Category Archives: Good Food

Oatbran fruit muffins – low cholesterol


I’ll share what we’ve been up to someday soon, but for now let’s feed our bellies with goodness!

As I’ve already mentioned, my hereditary cholesterol is causing me issues and it’s likely to be be even worse after this next baby, so when baking I am trying to use only cholesterol-friendly ingredients.


This has been easier said than done and to be honest I am resenting it! However, my guardian angel Smitten Kitchen, recently posted a recipe that was screaming to be adapted for me. So that’s exactly what I did!

Fat free greek yoghurt has replaced buttermilk, and cholesterol lowering oatbran and spelt flour are also used.


These are absolutely suitable for breakfast, or snack time, and especially child-friendly given the minimal amount of sugar used.

They aren’t beautiful, but then very little of what I bake is (it’s not my highest priority), but they are wholesome and it makes me feel like I’m still allowed cake. Almost.


Oatbran and fruit muffins
makes approximately 10 using small cases


300ml fat free yoghurt, thinned with 15ml milk
1 large egg
80 ml oil (such as vegetable, safflower, sunflower or olive oil)
50 grams lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or zest of citrus fruit of your choice
90 grams oat bran
125 grams spelt flour (can substitute plain flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
several teaspoons sugar – for topping the muffins
3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (just about anything but citrus or pineapple will work, I used 10 strawberries but have previously used frozen raspberries and blueberries successfully)


Heat oven to 200 degrees C and line tray with muffin cases.

Whisk yoghurt, milk, egg, oil, brown sugar and any vanilla or citrus zest you’d like to use in a small bowl. Whisk oatbran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined.

Spoon 1 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 1 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly). Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with about 1 teaspoon each.

Bake muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out almost clean. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

The muffins keep for 3 days at room temperature, longer in the freezer.




Berry Breakfast Pots


Over the past few weeks months that I have been suffering with the dreaded “morning” sickness, there hasn’t been much that I can eat before 11am.

This is not good news when you either have a toddler to entertain, or an employer to convince you are capable ;)

Thankfully, I have found something that keeps me going, tastes delicious, and is low in bad cholesterol. WIN!


I guess this is a form of bircher muesli, and can be made with a hundred different ingredients (oats with different dried fruits, seeds, nuts, fresh berries, any type of milk or yoghurt, even fruit juices) but I have loved my simple version!

Please make this the night before and leave it in the fridge for the next day if you can, it’ll soften the oats and taste even better.

Apologies for the photos – I can’t find a way to make it look appetising, but looks aren’t everything guys.


Be warned – your boss may ask you why you are eating taramasalata (seriously?!) or ice cream in the office ;) Being pregnant probably didn’t help me there!

Berry Breakfast Pot
serves one


100g yoghurt (I used 0% fat greek yoghurt, but go for the good stuff if you don’t have cholesterol issues!)
handful frozen berries (you may want to add some honey/maple/agave or some sugar if you find the berries too tart)
3 tablespoons muesli or oats (more or less is fine – see what you like most)
optional extras – seeds, nuts, dried fruits of your choice. Granola on top?


Add ingredients to a bowl or pot with lid (if you are transporting to work!).
Leave overnight in the fridge for best results.
Serve. Simple.

p.s. You can buy similar “breakfast pots” at most coffee chains but your homemade version will cost you a fraction of the price and have an awful lot less sugar too! Hooray!



Our everyday life: February & March…


Remember me?

Thought not.

Anyway! Here we are with February AND March because life went a little crazy for a while.

Let’s blame: house hunting, a house move, nursery move, new baby news, terrible (hereditary) cholesterol results, morning sickness x 1,000, no cooking or baking, Shake removing all our butter, me crying because I want to bake but shouldn’t, etc etc ;)

So recipes are going to have to change tone around here – but I hope you’ll still stick around. It’ll be good for us all!

Hello little one. See you in September :)


Aaah, the good old days when we ate cake at family gatherings :)


Trouble maker hiding from me in the library

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Homemade cupcakes at work thanks to lovely colleagues who also love to bake! (Salted caramel – yummy)


Spring started to arrive so we’ve been walking a lot!


Hey daffodils, nice to see you again!


Delicious mocha – grated dark chocolate on top, perfection.


Fun lunchtime meet up at Borough Market with real-life blogging friends.


We picked a beautiful day to meet up…


Absolute bargain for Shake’s brother’s birthday – don’t think this is even made anymore. It was a real hit!


New toddler play group – we were a little early so C decided to make the most of it ;)


…whilst I enjoyed a coffee and bacon sandwich AND I even read a magazine!


Introducing C to Shake’s childhood Lego. Retro or what? I sorted my nail varnish out, don’t worry. 


We love this guy. Really, check him out.


The world’s greatest catastrophe – dropping your ice cream :(


Life is pretty good though when your nursery make you a special birthday cake!


Among all the moving boxes, C still managed to have fun.


