Friday, 21 March 2008

It's Easter...and you might have a bit of time on your hands!

Yep, that's Italian for you. Sounds like (bwonjorno) and means Good Day/morning. An Italian friend of mine did tell me that the beauty of the Italian language is that, how it is written is how it sounds... so that made my life easier when I decided to to a crash course in learning conversational Italian. What was this in aid of I hear you say. It was in aid of my girlie trip to Florance and Pisa. There were 7 girls in total and that can only mean one thing three things FUN, FUN and more FUN.
The photos taken above were at one of the Ice-cream palours we stopped in. It was a very cold and windy day, not really a day for ice-cream but just look at how they were displayed, you just had to have some.
So after having 'oon gelato' (I'll leave that for you to figure out), I was hooked, none of the supermarket ones do it for me now, not even Carte d'or (alright maybe they're ok). So now that it's Easter and you have a bit of time on your hands try making some homemade ice-cream. I had some very ripe bananas lying around, hubby found this recipe on the internet from a website called 'Hints and Things' and I tell you the ice-cream is divine. The recipe did say you could use milk or cream, I went all out there and used Double Cream! All I can say is yummmmmmmy!
If you don't have an Ice-cram maker, don't let the number of steps put you off, all it is really, is a case of mixing the banana, sugar and cream (I did mine in a blender), putting it in the fridge for an hour or so, then putting it in the freezer for 30-40 mins, take it out and mix to avoid ice bits forming and this process is repeated about 4 times and then voila, your amazing homemade ice-cream
Have a wonderful Easter and may the HOPE that the Easter Story gives us, be real and true in your lives now and always - forgiveness, hope and new beginnings.
Making ice cream without an ice cream maker
Courtesy of

Step 1
Decide on the flavor of ice cream you want to make

Step 2
Find a suitable recipe, get the ingredients, make up the mixture

Step 3
Pour your freshly prepared mixture into a fairly wide bowl and put in your refrigerator to chill for between 1 and 2 hours. How long will depend upon whether you've actually heated up or cooked any of the ingredients when making the mixture.

Step 4
Remove from the refrigerator and put into your freezer for 30-40 minutes.

Step 5
Take the bowl out and check the state of the mixture - it should have started freezing from the outside edges in but not be fully frozen in the centre of the bowl.

Step 6
Place the bowl onto a work surface and beat the mixture well, breaking up any ice crystals and making it smooth again.

Step 7
Put the bowl back into your freezer and wait another 30-40 minutes.

Step 8
Repeat steps 5 through to 7

Step 9
Repeat steps 5 and 6

Step 10
Put the bowl back into the freezer for the final time and check every 30 minutes or so until your ice cream is frozen and ready to eat.
Once your mixture is prepared you can blend/freeze as you prefer:

I expect you are now "itching" to have a go, so here are some recipes to get you started. Two easy but popular varieties followed by a couple of more unusual ones using ingredients which are normally readily to hand.
2 easy ice cream recipes …

The ingredients:
3/4 pint (375ml) cream or milk

4oz (100g) sugar

3 bananas – nicely ripe (to mash up)

To prepare the mixture:
Mash the bananas well and put into a mixing bowl. Take the cream or milk and pour into the bowl. Mix in well with the bananas.

a) use an electric ice cream maker to blend/freeze your ice cream which usually takes 20 to 40 minutes. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines.

b) blend/freeze by hand without an ice cream maker See the guidelines set out above for ice cream making without a machine

Thursday, 28 February 2008 more worrying

Well this is what I hope I'll be doing. I know I'm not alone when it comes to 'worrying' but it was only the other day that I realised how harmful it can be to us. You see we've just bought a new car (Over a month ago...) a lovely VW Passat estate. We all love the car especially as it's a far cry from the little old car we've had for the last 3 years! Anyhow, this new car uses Diesel. I was really worried initially that I would mistakenly fill it up with Petrol instead of Diesel. Put I had been good UNTIL last week. You see I had a lot on my mind and I was letting it get to me. I pull up at the petrol station and absentmindedly fill it up. I check the receipt many times just to ensure that the lady at the till used the money off vouchers I had given her. Did I notice anything else on the receipt NO!

