This is a time of year when our newsfeeds are full of new year’s resolutions and memories of the year gone by. It’s a time when we make decisions about the coming year and feel full of excitement and ideas and plans. Well, after our feverish few months running up to the festive period I actually took a couple of days to sit back and do nothing other than drink hot chocolate, watch Christmas films and snuggle on the sofa with a blanket, a cup of tea and our dog – which was great but then, as usual, I had to get up and get on with things (I am well known in our family for being rubbish at sitting still) and so I’ve been making plans for the Little Lemon for next year, tidying and sorting, and making yummy things for our Christmas guests like these Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies from Donal Skehan’s website (I discovered him recently on Pinterest and his site is full of divine-looking food). This is the best recipe for chocolate cookies I’ve ever found – they were definitely the most delicious cookies I’ve made and they didn’t last long with our guests (I might also have eaten quite a few of them!)
I discovered this delicious-looking cake on his website, made by Kate Packwood of the Wild Flour Bakery in Ireland. I’m planning to fit in a bit more baking in the new year in amongst all the fudge-making for our markets so this might be a good one to start with:
Doesn’t it look amazing? Speaking of cake, back in November we made the wedding cake for our dear friends Gemma and Ian whose wedding took place in the beautiful Tudor Barn in Burnham. It was a three-tier cake (chocolate, ginger and butterscotch) with a cream cheese icing and decorated with winter flowers and berries to match the bride’s bouquet:
Early in the new year we’ll be creating some new flavours of fudge – every now and then someone who comes to our stall will suggest a flavour that they’d like us to try out (this is how our celebrated Salted Caramel fudge came about) and quite a while ago a lady asked us about passionfruit fudge which she’d had in New Zealand. We’ve also had requests for liquorice and for pistachio; up until now we’ve not been able to track down the perfect ingredients but we’ve managed to do so, so look out for some exciting new additions to our collection!
While I’ve been writing this, George has been asleep on my lap and my legs are full of pins and needles so I’m off to make myself a salted caramel hot chocolate, but I’ll leave you with possibly the cutest selection of pics I’ve seen this year:
Happy New Year!
I came across this picture on Pinterest (a bit of a guilty pleasure) and it struck me that this would be a really fun way of selling our fudge. Ever since I was a little girl and I saw ‘The Lovebug’ I’ve loved old Volkswagen Beetles, and the idea of using one as a market stall really appeals to me. I think it’s really cute. What do you think?
I found this idea on Pinterest a little while ago and, as always, was too busy working to get round to doing it but now that I’m at home a lot more I’ve decided that there’s no time like the present. So today is day one, and I’ve taken a self portrait. It was taken this afternoon, after I’d finished making a second batch of lemon fudge for this weekend’s market (our spare room is swimming in fudge and it’s great!) which is why I’m still wearing my pinny.
Some of the things on the list I’m looking forward to taking pictures of, and I plan to try to make them a little more interesting than the title suggests. Others I’m a little unsure of (a good habit…?) but I’m sure inspiration will strike when it needs to…
Please excuse the slightly sullen look on my face – I’m really not very good at taking my own picture!
George taking a stroll to the park
Now that I’m no longer working on a show in the evenings, I’ve a little more time on my hands. I’ve been spending that time walking in the park with George (which is lovely now that the evenings are warmer and lighter) and discovering all sorts of things via Pinterest and some of the blogs that I follow. There’s something intrinsically communal in reading what other people are up to and sharing ideas with them and here are three things I’ve discovered today which I really like:
Grooveshark – a website where you can create your own playlists (they seem to have pretty much every track ever written) and even embed it into your own website. Tree introduced us to something similar when we stayed over in Vegas last year, but you couldn’t access it from outside the U.S because of copyright laws. Grooveshark is international so visit the site and fill yer boots! Here’s my playlist for today:
I also found a new recipe for an old favourite:
Chocolate brownies with cream cheese icing, strawberries and blueberries on top – I’ve made brownies before and I love the fudgy, gooey inside but I’d never thought of topping them off with cream cheese icing and fruit. You need to make sure that the brownies are slightly thinner than usual to accommodate the thick fruity topping, and a little crispier than usual. I can’t wait to make these! It’s our anniversary in a couple of weeks’ time and we’re having a barbecue to celebrate so these might have to go on the menu…
Berry brownies – with thanks to http://www.freckled-fox.com/
Lastly, I’ve been looking at photo-editing apps to do funky things with. I normally use Adobe Fireworks and Apple’s Aperture which are fab but I downloaded an app from the App Store called iSplash; it’s simple to use and has one function: to add splashes of colour to monochrome images. Here are a few other pics which I used iSplash on:
On the dance floor at Tree and Josh’s wedding last year
Gotta have Pimm’s at a summer wedding!
Simon signing the register at Tree and Josh’s wedding
As you can see, it’s quite addictive. I could spend hours messing around with our pics but there’s baking to be done and fudge to be made so I’d better get back to it…