Thursday, 31 January 2013

Chocolate cake failure!

Thanks for all your suggestions yesterday for my leftover Christmas turkey.  Some fantastic ideas which will help shake up my meal plans no end!  I had every intention of trying something new today, but after two failed attempts at my chocolate cake, I was pretty sick of the sight of my kitchen!  Tonight's leftover turkey got a jar of curry sauce poured over it, served up with rice and and green beans.  Very lazy and not very exciting!  But quick and stress-free after failure with my chocolate cakes.

Ahh, where did I go wrong?

Not too sure why, but my cakes turned out more like brownies.  Not quite the two-tier, ganache-coated chocolate extravaganza I had in mind!

The absolute worst bit about this is the fact that my hubby gave the recipe a go at the weekend and it turned out PERFECTLY.

Which only serves to make me feel an even bigger failure!

So the pressure is on tomorrow, to bake, fill, ice and assemble my cake, ready for the party on Saturday.  Wish me luck!

Best wishes

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Using up leftover turkey!

Are we only family still working their way through leftover Christmas turkey?!  We were very lucky to pick up a reduced price turkey just before Christmas day - a gamble, I know, but every year I like to leave it to the last minute in the hope that I can pick up a bargain - and I always do!  I also had a £5 off voucher which resulted in a super-size family turkey for less than half the price it should have been. This meant that we ended up with an absolutely huge turkey, one that would feed all of us on Christmas day and beyond.  I didn't mind, because I knew that every scrap would end up in the freezer and be turned into something wonderful another day.

Well, over the last few weeks we have been working our way through the turkey in various guises, from salads to sandwiches, curries, sweet and sour, to "Christmas dinner" all over again with vegetables and gravy.  I had a wee run-through of the freezer contents this morning and shouldn't have really been surprised to find several bags of cooked turkey still remaining in there.

But I'm starting to run out of inspiration!  What else can I do with my cooked turkey other than repeat the meals I've already made?  Do you have any suggestions?  I was thinking about giving turkey and leek pie a go, but gluten-free pastry can be a bit of a challenge!

I'd love to hear your ideas.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Spicy Carrot and Coriander Soup

It's been a while since I shared a recipe, so here's my version of Spicy Carrot and Coriander Soup.  This soup is delicious and easy to make, it freezes very well and costs very little for the ingredients.  With the cold weather we're having, a bowl of warming, spicy soup does the trick at lunchtime!


Olive oil
2 onions
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp dried crushed chillies
2.5 litres of chicken stock
1kg carrots
Handful of fresh coriander leaves

Peel and finely chop the onions then fry gently in a little oil for about five minutes, until softened.  Add the garam masala and dried chillies and fry for a further minute or so.  Peel and chop the carrots and add these with the stock to the onions.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about twenty minutes, then allow to cool slightly before blending to a smooth consistency along with the fresh coriander leaves.  Taste and season before serving!

These quantities will make around 8 large bowlfuls- I like to make a big batch like this and put half in the fridge for another time.

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments and emails following my news last week that we're expecting another baby - it's very kind of you indeed to share best wishes and to follow our journey.  The support from strangers has been so overwhelming over the highs and lows of the last year - it means a lot to me indeed, thank you!

Best Wishes

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Some happy news to share...

Today I have some happy news to share with you all.  

In June we'll be welcoming another baby into our family.  Yes, I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my third child and we're very happy indeed to be expecting again!

I hope this goes some way towards explaining my sporadic blogging activity of late.  What between morning sickness, tiredness, and a rollercoaster of extreme emotions, I have been physically and mentally exhausted and blogging has somewhat slipped further down my To Do list.

My physical symptoms are now starting to settle down and I'm getting back into my normal routine of things.  

As for my emotions, to say they are mixed would be a massive understatement.  Pregnancy can be an emotionally charged time anyway, without the experience we've had.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will understand why this is, of course.  For new readers, this is because this pregnancy follows the death of our last baby, Daisy, in July of last year.

Wow.  Emotional doesn't even scratch the surface in describing how I am feeling.

My poor husband.  He would probably be kind and describe my alternating moods as somewhat erratic.  But in all honesty I swing from being elated to scared, to joyous to tearful, in a state of almost perpetual anxiety and occasional denial that my pregnancy is even real.  I'm sure this is completely normal, given that I am still grieving Daisy's death.  But I'm sure it makes me very challenging to live with!

So I'm channelling my energies into positives where I can, in order to keep myself busy and to help the remaining weeks pass quickly and smoothly.  I'm returning to focus on my blog, I hope to finish some of my crafting projects that have been hanging around for what seems like forever, I'm coming up with lots of delicious gluten-free recipes to share, I'll be tackling some of those To Do items that always end up left on the list, and also sorting out my house and catching up with some (long overdue) housework - including a truly towering ironing pile!

On top of all this, planning for my Charity Party Night for Sands is well underway and my return to work is keeping me busy too.

So thanks for sticking with me as we move into this next eventful journey for Family Life in Fife.

Best wishes

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Fundraising for Sands

Much of my time has been taken up recently with the preparation for a Charity Party Night I'm holding in March.  I'm raising funds for Fife Sands, the local branch of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands, in memory of our daughter Daisy who died in July 2012.

We've had a great response from local businesses and have managed to obtain a range of fantastic prizes for our raffle, as well as a few offers for entertainment - so we're finalising all the arrangements for that as we speak.  We've also been lucky to have been offered a fantastic local venue to host our event which will allow us to have over 200 guests at our party.

My fundraising target for the evening is £3000, although at the rate the tickets are selling, I'm really hopeful that we'll smash our target and raise lots more for Fife Sands!

I'm enjoying pouring my efforts into organising this event and I'm so pleased at the support we have had from friends, family and the local community in order to raise money for such a supportive charity as well as raising  awareness of the work that Sands does, both locally and nationally.

The planning of the event has taken up a lot of my time and has been keeping me fairly busy.  With only a couple of months to go until the party, preparations have stepped up a gear and I'm now working on something related to the event nearly every day.

It's great to see everyone pulling together to raise money for such a fantastic cause.