Homemade Jammy Dodgers

These are my absolute favourite new thing to make. I adapted an old biscuit recipe I had and they have worked a treat! Don’t be worried about the initial crumbly mixture. It comes together well after chilling and rolling. I have tested these on a few people this last week and they have been so popular I’ve made several batches, keeping enough back for my cookie jar too of course, because I think my 4 year old might just be their biggest fan. Well worth a go! Beware though, they are utterly buttery and delicious!20170322_113132[1]

Ingredients for Biscuits

225g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

140g White Caster Sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling

1 large egg yolk, save the white for brushing later on

2.5 tsp Vanilla Extract

280g Plain Flour

Pinch of Salt

1-1.5 Tablespoon Whole Milk


Ingredients for Filling

50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

85g Icing Sugar

5 Tablespoons Strawberry Jam

Food colouring Gel of your choice, we did pink



1.Place butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until combined

2.Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract

3.Sift the flour and salt over the mixture and stir. Ideally get your hands in to squish the mixture into a dough, if still a bit flourly use the milk, I found a tablespoon really brings it together without getting it too wet

4.Halve the dough, shaping into two balls, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for one hour

5.Pre heat oven to Gas 5/190c

6.Line Baking trays with baking paper. No need for any extra grease

7.Unwrap dough and roll each ball flat. Not too thin so they don’t crumble. One batch needs to be the solid shape the cutter makes it and the other batch needs to have smaller holes cut out of the middle to display the jam at the end. I didn’t have a small enough cutter so used a piping bag nozzle 😉 Biscuit cutter size will determine how many biscuits this recipe will make. I use a 2.5 inch cutter which makes loads. I got 26 full biscuits out of this mixture, meaning it cut 52 circles with the cutter

Above: Once rolled and cut, scrunch the off cuts back together and roll again to get more biscuits. Place on a sheet of baking paper below and top with a sheet of cling film above, to prevent sticking on either side before rolling

Above: You dont need fancy tools. Use what ever you have

8.Space well apart on baking trays and bake for 6-7 minutes, bringing out after this time. Brush with the leftover egg white then sprinkle with a little sugar, returning it to the oven for a further 5 minutes. They should be lightly golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks

 Above: They do not spread or rise a lot so no need for a mass of space between them, just enough so they do not touch


  1. Make the buttercream filling by mixing the butter with the sifted icing sugar. Add a drop of your favourite colour and mix well. Spread over the full biscuit bases (those that will be the bottom of the biscuit) and add about half a teaspoon of warm runny jam to the centre. Place a ring cut out biscuit on top and fill in any gaps in the centre with extra jam. Leave to cool and this will set back into solid form.

    Above: We love a bit of colour inside x

    1. Put the kettle on, sit down and try not to eat them all 😉 xxx20170322_113402[1]

Cooking for the freezer, eating well on a budget and preventing waste!

Hi everyone. I have mostly been hibernating with my little one since the start of the New Year. Keeping busy but being quite lazy (down to tiredness) in relation to what we ate. I have to admit I have been seeing a lot of toast and salad these last few weeks. Quick, easy snacks that take minimal time and effort. Luckily my girl is more of a grazer so has been happy with picnic style nibbles. Everything is fun when you’re three. 20170125_1232071

Above: Love a no cook tuna sandwich but its time to get cooking again!

Lack of motivation is a real killer! Apart from a very generous friend and neighbour who invites me round to sample her yummy food once in a while, I really had lost all my passion for cooking and eating. (If you know me, you know that’s just not right ;-).)Especially having had limited funds to eat well in the first place. The last few weeks (the dreaded after christmas reality check) have been some of the worst for me financially since managing on my own. However, seeing how rough things had become, it was the kick up the arse I had needed to take stock of my freezer situation and general attitude towards meals and planning ahead!