The next day the car doesn't start properly... eventually it does and I drive it to the gym. I go about my daily stuff as usual, in short I must have driven the car in total about 20 miles. Luckily for me Hubby gets me to take the car back to the dealers to find out a couple of things we wanted to ask about the car. I mention to them that the car hasn't been starting properly, they try it and it DOESN'T START AT ALL. They ask me if I put Petrol in it instead of Diesel. I say a big fat NO, why would I do that (secretly thinking to myself that I wasn't really sure!) The guy asks if I had the receipt (I normally keep receipts for ages but I remember throwing this one away). They open up the fuel tank and smell it, saying it smells like Petrol and ask me to smell, I take a smell and say I really cannot tell, they bring me a bit of Diesel to smell to enable me to tell the difference... I sniffed and sniffed but couldn't tell the difference - I had sniffed so much that I started to get light headed LOL! The long and short of it was that it was Petrol in a Diesel tank! The dealers offered to get one of their mechanics to sort it out and I was to find out how it went the next day - they did warn me that it might be expensive. It had recently happened to someone and it cost £800 to sort out. I go home that day feeling very sorry for myself and wondering how I was going to break the news to Hubby! I even went on the internet to search similar situations - BIG MISTAKE! the number of horror stories out there, even down to changing a whole engine. Usually if you misfuel a car, it's best NOT to drive it...I did 20 miles remember!

Throughout that evening/night, I kept telling myself that if I hadn't worried so much I wouldn't have been so absentminded! I promised God that if he sorts it out so that there wasn't too much damage I'LL NEVER WORRY AGAIN! I kept thinking of a verse in the bible that goes kinda like this : who out of you from worrying can add an extra strand of hair to you head! And really, when you think about it what does the Worrying actually do for you apart from making you feel really terrible.

We got the car back, and it only cost us £120 pounds. So I have to stop worrying now, I did Promise! So how's it going - Not easy at all but I'm getting there & feeling much better for it ;-)

The cake above was made for a Man who loves his LABELS, it's a Hackett Poloshirt, looking like it's in a box with tissue paper around it. The lady who ordered if for her husband loved it. The photo doesn't even bring out the stitching effect I did and the shimmering effect around the cakeboard that I love doing. Hope you like it.

If you have access to SKY TV, one of my cakes will be on a show, as a give away prize for a lucky winner for MOTHER'S DAY. The show is on SKY channel 194 BEN TV 10am - 11am. It is called Princess Arize, presented by a lovely lady who has a GREAT heart for up and coming businesses. So don't forget Saturday 1st of March SKY channel 194.


(p.s, I fished out the very smelly and soggy receipt - It confirmed that I had bought PETROL)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

...if you ever need a pick me up

Jack Johnson is the man responsible for making me dust off my guitar and start practising again after many months of it sitting in a corner looking like some kind of additional room decoration!

He has such a warm voice. I play his 'sing-A-long & lullubies - Curious George album for our little one at night. Also listen to the lyrics of his songs, there is usually a message in some of them.

We really like Upside Down as the beat especially at the beginning makes us want to dance! His lifestyle and some of the things he writes about makes you just want to 'chill out' (I guess the fact that he lives in Hawaii must help!)

Oh and the movie Curious George was fun!


Sunday, 27 January 2008

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I was here!

Happy New Year everyone... hope you had a great Christmas and that the new year is going along just fine for you. Christmas was really nice, or should I say quiet, which is not usually the case in our household. As for the New year, so far so good. Actually I'd be lying if I say the last 2 months have been fine and dandy, as they haven't but as always when life sends you these trials, they really are to test you. I'm still a little wobbly but getting there nonetheless, don't worry I won't bore you with the details because whatever I might be going through, I know there are people going through much worst, so I just pull myself together and keep moving.
On a more positive note, I have lost quite a bit of weight, don't ask me how much as my little brother borrowed my scales and hasn't given them back and I really don't want to spend money on another one yet, so I rely on what people say and how my clothes hang on me.... it's been all good and yesterday I saw a photo of myself two months ago and nearly choked at the sight!
Businesswise, well in the 6 months I've been in Colchester, I have done very few cakes! I have advertised and in the two places I put myself my telephone contact details were put down wrong. One was my fault (so unlike me as I tend to be very good at double checking details) and the other error was down to the magazine, they put down my details wrong. At times like these you look up to the skies and say is this some kind of a 'sign'. Well I certainly think so, I am now looking into taking the business into a different direction and I pray this does work, I have started to make enquiries and will be meeting up with a business advisor soon to run the plans by him. In the meantime, I will still keep on making cakes for clients that know of me, but I won't be advertising anymore the old style of my business.
Oh and I have decided to go into teaching - the aim will be to teach science subjects in secondary schools. I pray that when it all falls into place I can get work part-time (as my little one is still quite young) and if the business goes to plan, I won't have to be hands on all the time with that...
So please have me in your prayers and any advice on how to get into teaching will be greatly appreciated. I have registered with TDA and details have been sent to me, but it is always confusing to know which way to train!
The few cakes shown are the ones I've done over the last 2 months... enjoy.