Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

In the words of a good friend... (ok, so I get emails from the Universe everyday and todays contained this...hey the Universe is my friend!) ;)

"Define what you want in the terms of the end result. Dont worry about the hows or even the course.KNOW that what you want is ALREADY yours in spirit, by divine LAW, just focus on the certainty of this ownership, understand it, claim it, and "it will be on earth, as it is in heaven (spirit)."

SO, In 2011...

My book is on the shelves (and flying out of the doors!).

I meet more friends from my blog.

I weigh 9 stone (The 2010 couldnt care less, eat what I want has gone and the 2011 yummy mummy is here to stay!)

My retreat in May is declared the best retreat ever!!

I cherish and love all those around me and they know it in their hearts and souls every day.

Happy New Year everyone ... lets make this the best year ever! :)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Week 52 - Black Forest Cupcakes!!

I should have called these Enchanted woodland instead of black forest! In fact, since theyre my cakes I am changing their name!!

Enchanted Woodland Cupcakes. (ta-da that was easy!) lol

A combination of dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut, cranberry and blueberry topping mixed with the soft cocoa centre and juicy dark cherries!

Grown up luxury with the added benefit of passing it off as part of your 5 a day! ;)


6oz self raising flour
2oz cocoa
1tsp baking powder
3oz soft butter
3oz caster sugar
1 egg
2tsp vanilla extract
7fl oz milk
8oz cherries (I used Sainsburys canned pitted whole cherries)

Ganache and topping.

5oz dark chocolate
5floz double cream
1oz hazelnuts
1oz dried blueberries
1oz cinnamon coated cranberries

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. (Makes 12)

Cream the butter and sugar together until well mixed and fluffy. Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder and add a little at a time to the butter/sugar mix. Add a little milk - alternate between the flour, vanilla and milk, adding both until completely mixed. Cut the cherries in half and gradually fold them into the chocolate mix. Spoon into cake cases and bake for approx 15-20 minutes or until firm to touch. Leave to cool completely before making the ganache.
Melt the chocolate and cream together over a pan of boiling water, stir continually until glossy and smooth. Leave to cool slightly while you chop up the fruit and nuts. Spoon the ganache onto the cakes and sprinkle with the fruit and nut mix. Allow to harden before eating :)

Hope you enjoy xx

Week 51 - Cinema Cupcakes!!

If youre anything like me, each time you go to the cinema you spend ages wondering what kind of treat to have....should it be ice cream?? OR chocolate?? OR toffees?? OR popcorn??

My idea behind these cupcakes was to try and incorporate as much of that cinema experience as you can at home...feel free to take them to the cinema with you but be prepared for a mass of questions on where you got them and how to make them as they smell divine!!


8oz butter
8oz caster sugar
6oz self raising flour
2oz cocoa
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
6floz milk


7oz cream cheese (I used mascarpone)
12oz icing sugar
4tbsp toffee sauce

small bag of toffee coated popcorn

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

First weigh out the butter and seperate it into 2 4oz containers.
Place one of these 4oz of butter in a bowl with 4oz of the caster sugar and cream until smooth. Beat the vanilla and 1 egg together and pour into the bowl. Add 4oz of the self raising flour and 2fl oz of the milk, mixing until well incorporated.
In another bowl cream together the other 4oz of butter and 4oz of caster sugar. Add 1 egg and mix well. Sift together the cocoa and remaining 2oz of flour before adding to the mix along with the remaining 4fl oz of milk.Add half vanilla and half chocolate mix to the cases. Swirl with a toothpick of skewer until you have mixed slightly. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes and take out when a cake skewer comes out clean.To make the frosting, cream together the icing sugar, toffee sauce and cream cheese until well mixed. Pipe onto the top of the cakes using a large plain nozzle. Place some of the popcorn into a food processor/nut chopper... blitz until broken down quite small (this also eliminates the need for taking out the little hard bits of the popcorn) Empty onto a plate and sprinkle over the frosting until completely covered, tip cake upside down to loosen any bits and sprinkle again...continue until nothing more will stick. Add a final piece of popcorn as topping and enjoy xxHope you like them :)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Catching up and making plans!

Im playing catch up right now, you now that time between Christmas and New Year when everything seems to be in limbo?! Diet doesnt start until the first so im making the most of that and I still need to work out a resolution chart for next year.....will show pics once im done. I did however manage to bag a load of Christmas decorations today in Sainsburys at 75% off!! Im all done on the cards, tree decs and wrapping paper (10 rolls for £1 at the cardshop in Durham!)

