Get your Bake On: Creme & Mini Egg Loaded Brownie

I’ve been baking again.

I often like to bake when I am feeling a bit stressed out, and this week has been up there in the stressful stakes thanks to my middle one (yep, the one with the broken arm) continuing to ignore my pleas of not jumping about the furniture and the garden like a lunatic, potty training the toddler and listening to the husband tell me what new cars he is off to test drive this weekend (I have had to ignore how much he has told me they all cost. Sob).

I sought solace in my kitchen and set about making another easter treat fit for all the family this weekend called;

Creme & Mini Egg Loaded Brownie

It’s such a good brownie recipe and it’s a really great way to use up a glut of easter eggs should you end up with copious amounts! On that subject, feel free to ignore my suggested amounts of mini eggs and creme eggs in this recipe and go mad, the more the merrier I say!

There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but don’t let that put you off. You’ll be able to knock up a batch of these in just over an hour (including cooling and cooling time) and it really is very simple to do. Trust me, even I managed to make them.

I’ve eaten 3 chunks of this myself now so I can vouch for it’s deliciousness. I might have to have another one in a minute though just to make sure.

So, what are you waiting for? Hop to it!


 Recipe for creme egg and mini egg brownie

If it lasts that long, this Brownie will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container and you can also freeze it, minus the Creme eggs on the top, for up to a month. If freezing, just leave to defrost, covered with foil, at room temperature overnight and it’ll be good to go the next day.




Get Your Bake On: Fried Egg Easter Chocolate Slab

With Easter hopping it’s way towards us, I have gone into panic mode and realised the Easter Bunny (aka, muggins here) hasn’t bothered to get my children any Easter Eggs yet. Oops.

This is entirely on purpose however, because I am literally incapable of storing chocolate in the house and not eating it. It’s for the sake of my waistline and bank balance folks, honest, and not just because I am disorganised.

As much as Easter Eggs and Easter themed treats can be a bit of a swindle money wise (yep, that solid bar of dairy milk contains way more chocolate for your bucks than that novelty easter egg) there is a fun novelty about them that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your kids faces. Oh ok, and mine. I’m also a sucker for an easter egg or twenty.

As I’m not at all religious, I like to think of Easter as a special time for family and friends to be able to spend much needed time together and also to celebrate new life and the hard work our farmers do, especially at this time of year with lambs being born. Spring truly is a wonderful time of year. Flowers are out, trees have woken from their slumber, newborn farm animals are in the fields and Creme Eggs are in the supermarkets. Happiness is.

If you don’t have the cash to splash on a swish chocolate egg or novelty chocolate ‘slab’ (like they sell in Hotel Chocolat) fear not, I have a simple recipe here guaranteed to make family and friends hoppy with EGGcitement (sorry, I had to throw at least one egg yolk in there. Oh, and another!)

All you need is a couple of bars of chocolate and some food colouring!

This Fried Egg Easter Chocolate Slab will make the perfect handmade gift or, if you’re not into sharing, just scoff it yourself.


Easter chocolate slab easter egg




Tiny Dancer…

So from the comfort of my sofa, I am being entertained with a ‘dance show’ by my middle one.
He’s unorthodox, cannot be categorised into any particular dance genre and is very ‘expressive’.

I’m not sure he will make the Royal Ballet anytime soon, but a love of dance (or leaping about) seems to be in his blood at least….

Without further ado, I give you 1 minute 50 of my 6 year old being a Tiny Dancer….

  

 




Northumberland Holiday: Day 3 (and Britmums Daily Photo challenge – Day 28: Egg)

A cloudy start to the day today which was Sod’s law as today, we were off to the Kielder Observatory. Absolutely no sign of Storm Katie up here whatsoever and I hope none of you had more damage than a wheelie bin blown over or a plastic flowerpot overturned….I heard via Facebook and my brother back home that it was quite something.

For this event at the observatory to be any good whatsoever we were at the mercy of the universe and had to hope that whatever cloud was around now, would be gone by 8pm when we were due to begin.

It’s a fairly new observatory (8 years old I think) which has been built high on a hill above Black Fell (very Game of Thrones) inside The National Forest, Northumberland. This spot was chosen for it to be built because it sits inside the 3rd largest dark sky space in Europe (amazing eh?! And it’s practically on our doorstep) so you can see an enormous amount of stars compared to what you can see normally, due to the lack of light pollution. They’ve really had to fight to protect this dark sky space and I cannot reiterate enough how important places like this are in order to study, understand and appreciate the universe in which we sit.

You can read more about the observatory and book events for it here:

Kielder Observatory
Anyhow, I digressed, the morning was cloudy and the middle one and the toddler woke up demanding Easter eggs for breakfast. After a bit of a battle I managed to get them to eat something that wasn’t chocolate based, oh no, wait, they had Coco Pops…. #mummyfail

The eldest one is still a bit poorly with flu but was showing signs of improvement which is great as we really wanted him to be able to enjoy the observatory rather than sit in the car and him (as well as someone else who was watching him) miss out on all the fun when we’d travelled such a long way.

