Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

i’m a sucker for a cake stall and always end up spending an afternoon baking for the local school when they have a fair coming up. This year is no different but I’ve decided to branch out in to cookie making as well as cupcake making!

I’m not quite sure why the recipe title is ‘vintage’? May be it just excuses the fact that they are not all the same size and shape…..!

Here’s my attempt anyway… Continue reading Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Oaty Cookies

We love to give our guests a tasty treat when we can. Yes, we serve a delicious breakfast to set you up for the day but the added extras sometimes make all the difference.

These Coconut Oaty Cookies really do hit the spot. Not too sweet, I class them as ‘healthy’ – not just to cover the excuse that cookies for breakfast is good! They are packed with oats and coconut and are perfect with fruit and yoghurt as your second course at breakfast time!

Here’s the recipe coming up….
Continue reading Coconut Oaty Cookies

Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad! Board Game Review

Board games… with everything in life becoming more and more technologically controlled and ‘robotic’, it’s great to find that families are still playing board games. We were sent this great game from Drumond Park to review. Now, my children are getting older but still love the family time that comes with playing games. It’s not easy to engage as a family when everyone’s heads are in their phone or tablet, so a new game to play was perfect for some family time. So, Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad! was welcomed in to our household!

sshh-don't-wake-dad-board-game The instructions are easy to follow; watch out for the twists, turns and hazards that will try to thwart your progress to achieving the accolade of winning the chocolate cake!

In our opinion, the game is perfect for family evenings. Not too lengthy, easy going – not brain taxing but entertaining!


We have a family joke about the fact that we very rarely get a lie in (we love our jobs but sometimes would love an extra hour in bed!), when the chance comes we have to tip toe around in order to ‘not wake Dad’! And it’s usually the route to the fridge that is first on everyone’s mind at breakfast time!

Overall, Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad! was enjoyed by us all. It’s also compact enough to take on family visits – there’s not a lot of little fiddly parts to lose! All in all, a good game, one that will come out to play often. Christmas seems a million miles away, but it will certainly be making an appearance on Christmas lists all over the place!

Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad has an RRP £24.99 and is suitable for ages 5 and over. For more information and stockists please visit – or find it in your nearest toy retailer.

You can win a copy of this game courtesy of Drumond Park! Just complete the Rafflecopter below and cross your fingers!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steak & mushroom pie – Saturday night deliciousness!

Steak & Mushroom Pie – serves 4, takes 25 mins to make and about 3 hours to cook.

This pie filling also works well as a stew – just lose the pastry and serve with mash.

400g diced casserole steak
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
10g unsalted butter
150g Portobello mushrooms, halved and sliced
250ml red wine
250ml beef stock
2 tsp English mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
320g sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, Gas 3. Open the packet of casserole steak, add the flour and some ground black pepper to the packet, then mix. Heat half the oil in a heavy based casserole dish or frying pan. Brown the meat and put onto a plate.
  2. Gently cook the onion and carrots in the remaining oil for 10 mins until softened, and then add the butter. Once it has melted, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Put the beef back in the pan, add the wine, stock, mustard and vinegar and stir well. Cover with foil and a lid then cook gently in the oven for 2 hours.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a pie dish then turn the oven up to 200°C, fan 180°C, Gas 6. Cut out the puff pastry to fit the top pf the pie and press the edges to seal. Cut a cross in the centre of the pie, brush with the egg yolk and bake for 25-30 mins until golden.

Delicious for a warming, weekend tea!

LOVE-ly breakfasts

Love is in the air… I’m not lucky enough to get breakfast in bed(!) but why not treat someone to one of these romantic gestures?

Love heart eggs in toast
Heat a little butter and oil in a pan and fry a slice of bread on one side. Cut out a heart shape then put the bread back in the pan, toasted side up. Crack a free range egg into the centre and fry until set. Serve with a ketchup arrow and a toasted heart spread with strawberry jam!


Continue reading LOVE-ly breakfasts

Seasonal side dishes – carrots and leeks!

Here’s a couple of quick recipes to tantalise your taste buds! Perfect as side dishes to be served with anything from pasta dishes to a Sunday roast… Enjoy!

Roasted carrots with pesto – serves 4 as a side dish
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/Gas 6. Peel 500g carrots, halve them lengthways and widthways, then add to a pan with a little boiling water. Simmer for 5 mins. Drain and toss in a roasting dish with 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon and some black pepper. Roast for 35 mins, turning once. Spoon over 1-2 tbsp basil pesto.


Creamy leeks with bacon – serves 4 as a side dish
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and fry 4 rashers unsmoked back bacon, chopped, for about 10 mins. Add 300g trimmed leeks, sliced, and 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 mins, until the leeks are tender. Stir in 2 tbsp reduced fat creme fraiche and freshly ground black pepper and serve.


Be Food Smart – Change 4 Life

Change 4 Life is a government initiative that helps families and individuals to eat healthier and keep fit.  Their latest leaflet publication helps us to “Be Food Smart”.

We all like food to be cheap, easy and tasty and so often reach for the ready-made foods, snacks and take-aways, but it’s often cheaper (not to mention tastier!) to make your own!


Continue reading Be Food Smart – Change 4 Life

Seasonal side dishes – potatoes and parsnips!

Comfort food at it’s best…

Ultimate Root Veg Mash – serves 4 as a side dish.
Parsnips give sweetness to this smooth, creamy mash – jut add sausages and peas for a quick and tasty dinner.

Peel 3 large potatoes and 3 medium parsnips and cut into big chunks. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling of water then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pan then add 10g unsalted butter and mash. Add 2 tbsp double cream, ½ tsp ground nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper and beat until smooth.