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Hot Chocolate Lava Puddle

How could we describe this dessert?

It’s like thick, hot chocolate meets chocolate sauce meets chocolate fondue meets chocolate creme pot meets seriously underbaked but still deliciously gooey chocolate fondant.

Hot Chocolate Lava Puddle is a bit of an unusual dessert. It’s like potage. It’s like a chocolate potage! Perhaps that’s what we should have called it. Or warm chocolate cake batter (but without the flour!)

The inspiration for this recipe came from a dessert served at a dinner party where the host called it Molten Chocolate Magic! We were given the gist of how it was made, and with a few tweaks and adjustments, we came up with Hot Chocolate Lava Puddle!

To read more, please click here to go to the new Frengellica site.

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Look After The Money, Honey! The All-Important Financial Detox

Money comes and money goes… but for some of us, money seems to be going out a lot faster than it’s coming in! We’ve been plunged into an economic crisis which never seems to  be getting better. More people over thirty-five in the UK are living with their parents or doing houseshares than ever before; many people are finding it hard to get on the property ladder; jobs are in short supply, and we can all safely say that the cost of living is going up at an alarming rate. And it’s a horrible thought but with the state pension age steadily going up, it appears that now more than ever we need to take serious care of our finances.

And with the spread of the recent pandemic which has seen many businesses suffer, and thousands out of work, many more people are sadly experiencing financial hardship. Some of us have even discovered that that rainy day fund hasn’t been as much of a back-up plan as we thought because we had been saving up for a rainy day. Not a tsunami!

To read more, please click here to go to the new Frengellica site.

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This Tea Party Rules!

These days most of us tend to be cappuccino and cake kind of people, but seriously – who doesn’t love a good tea party? Especially if it’s done properly. This rather elegant pastime is considered to be a quintessentially British pursuit; so much so that in the States, an afternoon tea party is considered to be a regular occurrence for all British people. Well sorry to be the bearer of bad news guys, but most of us from the ‘old country’ don’t even own a piece of fine bone China, never mind use it every day. Most of us can’t even remember the last time we used a saucer! On the rare occasions us cappuccino drinkers do drink tea, it’s usually from a cardboard cup – just like our cappuccinos!

Original image by pixabay.com

But a classic afternoon tea party can be a fabulous occasional treat and is very popular for birthdays, bridal showers, anniversaries… and some married couples opt for a tea party instead of a full on traditional three course wedding breakfast. Tea parties are great for when you feel like being super elegant and refined and want to go overboard with the dress coats, tea dresses, hats, gloves, monocles, pearls… Told you it’s not an every day thing!

To read more, click here to go to the new Frengellica site.

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Frengellica: Mrs. D’s New Home!

Goodness, it’s been a while since I last posted here! I hope everyone is fine and coping well after a very difficult few months. I know we’re not out of the woods yet but hopefully better days are ahead.

A couple of years ago (it was never meant to be that long!) I decided that Chez Mrs. D needed a bit of a revamp. So revamp I did – and gave the site a completely new name!  And so FRENGELLICA was born!!!!

I’ve used this time in isolation to plod away until I came up with something that I think is pretty neat. For those of you who love Chez Mrs. D. – fear not! There’s pretty much the same style of content and features that you love but a lot of it is geared towards better-living for those of you who want to live happier, healthier, even more fulfilling lives. And don’t fret if you’re not the yoga-and-green-smoothie type of girl or guy (although there will be quite a few yoga-and-green-smoothie type posts!) Frengellica is dedicated to helping you enhance  your life in every aspect – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, occupationally, recreationally, romantically… basically every kind of -ally! Frengellica is a site containing a blog and forum that aims to create a community of like-minded people who are willing to put in the work in order to transform their lives in whatever way they wish. It’s for those who wish to be inspired and motivated; get out of the rut they’re stuck in; learn new skills, and have a few laughs along the way.

In Frengellica you’ll find:

Posts about natural hair and skincare.
How-tos and tutorials on a variety of topics.
Posts about stress and time management.
Recipes for you to try out in features such as Wake Me Up Before Your Cacao, Bake It Sexy, and Why Did The Chicken Fly Across The World?
A book club with a difference called Read For Your Supper
Forums where you can chat and share ideas with other Frengellistas.
A weekly feature called Quips of an Angel where I do what I do best – talk!
A feature called Mister Frengellista to show the guys that we love them too!

