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Happy Valentines

14 Feb

It’s mid-afternoon on Valentines and the sun is streaming through the window.

I’m lucky enough to be in the middle of a lovely Valentines day.

Breakfast all together, when we got to enjoy the new coffee the kids “treated” us to (see how I got around our “no gifts” Valentines rule this year?). A local Maplewood couple launched a roastery last year – This Town Coffee – so I popped over to pick up some freshly roasted, organic coffee yesterday.

And then lunch all together, rounded off with a sweet treat of specially decorated biscuits.

Valentines cookies - decorated

They were made and decorated with love by some little hands.

Valentines biscuits - little hands helping

The streaky marks on the table are because my nearly 3 year old loves to eat flour. Honestly, he’ll stand there happily eating the flour while helping bake bread or cookies. Strange tastes he has!

Valentiens cookies - little hands cutting

We couldn’t resist cutting some rocket biscuits too, since flying to the moon in a rocket is one of his favourite games to play at the moment!

Valentines cookies - baking

It was a tasty way to celebrate all together. The older I get the more I think the way to my heart is definitely through my stomach!

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Sunday catch-up…and how to make crunchy peanut butter cookies

29 Jan

It’s been a hectic week. I’ve barely had time to go on the internet, let alone do any blogging!

I’m 32 weeks now. Last weekend I had a major panic about getting ready for the baby and preparing for a vbac. So I’m happy to look back at the progress we’ve made over the past week – we’ve booked a doula, properly started our hypnobirthing practice and are almost “officially” booked into the hospital’s birth centre. We’ve also started decluttering the flat to make some space for the new person who’ll join us soon. All this while I had a terrible head cold. I always forget how bad head colds are when pregnant – I actually had to take a day off sick on Wednesday as I just couldn’t get out of bed!

Today was a lovely lazy Sunday, with the morning spent at Finsbury Park’s playground. After my son’s nap we spent the afternoon making very tasty peanut butter cookies.

Here’s me and my son doing some stirring, with the kitchen looking relatively tidy (it was soon a bombsite of rice krispies and licked spoons!):

But the end result more than justified the tidying up:

It’s such an easy recipe, and so much fun to make with a toddler, that I thought I’d share it here:

Crunchy peanut cookies

Ingredients (makes approx 20 cookies)

1 medium egg
100g/4 oz unsalted butter (quite important to use unsalted, as most peanut butter has added salt)
100g/4 oz soft light brown sugar
100g/4 oz crunchy peanut butter
150g/5oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g/2oz rice krispies (we actually use Waitrose own brand puffed rice cereal, as it’s lower in salt)

1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees C, 375 degrees F, gas mark 5. Lightly oil a baking tray or use grease proof paper. If you have them, prepare two baking trays. Otherwise, just use the same tray twice and do two rounds in the oven. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Put the rice krispies on a plate.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Once creamy and smooth-ish, add the egg a little at a time beating it as you go. Beating it after each bit of egg stops it getting too lumpy.

3. Add the peanut butter and stir until it’s well mixed. Then sift the flour and baking powder over it and stir everything together.

4. Scoop up a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball.

5. Roll the ball lightly across the rice krispies to coat it. Flatten it slightly and place on the baking tray. Repeat until your tray is full.

6. Bake for 20 minutes (check after 10 – 15 minutes). Once they’ve cooled they’re delicious with a glass of cold milk.

This recipe appears in the wonderful The Usborne Cookbook for Children