Thursday, 24 June 2010

Hawthorn Brandy and Solstice Elderflower champagne...

Over the last couple of months, my husband and I have been walking along our local hedgerows and it inspired us to try out making some 'brews'!

During the end of May, we collected some hawthorn blossoms and made hawthorn brandy.  Ideally we should have collected the flowers earlier as they were just about to go over.  I think we caught them in time though.

We collected enough to fill one large kilner jar and poured in some cheap and nasty brandy:
Filling the jar with the blossoms

Pouring in the brandy

We then added some sugar...

 The brew with the sugar settled on the top

We the sealed it up, gave it a good shake and now it's time to leave it for 3 months, giving it a shake once a day...

I'm looking forward to opening it and trying it for the first time (I hope its nice and not like paint stripper!)  I'll post another blog when it's been tested to let you know how it turned out!

For Litha, we tried making some elderflower champagne.  We got the following recipe from

Elderflower Champagne

A traditional favourite, Elderflowers peak at Midsummer. Pick them in the fullness of a sunny day, ideally on Midsummer's Day. The Elder is sacred to the Mother Goddess and is often called the Witch's Tree, the Elder Mother, or Queen of the Trees. It is protective with wonderful healing properties. It aids transformation, change and renewal, and we are at a major turning point in the Wheel of the Year, so the gift of Elderflowers is welcome.


8 litres water

1.25 kg sugar

8 large elderflower heads

4 lemons

4 tablespoons mild white wine vinegar

Do use screw top bottles - large plastic bottles used for squash etc are perfect. This stuff will fizz and if not bottled tightly it can explode! I keep mine in the garden so should the worst occur it isn't going to make a mess all over the kitchen or larder... Before you begin make sure the elderflowers are clean - no little wandering insects or bugs.

Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it (Fairtrade is good)

When the water is cool, add the elderflowers, juice of two of the lemons and slices of the other two, plus the vinegar.

Cover with a clean cloth and leave for a day.

Strain through a fine sieve or piece of muslin, carefully squeezing the flowers to extract as much flavour as possible.

Store in clean screw top bottles.

Leave well alone for 10 days or so. Drink within a month. Enjoy and give thanks to the Spirit of Elder.

Well, our bottles are currently hidden in a shady part of the garden and will be opened in 10 days.  I'm really REALLY looking forward to trying the finished product because it tasted beautiful after just a day of brewing in the pans!  It's so easy to make, so if you hurry, you might be able to catch the elderflowers before they go over to make your own champagne! 

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week

This week in the UK it's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.  It's not about guilt-tripping anyone or being holier-than-thou.  It's all about raising awareness, providing up to date and relevant information and support, and NORMALISING breastfeeding. Here are a few links with helpful information:

To show my support, here is a collection of photos of me feeding my daughter.  Hopefully by doing this I will demonstrate that it's nothing to be embarrassed about, or hidden and that you don't have to expose your entire breast in order to do it!
 A day old

 Mathilda 6 weeks old here.  This was taken while snuggling in bed :)

10 weeks old, feeding in her sleep

4 months old

5 months old

5 months and very sleepy!

6 months

10 months, enjoying solids and still going strong on breast milk

 A year old...

And with no intention of stopping any time soon!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Happy Birthday Mathilda! (and carrot cake recipe)

My last post about my C-Section kind of put a  downer on my blog, hence why I think I haven't posted for a while.  So, it's a bit late, but Mathilda turned 1 nearly a month ago (19th May).  Such a huge milestone for us!  And how much she's changed and blossomed in 12 months.  This post is to celebrate her birthday.

Here's a few photos from her special day (we went to Bristol Zoo)...


I made her a carrot cake for her birthday cake.  I wanted to make something vaguely healthy as she's still very little and has the rest of her life to eat junk food.  I thought I'd share the recipe, as it turned out to be a very delicious cake and was quite easy to make!


180g wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
180g light muscovado sugar
150ml sunflower oil
2 large eggs
200g carrots, coarsley grated
85g raisins

For the Frosting: 
1 lime
200g cream cheese
100g unsalted butter, softened
85-100g unrefined icing sugar

1. For the cake: preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line one deep 20cm cake tin.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk together the sugar, sunflower oil and eggs until smooth.