And that’s just for starters!

So check out the new Frengellica site and if you like what you see, please be sure to subscribe AND sign up to become a member so that you can have your say on the forum.

Hope to see you there, Frengellistas!

To see the new Frengellica site, please click here.

Stay safe and well everyone x

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New-Look Nostalgia Pie Blog… Come Check It Out!

Some of you may know that in addition to Chez Mrs. D, I also have a nostalgia blog for those who love the seventies, eighties, and nineties – the very aptly titled Nostalgia Pie which I’ve been blogging away on since 2012.

But a few months ago, I decided that a revamp was in order so I’ve been working away consistently until I came up with what I feel is a great little blog that I feel very proud of. It’s got a lot of the same style of content that my Nostalgia Pie followers are used to – comfort food recipes, posts about bands, TV shows, retro clothes etc plus some brand new features. I’m so pleased with it!!!

But what I’m not so pleased with (aaaaarrrrrgggghhh!!!!!) are the slight technical hitches that pop up from time to time. It’s annoying, and I’m doing my best to iron them out. I’m putting a lot of these technical mishaps down to the fact that the blog is so new but hopefully in time it will run a lot smoothly. I know a lot of people who have already had a butchers at the site have said that it all depends on which device you use. I know I can view Nostalgia Pie well on my desktop – not so well on my phone and vice versa for my friend. So if it doesn’t work too well on one device, try another. Just a heads up!

So all you nostalgia addicts, take a look and tell me what you think. And to everyone who thinks I’ve forgotten about Chez Mrs. D – I haven’t. That is currently undergoing a facelift too!

 

https://nostalgiapie.wixsite.com/nostalgiapie

 

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Journey To The New World

 

We’ve been in America for over six weeks now and I am slowly getting a feel for our new home. Im gradually adjusting to life in a new country, with a new way of doing things, though thankfully not a new language – although sometimes that’s debatable!

This is my second attempt at life in the USA. The first time admittedly I threw in the towel too soon but everyone puts that down to wrong place, wrong time and I’m inclined to agree with them. This time I feel more prepared and I am liking Massachusetts a lot. I hope this time will be second time lucky!

WHERE WE’VE BEEN

We landed in Ohio where we spent almost a week before beginning the ten hour journey to our new home in Massachusetts. A few weeks later we did another road trip though this time to Delaware which took longer than it should have thanks to Mr. D. getting lost and not wanting to admit it!

New Jersey in the distance - on our way to Delaware
New Jersey in the distance – on our way to Delaware

We were supposed to go to Pennsylvania but unfortunately there wasn’t time but we will fit that in later in the year as well as a visit to North Carolina and a cross-country trip. Woo!

Oh and the number of States I’ve visited has now increased by three – Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Delaware – which brings the total up to a groundbreaking… eleven!

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WHO WE’VE SEEN

Mr D.and I  have family and friends scattered all over the country and we obviously haven’t got round  to see everyone yet – hence the numerous trips planned. But we did get to catch up with Mr. D.’s parents and younger siblings as well as meeting our brother-in-law and the best bit – wait for it – our super cute nephew who was born three weeks after we arrived here. We couldn’t get enough of the little fella!

WHAT WE’VE EXPERIENCED:

THE SNOW

I thought coming from England, I knew all about the cold. I was wrong. Yes people, believe it or not there are places far, far, colder than England!

The back yard
The back yard

Anyone who follows the news will have been aware of the horrendous snowstorm that struck the northeastern states. Thankfully we made it to Massachusetts before we ran into any real difficulty but apart from being pelted by a thick blanket of icy, white stuff while dashing out to the supermarket, and feeling as though we were living in an ice-box despite having the heating on at home, we were much more fortunate than a lot of other people. You only had to see the images on the news channels to see how people were suffering. And our phones were ringing constantly with concerned family and friends wanting to know if we were all right.

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Snow… beautiful to look at… Not always beautiful to be in.

