Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

Has anyone else noticed…

… that there are literally only 4 types of television programmes these days:

  1. Cop shows
  2. Medical shows
  3. Reality TV shows
  4. Cooking Shows

I seriously cannot think of any other type of television programme.

Seriously programme makers, there really are only so many ways to solve a murder – couldn’t we just have the one detective. Preferably Gene Hunt! He doesn’t take any nonsense and, don’t ask me why, definitely sexier than all these balding, middle-aged detectives.

I know everyone these days is desperate for their Andy Warhol ’15 minutes of fame’ but do we really have to endure all the reality rubbish. If we want to see idiots behaving badly, all we need do is go into the local town centre at the weekend around closing time to see the local morons – why should I pay my TV licence to have to watch them. Years ago (Victorian times it has to be said) I believe they opened up the asylums and let people laugh at the inmates!

And seriously, some of the stuff these cooks make, in such a short time, I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. Not only do you never see them washing their hands after handling raw products – which puts me off ever eating in their restaurants – but nothing ever seems cooked. Especially meat. There’s rare and then there’s just shaved off the animal’s backside and served.

And the worst news is, thanks to satellite, digital television we now have a gazillion number of channels to watch – all showing the same rubbish.

Surely, someone in programme making can come up with someone vaguely mediocre?

To be honest, I very rarely watch television anymore, because there is never anything to watch!

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Cupcake Disaster!!

The weekend saw my first major-league cupcake DISASTER!!

I had used a new recipe 2 weeks ago – the Primrose Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe.

It was a good recipe and resulted in a good textured cupcake. More akin to the shop-bought cupcakes than I have managed to get in my attempts so far.

I’m not sure if it was because the recipe used a larger quantity of all-purpose flour in relation to self-raising flour, or because when it came to adding the flour and milk the recipe said “beat”, so I dispensed with the folding technique and just carried on using my electric beater.

Anyway, I used the same recipe again at the weekend.

I thought when I was spooning the mixture into the cake cases that it didn’t look, or feel right. Then the cakes didn’t rise as much as normal.

I had no inkling anything could be wrong.

But the cakes were so YUCK, even SC couldn’t eat them. He took one mouthful, look puzzled, then took a smaller mouthful, before spitting it out and saying “YUCK! These are disgusting!”

I was at a loss. I had used the same recipe, what could possibly have gone wrong?

I narrowed it down to 2 possibilities:

1.  I had used different sugar. I replaced my light brown sugar with fruit sugar – natural sugar where you need to use one-third less.

or

2. I had done something wrong in the mixing process.

I had also made a batch of rock cakes that morning using the fruit sugar – yes, Saturday is a good morning. The kitchen always smells scrummy!

The rock cakes had turned out fine, and tasted good.

So, I don’t think it could have been the use of a different sugar.

Where had I, then, gone wrong in the mixing process?

The only thing I could think of that I had done differently was to keep the beater on whilst adding the flour and milk. I must have over-beaten it. I had no idea this was even possible to over-beat a cake!

When I was adding the last remnants of milk into the mixture it did keep clinging to the beater. I guess that should have given me a clue that something was wrong.

Still, we live and learn. One batch of bad cupcakes is not a total disaster, just a learning curve.

Note to self, don’t over-mix next time.

I did make another batch on Sunday morning, still using the beater but making sure I turned it off between flour and milk additions, and the cakes turned out perfectly 😉

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Top 3 ‘comforts’

So, let’s say you’ve had a lousy day at work, you’re stressed or you just feel less than 100%, a bit down. What do you do to make you feel better?

Some people reach for the chocolate, others for a bottle of red (or white) wine.

Obviously, that doesn’t work for me!

My top 3 comfort methods for feeling better are (in no particular order)

  1. Cuddles – SC is brilliant at just flinging his arms around me, for no reason, and saying “I love you Mummy”. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face every time 😉 He also instinctively knows if I’m not feeling happy and gives me lots of big hugs – which are obviously returned as big, if not bigger.
  2. Watching a old-fashioned movie, snuggled under the duvet and slumming it in pyjamas – with a box of tissues to hand. I’m an old-fashioned kind-of gal, and those old movies get me every time. You know the 1940’s and 1950’s movies – English or Hollywood, not particularly fussed. But the type where boy gets girl … in the end. Never a dry eye watching those.
  3. Cake – Well, since I can’t eat chocolate and don’t like wine, I must have to have one vice, don’t I? I love making cakes, but you can’t beat a cup of tea and slice of cake from either the local tea-shop or from the bakery department at the supermarket. Although I hate coffee to drink, I am quite partial to coffee cake, but I do have a soft spot for a moist, carrot cake with cream frosting – there is an amazing shop just opened where I live and there carrot cake is to die for (nom  nom).

What do you reach for in times of trouble?

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