Cookies & Cream Chocolate Fudge brownies




The name says it all really doesn't it?  My friend sent me the link to these brownies and I HAD to make them.  They are very rich and decadent.   They are easy to make, apart from a bit of whisking but you have to burn some calories before you eat these pieces of heaven right?

I would make these if friends came round for supper and serve them as dessert with some vanilla ice cream.  I would also take them round to a friend who needed a chocolate fix.  And hell, if I was having a bad day I would make these for myself too.  Just because.

I used a vanilla pod for the first time and wow it smells AMAZING.  But vanilla extract will do the job too. You can use other biscuits but c'mon we all love Oreos don't we? Go make these now!! It will cure your Monday blues for sure!

Cookies & Cream Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 8-12 squares

Ingredients

165g butter
1 slab lindt 70% cocoa
1 slab lindt salted caramel
(or 200g dark chocolate)
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, seeds only or vanilla extract
165g brown sugar
2 tbpsn plain flour
1 tbspn cocoa
Pinch salt
154g/1 pack oreos, broken into chunks
icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease and line your baking tin.
Melt the butter in a pan along with the chocolate and stir together.
Whisk the eggs, yolks and vanilla together in a bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy.
Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each.
Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer.  Once the egg mixture is ready, pour in the chocolate (around the sides so not to knock out the air).
Fold in the flour, cocoa, salt and a third of biscuits until combined not worrying about lumps.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and scatter the remaining biscuits on top.
Bake for approx 30 minutes, the middle should be slightly gooey.
Leave the brownies to cool completely in the tin.  The top will crack and sink.
Cut into squares, dust with icing sugar and ENJOY ♥

Jack: 7 months





I cannot imagine life without you Jack.  What did I used to do with all my time?  I am not sure, but I do know that being your mom is hands down one of the most awesome things in the world.  Some days it is hard, so hard - when we are sleep deprived or you are teething or we are just feeling a bit off.  But those days are so outnumbered by the ones that are filled with cuddles, smiles, laughter and fun.  We have so much fun together and you make our days brighter.

You are non-stop at the moment, you do not sit still.  EVER.  It is becoming quite the challenge to take these monthly photos of you! You are either rolling from one end of the lounge to the other, sitting in your high chair waving your arms and hands and shouting the house down (in a good way - you make a LOT of noise!) or you are standing up against the couch or in your cot just loving the fact that you are stood up.

You have finally taken a bottle so the weaning process has begun from boob to bottle.  Fun times.  And you are back on 3 meals a day and enjoying your food as always.  You adore porridge and would eat that for breakfast, lunch and supper if you could.  (And sometimes do because you won't eat anything else!).






The car is becoming much easier (thank goodness) and you seem to settle and just fall asleep or chat to yourself.  We lowered your cot on the weekend because you were trying to pull yourself up all the time and we could just see you launching yourself onto the carpet below so thought it was the right time.  You still love bath time and we are starting swimming lessons on the 7th Sept.  We cannot wait - we go on a Sunday so both me and Dad can join you.  It is going to be so much fun my boy!

You are growing at an astounding rate, the little trousers you are wearing in these pictures fit you snugly now - looking back at your 2 month photos they were up to your chest and baggy.  How time flies when you are having fun.  Only 3 months until we fly to South Africa - gosh I cannot wait to show you the best city in the world and some of the best people in our life.  You will feel the sand underneath your toes and see the waves on the beach.  You will see penguins and blue skies like you have never seen them before.  It is going to be AWESOME.

We are going to enjoy the next few weeks Jack, I think they will be the last of you not being mobile and we are going to soak up the remaining of the summer days.  We will sit on the grass, we will go for walks and we will play.  These are the days. 
And we are loving each and every one of them with you. ♥

On our walk

I wrote about going for daily walks a few months back and we pretty much go out everyday.  I love getting out in the sunshine and fresh air.  It is so good for the soul, plus I get to snap lots of photos and we all know I love doing that too.  We went out yesterday morning, I put Jack in the wrap because where I wanted to go was not buggy friendly.  He still loves it in there and it is not too uncomfortable for me either.

