Monday, 31 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

I have been blogging for only six months, but in that time I have met some fabulous new friends, from around the world. I have read so many wonderful blogs, written by very talented and creative men and women and I have loved every minute of it.
I have learnt so much during the last six months and I continue to learn.... which I find very exhilarating.
I would like to thank you, for taking the time from your busy day to leave me comments. I so enjoy reading them and I truly appreciate it. 
Today, is New Year's Eve and 2012 is almost at an end, and in  a few hours, we will be welcoming in the year 2013, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family,
A  Happy New Year

May 2013 be filled
 with much
 Love and Happiness

Sunday, 23 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

The presents are wrapped, the Christmas cake and Mince pies are baked, the Christmas pudding is ready to be steamed, the larder is full and  the fridge is overflowing with delicious food.
I am ready for Christmas, so it just leaves me, to wish you and your family,

I hope 2013 brings you
much love, joy and
Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and I will see you in the New Year.



Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

During the run up to Christmas, when  I am busy and need to take a break, I will make a cup of coffee, sit down and flick through a magazine or book.  At that moment I do not want to read the words, I just want to rest my mind and enjoy the photographs.  The reading will come at a later date when life is not so busy.

With this in mind, I  want to show you the Christmas Book I have used for many years. This book was written by Nanette Newman and was published in 1984 and is the book which inspires me year after year with it's wonderful recipes and  photographs.
So without anymore words..... well maybe the odd one or two, stop what you are doing, make a cup of coffee and  let your mind relax and enjoy the photographs.

Christmas Goose

Smoked Salmon and Watercress Mousse

Tipsy Chicken

Christmas Cake

Sweet Treats

Stilton Savouries

I hope you did take a break and  relaxed with your cup of coffee....even for just a couple of minutes.

This week I shall be joining,

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

Whenever Natasha and Danielle, our daughters, come to stay, they bring  a wonderful energy to our home, which we find very contagious.  When they leave, there is an emptiness in our home and it takes a little while for us to return to the rhythm of our own lives.
So, as the girls cannot join us this Christmas,  I am not baking a large Christmas cake, as I would, when they are with us. Instead I  have decided to make something much lighter.
This fruit cake I am baking for you, I  adapted from one of Ivy's recipes.  I have lost count of the number of fruit cakes I have  baked over the years. Do you know, thinking about it, I probably have been making this cake for about 38 years and I must have baked hundreds. Whenever I bake this fruit cake it disappears from the plate in the blink of an eye.

I'll let you into a little secret....when we were younger, we lived abroad and often travelled back to England  to visit George's mother and father. Bob, George's father, developed a very sweet tooth in his later years, so I would always bake a cake for him.
George's brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles would always drop by, to see us when we arrived, so of course the cake was shared with everyone.   The problem was, George's  uncle also had a sweet tooth and loved cake, so enjoyed more than a slice or two.  The sharing of the cake carried on for a few visits, when Bob finally told me, he was getting fed up of sharing  his cake, as he was only able to enjoy a single slice, as everyone else was eating the cake. Now believe me when I say, he was the most generous spirit you could imagine, he would do anything for anyone, but when it came to fruit cake, that was a whole other matter. So to solve the problem I had to bake two cakes, one for Bob and one for George's uncle and the rest of the family. So by baking two cakes everyone was happy. Bob passed away a number of years ago, but do you know, I am still making this fruit cake for George's  uncle, as after all these years it is still his favourite cake. In fact, I am baking one for him for Christmas Eve.  So from an original recipe of Ivy's from the 1940's this fruit cake continues to be enjoyed today.

11 oz self raising flour, sifted
8 oz mixed fruit
6 oz dark demerara sugar
8 oz unsalted butter
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs, whisked
1/2 pint milk
(can be semi skimmed
or full fat)

  Butter  and line a 7inch round cake tin
Heat the oven to 180C degrees
(160C if you have a fan assisted oven)

 Using  a large heavy based pan,
yes, trust me, use a pan. 
you will not be disappointed.
You are going to be making a moist,
 boiled fruit cake.

 Pour the milk

 the mixed fruit

 the demerara sugar

 the butter

 the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and
 bicarbonate of soda

 into the pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce  the heat and
simmer for 5 minutes.
Please keep an eye on the pan as the mixture has a tendency to rise to the top of the pan.

