Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Good Afternoon to you,

I have made myself a cup of coffee,

I am sitting in,

my favourite chair,

and I am putting my feet up for a moment or two,

and I start to think about the many wonderful bloggers I have met since I first started writing Ivy, Phyllis and Me!

..... and how kind and generous, people are, in the blogging community.  

I have made some lovely friendship, but one of the most wonderful things I have learnt, is, how kind and generously spirited, bloggers are.

So today, I thought I would share with you a little story about one such generously spirited blogger CeLynn from CeLynn's Sunflower Patch.  

I met CeLynn about 4 months ago, after she had left a lovely comment on my blog.  I popped over and paid her a visit, and found she had shared a fabulous Asian Salmon dish. I read the post and what I found interesting was how CeLynn had made the Asian Salmon. CeLynn had  used,

Cedar Papers.  So of course I was intrigued, as I had never heard of them.   I remember when we used to have big family bar-b-ques, George would put certain types of wood shavings onto the coals, but I had never seen anything like these Cedar Papers.  

I mentioned that I would be trying the recipe as Salmon is a favourite of mine, but I also mentioned, that I didn't think I would be able to buy these Cedar papers in England.

I received an email from CeLynn, a few days later, to say that she would send me a packet in the post.  I could not believe her kindness, as we had only emailed each other a couple of times.

I emailed CeLynn my address and true to her word she sent me a packet through the post,

with a lovely little note.  I was thrilled to pieces to receive the gift of the Cedar papers and I felt that this was such a kind thing to do, as CeLynn did not know me, but was willing to send me Cedar papers from half way across the world.

So today, I want to say a big thank you to CeLynn for being so kind and sending me the lovely gift of the Cedar papers.  I have to tell you CeLynn, we loved the Asian Salmon recipe.

It would be lovely if you could pop over and say hello to CeLynn as you will love all her canning recipes and you will so admire her beautiful sewing. 

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Good Afternoon to you,

Can you feel the slight change in the air? Can you feel a little tingle of excitement mounting?

I certainly can, and the reason for this is, Christmas is coming. I know it is a little way off, but, I have to tell you, I really do feel a tad excited.

I love Christmas. 
I love going to evening Church Service
I love welcoming family and friends
I love decorating our Christmas tree and decorating our home
I love buying gifts for family and friends and YES,
I even love wrapping the gifts
I love choosing the wrapping paper, ribbons and bows
I love giving gifts
I love choosing Christmas cards
I love cooking the Christmas ham
I love making our Christmas pudding
I love baking our Christmas Cake

So I think you get the gist, I really love Christmas and today is the start of it all.  Today we are going to be making a Christmas Cake.

This is just the beginning for this Christmas Cake, as it is going to be dressed for Christmas, much nearer the time. 

Even though it is the end of October, I always play Christmas music while I am making my Christmas cake, as it really puts me in the festive mood and reminds me of things to come.

I love Christmas Carols sung by choirs and I'm sure you will be familiar with all of the carols which I am playing, such as, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Once in Royal David's City" and "O Little Town Of Bethlehem", but this is just a few, as this Cd has 15 wonderful Christmas Carols, sung by some amazing choirs.

The Wells Cathedral Choir are singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and whilst I am putting on my apron and organising all my ingredients, I am singing along with this carol.  

Just a word before we start,  there are just a couple of things I would like to say. Firstly, I know the list of ingredients seems endless, but please don't be put off.  Gather your ingredients, weigh them all, put them aside and then just tick each ingredient as you use it, then you will know that you have included each and every one. 

Secondly, we need to start this cake the day before, as all the dried fruits need to be soaked in brandy and left for 24 hours. Some of my friends leave the dried fruits soaking for three days, but I find 24 hours is fine.

I have weighed my ingredients, so I am ready to begin.


175g  raisins
350g  currants
500g  sultanas
200g   glace cherries cut in half
250g  unsalted softened butter
100g  light brown sugar
100g  demerara sugar
250g self raising flour
100g  ground almonds
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4 large eggs 
1 tablespoon of black treacle
1/4 teaspoon of salt
150 ml  of brandy


Butter and line a 23cm round cake tin with a double layer of parchment paper

You will need extra parchment paper to place around the outside of the cake tin.  Also a length of string, to keep the parchment paper in place .

Preheat the oven to 140C. I have a fan assisted oven and I reduced  the temperature by 20 degrees and baked this cake slowly at 120C.

Now, here comes the fun part,

Place the raisins, currants, sultanas
and glace cherries
in a large bowl.

Pour over 150 ml  of brandy (or rum or whisky)
whichever you prefer


Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave
to steep for 24 hours.


In a separate large bowl whisk together
the butter


the sugar
until  paler and fluffy

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl

Sift the flour and salt

with the cinnamon and mixed spice

Add the whisked eggs,  a little at a time,
to the butter and sugar mixture,
alternating between a tablespoon of flour and
a some of the egg
 (adding the flour prevents the mixture curdling)
and continue whisking.

