Mini salted caramel and chocolate cakes and other Christmas bakes

Mini Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cakes

Mini Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cakes

I’ve not posted over the Christmas period, but that’s not because I haven’t been baking! Only because I’ve not baked any new recipes. What I have learnt is that when time is of the essence, never bake something you are not already familiar with!

In the past week, I’ve baked a lot of shortbread, made trays of truffles and bags of candied almonds. I also baked 2 kilos of roast potatoes and dinner rolls for the family Christmas dinner.

Christmas Dinner Rolls

Christmas Dinner Rolls: Wholemeal, Seeded, Sundried Tomato and Parmesan

Although I say that I don’t like to try new recipes when I’m under time pressure, I did try a new technique with these dinner rolls. I’ve been toying with the idea of not kneading the dough for the usual 8-10 minutes before the first proofing. Dan Leopard advocated this method a lot and I did try it once but it went badly wrong. However I’ve had a bit more bread making practice since then so I have more confidence working with yeast. So for these dinner rolls, I kneaded them until the dough had come together then proofed it a few times kneading a little in between. The bread turned out pretty well and exactly how bread should! Score!

Rosemary Roast Potatoes

Rosemary Roast Potatoes

These roast potatoes also turned out quite nice. In my family we all help out a little to make Christmas dinner so we share the work load and the oven space! I’ve done the roast potatoes for the past few years. Thinking about it, I think Christmas is the only time I actually make roast potatoes! 🙂

I don’t think I have much time to back again until the new year now. Looking back at when I started this blog at the beginning of October 2013, I’m fairly happy with the results so far… This blog has helped to keep me on track with my baking and encouraged me to try out new recipes. I’ve also discovered lots of new recipes from fellow bloggers and been inspired by their words. Onwards and upwards in 2014!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2014 bring you and your loved ones good health, wealth and happiness…

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Candied Nuts

 

Spiced Candied Nuts

Spiced Candied Nuts

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about candied nuts on blogs recently and have really wanted to try them out! I saw them at the German Christmas markets but they were very expensive, being sold by weight, so I stayed well clear…

Tammela Platts shared in her blog ‘Wherever I am, you are there also’ a recipe for ‘Candied Almonds’ which I just had to try out as the recipe is very simple and I like the idea of separating them into little food gift bags…

However my plans of Christmas baking this weekend have been scuppered by a disaster at home involving a leaking toilet and waking up to pools of water in the living room on Saturday morning. After a stressful 24 hours of having no water in the house, I finally got back on track and settled down to baking some tasty treats to celebrate the holiday season.

Spiced Candied Nuts

Spiced Candied Nuts

The only problem I had was that the caramel stuck a little to the grease proof paper that I lined the baking tray with, so next time I will use baking paper (I’ve run out after lots of baking recently!).

I would highly recommend this recipe! The balance of sweet, salty and spice are perfect and the nuts are so yummy! It takes a lot of willpower to stop eating them and portion them up for gifts. I also used a bag of mixed nuts that I had in the cupboard which contained hazelnuts, brazils, peanuts, almonds and pecans. My favourites are the hazelnuts so I’m slowly picking them all out for myself…

Thanks Tammela! I think I will making many more batches of these beauties in the coming weeks… 🙂

Gluten Free: Coconut and Lime Macaroons

Coconut and Lime Macaroons

Coconut and Lime Macaroons

The ‘German Christmas Markets’ have once again taken over cities around the UK. It seems that they have now been firmly planted into the local Christmas culture. They signify the start of the festive season as soon as those log cabins start taking over the pedestrian areas of the cities shopping areas. This is a fairly recent phenomenon but is very popular hence their explosion from a few cabins to a sheer take over for around 4 weeks at the end of the year!

