June 23, 2013


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gentle winds stirring through seasoned branches,
 verdant and unyielding, 
sharp mineral smell of rain on the gentle air
softly cloaking my shoulders; 
thoughtful, quiet; 
grateful for all that I am blessed with . . .

peaceful thoughts to nourish the soul . . . gentle food to nourish the body: we become what we are made of

Super Simple Superfruit Smoothie


1 cup fresh (or frozen) mixed summer berries
2 juicy nectarines - roughly chopped
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
juice of half a lemon
2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
a few coconut flakes to decorate 


  • blitz all of the ingredients except coconut flakes together in blender / smoothie maker until completely smooth
  • adjust with more water if needed to get the consistency you prefer
relax and enjoy :)

 . . . and maybe listen to a little Holden - Renata (Daphni remix)

note: if you like things a little sweeter add some honey/agave nectar, or replace nectarines with banana - although doing this will mean it isn't suitable for food combining

There are lots of theories and diets surrounding the idea of 'healthy' eating - it can be very confusing, but I definitely feel better and more energetic when I eat food that's as close to nature as possible (organic and non-processed), that's mostly alkaline forming (check out a list of alkaline foods on this wonderful blog by The Alkaline Sisters, a large proportion of raw food, and in a beneficial combination that works with my body rather than against it!:

mostly veg and fruits (lots of variety and lots of greens!)
nuts and seeds
eggs and fish 
and lots of water - here's why!

it really doesn't have to be complicated - but it does have to be packed with flavour and delicious :))

June 16, 2013

change . . .

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so . . . gradually, slowly, I can feel life shifting, changing - and it's changing all because I decided to go live the life I had imagined.

When I realised that my life is what it is because of my expectations and the choices I make, and that those start with thoughts, it was all very simple!

I needed to start making choices based on what I really wanted, instead of what I thought I could have . . .

Well, that may sound very simplistic, and it is . . . once I realised that if I wanted my life to be a certain way it was no good making choices that didn't reflect that. If you want beautiful things in your life, you'll never have them while you choose second best in the belief that it's the best that you can have - if it's not right, don't compromise. If you compromise your dreams then you have a life full of compromises and not the beauty, love, and bright energy that we all carry inside us, but so often hide, just because someone else says they don't like us that way!

It's taken me a long time to get here, and every lesson learned has been a blessing . . . but now it's time to claim 'me' back. Now that I know that it's me who creates it, it's time to go live that wonderful life; without apology and with grace and love . . .

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The way I think about food is changing too - although way back in the 80's I got interested in the principles of the Hay Diet as an approach to eating better, and it grew my life-long fascination with the connection between food and well-being. Food as sustenance as well as just great taste; surely one of life's great pleasures is sharing food with those you love!

With so many fabulous blogs out there, an alternative take on what we eat is so easy to explore now, with exciting and inspiring ideas and so many wonderfully creative people . . . so here's a start with some fantastic grain free pancakes that will leave you energised and wanting more, instead of full and flumpy like the traditional heavy ones made with wheat!

After all - wheat's not the only grain - think outside of the box!

Grain Free Banana Pancakes
(very slighlty adapted from the wonderful straight into bed cakefree and dried blog)

1 large banana
1 large free range egg
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup arrowroot
ground almonds - any nuts will do, but I had almonds to hand

  • Blitz all ingredients except the nuts and the arrowroot in a food processor
  • pulse in arrowroot briefly until mixed
  • slowly add the ground nuts - I used almonds - until you get a fairly thick batter - think drop-scones or american pancakes!
  • heat your skillet and lightly oil, then drop in about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and cook over a lowish heat to avoid them burning before they're cooked through
I topped mine with some home-made salted caramel that I still had from making cupcakes a while back, and some toasted almonds for crunch - yum!

                     "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the      life you have imagined"
Henry David Thoreau
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April 24, 2012

april showers and chocolate mousse!

Another blustery wet April afternoon sent me to the kitchen in search of comfort . . .  . .and I found it in the form of Chocolate Mousse!

I've had this recipe from the amazing blog My New Roots earmarked for quite a while, and today seemed like just the perfect day for something indulgent. But, what makes this even better is that it's made from avocado and dates so it's actually good for you too!

 . . . and, it tastes amazing!