4. With a large metal spoon, fold in the carrots and raisins, then fold in the flour and spice mixture until well combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, place on baking tray and bake until the cake is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. For me it took about an hour.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

5. For the frosting: squeeze the juice from the lime.

6. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with the softened butter, icing sugar. Add the lime juice slowly, beating the mixture continuously to prevent it from curdling. Add to taste.

7. ISpread the frosting over the top.

8. Serve chilled.





Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cesarean Awareness Month: Mathilda's Birth Story

Mathilda turned 11 months old on Monday and even though her 1st birthday is fast approaching, I still find myself regularly thinking about her birth (a planned home birth which ended in an emergency cesarean).
Seeing as it's Cesarean Awareness Month, I thought I would publish Mathilda's birth story in an attempt to explain how experiencing a cesarean can effect not only your body, but your emotional and mental health as well.

So let's start from the top...

I wanted a home birth. I needed a home birth!  I was 100% confident I could do it. I didn't fear anything, I was actually looking forward to it.  I had read and researched everything I could could get my hands on.  I had watched hundreds of videos on YouTube of women successfully giving birth at home (some even completely unassisted).  My God was Ina May Gaskin and my bible was Spiritual Midwifery.  I felt strong, womanly and primal, after all, giving birth is natural, this is what I was meant to do, right?

Mathilda's due date (9th May 2009) came and went.  Then early on the morning of Saturday 16th May 2009 I had a show which was immediately followed by mild contractions on and off all day and pretty strong at night.  I was so happy and excited!  Finally something was happening and I was convinced my daughter would be arriving before the weekend was out.

On Sunday 17th May 2009 I still getting contractions and spent most of my time in and out of the bath. Trying to sleep was almost impossible as every time I laid down, it would make the contractions feel really bad. I say bad as the pain felt like an injury pain, instead of the intense 'energy' of my uterus working hard.  It's difficult to describe, but it definitely didn't feel right when I was lying down.  I knew then it is not natural for women to labour and give birth on their back.
So I didn't sleep much at all but I was bearing up ok, even though I was beginning to feel a bit down by this point as I was already 8 days late and just really wanted to see my baby!  My husband was great, he looked after me and would hug me and rub my back every time a contraction came.

I carried on through the night and before I knew it, it was Monday 18th May 2009.  I was getting really tired by then, and my contractions were getting worse, but were very irregular.
Finally a midwife came out to see me. She examined me and I was only 1cm dilated. I couldn't believe it, I felt really shattered after that as all the pain I had been through for 2 days had only caused me to dilate by 1cm! I was beginning to feel really lonely. My poor husband was also getting exhausted and just slept all the time.
His Mum rang me to see how I was doing. She was really shocked that it was taking so long as both her births were really quick (first was 8 hours, second was 4) so when I came off the phone from speaking to her I felt even worse and I think that's when the doubt in myself started to set in.  I sat downstairs and cried and cried.

I carried on all day, in and out of the bath, walking, trying to sleep but couldn't, using the TENS machine, but getting annoyed with it! At 11pm I called the midwife back as pain was getting really bad by then. She brought some G&A, which helped a bit, but not much. I kept being sick.
At about 1am I asked if she could check me, so I had to lie down on the bed. And OH MY GOD... the pain was awful! I've never screamed so much in my life, I had totally lost it, I had been doing quite well with breathing/visualising/hubby rubbing my back etc... but lying on my back just killed me.
She took ages to find what was going on down there. I could see panic in my husband's eyes which was not good.  She eventually said I was 4cm. I couldn't believe it, I just about gave up then. I puked all over myself and the bed and said I need to go to hospital, I was so tired, just couldn't integrate the pain anymore.
So my husband drove me into the hospital which was a 20 minute drive.
I was the only woman on the ward, which was great because I had treatment straight away. I asked for an epidural (I really didn't want one before, but I just really felt like I needed a break, just to get an hours sleep, anything), I had one within 20 minutes. Oh it was lovely. At first. It only worked on my right side. So in a very concentrated area in my left hip joint I could still feel everything. So nope, still no sleep.
I dilated really quickly once in hospital. A student midwife broke my waters for me and around 6.30am I was fully dilated and felt the urge to push. The epidural had worn off on the other side too by then, so could feel everything again. My poor husband looked exhausted, so I suggested he went home for a nap but the midwives told him to stay as they thought the baby was coming and quickly.

