Category Archives: Baking

I’m not dead…and I made a cake to prove it!

Wow, I never meant for that to happen!

I don’t even have any proper excuses to be honest, just that life got in the way!

I’m still working in the same place, still knitting and sewing whenever I can, I’ve almost finished my BSL Level 1 – check out this woman signing Cee Lo Green – it’s ace but is NOT safe for work!

My camera’s still broken 😥

And most importantly, I’m still cooking, doing my bit for feminism , Nigella!

In a bid to put off my BSL revision for a little longer, tonight I made a cake I’d been dreaming about for a while. I got the recipe from the the beautiful Joy the Baker, whose blog I stalk obsessively read 🙂

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread


Doesn't it look like porridge with strawberries?!


Little overdone but still yummers!

In terms of difficulty, it’s pretty easy but it involves a lot of little tasks and a helluva lot of washing up. It’s worth it though, especially if it’s OH’s turn to do the washing up. 🙂

It is a delish banana cake, with lovely tiny strawberry yumminess dotted in it. Perfect energy food for late-night sign language exam cramming!

Speak soon, I promise!



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Filed under Baking, Food, Mr Pavlova, Recipes, Sewing

Baking is Easy

One of the reasons I started this blog is because I talk about food a A LOT. I am one of those preachy people. I’m constantly telling people “Ooh you should cook this, or try this ingredient blah blah blah.” I imagine it is very annoying. For example, when people say they don’t like vegetables, I feel compelled to convert them, insisting that it is just fussiness that they’ll grow out of once they discover the yumminess of the butternut squash. Most of the time it doesn’t work and they continue to avoid their greens like the plague. No doubt they’ll come hobbling back one day with rickets and scurvy begging me to make them a nice veggie quiche.

Anyways, I think some of my foodie talk has paid off, cause one of my friends asked me to give her a bakery lesson. Of course, I agreed straight away. A whole day devoted to talking about cake, eating cake and showing off? Yes please!

Here’s the Victoria Sponge my friend made:

And here‘s the recipe we used. I say we, but I didn’t actually do anything except tell my friend what to do. She didn’t really need my help, she just wasn’t confident in baking due to the fact that the last time she had tried making a cake was for my 18th birthday (8 years ago) and that had gone so horribly wrong that she had to buy me a cake instead. I didn’t mind –  the bought cake was nice and it was shaped like a caterpillar, bonus!

Anyway, I digress, the Victoria Sponge was superb and now my friend can bake. She’s so confident in fact, she’s told me she is going to attempt another cake for my birthday, in two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Blackberry Day

Saturday was one of those days I’ll remember for a long time. I spent the day with the OH, my sister and her fella in the countryside, picking blackberries and roaming around looking for water voles. For most people, it was probably nowt special, but for me it contained lots of the little things that make me happy, including sunshine, fresh air, food and family. Here’s a round up of the day in pictures:


Cute little tiny frog!


Blackberry and apple crumble- yummers

I’ll end with a poem written by my sister, Rachel McGladdery

Jelly Babies

We braved the wasps and nettles,

feet fearing the moist scrabble of tiny frogs

and came home


with bags of dripping berries.

Elicited nods from sweet old ladies

and questions of recipes.

Oh I scored points for making jam not pies.

To see my babies lined up

neatly labelled

little bonnets


To see the sun slant through the ruby

and feel that female pride

of storing bounty up for winter,

anticipating spooning scented jelly

on toast on steaming cold mornings

before school

negates the quarrelling,

the carping,

the thorns in fingers

and dresses ruined with purple.

I am,

in some small fragrant way

that kind of mother.


Filed under Baking, Family, Food, Mr Pavlova

Pampered Chef


So last night I went to a friend’s Pampered Chef party. I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain what a Pampered Chef party is but I don’t think anyone can put it better than the OH:

“It’s like an Ann Summers party but with cheese graters.” Ooh sounds painful doesn’t it?