When all the eggs have been added,
fold in the rest of the sifted flour, cinnamon and mixed spice

Fold in the ground almonds

Add the black treacle and mix well.
I find the easiest way, to get the treacle out of the
jar is to dip my spoon
into a cup of hot water.  Leave it for a second
or two, dry the spoon and then dip it into the treacle,
and this allows the treacle to run off the spoon easily.

At this point you will find the mixture is a little stiff,
but don't worry as there is liquid in the 
dried fruits which you are going to add next.

Add the fruit a little at a time
to the cake mixture
I add a couple of tablespoonfuls at a time
as this way, I find it easier to incorporate all the fruit

Add the mixture to the buttered and lined
cake tin
and smooth the top with a spatula.

Now is the time to double line the outside
of the cake tin.  Hold the parchment paper securely 
in place by
using a length of string,  tied around the cake tin.

for 2 hours - 30 minutes 

  Insert a skewer 
into the centre of the cake,  and
when it comes out clean
the Christmas Cake is cooked.

Now, the timing really does depend on your oven,
as all ovens vary, as I have known this Christmas Cake
to take over 3 hours in ovens which I have used previously.
What I would say, is, it might take a little longer
and if the top of  the cake is browning too quickly,
then cut a round of parchment paper and
place over the top of the cake.

I found I did not have to do this as my 
Christmas Cake baked to become a
rich brown colour

Before the cake cools,  add 1 tablespoon
of brandy and drizzle over the cake.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin,
then release the cake from the tin,
remove the parchment paper and
place the cake on a rack to make sure it is 
completely cooled.

When the cake has completely cooled,
wrap in parchment paper, then
wrap in tin foil and store in a cool,
dry place.

Once a week, add another tablespoonful
of brandy.  Allow the brandy to soak in,
then wrap  the cake up again.

Whilst the cake is baking, your house will be filled with the anticipation of things to come, and you will have a home full of smiling faces as everyone will know, there is a Christmas treat waiting for them to enjoy.

Can you guess who this is, waiting patiently for Christmas to arrive?

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Good Afternoon to you,

After making the beautiful little Butterfly Cakes on Sunday, it made me think about the other little cakes, which I made, when our daughters were small, and do you know what popped into my mind,

these Chocolate Rice Krispies.  As with the Butterfly cakes, they were such a favourite with our girls,  and I must have made them by the barrel load. They were one of those  treats which were perfect for little girls, but not so much, when they grew up and became teenagers.  I think the last time I made them, must have been....... now let me work this out...... about 25 years goodness, where did those years go????

So I thought, with Halloween around the corner, it would be fun to reproduce these Chocolate Rice Krispies  again, as I am sure a new generation of children will love them just as much as my daughters did.

But before we start, of course, there is the music to be chosen.  I should imagine you are thinking "Daphne must be running low on music by now", but I have to tell you, I have lots more music to share with you.  I love listening to music, whether it is on the radio, an LP playing or a Cd and I have bought music of one type or another since I was 15 years old.  Along the way, I have discovered new artists which I still enjoy playing and Natasha and Danielle are also a great inspiration when it comes to music, they will share music they think I will like and I have to say, I do the same for them.  That doesn't happen very often as they tend to be "in the know", so on those rare occasions when I can tell them about an artist they have never heard of, it always feels like quite a feather in my cap.

Today, though, the artist is someone you will know very well,

Sammy Davis Jnr.  I love his music and this is a wonderful compilation of Sammy's  1950's music. Don't you just love, "September Song", "Don't Blame Me" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance".

So the music is playing and it's on with the apron before organising my ingredients.


1 x 100g bar of milk chocolate
50g unsalted butter
50g marshmallows
50g Rice Krispies (the breakfast cereal)
A few bits and bobs to decorate
I used,
mini marshmallows and mini chocolate balls


12 small  muffin paper cases
6 large sized muffin paper cases

Break the chocolate into pieces
and place in a heatproof bowl
over a pan of simmering water

When the chocolate has melted,
remove the saucepan from the heat.

With the bowl still over the pan of hot water,
add the butter and stir until melted
(be careful when stirring, remember
there is boiling hot water 
 the bowl)

Add the marshmallows
 to the melted chocolate 
stir until the marshmallows have melted.

Place the Rice Krispies into a bowl,
add the melted chocolate
melted marshmallows

until the Rice Krispies 
are coated  with 

Have your decorations on hand
to add to your Chocolate Rice Krispies 

You can make petite Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats


large Rice Krispie Treats

with Marshmallows


whichever tickles your fancy.

I remember, the first time I made these treats I used Kellog's Cornflakes.  I literally, just melted the chocolate and stirred in  the Kellog's Cornflakes and Natasha loved them.  Then the girls discovered the "Snap, Crackle and Pop" of  Rice Krispies and so it was Rice Krispie treats  and not Cornflake treats from then on.

