Tag Archives: Recipes

Cover up recipes!*


*see previous post: a cover up!

First come First served:

Apple and Cranberry Chutney

1 k cooking apples peeled and chopped into small chunks

500g eating apples, peeled and chopped into large chunks

450g onions , sliced

50g fresh root ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp peppercorns

500g granulated sugar

250 ml cider vinegar

500g cranberries

Place all ingredients except cranberries in a large heavy-based saucepan,

then gently heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 50 mins,

stirring regularly until the apples and onions are tender,

the mixture has thickened and no watery juice remains.

Add the cranberries, then cook for a further 10 mins or so until just softened but not burst.

Spoon the hot chutney into sterilised jars and seal.

Store unopened in a cool, dark place. The chutney will keep for up to 6 months. Chill on opening.


Brandy Mincemeat

600g mixed fruit

100g cherries

1 large bramley apple

200 ml brandy

70g broken almonds

200g suet

250g dark brown sugar

1 orange zest and juice

1 lemon zest and juice

1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

Mix all together in a large bowl and stir (I just like to stir often!)

Next day, stir again and pot :0)

(this will be for next Christmas)


back on Wednesday with two more pages from the Quiet Book :0)

Bye for now xx

a cover up!


It all started because I just couldn’t discard this …..

an unused Royal Horticultural Society diary ……

but with such gorgeous artwork ……

These are NOT photos, but beautiful botanical drawings …..

SO what to do with it, tear out pages and make cards with them?


frame one or two?

THEN I had this what I call a “BRILLIANT IDEA”

I would use it Just As It Is!!!

But it would be my very own, very special diary of


each month I will add a recipe suitable for that season and month of the year …

Brilliant Idea, don’t you think?

I started with the month of December, adding the Gorgeous Christmas Cake,

and …..

a Brandy Mincemeat, and a gorgeous Apple and Cranberry Chutney Recipe

(recipes for you in the next blog on Monday :0)


well, this is the Title Page ….

and I made a Journal cover ….. just to hide it being a 2011 Diary!

Well, I think it is a brilliant idea!

Recipes coming on Monday :0)

Bye for now, xx

Best ever Christmas Cake! Really!


What to do

a week before Christmas and you want a Christmas cake

but NOT from a shop?

Until a week before Christmas I had no working oven, so as soon

as the new one was connected up ……

Google here I come!

“Last minute Christmas cake “…… P L E A S E !


Jane Asher is a Genius :0)

Last minute Christmas cake recipe

Prep time:
30 min, plus soaking time
Cook time:
4 hrs
Makes 1 x 20cm cake

“Don’t worry if you haven’t made your cake weeks ahead –

Jane Asher’s luscious cake packed with alcohol-

soaked fruits and nuts can be made as late as you like”


  • 750 g mixed dried fruit
  • 150 g glacé cherries
  • 225 ml stout, (Guinness, for example)
  • 100 ml whiskey
  • 75 ml orange juice
  • orange, zest only
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 200 g butter, slightly soft
  • 200 g muscovado sugar
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 75 g brazil nuts, or almonds, chopped


1. For the cake: place the dried fruits, cherries, stout, whisky, orange juice, zest and treacle into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Preferably, transfer to a bowl and chill overnight – but don’t worry if you can’t: just leave it soaking as long as you can.

2. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 2.

3. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment or a shaped silicone sheet.

4. Place all the remaining ingredients except the nuts in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I do mine in the electric mixer when I’m feeling lazy). Beat until smooth, then fold in the soaked fruit and the nuts.

5. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top, making a slight dip towards the centre. Bake for 3 hours, then check and cover the top with more paper or silicone if it is over-browning. Bake for a further 30 minutes-1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so in the tin, then turn out and allow to cool completely on a rack.

7. Wrap the cake in baking parchment and then in foil, and store in a tin somewhere cool and dry until it’s time to decorate it. Every couple of weeks (or more often, if you’re short of time), unwrap the cake, make a few holes in the top with a skewer, spoon a little brandy or whisky over the top and let it soak in. This keeps the cake moist – and makes it taste even better. You can use orange juice if you’re avoiding too much alcohol. Rewrap the cake and store.

I know!   no marks for the decoration …..

but I really WAS late in the making!

Really it was the best Christmas cake I have ever tasted :0)

and so said everyone else!

I won’t bother Google next year ….

from Bella and Me xx