Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

We celebrated my Dad's 46th birthday last weekend, happy birthday Dad! My Dad doesn't really like cake - what is it with the men in my life?! - so I set to work on something I knew he would prefer, a peanut butter cookie. I added the dark chocolate because it's a favourite and a lovely combination but these work just as well plain if that's your preference. These are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free and no-one could tell which means they are almost good for you and tasty as well!

Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe very adapted from Nigella)

Ingredients: (makes approx 18 cookies)

100g of Gluten Free Plain Flour. I use a blend by Doves Organics.
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
60g unrefined Light Brown Sugar
40g unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
50g Dairy Free Butter
1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
200g Crunchy Peanut Butter. I used Meridian no added salt and sugar.
100g Dark Vegan Chocolate (optional)
Some crushed peanuts to decorate.

1. In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg, vanilla, honey and peanut butter. Stir well until combined.

2. Add the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum and mix well. The mixture is quite thick and you should be able to shape the dough with your hands.

3. Line a baking tray with parchment and measure out your dough. The cookies don't spread out when you bake them so if you want a flatter cookie make sure you press them down. Bake in the oven at 170c for 8-10 minutes.

To decorate, put the chocolate in a mug and melt in the microwave. Using a spoon pour the chocolate over the cookies and add some chopped nuts. Allow to cool, or if you are my Mum, grab one and eat it right away.

If you make these (or any of my recipes) I would love to see, tag them #thecakecult on Instagram so I don't miss it. Enjoy!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

5 Happy Things

As I am typing this I am sat in my parent's living room, having been visiting them for my Dad's birthday. Happy birthday Dad! This week has been great, I have been spending time with a lovely form of year 7's, helping them to get settled in and getting to know them and their needs. My form have been placed in Spanish as their language and I have to admit that I'm pretty taken with the subject and kind of want to learn myself now. Mid week I met with my lovely friend James for a catch up and look around Ikea, he didn't actually know we were moving so it was great to share the news and looks at furniture together. At the end of the week Byron and I travelled to see my parents and I was in the grip of a pretty awful cold. I have been dosed up on flu tablets all weekend, oh the first week of September, how I hate thee! (all those children germs get me every year).

5 things that have made me happy this week:

1. I had a lovely week getting to know my group of year 7's. They are all very enthusiastic and adorable.
2. I got back into my baking groove with some peanut butter cookies. My Dad's birthday was yesterday and it was nice to visit home and bake for him (he is not a cake person, can you imagine?!)
3. Met up for a much needed catch up with my dear friend James, at Ikea no less.
4. We are much closer to a moving date! Just waiting for the gas check to be done now.
5. Stationary! Anyone else who works in a school knows how hard this is to come by. My boss gave me a pack of things she had put together including highlighters!

5 things I have loved on the web this week:

Candy invited us behind the scenes of Owl Girl, I always find posts about how other people organise their blogging life really interesting ♥ Toni wrote about her love of Instagram, which is a sentiment that I share and her feed is gorgeous! ♥ Holly wrote about 12 things she has learnt in 12 months of blogging ♥ My darling lemon thyme's strawberry and thyme cake looks delicious! ♥ Bee shared a thoughtful post on how to reduce illness related anxiety. I have never really spoke about my illness here on the blog as I am now in recovery but I found these tips to be really helpful, especially as I didn't anticipate illness to have such a psychological and emotional impact on me. 

How was your week?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Let's Go To Bed

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

If you clicked on this post hoping the title was a proposition then I'm afraid you are out of luck, this post is of course about bedrooms! Byron and I have finally gotten our references cleared on our new home and are now just waiting for the inventory and gas check to be done before we can move in. This means that the move is imminent - hopefully next week! - and I can start thinking about the most important room in the house, our bedroom. As we are renting, there are certain things that can't be changed so the inspiration pictures are more helpful in terms of furniture and bedding colour schemes. 

Let me set the scene of what I'm working with: 

- The room is a double room and it's quite large so we should be able to fit a bed, set of drawers (already owned), a wardrobe and a double desk in there. 

