Growing up in Wales, I used to have Welsh cakes on a regular basis. Both my grandmothers would cook them without a recipe, just knowing exactly how much of what went into the mixing bowl. I spent a lot of time with my Nana Mary as a child, while my parents were working. She’s always been your stereotypical nan; knitted you a scarf every winter, managed to make huge family meals in a teeny tiny kitchen and gave the best cwtches (hugs) around.Sadly, my nan developed dementia a few years ago which progressed quickly following a number of falls; shes been in hospital now for over three years. She barely speaks, doesn’t recognise any of us and is a shadow of her former self. It really is such a cruel illness.A few years ago, before she became unwell but started slowing down and cooking less, my nan gave me her bakestone. This was the very bakestone she had made every Welsh cake on and my father even remembers it from his own childhood.I’ll admit, it sat in a kitchen cupboard for a long time, embarrassingly forgotten about. I pulled it out a few months back and made some Welsh cakes with Daisy. It brought back so many memories of helping my nan make them when I was a child and I hope Daisy enjoys it just as much in years to come. A lot of love is ingrained in that bakestone and it now sits on our countertop, ready to be used whenever the moment strikes.If you fancy giving Welsh cakes a go (and you’re not a Welsh grandmother who could make them with your eyes closed) here’s the recipe.
- 225g plain flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g butter
- 40g sultanas
- 1 beaten egg
- splash of milk
- Measure out and combine flour, sugar, mixed spice and baking powder.
- Add the butter and using your hands, mix until it resembles damp sand.
- Add sultanas and egg, mixing until you have a dough (add a splash of milk if too dry).
- Roll dough out on a floured surface until about 1cm thick and cut out with a fluted cutter.
- Heat your bakestone or frying pan with a little butter and brown your Welsh cakes on both sides (around 3 mins per side on medium heat).
- Try not to burn your mouth after not being able to resist a bite!
These can be served warm or cold and will keep in an airtight container for a few days (not that they ever last that long!).
I’m a sucker for a celebration. If I can hang bunting and blow up balloons, I’m there. I also think it’s great to get your little ones involved with some themed activities, however big or small. We did a few things over the last few days that we would do anytime of year, but with a little valentine’s spin.
I bought a few new craft bits so we could make some valentine’s cards, which Daisy really enjoyed. Based on experience, a word of warning; do not go for a quick pee whilst your 3 year old has a pot of multi-coloured sequins to hand! I returned to the kitchen to find her not placing them on the card so gently as she had been, but showering herself in them instead, holding her very own mini confetti party. I’ll leave you to laugh at how long it took me to get those out of her hair!When Daisy was finally sequin free and looking less like she’d a night on the tiles, we decided to make some brownies. After several baking attempts in the past, I have no shame in saying that until Daisy appreciates ingredients need to be weighed and measured correctly, we will be using a ready bought cake mix. Just add an egg, water and butter you say? All hail Betty Crocker! Finally, we had a little valentines themed breakfast on the weekend. If you’ve followed me for a few months, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of weekend family breakfasts; you can read a little more about what we do here. As always, it was nothing complicated and just thrown together in the morning. We all sat around the table, ate warm pain au chocolat and berries and laughed at Daisy dancing to Leon Bridges. It just goes to show, you don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate and the impression it leaves lasts a long time. I’m sure Daisy will be asking to make brownies regularly and I’ll be finding sequins all over the house for weeks to come!
So with wedding planning in full swing, I didn’t manage to get my July favourites posted (face palm) so I’m doubling up this time.
First off is this Jo Malone Room Spray in Pomegranate Noir. A few weeks back, the Jo Malone website had a ‘Just Because’ game running, where you could win a free gift with any purchase. I treated myself to a new perfume for the wedding and this was my free gift! Ordinarily, I would struggle to pay £44 for a room spray, but I can see the fuss over these. I keep it in our bedroom and one spritz manages to make the entire upstairs smell incredible.We had a lovely day out at Hendrewennol Fruit Picking Farm at the beginning of August and it’s definitely going to be a day trip staple. I wrote a post about it here if you’d like a read. It was such a fab day out for children and we made pancakes with berry sauce out of our pickings too. If you’re local to the area, I’d highly recommend it.Something for my fellow blondies now. I’m forever trying to rid my hair of any brassiness and have tried lots of different purple shampoos and treatments. The Charles Worthington Colour Enhancer Ultra Violet Shampoo is absolutely the purple shampoo I’ve ever used. After one wash it made a massive difference and I now use it once a week, just to keep my colour in check. It does leave your skin with a tinge of death-like colour, but it washes off easily with a good scrub and it’s totally worth it for the results.For my hen party back in July I knew I wanted a white/cream dress for the evening but really struggled finding something I liked. I wanted a floaty boho number but they were all a little too casual or way out of my price range. I spotted this maternity dress and thought I’d chance it. Best, decision, ever! It’s from the Rochelle Humes range on Very and is completely stunning. Well designed for pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s fantastic for before and (long) after baby. There wasn’t any excess bump material so it hung straight down and you’d never have guessed it was a maternity piece. I’m even planning on wearing it for our garden party after the wedding in September (cross your fingers for good weather!).A few weeks back, the lovely Erica Davies posted on her Instagram something that her son had said to her when he was learning about bees in school. I’m always looking for nice quotes to make prints for around the house and as soon as I read it I made this little print. I sent one over to Erica too and you can download it here if you’d like.Just in time for autumn, I’ve got Candice Brown’s gorgeous book, Comfort. It’s jam packed with the most delicious recipes and is honestly worth it just for the images alone. I loved everything Candice made on last years Great British Bake Off which she went on to win; and deservedly so. I can’t wait to get stuck into this and am particularly looking forward to making Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Blondies… and Cherry Amaretto Bakewell Tart…. oh and Stilton Twisted Straws….. okay, they’re all incredible and I don’t know where to start! A must for anyone looking for some scrumptious comfort food.Lastly, I had our holiday photos printed out with LALALAB a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t love them more. I love polaroid style photos and being able to add text to these was brilliant too. I’ll be getting these prints regularly for any trips or holidays we have in future.I’d love to know if you’ve tried and liked any of the above; let me know in the comments.
So considering it’s summer, I’m sat here with all the candles lit, warm pjs on and thick socks. I’m feeling very cosy, but that may also have something to do with the lovely weekend we’ve had and a belly full of pancakes.
Yesterday, the forecast was pretty good for the morning so we headed out to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm. It’s only a 30 minute drive for us and is great for little and big people alike. You can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants and blackberries during summer and we’ll be going back for pumpkins later in the year. They’ve had lots of visitors and strawberries were running low when we arrived, so we headed straight for Daisy’s favourites…blueberries. With basket in hand, she ran off to fill her boots (or punnet!). After we’d picked what we wanted, we headed to their cafe for some gorgeous homemade ice cream and a sit in the sun.Today’s forecast was not so good, so we made use of our delicious fresh fruit and made American style pancakes, with bacon and berries. YUM. YUM. We loosely follow this BBC Food recipe and it’s a great base for lots of tasty toppings. For the sauce, we just brought the berries to the boil, with some caster sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Stirring well and crushing the berries up gives you a lovely, thick sauce to drizzle over your fresh pancakes. It was brilliant to see Daisy picking her own blueberries and then using them in the kitchen at home. I’m sure she’ll love doing this more and more as she gets older. A definite staple to the summer bucket list.