Well, I'd like to start by wishing everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day. This is big of me, I think, as I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. This is because I am single, you see. I feel like the whole day is designed to torture us singletons who have to journey home on the tube sandwiched between lucky ladies smugly holding their oversized bouquets of flowers. Not that I'm bitter, you understand (!!) Of course, on the occasions that I have been in a relationship on the 14th February, I have thought totally differently and throughly enjoyed the journey home with my bunch of flowers (although I still maintain that spontaneous romance is much more... romantic). To show you that I don't really bear a grudge, I've even made a heart-shaped chocolate mousse to mark the occasion. I'll be posting about the chocolate mousse at a later date so watch this space.
So far Valentine's Day has gone according to the usual plan - the post has arrived and I have received my usual three cards. One from my Mother who has cunningly tried to disguise her hand writing. The Isle of Wight postmark slightly gives it away though. The next is from a dear friend whose name I won't mention, but whose dog has featured on the pages of this blog. Again there is the cunningly disguised writing (that is all too easy to spot) and the card is homemade. It is so sweet and lovely and homemade that it could only be from her. Finally, another elaborate disguise with swirly writing from another friend that could have been a mystery had she not posted the card at the same moment as a thank you letter - same post mark, same time. Still, I feel touched and lucky to have such sweet and caring friends and family. You know who you are and I thank you! Who need men, huh?! I have no doubt that my own elaborate attempts and handwriting disguising will also have failed miserably!
Anyway, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I wanted to tell you how thrilled I was to be awarded the 'Nice Matters' blog award by one of my very favourite bloggers - Rosie from 'Rosie bakes a 'peace' of cake'. Rosie spends her days baking the most mouthwatering creations - if you haven't visited her blog yet, you are definately missing out. You really are in for a freshly-baked treat. Thank you Rosie for this award - I feel very honoured to receive it.
Wendy of A Wee Bit of Cooking. Her posts always make me laugh and she cooks food that I really want to eat. She also has a very gorgeous-looking dog featured in her latest post which is almost as droolworthy as her food.
Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie because she has set up and maintains a great food forum on her blog and also the UK Food Bloggers Association . Two great initiatives uniting the UK food blogging community.
David Hall from Book the Cook. I'm guessing that the floral logo may not quite be his thing, but I am full of admiration of his dedication to British produce and teaching children about eating well.
Fred and Ginger of Dinner Diary. Great pictures and delicious-looking food that I actually want to cook.
To thank Rosie for bestowing this award, I thought I should bake something to 'share' with her. I chose some simple plain biscuits that can be whizzed up at a moment's notice with ingredients you probably already have in the cupboard. You can either eat them warm, straight from the oven when they are soft a slighly squidgy, or keep them in an airtight container for a few days. They will harden up but are just perfect for dunking in a cup of tea for 'elevenses' because homemade cookies are better every time.
Makes approx 24
Basic dough mixture...
4oz caster sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
8oz self-raising flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
chopped up dark, milk or white chocolate
raisins or sultanas
Anything else you can think of, really...!
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease a baking sheet. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour. Mix in the egg.
2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder and fold into the mixture (you can do all of this in a food processor).
3. Add vanilla essence and your chosen flavourings (I added chopped up chocolate to one half and raisins to the other half)
4. Take heaped teaspoons of mixture, roll into balls and flatten on baking sheet, leaving space for cookies to expand.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.