They let me push for 3 hours. On my back, able to feel everything but unable to move my legs.  This was not how I envisioned my first birthing experience.
My baby didn't even move down an inch. I would push and push and push....nothing. By then, I was totally exhausted. They gave me something to make the contractions stronger as they seemed to be dying off. This turned the pain up to a million it seemed.  And again it was like an injury pain that felt like it was doing nothing other than just hurting me!
In the end they brought in a consultant. He said he'd do a ventouse/forceps with episiotomy delivery if I wanted. I said, 'YES!! I need to have this baby now with all the help I can get!' even though this was going against everything I had previously stood for.
So, they topped up my epidural with a spinal, and wheeled me off to theatre, without my husband as he was so traumatised by the whole thing he couldn't face being there with me.   I can understand that, if I had had the choice, I didn't want to be there by then either.

At least I was in no pain, finally. That was nice I have to admit!
The consultant tried pulling my daughter out with the ventuose plunger thing. It popped off her head twice - she was not budging. Still way up inside, not even in the birth canal, from what I gathered. So he declared I needed an emergency C-Section and got down to prepping me straight away.

I remember lying there thinking that this wasn't happening to me.  What had happened to my serene home birth dream?  I was now lying there, in a cold, stark operating theatre, shaking from all the drugs, paralyzed from the waist down, needles stuck in my wrists and hands, surrounded by people I had never met before but without my husband and about to be cut open, from hip to hip.
I felt lots of tugging, and heard one big 'SHHHHLLLLLUUUURRRRPPP!'...silence...then a crying baby.  They held her up above the screen that obscured my view and I could see that she was all purplely red and angry! Finally Mathilda was here. Arrived into this world via failed ventouse delivery followed by emergency cesarean at 11.05am Tuesday 19th May 2009.
They let me touch her for a brief second before whisking her off to be examined.  My husband came in and it was all over.  He got to hold her, she was wearing a green hat and looking around at everything, probably thinking 'where the hell am I?!'
I don't remember feeling that emotional when I first saw Mathilda, I think I was too tired and drugged up to feel anything. But 45 minutes later, I was breast feeding her, so, considering the circumstances, that was pretty amazing.

 Mathilda having her first meal.  Latch wasn't so good, but not bad for a first attempt!

 Just out of theatre, my nose stud and earrings are still taped up.

 Close up of Mathilda holding her Daddy's finger

Afterwards, the consultant told me I had lost 2 pints of blood during the cesarean so I might need a transfusion. Luckily I didn't need to in the end. He also explained that Mathilda's head had been stuck sideways in my pelvis, so I would never had been able to push her out. I didn't really know what this meant so I asked a midwife later on and she didn't really say much, just said that it's an awkward position. Mathilda had bruising around one of her eyes, I don't know if that was caused by being stuck.  I later learned that this sideways/tilted head position is known as asynclitism and it explains why I had irregular contractions, severe pain in one hip and a long second stage.  But it does not explain why I 'would never had been able to push her out'.  I think having an epidural and lying on my back meant that I was unable to push her out.

I spent 2 nights in hospital.  The first night was a haze of morphine and extreme love for my new baby.  We cuddled, slept and nursed.  I remember being sick a few more times, I'm guessing because of the drugs.  I had to have a bed bath as I was still in my labouring top which was all sweaty so the nurses helped take that off and give me a wash and take my catheter out.  I couldn't move my legs until the early hours of Weds 20th May.  I remember walking very slowly to the toilet for the first time at around 4am, with a lovely nurse helping me.  I remember trying to pee and it took at least 20 mins.  It felt numb down there but also felt like if I pushed too had my c-section wound would explode open and my guts would fall out!
The following day I had the first set of stitches and drain removed from my scar.  That wasn't pretty, but in all honesty the worst part was the surgical tape ripping out half of my pubes when in was taken off!
I was finding breastfeeding quite difficult by this point, but only because of the reduced mobility I had from the pain of the cesarean scar.  This would carry on for a good 3-5 weeks.
I had one more night in hospital then asked if I could go home.  I hated having to say goodbye to my husband at 10pm every night when I was there, it just felt wrong that we had to be separated.  I was sent off with a bag of painkillers and some anti-coagulant drugs, which I had to administer myself via an injection to the stomach.  I needed to take these to stop getting a blood clot apparently.  I guess another downfall of having a cesarean.

