Five on Friday

Rush, rush, rush – that is how I would sum up this week. In between working, trying to sort out childcare, cooking, cleaning and making at least a half-hearted attempt at spending some quality time together, it’s been a struggle keeping up with the blog. Most of my time seems to have been spent refereeing various arguments that have erupted between the children. Half term + rain is definitely not a good combination, resulting in bored kids mooching around the house moaning that there is nothing to do whenever you switch the Xbox/iPads off. Throw in a few late nights – the boys are addicted to Britain’s Got Talent at the moment and have been staying up later than usual to watch the semi finals every night this week – and it’s hardly surprising that tempers have been fraying left right and centre the past few days. But we have had some good times too, catching up with friends, watching movies and playing board games at home. Yesterday and today I had to work so the boys went to football camp while my parents looked after Clemmie. It certainly did the trick as far as bedtime was concerned – Casper was so tired he asked to go to bed at 6.30pm yesterday!

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{We went on our annual family trip to Ikea last weekend. It was relatively painless as we got there half an hour after the store opened so managed to beat most of the crowds. As you may recall it is not everyone’s favourite destination…}

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{It seems ages ago now but last Monday was a Bank Holiday here in the UK. It was grey and drizzly so we went to nearby Hampton Court Palace where the kids took part in a digital fact finding mission around the palace. The boys were really happy as they got to use an iPad but hopefully they learned a few things!}

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{The burger chain Five Guys opened a restaurant near us a few months ago and the boys have been desperate to go so this week we finally relented. It was more expensive than McDonalds but the food was miles better. Clean plates all around}

Granola

{I made another batch of my vanilla granola this week. Really enjoying it with fresh berries and Greek yoghurt at the moment.}

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{I also bought a couple of books, both on recommendations from other bloggers. I was going to save them for the summer holidays but I don’t know if I can wait that long.}

Happy Friday to you all! What are you up to this weekend? We have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night so I have an apple pie baking in the oven, which we will have for pudding. Apart from that, we are just hoping for some sunny weather so we can get outside in the garden.  X

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Recipe: Vanilla Granola

Vanilla Granola

There is not much that beats a tasty bowl of granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit to set the day off to a good start in my book. The best granola I have ever eaten was a vanilla one created by the aptly named Hotel Vanilla in Gothenburg where we stayed for two nights a couple of years ago. I brought a bag of their granola home with me, but it ran out many moons ago, so I was thrilled to find a recipe for a very similar sounding vanilla granola on a Swedish baking blog. I have made a couple of minor adjustments by adding cinnamon and almonds, and the result is, in my opinion, nothing short of divine. When breakfast tastes this good it is definitely the best meal of the day!

280 g rolled oats
50 g mixed nuts and almonds
a good pinch of salt flakes

2 tsp cinnamon

100 ml water
80g sugar
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp vanilla essence

In a bowl mix together the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt flakes. Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the oil and vanilla, then pour the liquid over the oat mixture and stir it all together. Spread the granola out on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake in the middle of the oven at 100C for approx 2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally, every 20-30 minutes. Let the granola cool completely before transferring to an airtight jar.

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