You could try this Macaroons recipe to make a pretty gift for your Valentine.

macaroons

These pretty patisseries are very fashionable at the moment but can be very expensive to buy, so why not make your own and give as a gift in a recycled box lined with non-stick baking paper and a lacy paper doily tied with ribbon.

Makes 20

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Standing time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-22 minutes

Macaroons
◾175g (6 oz) icing sugar
◾125g (41/2 oz) ground almonds
◾3 large egg whites
◾75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
◾Little violet or pink food colouring

To finish
◾75g (3oz) blackberries or strawberries
◾100g (4oz) butter at room temperature
◾150g (5oz) icing sugar
1.Preheat the oven to 140oC/275oF/Gas Mark 1. Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
2.Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds to a fine powder in a food processor or liquidiser then press through a sieve.
3.Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they form moist peaks then gradually whisk the caster sugar in a little at a time. Whisk for 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy, then whisk in a few drops of violet or pink food colouring.
4.Spoon half the icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl then gently fold together. Add the remaining mixture and continue folding in until just mixed. Don’t over-fold or the mixture will go very runny and be difficult to pipe.
5.Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tube and pipe 2.5cm (1 inch) rounds on the paper lined trays. Give each baking sheet a sharp tap to ensure a good ‘foot’. You should make about 40. Leave to stand for 20 minutes for the macaroons to dry out.
6.Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the macaroons may be lifted easily off the paper. Leave to cool.
7.For the filling, puree the berries until smooth then press through a sieve. Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a food processor until smooth then gradually beat in 2 tbsp of the fruit puree. Use to sandwich the macaroons together in pairs. Arrange on a serving plate or in a pretty box.

Tips:
◾Once sandwiched together the macaroons are best eaten within 24 hours. Plain macaroons can be kept for 2-3 days in a cool dry place covered with extra non-stick baking paper and the filling in a covered container in the fridge.
◾You might also like to flavour the macaroons with ½ tsp of raspberry, lemon or peppermint extract when adding the colouring to the meringue.

Discover more fruity recipes using Seasonal Berries.

Will you be trying this macaroons recipe?

Cuddle Fairy

Are you making a fresh start in February?

monday

Is your story a little like mine? Despite the best of intentions, you put on a few pounds over Christmas and New Year. You then promise to reach the moon in five seconds flat inspired by New Year Resolutions time.

Then February strikes and something went awry in January.

Let’s spin that. It is a new month. February gives an impetus to make a fresh start on the healthy living front. It even has its own New Year!

Let’s do this thing! Happy New Month and Happy New You!

Let’s make the Blogging to Jogging linky rock in February.

blogtojogbadge_zpsf50a5b0a

The Rules

Blog about healthy living in a way that you see fit. It might be some exercise you did, a healthy food choice, a lifestyle change or a recipe. It is important to link back to this post so that we can all inspire one another as we move forwards positively.

Very simply, please comment on at least two other posts and more if you’d like to and grab the badge for your own post, linking one post per week. Tweet me (@kateonthinice) once you’ve linked and please use the #BloggingToJogging tag so that I can find your posts easily to RT them and you can also use the Twitter hashtag on Instagram if you have any relevant photos.

I am so looking forward to reading your talks of health, fitness and well-being. I promise to comment on each post and to promote via my social media networks.

Please display the #bloggingtojogging badge on your post and it would also be cool if we can start engaging on Twitter and Facebook about our healthy living using #bloggingtojogging.

Get linking!


Floods are on our minds more than ever before in the United Kingdom. If we are lucky and not affected, we feel for the struggles of those who are. If we are flooded, the impact can be overwhelming both practically and emotionally. There are some real health issues when flooding hits.

I have found myself living in various places with a flood history over the years including Carlisle, Hull, Malton and York. Fortunately, the worst it has got for me is not being able to access a favourite pub or to take my usual route to work. Very minor irritations compared with so many individuals and families.

I asked some friends who are in flood areas to describe their experiences.

Becky described how losing things you can’t replace is traumatic.

Ironically as water levels rise, there can be a shortage of clean water. Emma told me that there was no water for weeks in Gloucester so the Army brought in bottled water.

Whilst facing filth, stench, damage and loss, people find themselves faced with negotiations with insurance companies and telecom providers.

As the floods subside, questions are raised as to who is to blame for these issues.

Even whilst such debates are held, communities affected are beginning to realise that consequences of flooding last far longer than media interest in the issue.

As with all challenges, sometimes we see the best of humanity when times are tough. Communities pull together and share what they have. People who might not normally talk to each other do and people focus on things that really matter.

