Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There's great drying out

Finally, the sun has returned to Ireland. For months we had terrible weather but now it looks like Spring has finally sprung. It's wonderful and I'm in a better mood for it. Not that I was in a bad mood but a bit of sunshine always makes me feel good and I can put my washing outside on the line again.

I do love Winter though. The long nights, warm soups and, of course, Christmas. January, I can survive if it is cold and dull but it was starting to drag a bit.

Now is the time for planting seeds, time to have a clear out and time to move house. Yes, I am moving house. I had been thinking of it for a long while. I love my current house but the rent is steep. I never have any spare money. But that's all going to change in three weeks. I can't wait. My current house no longer feels like 'home'.

I moved in here just over three years ago when Beth was only four months old. She crawled, walked and said her first words in this house. I've loads of great memories from all the firsts, christening celebrations, birthday parties and this is where I finally settled down to do what I've always dreamed of doing, writing.

However, I'm not sad to leave. It just feels like a new beginning. Beth spent her baby/toddler years here but now she is a little girl and has different needs. I want to live somewhere that has more of a community to it. Where I am now, there are no front gardens, I barely know my neighbours and as Beth gets older there is no way I'd let her leave the house even if her friend just lived a few doors down. The cars race up and down this narrow road. Our new street has ramps to slow down cars, we have a front garden/driveway, people say 'hello' to each other when they pass you by! It is only a ten minute walk from where I currently live but feels so different.
The park near our new house.

In other news, I passed my driving theory test last week. Also, I didn't make it through the pitch round in the ABNA. No great loss. I'm still working on the new book. I hope to be finished mid-March. It's going well. A much bigger project than Bleeker Avenue.

Has Spring arrived in your part of the world?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yummy Cookies

Thought it was time for another recipe. This one is really easy and wow, they are yummy!
The Great Helper

6 oz melted and cooled butter

6oz dark brown sugar
4oz sugar
Pinch salt
5ml vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1.5tsp baking soda
14 oz plain flour
Chocolate chips (I just used a 100g bag)
Bag of M&Ms

Pre-heat oven 180C/Gas mark 4
1. Mix butter, sugars and salt until smooth
2. Add vanilla and eggs and mix very well
3. Add baking soda and flour to the bowl. Mix until just combined
4. Add chocolate chips and stir until well mixed through
5. Roll into small balls, place on a well greased baking tray and put M&M's on top
6. Bake for 12 minutes. Watch for the sides starting to brown and take out. The centers will still look puffy and pale but that's how they're supposed to look. Place on wire rack to cool.
The Finished Product
Enjoy :-)