So we’ve had our first crop of potatoes! I love proper homegrown potatoes, apart from tasting about a hundred times better than anything you can buy in the shops, they are so very easy to grow, we’ve never failed at potatoes (same can’t be said for other things we have grown before). We got 4lbs from our plants this year, so that will last us quite a long time. Check back for more progress, our salads are coming along nicely as is the tomato plant –which seems to be yielding one very huge tomato rather than lots of them.

Cinnamon and Nutella cake

This has to be the easiest cake to make ever, and its very very tasty too.

The recipe basically calls for putting everything in the bowl at once (except the nutella) and mixing it all up, no creaming of butter and sugar or sifting of flour needed. I even melted the butter in the oven entirely, so it saved me a job there too.

This is a great cake to make in the evening or on a Sunday afternoon when you have little motivation to make something and all the shops are closed- but you NEED cake.

I had a bit of Hotel Chocolate Smudge in the cupboard, which I used instead, its a lot more hazlenutty which made up for the fact that I had no hazlenuts in the cupboard either.

Was gorgeous with a steaming mug of tea, just the thing for a rainy weekend!

And because I haven’t blogged about jewellery for a while… these are my newest creations.
Lovely vintage pink chalcedony with tanzanite and pearls on oxidized silver.

Green fingers?

Apparently I have them this year..

Last year was a bit off, we had some potatoes, some sad looking peas and a few strawberries, but this year is looking a whole lot more promising.

Our strawberries are just starting to produce little green berries that are promising a very large Eton Mess later on in the summer..

The potatoes are standing strong and we have a whole raft of herbs!

I especially like how our chives are looking, they have beautiful purple flowers on them.
(You can also see our pea shoots in the background here)

I’ve been meaning to plant actual flowers, just for display but there isn’t really anything that exciting about flowers to me. They look nice but I love growing food so much more, because you get to eat it afterwards!

I am also quite excited by our plum trees, the fruit was great last year and we made lovely jam. So watch this space for plum recipes – jam, crumble, pie, spicy plum sauce, everything plum!

Baking success and feline antics!

A bit of a mixed last couple of days…

Firstly, I finally succeeded to make lemon drizzle cake! Normally it turns out a bit of a sunken mess, but this time it rose perfectly, was light and the topping nice and sweet and tangy and crunchy. :)

I used this recipe (it doesn’t come out as grey brown looking as that picture though, its very much golden and a lovely lemony colour inside).


It was gorgeous with a bit of ice cream.

We’ve also had a bit of cat drama in our household! We cooked a lovely roast chicken yesterday too, and kept the rest in the fridge to eat today. Got home from work this evening to find the fridge door broken into and a very greasy and guilty looking cat. She has had to be washed with pet shampoo as she had a greasy head, so that was her punishment. Look at the guilt:

She’s in the dog/cathouse this evening!

Orange and Almond Cake

It took me such a long time to find a recipe for orange and almond cake that I thought I’d post it here.

It’s a very light sponge with not too much overpowering almond or orange, which is what I like. For a stronger orange-y taste from concentrate orange juice could work well.

In the end I improvised on a normal Victoria sponge recipe and hoped for the best!


200g unsalted butter – softened

200g granulated or caster sugar

200g self raising flour

4 eggs (I used medium)

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Zest and juice of one large orange

100g almonds – ground up – I bought flaked almonds and ground them up myself as the chopped ones were twice the price!


Heat oven to gas mark 4.

Cream together butter and sugar until soft and fluffy

Add eggs in one at a time, beating in thoroughly before the next. Add vanilla and orange zest and juice.

Then fold in the flour and the almonds until combined.

Pour into a lined and buttered cake tin and bake for 1 hour – this can also make two smaller sponges which you can then layer up with icing/cream in the middle. My oven tends to take a long time to cook cakes so keep an eye on it every 15minutes or so.

Remove from oven, rest for a few minutes before turning out onto a plate or wire rack.

This cake makes a lovely warm dessert; we had ours with ice cream, which was lovely. The top is very crispy when warm and the inside fluffy and soft. Unfortunately no pictures as we’ve scoffed most of it already!

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