10 memories I made in May 2017…

 1.  Guest on mummy blog post

When fellow yummy mummy Polly Byles asked me to be a guest on her forthcoming blog post, I gladly obliged.  I’ve been SO busy that I’ve not even had a chance to talk about it.  It was a great start to my memories in May and it’s a really interesting read too.  If you’re wanting to find out about more family friendly restaurants in Doha, check out her post here

2.  Besties reunite

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Friends out here really do become your family, one of Tara’s besties went home for a couple of weeks and just as he came back with his family, we flew off to Bali.  

Meeting them soon after we got back was a priority, if we left it too long both kids would have probably Ubered (if that’s even a word) their way over to see each other themselves!

3.  Hakka Brunch

When our friends Dan and Kate (the Monopoly crew) asked us to join them at Hakkasan for brunch, we were delighted.  Amrit did his research in advance but having just started work and adjusting back to life after Bali, I just rocked up.

I had no idea what to expect and impeccable is the word I would use to describe it.  The service truely was 10/10.  Amrit has always loved Hakkasan, where as I can’t say it’s always been my favourite.  Since attending the brunch, it’s one of the first places I want to visit when we move.

The food was hot, fresh and it’s served to your table.  Give me a stay seated brunch over a help yourself buffet any day of the week (well technically just on a Friday)!

They make amazing fresh duck pancakes and these are all you can eat.  You definitely don’t want to fill yourself up on these as you’ll miss out on enjoying what’s actually the main part of the brunch.

For 398QAR (the package we went for) you get a selection of adult drinks including bubbles, 4 steamed and 4 fried starters (dim sum, buns, rolls etc), 1 main dish served with greens and rice, finished off with ice cream or sorbet and macarons.

Our drinks were seamlessly topped up throughout and the food was perfectly spaced out.

What I will say is that it’s not the most kiddy friendly brunch.  If Tara didn’t sleep throughout most of it (which thankfully she did) she’d certainly have been bored.  It is however, fine for families with young babies – I mean they are just going to sit there anyway, plus you don’t have to get up!

4.  Birthday bash to remember

Tara turned 3 this month, we definitely celebrated the occasion with style.  

The actual day was very chilled, we spent the morning as a family, she had lunch and cut her cake with bestie Jay.  We nipped to the mall and spent most of the day speaking to family and friends from back home.  It’s times like this you really do miss home.

The following week we invited a few close friends over to mark the occasion.

The morning of the day was complete disaster, my games went to pot, I burned fibres of my green rug into my hair (don’t ask), we broke the glass pane of our garden table into a thousand pieces 10 minutes before the party started and the balloons we ordered were wrong and had no weights to keep them on the ground.

Did any of the above matter – not one bit.  The kids had an absolute blast and we celebrated the entire day with good food (and beverages), great music and best of all some fabulous company.

The following morning, I was so thankful to have such lovely people in our life to make our occasion so memorable and special.

5.  Keys

I’ve been broadcasting our move to everyone and anyone that will listen!  I finally picked up the keys.  Our agent Dan Strutt (from Sloanes) has honestly been so amazing and I’d recommend him to anyone.

6.  Packing has commenced

I’m not enjoying any of this process one bit and I’ll be so glad when it’s over.  The house is full of boxes and I’ve got a project plan in place to make sure everything is done as needed!  As I sit here writing I realise this is my last evening of downtime before the mayhem begins.

7.  Learning Journey

Tara will be completing her time at Little Genius Nursery in a few weeks.  I will always look back with pride that Tara spent 2 very valuable years of her life at this amazing place.  The facilities are one of the best I know a nursery to have out here and the quality of service that they deliver matches up.

Before Ramadan commenced we were presented with Tara’s Learning Journey for the year.  Call me soppy but I cried whilst looking at each page with pride.  I will treasure these special keepsake memories forever.