I've been aware of vegan/raw alternatives for Chocolate Mousse for a while, in terms of getting the chocolate hit without all the heavy dairy. Although I wasn't quite convinced that it really would taste like the real thing.

I can tell you, it tastes even better! Smooth and creamy, super chocolatey and it leaves you feeling great. Plus it's all good - avocado, dates, cocoa, honey - and topped off with some chopped pecans for a bit of added crunch.

Amazing Chocolate Mousse
( adapted slightly from My New Roots)

2 ripe avocados
6 dried dates - soaked to soften
1-2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp good quality cocoa powder

Scoop the flesh from the avocado into a blender - add all the other ingredients and whizz everything to a smooth paste.

Pile into serving dish and dust with some crunchy chopped nuts and you're good to go!

“Every tear is answered by a blossom,
Every sigh with songs and laughter blent,
April-blooms upon the breezes toss them.
April knows her own, and is content.” 

 - Susan Coolidge -

September 05, 2011

Vintage baking . . .

Yesterday I bought some really cute vintage ACME baking tins from the Car Boot sale . . .
. . and, I couldn't wait to christen them.

So, today I've made some baby Orange Poppyseed Cakes glazed with marmalade adapted from this brilliant recipe by Tom Dolby

Orange Poppyseed Cakes

2 medium oranges
350g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
150g ground almonds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 eggs
175g caster sugar
good quality marmalade to glaze

to make cakes . . .
sllice the whole oranges thinly and poach with 400mls of water and the sugar until they are tender (about 20 mins) - leave to cool

measure the dry ingredients for the cake into a bowl and mix together

puree 100g of the oranges with 75mls of the poaching water
in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are very pale and fluffy - you'll know it's ready when the mixture looks a bit like the consistency of whipped cream

now, fold the orange puree very lightly into the whisked eggs and sugar

fold in the rest of the dry ingredients, but don't overmix or you will knock out all the air you've worked so hard to whisk in!

spoon mixture into bun cases and bake at Gas 4 / 180C for about 15 to 20 mins until they are golden and spring back to the touch

leave to cool for a few minutes while you melt a couple of tablespoons of marmalade gently in a saucepan. Then, glaze the baby cakes liberally with the marmalade

. . . they are lovely warm from the oven! . . . and the marmalade makes them a good choice for a sweet breakfast treat too

July 22, 2011

pea green and a new camera app!

Yes, it's true ...... I have a passion for peas!

One of my favourite ways of eating them (and there are so many!) is in a pea guacamole. Especially at this time of year, when it makes a welcome change to eat food that not only looks good, but tastes fresh and zingy too!

It's really so simple to make, and can be paired with so many things. As a dip it's lovely with tortilla chips and summer crudites - or stir in some creme fraiche and heat to make a creamy sauce for pasta or chicken - or, thin down with olive oil to make a punchy salad dressing.

Today I've added it as a side with a steamed curried fish parcel This is a brilliant, quick, no fuss way to cook fish - and also requires next to no washing up!....

Both recipes are based on versions on a theme from various sources, and tweaked to my own tastes, as ever! ........ and the colours looked so vibrant together that I couldn't resist getting creative with a new camera app

Pea Guacamole
200g frozen peas - cooked for 5 mins and cooled
half a red onion
2 cloves garlic
half a teaspoon cumin
juice of 1 lime
1 small red chilli
half a small bunch of fresh coriander
olive oil
salt and ground black pepper to taste

- place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth
- drizzle in olive oil to the required consistency
- cover and chill until ready to serve

Fragrant Curried Fish Parcels
2 firm white fish steaks
1 tablespoon thick natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon curry paste of your choice
1 tablespoon creamed coconut
juice of half a lime
a couple of tablespoons of chopped coriander


- mix together curry paste, yoghurt, coconut, lime juice and coriander and rub the marinade into the fish. Cover and chill for as long as possible - at least half an hour -
- to cook - set oven to 200 C / Gas 6
- place fish onto a double layer of baking paper, or foil and cover in the remaining marinade
- wrap the fish up into a parcel, being careful to make sure that it is sealed
- cook for 15-20 mins, depending on the thickness of the fish. It is cooked when the flesh has turned opaque

serve straight away with rice, green salad or the colourful pea guacamole

new arrival!

pretty pink and white cupcakes to welcome a new arrival!