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Easy Buttermilk Pancakes with Wholemeal Flour

I love a weekend breakfast. There is just something about waking up on a Saturday morning, all happy and excited about the weekend, opening the blinds in the kitchen and preparing a lovely breakfast that you wouldn’t take the time for in the week.

 

I especially love pancakes for this. Although ironically I am definitely more into savoury food than sweets, there is something about pancakes for breakfast that just makes me happy.

 

There are lots of complicated pancake recipes, and lots of easy solutions like ready-made pancake mix. This recipe falls somewhere in between – definitely homemade, but easy enough to whip up on a whim. No complicated ingredients, and nothing that you wouldn’t usually have kicking around your kitchen cupboards (if you’re me).

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Healthy(ish) Banana Bread

It’s spring, but it feels like summer! For some reason the weather seems to have gone from freezing cold to pretty summery in a single week. It makes me want to go on holiday rather than to work, but at least the sunny weather has a nice effect on everyone’s moods and everything is all cheery.

 

May 2016

Meal prepping, Compartes Cereal Bowl chocolate, a martini made with Strathearn Heather Rose Gin with a lemon twist, and pancakes for breakfast.

 

Being cheerful puts me in a baking mood, and I had some manky bananas that were on their way out, so I decided to make banana bread – as you do. You could call this banana bread healthy, although I do sometimes think healthy baking is a bit of an oxymoron. Unless you manage to avoid butter, sugar and flour in your baking, it’s probably not a health food. But life is about balance, and this recipe contains things like wholemeal flour, nuts, and olive oil. Aside from butter, sugar and flour. So just call it what you like.

 

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The Best Cinnamon Rolls in the World

I say they’re the best cinnamon rolls in the world – but maybe I’m biased. Still, I’ve probably made this very recipe at least 100 times, if not more. As a cinnamon-roll lover, I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about. When I did markets, these were the first item to sell out, and the one that people would come for. I’ve had people pre-order full trays of them, and they were briefly sold in a cafe in Manchester. They are good. Trust me.

 

Cinnamon Rolls

The millions, trillions of times I have made these cinnamon rolls. 

 

These cinnamon rolls are not quick – good cinnamon rolls are never quick, and shouldn’t be. However, they are easy. As far as cinnamon roll recipes go, I personally find these some of the most low-maintenance ones out there, without too many steps or iffy ingredients.

 

You shouldn’t need more convincing – cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious, and you should have more of them in your life. So let’s get started.

 

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Festive Almond Meringues

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling totally Christmassy, and miraculously have a little bit of time on my hands. Normally, this time of year, I’m super stressed and don’t even have time to wrap my gifts or pack my suitcase. But all is good this year – plenty of time left to wrap, bake, and chill out. For this reason, I decided to make these festive almond meringues for friends and family. Wrap them up in a cellophane bag, and they’re just a lovely little gift during the holiday season. You can change up the colourings or flavourings easily – these would be really nice with peppermint flavouring too. Almond just feels very festive to me, though, so I went for almond.

 

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Don’t they just look happy and festive, like little Christmas dreams? They’ll just cheer you right up. Let’s make them.

 

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How to bake a Christmas Cake (Part 2: Marzipan and Icing)

Has anyone else been eating actual metric tons of food this close to Christmas? I have, or at least it feels like I have. My calendar has been full of eating out plans – fun, but seriously – not good to be eating this much this close to Christmas. I’ll have to lose a hefty chunk of weight once we’re in January, or buy a whole new wardrobe.

 

Dec 15

Recent: an authentic Szechuan meal at Middle Kingdom on Princess street, delicious fried chicken & sweet potato fries at Yard and Coop in the Northern quarter, making meringues, and putting up my Christmas tree nice and early.

 

Anyway – it’s been 12 weeks, it’s a week until Christmas – which means that it’s high time to marzipan & ice your Christmas cake! Let’s get started.

 

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How to bake a Christmas Cake (Part 1: Baking & Feeding)

There are many funny things about Christmas in the UK, to the outsider’s eyes. The English like their traditions, especially when it comes to Christmas – certain foods need to make an appearance, otherwise Christmas isn’t Christmas. Think mince pies, roast potatoes, Quality Street, mulled wine. Christmas cake is definitely one of those foods – in the weeks before Christmas you’ll see it absolutely everywhere.

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Gingerbread with Almond Paste (Gevulde Speculaas)

If you aren’t Dutch, you probably have never come across this type of biscuit/cake – unless you’ve been to Christmas markets somewhere and decided to pay £6 for a slice.

 

If you have, then you will know how absolutely delicious this is, especially if you love almonds. If not, you’ll just have to take my word for it. Imagine a layer of moist almond filling, sandwiched between two layers of lovely spicy gingerbread. If you don’t like almonds or gingerbread, don’t read on.

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