8.  No more nappies

Tara is officially out of nappies.  She’s been potty trained during the day for months now but she still had a nighttime nappy.  One night we forgot to change her ‘big girl pants’ to a nappy and only realised the following morning.  The step had unknowningly been taken and we weren’t going back.  It’s been over a week now and so far – so dry!

9.  One day, you guys

My monthly memories are always full of looking back at how Tara has changed over the last few weeks.  This month she has picked up a couple of new phrases, the first one being ‘one day’.  She has started to talk a lot about ‘when she is bigger’ and ‘one day’ she is going to do ‘x’.

The second one definitely made me realise our offsprings are truely a reflection of us.  Tara will often jump over to us and ask Mummy or Daddy “You guys, what you doing?”.  When she first started saying it, I couldn’t stop laughing, I could just see my mini me right before my eyes.

10.  Ramadan

A few years ago this time of year meant nothing to me, however since living in the Middle East, it’s a huge part of our life.  The country is full of light, family time is amped up and whilst I may not practice the religious elements of this holy month, I feel it’s a perfect time of the year to reflect and think how we can all better ourselves and make the world a better place.

x

10 memories I made in April 2017…

1. Tara goes to the cinema

Being end of term, Tara was off for the week and I was going slightly crazy at home.  I’d already exhausted all our usual outings so off we went for an impromptu visit to watch Smurfs: The Lost Village.

As we arrived, Tara was content with her cup of ‘ponkcorn’.  At this point I could have easily just taken her home!  We made our way to the cinema and Tara was all settled and soaked up her new surroundings.  You could see her mind ticking wondering about where she was and what we doing there.

All of a sudden, the lights dimmed down and she was not happy.  “Mummy put the lights on, it’s too dark”.  It was at this point, it dawned on me that she’d never watched TV in the dark.  

The movie started and she was zapped – for about 30 minutes!  After a few mummy cuddles, a 10 minute snooze (yes really) she lasted the whole stretch.  She enjoyed it so much, she even had a little dance at the end.

2.  Playdate at Dahl Al Hamam Park

Again, being end of term, us parents are all thinking the same thing.  “What on earth am I going to do with my child ALL day?”  Thankfully we all unite with the famous saving question “Playdate?” Abbreviation for “Can we get the kids together so they can occupy each other whilst we have a good goss?”

So, we met up with one of Tara’s besties Sara and of course the ‘playdate’ was fab.  An added bonus to this date, was the fact we chose to meet up at this park.  It’s just beautiful,  it’s has several areas with swings/slides etc and just lovely green grounds for families to enjoy.  It’s the first park I’ve spotted that has a skateboard/bike ramp too, not that I intend on testing it out but it was nice to see nonetheless.

3.  Obviously QIFF!!!

April is no longer April in Qatar without QIFF.  Also, it’s foodie law to visit this annual expanding event.  We decided to head over on Friday and arrived at what I thought was the perfect time – around 3pm.  We got a good hour of vitamin D before seeing the lovely sunset.  Tara conveniently decided to take a nap so we really took our time looking around.

Having enjoyed several delights on offer, we decided it was time for dessert.  Whilst we browsed to satisfy our cravings, we bumped into our friends, we caught up and met their family that were visiting from back home.

As they departed we bumped into some more besties.  At this point we were all done and decided it wasn’t quite time to head home but it was time to depart the crowds at QIFF.

We strolled over to Sheraton and ended the evening in the most perfect way.  We enjoyed a few drinks at the Pool Café and we’re surprised with the most beautiful fireworks display from QIFF.

I honestly had no idea what a beautiful hidden spot this area is in Doha, definitely a place I’ll be visiting more this year.

4.  Mad about Monopoly

So anyone that knows me, will know that I LOVE playing board games.  I was suppposed to have a movie night with my friend, but after dinner and a few (too many) glasses of bubbles, we weren’t going anywhere.  Instead (so rock and roll) we set up Monopoly and played an entire game out until the early hours.  It was so good, that’s it’s now a regular scheduled event!

