A trip to the country

11.9.11 - 10:00
I went for a little get away with some of my lady friends recently. We don't get to see each other very often so we hired a place out in the coutryside and drank wine and chatted for hours.

The place where we stayed was beautiful and even kept chickens and alpacas. The alpacas were lovely. They came over to investigate us, but I think they were dissapointed that we didn't have any food for them.

are you ready for your close-up?

 We also visited the town of Ludlow. Some parts of the castle there date back to the 13th century. The whole town is beautiful though, very old-fashioned and full of little independant shops and cafes. I got some really tasty Mango Ketchup from the market.



My awesome birthday and cake

8.9.11 - 10:00

Its been a while since my birthday. A few months actually, but I really wanted to write about it because everyone made it such a special occasion for me!

Let me give you a little back story. I had a big birthday this year. Okay, I was 30. As you know we are getting married this year so I didn't want to make a big thing about it as all my family would be coming over later in the year the wedding anyway. My folks however, got together with Marc and arranged a surprise party for me. Yep, a real surprise birthday party. I had no idea. I nearly cried when I saw everyone there, I didn't know what to say.

Marc also made me a cake. Remember some of the cakes I've made for him? Turns out he has a talent for baking, himself! Check out his awesome and huge 'cupcake'. I've seen people use this mould before online, but he even used chocolate to make a cupcake 'case'. There was cake inside it too. Very impressive for someone who has never made a cake beyond rice crispy buns.

So I'd like to say another big thank you to all my friends and family for making my birthday amazing.



Caramalised onion and sun-dried tomato palmiers

5.9.11 - 10:00

These pastry based savouries are perfect for a picnic. They are only two bites big but huge on flavour and use only three main ingredients. Okay it is a bit of a cheat as one of the ingredients is ready made pastry. And I cheated even more by using ready-rolled pastry ... but who's counting?

I think the impressiveness to difficulty ratio is pretty good. They are a bit fiddly, but also very forgiving because of their 'rustic' look.


- 1 pack of ready-made puff pastry (if it's not ready rolled roll it out into a big rectangle about 5mm thick)
- 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- about half a jar of caramelised onion chutney/sweet onion jam
- an egg mixed with a little milk for egg washing
- salt and pepper for seasoning and maybe some herbs (I used a bit of dried thyme)


- Drain and chop up nearly a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes (my jar was about 280g)
- spread some onion over the whole surface of the pastry
- distribute the tomatoes over the top of that and season with a bit of salt, pepper and thyme
- roll both sides of the pastry into the middle (the long sides) and stick together with a little egg
- pop the roll into the fridge for about half and hour (you'll really want to do this or pop it in the freezer for a bit so that it hardens up some)
- start to slice 1cm pieces off the roll with a sharp knife
- lay them on a baking sheet, cover the top in egg wash
- bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 180c

I actually made these to take to a social at my work with what I think is called a 'potluck' meal in the US but we sometimes call it a 'fuddle'. However I ended up being poorly and not being able to go, so I can't let you know how they went down. Marc seemed to like them!



Wedding plans

2.9.11 - 10:00
Well hello! I've not been around as much as usual lately as I've been kinda busy with wedding stuff. It seems to take up a lot of my time. Actually thats not -technically- true. It takes up a lot of the time I would normally be blogging or making disasterous recipes.

Some of it has been a lot of fun - I've been making things. Lots of things. Some of them are really easy to do and look cool - like these hearts. I found the tutorial for them over here. I think they make nice decorations even if you're not getting married. I've got a couple strung up in our bedroom which are very pretty.

Some of the other things have been really difficult or taken ages. Mainly is because I had to multiply them by the number guests we have invited!

I'll show you some more after the event, I want everything to be a surprise for people on the day,