I took him for a final trip to our local park, but he slept the whole time…


New kitchen! It has an actual oven!!


Our second night in the new house, Shake invited some Canadian colleagues over for dinner (…) so I had to cheat and buy dessert – we did well with this Eton mess.


New library to explore – couldn’t wait to start reading his new books!


Drinking his cereal milk like a Frenchie would chocolat chaud ;)


I love this house down our street – such cheerful flowers!


I wasn’t able to make a roast dinner in our last house, so I made up for it in week 1 in the new one :)




Making everyone at the garden centre laugh by being a “spaceman” = wearing a cloche on his head…


We’ve eaten some decent meals recently, when I’ve been up to cooking! Ottolenghi’s sweet potato, fig and goat’s cheese salad…


Our first poached pears…


Pancakes with the poaching remains from the pears – this was a good breakfast!


More Ottolenghi - this was so delicious we were pretty speechless.


I planned to make C a green layer cake for his birthday, but changed my mind on the day!


Having a super time with his non–Godmother :)


Birthday brownies!


Birthday cakes galore!


The cake tin did the hard work – thanks Uncle C!!


Think he was happy :)


First BBQ of the year! With a G&T for Shake


So there you go – we’ve been busy.

Now I need to start cooking/baking again.

See you soon – wishing you a happy and healthy weekend!



Our everyday life: weeks 3 and 4

This is what “working from home” looks like with a toddler around. Yes, that’s a calculator ;)


Causing chaos with his Auntie C. A lot of fun rolling exercise balls down the stairs!


I hope he doesn’t regret putting all these stickers on. Oh, and Shake adjusted that slight overlap – it was driving us a little crazy ;)


A VERY rare toddler-free morning = coffee with my love. This quote is excellent, no?


Is it just me, or is lego getting a little weird these days?


Did you know nutmeg is actually a musical instrument, C taught us all about that!


Arrghh mackerel pasta salad faaaaaillll!


Shake’s going away next weekend for work :( C thinks his luggage is pretty awesome.


My cousin is awesome, as is this chocolate. Nearly all gone :(


Shake’s new work hold monthly Friday night themed dinners. I didn’t make it this month (retro computer games!), but he brought me back a freaking good macaron! Will definitely go next time!


I thought kebabs were just for drunk men, but our local is actually extremely good! Even if you’re sober!


Ooops. Think I need a travel mug, if only to spare C a wet head…


Wishing you a happy and healthy week!



Banana, chocolate and cardamom cakes


One of the (several) cookbooks I received for my birthday/Christmas was something I never would have chosen for myself – Fruit by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Despite my hesitations (not even sure why) we have made at least 3 recipes from the book already, with great results. Most are simple (we aren’t talking Ottolenghi here) but with out-of-the-ordinary flavour ideas.

We had more bananas turning very ripe in the fruit bowl, and we thought we’d try something new. As usual, I changed a few ingredients to suit what we had at home, and loved the results.

[Need some more recipes for ripe bananas? Try these naturally sweetened treats – loaf cake and baby friendly snack bars!]


The original recipe (can’t find online, but similar to this one) makes a large loaf, but we wanted some smaller cakes that could be taken to work or shared with C – as you can see, he was delighted :)


Banana, cardamom & chocolate muffins
makes approximately 18 small cakes


100ml coconut oil, melted to liquid (or sunflower oil)
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
150g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
3 medium bananas, mashed
75g plain yoghurt
200g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 180degC

In a large bowl or mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar, then add the eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, yoghurt and cardamom. Add this to the coconut/sugar/egg bowl and thoroughly combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and gently stir to combine.
Stir through the chopped chocolate.

Fill muffin/cupcake cases 2/3 of the way and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cakes are springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.




Our everyday life: week 1 and 2

I’ve debated continuing with this, but having gone back to look at week 1 of 2013 it’s amazing how much I have forgotten and how many memories are in these photos. So, here we are, albeit a little late ;)

Shake and I took C to a new-ish gallery with a Robot/Alien exhibition. It kept them both entertained for a while :)


Not even scared…


Old skool


We spent New Year’s Eve with the sweetest friends (with such an awesome house) eating delicious food, drinking too much wine, playing Articulate and watching Jools. Perfect!!


Super paella!


The next morning C woke up at 7am!! Hooray!! He then played the drums, ouch.


Weekend café lunch after failing to buy a house. Boo hoo. Oh well, hummus sandwich and excellent coffee made up for it :)


Decapitated gingerbread man. Notice the awesome new slippers for C!


It doesn’t look pretty, but this was a darn good fish pie!


A really lovely gift all the way from Uganda.


I had to pop to the bank in town and unfortunately it’s opposite Anthropologie. I have a voucher, so veeerrrry quickly had to try a few things on. No luck with these guys, but I might just move in anyway!


This photo sums up the past 4 days. Horrible sick bug. He couldn’t even keep his body upright.


