I haven’t done one of these posts in a while! I will recap my latest marathon soon, but for now here are some things I’ve been loving recently.
Baking: You know it’s the end of summer in the UK when The Great British Bake Off starts. I love this programme but honestly it’s such a hard time for me. I spend the entire Tuesday evening just wanting cake. Happily though at work we’re doing a Bake Off Sweepstake (a Bakestake if you like). A group of us have gotten together and we’ve been assigned a baker each. When that baker gets kicked off the person assigned has to bring in baked goods before the next episode. I had Imelda so I had to bake first.Now you may or may not know (if you’ve read this blog a long time you will know) that I’m an appalling baker having had many baking fails. So I needed to find a simple fool-proof (Anna/idiot-proof) recipe. I also wanted something that was a tiny bit more exciting than my usual go-to of brownies or simple cookies.
I did a bit of Googling and found an amazing looking creation… Jammie Dodger Blondies! Though I’m not a huge biscuit fan, I do love Jammie Dodgers and I love white chocolate, both key ingredients to this. And amazingly the recipe sounded so simple (the recipe I used is THIS one).
Jammie Dodger Blondies!
- 200g Butter
- 300g Golden caster sugar
- 150g White chocolate chips/chunks
- 3 med. eggs
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- 225g Plain flour
- A pack of mini Jammie Dodger biscuits (I found these worked really nicely for smaller pieces)
- 6tbsp Strawberry Jam
- Melt the butter with the sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until melted, then remove from heat.
- Add the white chocolate and stir so it melts. Leave to cool for 5 minutes (IMPORTANT).
- Add the eggs to the mixture and whisk as you go so you don’t cook the eggs into scrambled egg!
- Add the vanilla extract, flour and then mix thoroughly.
- Pour into 12″ x 9″ tray baking tin.
- Place Jammie Dodgies on top of the mixture and swirl spoonfuls of jam around them (I microwaved the jam for 10 seconds to soften it up a bit).
- Bake for 30 minutes at 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Nothing went wrong. I followed the recipe. I was successful! Hurrah! Hallelujah! Praise be! And even more amazingly, people actually seemed to enjoy them and they were all gone by the end of the day. Awesome.
I can now watch Bake Off in peace without worrying about having to bake anything… while enjoying a different bake each week from someone else.Table tennis: We have a table tennis table in our office (yes I do work in a very cool place) and we have a few leagues going on so we’ve been playing a fair bit. I’m terrible. Truly terrible but I really enjoy playing it. So much so I even managed to persuade Kyle to go to a restaurant (The Southsea Village) that had a table tennis table so we could play after eating (to be fair it didn’t take much persuading, he’s as much an addict as I am though significantly more skilled).It’s so much fun to play at lunch. I mean, I should probably play more to get better but I enjoy playing regardless of my skill level so that’s something. It creates good moral and lightheartedness in the office which I think can only be a good thing.
Lush shampoo bar: I wouldn’t say I’m an eco-warrior by any stretch of the imagination but I do try and be mindful of the products I buy, the waste I create and recycle as much as possible. With that in mind, I saw that you could buy shampoo BARS rather than shampoo in bottles. Obviously I have quite long hair and do a lot of running and gym so washing my hair is something I do quite regularly (annoyingly regularly). I found that these shampoo bars not only last a lot longer than shampoo in the bottle (like 80 washes apparently) but obviously don’t require a plastic bottle.
I decided to give it a go. It was less than a tenner and my hair isn’t that sensitive (if that’s the right word) to certain products so I couldn’t see it being a total disaster. I went for the Montalbano one, which is lemony with rosemary. It smells DIVINE. It doesn’t take much to get a lather going. I put it under the shower then rub it in my hands and then rub a bit on the ends of my hair and then carry on lathering it in without the bar. It works absolutely fine and my hair is super soft and shiny after. I’d fully recommend. Saving money and the environment. Happy days! I have a sandwich bag that I keep it in (I know I can buy a little tub but £££) and then pop it in my make-up bag for the gym. It works really well.
What products have you been enjoying recently?
Do you play any other sports?
Have you been inspired to bake because of Bake Off?