven up to 200C – brush the bread with milk and then bake for approx 20 minutes.
once cooked remove from tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
The nutella version is ideal for breakfast. The savoury versions are nice served with stews, like my sausage & cider casserole or soup such as my lentil & tomato. Or used in packed lunches – the chunks just pull off into nice serving sizes.
This is me. I am the accidental one. I never intended to be a baby wearer, a co-sleeper an extended part of my baby but that is what has happened.
My first two children now seven and nine didn’t do any of these things, they slept in cots in their own rooms, they travelled about in a pram quite contentedly and in fact were quite independent from me – happy to go off and play, amuse themselves etc. Then we get to baby three. He’s an entirely different little personality, he is a complete attachment child. He can’t sleep unless he’s in our bed, he’s only content if he can see us, he detests being put into a pram, cot, play pen where he isn’t with us and so I’ve morphed into an attachment parent.
But thinking about things, is attachment parenting how it’s supposed to be? Is it right to put a tiny baby into a barred cot in a separate room from his mother or father? Is it right to put a baby into cots, playpens, prams etc so you can get on with whatever it is you wanted to do? Is it right to send him to a nursery from a very young age to be cared for by a stranger.
If left to nature is attachment parenting not how things would be? Would the young sleep with the parents, travel around by being carried and held, observe the world from the arms of mum and dad?
Or… Is it because this is baby number three and our last baby that we’ve been so much more laid back and wanted the easy option? In the night when the baby has cried I honestly have not been able to be bothered sitting up in a chair rocking him back to sleep for what could be hours on end. I’ve wanted to sleep, I’ve wanted to be comfy in my bed and so have popped him in with me. I can’t be bothered listening to tantrums and unnecessary crying because he’s bored or wants to do something with me instead of on his own and so he is always kept happy by being with us and 99% of the time he is really happy and laid back in a way I don’t remember the other two being.
Also because we’ve had two other children we feel no pressure to be checking child development books to see if we are establishing all the “correct” behaviours and milestones at the correct times. Or is it simply that we’ve created a rod for our own back by being lazy and relaxed as many people like to tell me, daily.
This post doesn’t need all that many words. Formby is stunning, the autumn weather gorgeous and the children happy*
*well when I say happy, obviously that incorporates a wide range of sulking, arguing, fighting, tantruming and general Veruca Salt style behaviour in amongst the happy. But the happy was very happy – paddling, shell collecting and for a certain small boy the sitting in the sea fully clothed experience….
Formby is a brilliant place to visit and an absolute must if you are around the Southport area. It’s so easy to spend a day here – picnics, walks, beach, red squirrels, forests and obviously ice-cream.