Things I thought I would never say

25 10 2014
Dino-cake made with my new Sainsbury's dinosaur cake tin

Dino-cake made with my new Sainsbury’s dinosaur cake tin

I picked up the phone this evening and spoke aloud words I never imagined would issue from my lips;

” I have a baking emergency! The icing for my dinosaur cake is lumpy and I don’t know how to rectify the situation!”

The only thing more tragic than having reason to utter these words, was speaking them into the answer machine of someone who had something more important to do on a Saturday evening.

For anyone who has not been keeping up to date with my blog this relates to an earlier post about a baking challenge. I have been challenged to make a chocolate marble cake for a Halloween party and my first attempt is pictured above.

I have already attempted dino-cake mark 2, but without any help from my “cake guy” (and yes I do actually have a cake guy!)

In one of my old jobs we used to keep a “stupid book” recording daft things people said – it served as a way of keeping things light on difficult days. With that in mind…

…have you ever said words aloud that have surprised you even as you uttered them?

Suggestions Please

24 10 2014


As you will have noticed I have been attempting a little baking while I am on maternity leave. I don’t want to be a total cliche but I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those Mums who cannot make their son a birthday cake. Not that I  am making any judgement about those who do choose store bought options – after all there is a wide range of fantastic cakes and treats available now without the hassle or the almighty mess that baking creates in ones kitchen. However for me it is about choice and having never baked a single thing in my life I felt that it was a case of now or never.

So far I have successfully attempted two simple recipes for Cheesecake and Pavlova.

To inspire me further, FOMS came home the other night with the object pictured. A dinosaur shaped baking tin (there is a bit of a ‘dino’ theme happening in our household at the minute).

The only issue is I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Next week I am taking my son to his first Halloween party and have been tasked with bringing a dessert so I implore any of the bakers among you to give me some suggestions of simple tried and tested recipes utilizing my dinosaur tin. Preferably something that will make me the envy of all the other Mums 😉

I will of course post a picture of the finished product.


20 10 2014


My second attempt at preparing a homemade dessert required a little more technical skills than my first.

My Mum has always made a fab pavlova and I was keen to recreate one of my childhood favorites

I did not have quite the same success as I had with my cheesecake and will need to change the cooking time when I do this again but it was nevertheless a good effort.


4 egg whites

250g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornflour

475ml whipping cream, whipped

Fruit of your choice


1/ Pre-heat oven to 150C or gas mark 2

2/ Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper – some people trace round a dinner plate to mark it with a circle template.

3/ In a large bowl beat 4 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Do not get any egg yolk into the mixture.

4/ Start to gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating the mixture until it becomes thick and glossy.

5/ Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.

6/ Spread the mixture onto the greaseproof paper using the circle as a template. Leave a slight depression in the centre to fill with your topping later.

7/ Bake for 1 hour then turn the heat down and leave to cool in the oven.


1/ Put the meringue on a plate and fill the depression with whipped cream.

2/ Decorate with your fruit.

Strawberry Cheesecake

30 08 2014

Whilst on maternity leave I am determined to pick up some new skills. I have never ever made any home made deserts before so I thought I would give it a go.

It turns out that FOMB (father of my boy) loves strawberry cheesecake so I got a recipe from my Mum and gave it a go.

The results were fab and I was pretty proud of my first attempt pictures above.

If you want to try to make your own version of this cheesecake the ingredients are listed below:


8 ozs crushed digestive biscuits

4 ozs margarine

1tsp cinnamon – optional

1 large can evaporated milk

1 lemon jelly – flavour of your choice

¼ pint boiling water

8 ozs cream cheese (e.g. philidelphia)

4 ozs caster sugar

Lemon colouring

Lemon flavouring

Once you have all your ingredients ready just follow the simple steps below:


1/ Grease 7” loose bottomed cake tin in a dish

2/ Place digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

3/ Melt margarine in a pan then add the crushed biscuits.

4/ Spice mixture – optional

5/ Press mixture into the tin and place in the fridge while preparing the top.


1/ Beat evaporated milk until thick and creamy and leave to one side.

2/ Dissolve jelly in the boiling water. Alternatively dissolve in microwave without adding water.

3/ In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. Add all ingredients and beat together. Add flavouring and colouring at this point if desired.

4/ pour mixture over the base and leave for minimum of 4 hours to set.

5/ Decorate with fresh cream, fruit, grapes, flake or even nuts.


I made some changes such as using strawberry jelly instead of lemon and I left out the colouring and lemon flavouring.

