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Blogtober

Halloween Cookies Recipe

This is a basic sugar cookie recipe for Halloween cookies. We also make them using a gingerbread recipe which works equally as well.

Halloween Cookies

Halloween cookies - pumpkins

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 330g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease and line two cookie sheets.
  2. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff.
  4. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut into whatever shapes you desire.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

To Decorate

I’ve found a great video on YouTube that shows you how to flood fill cookies.

 

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Haunted Lincoln

I love reading about local ghost sightings and here in haunted Lincoln, there are quite a few stories around. It’s not surprising seeing as we have some very old buildings like Lincoln castle and the cathedral. Lincoln castle was built during the late 11th century by William the Conqueror.

It used to be used as a prison until 1878 so you can imagine the number of ghost stories that are attached to this wonderful building.

Haunted Lincoln – Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle

According to the Haunted History of Lincoln, a horse and rider can be seen riding up to the gates of the castle shouting, ‘Open the gates, in the name of the king’.

It was approaching midnight when a baker, on the way to his night shift at a bakers in the city was walking opposite Lincoln Castle’s gates.
Suddenly, he heard the clattering of hooves against the ancient cobbles. Looking round to find the source of the noise, he heard a cry that shattered the quiet night sky: “Open the gates, in the name of the king!”
A giant black horse, billowing steam from its nostrils materialised in front of him. Its rider was stood up in his stirrups and sparks began to fly off the ground as its hooves gripped the floor. The horse charged on towards the castle, the same cry echoing from its rider as it gallops through the thick wooden gates of the castle’s front entrance.

For the rest of the story, visit the Haunted History of Lincoln blog.

Lincoln Cathedral

haunted Lincoln  - Lincoln Cathedral

During the time of the Black Death, the Church couldn’t keep up with the number of bodies that needed burying so a mass burial took place on the grounds to the right of the cathedral.

It is said that once a year,  on the anniversary of their burial, the ghosts of those buried in the grave rise from the ground and march in precession to the judgment gate, singing for the salvation of their souls, as they attempt to end the struggle of being stuck between heaven and hell.  The doors they gather at depict heaven and hell, and are overseen by the Virgin Mary and Jesus-who allow access to the cathedral to those who are worthy of it.

Haunted History Of Lincoln

If you’d like to learn more about Haunted Lincoln, you can take a Ghost Walk through the city

For more ghost stories in Lincoln, check out Haunted Rooms

 

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

10 Things To Do On Rainy Days

We had the hottest Summer this year than we’ve had for a long time. Just about everyone loved it. I didn’t. I’m not a Summer lover and have to say I was glad when Autumn arrived!
Autumn, however, brings with it rainy days and if we don’t have some ideas to keep everyone occupied, we all end up watching too much TV.

Here are some things we enjoy to do when it’s rainy outside.

Activities For Rainy Days

  1. Family Board Game Day – KayCee collects Monopoly games so we have plenty of different kinds to choose from.
  2. Design A Family Board Game – KayCee and Ella had great fun making a Very Hungry Caterpillar board game when they were younger. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day and at the end, you can all play the game together.
  3. Make Your Own Moon Sand – I’ve never tried this, but I really want to. I think I’d have as much fun playing with this as Ella would!
  4. Baking – A rainy day activity list wouldn’t be complete without baking of some sort, whether it be cakes or cookies.
  5. Rock Painting – We did this last year and everyone enjoyed it, including me. We still haven’t varnished our rocks yet so we’ve not been able to put them in the garden. We’ll have to do it soon because they’re too nice to be stuck in a box!
  6. Indoor Treasure Hunt – Ella and her friends often make treasure hunts for each other. They choose a prize and hide it then write a series of clues for the other one to follow. You can also get loads of printables from Google if you wanted to create one for your children but didn’t want to write all the clues yourself.
  7. Washable Stained Glass Window Painting – The lady who writes this blog put the tape on the outside but obviously, that won’t work if it’s raining. This can be done indoors as long as you protect the floor under your window.
  8. Make Gloop – Cornflour, water and some food colouring can keep children entertained for hours with homemade gloop.
  9. Make Some Story Sacks – Ella loved bringing home a story sack when she started nursery. I’d never heard of them before, but thought they were a brilliant idea.
    You can make them for all ages and stages of development.
  10. Get Outside & Play In The Rain – When I was a child my friend and I used to go outside in bare feet and squelch our toes in the mud when it rained hard! We loved it when the rain was pounding so hard it bounced when it hit the floor!
    A rainy walk in the woods can be great fun for all the family 🙂
Ella loves rainy days
We got caught in a downpour on the way home from school. Everyone else was running, we were taking our time and enjoying the feel of the rain on our skin 🙂

 

What kind of things do you like doing on rainy days?

