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Bella’s Banana Bread

Nearly every family I know has a problem with bananas. Well our children do. They go through phases of wanting them and then inevitably they don’t so you end up with a surplus.

Banana bread to the rescue! Now I’m not the world’s biggest fan of bananas, I don’t eat them in their raw form so we do end up with lots going brown, but I do love banana bread. Bella loves it too and her favourite recipe is one I’ve adapted to include her favourite thing, namely chocolate. This recipe includes both cocoa powder and chocolate chips and makes a lovely, moist banana bread that is perfect served with whipped cream.

Prep time: under 30 minutes

Cooking time: over an hour

Makes one loaf in a 20cm loaf tin.

Suitable for vegetarians. 10

Ingredients

  • 270 g/9.5 oz plain flour
  • 15 g/0.5 oz cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 110 g/4 oz butter, also a bit extra for greasing the tin
  • 225 g/ 8 oz caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 4-6 very ripe bananas (depending on size, I usually use 6 small ones), mashed
  • 85 ml/ 3 fl oz milk mixed with 1.5 tsps lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 80 g/3 oz dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to Fan 160C/180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, bananas, milk & lemon juice and vanilla to the butter and sugar and mix very well. The mixture will look very runny but this is normal.
  4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder & bicarb and fold into the wet mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin. I find putting a greaseproof paper rectangle in the bottom aids removal later.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and transfer to the oven. Bake for around 1 hour (depending on your oven strength). The bread should be well risen and a skewer should come out clean.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! I always have this with cream but it works very well with custard too

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Bella’s Bunting

Sorry for the absence but life with a new baby is seldom conducive to being able to write!

So bunting. I do love a bit of bunting and my all time favourite magazine Simply Crochet spoils me with gorgeous bunting in each issue. One of these beautiful patterns caught Bella’s eye and she asked me to make it for her bedroom. Who am I to refuse my little Squig (short for Squiglet, her nickname since birth). 20140223-083548.jpg

The pattern is worked in rounds starting with a magic circle/ring. Now I class myself as an advanced beginner in crochet terms and the magic circle/ring has always been difficult for me, I have watched countless tutorials on Y0utube, read how to do it in magazines but it never quite works out right so I sort of bodge it so it does the job! The one thing I found about this pattern (found in Issue 13) is that it works up very quickly due to the weight of the yarn and the hook size. The yarn is DROPS Paris and so soft, I had a few issues to start with as it’s the first time I’ve crocheted with a cotton blend and the tiny strands did get caught but I soon got used to it!

The design is simply gorgeous and would work for Christmas decorations with white, red or sparkly yarn. It works just as well with DK yarn and a 4mm hook; I’m thinking of getting some Wendy Supreme Sparkle DK in time for Christmas.

The main thing I adore about this bunting is the ombré effect of the colours, so pleasing and striking. Bella loves red and pink so this bunting was perfect for her room which is decorated in cream and red.

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For finishing I made two slight adjustments. One was to block and starch the bunting, for it to hang right around Bella’s mirror this was a must. The second was to join each star to the chain with a dc, this holds the stars in the right place so they don’t slip when hung.

I am hoping that as Rosie gets older I can finish projects quicker.

 

Yeah that’s not going to happen is it?

My Beauty

Bella has many different meanings across the Internet. Most agree that it means beautiful and when I see pictures like this of my Bella who am I to disagree?P1010374