Cardamom Buns, Vision Boards & Brand New Brownies

It feels like one blog post is merging into the next at the moment, but that echoes the days of Lockdown, so maybe it makes sense πŸ™‚ We made our grand outing of the week to get groceries and got some baguettes. I feel like everything in my life is pointing towards France at the moment. I had booked to go there last summer with the girls before the restrictions all came into place. I am reading a book in French, French recipes keep cropping up everywhere I look and the girls mention things that remind me of it. We had baguettes with Nutella and strong coffee pour moi πŸ™‚ Then, we went for a very long walk and found an empty playground for the girls to play in. They are obsessed with this thing that is like a sea-saw and roundabout in one πŸ™‚ It was very cold and cloudy, but the sun was piercing through the clouds and it looked like a watercolour sky πŸ™‚ I read a little bit, in between responding to the demands to push the girls on various things πŸ™‚

I decided to try a new recipe for cardamom buns. I love anything with cardamom in it and the scent that fills the kitchen when it’s cooking πŸ™‚ It was a long, slow process, but I felt like I needed that. I find baking therapeutic, especially if it takes time and involves different stages. First, I had to make a paste to use as the filling for the buns. Then I had to make a dough that wasn’t dissimilar to the one for cinnamon buns. The next stage involved rolling it out along the length of the counter, spreading the filling on it and rolling it up, before cutting it. Then, I made a glaze while they were baking and prepared nuts for the topping. Aesthetically, they didn’t work out quite how I’d hoped, but they still tasted good. The girls didn’t like them, but I never expect them to like anything aromatic. They didn’t mind licking the pool of melted butter from the tray though πŸ™‚

This morning, the girls did some guided drawing of woodland creatures together. One of their teachers had assigned it and I find they like to do the art activities together, even if it isn’t part of their own work πŸ™‚ It bought me some peace to make coffee while they drew squirrels and owls πŸ™‚ Afterwards, we painted some Winter scenes together and the girls repainted some pictures they did last week, as they wanted to try them in a different style πŸ™‚ They had some breadsticks and hummous as sustenance while they did their painting. It might be the only vaguely healthy snack I’ve seen them devour πŸ™‚

My daughter seemed to be in the mood for drawing after that and got out her huge artist’s set. They drew silly family portraits and laughed hysterically at them. They like to make books at the minute, so I stapled some pages together for them and they filled them with pictures.

I decided I felt the need to bake again (it might be a coping mechanism for homeschooling.) I found a new brownies recipe. I didn’t have the cream to make the caramel sheet in the middle, so I decided to experiment without it and see what happened πŸ™‚ I never think ahead and go shopping for specific recipes; I tend to just improvise with whatever I happen to have in the house and change things. I added pecans instead of walnuts, chocolate chunks instead of buttons and omitted the salted caramel. They still turned out very rich, and the girls liked them (apart from the nuts – which they made sure to tell me :))

It felt like the time to update my vision board was long overdue. I made it a couple of years ago and hadn’t changed it since. I spent the evening cutting out images that represented various things I want to achieve/that inspire me/that fit with the mood of the board. I think I feel better when I have visuals around me that uplift me and the process of adding to it is satisfying too πŸ™‚ You can choose any theme you like for it – whether you want to use it for goals or just want a collage of recipes or pictures you think are pretty πŸ™‚ I think whatever small things you can do to cheer up your home at the minute all help when we’re looking at the same four walls all the time πŸ™‚

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