Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Frugal Queen’s Coffee and Walnut Cake

If I were to admit to one weakness it would be Coffee and Walnut Cake. Whenever we have a daytrip out I always budget for a slice of cake, preferably this flavour, and a cup of coffee.

A few days ago, my bloggy friend Frugal Queen posted the recipe for above mentioned yumminess, and I decided that it was about time I made one, especially as I can use Paul’s birthday as an excuse.

IMG00034-20120221-1454

Recipe:  8oz Self Raising Flour,  8oz Butter/Margarine, 8oz Sugar, 4 Eggs, 2oz Crushed Walnuts, Instant Coffee.

Frosting: 8oz Icing Sugar, 5oz Butter/Margarine, Instant Coffee

Beat together the sugar and margarine in a large bowlIMG00036-20120221-1505

Add the eggs one at a time

IMG00037-20120221-1507

Mix a large teaspoon of coffee with a tablespoon of boiling water and add to the mixture

IMG00038-20120221-1514

Crush some walnuts and add to the mix.

IMG00039-20120221-1516

Separate into two victoria sponge pans

P1030008

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.

IMG00041-20120221-1551

Allow the sponges to cool, and whilst doing so, make the coffee butter frosting.

Combine the icing sugar, margarine and the same proportions of coffee mixture as for the sponge.

Place half between the two sponges and the other half on top.

IMG00043-20120221-1738

IMG00042-20120221-1738

Use some extra walnut pieces for decoration.

Et Voila! A gorgeous frugal cake, that cost pennies as all my grocery shopping is done at Lidl.

We shall be cutting the cake later today for Pauls birthday, and we can’t wait!

Thanks Froogs x

Jo Anne

 

Getting Older, Staying Younger and a Froogs Thanks

There is a bitter sweet tinge to the day today.

Firstly Paul is 44 years old today. Having got up with him at 4.55am to hand him his present, I am now lying in bed contemplating the rest of the day.

The sad part of the day is that it is 12 years since I lost my Dad.  He was 53.  Needless to say, he will now remain forever young, which is totally up his street, as he always said to me he never wanted to grow old!  I still miss him so much, however the hurt of his passing is growing less sharp, and the memories are growing stronger.

Our very last time with him that had a photo opportunity, was when Pauls Mom and Keith married.  I don’t know why I wanted it, but insisted in a picture of my Dad, my Aunt and me whilst we were dolled up.  That was in the September.  I am so grateful for that picture.

Dad Jo and San 1

Back to the present day, and I have spoiled Paul rotten so far.  He had lots of little gifts, along with his main gift from all of his family. (He has combined money from everyone in order to get a cheap Bridge Camera so he can start photography again) The little gifts I got all related to his camera, and did not cost a fortune, but have made him very happy.  This makes me happy!

188568_1005216464890_1659241429_30007630_8261_n

Finally I made him a Coffee and Walnut cake as his birthday cake yesterday, following the recipe that Frugal Queen posted on her blog a few days ago.  I have taken pictures through the making and baking process and will blog that post shortly.  Needless to say, it looks yummy and I thank Froogs for her post.

Until Later….

Jo Anne

Monday, 20 February 2012

A Trip to Trerice

I am on annual leave today, Tuesday and Wednesday, and wanted to make the most of them.

Sally-Ann and Mike agreed that a National Trust trip was about due, and so, we decided on Trerice House and Gardens as it’s the only property that is open with NT at this time of year in our area.

We drove out of heavy rain in Redruth, up towards the blue skies of Newquay, and the grounds of the house at Trerice.

P1010003

The sun shone down on us, and after entering the gardens we were rewarded with a view of hundreds of daffodils in the early stages of blooming or fully showing their colours to us.

P1010005

P1010006

The grounds were undergoing an archaeological dig to investigate whether the trust could lay a new formal garden.  If the archaeologists had found anything to prove a previous historical garden it would mean that nothing could be done.  Fortunately it seems that nothing was found and therefore the new formal gardens can begin to be planned.

P1010009

The house itself is 15th century, and although very small in comparison to some other NT properties we have visited, it is very pretty.

P1010010P1010011

The great hall contained a lovely fireplace, remarkable ceiling and suits of armour and chainmail.

P1010012

P1010014

P1010013

We were not allowed to use our cameras anywhere else in the house, however I asked if I could stick my arm over the minstrels gallery in order to get a full picture of the Great Hall.

P1010021

Having looked around the house, we headed outside to walk the side of it, around to the tea rooms for a coffee and something naughty.  En-route we spotted some lovely flowers.

P1010024

P1010027

P1010036

P1010032

P1010037

Having exhausted the house and gardens, we headed on over the the Anne’s Cottage Factory Outlet, and then onto Kingsley Village for a mooch before heading home.

A lovely way to spend a holiday.

Jo Anne

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Trago is Tops

Brenda really has the bug for card making now, and wanted to buy some essentials to get her started, with a little help from her craft guru (that’s me!)