I enjoy a brief visit to the markets especially because you get ideas of different food gifts to make for people over the festive period. However most of the wares and food on offer are very expensive and it is always extremely busy! I find places that are packed with people shoving past each other, and prams being rammed into my ankles as parents are trying desperately trying to keep their children within sight, extremely stressful! So I don’t last too long before I need to escape the crowds and find somewhere quiet for a cup of tea and slice of cake… Any excuse! 😉

One item on sale on the markets are ‘German Coconut Macaroons’ that are the size of your fist! I’m not exactly sure why they are called ‘German Macaroons’ as I’m sure that they are a very English recipe! They are very nice served warm and great for coconut macaroon fans. Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. However I find the size of them a little too much in one go, so would prefer them about half the size…

Each year in my office we do ‘Secret Santa’. This is where we each choose a name out of a hat and buy a gift for that person. The idea being that you keep it a secret and the person can then guess who bought them this gift. The usual criteria is that we can spend no more than £5 each on the gift. This year to make things a little more interesting we decided that the gift should be home made or bought from a thrift/charity shop.

For my Secret Santa present I decided to make this Coconut and Lime Macaroon recipe for a little twist on the traditional coconut macaroons. This is mainly because I had some limes in the fruit bowl that needed to be used up and coconut and lime are a very classic pairing! I decided to finish off the macaroons with some drizzled melted chocolate as they didn’t look very interesting as round little balls. The chocolate also adds a little bitter contrast to the sweet coconut and tartness of the lime.

The Taste Test

The recipe called for 1 tablespoon of lime juice and the zest of 1 lime. I decided to add the juice of two limes after tasting the mixture and the lime juice not coming through very well. I should have just stuck to the recipe! The lime taste must have developed during the cooking so the tartness over powers the coconut a little. However the coconut taste is still there and the macaroons are nice and crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle, so all is not lost!

After the success of the Stem Ginger Shortbread recipe I decided to make another batch. However this time I pushed the dough into mini muffin moulds to get a nice even shape. However I left them in the oven a little longer than I wanted so they are browner than I’d like but still taste lovely!  I think they may be slightly too deep too next time I will only half fill the tins. However I do quite like the look of them with the shiny stem ginger on top making them look like mini puddings!

Stem Ginger Shortbread

Stem Ginger Shortbread

One reason for choosing these recipes are that they are both high in sugar and have few quickly perishable ingredients. Since it’s Christmas and food is usually in abundance, it’s difficult to judge how long food gifts will be able to hang around in the fridge or cupboard and without a ‘use by’ date I don’t want to give my friends any kind of food poisoning! Both of these recipes should last a few days in an airtight container. I’ve wrapped them tightly in food bags to keep the air out and help them last a little longer.

Cardamom and Pistachio Cookies

All wrapped up and put in a gift box, I think they look pretty good! 🙂

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Truffle Celebration Cake

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

This celebration cake was baked in honour of a friend and colleague who is moving on to a new challenging role with another equally deserving charity. We had planned a surprise party for her in the office and as always a centre piece cake would be there. We have another colleague who is always asked to make the special celebration cakes as she is wonderful at sugar craft and can model the most amazing figures, making the most jaw dropping cakes that are tailored to the lucky person it is intended for. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to help out this time so I was asked to make the cake instead. What a daunting task! I like to bake but only as a hobby and I’ve found baking under pressure to be so stressful!

I thought for days about what kind of cake to make. I wasn’t even going to attempt any kind of sugar craft as I have never done anything like it before and I wasn’t about to start now! I was also putting extra pressure on myself because I really want this cake to look delicious and inviting, maybe even a little glamorous?! No pressure! 🙂

The Cake

After a lot of too-ing and fro-ing I settled on a basic chocolate fudge cake recipe that I had scribbled down off a friend’s mum. She had made their wedding cake using this recipe and it was absolutely delicious! I remember going back for a second slice because it was the tastiest wedding cake I had ever had and it was home made! The original recipe uses fresh cream and black cherry jam for the filling, so being a ‘black forest’ cake fan it was obviously going to be a winner for me!

This is the basic recipe for two thin 20 cm round cakes:

Ingredients

  • 175 grams Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 150 grams Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150ml Sunflower Oil
  • 150ml Milk
  • 2 tbs Golden Syrup

Method

  • Beat all ingredients together
  • Bake in two sandwich tins at 170 degrees C for 25 minutes

You can’t get much simpler than that right!

