Pieday Friday – Baked Spanish chicken & chorizo risotto

This week I’ve tried out a recipe that I’ve never attempted before. I love risotto yet I’m not really patient enough to spend ages stirring it until it’s ready, so we rarely eat it at home. Seeing as it’s one of my favourite dishes I really hoped that there was a less time-consuming option out […]

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Pieday Friday – Easy cheesy evening snack: Loaded potato skins recipe

This week I’ve been rushing around, working hard and getting ready for a special occasion so I’ve barely had time to sit down, let alone prepare a proper meal. We’ve been grabbing food on the go and I’ve been avoiding the kitchen but yesterday I came home at a reasonable time and managed to drag […]

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Spiced lamb with jewelled brown rice

Today’s Pieday Friday is something that I cooked up this week after being inspired by my cat’s food. No wait, don’t go – I know that sounds icky but I can explain! It’s still a human recipe, made with real people food, and it’s definitely a delicious and nutritious meal. The only difference is that I […]

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Microwave meringues & dark chocolate cookies

I’ve read a few recipes and even seen a few videos on making microwave meringues and, after watching Nadiya win the Great British Bake Off with microwave marshmallow royal icing, I decided that a short-cut is never a bad thing, and wanted to give microwave meringues it a try. Plus, it’s my bestie’s birthday today and she […]

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Pieday Friday – Warming oxtail soup recipe

This week the weather started to feel decidedly autumnal. We’ve had a couple of very cold mornings – I can’t quite say frosty… yet! – and the leaves have been dropping in the garden. I’ve been craving more hot meals and, in particular, soups at lunchtime. We cooked up a tasty chicken soup last week using the […]

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Recipe – Homemade pesto from our herb garden

I spent most of yesterday working in the garden. After a week away, followed by a week of poor weather (when I didn’t really fancy working outdoors) the veggie patch had started to look quite neglected. Weeds were sprouting, the runner beans were looking a little too long, and three courgettes had turned into marrows! When the bright sunshine […]

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Pieday Friday – Nan knows best; a recipe for milk bread

This week I tried something that I’d never attempted before; making bread with only two ingredients – neither of which were yeast or fat. Yes, I made milk bread from my Nan’s old Bero recipe book and I couldn’t believe my eyes when it began to rise, especially when you consider that it’s made from only […]

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Thrifty Recipe – Cherry & Plum Crumble

It’s finally cherry season! Yes, July is the perfect month for fresh, ripe cherries and everywhere I look punnets are being sold at low, low prices. So today’s thrifty recipe is for a cherry and plum crumble, and as it only uses a handful of cherries, you could probably get 3 or 4 crumbles out […]

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A newly landscaped garden & JUST EAT app review

Well, that was a busy half-term week. My family and I spent the week at my mother’s house doing some major landscaping in the garden. We dug the uneven ground, we laid a patio, we shovelled gravel. We drilled, cut and nailed all week in order to create mum’s dream ‘garden room’, with raised beds, […]

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Smarties & Maltesters cookies

I’ve been baking treats again this month and seeing as it’s World Baking Day on Sunday 17th May, I couldn’t help sharing this particularly naughty cookie recipe with you. I first made these cookies as a birthday gift and I’ve made them a few time since, as they are so simple to make and deliciously […]

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Pieday Friday – Treats to cook in a waffle maker

You can probably guess from the title of this Pieday Friday blog post that I’ve recently become the proud owner of a new waffle maker. Yes, this month decided to go for it and order my new kitchen appliance from MeinCupcake and I’m really pleased that I did. You see, I’ve not just been making […]

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Pieday Friday – Beef & Pancetta Lasagne

Today I’d like to share with you a delicious lasagne recipe that I tried out over the bank holiday weekend. My husband and I actually baked this dish together on Easter Sunday and were tucking into the tasty Italian treat by lunchtime, and let me tell you – it was amazing! I’m not blowing my […]

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Fresh parma ham & minted pea salad recipe

With the sun making a welcome appearance this week and Easter just around the corner, I thought I’d get invest in some fresh ingredients to create a delicious spring salad. I searched online and found an excellent recipe for a parma ham, buffalo mozzarella and pea salad called ‘A Taste of Newcastle’ by chef Andrew […]

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Pieday Friday – Gousto review

