I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike……..

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike........

This is my bike! My hubby bought it for me last year when I was training for a charity bike ride. Last year we cycled over 120km in two days up and down the Devon mountains. I have to say here that people talk about the rolling Devon Hills; THEY ARE NOT HILLS, THEY ARE MOUNTAINS!

As part of a team from work we cycled from Bridgewater to Exeter via Taunton, Honiton, Seaton, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth. We did it in two days. We raised several hundreds of pounds for charity (School in a Bag) and had great fun doing it.

This year the plan is to omit Bridgewater and Ottery St Mary and do it in ONE day!!!!!!!!!! So I’m training.

When it rains I go to the gym and when the weather is good I can get out on the road. I’d like to say I train daily, or even every other day but in fact it’s nearer 3 or 4 times a week at the moment but weekends are a good time for me to get some road time in.

Today it was freezing cold but dry so I was on the road! 10km to Killerton Park and 10km back home. The advantage of Killerton Park is that it has ‘facilities’, essential on a cold day!!

I have an ‘app’ on my phone that tells me how far and how fast, how many uphills and how many down hills. I’ve also discovered that it talks to me every 5km, which is a bit scary hearing a voice behind you when you’re not expecting it!!!!!

Anyway, today was the first day of good road cycling; the body is still in one piece, if a bit stiff but I’m feeling AWESOME at simply having achieved 20km and not having to walk up any incline whatsoever

Bring on July 4th when we will be doing approx 100km!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Guilt-Free Peanut Butter Bites

Will have to try this one………

Cosy Cakes

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Baking is a fatty habit. If I properly counted up the amount of butter, sugar, and chocolate I bought for baking in a year, the maths alone would probably give me a coronary. However, this week the boyfriend found me a recipe for some peanut butter and chocolate cookies that use no butter, sugar, flour or eggs, instead using chickpeas as a substitute. Chickpeas! Crazy. With a couple of tweaks these became scrummy, healthy, and sweet treats, and at around 170cal per treat, they are perfect for anyone who just wants a little moment of naughtiness, without the too-guilty feeling after.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 Bites

240g Canned Chickpeas (drained, 400g before draining)

2tsps Vanilla Extract

165g Peanut Butter

80g Honey

1tsp Baking Powder

100g Milk Chocolate

Method:

1 – Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a 12-hole shallow cupcake tray.

2 – Drain the chickpeas, rinse, and pat dry…

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Mixed Fruit Cupcakes….

Mixed Fruit Cupcakes....

These beautiful little gems were better than I expected. I wanted something ‘healthy’ after all the chocolate bits I’d been making so though that sponge and fruit might make a good combination. And of course, anything with fruit is healthy so you can eat lots of them!!! I had also bought too may apples of the ‘wrong’ type that were not being eaten so had to find something quick and simple to do with them. The light brown sugar added to the colour as well as the flavour. I topped them with cream cheese icing and a few dried cranberries, sultanas and raisins.

INGREDIENTS

250g self raising flour
250g soft butter
250g soft light brown sugar
4 eggs
200g mixed dried cranberries and raisins
4 small apples, cored and chopped into small pieces

METHOD

Cream together butter and sugar

Break eggs and put into a small bowl/jug and mix well together

Add 1/3 eggs and a third of the flour into the sugar and butter. Mix gently. Add the second egg and third of the flour and mix again gently. Add the last of the egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar.

Add the dried and fresh fruit and again mix gently

Spoon into cupcake cases (once again I used ‘fairy’ sized cases) and bake in the oven for 15 mins (fan oven 170)

These were unbelievably yummy, very light and moist. Even surprised myself!! 😃

Valentines Chocolate and Prosecco Cupcakes

So beautifully romantic ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Cosy Cakes

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 17.23.21I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY! I feel like the cool thing to do is say you don’t care about Valentine’s Day, and its just another artificial holiday demonstrating society’s obsession with consumerism blah blah blah but I freaking love it, and partly that is because of the potential baking opportunities. These chocolate and prosecco cupcakes provide a little bit of naughty luxury, and the different shades of pink toppings available are so romantic and pretty it just adds to the dreaminess!

Happy Valentines Day ❤ xx

Ingredients:

Makes about 30

For the cakes:

115g Butter

100g Chocolate Prosecco Truffles

115g Self-Raising Flour

115g Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

50g Coco Powder

For the icing:

Icing Sugar

Butter

1 Drop Vanilla Essence

Method:

1 – Preheat the oven to 180C and fill a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

2 – Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour and mix.

3 –…

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Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Somewhere I saw a recipe for Cherry Cupcakes which started me thinking about Black Forest Cupcakes.
Whilst wandering around Tesco last weekend (before the jet wash/black eye incident) I saw a jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch!!!!
The theory was a chocolate sponge cupcake, with a cherry plonked delicately in the middle and topped with a cream cheese frosting and a dusting of cocoa powder………….and it worked!!

Black Forest cup cakes

6oz/170g unsalted butter, softed, not melted
6oz /170g caster sugar
4oz/115g self-raising flour or plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder
3 large eggs
2oz/ 55g cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate
pinch of salt
1 390g jar Opies Black Cherries with Kirsch – drained but keep the juice!!

Frosting Ingredients

300g icing sugar , sifted
50g unsalted butter , at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan or gas mark 5.

Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy and lighter in colour.

Sieve the cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl and crack one of the eggs into a cup or ramekin. Stiring all the time, add the egg and a third of the flour mixture into the sugar and butter, add the second egg and third of the flour and add the last egg and flour mixture in to the butter and sugar. You should have a smooth thick batter. If your batter is stiff, add a splash of milk (or some of the Kirsch from the drained cherries) and stir.

Put into paper cases (I used ‘Fairy’ sized cases) and bake for 15 mins

To make the frosting:

Beat the icing sugar and butter together

Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely mixed. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

American Style Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Like the look of these too

Cosy Cakes

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 21.15.10I’ve been pretty busy lately so haven’t had much time for relaxing! This weekend was a bit of time to relax and catch up on some missed TV. I’m about 4 weeks behind on some of my fave series so in preparation for an afternoon of Game of Thrones I baked some quick and easy American-Style chocolate chunk cookies. These were so good warm straight out of the oven and, with a glass of milk and a blanket, and took about half an hour from start to finish so are ideal when you just fancy a quick treat.

Ingredients:

125g Butter

100g Sift Brown Sugar

75g Caster Sugar

1 egg

180g Self-Raising Flour

1 Big Bar of Chocolate

 

Method:

1 – Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a baking tray.

2- Cream together the butter and two sugars. Add the egg, then the flour and chocolate chips.

3…

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Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Look in’ good

Cosy Cakes

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All I’ve eaten today is a cooked breakfast and a curry. Not too bad, but considering I woke up at 2pm and I had the curry at 6.30pm its not great! Anyway I decided if I’m gonna have a naughty day then I’ll do it well, so I whipped up a quick and easy lemon drizzle cake this evening. I decided to bake this as a loaf, but it would look equally good as a round cake. Using four eggs in the recipe makes the cake really fluffy, and the lemon icing is a zingy, crunchy complement.

 

Ingredients:

For the cake:

225g Butter

225g Caster Sugar

275g Self-Raising Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

4 Eggs

4 tbsp Milk

1/2 Lemon Zest

For the topping:

175g Caster Sugar

Juice of 1 Lemon

175 g granulated sugar

Method:

1 – Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a baking tin

2 –…

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