Monday, 26 May 2014

Chocolate Brownie gooy goodness recipe

Bank Holiday Monday the last bank holiday before the end of August one so this one used to signal in the summer?????? Rain nothing but rain today.
5th week after my ankle and ribs fracturing and there's healing going on but not pain-free yet and still wearing the brace on the right leg and not being able to sleep on the left.
SO.......... TREAT TIME!!!!!
After finishing the 11 day diet, I went back on it last Saturday and made it to day 9 before getting cravings and being really fed up and tearful, it was all too much. And that week I only ''lost'' 2 lbs so it wasn;t worth it, too soon I think to repeat such strange eating. Still I'm back in my faved jeans and other gear so it was a good thing to do.
Just to reflect on family life in the 2014's.... Eldest watching a film in the kitchen on Sky, youngest in her bedroom watching a film on her Kindle, Dad lying on sofa watching a violent ''boys'' flick in living room and moi at my computer in my wee den catching up on the Great Interior Design Challenge on i-player and doing a little crochet on my Noro waistcoat?!!!!
One dog on a bed with youngest upstairs and the other one at my side lying on a warm dressing gown that's awaiting some mending. All happily relaxing but little interaction going on.
I made a family meal for later and baked Brownies to cheer up all up. Later- after brownies- the girls went for a cycle ride and saw a stag!- I wish I'd gone too but I can't cycle yet due to the ankle so it was getting all excited visually with crochet photos on Pinterest for me.
 This is what we're aiming at: gooy chocolatey gorgeousness and I always make two trays or about 12 thick chunky strips of these? The sprinkling of icing sugar at the end is optional.
You can also add a teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon to the mix to vary it a bit and of course nuts, but I don;t add any nuts into mine as I'm allergic to them.
 You'll need a couple of mixing bowls, a pyrex or microwaveable bowl, two 20 cm square cake tins about 5 cm deep, some baking sheets,mixer and spatula and an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius.
Ingredients: for 12 medium to large brownies

  • 6 eggs- use 3 whole and the whites of the other 3- my dogs eat the yolks as their treat.
  • 60-85 g dark cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 180 g self-raising flour
  • dash of salt
  • 350 g castor sugar and another few heaped tablespoons for the apple sauce
  • 3 large Bramley apples: peeled , cored and cubed
  • butter for greasing the tins
  • optional variations as mentioned above.
Line the tins with the baking sheets and grease lightly with oil spray or butter,
Mix the flour with the cocoa and the sugar in a large bowl and add the vanilla and oil.
Add a little water to the chopped cooking apples in a pyrex bowl- about  a quarter  up the side of the bowl compared to the top level of the apple pieces. Cover with clingfilm, pierce with a fork and microwave on high for 8 to 12 minuted depending on your microwave, the apple should come out as sauce.
Let cool down and add some heaped spoons of sugar if so desired.( optional- my girls like it added but the brownies are  less sweet if you don;t add it)
Whisk the 3 eggs and 3 egg whites until very frothy and then whisk in 12 heaped table -spoons of the apple sauce.
Now mix and combine the flour/sugar mix with the eggs and apple and mix very very thoroughly, trying not to lose too much of the air from the whisking. Divide into two and pour into the baking tins and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and slice into 12 ''bars''per tray.
Sprinkle with sieved icing sugar if desired before serving.
 The MAGIC ingredient is the apple sauce which makes it really soft and moist and in parts really gooy.
 This is left over apple sauce as I made extra, it's almost ready to go...
 Into these tins.....
 And out of the oven half an hour later...

 Only my darlings could not wait even 15 minutes and sliced into the first tray while it was still HOT!
 Of course you could serve it hot as a dessert with vanilla ice cream or home-made custard?
 This was so very gooooood especially after my vegetable and protein diet ......
Soft and sweet and moist and ever so ever so chocolatey!
 I didn't mash up the apples well enough and a few chunks have appeared, I don't mind and they don't affect the taste in any way.

BON APPETIT !!! Enjoy and can I say these always go down really well at charity bake- sales or school events as well....And they freeze well except our are always eaten long before I parcel them up for the freezer...

Dinner was shepherd's pie: look:
 Chopped onions and mushrooms to fry with the lamb mince and rosemary.
 Peeled, cubed and boiling the potatoes before mashing them with butter.
 Boiling the carrots..
 Layering the carrots over the mince and onions and before...
 The mashed potato layer.... before the oven
And after the oven, ready to eat at our family meal.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

IPD plan phase 1 all finished, very chuffed with result

 IPD meaning Idiot Proof Diet and I'm now on day 12 which means I FINISHED THE 11 days!!!
Total reshaping: - 8.2 lbs!!! It's so nice to be UNDER the 10 st mark...!!!lol.
The sandwich was lunch on day 2....That is the ONLY day you get to have bread.
 And these are some of the other meals during the 11 days...Lots of scrambled eggs.
 With a brief interlude: LOOK another raffia crocheted bag- PRADA I think?