I’m a rubbish chef. I over-cook food to ‘make sure’ it’s done, my pasta always sticks and I leave pans unattended so they end up burnt. In spite of all my Pieday Friday baking, I don’t always get it right and I’m often disappointed by my own cooking. The problem is two-fold: I have a […]

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Cheese & Mustard Scones

Last week I shared some ideas for a couple of thrifty dates for a Valentine’s Day, including a DIY night a the movies and a luxurious afternoon tea. I actually cooked up these cheesy scones as part of my afternoon tea celebration and I wanted to share the recipe with you today so that you can give […]

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Pancake day recipe round-up

Love pancakes. Can’t get enough of them. A pancake is for life, not just for Shrove Tuesday. Really, I can’t express to you just how much of a fan I am of those tasty batter treats. I could happily eat them every day for every meal. In fact, I had pancakes last Thursday and Friday for lunch. […]

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Blueberry & Lemon muffins

This week I’ve been baking delicious cakes for a Valentine’s Day treat – a DIY afternoon tea. If you missed my blog post about how to enjoy a luxurious date with your Valentine for less, you can check it out here. So today I’m sharing the recipe that I used to bake some absolutely delicious blueberry […]

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Pieday Friday – Quick & easy ‘Posh’ pot noodle recipe

This must be the easiest recipe I’ve ever shared on the blog. So I’m thinking that it’s great for January when you can’t be bothered to cook a massive meal and just want to eat something warm, right? It’s my take on a Pot Noodle (my guilty pleasure) and it’s so simple the I barely […]

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Pizza twists recipe for your New Years party

I’ve been making these easy party snacks throughout the festive period and I thought I would share the recipe with you today so that you can make it yourself for any New Years parties you might be hosting or attending! As a guest it’s always a good idea to turn up with plateful of tasty […]

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Pieday Friday ~ The ultimate Christmas cake with a caribbean twist!

Today I wanted to share with you the Christmas cake that I’ve made this year. It’s a simple recipe that uses a few ‘different’ ingredients to give a traditional fruit cake a Caribbean twist. I got the recipe from the Bake with Stork website, so please check out the recipe for “Caribbean Style Christmas Cake” and […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Festive recipe round-up

As you can probably guess from the frequency of my festive blog posts, I’m really looking forward to Christmas and I’ve taken a look at back some of the seasonal recipes that I’ve shared on the blog over the past few years so that I can revisit some of these festive flavours myself. I thought […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Guinness Cake

It’s a recipe that I was only introduced to last month by one of my besties and I’ve already made this three times since then! How much cake can one person eat? If it’s Guinness cake, the answer is A LOT! I love this Nigella Lawson recipe and it’s so simple that even I can […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Snowball meringues

Today I’m preparing a special recipe for the weekend, something I’ve never made before and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out okay. I’m talking about meringues, which are notoriously difficult to get right, and take a lot of hard work with a whisk! Luckily, I’ve got my new Russell Hobbs stand […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Warming root veg & squash soup

As you may have already spotted from my photos on Instagram, I grew a few squashes in my new veggie patch this year and that meant that I had plenty to play around with for Halloween. Now that the spooky season is over, I want to put my squashes to good use, so I’ve come […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Homemade bourbon biscuits

I loved bourbon biscuits as a child but I’ve realised that I haven’t eaten one for about 5 years now! I don’t know why, I just don’t really buy biscuits and if I’m going to have a naughty treat I’ll probably choose a slice of cake, haha! So when I read a recipe for making bourbon biscuits […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chicken & garden vegetable pasta

Earlier this month I mentioned how quickly the courgettes in our new veggie patch were growing and that we’ve been eating them continually for a couple of weeks now. Last week’s recipe was for roasted courgettes and this week I’ve decided to include them in a chicken pasta dish. So put your favourite pasta on […]

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Cinder toffee coffee cheesecake recipe

Creamy sweetness and rich coffee bookended by crunchy caramel flavours. Yes, I think that perfectly describes my cheesecake recipe and I know you want to try it out for yourself! I was inspired to make this cheesecake when my coffee delivery arrived from Pact because the tasting notes of the Finca La Montana Espresso coffee read […]

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How does your garden grow? Cooking courgettes

I have been amazed by just how fast courgettes grow. One day there’s just an inkling of a flower and the next day there’s a full-grown courgette! Within a week, it’ll be a marrow – yikes! So we’ve been cooking with the courgettes that we’ve grown ourselves in our new veggie patch and I wanted to […]

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Baking the GBBO Schichttorte technical challenge

Or at least, I’ve tried to make the technical challenge! I was lucky enough to be sent a GBBO mystery baking box from Stork in order to bake this week’s technical challenge – the hamper included all ingredients I should need, the instructions for the bake and even utensils and a cake tin! Just like […]

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My GBBO recipe for baking a giant doughnut!