We agreed to meet both her and her husband Eric, at Trago Liskeard, as there was also something quite big we needed to get if we could.

IMG00031-20120218-1443

Having arrived at Trago about an hour before we were due to meet the others, we headed over to the bathroom department.  We need to replace our bath, as it is badly damaged, and this is the place to find a good quality replacement, very cheaply.

IMG00030-20120218-1443

Having chosen, paid for and collected the bath, putting it in the back of Pauls cavernous estate car, we had just put the car back in a parking spot, when I had a text to say that they had just arrived.  Perfect timing.

We had a good old mooch around the craft department, filling Brenda’s trolley with glass cutting mat, craft knife, pokey tool (yes that’s what it’s called!), card blanks, double sided tape and peel off stickers.

We all even managed to get a few other odds and sods that we ‘needed’, before heading off for a quick bite to eat.

It was a great day, that proved to be very productive for all of us but soon it was time to head home. 

Our new bath was right at home in the boot LOL!

IMG00032-20120218-1456

Jo Anne

Saturday, 11 February 2012

St Ives Holiday

P2110003a

P2110005a

Mom and Keith are coming to join us in May for a weeks holiday,  we have therefore planned it around our own holiday, so that we can all spend some quality time together.

Keith has loved St Ives for years, so where better for us all to go.

I 30 minute drive down there this afternoon meant that we had our static caravans booked, and a lovely coastal drive in the sunshine.

Can’t wait for the holidays now!

Jo Anne

 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Craft Guru At Your Service !

Before Christmas Brenda had asked me if I could show her how to make her own cards.

I’ve been making greeting cards for many years now, but even so was not so sure I would be any good as a teacher.  Never the less, I agreed.

Unfortunately that’s where the story ended as, up until now, due to the problems I’ve had with my chest and the side effects of the nasty steroid tablets I’ve been taking, I just didn’t feel up to doing anything.

I finally started to feel ‘normal’, and with a lieu day owed to me from work for some overtime that I had done, I messaged Brenda to say how about coming over to have a try at making some cards.

Brenda arrived with loads of old Christmas cards that we could up cycle into new card toppers for matting and layering projects, and the kitchen was overtaken with stuff from my craft room.  P2100003

The first order of the day however, was to make an acceptance for a wedding card.  Brenda needed something unusual, and I think we managed it.

P2100005

Then it was time to explain matting and layering, adhesive types and choices, pairings and basically the fact that you can never make a mistake in card making, only a happy accident that can be transformed into something else.

That said, Brenda got stuck in, and was soon engrossed in her tasks.

P2100001P2100002

and soon, a very proud Brenda was able to show off her first card projects.

P2100004P2100007

She did such a great job, and had some wonderful cards to take home with her.

Great day Brenda, thanks for the company x

Jo Anne

 

Monday, 6 February 2012

eBook Dilemma

For a while now, a couple of my friends at work have been talking about their Kindles, and how great they are.

Now, I have to admit that when they first came out I was dead against them.  The only reason is for the whole tactile, holding a book feeling.  Would publishers go out of business? What about the cover artists? Is this the beginning of the end for sitting quietly and reading a paperback on the beach or in the doctors or dentist surgery waiting room.

Having played out all of the pro’s and cons in my head, and by putting the question out there for all of my friends to give their opinions, I decided that this was the way forward for a 21st Century reader.

I had virtually enough money left over from Christmas and birthdays to purchase one, and finally made my way to Tesco to pick one up before I changed my mind!

IMG00028-20120206-1600a

At £89.00 it is the most expensive book I have ever purchased.  My reckoning is that, with the cost of books in charity shops being in excess of £2.50 now, it would be worth every penny if I could put at least 45 free books onto it before I started to purchase any.

On day one I downloaded 7 free books!

I love my e-reader!

I ordered a really cheap cover online, that has a built in light, and am now able to read at 2am if I can’t sleep, and it doesn’t wake Paul up!

I have to say, I am a convert.

Yes it did take me a while to make the decision, and yes I did have a play with a couple of kindles that belong to friends before I bought one, but it is a great buy.

My handbag is no longer stuffed with a heavy book, and in actual fact, I am carrying around 9 books in total….. a veritable library in my purse already!

Once I have exhausted all of the free books, I shall explore the 99p ones and the Daily Kindle Offer that is available online each day until midnight.

I am very happy with my decision, despite the fact I had reservations to begin with.

Jo Anne

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow Covers England, But Cornwall Shines

Having spoken with Mom earlier today, we have heard that by lunchtime they had already had an inch and a half of snow fall in the West Midlands.

IMG00026-20120205-1519

Cornwall, I am happy to report is a balmy 8 degrees, and we have had a lovely walk on the beach with Sally-Ann, Mike and the dogs.

IMG00027-20120205-1523

The tide had just started to turn and the waves were cracking for the few surfers who decided to brave it.

Needless to say, the beach was full of dogs and their carers.  I wonder why LOL!

We are so lucky to be living here!

Jo Anne