Gooey, chewy cranberry & cherry flapjacks recipe

I’ve done something a little different for today’s recipe blog post: I’ve instastory’d it! You may have spotted a couple of quick and easy DIY projects on my instastories in the run up to Halloween (you can find my ghost lanterns and no-carve pumpkin decorating project on my Cassiefairy YouTube channel if you need inspiration […]

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Cracking hosting tips for bonfire night + warming spiced autumn punch recipe

Remember, remember the 5th of November. As Guy Fawkes night approaches, almost a third of Brits are preparing to celebrate with fireworks, bonfires, food and in some cases a cheeky glass of wine. Whether you are hosting friends or family, or attending a professional display, here’s what you’ll need to help your Bonfire Night party go […]

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Pieday Friday – Two summer desserts (& how to grow organic fruit for them!)

More and more people are turning to their own ingenuity to feed themselves without the need to rely on supermarkets. Organic fruit and vegetables are becoming ever-more expensive in stores because, unlike their chemically enhanced contemporaries, it’s more difficult for farmers to grow them naturally. Not only does it take hard work, it also takes […]

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Pieday Friday – How to dine al fresco this summer

Finally, summer is here and the evenings are warm enough to enjoy your meals outside in the fresh air. Whether you’re a BBQ queen, or prefer to simply take your dinner plate out from the kitchen, there’s nothing like sitting down with family and friends outside, and enjoying your food together (aside from the insects, […]

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Pieday Friday – 3 healthy juice recipes

It’s all about the juicing this year. Or at least it is in my household because we’ve got a new juicer! As someone who has never tried combinations of juice before (seriously, orange juice is as adventurous as it got!) I’ve been really intrigued to start reading up on juicing and looking into recipes. There are […]

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Pieday Friday – Chocolate gingerbread skeletons recipe for Halloween

A slightly different take on the classic festive gingerbread man, this cookie dough contains cocoa powder so it produces a dark, crisp biscuit. When cut out with a gingerbread cutter they’re the perfect shape for icing a skeleton design for Halloween. The darker colour biscuit emphasises the spooky shape and tastes even better than normal […]

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Pieday Friday – Bottomless Harvest Pie

After going foraging on a blackberry walk last weekend, today’s blog post is the result of that walk. I decided to combine the blackberries with apples (cooking apples are abundant in the garden at the moment) and make a bottomless pie. What does that mean? It means that I made a blind-baked pie base and […]

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Pieday Friday – Kitchen mishaps

Over the years I’ve come realise that I’m quite a clumsy person. I trip over on flat pavements and I bruise myself almost daily by bumping into things. I’m a bit of a calamity but thankfully I’ve never seriously hurt myself or anyone around me. The worrying thing is when someone with a tendency to […]

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Weekend treat – A vegetarian curry feast!

Today’s Pieday Friday recipe is a lovely guest post from my blogging pal Lucy. When I saw her mouth-watering curry recipes on her blog LucyLovesYa, I emailed to ask her permission to share these delicious dishes with you today. And thankfully she said yes! These vegetarian dishes are packed full of freshness and flavour – […]

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Pieday FriYAY – Energy boosting mocha smoothie

The summer holidays are drawing to an end and all that’s left is happy memories of melting ice cream, collecting shells, splashing in the sea, fish ‘n’ chips lunches, breezy promenades and fluffy candy floss on the pier. Yes, I have to admit that I’ve indulged a little too much during August, but haven’t we all? I blame ‘holiday spirit’ […]

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Black sesame seed ice cream + free recipe ebook!

Today’s post is a fantastic original recipe by Omo and Eulanda from award-winning travel and food blog Hey Dip Your Toes In. I first met these guys at the UK Blog Awards, where they scooped the award for Best Food & Drink blog, and they have very kindly agreed to share a guest post with […]

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Pieday Friday – Chocolate chip cookie cups

What better way to serve ice-cream and chocolate sauce than in freshly baked cookie cups, eh? I don’t know where I conjured up this idea from in my mind but when my family recently popped round for an impromptu meal, the cookie cups were something I really wanted to try out. I knew I had ice-cream […]

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Thrifty in the kitchen: How frozen food helps reduce waste

I’m always on the look out for ways to save money and cut day-to-day living costs. Until now, the only thrifty cooking advice I’ve been able to give you is to make your own meals from scratch (rather than buying pricey takeaways or ready-meals) and to buy food when it’s in season. But today is different. […]

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Pieday Friday – Spicy nacho cheese sauce

One of my favourite foodie treat is nachos. I think it’s the ‘sharing’ nature of nachos that pleases me so much when I see it on a menu. It means that the plate will be massive and I’ll get to enjoy an extra cheesey nacho treat alongside my own meal. Found on many pub menus these […]

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Pieday Friday drinks recipe – Fruit cubes for sparkling cocktails

Today’s recipe is a great one for adding a little bit of excitement to your party. If you’re planning a wedding, hen party, birthday or are even gathering together to celebrate the Queen’s 90th at a street party, this little fruity recipe would be a great addition to a glass of something bubbly. Whether you’re […]

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Pieday Friday – A collection of fruit pie recipes

There’s no better pud than a pie, I reckon. A generous slice of hot fruit pie served with slowly melting vanilla ice-cream is a dream come true. Or on chillier days, a steaming stream of custard poured on top of the crisp pastry is just what the doctor ordered. And when you’ve finished your pudding, […]

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Pack a picnic + my ‘cheese crunch’ sandwich recipe

