Author: Emily Llou

Mama’s oozy boozy mince pies: The perfect pastry and filling recipe…

If there’s one thing we don’t do in our family, it’s neat little mince pies, perfectly topped, all uniform and compact. No, I’m afraid Mum’s mince pies are anything but good looking, but god they’re tasty! It’s down to Dad – he likes em’ bursting at the seams, filled to the brim with mince meat and reeking of brandy. And that’s really how it should be shouldn’t it? Too many times have we been full of hungry anticipation when ordering a mince pie, only to be left thoroughly disheartened by the “all pie no meat” scenario. So this year I took on the task. I was a little anxious: Do NOT disappoint Dad! And truthfully, I will never make them exactly like Mum because I’m simply not her. She has her own little tricks and know how’s, but I think I did this festive little delight justice. It’s only now I think I truly understand the saying, “Christmas spirit” literally – it’s all the booze in the mince pies! Please make sure to check out …

Taking a toddler to Amsterdam…

I won’t lie. I had been dreading this holiday for a good couple of weeks. Who the hell takes an extremely independent, sometimes aggressive, slightly dramatic 15 month old to a city like Amsterdam? Me and Mr. GTMHTC do. And it was the best holiday ever. Truth be told, the month leading up to this little getaway was filled with tonsillitis, frantic dark mornings getting ready for work and slight panic about taking her on a plane (AKA me panicking about flying. Ew flying!), but I solemnly swear that every single nook and cranny of this trip was perfect. The 3am get up, the zero degrees – she never moaned. She just ate and smiled her way through this glorious city, taking it all in and making us extremely proud. So let’s get to the good part: What did I eat? Honestly? It would probably be better to ask what I didn’t eat… This mini city break was completely different to any other for me because now we’ve got Maggie and I was so excited …

The Lancashire Tourism Awards: Why I’m proud to call Lancashire home…

You can take the girl out of Lancashire but can you take the Lancashire out of the girl? I have a confession: I remember landing back in Manchester after leaving a very sunny and bright Australia, I saw the rain and the January “grey” and thought, what have I done? But as time went on and the English summer began to blossom, I suddenly felt this overwhelming adoration for my home, with its rolling and green landscape, its history and more so, its people. Lancashire.  I truly love you.  My beloved late Grandmother Vera came here to Clitheroe in WW2, met the love of her life and stayed. She would tell me tale after tale about my family history and the way life was. My heart, is simply, here. But let’s get to the good part: The food. We all know that’s what I’m about right? I was excruciatingly lucky last week to attend The Lancashire Tourism Awards at…wait for it…Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The glorious, extravagant and infamous ballroom where all my old-fashioned romantic daydreams …

Bonfire night sweet apple swirl…

Ah Bonfire night! Although we don’t do anything remotely extravagant or even religiously go to a bonfire, I love that families go out together and everybody gathers over hot mugs, hot food and sweet treats. What is not to love about that? Maggie May has been under the weather this week so I decided I’d keep the cold air to a minimum. However, what kind of food blogging Mother would I be if I didn’t whip up a tasty treat of some sort, on a night like tonight? Oh my, I could never live it down! (*cough cough* any excuse for cake right?) So what says Bonfire night more than toffee apples…in a cake?!  You need: 3 medium eggs – weigh these and measure out the same in butter, sugar and flour 3 apples 2 tablespoons of sugar 2 teaspoons of butter Sugar and butter to line the tin How:  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (electric fan). Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, mix and finally add in the …

A beautifully simple ginger and syrup sponge…

How busy is life? We’ve been in the house since April but we’ve only just been mananging to make time to actually do anything to it. I’ve gone back to work after what I consider to be the happiest time of my entire life. Becoming a Mother far exceeded any preconception I had of babyhood, so that transition has been hard. And finally, getting the time to sit and write to you guys has seemed near enough impossible – which makes me sad. So, as I’m getting in to the swing of things (slowly but surely), I have made a vow that once a week is my time: My time to cook, my time to write, my time to try and to do a little of what I love. Bake. Eat. And write! This weekend has given me the opportunity to do just that because we’re off to our friends for dinner. It is only right that as a recent complainer of “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO COOK/BLOG/BAKE/EAT” I took some time this morning to …

Happy 1st birthday Maggie May! Celebrating by…eating!

Birthdays don’t get more special than your little one’s first do they? I was a mess if I’m honest. Emotional, hyper, nervous, sad, excited, proud – you name it, I felt it. Being a Mother is the best thing I have ever done and to think what we have crammed in over the past twelve months is just so overwhelming. Looking back at her pictures fills me with sadness that I will never get to hold her they way I did when she was so fresh and new, and looking at her laughing, walking and being cheeky in this present moment fills me with pride at what a gorgeous soul she really is. So, there was only one thing to do really. Eat. Eat my way through the emotional roller coaster that is the first year of being a Mum! Loving the North West Billy Bob’s Ice-cream parlour, Skipton We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful place – almost at the centre of England actually! – that is not only surrounded by the …

When you get a new cooker, you cook bubble and squeak…

They say the cooker is the heart of the home. Oh no wait, it’s the kitchen, right? Well I’m going with the cooker because when you see my new one, you will understand.  Fresh from AO.com, my dreams have literally come true! It is so. Damn. Beautiful.  It’s been four years since I started my blogging journey, one that has seen many things happen to me, my blog style and my perception of food, but the one thing I have desperately always wanted is a really good cooker. A workman is only as good as his tools, as they say! The Belling Sandringham duel fuel range cooker…You’re all mine! So, seen as I’ve only just managed to get it installed I cooked on it for the first time tonight. After pondering over the most fancy and intricate list of possible creations, I spoke to Mum who told me her plans for tea: Bubble and squeak with last night’s leftovers.  I told to bring the leftovers to my house because yes, good old bubble and squeak …