5.  Housewarming

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Post the Monopoly madness, we visited the new home of our fellow contestant friends.  They’ve moved over to Viva Bahriyah and their apartment was just amazing.  From the fixtures and fittings, to the facilities and beautiful private beach – I was in heaven and almost moved in myself!

To celebrate their new place, they put on the biggest barbecue spread and we feasted the night away.  They gave us some amazing tips about their recent visit to Bali (which is what inspired us to go ourselves).

6.  Tara officially went up a shoe size

This is a big deal!  One of the cutest things about babies and toddlers is their feet.  My little princess really is growing up too fast.  

Tara needed new sandals for our hols and as I shopped for her tootsies I discovered she was no longer a size 7.  I mean, I see her feet everyday but I don’t really SEE her feet everyday (if you get what I mean)!  As I stood there trying out new shoes on her, I came to the realisation – my daughter no longer has little feet – she now has FEET – normal FEET – big FEET!!!
On a positive note I have a whole new range of footwear to explore for her – every cloud has a silver lining!

7.  Bali

O M G where do I even start with this one, it has got to be one of THE most amazing countries I’ve ever visited.  Each part of the island we visited was so different, it almost felt like 3 different holidays.

From the food, the nature and the people, everything was just WOW.  I’ll be writing about the trip in more detail soon, but all I can say for now is, if you’ve not been, GO!

8.  Not all monkeys are brown!

One of the most beautiful things I love about being a mum is literally seeing Tara learn.  I love seeing her face actually think when she is trying to figure things out.  When she questions things I love knowing why.

As we grow up (and grow old) we think we know so much, one thing I’ve realised since having Tara is how much I don’t know and how much my daughter that’s only been in the world for 3 young years teaches me.

Whilst we were in Bali, we were telling Tara about how she was going to see lots of monkeys and she was so excited to see them.  

A few days into our trip we spotted some and pointed them out to her.  She was so confused when she saw them and kept looking back at myself and Amrit with a really blank expression.  A few moments later, she asked  “Mummy where are the brown monkeys?”  As cute as the situation was, I loved how THIS was such a priceless form of education.

By traveling the world, Tara is seamlessly opening her mind up to the beautiful world we live in.  I would never have gone out of my way to teach Tara that we have different coloured monkeys, I mean, why would I?!  I can’t wait to find out what our next adventure will teach her.

9.  Milkshakes anyone?

Tara is SO specific when it comes to the temperature of her milk.  Just like Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold, it has to be warm and jusssst right.  Get it wrong and she knows (so do we)!  Whilst we were away, she discovered a love for milkshakes – cold milkshakes! I was overjoyed as I’ll be using them to get her off the bottle in a few months.

10.  I got a job!

No more lady of leisure.  I started a job this month and genuinely feel so glad to be back in the world of work in a job that I think I’m going to love.

x

5 reasons why Carluccio’s has the best breakfast in Doha…

1. The menu!

Yes, all restaurants have one…but Carluccio’s breakfast menu is something else.  Each dish they offer is genuinely different, it’s the only restaurant in Doha that I’ve eaten something different each time I’ve visited!   The range is extensive, without overloading your mind.  I cannot stand menus that go on for pages!!

2.  They are expanding!

Carluccio’s is a well renowned chain, I’ve always had a soft spot for it since the day my BFF booked it for my 21st birthday (many moons ago).  In Qatar, until recently, we were restricted to only enjoy this venue from one location – The Pearl.  Not anymore, now you can also enjoy their amazing menu at Mall of Qatar and Doha Festival City.

3.  The kids menu

The kids menu is simple, realistic and genuinely edible by kids.  When us parents head out to eat, we are after a meal that is going to be enjoyed by our kids, in turn allow us parents to relax.  When our little ones have full a full tummy from the food on offer – you can guarantee we’ll be coming back.