The challenge I had was to up-size the recipe for a 30 cm cake tin and have two layers. So I figured that I would double the recipe and see how it turns out. Luckily the recipe worked well all baked in 1 cake tin but I needed to bake it for about 40 minutes in total. I decided that the cake didn’t rise enough to make a two layer cake, so decided to do another batch. I decided upon cutting both cakes in half but only using 3 tiers as 4 was just too high! So with the additional layer I cut it up using a round mould and have put them in the freezer for future mini cake adventures…

Salted Caramel Truffle Cake

Salted Caramel Truffle Cake

The Frosting

As I am going through a stage of experimentation with salted caramel, I decided that this grown-ups party would be the right time to use salted caramel to the max! So I found a few salted caramel butter cream recipes and settled on this Banana Cake with Salted Caramel recipe for inspiration. Mainly because the cake in the picture looked similar to what I wanted to achieve so I figured that I could stick to the proportions of ingredients and have enough to frost the whole cake. It is also a fairly easy recipe to follow.

After watching the sugar syrup boil for ages, I figured that the recipe could be adapted a little to have less water so this stage need not take so long, but would this then affect the quantity of caramel? I decided that this is something to experiment with another time… As I only had unsalted butter, I added a teaspoon of sea salt to the caramel along with the cream to give it the signature taste.

I struggled a little with this recipe as it tells you to ‘Beat the cooled caramel cream using an electric beater until fluffy’, warning that ‘his step takes a while, so be patient’. So I kept the mixer beating the caramel and nothing happened… 15 minutes later I gave up and just started adding the butter. The frosting was actually very runny so I decided to add another half block of butter to the bowl and some icing sugar too the thicken it up and it seemed to work. I also put the frosting into the fridge to harden a little as it was still fairly runny.

This frosting is ideal for people who like buttercream but find it a little too sweet. The caramel flavour is very strong and is a great choice for grown-ups. I also like the natural caramel colour of the frosting as a lot of buttercream recipes require artificial colourings to make them a look nice, so all in all this recipe is another keeper!

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

The Decoration

Looking on the world wide web for inspiration on how to decorate this cake I decided to make some Salted Caramel Truffles to go on top. For a previous cake I had made profiteroles but I wasn’t too happy with the finishing look, and making these profiteroles was only going to add to my stress levels! The Salted Caramel Truffles were ideal as I could also use the recipe for making Christmas food gifts if they turned out OK.

So after frosting the layers of the cake and decorating the top with truffles and drizzles of left over caramel sauce, the cake was complete! I am slightly disappointed that you can see some of the cake crumb in the frosting, I must have over-baked it so must keep an eye on this next time. As I’m not very good at being precise and ‘pretty’ isn’t really my style, I went for the ‘messy look’. I think I got away with it!

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Truffles

The Verdict

I’m pretty happy with the final product. I got lots of compliments and people even took extra slices home, always a good sign! From the little that was left of the cake, I could tell it was well appreciated! I’ve finally been able to get the cake to slice evenly thanks to a new kitchen gadget I picked up from a local shop but similar to this Amazon product. It only cost me £3 and gives such a perfect professional finish! The cake itself was moist and light, while the frosting wasn’t too sweet. I even had some left over truffles to enjoy too!

A winner all round… 🙂

Salted Caramel Truffles

Salted Caramel Truffles with Salted Caramel Drizzle and Sea Salt Flakes

Salted Caramel Truffles with Salted Caramel Drizzle and Sea Salt Flakes

Making this recipe was also the first time for me to make caramel from melting sugar down in a pan so I was being extra cautious in case I burnt it. However after the first try I’ve realised how easy it is an how yummy too so all my friends and family should not be surprised if everything they get from my this year contains some form of salted caramel! 🙂

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

I’m in love with salted caramel at the moment and this recipe for Salted Caramel Truffles looked too good to pass up! I was looking for inspiration on Christmas food gifts that are fairly simple to do as this year I don’t have as much time as I’d like to dedicate to gift baking. I was also looking for interesting ways to decorate a chocolate and salted caramel cake so these are perfect!I think the last time I tried to make truffles was when I was about 14 years old in a food technology class in high school. Thinking back, I can’t say I was particularly keen on baking cakes back then. I remember enjoying the class though, which is a positive because I have very sparse memories of my school years! Obviously very uneventful…

After rolling the truffles in some cocoa powder I drizzled them with some left over salted caramel sauce and then sprinkled a little sea salt flakes on top to give the idea of what flavour is inside. A bit messy, but not bad for a first attempt!