Once Mathilda and I were home, we were able to relax.  Yes it was a shock to the system, and I spent some time crying on my long suffering hubby, trying to make sense of all that had happened to us.

Fast forward to the following Tuesday, a week after Mathilda was born.  It was time to have my main stitch out. I have to admit, I really wasn't looking forward to it.  It just seemed like more pain for pains sake.  A friend of mine, who had gone through an emergency c-section due to pre-eclampsia assured me that it wouldn't hurt, it would just feel 'weird'.
Well, it hurt like hell!  I think I was an unlucky case as after what seemed like 10 minutes of tugging from a home-visiting midwife on the stitch, it finally, excruciatingly came out.  I was sweating and shaking.  The midwife examined the thread and noticed there was a tiny knot still on the end which had passed through the length of my entire scar, causing the pain and the difficulty of actually removing it.
The following day I felt a bit feverish, and I remember worrying that I was coming down with mastitis.  Well it wasn't mastitis, it was actually my cesarean wound slowly becoming infected.
The following morning, I was lying in bed, holding Mathilda on my chest when I felt a wet sensation on my belly.  I handed her to my husband and had a look as I thought that her nappy had leaked.  But no, it was bloody pus oozing from my wound.
This was a serious low point for me.   Not only was I struggling with feelings of guilt and failure for not giving birth naturally to Mathilda, I was exhausted, sore and verging on depression but now I had to fight off an infection.
I was given antibiotics and a bunch of dressings and left to get on with it.  It was horrible having to change my own dressings and see the pus leaking out of me.  I was worried the infection would spread to my uterus, but luckily within 3 weeks, my wound was better and healed quite nicely.

11 months on and I'm still numb along my scar line.  I also have an annoying in-growing hair which becomes infected from time to time right in the centre of the scar.  I have stretch marks and the shape of my body has changed due to motherhood, but I love these changes.  However, I do not love my scar, which stands out like a red line on white paper.

I'm still breastfeeding my daughter, despite the the troubles getting started, which I'm sure were mostly caused by having a cesarean.  My milk took a week to come in after Mathilda was born, resulting in her losing 12% of her birth weight (which was a hefty 9lbs 11.5oz by the way!) and taking 4 weeks for it to return.  I'm certain the trauma, mentally and physically and the soreness from having a major operation helped cause this.

So due to my experience, I definitely would consider a VBAC if I fell pregnant again.  Looking back at Mathilda's birth story, I'm sure if the chain of events had happened differently, the ending would've been very different.  I am certain if i had remained strong, or somehow managed to sleep more, I would've been able to give birth to her naturally.  Because of this I feel tremendous guilt and I also feel scared of any future births I might have.

I'm sure time will heal the bad memories of it all. I certainly have good memories attached to it as well. Like bouncing with joy on the bed on the morning I had the show, hugging my husband every time I had a contraction (this was while I was still at home), hearing my Mathilda crying loudly and strongly behind the screen in the operating theatre for the first time and being allowed to touch her before they wisked her off to be checked out (she was all warm and slick, she felt amazing!) and of course, breast feeding her for the first time.

So this was Mathilda's birth story and also an account of my personal cesarean experience.  I'm sure not all women have bad feelings or outcomes their own c-sections (my mother being a prime example - I was a c-section baby, and she had a GA and loved the fact she fell asleep then woke up with a baby.  She was also very pleased that I also had a c-section, but I beg to differ) but I feel most of the time cesareans are unnecessary and should only be conducted if they absolutely have to be.

For more info on VBACs and Cesarean awareness month, check out the ICAN site, I have found it very helpful and also inspired me to write this post.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Baby breakfast ideas

If you're anything like me, then you're not a fan of the morning! All I want is to get a cup if tea and some breakfast in me and then I can start functioning normally.
This wasn't so bad when Mathilda was still exclusively breast fed, as I could let her have her breakfast as I ate mine or was still half asleep in bed!
Now that she's on solids I need to prepare her something to eat too and with my lack of motivation skills in the morning, I like to prepare something quick and easy. So I give her baby cereal or oats.
Now, I don't add milk to these as I'm too lazy to express my own milk and don't want to use formula.
Baby cereal made with just water is eeeeeeewwwwwwwww! Mathilda wont eat much of it on its own and I felt bad even offering it to her.
So here is a list of things I have added to the cereal over the months that have been a hit with Mathilda.