For the first time in ages, my freezer was almost completely bare. No back ups. No handy extra ingredients to make a meal more interesting. Nothing but a bag of frozen spinach and some bread! Dire! When you are having a hard up week as a single mom, to not have a freezer full of healthy meals ready to go is a big mistake. It’s a life saver and saves you turning to a highly salted ready meal or the local chip shop when there’s nothing to eat in the house! It’s quite easy to do too if you change your mind-set and include it into what you’re doing anyway. You always need to eat and cook. It makes perfect sense to cook something that will keep for another meal too. 20170125_2020171

Above: Getting my cook on….

So, with that in mind, I started doing something about it. A little research online and a few helpful answers from mom (who has managed in a similar situation with three kids to keep alive!) I am well on my way. Now whenever I cook im thinking will it freeze? Things now only seem worth making if I can freeze a portion for a rainy day! There are some things that simply don’t taste as good once frozen, such as pasta, and can have its quality damaged. And some things just taste damn good made fresh and that’s how it should be. However, for most of my meals, I am now using the method of eat some now and freeze some for later. With a nearly four year old daughter to feed, who always wants something, it’s the best way forward for me. It also helps on days when she’s at nursery as I don’t want to stand for an hour cooking when she gets in, ive missed her, I want to spend time with her!

Above: Precious time

So here are a few things I have found freeze really well and a few ideas of what I will be doing to inspire you to be a bit more thrifty too ;-).Nothing goes to waste now in this house!


Yes, you heard me, cake freezes! How I have not come across this bit of amazingly delicious information before I will never know but cake freezes really well, for at least 3 months. To be fair, my mom had told me this before but I didn’t believe her , thinking the quality would be effected, but its great! Now if im in the mood to bake, I don’t have to eat it all or feel I have to give loads away. I have one slice and the rest goes in my newly appointed cake freezer drawer (honestly) and its there for when people pop round for tea or when Emi wants a bit. It will take less than half hour to defrost at room temperature (sliced) or you can take it out the night before or warm in the microwave. Instant cake! I have tried all sorts from wholemeal fruit tea loaf to orange drizzle to cake full of fresh fruit. It all works well. And it works out much cheaper to make your own. Everyone should have a cake drawer ;-).


Above: To think I have lived my entire adult life without a supply of frozen cake 😉


I love bread. I have always frozen it but usually just buy a loaf and freeze it sliced. I have started teaching Emi how to make bread lately and she loves it. She bashes it about, loves the end result and makes her own labels for them to store them in the freezer. Making your own is also much cheaper as you will get 2 or 3 loaves out of one bag of flour, which is about the same cost as a standard loaf. I agree there’s not always time to make ones own bread (before you snigger) but if you do have a spare hour or two its well worth a try. Fresh bread straight from the oven with real butter oozing all over it is AMAZING! Slice it up and freeze the rest for some rustic eggs on chunky homemade toast or late night snacking at a later date.

Above: Emi making her bread and her homemade labels x

Pasta Sauce!

This is one of the most versatile things to make. You can use any meat, any veg, whatever you want or that is in stock and it is such a handy standby for midweek meals to have in as you can just lift it out and reheat it alongside some fresh pasta which takes minutes to cook. I just made a batch tonight using turkey mince, mixed frozen peppers, spinach and oregano, which took less than 40 minutes and has provided my freezer with three meals for the coming weeks ahead. It’s a  great way to use up cheaper meats too, I bought turkey thigh mince instead of turkey breast mince, which is about £1 cheaper to buy and probably is packed with more flavour anyway. Make it in a big batch in a large pan to go even further and in the long run it will work out even cheaper again. Perfect budget cooking and pure comfort eating to boot. Pack it with healthy ingredients and you’re onto a winner for both taste and health!


Above: My healthy turkey and pepper pasta sauce x


Stew is gorgeous. Such comfort food and an excellent filler on a cold winters night. Its my perfect winter food. I love beef stew cooked down using red wine and loads of onions. Again, with the same principle as the pasta sauce, meat and veg will all freeze very well once cooked. I’ve used cooked leftover chicken to then make a chicken stew, which will then also freeze. Three meals from one chicken. I’ve also sourced the cheaper cuts of beef which are perfect in stews and equally freeze really well too.


