Pumpkin Party

It would appear that we have gone a little pumpkin crazy this year, we have been hunting the shelves for all things pumpkin related since about September. Homesense has literally been our saviour we have found so many cool props and food related items in there we just keep going back for more. Honestly you could spend a small fortune in there its crazy how much they have on sale, we cannot imagine what it must be like in America.

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It took us a little longer than most to get into the autumn spirit as we were still moarning summer but one weekend we went out and purchased some pumpkins and decided to go on a pumpkin photoshoot lets be honest what else was going to get us in the autumnal mood.

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As you would have seen from our previous posts we have made pumpkin pie (first time making it) which we absolutely loved, pumpkin pancakes because who doesn’t love pumpkin shaped pancakes, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Balls which were da bomb and Pumpkin and Rosemary Muffins which tasted bloomin amazing and we will definitely be baking these again. We also opted for some healthy treats including ghostly bananas and spooky organges! 

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Last year we really decided to embrace all of the holidays we celebrate, last year we really went to town with some of our content but this year we are going to up our game and create lots of autumn/fall content because after all it is one of our favourite seasons and the colours are just amazing, especially with pops of burnt orange.

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For our American friends out there please make us jealous and tell us about all the amazing pumpkin related products you can buy! One year we would love to fly to America for Halloween/fall we can imagine it is so much fun!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Pumpkin chocolate chip energy balls anyone? YES PLEASE!

These literally take about 10 minutes to make, they contain 5 ingredients that you are likely to have in your cupboard this time of year. If you are unsure on where to get pumpkin puree (UK Folk) we found it in the world food isle of tesco.

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This makes about 16 energy balls that you can either keep in the fridge or freeze them to enjoy in the future. Don’t you just love it when you fancy something sweet and then remember you have something tucked away in the freezer.

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Ingredients
250g Oats
100g Pumpkin Puree
100g Peanut Butter
150g Maple Syrup
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method
Line a baking tray with parchement paper
Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixed through (you may find you need to use your hands)
Roll into balls
Place on the lined baking tray
Place in the frige for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refregirated for up to a week (if they last that long).

Pumpkin & Rosemary Muffins

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We always see so many sweet pumpkin recipes that we decided to experiment and make some savoury muffin. We have never made savoury muffins before so we were really looking forward to making these.

We imagined savoury muffins to be quite bread like, but when we took them out the oven and tasted them we immediately thought of yorkshire puddings. the texture was similar but thinking about it the ingredients we used are very similar to yorkshire puddings and not bread.

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Ingredients
350g Pumpkin
200g Self raising flour
150g wholemeal flour
1tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3 sprigs of rosemary finley chopped
1/2tsp paprika
Sprinkle of Thyme
2 large eggs
100ml plain yoghurt
250ml milk
50ml vegetable oil
1.5tbsp honey
50g Pumpkin seeds

Method
preheat your oven to 180oc
Lightly oil a muffin tray and line with baking paper or muffin cases
Chop your pumpkin into small cubes
Place the chopped pumpkin onto a baking tray
Roast the Pumpkin in the oven for 10-15 minutes until soft (keep an eye on it)
Sieve the self raising flour, wholemeal flour & Baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Keep the wholemeal flour that is left behind in the sieve.
Add in the pinch of salt
In a separate mixing bowl beat the eggs
Add the milk, cream, vegetable oil & honey and stir well until combined
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold
Stir in the cooked pumpkin
Spoon the mixture into the cases
Sprinkle the top of each muffin with pumpkin seeds & the wholemeal you reserved earlier
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes
Insert a skewer into one of the muffins and make sure it comes out clean before removing from the oven.

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Say Goodbye To The Summer Blues

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We have already started to wave goodbye to the care free warm summer nights where evenings were spent in the garden catching some rays and sipping on a cold beverage hoping and wishing the hot weather would last forever. Unfortunately it didn’t and as we say hello to September we can already feel autumn in the air. We are already mentally preparing ourselves for the cosy evenings spent by a fire watching The X Factor and eating our body weight in chocolate (yes supermarkets are already selling chocolate tins swear it gets earlier and earlier every year).

