2011 in review

1 01 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,300 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Musings on Muesli

16 07 2011


Whilst away in Brighton for a conference this week we were staying in a self-catering house, so I took the opportunity to grab breakfast on my way in each morning. I was introduced to Bircher Muesli one morning and found it so delicious that I figured I should try to recreate it at home. It looks pretty straight forward, so after a little research into wet/dry ratios I decided upon the following:

Part 1
100g rolled oats
80g sultanas
30g chopped nuts (think I had flaked almonds and hazelnuts)
20g sunflower seeds
200ml apple juice

Part 2
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
low fat greek yoghurt (100g per person ish)
1 eating apple (Braeburn was all I could get though I was hoping for a Granny Smith) – grated, skin on
pistachios, redcurrants and blueberries, to serve

The night before you want to eat the muesli, I gather it’s best to start soaking the dry ingredients, so I mixed all the Part 1 ingredients together and placed them in the fridge. I think you can use water or milk instead of apple juice if you prefer – I’m not really a milk fan.

Then, in the morning divide the soaked mixture into bowls, add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste, then yoghurt, along with the grated apple. Stir to combine, and drizzle with honey. We served it topped with pistachios, redcurrants and blueberries, but you can use whatever fruit you have in the cupboard/freezer.

I reckon the soaked Part 1 mixture would keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.

The Part 1 mixture makes 4 generous servings, you’ll just need one apple per 2 servings I think. We enjoyed eating it 🙂


26 05 2011

Recently, a few people have suggested we start a food blog. I think it was mostly to shut us up, but it got me thinking. I really do love cooking and baking, and I also tend to be a little evangelistic when it comes to a recipe I like. So hopefully this will just be an outlet for me to tell you about things that worked, and things that didn’t (probably with photos for those). We’ll see how we go.

I’m easing in gently, starting with the family favourite flapjack. One of the easiest recipes in the world, yet surprisingly I have had some real disasters with rock hard oats that refuse to come out of the tin, through to the complete opposite crumble topping flapjack, only to be eaten with a spoon on cereal (I’ve actually done this!). So imagine my joy when last night I hit on a winner of a recipe. I tend to make minor adjustments to recipes as I go, depending on ingredients etc, and also learning from my mistakes. So following my last crumble flapjack attempt, I made some calculations and this was the resulting recipe:

A note on sugar: I like to use a brown sugar, but often find that using just brown sugar can be a bit much, so I always add a bit of caster sugar to balance it out.


225g margarine – melted

225g sugar (I used 150g light muscovado and 75g caster)

45ml golden syrup

325g porridge oats

50g plain flour (using 100% oats is what makes it difficult to remove from the tin)

pinch salt

100g chopped dark chocolate  (or 75g dried fruit, 25g sunflower & pumpkin seeds / 75g dried apricots, 25g sesame seeds, pine nuts & pumpkin seeds)


Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Grease and line a square or rectangular tin, roughly 20cm x 20cm.

Place oats, flour, sugar, syrup, pinch of salt and melted margarine in a bowl and mix well.

Add 75% of the chocolate or fruit and mix lightly. Pour into the tin.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate or fruit on the top and bake in the oven for 30mins or until golden on the edges. Remove from oven, mark slices with a knife and leave to cool in the tin.