Friday, April 4, 2014

Pretty Little Presents - of the Pretty Little sewing series

Loved this book and the others in the series look just as good. They will soon be out as paperbacks at around $12. I got this one from my library. It contains project ideas with patterns and instructions from a variety of designers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Amsterdam A History of the World's Most Liberal City

By Russell Shorto

What a great read. A history book tracing the growth of freedom, free will, tolerance and human rights in Amsterdam and how it influenced the world.



Friday, February 7, 2014

The Baking Book

Unfortunately this book is out of print. Amazon had one used one available. It is a great book.
Here is the Marbled Chocolate and Orange Loaf recipe.
You can also download the PDF.

Serves 6


50g/2oz plain dark chocolate
125g/4oz butter, softened
125g/4oz caster sugar
zest of one orange
2 medium eggs, beaten
125g/4oz self raising flour
2 tsp orange juice
1 tbsp cocoa powder

To Finish:
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F or Gas Mark 4. Lightly oil a 450g loaf tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Put the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and leave to cool a bit. I microwaved the chocolate squares 1 min on medium and one min on medium high. Stirring the last lumps until they melt.
  3. Meanwhile, cream together the butter, sugar and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift in the flour, add the orange juice and fold with a metal spoon or rubber spatula. Divide the mixture into two bowls. Gently fold the cocoa powder and chocolate into one of the bowls.

5.     Drop tablespoonfuls of each cake mixture into the prepared tin, alternating between the orange and chocolate mixtures. Briefly swirl the colours together with a knife to give a marbled affect.

6.     Bake in a preheated oven for 40 mins, or until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Carefully remove the lining paper.

7.     Dust the cake with icing sugar and then with cocoa powder. Cut into thick slices and serve. I made some icing using the left over orange juice.

My husband says this is the best cake I have ever made :)

I have to show you my Botanic Garden cups and spoons. They are my souvenir from Iron Bridge in England. The gift shop had all sorts of nice things. I would so love the whole dinner set.