I had to put these truffles into mini cupcake cases as they were twice the size of my petite four cases, so that gives you an indication of how huge they are! However my excuse is that I need them to go on top of a pretty huge cake so little ones would just not do.

The Taste Test

Obviously one had to be tasted for quality control (and to make sure they didn’t  ruin the final cake!) and I have to say  that they are delicious! The caramel gives the truffle a slightly chewy texture so it isn’t just pure rich chocolate that melts in your mouth. The salted caramel taste comes through but only very lightly. It helps to cut through the bitter chocolate making them very moreish… This recipe is a keeper!

Christmas shortbread: Pistachio with Cardamom and Stem Ginger

 

Pistachio and Stem Ginger Shortbread

Pistachio and Stem Ginger Shortbread

My family and I don’t really celebrate Christmas to the extent that most families do in the UK. We get together with extended family for a couple of days over Christmas Day and Boxing Day to eat lots of lovely food, usually having a fairly traditional roast Christmas dinner. Unsurprisingly the best part of Christmas for me is the giving and receiving of food. For the past few years I’ve been making little Christmas food gifts for friends and family rather than just relying on shop bought festive treats. Partly because it helps to reduce the cost of Christmas shopping, but also because I think putting a little effort into making a gift for someone is always appreciated! And since I’m not blessed with any artist crafty ability or patience to learn a new skill, then I fall back onto the art of baking…

This year I’ve started off with some tried and tested shortbread recipes. This weekend I made some Stem Ginger Shortbread for a friend of mine who is actually celebrating her birthday, so technically this was ‘Birthday Shortbread’. She’s also expecting her second baby, so I figured that ginger is great for any pregnant woman with it’s anti nausea properties (beside being really delicious!).

The second lot of shortbread was flavoured with cardamom and toasted pistachio nuts, a classic combination! These were taken to some friends of mine who I have just started working with as a trustee of the Bumba Foundation. This charity raises money to build schools in Uganda for children who are otherwise unable to get an education. It’s an honour to be part of this work and I look forward to getting stuck into the fundraising events in 2014! Please check out the website for more information about the Bumba Foundation. Today was my first trustees meeting, so I took a these shortbread cookies to make a good first impression.

 

Pistachio and Stem Ginger Shortbread

Pistachio and Stem Ginger Shortbread

The shortbread recipe I used was based on this BBC recipe that I have successfully used in the past but after researching a few other recipes I decided to substitute some of the wheat flour with a couple tablespoons of cornflour to ensure extra crispness, I think it worked! Using this basic recipe as the base, I added the additional flavourings by adding some of the stem ginger syrup to the dough and pressing chopped up stem ginger to the tops of the cookies. For the second batch the ground seeds of about 8 cardamom pods were kneaded into the dough and crushed pistachios pressed into the top.

 

Christmas Gift Box

Christmas Gift Box

I wrapped the shortbread in some gift bags and sealed to keep them fresher for longer then put them in these little Wilton Christmas gift boxes that I found when Christmas shopping. Very cute don’t you think?!

More posts on my Christmas food goodies to come…

Stuffed Flat Breads: Paratha, Bolani, Gozleme, Rolex…

Potato stuffed flat breads

Afghan Bolani: Potato stuffed flat breads

 

Like ‘dumplings’ stuffed flat breads can be found in variations the world over. Thinking about it, both dumplings and flat breads are similar in that they are both a form of dough with a filling inside then just cooked in different ways!

Today I had a little more time to cook up something tasty for brunch. With a kilo of King Edward potatoes to use up I decided to make some Bolani. Bolani is a vegan flat bread found in Afghanistan that is pan fried with a think layer of vegetable based filling. It is one of the first Afghan dishes that my partner made for me when we first got together. When he made it, he was guessing a lot of the ingredients and the cooking method based on when he watched his mum make them at home. Being a man in the house, he didn’t get involved in the cooking so he did it from memory. It tasted exactly like the Aloo Paratha that my good friend from university would make for me, except he used plain white flour to make the dough and she would use chapatti flour. Also Bolani are usually folded in half and paratha are usually kept in a round shape. Both were pan fried in oil or ghee and tasted delicious!

