Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Baileys and White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe

I was going to email this one to Monix - but I dont want to be so selfish that I might deprive the rest of you in indulging in a bit of decadent pleasure. I made this for my friends last weekend as part of my birthday party, and I am sad/proud/disgusted in us all to say that the whole thing was polished off in one go (made up of a couple of helpings each - even serving it with ice cream, extra thick double cream and raspberries). What pigs we were !!!!!
Im giving you the recipe as I found it............


I made the base out of Oreos instead hehehe yum yum yum. Hope you try it and love it xx

3 ½ oz /100g Butter
8 ¾ oz / 250g Digestive biscuits, crushed (or Oreos if you're a complete porker like I am)

1 lb 5 oz / 600g full fat cream cheese
7 tablespoons Baileys liqueur (or do what I did and add more and hope to god the thing sets properly)

3 ½ oz sieved icing sugar
10 ½ oz / 300ml double cream, whipped

3 ½ oz /100g grated white chocolate (I admit this didnt look quite enough chocolate to me for a group of ladies on the wine, so I put more in)
7 in /18cm cake tin with removable base.

To garnish:
Cocoa powder lightly sieved
To serve with:
7 ¼ oz / 200ml double or single cream (choice is yours but I went with Sainsburys toffee and honeycomb ice cream and extra thick double cream and some fresh raspberries!)

1. Melt butter in microwave or on hob. Add crushed biscuits. Mix well until the biscuits have absorbed all the butter.

2. Line the cake tin evenly with biscuit mix and smooth with back of metal spoon Place in fridge until set. (You can speed this up by putting in freezer for about 30 mins.)
3. Prepare filling. Lightly whip cream cheese, beat in the Baileys and icing sugar. Fold in whipped cream and grated chocolate until smooth.

4. Take set biscuit base out of fridge and gently slide the biscuit base off the tin base onto a large serving plate. Place outside ring of cake tin over biscuit base.
5. Spoon filling evenly over the biscuit base.

6. Refrigerate and allow to set for around 2 hours .Once set carefully remove outside ring of cake tin. Dust with sieved cocoa powder. (I use a very fine mesh sieve which was a nylon tea strainer for dusting cakes)

7. Put finished cheesecake in front of friends and watch it vanish, as if by magic

Jaks x

Monday, 29 March 2010

Books I loved as a child

Going through the boxes that are STILL sitting in the little pink bedroom, I came across some old books that I had lovingly packed away when I moved house 11 years ago, and never unpacked again.

I thought that I would share some of them, as these were my favourite books when I was a little girl and would read them over and over, until someone managed to buy me a book that then took the "my favourite book" place, and was, in it's turn, read until it was dog eared and worn.

This one was a present from my Auntie Mo (Monix SHOULD remember this one as I think she had to read it to me every single night). I absolutely loved it - and think I was around 3 years old when this one made an appearance, given the "To my little precious, Happy 3rd birthday" which was written on the inside front cover. As a little girl, the thought of a cow wanting to see the world and floating down a canal was wonderful, and I think I drove everyone mad by the number of times I wanted it as a bed time story.

This was a Christmas present from my nan and grandad when I was 4 years old. I loved The Pogles. Little creatures that lived in the forest and occasionally "borrowed" items from people and then returned them. My favourite story was about a toy milk float that they found and used it to carry nuts about in.

This one was another great favourite, although by the time this one was bought for me at 5 years old, I was reading it myself so my family had some peace and quiet as I was always squirreled away reading it somewhere in the house.

Now this one has some special memories for me. When we used to go and spend the whole of the summer holidays with my Aunt and Uncle down in Portsmouth, they had (to my childs eyes) more books than the local library, so on rainy afternoons I would spend ages looking for books along their many bookshelves, and I loved this one. I think I was around 8 years old when I discovered it, and as my nose was always stuck in it, they gave it to me as a present when I was going home one time. I remember being speachless at the time - I couldnt believe that they were giving one of their treasured books to me - and I have treasured it ever since.

And finally, this one. I have no need to tell anyone what it is about as I think 90% of the known world has probably read it or heard about it. But at 8 years old, I started to read it (once again at Auntie M and Uncle N's house). Although I do remember being told "It might be a bit frightening in parts as it's really a grown ups book" and I admit the spiders and the trolls scared me to death - but I never told them, as I wanted to finish the book and was more scared that they would take it off me and not let me get to the end hahaha

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Giggles have set in AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!

