Hot Chocolate Butterbeer Station

Hello my lovelies,

I have a confession to make.  I had planned on setting this Hot chocolate Butterbeer Station up on the last weekend of November, just in time for Christmas tree decorating but it’s just been so cold outside!

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Unfortunately, this little bureau is in a weird spot; on the small piece of wall that joins the back door of the kitchen to the living room sliding doors which means there are windows on either side. This makes taking a decent picture impossible, however, it means that everything I need to make a gorgeous cup of hot chocolate butterbeer is near the kettle.

This Butterbeer sign is from Two Delighted. As two fellow potterheads they have some gorgeous free printables for anyone wanting to recreate their fantastic Harry Potter party.

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Our hot chocolate station last year was a total mish-mash of different hot chocolate and drink powders and sprinkles.  This year, I wanted a much simpler look and I guess sticking with butterbeer instead of every other hot drink known to man means I’ve achieved that.SONY DSCKnowing I wanted to create a hot chocolate butterbeer station meant I could incorporate a few of the other Potter related projects I’ve worked on including the Three Broomsticks tray I made a couple of summers ago and my newest addition, the Butterbeer mugs.

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Originally, I was going to wait until we went to the Harry Potter Studio tour and buy some Butterbeer tankards there to make hot chocolate in.  I then realised that they would probably crack with hot liquid in them because they’re plastic and meant for a cold drink.   I then found a lovely lady on one of the groups I follow on Facebook who made me these specially printed labels that get baked onto glass!  I can’t tell you how delighted I am with how these heat resistant Butterbeer mugs came out.

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On a trip to TK Max earlier this year I found the Hazelnut and Vanilla syrups for £3.99 each and had to scoop them up for my Butterbeer station.  They taste awesome and really add something special to the mix.  I’ve also added some caramel syrup which was one  I picked up at Morrisons on sale for £2.

The sprinkles above are small honeycomb pieces I got from B&M in the baking section and tiny gold sprinkles that are from Morrisons Christmas range. They’re the perfect addition to any Butterbeer hot chocolate.

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The recipe for Hot Chocolate Butterbeer is as follows.  Make up your favourite hot chocolate the way you usually do.  Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup, 1 teaspoon of hazelnut syrup, 1 teaspoon of caramel syrup and mix well.  Add squirty cream and top with white marshmallows and sprinkles.  Or chocolate ice cream syrup topping.

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It couldn’t be easier!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

xxx

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Easy Focaccia

Hello my lovelies,

I must apologize for not blogging much recently, I am working on rectifying this and hope to bring you some great blog posts, recipes and ideas every week starting today.

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It’s half-term for us and as such I try to do some baking or cooking with Missy (DD has now been renamed to Missy since she’s 7 going on 15!). She was really craving pizza but as a dairy free kid she can’t have shop bought pizza.  I know I can buy frozen pizza bases but I find they expensive when we can whip up a batch of pizza dough for mere pennies.  Plus, I get the added bonus of teaching Missy about weights and measures and help her to learn the life skill of cooking.

We made her pizza and used Marchego cheese which is a hard goats cheese. While I know this isn’t dairy free it doesn’t contain the cows milk protein that affects her, however, she only has it occasionally.

After we made her pizza, there was a lot of dough left and I really didn’t fancy pizza because I was having chicken soup for lunch.  Then I had an inspired thought… I could make focaccia!

 

This pizza dough is really versatile and can be used to make pizzas, focaccia, calzones, dough balls and much more.  Check out Kitchn’s post for some great ideas.

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Here’s the pizza dough recipe I use.  It’s easy enough for kids to help but best made in the morning so that it has time to prove if you want to use it to make lunch. If you’re using it to make dinner, make it in the early afternoon.

Easy Pizza dough

500g plain flour

1 sachet of dried yeast

1 tsp each of sugar and salt

250ml of warm water mixed with 2 tsp olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until the dough is soft and well combined.  Knead well in the bowl for about 5 minutes to break down the gluten.

Place the dough in a warm place covered with a tea towel for about an hour until it’s doubled in size. Probably about an hour or so.

Knead the dough again  (also called knocking it back) for another 5 minutes. Cover with the tea towel and allow to rise in warm place.  About 1-2 hours.  It should be nicely risen.

This should make one small pizza and one swiss roll pan sized focaccia.

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To make the focaccia,  simply grease a swiss roll pan with a little olive oil and press the remaining pizza dough into the pan.  Make little dents in the dough with your fingers pressing all the way into the bottom of the pan.  Add some fresh sprigs of rosemary and brush with more olive oil all over the surface. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 220 degrees Celsius until it’s golden brown.

Simples!

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and as always, if you try the recipe please leave me a comment and let me know how you enjoyed it.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

 

 

Sugar free spiced apple ice tea

Hello my lovelies,

I’m trying to cut sugar free fizzy drinks from my diet and let me tell you it’s really difficult!  Especially since I’ve got my coffee consumption to just one a day.  I mean, I like water but it’s getting really boring and I’ve been craving something a little tastier to drink while at work.