Will you get on board with Marie Curies Daffodil Campaign?

great-daffodil-appeal-2016-collector-1

Spring is a time to celebrate new life: when flowers are blooming, the sun is starting to shine, and the cold winter months are fading. However, whatever the season, people become terminally ill and die. Recently we have lost some national treasures at the cruel hands of terminal illness: Alan Rickman and David Bowie. Now, more than ever, we have been shown how terminal illness can affect us all. As our population ages, the number of deaths is on the increase: meaning more people are contracting multiple and ever more complex illnesses. Care is needed not only for those diagnosed, but also the family: the turmoil of terminal illness can be confusing and isolated.

This March there is something you can do, to not only help a cause which has the potential to affect us all in one way or another. Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal, has been raising awareness and funds for those with terminal illnesses since 1986: bringing light in the darkest hours. Running 9 hospices, giving free specialist care, and pouring their efforts into palliative and life care research, Marie Curie are one of the most proactive charities in the UK.

Every day matters when you’re living with terminal illness, and Marie Curie works to make the most of every single one. Their specialist nurses have touched the lives of so many sufferers, as well as offering long term support to families who are grieving. They understand that terminal illness does not just affect the diagnosed, but is equally as painful for those surrounding them. From practical to compassionate help, every source of suffering is cared for both during and beyond the final stages of someone’s life.

Their work is tangible, delivering results and making a real difference to the lives of thousands of families in the UK. And their work is only set to evolve: changing the conversation about terminal illness to one more positive and less fearful.

So how can you get involved?

From the simple donning of a cheery daffodil pin to running a fundraising event, every effort towards the cause is appreciated. The daffodil is a symbol of new life, and a reminder of the joy loved ones past have given us. Perhaps you could spare a couple of hours to sell the pins: get together a group of friends and paint your local area yellow with daffodils!

Or maybe you have a little bit more time to spare? From bake sales, to tea mornings, to charity shows, to a challenging sponsored run, the potential is endless! For a free fundraising pack, visit the Marie Curies Daffodil Appeal website, where you can also calculate how far your time will go and what impact you can make.

Terminal illness is sadly an issue we cannot avoid, but with your help, Marie Curie can ensure that every sufferer, and their family can have the support and care they need: what better cause to support this spring?

Cuddle Fairy

What are your top tips for keeping warm?

The cold does not bother me much but I think there was real dip in temperatures this January. It is OK for my husband who goes off to a warm office but me and the children have felt the cold in our new house which is sadly lacking in a fire or wood burner.

So I asked some world-famous bloggers for their top tips for keeping warm when you are trying to save money on heating bills.

1. Boogie on down to housework

Put the music on full blast while cleaning getting it done faster as will be bopping around….but be careful if listening to the kids Spotify list you’ll find yourself singing along to Justin Beiber before you know it.

2. Rock an Eighties look

Wear eighties leg warmers through the winter months indoors and outdoors

3. Double up on duvets

If you are like me you double up on duvets when the temperatures hit freezing.

4. Love your layers

Chantelle tells me it is all about layers upon layers. I have tried this and it makes such a difference.

5. Sleeping bags and blankets

Sonya confesses to working from home inside a sleeping bag like a giant and warm slug. You might prefer a blanket and if you have two like me, you can ensure you cover up your legs too.

6. Go undercover

Cover up your extremities with hats, scarves, gloves and don’t forget to invest in a warm coat.

7. Hot water bottle

Claire F swears by a hot water bottle whilst on the sofa working from home.

8. Eat the right things

Cold weather means comfort food with Rebecca Rose recommending soup. Indulge in plenty of hot drinks.

9. Exercise

Run up and down the stairs or if you are really brave venture outdoors for a walk knowing you will feel the benefit when you return indoors.

10. I’m too sexy to be cold.

Several bloggers mentioned that snuggling up in bed is great and being cold is a great reason for wild sex.

With thanks to some hot bloggers

http://thebeesleybuzz.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.dillydrops.co.uk/

http://www.emmysmummy.com/

http://www.ojosworld.com/

http://lunchboxworld.co.uk/

http://92three30.com/

https://www.instagram.com/bugbirdbee/

https://www.facebook.com/formerlyrocknrollmum/?pnref=lhc

https://www.facebook.com/pages/LifeNinja-Killer-cat-and-Everything-Else/135813326505677

https://www.facebook.com/Sixdegreesofharmony-769532583078402/?pnref=about.overview

https://twitter.com/MamaMummyMum

What are your top tips for keeping warm?

div align=”center”>You Baby Me Mummy