Showing posts with label Raintree Annie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raintree Annie. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Do House Plants Make Good Gifts Reviewed

 


I love to give Houseplants as gifts. I find they are a personal and living gift that shows you have given some thought to the person you are giving them to. 

There are many occasions that are suitable for giving a houseplant. They are perfect for a housewarming gift, Birthdays, anniversaries and to mark special occasions and are very memorable.

They also last a lot longer than cut flowers, lovely as they are if you wish to give them as a Thankyou or get well gift. 

Houseplants do so much to clean and purify the air and beautify our homes. Whether it is a fern-like plant, a flowering plant, a cactus type, one with an interesting or unusual habit or form or a beautiful leaf shape, it will be a gorgeous gift for any style of home.

You do not need to know the person's decor and the houseplant will be suitable however they change the decor over the years. House plants are very popular, even trendy now, so for people of all ages, your thoughtful gift will be well received. 





What To Bear In Mind When Giving A Houseplant As A Gift.

There are just a few things to bear in mind when giving an indoor plant as a gift.

  • They are living plants and do need to be treated with care. 
  • If you know the person is good with indoor plants but it's a new plant to them please include a short note to let them know how to look after it along with its common and Latin name. That way if they want to learn more they can. 
  • If it's a person who knows little about houseplants then a brief sheet of care instructions will be helpful.
  • When giving a houseplant it is also always useful to provide a pot to put the houseplant in and if they are very new to indoor gardening a small watering can and a bottle of houseplant feed is always appreciated to get them started. 
  • You do need to be aware if the person you are giving the gift to has young children or pets as you need to be careful the houseplant you choose is not toxic to them. 
  • If you know the person has allergies it is best to avoid flowering plants or those with strongly scented flowers, to be on the safe side.  
  • Avoid very spiky plants where there are young children or pets to avoid any accidents. 



Things To Bear In Mind For the Plants 

  • If you know the house the person is living in try to buy a plant that will suit the conditions.
  • So if it is a shady basement flat choose a shade loving plant rather than one that needs sunlight. 
  • If their main room faces south and gets sunshine all day long avoid ferns and other shade loving plants.  
  • Purchase a plant for them that will not outgrow the available space. A big plant can look amazing in a small room but not if in a couple of years they will be struggling to get through the door because of it or the plant is squashed in a corner.
  • I do tend to avoid buying houseplants as gifts in the depths of winter just due to the transportation of them from shop to car or delivery to my home and then onto the person I am giving the gift to when it is freezing cold is not really great for the health of a plant that likes to be warm. 
  • My other caveat is that if you know the person is short on time and has a hectic life or that they will not be able to devote much energy to looking after a plant choose a very easy care one like a spider plant or mother in laws tongue or an easy care cactus type.   

 



 Examples of Easy Care House Plants

Always give a learner an easy-care houseplant, even one that can take some inconsistencies, neglect, or be easily revived. 

Likewise, if you are gifting to a busy family or someone with a hectic lifestyle or who travels away a lot easy care forgiving houseplants are best.  


The Asparagus Fern As A Houseplant Reviewed

Swiss Cheese Plant Or Monstera Reviewed As A House Plant And Fashion Trend

Reviewing Growing And Care Of Dracaena As A Houseplant

Caring For Mother In Laws Tongue As A Houseplant Reviewed

The Spider Plant As A Houseplant Reviewed 

  


 

 Examples Of More Advanced Care House Plants  

These beautiful and amazing plants look great but do need a little more knowledge and care.

They do however make beautiful gifts for anyone who would be willing to learn or who loves houseplants already. 

As a child, I remember being given a living stone plant that I knew nothing about and was completely fascinated by and I learned to care for it. 


 

Care Of The Intriguing Carnivorous Venus Fly Trap House Plant Reviewed

Reviewing Caring For The Stunning Polka Dot Begonia House Plant

Reviewing The Care Of Living Stone Flowers or Lithops As Houseplants

Reviewing the Care Of Beautiful Anthurium Or Flamingo Flower House Plants 

 


 
 

 Useful Care Of House Plant Reviews

Here are a few articles that are useful to anyone looking after houseplants.   

