How are you doing? Well, I hope, despite some of the craziness that is going on right now. I’m missing joining you on-air at QVC but following advice and staying home as I know many of you will be. But I’ll still be here blogging and will try and show my face a bit more on social media too. I’ll put all my accounts at the end of the blog as a reminder if you don’t already follow me. I’m most active on Instagram so that’s a good one to follow.
As you will know if you’ve read any of my previous blogs, I love walking with my dog Monty and right now that is the highlight of my day. To be honest, it often was anyway, but now I feel especially lucky to live in the countryside and have lots of lovely open fields and footpaths to walk with him. My husband is also working from home so we can all go together which is lovely. I’m getting a bit slower now being six months pregnant but I’m determined to keep the strength in my legs up and the fresh air does wonders for my mood.
I bought my husband Lawrence a camera for Christmas and we have taken it with us on a couple of walks. The photo at the top was us having a play around with it. It makes me laugh because it looks like I’m home schooling Monty which, of course, lots of people are tasked with at the moment. Here’s another one he took of Monty in the garden during the lovely sunny weather we had. He looks unusually serious but I’m told there was a biscuit just out of shot!
I do believe Monty is rather enjoying himself with both of us home all the time and he is getting even more spoilt than he usually is but goodness, he is good company and makes sure we have a good laugh at least once a day. He’s currently asleep on the sofa next to me as I write this – he doesn’t have a care in the world!
Something else I’ve always loved is baking but I confess, in the hustle and bustle (and the house renovations) I’ve rather neglected it of late so now has been the perfect time to get the oven back on and fire my trusty KitchenAid up! We haven’t been able to get any plain flour here, so quiche and biscuits will have to wait until we can but I have self-raising, so cakes it is! I thought I’d share a recipe with you in case you fancy a go too. I was looking in the cupboards and pulled out an alarming amount of dried fruit that had been in there goodness knows how long and thought now is the time to use it up! Well, some of it at least. So I decided on fruit cake. Great for two reasons: one, it uses up said dried fruit which I’m sure lots of you have hanging round too and two, it lasts ages once its cooked and with only two of us in the house to eat it we don’t want something that’s stale after a day.
This recipe was sent to me by my lovely godmother, Aunty Angie, a few years ago now and it is so easy but very tasty and, as I say, stays moist for days. Here it is:
You will need:
- 1lb Mixed Fruit (I used a bit of everything – raisins, currants, apricots, sultanas, cranberries…whatever was in the cupboard!
- If you only have one type that’ll be fine)
- 8oz Margarine (I always use marge but reckon butter would be okay if that’s all you have)
- 5oz Sugar (I use Caster but again, if you only have granulated I reckon you’ll be okay)
- 9oz Self-Raising Flour
- 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
This is a boiled fruit cake so, obviously, the first thing you need to do is boil your fruit! Put it all in a big saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring this to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or a bit longer. You want the fruit to have puffed up nicely. If you’re using mixed fruit, some will plump before others… my very old currants took a while, but the apricots went straight away… just use your judgment and don’t panic too much about timing here.
Pre-heat your oven to 160C and then drain the fruit through a colander or sieve to get rid of the water. Pop the fruit back in the pan, add the margarine and let it melt. If you’re impatient like me then giving it a little stir will speed things up. I then transfer this mix into my KitchenAid so if you have one too, do that, or you can use a big bowl and a wooden spoon. Add the sugar and eggs and beat really well. Then add the flour and beat that in well too until everything is combined. It’ll be much runnier than a normal fruitcake because of the melted marge and juicy fruit so don’t panic.
Pour the batter into a lined 8-inch cake tin (will need to be a deep one) and put it in the oven for about 1 hour 30 mins. My oven runs quite hot, so it was done at 1 hour 20 mins so do have a check on yours – the top should spring back if you touch it and a skewer poked in the middle should come out clean (although might get some fruit on it). Leave on a wire rack to cool and then enjoy with a cuppa! As I say, it lasts a good few days as it’s so moist, so it’s perfect even if there’s only a couple of you at home.
Let me know if you give it a go – I’d love to hear if you like it. We’ve been enjoying it as an afternoon treat with tea. Surely fruit cake counts as one of your five a day, right?
Anyway, just a couple of things to tell you about at QVC before I go. There’s going to be an IT Cosmetics Today’s Special Value on 2nd April, which includes the Illumination version of their fabulous CC cream, which I swear by, and their Bye-Bye Under Eye Concealer as well as a really fab star-shaped brush which is just for us at QVC. It will be a great deal and if, like me, you love the CC Cream, it is certainly one not to miss!
The other exciting thing that I am very sad not to be able to bring to you on-air myself is the launch of a new jewellery range. It’s called Fire Light Diamonds and is a range of lab-grown diamond jewellery. How exciting! Big name jewellers have been bringing lab-grown diamonds for a little while now and we’re starting to see more and more of them in the industry. They have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as a naturally-mined diamond, but are a fraction of the price. So this is an exciting new way to own diamonds at carat weights and colours (hello pink!) that might have been out of your price range otherwise. We have some pieces on the web already for you to look at, but I really encourage you to watch the launch show at 8 p.m. on 3rd April as the lovely Hannah Clemmow will be able to talk you through them and tell you much more about why the Fire Light range is so fabulous. Tell me what you think afterwards, I’d love to know your opinions.
Right, that’s it from me for now. Please do stay in touch and, as promised, here are my social media accounts so you can follow me:
Twitter : @kathryngoldsmit
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another blog and maybe another bake to share! In the meantime, stay safe and well – I’m sending love to you all.