After assessing how poorly my eldest was, we headed out for a little drive just to have a look about and see where we would like to visit when he’s feeling fighting fit again.

There are at least 7 castles within a few miles of where we are staying, some in tact, some just ruins, and we saw a few of them on our little road trip. The most impressive from the road was Bamburgh Castle, which loomed large out of the rocks it’s built upon and then Alnwick Castle, which is where part of Harry Potter was filmed. Both imposing and full of history. Hopefully once the lurgies have left us we will be able to go and visit one, or both, of these places to learn a little more.

 

Bamburgh Castle

 
On the way home we stopped off at a local farm shop called, Sunnyhills Farm Shop. It was great and had some local produce, some unusual items from further afield and lots of lovely decorative bits for your house. As we walked in, the boys all covered their noses as it did smell a bit unusual in there (maybe cheese and meat) and made no qualms about letting it be known they thought it ‘stank!!!’.

Luckily for them, a lovely lady took pity on them and told them there was an Easter egg hunt on if they wanted to do it. They jumped at the chance and headed outside with daddy whilst I had a look around the farm shop with my mum. I settled on a solid chocolate drinking chocolate bar (nom!!!) and some natural honey and beeswax lip balm made by a local place called Chainbridge Honey Farm – It’s lovely!

  
Upon arriving home from our road trip, the sun was shining and my eldest was feeling a bit better so we finally managed our Easter egg hunt. It’s amazing how the lure of chocolate eggs can make a sick child instantly better…. 

Here is my photo for The Britmums daily photo challenge: Day 28 – Egg…

After the madness of sniffing out chocolate eggs had ended, we retired indoors and had a bit of chill out time as we had a 2 hour drive from where we are staying into the forest to get to the observatory later on….which mostly consisted of scoffing Tunnocks Teacakes and Mini Eggs and looking up amazing properties that are for sale near here which have a crazy amount of land, are near the sea and are just beautiful. They’re also a ridiculously cheap compared to back home….so depressing.

We set off for the Observatory at 5:30 in order to get there for 7:45 – the national park is vast and it takes an hour alone to travel across it once you’re into it from where we are staying. The drive there is ‘interesting’ and it’s like my husband has planned all this route on purpose. I’m not even joking that the road was as up and down as the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and resulted in me leaving my stomach behind on numerous occasions and gripping onto the door handle and the chair arm rest for dear life….much to my husbands amusement. 

I swear to god he thinks he’s the stig from top gear….but forgets he’s driving a Discovery laden down with almost my entire family, not a sports car.

After narrowly avoiding throwing up, and writing my will en-route, we reach Kielder Dam/Water in time for sunset. It was a pretty spectacular one…

  
 

Kielder Dam

  
 
  
Then it was onwards to the Observatory. To get to it, you have to travel up a dirt track, off road. Much to my husbands delight – he’s in Stig mode again…. 

It is a steep road which winds through dense forest and was quite eerie in the dim light. 

 

Kielder Observatory

 
We reach the observatory and head over there to queue for the talk. Tonight it’s a talk on how the northern lights happen as well as other general information on what we could see in the night sky this evening. The talk was really informative and we were all looking forward to getting stuck into using the telescopes. At the end of the talk the organisers checked the skies and…thankfully, we were in luck!! The clouds had disappeared and we were blessed with crystal clear skies – we were literally under a blanket of stars. It was utterly breathtaking and you could even see star clusters with the naked eye, not clearly, but you could see they were there.

 

Jupiter….

 
First up was looking at Jupiter through the amazing computerized telescope they have. The observatory roof opened up before us and the computer trained the telescope on the largest planet in our solar system.

  
I was about to look at it through the telescope when my eldest tapped my leg and said he was going to to be sick. And with that, I ran out of that room as fast as we could and out into the forest where he proceeded to throw up again. Utter nightmare and came out of nowhere – much like Katie Hopkins.

The toddler, who had behaved until this point, also began crying and bless my mum, we admitted defeat and she very kindly said she would sit in the car so they could rest and sleep whilst we carried on with the talk. It was really selfless of her but that’s my mum all over. In fairness, it was also a darn sight warmer in the car than outside – perhaps a cunning plan…. 😉

We spent a little while longer looking through the telescopes and I finally got to see Jupiter through one. It was amazing and you could even make out the lines on its surface, as well as being able to see its 4 moons all illuminated in a diagonal line. Something I’ll treasure seeing forever. We also saw the Milky Way (not the chocolate version 😉) and a nebula (star cluster) in Orion. My middle one thought it was utterly brillaint and he enjoyed it so much. I truly hope it’s something that will stay with him forever and kick starts a lifelong interest in Astronomy.

  
After a talk on the Northern Lights and some hot chocolate next to the wood burner in the observatory, it was time to head home. The 2 hour drive home, mostly alone through dark and vast forest, was super spooky and I’m over the moon the car did us proud (and my husband, the pretend stig) by getting us home safely.