Reviewing How To Take Care Of Your House Plants On Vacation

All House Plant Reviews On Review This Reviews

 


I have house plants that were given to me many years ago and they are so treasured and always remind me of the person who gave them to me. 

I think given the caveats above that houseplants can be a beautiful, thoughtful gift for many special occasions and there is a gorgeous houseplant for most people and situations. 




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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Reviewing Winter Walks In Nature For Wellbeing

 


When we are in mid-winter it is all too tempting to stay indoors warm and cosy and away from the wintery weather. Often that is a really lovely thing to do. However, I find if I stay indoors for too long I start to feel a bit down and a bit sluggish especially in the winter. We suffer from the lack of daylight hours and the same scenery. Also, we may well miss out on some beautiful scenes in nature

So as long as the weather is not too bad or dangerous conditions, my husband and I agreed that every day we will go for a winter walk. We like to wrap up warmly take our camera and go out to find the beauty in this season.




We find it very uplifting to become absorbed in nature in this way even if only for half an hour. It lifts our spirits and clears the mind. I always feel better after a winter walk. A few hours is ideal and when we can do that and drive deep into the countryside it is so beneficial. However, when it is too cold to stay out that long we just take a short walk and even if it has only been for fifteen to thirty minutes I really notice a difference. 

Winter Trees

I love to see the beauty in the trees this time of year. All the leaves have fallen now and all we can see is the structure and majesty of their gorgeous limbs and trunks. My favourite tree this time of year is the Silver Birch which once it has lost all its leaves and stands proud with its silver trunk takes on a magical quality especially if covered in frost or snow.

 

Silver Birch Trees In Winter


Noticing Nature and Colour In Winter

I find at mid-winter when we are not distracted by gorgeous colourful flowers and trees in full leaf we notice other natural things that we overlooked before. Like an old fallen log that is covered in fungi and the shape of a tree. The spider webs are clearly visible now all covered in sparkling frost.

Winter is not devoid of colour though. we may need to look harder for it but it is there. Of course, there are the Holly berries shining out bright red against the dark green of their evergreen leaves. Cotoneaster is covered in red berries and looks especially lovely with a light dusting of frost. Equally one of the more beautiful things to look for are wild rose hips, so red and shiny and in abundance. The one below was a gorgeous wild rose covered in flowers in summer, now a thicket of red rose hips. 

Rose Hips



Cotoneaster berries


Christmas Lights On Winter Walks

Around Christmas time we find it lovely to take a walk at dusk so that we can wander around our neighbourhood to look at all the beautiful lights and decorations. 

It is a real joy to see all the sparking lights and different colours at the time of year when daylight is in short supply. 

Then when we get home is a large mug of hot chocolate and maybe a warm mince pie to warm up.  

Frosted Plants In Winter

In the winter I like that you do not need to travel far to view gorgeous plants. Often if the roads are icy or poor traveling conditions or just very cold and threatening rain or snow we prefer to walk locally.

By walking around your own neighbourhood you can see lovely beauty in people's gardens like this frosted Smoke bush. It normally has reddish frothy seedheads that look like smoke but as you can see the freezing temperatures have transformed it into an ice spectacle! 


Frozen Smoke Bush


Also, watch the bare branches of any shrub in your garden or the road you live on, you will start to see tiny buds. They are ready just waiting, resting steady for now but ready to burst forth into leaf once the weather warms and the days become longer. 

Winter Sky Can Be Stunning

My other recommendation in winter is to look up at the skies. They can be spectacular at this time of year in daylight hours on a clear day taking your breath away with their sheer beauty. At night if it is clear and dark there is something amazing about gazing up at the bright stars and feeling like you can reach out and touch them.




Feeding Ducks On A Winter Walk Brings Joy

I love to get out and feed the ducks, geese and coots at a local wildlife center. They are invariably hungry at this time of year and it is often quiet and calm with few people around. Unlike in summer we often have lots of space to ourselves and it is a joy to feed the birds and get close to them. 




