Baking Time – Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal and Raisin cookies

My boyfriend and I recently invested in a teapot and have started trying out some leaf teas. At the moment we’re on Whittard’s Afternoon blend which is delicious!

But as we all know, you can’t have tea without a bit of something sweet, so I’ve been making these delicious oatmeal and raisin cookies to go with it. It’s dead simple and there’s not too much fat and and sugar in them. Plus the raisins must be one of your five a day.

The recipe source is here, but I tweak it by adding a bit of vanilla.

  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4)
  • Cream together 85g of room temperature butter (I tend to melt in the microwave to make it easier) and 115g light muscovado sugar.
  • Blend in a beaten egg and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
  • Sift in 115g of self raising flour and fold it in until combined.
  • Fold in 55g of porridge oats and 170g raisins.
  • Splop teaspoon sized dollops onto a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Our oven’s a bit mental so I bake them at 150ºC and turn them round halfway through.

The cookies are lovely straight from the oven but they’ll last for a good few days if you can stop yourself from eating them all at once!

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My Email Was Featured on The Social Hour!

I recently emailed in to one of my favourite podcasts about social media to tell them about how my experience with LinkedIn has changed since I decided to quit my job and set up as a freelancer.

They get round to me at 47:15, but the whole thing’s worth a watch!

Dorothy Perkins – Learn From Amazon

So the Dorothy Perkins saga continues. I still haven’t had my money back after 2 phone calls and 2 emails. It looks like I’m not the only one either: Click

 

Amazon on the other hand have been amazing!

 

Rob got me a Kindle for Christmas and I’ve loved it. It’s so quick to get books, and it’s often cheaper, let alone the fact that it’s so light and the battery power lasts for aaaaages! So I was devestated when I got back from a weekend away in Portsmouth to find the screen cracked, rendering it useless.

 

I thought they wouldn’t replace it under warranty because it was accidental damage, but as soon as Rob called Amazon they offered me a completely new one for free! Even more amazing, it arrived the very next day, and they sent DHL to pick up the broken one from Rob’s work for me!

 

Amazon, I salute you! Dorothy Perkins, you are crap!

Dorothy Perkins and the Case of the Missing Top

Last week I had an urge. An urge to update my wardrobe.

I don’t buy clothes all that often. I hate shopping for them, I hate trying them on, I hate that teeny creeping feeling that I’m about to have my eye taken out by a wayward coathanger. Neuroses aside, I prefer to buy online.

Dorothy Perkins had a sale on, so I headed over to their website and found a nice tunic-type top with a waist belt (I love a good waist belt). They were also having a 20% off sale, so I clicked buy, paid the amount I’d actually save on the top on postage (first frustration of the day) and headed to bed.

They kindly sent me a link to track my parcel, so track I did. I was a bit worried that it would turn up while I was at work, but I figured I’d be able to pick it up from a depot if it did. I was bored at work on Thursday and thought I’d check out and was delighted to find its status was “delivered” so when I got home I was a more than a little surprised that it wasn’t there. I decided to give DP a ring and find out where it was.

When I called, I was told I was 18th in the queue. Fair enough I thought, it’s just gone 6, everyone wants to call then. The hold music was terrible and I had no further updates as to where I was in the queue.

20 long minutes later, I’d checked Facebook, my bank account and made good headway through my Google Reader list, when they finally answered the phone. I’d pretty much forgotten what I was calling about by then, but did get the point across. I asked where my top was. They couldn’t tell me, but said they’d raise it with the courier and they’d email me within 48 hours. I hung up, relatively satisfied that something was being done.

Me being me though, I thought I’d try to speed it up a bit and tweeted @Dorothy_Perkins thusly:

Screen_shot_2011-04-27_at_22

So, that wasn’t very helpful. I also tried to contact the parcel service directly, but they also told me to contact DP.

I do realise it was then the Bank Holiday weekend, but she definitely said 48 hours, not 48 working hours, so I was more than a little frustrated when I still hadn’t heard from them on Tuesday. I decided to call again and demand my money back.

This time I was 14th in the queue at 7.58. After about 20 minutes, the music changed and I stopped getting the “Thank you for your patience” messages, so I knew I was being put on hold by a real life person. This was more than a little annoying.

After another 5 minutes holding, I was beginning to lose my rag and when the girl answered I just said the situation was ridculous, could I have my money back. She said yes, I could have my money back and she’d just find out what happened to my parcel. Now, I’ve worked in a call centre before and in many other different customer service environments and never have I been told it’s acceptable to keep someone on hold like that for any length of time without returning every couple of minutes to let the customer know what’s going on. I was on hold for another 10 minutes without hearing anything, When she eventually came back, I’d assumed she’d have a definitive answer. But no.

It turned out that the parcel courier hadn’t been able to find my address. Hmm….sat navs know where it is….Google Maps knows where it is….it’s in bloody great big letters on the front of the building for crying out loud! On top of that, when they’d said it was “delivered”, they’d actually “delivered” it to another parcel company without telling me or DP what was going on. Good job, son!

Apparently it would take 4-6 (wait for it) WEEKS to find out where the top actually was, so I’ve been given a refund. Or at least I’ve been told I have, it’s still not in my bank account or my PayPal account. 

 

So, to sum up, they’ve lost my top, kept me on hold on an 0844 number for the best part of an hour and can take my money at the drop of a hat, but it’s going to take 3-5 days for it to come back to me. Maybe the top will eventually turn up with plenty of stories to tell about the sites it’s seen, but I doubt it. I just can’t believe how poor their customer service has been from start to finish. I won’t be shopping there again.

Worst Start To The Day Ever?

Our tumble drier decided that instead of drying our towels it would rather fill up with water

The radiator we put said towels next to to dry decided it would rather not come on

Leaving us with soaking wet towels this morning

Raced to the station only to find my train was delayed

The train got so full it couldn’t physically move

No-one would get off, causing a further delay, making me late for work

Racing to get to work, both of my shoes fell off

Got to work (at a water company I must stress) and none of the toilets in the 7 storey building were flushing

Other than that my day was fine!