Archives for the month of: June, 2013

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So I have discovered the oven in my house again and decided to put it to good use and bake some cookies, as you do on a Saturday night when everyone in your house has headed home for summer. The recipe I followed is by Kirsty Smith and I found it within the first issue of the magazine, “Oh Comely“. I love peanut butter and mixed with the white chocolate these cookies are a hard to resist treat, which is why I only made half a batch. I can only deal with so much temptation.

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Here is the recipe to follow if you want to try and make these yourself at home. The recipe makes 25 large cookies, but if you like you can make half the recipe as I did, or alternatively freeze half of the dough just before you roll it into your individual cookies. Once frozen the dough will keep in the freezer for a couple of months, then you will have pre-prepared cookie dough ready to defrost and bake for the next time you get a craving for something sweet.

INGREDIENTS

  • 230g/ 8oz unsalted butter
  • 400g/ 14oz caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 or 3 drops of vanilla essence
  • 380g/ 13oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g/4oz rolled oats
  • 450g/ 16oz white chocolate
  • 2 dessert spoons of crunchy peanut butter

STEP ONE: Grease a couple of baking trays and preheat the oven to 170C/ gas mark 4.

STEP TWO: Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.

STEP THREE: Add the eggs and vanilla and beat into the mixture.

STEP FOUR: Stir the flour (sifted), baking powder and oats together and then add to the other ingredients, mixing well to form a dough.

STEP FIVE: Combine the peanut butter into the dough.

STEP SIX: Chop the white chocolate roughly into small chunks and add to the dough mixing through evenly.

STEP SEVEN: The dough should all come together into a slightly sticky ball in the bowl. If saving half the mixture, divide the dough now.

STEP EIGHT: Use your hands to roll the dough into balls, each about the size of a clementine. Place the balls on the baking trays, flattening them slightly with the palm of your hand. Leave plenty of space between the cookies. They’ll spread out as they cook so only about six will fit on a standard tray.

STEP NINE: Bake in the preheated oven for 16-17 minutes (enough time to do the washing up!). Take them out when they are just starting to turn golden brown.

STEP TEN: Leave them to cool on the trays for 5 minutes. Don’t worry if they seem squishy; the cookies keep cooking on the tray and will gradually firm up but stay soft and chewy.

STEP ELEVEN: Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container and they will keep a week.

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I have a confession, for the last month I have barely cooked. During the exam period I could just about justify only eating a meal if the majority of it could be cooked in the microwave in under five minutes. But my exams have been finished for a while now, so I need to get back to cooking proper meals for myself and trying to get more than only one of my five-a-day. Despite only cooking myself baked potatoes and soup, I haven’t been that badly fed, as you can see from these pictures, which I had to share. The menu at work is being redone and since I have been there a lot of the time, I have been lucky enough to play guinea pig to some of the new choices. My personal favourite is the macaroni cheese burger, which combines two of my favourite meals into one amazing meal! They are introducing a new range of hot dogs and after taste testing the different sausages I then tried one that would be featuring on the menu.

The other week I went for a breakfast date with Ellie and Fi. It was our last chance to do something the three of us while we were all in Southampton before the summer. Ellie has now left for Camp America and Fi is headed to Scotland for an internship soon. We went to the local ice cream parlour for waffles with ice cream. They were amazing, although it was a little too sweet for first thing in the morning. Next weekend Fi is back for another breakfast date, though this time we are going to try out a new place that has just opened up that offer a more savoury choice of breakfasts. Until then I am going to have to cook for myself and I am hoping to get some baking done, which could potentially be featuring as a post soon.

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calvinharrisThis month’s album of choice is very different to the last. Since my exams have finished I have been at my part-time job, working pretty much non-stop and if I haven’t been working, there has normally been something going on. In order to get myself geared up for the shifts ahead I have been playing Calvin Harris’ album “18 Months”, this does the trick in getting me into more of a party mood, which is something that helps when working the night shifts at the pub. I find that this album also helps keep me motivated in the gym, since all the tracks have such an upbeat tempo, it really helps ensure I don’t start to slack after hitting the 20 minute mark on the exercise bike!

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On Saturday we awoke to find the sun shining and the temperature rising (past 15 degrees is worth getting excited about in this country!). We quickly got dressed, packed sandwiches, towels and snacks and climbed into the car and headed off to the beach. We spent the afternoon sunbathing, eating ice cream and reading, generally enjoying having nothing to worry about, even if just for the day. We stayed until the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the wind picked up, just in time as the girls had caught the sun a little too much! I’m hoping that the good weather will stay, so that trips to the beach can become a regular event.

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To the beach I wore a simple shirt dress, from Topshop and my favourite new patterned blazer for the summer, from River Island, with hair scraped up into a messy bun and no makeup (hence why I’m hiding behind my phone, taking the picture).

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