- Raisins. These are pretty good as not only do they add flavour but they also soak up some of the water and become nice and squishy. Just right for baby gums to mash and chew!

- Blueberries. These are super healthy, packed with vitamins and flavour. A favourite with Mathilda. Great mixed with cereal or as a breakfast-time finger food.

- Mashed banana. This make a yummy creamy cereal for baby to enjoy.

- Steamed apple or pear (if you're feeling perky enough to make it!) can substitute the water/milk, as it's quite juicy.

- Cinnamon and/or Nutmeg. These are great added to plain oats or cereal, or teamed with the apple and cereal combo.

These are just a few ideas, but really the options are endless. Have fun experimenting!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Spiced Butternut squash mash

Here's another baby food recipe I thought I'd share. This one is my own creation!!

My daughter has never been too keen on plain butternut squash for some inexplicable reason, so I thought I'd have a try at 'spicing' it up a bit for her! So I got into the kitchen and came up with the following recipe. I'm happy to add that my daughter is now a fan of butternut squash!

1 organic butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove
Dash of Olive oil
Pinch of dried herbs de Provence
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Splash of water

In a pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the chopped onion. Let that soften then add the butternut squash, potato and garlic. Give it a good stir. Then stir in the herbs and spices and add a splash of water to stop the ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Place a lid on the pan and lower the heat to let the potatoes and squash gently cook through.
After 15 mins or so it should be all nicely cooked through and soft.
Now I guess the options are endless!
As my daughter is 10 months old and can feed herself finger foods I didn't bother to purée this. I just mashed it a but with a spoon, making sure to leave some lumps of squash and potato to add a bit of texture.
But you could purée it, or even use it as a spread on some toast.
With the left over mash you can freeze it for later (this recipe makes a large batch).

This recipe is suitable for babies aged 8 months and over.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Has becoming a mother turned me New Age/Pagan?

I really think it has! It's very strange, but I like it. I feel more 'at one' with nature, my body and mind.
I guess becoming a mother has made me tune in and listen to my instincts - something that is considered 'weird' and 'new age' but really it's just natural and normal.

I must say I love this new me. Spending my time being a mother - breast feeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing - all that kind of scared me at first. I felt that it was the right parenting path to follow, but it took a little while to let go of my 'modern western society' way of thinking.
I'm so glad I've let all of that go now. It was such a burden to carry.

So now I'm very proud of my way of thinking and parenting Mathilda. I also feel that this is just the beginning of something. I want to carry on this natural way of living, as much as possible, beyond weaning etc...

So I found this the other day:

It's part of the website for one of my favourite shops in Glastonbury, The Goddess and The Green Man.
This particular link tells you all about The Wheel of the Year, which is basically a term used by Pagans for the Earths seasons.
I know very little about the festivals attached to these seasons so decided to read about them further and after doing some research I've completely fallen in love with the ideas and traditions used to celebrate the Earths cycle!
For example, we are currently in Imbolc/Candlemas and according to The Goddess and Green Man, 'It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings.'
What better time to start following these traditions and to incorporate some new pagan-esque learnings into our own family life?

We are so lucky to live in the countryside, so I think we should be thankful for that and celebrate it as much as possible. Plus, it'll be a great resource for teaching Mathilda about nature, the seasons and ancient traditions (which need to be kept alive for other generations to enjoy). Most of all, it sounds like FUN!

I think I'll start by baking a seed cake, as suggested by The Goddess and The Green Man! Here's the recipe:

Simple Seed Cake

You need:

Flour 300gms/10oz
A pinch of salt
I teaspoon baking powder
Butter 125gms/4oz
caraway seeds 25gms/1oz
sugar 175gms/6oz
Two eggs, beaten
Four tablespoons of water

Set the oven to 400F/200C and grease and line a 6 inch cake tin.
Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into your cauldron or a large bowl and then rub in the butter.
As you do this think of family and friends, think of the small personal things that you would have them benefit from as Spring flows into their lives.
Visualise light flowing into the mixture, fire of truth and illumination, if you wish, use a rhyme.
Stir in the seeds and sugar and then the eggs, mix with just enough water to give a mix that softly drops off your spoon.
Stir in patience for the coming Spring, this is still a time of waiting.
pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for one hour, then reduce the temperature to 375F/175C and cook for a further half to one hour until the cake is golden brown and well risen. leave this one to cool in its tin,

May you enjoy.