Unfortunately I don’t have any photies. My camera’s battery charger has decided to go kaput. So basically we were all given a different cooking utensil and helped to make a snack  – hot broccoli dip with pitta bread tortilla things. My utensil was the knife. My friend had this originally but the group decided that in the interest of public safety we should swop. It was my job to chop the pepper – my friend had mentioned my blog and made out I was the next Delia, so the pressure was on. It’s surprising how difficult it is to chop a pepper when there’s a room full of people staring at you!

The food was lovely, the pitta tortillas were great, really nice and crunchy. Definitely gonna make them. All in all it was a smashing night. The consultant was lovely and the food was yum (we also had mini apple crumble tartlets mmmmmm).

The products are also pretty darn good. I didn’t intend to buy anything (just went for the free food, is that bad?) but ended up getting a couple of things. Naughty I know, but I’m going to need shiny new kitchen utensils. After all, I’m the next Delia  🙂

EDIT – Just a disclaimer in case my friend decides to take legal action. Some parts of this post may have been created for entertainment purposes. My friend is lovely really and wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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Filed under Baking, Food

Banana and Oatmeal Loaf


I’m back and I’m on a roll. Here’s a scrummy banana and oatmeal cake I made last week from a recipe from Joy the Baker. I used olive oil instead of canola oil, cos I don’t have any, in fact I don’t even know what canola oil is!

Have I mentioned how utterly amazing Joy is before?! Well she is, so go look at her blog. But be sure to come back here too!

Someone else who is stupendously talented is my sister Rachel who has just won her first ever poetry slam. Check out her poetry, she’s ace. Well done Rach!

OK, that’s it for now. I’m going to my first Pampered Chef party tonight, so I’ll let you know how it goes.



Filed under Baking, Family, Food

There’s Only One Thing Better Than Food…

…and that’s free food!

I did a friend a favour a couple of days ago -I didn’t expect anything in return but ended up leaving with two big bags of fresh veg from her friend’s allotment. Result.

So I bought some lamb chops yesterday and was ready to make a mega cheapo Lancashire Hotpot using my free courgette, potatoes and turnips. That was until I cut into the turnip, and it turned out to be a beetroot! Oops! Anyway, here it is:

Put some lamb chops in the bottom of a casserole dish then layer with thinly sliced potatoes, then a layer of chopped courgette and green beans. Season the veg with salt, pepper and mixed herbs (I would have used rosemary but didn’t have any). Repeat the layers ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour over a pint of beef stock (only stock I had!), add a bouqet garni, brush the top with melted butter and season. Bung it in the oven for 2.5 hours on 170 C, then remove the lid and cook for another 30 mins on 220 C. Remove the bouqet garni and devour the hotpot in true Lancashire style, with a flat cap on and a whippet by your side. Yum.

Now I just need to know what to do with the beetroot!

P.S. WordPress doesn’t recognise the word ‘courgette’! Grrr it’s a bloomin British zucchini! Rant over.

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Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding

I’ve just received my free copy of Olive magazine. Here’s the details to get your copy if you’re interested. I’m not certain that this offer is still available so please don’t hold me responsible if it isn’t!

There’s loads of lovely recipes in this month – but the one that jumped out at me was the Lemon self-saucing pudding. I love lemon flavoured puddings, and I’ve not made a dessert in a while so I thought I’d give it a go. I thought it might be tricky as it is a bit souffle-like but it is super easy. And super yummy. Here it is…

And here is the gooey lemon curd bit underneath..

The recipe says use a food processor, which I don’t have, but elbow grease will suffice. Also, you may have noticed that I forgot to dust it withe the icing sugar. That’s ’cause I’m too greedy to wait. I’ve just eaten mine with single cream but it’s so tasty I may have to go back for seconds, or even thirds. Or I may just polish the whole thing off. OH is out, he’ll never know..


Filed under Baking, Food, Mr Pavlova, Recipes