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5 Jun

I thought I would post a quick photo of the Jubilee cake toppers in action…

We hope you had a wonderful bank holiday weekend and enjoyed some of the celebrations wherever you are.

(PS: the cake was a Walnut and Strawberry recipe from Mary Berry. It would have cost next to nothing as I had all the ingredients at home apart from the strawberries and cream but after one failed batch I realised my self-raising flour was out of date by about six months! Top tip: make sure you check your best before dates before you start baking!!)


EAT: Egg Muffins

24 May

I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I have been looking for some breakfasts that are light on the carbs and this seemed just the thing – mini baked frittatas that go in the fridge and are eaten throughout the week.

The full recipe is on the website link above, and I made mine by frying up a couple of spring onions, par boiling some delicious English asparagus, and then adding that to the bottom of each muffin hole. I then added 8 eggs which were beaten together with some cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.

As you can see, the eggs rise quite a lot in the baking, so I probably could have got away with just 7 eggs.

The recipe recommends that you eat 2 each day, so this was done to last me 4 days. However, I don’t eat a huge amount in the mornings, so I imagine some days I’m only going to want one egg. As such I think it will probably last me the full week. They are delicious too, so I’m definitely going to try these again!

8 eggs = £2 (Ocado)
4 asparagus spears = £1.25 (£2.50 for 8 in Brixton market)
2 spring onions = £0.20

£3.45 for 4-6 delicious breakfasts, depending on how hungry you are of a morning.

Milly-Molly-Mandy’s Things to Make and Do

22 Oct

I loved Joan Lankester Brisely’s Milly-Molly-Mandy books as a child, so much so that I still have the two I used to read. So when a friend from Macmillan publishers sent me this new book I was thrilled. One of the things I loved most about the books was that MMM often made things and the story told you exactly how she gathered all her materials and how she made the item. Without looking back at the books I remember a story about a patchwork teacosy and one about how she turns a penny into something more by making and selling things and trading up (MMM was a business woman at heart!).

Things to Make and Do is split into chapters for Kitchen, Garden, Outdoors, Sunny days, Rainy days and one for each of the seasons.  There are lots of projects I remember doing as a child eg making Coconut Ice, decorating blown eggs, camping out and making pom poms. I like that the original illustrations are used, it’s nicely and simply laid out and would make a lovely gift for a child who likes to craft.

Shoestring Madeleines

14 Sep


I know the mantra of buying the best you can afford, but if you bake as much as I do then it cannot have escaped your notice that the cost of butter has gone through the roof. With this in mind I decided to try out Sainsbury’s basics butter. This is not my first foray into the budget isles; I regularly buy budget fruit and veg which is often just plentiful seasonal produce which is simply a little too knobbly to make the grade (see Delicious magazine’s knobbly veg campaign for more info) – on the other hand I won’t go near any eggs or meat that isn’t free range. As far as I know there are no ethical issues with cheap butter (though someone please let me know if I’m wrong) so it’s just a question of what it tastes like and the best test I could think of was to a whip up a batch of all butter madeleines.

Madeleines are a great ‘store cupboard’ bake if you have guests coming round at short notice or just need a quick baking fix. They are a super simple mix of eggs, sugar, flour and butter and only take ten minutes in the oven. Mine were flavoured with lemon zest and orange flower water but you could use whatever flavourings you have to hand – a couple of teaspoons of rose water or the zest of an orange would work well. The recipe came from the Cuisine des Saveurs blog (sorry it’s in French!), the only minor alteration being that I used self raising flour rather than plain with baking powder. You do need a Madeleine tray (Lakeland has one on sale for under a tenner) but they’re so pretty it’s worth the expense.

Suffice to say that these were really tasty so I can’t say the butter made a difference. That being said, I’ll be sticking to the higher grade stuff for things like butter sauces and, most importantly, spreading on my toast in the mornings…

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