Ive spent a couple of hours on Facebook today catching up with old friends and generally having fun.

At the moment a few of us are having a bit of an ongoing competition to see who can come up with the funniest/wittiest status lines. This has been going on since Thursday. I thought that I would share some with you as they have really made me howl today.

Matt: I just opened the door to a 6ft cockroach. It punched me in the face and told me to **** off. Apparently there is a nasty bug going round

Dee: The kids next door just asked me to have a water fight - so I thought Id come and update my staus while Im waiting for the kettle to boil

Me: Im changing my name to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz as the only men I seem to attract are either cowards, have no heart or dont have a brain.

Me: I just checked my bank statements and I have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life.....If I die tomorrow !

Me: Some people are under the impression that I think the world revolves around me. What utter nonsense. Everyone knows the world revolves around the sun.........which shines out of my arse!

Mark: I just asked my granny if she had seen my LSD pills that I left on the table. She said "Sod that. Have you seen that dragon in the kitchen?"

Debbie: just failed to stop a noisy fart leaking out in the queue at Tescos. Helloooooooooooo Asda

Ian: For sale. One parachute. Used once. Never opened. Small stain........

Tina: Freezing tempertures in Liverpool this morning. Reports say it was so cold a scouser was seen with his hands in his own pockets.

Matt: Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see us without an erection, make us a sandwich.

Matt: If you watch Thelma and Louise backwards,its about 2 women with a flying car who slowly realize their place is in the kitchen

Tina: So, is it too soon to ask Whoopie Goldberg if she's heard from Patrick Swayze yet?

Totally irreverant, not particularly PC, but I love every one of my "off the wall" friends x

Shhhhhh !!! Dont tell anyone but.............

Ever been guilty of doing this? It's usually because you have something you are so desperate to share with another person that you just cant keep it to yourself any longer - but you dont actually want it advertising in the national press at this stage.

So it's generally revealed to a close friend. Or at the very least, someone who is totally unconnected in any way, shape, or form to the "news" you are about to deliver.

And woops!!! I did it on Friday.

And double woops!!! It got repeated to someone else with the same caveat attached "Shhhh - dont tell anyone but Jaki just told me that she.............."

Bugger bugger bugger.

Thankfully it's not really about anyone else - it's about me. Well, no, it's sort of about someone else too, but probably not in the way you may think.

Sh*t -Im being too cryptic.

Anyway, needless to say this bit of "gossip" will probably be round the office by Wednesday at the latest. And Im wondering what is the best way to deal with the potential fall-out. And by fall-out I mean repercussions.

They wouldn't be horrendous - as it wasnt bitching or anything. Just that I may end up with a slightly red face and have now got to decide whether to brazen it out, or deny deny deny.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !

If the person concerned hears this little snippet.......well things could go one of two ways.

I could be writing a blog next week with me dancing around like an idiot and very very happy.

Or I could be curled up al la Bridget Jones drinking vodka and listening to Chaka Khan.

I will keep the world posted. That is, if anyone has even got the remotest idea what Im wittering on about, and would have a clue whether they were following me or not.

Friday, 19 March 2010

I saw the deer. I saw the deer !!!!!!!

Well, actually it isnt the first time that Ive SEEN them - but usually they are just grey blurs and the flash of a white tail as they vanish into the forest.

But every night this week, on our evening walk up to the moors, we have seen one or two on the top track - just before Murphy spots them and then tears off after them into the undergrowth.

Last night, we went right up into the forest - we normally only skirt round the edges, as me being as accident prone as I am, I didnt fancy falling over a log or something and ending up dying of hyperthermia before anyone found me, so we generally stick close to the main tracks within "shouting for help" distance.

But I was feeling a bit adventerous, so myself Murf and Lorrie took off on a mammoth treck. The views from the loggers clearing are spectacular (another reason why I need to buy myself a decent camera), and I didnt realise exactly how high up we'd actually gone until I stopped to look and spotted the village down in the valley.

The dogs were having a grand old time, sniffing everything and running like lunatics in and out of the trees. So we went deeper in, where the trees are so close together that the light is very dim, and the only sounds were the creaking of the pine trees in the wind - which was a bit eerie.

And then I saw them - a little herd of deer bounding through the trees about 50 yards in front of us, heading down the hill towards the tracks and the woods nearer to the village. There were about 10 of them, and it proved a little too much for himself, so he went peeling after them and finally came back panting and wagging his little docked tail, feeling very pleased with himself.

