Chocolate HobNob Biscuits

26 August 2015

OK, I will be honest.  This week I didn't buy any chocolate or biscuits on our shop with the intention of not having any this week.  I am not dieting, just want to try cut down on my daily intake of that stuff.  Anyways, yesterday, my day at home with Jack, found me wanting a biscuit with my tea (Yip, my willpower is non-existent at the moment...well, always I suppose when it comes to stuff like this!) and I happened to stumble across Izy's beautiful photos and recipe for chocolate hobnobs. 

As soon as I saw them I knew I had to make them.
And I am so glad I did - they are divine.  And the chocolate on top just makes it for me.  I mean, plain would be lovely too but that dark chocolate hit just gives you complete oaty, rich and decadent treat with your cup of tea. 

I tweaked the recipe slightly and used a bit more butter and syrup as I prefer a more chewy than crunchy biscuit plus I used oat bran rather than wheat germ as that's what I had in the cupboard.

Fancy giving them a go?  I can confirm that they do taste a lot better than the shop bought version.  But as always, anything homemade beats a mass manufactured product any day in my books.

Chocolate HobNob Biscuits
Makes 20 - 24

150g butter
80g soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup
80g oats
4 tbspn oat bran
100g wholemeal flour
1/2 tspn bicarb
1/2 tspn baking powder
Pinch salt

100g dark chocolate
1 tspn coconut oil

♥ Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (I have a fan oven and put mine at 160 degrees)
♥ Cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the syrup.
♥ Stir in the oats and bran then add in the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt.
♥ Roll into small balls and flatten with the heel of your hand on the baking tray.
♥ Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and let cool.
♥ Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, then ice the biscuits.

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.  Perfection.

A simple truth about the weather

24 August 2015

I find myself checking the weather each evening for the following day.  Not sure how I got into this habit, it probably has got something to do with having a toddler and wanting to plan my day to see whether we will be able to picnic or go to the park I suppose.  And plus people in England are pretty obsessed with the weather.  I will happily admit that I have become one of these people.

But I read such an interesting quote the other day which has really opened my eyes.
The words went something like this:

"Yesterday was hot, today it is raining.  Neither one is positive or a negative.  It is just weather."

How true is this?  And yet so simple.  If it is raining, you simply put on appropriate clothes and you can still get outside and have loads of fun.  In fact, it might even be MORE fun.  Pop on your wellies and your waterproofs.  Jump in puddles.  Feel the rain on your face and embrace it.  Hear the raindrops falling on the leaves and against your windows. 

The weather doesn't have to be something that gets you down.  I mean, yes, vitamin D is vital for all of us but on the days where it is rainy, wet and "miserable" - why not change your perspective.  Enjoy what you can in whatever way you can.  A lovely day doesn't have to be hot and sunny, does it?


Homemade Elderflower Cordial

12 August 2015

* I have just found this in my drafts folder - it is from May and while elderflower season has passed I wanted to share this recipe anyway because it is so easy and fun and very yummy!

Back in May, a few of us in the village went foraging for some elderflowers to make cordial. We couldn't have chosen a more beautiful evening, it really felt like summer.

We drove down to then next village and parked up along the road. We had baskets and even a step ladder - we were prepared to climb and even get stung by nettles to get the perfect flowers. We were lucky enough to find a good stash and enjoyed a lovely walk in the fields, admiring the wildflowers and just enjoying the evening light.

We then drove back to Claire's house and began to make our cordial. Jam pans aren't necessary but are great because of their size so you can make large quantities at a time. It is so easy and quick but most of all - it was such fun and this cordial is utterly delicious. We compared some to a bottle of supermarket elderflower cordial.

The homemade stuff wins hands down. It is less sweet and more lemony and just tastes homemade. The best way in my books.

Here is the recipe we used - we tripled the amounts below.

Homemade Elderflower Cordial

MAKES: 600ml (1 pint)
TAKES: 25 minutes plus standing time
KEEPS: for 3 months, preferably refrigerated

12 Large Elderflower Heads
1 large lemon
750g granulated sugar
2.5 teaspoons citric acid

♥ Shake the elderflowers well to remove any insects.
♥ Pare off the zest from the lemon in thick strips and thinly slice the fruit.
♥ Put the sugar and water in a large pot and heat slowly, stirring gently until the sugar has dissolved and bring to the boil.
♥ Place the elderflower and lemons into the syrup and stir well, then stir in the citric acid and cover with a clean cloth and leave to steep for 24 hours.
♥ Strain through a muslin, or like we did, through a sieve.
♥ Pour into sterlised bottles (I put mine in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle) and store in the fridge if possible.

Best enjoyed with soda water or if you are feeling naughty with some prosecco!

Enjoy ♥

A secret I want to share

11 August 2015

Hello lovely friends.  I want to share a little secret with you, something that I struggle with and which has become more and more prominent in my life recently.

I suffer terribly with anxiety - the smallest of things can set me off and I tend to worry about things which I just don't need to worry about.

I worry about going out on day trips with Jack - especially if it is a longer than normal journey in the car.  It makes me anxious to think he will get upset and start crying.

I stress out MAJORLY if I am going to be late or if Mani wants to do something and I am ready to go out.  The poor guy just wants to brush his teeth or put a load of washing on and there I am tapping my foot huffing and puffing, pushing him out the door.

If I don't feel in control of a situation this makes me feel nervous and very worried.  I like to know when and how things will happen and as we all know, unfortunately life just doesn't work like that most of the time.

These are just a few of the many things that make me anxious.  Sometimes I cannot even pinpoint what is making me feel this way.  It is the strangest thing.

Just writing this post and thinking about it is making my chest a bit tight and that feeling of pressure and burden is weighing on my chest.  This feeling has been getting worse over the past months - not sure why, the pregnancy hormones and being physically tired certainly don't help.  But I decided to have a bit of counselling and it has worked wonders.  Just talking to someone who isn't your Mom or husband was a great choice and I have some coping techniques now when I start to feel anxious and/or irritable.

Anxiety is a real thing and many people suffer with it.  While mine is a general anxiety condition which I suffer with one a daily basis I have come to learn how to cope with it and tackle it head on.  Asking myself why I am feeling something, doing something about that feeling and then letting it go is such a cathartic exercise and it has also taught me to be more mindful and to take in the here and now.  I am famous for living in the future and I always struggle to  "enjoy the moment".  And to be honest I always think I will struggle with that way of thinking.  I am a dreamer, I am always thinking of ways to be more happier, more organised, more this, more that.  It is my personality.  But what I am working on is just relaxing and then being in there here and now will come naturally I think.

So that is my little secret I wanted to share.  We all have our problems.  We are human.  But the joyful thing is that we can tackle any problem that befalls us - it is all about perspective, attitude and willingness to learn how to deal with it.


Latest Instagrams

© Gathered By Claire. Design by FCD.