Half term is upon us and so is Halloween. When I was little it seemed that we were the only family who “celebrated” Halloween, my mother was definitely ahead of her time. It seems to be my daughter’s favourite holiday (apart from Christmas of course!) and the preparation that goes into her Halloween outfit starts weeks in advance!
While desperately trying to get all my notes in for my new book so it can go off and be printed, I realised there was a cake sale at the school and had to whip up a batch of scary cakes!
My lovely friend Jo Wheatley’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe is my “go to” cake, so I turned it into cupcakes, added orange buttercream icing and some jelly eyeballs. The children loved them ! They really are easy and fun to make with the kids this half term, so give them a go!
You can find the recipe here… also visit Jo Wheatley’s lovely website for more great recipes and tips! www.josblueaga.com
I love to see your creations so feel free to tweet me at @lisafaulkner1 or tag me on Instagram @lisafaulknercooks
Wishing you a happy and safe half term, and Halloween!
We have had such fantastic weather this year, especially in London where I live, that the summer seems to have lasted forever- I’m not complaining, I am truly at my happiest with the sun shining and no need for a coat, the patio doors flung open and bare feet! It seems to have come as more of a shock, however, that it is actually October! There is also a chill in the air, the evenings are drawing in for sure…and I’ve got the heating on. Oh how I mourn the summer, but I find the only way to deal with it is to embrace the change. To light candles and cosy up and make comforting, hearty food, full of goodness to help keep those back to school bugs and viruses away! Mince stew is definitely on my “transition to autumn menu”! It’s so easy, it can be prepared in advance, it can be frozen, it can be used as the base for cottage pie or plate pie…but most importantly, it is delicious! It is a little bowl of goodness that my mum and Nanna used to make, especially when we were ill. It takes me back to my childhood and makes me feel warm and happy. I made a batch the other day and posted it on Instagram and lots of you asked for the recipe. So here it is! Enjoy!
I really love Easter. I love spring and the promise of longer days and lighter evenings. I remember my lovely Nanna always saying spring was her favourite season and how she loved to see all the little carpets of spring flowers beginning to grow, it signifying the end of winter and the beginning of summer. She would point out all the “beautiful trees with their blossom coming out.” Nanna loved blossom! So I think her enthusiasm and joy at this season has been passed down to my sister and me. We definitely feel the same, with spring flowers being our favourites. We both feel lighter and happier and a sense of hope as winter slowly disappears!
Every year our mum would make an Easter tree from pussy-willow which we would drive off down some country lane or other to find. It would be brought home and arranged in a huge beautiful old jug and then lots of Easter bauble-type things (bunnies, eggs and chicks!) would be hung from the little branches. Victoria and I loved it.
My grandad would cycle over on Good Friday with hot cross buns for us, and loads of sweets and chocolate. On Easter Sunday we would have an Easter egg hunt and stuff our faces with chocolate. My mum made a Simnel Cake every year, which is basically a fruit cake with marzipan, (recipe here) and we would always have roast lamb. The house would be filled with the smell of baking and roast lamb. Perfect.
I have included my Nanna’s recipe for Roasted Leg of Spring Lamb here, it was her favourite and she made it throughout the year whenever we went for Sunday lunch. We did not have it as often at home, but always at Easter!
I hope you have a lovely peaceful Easter, send me photos if you decide to make my Simnel Cake or roast lamb. I always love to see them!
You can tweet me @lisafaulkner1 or Instagram @lisafaulknercooks
Lots of love
I love that we celebrate mothers! I do have mixed feelings about Mothers Day, however…there are so many different aspects to it and I always feel for people who have either lost their mothers, or who are desperately wanting to become a mother (I have been in both positions) and for whatever reason aren’t mothers because it alienates you and makes you feel that you’re not joining in with this occasion that everyone else is involved in. (A bit like Valentine’s Day when you’re single!) Being a mother is such an amazing thing and having a mother is wonderful, Mothers Day makes me miss mine terribly, but also celebrate the fact that I have become one after such a long journey to do so.
I think motherhood is a lovely thing to celebrate. If you don’t have a mother, or are trying to become a mother, then I think you should try to empower yourself on Mothers Day and think that if you want to become a mother you will, some way or another…and if you have lost your mother to recall all those precious memories.
So it is Mothers Day on Sunday,and I was thinking of a nice dessert to include with this post. I have been working with Hotpoint ovens this week and I made up a lovely recipe for a very retro, very 80’s Pineapple Upside Down Pudding, complete with a glacé cherry in the middle of the pineapples! It is a big tray-bake and it makes a lovely Sunday pud, served with oodles of custard, just like your mum would have made!
Hope you have a lovely day, whatever you are doing
Lots of love
I had a lovely time on This Morning today , as always …incase you missed it I made the Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding from my book “Tea and Cake”. This recipe is really, really easy, and as I say in my book, it is one of the most delicious recipes in there! Mothers Day is in less than a week (next Sunday 6th March) and this is a lovely dessert to make, if you are making Sunday lunch for your mum. Remember, you do have to set it in the fridge the night before you cook it!
Here is a link to the recipe, I really hope you like it as much as I do, send me a photo if you decide to make it… (twitter: @lisafaulkner1 / Instagram @lisafaulknercooks).
Have a great week
Lots of love
This week has seen the return of The Elf on the Shelf! It is a tradition that was started a few years ago in our house, I quite like the idea that the naughty elf gets up to mischief while everyone is asleep and reports back to Father Christmas whether B has been good or not. Other days it amazes me that the kids aren’t terrified?! I suppose it’s no different to telling them “Father Christmas is watching, you need to be good!” Anyway the first year we went all out with the different adventures of Jack (our elf!). Jack is not quite as adventurous or naughty in recent years but B loves him just the same and I’m not sure how many years (if any) of this unquestioning magical innocence we have left so I am determined to embrace every wonderful moment.
I had a brilliant time on Sunday at the Good Food Show Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace which, if you read my previous post, you will know holds extra special memories for me. It was wonderful to be cooking in the Tudor Kitchens, and I am sure my grandad would have loved it if he could have been there! As usual it was so good to see so many lovely people there and meet people and have photos! I just love it.
Have you been watching my Coastal Cottage series on ITV This Morning? This is the series I had so much fun filming, which made me fall in love with beautiful Pembrokeshire! There are lots of recipes and you can watch the episodes online here.
I have posted the recipe for my Sour Cherry Welsh Cakes here, they are really easy and delicious! Have a go and let me know what you think! (You can watch the video here too!)
As always please keep sending me photos of the recipes you make, I love them! (@lisafaulknercooks on Instagram and @lisafaulkner1 on Twitter)
Have a lovely week!
Lots of love