Be My Valentine

I LOVE Valentines Day…. I really look forward to it and I think it’s a really cute day worth celebrating. Nothing over the top but just a little nod to acknowledged the day. This year I suggested to James that we have a £5 budget and the the challenge would be to buy each other the tackiest valentines gifts we could find. Not much of a challenge as the shops were full of goodies to choose from.

My five pounds managed to stretch to a pair of ‘Love Machine’ socks with a robot on them, heart shaped chocolates and a small bear with a heart on his chest. I received a Hello Kitty holding a heart… perfect.

I was also spoilt my my besties, Sarah and Paul with chocolates and jewelry. Such a fun day.

My Facebook Profile picture on Valentines Day
My gift from James


Necklace from Sarah

Matching bracelet from Sarah


Amazing chocolates from Paul

Brownie from Paul…yum!

Easy Pancake Recipe

Tuesday 12th Feb…. Pancake day, woohoo!

Pancakes are so simple and easy to make from scratch and fun the flip in the pan!  My top tip from Marco Pierre White is to mix your eggs and milk together first before adding to the flour to ensure a smooth batter.

I purposely made us a small dinner (spicy carrot and lentil soup) so I could eat more pancakes, I managed four, two with Nutella and two with traditional lemon and sugar…YUM!

100g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml soya milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Mix the eggs and milk together in a jug. Sift flour into a mixing bowl and a pinch of salt and sugar, then pour in the egg and milk mix, whisk into a smooth batter, rest for 30 mins.

To cook, pour a little oil onto kitchen roll and rub on the frying pan, heat pan and add a ladle full of the mix to the pan, cook for a minute, flip, cook, serve, repeat.


Snoopers Paradise Brighton

Yesterday we took a day trip to Brighton, we walked around The Lanes, North Laine and ate at one of my favourite places to eat Wai Kika Moo Kau.

The best thing about Brighton, in my mind and heart is Snoopers Paradise… I could spend hours in there, getting lost amongst the cabinets full of old goodies from my childhood, antiques, old photos of unknown people and places and general randomness. They also have an upstairs now, which was like a vintage clothing and jewellery boutique… but I also found a cabinet full of tiny glass bottles with butterfly wings in them and other bugs. The guy who made them came chatted to me for a bit, telling me where he found the bugs and how old they were… I couldn’t quite decided if I liked them or not, but was interesting never the less.

It was such a pleasure introducing James to some of my favourite places.


Weekend Away

 A whole week off work. Lots of plans, people to see, places to go and James’s birthday to celebrate. To start the week off, I booked us a night in a lovely pub/hotel in Dorset, St. Leonard’s Hotel. The room was perfect… everything I hoped it would be. We also got to catch up with my Mum, Dad, Brother and his family.




Easy Broccoli & Blue Cheese Soup

After eating our way through two selection packs of cheese over the Christmas holidays we were left with some blue cheese… not sure why, I like blue cheese. But I thought I would use it to make broccoli and blue cheese soup as I’d never made that before.

I love this recipe because it was so quick and easy, and it’s good for you. The broccoli and onion not only count towards your 5 a day – which I’m slightly obsessed with at the moment but they also have huge health benefits. Although it did break my hand blender so best to chop up your broccoli into small pieces.

1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1L vegetable stock
1 head broccoli, 300g, roughly chopped
100g blue cheese, such as Stilton, crumbed
Cook the onion slowly in a large pan until soft, then added the potato and stock and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potato is tender.
Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes, until just tender but still bright green. Add half the cheese and whizz with a hand blender until smooth. Season and serve with the remained of the cheese sprinkled on top.

The Best Chocolate Biscuit Recipe

 Last Christmas James bought me the fabulous Primrose Bakery cookbook and to my delight one of the recipes inside was for Afghan Biscuits, I hadn’t seen, heard or eaten these biscuits for years.

When I was thirteen my first job was in a cake shop at the bottom of my road, called Cake Craft run by a guy from Australia. I use to ice the cakes and make the sandwiches. One of the things he use to  make was these traditional Australian biscuits, Afghan biscuits and I loved them. Full with lots of coco power and covered in 70% coco icing and topped with a walnut.

So when I saw the recipe in  the book it was the first thing I made and they tasted just as great as I remembered.

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g golden caster sugar
175g plain flour, sifted
25g cocoa powder, sifted
50g cornflakes
Buttercream Icing
90g 70% coca dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
70g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp semi-skimmed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 walnuts to decorate
Preheat oven to 180c/gas 4. Line a baking tray.
Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the flour and cocoa powder and beat again. Stir in the cornflakes with a spoon.
Put approx 2 tablespoons of the mix in neat piles on the baking tray, leaving a little space in between each one, and flatten them slightly with the back of a fork.
Bake for 15 mins, or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.
To make the icing melt the chocolate until smooth and a pouring consistency. In a separate bowl beat the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat until thick and creamy with and electric mixer. If it looks too runny keep beating – this will thicken it up and improve the consistency.
When biscuits are completely cool, ice with a spatula and decorate with walnut halves.