Winter Solstice

The winter solstice on or around the 21st December is one of my favourite days. It is the day with the shortest hours of daylight but it also means that from now on each day is getting a little lighter, a little nearer Spring and that gives me such a feeling of hope and happiness in mid-winter. We always light a candle and feel thanks for the new life to come. 

So if winter is getting you down with its short hours of daylight and poor weather and it seems still a long time until spring do weather permitting, try to get out there for just a little while. The fresh clean air and exercise will do us good, lift our spirits and with the added benefit if it is sunny of the sunshine on our faces to brighten up the darkest days of year.

 

Wellbeing And Nature In Winter

We need to be safe and clearly not to go out in severe weather but if and when conditions allow we can wrap up warmly and take a little wander. There is no need to go too far but your body and mind will benefit from time out of the house absorbing yourself in nature for just a little while. 

If the weather is so bad that you cannot get out at all, as I know it is in some areas of the world right now,  then sit awhile by your window to watch nature from the safety of your home.

In these bleaker times we let the world of nature come to us. Hopefully, you can see some winter sky, shrubs or trees and maybe birds, squirrels and other wildlife will pass by. Frost, ice and snow make everything in the garden or sightline look and feel different.

We can take comfort in the fact that this winter will pass and Spring is invariably on its way as it always does. Winter can be the harshest of seasons yet it too has its beauty. 

I always take great comfort in the delicate, exquisitely beautiful and strong hardy snowdrop that is ready under the ground now just waiting to burst forth often into so cold weather and snow shows us that there is hope in the deep mid-winter for brighter, lighter days to come. 






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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Reviewing Reusable Christmas Gift Bags

 


 

How is your Christmas gift wrapping going? Do you find it a chore that has to be done or a happy festive part of the fun?  We have just started to wrap all our gifts and these days it is an easy joyful process. A few years ago we bought one pack of reusable Christmas gift bags and now, for many reasons, we love them! Since then we have bought a pack each year and now have plenty to meet all our Christmas wrapping needs for years to come!


Prior to purchasing the Christmas gift bags we had always bought rolls of wrapping paper, tape and needed scissors to hand and a lot of space. I was always Ok at gift wrapping presents so they looked pretty but my husband does not like doing it. My dad had a go but usually needed damage control after he had finished and my Mum struggled the last few years of her life with wrapping presents as she had bad arthritis in her hands. We all got a bit frustrated with all the sticky tape and scissors and endless rolls of paper all around. 


We are also concerned about waste and the environment and although we have always tried to save wrapping paper to reuse where possible that was often difficult because it had been ripped or torn during gift opening time! So still a lot of it went into the bin. Although some could be recycled, a lot could not. 


So when we saw these types of reusable gift bags we thought they would solve several problems.


1. Despite the initial issues of production of wrapping bags and materials, because they can be reused many times they are more environmentally friendly than buying paper and throwing it away after just one use. If we are going to use wrapping for our gifts make and buy it once, using it many times is better for the environment.

2. These gift bags make wrapping gifts so much easier and quicker!  Even awkward-shaped gifts are so easy to wrap using these bags. I find them very time-saving. It takes me significantly less time now to wrap presents with these bags than it used to with wrapping paper.  It is simply a case of opening the bag putting the gift inside and tieing up the top with the drawstring or a ribbon, add a tag and you are done!  


3. If you have any issues with your hands such as arthritis or you just find trying to wrap gifts difficult these wrapping bags, especially those with drawstrings, are wonderful and relieve a lot of pressure and stress.  

4. Christmas gift bags look beautiful and can be made up with ties, ribbons and bows to look gorgeous and very well presented even if you are not good at wrapping procedures. Some sets have integrated drawstrings which can be very useful or if not you can easily tie them up with a beautiful ribbon. They look wonderful and festive under the tree. The big ones look impressive sat under the Christmas tree. Small or light presents could even be hung on the tree or placed in a Christmas stocking. 

