Monday, 30 November 2009

A trifling post

I love a good trifle. Actually I love a bad trifle, or a Bird's trifle or any trifle really so this year for our Christmas dinner dessert I'm going retro with trifle. I've also got a brand spanking new trifle bowl that was a wedding gift so it would be rude not to.

Last year I made a Bailey's and White Chocolate Cheesecake which on paper sounded amazing, the mixture tasted lush but all in all in was an unmitigated disaster when after 24 hours in the fridge it still hadn't set. Mr M however persevered and ate the liquid mush.

So, it's a trifle this year and I am currently on the hunt for a super trifle recipe. Apparently, according to Caterer Search, the first recognisably modern trifle appeared in the fifth (1755) edition of Hannah Glasse’s, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. However before then it had existed simply as a "fool". I'll be perusing my rather fulsome cookery book shelves later but here are a few possibilities I've found on the web.

Delia Smith's Traditional Trifle
Sherry Trifle from BBC Good Food
James Martin's White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle
Rachel Allen's Classic Trifle

The conundrum is - do I go for the bog standard traditional trifle that we all know and most of us love, or do I go for something a little more jazzy? The BBC Good Food website has all manner of flavours of trifle like

Baked Raspberry & Bramble Trifle with Drambuie
Apple Flapjack Trifle
Rhubarb, Apple & Ginger Crunch Trifle
Christmas Pear & Chocolate Tiramisu Trifle

I am erring on the side of tradition and thinking of going with Rachel Allen at the moment but am open to suggestions!

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Deck the halls

I'm still a good few weeks off from decking the halls however I did have to start early on my Christmas decoration planning this year due to the momentous decision to re theme. The past few years I've had a mix of gold and silver decorations however I've grown a little tired of these now and have decided to start again. Who knew it would be so expensive? Christmas decorations are really dear.

My colour scheme for 2009 is green, white and red. Quite traditional really. I've enjoyed shopping for decorations and I'm not sure I'm quite done yet but I thought I'd share some of my favourite buys with you all. For baubles, hands down, it has to be B&Q. They had the most wonderful array of coloured baubles - honestly, if you can't find it there, you're not going to. They also had various sizes of baubles and co-ordinating tinsel. I bought two shades of green baubles and a set of white baubles. We already have red so I decided I could reuse those.

My next tip is Gisela Graham. You can find Gisela Graham decorations on various websites, garden centres, independant shops etc however I still find the best source is good old Ebay. Gisela Graham brings out a new collection each season so you will never get the same things two years running. She does a good mix of traditional, modern and quirky. Some of my purchases this year are shown below.

I've also picked up some other nice baubles and decorations at Marks
and Spencers

and John Lewis.

I also picked up some gorgeous wooden Christmas decorations from a designer called Julia Thompson at the Country Living Christmas Fair. She had a wonderful stand full of traditional wooden painted decorations, all very reasonably priced. Alas, she doesn't have a retail website at the moment but do keep an eye out for her.

and finally I picked up this perfect matching Christmas crackers in Laura Ashley. I waited until the Mega Weekend where they do 25% off everything in store - it's my new rule now, I never buy from Laura Ashley, these Mega Weekends come around every month or two so it's worth hanging off for a while.

I've got my eye on a few other Gisela Graham pieces that I need to track down and I'll post back about those when I finally get my hands on them!

love & kisses
Mrs M x

Welcome to my new blog...

Welcome to my new blogging home. I've been neglecting my cooking blog recently and whilst I am still enjoying trying new recipes and sharing them with others, I feel there's a whole lot of other stuff that I'd also like to share that doesn't fit into the culinary category! Rest assured, I'll be moving over my favourite recipes from the old blog over the next few weeks but until then they are still available at

I hope you'll all join me on my new blog and I welcome all feedback!

love & kisses
Mrs M x