FLAT HUNTING

We thought we were pretty much sorted with the perfect apartment when just a few days before we were due to arrive in Massachusetts, we realised we were being scammed. It seemed too good to be true and it always pays to listen to your instincts. To cut a long story short, the little s**t got reported and he didn’t get any of our hard earned dosh despite his best efforts – but I still hope that Karma will bite a nice big chunk out of his bum! There’s tons of scammers out there who are ripping off innocent  people who are just looking for a decent place to live – almost happened to us in London as well – so be careful, people!

So it meant we arrived in Boston with no apartment to move into and had to stay in motels for over a week. Looking for somewhere suitable to live can be every bit as tricky as trying to find something semi -decent in London, and as we knew we were going to be without a car for a while, we had to find something as close as possible to Mr. D.’s workplace.

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This narrowed our choices down to two, and reluctant to do a house share again, we opted for a basement flat which although wasn’t fantastic (the landlady’s words funnily enough) and was far more expensive, it meant that we had our privacy and the one thing we never had, living in our cramped London studio – space and tons of it! Not only that but we had access to the mini gym, and the garden which boasts a pool and a hot tub. OK, obviously we can’t take full advantage of it during these freezing cold winter months but spring is around the corner and we’d love to put them to use then.

The hot tub!
The hot tub!

Many of the locals will tell you that Massachusetts isn’t cheap when it comes to property so I hope they never visit London because they’ll get the shock of their lives! Our monthly rent now is more or less what we were paying for the little shoebox we just moved from!

BUYING A NEW CAR

In a land where cars are like names – simply everybody has one – to tell an American that you don’t own a car will incur the same reaction as telling them that you don’t own a toothbrush! You’ll be met with a reaction that is a cross between pity, ridicule, confusion and incredulous amazement that you’ve made it this far in life! Whenever we told people that we “don’t have a car at the moment,” the response we usually get is:

“What’s wrong with it? When will they have it ready by?”

We realised that it was far better to let people think that somewhere in town, a mechanic was tinkering away on our nonexistent car. Well nonexistent wasn’t exactly true. Mr. D. is actually the proud owner of a jeep that he’d had for many years but it had to be left in Ohio for several reasons. Furthermore Mr. D. was adamant that we could get by without a motor – especially as his main priority was to buy a house before committing to the expense of owning a car. Plus in an effort to get fit, he wanted to bike more as he had done in Portland.

However, this isn’t Portland and poor Mr. D was having to bike into work in not so pleasant weather conditions, although when the weather was really ghastly he would cycle to the nearest bus stop and wait for the bus, while ignoring the stares of passing motorists who were trying to work out what the hell  was wrong with the strange guy on a bike!

Thankfully it was the birth of our nephew that prompted Mr. D. to finally concede defeat and get a car as there wasn’t a more convenient way of going over to visit. It’s true what everyone says; to live here you really do need a vehicle to get around and it does make life so much easier. I’m so glad we’ve finally got a set of wheels – and I don’t mean bicycle ones!

FOOTBALL FEVER

This is a country that definitely takes their sports seriously. Which is bad news for me because I’m not in the least bit sporty. When we arrived here, football fever was already well under way. The Patriots suffered a crushing defeat which obviously did not go down well with the locals and disappointed me too, as having just arrived in New England I would have loved to have seen them make it to the final.

 

And watching my first ever Super Bowl proved to be very memorable – and not just any Super Bowl but Super Bowl 50 no less – where the Carolina Panthers took on the Denver Broncos – and lost! I was glad because I had my money on the Broncos even though admittedly I didn’t know which was the better of the two teams. I just got lucky! 

 

I was  pretty chuffed to be in America as they celebrated the fiftieth Super Bowl but of course, I didn’t have a clue what was going on! I don’t know the rules or how the game is played – despite Mr. D. trying to explain it to me a million times. But then that’s hardly a surprise as I don’t even know the rules of soccer (also known as real football!) and I grew up in a football (soccer) mad family! Sporty I may not be but I will have to make an effort to understand more about the more popular sports in the States because when in Rome…

WHAT WE’RE UP TO

Mr. D. is a month into his new job and he is loving it! He’s much happier doing what he’s doing now than he was in his old post in London. That reason alone has made the move worth it.