Any kind of soup will freeze. I have been doing mainly vegetable soups as they are really cheap to make and really quick to defrost. Carrot and coriander, pea soup, mushroom, potato and leek, they are all a great way to full up on healthy produce and get some of your five a day too without really thinking about it. It makes a great accompaniment to your frozen homemade bread too! This is the main way that I use up those scabby last onions or carrots that get forgotten at the back of the drawer. Once its cooked and blitzed, you would never have known it once looked a bit manky.


Another way to use up the slightly gone too far manky veg lurking in the bottom of that fridge of yours. Celery, carrot, onions, anything really can be bunged into boiling water with seasoning and simmered to create a lovely stock. I always strip me chicken clean, use the left over meat for soups or stir frys and then boil up the bones with some veg to make a few pots of stock, which will be frozen and then used as the base of a new dish at some point down the line. There is far too much waste in terms of food these days and there are so many things that can be done with all those slightly less attractive bits!

Other Lifesaving tips!


Eggs are amazing! Dont just see them as a cake ingredient. I try to use them as much as I can as they are very cheap to use per person and they last for ages! Dont overlook these beauties! And don’t keep them in the fridge!

You can use them for:

Omlettes (You can vary with the filling such as cheese, mushrooms etc)

Scrambled eggs (On toast, with a fry up, with fresh herbs, with smoked salmon etc)

Poached eggs (on a bagel, with crushed avocado, Eggs Benedict etc)

Soft boiled eggs (With toast soldiers of course, how else?!)

Hard boiled eggs (To cut up on salads, to mash with mayo for egg and cress sandwiches, to eat whole out the fridge as a high protein snack.)

In baking

To make yorkshire puddings (these freeze too!)

To make pancakes (Cook them and freeze some!)

As a binder when making burgers

As a glaze when making pastry

Frittatas (Love a slice of this hot or cold and again can be filled with whatever you have.)

Can you tell I like eggs?!


Natural Yoghurt!

Yoghurt is worth so much more than just eating from the pot.

You can use it for:

Eating with honey and fruit as a healthy breakfast choice

Mixing into curries or other spicy dishes to cool down the heat!

Mixing with fresh ingredients like herbs or cucumber to make individual dips to accompany meals.

Blending with fresh fruit and honey and freezing in individual ice lolly moulds for a fun task with the kids and a healthy alternative to pudding.

Mixing into porridge for the creamy version without the cream guilt.

A day or two past its used by date is still fine, don’t waste it, pour a couple of tablespoons into the blender with frozen fruit, milk, nuts and honey to make a delicious smoothie.

Make a pasta sauce. By blending nuts, herbs, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and the yoghurt, then you have a really healthy and natural alternative to the usual cream laden white sauces.

Above: Strawberry, Mango, Yoghurt, Almond, Banana and Honey smoothies for breakfast. Someone likes to eat the fruit frozen!


Always keep in a good selection of fruit! It is so versatile!


You can use it for:

Lemons can be used to make drinks, add flavour to dishes or make the perfect pancake topping! You can use the rind and juice and both of these freeze well in ice cube trays.

Bananas can be eaten whole, eaten warm with custard (classic) for an easy pudding, left to go brown and mashed into banana bread, added to smoothies.

Apples can be baked, stewed, grated for cakes, made into apple sauce, chopped over salads, or just make a nice snack for kids!

As long as I have plenty of eggs, some cupboard basics and some fruit I know that we can  make a decent meal or two with dessert too! Hope this has given someone out there a few ideas to stretch out their ingredients that little bit further! xx



Making Breakfast Fun!

Over the last couple of weeks, my three year old has really gone off eating breakfast. I know kids tend to go through understandable short term phases, but when you are as active as she is, it concerned me that she was not fueling up properly for the day ahead, often having an eleven o clock slump, feeling tired and grumpy because of it…much like us big ones I guess if we neglect to fuel our bodies properly. I know I feel dizzy come lunch time if I skip breakfast.

I was trying the usual, eating together, offering different options, buying in her previous usual favourite things. She nibbled bits, she always eats something. But she just wasnt excited to eat anymore and I wanted to change that.

