Merry Christmas from Jades 101

I hope you spend this day and every other day surrounded by love, kindness and most importantly food!

Heres a little photo of my little dwarf Mouse enjoying his homemade christmas treat! My syrian Rami took hers straight to bed without as much as a thankyou. I think she’s the grinch in furrie form!

Remember that today is all about giving! I promise that the feeling of watching someone opening a present from you is much better than getting one yourself!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Homemade Super Chocolate Brownies Recipe

I love chocolate! So brownies are one of my favorite things!

This is a recipe tried and perfected:

  • 200g Melted Milk Chocolate
  • 100g  Melted Butter
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 60g Plain flour
  • 60g Cocoa powder

Firstly, mix the melted chocolate and butter together and then add in the caster sugar and your four eggs, mixing well. This should be followed by the vanilla essence, and then the folding in of your flour and cocoa powder. You should end up with a lovely liquidly mixture. Next, line an 8 inch baking tray with bake paper and pour the mixture in! Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° for 25 minutes.

 Leave it to cool and slice them in to pieces! (Or just eat as one huge brownie!)

You can decorate with buttercream or eat warm with ice cream.

Ours were decorated for a bake sale with chocolate buttercream and mini marshmallows!

These are beautiful, I hope you enjoy and love them as much as I do!

Terry Chocolate Orange No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe!

I always thought that my mum didn’t like cheese cake because she didn’t like cream cheese! Turns out she’s never even tried it, so we decided to make our own!

Your ingredients are as follows!

  • 50g melted butter,
  • 14 crushed digestive biscuits,
  • 200g soft cream cheese,
  • 280ml double cream (you can use whipped but I prefer double),
  • 2tsp vanilla extract,
  • 150g of melted Terry Chocolate Orange (Or any chocolate you like),
  • Extra chocolate peices to decorate!

So first, combine your butter and digestive biscuits! Making sure its well mixed before adding it to your cake tin and patting it down! (I used a potatoe masher).

For this recipe, its best to have a cake tin in which the bottom comes out for easier cutting!

Freeze this for thirty minutes!

Next, pour your cream in to a bowl and the two tea spoons of vanilla extract before whipping it in to a peak! Then fold in your cream cheese and melted chocolate (make sure its cooled a bit or the cream may curdle). Now, add your cream mixture to the top of the biscuit base and decorate how you want.

Leave it in the fridge for 2-3 hours until it sets (I made mine quite late and left it in the fridge overnight).

Take it out of the fridge and cut!

This was my mums first delve in to the Cheesecake world and she thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Right Decision..

So, this is something I felt like I had to write. More because I think writing has always made me feel better, and I’m able to explain myself better and come to terms with things. This is a long post, and I think I may have rambled a bit, but I wrote this in the moment.

Maybe it can help someone else. You just gotta remember that not all people will think the decision your making is important, whilst to you it could be the most important.

For me, I’ve always had a problem making decisions. I’m so indecisive. I can go shopping, telling myself that I’m going to buy new clothes and come back with nothing ninety percent of the time. Or I can spend more time looking for a movie to watch than actually watching it. Little things like that just seem to scare me a little.

I think the problem is taking responsibility for the consequences or being judged for my tastes, even if it is just deciding on what to eat or what to watch. However, I think after living in halls and in my own house, I’ve got better at it. I’m not so sensitive anymore.

Very recently, I’ve had to make a really big decision. A decision I may not have been able to make three years ago. One that I honestly thought I couldn’t make, but if I hadn’t, I think I would have fallen in to a pit of despair. It is going to completely change my way of life, but I think it might be for the best.

So, I’ve been working and living in my job for the last three months. Before then, it was perfect. I had it all planned. A masters, driving, saving! As well as a few other things that never came to light, maybe things that could have made it easier.

But, alas, it didn’t go that way. Something happened and I think it just threw me off my track, even if I didn’t realise it at first. I’m not in the right frame of mind to carry on with my plans, I’m not ready to do that masters.

