Pictures from Bath

Hey all

So I realised that I never got around to sorting out the photos from when I went to Bath for the weekend. Seeing as it is still Christmas (sort of) I decided that it was not too late!

We did walk around them in the day, but they were so busy, so we went back in the evening, when it was prettier as they were all lit up, and a little quieter.

I managed to buy quite a few things- nice decorations for us, gifts for other people, things to add to the hampers I was making.

The city just looked lovely all lit up.

And there were lots of carol singers.

I loved this massive reindeer/moose outside the Christmas shop 🙂

The next day we went to Stourhead, which is a National Trust place with gardens. They had decorated the house too.

That was the tree in the entrance hall- so pretty.

It was a lovely place to wander around and have some fresh air and peace.

And of course I could not resist a visit to the tearoom for some lunch befoe our drive home.

I really loved these reindeer decorations too, but I didn’t think they would last a year up in our loft. They are so cute though, and such a clever idea too.

I would definitely go back there again another year as it was well worth the visit.

Right, well since we were away over Christmas we had a little celebration on Friday (we didn’t take any gifts with us).

Lots of lovely gifts- candles, a room scenter, baking books, and lots of chocolates! I especially love the little measuring spoons- so pretty. And the cute hand print cards are from some of the kids at school- hand-prints decorated to look like trees.

Yesterday we braved a little bit of sale shopping.

I saw this nutella bread baking kit in Boots and decided to treat myself! The loaf tin is quite nice- I think it might even imprint the word onto the bread! If only the giant tin was actually full of vaseline…

On Friday as we were feeling all festive we decided to have some Christmas cake- they don’t seem to go for fruitcake in America- they seem to have gingerbread or peppermint things there instead (still nice, but not the same). These slices turned out to be enormous- think I have made up for a week of not eating cake!

Last night we caught up on a bit of TV (love the Snowman and the Snow dog)- and I had a little snack place- I got some more massive persimmons from Aldi, some of the orange marzipan I got from Bruges, some honey peanuts and an amazing chocolate coated orange slice (thanks Lucy).

I have been getting back to running too, which is always good after a little break. I went out for a 3.5 mile run before breakfast on Saturday, just to stretch my legs- it was very tough as it was so windy. Today I went out for an 8 mile run- the wind had eased a little, but not much! Not long to go until the Brighton half, so I need to start making those runs longer again.

And speaking of running, I still need a couple of people to join in my Jantastic team (Run Blog Bake!)- otherwise it won’t count as a team. So please sign up if you fancy a little challenge- it is really all about the fun!


Hey peeps! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I had a fab holiday in NYC and Boston- but coming home for a rest now!

Our plane landed this morning so I have been trying to keep busy by unpacking and sorting everything out. We were only away for 6 days and I didn’t think I had bought that much. Hmm.

I bought a gingerbread man pan, some cake mix, peppermint bark (mainly because I liked the tin), a decoration for the tree, and a little penguin car air freshener thing. I think the pan will be fab to make Laura’s amazing gingerbread– I made some the week before we left as I had pumpkin puree that needed using up (I used egg replacer and coconut sugar and sprinkled it with some Beyond Dark chocolate drops before it cooled):

Very tasty indeed 🙂

The two of us do rather love Bath and Bodyworks- they had a big sale on so we got plenty of seasonal scented hand sanitisers, soaps and creams (peppermint hand cream, iced gingerbread hand wash, frosted apple hand sanitiser)- it all smells so good you want to eat it (but don’t).

A lot of peanut butter things! We went to the Peanut Butter and Co cafe for lunch one day, and Andy had his eye on the pb with chilli. They had Christmas peanut brittle too, although I think my teeth will not thank me for that. These were all in the case that got searched by the TSA- what must they have thought?

Old Navy were having a sale, so I got 2 pairs of Christmas PJ bottoms (that was a task in itself as the shop was so busy and all I could find were size xxl- not sure how I managed to find the right sizes), two thermal tops (the “love” one and a ski one with little snowflakes on), a stripy cardi and a couple of plain cardis for work.

We bought a few cereal bars to have as snacks, but didn’t end up having many, so we have a few that we brought home too, plus some posh pb cups.

Now I just have to find space for all of this!

Today I have been running mostly on caffeine to keep me awake- I can never decide what is best after a flight- sometimes I have an hour or so of sleep when I get home, but I slept quite a bit on the flight so decided to try and keep going, and have had a couple of cups of tea to help me instead. I did consider a run but was feeling a bit dizzy (always have this after travelling) so I thought a walk might be a better idea- I think daylight as well as fresh air helps, although it was not that light today!

How was your Christmas?

Christmas recipes

Hey peeps

My fingers and toes are all crossed at the moment, as tomorrow I am hopefully going to be going on a Christmas holiday (to New York)! Last year we had to cancel as I was ill, and the year before it snowed and our flight was cancelled. So we are hoping 3rd time lucky!

Anyway, we will be away for a week, but I am looking forward to doing some more baking when I get home, so I thought I would do a round up post of the baking that I like to do in the holidays.

I love making a gingerbread house! First of all they smell amazing, and they are just fun to decorate. And I promise not as hard as they look. I cheated this year and bought a kit from Lakeland which contains all the cutters so I won’t have to make my own templates, but even making those is not hard.

I also love making stollen– I am a bit of a marzipan addict I think! Plus it is a good way to use up dried fruit left over from Christmas cakes. The recipe I tried from the Baking Mad website is very easy, and could easily be left as a loaf instead of bites, and I also made stollen whirls one year (like cinnamon rolls).

