Wednesday, 22 January 2014

January 2014 - an update

Unbelievably its been a whole month since I wrote anything on my is a bit of an update...

Christmas was both a relaxed and a busy time that seemed like an endless round of cooking and clearing away them more cooking and clearing away...and in between work, as I didn't take much time off this year.

The time goes so quickly and it really feels like a lifetime ago now, but we had a relaxing Christmas morning and a very quiet low key (just the two of us) lunch. The rest of the day was spent preparing for Boxing Day where we had an American themed lunch of pulled pork, roast ham, mac and cheese, homemade slaw, sweet potatoes and marshmallows etc. To ensure we had a British twist we had the obligatory family trifle, or spiced apple pie for dessert...or both if you were brave enough (some were!)I thought the American theme it would make a change from the usual Christmas fayre and true to form it went down really well with all the guests...we were all too busy eating and drinking to take any pictures of the food.

We didn't go so mad with food this Christmas at home, as in previous years, as we are trying to moderate our intake...however, there was a bit of baking of course!...Santa brought is a new bread maker (thanks mum) which has been put to great to use, as we haven't bought bread since, and there were the obligatory homemade mince pies and Christmas cakes to bake and decorate.

Every year I try and find 'the best mince pie recipe ever' and this year I made these frangipan ones, the recipe is from Paul Hollywood on the BBC food website. I decided to dip some of them in Galaxy chocolate...they were to die for...made all the better with homemade mincemeat made at Vivien Lloyd's house before Christmas when we had a lovely day making edible gifts.

The recipe is here on Viv's site...

I don't like or eat Christmas cake myself but I this year made two, one for my mum and the other for my sister and brother in request, my mums had glace fruits and nuts on the top and my sisters was a different affair altogether, with one person wanting icing and one not. I did make a cake decorated of two halves, with one side topped with marzipan and then marzipan fruits and the other with icing. It turned out great and a brilliant idea for those who are not fond of icing...the marzipan fruits came from M&S...

We don't celebrate new year as a rule here, but this year our neighbours invited us for dinner and I made one of the puddings, a layered fresh fruit and cream pavlova...we had a great night with great company...and a great pudding!

Since then life has been pretty full on, with work and other family stuff, as a result I have lots and lots of blog posts to catch up on. I have deliberately been putting home life husband has been an inpatient in hospital this week and the build up to that admission and stay (although planned) has brought some upheaval and stresses to our lives.

Sadly 2014 hasn't started off too well health wise for a number of those near and dear to us. Lets hope it gets better for everyone as the year goes on...we have a new little grandson coming in April...and are very much looking forward to his safe arrival...although January is nearly at an end we hope 2014 is a great year for you all...just eleven months to go until we get to do it all again!


  1. The cakes and desserts look fabulous and I LOVE the trifle bowl !!

    1. Thanks Jean, like I said we didn't go mad this Christmas LOL. I bought the bowl in the North East in a shop selling all sorts of antiques and brick and brack, love it, as it has trifle written all over it.

  2. oh hello stranger!... love all the cakes... hope everything smooths out a little xx


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Susan x