 Leave to cool for half an hour.
Then mix in the sifted self raising flour.
Give the mixture a good beat to make sure there are no flour lumps.
Add the two beaten eggs and mix thoroughly.

 Pour the mixture into the buttered cake tin

 and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
(I always check my cake after an hour. For some reason,  it takes anywhere between 1 hour  to 1 hour 15 minutes to bake)
If you find your cake is browning a little
too quickly, then cut a piece of tin foil
large enough to cover the top
of the cake.
Place the tin foil loosely over the cake,
as this will prevent the cake
from browning too much.

.....and there you have it, a delicious, moist fruit cake.  A perfect substitute for a rich Christmas cake.

In the New Year I will share with you Ivy's original recipe and you can see how it compares.
This week I shall be joining,

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Good Afternoon to you,

Do you remember the Beatles song where they sing the line....She's leaving home.....well, we are saying goodbye to Natasha who returns to India tomorrow.

This is a photo of me as a little girl....with a tear in my eye, which
at this moment is very apt.

I have had a wonderful time with Natasha, but I have to let her return home to her husband who loves her dearly.
So with a tear in my eye.... it's almost time.
Until the next time.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

On Friday, Natasha and I went into the city to do a little Christmas shopping.  We turned the corner in to  Northumberland Street and look at what we found.

The Reindeer Express

The Reindeer Express
 is en route to Newcastle
delivering presents ready for the

There are sweets,

There are teddies,

and many more gifts on board,

ready for Father Christmas
 to deliver to all the children
 in Newcastle.

 The elves are  kept
 very busy sorting all the letters,
 which children have written to
 Father Christmas.

  They are checking  to make sure
 Father Christmas knows
 where all the children live.
...and this is where you can see this beautiful Christmas window display.

Each Christmas, Fenwicks have the most dazzling window displays, which adults and children adore.....and for that moment, we were, children ourselves.
This is such a busy time for everyone, remember to take time out for yourself. Give yourself ten minutes to put your feet up and relax. Have a lovely day and I will see you later in the week.
This week I will be joining,


Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Good Morning to you,

Are you busy at the moment?

I know I am.

Christmas is a busy time for us, icing Christmas cakes, baking Mince pies and making all the other traditional foods our families enjoy over the Christmas season.

There is one thing for certain, as much as I love the run up to Christmas and I love cooking, I do not want to be  left in the kitchen, spending all my time cooking. I want to give my family good food but I also want to enjoy their company and enjoy the Christmas and New Year festivities.

So, with this in mind, I have decided to cook some meals in advance, which I can place in  the freezer. These meals will  be taken out of the freezer the night before they are needed. This will allow me to  chat, drink coffee and yes enjoy the odd glass of wine or two  in the company of family and friends.

This is one of the recipes I have made.

This is a delicious curry which I make with turkey. No, not with the left over turkey, but with fresh turkey steaks. I serve this curry with rice or Bulgar wheat, which ever takes our fancy on the day.

If you are a vegetarian, then you can add Paneer, which will absorb the flavour of the sauce and be delicious. On days when we want to have a meat free meal, Paneer is what I use.

There are quite a few ingredients,  but do not let that put you off, as they are mainly the spices, which are easily assembled.


2 tbsp sunflower oil
600g (4) turkey steaks
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
400g tin of tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 pint of water
sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cut the turkey steaks into bite size cubes

Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil to a pan. 
Place the pan over a medium heat,
 cook until golden brown.

Lower the heat and add the ground cumin,
ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder,
grated ginger and garlic to the pan

Keep the onion mixture moving in the pan
 and cook for 1 minute

Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute to cook out the acidity.

Add the tin tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes

Add a pint of water and bring to the boil,
then reduce to a simmer

As you can see, I forgot to take a photo of the chopped
turkey meat, it was put into the pan, before I realised
I hadn't taken the photo! 
Add the cubed turkey meat and cook
for 30 minutes.

...and there you have it a rich spicy curry, which I know my father would have enjoyed, as he loved curries, the hotter the better.  His favourite curry was a very spicy fish curry, which was cooked for him by his Sri Lanken friend,  when we lived in Cyprus, many moons ago..... wonderful memories!

Now back to reality, this curry can be enjoyed now, or it can be  easily frozen and enjoyed when needed.

If you decide to freeze this dish, please make sure you take the time to defrost it thoroughly, overnight in the fridge. Also make sure it is thoroughly heated before serving.

This week I shall be joining,

 Have a lovely day, and I shall see you later in the week.

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