My chocolate orange cake recipe and other fun things…..

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I love Easter here in LW.  There are a set of rituals and traditions that have been built on year on year that make the extended weekend something of a marathon celebration.  An excuse for a three night / 4 day party with friends; late nights, live music, over indulgent food (chocolate) consumption and so much dancing and laughter my belly hurts.  Tuesday has become a day of recovery.

music beer walkThe Music Beer Walk weekend centred around the Neuadd Arms Hotel took centre stage for much of the weekend.  Friday/Saturday/Sunday evening and even some of those afternoons too.  There was a wealth of communal singing and playing with informal jamming and plenty of musicians and punters just having a good old knees up … there were some ‘proper’ performances too.  Great Irish/Welsh folk music by Pretty in Pink; acoustic folk, pop, rock, blues covers by String Motion; and good old electric rock and blues with Dangerous Dave and Friends.

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Between sessions in the pub were indulgent roast dinners with our boys , their partners and friends;  board games; Easter egg hunts (yes 20 and 30 year old ‘children’ do still want you to hide chocolate around the garden for them to find) .  The only difference is there’s more swearing; harder hiding places and some serious negotiations and power plays when the final bounty is collected and compared!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEaster Sunday always comprises of our friends annual egg rolling and feasting afternoon.  We (friends of all ages from toddlers to retired) gather and colour in our designs on hard boiled eggs over cups of tea.  We stroll to a local hill, scramble to the top and hurl the eggs down.  If yours doesn’t break then its back up the hill for you.  Last one to break or furthest unbroken egg after four or so assaults on the summit DSC_0249wins a prize.  Its then back to their house of a  heavily chocolate based buffet to which we all contribute (this year I made a chocolate orange cointreau cake  – recipe attached); we all help hide eggs around the garden for the little kids and then we pass the rest of the afternoon playing silly games – egg roulette, egg catch, hula hooping the maltesa slide and various other made up games that generally involve chocolate.

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Anyway, here’s me with a rather handsome Easter Bunny….

…and here’s the recipe for my chocolate orange cointreau cake (other orange liqueurs are available)….

Chocolate Orange Cointreau Cake – easy peasy to make

9oz self raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

6oz caster sugar

4 eggs

rind and juice of 2 oranges

1oz cocoa

5oz sunflower oil

2 tablespoons golden syrup

4oz plain chocolate (grated)

6 tablespoons cointreau

place all the ingredients in a large bowl and blend well for a few minutes.

line a loose bottomed tin , pour in the mixture

bake on a gas 3/320F/160C for 45 mins or until risen and away from the edges

cool.

eat!

you can thank me later……

How did you spend your Easter ?

Monday Stumble Linky

Reflections from Me

 
Lucy At Home

The Big Five Oh…


Birthday cake
WasThis amazing cake was made by the wonderful derful Kate George of Caffi Sosban, Llanwrtyd

To say I milked my 50th birthday might be considered an understatement. Hubby referred to it as my birthday year.

Presents from Hubby arrived sporadically and with excited squeals of delight and surprise from me throughout the year …it was all very exciting.

Then there was the party planning. Although most of it was dealt with by Hubby and his team of delegates, I was privvy to snippets and had access to the private party page on FB so I new who was saying they could come and was able to “e-squeal”, every time I got overly excited thinking about it

I must be the most fortunate woman alive. The amount of love and energy that was poured into that party weekend that overflowed into the whole of the following week, throughout the following weekend and trickled into the next few days. Friends from near and far; loads of live music, laughter, chat, dancing, hugging and drinkng.

Prosecco, gin, toiletries, lush, Dr organics, mohair blanket, handmade pottery
Some of my beautiful birthday gifts… I am very spoilt

I have never ever seen so many wonderful gifts and cards. I love receiving actual cards. I received about 55 of them and I shall keep and treasure them all. The flow of pink gifts was astounding. Pink wine, pink blankets, pink gin, pink gloves, pink hats and scarves, punk vodka, pink balloons…. A beautiful sight. And everyone seemed to get my message about my view on cut flowers. Not one. But I think I have a bit of a reputation for a drink !!! Honestly I need another fridge to house the champagne, prosecco, wine etc etc. (Must add at this point that I am not complaining at all)..

Recovering now at the beginning of my 51st year. Feeling immensely positive about the future.

Someone said to me “here’s to the next half century”, personally I doubt that I’ll make the century the way this body is abused! However, I shall aim to continue to live every day with an open heart and mind and grab every opportunity that presents itself with open arms.

That just leaves me to,  once again,  thank every single person I know and love for helping me celebrate and making my life fuller than it would be if any of them were absent from it. I love you all.


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Let the celebrations begin…

It isn’t my actual birthday until 19th but I’m celebrating my big five oh with a massive party this weekend. I am SO EXCITED.

So excited, that it’s 5am and instead of being in bed deeply zzzzz-ing, I am babbling (again) from  my bathtub . When I said I’d make it a regular feature of it I really didn’t envisage sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to do it, but , hey, here I am with a glass of milk, blogging in the bath.

I love birthdays anyway. Not for the presents (although they are lovely to receive) but for the connection with friends, the cards and, mostly, the excuse for a celebration…drinks, dancing, laughter and lots of hugging and affirmation of being loved and sharing precious moments. I love reflecting on past years and creating new memories to recount throughout the next.

I also love the build up.

This year we, that’s Hubby and I have been party planning. Last year we had an amazing party for his 60th so decided to use the same format this year for my 50th but with him organising everything bar the food. So we set up an event on FB really early to get everyone in the mood and to give enough notice to those travelling from further afield. . Regular weekly updates and prompts. Two months of bulk cooking and freezing. Arranging accommodation,organising musicians , liaising with the venue. Dress shopping… All a bit like wedding planning with less white silk and no fresh flowers!

And today it began. Sisters and friends from afar have begun to arrive and we’ve had what we like to refer to as a pre party party …..

Anyway, I should now be sound asleep, but like a child waiting for Santa I just cannot calm down enough…. Fortunately no-one else is trying to out-stay-awake-me in order to hang a stocking on my bed post…..

Watch this space for a post hangover review of the weekend ….. Happy birthday to me!!!!