Category Archives: Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Cake

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I’m in the process of moving house so I need to use up a few of the ingredients in my cupboards.

As its a holiday weekend here I decided to make a little cake as a treat and thought I would see what would happen putting peanut butter in a cake.

I usually use the equal weight method for cakes and as there is only two of us I used a 2 egg mix. (Weigh the eggs and that gives you the weight needed for flour, fat and sugar)

I roughly halved the amount of margerine required and made the rest up with peanut butter.  All other ingredients were as usual plus a little baking powder to help with the rise and a splash of milk.

Now I used a 100% peanut butter which had no sugar, oil or salt added.  The variety of peanut butter used will obviously affect the flavour.

I  combined all the ingredients together and put the mix into a lined loaf tin which then went into a 160° oven for about 30 minutes.

Verdict?  YUUUM.

It was quite a delicate flavour which I really liked but hubby being a peanut butter addict wanted more flavour so perhaps next time I will add a pinch of salt or increase the proportion of peanut butter.

Will definitely have this again but will have to experiment a little more.

Also thinking of trying a slice toasted with some butter or jam or chocolate spread………………..

 

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What is a Best Friend?

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Bestest Buddy, BBF or whatever you call them, most of us have or had someone in their life at some time who they called their “Best Friend”

But what is a “Best Friend”? How do we define or decide who our best friend is?

Thinking about this I was grateful to realise that I can count 3 “Best friends” currently in my life.

The first is the one who would probably count as my Bestest Buddy, BBF and I would always regard her as that and I think she feels the same way.  We first met as little girls of just 3 and 4 when we became almost next door neighbours.  Due to the way our birthday’s fell we were in different school years and so of course had school friends from our own class, but while we were both at the same school and still neighbours we would walk to school together and very often meet up in breaks.  We would have our girlie play times or outings as we grew up and as neither of us had a sister and I was slightly younger (and smaller) than my friend she delighted in “looking after” me.

As we got older and life took us in different directions; university, marriage, family,  moving with jobs etc. we would meet whenever we could and friendship just carried on with that special bond of a friendship that has now continued for oh lets just say a VERY long time and even when we haven’t managed to meet for a couple of years as we no longer live close enough to meet without some sort of planning dates in advance there is still  that special bond which just continues and we enjoy a “catch up” in a way that people can only do like family when you have known each other essentially for as long as you can remember.

The  second would have to be my hubby; not only did we “fall in love” in the romantic sense, we very quickly became “best friends”.  We like being together and doing things together (some people find this a bit strange in a marriage).  Sharing interests and supporting each other whatever is going on in our lives.  Yes we have some different interests and tastes but we usually find that because we know each other so well it is very easy to come to an agreement even on the “boring” stuff like choosing paint and now after 26 years of marriage we are stepping into a new venture together – moving home, change of jobs and lifestyle but we are  “Growing old with me, the best is yet to be” despite the challenges that we know are coming.

The third “Best Friend” is that one who I spend time with who lives close by, who is there when I need help or someone to feed the cat (or they need someone to feed theirs).  Who thinks of me if they think I might want to go for coffee or something, who comes and helps with DIY and checks up on me if I or hubby are ill or something happening.

Friends are special and although I am someone who is generally quite confident and independent as an individual, having these special people in your life is so valuable, especially if you do not have family close by.  We do have some family very close who we love and enjoy spending time with but sometimes people do not have family close by or are no longer around so the saying of “Friends are the family you choose” can be quite significant.

I’m grateful for the “special” friends that I have in addition to family.  Each person enriches your life in  different way (and hopefully I enrich theirs)

Cherish your friends (even the furry ones) and family.

 

Finishing the Race

I did not watch much of the Olympics and only really watched a little on the last couple of days.  Most of my Olympic “exposure” was through seeing a friends Facebook posts and tags from Rio as she was out there supporting a family member (who incidently came home with a gold medal!!!).

I’m not that interested in sport but I’m still delighted to hear of our country’s athletes success – they worked hard for it and gave up a lot to achieve their goals.

Amongst all the thrill and excitement, one story caught my attention. 

It involved two young ladies: Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino from America.

These two ladies fell in their race and after helping each other get back on their feet continued with the race.  It soon became apparent that Abbey was struggling and Nikki went back to help her.  She abandoned any thought she may have had of winning a medal but went to help Abbey so that they could both complete the race.

It struck me that there is a parallel with this story to our call as Christians to run the race of faith.

We are not in a race against each other!  We are in a race together.

Hebrews 12 v 1 exhorts us to run the race with perseverance.

James 1 v 12 promises the crown to those who persevere to the end.

Jude tells us to keep fighting

Both Hebrew and James and in Revelation contain many references to finishing, persevering when things get tough but the reward is promised to those who hold on to the end.

Now I’m not sure from the news reports I read whether these two ladies actually crossed the finish line but they were given a special award because they raced well.  They showed the care and compassion for another competitor which is worth more than winning.

Again we are told to work together, support one another, help those who fall to get back up onto their feet and continue even if some of the time we are carrying them.

I wrote a piece on this previously so won’t write it all again but here is the link;

https://suhancock.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/make-level-paths

Just like my friend who flew out to support her family member, there are people watching us, willing us to win, encouraging us.

