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Sunday, 19 October 2014

making memories...

19th October 2014
We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.

Days spent with friends make great memories and I had one of those yesterday, a day of total none Weight Watcher indulgence, cinema, popcorn, Indian, concert and of course giggles!  Bob Geldolf might be in his 60s but he was prancing about the stage like a 30 something, I was envying him his energy I have to admit.  Gone Girl is a good movie too, having read the book I knew what to expect and it didn’t let me down, if you haven’t read the book, go watch, definitely a rainy day alternative.

Now I’m a people watcher at the best of times and I found myself looking round the crowd when The Boomtown Rats were singing a song I didn’t know or when I couldn’t see anything because I’m a bit short and the tall folk stand in front of me; fascinating us humans are.  But the one thing that was doing my head in was mobile phones!  Now anyone who knows me knows I love my phone, it’s my lifeline, I use it constantly, I keep in touch with people using it, I interact with others on Facebook using it, I check my emails, I use it to google stuff, I play candy crush, I shazam music, I read books, I take photos and record important moments in my life, so why were other peoples phones annoying me?  Because once the show started my phone went in my pocket so I could watch and enjoy the show and the atmosphere, there were quite a few individuals who appeared to be ‘recording’ large chunks of the show on their phones, watching and recording it through a lense to watch later, rather than enjoying and experiencing it in that moment.  Each to their own I guess but I’ve got to say it’s bad enough not being able to see the stage because of the back of someone’s head but to not be able to see it because of the screen of someone’s mobile phone is just annoying!  Observation (okay moan) over!

Oh it looks like it’s going to be a lovely day out there today, shame I’m planning a ‘sod all’ day, yep today I shall mostly be spending some valuable, quality time in front of the tv with my BeYOUtiful mother, I left her alone all day yesterday so today we’ll have some us time. 

I will spend some time in the kitchen, I’m toying with a slow cooker chicken with butternut squash and onions underneath, maybe potatoes too, if I go with that idea though I’ll have to get started soon, so it may end up in the oven, or that might be tomorrow’s idea and we have something else today – we’ll see!

I have no rush in me today, I love days like this, I really do.  I’m sat here thinking about how my life has changed, even in the last five years, five years ago yesterday I had an amazing day in London with some of my best mates, we had a really expensive, fun packed, bucket list ticking kind of day and it was incredible, so much has changed since then but none of it I regret.  I’ve created the life I want and I’m happy in it, my tastes are simple, my pleasures are too and me and my besties giggle a lot.  I’m truly blessed to know some amazing people and I wouldn’t change a thing, maybe one, I’d stop the universe stealing my mom’s memory but that’s just the cycle of life, it’s already started stealing mine! 

Oh I almost forget to mention I have a recipe and I’m going to use it – I may live to regret it but…. See I like chocolate brownies and don’t make them very often because they are so high in ProPoints, well I don’t know where it came from but the other day I thought ooo I wonder if you can make white chocolate brownies, see white chocolate is my thing, and low and behold you can and I’ve bought the ingredients!  They’re going to have to be made but I promise they will be shared!  Honest.  Recipes below.

I’m off, need another cuppa and I think my mom’s hinting too.  Have a great day BeYOUtiful.

this is the brownie recipe I use;

Bloomin' brilliant brownies (144pp) Serves 20, 7pp each!   Approx time: 40min  

250 g unsalted butter (53pp)
200 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up (29pp)
80 g cocoa powder, sifted (7pp)
65 g plain flour, sifted (6pp)
1 teaspoon baking powder
360 g caster sugar (39pp)
4 large free-range eggs (10pp)

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 25cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the cherries and nuts, if you're using them, and stir together.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate, cherry and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.

Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don't want to overcook them so, unlike cakes; you don't want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.

Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares.

Divine White Chocolate Brownies
Total recipe 114pp,

125g (4oz) Divine White Chocolate (19pp)
100g (3oz) butter (21pp)
3 large eggs (8pp)
150g (5oz) castor sugar (16pp)
100g (3oz) chopped skinned hazelnuts or macadamia nuts (21pp)
100g (3oz) Divine White Chocolate chopped (15pp)
5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
125oz 4oz) plain flour (12pp)
Icing sugar to dust (1pp)

Preparation & Quantity
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas mark 4/Fan 160°C. 
Grease and line a 23cm (9in) shallow square tin with greaseproof paper.
Makes about 40 pieces – 3pp each (or 6pp if you make 20 pieces like the above recipe)

1.    Gently heat some water in a saucepan, place a bowl over with the chocolate and butter – make sure the water does not touch the bowl. Melt the butter over a very gentle heat – don’t rush the process, just let it melt slowly and very very gently. 
2.    Place the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl, whisk until well blended. Remove the bowl of chocolate and place the bowl with the egg mixture over the pan of water.
3.    Whisk for several minutes until thick and pale. Remove the bowl from the heat, whisk until cool.
4.    Using a spatula fold the melted butter and chocolate into the egg mixture with the chopped chocolate and nuts until evenly blended.
5.    Sift in the flour and fold in carefully until well blended. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in centre of the oven for 40minutes until just firm to touch.
6.    Cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and cut into small squares. 
7.    Wrap in cling film and keep for a day to improve the texture.

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