So, this week, I took action! I decided that me and her simply were not having enough fun, in all aspects of our life, but with the food in particular. I have been fortunate enough that I introduced real food to my daughter from a really early age, so there is next to nothing she wont at least try. But meal times shouldnt be seen as a chore, food is amazing and there’s so much we don’t know about. I never want her to think she has to eat her food, I want her to know eating is a pleasure and to look forward to it.

With that in mind, I decided to start making her food more like play time! Kids, especially three year olds, thrive off activities and fun! More than anything, I wanted to make her smile again.

So yesterday morning, we came downstairs and she said she was hungry. She opened the fridge, already like a teenager, seeing nothing she much fancied and walked out of the kitchen again huffing to go and slump in her mini arm chair. I smiled and left her to it and felt excited that I was going to surprise her with something she didn’t expect. It’s so easy to quickly rush a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast. Most days you have to if you have work or have large family commitments. However, if you can genuinely say to yourself you have 10 minutes to spare that morning, its well worth investing a little more time to give something different a try!

I made her some pancakes. Not the usual circle ones. Still using a standard batter (I just used 1 egg and as much flour and milk as I needed.) I poured in random amounts around the bottom of the pan making sure the batter edges didn’t meet. Turns out it made a load of random shapes , some even vaguely resembled dinosaurs and a U.F.O I thought. I chopped up some fresh berries and did a pot of yoghurt with a paintbrush dipped in ready for her to get busy. I covered it with a tea towel and said I had a surprise. (Three year olds love that word.) The look on her face when I whipped it away was priceless. She adored that she could glue on her berries with the yoghurt and essentially make crafts with her breakfast. She was excited, mealtime no longer was rushed to get back and play because it was the play and she ate lots in the process. We did it  again tonight for dinner ;-). A little imagination goes a long way with children this young.

20160904_160602[1]Above: Sure I can see a couple of by chance dinosaurs in there!20160904_160608[1]Above: One happy girl x20160904_161220[1]20160904_160839[1]

Above: Emi just checking the yoghurt glue wasnt real! Theres only one way to check after all!

This morning I wanted to surprise her again and she was actually smiling at me when she asked what was for breakfast. She knew something was coming again. So today, I made her day by saying we could have her favourite, ice cream, for breakfast! Well, that just blew her little mind.

She said “Ice cream? For breakfast? Ha!”. Throwing her head back and laughing as she does. I love seeing her thinking when something changes the game plan! Before you spit out your tea and call me a bad mom, give me a break. I wouldn’t actually give my daughter sugar laden ice cream as a promoted way of having a good breakfast! We made our own instant soft scoop ice cream using bananas I had frozen the night before. This one is great, really quick and super healthy!

You simply blend frozen bananas with whatever other ingredient or flavour you fancy. We made two types to try, one with fresh strawberries and frozen bananas and a chocolate ice cream which is just the bananas, 1 tsp of cocoa powder and a squeeze of honey. The strawberry one doesn’t need sweetening but cocoa can be quite bitter so that needed the honey I thought. Plus the chocolate one is really gooey almost like a pudding, which feels great to be allowed in the morning! Add a splash of milk to the chocolate one too to loosen it up a bit, a little goes a long way. So with just two ingredients in the strawberry one and four in the chocolate one, all natural and healthy, it makes a great start to the day and is really fun too.20160904_081441[1]Above: Thats enough now Emi!20160904_081448[1]Above: mmmmm I try some too!20160904_082153[1]Above: Loving her treat breakfast x20160904_082215[1] Above: Yummy and healthy too x

It takes all of about a minute and makes an instant soft scoop ice cream that is super healthy but feels like a treat. Just make sure you only blend until the bananas have no more lumps. If you do it more than that your soft scoop will become more of a thick shake! Best of all its something she could join in with, again, getting her excited by eating what she’s made herself rather than just being handed something and told it has to be eaten. Food has to be fun! Especially when kids are learning!

There are loads of fun things to try.

Making faces out of Fruit shapes is a nice one to do with them. (Bananas slit in half are perfect for a big smily mouth!).

