Cookies in Use
These taste super yummy. I used a nutty granola which really complemented the banana and coconut flavours. You could substitute the granola with desiccated coconut or oats or a mix of all three. I thought the baking might make the granola really hard on the teeth but it actually helped to soften it a little. 

These muffins are great for lunchboxes or as a breakfast on the go. 

Makes 12
  • 200g plain flour
  • 80g ganola
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg
  • 175ml milk
  • 75ml coconut oil
  • 250g mashed bananas

  1. Heat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin case with muffin cases
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients
  3. In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and spoon into the paper cases
  5. Add some extra granola clusters to the top of the muffins
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked

NB I was kindly sent the granola and bananas in a breakfast hamper to enjoy for Breakfast Week.


Christmas and New Year are all about catching up with friends. I really enjoy having people round and always try to bake some nibbles to accompany the drinks.

Aldi kindly sent me a bottle of Limestone Coast Chardonnay from their Exquisite Collection along with their Extra Mature Cheddar.

I decided to make some cracked pepper and cheese straws with the cheddar to accompany the wine.

To make the cheese straws you will need:

Ground or cracked pepper

Mature cheddar cheese

Ready made puff pastry

1. Roll out the pastry

2. Grate the cheese on top of the pastry and press into the pastry

3. Add the cracked pepper

4. Cut the pastry into strips

5. Twist the strips and place on a baking sheet.

6. Bake according to the puff pastry packet instructions - about 20 minutes and 200c

These cheese straws went really well with the Chardonnay which had hints of white peach and pineapple.

Thank you to Aldi for sending me a sample of the cheese and wine.

I'm always looking for quick starters when I have people round. This one is really simple but the chutney and the Camembert really complement each other.

You will need:

- crusty baguette

- box of Camembert

- cranberry sauce or chutney

- drizzle of olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 220c degrees

2. Unbox the Camembert and take out of the plastic wrapping.

3. Cut of the top rind and make a little hole in the middle.

4. Place the cheese back in the box.

5. Add cranberry sauce or chutney to the hole in the middle together with a drizzle of olive oil.

6. Bake on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes until baked and gooey.

7. Serve with sliced crusty baguette.


We started to get to grips with the garden this weekend and cut back some of the ivy and dogwood. The cuttings were perfect for a Christmas wreath so using little wire last night and the cuttings a made this wreath.

To start with I used the branches and sticks to make a basic circle wreath tied in places by wire.

Then I worked in some of the greenery and then the ivy.

Finish with any decorations and a ribbon to hang.

I also used a few cuttings for the mantle peice.

I was recently sent an amazing hamper of ingredients by Applewood cheese to create some recipes other spreading or stirring their new spreadable cheese into a recipe.

I chose to make chicken and mushroom risotto with a healthy hint of Applewood smoked cheese. The flavours went really well together and meant I didn't have to fumble to the back of the fridge to find a sad blob of p
Parmesan cheese!

Serves 2 


  • Knob of butter
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Leftover chicken
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 500ml of chicken of vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of Applewood spreadable smoked cheese
  • 50g frozen peas

  1. Heat a knob of butter.
  2. Fry the mushrooms and put to one side.
  3. Add a chopped onion and a garlic clove.
  4. Add the rice and fry for a minute.
  5. Now add the wine and keep stirring.
  6. When the wine has all been absorbed into the rice add a ladle of stock and keep stirring.
  7. Once the stock has been absorbed add another ladle and keep stirring.
  8. Continue until all the stock is used and the rice is cooked. The rice is done when it is soft but still has a slight bite. If you run out of stock add some boiling water.
  9. When the rice is cooked add the chicken and peas. When the chicken and peas have heated through take off the heat and add the Applewood cheese and the mushrooms.

NB Thank you to Applewood for very kindly sending me a fabulous hamper.


We have just bought our first house and we have been enjoying decorating it to make it our own.

We were left this fairly tired built in tv cabinet. Ultimately we plan to remove it but for the moment a just cheered it up with some patterned washi tape.


These are so simple to make and really tasty to serve along side drinks when friends are round.