I’ve also encountered stuffed chapatti in Uganda during my travels in my gap year. These were the university student’s staple food at the end of the semester when funds were low and studying for exams meant that there was no time for cooking. ‘Rolex’ do not refer to the watches that we see advertised in glossy magazines, but to chapattis that are cooked and ‘rolled in eggs’ (‘roll-eggs’). The eggs are usually cooked with some thinly sliced tomatoes, onions or cabbage into a thin omelette then a panfried chapatti is laid onto and the two cooked together and rolled up to eat. I’ve made these at home on occasion using ready to eat wheat tortilla wraps and they have turned out pretty good!

Ugandan Rolex Stand

Ugandan Rolex Stand. Image from http://www.monitor.co.ug

I had the Turkish version of this street food snack at a food market earlier this year and watched in amazement as the stall holder deftly rolled out the dough into the thinnest, most delicate, strudel like layer. They were called Gozleme and the resulting flat bread was flaky and not too oily. Rather than adding oil to the pan as with paratha and bolani, she pan fried them in a dry pan then brushed oil onto each side of the bread as she flipped it over.

Learning from all these different ways of cooking stuffed flat breads from all over the world, I have settled on my own preferred recipe for making these delicious potato stuffed flat breads. I like to mix both white flour and wholemeal for the flavour. I also like to add oil to the dough recipe as I find it results in a much flakier bread and you can use less oil in the pan frying to get a lighter finish. This is the ‘recipe’ I used today (with rough estimates of amounts as I didn’t measure anything out!):

Ingredients for the dough

  • Plain white flour (100g)
  • Wholemeal flour (100g)
  • Olive Oil (2 tbs)
  • Salt (0.5 tsp)

Method

  • Mix all ingredients together with enough water to bring it all together into a dough
  • Knead for 5 minutes then leave to rest in a bowl until ready to use

 

Ingredients for potato stuffing

  • White potatoes (200g)
  • Scallions/Spring onions (4 chopped finely)
  • Oil (1 tbs)
  • Various spices (I used cumin seeds, ground coriander, garlic powder, cayenne pepper)
  • Salt (to taste)

Method

  • Microwave peeled potatoes (chopped into quarters) until softened and cooked through then allow to cool
  • Cook out the spices in oil then add spring onions to cook a little then add salt
  • Add the potatoes to the pan then use a masher to crush the potatoes into the spice mixture until all big lumps of potato have gone and all flavours are evenly mixed up
  • Allow to cool

To make the bolani

  • Roll out a small golf ball sized amount of dough into a roundish shape so it is quite thin
  • Put a couple of tablespoons of the potato stuffing onto one half of the chapatti and then fold the other half on top
  • Using the rolling pin, roll over the stuffed chapatti so that the dough sticks together and the bread is of even thickness for even cooking
  • I used a large round bowl to cut the breads into a round shape as I have yet to master the art of rolling out a perfectly round chapatti!
  • Get a heavy bottom sauce pan or chapatti griddle pan (if you are lucky enough to have one!) brush the pan with a little oil then add a couple of the bolani to the pan to fry slowly over a medium heat
  • Brush the top of the bread with a little more oil and then flip over
  • I repeat this process a couple of times to let them cook slowly and develop a flaky crisp crust
  • Make the rest of the bolani as the ones in the pan are cooking, keeping cooked ones warm by covering in a clean tea towel
  • Enjoy with some dips, we had a chilli yoghurt sauce this today. Yum!

 

The great thing about stuffed flat breads is that they can be stuffed with anything! They make the ideal street food snack and a great way to use up left overs at home.  When watching other people make these, they always seem so quick to make, but it always takes me a couple of hours to make everything from scratch so using ready made chapatti or tortilla wraps is a great short cut when you are short on time!

 

 

Profiteroles: Ferrero Rocher inspired

Chocolate and Hazelnut Profiteroles

Chocolate and Hazelnut Profiteroles

This is round two of the profiteroles adventure after the success of yesterday’s mid week dessert of profiteroles I wanted to try a new flavour.

