Thursday, 29 July 2010

Chunky Chocolate Cookies


I'm finally getting around to posting this recipe. I'll also add my oat and raisin cookie recipe some time next week when I come back form my few days of blissful peace and quiet. For now I leave you with this though:


4oz (115g) unsalted butter
4oz (115g) light muscovado sugar
1 egg
1tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
5oz (150g) self-raising flour
3oz (75g) porridge oats
8oz (200g) roughly chopped chocolate.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (190C/375F)
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until smooth and fluffy. 
Add the egg and vanilla and mix in well.
Fold in the flour then add the oats and chocolate and stir until evenly mixed.
Spoon onto greased baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until beginning to turn pale golden in colour. 
Transfer to cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

Tips:

The mix makes 18 -20 cookies, I always make 18 over two baking sheet with 9 blobs of cookie mix on each as I find this works best. I also use grease proof baking paper instead of greasing the trays as it's easier all round. 

When I bake them I do one tray at a time in the top of the preheated oven as I find they cook better this way. I also recommend keeping your eye to them until you get a good idea how long they will take in your oven... they are very easy to burn if you leave them just marginally too long... burnt cookies = bad times  :-(

I have played around using salted butter and different types of brown sugar. There is really little difference in the results, the main one being that if you use light brown sugar instead of muscovado the colouring of the cookies will be lighter. 

Chocolate... the most important ingredient. The picture above is of the last batch I made, which are white chocolate as an experiment as I've never made them before. I usually make milk chocolate ones, which I do think taste a little better but only in that they're not quite as sickly as the white chocolate ones. A good medium is to mix the chocolate so you have 100g each of white and milk chocolate in there for a double chocolate cookie. As for the type of chocolate. I use the cheapest I can get hold of, it really makes no difference in the finished product and I begrudge paying a tonne of money on expensive chocolate when it's not necessary.

I hope you all enjoy the recipe  :-)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pretty, Pretty, Pictures




Just a few inspiring pictures taken today in my garden. 
I'm hoping to make some new paintings based on them :)

Not Dead Yet...

So it's been fairly hectic here with the end of the school year and the start of the summer holidays. I've been writing like crazy and attempting to get some art done, though a lot of it has taken to the back burner so to speak.

The wheel has been turning and I've picked up a summer cold :( I hadn't been sleeping to well as subconsciously I've had a lot on my mind... things that I wish I could rant about here but, being that this blog is so open and available to people I know I cannot bring myself to share them. And so life has continued and despite my lack of blogging presence I am able to reassure that I am still here and very much alive and kicking.

I have been quite reflective over the past couple of weeks as cycles have come to an end and others have begun all around me. It has been a time of learning for me, of dashing the false visions I have had of some people and making me see them for who they are. I realised that when an argument ensues between yourself and someone you love dearly; a boyfriend/girlfriend, relation or friend, particularly for the first time you learn something about yourself as well as seeing that the person in question isn't as perfect and without fault as you had previously thought. It is a good thing, of course, to get rid of such notions and see the truth but still, it hurts.

Then I come to this week and a strange melancholy sets in. I feel rather sad today as I think I hurt someone unintentionally last night. A new friend who I was joking around with online while we were playing WoW. It reminded me why I prefer it when people I meet in online games don't know I am a woman, as I find myself being faced with a situation where I'm being chatted up and I have to lay down some boundaries and make it known I'm not interested in that way. I'm a naturally flirty person, perhaps that is one of my biggest faults with people I don't know, though others in our guild are just like that too and don't seem to be running the same issues... Then suddenly their manner changes with me... I can feel it from them when they type and I sigh, knowing that I have just ruined another budding friendship. They make a point of pointing out that I didn't say I had a boyfriend... wtf? First of all it's none of your business... second of all it's no secret, I've not hidden it and have in fact made it clear in our guild before now that I am with someone... and third of all you didn't ask! But was it truly me that did that.,.. that ruined things? Is it my fault that he wanted something that I wasn't willing to enter into? I think not, and yet I still feel guilty for causing him pain. I know, I know... I'm stupid and too soft. Maybe I should just put a stop to my attempts at socializing with new people online... *sigh*

I don't know, people in general confuse me something rotten sometimes. They show love with hate, they assume friendship has to lead somewhere else, they hurt for the sake of being spiteful and gaining points and they run away when things turn around and bite them on the ass.

As you can see I'm in a weird old mood today... I think I need to ground myself and stop thinking about others for today... get a little housework done (or a lot considering the state of my house right now) and look forward to the weekend when I go to my man's house for a child free few days to recharge my flagging batteries.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Incognito

Just a quickie... I know I've been neglecting my blog again, I've just been so damn busy :s


Finished ~I think~ this painting today. It's oil and wax on canvas and is called Incognito. 
Will return soon with a catch up post... it has been a tumultuous few weeks one way or another and I am long over due a good old rant... or two... or three...

Friday, 9 July 2010

BOS Pages

Here are some pictures of a few of my completed BOS pages. My book tends to have a scrapbook/sketchbook feel to it as I love to incorporate all of my artistic ideas and inspirations into the pages:

Deities title page

Faery Runes Page

Deity Jar Spell Page

Imbolc Page 1

Pumpkin and Toadstools Blog Recommendations

OK guys just ignore this post for now... it's where I'm going to put all the blog buttons when I come visit everyone :P

Comings and Goings

For the last couple of months I've found myself ridiculously inspired and creative, which has been a good thing except it has left me with little time to blog. I've had the itch to finally work on some pages of my BOS which I'll be photographing soon to share. I've been loosing most of my inspiration at the moment through writing and RP so my paintings have been a little on hold but it has been a welcome change and has certainly kept the grey matter from getting bored.