We make porridge and make shapes on the top decorating with dried fruits and a squeeze of honey or jam. Hearts is a favourite and she always does me one on mine 😉 xWP_20160214_08_33_38_ProAbove: Emi with her blueberry heart porridge on Valentines day this year x

I am a realist and I do understand that food play isn’t always achievable or quick enough to do every day of the week. I am not suggesting that. I am going to aim to dedicate at least the weekend mornings to doing this for her and with her, more if I can, but at least those two days. Setting realistic goals is better than just saying I have no time or it’s too much upkeep. The child having one fun food day to look forward to each week is better than none at all.

You don’t have to keep it to one certain meal event either. We do the same with lunches sometime.

Making lettuce boats she can fill with chicken and salad herself and float across the table like on water is always fun (Thank god for wipe clean table cloths!)

Letting her draw a face on her hard-boiled egg shell after she has eaten and reenacting humptey dumptey before smashing his shell with her spoon is another firm favourite!

Using my inherited sherry glasses from Nan and letting her have her own little glass of wine at the dinner table always makes her feel really grown up and not left out. (It is squash for the record ;-0.)20160816_135948[1].jpgAbove: Emi with her mini wine x

Kids just want to be involved so give something a bit more inventive a try to see if they like it. Theres a good chance they will x





Best Brownies

I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love a good brownie!

This recipe is my favourite. Its reliable, comforting and never fails to satisfy the appetite. Ever 😉

I literally make these once a fortnight, sometimes even once a week if I feel the need. I do always share them out though and give a box to whoever I might be seeing that day. The rest go in an airtight jar and they will keep well for at least a week. My lovely friend bought me a gorgeous pink kilner jar recently and now I have an excuse to make them so I can store them in a pretty place ;-). I love jars! WP_20160605_08_08_16_Pro[1].jpg

Above: My gorgeous new pink addition to my jar shelf. Thanks Liz x

I strongly advise that depriving yourself of life’s pleasures will make you utterly miserable!  Eating only lettuce will not make for a long and happy life! On the other hand, don’t go crazy! It’s very simple when you think about it! A little bit of what you like does you the world of good.

I use good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) and unrefined sugar. One small square is enough with a hot cup of tea. I don’t drink red wine but a couple of my friends I had the pleasure of cooking for recently assured me that these are an excellent accompaniment to a glass! So much so, I do believe they demolished about 4 each on the night. And took the rest home the next day. It’s a pleasure to see people enjoying something you have made!WP_20160221_14_30_28_Pro[1].jpg

Above: Birthday brownies for my daughters 3rd birthday!

I made a batch at 6.30am this morning to post off for a friend’s birthday! They make an excellent gift in a lovely tin and I have used this recipe for presents, party’s,dinner guests, every one seems to love them, from the three-year olds right up to my nearly 80-year-old Nan. They are a big hit!

They are very easy to make, the tricky part is timing it just right so that it doesn’t cook all the way through like a dry cake! I have had varied success with this but seem to be on a roll timing it for 21 minutes! WP_20160608_08_42_49_Pro[1]

Above: Batch for friend’s birthday. Just the right amount of squidge!


  1. 185g Unsalted Butter
  2. 185g 70% Minimum Good Quality Dark Chocolate (Aldi do a great range and not too expensive!)
  3. 85g Plain Flour (You could replace this with gluten-free or ground almonds for wheat allergies etc)
  4. 3 Large Eggs
  5. 275g Golden Caster Sugar
  6. 40g Cocoa Powder
  7. Icing Sugar to Dust after Cooking


