Monty Mcvitty goes to work

Our little Monty has settled in beautifully at Mr Sharp’s office, and he takes his role very seriously indeed! Every morning he fills his little head with a dose of caffeine, nibbles on a biscuit (or three), and sets about helping Mr Sharp with whatever the day has in store:

Montgomery McVitty the accountant

Montgomery McVitty the telephone operator

Monty just loves manning the telephone lines. He sure does rock that headset! Hang on a minute….. Is Monty talking with his mouth full?! I will have to have words with him about that, how very rude……Tsk tsk!Mr Sharp and little Monty make a fabulous team, and I’m sure that if Monty had arms those two would be high fiving each other all day long. It’s wonderful to see them becoming such good friends, bless ’em! Between the two of them they manage to consume an extraordinary amount of biscuits, which gives me a fantastic excuse to get my bake on, something I get great pleasure from. And, as all the biccies get eaten by Monty and Mr Sharp, I am saved from the temptation of those calorific little blighters while it’s bikini season, phew! I can bake and stick to my bikini diet all at the same time, huzzah! Monty’s favourite biscuits by far are my Vanilla Shortbreads, which is lucky because they are also my favourite biscuits to bake! They are so ridiculously easy to make, and are completely fool-proof, so I urge you to give them a try, you won’t be disappointed: 

Ingredients:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 200g chilled salted butter
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large free range egg yolks

Method:

  • Tip the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter in to small pieces and drop them into the bowl, then whizz together until the mixture looks like bread crumbs
  • Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks and whizz to until it comes together as a dough.

OR

If you haven’t got a food processor, rub the butter in to the flour in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix to a form dough with your hands.

  • Roll the dough in to a sausage shape approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30mins.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c/gas4/fan 160c.
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and take off the cling film. Cut the dough in to slices 1cm thick and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20mins. Once cooked, sprinkle the shortbread with golden caster sugar while they are still warm.
  • Eat and make yummy noises, for they are darn tasty biscuits. Nom.

I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous weather we currently having here in old Londinium. It’s so good to see the sun again, I had almost forgotten what it looked like. Fingers crossed it will be here to stay for the duration of the Olympics! Today I shall mostly be making bunting, for bunting is awesome and I love it so. It’s impossible to be miserable in the presence of bunting, it’s just too darn jolly! xx

The Adventures of Montgomery Mcvitty…..

My Mr Sharp works very hard, very hard indeed! I wanted to give him a little something to make him smile; something he could have on his desk at work to cheer him up when it’s all getting a bit stressful. I pondered a while. “What does Mr Sharp like when he is feeling a bit overworked?” I wondered…..”Tea!” thought I. “And what is better than a mug of tea?” I asked myself….”Tea with biscuits!” I replied! I thought and thought of how I could combine the two to be a permanent fixture on his desk at work. And from my pondering, Montgomery McVitty was born.

Biscuit mug!

Montgomery McVitty is no ordinary mug… oh no. Not only does he sport a well-groomed moustache and a distinguished gentleman’s monocle, Montgomery the mug has a mouth. “A mouth?” I hear you cry. “Yes, a mouth” says I. “But what use does a mug have for a mouth?” you ask. I agree, it’s quite obserd. But then again, it is actually a very useful thing for a mug to have. Our chap Monty simply looooves biscuits. He can’t get enough of them! When you fill his head with tea, biscuits are what he craves. So pop some tasty biscuits in his mouth and he will willingly share them with you whilst you sup tea from his brow.

"Nom!" says Monty as he stuffs biscuits in his mouth.

I do hope he will enjoy his new home at Mr Sharps office. I will be sending him a fresh supply of biscuits every Monday to see him through the working week. This week, Monty had Double Chocolate Chip Shortbread, and he decreed that he liked these very much. They really are truly delicious. So delicious in fact that the batch I made on Sunday to last all week had been devoured by Monday evening – oops! I’m now hurriedly baking another, much bigger batch to hopefully last Monty and Mr Sharp until Friday.