It must be the slighter sunnier weather, or perhaps the impending Easter holidays, that has got me thinking about days out, picnics and flasks full of tea. In fact, I went on my first picnic of the year yesterday lunchtime and, after all these dark winter months of eating lunch indoors, it was so lovely […]

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Pieday Friday – Mediterranean chicken & bean stew

I wasn’t sure what to call this recipe when I rusted it up for the family earlier this week. As we tucked into our Mediterranean dish – and mopped up the tomato sauce with our homemade garlic bread – some recipe name suggestions were thrown about. We couldn’t decide if it was Spanish, Italian or something else, […]

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Early Pieday Friday – Baked chocolate cheesecake for Easter

It’s the 1st of March and I’m ready for Easter. Bring it on. There’s none of that lets-wait-until-April business this year. Easter falls on the last weekend of the month (I should know, my bestie is getting married that weekend!) so as soon as Valentine’s Day passed I was already preparing for the next big holiday. And […]

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Pieday Friday – My top 3 healthy cookbooks for 2016

I can’t be the only one that feels the urge to make a little bit of an improvement to my diet at this time of year, can I? Even though I start out with good intentions in January, I always tend to leave making any changes until a little later on, and now that March […]

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Pieday Friday – What cake comes from which tin?

If like me you’re unsure of exactly what baking tins you need in your kitchen in order to recreate all the lovely recipes you’ve been pinning on Pinterest, today is your lucky day. I’m going to try to demystify the more unusual-shaped baking tins and show you exactly what a cake would look like if […]

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Pieday Friday – Eat well & healthily this year

Are you taking part in the #WomanKind campaign this month? I’ve been really excited about getting stuck in to this ‘me-time’ project so you might have spotted a few posts over the last couple of weeks about looking great on a budget. If you miss them, here are my posts on starting your new year […]

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Healthy pastry-free quiche recipe

Today’s Pieday Friday recipe is so simple that I can’t believe I’ve not baked it before. Considering that quiche is one of my most-loved dishes of all time, I am astounded that I’ve never tried to create a healthy alternative. When I’m being especially ‘good’ with my food choices, I tend to just eliminate quiche […]

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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 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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DIY kitchen project – make your own “bake station” + Zesty lemon pie recipe

In honour of my favourite TV show “The Great British Bake-Off” I’ve created a simple DIY project to create a dedicated “Bake Station” in your kitchen. Seeing as today is my weekly recipe spot ‘Pieday Friday’, I thought it would be a good idea to share the simple DIY project with you and give you […]

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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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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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Juicy recipes for amazing hair

Some people are born with naturally shiny, healthy hair. They can wake up in the morning and spend minimal time trying to tame their mane, and don’t have to fork out lots of money to buy numerous products to make it more manageable. Unfortunately, not everyone is this lucky in the hair department. For many […]

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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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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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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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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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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 ~ 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 ~ 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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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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Sunny weekend cocktails and my favourite recipe

  There’s nothing better when the sun is shining and you’re sat outside enjoying an alfresco dinner than sipping on a cocktail with your friends as the sun goes down. That is exactly what I got up to last weekend and I wanted to share my new favourite cocktail recipe with you so that you […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Cauliflower cheese pasta bake

My new favourite recipe to make for an evening meal is the subject of today’s Pieday Friday. I love veg, pasta and especially cheese so it combines all of my favourites in one meal – perfect. And it really is as simple as it sounds: just steam some cauliflower and broccoli while boiling up some 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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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 Friday – My 1000th blog post celebration cake!

I did it! I’m not talking about making a cake (although for me that is a massive achievement in itself) but I’m talking about making it to 1000 blog posts! And you’re reading it right now! It’s great so far, huh? I feel like I should really put a lot of effort into writing a […]

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How to sell your blurb book on Amazon

Blurb has always been a great way for people to make books about the things that interest them and I’ve made my own Pieday Friday recipe book using their design and publishing services. I’ve been sharing a free e-book version of my recipe book with my lovely readers (drop me an email if you’d like me […]

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Pieday Friday ~ My favourite Easter recipes

Any excuse to make a sweet treat eh? And Easter is the perfect time to make something sweet for the family over this 4-day weekend. Here are my favourite Easter recipes that I’ll  be sharing with my family over the bank holiday and I hope you’ll have a go at making some treats for yourself […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Make your own cook book… or read mine!

Ever thought of putting your favourite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favourite content, and get those books shipped in any quantity (even just one copy). They kindly offered me a chance to […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Broccoli & ham quiche

I don’t know why I’ve never made quiche before. My whole life I’ve been too scared to make quiche from scratch – maybe it’s the worry that the eggs won’t set or that the pastry will go soggy or that it’s a complicated process – whatever the reason, I’ve reached this ripe old age and […]

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Pieday Friday ~ Chocolate chip sponge cake to celebrate a milestone

Today I have reached an unexpected milestone. My thrifty little lifestyle blog is three years old! I didn’t realise that this anniversary was approaching and although I’d started thinking about what I might to do celebrate my 1000th post (coming up in April) I didn’t really think about the length of time that I’d been […]

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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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Pieday Friday ~ Mocha choca brownies recipe

What a healthy start to the new year eh? Chocolate – yes, butter – yum, coffee – great! What more do you want from a weekend treat when you’ve been so very good eating fruit and veggies all week long?! I’ve been in the kitchen baking these yummy brownies so that when I need to […]

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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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