There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate

I’ve had lots of compliments on my chocolate mud pie cake this week (steady…), so I thought I’d share the wisdom.

Really simple, really delicious, really fun for making with your kids, partner, or even by yourself. It’s especially fun to flick melted chocolate at your cooking partner when they’re not expecting it (sorry Kurt).

You will need:

300g dark cooking chocolate (min. 70% solids)
200g unsalted butter
5 eggs
250g caster sugar
100g shortbread fingers (broken into bite-size pieces)

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees – I don’t know about gas marks or any of that rubbish, you should have a proper oven.
  2. Line / grease a nice sized cake tin.
  3. Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces and do not eat it.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a pan with the butter on a low heat and set to one side once done. Don’t eat that either.
  5. Crack the eggs ever so carefully and whisk with the sugar until it’s pale, thickened and around twice the original consistency.
  6. Gently fold the chocolate and butter into the eggs and sugar.
  7. Stir in the bite size shortbread fingers (pro tip: if you get the 200g pack from Sainsbury’s, you’ll still have half left to snack on whilst waiting for the cake to bake).
  8. Pour into your nicely greased / lined cake tin leaving a bit of space at the top (it will rise slightly).
  9. Put in the oven for 45 minutes.
  10. Whilst that’s baking, you can lick the chocolate / butter pan because you know you really want to.
  11. Get the cake out. Wait for a bit because you will burn your tongue (from experience).
  12. Dig in, or share it and bathe in the glory of everyone telling you how wonderful you are.

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Total slacker

UnknownOh dear, I have been grossly neglectful of my blog and haven’t posted since February – FEBRUARY! I don’t even remember February.

I’ve had enough of the nagging guilt and it’s time to get back on the horse. For some reason, I’ve had a major case of writers-block which has been really hard for me to get past. I haven’t been truly inspired by something for a long time and I’m still trying to figure out why, to be honest. The longer it’s gone on, the more I’ve stopped trying which has only exacerbated the situation. Corny as it sounds, when I used to write, the words used to fall out of my brain through my fingers and onto the page and I ‘felt’ what I was writing. I haven’t had that feeling for the longest time and I’m scared it’s gone.

My life’s a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment, for both good reasons and bad and I’m finding I’m having to force myself to have a quiet five minutes sometimes as I’m so constantly ‘on’. Perhaps that’s the reason. It’s fun to be busy but I’m learning that downtime is really important.

I know that no one particularly cares if I blog or not, it’s not like I have hordes of fans wondering where I’ve disappeared to, but it’s really important to me.

I just need to get a major grip and crack on, stop being such a baby! I got rid of the pink theme too, it was stressing me out everytime I clicked on it, gross.

The Romanians are Coming!

“Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion”. Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.23.43

It’s a common saying that people are quick to pull out, usually in the face of hearing an opinion they don’t like, or to defend their own. These days, you can’t breathe through the masses of opinions clogging up the social newsfeeds.

You may have seen a programme earlier this week entitled ‘The Romanians are Coming’, a new Channel 4 documentary directly from the view of the immigrants themselves.

This isn’t a review of that programme, and I don’t intend to get into a slanging match over UKIP and who’s right and who’s wrong, as we could all argue about what’s right or wrong for the UK benefits system until the cows come home.

No, what I wanted to focus on was the sheer spitefulness I saw from some of the British public on Twitter whilst this programme was being aired.

I’m trying not to sound like the girl who DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE from Mean Girls, and want us all to be rainbows and smiles and everyone to be happy (although that would be sick). But the pure lack of empathy I saw for other, actual live human beings being sprayed out in the open like little nasty spiky Internet bugs was unreal.

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I’m conscious of going too far here, and I don’t want to sound holier than thou – I’m certainly not. But are all those things said above totally necessary?

As I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But an easy way to figure out if you’re being an absolute arsehole or not is to ask yourself whether you’d say those things to that person’s face. Or, could you actually form a basis to argue your opinion – or are you just spouting nastiness?

This may be a pointless effort, and I’m not expecting to change the world. Just like many other things, we could argue about this in further detail for hours. I just wanted to draw attention to it – it shocked me, and it shocked a lot of others, as you can see from my heavily retweeted and favourited tweet below.

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Just think about it. What if it WERE you?

How about, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Happy Saturday!

There’s a trend on Facebook at the moment with people posting ‘7 things you never knew about me’ on their statuses.

Although on one hand, those sorts of things really do remind me of those terribly annoying Myspace ‘bulletins’, or Facebook ‘notes’, I’ve read a few over my newsfeeds over this past week, and actually, they’re pretty interesting.

I learnt that me own mam got massively pissed on some rank 80s drink at 14 and ran round Archway in her pyjamas. So there’s that.

There are a few I’ve done over the years (here’s one from last year)- and it’s so fun to look back on them and realise how different you were – although, I would have seriously dropkicked my arrogant 16-year-old face, I’ve had to delete that one from Facebook, so cringey!

So, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon again, and do another one.

 7 things you may not know about me

I saved someone’s life once (essentially by holding his head together so his brain didn’t fall out) after a car crash at 14. I received a commendation from the High Court Judge for my ‘bravery’. Should have been for having a strong stomach.

I got 150/150 for my English Language A Level exam, coming in as one of the top in the country for English. That was my peak, man!

I sang No Doubt’s ‘Don’t Speak’ at the talent competition on holiday in Devon, and won another week’s holiday for the family.

This is the most embarrassing I think. I don’t know my times tables. At all. I left my first primary school before they taught them, and joined my new one when they’d already learnt them. I know my 1, 2, 5 and 10. That’s it.

I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know why, but I can’t bear to even look at Kinder Buenos. Not even in the packet. Absolutely turns my stomach. GRIM.

I used to have ‘unlimited texts’ back in the day before smartphones, Whatsapp and IM. I went into Orange with a massive bill and they said they didn’t know how it was humanely possible to text as much as I did and they’d never seen anyone go over the ‘unlimited limit’ before.

I once nicked a £1.50 hairband from New Look when I was about 12, just to see what it felt like. Felt so guilty I hid it under my bed and never wore it or told anyone. UNTIL NOW.

New year, new me and all that bollocks…

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I don’t really go in for the big New Year resolutions people seem to spread all over Facebook on the 1st January.

NO MORE CARBS
I QUIT SMOKING FOREVER
I’M NEVER GOING TO MCDONALD’S AGAIN
I VOW TO RUN SIX MILES A DAY

Of course, some people make these resolutions and stick to them, and I don’t begrudge them that – very well done. But in general, most people don’t, and end up feeling worse about themselves than they did before.

Grand declarations put way too much pressure on an individual.

It’s fine to want to improve – but never eating pizza again isn’t really going to help. It may make you thinner and healthier, and that’s great – but are you sure you want to make that much of a big deal that you’re never going to take advantage of Two for Tuesday again?

Why don’t you just eat a few less carbs or go for a run sometimes, rather than restricting yourself completely – and concentrate on being a better friend, daughter, girlfriend, or mother?

In fact, why not stop the 1st January resolutions altogether, and concentrate on improving ourselves, and our relationships all year round?

If you’ve already made one, don’t be afraid to say ‘stop’ if you’re not feeling it. If you are, carry on – that’s great – prove me wrong!

Just try to be your authentic self and it will show on the outside. Everyone can really tell who the fakers are, even if you think you’re hiding it really well. Hold your tongue and don’t say that bitchy thing you were about to say for once.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Be grateful for what you have, but don’t be afraid to work towards something better.

Happy New Year.