5. They come in a wide variety of colours, pretty, festive and fun designs to suit every member of your family and friends. Some even come with tags and ribbons included. 

6. The Christmas gift bags come in different sizes to meet your needs. You can get them for really large gifts in jumbo sizes or small and precious gifts and everything in between. 

You can either put the gift straight into the bag or if you want to disguise it more put it inside a box or other container first.  



7. Once you buy the gift bags you can use them again and again. The initial outlay may be a little more but it means that you do not have to keep remembering to buy more wrapping paper every year and if you are careful to gather them up within your family you can reuse them every year thus saving time and money. 


There is such a huge variety of Christmas gift bags I have just included a couple of sets here to give you an idea and you can browse from there and choose which sets suit your needs.


 

We have now had our original set for 4 years and it is as good as the first year. 

It is important after opening the present to carefully gather up and fold the bags and then put them away safely but it is a small task. The gift bags are very easy to store. They generally lie flat and we store them along with the other Christmas decorations.

They are more environmentally friendly as long as you do reuse them. When you are giving gifts within your family or household it is easy to gather them up to use again.

If giving gifts outside your household you can mention that the bag is reusable and hopefully they will save it and use it again.



Gifts are very easy to wrap using these bags. It makes Christmas gift-wrapping time much easier and quicker. Although I do enjoy the process of wrapping gifts as it is more fun and less work this way, I will not go back to using rolls of wrapping paper again and will simply use our reusable Christmas gift bags. 


Wishing everyone who celebrates, a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas! 







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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Reviewing The Benefits Of Battery Motion Sensor Lights

 


 

We have had these portable battery-operated motion sensor lights for about a year now and I can say that we are so happy to have these useful lights. We have the Beams ones which we are happy with, but there are many choices depending on your needs. 

Essentially they are battery-powered lights that come on automatically when they sense movement. They stay on as long as movement is detected then quickly go off if all is still. 

They have a bright white light and for their size do give out a surprisingly useful reassuring beam of light. 


Palm-sized battery Motion Sensor Light


We have found the batteries to last a very long time with our usage.

They only come on when motion is detected and go off again quite quickly if there is no movement detected so they do not use up the battery quickly. 

They are not large and easily fit on a table, sideboard, kitchen sink, or window ledge.

We find them very light and easy to carry around in the palm of your hand. 

You can easily move them from place to place and comfortably carry one or two around with you to light the way.



 

We are used to having electrical lights whenever we need them. However, there are many potential occasions when these electric lights may fail, for example, a power cut or outage whether it is planned or sudden, storm damage or simply running out of replacement bulbs for the main light.

Some of these lights are designed for indoor use only or indoor/outdoor and some are especially suited for outdoor use and can be fixed securely to buildings so do check descriptions carefully so you get the right ones for your needs. It is probably best to have a variety to be prepared. 

Some lights you can place on a surface or stick onto a surface or have the option to be fixed more permanently, so check what suits you best. 

Keeping a few battery-powered lights around can be a real help when electrical lights fail for whatever reason. We can use candles of course but while they are lovely for a romantic meal,  I do question the safety of flames in a blackout situation and especially where older people, children and pets are around.  So we prefer to use these portable lights. 

 

Photo showing size of motion sensor lights against a coffee mug


Uses For Portable Motion Sensor Battery Lights

We have personally found many uses for them including the following.

In the hallway so that at night we do not need to switch on the main lights just to walk to the bathroom.

In the garden patio in order to light up the garden area near the house.

On the floor by the skirting board when we thought we had mice to see if any were actually around! If they ran past the light it would come on. 

On the porch where we do not have an electrical light to help when we returned home in the dark and for the postie and milk delivery to be able to see better in the early dawn 

They were very handy when there was a power cut as we had them on the stairs and hallway, living room, kitchen and bedroom to easily light our way and keep us safe from trips or falls. 

We also had a couple to carry around in the power cut as they are much safer than candles and more effective with a good strong beam of light. 