Only bonus of poorly boy = so many cuddles!


Not pictured – 1,000,000 hours watching Breaking Bad (just about to start series 5!), washing clothes x 100, making up work missed in the evenings, 600 hours of house hunting, time spent baking – almost NIL! *Some exaggerations apply.

Wishing you a happy and a healthy start to 2014!!



Our everyday life: week 52

I can’t believe it’s 2014. I can’t believe we’ve completed a whole year of “Our everyday life”.

Sorry it’s late, but here’s how the last week looked:

Icy car, no scraper, using Peter Rabbit book to help :)


Early morning (cold!) walk in beautiful sunshine. Much better than the storms and floods all around us.


But storms and floods mean lots of “muddles” (C’s word for muddy puddles) to reflect on and jump in ;)


Holiday snacks – maple spiced nuts. Made it up as we went along, but people raved about them!


We bought C just one gift for Christmas, a boy doll called Mike. They seem to be getting along so far!


Huge fan of his dinosaur backpack (aka walking reins!), he wore them ALL DAY!


Merry Christmas! Our sister-in-law cooked for all, but I made bread sauce, smoked salmon pate and Shake baked bread. A very good food day!


C danced all day with Father Christmas.


Nuts were gobbled and we lasted about 5 minutes playing a very old version of Trivial Pursuit. It was too hard for those of us under 40!


A lovely birthday treat – brunch with my love.

IMG_20131224_085627Happy New Year to you all, hope it’s a good one for you :)



Butternut squash risotto with chorizo and halloumi


I made this risotto last night with leftovers I found in my fridge, out of pure desperation. Risotto is so simple, can be jazzed up with whatever you have at home (frozen peas, roasted vegetables, goat’s cheese…) and C simply loves it, for now! Hence it’s my go to dish when I have two hungry boys to feed.

It doesn’t take as long to make as you would expect, either. With the pre-roasted butternut squash, I am sure we were sitting down to eat in just over half an hour, which isn’t too bad for a last minute meal (and better than ordering takeaway or popping a ready meal in the oven).

The portions below may seem small (the packet suggested 100g rice per person) but the squash is pretty filling and the chorizo makes quite a rich addition, we were pleasantly stuffed!


Butternut squash risotto with chorizo and halloumi
serves 2 and a half

1/2 butternut squash, peeled, diced
Olive oil

2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
small knob of butter
glug of olive oil
100g risotto rice
generous glass of white wine
450ml vegetable stock

1 small chorizo, sliced and fried for a few minutes each side.
wedge of halloumi (optional) – about 75g, sliced, diced and fried with chorizo

small handful of grated parmesan
dash of double cream (optional)


Lightly coat the butternut squash in olive oil. Roast in the oven at 200degC for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
I prepared mine the day before – use it in risotto, throw in a quiche or with pasta etc.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over a moderate heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes, until softened.

Add the risotto rice and stir to coat with oil/butter. Pour in the glass of wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has almost all gone, turn the heat down to low and pour in a cup or so of stock. Stir every now and again.
Repeat until rice has plumped up and is soft, you should use more or less all of the stock, depending how al dente you like your rice.

Add the chorizo, butternut and halloumi and stir to heat through. Finish with double cream and the cheese, as little or as much as you like.

Serve and enjoy :)


The Gift of Time #nofilter

Merry December, people!

We hope you are full of lovely food and drink and happiness!

I am just quickly sharing my birthday (Christmas Eve!) gift from Shake with you, as I really hope it will mean more food and recipes :)

Simple lights have basically given me the gift of time – no longer will I try to squeeze in baking/making and photographing bits and pieces while C naps!

Before – normal living room lighting.


After – hooray! We have light!


Now for some more playing around…

See you soon, I hope :)



Our everyday life: week 51

Everytime we go to the library C shouts “Daddy” at this dalek. I don’t even understand why, he’s never seen Doctor Who (neither have I) and it really doesn’t look like Shake…


Over the moon to have won these cupcakes. Not only did the look beautiful, they tasted amazing too – thank you Emma Jane!


Carol singers on the High Street – shame the weather has been so miserable.


We met up with friends at this lovely pub, used in this movie, and enjoyed delicious mulled wine. C played in the fireplace and covered everyone/everything in soot. Fab parenting skills ;)


Visiting Nana and making friends with a bear :)


You’d think Solicitors would be slightly more tasteful with their Christmas decorations? Can you see the Polar Bear?


Crazy about amazon boxes. Who needs actual presents?


Wrapping skills being put to the test…


See, he loves these boxes!


This was bought for C, but Shake and I ate it whilst he napped. Oops…


Baking birthday treats for my colleagues – they were grateful :)

IMG_3176 IMG_3181

…plus a little something for C’s nursery ladies


This is what winding down for bedtime looks like some nights.


It’s nearly my birthday!Christmas!! Wishing you all a very merry time with your loved ones.