Baking is my new Sunday thing. It’s a new found love of mine and let’s be honest, what better way to start the week ahead than with a fresh homemade bake?

One of the latest recipes I’ve been playing with is lemon drizzle cake. If I’m honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of lemon drizzle cake because the sponge is very moist (I seriously cringe when I hate that word but could not think of another!) and can sometimes be a bit sickly. Therefore, I set myself the task of creating a lemon drizzle cake that is not as moist (eurgh!)

This recipe is not only easy but it’s also pretty foolproof too. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

Recipe:

For the cake:

  • 225g unsalted butter (reduced fat spread also works if you’re trying to cut back)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 lemon’s zest, finely grated
  • 4 eggs

For the topping:

  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 lemon’s juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the four eggs, one at a time, and mix into the butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Gradually add the flour and lemon zest and stir continually whilst doing so.
  5. Once the ingredients are fully mixed, spoon the mixture into the loaf tin. Lightly bang against a work surface to ensure the mixture is spread out evenly within the tin.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes. Poke the cake with a skewer/knife and if it comes out completely clean, your cake is cooked. If not, pop it in for another five minutes or so and test again.
  7. Whilst the cake is cooling prick holes throughout the cake, mix the topping ingredients and then drizzle over the top of the cake.
  8. Leave the drizzle to crisp and the cake to completely cool before serving and enjoying!

 

Lemon Drizzle 1 Lemon Drizzle

At the start of October, I set myself some goals. Number one on this list of goals is to take part, and complete, Blogtober. I’ve failed.

It was all going swimmingly until this week. I’m on annual leave this week and I’ve tried to fit in as much as I can on my week off which means I’ve not had much time to sit down and get my blog on (cringe). I was doing so well and had uploaded a post every day, I’d got them all scheduled and ready to go but this week, that hasn’t happened.

When I realised I hadn’t posted for two days and had failed the challenge I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and failure. However, I wasn’t feeling guilty because I thought my readers would care, or even notice, it was a guilt I was feeling on my blog. It was as if I’d let myself down and not stuck to the challenge and I’d also let my blog down. But, can you really let a website down?

This got me thinking, is blogger guilt a thing? Do we all put a little too much pressure on ourselves to consistently deliver when it comes to blogging. Is the world going to end if we don’t tweet five times a day, every day? Nope. Is it going to end if we have a week off from blogging? Nope. Is Instagram going to crash if we don’t post a story during the day? Nope. The worst that could happen from all of these scenarios is that we lose a few followers. But, stuff it, I’m losing and gaining them whether I post or not!

So where has this pressure come from? Is it a pressure on myself to always deliver and stick to my word? Probably. Is it a pressure to keep up with others in the community? Probably. Is it a completely unnecessary emotion? Probably.

So, instead of putting the pressure on myself, I’ve decided to call Blogtober a day. Don’t get me wrong, I still have lots of content that I want to share but I want to do it in my own time. Nobody wants to read a half-arsed attempt at a blog post and I don’t want to post a half-arsed attempt either. I want to produce content that I’m proud of and for me to rush this, with little inspiration or time, I’m not doing that.

Right, I’m off to enjoy the last few days of my week off without any kind of guilt!

I’m on annual leave this week which gives me some spare time to catch up on some of my favourite blogger posts. Therefore, I wanted to share with you some of my favourites of this month…

1 – I am loving Vix‘s posts at the moment and this one about blogging and what it can do to us is so damn true, take a read here.

2 – The arrival of Baby Spake had 99% of the blogger community eagerly waiting and to pass the time, Arran’s post about the reality of pregnancy had us all giggling (and preparing ourselves for the future!).

3 – You may have seen my recent post on what’s blogging me about the blogging community and this post from Lydia follows on from this with some more detail perfectly. So, if you liked that post you’ll love the one linked here.

4 – I personally know how hard it can be living with a chronic illness and it can be equally hard to talk about it. Zoe has very bravely spoken about her illness here and I hope that this encourages others to feel confident enough to open up too.

What posts have caught your attention this month? Share the link below!

This time of year all that I want is comfort food, and lots of it. Give me easy, warm dishes and I’m happy. A recipe that I’ve recently fallen in love with and have been making quite a lot is Sausage & Tomato Risotto.

I’ve never really enjoyed risotto. It’s probably because when eating out I struggle to find a Risotto without mushrooms and I’m not a fan of mushrooms. But, when I recently discovered this Sausage & Tomato Risotto in my Weight Watchers book I decided to give it a go. It’s a total game changer.

I’ve adapted the original recipe slightly so it’s not so Weight Watchers friendly but trust me, it tastes amazing. And, if you’re on Weight Watchers then it’s an amazing recipe for only 6 smart points when you stick to the original ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 2 with larger portions):

  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 125g risotto rice
  • 40ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock made with 1/2 cube
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 10 cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Chive seasoning

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c.
  2. Melt the low fat spread in a pan. Once melted, add the shallots in to the pan and fry gently for five minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the wine and sizzle for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Start adding the hot stock, bit by bit, and keep stirring until it’s fully absorbed by the rice and is creamy.
  6. In between stirring the rice, roll the sausage meat into small balls.
  7. Line a roasting tray with tin foil, put the sausage balls on the tray and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. After 15 minutes, turn the sausage balls and add the tomatoes to the tray. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Mix the tomatoes and sausage balls in with the rice and serve!

Risotto

As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa catching up on The Apprentice. It’s 3pm and I’ve only just got out of bed, had a bath and changed out of my pyjamas. There’s no denying that today, I have been well and truly lazy.

When we moved into our little house nearly six months ago, lazy Sundays were non-existent. Partly because we had so much to do on and around the house, but equally because I had such a strong feeling of guilt. Why should I be laying around whilst there’s washing up that needs to be done, a bathroom that needs to be cleaned and bed sheets that need to be changed?

It’s taken me a long time and a lot of work on myself to get to this stage where I no longer feel guilty. Right now, there’s a load of washing in the machine that needs to be put out, there’s a big pile of washing up and to be honest, the house could do with a bit of a tidy. But, today is about me. I went out last night, I am in chronic pain today and tonight is family time. All of the other things can wait.

If we don’t take the time for ourselves whether this is a lazy day, a pamper day or even a few hours spent exercising, we’re not truly looking after ourselves, are we?

Now, I’m off to go and make a cuppa and grab a slice of cake…happy Sunday!

What are your plans for today? How do you choose to spend your lazy days?

Lazy day