Friday, 28 August 2009

Monkeys favourite recipe.

Well now firstly, sorry I have been away for a while, busy, busy, excuse I know so once again, I'm sorry.

Anyway to make it up to you I thought I would share my most favourite recipe ever - not bananas - although you understand I DO love bananas :O)

Here it is: It's an Angela Nilsen recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine and it really is the best ever Chocolate Brownie in the world as voted for by the Monkey Troop. Did you know that a group of Monkeys is also known as a cartload?

The bonus is it's lower in calories than 'normal' brownies recipes sooooo......that means you can pile on the double cream or ice cream - yummy.


85g dark chocolate , 70% cocoa solids, chopped into small pieces (I used Green & Blacks)
85g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
½ tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 egg
100g mayonnaise (I used Hellman's)

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour enough water into a small pan to one-third fill it. Bring to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Put the chopped chocolate into a large bowl that will fit snugly over the pan without touching the water. Sit the pan over the water (still off the heat) and leave the chocolate to melt slowly for a few mins, stirring occasionally until it has melted evenly. Remove the bowl from the pan, then let the chocolate cool slightly.

Meanwhile, lightly oil and base-line a 19cm square cake tin that is 5cm deep. Combine the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda. Using a wooden spoon, stir both the sugars into the cooled chocolate with the coffee, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in 1 tbsp warm water. Break and beat in the egg, then stir in the mayonnaise just until smooth and glossy. Sift over the flour and cocoa mix, then gently fold in with a spatula without overmixing.

Pour the mixture into the tin, then gently and evenly spread it into the corners. Bake for 30 mins. When a skewer is inserted into the middle, it should come out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If cooked too long, the mix will dry out; not long enough and it can sink. Leave in the tin until completely cold, then loosen the sides with a round-bladed knife. Turn out onto a board, peel off the lining paper and cut into 12 squares.

Nutrition per serving: 191 kcalories, protein 2g, carbohydrate 23g, fat 11 g, saturated fat 3g, fibre 1g, salt 0.28 g

PLEASE NOTE - the nutrition detailed above is not for a Monkey sized portion - that would be far higher in 'nutrition'

Now off you go and make some - you won't regret it. :O) :O) :O)

Have a great bank holiday weekend.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Buffed hammered sterling silver ring

Here is a ring that I started making late yesterday and finished off this evening. Its a wide sterling silver band with a hammered texture to the outside and a secret message hand stamped on the inside.

I made one similar to this but with a plain band for my son when he was having a bit of a tough time with exams and other things - he loves it and wears it all the time.

I just wanted him to know that no matter what he is loved ALWAYS.

There are more photos on my flickr if you want to have a peep just click on the flicker box on the right hand side ----->

Buffed sterling silver I AM LOVED ring

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Oh alright then!

Blimey! I just have to introduce you to my two sheep Hope and Charity. They are Coloured Ryelands and are a rare breed. White Ryelands are rare but Coloured ones even more so.

These two have been nagging the life out of me to get their mugs on here :O)

Originally we had three ewes Faith, Hope and Charity, unfortunately Faith died last year and I cried for about a week :O ( We went all the way to Anglesey from Derbyshire to fetch them, and we had been on a waiting list for ages waiting for some to become available. We have bred a few lambs but none this year (Faith died after having twins and I just couldn't face it) The twins did really well we bottle fed them, they survived and now live with my neighbour they are called Fifi and Frank.

I thought I would also put up a picture of them in their winter woolies so you can see how cute they are with their chocolate brown coats on. I just love the white around their muzzles, it looks like they have porridge for breakfast LOL.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Second lampwork ring

Second ring, originally uploaded by GoodMonkey.

Sorry I've not blogged for a few days, have been really busy and also I have got a bit of a summer sniffle. So I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself ;O) Yeah, yeah Monkey - enough of the whinging - get on with what you've popped in to say.

Any how I wanted to share this with you. It's the second ring I have made. I quite like the colours in this one but I prefer the other one with the silver disc rather than just the rivet on the top; Then again I like the hammered finish on the shank of this one. I have also made some beads but not having much luck getting decent photos to show you.

I have also got another ring half made, it's in the pickle at the moment but I will show it when I've finished. It's different in style to this, I might get to have another go at it tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Sterling Silver and Lampwork Bead

Silver ring, originally uploaded by GoodMonkey.

I thought I would share with you what I did this afternoon. I made this. The metalwork is sterling silver and the bead is Italian glass lampworked by me. This is the first ring I have made like this and I am really chuffed with it - mainly because I didn't smash the bead when I was hammering the silver. YAY :O)

I had a lovely morning

I had a lovely morning, looking after the animals and then my Mum and Dad came to visit. They bought some guests with them Tom and Bob who are old army buddies of my Dad (back in the days of National Service) and Toms wife Betty. Mum did a brilliant job of tracking them all down last year and she got them together after about 50 years of not seeing each other.

I'm so pleased they have all found each other again; but in a way I'm sad that they have missed out on 50 years of great times together. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to do armed service and rely on each other to watch your back and protect your life - literally. This sort of friendship is extra special and I have to say that every one of Dads friends are absolutely lovely, lovely people - I'm proud to have met them and I'm so very, very grateful for what they and others have done and still do for all of us.
They are off to a reunion/get together for a few days and I hope they have a wonderful time.
I am so proud of my Dad :O)