Category Archives: Food

RECIPE: Giant Jam Tart

Mr O loves jam tarts so I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while. I made it recently for lunch with his family and it was delicious.

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Universal Yums: April 2019 – Israel

This month’s snacks came from Israel. It’s not the first time I have tried Israeli snacks as a friend of mine who lives in Tel Aviv once sent me a personalised box. This time the snacks were the Universal Yums choice and it was a mixed bag. Some were great. Some were weird.

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RECIPE: Sort of black forest cake

Mr O surprised me recently when we were on holiday at Centre Parcs by ordering a black forest waffle. He doesn’t normally like desserts much and especially not creamy ones but it turns out that black forest is one of his favourite combos. Recently when we had friends around for lunch I decided to do a take on a black forest cake for dessert because I knew he would enjoy it. It is made up of a flourless dark chocolate cake, topped with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and cherry compote and then whipped cream, more cherries and some decorative flake.

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RECIPE: Mini Egg millionaire’s shortbread

Millionaire’s shortbread is one of Mr O’s favourites so I decided to give this Jane’s Patisserie recipe a go for a Easter treat. It’s not a quick one as there are multiple steps and periods of chilling but it was worth it because it is honestly one of the nicest things I’ve ever made.

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RECIPE: Easter biscuits

This weekend Little O and I decided to do some baking. Baking with toddlers is a bit of a mixed bag. It is probably about 75% stress and 25% joy. The pitfalls include a lot of mess, a lot of impatience and potential food hygiene issues. I manage to keep the latter under control by giving Little O a piece of dough to play with that never actually ends up in the oven… so there’s a tip for you.

These super easy biscuits are cute and colourful and manageable even with an almost three year old in tow!

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Universal Yums: March 2019 – Ukraine

This month’s Universal Yums box came from Ukraine. My Ukrainian colleague assured me that Ukraine is well known for having many chocolate factories and there was indeed plenty of chocolate in the box. There were also a fair few onion flavoured things, which was interesting. Overall it was a mixed box with some very nice snacks and some very average ones. There weren’t many new flavours so it wasn’t the most exciting box.

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RECIPE: Peanut Butter brownies

I love peanut butter. It is probably my favourite flavour of all time. Nothing goes better with peanut butter than chocolate so when I saw this recipe for peanut butter brownies I couldn’t resist giving them a try. They were absolutely delicious. So if you like peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do, get on it!

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RECIPE: Baked vanilla cheesecake with berry compote

Last week I asked Mr O if there was anything in particular he would like me to bake and he said “cheesecake”. I have a few go to cheesecake recipes for set cheesecakes but I have never made a baked one so I decided to give it a go. It’s a bit fiddly but this recipe from Janie’s Patisserie came out perfectly. Not a single crack and the texture is heavenly. I have absolutely found my forever recipe.

This cheesecake needs to rest overnight so make sure you start the day before you expect to serve it.

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Universal Yums: February 2019 – Italy

This month’s box came from Italy. It has been the box I could eat the least from because there were so many things with nuts in them. Fortunately Little O was on hand to help me with the eating.

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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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