So keep running, if you can’t run, walk if you can’t walk, you will find a way…not all our races are the same, we have different races to run.
See you at the finish line!

Normal Service?……..

My Facebook page is telling me that it has been …..oooh a long time, since I last posted. 

Where have I been??

Well I won’t bore you with the details, just that family responsibilities have kept me a bit more occupied and along with a few other things, the “blog” had to go to the bottom of the priority list.

I’m now looking forward over the next couple of weeks to getting into a new routine which hopefully will include getting back to writing here on a more regular basis, so as well as the odd random thing I may want to write about, and sharing a few experiments in the kitchen, I really want to get back to doing some of the more detailed study and thoughts on the Bible.
So this is where you come in – I want your opinions…
I would like to pick up where we “paused” in Genesis.  I’m amazed how much there is to find in even just a few verses and we had just got to chapter 5 and the flood. 

Shall we continue? Do you find this interesting? Helpful? Boring?

Shall we do Psalms or Proverbs?

Shall we go “random”

Or shall we do something completely different? 
What do you think?
I won’t promise a daily blog as I’ve often found when studying the Bible, sometimes you need to go away and think about what you have read, what does it mean? What do I think? How does it impact me?

Talk to me please!!!!

Xxxx

Household tips; Bins

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If like us you have several bins around the house, (bathrooms, office, bedrooms) then here’s a simple little tip to make managing them a little easier.

It’s a pain sometimes when you have a bin which needs to be emptied and you have to go off and find the right size bin liner from under the kitchen sink and go back upstairs to line the bin, so here’s what I did;

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I bought some extra rolls of cheap bin liners and left one in the bottom of each bin so it is always on hand, I can then simply take one and re-line the bin all ready for use.

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Now if you don’t want to have several rolls in the house as some of these have up to 100 liners on them, then simply remove a number (say 10) and leave these in the bottom of the bin, or if you have any supermarket carrier bags, fold a leave some of these there ready (you could even colour coordinate them if you are that way inclined!!

Hope this helps….

Guilty!!!!!!!

Yes, I am guilty, guilty of Tax avoidance, and you probably are too….

My conscience is clear though because it is perfectly legal.

I have a ISA…. Shock horror!!!!

And why did I take out an ISA?

TO AVOID PAYING TOO MUCH TAX!

and as I have had NO income since stopping work 6 years ago, I have also transferred part of my tax allowance to my husband so that we pay a little less tax and get a little more of his not very high wage. 

This is perfectly legal, in fact our government and tax offices encourage it.

Yes I question the morality of some of these super rich schemes, off shore investments etc, but the fact is that they are not breaking the law.

Now Tax EVASION is illegal, that is; not paying tax that you should . (by the way, did you declare the income on that little job you did for cash “on the side”?…Yes? Well done you… You can stay on your moral high horse)

Truth is, many of the people who make these laws are the ones who benefit from them so I suspect that nothing is going to change there,  but I have got a little irritated by those pointing the finger condemning those who are in a position to take advantage of these laws; can any of us honestly say that we would not arrange our finances in the most efficient way to minimise the amount of tax we pay?

I thought not…

Rant over

Rhubarb Loaf Cake

I made this yummy cake last night and following requests for the recipe; here it is….

I have loads of Rhubarb chopped up in bags in my freezer and as we are not “regular” pudding eaters (trying not terribly successfully to control our weight) I thought I had better try and use some before the next crop starts appearing.  We only have one plant but it seems to be extremely happy where it is and grows like a mad thing (great for our Rhubarb Chutney) so when I was sorting the freezer yesterday I took a bag out to use and decided to try and make a cake.

The first thing I did was tip the already chopped and frozen rhubarb into a saucepan and cooked it until all the liquid had boiled off and I had a nice thick puree.

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Yes I know it does not look terribly appetising but this bag of rhubarb was fairly green so not a great colour.  I added a bit of ginger powder and about a teaspoon of the sugar we had saved from some crystallised ginger.

I then set this aside to cool.

When it had cooled I made a basic cake mix – I used a 2 egg mix but I think if I make this again I will use a 3 egg  mix.

For my cake mix method see:

Anyone for cakes????

Oh – you want to know how much rhubarb? truth is I forgot to weigh it before I started but I think it would have been about 2 good size sticks.

Anyway, I added the cake mix to the pureed rhubarb and mixed it all together

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Oh – and for this cake to make it a little “healthier” I used wholemeal self raising flour (because it was next to the caster sugar in the cupboard)

I lined a 2lb loaf tin with paper and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees

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Again this is something I was learning as I went along… After 45 minutes it looked like this..

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but I decided it needed a little longer as when I took it out it was quite floppy so in total it took just over an hour.

I would therefore put it in at slightly higher temperature – but no higher than 180 when making this again, but eventually it looked like this…

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We were a bit impatient to try it with our cup of tea so I cut a couple of slices and we had it warm (would have been very nice with a dollop of ice cream if we had any…)

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Very yummy!   I’m going to have to make this again very soon to try the variations I have thought of – that is, use a 3 egg mix and bake at a slightly higher temperature.  Now I mixed the rhubarb in well but you could always “marble” it or perhaps layer it by putting in half of the cake mix, then the puree and the rest of the cake mix on top,  go on… experiment, its fun!! If you don’t like Rhubarb then try raspberries or whatever fruit you fancy.