Malted Milk Chocolate Blondies

Malted Milk Chocolate Blondies - 1

On Saturday, I went out to dinner with girlfriends for the first time in months. Before having Nino I couldn’t comprehend parents who never went out, always assumed it was easy but – (not such a ) news flash – it’s not. There’s a reason why all those friends with kids smile wryly and forecast the end to your social life as soon as you tell them you’re pregnant. Being a parent is wonderful in more ways than can be imagined, but it can also be repetitive, tough and – unless you have a live in nanny, endless family or an even more endless supply of cash – full time. Add into the mix a not-so good sleeper, breastfeeding on demand and separation anxiety (both Nino’s and mine), and you’re talking stay-at-home central. Continue reading

Thelittleloaf is moving . . . please join me!

churros-3Hello lovely readers. This is your 24 hour notice that thelittleloaf will be moving to a brand-spanking new home as of tomorrow, Thursday 16th January. From then on you will find me (and all my recipes) at www.thelittleloaf.com.

My old blog should automatically redirect to the new site, but just a couple of things to note:

  • If you’re signed up by email, you’re coming with me (hooray)
  • If you follow thelittleloaf using WordPress or RSS feed, you’ll need to sign up again on the new site tomorrow (sorry)
  • And if you know anyone who would like to read thelittleloaf, but doesn’t yet, I’d love you to let them know

As with any new site, there may be a few tweaks to make over the coming weeks, so please bear with me and let me know if you spot anything odd. Hopefully you’ll love the new site as much as I do and I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Oh, and there will be a recipe for churros and chocolate (pictured above). If that won’t tempt you over, I don’t know what will.

Frangipane Mince Pies (+ Mincemeat-Free Alternative)

Frangipane Mince Pies

The first time I saw a frangipane mince pie, I fell a little bit in love.

To put this in context, I’m not much of a mince pie eater. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I’d take chocolate, caramel or creamy desserts over boozy dried fruit any day of the week: an indifference to festive desserts that extends to both Christmas pudding and cake. If a mince pie is all that’s on offer, I’ll probably end up eating it (top removed, filled with copious amounts of brandy butter then replaced) and I do enjoy the ritual of baking them at this time of year, but getting excited about a recipe? It doesn’t tend to happen. Continue reading

‘After Eight’ Ice Cream Bowl

Magic shell

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Our flat is filled with sparkling lights, rolls of wrapping paper, the smell of pine and the sound of Mariah Carey (don’t judge me, you know you’ll dance around your tree to this at least once before the year is out). I’m the proud owner of a brand new gingerbread man jumper (eat them, wear them, I’ll take any form of extra baked goods in my life). And everywhere I look (granted I’m looking at food blogs, food websites and cookery programmes on TV), it’s all about festive food. Continue reading

Festive Fig Rolls with Orange, Honey & Cinnamon

Festive Fig Rolls

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If my husband happened to be said man, you could pretty much guarantee his affection for life with a humble packet of fig rolls.

When he was little, Carnivorous Husband’s mum would always buy two packets of fig rolls at the supermarket: one to keep in the cupboard and one for my hungry husband-to-be to consume in one sitting. A couple of hundred miles away, at a similar age and unaware at this point that he even existed, I took a similar approach to a freshly baked loaf of bread. Some treats, it seems, are made to be savoured, others to be eaten in enormous quantities. Continue reading

Crunchy Maple Walnut Butter Cups

Crunchy Maple Walnut Butter Cups

As a child, there’s something slightly exciting about spending a day off school sick. Not, of course, if you’re seriously unwell, entirely bed-bound and unable to eat. I’m talking about those days when you’re possibly still contagious but ultimately on the mend, able to appreciate eating on the sofa, watching too much TV and your Mum (or another adult) making a great big fuss of you. Continue reading

Baked Blackberry, Blueberry & Coconut Crunch Oatmeal

Baked Blueberry, Blackberry & Coconut Oatmeal

Reading this blog, you’d be forgiven for thinking my husband and I live on sweet treats alone. The occasional loaf of bread maybe, but mostly cookies, cakes, brownies, pies and pastry. Looking at the recipes I post, people have been known to ask why neither of us is the size of a house with all this available on a daily basis. The answer, I’m afraid, is that it isn’t.

I bake for special occasions, birthdays and celebrations. The food we eat on the weekend, on holiday and when friends come over is indulgent – these are the recipes I post and which, of course, we eat every last bit of – but during the working week it’s mostly about health in the little loaf household. Green smoothies, eggs and oats are on regular breakfast rotation, I make up fresh batches of salads for our packed lunch each day and our evening meal is always made from scratch with a good balance of protein, vegetables and grains.
Continue reading