Christmas Cake indecision

I was flicking through How to be a Domestic Goddess:Nigella Lawson trying to choose a Christmas Cake which wouldn’t end up sitting on the sideboard like last year and I came across her Certosino which is a “fabulous spicy fruit cake” which is decorated with dried fruit and nuts. It seemed to fit the requirements of our family namely fruit cake, nothing too heavy, perhaps slightly alcoholic, easy on the icing. Also I have most of the ingredients in, just need to buy a few things.

Anyway I was all set to make this when I got struck down with the lurgy meaning that I’ve since had a lot of time in bed and between sleeping have been reading cookbooks and have of course changed my mind. Same idea as the Certosino just the cake itself uses up more of what I have in the cupboard including a tin of chestnut puree which has been sitting neglected in the kitchen since last christmas.

The Easy Action Christmas Cake (from Feast) can be found here. Normally with recipes from Feast I automatically halve the quantites but this recipe actually suggests if you don’t want a large cake then you could make a small cake and 12 muffins – so that’s what I will be doing between now and Christmas as soon as I get the all clear and can cook again. I know I’m cutting it fine, but since there is no icing involved, just sticking fruit on the top and glazing with jam, I can if I need leave it until Wednesday night…not going to mention christmas cake again this year but will post a pic when I finally get myself off this sickbed and into the kitchen.

My new years resolution is less procrastination, more action… sitting here reading a time management book !


RECIPE: Gingerbread Pancakes

The pancakes in the picture in the post below are made using the recipe from Feast:Nigella Lawson. I know the recipe is on her website and I was just going to post a link but I couldn’t find her site this morning…so I thought I’d post an alternative version of breakfast pancakes from Frost Bite: Susan Austin which I occasionally make when I haven’t any banana’s… but then I do keep banana’s frozen in my freezer anyway, a tip I got from one of Nigella’s books and from Frost Bite… I also tend to keep frozen pancakes in my freezer (plain, banana, gingerbread, whatever) so that I can be an indulgent mummy even when i don’t get a lie in !


240g SR flour

100g  brown sugar

1.5 tsp ground ginger

1.5 tsp cinnamon

0.5 tsp ground nutmeg

2 eggs

250 ml milk

60g melted butter

1. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredient. In a jug whisk together the wet ingredients.

2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and  stir them until they are combined in a smoothish batter – presumably you could also bung them all in a food processor and whizz them together that way.

3. Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a frying pan. Then drop small amounts of batter in the frying pan, should be able to do 3 or 4 in the pan at the same time

4. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles start forming on the surface, then flip the pancakes and cook the otherside for a minute or 2 until golden brown on both sides. Makes about 15

Can be frozen once cool. Defrost in microwave when needed or slowly in fridge if you have the time

Movie Night and the mythical “lie in”

I have hi-lighted in my future diary a particular day in 2018 which will be the day that Spider turns 13. By then hopefully it will be me nagging him to get out of bed rather than the other way round. My commute to work means that I have to get up at 6.30, my aim (some would say obsession) is for a small lie in on Sunday… one strategy has been the introduction of movie night.

On Saturday evenings we have movie night where Spider gets to watch Disney films until late (9pm), I get to watch Spider watching Disney (I love watching the expressions on his face change as he gets caught up in the story) and Teenager gets to enjoy watching the films without having to remember he’s a teenager and therefore Disney isn’t cool…they also get to eat home made popcorn and hot dogs, pizza and other cinema related food.

The ulterior motive of movie night is that a late night for Spider usually means a lie in for me as he tends to sleep for just over 10.5 hours straight… there is the added bonus of course that Husband and I get to watch the films too and spot all the jokes or references that went right over our heads as kids.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Spider is currently down stairs watching cbeebies (having spent an hour in hour bed pretending he was camping) with a stand in snack of grapes and apple and a digestive. I am here drinking a cup of tea and working out which way is up…I know I know “bad Mummy” but in my defence I do have one hell of a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold…when I am slightly more alive I shall go down and make some Banana Pancakes (Feast:Nigella Lawson) as I have a banana that won’t survive to see another day and most of an egg left over from Thursday’s scone experiment – we even have some maple syrup somewhere… so that hopefully will win me some “good Mummy points”, and some green points for using up leftovers.

Anyone got any suggestions with what to do with half a plate of cold chips and a leftover hot dog in bun…?

ps. Having just visited the BBC website to get the link for cbeebies I noticed links on the front page to some upcoming christmas cooking. I knew that Nigella had a new christmas show/book – it would have made my Christmas if Nigel had too, but unfortunately its just his christmas recipes on the bbc food pages.

Rare shot of pancakes, normally they don't last long enough to be photgraphed

Can I have that one mummy ?: Rare shot of pancakes, normally they don

‘t last long enough to be photographed…