Eggless Banana and Blueberry Cake


I had no eggs the other day and some bananas that were getting pretty squishy so I thought it best to try and make an egg-less banana cake.  Basic ingredients, chuck in some blueberries, spice (I also added strawberries that needed using up, but I think raspberries would be better) and you’ve got a lovely, moist cake.
Banana and blueberry cake.

Banana and blueberry cake.

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Non Traditional Paella


I didn’t intend to go to Spain ever, but I was dragged along to Valencia, Barcelona and then to Madrid by an ex boyfriend and I’m so glad that I was.

In Valencia I first tried deep fried baby octopus, pulpo, in Madrid I had a beautiful platter of cheeses, seafood and cured meats and in Barcelona I had an amazing paella.

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Emily’s Strawberry Shortcake


My first guest blog/recipe comes from Emily Hendren-Allwright and is perfect for this time of year when ripe British strawberries are coming into their own.  It makes a great alternative to scones or sponges and I’ll be trying it out when I get back to England.

Strawberry Shortcake

The British do wonderful cakes, with loads of cream and jam, but I don’t often see strawberry shortcake. In America, it’s one of the high points of summer. A lot of people buy little ready-made sponge cakes in the supermarket that are specially marketed for strawberry shortcake, but to get the proper texture, you really have to make them yourself. It’s somewhere between a scone and a cake, a rich, crumbly, eggy bite.

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A Simple Tale of Brioche and Goat’s Cheese Salads…


The first tasting

My first experience of brioche was on a ferry to Normandy with my Mum and her friend Linda about 6 years ago.  We were travelling down to stay with Richard, Sue and Hannah who had moved there from East Anglia, we were going for a Morris Dancing holiday.  Mum was driving us and Linda had been put in charge of the picnic for the journey.  She had nipped into some shop I’d never heard of – Aldi – and picked up some apples, fruit juice, a big bag of cooked prawns that we would have to peel, a freshly baked baguette, an avocado and a bag of chocolate chip brioche.

You can take the girl out of the W.I. but she’ll not stop making cakes.


Ok, so technically I was never in the W.I., although I did intend on joining.

When I lived in Newcastle and broke up with my boyfriend I was sharing a one bedroom flat in a former convent with him and he was an alcoholic.   He was sleeping in the sitting room, I had the bedroom.  I didn’t feel like I could have friends round, as there was nowhere for them to sit and I didn’t want them to see him in that state.  Neither did I want to deal with the hours of talking that would inevitably follow over many, many days if someone came in and had upset his personal space.  We lived like this for 6 months before he moved out.

I had to find things to do to occupy my time.  working shifts as a careers adviser I couldn’t really commit to regular classes or activities in the evenings, unless you count the night shift activities of ‘Sing the lyrics of one song to the tune of another’ or ‘Read out song lyrics in a sort of Radio 4 voice for other people to guess’ or, my personal favourite, ‘How long can I try to talk like Reeves and Mortimer being Geordie Otis Reading and Marvin Gaye sitting on the dock of the bay before I begin to sound like Sarah Milllican?’.  They don’t really count as activities.  Fun, yes, getting me out of the house for something other than work, not so much.

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