This has been fun, I have really enjoyed recreating a couple of our girls childhood cakes, but it is time to move on to bigger things.  I have more or less gathered together my Christmas cake ingredients, so I will be making our Christmas cake this week.  I cannot wait to have our home filled with the essence of Christmas.  I know it is a little early to talk about Christmas, but Christmas cakes are usually made in October because they need time to mature, ready for Christmas time.  

I do have a slight problem, however,  and that is, keeping a certain "you know who" away from the cake.  I think when I have made it, I might have to pop the Christmas cake down to Sadie's, to cool. You know the saying "out of sight, out of mind".

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining,

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Good Afternoon to you,

I have mentioned to you many times before, that when I am cooking or baking, memories surface, which I have not thought about in a long time and today's beautiful little cakes are no exception. These lovely little Butterfly Cakes brought back so many wonderful memories of when our girls were just little dots.

I was reading my newly acquired, Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, when I came across a black and white photograph of some little Butterfly Cakes. Do you know, I had not thought about these little cakes in years, but these Butterfly Cakes, were cakes, which I made by the dozen when Natasha and Danielle were little girls. They were always the "asked for" cakes when it came to birthday parties, although having said that, they were the "asked for" cake anytime I was baking. They were so easy to whip up, as they were a simple cake which the girls could help to  make.  They would help weigh the ingredients, mix the ingredients and the fun part for them was creating the little butterfly wings, which they loved doing. When I first started making these little lovelies the filling was made with butter cream and then, I came across Nutella, and yes you've guessed it, that became the filling of choice for Natasha and Danielle, but I have to tell you, that it was, one spoonful for the Butterfly cake and one spoonful for them! But today, my filling of choice is double cream mixed with strawberry conserve.

So I thought I would listen to some music, which I used to enjoy listening to when the girls were small.

Now, reading that sentence back, it sounds as if I enjoyed listening to Neil Diamond then and not now.  That could not be further from the truth as I love Neil's music.  George was lucky enough to see Neil Diamond in concert when he was visiting Berlin, in the mid 1970's.  He and his friend thought they would try and buy a ticket for Neil's performance, on the off chance of a ticket being available. They didn't hold out much hope, as they thought all the tickets would be sold, but do you know, they managed to buy two tickets, but you'll never guess where those seats were..... the front row..... yes, the front row, talk about being lucky.  George said, Neil's performance was amazing and he loved every minute of it.

Then, many years later, I had a wonderful surprise from Natasha, as she had bought me tickets for my birthday to see Neil playing in London.  I was so very excited to see Neil Diamond in concert, in fact it would be fair to say, I was beside myself with excitement, as it was such a lovely gift. When we arrived, the place was buzzing, you could feel the excitement way before Neil started playing. From the minute Neil walked onto the stage, the room erupted with people cheering and clapping and I have to tell you, it was the most fabulous concert I have ever seen.  Everyone was on their feet when he played his older songs, such as "Sweet Caroline" and "Song Song Blue", but he also played his newer music "Tennessee Moon" and "If I Lost My Way".  Of course these were his newer songs when we saw him in concert. All in all it was the most fabulous evening.

So whilst Neil is singing "Kentucky Woman" I am putting on my apron and sorting out the ingredients I need.


175g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
175g sugar
2 eggs
275g  self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
120ml milk


Makes 12 large butterfly cakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

1 x 12 holed muffin tin 
12 muffin cases

Cream the sugar


the butter
until light in colour

Whisk the two eggs together 
and beat into the butter mixture

Sift the flour,
the baking powder
and salt
fold into the mixture

You will find at this point that the texture is quite firm,
but don't worry,
 add the vanilla extract
and the milk 
and combine until you have a dropping consistency.

Place the muffin cases into the muffin tin


spoon in the cake mixture

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden
I have made large Butterfly cakes,
so if you are using a smaller muffin case
reduce the time but still bake until
lightly golden.

Place the cakes on a baking rack
and allow to cool.
The cakes need to be cold before you 
cut them, otherwise they will crumble.

Now for the fun bit,
this was the part that our girls loved,
creating the butterfly wings.

Cut a shallow hole 
from the top.
The piece you have just cut to create the hole,
 cut in half
to make the wings.

This is very simple but so much fun to do with little ones.

Fill the centre with the filling of your choice,
it could be Nutella (which our girls loved)
it could be butter cream
or as I have 
double cream mixed with a teaspoon of icing sugar
and a little strawberry conserve.

Then pop the "wings" onto the filling
as I have done. 

Do you know, it was so much fun recreating these Butterfly Cakes, although I have to tell you, the original cakes I made, were much smaller than the ones I have made today...... having said that, I think everything was much smaller back then.

I know Natasha and Danielle read Ivy, Phyllis and Me! and I wonder what their memories are of these delightful little cakes.

There are so many more fabulous little cakes in this cookery book, that I will certainly be going back in time and recreating some more.

So take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,


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