  1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 4.
  2. Break up the chocolate and put into a heat proof bowl along with the butter. Melt in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds until melted. Usually takes around 2 minutes but every microwave may differ! Once melted set aside to cool until luke warm, just so long as it’s no longer hot enough to cook the eggs when combined!
  3. Mix the flour and cocoa powder together sieving into a clean bowl. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer (if you have one), beat the eggs with the sugar on the highest speed setting. This will make the mix turn very pale and the volume will increase  almost doubling in size. Do this for at least two minutes. This will add air into the mixture for a lighter brownie.
  5. Once the melted chocolate mix from step 2 is cool enough, add this into the egg mix, folding it in gently to prevent knocking the air back out. Once combined, sieve the flour mix into this and again fold it in, don’t stir as this will make the brownies too dense without the lightness you have whipped into the eggs.
  6. Pour into a tin, you can get good tray bake tins, mine was just a poundshop job! The base of my tin measures 24cm by 18cm and it’s just the right size to hold this mixture.
  7. Cook on the middle shelf until the top starts to crack but inside still looks moist. I would recommend between 20-25 minutes but I have found around 20 works best.
  8. Leave to cool completely in the tin at room temperature. Dont be tempted to cut into it before its cool! Then sprinkle with icing sugar and cut!

I hope you enjoy x

A Weighty Subject…


I think it’s probably the thing we dread hearing most at the doctors when they ask you to jump on the scales. It’s the type of moment, as a woman, when you wish the fire alarm would go off or something to avoid the embarrassment of being told you need to lose a few pounds! Unless you are one of those lucky ones that claim to eat what you want and never put an ounce on (hhhmmmm), then weight is a sensitive subject for most! Especially after children!

During my pregnancy, I put on one stone. Not a great gain for a pregnancy, but on my nearly five foot frame, every pound makes all the difference. You taller women are so lucky, I have known of women putting on about three stone who are tall and they carry it off so well! Shorties beware! I looked like a beach ball at the end of mine, perfectly round ;-). I gradually lost this weight over the next two years (and even more when my partner left me, good old heartbreak diet.) But I have noticed it lately creeping back on and it’s not something that’s too welcome!

I don’t live by my weight, I like to think I am not ruled by it. Until very recently I did not even own a pair of bathroom scales because I would rather know that what I was eating was right rather than the numbers some chart somewhere says I should be!

However, just recently, I have been thinking about weight, my body, my health, as we all do at times as women who are self-aware. I started to look up what my weight should be and found that a lot of people still base the ideal on BMI. Now, this is something that for a long time I have not really agreed with. It angers me slightly that the health service lumbers everyone into the same brackets of an ideal, regardless of lifestyle, family similarities, diet or body features, such as big breasts (which would obviously add significantly to a persons total weight!).

How can you measure someones health etc based on strictly their height and weight. After all, at only four foot eleven, I am the height of a ten year old child. A few of you might get a laugh in there. Go on, get it out your system, everyone else does. Shall I continue? 😉 My point is we all come in a vast array of shapes and sizes and this BMI theory just does not work in my mind!

I have large breasts, I have muscular thighs from doing lots of sports as a child. I have a round firm bum and hips after having my daughter. I think my boobs alone are probably a good bag of sugar or two in weight at a guess! Yet I am told that for my height, I should be around 7 stone. 7 stone!!!!!! The same weight as a pre-pubescent child. I don’t recall ever being 7 stone at this stage in my life come to think of it! Ha!

This is why I simply can’t follow these guidelines because I do not think they are realistic! I wont shock you all by revealing my true weight (A lady’s prerogative) but on the chart I am classed as obese. This might be embarrassing to admit for some but to hell with it! In BMI terms, I am a fatty! Yet I wear a size 12 (my current jeans are a 10), I walk miles each week, I eat all my fruit and vegetables and I cook as healthily as possible with low salt, nothing processed, all the right steps to take that health professionals would advise for a healthy lifestyle. You certainly wouldn’t look at me in the street and say I was fat. Curvy, yes, but certainly not fat.WP_20140521_001

I fear that today we are all expected to look like the stick insects we see airbrushed on the front of magazines. Yes, some women are naturally very slim and have to do little if nothing to maintain that shape and size. Lucky them. The majority of other women, after childbirth especially, will struggle that bit more.

For breakfast today I had porridge, made with half water, half goats milk, served with fresh raspberries and strawberries. Lunch was mixed beans, chicken and cucumber and dinner was a homemade mushroom and spinach risotto. Hardly the diet of a fatty! Ok, I like a bit of a treat and today we made cakes to pass some time and I had half of one. I also had a square of dark chocolate. Hardly the devils work at play there. The naughty stuff is in moderation, as they suggest.

