In which I transform from dunce to goddess. Theoretically.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Red wine velvet cake

In all the foody excesses of the last week or so, there is something that most definitely stands out.
We spent Christmas day with my inlaws, having roast beef for dinner. But my father in law had made what I can only describe as the most delicious cake I've EVER eaten. His wife (my step mother in law I guess) was listening to the Foody Thursday Radio 2 programme on the way home from work a few weeks ago when they made red wine velvet cake. Apparently Simon Mayo and his team had raved about the cake so much that she looked up the recipe. And boy am I glad she did.

And here it is

Seriously, give it a go.

I'm not a massive fan of chocolate cake and can sometimes find them a bit too rich. But this one was delicious. Very alcoholic but delicious. I will be giving it a go in the near future.

Watch this space.............

Enjoy x

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Getting in the spirit

As Christmas approaches I always fancy a spot of baking. Normally I'm so exhausted and behind on my shopping that it's the last thing I actually have time for but this year is different. Most of the activities that the little man and I go to finished last week so we found ourselves at a loose end this morning.

And these had caught my eye!

reindeer biscuits


Aren't they A-MA-ZING????

I HAD to try them.

I used this recipe for the gingerbread as  I've never made it before.




They are so much fun!

I'm going to make another little herd closer to Christmas.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Meal Plan Monday - on a Tuesday again!

I struggle to get my meal plan posts done on a Monday as I'm out at Guides in the evening and I don't really get the time to write a blog post while the little man is awake.

So, as it's nearly Christmas life in our household is a little crazy. My husband works for a toy retailer so he gets really busy and often gets dragged into one of their stores and puts in insane hours in the week before the big day. When I was working as a teacher this was my busiest time too with carol services and discos so this year I'm enjoying the relative peace and quiet.

But as a result of him being out most evenings there isn't really a meal plan for this week. Or at least there is, it's for me to eat as many of the frozen meals as possible.

I'm hoping to get some baking done this week, I'd really like to try some of these:

reindeer biscuits

and hopefully that cottage mould will arrive from Lakeland do I can get my chocolate melt on! 

What Christmas baking are you up to?

Thanks to for hosting the linky.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Look what I've ordered....

One of these........

Fairy Tale Cottage Mould


I'm very excited. I've wanted to make a gingerbread cottage every Christmas for years but a) couldn't really be bothered with making it and b) I'm not a massive gingerbread fan, I'll be honest. But the photos on the Lakeland website show the house made of chocolate!!! How exciting!!! A whole little house made of and decorated with chocolate. What more could a girl want?? 

So that is what I'm going to do, make a chocolate gingerbread house. I might take it to my sister in law's on Christmas Day, if there's any left by then! :) 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

If it stands still it gets mashed!

So..... Weaning.

The little man was 6 months old a fortnight ago and I'd put off weaning him til then for 2 reasons. Firstly, I wanted to exclusively breast feed him as long as I could and secondly because I just couldn't face all the boiling, steaming and mashing I knew was heading my way. 

But I have to say.... So far so good. I know you're supposed to do 2 days on each food to check they're ok with it but I figured that that would get really boring and as neither his dad or I have any food allergies, we'd just run with it and see how we got. We've tried apple, pear, banana, potato, sweet potato, carrot, swede, parsnip, peach, mango and yoghurt. And today we even tried some chicken.

He's doing really well. Apart from the yoghurt that is. The faces he pulled reminded me of those produced when downing shots of Sambuca. Maybe we'll give yoghurt a miss for a while.

I have to admit that it took me about a week to realise that once I've mashed this stuff and frozen it into ice cubes, I can pop the cubes out and into a freezer bag and make more ice cubes. Obvious I know, but I was wondering how many ice cube trays I'd need as I'd managed to fill the 2 I had with just apple pear and banana and was wondering how long I'd have to feed him that before the trays were emptied and I could re-fill them. durrrrrr.

It's an interesting journey, this weaning malarkey, made all the more fun when he bites down on the spoon and blows raspberries, splattering me with food. Nice!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Meal plan Monday

After last week's minor disasters I'm playing it safe this week.

Saturday: bacon and broccoli gnocchi.

Sunday: Stew

Monday: me - out, him - whatever he can find

Tuesday: Fish and rice

Wednesday: Chicken pie

Thursday: freezer meal

Friday: paella

When I made the chicken pie a few weeks ago, I didn't really follow any one recipe so I'm starting from scratch again this week. So, whatever I do this time I'm going to write it down. I've asked my sister in law for a recipe book for Christmas so I can start collecting together the recipes that have worked to reuse them! :)

Thanks to for hosting the linky.





Wednesday, 4 December 2013


So, I posted that this was on my meal plan for the week:

Tuesday: Lamb and potato bake

Wednesday: Beef keema

Now, during my first few weeks of cooking, anything I made was just amazing (to me), I was so impressed with myself that I was eating any and all of it.

Until last night.

The lamb and potato bake required cheese sauce and suggested that a pre-made sauce could be used. Him indoors (who does the shopping so who am I to argue?) said that we may as well use a jar of sauce. So I did. But it was HORRIBLE!!!! The sauce was all plasticy and I really didn't like it. Which is a shame as I think it would have been a nice dinner if I'd followed my instincts and made the sauce myself.

And then tonight I made the beef keema but didn't realise until I was half way through that we didn't have any curry powder. I used some curry paste instead but the meal was still really bland.

So I've learnt a few things:

  • homemade cheese sauce is best
  • using the correct ingredients is always a good idea
  • just because I've made something, and am super impressed with myself for doing so, doesn't mean that it is edible!
Onwards and upwards.

Oh, and I started weaning my little man this week so I'm sure I'll be posting about mashing up steamed fruit and veg at some point as that seems to be taking over my life.

Have a good rest of the week

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Meal Plan Monday #3- On a Tuesday.

So after last week's little confession I did quite well.

And this is this week's plan:

Saturday: him - out, me - freezer meal

Sunday: Mustard Chicken and daupinoise potatoes (from Jamies 30 minute meals)

Monday: me - out, him, freezer meal

Tuesday: Lamb and potato bake

Wednesday: Beef keema

Thursday: Bangers and Mash

Friday: Beef casserole.

And so far this week, so good.

But, I made the lamb and potato bake today using premade cheese sauce as suggested in the recipe. It was GROSS!!! big mistake!

What have I learnt this week already?? Making it yourself is a MUCH better idea.

Thanks to for hosting the linky.

OOOOh, I've found another linky party to hook up with over at