The recipe is very easy to make with just a handful of store cupboard ingredients. Here’s the recipe incase you fancy baking some too:

Ingredients

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g chocolate chips (milk, white or dark)

Method

  • Mix the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour and cocoa, followed by the chocolate chips – you’ll probably need to mix it together with your hands at this stage. Halve the dough and roll each piece into a log about 5cm thick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr or for several days. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Slice logs into 1cm-thick rounds, transfer to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 10-12 mins. Cool on the tray.

Shortbread is definitely one of my favourite types of biscuits to bake at home, but I always feel guilty eating them when I have seen just how much butter goes in to them. I wonder if there is such a thing as a healthy, low-fat biscuit that actually tastes good? If you have such a recipe, I’d love to hear from you!

Biscuit mug

While Monty’s face would cheer the most solemn of folk, he does look rather sad whilst bobbing around in the washing up liquid…. His happy little face suddenly looks a bit panicked. Fear not Monty my friend, we won’t let you drown, it’s merely bath time dear chap! You need to look smart for your first day at the office.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far folks 🙂 TTFN! xx

Rock Horror and Rocky Road

I’m having a rather delayed reaction to Halloween today; I have got  a sudden and unexplained urge to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show! My all time favourite B movie Sci-fi horror.

“What a pleasant way to spend the afternoon” thought I. Of course any act of afternoon film indulgence should always be accompanied by a cup o’tea and a yummy treat; something sweet to give a much needed sugar boost to power through the usual afternoon slump that often makes me fall prey to an unexpected snooze. I fell victim to such a snooze attack yesterday while attempting to watch Downton Abbey. The wonderful Mr Sharp got me the boxset of the first series on Monday, and I couldn’t wait to start watching it. After a busy morning knitting handwarmers for christmas gifts, I settled down with a steaming mug of nettle tea, and pulled a blanket over my knees. There I was, all comfy cozy, enjoying the delectable british accents and fantabulous costumery, when BAM! I got knocked out into a two hour unexpected sleep! Fudged my whole afternoon up royally! So this time I have decided to out smart that sneaky afternoon slump snooze, by plying myself with enough sugar to leave me bouncing of the walls like a looney person in a padded cell, and what better sweet treat to accompany Rocky Horror, than Rocky Road! Nom nom nom!

The Nigella Lawson  Rocky road recipe is one of the best I have tried, but I do like to add a few little tweaks:

Ingredients

  • 200g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids works best)
  • 3 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 125g Soft unsalted Butter or Margarine
  • 100g Mini Marshmallows (chopped regular marshmallows work too)
  • 200g Digestive biscuits (rich tea or shortbread can also be used)
  • Icing sugar to dust
Tweaks
  •  add a handful of dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries
  • instead of biscuits, chuck in some malteasers, tastes great!
  • Adding some rice crispies gives a much lighter, crunchier texture. About 25 – 30g is usually enough.
To make
  1. Line a small to medium sized square baking tray with baking paper
  2. Place biscuits into a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin or just the side of your fist until they’re broken into a mixture of everything inbetween dust and 50p size lumps. Put this to one side.
  3. In a large sauce pan melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a gentle heat stirring it almost constantly until there are no or almost no more lumps of chocolate visible, then remove from the heat.
  4. Take biscuits, marshmallows and any additional delicious ingredients and pour into the pan of the chocolate mixture. Stir all this into the mixture until everything is completely covered.
  5. Tip the mixture into the lined baking tray making sure you get it all and spread the mixture in the tray until flat.
  6. Refrigerate this for at least 2 hours then dust with icing sugar and cut into fingers of sizes you deem necessary.
Simples! Just waiting for these bad boys to set in the fridge  so that I can settle down and sing my little heart to all the fantastic Rocky Horror songs. Might even bust a groove to the time warp, well, I gotta burn off those calories some how!
Altogether now, “It’s just a jump to the left……and then a step to the right……Put your hands on your hips…….You bring your knees in tight. But it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane. Let’s do the time-warp again”. Loves it! Happy Wednesday folks, hope your having a good one!