Now don’t get us wrong we love autumn, well in fact we love all the seasons in the UK we just wished that the cold months didn’t last as long and that we actually had a proper summer and not just a hot day here and there. Living in the UK though means we are going to have to get over this though unless we migrate to another country where summer is there to stay for the majority of the year… dreams.

Just because summer is coming to an end in the UK as much as we don’t want to admit or believe it it doesn’t mean our moods have to as well. We have collated a list of top tips to help you get over the summer blues, if you have any others then please do share them with us!

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1). Keep living your summer life- why is it that everyone goes into hibernation during the winter months and cannot be bothered to socialise? This year we are going to keep living our summer social lives well into the winter months, okay so a glass of Pimms may be swapped for a mulled wine and a pair of sunglasses for a bobble hat but that’s okay we can deal with that.

2). Book a getaway- why not book a getaway so you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t even have to be in a hot country it could be a ‘staycation’ after all aren’t these the new ‘vacation’? We are going to make sure we have lots of fun things crammed into our diaries at the weekends so we have lots of things to look forward to.

4). Start a new hobby- why not start a new hobby during the week after work so you have things to look forward to after work. We all remember that horrible feeling of going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark, so make sure you have something to look forward to in your spare time. We are going to try some new fitness classes in London this winter to help keep us motivated.

5). Get outside- just because its winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, wrap up warm, show off your new winter coat and get outside. We love walking in the winter and always like to visit new national trust places, the UK is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.

6). Get a good night’s sleep- make sure you get enough sleep, it will leave your body and mind feeling refreshed, revitalized and motivated to beat the summer blues!

 

 

Chocolate Orange Bonfire Cupcakes

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Oh look what it is, another excuse for us to bake! Bonfire Night is here and we have celebrated by baking delicious chocolate orange bonfire cupcakes.

We made a standard chocolate sponge recipe, however you want to make it, all in one or the creaming method, weighing the eggs or using approx 120g sugar, butter, flour with 2 eggs etc

We then made a chocolate buttercream using our favourite hummingbird bakery recipe (we halved it!) and used a pallet knife to cover to top of the cupcakes.

We then made the vanilla buttercream and added some orange food colouring along with orange flavouring. We piped onto the top of the cupcakes and decorated with broken up flakes.

These did not take us as long as anticipated to make and were lots of fun, but simple. You can also adapt it by adding chocolate orange flavouring to the sponge mix.

We cannot wait for tonight we are off to the local fireworks display where there will be a big bonfire, live bands and lots of food and drink to buy – bring on the mulled wine.

It definitely feels like winter once bonfire night comes around, the community all going to a field wrapped up warm in hats, gloves, scarves and welly boots to watch some beautiful fireworks.

How will you be celebrating?!

Sheffield Shenanigans

We planned a mini break to Sheffield a while ago, and got a great deal on a 2 night stay at the Hilton. We left at 6.30ish on Friday evening and drove up the M1 all the way to Sheffield, Friday night traffic and a couple of accidents we arrived 3 hours later! Straight to bed for us ready to hit the next day. Annie and I got up at 8ish for a run. As I went to University in Sheffield I took Annie on my old 10km route around the city. It was the most beautiful morning and the run felt incredible. We ran through a park too which was nice and took some cool photos of autumn leaves.

We got back to the hotel and got ready for breakfast, we had high expectations for the breakfast, especially as breakfast is our favourite meal of the day, and sadly it was a disappointment, I have most definitely eaten better breakfasts elsewhere. We then headed to the city centre to explore and do some shopping. We wandered around the city buying new clothes and bits and bobs for winter before heading to Ecclesall Road which is where Rachel used to live. The road is a beautiful tree lined road full of coffee shops, restaurants, bars and gift shops. We headed to Couch for a coffee, we had an iced coffee and shared a large slice of Chocolate Orange cake. We chilled in the cosy café for a while, watching the world go by. Then I took them to the Botanical Gardens, which are these gardens that are kind of a mini version of Kew Gardens. We then went for a wander around Endcliffe Park to get those steps up! We still had some time to kill before our early dinner reservations so popped into some gift shops and charity shops. I got an underwater camera for £5!

