Simple carrot cake recipe

seeds-2908636_1920Carrot cake is one of those cakes that I either love or hate – and I never know until I actually take the first bite.  When it’s good, it is amazing.  Not too sweet, moist and flavourful.  When it’s bad, it’s bad.  Dry, bland, often with overly sweet frosting.  There never seems to be an in-between.  And when it’s good, it’s one of my favourite cakes ever (coming second only to red velvet, another it’s hard to get right). Recently, I have made it my mission to come up with – for me – the perfect carrot cake.  A mix of a number of recipes, I think I’ve finally cracked it! Continue reading

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Basic Meringue Recipe (even I can’t get it wrong!)

seeds-2908636_1920Meringues are one of those things that scared me for years.  Every time they came up in conversation, there seemed to be a horror story attached.  So I stayed clear…until last year, when I finally bit the bullet and had a go.  Turns out, I had not reason to be afraid – they were pretty easy.   Continue reading

Made it myself: Indulgent bath oil

All natural beauty headerLast year for my birthday, I got a sample set of Balm Balm bath oils. I love bath oils (possibly because I’m lazy and it means I don’t have to remember to moisturise separately) and these were great; they smelt amazing and my skin felt really soft afterwards. My three favourites were Relax, Calm, and Indulge. Unfortunately they were tiny – there was really only enough for a couple of baths each – and I quickly ran out.

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See, I told you they were small!

Whilst they aren’t overly expensive, they felt like they should be the type of thing I kept for a treat and so I asked for some more for Christmas – only my husband couldn’t find them anywhere.  I was lucky enough to get some Aromatherapy Associates bath oil instead but now that’s gone too so I started the hunt for something else that smells great and feels lovely on my skin.  Continue reading

Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse Recipe

seeds-2908636_1920I may be the least romantic person on the planet. My husband isn’t much better and we decided a fair few years ago to not worry about exchanging valentine cards.  We do, however, try and sit down to a nice meal to mark the occasion and open a bottle of fizz (though to be fair, any day is an excuse for fizz as far as I’m concerned).

Last year, I went all out and made a rather romantic desert, if I do say so myself.  To be fair, it’s mainly romantic because I put it in a heart-shaped dish.  Otherwise, it’s just a great pudding for anytime of the year, well it is if you like raspberries…. Continue reading

Made it Myself: Yoghurt and Honey Cleanser

All natural beauty headerI have to admit I love lotions and potions, anything to make me look younger, prettier, brighter (…you get the picture) and can’t resist buying more than I need most times. A few years ago, I started to use organic products when I could and noticed a real difference. They do, however, tend to make my bank balance groan and I have been feeling particularly broke of late.

So, following on from my success at making my own facial scrub, I decided to try making something else. The only criteria was that it was easy….which is how I came to start using my own yoghurt and honey cleanser. Continue reading

Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

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I don’t know if I’m the only one out there who does this but, after every Sunday lunch, I end up with too much mashed potato.   I just can’t ever seem to get the quantities right.  Now, there are lots of things you can do with left over mash, but my favourite at the moment – given the state of the weather – is make Mashed Potato Soup, a variation on potato soup but preferred in my family because it’s rich and creamy.

Technically, this could class as a perfect Meatless Monday recipe.  Unfortunately, I took a photo of my husband’s soup and – as he’s a meat eater – there was bacon on there, so I might be disqualified.  It is the only meat included in the recipe though, so it’s actually perfect for the veggies among us.

To make it, here’s what you’ll need… Continue reading

Coddled Eggs “recipe”

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Coddled eggs is a term I first came across a year or so ago when reading a book set in the 1940s.  Unsure what they were I looked it (as you do), to discovered that there is a broad definition of what they mean, in that they are gently or lightly cooked eggs.   This means a lot of different methods for cooking eggs fall under the term, poached eggs for example.

My version of coddled eggs is to cook them in a pot with boiling water.  It’s a super easy way of cooking them and allows me to add ingredients (often just what I have in the fridge) for a bit of variety.  I thought I’d share it today, using the term recipe loosely as it’s more of a method than anything else.  Continue reading

Made it myself: Leek, pepper, and egg “bake”

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Sometimes (actually, a lot of the times), I really don’t want to slave away over the stove.  I want something quick and easy.  Other times, I really crave comfort food, something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  This week, the two came together in a dish that I call a bake, even though it’s mainly made on the stove top, because I’m not sure what else to call it (ideas on a postcard or in the comments section please as it would be nice to have a more appropriate name).

I’m not sure when I started making this – it’s been at least ten years – or where the idea came from – most likely a cooking show, one of those where people give the chef random ingredients and ask them to make a gourmet meal because you can’t get ingredients more random than this.  Regardless, though, it tastes great and is quick and easy to make.  Plus, my family love it as much as I do, which makes it an win-win on lazy cooking nights.  Continue reading

Made it myself: Coffee Sugar Scrub

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Earlier this week, I had a crisis.  I was out of exfoliator.  Then I had another crisis when I went to buy it – I work for myself now, have only just started working for myself so there isn’t much money coming in…can I really justify the normal £15 – 20 for a face scrub?  The answer is, if I have to I will be, if I can find an alternative, I’ll do that to.  Hence a scouring of Pinterest in search of homemade solutions.

First up, though there might be more to come, is a coffee sugar scrub.  There are lots of different ways to make this on the internet, some more complicated than others.  I did what I normally do and combined a few that fitted in with what I had in the cupboard…and it worked, for me at least.

Here’s what I used… Continue reading

Made it myself: “Orangey” Red Cabbage

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I love red cabbage, not only for it’s colour but also for it’s taste, which is somehow both slightly sweet and savoury at the same time.  Right now, it’s in season, so it’s the perfect time to use it as an accompaniment to many a meal (in our house, this is mainly Sunday lunch).  It’s also really good for you, high in anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals.  You just have to get over the fact that, for as long as I can remember in the UK at least, we didn’t seem to do anything put pickle it – and store bought pickled cabbage just tastes like vinegar and not much else.

I haven’t pickled it myself because I have found a lovely version at a farmers market that saves me the hassle but, over the last few years, I have used it in a number of ways, including simply shredding along with white cabbage and carrots for a quite and easy coleslaw and braising for hours in the oven (on a low heat) with apples and brown sugar (which goes especially well I am told – as a veggie – with pork).  Mainly, though, I make it this way – because it’s quick and easy and my family finish off every last bit… Continue reading