Food Ramblings

Summer holidays in Italy

Sorry for the lack of posts for the last couple of weeks but I’ve been away on holiday to Italy with my family.
This year has taken a lot more planning than the usual “chuck everything in the suitcase and leave” strategy. This year we have been planning our holiday for months to ensure it all went well whilst travelling with my 9 month old baby.

And luckily it did!


We had a great time with my family, eating lots, drinking lots and sleeping lots. It might sound like a chill out holiday but with a little girl who can move faster than lightening and us staying in the family home, which got stuck in the 1950’s (seriously, you have to plug the shower into the mains in the bathroom and plugs have no earth wires!) it was spent trying to keep her safe and entertained whilst allowing her freedom to enjoy her holiday.
Plus the heat and humidity meant that everyone wore so much suncream they were slippier than a fish.

But heat and scary house aside we enjoyed it… a lot.

I decided that Italy should be the place for my little girl, Alice, to have her first ice cream. Where else does the best flavours like this? It beats down a cornetto any day.

I’d love to have a go at making ice cream like this at home but our freezer always stores meat and pasta sauce and I really don’t have room for another gadget I won’t use very often. So till next year I’ll just dream of ice cream and Italy.

Biscuit, Sweet

Half an hour to make Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I have finally caught one of the million Spring/Summer colds going around and although I feel a tiny bit sorry for myself, I have done pretty well in being able to avoid having one for a while.
So today after getting the little-ist Baker down for her afternoon nap I wanted to do a bit of baking but nothing that took any brain power, or arm power as neither really felt up for the challenge.

A lot of people like peanut butter, including the little-ist baker so I have very recently bought it for the first time.

As it is an ingredient I don’t usually own or eat I have never really thought about using it to bake with but I wanted to make some biscuits and thought that peanut butter cookies might be an easy recipe to make. I have never even looked at a recipe for them before but I have heard about them on American shows mainly and thought that if that many people talk about them then they cant be that difficult to make; and luckily I was right.

This recipe from the brilliant chef Paul Rankin is both easy, quick and hardly uses any ingredients at all. Luckily it doesn’t make too many either as these are one cookie I won’t be touching.

Paul Rankin’s Peanut Butter Cookies

I used smooth peanut butter as I don’t have crunchy in and the batter for the mix seemed to come out very well. I am thinking about trying these again but substituting one spoon of flour for cocoa powder and the peanut butter for Nutella.

Food Ramblings

Baby weaning > Blogging

Sorry about the lack of updating recently but I have been very busy at home as we have recently started weaning our daughter onto some solid food.

Although I have been baking I have also been thinking about very creative new recipes such as stewed pear, carrot, parsnip… you get the idea!  Today’s recipe for her has been her own tomato pasta sauce which is now happily sitting in the freezer till it is called upon to be spread around my daughters face.  Its been quite exciting time for the both of us, a very messy time, but I think we are getting there a little.


I have been baking though so I will try to post pictures and recipes what I have made in the next few days.  For my mothers birthday I made a cake stand full of small cakes, for my mom’s birthday I made my version of the Pigs in Mud cake and today I have made Choka Moka Cupcakes for my husband.  So I have found time to bake, I just haven’t really found the time to blog – but I will make it up to you.

Food Ramblings

Lost down the rabbit hole…

I am sorry that I have been away for the last month with no post updates but I do have a very good excuse – I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Alice.

As you can imagine, sleep more than baking has been important and I dont really know where the time has gone!  It has also been quite an exciting time for me and my husband and hopefully when things settle down a bit more then I can bake away again.

I am already looking forward to the time when our new happy little baker will be able to join me in the kitchen, then maybe I can also work on a cookbook for children.

In the mean time, please bear with me and I will try to update as much as I can with any new baking I get chance to do – especially with Christmas coming up I will want to get some baking done as it is my favourite time of the year, family, presents and the best food…whats not to love?

Cupcake, Sweet

A different kind of bun in the oven

Recently I have been struggling to bake due to feeling very tired and sick.  Usually I do my baking in the evening after work as a way of relaxing but I have been having difficulty keeping awake long enough to do any baking.

The reason for this is because me and my husband are expecting our first child and after our scan it now feels a good time to announce it.  Our little baby will be due in October!

To celebrate both getting my energy back as I move into the 2nd trimester and also having a successful scan I have baked some simple cupcakes for my work colleagues in pink and blue.  I thought it might be a bit of fun as you can make your guess by choosing which cake you like.

This recipe for cupcakes is the one I use all of the time as it makes a lovely soft, fluffy vanilla cupcake which is a base for any decoration you want.

Girl or boy? Vanilla cupcake recipe

6oz butter/margarine
6oz Sugar
7.5oz Self raising flour
3 medium eggs
1 tsp Vanilla essence

For the buttercream
Mix some butter or margarine with lots of icing sugar and a little vanilla essence. Beat until it is light and fluffy. There isn’t an exact recipe as it will always taste nice. Keep beating in more icing sugar till you get the taste you like.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4 or 160c

Line a cake tin with 12 large cupcake cases (in the UK use muffin cases)
In a bowl mix the butter and sugar together until the mix is light and fluffy and changes to a pale colour.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 egg and mix in. Then do the same with the other 2 eggs and flour.
When all of the flour and eggs have been combined mix in the vanilla essence.
Divide the mix between the 12 cases equally and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Make sure you don’t open the oven door to have a look till at least 20 minutes have passed.
Test to see if the cakes are done. They should bounce back when you press gently on the top or if a skewer comes out clean.

When they have cooled on a rack, decorate with a generous amount of buttercream and decorate however you fancy. For mine I used some glitter writing icing and sprinkled with coloured sugar.