We then headed to Graze Inn for dinner and ooogled at the menu which had soooo much to choose from. Annie and I both went for the half chicken which came with 3 sides each! For £12.95 an absolute bargain and shows how we get so ripped off in London! The dinner was soooo tasty, I just wish I had room for dessert as the tasting platter looked amazing!

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We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our night, we glammed ourselves up and before we knew it the taxi had arrived. I had pre-booked the disco taxi for the girls as a surprise which was such a laugh!

We ended up going on a mini bar crawl dancing the night away before heading back to the hotel at 2am.

The following day we woke up to miserable weather and headed to breakfast. We stuffed our faces with food and then got ready to check out. We walked across Sheffield back to my car and the I drove us to Matlock. We wandered around Matlock and then headed to Matlock Baths. Matlock Baths is a strange place that looks like a seaside town where all motor bikers seems to congregate. We had fish and chips at a restaurant and then it was back to the car for the 3 hour journey home.

We love visiting new places in England and cannot wait for our next weekend break at the beginning of December. We are unsure where to go so any suggestions are welcome……!

Melting Ghost Brownies

We are definitely getting into the spirit of Halloween this year and we cannot get enough of Halloween cooking. These are the worlds gooiest brownies and you will want to eat the whole lot!

They are lots of fun to make and not too difficult, enjoy the recipe below and let us know how you get on!

Ingredients
350g/12oz dark chocolate
250g/9oz unsalted butter, chopped into squares
3 large eggs
250g/9oz dark muscavado sugar
85g.3oz plain flour
1tsp baking powder
400g white chocolate
1 bag large marshmallows
small chocolate decorative balls

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 150ºc. Butter a tray bake tin and line with grease proof paper.
2) Melt the chocolate and butter together, over a pan of simmering water. Stir well and cool.
3) Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy and well combined. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently stir until smooth.
4) Pour into the tray bake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until just firm to touch. There should be moist/gooey crumbs on the skewer when inserted. Do NOT be tempted to overcook!
5) Once cooled, melt all the white chocolate over a low heat. Dip the marshmallows into the white chocolate and then place 2 chocolate balls on the mallows as the ghosts eyes.
6) Cut the brownies into squares and pour the remaining melted chocolate over each brownie to make the puddle. Put a marshmallow ghost on each brownie. Leave to set and enjoy – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Porridge Series-2 (A taste of Autumn) 

Autumn is without a doubt one of our favourite times of year, we absolutely love summer but there is something about autumn that is so comforting. Grabbing a jumper and getting cosy on the sofa whilst sipping a hot beverage is perfection.

Nothing quite says autumn like the delicious spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves oh the list could go on for days.

In our porridge we decided to use Cinnamon. Cinnamon has been used for decades in both sweet and savoury dishes which you can buy either ground or rolled up as a stick.
This spiced apple porridge reminds us of a hot apple pie!

 A taste of Autumn 

Ingredients
50g Porridge Oats
250ml Almond Milk/ Milk or water
1 Apple (we used Pink Lady)
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Water
Drizzle of honey

Method
Place your porridge oats in a bowl
Pour your liquid of choice on top of the oats
Place the oats in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (stir after one minute)
Once your porridge is cooked remove the bowl from the microwave and set aside.
Slice your apple
Place the apple in a clean bowl
Sprinkle the teaspoon of cinnamon over the apple evenly
Add 2tbsp Water to the apple and cinnamon
Place in the microwave for 2 minutes or until the apple is soft.
Place the apple on top of the porridge and add a drizzle of honey.


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