Chai spiced cinnamon rolls – because ‘beautiful and terrible things happen’

I’ve just been reading Shira’s latest post on her blog ‘in pursuit of more’. I love the way she sprinkles her blog posts with a dusting of beautiful, inspiring quotes. One of today’s quotes is from Frederick Beuchner: ‘Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Don’t be afraid.’Β  It felt particularly apt for me today.

Because today is full of two terrible things. Ok, maybe ‘terrible’ is a bit severe, but two fairly depressing things none the less.

‘Terrible’ thing number one is that diggers have moved in to turn the field directly adjoining our houseΒ  into a netball court. It may always have been a primary school playing field, but it was still a beautiful, green field all the same. And now it’s about to become tarmac. Even the word’s ugly.

I don’t consider myself an innately angry person, but watching those diggers churn up all the grass into mud made me mad, absolutely fuming inside. And this little, inner, angry Fleur, residing somewhere in my stomach, wanted to shout and Continue reading

Carrot cake in breakfast form

When I first came across the idea for carrot cake porridge over on Oh She Glows, I wanted to give it a go right away. Only, as with so many recipes I discover and desperately want to try, I failed to get round to making it. So many recipes, so little time to try them all! Does anyone else ever have moments when they feel totally overwhelmed by the masses and masses of recipes out there all begging to be tried? Or is that just me?

When Emily from Emily Cooks Vegan posted about carrot cake porridge months after I’d first spied the recipe on Oh She Glows, she reminded me how badly I wanted to try it out. The concept intrigued me. Warm comforting porridge full of carrot cake flavour. With my love for warm, creamy and comforting food being what it is, the idea of carrot cake porridge almost seemed better than carrot cake itself (almost). Continue reading

Macaroni cheese + butternut squash = ultimate autumn comfort food

Macaroni cheese is way up near the top of my comfort food list. When I was little I had an impressive ability to consume vast quantities of any kind of pasta bake in one sitting. It was as if my stomach doubled its normal capacity in order to consume extra amounts of this wonderful food. It’s still one of my favourite things to eat now, only my stomach has lost a fair amount of its old elasticity.

I did manage to squeeze a little second serving of this macaroni cheese into my protesting stomach though. It was just too good not to. Macaroni cheese and butternut squash! That’s two top comfort foods rolled into one.

But here’s my thing with macaroni cheese.

Continue reading

Lemon madeleines

Trying to decide what cake to bake for someone’s birthday is almost an impossible task with me. What are they going to enjoy the most? What type of cake feels special enough to be a worthy birthday cake candidate?

When I asked my Mum what she might like for her birthday cake last week, she pondered it for a while, decided she quite fancied something citrusy, and then eventually pulled the idea of madeleines out of the air. And as soon as she got to thinking of madeleines, she began reminiscing about the ones she used to eat for ‘le goΓ»ter’ as a child growing up in Belgium. The little, ridged cakes she loved so much, despite their relative plainness. And that was that, a craving was awoken and it just had to be madeleines, regardless of their lack of birthday cake characteristics. We weren’t going to be getting anywhere near a three tier celebration cake covered in butter cream this time around.

Now, the problem with madeleines, which is probably the same problem preventing many people from ever making madeleines, is the need for a madeleine tin. Do I really want to invest in a tin that just makes madeleines? Am I ever going to make madeleines that much to warrant the purchase? Continue reading

The best granola yet?

Pretty much every time I make up a batch of granola my Mum says something along the lines of it being the best I’ve ever made. It was flattering the first couple of times, but after hearing it every time, the compliment began to grow a little thin. Surely not every batch of granola I make is better than the last. Was she sure she wasn’t just unfairly comparing a toasty, crispy, extra fresh batch with the tired, somewhat stale, several week old remnants of the previous lot?

And so, when she once again told me that my last batch of granola was ‘the best yet’, I (most likely) pulled a face of distrust (I have been told that pulling faces, more often than not unattractive ones, is somewhat of a habit with me. It’s mostly in the eyebrows, apparently, ‘expressive eyebrows’…) and I refused to buy into the compliment. Although I would go as far as agreeing that this particular granola was a very, very, good one. But I wasn’t willing or bold enough to go about casually using superlatives. Continue reading

Butternut squash and blue cheese salad

You probably expected, after my last post, that it wouldn’t take long for butternut squash to appear here. It is, without a doubt, one of my favourite things to eat.

This salad came about as an attempt to use up some left-over squash and blue cheese, a brilliant sweet and salty combination! For a salad to tempt me in autumn, it needs to have a little element of comfort. The squash and cheese bring just that. Continue reading