chocolate biscuit shards

Halloween night, the small one got invited to go trick or treating with his school friend. We live in the countryside so from his very first Halloween at three months old, we have buckled his little dressed up self, safely into the car and spent the evening driving from Nanny to grandad and Uncle to Aunt in a quest to fill his little pumpkin shaped bucket.

Unlike me, he had never experienced the thrill of running up a garden path… ringing a doorbell… standing back to wait eagerly for it to be opened… the trick or treat chorus… or the end treasure… a handful of monkey nuts, an apple or a few pennies. How all that’s changed… Now behind those closed doors lie boxes filled with party bags, filled with candy, ready to be handed out to little dressed up ghouls and ghosts. By the third house the small one had got the hang of it and was gone like a bat out of hell, up and down the driveways of the estates, eyes and smile growing madly wider behind his zombie painted face, as his overflowing pumpkin bucket (yes we still use it) had to be replaced by a larger festive bag. Click here for Recipe



mini doughnuts

Growing up my mum nearly always allowed me to play forward my birthday party to Halloween. I would invite my friends over who would arrive in fancy dress and we’d bob for apples and play lots of enchanting games while my mum prepared the party food. Once it turned dusk and we had devoured all of those goodies, it was time to grab a bag each and set off trick-or-treating for more.

This is how traditions are born… these past few years I find myself doing the same… only now I’m the one throwing the Halloween party for my small one. In turn, I teach him and his little friends all the old-time games which I played and bake lots of ghoulish food for them to feast on, which is all worth the effort when you see their freshly painted faces light up when I produce my newest spooky edibleness. Continue reading on


pumpkin pinata

Halloween pumpkin pinata

Midterm is nearly upon us again and we’ll soon be looking for ideas to keep our small ones busy during their Halloween break. So I’ve got just the thing and even though there’s no baking involved… there is still flour… and there is definitely messiness, which lets face it, our kids love. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Halloween pumpkin piñata. Continue reading “pumpkin pinata”

Strawberry and coconut kisses

Carefully colouring in a picture whilst waiting to see the optician, the small one was complemented by the friendly receptionist on his artwork. Eyes wide open – pupils dilated from the earlier eye drops – he turned to inform her that he would be going to Art college, just like his mum.

And is Mum a good artist? she asked. The best, the small one replied, she can draw anything I ask her to, even my Ninja turtles. This is one of those moments where words escape you. Your child is praising you to a height with no limitations and you feel like you are dancing amidst the stars. Ten minutes later however my star burst and I fell back into reality as the optician gently told the small one he was ever-so-slightly shortsighted and would need to wear glasses – just like his mum – but only during class to see the blackboard. Now, this was deemed great by the small one, but for me I felt like I had failed him.


You hope when you have your children that they will inherit the very best parts of you… the working parts… and from the time the small one was born I prayed he’d have good eyesight – just like his dad. I should’ve known though when his eyes changed in his first year, from his dad’s slate blue to my sometimes green, more times brown. Then I think, Oh dear, I’ve turned into my own Mum, who also wears the guilty look when talking about our shortsightedness.

Both the sisters, one younger, one older, wear glasses as did she (before the laser) and her mother before her, so I guess my small one is just flying the inheritance flag. Anyways, glasses are so much more cooler now than when I was his age… and his eyes are blessfully healthy… and he is healthy… and happy. So all guilt set aside, we make an appointment to go in search of frames at the weekend and then home to bake these little strawberry and coconut kisses especially for him from me – my little small one, whom nothing ever seems to phase – unlike his mum.

Strawberry and coconut kisses

Strawberry and coconut kisses

Makes 30 • Baking time: Approx 3-4 minutes (using a cake pop maker)

110g sugar
110g soft margarine
2 eggs
120g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of low-fat strawberry yogurt
To decorate
Approx 6 tablespoons strawberry jam
50g desiccated coconut

1. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Beat in the vanilla extract and the yogurt. Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture.
3. Heat the cake pop maker as per instructions, lightly brushing each hole with oil before adding the cake mixture.
4. Spoon a teaspoon full of the mixture into each hole and cook for 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all the mixture is gone.
5. Heat the jam slightly. Roll each cake first in the jam, ensuring to cover it all and then in the coconut.

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apple and blackberry hand pies

So’s who’s in favour of a little detour away from the mince-pie? I know I am, but only because I think I might’ve have already consumed my quota and there’s still just under two weeks to go to the big day, but also because I have plans for my next blog post which involves mincemeat without the pie. Continue reading “apple and blackberry hand pies”

Spooky chocolate cakes

Ah, the day is getting closer… candy is being purchased by the bucketful, recipes are being bookmarked, costumes are being made and decorations are being dusted off and hung.

Spooky chocolate cakes

Since the small one was old enough to understand and enjoy Halloween I have bought little items each year to dress up the house – inside and out – and have now built up a collection of eerie decorations that would put Jack Skellington to shame.  Continue reading “Spooky chocolate cakes”