We did another hour through the forest and then rejoined the track and started heading for home as the light was almost gone and I admit Im a bit of a scaredy cat in the dark on the moors (I never did get over watching American Werewolf In London) :-)

And as we rounded the bend near the ruins....... there was a small group of Does in a little clearing. Murf spotted them but my very firm "STAY" made him stand still for a few seconds whilst I got out my phone and snapped the following photo. Now forgive the very very poor quality as it's not the greatest in the world, but if you look in the centre of the fuzzy image, you can see the 5 Does...... just before the temptation became too much and Murphy went after them and chased them back into the forest again

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Top o' the morning to you !!! Happy St Paddy's Day

Here's to everyone out there with a smidgin' of the Oirish in 'em and everyone else who will be making SURE that they do today/tonight by downing a grand old helping of "The Black Stuff".

I, myself, am sitting here typing with a nice glass of Guinness "off the shelf" as I remember my Grandad always saying it tasted better than a cold one. I have to agree.

And I am also going to be enjoying an evening of "Father Ted". That show makes me laugh until my sides are hurting and the tears are rolling.

Most people in the UK know all about Father Ted - but just incase you dont......

Father Ted lives on Craggy Island (a cruddy little place off the coast of Southern Ireland) with Father Dougal (a bit like the village idiot in a cassock) and Father Jack (retired alcoholic priest who is wheelchair bound and who has a fear of nuns and swears a lot). They are looked after by Mrs Doyle the housekeeper who is obsessive compulsive about overfeeding everyone (a very Irish trait) and insisting everyone has "a nice cup of tea".

Some of my favourite quotes are:

Dougal: God, I've heard about those cults Ted. People dressing up in black and saying Our Lord's going to come back and save us all.
Ted: No, Dougal, that's us. That's Catholicism.
Dougal: Oh right.

Mrs Doyle: Now what would you say to a nice cup of tea father?
Father Jack: "FECK OFF CUP"

And if you haven't ever watched it and can cope with the madness, please have a look at the episodes on You Tube and see what you think.

And as it is St Patricks day, and the Irish are so very very funny - I am going to leave you with probably one of the funniest signs I have EVER seen.... and this is actually a genuine photo ...........

A picture of an Irish Scarecrow

Saturday, 13 March 2010


I can see me getting blacklisted in this village. And all it takes is one like minded individual to lead me astray.

Let me explain.........

What I like about this place is that although it's a very small and tightly knit community, it's also the sort of place where people actually do care about their neighbours without being "in your face" which is something I love.

My last home, well there was always someone knocking on the door to complain, have a whinge or pester me for something (it was a farm and we had 20 plus horses on there at livery) and the horse owners never really bothered to think (or care) about the fact that I worked a full week at my "day" job and wasnt actually there at their beck and call for minor whinges at 10pm on a week night when I was up at 5am the next morning. So this place is like a breath of fresh air.

This was brought home to me yesterday when Zoe (who lives a few doors up) came and knocked on my door as she was a bit worried that my car had been parked outside for 2 days and she hadnt seen me out and about. As it happens, I've got a bad back (an old riding injury which crops up every few years) and have been in agony with sciatica for a week and have been working at home since Wednesday rather than endure the trauma of being shaken all over the place driving my Land Rover to work every morning.

So I invited her in, and she was very sympathetic when she saw me hobbling around like a very very old lady. And I thanked her sincerely for being worried enough to check I was ok.

We sat down for a cup of tea and a natter, and I mentioned that a note had been posted through my door by another neighbour further up the road, inviting me to join the village "Womens Group".

This ended up with Zoe shrieking "How old do they think you are? 70?" before rolling about on the sofa almost crying with laughter when I handed her the flyer to read.

When I had first been verbally invited, it was made to sound like a rather fun thing to do "It's not like an old womens group" I was told "We can just all get together and have a laugh up at the cricket club when our husbands/boyfriends are out doing whatever THEY do - a bit like Loose Women on ITV - and we can chat and discuss things in a lighthearted and fun way" ......... so I actually thought that would be a good and informal way for me to get to know those people I haven't already met, whilst obviously enjoying a few beers and letting my hair down.


Zoe (between howls of laughter) started to read out the agendas for the weekly meetings. It's sadly a sort of a cross between the W.I. and something from a Nursing Home.

"Chair Aerobics????" she screamed.
"Well that might be handy for me at the minute" I laughed.
I admit her hysteria set me off and I ended up wheezing for breath inbetween clutching my back and telling her to stop before I slipped a disc.

