Pimm’s Fruit Tarts

Pimm's fruit tarts - crisp citrus shortcrust pastry filled with Pimm's creme patissiere, cucumber & mint jam, strawberries, orange & apple

Did you know that the Queen has not one but two birthdays? Obviously there is her actual birthday, on April 21st; but since 1748 the sovereign of the UK has had an ‘official’ birthday which is generally set around the start of June, to coincide with a higher probability of good weather for outdoor ceremonies. For her 90th birthday this year, June 11th is the official date, but celebrations will begin on June 10th as well as there being events on May 12-15th. (more…)

Tropical Fruit Coconut Tart & A Giveaway

Tropical fruit coconut tart - crisp coconut pastry filled with coconut creme patissiere & tropical fruits

We have had some truly glorious weather recently (interspersed between some very wet and miserable days…); as I write this I am overlooking our back garden, which is beautifully warm and sunny, aaand horrifically overgrown…all the plants have had a sudden growth spurt and it is getting towards the point where even the dog can’t venture out any further than the patio due to the height of the weeds (he is only small). It needs some serious work doing to it; not just weeding, but leveling, digging out a couple of trees, extending the patio, laying a path, building vegetable beds, mending the fences etc. etc. I thought about starting work on it the other day, but I just couldn’t face it so baked this tropical fruit coconut tart instead which was a much more satisfying use of my time. (more…)

Double Chocolate Almond Raisin Muffins & A Giveaway

Jumbo double chocolate almond raisin muffins

I’ve had a pretty busy couple of weeks recently, there has been some very grown-up stuff happening (words like mortgage! Solicitors! Conveyancing!), and some not-so-grown-up stuff (epic pirate cake baking!), as well as several friends coming to stay; so unfortunately I’ve had very little time for blogging and my social media has been thoroughly neglected. I thought I would ease back into things with something simple – double chocolate almond raisin muffins, because muffins are some of the easiest things you can make. (more…)

Gin And Bitter Lemon Sorbet

Gin and bitter lemon sorbet - a light, refreshing grown-up treat

My fiance is a bit of a sorbet fiend, he would eat it almost every day if he could; but I think he got through this batch more quickly than any other sorbet I have ever made before…it must be the gin… And to be fair, this gin and bitter lemon sorbet is pretty much everything you could ever want from a sorbet – light, refreshing, not too sweet and a little bit boozy… (more…)

Light, Greek Yoghurt Chocolate Mousse With Berry Compote & April 2016 Degustabox Review

Lighter chocolate mousse made with 0% fat Greek yoghurt served with berry compote; still delicious & chocolatey, but better for you

Welcome to my review of the April 2016 Degustabox. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £6 off your first order! (more…)

Banana Rum Caramel Bundt Cake & Bake Box Review

Banana rum caramel bundt cake - moist banana cake with banana rum caramel sauce

Can you believe that up until now I have never owned a bundt tin? I have always coveted one, but they are quite expensive (I want a Nordicware one…) so I have never been able to justify buying one. So I was rather pleased when a box full of baking goodies that I was sent to review happened to contain a bundt tin; it is not a Nordicware one, but a silicone, half size (6cup) tin. The size is actually perfect for me, as as beautiful as full size bundts are, they are rather large and make a bit too much cake for a family of two… (more…)

S’mores Eclairs & A Giveaway

S'mores eclairs - crisp, craquelin topped choux pastry fingers with toasted marshmallow creme patissiere, chocolate, toasted marshmallows & crushed digestive biscuit

The last few days I have achieved precisely nothing. The reason for this is three months old, loud, and prone to waking at 4am; aka my niece. I was babysitting for a couple of days and despite my best intentions to get some work done while she was here I failed miserably; if anyone can share the secret to taking care of a baby and dog whilst also working and doing the cooking and cleaning AND somehow managing to fit in some time to sleep please do share! The whole experience left me in need of something sweet, but fitting in baking and photography as well would have been a step too far! Unfortunately I made (and ate) these s’mores eclairs a couple of days before babysitting, so there were none left by the time I needed one! (more…)

Popcorn Rocky Road & March 2016 Degustabox Review

White chocolate drizzled popcorn rocky road bars

Welcome to my review of the March 2016 Degustabox. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £6 off your first order! (more…)

Spiced Yellow Split Pea And Sweetcorn Soup With Cheesy Arepas

Spiced yellow split pea and sweetcorn soup with cheesy arepas (corn griddle cakes)Continuing the theme of hearty, warming recipes, today I’ve got one of my favourite soup recipes for you – spiced yellow split pea and sweetcorn soup; it is really healthy, full of protein and vegetables, incredibly delicious, and because of the split peas it is also very filling. I make it regularly over the colder months when I am in need of a nutritious yet comforting and filling meal, and it’s bright, sunny yellow colour is sure to brighten up a gloomy day. (more…)

Slow Cooked Lamb Rogan Josh And Quick, Flaky Roti

Slow cooked lamb rogan josh curry with quick, flaky roti flatbreads

Last week I spoke about Spring having finally arrived, the weather getting warmer and the sun making an appearance…. well my happiness was sadly very short-lived as soon after that post was published the weather took a turn for the worse and it has been cold, wet, windy and miserable since then. So much for craving light, summery salads and barbecue foods; I have gone back to cooking hearty soups, stews and comfort foods such as this slow cooked lamb Rogan Josh which I served with rice and some quick, flaky roti flatbreads. (more…)

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