31 October 2016

September and October Books

Only three books this month - and a few issues of the London Review of Books!

The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother And Me
Appointment with Death

24 October 2016

Childrens Books from my youth

I cleared a box of books from my mums sheds. Recognise any of these?

10 October 2016

3 October 2016

London Review of Books

I love this magazine. I've been getting it for the past couple of months and for me it's the perfect mix of current commentary and book reviews. What's not to like?

Keep your book recommendations coming in


22 September 2016

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pudding

I've lost count of the number of times I've vowed that my eldest (nearly 4) will eat less chocolate and yet he's so completely in it's thrall that I can get him to do pretty much anything for a chocolate croissant. I'm sure there are mothers out there who are stronger willed than I am but try as I might the mix of a biddable child and the sheer pleasure it gives him is just hard for me to resist. He's a fussy eater so to see him tucking into something new is wonderful, even if that new thing is chocolate brioche.

Choc Chip Brioche PuddingIn many ways the french have parenting sorted. Their baby food aisle isn't that big and the food unappealing to anyone over 18 months. If you have ever had pleasure from eating you are going to move on from the green sludgy puree as soon as you can waft past the cheese section (usually about three times bigger than the kids pouch aisle). They also do mini chocolate brioche's in pocket size individually wrapped so I can have bribery to hand wherever I go.

I packed as many of these as I could in my suitcase when we returned, only to discover a week later that their use by date had been the day the we got back. What to do? As an Englishwoman on the brink of Autumn I am filled with thriftiness. No food can be thrown out of my house at the moment. Yet, even I was going to draw the line at watching the little chap stuff in 5 mini chocolate brioche's in one sitting so I thought I'd create some sort of bread and butter pudding that he and his brother could have.

19 September 2016

5 September 2016

July and August Books 2016

Here's a look at what I read in July and August. I've put links to them below if you want to have a look. These are affiliate links to my Amazon account, just so you know!

Extra Virgin: Amongst the Olive Groves of Liguria
Murder in Mesopotamia (Poirot)
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Cards on the Table (Poirot)

29 August 2016

Holiday Reading 2016

 A little look at what's coming on holiday with me...

22 August 2016

Chronologial Christie

The first of my book videos is up - I'm explaining my #chronologicalchristie thing that I'm doing on Instagram....


15 August 2016

Book Club

I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, not sure how it's going to work but will just be doing what I've read, favourite books and hoping that you will leave comments on the videos so we can talk books!


13 April 2016

Scotch Pancakes or Drop Scones

We called the drop scones... it gets a bit confusing. Whatever they are my boys LOVE them. That's because they contain some sugar which I never realised until I had one last week having not tasted them since I was about 8. I have happy memories of my mum making us these and, of course, wanted my children to have the same, so I turned to my newest treasured possession, my mother-in-laws much-annotated Constance Spry cookery book and found her version.

My sister said these were the best she'd ever had which was nice of her, I was a bit panicked as I didn't have any baking powder so I left that out and they were absolutely fine. I've left the baking powder in the recipe below but I made them again with the baking powder and and they were exactly the same.

I melted some butter in a mug to brush on the bottom of my mini sauce pan. These are a bit more faff than a regular pancake but for tea time they are perfect. These also have a lot less sugar than the bought ones...

Scotch Pancakes

Makes about 15 drop scones 

225g flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking-powder
1 tbsp syrup
a nut of butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
½ pint fresh milk (approx)

I melt some butter in a mug in the microwave so I can brush it on the frying pan for speed. I use a small frying pan for this and a serving spoon seems to give about the right amount of batter.

1. Mix all the dry ingredients, rub in the butter and add the syrup.

2. Add half the milk, mixing well iwth a wooden spoon, then break in the egg, beat well and add the remaining milk.

3. The mixture should just drop from the spoon (HENCE THE NAME YOU SEE!!!)

4. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes, no longer.

5. Heat a well-greased pan and when really hot drop the mixture in spoonfuls and bake for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown (they get quicker each time).

To keep the scones warm and soft wrap in a clean cloth. These are fine re-heated in the toaster the next day. 

13 January 2016

Tada & Toy Star Hoop Earrings

Like a lot of people I am always taking pictures and making nonsensical notes on my phone of things I see in magazines and websites that I might want to buy or add to my wishlist. One of the notes that's been on there for ages is Tada & Toy Star Hoop earrings and I finally asked, and received, for Christmas and I love them (thanks Mumma). In a world where I seem to constantly be on the quest for grown-up things (i.e. DIAMONDS) or trying to not draw attention to my increased person, it's so lovely to have something really cool that you can wear as a mum of two in your 30s without looking silly (god I feel old saying that). And that I can wear every day, and that don't dangle (Jim is a grabber). I have them in sterling silver but you can also get gold and rose gold (plated). The dust bag they come in is pretty lovely too.

Tada & Toy do really cool, wearable jewellery at not unreasonable prices (the star earrings start at £42) and my mum says they are incredibly nice to deal with. The next thing on my list from them is the Shark Tooth earrings in rose gold and silver - they look amazing too. Please oh please start doing cartiladge earrings Tada & Toy I'm so bored of my boring old ball hoops.

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