In event of a power cut or if you do not have outside lights it is useful to position a couple so that if you need to go to the bins or let the dog/cat out in the dark there is some useful light. 

Keep one or two in the car so that in the event of a breakdown or emergency, you will have some light. 


 

Further Benefits Of Motion Sensor Battery Operated Lights

We also think they are very useful and have real benefits for the following situations. 


For Elderly relatives or vulnerable people to position around the home permanently so that even if the lights are not on or they forget to turn lights on or have a power cut or outage they have light automatically. I do feel this is crucial to help prevent trips and falls and the worry that comes with darkness. 


Children to have them in their rooms or in the hallway so that if they do not turn the lights on or there is an outage during the night they can still move around safely and have some light.


Pets. If your home is in complete darkness it is all too easy to trip up over a dog or cat or any other pet that may be around. With these lights just position a couple on the floor and you will see where your pet is so you can safely avoid him or her. 

 

In a dark closet or wardrobe, cupboard or larder so you can instantly see better. 


Security- A wired-in electrical security light system is great when you have electricity. However, if you do not have any installed or if there is a power cut it is good to have a backup system. You can place a portable motion sensor light on a porch or in the patio or window box where it will detect any movement.  I would advise they are kept away from heavy rain though unless they are sold as fully waterproof. Ours which are sold as indoor/outdoor have been fine on a porch and when positioned in a large container and covered by a large waterproof plant pot so just the sensor part is visible.

However, if you want a more permanent backup system or instead of electrical security lights outside, I would think it's best to go for ones that are designed especially for outdoor use and bad weather and can be securely installed. 


 

Where I live we are being advised that there may be periods of blackouts or power cuts this winter and they are expected to last for 3 to 4 hours at a time so these lights will be essential during those times. We are going to set them up in key areas around the home so it is all ready. This will take the stress out of searching for candles or torches when it is pitch dark! 

We do not like to be without lights and I think it can be very dangerous to either try to move around in the dark or equally to carry candles or other light that may be easily flammable. These lights are so portable and give a very useful beam. 

I think these portable battery-operated sensor lights are a very useful household item, but especially if you have older people, children or pets living in your home I think they are essential. 


 


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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Reviewing Warm, Wearable Oversized Hooded Blankets.

 


I absolutely love my warm Kudd.ly oversized hooded blanket!! I have never had one before but this year with energy bills rising fast and watching how much we put the heating on this autumn and winter we needed other ways to keep warm. 

We bought the Kudd.ly hoodie brand which I would recommend,  but there are many different companies selling them now. So it is best to see what is available to you and what is important to you. 

These hooded blankets are really great. They are generously oversized and have a hood and arms with plenty of room. The length for an adult, clearly depending on height, is generally mid thigh to around knee length or a bit longer. 

You simply pop it over your head and it is a massive cosy, warm cover-up. This means that it is easy to relax on the sofa with it on and also you can easily move around the house while wearing it and keep warm, unlike a blanket that slips off or trips you up.  


Our Kudd.ly is made of plush soft polyester on the outside and sherpa lined and thus very warm and soft to wear. The hood goes right over my head so plenty big enough if you find you need that extra warmth.

We mainly wear them first thing in the morning when having our breakfast and coffee and in the evenings once we settle down to watch a film or read or go on the internet. I do wear it when I am working from home though probably not for a work Zoom Call although I have come close when I forgot I was wearing it!! 

Once it gets much colder in winter I can see us wearing them during the day when we are at home. 


Sizing Of The Wearable Hooded Blanket

Ours is one size fits most people. Most of the hooded blankets I have seen are one size fits most. They are not designed to be form-fitting or even neat fit but rather a great big oversized cuddly wearable blanket. 

As an example, It fits both me at 5 foot 8 inches tall and my 6 foot 2 inches, tall husband, with room to spare and is plenty big enough in all measurements. 

If you are buying a different brand it is just best to check how big it is and how it fits.  

