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Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging, about everyday happenings that bring us joy, since January 2010.

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“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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  • Merlinda Little The riddles game reminds me of that Tom Hanks film called Da Vinci Code! Its so awesome and sadly I am not very good with... 25 Feb
  • Louisa Your code wheels sound like great fun. My daughter is also fond of riddles and is always testing me with them. I enjoy the thought... 24 Feb
  • Craft Mother Absolutely. It ticks so many boxes but, most importantly, captures their imagination and creativity. Hope your son enjoys it in the future. 24 Feb
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  • Christy I love the idea of riddle solving and hidden messages. Creative and gets them thinking! I'll definitely be using this when my son is older.... 24 Feb
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baking biscuits in the aga

25 toadstools sitting on a tray

What better way to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon, after the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks? Making toadstool biscuits, of course. We had so much fun making these seasonal biscuits. The biscuits are just your everyday, run-of-the-mill sugar cookie recipe. Covered in white icing made from icing sugar. Continue reading

Short of time cookies

First week back after a break is always a bit of a struggle. I know I’m not alone. It’s difficult to get back into the old routine. Or maybe it’s fairer to say that part of me just doesn’t want to. Still yearning for the fluid days that are all part of holiday time. Never mind, I’m sure it will all fit back into place. It always does.

Finding time to do baking is something I’ve been trying to slip back into. When the children come back from school they are starving… or so they tell me. Bread is popular, but they do love homebaked goodies and I hate resorting to shop bought biscuits. I’ve made a couple of gingerbread cakes, which fills the kitchen with the most fabulous fragrance.

To speed up next week’s baking of homemade goodies, I turned to my favourite “Short of Time” cookies. I can weigh out all the dry ingredients and store in jars. Then it’s just a case of adding butter, eggs and vanilla, mix, refrigerate and then bake. This is easy to fit into the last hour before I pick the children up from school, while I finish off work. (I work from home.)

Added bonus. Next week is supposed to be colder. The children will walk home and find the kitchen warm and filled with that gorgeous homebaked fragrance. I can’t think of anything better after a day at school. It’s amazing how the list of grievances taper off as they sit down to their afternoon snack. Too much detail. Maybe, but I need to keep this scene in my mind so that I remember to put the plan into action and then I’ll be back in the baking habit. Just like that.

Also used up the last of the nuts and seeds from the holiday period. The bits that no one wanted. I don’t think they noticed them wrapped up in the cookie batter!

Now I just need to get back into the swing of food shopping. Humph!


Split between 3 jars. That’s three baking sessions.

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2.25 cup of plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
3 cups of porridge oats
2 cups seeds, nuts, dried fruit
2 cups chocolate chips

When you are ready to bake, pour one jar into a mixing bowl and mix. Add one egg, 125g melted butter and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Mix. Cover and pop in the fridge for half an hour. Then space dollops (a spoonful) of the mixture about two inches apart, onto a lined baking sheet. About 10 mins in the oven at 375 f (or the third shelf of a 2 door Aga’s baking oven). Cool on a wire rack.

Simple after school biscuits

After several days of baking for BL’s birthday, hanging up my oven gloves for a while might seem like a laudable action. A well deserved break. Feet up, by the Aga, enjoying a cup of tea. Surely a good idea. Right? Apparently the family has not tired of my baking. Oh no. Business as normal, as far as they are concerned. They were still looking eagerly in the pantry for the next batch of goodies, every time they enter the kitchen.

It’s not as if there is not plenty of fruit and bread to feast on, when they return from school. It’s almost as if they have a check list and the biscuit barrel is in big and bold, with no “optional” subscript beside it . Fruit {check} bread {check} biscuits {check}. They must run it off afterwards, as they all err on the side of willowy and slight.

Okay. Okay. Back to baking it is for me! Yesterday, I included a handful or two of chocolate chips into my new favourite biscuit ingredients . Simple. I like this biscuit recipe. It is quick, keeps its shape under heat and can be eaten plain or iced without feeling that I’ve over indulged – too much. A versatile recipe. It uses egg whites, so that I can also whip up a bowl of ice cream with the left over yolks.

I’m sharing, because its quick to bake and just too good not to share.

After school basic biscuit

300g (11 oz) self raising flour
55g (2 oz) custard powder
175g (6 oz) butter
175g (6 oz) caster sugar
2 medium white eggs
spice (optional)
handful of choc chips (optional)
handful of dried cranberries (optional)

  1. Rub the butter in with the flour and custard powder.
  2. Stir in the egg whites until it becomes a soft dough
  3. Mix in spice, choc chips and cranberries
  4. Roll out on a floured surface, until it is about 0.5cm thick, or else the choc chips stop you rolling anymore.
  5. Use a biscuit cutter of your choice and put the cut out biscuits onto a lightly greased tray or grease proof paper.
  6. Bake for 10 – 12 mins at 180c, 350f, gas mark 4 or for a 2 oven Aga, put the tray on the floor of the roasting oven, with the cold plain shelf on the third rung down.
  7. Remove from oven once they are starting to go a light golden brown. Cool out of reach of family on a wire tray. Good luck!

I shall be using this latest batch to entice the children into an act of helpfulness. I have at least another wheel barrow full of apples to bring down from our little orchard. With their help, I might get it done this afternoon.

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