Friday, 18 October 2013

Toffee apples

Autumn means to me, beautiful scenery, puffs of smoke leaping out of chimney tops, woolly jumpers, crunchy leaves, morning mist and my favourite treat....TOFFEE APPLES!

Seeing the first pile of toffee apples teetering high on a shop shelf means the season has finally changed...I tuck my bikini and flip flops safely to bed and drag out my hoards of knitwear.....Let the cold commence!

Making your own delicious toffee apples is super easy and can be knocked up in under an hour, pop then in a picnic hamper and you will be dearly thanked on long autumn walk they are also a great way to keep the older children going long after bed time on bonfire night!

For this recipe you will need a sugar thermometer, you can buy these from any good hardware store, cook shop or supermarket and cost between 5 and 10 pounds.


6-8 Apples Braeburn or Discovery work best
100g Golden caster sugar
120g Demerara sugar
25g Butter
100ml water
2 tbsp Golden syrup
1 tsp Cider vinegar


Wash the apples thoroughly under very hot running water then dry with a clean towel.
Push a lolly stick or wooden kebab stick (sharp end removed) into the middle through the stalk end.
Line a baking sheet or a tray with parchment paper and lightly butter the surface of the paper.

Place a heavy bottomed pan, try and use a high sided pan if possible, over a low heat and tip in the golden caster sugar, the dermerara sugar and water, after the sugar has completely melted stir in the cider vinegar, golden syrup and butter. Pop the thermometer into the pan and bring the mixture to the boil and cook without stirring until it reaches 150 degrees celsius (hard cracking point) this will take a good 20 ish minuets but keep an eye on it, toffee burns really quickly if left.

Once you have reached 150 degrees celsius remove the pan from the heat and tilt the pan to one side. dip and swirl your apples until coated well then pop them on the baking sheet, allow to cool thoroughly before taking that first crunch!

To wrap them I simply cut squares out of some parchment paper and tied with a sandwich bag wire you could use a ribbon.


                                                                         Claire x x x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Salted Pistachio Praline

My husband adores sweet and salty flavours together, his all time favourite treat is the salted peanut ice cream they make and sell at  Sundae's child, the most amazing ice cream parlour at the end of our street. 

This morning i made Adam a little bag of sweets to take to work tomorrow... something to munch on as an afternoon pick me up (but I'm pretty certain they will be gone before his morning meeting)

This is an extremely delicious, quick and easy recipe, about 15 mins from start to a little cooling time


150g Salted roasted pistachios, shells off and roughly chopped
5tbsp water
200g Granulated sugar
A handful or 2 of sesame seeds

Line a baking tray with some silicone paper

Pop a dry frying pan on medium heat and chuck in the sesame seeds, they will brown within a min or 2 so keep an eye on them, as soon as they start turning a light golden colour they are done, empty them out of the pan onto a plate and pop to one side

Heat the water and sugar in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, slowly bring to the boiled allowing the sugar to dissolve, then raise up heat so it starts to bubble, it will turn an amber colour, don't stir the mixture but swirl the pan from time to time so that the sugar colours evenly.

Chuck in the nuts and sesame seeds and cook for another min, stirring so that everything is coated in the wonderful glossy sugar.

Pour onto the baking tray staying untempted to pop any in your mouth until it has cooled... I learned the hard way once...YOWSERS..... and leave to cool. 

Once cooled break into pieces and store in an airtight container

Enjoy x x x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Im not sure wether this is "normal" but I feel a huge rush of excitement fill my brain whenever my eyes catch a glimpse of a stuffed full skip!

Allot of the furniture in our house has at some point in its life been in and dragged out of a skip of some sort and either cleaned up or up cycled.

I've found amazing treasures, like my latest find, this AMAZING chesterfield leather armchair, found simply but stumbling across a skip full of someones unwanted junk (as my mum always says, one mans junk is another mans treasure) 

So, there are some unwritten rules to skip diving, you can't just go jumping in your nearest giant bin in the hope of finding a pot of gold!...Here are my 3 rules, these should keep out on the right side of your neighbour and the law!

1) Don't go out actively looking for a skip or house clearance, chances are you won't find any, keep your new found hobby loitering at the back of your mind ready to expect the unexpected waiting around any corner.

2) ASK,ASK, ASK, ALWAYS ASK! The person who the skip belongs to may not want you digging around there old belongings, although chances are if you tap on there door and ask very nicely with a smile you'll get the nod.

3) Wear boots and gloves, I keep wellys and thick gloves in my car...not just for moments like this.....You never know when you will need them living in these 'ear parts..... Flip flops or Toms are not a great way to protect your pedicure from shards of glass or worse!

Lastly don't forget to share with your friends, you never know when they will return the favour. Skip diving may not be for you, and thats totally fine, saves all the treasure for me!!! 

x x x