Many brands also do children's sizes so best to check what is the most suitable for your child. 



Benefits Of Wearable Hooded Blankets

  • It really does keep you very warm. It can be worn over anything so day clothes, dresses and PJs or just over a vest top or T shirt.
  • It is long enough on most people to either wear with trousers, joggers or PJs or leggings or if you are warm enough on its own.  
  • It is not size specific so once you have one it doesn't matter if you gain or lose weight and is especially useful when buying for teenagers who can wear the adult versions and still wear it as they grow taller.
  • Clearly, it will depend on height but for many adults, an adult size will probably be around mid thigh to knee length or slightly longer. So for most adults you are not in danger of tripping up over it when walking around or going up and down stairs like you would if walking around with a blanket around your shoulders with the danger of it slipping off.

  •  

  •   On children it will depend on their height and probably best to buy a child size specific hooded blanket. I would probably aim for no longer than just below the knee or maybe mid calf length for a child to be safe walking around in it. Many older teenagers would be fine in an adult version. 
  • It looks good and covers you up, so you can certainly open the door to delivery drivers or neighbours without worrying you look like you are in your night clothes at 7pm!




  • These hooded blankets come in many different colours and designs for both adults and children so it is matter of choosing your favourite. There are block colours, patterned designs, tie dye designs, children and teens designs in fun and funky designs or with animal features. The Sherpa fleece inside is very soft and usually white. 
  • The massive kangaroo-type pocket at the front is great for carrying around all those little bits and pieces! It's also great for keeping your hands very warm

  • I think they are suitable for everyone from men to women, older children to elderly people. 
  • On a cold day or night, you just feel so warm and cosy and cuddly which is a great feeling! 
  • If you don't need to wear them for example in the warmer weather, they come in a great bag that they can also be stored in. 
  • As you are so warm and they are much warmer than normal jumpers or sweaters, you won't need to have the expensive heating on so much so over time they will more than pay for themselves. 



Care Of A Wearable Hooded Blanket

Our Kudd.ly hooded blanket is fully washable on a gentle cycle. To dry either hang to dry outside on a washing line or inside over an airer or a gentle tumble dry. It has washed and dried beautifully. 

Personally, I think you need at least two each, so one to wear and one in the wash. Once you have one you never want to be without it for a minute!

  


 The Oversized Hooded Blanket As A Gift

They make wonderfully thoughtful gifts and the only decision really is whether it's a child or adult size and which color to buy and will suit everyone from older children to elderly people in the family! 

Any gender can and do wear these hoodies, it is just a choice of which colour and design! 

You have no worries about what size the buy as this garment does fit most people. 

I do think especially for winter Birthdays and for Christmas gifts these wearable oversized hoodies are a very thoughtful and fun gift. As it is so huge it also really feels like a substantial gift and can be tried on straight away. 

Different brands do vary in price and quality so do check out before you buy. 

As for negatives I really cannot find any. I just wish I had bought them for us and for gifts years ago.



If you want to feel toasty warm from head to toe in the colder months, consider buying a Warm Wearable Oversized Hoodie Blanket and also Women's Warm Winter Sherpa Lined Pants reviewed by Sylvestermouse Cynthia.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Reviewing Baking Irish Soda Bread With A Twist.

 


Soda bread is bread but made without yeast and there is no need to wait for it to rise or have resting periods. So it is a very quick and easy delicious bread to make. 

You can find the basic recipe in many places online but I wanted to tell you about the things I do to make it a little extra special.

I first made Irish Soda bread with my Mum and have continued t make it throughout my life. It is a bread I really like and it is easy and fun to make. 


What You Need To Bake Soda Bread

Weighing scales

A large mixing bowl

A normal eating knife

A teaspoon

A clean clear surface 

A measuring jug 




Basic Ingredients To Bake Soda Bread

Wholemeal strong flour 500g

2 teaspoons of sea salt or ordinary salt if you don't have sea salt

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

400ml of milk. Whole milk is recommended but I have found you can use whole milk or semi-skimmed and I also use Almond milk. 