4.  The kids pack

To be honest, if a restaurant provides anything for kids to help us parents entertain them, I’m sold.  Carluccio’s go one step further, they have a kids colour-in jigsaw.  This simple but amazing gift keeps kids entertained for ages.

5.  The atmosphere

This is almost as important as food when it comes to eating out.  Good food tastes so much better when the setting is right.  What I love most about Carluccio’s is that it feels ‘like a treat’ whilst feeling super comfortable.  As a parent I get to take Tara out somewhere she needs to behave but if she’s a kid behaving like a kid, I’ve got nothing to worry about.

x

10 memories I made in March 2017…

 1.  My brother and niece came to visit

My brother came over for a long weekend and with perfect weather on our side, we spent our days at the pool and evenings chatting away catching up on everything and anything.  I miss family and friends from home so much and it’s times like this I love and appreciate them even more.

2.  Hellooo there sunshine nice to meet you – again!!

O M G!!! Only my Doha peeps will get this but boyyyyy we had a cold one this year!  No we really did!  I actually forgot what it felt like to be warm.  You may want to slap me over the face for saying this but seriously Doha winters are cooooold.   This month we finally shunned away the gloomy wet weather and out came our ‘Mr Golden Sun’ and I’m so glad he ‘shined down on meeeeee’!!!  This really will be a memory that sticks with me forever – the year I thought Doha lost it’s sunshine.

3.  Couples night

This month we had round two of couples night with our couple besties.  We went to Mix Bar at Westin Doha for some lovely pre dinner drinks.  At 30QAR each, we enjoyed some fabulous cocktails from 5pm-8pm.  We continued our evening at Sabai Thai for dinner – to say the food was delicious is an understatement of the century!

4.  Let it go, let it gooooo

Yep, Frozen fever has hit Tara and her besties too!  I genuinely thought she would skip the obsession as ‘it was before her time’ but nope not so lucky!  This month, I can confirm Tara officially knows all the words to THE song and she was in total heaven when her bestie had an amazing Frozen themed birthday party too.

5.  Breaking Bread!

I attended the very first class hosted by the fabulous Hobby House Qatar.  The class was run by (oh so very talented) foodie blogger Rou Sweet Corner, at the beautiful home of fellow yummy mummy blogger Quest and Mark.  We made some scrumptious brioche and pain au lait.  I really need to put my skills to the test over the coming weeks.

6.  Rekindled my love for Mykonos 

I really feel that Mykonos is one of Doha’s most underrated restaurants.  If I’m honest, whenever it comes to eating out I always forget about this place, this mistake I will make no more.

7.  Shopping spree with my niece

My brother has three kids and for the very first time since my niece was born, I got to spend some one on one time with her.  My brother and Amrit went to do ‘guy stuff’, Tara fell asleep and my niece and I suddenly had a precious window to spend some QT together.  The first thing we did was run to H&M, we literally spent hours picking clothes and trying on baskets (no exaggeration) worth of items that took our fancy.  Incase you’re wondering, yes, we purchased several little numbers afterwards too!

8.  Mother’s Day(s)

We had three Mother’s days in March aaaaand I celebrated all of them!!!  I don’t care if it’s a gimmick or a commercial farce – I’m thrilled to have dedicated days to celebrate my being as a Mother – Tara’s mother at that.  I’m so thankful everyday that I have my little angelic monster in my life, if I really thought about how much I love her, I’m sure I’d explode.

9.  Chop chop – I cut my own hair!

Yes, you read that right!!!  Ever since I can remember I’ve always been impulsive when it comes to my hair – I want it cut and I want it cut NOW!  It had been a while since I chopped my locks and one day this month I decided it was time.  I called around (for an appointment – NOW) what a surprise, everywhere was fully booked!  So I crept upstairs, snipped around 6 inches from the length of my hair.  Is it horrendous no, do I need it sorting out professionally yes!