Tomorrow I am making and uploading the last 2 recipes for the 52 week challenge - Blackforest Cupcakes and Cinema Cupcakes....yep both from my upcoming you know what! ;)

I have sent off my application to be on the second series of Great British Bake Off....dont know whether im excited or scared!! Guess we will find out soon! lol The even asked if I would give a shout out on my blog for any other budding bakers so if you would like to enter too please email for an application form - Good Luck!! :)

Before I go.....Whats on your resolution list for 2011?? Leave me a comment below and I will send a little resolution inspired pressie to the randomly selected winner :)

Sunday, 26 December 2010

My very first Merry Christmas...

...and boy dont I look like I enjoyed it!! lol Post-Christmas dinner and tea relaxing in my pjs and nightcap!

Love and Hugs

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and got everything they wished for. We had a lovely time at Stuarts mums and tomorrow we are off to see my mum and sisters to swap pressies etc -not sure if I can face anymore food though!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Oh for the love of.....

...freecycle!! Boy how I love the whole concept, you dont want something...someone else does. You didnt even know you needed something, you can betcha someone else is giving it away and you REALLY need it now - like, before anyone else sends an email asking for it. Then you panic press refresh incase you werent first to ask, you wait for the email confiming and then do a little dance that you got something you realise you couldnt live without anymore!

Yes I only went and got another dresser!! OK, so I know I redid the kitchen and got rid of my old one but ever since it went ive missed it -honest! (and yes that is the wall that use to have the bunting etc - I papered the whole right hand side of the kitchen and painted the rest white).

Isnt it pretty! Not sure on painting it yet but even if i did i would leave the worktop wooden and paint the rest in my signature shabby off white style! lol Hmmm, maybe a job to contemplate AFTER Christmas!

Whats the best thing youve gotten from Freecycle/Freegle - whatever the heck yours is called?? lol

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Week 50 - Amaretto Syllabub via Nigella ;)

This recipe is so simple and I made it simpler -it is actually a Nigella Lawson recipe but i skipped 2 ingredients(lemon and sugar) ok so I had no lemons, but it still works just as well and tastes absolutely delicious (as long as youre a lover of almonds or marzipan!) lol

All you need is a pack of soft Amaretti Morbidi Biscuits, a couple of drops (ahem) of Amaretto liqueur, half a carton of double cream and something to sprinkle on top.Crumble a few of the biscuits into the bottom of your glass. Pour (to your taste) the Amaretto into the double cream and whisk until soft peaks. Spoon the cream mix onto the crushed biscuits. Make another layer of the biscuit and again top with the cream. Sprinkle with chocolate or sprinkles of your preference and voila - an extra easy, rustle up at the last minute yet still look effective, dessert! :)

I want to say a huge thank you to a lovely lady I met through my blog. Chrissie is an absolute star and such a kind person, she made this gorgeous baby blanket for Evie, who incidentally wont leave it alone! lol
Thank you so much honey your kindness is very much appreciated.

Merry Christmas xxx

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

You bought me a what for Christmas??

Im not youre normal girl, ask me what I want for Christmas and Im happy with something for the house....heck I get excited when I need to buy a new toaster!! (which is around now!)

Last year my mum in law bought me the most fabulous baking tin (the castle - remember??) and when we visited she also gave me some beautiful cream curtains she bought for her living room but hadnt even taken out of the packet!! I was in heaven! LOL

Well, Christmas came for me around a week ago when CSN delivered my new scales and kettle...yep that is what I chose to review.

My old kettle was pink polka dot so I thought it was about time I upgraded to a more grown up one! The one I ordered is from Sabichi and is off white with silver detail. The fact it has a thermometer on the front swung it for me - ok im a gadget freak when it comes to the kitchen and i love the look of it! Yes I really did order a kettle because I liked how it looked and not because of performance reviews - it is rather vintage chic isnt it! lol


The temperature guage tells you as it gets warmer so we know that once it cools back down to a certain point then the water is perfect for Evangelines bottles! No more squirting icy or hot water onto our wrists. The button on the handle flips open the lid for easy fill. Highly recommended and well used already ;)

My old scales were black with a teeny bowl that Ive had for around 10 years so when I saw these Kitchen Craft ones I fell in love! They are so pretty, shabby chic looking and the bowl is approx 4 times the size of my old one!! They weigh up to 2kg which is less than some scales out there but more than enough for home baking. The stainless steel bowl removes completely and has a flat base which is ideal if you have measured all the ingredients into the scales to then mix. The needle does need repositioning each time before you weigh but I have always had to do that with previous scales so thats not a problem. They are bold and large enough to draw attention and have even been called beautiful by other kitchen addicts who have visited! :) Highly recommended for the home baker :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Where did Friday, Saturday and Sunday go?? I seem to have lost 3 days in the blog ether minute im planning my posts and the next its half a week later and I havent updated! lol