This week’s challenge for the Great British Bake Off is advanced dough. I don’t know if I’d call this advanced (as I deliberately chose a recipe without yeast!) and I’m pretty sure it’ll be rather basic compared to all the extravagant flavours and shapes on tonight’s TV show, but I fancied baking a giant doughnut, […]

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A quick garden update ~ Homemade salad dressing

Although I usually like to eat my salads plain or with a tiny side splodge of mayo, I’ve been converted to salad dressings since making my own. It was my husband who first suggested making a dressing, mainly because he really likes balsamic vinegar and olive oil and to be honest he was probably getting […]

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My GBBO pastry recipe ~ Blackberry tart

Around here the blackberries seem to have ripened earlier than they have in previous years. I’ve been picking on-and-off for the past couple of weeks while hubby and I go on our evening walks so I already have quite a lot of blackberries ready to use up in my autumn cooking. The theme for this […]

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My GBBO European week recipe ~ Apple strudel

This week’s theme for The Great British Bake Off (and therefore The Great Blogger Bake Off!) was European cakes so I chose to make that German classic, apple strudel. Or Apfelstrudel if you want to order it in Germany. Although, I have some news for you – it’s not a German recipe. Oh no, the […]

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The Great British Bake Off ~ My recipe for beef & ale pie

Today I’m a little later than usual sharing my recipe for the Great Blogger Bake Off, but here it finally is! Today I’m enjoying a delicious beef and ale pie which I’ve made (with a lot of help from my husband – the king of beef!) using a great local ale and tasty seasonal ingredients to […]

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The Great Blogger Bake Off ~ Apple Crumble two ways

The theme for this week’s Great Blogger Bake Off was (as always) inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and I’m pleased to tell you that it is one of my favourite things to make; desserts! I went for a stroll this weekend and picked some blackberries that have ripened particularly early this year. There […]

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Pieday Friday – My recipe for Banana Bread Bites

In honour of #TheGreatBloggerBakeOff, which is taking place each Wednesday to coincide with The Great British Bake Off, I have decided to move my regular Pieday Friday recipe column to Wednesdays for the duration of the series. I thought that two recipes each week might be a little too difficult even for me to achieve, so […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Mini wedding cakes

We’re right in the middle of wedding season so today I thought I’d share a recipe for baking mini wedding cakes. These are muffin sized cakes (baked in a muffin tray, unsurprisingly) and are a great alternative to a wedding cake: they can be stacked up in tiers on a cake stand to make up […]

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Gooey double chocolate chip cookie recipe for National Afternoon Tea Week

Yes, I’ve been baking again – What, two recipe posts in one week? I hear you cry – but for two good reasons. Firstly, it is National Afternoon Tea week and I couldn’t let a celebration like this pass me by without baking some cookies to dunk in my cuppa, and secondly, I’ve just found […]

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Pieday Friday ~ National Afternoon Tea Week

In honour of National Afternoon Tea Week which begins on Monday 11th August, I’ve gathered together a round-up of all my favourite afternoon-tea recipes from the essential scones to tasty cupcakes. Ever since the 7th Duchess of Bedford started serving tea and cake at 4pm back in 1840, afternoon tea has become a quintessentially British […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chorizo & bacon pasta

Although this sounds like a rather meaty dish, it’s actually quite a nice light pasta for a summer evening, and it’s great chilled as a side dish for a BBQ meal. It’s a really simple throw-it-all-in-the-pan recipe and here’s how to make it: Cook any pasta shapes according to the instructions on the packet. In […]

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Pieday Friday ~ A simple white loaf

A staple of every picnic, a simple loaf of white bread is essential for making rounds of sandwiches for all the family so why not try baking your own ready for your next summer trip? I’ve been using this recipe for a standard white loaf for years and it’s just so simple – the thing […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Afternoon tea scones

To celebrate a special birthday in my family last week I did a spot of baking to create a lovely homemade afternoon tea. As it was mum’s birthday, I decided to make her favourite treat cheese scones and some yummy fruit scones to enjoy with jam and cream. The recipe that I’ve used was for […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Using a pizza oven for the first time!