Enter, my recipe for Sugar free spiced apple ice tea!

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It’s low carb, sugar free and deliciously refreshing! What more could you ask for in a Summer drink?

The recipe is basically the same as my ultimate southern sweet ice tea just sugar free.

This recipe will make approximately 1 litre of base tea.   To make up a jug of iced tea, you will need to add 750ml of icy cold water to 250ml of the cold base tea.  If the base has just been made and is still warm but you’d like to make up a batch of iced tea for later, add 750ml of cold water to 250ml of the warm base sweet tea and refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Overnight is better, I’m told.

To make the tea base you will need:

  • 1 litre cold water (more for topping up)
  • 6 Spiced apple teabags
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 100g of Truvia

Place 1 litre of water on to boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and dump in your tea bags and let them steep for about 15 minutes.  Add the lemon juice.

Remove the tea bags and discard.  Pour in the Truvia and stir to completely dissolve.

Pour into a bottle and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge. Don’t ever put hot stuff straight into your fridge.

I’ve filled my large water bottle and it’s in the fridge ready and waiting to go to work with me.

Can’t wait!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Basic Pikelets

Hello my lovelies,

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Today I wanted to share one of my family’s favourite breakfasts.   We’re creatures of habit and usually have things like over easy eggs with toast fingers, cereal or toast with some sort of spread – all of which are super easy to make in the morning.  When I am not too tired, I’ll make up a batch of pikelets the night before and freeze half the batch.  If any pikelets aren’t used for the next day’s breakfast I’ll simply pop them in the fridge for snacks or for breakfast over the next few days.  This recipe is super quick and easily doubled for the freezer.

150g self-raising flour

55g caster sugar

1/4t bicarbonate of soda

1 egg

3/4 cup milk (I use almond milk to make these dairy free for DD)

1t white vinegar

15g melted butter (or dairy free spread)

Place the flour, sugar and bicarb in a bowl and mix together well.  Make a well in centre into which you will crack the egg.  Add the milk, vinegar and melted butter and combine until smooth.  I like to use my hand mixer to do this but it’s easily done with a good old fashioned wooden spoon.

Heat your frying pan, and lightly grease it with a little oil that you spread around with a piece of kitchen towel.  The pan should not be dripping in oil. You need surprisingly little oil and probably won’t need to re-grease the pan again unless you have doubled the recipe.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan from the tip of the spoon to make nice round pikelets.  Allow room in the pan for spreading.

When bubbles start to form, but just before they burst turn the pikelets with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.  Slide the cooked pikelets onto a plate, cover with a clean tea towel and repeat with the rest of the batter.

We serve our pikelets with different spreads depending on our mood.  Sometimes we’ll have them with some butter /dairy free spread and strawberry jam or with syrup and blueberries.  DD’s favourite combo is dairy free chocolate spread and sliced strawberries. Don’t know it until you’ve tried it. Pure heaven!

As always, if you try my recipe, please let me know how you got on. I’d love to hear from you.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

 

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

Hello my lovelies

I’ve been testing recipes again because I’ve been scouting around Pioneer Woman‘s website.  Oh my word, if you have not been to her website, you must run at turbo speed, do not walk!  There is sooooooooooooooo much to read and drool over!  Be prepared to linger…for quite some time.

Best take a cuppa.

And some cake.

While I was perusing the loveliness, I found a recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast.

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I couldn’t resist!  Especially since I had everything I needed to make it without making a special trip to the shops.  Hooray!

Honestly, this was sooooooooo incredibly good.  We had it for breakfast but it was so heavenly, it could easily be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.

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We had ours for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast before more renovations started and it was scrumptious galumptious!

It was so incredibly easy because you make it all up the night before and pop it into the fridge to chuck in the oven for an hour the next morning.

Perfect, for if you’re like me and wake up like a grumpy badger until you’ve had your second cup of coffee.

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I would recommend tasting it before adding syrup though because I found it really quite sweet

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And there are leftovers to have with ice cream tonight for dessert.

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Does it get any better?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Super easy Lemonade

Hello my lovelies,

I’ve had a hankering recently for some sweet yet sharp and icy cold homemade lemonade. You know, the kind that makes you sigh in satisfaction as you lazily watch the roses in your garden bob their heads in the breeze?

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That’s what we made today and it is delicious.

First you need 6 unwaxed lemons chopped into quarters.  Then add 280g of sugar to your food processor along with with 500ml of cold water.  Toss in the lemons gently.

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Blend for about 5 minutes.  Next lay a large bowl into your sink with a fine sieve over it and pour over the lemon mix.

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Now, push all the lemon pulpy mix with a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much juice as possible.

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Throw the lemon pulp in the bin and remove the sieve.  Then add 1.5 litres of cold water to the bowl of lemonade and mix.

Pour into a jug with slices of lemon and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.  Of course, you could just pour it over ice but I didn’t have any.

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We’re having ours tonight with dough balls, homemade pizza and salad.

I can’t wait.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x