Quiet time

It’s one of those weekends.  You know the ones, the weather isn’t playing ball, you can’t wait to wear your summer clothes and spend time in the sun, but it’s still too cold. Instead you spend the weekend discovering things in the house to repair, cooking, laundry, and reflecting on life.

I do like all the seasons, for different reasons, but I like spring (when it eventually happens) because it is the season of hope. As the days get longer and lighter and brighter, the garden changes with new leaves and buds, the birds start singing, there is hope in the air. Even if they are not, things seem possible.Dhalia

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Cupcakes!

I’ve been wanting to bake these for ages. They are not difficult, but somehow they look more impressive than they are. And, I just wanted to know that I could do them. I have all these amazing ideas in my head, but because I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, I can never achieve what I want.  I do at least know this.  So I try to set myself easy targets.  Most of which I fail.  But life is about trying, isn’t it!

Of course on the day I decided to bake, I couldn’t find a chocolate cupcake recipe that used cocoa powder and not melted chocolate, but finally I found one – and it was one of those throw everyting together and blitz to hell recipes.  First I had to mix the cocoa powder with boiling water to form a paste, and then add everyting else. But the cocoa powder ended up in a solid mass in my mixing bowl. Not to be daunted, I thought I’d soften the butter and mix that with the cocoa powder, before adding the rest of the ingredients.  I put the butter in the oven whilst the oven heated up. And promptly forgot about the butter, and instead threw the eggs into the solid cocoa mess. Suddenly, I remembered the butter, but it was now a hot liquid and I could not add it to the eggs (scrambled cocoa eggs?!?!).  Sigh. I added everything else, and with the electric beaters going I poured the melted butter into the cake batter.  Somehow the cupcakes turned out fine!  Lifes little mercies!.

Cake batter goes into the ice cream cones and is baked as normal, then just a swirl of icing on the top, and there’s your cupcake!  A fab idea for children’s parties too. Chocolate ice cream cone cupcakes.  Just add sprinkles.

Cupcakes

Coconut Chocolates

It’s about time I did some food.  Although this is not technically baking, all the ingredients were just mixed together.  I have looked at this recipe on and off for a while, but I just knew I had to give it a try.  Coconut and chocolate? What’s not to love!! Bounty Bars, as we all know them, that lovely coconutty, chocolate…………..dreams of tropical paradise!

I found the recipe in the wonderful Baking Heaven magazine’s supplement “Chocolate Heaven”.  As I said, what’s not to love?!

I took these in to work and they were snapped up in an instant.  I must confess to using Lindt dark chocolate to coat them (yes, the luxury) but if you want something to taste good, you need to use the best ingredients.  I should have tempered the chocolate, but really, life is too short to temper chocolate when you are not a pro!Home made bounty bars

Values

After a series of interesting events I’ve been thinking a lot about values.  The values we hold as human beings, not physical values or material values, but values like ethics, morals, honesty, loyalty, reliability…….

Do you think society in general has changed with regard to these values? Sometimes it seems as if these are not important to people any more.  I am not talking about the cliched “used car salesman” and “politician” type values – we all know these – in general – do not exist.  It is an unfortunate fact, but to get somewhere in certain professions dishonesty pays.

What about friendships, relationships?  Do you think these values are important?  What, if any, are essential to maintain that status?  Could it be a relationship changer? Or do these things not bother you? Does it differ between friendships and relationships?

I thing we generally choose friends whose moral and ethical codes are similar to ours. But we all have found ourselves in the situation where, as you get to know someone better, you find things are not quite how you thought they were. People lie – by deliberate deception, or by omission, people promise things they have no intention of delivering (no matter how big or small), they say one thing yet do another, people let you down, are unreliable.

No-one is perfect, no-one does the right thing all the time. I guess it is just a case of finding a balance of what you like and what you are prepared to put up with, what you look for in a friendship, in a relationship.  We are all different, and that is what makes the world a lot more interesting.  But sadly, this does not stop us from expecting more from people.

 

 

Words

Aren’t words wonderful? They can lift you up, calm you, make you sad. They feed emotion, words feed the soul, help you feel less alone.

Words in many forms, spoken, written, sung. But today I’m thinking of poems. Perfect poems. They sum up how you feel, capture emotion. When you read poems you know its not just you who feels like that.

Soul food. In words.

Currently I’m loving the words written by:
Erin Hanson
R M Drake
Victoria Erikson
Tyler Knott Gregson

My place of peace

We all need places of peace, don’t we?  Somewhere you can go and regenerate your batteries, where you feel calm and centered afterwards.

A number of places do this for me.

Beaches. I could sit on the beach and watch the waves for hours.  Mesmerising.

Mountains. Isn’t it funny how for something so solid and static, mountains are forever changing? The light, time of day, weather, cloud cover.

Sunrises and sunsets. Always.

But here is a place I have visited, and love, and I love my photo. The blue of the water, the “house” that makes you feel you could live there, the peaceful surroundings. Water, trees, peace and quiet.  This is the Eibsee.  A mountain lake, just outside Grainau in Bavaria.  One of those heaven on earth places.Eibsee