My mum has been making the marmite ones for ages and so I thought I would also try making some with Applewood Smoked Cheese and they turned out delicious.

To make you will need:

- pack of ready made puff pastry

- marmite of Applewood Smoky Cheese


1. Roll out the puff pastry and cut in half.

2. Spread fillings onto each half. I chose marmite on one half and smokey cheese on the other.

3. Roll up each half and cut into rounds.

4. Lay the rounds flat on a baking sheet and bake as long as the puff pastry instructions say.

NB I was kindly sent a hamper of goodies to create some recipes with Applewood smoked cheese.

The past month has been so busy for me. We have been celebrating birthdays and trying to buy a house so baking has taken a little back seat. I have however tried some new products and done a little bit of special baking so here is a little update of what has been going on in my kitchen.
I have been really struggling with my scales. The batteries constantly need replacing and eventually the link between the scales and the batteries packed up. I was in need of some new scales so I could continue baking when Judges offered me some Solar Kitchen Scales to review. 

I loved the idea of these scales with no batteries. They are priced at £24.99 a little bit more expensive than bog standard scales but not after you have bought all those replacement batteries! These scales need 30 seconds to power up if they have been kept in a dark drawer so remember to make sure the display has kicked in before starting to weigh. These scales won't work very well in dim light so are probably only good for you if you bake in a nice, brightly lit area. I also found the scales take a little while to update so pouring in slowly is recommended. The scales have different settings for different weight measurements and can weigh both liquid and solids. I am continuing to use these but do sometimes struggle in low light and would love them to come in different colour options.
I made this tiered berry Victoria sponge for my Mum's birthday and used this Nielsen- Massey Vanilla Bean Paste to flavour the sponge. It added a lovely authentic vanilla flavour to the cake and was much admired by everyone who had slice of cake.
I also tried my hand at some more macarons and this is definitely something I need to perfect but everyone loved the flavours. I used this recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons and some Tangy Lemon Macarons which I made using this recipe and adding lemon zest to the egg white mix and lemon curd filling.
Higgidy kindly sent me some vouchers so I could try some of their new quiches and pies. First up I tried the Spinach, Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche. I tried this both cold and hot from the oven and really enjoyed it both ways for a tasty lunch. I especially like the poppy seeds worked into the pie crust. The only thing I would say is be careful to check your teeth for spinach and poppy seeds after eating!
Next up my eye caught the Slow Cooked Steak and Red Wine Pie in the supermarket and this little pie did not disapoint. We have had a bit of an odd and stressful month but we enjoyed this little gem for Greg's birthday quick lunch and it was absolutely lovely. The beef was very tender and pastry was flaky and yummy. A perfect little treat.

Thank you to Judges, Nielsen-Massey and Higgidy for sending me products to try. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.
I love a bit of Wagamama's food and it is one of our regular weekday evening meetups at the Southbank Centre near Waterloo.

This year the Wagamama Lounge returned to Bestival with a selection of delicious dishes and awesome Djs. They asked their fans to record their Bestival experience to make Wagamama's official Bestival video! Lots of my friends attended Bestival this year so here is your chance to try and spot yourself in this video! 
For news, competitions and more visit their Facebook page.
This is a sponsored post.
A big thank you to Elizabeth's Kitchen for holding the fort in September and October and for everyone who joined in with the challenge. Here is her fantastic round up of Savoury left over dishes and Sweet left over dishes.

For the next two months we are looking for inspiring recipes to use up the seasons root veg. Do join in with your recipes and a round up post will be added at the end of November. I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone uses their pumpkins from halloween, the carrots that have been stuck at the back of the fridge and the weird and wonderful root veg such as celeriac and kohlrabi
Do join in and remember you can republish old posts with the No Waste Food Challenge Badge.
  1. Please add your post to the linky below.
  2. Please include the title, recipe and a link to your post. If the recipe is not your own make sure you credit the author. 
  3. Feel free to republish old posts just make sure you add a link to the challenge and add the challenge badge.
  4. Make sure you email before the end of the month.
  5. Please also include a link back to this blog and use the badge below.

At the end of the month I will do a roundup post and hopefully we'll all have more imaginative ways of using up the root vegetables of the season.