So, I found myself asking, why don’t I lose weight if my diet is consistently healthy? Firstly, I have always eaten well. It is much easier for a very overweight person to stop drinking Fanta for breakfast and watch as the pounds just melt away. That is not to sound sarcastic, I am being genuine in that processed, chemical laden food and drinks will clog your system up and if you go cold turkey on them, you will see a dramatic difference even before you start thinking about throwing exercise into the mix.  I wasnt putting loads of sugar or processed stuff into my system before I had my daughter, so still having the same consistent diet as before, I am not going to see any results through diet alone.

This can mean only one option to lose a few pounds for me then…EXERCISE!

The thought of this word after a 14 hour shift on your feet each day is horrendous. Surely I do enough exercise having a three year old hanging off me for most of the day. My god, by the time she has finally decided to stop jumping on the bed and singing Let it Go and collapsed into a heap, I am just about dead myself!

What I want to know is, how do women do it?! Maybe it is easier when you have a partner to do shifts with? All I know is, in my position, I wake around 6.00am and I sit down to inhale my lunch around 12 before chasing her to stop her smearing Bolognese up my wall and then I don’t sit down again until at least 8.00pm! How do women find the strength to then do butt crunches and sit ups after that?? If I have not already passed out asleep on the sofa I am like a zombie after a hot bath, not moving, just lying there, waiting for my rest.

I thought with the warmer weather coming, it might motivate me to push myself into doing an evening workout. It did. I tried yoga at 9.00pm. I got into child’s pose on the floor. And stayed there for ten minutes, relaxed in the pose and started falling to sleep! So I gave up and went to bed.

So evening exercise is out!

I then considered the obvious, the morning, fresh from a 9 hour sleep. I tried it. I had my daughter hanging off one leg in a yoga pose, demanding breakfast and Pinocchio on the tv, finding it funny to use me as a horse during one already particularly strenuous pose. It just doesn’t work.

As some of you may have read on my very first blog on here, I tried going to yoga classes too. I loved this. It felt amazing. But I was going on my only free two days when my daughter was at nursery. Going to the 10am class meant being ready and on a bus at 9am, the bus back at 12.30pm, getting home at 1.00pm, then having to leave at 2.30pm to collect her from nursery. It effectively took up my two days off, and although it felt great, all the other jobs I would usually get on top of when she’s not around simply didn’t get done. Meaning more work at the weekend, which cuts into precious bonding time together. I will go back to yoga, but I think its more realistic to think that I can manage just one day from now on.

So I have come to a conclusion, for the time being at least, that I am not going to bow down to any pressure from society to look the way it thinks and says I should! As a single mom, I think I have enough to be getting on with without throwing vanity and stress into the mix.

My body really isn’t that bad. I am healthy, it all works ok, I eat well, I have a waist still, my legs are firm. The only part im not happy with really, like most women after having a baby, is my stomach. But until I have more time to myself, maybe in a year when she’s outgrown the cling on stage, there’s really not a lot im going to stress myself over. I don’t eat rubbish and I walk absolutely everywhere. If I can manage only ten minutes of yoga two times per week, I will accept that for the time being and stop beating myself up about it. Yes, I would adore a Britney Spears circa 1998 washboard toned stomach but if it means that my life is made any more stressful and my child goes without my time then it simply doesn’t factor into my life! Plus I love cake on a Saturday and I don’t intend to start giving that up 😉

My daughter has a healthy attitude towards food and quite frankly that’s more important to me than showing her I can look like Cheryl Cole (I wouldn’t trade my curves in for a models frame.) Food should be enjoyed and todays society just gives young girls a complex! I would hate for my girl to have her life ruled by numbers.WP_20150930_10_02_26_Pro[1]WP_20140522_027

Life has to work around you. And if that means the only exercise I can manage right now is walking a lot and weight lifting my daughter then so be it. I would rather be a little obese on record,happy and healthy, than follow anyone elses guidelines.

