birthday month

April is my favourite time of the year, it's the month that my husband and I celebrate our birthdays! James arranged a surprise burlesques lesson for me, followed by a show and dinner at the Cafe de Paris in London. It was totally my cup of tea and thoroughly enjoyed it! James even got some extra attention from lead dancer Lady Alex, made it a very unforgettable night.

You have probably gathered by now that I spend half my time in the kitchen. My new cookbook The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo gave me some wonderful ideas for a 4 course dinner that I prepared for James' birthday. I was over the moon when the cheese soufflĂ© (soufflĂ© au fromage) rose to the occasion since it was my very first attempt!

To honour his birthday, here is a picture of my lovely husband during a walk around the Ranelagh Gardens by the Royal Chelsea Hospital on Sunday. 


happy weekend

What did you get up to this weekend? Anything fun? We had a quiet and relaxing Saturday. James happily mowed the lawn when it was sunny and helped me with some groceries shopping. Then it was date night at the cinema after dinner.

I was hoping to get the barbecue out today but had a super yummy Sunday roast at the Three Horseshoes Pub at Winkwell instead. It is a traditional pub right by a picturesque canalside and food is always good there. They even have the Japanese Kirin beer on tap!

I was given two great cookbooks for my birthday recently so feeling pretty inspired. Here's what I baked today - a Lemon Drizzle Cake with Poppy Seeds. I think I will make some camomile tea to have with the cake later. 


easter fun

Today we had family over and enjoyed some lovely Spring sunshine and home baking in the garden. It's that time of the year, so I thought I would share this easy and super yummy recipe. 

hot cross buns

1 cup               water
1/4 cup             butter                                                                 
1/4 cup             sugar                                                   
1                     egg                                                
1 teaspoon        salt                                                    
3/4 cups          strong white bread flour                                                   
1 teaspoon        fast action yeast                                                   
2 teaspoons      cinnamon                                                               
1/4 teaspoon      nutmeg                                                    
1 cup               raisins
1/2 cup             plain flour                                                             
1/4 cup             water              
1 tablespoon    sugar
2 tablespoons    water      

Put all the dough ingredients (except for the raisins) in the mixer, let it knead for a few minutes until the dough stops sticking. Cover and leave it in a warm place to rise. The dough setting on a bread maker would also do the job and it will allow about an hour for the dough to rise in the bread maker.

The dough should take about an hour to double in size. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Mix in the raisins and lightly knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. 

Divide the mixture into 15 pieces. Shape them into round smooth balls and flatten slightly. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Prepare the crosses mixture in the mean time. Combine the flour and water, then pipe crosses on top of the buns.

Bake the buns for about 15-18 minutes until they are golden brown. For the glaze, melt the sugar with water over medium heat. Glaze the hot cross buns and enjoy them whilst they are still hot!