Last week hubby and I were lucky enough to be invited to take part in a photo-shoot for Alde Garden campsite. Although I’d visited the site before it was exciting to see the garden at dusk with all the pretty fairy lights glittering in the trees and to enjoy a little peace and quiet, with the crackling campfire […]

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Pieday Friday – One-pot cooking: Jambalaya

I’m writing today’s Pieday Friday post for two reasons: firstly, it’s Glastonbury this weekend and this is a great one-pot campfire recipe for all the family and secondly, it’s because hubby and I visited a Chilli Farm this week and bought a big smoked chorizo that we wanted to try! So yesterday we got out […]

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Chocolate & strawberry cheesecake recipe

Have you been watching the World Cup this week? Wasn’t it a shocker when defending champions Spain were knocked out after only two matches? I’ve been soaking up the atmosphere during the football games and have enjoyed watching both of England’s matches: the first game we stayed up late with friends after an England-themed BBQ […]

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Thrifty Recipe – Cheese & broccoli pasta tortilla

Now that Summer is here and the days are warm, sometimes you just don’t really fancy eating hot meals. I’ve certainly been eating a lot more salads over the past month and our meals are getting lighter as the summer progresses. One delicious dinner that we’ve already cooked up a handful of times this summer is the pasta […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Perfect pastry

As a savoury fan, I love pastry but it can be one of those recipes that either turns out great, or goes horribly wrong. It’s something that I’ve got wrong many times over the years but I’ve now found a recipe that never fails and it’s from my favourite Bero recipe book. The book offers recipes […]

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Help with special occasions – hiring a chef for your party

Are you in need of a private UK-based chef to cater your upcoming event? There are a plethora of chefs to choose from, so how do you choose? Obviously you will want to try to find the best private chef you can but it can be difficult to differentiate them. We hired a private chef […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Angel delight birthday cake

This week I’m sharing the easiest ever birthday cake recipe along with a fabulous cookbook & mugs giveaway. Okay, you can probably already see that I didn’t really make this cake, I just kind of decorated it but it’s my husband’s favourite dessert from childhood and I knew it would make his birthday even more […]

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Pieday Good Friday ~ Mini toad-in-the-hole recipe for Easter

Here’s an easy but impressive recipe for your Easter roast lunch – mini toad-in-the-hole. These are also great for parties and evening meals so give it a try with this easiest ever batter recipe and let me know how you get on! Ingredients: Chipolata sausages (the long ones, not cocktail sausages), 140g plain flour, 4 […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Cheese & ham pastry rolls

Does anyone else feel like there’s a celebration on the horizon? Perhaps it’s the school holidays or the long Easter weekend, or maybe it’s hubby’s birthday, my impending 1000th blog post or the May bank holiday? Whatever it is, it’s making me want to invite the family over and bake party food! I’ve just got that […]

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Light my fire with solar lighters

A few weeks ago I investigated the concept of solar cooking during one of my Pieday Friday cooking blog posts and I discussed how the sun’s power can be harnessed to achieve a solar-powered oven to barbeque meat, cook a casserole or even bake a cake! There are lots of different types of solar devices […]

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Pieday Friday ~ British Pie Week

British Pie Week runs from the 3rd to the 9th of March and I see that as the perfect excuse to bake a pie over the coming weekend. I’ve listed a few of my favourite pie recipes so perhaps you’ll try out one of these tasty dishes below and treat the family to a hearty and sometimes […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chilli cheese pancakes

Wow it’s Shrove Tuesday next week – how did we get this far into the year already?? I love pancakes and can’t get enough of them, whether it’s Pancake Day or not! So today I thought I’d share one of the ways that I like to use pancakes in a main meal – as a […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Lamb tagine & tortilla wraps

Today I thought I’d share the recipes for an entire meal with you. This is the very same meal that my husband and I cooked for Valentine’s Day and we’ve since cooked it for the family too and it went down a treat, so I hoping that we’ve got the recipe just right for this […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chicken brick

If you cast your mind back to a couple of weeks ago, you may remember I mentioned that my husband brought home a chicken brick. He’d wanted one for a few years but due to the price we’ve never really been able to justify the cost of one however, he finally found one in a […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Get out the solar cooker, it’s bbq weather!