- The walls are a light pink, dusty not baby, and one wall is a "feature" wall which is a wallpaper with large pink and grey flowers on. Not really ideal as I am a "paint everything white" kind of girl.

We already have a set of tall drawers from Ikea in white which I love and I was planning on getting the matching bed and wardrobe. Currently our bedding is white which did look pretty but in the last year has started to look a bit worse for wear, probably not helped by the fact that I knocked over my nail polish on it, oops! I was thinking of going for different shades of grey rather than a matching set. I can't wait to get started!

Do you have any home inspiration to share?

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

5 Happy Things

This week has been a pretty exhausting one, hence my lack of a Friday post. All week we were house hunting again and it's surprising how tiring that is not to mention emotionally draining. I went back to work on Friday and it was so nice to catch up with everyone and get our timetables for the following week. I'll be hanging out with a cute Year 7 form all week, helping them settle in and supporting them in class, I'm quite excited about it as I love the start of a new school year. I will also have a new routine and will be trying to fit blogging into that so hang in there while I try and get my bearings after almost 8 weeks of having lots of free time.

5 things that have made me happy this week:

1. We found another house and it's lovely! Not as nice an area as the other but the house itself is definitely nicer and newer. We have put down our deposit and are now waiting for our references to go through.
2. We made the most of our last Chiquito's voucher and I tried something new this time. I didn't think anything could beat their chicken and chorizo salad but apparently I was wrong. The Mexican spiced sea bass is my new favourite.
3. I went back to school! I know this one might seem strange but I've really missed the routine.
4. Organic Peanut Butter was on sale at Asda and this made me all sorts of happy. 
5. Crisper weather has crept in this week and I've been enjoying wearing my ankle boots again. Time to put the flip flops away I think.

5 things I have loved on the web this week:

Little Den wrote a thought provoking post on Loneliness which as someone who struggles with their own company I can relate to ♥ Sophia gave some wonderful tips on treating your body right, I do need to be reminded of this sometimes ♥ On the same vein Free People suggest 6 gifts to give to your body ♥ Jenny made an amazing Lemon Meringue Baked Alaska which I want in my face, I am really enjoying her GBBO series, have you checked it out yet? ♥ Bee featured 10 songs you need to listen to by my favourite band, The Cure. All of which I completely agree with, although my favourite song has to be Halo.

How was your week?

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

August Recap and Photo A Day

August has been an up and down month. Byron has settled into his job and I am aware that I am going back to work at the end of this week, this has me reflecting on my holiday as a whole. Whilst I don't always think I have made the most of my Summer break I do feel like I have made a lot of headway in starting to feel comfortable being alone and that is a pretty big deal for me. I think it's important to enjoy your own company and it's been quite a long process. I still have some work on do on that.

Unfortunately the mystery news I spoke about in my last 5 Happy Things post fell through but I will give you the scoop anyway. Byron and I are trying to move. Since Byron was made redundant we have been living with his family and well, it's a bit cramped (and a bit stressful!). We found a little house - which hadn't been looked after by it's last tenants - in the perfect location, we signed all the forms and were ready to move this Saturday. Unfortunately the landlord has since decided that he would prefer to sell rather than rent which has us on the lookout again. I was quite upset about it on Monday but now feel like perhaps it wasn't the right place after all and we were swept away by the perfect location. We have 3 more properties to see on Thursday so hopefully we will find the one. 

I also completed another Photo A Day challenge. The first picture is from Day 1: Landscape.

 Photo A Day August 2014:

1. Landscape / 2. Lunch / 3. "S" is for / 4. In the middle / 5. Pile / 6. Grateful for / 7. Spot / 8. Pet peeve / 9. Mix / 10. Art / 11. Mirror / 12. Gather / 13. Inside / 14. Give / 15. Clouds / 16. Clean/ 17. Dinner / 18. Arrow / 19. To-do / 20. Before bedtime / 21. Decorate / 22. Words/ 23. Style / 24. Fragrant / 25. Mail / 26. Breakfast / 27. Dull / 28. Travel / 29. Dessert / 30. Nearby / 31. 10am

How was your August?