Pear, Spinach and Lime juice

Ok so its only the 29th Dec and I am already thinking of healthy things to do and eat. Perhaps I will peak too early…

Just had a lovely Christmassy week with friends in Devon where we (obviously) had many lovely rich feasts everyday. I have to stop thinking about it RIGHT now or I may just lose my healthy mojo that seems to have showed it’s innocent head today.

As I am I huge juice fan since buying a juicer a couple of months ago, I want to share my favourite juice at the moment.

My humblest apologies if I’m springing this on you far too early. Perhaps you will look me up in the new year? Or you could consider it a little boost before the new years festivities get going.

Juice together:
2 pears
200g spinach
half lime, rind and all.
(serves 1)


So now for the *AMAZING* *EPIC* cake head…

I decide on Chocolate cake. Its a safe bet. Here’s the winning recipe, its so perfectly moist. I tripled the recipe for safe measure, I want to make a head that’s at the least life size. I bake in two pyrex bowls. Well, actually I am too tight to buy another bowl, so I cooked one, which seemed to take F O R E V E R, (mainly because it’s so dense in a bowl) then have to wait ’till it’s cooled enough then cook another, it really was an all day event. Lucky it was a pretty miserable day so didn’t feel to bad keeping Ferne inside and enlisting her ‘help’, even if that meant she provided the music of banging pans together. If you are short of time, don’t be tight and buy another bowl and cook both together! Also I had some mixture left over so cooked the extra in another cake tin for spare parts. Now, a great tip I found on Mumsnet is to put the cake in the freezer. Why you say?! Well for 3 great reasons:

  1. You can make the cake up to a month before hand if you like
  2. Means it won’t crumble while you carve it.
  3. The icing will set faster on a cold cake

Oh such a great tip. Especially for the moist type of cake I’m making. (God, does anyone else hate the word ‘moist’ ?? I guess more fitting to describe a cake than the alternatives I find in the thesaurus – dampish, steamy, humid, muggy, clammy, dank, wet, wettish, soggy, sweaty, sticky.) I pop my naked, frozen head parts wrapped up in a bag (so easy to transport frozen parts) and head (ha!) round to Susie’s place where we will spend the next 3 hours decorating. Ok, no-one said it was a short process but epic head cake decorating takes time! I need two colours of icing, dark brown and a whitish, creamish colour. You can follow the same icing instructions as in the cake recipe, only one with white chocolate. While the icing is setting, we started moulding the cake. Wash hands thoroughly… There’s a lot of cake touching.

  1. Flatten off one side of the rounded cake so it can sit nicely on the plate and won’t roll around. Add some of your ‘spare parts’ cake around the edges if you’re not confident it will stay on the plate.
  2. Join the 2 halves together. There will be a bit of a gap around where the edges join so mush excess cake in and around the sides. Remember, it doesn’t matter what your cake looks like underneath as icing will cover all.
  3. Mark out the detail of the face. Then mould the shape of nose and eyes.
  4. Ice the face area with the light icing first.
  5. For the mouth we laid down a bit of the dark icing then cut some red liquorice for the shape of the lips (perhaps they were slightly too exaggerated in hind sight). Teeth were chopped up white chocolate.
  6. Nostrals were dabs of dark chocolate icing.
  7. Eyes and eyebrows were liquorice cut to shape and chocolate buttons for the eyeballs.
  8. Then add the dark icing around the back of the cake for the hair. And for an added effect of my husbands spiky black hair we had some chopped up liquorice sticking out of it. (I was totally giggling to myself as he was styling his hair with his hair wax in the same style the next evening…)

Voila! Your head cake all done! Ok, so maybe it didn’t turn out ‘exactly’ like Sam’s head, and I had to reassure him when he asked the next day in his hungover state if I thought thats what he really looked like and if he should start wearing a paper bag over his head… Oh dear… Maybe I need to start planning a more flattering cake for his 50th.


Ice tea baby.

Love a good cuppa and with the weather getting hotter and the calling for hot drinks lessening, thought I just may experiment with some ice tea recipes.

Heres what I made, but you might want to adapt them to suit the tea flavours and fruits you love.

Lemon Cherry Iced Tea (serves 4)

  • 5 cups water
  • Two handfuls of fresh cherries
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 4 tablespoons of Yumchaa ‘Japanese cherry garden’ green tea
  • Lemon wedges and extra cherries for garnish/li>
  1. Bring water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Add cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and star anise. Simmer with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cherries are soft and squiggy. Turn off heat, mix in black tea, and let stand for 1 hour to cool.
  2. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve, mashing the cherries to exact as much of that cherry pulp as possible. Discard solids. Transfer liquid to a pitcher and refrigerate. I put some glasses in the freezer for the day, then poured the tea in over plenty of ice.

Peach berry iced tea (serves 4)

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons of Yumchaa ‘Notting hill’ black tea
  • 3 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons of light agave nectar (or just sugar will be fine)
  • Juice of one big lemon
  1. Put 6 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add black tea, cover and steep 6 to 7 minutes; then pour tea thru a strainer into your pitcher (you might want to wait until its cooled a little if pitcher is not heat proof). /li>
  2. Meanwhile, purée half of the peaches and strawberries with agave nectar in a food processor or blender until smooth; add to pitcher along with lemon juice and stir. Allow to cool completely. Add 3 cups ice cubes and remaining fruit to pitcher (or alternatively straight into chilled glasses) and serve immediately.

Lovely looking teas


Lemon cherry


Peachy berry goodness