Wednesday, 31 August 2016

RECIPE: Banana Loaf // Blogging Anniversary

Today marks the day that I've been blogging for 3 whole years! My blog has changed a lot since then from the name and web page to the design and what I like to blog about most. So today I thought I'd write one of my favourite kinds of posts - baking! It's also fallen on a Wednesday which, as most of you will know is Bake Off day! Last week as the first episode of the new series aired I posted a recipe on Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, so Wednesday's on Abigail's World could become days for everything baking!


Today's recipe is Banana Loaf which I made a couple of weeks ago and it went down a treat! I originally found the recipe here on BBC Good Food and although I had to alter the cooking time, it was delicious, so if you're a banana lover the recipe is below.


Ingredients:

140g butter (softened)
140g caster sugar
2 eggs
140g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2 bananas (mashed)
50g icing sugar
(optional) banana chips for decoration


Method:

1. Heat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly with some flour. Then fold in the rest of the flour with the baking powder and banana.

3. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 30 mins, however mine took slightly longer and baked until a skewer came out clean.

4. Set aside to cool once cooked and make the icing. Mix the icing with 2-3 tsp of water and drizzle over the top of the banana loaf and add the banana chips to decorate.


I really enjoyed baking (and eating) this Banana Loaf, and I can't wait to bake it again soon!




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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

RECIPE: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies



If you love baking just as much as I do then you'll know that tonight is the start of a new series of one of my favourite shows.... The Great British Bake Off! To get in the mood of baking yesterday I decided to bake these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I've never made these before or any cookies with oats for that matter so I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out, but they taste so so good if I do say so myself!


I managed to make 12 (quite large) cookies with this recipe, although there's definitely not even half that many left now!

Ingredients:

150g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
175g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar
100g sugar
1 egg
2tsp vanilla extract
250g rolled oats
75g chocolate chips



Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Stir together the flour and baking powder in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer.

4. Add the egg and whisk again, followed by the vanilla.

5. Then gradually add the flour to this mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon until combined. Then add the oats and chocolate chips and mix again.

6. Using a tablespoon add the mixture to the baking trays (I managed to fit 6 onto each tray) and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon, but ensure that there's space between the cookie mixtures.

7. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden.


I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know if you decide to make them too! They're definitely the best cookies I've ever made before, but would Mary and Paul approve? I hope so!





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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

My Experience - First Driving Lessons

Today's post is all about learning to drive and the experience I had when I first started to learn how to drive.* I'll also be including some of my top tips to learning to drive and some handy links!

Image from Google, here.


The theory test:
I first started learning to drive around October last year during my final year of university. I'd always known that I wanted to learn to drive, for me it was more of a question of when should I start to learn. I was 21 when I started to learn and I had already passed my theory test. At first I thought I wanted to do an intense driving course before I went back to uni in the summer last year, so I practiced for my theory test and passed after being very nervous for my test - I put a lot of hard work into it but I was still surprised when I passed! I downloaded an app to my phone to practice for my theory test which I think helped a lot, which I'll link here.

Finding an Instructor:
Onto getting an instructor I don't know why exactly but I felt it would be better to have a female driving instructor. I found it best to search online for ones in my local area or if I saw one out and about and remembered the name to search for later on. So after a lot of texting, calling and searching for one in the town I went to University, I finally found one with a space!

The first lesson:
I was still quite nervous for my first driving lesson, not only the driving part but also meeting someone who is going to teach you how to drive for the first time. I know some friends of mine had to get new driving instructors after not getting along with them. For the first lesson my driving instructor drove us to a much quieter area in the countryside where there wasn't so many other vehicles around and I have to say that I was surprised at how 'easy' I thought it was to simply drive along a road - I don't know what I was imagining.

The next few lessons:
After the first lesson I was in the driving seat from then, getting to know the basics from starting off, changing gears and getting the hang of driving on the roads. I always enjoyed learning to drive and I think doing my theory test beforehand definitely helped!

Top Tips:

1. SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! - Driving lessons aren't cheap and I wish I'd planned years ago to actually save up for them.

2. Take your theory test as soon as possible. - I think the fact that I'd already passed my theory test helped a lot when first learning to drive, I remember my instructor quizzing me on road signs and surprisingly getting the majority correct!

3. Watch youtube videos. - If I was ever stuck on a maneuver for example I found watching youtube videos helped a lot, I'll link my favourite driving channel here.

4. Websites and Apps. - As well as watching youtube videos another way to help you learn are apps and websites. The website Book Learn Pass has information on local driving instructors in your area, theory test information and their own tips. And also the theory app which I used when practicing for my theory test, linked here.


Let me know if you found this post helpful at all.



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*This post was written in collaboration with Book Learn Pass.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

London Tourist for a week



If you follow me on Instagram you'll have most probably seen that I've posted quite a few photos of London recently. That's because living up north I don't get to visit London very often, so when I had the chance to spend a week down there this summer I took every opportunity to be as touristy as possible! I know bloggers love London at the best of times so I thought I'd share some of the many photo's I took when I was down there (if I haven't already bored you enough over on Instagram). I spent quite a bit of time in Shoreditch which is where my university exhibition was held, on Brick Lane and I wanted to visit places I'd never been to in London before such as Buckingham Palace and Downing Street.



















I can't wait to visit London again and take even more pretty pictures.



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