1 lemon or about 4-5 teaspoons of lemon juice if you don't have a lemon to squeeze

2 teaspoons of honey - I have found you can omit this if you don't like or cannot have honey.



 Baking Method

  • Pre Heat oven to gas mark 6 or 200C/180C fan
  • Mix together in a large bowl the flour, bicarb of soda and salt.
  • This is also the time to add any other optional dry ingredients
  • Mix the milk and lemon juice together in a jug then wait one minute and it turns into buttermilk. Add the honey at this stage if you wish.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and stir gently ideally using a knife, not your hands, so the dry ingredients and the milk mixture come together in a sticky dough. 
  • Handle the dough as little as possible. This bread is much better the less we handle it. 
  • Take the dough which will feel quite sticky and place it onto a floured surface. I use the same wholemeal flour.  Quickly shape it into a round or oval shape covering all sides with the flour. 
  • The dough should then be placed on a floured baking tray and make a cross on the top with the knife. Then put it straight into the pre heated oven. You do not need to allow any time for rising with this bread recipe, in fact the sooner you get it in the oven at this point the better. 
  • It will need about 40 minutes in the oven. However, we have found in a fan oven it needs a little less. So I generally check it halfway through.
  • After baking leave it to cool on a wire rack. Or eat it warm. 


Additional Ingredients To Make Soda Bread Special

I have experimented with quite a few ingredients and these are my favorites. All of these should be added to the dry flour mix before adding the milk.

If you add a lot more dry ingredients you will need to increase the amount of milk mix accordingly, so that it is not too dry. 




Rosemary- we have lots of rosemary in the garden so I just cut some fresh green tender growth beforehand and wash it then chop it very finely and add it to the mix. It smells amazing and is lovely in this recipe.

I am thinking you could add any herbs you like to this recipe. I have wondered what it would be like with lavender or chives. 


Cinnamon- We both love cinnamon and so add it to this recipe. It smells and tastes gorgeous and an added bonus is the whole house is beautifully scented of cinnamon! 

I would also like to try ginger when I am making more of a bread-cake mix. 


 

Oats. We just use normal breakfast porridge oats and add about a cupful to the recipe. If you do this you will find you need to increase the amount of milk accordingly or it will be too dry. 

Adding oats gives the bread more body and makes it more into a very tasty and filling healthy cake.  

Fruit. I have tried a lot of different fruits and I think the most successful are dried good quality raisins and cherries either fresh or frozen -ones defrosted beforehand. You could add whatever are your favorite fruits. 


If you are making more of a soda bread - cake you can also sprinkle with icing sugar or decorate the top to your individual taste after baking. This makes it unique and individual for occasions like Halloween or Christmas bread. 

Now you can add all these additional ingredients but it is probably best to exercise some restraint and add one or two extra and see how you like it. 

You can eat it with butter, margarine, cream or jam or it tastes just lovely on its own. We often have the simple bread recipe mix with no extra ingredients with a stew or with chilli. When we add the extra ingredients we like to eat it warm on its own. 


 

I prefer this soda bread mix warm but If it does cool completely and we want it warm we find it is perfectly fine to warm up again with 5 minutes in the oven without burning or losing its quality. 

I like making this bread as it is very quick, easy and satisfying to make. You can adapt the recipe to suit you, and it can be vegetarian and diabetic-friendly.

I am honestly not sure how long it should last as a loaf is always gone in a maximum of two days here! I imagine perhaps three or four days stored properly would be about right. 

This soda bread is wonderful as a supper snack, with the main meal and also, especially if you add oats as breakfast.


I like baking but I do not get much time these days so this quick recipe is great for me. I am sure the true chefs and avid bakers amongst you can make this even more delicious! 

The whole task takes about an hour and most of that is the oven doing the cooking so maybe 15-20 minutes or less of preparation time so is easy bread making.

We find it is especially lovely to eat home made soda bread warm on an autumn or winter's day and often it does not last long enough to completely cool on the rack!


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