10.  The search has begun!

We officially began to search for a new home – I must have visited around 10 places.  I’ve been informed we are looking too early but I’d rather look ahead so come moving time I can decide quickly and feel confident I’ve made the right choice.

x

10 memories I made in February 2017…

 1.  Tara got a place in school

Amrit and I were thrilled to know Tara got a place in Doha College pre-school next year.  It’s the leading international school in Doha, both Amrit and I are confident we’ve made the right choice in giving Tara the best start (continuation if you count nursery) in her educational life – for us!

2.  My very first food column 

My very first food column was launched this month in the brand spanking new GULFemina magazine.  It’s a free monthly publication that’s distributed within Gulf Times.  I have to admit that I was actually quite nervous about it, the shoe was (indirectly) on the other foot, this time I was (still am) putting my recipes out there for people to judge me – thankfully I had an overwhelming positive reaction.  It’s a dream come true for me and I’m genuinely so appreciative of the opportunity.

3.  I discovered Shopkins

Say what??? Yes, for those of you parents that have not yet discovered this bewildering craze, brace yourselves.  As my niece so aptly defined, Shopkins are basically grocery items with faces!!!

4.  Valentines 

I love Valentines and to share my ‘love for love’ I made 10 delicious sweet treats this month.  If you’ve not seen my post already – check it out here:

5.  Family Visit

We had family come visit over half term, the weather wasn’t on our side but that didn’t stop the kids from having a good time.  One of the funniest moments was when the kids decided to put chairs on top of the sofas to watch TV?!?!  Kids really do have an interesting imagination.

6.  Damasca One

I can’t believe it’s taken so long to try this place out, it’s a great Arabic restaurant at Souq Waqif.  The food is fantastic and I loved the decor of the place too.  Whilst I do feel it’s a family friendly restaurant, I didn’t like the fact that everyone was allowed to smoke and have shisha across the same space kids were sitting.

7.  Tara tried duck

All meat and poultry to Tara is ‘chicken’ at the moment!  We try to be very open with her and get her to try all kinds of food but one thing she’d never eaten until now was duck. She’s not quite a super fan just yet so the duck pancakes with plum sauce are on hold for now.

8.  Cool De Sac

Whilst our family were in town, we popped over to Cool De Sac at Mall of Qatar.  OMG!!! It’s amazing.  They have so many different stations, Lego, painting/coloring, dress up, soft play etc.  Tara’s almost 3 and I’d say it’s perfect for her age.  Around every 30 minutes, a mascot comes out and all the staff do a synchronized dance – I have to admit that I was busting some moves out myself (embarrassing mum at her peak)!

9.  Gin O’Clock

Gin is taking the world by storm this year and no surprises to see W Hotel are part of this trend with style.  I discovered their Gin O’Clock offering and can officially say I’m sold!  From 5-7pm everyday at Market, for 35 QAR, you can literally make your own Gin based cocktail.   They have a range of Gin brands you can chose, 3 types of tonic and a huge range of fantastic ingredients.  It’s happy hour with a true difference.  If you’ve not been yet – GO!

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10.  I like to move it move it!!!

Us Phuls must really must hold the record when it comes to home moves (especially in Qatar)!!!  With a heavy heart we’ve decided it’s time to move again (still in Doha).  We live on the most amazing compound which fantastic facilities but unfortunately our location is just too far away from everything we do.  We officially relocate at the end of June.  Nothing to stress about – it’s only peak heat, school holidays and 2 weeks before I head home for the summer!!!

x

Fameltine’s Day 2017

Before I became a mum, Valentine’s Day was always a cliché event.  I’d get red or pink roses, fancy chocolates, perfume or something that sparkles.  I’d get dressed up and we’d either head for something fancy to eat or I’d cook a nice romantic dinner at home.  At the time, I loved it and would always look forward to this predictable day.

