Category Archives: Food

RECIPE: Chocolate chip banana loaf

Little O regularly eats half a banana and abandons the rest or declares a brown banana too “dirty” to eat, leaving us with a lot of random banana bits. I love banana in things but not raw banana on its own so I’ve been making banana bread to use up the bits. This chocolate chip one is by far the nicest I’ve ever tasted.

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Universal Yums: January 2019 – Germany

This month’s snacks came from Germany. I have actually been to Germany a few times in my previous job. We had offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf… although I never actually went to the Dusseldorf office. I always enjoyed the food in Germany. I have a particular soft spot for currywurst. I never got to eat many snacks though, so I was excited to try this box.

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RECIPE: Brownie crinkle cookies

Since I made the Boy Who Bakes ultimate chocolate chip cookies I have been a bit obsessed with his recipes. One of his most popular recipes if for brownie crinkle cookies, which are halfway between a brownie and a cookie. It sounded like a dream to me so I decided to give them a go. I can tell you that they deliver 100% on flavour and texture.

The recipe is very specific on timings and I would stress sticking to these to get the best results.

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Universal Yums: Holiday Box 2018

As per tradition the December Universal Yums box was focused on food typically eaten at various holidays around the world. There were some pretty tasty items in the box… and some pretty weird ones that I did not love. Check out what we tasted.

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RECIPE: Unicorn fudge

Every year I make different flavours of fudge as gifts for friends and family. This year I decided to jump on the unicorn bandwagon and make some unicorn fudge. It’s essentially white chocolate flavour with lots of decoration but if you have a unicorn lover in your life, this is a quick and easy treat to make for them!

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Universal Yums: November 2018 Box – The Netherlands

November’s box came from The Netherlands. The moment I realised where it was coming from I got really excited. My dad is Dutch and I grew up with snacks sent to us from my Oom Coe and Tante Zus (my great aunt and her husband). I have also been to Amsterdam and loved the food. I was not disappointed as this was one of the best boxes we have had so far.

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RECIPE: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend M recently posted on Instagram about some chocolate chip cookies she made. M is a regular baker with high standards so when she raved about them I decided that I better try them myself to check if they lived up to the hype. They did.  I did the  24 hour “prove” of the cookies as suggested and I think it made a difference to the outcome. So if you need these cookies for a specific day make sure to start them off at least the day before. 

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Universal Yums: October 2018 box – Russia

This month’s box came from Russia, which is somewhere that both frightens and fascinates me. There were some really nice things in the box and some fairly run of the mill ones. All in all a pretty average box.

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RECIPE: Chocolate fudge birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now officially 38 years old. I had a really lovely day and was showered with gifts, cards, messages and attention. A writer friend of mine even wrote me a poem. I felt extremely loved and very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. I have made some great friends at work so I decided to bake a cake that would be big enough to share with them but also for us to have at home. With that in mind I made this chocolate fudge tray bake, which is perfect for big birthday celebrations.

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RECIPE: Leftover Halloween pumpkin cake

Mr O and I are big Halloween fans. We love all the silly traditions from pumpkin carving, to getting into fancy dress to preparing for trick or treaters. This year Little O was old enough to help out with the carving and he is old enough to go trick or treating with the neighbourhood children.

After seeing a friend of mine’s post, I decide to get in on using the leftover pumpkin to bake a cake so I thought I’d share the recipe for anyone else who might be considering doing some carving over the next couple of days. This cake is super easy to make and reminiscent of a carrot cake. Little O loved helping out with the baking although he declared the cake “yucky”, like almost everything we offer him to eat.

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Universal YUMS: September Box – Thailand

I have never been to Thailand but I have always liked the food. It’s really exciting how Thai food balances sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours so I was very excited to taste what was in this month’s box.

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Universal Yums June 2018 box: Brazil

Last month’s box came from Brazil, which is somewhere I am very keen to visit. One of my most beloved colleagues from my previous job is a Brazilian chap and he told me the most wonderful stories of his life there. It seems like such an exciting melting pot of a place. In terms of snacks, it too was a really mixed bag. There were some great things and some not so great things but definitely enough unusual flavours to keep me intrigued.

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Universal Yums May 2018 Box: The Philippines

This month’s snacks came all the way from The Philippines. I was really excited to try this box because I have never had food from The Philippines before. While the western European boxes are nice, it is much more exciting to taste foods from less familiar places.

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Universal Yums March 2018 box: Poland

Despite the fact that my company has an office in Warsaw, I have never managed to go to Poland, something that makes me rather sad. I have heard good things and I really would like to visit one day. In the meantime I am going to settle for some snacks. Read more…

RECIPE: Carrot cake tray bake

As those who know me on Facebook and Instagram will be aware, I am leaving my job after almost 14 years. I have worked in a number of different roles for the same company but it finally feels like it is time to move on and try something new. So in a month from now I will be starting over. Yikes! When I announced to my team a few weeks ago that I was leaving, their biggest concern seemed to be who was going to feed them. I bake a lot for work. To make them feel better I agreed to bring something in weekly… and to take requests. I have been delving into my old faithful recipes but someone requested a carrot cake recently. I do have a carrot cake recipe but it’s a layer cake and transporting a layer cake across multiple train journeys at rush hour is not easy. Instead I decided to go for a tray bake. It was very popular and I will definitely be making it again.

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Universal Yums February 2018 box: France

I wasn’t massively excited when I found out February’s box was going to be France. I reckoned it would be a bit boring but I was totally wrong. Pretty much everything in the box was delicious and quite a few bits were things I had never eaten before. The flavours weren’t crazy or anything but they were still great. The French are, of course, known for their cuisine so I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that they pulled it out of the box (see what I did there).

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