Hello there, thank you for stopping to read my blog. It’s a little shorter this week as it’s half term and we are trying to keep the kids entertained. I would love to have shared lovely things that we did over the weekend but the truth is it was torrential rain both days and we pretty much stayed home bar a brief walk in the woods when the rain stopped for a minute.
The house is completely upside down and every surface is covered in either a Lego creation or piles of paper crafts and drawings. None of which are allowed to be thrown away as they are ‘very, very, VERY important’.
So basically, all we have done is get cosy at home and cook and snuggle up to watch movies. My absolute favourite of the weekend was Maleficent ‘Mistress of Evil’ which is the second movie of the series. It’s so good and Angelina Jolie certainly does likeable villain very well. The kids loved it too, it’s so nice that they are now at an age that we can watch family movies that us adults can enjoy too.
It gave me a great opportunity to put the Skechers Big Deal slippers to the test. They really are the perfect pair of slippers. Proper shoe style so you have a back to them so less likely to slip out of them and a proper sole so that you can nip outside if you need to. Inside the faux fur is incredibly cosy. I like that they look like a classic sheepskin style but without the price tag and also great for those of you who have moved away from animal products.
As is often the case with Skechers these do come up big and the advice is to go down a size. I am a true size 42 which is often called a 9 in many brands and the 8s are a perfect fit for me. We have them in 6 colours and while the Big Deal is on, they are under £25. Click on through and check them out, they could be a good way to tick off a few Xmas pressies at a really good price. Don’t forget that our money-back guarantee is extended to the 31st of January for gifts!
KitchenAid – Today’s Special Value on Thursday 29th
It’s that time of year again when many of us have to make that decision… ‘Is this the year I finally get myself a KitchenAid Mixer?’ Well I’m with you this year too, I want it sooooooo bad. The price is good, the Easy Payments are good, we have the colour I want. So perhaps this is it!
The classic 125 Artisan mixer is widely regarded as the Queen of the mixer world. I got to have some fun with a bake along on our Facebook Page along with Catherine, Kathy and Simon when we all made one of our favourite bakes each morning this week. Mine was a Banana, Date and Walnut loaf and you can still watch it by clicking here.
By the way, the dress I wore is Ghost and we still have some sizes available.
It couldn’t have been easier or more enjoyable to make than with the KitchenAid. The mechanism is excellent, the satisfying whirr of the paddle and the perfect smooth batter it makes is hard to beat (if you pardon the pun!).
I will be honest and admit though that I already have a mixer that my mum bought me years ago and it’s perfectly good but it’s just not very attractive. I keep it in the cupboard under the stairs. Every time I use it I wish it was a KitchenAid. I think it’s time to pass it on to someone and finally go for the KitchenAid.
Here’s the Banana Loaf Recipe I made on the Facebook Live.
Katy’s Banana Bread
140g Soften butter
140g Golden Caster Sugar
140g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp Almond Essence
2 very ripe bananas (the riper the better)
50g walnut pieces
60g Chopped Dates
1 Jar of Joe & Seph’s Caramel Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4
- Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper, I tend to only line 2 of the 4 edges with a strip of baking paper, this is much easier that trying to get all the corners flat
- Cream the Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy
- Slowly add the eggs one at a time, using a little of the flour if necessary
- Add the remaining flour, baking powder, almond essence, bananas (I tend not to mash to bananas beforehand and let the KitchenAid do the hard work)
- Add the Walnuts and Dates and stir through to combine everything
- Place in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, making sure that a skewer or sharp knife comes out clean when inserted
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out, this helps the loaf keeps its shape
- Once cooled enough to eat, place the jar of Joe & Seph’s caramel sauce in the microwave for 15 seconds and carefully pour over the banana bread
- Leave to stand for a few minutes before slicing and enjoying with a cup of your choice
Le Creuset Today’s Special Value – coming Thursday 5th November (pre-launch at 9pm on Weds 4th)
The ultimate gift for the cook in your life. I have written about my love for Le Creuset many times before. I have 4 pieces in my collection, most of which were wedding presents. When it comes to cast iron cooking pots, it doesn’t get any better than this. My mum still has the same Le Creuset casserole pots she got for her wedding too and they are still in incredible condition and have produced hundreds if not thousands of family meals for us over the years.
This Today’s Special Value will include the cast iron 26cm casserole dish with lid and the 30cm Grill Pan and the official cook book. The key points for the Le Creuset are that you get even heat retention, easy to clean and they will last for decades. They are suitable for Induction, ceramic, gas, electric, radiant ring and oven and are also dishwasher safe too!
I got to test these this week and both items did not disappoint. The grill was crying out to be tested with meat and boy did it bring the goods. I did rump steak and the grill marks and flavour were restaurant quality, (4 mins each side for medium). It cleaned up like a dream after too. In the casserole dish I did the sides, red onion, garlic, long stem broccoli and baby tomatoes.
I did use the lid to get it started but I took it off to stop them getting soggy in the steam as I wanted them to be more sauteed. They were perfect, if I do say so myself! The thing I find with these dishes is that you can turn the heat down as they retain so much of it. You can expect a great saving when they Pre-Launch at 9pm on the 4th. We will have 6 colours and it will be in 3 Easy Pay instalments!
So, there you go, I told you it had been a cosy week of cooking! I hope you are all doing OK?
I hope to have been out and about a bit more for the next blog. Tilda is desperate to go ‘Geo Cashing’ which she saw on Blue Peter. I have no idea where to start so if you have any tips then let me know!
Lots of love