Sunday, 23 December 2012


I've been busy busy with this heavy workload, etc... second assignment completed and now it's time to embrace the festive season!

To start it off, Papa Wood let me join in with the annual Mince Pie baking this year.
This also means that I learnt how to make my first ever sweet shortcrust pastry (the trick is cold hands!).



450g Plain Flour
3tbsp Ground Almonds (Optional)
Pinch of Salt
225g Butter
50g Icing Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
4tbsp Iced Water
900g Mincemeat
Beaten Egg to Glaze
Icing Sugar to Dust (Optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

2. Sift flour, ground almonds and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until you have what resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the icing sugar.

3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and stir in the egg yolks.

4. Gradually stir in enough water to make a soft but not too sticky dough.

5. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

6. Roll out two thirds of the dough and cut out rounds using a 6cm fluted cutter. Use these to line yorkshire pudding/cupcake/muffin trays to make the base of the mince pie (you should get around 30).

7. Fill the pies with mincemeat (be careful not to stuff them, a heaped teaspoon should do).

8. Re-roll the rest of the pastry and either cut it into rounds with 5cm fluted cutter or get creative and make patterns or designs with the pastry. Place on top of the pie.

9. Make sure the pies are sealed with pastry and then prick two air holes in the top of each pie. Glaze with the beaten egg and then place them in the oven for 20 minutes or until pale golden brown.

10. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with brandy butter, ice cream or cream.

This is a recipe that has been adapted from the 'Family Circle' magazine from December 1989 (it's older than me!). It's the recipe we've always used and always will continue to use.
I hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


It's definitely porridge weather this week.
I have been having my trusty bowl every morning and I thought I'd share with you a lovely variation to liven things up on these chilly mornings!

Dessert for breakfast. OH YEAH.



40g of Porridge Oats
200-300ml of water or milk depending on desired consistency (TIP: Almond milk is lovely)
1 Banana
Greek Yogurt
Dulche de Leche/Toffee Sauce (I use an Alpro caramel soya dessert)
Grated  Dark Chocolate (optional)

1.  Place the oats in a microwaveable bowl and cover with the water/milk. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.
2.  Mash half of the banana and stir it into the oats. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3.  Top with fresh slices of the leftover banana, greek yogurt and drizzle with the toffee sauce – for an extra bit of morning decadence add grated dark chocolate!

Saturday, 15 December 2012


It's probably just as well that I don't have a space of my own to decorate for Christmas.
It would be so BORING yet so simple and sophisticated like the pictures below.
I long for a beautiful grown up tree, decorated in white and gold, decadent and charming in its own right.

However... where is the fun in that?
We like to call our house at Christmas "the grotto". We do go a little bit crazy but it's worth it!
It's all about garishly flashing coloured lights.
Shabby mismatched decorations that are older than you are.
Handmade Christmas items from nursery and school years.
Complete with a wobbly off-centre star on top of the tree.

...I wouldn't want it any other way!

Sunday, 9 December 2012


D E C E M B E R .

A little late with this one - sorry!
I've been relaxing at home since Friday and allowed myself the weekend off from work and any responsibilities before I delve into the Mount Everest sized pile of assignments I have to tackle.

I love that I get a good month's break from university. It means I get to celebrate December properly!
One of my favourite months due to all things CHRISTMAS obviously.

I particularly love whacking on the Elvis Christmas album and watching my all time favourite Christmas movie 'A Christmas Story' (go and watch it NOW if you havn't seen it already!). Christmas food and baked goods are also at the top of my December list, along with a good batch of mulled wine. Mmmm.

Monday, 3 December 2012


I have waited a while to do this one.
Mainly due to the fact that I have been very busy with work and I have not been baking/having all that much fun to document via photographs! But hey, here we go.

Here is a little round up of my life the past month in INSTAGRAM (from L-R):

1.  Fake tasche's and drinks for David's birthday.

2.  A badass batch of Mulled Wine!

3.  Home made Birthday Banoffee Pie.

4.  A rather sunken attempt at an All Bran loaf.
Usually a fail-safe recipe if you DON'T forget the baking powder!

5.  My first article in print for the Leeds Student newspaper.

6.  A beautiful winter sunrise.

7.  Me being silly with tinsel prior to a Christmas Meal.

8.  Toffee Pecan Mess!

9.  My White Chocolate Granola Blondies getting their bake on!

You can see more of my instagram snaps and follow me HERE.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


My sister and I have booked a lovely little (and rather cheap!) get away to Krakow next month for three nights. It will be absolutely freezing and most definitely snowing but I do not care!

I will be returning to what I like to call my second home after being a stranger for what will have been seven months. It cannot keep me away and it already feels like that period of my life is drifting into the distant haze of all past memories and experiences.

It will be a strange experience to visit as a tourist rather than as a place that was home to me for ten months. 
I am however really looking forward to revisiting some old haunts and hopefully being surprised by some new discoveries.

I wonder if it will feel like I ever left?