Foodie Friday: Summer Berry Shortcake Stacks

summer-berry-shortcake-stacks(Makes 8 stacks)

80g butter, softened
45g caster sugar
120g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

For the filling:
75ml crème fraîche
100g full fat soft cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
100g fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
100g fresh blueberries
100g fresh raspberries

1. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and beat together using an electric whisk until pale and smooth.
2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the chilled dough to a thickness of 0.5cm. Using a 4-5cm round cutter, stamp out 24 rounds – you’ll need to re-roll the trimmings. Place on the prepared baking sheets and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4.
4. Remove from the freezer and bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Make the filling: beat together the crème fraîche, soft cheese, vanilla and the icing sugar.
6. Spoon 1 tsp of the filling on top of 8 biscuits, then add either a slice of strawberry or 3 of the berries, and top with a little extra filling. Repeat with another 8, then stack these on top. Finally, top with the remaining 8 biscuits, dust with the extra icing sugar and serve immediately.

Wordless Wednesday: I’m meeelting!


Storytime: Anansi, the Clever Spider

anansiYear: 2014
Author: Susie Linn
Illustrator: Barbara Cantini

Anansi the spider looked at the world around him and sighed a big sigh. He was a very clever, very wise spider – and he knew a lot about most things. But he wanted to be cleverer and wiser still!

‘It’ll be easy!’ said Anansi to nobody in particular. ‘I’ll simply gather up all the wonderful knowledge in the world… all the brilliant cleverness… and all the super skills to do everything!’

First, Anansi had a big problem to solve.

‘Where am I going to keep all the wisdom and cleverness when I find it?’ he thought to himself. ‘I’ll need something VERY big and VERY safe to put it in!’

Buy to find out more!

Music Monday: June roundup

What can I say, it’s been very much a month for soundtracks. Every time a new Game of Thrones season is out, I make a point of revising all previous seasons – listening as well as watching. So first place is no surprise.

The second and third, though, are largely through my son’s influence. His interest in Star Wars waxes and wanes, with this month being definitely on the wax, and all it took was watching The Hobbit trilogy to remind me why I love Howard Shore’s work. (Must rewatch LotR trilogy, ASAP.)

1. Ramin Djawadi (142)
2. John Williams (117)
3. Howard Shore (73)

Space in Togetherness

spaceAs relationships evolve, lives gradually become entwined. We tend to have a great deal in common with the people who attract us, and our regard for them compels us to trust their judgment. While our lives may seem to run together so smoothly that the line dividing them cannot be seen, we remain separate beings. To disregard these barriers is to sacrifice independence. It is our respect for the fact that our lives exist independently of the lives of others that allows us to set emotional and physical boundaries, to explore our interests and capabilities even when people close to us do not understand our partialities, and to agree to disagree. Maintaining healthy barriers is a matter of recognizing the point at which our principles and those of our loved ones and peers no longer overlap.

Human beings must relentlessly fight the temptation to follow the crowd. Naturally, we want to be liked, accepted, and admired, and it often seems that the easiest way to win approval is to ally ourselves with others. When we assume that our standards are the same as those of the people close to us without first examining our own intentions, we do ourselves a disservice. The barriers that exist between us are a reminder that our paths in life will be unique, and we must each accept that “I” and “we” can coexist peacefully. Our reactions, our likes and dislikes, our loves, our goals, and our dreams may or may not align with those of others, but we should neither ask others to embrace what we hold dear nor feel compelled to embrace what they hold dear.

As you learn to define yourself as an emotionally and intellectually distinct individual, you will grow to appreciate your autonomy. However much you enjoy the associations that bind you to others and provide you with a sense of identity, your concept of self will ultimately originate in your own soul. The healthy barriers that tell you where you end and the people around you begin will give you the freedom to pursue your development apart from those whose approval you might otherwise be tempted to seek out. Others will continue to play a role in your existence, but their values will not direct its course, and the relationships you share will remain marvelously balanced and harmonious as a result.


Month at a Glance

July 2015
« Jun    


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