I wanted to go out down the lane and into the fields to see if there were any blackberries - there are literally gazillions but they are not ready for picking yet so we will have to go out on the weekend again to see if they have ripened.

Here are a few snaps I thought I would share, it was such a beautiful morning but we had to make a dash for it at the end because the rain clouds were looming!

Happy Wednesday ♥






















Crunchies dipped and drizzled in chocolate



We all love a treat, either with a cup of tea in the morning or a pick me up at 4pm to keep you going for a few hours before supper.  Crunchies are the perfect option for this type of thing and even better when they are dipped and drizzled with some dark chocolate.

I have posted this crunchie recipe before but I will do it again because yes, it is that good and so super easy.  And just to remind you, the crunchie is similar to the flapjack but not as thick and a bit more crunchy (hence the name!).

Crunchies
Makes approx 18 bars

Ingredients
180g butter
2 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tbspn syrup
1 tspn bicarb
100g dark chocolate

Method
Mix together the dry ingredients.
Melt the butter and syrup and add the bicarb until it froths.
Add to the dry ingredients.
Press mixture into a greased tray and cook at 180 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
Let cool for 15 minutes and cut into bars.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate gently over a medium heat.  Once melted dip each bar into the chocolate and then drizzle over the whole batch.

These won't last long in your house so be sure to have some even if the chocolate hasn't set yet!

Just scrumptious!

A fun photoshoot for Whistle and Flute #whistleandflutepanda


Have you heard of Whiste and Flute?  They are an awesome online shop based in Canada selling dapper kids and adults clothing.  Seriously cool stuff.  I follow them on instagram and they have the cutest competition running at the moment involving a DIY panda mask (see above), so of course I had to take part.  Where there is crafting and photography involved and baby Jack - well, I just couldn't let this pass!  You can win their new Kawaii Panda Baseball Raglan due to be released tomorrow.

Just follow them on Pinterest, repin the panda mask and follow the instructions

Here are a few of our shots. Although Jack was more interested in eating the panda mask than anything else!  It was hard to choose one so I thought I would share more on the blog as well as share the competition.







Check out their store and follow them on instagram and facebook to be kept up to date with their latest sales and competitions.  Why not treat yourself and get something for your babe or yourself!!  They ship worldwide - Hooray! ♥

The front of our house :: before and after



When we moved into our little home, the front was a disaster!  The walls were covered in ivy, the front door was weathered, the ground was uneven and covered in moss, the bushes were at least a meter high, the fence was worn and old and it just looked awful.









Finally, after two years we have got it looking fabulous.  Oh it makes such a difference arriving home to a pretty front door and a tidy little space which we can be proud of.  A friend in the village did all the work on the front - he ripped out the fence, tarmac and greenery and lay shingle from the local quarry and some pretty paving slabs. 




We picked up a Clematis from the nursery just down the road (ideally we would like to put Wisteria up soon too).  We spraypainted the gas box and pipe black to match the postbox and light.  And finally we took the plunge and painted our front door a very bright red.  We were a bit unsure at the beginning but I really think it cheers the place up, don't you?





Yay for another finished project.

#fmsphotoaday July 2014


So this month saw me embark on Chantelle's #fmsphotoaday challenge and I have loved it.  It has been so much fun and has really brightened my month.  I have made so many new friends on Instagram, it really is such an awesome community.  I am so grateful to also have been featured a few times too, namely its_my_week, thefeedfeed, mom_hub, sunnypicchallenge, frommykitchencompetition, theblogissue, littlebitsof_kids and littlebitsof_life and twice for #fmsphotoaday!  So a big thank you to all of you for the features, it really means a lot.

Thanks July - its been amazing.  August is going to rock.



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