So on we go x



Lemon and Bramley Apple Curd Review

As it’s the weekend again, we did what we do every Saturday, me and my girl. We got into the kitchen and we cooked together. She is only three but she adores helping to prep anything we decide to give a go and I love to watch her exploring cooking methods and trying everything along the way.

A few weeks ago I dusted off a preserves book I have had sat on my shelf for years. I remember attempting this recipe with my then partner and had wonderful funny memories of the handle falling off my pan right when the curd was at its hottest, scolding him, my hands and painting my walls a lovely sticky yellow splodge pattern in the process. Good times. That was a first attempt of course and I am sure if you have a decent pan your first attempt will be a success! The curd worked a treat, what was left of it!

I don’t want to get into the habit of sharing other people’s recipes but this one is tried, tested and tasted and is simply so delicious you must try it, hence why I ma sharing it with you. It’s not at all sharp like standard lemon curd with the addition of Bramley apples making it sweet and mellow. I have made a few slight amendments to the original recipe too as I tend to use what I have got which doesn’t always match the quantities of the original recipe but it still works.

This is my absolute favourite thing to make if I have a quiet moment and doesn’t take too long either. You end up with five jars full, although saying that, it doesn’t last long once you have tried it! I tend to keep two and give three away to family. WP_20160514_08_24_37_Pro[1]

Above: My helper x

Use it on toast, with cream and meringues or experiment like we did straight after making lemon curd cupcakes. It’s very versatile and it keeps for 4 weeks unopened in the cupboard.

You can get these jars from Wilko for about £4 for 12 and I ask family to keep returning them once finishing so its only the initial outlay I have paid and you should recycle where you can!

Original recipe taken from River Cottage Handbook No.2-Preserves.


Finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons (you need 100ml strained juice)(I had 2 medium lemons which only made 90ml juice so use large lemons or you will end up needing another spare!)

450g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped (Weigh them after chopping!)

125g unsalted butter (At room temperature melts quicker)

450g granulated sugar

4-–5 large eggs, well beaten (you need 200ml beaten egg)(I used 5 medium eggs as that’s what I had in! It still worked out great!)


Put the chopped apples into a pan with 100ml water and the lemon zest. (I did 100ml as suggested but found the water had evaporated a little quicker than the time needed for the apples to soften enough so towards the end added a further 50ml water to finish cooking without them burning or sticking!)Cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a purée with a wooden spoon or rub through a nylon sieve.(I used metal, use what you have.)WP_20160514_08_18_35_Pro[1]

WP_20160514_08_35_50_Pro[1]Put the butter, sugar, lemon juice and apple purée into a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.(I don’t have a double boiler, a pan of water and a heat proof bowl is just dandy.)As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture is hot and glossy, pour in the eggs through a sieve, and whisk with a balloon whisk.

If the fruit purée is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will ‘split’.(I was terrified about this part but as long as you are simmering the mixture rather than boiling it should be fine, I hae not had a split batch yet!)

One way to guard against this is to check the temperature of the purée with a sugar thermometer – it should be no higher than 55-60°C when the egg is added.(My thermometer is broken so I used common sense and did it by eye and it worked for me.)WP_20160514_09_40_42_Pro[1]

If your curd does split, take the pan off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.

Stir the mixture over a gentle heat, scraping down the sides of the bowl every few minutes, until thick and creamy.(Dont be tempted to stop sooner if you feel it’s getting no where, it does thicken nicely right at the end, it will still be soft enough to pour so don’t expect a thick-set like a jam.) This will take 9–-10 minutes; the temperature should reach 82–-84°C on a sugar thermometer.WP_20160514_09_42_50_Pro[1].jpg

Immediately pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal.(To sterilise your jars wash them in very hot soapy water and rinse, then put them in a low oven, I use Gas Mark 2, for about 8-10 minutes. Use a funnel to pour in the mixture, there’s no mess or wastage!)WP_20160514_10_15_02_Pro[1].jpg

Use within 4 weeks. Once opened, keep in the fridge.

Enjoy finding new ways to use this up. I used my favourite cupcake recipe (see Vanilla Cupcake blog post.) Yum x