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Monday, 18 March 2013

The importance of Brand

Mr Rose has many good qualities.

You can name any country in the entire world and he will be able to tell you the current political situation, the state of their economy and a brief history of their wars. 

He is blessed, follically speaking, and will never ever go bald.

He is braver than a lion.

He wears what I tell him to.

He knows all about Wagner. 

He loves going on holiday to exotic, 5 star beach locations with me and never makes me go sightseeing or mountain biking. 

However, nobody is perfect and Mr Rose is what can only be described as a Stubborn Little Bugger.  

For months I've been wanting to try out my new loaf tin from Lakeland, but every time I offer to make him a banana bread, he screws his face up like a toddler being fed a sprout and replies 'well you can make it but I wont be eating any of it because I DESPISE banana bread'. 

Yesterday my darling mum sent me back to London after a very lovely weekend of Warwickshire Rehab – with a bunch of very mouldy bananas that had 'come off the back of a lorry'. 

(Don't ask)

So I was determined to make some banana bread for Mr Rose's breakfasts (he has a tendency to leave the house to go and run a government department with only an apple inside him – I see it as my duty to the Nation to make sure he arrives at Westminster well fed).

I needed to get rid of him for about half an hour while I went about my secret mission so I nonchalantly asked if he knew where my records were for a savings account.  He bounded up the stairs 2 at a time and spent a merry half an hour tutting at how bad my filing was till he jubilantly found it. 

By which time I'd whipped up banana bread, chucked in some raisins and REBRANDED it.
So when he approached the kitchen to see what I'd been up to, he was presented with Breakfast Loaf – a new concoction of mine.  Full of protein, goodness and fruit to keep him going on his way into the office. 

Reader, he wolfed it down and had another slice this morning for breakfast, so Her Majesty's Government is being properly run today – we can all rest easy. 

The recipe was got from one of my all time fave blogs:  Esther Walker's Recipe Rifle (read it, it is magnificent) – and the exact recipe can be found here.  She has 3 different banana bread recipes on the site, but this was the only one which I didn't need to go and buy new ingredients for.   The only thing I changed was adding in 2 handfuls of dried chopped raisins and apricots.

So here's to fooling boyfriends with the rebranding of banana bread!  Pics below...


Breakfast Loaf - not banana bread!!

Aren't the daffs lovely? 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Bree Van De Kamp comes to North London

I thought I'd share this amazing cookie recipe with you.

Now Mum – before you start fanning yourself and exclaiming that I shouldn’t be eating cookies due to the bottom the size of China issue – please note this was as part of my efforts to turn my road into Wysteria Lane. 

One of my lovely neighbours had a gorgeous baby girl a few weeks ago, and as she had a rather long birth ended in an emergency C-Section I felt she was definitely in need of some spoiling.   So I googled 'best ever cookies' and this recipe came up!

It worked really well was super easy, making me look like Bree Van De Kamp.  They are doughy, gooey, and indulgent just like Ben's Cookies. 

Double Chocolate Cookies, Makes 12: 200g butter, 200g golden soft sugar, 100gcaster sugar, 1 large egg, 275g self-raising flour, 75g cocoa powder, three BIG bars of chocolate (white, milk and dark), a dollop of milk.
Blend the butter and sugar, really soft almost runny butter works best.  Then basically shove everything else in - if it is a bit dry add a dash of milk.  The choc should be quite decent sized chunks.

Bake for about 10 mins, maybe less.  If they come out looking a bit raw don't worry, as they cool they will continue to cook a bit and you want them nice and gooey. 

Here they are pre oven – do admire the lovely Mrs Chicken in the background



And here is the finished object. 

Yummy double chocolate cookies

So just pop on a full face of make up, pop them into a charming basket with a gingham ribbon and deliver 90%* of them to your nicest neighbour. 

*Obviously Mr Rose wasn't going to let all of my baking leave the house unsampled

Happy Baking!

Rose x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Things I love this week

Recently about a zillion people have asked me where the blog has gone.  It hasn't really gone anywhere, I've just been really busy, I've had a broken ankle and somehow it hasn't made it up my priority list.


OK maybe not a zillion people, but my mum has definitively been kvetching about the lack of blogging. 


Just now I just got THE MOST PLAINTIVE text from Cousin LL (who is nearly 4 months preggers!!!!!!! J)   (yep, I know, indecently quick, they were barely back from honeymoon..  ;-))  saying that I'd recommended Nashville to Aunty Mame, and why hadn't I told her because she doesn’t have a life any more. 


So I thought – right I'm just gonna do a cheeky little blog post about this and other things I have been loving recently. 


First up is Nashville – More 4's latest glossy American import – it charts the lives of vastly wealthy, glossy, well dressed Americans who have giant houses and sing songs about their 'ole pick up trucks.   As my friend Caroline said on Twitter today, it is worth it for the lustrous barnets alone!

Nashville ladies

What’s not to like??   


It is on Thursdays.  Set the Sky Plus. 



I'm a massive fan of Liz Earle – I have most of their range and I especially like their make up range which came out recently.  But the shampoo is brilliant.  I tried it for first time 2 days ago and half the office has told me my hair looks good. 


Basically I look like this: 

Liz Earle styleeee


My hair is soft, shiny and it smells lovely.   And it is £8.75 a bottle, so a nice treat but not too expensive. 



Last up:  Party Pieces


Yes yes yes I know I adore K Middy a little too much, but planning parties is made so much easier by their brilliant customer service, lovely products and reasonable prices. 

I'm organising a party on Saturday night and have bought tonnes of red lanterns  - the look I'm going for is this.  Cute, huh? 
Why have 1 when you can have 76?

Buy a few of these from Party Pieces, and Bob is your uncle. 



Rose x