Welcome to another Pieday Friday and this week I’m chatting about the concept of solar cooking. It’s possibly not something you’ve considered before and prior to this month I’d never even heard of solar cooking myself but I’ve been researching energy-saving ways to do everyday tasks around my home and stumbled upon this unbelievable idea […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chinese New Year treats

Today is the Chinese new year and 2014 is the Year of the Horse – one of my favourite animals, so I am especially excited about this year and wanted to share some of the traditions and recipes for Chinese New Year. Usually the run-up new year will be spent cleaning the whole house to welcome in a fresh […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Bake a cheese loaf for the weekend

One of my favourite treats is cheese bread. I’m not someone who gets particularly excited about sweet things (except for this red velvet cake, yum!) but I can’t resist something cheesy. If it’s melted cheese, even better! I still have a lot of cheese left over after Christmas – why do we all buy those cheese-board […]

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Getting a helping hand in the kitchen

After the frenzy of baking activity in my home over the festive period, my mind is in no doubt that I need some new gadgets in my kitchen to make my life just that little bit easier. Ok, a couple of times, I had a helping hand with my Christmas cooking in the form of my […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Christmas leftover pasties

One of my favourite things to eat is a pasty. I know it’s naughty and I really shouldn’t indulge in buttery pastry too often, but it’s just so yummy that I can’t resist. I went on holiday to Cornwall one year and ate nothing but Cornish pasties for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a whole […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Christmas cooking

As it’s the last Pieday Friday before Christmas, I thought I’d share a couple of festive recipes to kick-start your yuletide baking – gingerbread cookies and Christmas morning muffins. The first is a very traditional recipe for making gingerbread men, but here I have used cookie cutters from Wholeport to cut out the pieces to build a […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Making chutney for Christmas gifts

This week I have been in the kitchen making my very own stash of preserves ready for the winter. But I’m not only making them for my family’s table, I am also making a few jars to give to my foodie friends as gifts! I’ve had a huge harvest of apples on my tree this […]

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Pieday Friday ~ My red velvet birthday cake

This week is Cassiefairy’s birthday and to celebrate I’ve baked a cake for a little birthday celebration I’m having in my little vintage caravan. I wanted to break from tradition and avoid my usual victoria sponge cake this year (even though it is my favourite) so I thought about making a red velvet  cake. This would […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Christmas cake

It’s that time of year again to make your own Christmas cake. Even though I know I can buy a cheap fruit cake from the supermarket and decorate it for Christmas, I love making my own cake and knowing exactly what yummy ingredients have gone into it – so I know what I’ve got to look […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Warming Caramelised Onion Soup

This week, when hubby had a half-day off work, I cooked us both a yummy soup for lunch. It’s definitely the time of year that I want to have something warm to eat at lunchtime (there was actually frost on the ground here this week!) so I looked up recipes for making one of my favourites; […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Cornflake cobweb cakes

Now that we’re heading towards the end of October, I think it’s okay for me to start talking about making cakes for your Halloween party! Even if you’re not having a Halloween party for the little ‘uns, maybe you can make these little cakes for the trick-or-treaters, or just make them for you to scoff […]

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Recipe: Chocolate decorated apples for Halloween

Did you know  it’s National Chocolate Week? I had no idea until my friend Jenna gave me a heads-up yesterday afternoon. Are you telling me that I could have been legitimately scoffing chocolate all week, and I didn’t know about it? I guess I’ve got a lot of choccie-eating to make up for over the weekend then! […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Spiced caramel apple cake

I’ve been out picking apples this week – they are perfectly ripe and ready to be included in one of my Pieday Friday recipes. I think we can officially call it autumn now, and I want to celebrate this by making a cake that is spiked with festive spices and includes the fruit of the season – […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Make your own retro Jazzles

A couple of Fridays ago I shared my first attempt at making cake-pops with you and I hope you’ve since had a go at making them for yourselves. I did the stick-two-halves-together method of cake-pop making, using a silicone cake-pop tray from Dunelm Mill. If you remember, I had to trim off the tops of […]

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