Since becoming a mum, Valentine’s Day is an entirely different occasion.  My sweet nothings are now loud lots of:

“Tara sit in one place and finish your dinner”
“Stop dancing around the room and put your pyjamas on please”
“Keep your head still, I’m combing your hair”

Tomorrow morning I won’t wake up to breakfast in bed; instead I’ll wake up to Tara peeling my eyes open only to melt me with “Morning Mummy I love you”.

Tomorrow Amrit and I won’t be handing each other Valentine’s Day cards with super long messages that we used to spend hours compiling; instead we’ll spend most of the day trying to tell each other whilst Tara interrupts us every two seconds.

Tomorrow we won’t have a peaceful meal for two, taking all the time in the world to eat a romantic meal; instead we’ll be playing catch the crayon and how to keep a toddler occupied over lunch.

Tomorrow evening, I won’t spend hours getting ready to feel super special as we go out for a romantic dinner; instead I’ll be cooking dinner in my pjs, clinking glasses with hubby and celebrating that Tara has gone to bed.

Tomorrow I won’t spending my day like I used to; instead I’ll be thinking about how lucky I am to have this mayhem filled monster in my life and be thankful that she belongs to me and MY Valentine 

x

 

 

10 sweet ways to celebrate Valentines…

A way to a man’s foodie’s heart is through their stomach!! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, put on that apron, get your mixing bowl out, get stirring and turn up the heat!!!

Here’s 10 ways how…

1.  Almond and Orange Garibaldi Biscuits:

If you give these a go, they’ll be in your recipe book for life (…puts trumpet away)!

Ingredients: (makes 3 batches)
100g unsalted butter room temperature
100g caster sugar
225g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond flavouring
½ large egg
grated rind of a small orange
handful of currants
pinch of salt
caster sugar for sprinkling

Method:
1) Mix together the butter and caster sugar.
2) Add the almond flavouring.
3) Slowly add the ready mixed egg.
4) Stir in the grated orange rind and currants.
5) Sift the flour into a bowl then add baking powder and salt.
6) Slowly stir in the flour to the mixture.
7) Once the dough is almost together, transfer to a bowl and knead for about 1 minute.
8) Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight (or in the freezer for about 10 minutes).
9) Preheat the oven to 190°C.
10) Roll out the dough and cut out 4 different sized hearts x 3.
11) Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
12) Cook for no longer than 9 minutes.
13) Allow to cool.
14) Sprinkle with caster sugar.
15) Stack and decorate with a red ribbon.
16) Enjoy x

2.  Melon Hearts:

Little touches can make everyday things taste so much sweeter.

Recipe not provided for obvious reasons!!

3.  Red Sugar Hearts:

These aren’t just any sugar lumps, these are vanilla flavoured, heart shaped sugar lumps!

Ingredients:
100g white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons water
red food colouring

Method:
1) Mix together all ingredients into a bowl.
2) Spread out onto a flat surface.
3) Cut out mini hearts using a cutter.
4) Allow hearts to set (place in fridge to speed up process).
5) Add to a serving bowl.
6) Enjoy x

4.  Whole-wheat Biscuits:

A digestive biscuit with a wholesome bit of love.

Ingredients: (makes 24)
100g unsalted butter room temperature
100g caster sugar
225g whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
½ large egg
pinch of salt
3 cups icing sugar
6 teaspoons milk
6 teaspoons corn syrup
food colouring and toppings of choice

Method:
1) Mix together the butter and caster sugar.
2) Add the vanilla flavouring.
3) Slowly add the ready mixed egg.
4) Sift the flour into a bowl, add baking powder and salt.
5) Slowly stir in the flour to the mixture.
6) Once the dough is almost together, transfer to a bowl and knead for about 1 minute.
7) Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
8) Preheat the oven to 190°C.
9) Roll out the dough and cut out heart shapes.
10) Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
11) Cook for no longer than 9 minutes.
12) Allow to cool.
13) Mix together icing sugar, milk and corn syrup. Add food colouring at this point if you wish.
14) Top cookies with the icing and any edible decorations of your choice.
15) Enjoy x

5.  Salted Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark:

Chocolate is the trademark Valentine treat and it doesn’t always have to be predictable.

