Back To School

Choosing School Uniforms

I apologise for this post as I know that for some parents the thoughts of getting uniforms and organising back-to-school stuff waits until August. Having just bought some of the new uniform for the Autumn term I thought it might be worthwhile to explain what I learned last year and how it has affected my choices this year.

Just before the 5-year-old started school last year I blogged about the expenses of sending him to school and how much it was costing. At least I have a real account I can compare to!

The cost of school charges (including book rental) and books I have to buy pretty much remain the same which is a great credit to the school. However, when it comes to choosing school uniforms I’ve changed my outlook and that’s why I’m blogging about it again. Continue reading

Spiderman T Shirt Caitriona Redmond

Spiderman Comes To Town

While I was away a few weeks ago a parcel arrived for me from Lidl Ireland filled with items from their new “Too Cute” range which came into stores today.

Over the past fortnight the boys and I have put all the items inside to the test and here’s the verdict of Spiderman Comes To Town. Continue reading

Strawberry Cream Sponge - Caitriona Redmond

Strawberry Cream Cake

Last week I shared my favourite recipe for a simple strawberry jam. This week I’ve a great way to use up some (but not all) of the jam in a strawberry cream cake.

I took a wee break from blogging over the weekend to overhaul the back-end of the blog. You may have noticed there are a lot more categories in the menu at the top of each page. This means you can now browse through the blog by the type of recipe you’re looking for. I’ve divided recipes up by meals and then by the main protein. This took many, many hours and I’m kicking myself that I hadn’t done it sooner. When I started off this blog I thought that just “sweet, savoury and reviews” would be easy enough to navigate. Nearly 350 blogposts later I admit I was wrong and that as time went on it was harder to find the recipes to share or to browse through the blog.

As there are some more big changes to come to the blog in the next month or so, it was really important to get the foundations right!

Back to the strawberry cream cake.

I think that when you put butter into a cake, it doesn’t match particularly well with cream. Which is why I like to bake a no-fat or fatless sponge when using cream as a filling. It balances the fat content of the entire, finished product and you can use as little or as much cream as you like.

This recipe works just as well with some ripe raspberries and raspberry jam. The key is to use the freshest seasonal fruit for the jam and the filling. You’ll find the recipe below:

Strawberry Cream Cake (Serves 8)

Continue reading

View From The Caravan Glenross Caravan Park Kerry

Caravanning In Kerry

For the past 4 years we have organised one of the local Summer Projects instead of going on holiday. This year we knew that we needed to take a break, and decided to staycation around Ireland and in particular in the West. When the opportunity arose to go caravanning in Kerry, we decided to take the Irish Caravan and Camping Council up on their offer, packed the car, and travelled down the country.

The plan was to spend 3 nights in the Glenross Caravan & Camping Park in Glenbeigh, on the Ring of Kerry, then a further 2 nights at another location in the midlands. I’ll be back next week with our account of how we got on when we left Kerry but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know. Continue reading

Strawberry Jam - Caitriona Redmond

Strawberry Jam

One of the best signs of Summer is when stalls by the roadside start to sell strawberries and new potatoes. If you roll down the window of the car on a warm day you can smell the sweetness as you get close. How can you resist picking up fresh local strawberries? Once we’ve gorged ourselves on punnets of fresh, warm, sun-kissed strawberries and licked our lips clean of the juices, what else can we do with them, if we have any left?

Jam is a way of capturing all the summer sunshine in a jar. Its beautiful warm from the pot, spread on toast and I like to keep at least one jar in the back of the cupboard for brightening up a dull day in the winter. It’s not all that difficult to make, the key thing to making strawberry jam is not to boil the jam too much.Strawberries - Caitriona Redmond

Once you’ve made this easy strawberry jam, why not reserve a little while it’s still warm and wow everybody with a Strawberry Cream Cake? I’ll have a recipe for the very thing next week! Continue reading