We arrived home at 1:15am and we were all knackered. Sadly it would appear the toddler has now picked up his brothers flu bug and he is also man down now with raging temperature and is very irritable. I fear the rest of our holiday may be spent at the holiday cottage and we may not get to see those castles after all…..

My favourite phrase from the night came from when the guy, Hayden, who was doing the talk reminded us of our Sun’s mortality. He was telling us the sun has 5 billion years of life left in it, but reminded us that the radiation of it as it nears its life will be so immense that earth will only be habitable for a further 1 billion years. I know that’s a long time, but I sat there struggling to comprehend that one day, all this will be gone. It reminded me how precious our little ball of rock is, how we need to make the most of it and our short time here and that ultimately, the universe decides when our time is up. People on this planet may think they are in control, that a greater being made our earth and our sun and everything inbetween, that they own it and can dictate what happens, but ultimately, our master is the Sun. Not a man. Not a being that’s living or dead. 

Hayden said;

“We are subjects of the Sun”

He’s so right. And that phrase will stay with me forever….

    




Northumberland Holiday: Day 2 (and Britmums Daily Photo Challenge: Day 27 – Easter)

Morning broke on day 2 of our Northumberland Holiday and we woke up to…..blue skies!!!!! Yes, sunshine!

I thought I had more of a chance of waking up to find the news that Donald Trump had been uncovered as a Robot who was severely malfunctioning and had been sent for a reboot as soon as possible…

Amazingly the toddler and the middle one weren’t up at the crack of a sparrows fart and slept in until 6:45am. I hope all of your munchkins weren’t bouncing about like Easter rabbits too early either! The eldest one is still very much man down with flu and apart from a little wander down to the beach whilst riding a calpol high, he’s been in bed being sick. Whatever form of flu he has, it’s a nasty one and looking like it’ll be a few more days until he even looks at his Easter eggs. Bless his heart.

The other two were straight into the living room to have a look at what the evil ‘Easter bunny’ (aka, mum and dad) had bought. Luckily for me they were happy with their little haul and munched on an egg of choice before breakfast – standard Easter procedure.



After eating the ears off a kinder bunny and smashing open a kinder egg just to get the crap toy out of it (yes, thank you for that crazy YouTube kinder egg lady!!!) we had some breakfast and kitted ourselves up for another walk down to the beach so Luke, my eldest, could have a look because he didn’t see it yesterday (the wonders of calpol…he was literally all better, ate half a bacon sarnie and walked 3/4 of a mile to the beach because he demanded to get outside, then on the way back, he crashed and burned bless his heart. It’s so rubbish when they’re poorly. You’d do anything to make them better and take the illness off them yourself….)

The walk to the beach was much more pleasant than yesterday and the sun was shining down on the sea. Unfortunately, once down on the beach, the wind felt like it was at storm force 11 and it was whipping the sand into us at a rate of knotts. Free Skin exfoliation, yes, but also very painful! 😂🙈


We tried to fly our kite but the wind was so strong it just kept making the thing stack it at speed into the sand so we gave up, drew some pictures in the sand and then had a walk along the edge of the sea to watch the waves.



On the walk back, the toddler was over the moon to see the cows in the field and meowed at them to bid them good day as usual (everything is meowing at the moment – even whilst he’s asleep he meows….better than his usual favourite thing to shout which is ‘Willy!’)

The rest of the day has been spent cooking a roast dinner, playing nurse to my eldest and reading some of the books off the cottage bookshelf….I came across this gem earlier. It’s an annual from 1979 for girls called, Princess Tina, and is full of useful articles for girls ‘coming of age’ such as:

  1. How to make an apron out of an old dress – you know, for when they resign themselves to a life of cleaning and pleasing a man by cooking him dinner and being a dutiful housewife.
  2. How to draw a tree – sketching is the most suitable activity for a young woman as sport is frowned upon and would cause you to ‘glow’ too much.
  3. The story of the Jungle Book and another of a cartoon mermaid – because anything else like science and natures are apparently too far beyond the realms of female understanding.

Gotta love the sexism of the 1970’s…..

Oh, and to top it off, the pin up boy in the Centre of the annual was, wait for it….

Prince Charles! 😂🙈 – he looked so suarve! 😉🙈👑💋


Hopefully, I’ll wake tomorrow and Luke will be feeling better, the sun will be shining and I might manage to eat an Easter egg (I’ve not had even one today because I’ve been preoccupied with helping my eldest) and nor have I had any gin. Today is a bad day….onwards and upwards as they say.x

 

My Lukey reading a book off the bookshelf about Greek Mythology…one of the only times he felt well enough to do something other than sleep…

And finally….

My photo for my Britmums daily photo challenge today: The word was – Easter.

I took a creme egg out for a walk to the beach (as you do when you don’t have a dog…) but I couldn’t eat it because the sand flying about would’ve stuck to it and added extra roughage and calories so he lived to see another day.

Here is Mr Creme Egg having  lie down on the beach. He said it was really Eggcellent and that the severe wind situation was no yolk…. (Sorry!!) 😉😂🐰