So, despite loving my job, the people and the dogs. I decided that it was time for me to go home. Things had changed and I feel like I needed to be there now more than ever. I haven’t lived at home for the last three years and I miss my family. My mum, dad, brother. It wasn’t easy to just jump in a car or on a train to go see them. I had to plan it in advance, the four hour journey isn’t always a pleasant one.

It wasn’t a rash decision. I bottled all of my emotions up because I thought things would get better, that somehow, magically, they’d change. I shouldn’t have. When I first talked about the opportunity of living and working in the same place, my life was so different to what it is now.

I got so caught up in everything that I didn’t think about me. I was honestly scared of letting others down. My friends, my family, my boss. I was given something that most people wouldn’t get, and I feel like crap throwing it all away, but I’m not in the right mind set anymore. It sounds so selfish, but sometimes, you can’t help but feel a certain way.

The most important thing to do in life is not lose sight of yourself, and I did, and hopefully, by going home, I’ll be able to find myself again and just be happy.

At the end of the day, you have to make the right choice for yourself. Even if you do hurt others because of it.

And I think that’s the worst bit. I never want anyone to feel used, because despite everything that happened, those sorts of things never even went through my mind. One night I just snapped, I just couldn’t stop crying. I feel terrible about it all, I feel like a horrible person, but what would I have gained by not saying anything? It would never have got better, the situation couldn’t. It would of only got worse, even with stolen moments of happiness.

So, when you do have to make that horrible decision in your life, whether it be about a partner, a job, a house, something that’s significant to you, you’ll know you made the right decision because you’ll feel happy, you’ll smile more; and the heaviness on your heart will go.

Even if you feel sad about it, about the people, or the place you might be leaving behind. You’ll just know in the bottom of your heart that you made the right decision. The right decision for you!

I’m expecting to make a load more decisions for myself, especially in the next couple of years, maybe months, but I think that now I’ll be ready for it. Life never seems to go to plan, but just take it on the chin and carry on…

The following is one of my favourite photos ever. This is little Tilly-mint on her walk in to the near-by village. She’s a lurcher puppy that stole my heart the day I saw her walk down the path. She found her home in six weeks on a red leather couch surrounded by love and most importantly for her, patience! She filled my heart with those little moments of happiness that I needed in my worse times! I’m happy she was homed with such lovely new parents and in a wonderful home!

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If your shadow stands tall, then so should you!

Homemade Wagon Wheel Recipe

After buying a packet of wagon wheels from B&M one day, only then realising that I hadn’t had one for years, I couldn’t believe how small they’d got! (Either that or my hands had got bigger).

My mum was on a baking spree at the time so I gave her the challenge of making one or too and she actually came up with a recipe!

The biscuit used for these is a butter biscuit. The ingredients you need for this is:

  • 250g Butter
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 375g Plain flour

For the middle, you’ll need a bag of marshmallows and to cover them, about 400g of chocolate! You can use any sort of chocolate you want for this, Cadburys is extra nice, but some cheap milk chocolate gives you the proper taste of a wagon wheel.

Mix the butter, caster and eggs together, followed by folding in the flour to create a smooth paste. Next, you have to wrap it in some clingfilm and chill it for a good hour in the fridge (This is the worst part!).

 Next, roll out the dough, with the use of some flour and rolling pin,  so it is of one pound coin thickness and cut out circles (or frankly any shape you like), ensuring you have a equal number.

Next, put the circles on to baking trays and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes at 170°. They should be a lovely golden to dark brown color when they come out.

Once out of the oven, the biscuits should be left to cool and then marshmallows placed on half of them (you can use any color of flavored marshmallow you want for this!).

These will go back in to the oven for about five minutes so that the marshmallows melt.

Once out, the other half of your biscuits can be placed on top, which will give you some naked wagon wheels!

Next, heat up some chocolate, either in the microwave or on the stove (time will vary depending on what chocolate you choose). Its always best to use a glass bowl whilst melting the chocolate, it will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t set too quickly and you have time to cover all of your wagon wheels!

Once melted, I just dropped the first of my naked wagon wheels in and using a spoon, covered it in chocolate!

I used a cake slice to pick up my wagon wheel from the bowl, but you can easily use a fork or spatula if you have one of those handy!  

Let the chocolate drip for a moment so there is not a lot of excess! Next, put the wagon wheel down on some baking paper and leave it to set in the fridge.

 They taste amazing and I promise, store bought wagon wheels will never compare! To keep them nice and fresh, store them in an air tight container!

That’s a Samsung Galaxy S4 (5′) and a homemade wagon wheel with pink marshmallow inside!

You can literally make them any size or shape you want, but the butter biscuit can be quite crumbly so make sure its not to elaborate!

Cookie Muffin Recipe

I saw this recipe online (Tasty) which showed a cookie style muffin with kinder chocolate oozing out the center of it!

I don’t have a love for kinder chocolate, so I swapped it for ‘Yorkie’ chunks and ‘Terry Chocolate Orange’ slices.

The recipe needs:

  • 125g Soft Butter
  • 150g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 200g Plain Flour

Mix all this together until you get a smooth consistency. 

My mixture was still a bet wet after I’d mixed it all, so I wrapped it in the cling film and chilled it in the fridge for half hour.

 Once chilled, my mixture still felt a tad wet but with the use of flour, I rolled out the mixture and cut out six circles. I put them in the bottom of the cupcake tin so they were like small bowls and to ensure they didn’t stick, I sprinkled flour in the bottom of the tins.

Next, I used two chunks of Yorkie chocolate and one and a half slices of Terry chocolate orange to fill three of each. Once baked, I realised that I could have put slightly more chocolate in the Terry chocolate orange one, but it is up to personal preference! Lastly, I cut out another six circles and layered them on the top, as follows:

 You could probably get another out of the leftover dough, but raw cookie dough is a lovely snack in itself!

They should then go in to a pre-heated oven at 180° for 15 minutes. Once cooked, they should easily pop out of the tins, thanks to the flour that was sprinkled earlier.

 You should end up with a cookie like muffin with a lovely gooey chocolaty center!

You can enjoy these warm or cooled down. You could probably use a range of different chocolate aswell, such as cadburys, milky bar or milkyway stars! Experiment with it!

Graduation Day

So, obviously, I was late to my salon appointment, and then there was no one in to do my hair (typical).

But, alas, the makeup was done and the hair was sorted. Shout out to the girls at ‘Hair Parade, Chester’ for what they did!

All-in-all, the day seemed to happen quite quick. We all got our gowns quickly, got our seats quickly (I was in the front row :/ out of all the places I could have sat) and despite having an achy backside after sitting on horrible seats for about two hours, it felt like it was over a lot sooner than you’d think.

I honestly thought it would drag, but for once, everything seemed to go quite smoothly. No one fell over, which I think was quite an accomplishment and despite me – apparently – trying to stifle a yawn as the video camera pointed straight at me, everything was almost perfect. Even if for the first twenty minutes or so the guy next to me was sitting on my cloak and dragging me sideways!

Before going on stage, I had to quickly refit my hat after being told it was the wrong way around. My mum and friends family had convinced me it had been on the right way (But I’m sure they were using a teddy as a comparison!).

On stage, all I can remember is how cold and sweaty my hands were and worrying about which hand I had to shake with. I was so nervous, but it was over so quickly that I sat back down and wondered what I’d been so worried about.

The rest of the day went quite smoothly. We threw our hats in the air, but only one out of the five of us caught it, and that one definitely wasn’t me!

I think the most important thing about the day was that I realised that I didn’t regret any of the decisions made or the opportunities missed that lead up to this one day. I was so proud of all of my friends, of everything they had achieved. All the highs and lows (and there had been some low lows) had led us to the end of our university story, and we’d all got there together.