The problem with Cadbury’s Roses

16 11 2013

Cadbury Roses

Like many households in the run up to Christmas always make sure there is a tin of Cadbury’s Roses to hand. This year will be no exception especially as I am not drinking right now I have an increased in chocolate. In fact I am working through a box as I write that was a gift from a student.

Much as it is easy to be drawn to the promise of variety, we all riffle through the tin looking for our favourite flavours and hoping that when we share Roses with friends and family they do not share our own tastes. I often wish I could buy a tin of Roses that only contained my personal preferences.

For me it is all about the soft centres: the ‘Tangy Orange Cream’, ‘Golden Barrel’ and the absolute bestest ever ‘Strawberry Dream’.

Of course it would remove the element of surprise when I encounter an unfamiliar wrapper and the sickly sweet gooey treats may lose their appeal when not tempered with the occasional bitter dark chocolate or nutty alternative. But the sugar high would be awesome.

What would you put in your own personalised tin of Roses?



Black Forest Dessert

6 11 2013

Co-operative Black Forest Dessert

My taste buds are going mad at the minute and I cannot get enough sweet stuff – strange for someone who rarely touches chocolate, biscuits, cake or pudding but there it is.

One thing I cannot get enough of is this wicked little dessert from the co-op.

Affectionately nick-named Black Ferret Dessert after a sleepy request one evening it is one of my new most favourite things.

Of course its not for me…it’s for the baby!

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

18 10 2013


I have been feeling a little fragile over the last week or so. In a bid to cheer myself up I bought a pack of ginernut biscuits and placed them in my work filing cabinet.

I dont eat a lot of biscuits and usually confine myself to one biscuity treat per week at my part time Saturday job. But it was reassuring to know there was a packet there if I needed them.

When I went looking for them sometime last week and discovered they were missing I thought I was going a bit daft but following a furthur desperate attempt to tear the studio appart today I casually asked a colleague if he had seen them.

Not only had he opened the packet and helped himself, but he then decided to “share” them with a group of students.

I cannot express how seriously uncool I found this but my resulting frame of mind was a little like this….

Cant believe some missing gingernuts managed to totally ruin my entire day.

I want ALL FOOD!

30 09 2013


I have had an uncharacteristically gluttonous day.


I feel like a cross between Mr Greedy, the very hungry caterpillar and one of the contestants of Biggest Loser having a particularly bad day off the wagon.

My body surely cannot need all the junk that I have put into it but my appetite has been insatiable. I want breakfast cereal bars, hash browns, shepherd’s pie, pasta bake, sugary cola, black forest desert, milky bar buttons, roast chicken crisps, a dozen glasses of milk, whatever the neighbour was cooking earlier that filled the communal hallway with a delicious cooking smell and to top it all off Haribo jellies sprinkled lovingly over Viennetta ice cream.

I have not indulged all these whims – my neighbour may have been upset if I had gatecrashed her family dinner – but I am depressingly not far off either.

I do feel a little guilty but I suppose it is rare for me to have such a pig out day and once in a while a little bit of what you fancy (or a lot in my case) does you good and helps you snuggle up in bed feeling deeply profoundly contented.

Self Medicating

16 09 2013


If you have ever suffered with a back injury you will understand the excruciating pain it causes. There comes a point when lying on the sofa is no longer offering any sort relief and may in actual fact just cause the muscles to totally seize up due to lack of work.

After days of shovelling pain killers into my broken body and squirming from one uncomfortable position to another I have found the only things that are giving me comfort. White Chocolate buttons and chocolate éclairs.

Chocolate Eclairs

In truth I am not a massive fan of chocolate. The boxes given to me each Christmas live in my home for months without FFOMC or I paying them much attention but there is something nostalgic for me about these sweet treats.

The buttons in particular take me straight back to my childhood and as the packets are designed for small children they’re not too sickly.

I cannot really claim that they have made any discernible difference to my achy back but there has been a definite positive impact on my emotional health and wellbeing.


The future father of my children…is a meanie-pants

4 09 2013

Cooking disasters

In my never ending quest to earn the title of Domestic Goddess, I occasionally set myself little challenges for self improvement.

This week in a bid to use up some left over broccoli I decided to do some internet research for a recipe for broccoli and Pasta bake.

I found a recipe at the following website:

However despite my enthusiasm for this project, such efforts are fleeting and as such I am reluctant to stock my cupboards with ingredients that I will only ever use once. So I do have a tendency to take a creative approach to cooking.

Rather than buy flour for example I had an ingenious idea and substituted it with stuffing.

Stuffing is largely breadcrumbs; bread is made with flour – flawless logic!

Should you wish to try my recipe – DONT! It was a monumental disaster and my efforts results in a scathing online review: