Perfect Pecan Cookies

Feeling stressed? Well I was feeling a bit stressed earlier this week so, finding myself home alone, I decided to bake these delicious Pecan Cookies.  Not the way I normally bake though which usually means throwing something together at the same time as cooking the dinner and while I am quite an organised person I can be very a messy cook !

So on my kitchen counter there would be bowls, wooden spoons, a weighing scales, ingredients, mobile phone, post, cookbook ….you get the picture! Not ideal and so often leads to those baking disasters where an ingredient is forgotten or added twice.

So I cleared the counter of anything that wasn’t related to the cookies, measured out all my ingredients and even got my baking trays ready. For the next half  hour all I had to think of was mixing the soft cookie dough, totally satisfying and relaxing.

The cookies took only 10 minutes to make and another 10 minutes to bake so nothing more to do other than put the kettle on.  Try it, pick an easy recipe like this one and savour the process!  Continue reading

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Skinny Lemon Cupcakes


It’s been a busy few weeks with unfortunately little time for writing or blogging. My darling daughter (DD) is currently doing her Leaving Cert so blogging time has been taken over by ad hoc counselling, feeding, listening and tea making while LC mock exams were underway and various project deadlines loomed. In fairness DD is a very hard worker and the stress these kids are under is enormous so I try to do anything I can to help and food always works! I keep telling her that if you can get through the Leaving Cert you can deal with anything and will definitely have proven you can cope with pressure. That brings me to these skinny lemon cupcakes which are a perfect guilt-free treat for any occasion where comfort food is required and you can even have two at a time if you want! The recipe is from “The Hairy Dieters” i.e. from the Hairy Bikers.  Continue reading

Yummy Custard Tarts

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You won’t believe the operation that went into photographing these tarts! I like to take my own photos for each recipe that I post and each recipe is one that I have made recently so I can write about them while they are fresh in my mind. At this time of year food photography is really challenging because of the shortage of daylight. So, to give you an example – I made the tarts in this photo on a Sunday evening, it was too late in the day to take photos so in order to be able to take the photos the next day I first had to hide the tarts so they wouldn’t be eaten! On Monday then I ran in the door from work around 4pm, took over the kitchen and basically had about 30 mins to whip out the tarts to try and get some decent shots. I needn’t tell you I was getting some funny looks while this was going on! Sometimes I would take about 40 photos before I even have one or two I am happy with and sometimes they are all rubbish which can be really annoying. If I don’t get a decent shot the trouble is the food is eaten and I have to start all over again! Continue reading

Caramel & Chocolate Blondies

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You have just got to try these beauties, voted by my regular testers here at home as better than my Oreo Brownies which is really saying something. As sweet treats go these are well up there and well worth making because they are just so yummy. What more can I say to convince you to give these deliciously sweet, buttery, chocolatey, caramel squares a go??!!   Continue reading

The Perfect Lemon Drizzle Cake

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this cake, it is universally popular more so I think than chocolate cake, and that is saying something. I gave some friends of mine a sample of this cake recently by way of a kind of  ‘roadtest’ and the feedback was great. What I like most about the recipe is that it is so reliable – the cake comes out perfect every time. There is a nice short list of ingredients and equal quantities of butter, flour and sugar which make it really, really simple to make.    Continue reading