She is very much like me - we have a similar sense of humour (bawdy at it's mildest) and both live on our own (her excuse being "I am NOT having that slob - her boyfriend of 10 years - living with me, I like my sanity too much")

When she got to the agenda for 7th April "Desert Island Essentials - what can you not live without" this then started a WHOLE list of things from Zoe that would most definately not be fit for the ears of what I suspect are going to be ladies in the 60 plus age bracket.

And it turns out that Zoe didnt get an invitation to join - probably, as she said, because all the women on the "committee" are nosy old busybodies who just invite "incomers" so that they can find out all about them and then tell everyone else next time they're in the post office. It also appears that Jean, who lives next door but one to me, hasn't been invited either.

We then decided that we would be far better off setting up our own village group for the "outcasts" such as herself, me, Jean, Chris, Glynis and the ladies from the Tea Shop who like nothing better than a bottle of vodka and a pizza and a good old laugh.

I spoke to Jean last night when I was out taking my dogs for a hobble and she was giggling about Zoe and her Desert Island essentials. I should give you a clue about the way Zoe's mind works when I tell you that for the meeting on 24 March, the theme is "Book Review - bring along a book you love or loath to discuss" and Zoe (between choking laughter) said she would give them all something to gossip about by taking along a copy of The Karma Sutra and watching all the slack jaws hit several pairs of support-hose-clad knees hehehehehe

I think this village is going to be a very fun place to live indeed :-)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

At last.........

Due to my work committments, Ive not had a great deal of time to get online. And have also had a few "settling in" problems with Lorrie - ie. very upset tummy (her not me) and then discovered her and Murphy doing something they shouldnt be doing - ie. she had come into season (turns out - BIG SHOCK - she wasnt spayed as she was a show dog and the vet thinks that the upset of moving and everything else probably brought it on) and he hasn't been "done" so you can imagine the fun Ive had trying to stop them. He managed to "do the dirty deed" once (I was eating my dinner at the time and wondered what the pair of them were up to behind the sofa) at which point I shrieked and pulled him off - and then they were kept apart until she came out of season.

Now Im on the horns of a dilemma. They cant spay her until at least 4 weeks from the end of her season - and the vet has said that if she is carrying puppies then he would just "get rid of them" at the same time. And this one is keeping me awake at night as Im obviously looking at it that Murphy has scored a goal. Ive argued with myself, Im trying to be objective - but I don't know if I can do that to her.

Im a responsible dog owner and feel now that Ive been really irresponsible for not realising. My last bitch was spayed at 12 months old as I didnt want any unplanned puppies - there are enough dogs in the world that need homes. Murphy has never been castrated as (a) he has a bad reaction to anaesthetic and I was terrified he might die if I had him knocked out again (b) he has never been any trouble with straying or leg humping or fighting and has never been allowed to just run amok and be around unspayed bitched - plus he is actually very obedient and will come away if commanded (c) he's actually fathered planned litters before as he is well known in this area as a gun dog and his puppies are doing really well at field trials and working.

If Id realised what was going on (she showed no signs) Id have separated them right away. It was only the once - but once is enough as the saying goes.

So as you can imagine - Im in a real quandry.

Anyway - that aside - Lorrie is fantastic. The most placid collie Ive ever come across. And she follows me round like she has been here all her life. She loves the forest and the moors, and ignores the chickens at the farm (much to Murphys disgust). She is a real worker though, and the horses got a shock last night as it was the first time Ive introduced her to them and wasnt sure how she would react. She brought them in from the fields with me and was herding them into the stables (lucky for her they dont kick as she gave them both a bit of heel work when they went a bit too slowly for her liking hehe).


She is overweight (I suppose thats to be expected for a dog that has had virtually no exercise for a year) but Ive already noticed a distinct difference in her weight over the last week and a half as she is being walked 3 times a day and doing at least 10 miles of running - she is also on one meal a day (same as Murphy) and having no treats (apart from a huge leg bone that she can chew on).

Lorrie unconscious after her evening walk.

All in all I have found the perfect dog, and Murphy is totally in love with her. She is a bit of a bossy boots and pushes him around - but not in a nasty way - and more fool him, he lets her do it. And for the first time in almost 5 months, Im not worrying about my boy when I have to leave him, as yesterday I got home from work and the two of them were curled up together fast asleep...........on my bed (she knows how to open doors tee hee)