A simple stirring rhyme might go like this:

Continuous motion, May all things flow, Circles of magic, Let the power grow, Elements mixing, Accept my plea, As I wish, So mote it be.

From The Kitchen Cauldron by M S Saille.

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Monday, 15 February 2010

Hot Cross bun and butter pudding

This is a great winter warmer! I followed a basic bread and butter pudding recipe, but substituted the bread with hot cross buns (mainly because i had 4 left and they were starting to go stale!). Here is my recipe:


4 hot cross buns
50g sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon powder
350ml milk
2 free-range eggs
25g granulated sugar
nutmeg, grated, to taste


1. Grease a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish with the butter butter.
2. Cut the hot cross buns in half and spread each slice with on one side with butter.
3. Arrange a layer of buns, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of sultanas. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, then repeat the layers of buns and sultanas, sprinkling with cinnamon, until you have used up all of the buns. Finish with a layer of buns, then set aside.
4. Gently warm the milk in a pan over a low heat to scalding point. Don't let it boil.
5. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and lightly whisk until pale.
6. Add the warm milk and stir well.
7. Pour the custard over the prepared hot cross bun layers and sprinkle with nutmeg and leave to stand for 30 minutes or so.
8. Preheat the oven to 180C.
9. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.

Serve with a dollop of vanilla icecream!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 29 January 2010

5 reasons why I love co-sleeping

1) I get to see my baby smile and giggle in her sleep, while she holds my hand. I appriciate every moment like this and wonder why so many parents insist on missing out on this by having their baby sleep in a different room.

2) I know exactly where she is and what she's doing, I know she's safe. I know if she's too hot or too cold before she even does and wakes up.

3) If she gets hungry or thirsty or needs some comfort, she hardly has to stir in order to help herself to some breastmilk. And I hardly need to stir either!

4) We hardly ever have any night wakings or crying. If she does wake up and doesn't instantly go back to sleep with some nursing, then she will sit between my husband and I and quietly play. Normally within the hour she's ready for sleep again.

5) There's nothing quite like seeing that gummy grin in the morning. That's what I get to wake up to every morning and I wouldn't have it any other way!

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Thursday, 28 January 2010

January cupcakes!

January can be such a gloomy time of year, so I decided to raid my kitchen cupboards and make some cakes using leftover ingredients from Christmas. I used a basic fairy cake recipe and the result was lovely cheery cupcakes!

I used mixed peel and glacé cherries as extras (these ingredients were left over from my Xmas Florentines) but you could use anything really - sultanas, flaked almonds, poppy seeds, dried fruit, choc chips etc...

200g self raising flour (or in my case 200g plain flour and 2 tbsp baking powder!)
200g caster sugar
200g butter
4 eggs - beaten
Vanilla extract
Mixed peel
Glacé cherries
Icing Sugar

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and smooth
2. Stir in the eggs and 2 cap-fuls of the vanilla extract
3. Stir in the flour until mixed in well
4. Add the mixed peel
5. Pour into individual cases or a greased muffin tray and place into pre-heated oven and bake until golden brown at 180 degrees.
6. Decorate with icing and a glacé cherry on top!

I really enjoyed making these (and my husband enjoyed eating them even more!) as they were super easy and quick to do. Just right for a busy mum with an impatient 8 month old!

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Thursday, 7 January 2010

Teething biscuit recipe

This is a great recipe from

Teething Biscuit Recipes - Eggless Baby Cereal Cookies


1 cup flour
1 cup dry infant rice cereal with bananas (or other flavored or
unflavored infant cereal)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
ice water

Preheat oven 425F
Mix flour and cereal.
Gradually stir in oil. Mix a little ice water at a time (start with 1/4 cup) until dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the bowl.
Roll out to the thickness of a cracker on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 min. or until lightly brown. Cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. (you may want to try 1/2 plain and 1/2 flavored baby cereal as the taste when using full flavored baby cereal is very strong.)

For the cereal I used Organic Baby Muesli, and I also added some nutmeg and cinnamon to make the mixture a bit more flavoursome.

Mathilda loves them!

Even though I stored them in an air tight container, they started to go a bit mouldy after a week or so, so keep that in mind. Other than that, this is a great little recipe, very easy to make and it's nice to know exactly what your baby is eating, wholesome natural ingredients!