That said I made another card, this time for my cousins birthday... beer themed of course ;) but I tried to go for something a little different with some cheap embellishments I managed to pick up:


I have also been busy building my website... there's not all that much to show right now, though I do have a sneaky peek screenshot to share:


So far so good, it's just taking a while to get the basics down but when I'm motivated to do it I do manage to get a fair bit done.

Hrm, so what else has been going on here? I've finally been able to harvest this years lavender. Ethan had his paediatricians appointment, which I had been dreading. It was an hour of sheer hell as he wouldn't stop screaming and writhing while the doctor kept telling me to keep him quiet so he could do his 'tests'. I went away both angry and upset from the whole experience, particularly when he told me that his weight had been plotted wrong on the graph in the first place and as far as he was concerned there was nothing wrong with him. Well I could have told him that in the first place *sigh* but at least it is over for now.

Oooooh, and as a side point I moved Ethan into a big boy bed... the bottom bunk in Beth's room and so far so good. He's settled in nicely *touches wood* and has been in there for a couple of weeks now so I can finally get rid of the old cot. He also surprised me the other day where bold as brass he stood up in the front room! No walking as yet but he can pull himself up and stand when he can be bothered. He won't co-operate if you try to get him to do it, but at least I do know he is capable now.

The end of the school term is drawing to a close, which means I will be having to start thinking up 'keeping Beth amused' activities galore. On the plus side I'm looking forward to a couple of breaks in the next month or so, one at the end of July and one at the end of August, both of which I will hopefully be able to spend with the man... work permitting :)

Midsummer pretty much went by unnoticed over the actual Sabbat as I was just drained. The following weekend, however, I did make some pretty wards for the garden both for protection and to celebrate. Since then my third eye has been working overtime again and I've been having quite a bit of spirit activity going on in my house again, particularly over the last full moon. In fact there has been so much that I have been looking at getting a spirit board, the problem being that I cannot find the one I want that I saw online a while ago. It was a deep blue board with runes down the sides and a moon in the centre particularly designed for Arianrhod, my patron Goddess. Well honestly, you'd think I'd have imagined it as I just can't find it anywhere now... don't you just hate it when that happens!?

Anywhooo, that's enough from me for now. I had best get on with what needs to be done for the day while Ethan is being content and happy to play on his own... it doesn't happen often at the moment! BB.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Good News...

... well it is to me anyway, though it's nothing important.

 A few weeks ago I entered my first writing contest with a short story in support of Elliquiy Adult Role Playing Forum of which I recently became a member. Last Sunday I found out I had won First Prize in the contest... I didn't win anything a such for myself, other than the recognition that I had written a good story though a $50 donation towards the running of the site was made in my name and I have been ecstatically happy about it. I've been roleplaying for years but this is the first time I've pushed myself to submit a story for a contest where it will be read, critiqued and judged against others who were all very well written and in my opinion better than my own, so to be recognised and actually win something was really a big deal for me... Anywhooo, just thought I'd share :)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Lyminge Forest

Last Sunday it was boiling hot here but we decided we wanted to go and do something with the kids just to get out of the house. That's when Lyminge Forest popped into my head, though I had never been there before or heard of the place previously. A little research on the general direction to aim for, a picnic lunch made and packed and we set off in the car.








We found it relatively easily and it proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable day though a little difficult at times with the buggy but we made it eventually. We found a nice little spot to sit and have lunch in the multitude of shade and took some lovely pictures... even Beth had a go with my camera and managed to snap a nice one of me, the man and Ethan as well as some random ones. At one point, when I was seeing to Ethan they seemed to be playing a game of get as close to the camera as possible and take random crazy photos but hey, they had fun and it was a definite surprise when I got home and looked through the piccies, lol.

All in all it was a really nice day, though I'm now itching to go back to explore properly without the kids too... who knows, maybe one day I'll get the opportunity.

School Happenings

It has been busy round here with School stuff for Beth. Half the time they have so much crammed into each week as we near the summer holidays I don't know whether I'm coming or going. As well as Discos, school trips and a multitude of special days I've had a sports day to go to and a recent talent show which was on yesterday afternoon. Beth has always been an entertainer of sorts, me and mum always used to joke about how she'd be playing the main roles in the plays and doing the talent shows because she loves being the centre of all the attention for a while.

I managed to get a few pictures from the sports day, though not of the first race (which she came third in). It was so funny to watch them being the youngest class in the school as they all stop just short of the ribbon like they don't want to break it by running into it, though they all seemed to have fun, as did I when Ethan wasn't screaming in his buggy out of protest for being made to come along too.



These next ones are from the talent show where she was in a small group doing a dance routine to a jungle themed song... hence the animals mask:



Unfortunately once again Ethan was less than pleased about having to go, though he managed to hold off the screaming until Beth's act was done (theirs was the first one) after that I had to spend the rest of the hour walking him around in circles until he fell asleep.

Blog Awards Archive

As a part of my blog revamp/organisation I'm going to put all of my blog awards past, present and future in this post and link to it above as I've been finding my page has been getting a little confusing and cluttered... I like things to look at least partially organized, lol. I will, of course, continue to dedicate a post to each as it is received and say thank you etc but will display them all here in no particular order:

from Marci at Our Frugal Pagan Home

from Rue at Rue and Hyssop

from Mags at Pagan Culture
from Aelwyn at Hedgewitch Hollow

from His Precious at Pagan In The Rough
from Mags at Pagan Culture

from SunTiger

from Melissa aka Equidae at The Lotus Pages

from A Witch Trying at What I'm Thinking Today

from Serenity Athenina at The Domestic Witch