Friday, 5 July 2013

Beauty-full Baking

Can 't believe Friday has come round so quickly again, and dare I mention we are in for a bit of a heat wave in the U.K. this weekend - (allegedly)?! Mm we'll see, if it does happen there'll be plenty of pictures of celebration in blog-land from this side of the pond as the summer here has been pretty dismal  so far. (This is a view taken earlier on today from my garden into the farmer's field. He will be mowing it soon into hay bales, but Oh, Oh, Oh just look at that blue sky - there isn't a cloud in sight).
image of summery rural view

This could be the reason why I've baked some yummy comforting cakes in the last few weeks. I usually bake on a Friday afternoon as a treat after fasting for two days, but oh dear standards have been slipping lately so now fasting is 'sandwiched' between an all you can eat cake fest. (and I wonder why the weight isn't coming off?). 

One of my favourite cake recipes at the moment is Mary Berry's Banana and Choc Chip cake. This is by far the best banana cake recipe I've come across... so quick and easy to make, and a great way to use up over ripened bananas - I loathe waste. This is super moist and delicious and a winner with my sweet-toothed tribe. I've found that I have to cook mine for a further 15-20 mins as the mixture is quite wet and takes a bit longer for the middle to cook, this makes the outside of the cake really chewy and fudgy...O so lovely with a freshly brewed coffee, or warmed a little with a dollop of ice cream.

I always feel an enormous sense of achievement when I can not only cook dinner from fresh but also create a pudding at the same time. Eton Mess is a great example of this, but when it's something baked I'm after then this is THE one I choose... easy cinnamon puffs found at The English Kitchen. This is a fab foodie blog hosted by the super talented Marie. I can whip up a batch of these beauties in 10 minutes, throw them in the oven while we eat dinner, then 10-15 minutes later they're done. Perfect!

The only problem is I'm left with unused egg white, and I really don't want to throw it away. I know I can freeze it, but knowing me I would probably forget it was there. I haven't enough to make meringue, besides I don't want to spend any more time in the kitchen. What better way than a super indulgent home made face mask. I love using store cupboard items, and fresh fruit and vegetables to concoct lotions and potions.

image of ingredients for home made face mask

I whip up the egg white till it's nice and fluffy then add some Aloe Vera gel (approx 1-2 tbsp), plus 1-2 drops of Lavender essential oil. This makes a really great treatment for sagging skin. Aloe Vera is very soothing and helps retain moisture. It softens dry chapped skin, and promotes the growth of healthy new skin cells. Lavender oil also has soothing and comforting properties, plus it's antibacterial too, and best of all it smells wonderful. Completely natural, no nasty chemicals...all good stuff.  I apply mine with a brush, then pop a couple of slices of cucumber on my eyes...heaven! So I'm off for a spot of luxurious ME time now with a nice tall glass of G & T...bring it on!
Have a great weekend XX


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