My second bake of the month.

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I’ve actually managed two, yep, two bakes this month and only a week apart. This was my bog standard cake recipe (see earlier posts for the recipe.

This cake was for my mother-in-law and was hugely scaled down ideas wise as my original plan (which I won’t reveal) turned out to be almost impossible to carry out. I think this one is ok though!

Happy Sunday!

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“Never, ever, ever give up.” Winston Churchill

The title of today’s blog post is one of my favourite Churchill quotes and is pretty relevant to me at the moment. Not necassarily for negative reasons either…you’ll have to watch this space!

Today I woke up in the mood to bake so I donned my fab ‘Star Baker’ apron (a Birthday pressie from 2 of my favourite people: Trish & Becki)…

Got my sous chef (the hubby) at the ready and started to concoct.

The recipe which follows is the result of finding 4 very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl.

Ingredients
4 ripe bananas
210g light muscavaso sugar
210g Stork cooking margerine
210g self raising flour
4 eggs (mine weighed 210g)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon of ginger ale
1 tablespoon of milk

The how to bit
1) Begin by cutting the bananas into thin slices.
2) Turn the oven on at 180°c (turn it down to 160°c when you put the cake in).
3) Cream the butter & sugar together until smooth.
4) Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger & baking powder and stir until combined.
5) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the ginger ale.
6) Mix in the flour and egg mixture a little at a time until all the ingredients are mixed in.
7) Stir in the bananas (leaving roughly 10 slices for later) and milk.
8) Finally pour the mixture into a loaf tin and bake at 160°c for roughly 1 hour 20 minutes but keep checking it with a skewer to ensure it’s cooked all the way through (the skewer should come out clean). I had to turn it down to 140°c for the last 20 minutes to make sure it cooked in the middle.
9) When cold, decorate with a mascarpone frosting and the leftover banana slices.

Possible ingredients!

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The chopped bananas and my ace ‘Star Baker’ notepad (a Christmas gift) with my jottings.
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The butter mixture.
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The ‘wet’ mixture.
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The finished product which tastes pretty darn good! It’s light, fluffy & tastes just gingery & banana-ery enough.

Have a very happy Saturday! I’m looking forward to a red wine, chocolate & trashy tv evening with my lovely little sister.

Welcoming in 2014 and bidding good riddance to 2013.

Happy New Year!

I am very, very, very glad that 2013 is over. There was something not quite right with last year & I don’t think I was the only one to feel this way!

There were some highlights though: getting married, hen dos, a wonderful honeymoon, baby announcements, proposals, beinf askes to be a bridesmaid (huge congrats to Helen & Ian) & generally good times with friends so I can’t complain too much!
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Us on our wedding day ❤

We wanted a low key, last minute NYE & that is exactly what we had. Our good friends, Queenie & Simon, came over and we had a few drinks, ate party food & played silly games. Here are just a few snapshots of our evening/morning after…
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Simon’s amazing chocolate brains! They were like Creme eggs (only better) and filled with red buttercream. Nom!

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Snacks!

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Orange & lemon jelly slice vodka.
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Playing Linkee. I would recommend this for fans of Only Connect. Very addictive & competitive!

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All the components for a breakfast fit for royalty this morning… Bacon & egg bagels!

It was ‘such fun’ so thanks to Queenie & Simon for coming over.
A tradition that we started two years ago was to have a Welstead family day on New Years Day. It’s basically a good excuse to drink copious amounts of wine, have a pre-lunch sherry and a post lunch port with my mum & sister and to play silly games.

This year I decided to keep lunch simple so cooked ‘appley’ pork & macaroni cheese and served it with salad.

We’d bought a 2kg shoulder of pork as it was reduced in Tesco on Monday night. We cut it into two parts, saving the smaller part for a Sunday roast.

All I did with the pork was pop it into the slow cooker on high, with an apple cut in half, a pint of pork stock, 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar & an onion peeled & halved.
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I then left it to cook for about 5 hours, until the juices ran clear.

The pork was tender & juicy and went well with the macaroni cheese and salad.
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It wasn’t too filling either!

We then had a relaxed afternoon watching the Vicar of Dibley, playing the alphabet game & more Linkee. A lush start to the new year.

I should probably pay the hubby some attention now so I’m going to finish by wishing you all a happy, prosperous and lucky 2014 from myself & Susie (our cat) and to thank every single person who has been there for us this year. You all rule!
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