Of course it would not be Christmas without a Christmas cake. Yum. Although that recipe can be made a long time in advance, it can also be made right before you eat it, so you still have time!

Mincemeat slices are another favourite of mine. I really like mincemeat (especially the meridian one) but I am not such a fan of pastry. A while ago I created these slices (you could leave the marzipan off and just dust with icing sugar) and they are lovely, and also pretty quick.

Fudge is always a great gift to make (I was so shocked when I saw the prices for home-made fudge at the Bath Christmas markets) and this recipe for Christmas pudding fudge is pretty easy to make. I find that if you let it get to the soft ball stage you have to turn it off right away, and don’t beat for too long- the longer you beat it the crumblier it will get (more like tablet), and I prefer it to have a softer texture. You can also adapt the recipe- leave out the Christmas pudding and add cranberries when you beat it, and then sprinkle some white chocolate chips on, or sprinkle some mint dark chocolate over the top. Basically whatever flavour you like you could make.

White chocolate and coconut fudge- pour half the fudge into a pan, sprinkle on white chocolate (it will melt), pour the rest of the fudge over, flatten down and sprinkle on coconut. 

Or how about some spiced nuts with cranberries and coconut? I made them again this year as gifts, and used a mixture of almonds, hazelnuts and brazil nuts. Very pretty too with the bright red cranberries.

Right, most of the packing is done now, so I am off to relax for a bit. One more day of work to go and then hopefully to enjoy the holidays! Have a fab week all (and don’t forget to sign up for the Jantastic team, Run Blog Bake! The more the merrier! And it is just for fun.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Run, blog, bake!

That is the team name for the Jantastic marathon talk spring motivation challenge. Now, I know not everyone likes to bake (or blog…)- but I could not think of a better name. So you don’t have to have a blog to join in!

So, to join in (and the more the merrier, please)- go to the marathon talk website. Then you need to register (if you have not already)- with your email address etc. Then find the Jantastic tab, or the Spring Motivation tab.

Then you can select the team ( run bake blog!) from the drop down menu. As I had to create it, please let me know if for some reason it does not appear. Or if you do manage, please say so here.

Also, for fun, watch the little video here.

For January you have to pledge how many runs you will do each week. The first time I did this I chose 3, but I have decided to challenge myself with 4. Not sure if I will manage it, but I feel like 3 is a bit easy as that is what I do pretty much every week unless I am unwell. So rise to the challenge with me!

You have to log your runs each week, and then you get a % score (so if I did 2 of my 4 runs I would get 50% score) but there are no prizes for 100%- it is the taking part that counts.

So, good luck! And please join me!

And, how about this for a post run evening snack? Ocado have finally started stocking Coyo- yummy! I tried the chocolate one, which was nice- not sweet at all, and I have some mango coyo in the fridge for another day.

So, who is with me? And if not with the Jantastic, does anyone have anything they are challenging themselves with next year?


Mincemeat madness, motivation and a muffin recipe!

Hey- I have been having a bit of an obsession with mincemeat this week.

Sunday started with a pile of pancakes:

Wholegrain spelt flour, pumpkin puree, baking powder, almond milk and spices all cooked gently. Served with a massive chopped apple cooked in a tsp coconut oil, and served with that lovely Meridian mincemeat. Yum. Plus a cardamom chai.

On a week day I don’t have time for pancakes- I get up as early as I can! So today started with porridge made with pumpkin puree, and topped with more mincemeat. So good.

Tomorrow we are having a breakfast at work, and I offered to bring muffins. I have seen lots of mincemeat recipes- mincemeat scones on The Pink Whisk look amazing, so I decided to adapt a recipe for cinnamon muffins.

Makes 12


250g flour (I used half wholegrain spelt and half white)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

115g soft brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

120ml milk (approx)

85g butter, melted

200g mincemeat


Preheat the oven to 200C. Put cake cases into cake pans ready.

Mix the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar in a bowl. Melt the butter (microwave for 20 seconds), and mix this with the egg and the milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture, and pour in the liquid ingredients, then add the mincemeat and mix gently.

Put spoonfuls into cake cases- then put in the oven for 15 mins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (or sugar) and then bake for another 5 minutes until golden.

Leave to cool in the tins before turning on to a wire rack to cool completely. My cases were full so I used some little loaf pans to bake the extra in- might have to have one later as a quality control check.

Yesterday for Sunday tea I took around the orange cake that I made on Saturday- any excuse to use the orange peel 🙂 This time I added dark chocolate chips in the mix to make a chocolate orange cake- yummy.

Today I went on my run and I was listening to marathon talk. They have a Spring motivation challenge (Jantastic! appeals to my love of puns etc)- it is just for fun, but anyway you can sign up on their website. You can enter on your own- for January you just pledge how many runs you would do each week, and then log them each week (nothing lost if you don’t do what you aim for), then for February you do that, and pledge the distance of your longest run each week, and then for March you try to predict to the nearest second a race/ race distance (can be a 5K you do on your own, or a race you are entered in).

Anyway, I am going to do it- I did it 2 years ago but couldn’t last year. But they were saying you could have a team, with a minimum of 6 members. So I was wondering if anyone wants to join up in a blog team? I was trying to think of a good name, but I can’t, so any suggestions welcome. I think it would be quite fun. They say the run has to be over 1 mile, it can be a run/walk, but you have to be wearing your kit, so no counting running to the bus! Anyone fancy it? If so, let me know by commenting here, or emailing me- also if you have a good idea for a team name let me know! Then I think when you sign up the team will appear (once I register it) from the drop down menu.

Might be worth a bit of extra motivation for getting out there when the weather is cold and damp and windy etc.

Cheers 🙂