Cup cakes and leek soup

Lovely afternoon yesterday with Ava.  We made jammy cupcakes and there's nothing like cooking with a three-year-old to get you up to speed.  The aim is to get to the end of the exercise before she loses interest - I often feel like that myself, but the beauty of being three is that you can actually abandon the task.
Slightly rustic, but still yummy!
So... it's plain sailing putting out the pretty cases, weighing out the ingredients, then mixing it all together in a bowl, but then we get to the sticky part - putting the mixture, with jam in the middle into the cases.  Messy job is this year's understatement and Ava doesn't like mess.  So we do our best with the first layer to cover the bottom of the case.  Then comes the jam... well more tricky to get the runny stuff to sit in the middle and not slide down the sides, so Gigi (as all three grandchildren call me) helps a little, then we get at least half way through putting the top layer on before Ava decides she's had enough and skips off to join Philip in some shredding.
First camellia of the year!
Just managed to get the cakes out of the oven in time to collect Izzi from school, which is always a delight as she enjoys it so much. She's always smiling when I pick her up and this time, despite the rain, she danced all the way to the car.  When we got back I noticed the first camellia of the year had opened in the front garden.  Just fabulous!  How can it look so exotic in cold, rainy January?!
Izzi, Ava think Philip's cushion hat is hilarious!
Had the house to myself for an hour after the girls had gone home while Philip was at his yoga class.  I decided to make a quick supper for when he got back, reasoning that I could then also fit in time for a relaxing soak. So leek, potato and rocket soup it was - with a chunk of wholemeal bread, slathered in butter it's unadulterated cold weather comfort food. Will post recipe soon when there's a little more time.  My brain had clocked off for the night when I took the photo, as I now realise it would have been much better on a different coloured plate, but never mind, you get the idea.
Leek, potato & rocket soup
When I say I was home alone, of course I meant except for the kitties.  You may or may not know that Maine Coons are famous for loving water, so unless I lock Django and Arlo up nothing is sacred, not even a bath. Last night I was joined by Arlo, who sat observing the proceedings at the end of the bath, occasionally amusing himself by fiddling with my toes in the water. However, being a cheeky 7-month-old, his curiosity always gets the better of him so I was treated to a rather exciting floor show, which involved him precariously walking along the edge of the bath several times in the candlelight.  So much for a relaxing bath!
Bathtime with Arlo
Tues 3 Jan  Wendy Knits Wendy Johnson  
 Wed 4 Jan  Knitgrrl Shannon Okey
Thurs 5 Jan  Yarnagogo Rachael Herron
 Fri 6 Jan  The Knitter Rosee Woodland
Sat 7 Jan  Rhythm of the Needles  Joanne Conklin
Sun 8 Jan  Knit Purl Gurl  Karrie Steinmetz
                Mon 9 Jan  Craft Sanity  Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood
Tues 10 Jan  Planet Purl Beth Moriarty
 Wed 11 Jan  Sunset Cat  Stephannie Tallent
Thurs 12 Jan  A Really Good Yarn  Julie Schilthuis
Fri 13 Jan  Knit 1 Chicago  Lynn Coe
Sat 14 Jan  Go Knit in your Hat Carol Sulcoski
Sun 15 Jan Redshirt Knitting  Erika Barcott
Mon 16 Jan   In The Loop  Cheryl & Ellen
Tues 17 Jan  WEBS  Kathy Elkins
Wed 18 Jan  Zeneedle Margene Smith
Thurs 19 Jan   Knitspot  Anne Hanson
Fri 20 Jan   Urban Yarns  Alexa Ludeman
Sat 21 Jan  A Friend to knit with  Leslie Friend
Mon 23 Jan  Tentenknits  Margaux Hufnagel
Tues 24 Jan  Fancy Tiger Crafts  Amber Corcoran
Wed 25 Jan  Chic Knits  Bonne Marie Burns
Thurs 26 Jan  The Panopticon  Franklin Habit


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