Tuesday, 31 January 2012

DIM MOMENTS

Last week I thought I was turning 39, till Lance corrected me. Seriously. 

I turned 38 yesterday (thanks to those who wished me by the way, will get to your msgs!)... not 39! Was spoilt by hubby. 

It's been a topsy turvy month with the flooding upstairs, due two inspections soon (so going paperwork crazy), our fertility doctor died suddenly (devastated), tax return due, mum due next week for 6 weeks so getting (now flooded!) guestroom ready, dealing with passive aggressive client (who I gave notice to), hubby battling with bone condition etc. 

My head is all a muddle. Stressed. 

Dim moments...


Last week I thought I was turning 39, till Lance corrected me. Seriously. 

I turned 38 yesterday (thanks to those who wished me by the way, will get to your msgs!)... not 39! Was spoilt by hubby. 

It's been a topsy turvy month with the flooding upstairs, due two inspections soon (so going paperwork crazy), our fertility doctor died suddenly (devastated), tax return due, mum due next week for 6 weeks so getting (now flooded!) guestroom ready, dealing with passive aggressive client (who I gave notice to), hubby battling with bone condition etc. 

My head is all a muddle. Stressed. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Clever Nelson!

A great quote to begin the week. Education is the great engine to personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become a head of a mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. Nelson Mandela

Birthday cuppa tea in bed ... Bliss

Birthday lunch

I had a pre birthday lunch at The Telegraph at Putney heath, with hubby and sis, after church. 

Quite a few people wished me for my birthday at church, which was lovely. I am definitely feeling better for being at church again, even this one, which has so many baptisms. 

A friend of my sister's, Beth, told us that the English girl we know in Cape Town, who does missions work there, actually works with fostering and adopting of orphans! Wow, what a fantastic ministry. And what a lovely contact for us to have for our return :)

The chef (and baker!)


Birthday cake - 28 January

Lance made his first ever cake this weekend - for my birthday :)

It was a vanilla and chocolate marble cake... I thought his decorations were so sweet... he might take over from me as the baker in the house if I don't watch things hehe

He then proceeded to make a delicious lamb and chicken roast on Saturday for his sister, her husband and son... yum!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes


Ingredients:

For the cupcakes: 
3 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups), at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the filling:
 
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting: 
3 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups), at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
3½ cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons milk
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For decoration:
 
Mini chocolate chips

Directions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Line cupckae pan with 24 liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about a half hour.

To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. I found this a little tricky to get the hole out but then you get to eat what you take out! Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Frost the filled cupcakes as desired and sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips.

Good morning London! A tad different to yesterday thankfully :)

Monday, 2 January 2012

Deer in Richmond Park

Ham House

Brisk walk near Ham House

020112 - Wintery (and oh so mild) Richmond Park

Sunday, 1 January 2012

It's 2012!

HAPPY NEW YEAR fellow childcare providers!!! May 2012 be a year full of excitement and delight as we watch those in our care grow and develop... may we appreciate those precious moments of them discovering something new and exciting, and share in their joy of the amazing world around them. May God bless you all this year ahead x