15 Lists for 2015

Recently I posted my 23 Before 23 Review, and I did promise you that I would share how I have set my goals for 2015. This year I chose a different method for coming up with my goals for the year. For the last two years I have used my birthday in December to mark the start and end of my yearly challenge, with my 22 before 22 and 23 before 23. I do love this way of setting goals, and having a birthday in December helps since it pretty much runs on a calendar year anyway! However, last year was so chaotic that I found my 23 before 23 challenge was neglected, and it didn’t really work for me when I had so much else going on.

Being someone who lives their life by lists (goals, to do lists, shopping lists…) when 2015 was approaching I once again turned my thoughts how I was going to measure my annual aims and achievements. While I do love the ‘x before x’ idea, having a set number of goals in a very specific time frame (i.e. from one birthday to the next) ended up feeling like a competition against myself to get them finished, and in the final few months/weeks before the deadline I seemed to try and race through as many as possible just to get them crossed off the list, rather than doing them for fun, which is obviously the idea in the first place! 2015 is definitely going to be far less chaotic for me, so it would probably have proved a successful year had I done a 24 before 24 challenge, but I have decided to do something a bit different instead. Continue reading

2013 Baking Challenge – March

So it has come to that time again when I have tried two new recipes for my 2013 Baking Challenge/22 Before 22! With this month’s two recipes I will have tried 8 new recipes this year so next month I will be able to cross off another one on my list!

This month’s edition is coming a little later than usual due to a broken oven for a couple of weeks! This time James and I decided to try something completely new to us – macaroons! When we were flicking through the baking books, James came across recipes for lemon and raspberry macaroons in The Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking.

Hairy-Bikers-Book-of-Baking-365x480 Continue reading

2013 Baking Challenge – February

Last month I told you that I was taking part in Stephanie Pomfrett’s Baking Challenge to help me achieve my goal of baking ten new recipes for my 22 before 22. Last month I did three bakes and I’m racing ahead in my challenge as yesterday I completed another three new recipes.

The first one was from Whoopie Pies:

Whoopie Pies


And, unsurprisingly, it was whoopie pies that we were making! These are how out Chocolate Fudge Brownie Whoopie Pies turned out: Continue reading

2013 Baking Challenge – January

As part of my 22 before 22, I wanted to do more baking. When I came across Stephanie Pomfrett’s 2013 Baking Challenge, I knew that it was ideal. The challenge involves baking two new recipes a month, which is ideal for me in terms of time and money! As soon as I found the challenge I had my name signed up!

Yesterday, I did my first baking session and actually managed to squeeze in three recipes! The first recipe I tried was from Annie Bell’s Gorgeous Cakes:

WP_000168 Continue reading

Helping Out a Friend

My friend and fellow blogger Charlotte commented about how many blog views I get earlier today. Thanks to the fantastic community within WordPress and some very loyal followers who I owe no end of thanks to, my blog has taken off beyond what I ever expected. I am incredibly thankful to my 200+ followers and everyone who has helped me get almost 17,000 views since starting my blog in April. I have made some fantastic friends through blogging and I love discovering new blogs and friends every day. Continue reading

The Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking!

A while ago, the Hairy Bikers visited the Waterstone’s branch where I work, to sign copies of their latest cook book, ‘Big Book of Baking.’ Eager to attend the event, I went armed with my camera and a book ready for signing!

Here we are with the infamous pair!

The ‘Big Book of Baking’ is a book designed to compliment the TV series, ‘Hairy Bikers’ Bakeathon,’ in which the duo travelled around Europe, finding some of the best recipes from various European countries. The book reflects this, by being divided into sections for each country.

I recently had chance to try my first recipe from the book, and I chose to make Amsterdam Caramel Cookies. These are a butter biscuit that tastes similar to shortbread, with chunks of (home made!!) caramel in them. Although mine didn’t turn out looking quite like the picture, they tasted very good! Even my brother, who doesn’t like shortbread, was very impressed! The whole recipe was very straight forward and simple, and even making the caramel didn’t prove difficult which I thought it might.

My caramel cookies!

This was just the first in a long list of recipes that I want to try from this book, including;

  • Belgian Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
  • Sachertorte
  • George’s Fantastic Gingerbread

But the book also features several savoury recipes too, such as bread, pizza, scones and pasty slices.

This book is packed with loads of really unique recipes, which are unlike any others that you would find in a UK cookbook. It is a wonderful collection of European recipes, that many of us have probably never tried before. Illustrated with wonderful, full page photos and straight forward instructions,  this book is a lovely gift for someone else or yourself, and is great value when you consider how many recipes are inside!

Rating: 8/10 (just too many almonds for my liking!)