First look at the new Nigella Lawson cookery book: At My Table

In the current edition of Good Housekeeping Magazine, Nigella says she “likes to see a cake that has been made by somebody and is not even.  That is what cooking is.  Things can’t look like they have come from a factory.”  I have always liked this about Nigella, probably because I have never cooked an even cake in my life.  I also admire her food writing and her un chef like list of ingredients which are often few rather than many.  I generally look for cookbooks that are full of home cooking that the children will eat.   I am pleased to see there any many recipes in Nigella’s new book called At My Table, that meet these criteria.  I am definitely going to try the chicken and pea and traybake as traybakes must the biggest gift to a working Mum that needs to do the school run and feed her children.

November’s Good Housekeeping

Nigella’s At my Table



Chicken and Pea Traybake













As Christmas draws nearer I also like to find some quick things to cook that can also make delicious homemade Christmas presents.  The double chocolate and pumpkin seed cookies look great as a last minute gift if we can bear to leave any on the cooling rack.  As Nigella states “On Bake off, they have to make 18 biscuits and they have to be identical?  I have never had two biscuits that look identical!”  Thank goodness for that, gives us all hope!

For other Christmas gift ideas, check out some Nigella books in one of our previous blogs


Chocolate Cookies

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Cookie Crumbles – yummy cake time!

I was delighted to receive a cake for one baking kit from Cookie Crumbles.  The mug was delivered in a presentation box with a sweet little spoon and cooking instructions (very important).


Looks simple enough!


All you have to do is pour your dry cake mix into the mug, add 2 tbsp of milk and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, stir well and put it in the microwave.  A kind of magic that Disney himself would be proud of then happens.   I wouldn’t have thought possible with so little effort from me.  I only wish my children could have seen this coconut chocolate cake of goodness rising in its cup, they would have been spellbound.  After the microwave had gone ping, the difficult part!  I am not sure how I coped with the 2 minute wait before I could plunge my little spoon in but I did and it was worth wait – it was delicious.  Although it is a cake, it has the comforting warmth of a chocolate pudding too.  It was like a big chocolate hug as the weather is turning cooler in the run up to Christmas.

I am so pleased to see that the ingredients list has all things you would expect to find a cake and nothing more – wholemeal wheat, flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, plain chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and baking powder.  Not 2o additional ingredients that I cannot pronounce much less know what they are.  It is such a joy to find none of the artificialness usually associated with cake mixes.

I must admit, I am feeling slightly guilty now as my mug for my little cake of wonderfulness does say ‘Cake for One Special Dad’.  Oopps! Never mind,  I can still have the empty mug!   I think Cookie Crumbles Mug cakes are a great Christmas gift for a Dad or Mum (a pretty pink version is also available) as a different type of stocking filler or as an unexpected gift this Christmas

The finished or should that be half eaten cake!

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How to cook your Christmas Lunch in a slow Cooker.

How to cook Christmas lunch in a slow cooker.How to cook a turkey in a slow cooker

Just a quick update to share with you this story from the BBC website this morning. Anna Allatt has written a good article on the growing popularity of slow cookers. As an example of how useful they are and the merits of this way of cooking Anna demonstrates how to cook a turkey in a slow cooker.

Turkey can easily be a dry tasteless meat if you don’t get the cooking and prep just right. Slow cookers are a great way to cook cheaper cuts of meat  like pork shoulder and lamb shanks, but when you use one for a turkey the results seem to be very moist tender meat. The meat has also been cooked with the vegetables and some wine which should all help give the meat flavour.

The other great thing about cooking turkey this way is that it takes 12 hours. That means you can do all the prep and start it cooking nicely on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day you just need to use your main oven for roast potetoes etc.

You can find the full article over on the BBC Web Site. 

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Last minute special offers from Marks and Spencer’s

Marks and Spencer Voucher Codes and special offers.

I’ve just been notified of the last order dates for Christmas delivery from M&S and their last minute Christmas special offers. If you still have some shopping to do for Christmas these look like really great special offers.

Marks and Spencer Christmas Order Cutoff Dates for 2016

  • Standard delivery: 18th December – 6pm
  • Nominated da deliveryy: 22nd December – 6pm
  • Christmas Food To Order for New Years Eve: 20th December

Last minute Marks and Spencer special offers


Save £60 on Oudinto champagne.

This Marks and Spencer special offer is only available between Thursday 15th December 2016 11:37AM and Saturday 31th December 2016 11:59PM

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20% off Prosecco and Bellante 00562126 and 00562072

This Marks and Spencer special offer is only available between Thursday 15th December 2016 11:36AM and Saturday 31th December 2016 11:59PM

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50% off or more on selected Beauty gifts

This Marks and Spencer special offer is only available between Thursday 15th December 2016 11:33AM and Monday 26st December 2016 11:59PM

Click here to visit

50% off selected Christmas Gifts, Decorations, Cards and Wrap.

This Marks and Spencer special offer is only available between Wednesday 14rd December 2016 04:58PM and Saturday 24th December 2016 11:59PM

Click here to visit

Offers Apply online at and selected UK stores
Subject to availability
See individual items for details
Cannot be used in conjunction with other discount codes or offers
Eligible products must have the same delivery address for promotion to apply
Promotion does not apply to delivery charges.
Please check delivery terms and conditions online
Refunds will take into account this discount
Monetary codes will be applied before any promotional discounts

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Don’t like Sprouts? Then try this great alternative.

Maple Brussel Sprouts RecipeJust a quick blog post to share with you a video by Deliciously Ella this week.  I know a lot of people really don’t like traditional boiled Brussel Sprouts so Ella has come up with a great alternative. These Maple Brussels Sprouts with Potatoes, Hazelnuts and Pomegranates looks like a great way to cook them Christmas. Roasting them gives them incredible flavour, and they’ll look really colourful and Christmassy on your table.

If you like this recipe you will find lots more like this in the three cookery books written by Deliciously Ella.

If you give this alternative to traditional boiled sprouts a try do please leave a comment below to let us know what you and your guests thought of them.

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