I’ve gone from being an English teacher at one of the most well-established schools in Central London to being a housewife in New England for the time being- and there’s nowt wrong with that! It means that I get to spend more time with Mr. D. than I did when we lived in London, and it’s great that after years in a fast-paced job that got extremely demanding towards the end, I can take a little time out to chill and get used to my new surroundings.

I’m also brushing up on my language skills (comes in very handy in my job!) and working on business ideas that I’d put on the back burner. It’s a case of now or never and I have the time so I’m going for it. And most of our weekends are taken up with house hunting as we search to find a place we’re happy to call home not to mention accommodate the bands of visitors we’re expecting, who we can’t wait to see – just not all at the same time!

Discovering great Chinese food in MA
Discovering great Chinese food in MA

Of course I’m missing my family, my friends, my job and my city but we are only a five hour flight away so even though I can’t fly home every week, I can still make a few trips home a year. But this is such an exciting stage in our lives and I’m determined to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.

Let the good times begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye 2015… Hello 2016!

So another year is (almost)over and another one is about to begin. Thankfully for me it hasn’t been a disastrous year and even though there have been some not so pleasant occurrences, I’ll still be sorry to see it go. You’ve been pretty OK, 2015!

2016 will be a very exciting but also testing time for me and Mr.D. as we start our new lives in America. Who knows what it’ll bring… but we’ll soon find out!

Happy new year everyone! Bring on 2016!!!

 

 

 

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Happy New Kids On The Block Day

The best boy band in the world!

Nostalgia Pie

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It’s that time of year again. The one where I get to dress up and go back to being a thirteen year old again.

No Halloween has not come early. I’m talking about New Kids On The Block Day, and as I’m a die hard fan, I absolutely love this day which remembers all that is fabulous about the most awesome boy band ever to walk this earth: Jordan, Jon, Joe, Danny and Donnie.

New Kids On The Block New Kids On The Block

So come on Blockheads: don those ripped jeans, flash those smiley faces and peace sign medallions, wear your New Kids T-shirts with pride, and crank up the volume so that the whole neighbourhood hears those NKOTB tunes. Watch those videos to your hearts content, and prepare to fall in love with the Boston boy band all over again. It’s what today is all about.

Back in 1989, then Massachusetts governor, Michael…

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Happy New Year from Chez Mrs. D!

I cannot believe that another new year is about to descend upon us in just over two hours time. I could have sworn we saw 2014 in last week! How has the year gone by so quickly? Mind you, I probably say that every year. Moreover how is it that Christmas has gone within the blink of an eye? We spend all year waiting for it, months preparing for it, days rushing around in a blind panic and then – it’s gone! My two week Christmas break has gone by so quickly and I’ll be back at work in a few days time. I’m sure I’ll be writing a post for 2016 tomorrow!

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I really can’t complain about this year. 2014 has been very good to us. Sure there have been some not so pleasant bits but that’s only to be expected. On the whole, life’s been pretty good. I truly hope that 2015 will be every bit as awesome not just for me but for all of us. I have so many plans for next year in terms of my personal and professional life, and there’s still plenty of things that I would like to do with this blog. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to fulfil everything I planned to do for Chez Mrs. D.  this year and I aim to complete these goals next year.

But I have to say I saw some pretty awesome things happen this year for Chez Mrs. D. From wondering if anyone would ever discover this blog to get tons of hits a day, a bunch of loyal followers and over a hundred fellow bloggers following this blog. And it’s all thanks to one blog post about Father Ray Kelly, the Catholic priest who sang a delightful rendition of Hallelujah. Thank you Fr. Kelly! I’ve seriously enjoyed every second of blogging this year and working on Chez Mrs. D. I’ve come across some fantastic blogs, interacted with some very talented bloggers, and of course as you all know, I met my first fellow blogger, Chitra from Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen just before Christmas. Definitely one of the highlights of this year. I’m really excited about what 2015 has in store for us all.

Now I’m going to enjoy what’s left of this year with a glass of something sparkling but before I do, I would just like to thank everyone for their support this year and wish you all a very peaceful and happy new year. I hope 2015 brings some fantastic things your way! xx

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