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

#Blogtober18

How To Make Blackberry Gin

I’ve never tasted Gin. Ever. I’m a 42-year-old Gin virgin!
Gin seems to be everywhere at the moment. B&M are even selling a Gin advent calendar. There are loads of different flavours around. I figured rather just having a bottle of plain Gin at our Christmas party, I’d make a flavoured one and seeing as it’s Autumn now and blackberries are in abundance, we’d try making a blackberry Gin.

Blackberry Gin

Ant is very much looking forward to this being ready. We put it all in the jar on October 1st and his birthday is in the middle of November so it’ll be ready in time for him to celebrate!

Blackberry gin

Ingredients

  • 300g Blackberries
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 70cl Gin

You Will Need:

  • Sterilised Bottles
  • A large jar

Method

  1. Place the blackberries and sugar into a large sterilised jar. You can sterilise the jar by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing well then drying in a pre-heated oven 120C/Gas 1 for 10-15 minutes. If using a Kilner jar, boil the rubber seal as the heat from the oven will damage them.
  2. Pour the Gin into the jar and seal. Give it a good shake.
  3. Shake it every day for about a week to make sure the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Leave it for at least 4 weeks before drinking. It can be left for up to 3 months.
  5. When you’re ready to transfer to a bottle, remember to sterilise it first then strain the mixture through a muslin cloth. You don’t need the berries anymore but they’ll be lovely served over some vanilla ice cream or in a glass of Prosecco

 

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Steak And Guinness Banquet Pie #GBBOBlogers2018

This is a bit of a rush post because I had to wait for Ant to make the pie for dinner tonight. He had to make two pies for dinner, a steak and Guinness banquet pie, so I could do this blog post, and a Slimming World friendly chicken and leek pie, because Aiden and I couldn’t have any of the banquet pie!

Banquet Pie

I’m going to add the recipe tomorrow because I’m too tired to concentrate tonight but I’ll share the pictures with you 🙂

Ant was very proud of his pie. He did underestimate how long it was going to take him so we ended up having dinner later than usual, but that was ok because it’s Friday.

It’s the first time he’s made a pie like this and everyone agreed it looked amazing. I didn’t taste the pastry, but I did taste the filling and it was delicious.

steak and Guinness banquet pie for Great British Bake Off Bloggers bake along

steak and Guinness banquet pie for great british bbake off bloggers

steak and Guinness pie for Great British Bake Off bloggers bake along

 

I’m baking along with Jenny from Mummy Mishaps and Helen from Casa Costello

Casa Costello

For more Great British Bake Off Bloggers posts, click here

 

I’m also taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Pumpkin Carving Design Ideas

They always look so easy to do, but when you actually start to carve a pumpkin you realise you were kidding yourself and they’re not easy at all! We’ve tried a few different pumpkin carving designs over the years but inevitably we go back to good old triangles for the eyes and nose and a jagged mouth.

Mind you, we did manage a couple of different designs in 2016, but it wasn’t all plain sailing!

Halloween pumpkin carving

Kaycee Halloween pumpkin carving

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

I really want to try carving a better design in one of our pumpkins this year so I’ve been checking out designs on Pinterest.

I love this cannibalistic pumpkin and what’s more, there’s an excellent tutorial to show us how to do it.

cannibalistic pumpkin carving from Chopcow.com
Image Source & Tutorial

This tutorial from The Telegraph has links to pumpkin carving design templates.

pumpkin carving from The Telegraph
Image Source & Tutorial
3D pumpkin carving You Tube tutorial
Image Source & Tutorial

If you have a pumpkin design you’re proud of, please feel free to share a link in the comments 🙂

I’m taking part in Blogtober18 with Mandi at Big Family Organised Chaos

Why I Love Autumn #Blogtober18

I love Autumn for many reasons but the main one is because it means Christmas isn’t too far away! Below are 5 more reasons why this is my second favourite season. My first is Winter because, you know, Christmas!

Read more

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