Tomorrow is Ethans 6th birthday, I really cant believe my baby boy is 6!! It doesnt seem like 5 minutes since he was born and here we are again.....stay small little one, youre growing too fast! Love you son! xxx

Presents to wrap and a cake to finish baking - well I had to wait for the 100 greatest toys programme to finish. My Little Pony, Carebears, Cabbage Patch Kids, Girls World to name a few .....sigh! :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Week 49 - Chocolate dipped, marzipan coated alcoholic fruit!

And if that isnt a title to wet the taste buds then wait until you see week 50!! ;)

I made these sweets in the same way as last years Christmas treats so thought it would be nice to have them on the list for this years recipes.

All you need are the fruits you soaked in the raspberry liqueur earlier this week, 200g plain chocolate, 50g white chocolate, 1 tube of ready rolled marzipan.

Melt both lots of chocolate in seperate bowls and leave to cool slightly. Wrap the alcohol soaked apricots and prunes in a little marzipan, make sure you secure all the edges etc so that none of the 'juice' escapes! Using two forks, dip the marzipan into your bowl of chocolate and coat completely. Transfer from fork to fork until most of the excess chocolate has dripped away. Place them carefully onto baking paper.
Drizzle with the white chocolate...add as much or as little as you like :)Box up, make pretty and enjoy xxx

One way to use up an left over melted chocolate - pour some popcorn into the bowl with the chocolate and mix gently. Turn out onto baking paper and drizzle with any left over white chocolate. Leave to harden then break into pieces and jar. A lovely little Christmas movie snack! :)
Hows the Christmas prep going?? Is anyone finished yet? I still havent made my list but I caught Santa looking at KitchenAid mixers the other day - Im wondering if ive been THAT good this year!! lol

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wreath & Winner!!

This is the last wreath I have made this year - it was a complete labour of love and took 4 days to complete!! I darent count how many flowers there are but I do know I was a little more than half way through and had to buy another more 400 pins.....eek!! It is made using lots of the 3d flowers cut from a Sizzix die - I have checked everywhere to give you a link to someone with it in stock but I cant find anyone! If you have a store with these in stock give me a yell and I will pop up a link :) The little birds are permanently borrowed from the Christmas tree! lol

Huge Congratulations to Anna - you have won the bling wreath kit :)

Please can you email me your address to debbie(at) :)

Week 46, 47 and 48 - Christmas Goodies!!

Last year you may remember I made some sweets which were well received so I thought this year I would make another batch for the teachers Christmas presents. The boys loved going in to school this morning with the little ribbon wrapped jars and boxes and I hope the teachers like their handmade chocolate treats :)

Recipe 46 is Raspberry Liqueur soaked fruit.

All you need for this simple preserve is a jar of dried fruit and a bottle of Raspberry Liqueur (any alcohol will do as long as it has a strong taste) Layer the fruit in the jar so that you have a good selection with every spoonful you take out.When the fruit is at the top of the jar pour over the alcohol until the fruit is fully submerged.I bought the raspberry from Lidl and was only £5.99 a bottle, the fruit was £2.29 and if you use jars you already have at home you could have up to 4 handmade beautiful present for less than £10! Leave to soak for at least 3 days before using in the recipe below.Ideal to serve over icecream, in cakes or as a little nibble now and again! I have more pictures to show as I have used some in the marzipan wrapped fruit (see last years pic above).

Recipe 47 is Chocolate Pretzels.

You will need 20 pretzels per jar, 100g of chocolate and some sprinkles. (I made 2 jars) Melt the chocolate and half dip the pretzels, leave to cool slightly on greaseproof paper. Sprinkle with your decorations and leave to cool completely before transfering to your jars. Tie with ribbons and personalise with a tag :)Recipe 48 is Grown up Chocolates!

You will need 2oz of the raspberry soaked apricots, 2oz pecan nuts, 2oz cherries, 100g dark chocolate and 100g of milk chocolate with caramel crunch. Chop up the apricots, pecans and cherries. Melt the chocolate and add the fruit and nuts, mix well. Plate up 24 tiny sweet cases/muffin cases and gently spoon the mixture in until level with the top. Leave to harden overnight, box and decorate :)Enjoy xxx

AND my cutest little sweetie of the day.......watching tv with her daddy :)