 Cheese slices...
 Chicken slices....
 Ham slices...

 Broccoli with 30 g of grated cheese on day 8.
 More day 8, that's the difficult one for me.

 Peeled pear slices: sweet and juicy and some grapes!
 Yummy prawns...
 This was Tuesday when I had my stitches out: waiting well over the hour delay indicated... But then Mr Norris is a mighty fine surgeon, the scars are minimal and both healed so well, it's so exciting to think my eyes will work properly for the first time in many decades when the last tube comes out in a few weeks..
 The view to the hills beyond as I went to pay my car parking fees at the JR.
So... any how I feel a bit lost and bereft without my diet sheets telling me what I am to eat...?
Great result though: 8.2 LBS ! TERRIFIC!

I feel it deserves a little fanfare? TAN TAN TARRAAAAAH!
Except I don't feel very different? But then I hadn't notices the last 8 lbs ''creep'' on until I clocked the scales? I had known about 4 of them since early January but not the rest.
BUT my trousers DO feel looser and one dress that looked awful and was tight a few weeks ago, now looks good and slightly loose again so it must be ''REAL''?
Next time apart from noting down what I eat and when I'm going to measure myself on day 1 and day 12?
As well as daily weigh-ins.
Now what to do next? REPEAT after 2 or 3 days or leave it a week and do it over Half Term? 
I've had some bread today but apart from that I didn't really miss anything and had no cravings whatsoever.
I'm still about 15 lbs away from target at the moment, then ALL those dance dresses and skirts will fit really comfortably again.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hobbycraft visit: new W.I. yarns!

 The day dawned bright even if yet again not much sleep was enjoyed, but no matter, the sunshine was just LOVELY.
 I was planning the new border as when we had the new fence put in the fence-crew removed and killed the plants that had been established there for over 17 years! Now there's bare earth and I get a chance to plant all the things I love: Honeysuckle, Clematis, Wisteria, Hollyhocks, sweet peas, roses,Ceanothus - but it has to be the really deep blue/ purple one not the pale blue, and and and oh the list goes on but I'll test the soil and chart the sun and shade times before finally deciding what will grow best.
 On such a day it's glorious to see the washing dry and blow about!
 My ankle is still black and blue, still hurting a fair bit and am still wearing the leg-brace.
 And at the weekend we had a HAIL shower! In MAY?
 ok OK here we go, I got a trip out today HOORAY even if it was just to the Aylesbury Hobbycraft.
 They have a new ROWAN display cabinet....
 And the REAL reason was the W.I. yarns ! I'd read about them but wanted to know more so .....
 There's 3 types of acrylics, soft and cuddlly, a very shiny one and a premium one...
 All made in Turkey, the shiny and cuddly ones were quite soft, but not so the premium one.
 Here below are the shiny 4 ply ones in my fave colours of the summer season 2014: lime green and turquoise!
 And below that the UK made Shetland wool, again a 4 ply but a pricey £6.95 a ball.
You do get a lot:    metres but it's VERY VERY SCRATCHY.  Would be OK  to felt or maybe for a bag?
 Just a quick glimpse at the BOODLES jerey super bulky ribbon yarn shades.
 And as I like 4 ply: the Natura and PETRA 3 ranges in stock. Both are all cotton. And Natura was reported at having launched many new colours recently, but they weren't there.
 This purple might be perfect for my Boden ''grape'' printed shirt...It's a very difficult shade of greyed-purple?
 Petra turquoise which in this photo no longer looks very turquoise
 Pure wool 4 ply in turquoise- dreamtime Fairytale and the 3 for 2 is always useful?

WI Shetland wool 4 ply up close, there's Duck -egg on the left which is so nothing like ''proper'' duck egg but much brighter and a tweedy mix and then Azure on the right.

 All of the colours are delightfully tweedy.
 Some pattern inspiration seen also...
 And this AMAZING chair a combination of perspex and knitting?!
 And a weird stool where someone was too lazy to sew in their ends....
 And inspiration from the Telegraph: a RAFFIA banana bag with leather details, IT'S CROCHETED.
 I have some raffia in the attic: yellow, red and a deep azure blue.....
Then back home again to the sunny garden and some cheery fresh flowers.