Rooting around the cupboards I found a jar of Nutella and thought about my favourite chocolates- Ferrero Rocher!

Just by combining a couple of table spoons of the naughty hazelnut chocolate spread with the whipped cream and toasting a handful of hazelnuts, the standard profiterole was transformed into a double chocolate heavenly dessert…

Chocolate and Hazelnut Profiteroles

Chocolate and Hazelnut Profiteroles

Profiteroles with Pistachio Sprinkles: mid week treat after a difficult day…

 

Profiteroles with Pistachio Sprinkles

Profiteroles with Pistachio Sprinkles

Today was a difficult day at work. Meetings back to back and all were pretty hard going! The thing I enjoy about my job is the variety that the day can bring. However it can sometimes be a little difficult to switch off and go home…

By the time I left the office at 7pm the only thought getting me through the traffic jam was the thought of the big pile of profiteroles that I could treat myself too. I think they refer to people like me as ’emotional eaters’! 🙂

Luckily I had these choux balls in the freezer from the Black Sesame Mousse Cake and the chocolate ganache left over from the Ultimate Chocolate Cake made a few days ago. The pistachios were toasted and crushed for a previous cake too! The only addition was some fresh whipped double cream with a touch of icing sugar to sweeten it up.

 

Profiteroles with Pistachio Sprinkles

Profiteroles with Pistachio Sprinkles

I reheated the choux pastry straight from frozen in the oven for five minutes then left out to cool on a rack. With the oven turned off I put the bowl of ganache in the cooling oven melt down into a sauce. Whipped cream was then piped into the balls of crisp pastry before drizzling with the ganache then sprinkled with nuts. All in all this took 10 minutes to put together and 3 minutes to eat!

And if this wasn’t the perfect end to a challenging day, there is still enough of all the ingredients to have another round of profiteroles tomorrow night! 🙂

Not bad for using up left overs…

Dragon’s Loyalty Award!

dragons-loyalty-award

Dragons Loyalty Award
Nominated by Mrs Choux in December 2013

Hey, check this out! My first blogging award thanks to Mrs Choux who I have recently started following on Word Press. Please check out her blog and you’ll see why I like to read her posts. We have a lot of interests in common and it also sounds like we have a similar outlook on the world of baking and cookery!

What is the Dragon’s Loyalty Award?
Since I am knew to the blogging world, I wasn’t too sure so had to do a little reading up! So it’s an award for someone who is a loyal follower or commenter. The nominee can be another blogger who is following you or someone who comments regularly.

7 Random Facts About Me!

As part of this award, I am asked to share a little more of myself apart from my obsession with cooking and baking. So here goes:

  1. I once named my three pet goldfish after my two favourite foods, Pizza and Toast, I was 14 years old and still had only food on the brain!
  2. I went on the flush ‘Pizza’ down the loo when I was moving house (again!) during University years and couldn’t be bothered to take him with me. (Sorry!)
  3. I work at the British Red Cross supporting people seeking asylum and refugees to resettle into the UK, and have worked in this field for over 8 years.
  4. I don’t eat red meat, this includes: beef, pork, and lamb. However I DO eat offal such as tripe- go figure!
  5. I rarely exercise and constantly feel bad about it…
  6. I tend to fall asleep watching movies at home (short attention span!)
  7. I’m allergic to alcohol!

Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the same award

I’d like to nominate:

  1. AnithaNayak 
  2. Foodbod 
  3. RaisingDragonBoy
  4. Lizzysim
  5. HomemadeInHK
  6. SimplyVegetarian777
  7. CheeriosMilkAndSpoon
  8. Mama’s Gotta Bake

Yes, as you can see that’s not actually 15 bloggers! As I am still fairly new to blogging I have to admit that I’ve not got a massive loyal following yet! 🙂

However these fellow bloggers have taken the time to comment on my posts and have shown me great encouragement in my blogging adventure so I feel the need to recognise this and nominate them for this Dragon’s Loyalty Award! Looking at my stats, I’ve had just over 500 views of my blog so I’m tremendously pleased with how its going so far, considering that I can’t spend as much time as I’d like on updating posts.

Thank you all so much for your support and interest in reading my blog! Onwards and upwards! 🙂