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Friday, 31 January 2014

Victoria Sponge Cake

A good ol' fashioned recipe in ounces, the reason for this is my grandmother always told me it was easy to remember the quantities of the ingredients for a Victoria sponge cake recipe as it was the same number of ounces for the sugar, flour and butter and half the number of eggs.

Victoria sponge cake


8 oz (225g) butter
8 oz (225g) self raising flour
8 oz (225g) caster sugar
4 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to Gas 3-4 or 175C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour and beat.
  4. Mix in the rest of the flour.
  5. Split between 2 cake tins.
  6. Bake for 30-35 mins, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in tin for a few minutes before turning out into a cooling rack. 
  8. Spread the jam evenly on top of one cake and place the other cake on top. 
  9. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Body Shop

As most of my close friends will know I love The Body Shop products, well, over the Christmas break I was over the moon to find out I had one of their competitions.

They had asked to comment on their Facebook page with what the best thing thing that you have ever received in a Christmas stocking was. 

I commented that at Christmas as children we were always given underwear and especially knickers which we were always embarrassed to pull out in front of all the family. 

I was really surprised and over the moon to win and this is what I received in a huge box just after Christmas!!

Thank you to The Body Shop for extra surprise Christmas gift, I love it all.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Colcannon Mash


Colcannon Mash


8 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 knobs of butter
splash of milk or cream
8 leaves of Savoy cabbage, shredded
black pepper


  1. Boil potatoes until soft.
  2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling on a gentle heat melt a knob of butter in a pan and gently fry and soften the cabbage.
  3. Drain the potatoes and the other knob of butter, pepper and a splash of milk as necessary.
  4. Mash until light and fluffy. 
  5. Mix in the cabbage.

Serve with a nice stew, a roast or sausages and gravy :) and most of all ENJOY!!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Creative Cakes - Vintage Bus

It was my dad's 60th birthday last week, so we decided to make him a creative cake...

...he loves vintage buses...

...especially Samuel Ledgard buses, which was a bus company which operated in north Leeds in the 1960s, hence why the bus is blue and has "SL" on the side...

...we were really impressed with how it turned out and we're a little bit proud!!!

I will share a blog post of how I made it when I get around to writing the post so you can have a go yourselves, if you have any vintage bus fans in your family.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Welcome to 2014 with "These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things"

Happy New Year to all my readers, thanks for following me into 2014...

...this is a really delayed blog post but I wanted to share some of my reflections about this blog, where it has been over the past year and where it might go into 2014.

I had a really fab year blogging in 2013, through which I learnt so much about blogging and how to enjoy it, share it and inspire others through sharing my passions.

Some favourites from 2013 have been:

  • FOODY FRIDAY which is going really well and I love cooking and trying out new dishes so it is perfect to find others who enjoy this journey with me...
  • Old Adventures... which I have loved sharing some of my old journeys with you and reflecting on the beauty of the world .
  • A Day Out in Skipton which has been my most popular blog post this year.
  • Wedding X-Stitch which is my most creative achievement.

So, where are we going as we head into 2014...

...I'm not 100% sure, but I am going to definitely continue with FOODY FRIDAY and sharing any interesting travels or adventures, photos or creative achievements as and when they happen. Blogging will probably slow down for a time as I have been writing a book about my family history, which is quite demanding of my time and I want to get it finished, alongside work and everything else I do. You can read my other blog about my family history research at Ruth's Ancestors as well, but unless you're really interested in genealogy you might find it a bit boring!

I'm excited to see what happens this year and want to thank you all for continuing to follow me...'s to 2014!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Upside Down Pear Cake

Upside Down Pear Cake


70g brown sugar
70g caster sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup
100g sour cream
130g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the top:
20g butter
70g brown sugar
2 pears


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 or 170C.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave for 30-40 seconds.
  3. Mix together the caster sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, golden syrup & sour cream to a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the flour, nutmeg, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda and again mix until smooth.
  5. In another bowl mix the butter and brown sugar together and sprinkle over the bottoms of the tins.
  6. Core and slice the pears and arrange on top of the sprinkled butter-sugar mix.
  7. Bake in the over for approximately 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave in tin for 10 minutes to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Chicken, Tarragon & Leek Stew

Chicken, Tarragon & Leek Stew


3 leeks, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 kg chicken
2 chicken stock cubes
2 tbsp mustard
500g carrots
25g fresh tarragon (or 2 tbsps dried tarragon)
2 tbsp cornflour
300ml creme fraiche


  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 160C.
  2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the leeks and onion until soft.
  3. Place the fried ingredients into the bottom of a casserole dish and place chicken on top.
  4. Dissolve the stock cubes in 700ml of boiling water and pour over the chicken.
  5. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and stir in the mustard, carrots and tarragon, cook for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Mix the cornflour into a few tbsps of cold water to make a thick paste.
  8. Remove from oven and add the cornflour and creme fraiche.
  9. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice or roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Alternatively the recipe can be done in a slow cooker, follow steps 2-4 but also add in the mustard, carrots and tarragon to cook for 4-5 hours. An hr before serving add the cornflour and creme fraiche.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Old adventures . . . at Lake Te Anau

Another picture from our travels to New Zealand in 2012, this is Lake Te Anau in Ffordland, South Island. A stunningly beautiful place!

Lake Te Anau

Monday, 6 January 2014

More Winter Wonderland Adventures in Wales at Break-its-neck Waterfall

Over the Christmas period we visited my sister-in-law's beautiful new woodland abode...although I seem to omitted to take any photos of her beautiful woodland owl-y cabin.

But we had a little opportunity to visit some nice places like...

Break-it's-neck waterfall

...Break-it's-neck waterfall...

...which was in a moss coated woodland... 

...the moss was so pretty close up...

...but created quite an eerie atmosphere from a distance...

...there were even magic mushrooms...

...but it was great to get some fresh winter Wales air.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Banana Cake

A great recipe for all those black bananas that have been in your fruit bowl for a little while

Banana Cake


125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 ripe bananas (the blacker the better!)
190g self raising flour
60ml milk


  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 or 150C.
  2. Melt butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a pan over a medium heat.
  3. Mash the bananas and add the melted ingredients, stirring together.
  4. Beat an egg and add to the mix.
  5. Stir in the flour and the milk.
  6. Pour into a cake tin and sprinkle demerara sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Old Adventures . . . at New Year



As the previous post on Christmas Day, we travelled to Salvador, Bahia for the New Year and this photo was taken at sunset on New Years Eve.

Across this bay at mid-night the whole shore was alight with fireworks & people celebrating the incoming of 2006, it was an amazing experience and I can safely say the finest New Years Eve ever!! 

New Years Eve Sunset, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil

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