Ingredients: (makes 6 to 8 hearts)
100g 70% Chocolate
handful sliced pistachios
rock salt

Method:
1) Get a saucepan fill 2/3 with water and bring to the boil.
2) Place a bowl that sits comfortably on top of the saucepan.
3) Break up the chocolate into chunks and place into the bowl.
4) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
5) Once the chocolate has melted, spoon the melted chocolate into heart shaped cutters.
6) Sprinkle over the sliced pistachios and allow to cool.
7) Do not remove the cutters until the chocolate is almost solid.
8) Once cutters are removed, sprinkle with rock salt and place in the fridge.
9) Enjoy x

6.  Meringues:

Crack open your sentimental side and whip up some of these.

Ingredients: (makes 6)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
60g caster sugar
60g icing sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 110°C.
2) Separate egg whites from yolk and discard the yolk.
3) Add egg whites and lemon juice to a bowl.
4) Whisk until no longer transparent.
5) Whisk in caster sugar.
6) Fold in icing sugar.
7) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
8) Spoon out 6 heart shapes.
9) Bake for around 1 1/2 hours.
10) Allow to cool.
11) Enjoy x

7.  Rose Flavoured Fudge:

Sweetness overloaded, you’ll just smell the words ‘I love you’ with these.

Ingredients:
400g evaporated milk
350g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons rosewater

Method:
1) Add all ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil.
2) Keep boiling, ensuring to stir continuously.
3) After about 20-30 minutes the mixture will begin to thicken.
4) Set aside for 2-3 minutes to sit.
5) Add rosewater and stir.
6) Transfer to a dish.
7) Allow to set for 15-20 minutes.
8) Cut out hearts.
9) Enjoy x

8.  Chocolate Cake:

The ultimate way to score ‘brownie’ points!

Ingredients: (makes 18 slices)
300g sugar
165g all purpose flour
100g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
100 ml full fat milk
300g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Icing sugar to dust

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2) Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl.
3) Mix egg, milk and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl.
4) Stir into the main mixture until smooth.
5) Sift cocoa powder and flour in another bowl, add salt, baking soda and baking powder.
6) Fold in the flour mixture to the main bowl in 3 parts.
7) Add to a 12 inch cake tin.  Line with greaseproof paper.
8) Bake for 30-35 minutes.
9) Allow to cool.
10) Cut into squares.
11) Dust with icing sugar to create hearts.
12) Enjoy x

9.  Nutella Puff Pastries:

Pain au choca-who?  Try these pastries for breakfast and impress your Valentine forever.

Ingredients:
ready rolled puff pastry
Nutella
milk
icing sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven at 220°C.
2) Cut out 12 hearts.
3) Lay 6 hearts out evenly on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
4) Spoon in 1 1/2 heaped teaspoons of Nutella (or enough according to size of heart).
5) Top with the remaining hearts.
6) Use tines of a fork to frame the edges.
7) Brush with milk.
8) Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9) Dust with icing sugar.
10) Enjoy x

10.  Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam:

Go high-end and be romantic with style.

Ingredients:
225g all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
40g butter
2 tablespoons sugar
110ml milk
pinch salt

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2) Sift flour, add baking powder and salt.
3) Mix flour and butter together until breadcrumb like texture has formed.
4) Add sugar.
5) Add milk slowly until all the mixture comes together.  You may not need all the milk.
6) Knead for about 30 seconds.
7) Roll out until around 1/2 inch thick.
8) Cut out hearts.
9) Brush with Milk.
10) Bake for around 12-15 minutes.
11) Enjoy x

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