Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Natascha’s Palace and A Taste of Two Cities for nominating me for the versatile blogger award, I’m very flattered as you both have such fantastic blogs with loads of delicious recipes! I only started my blog a few months ago, and I’m really enjoying sharing all my cooking and baking experiments, but its also very nice to know that there are some people who are actually interested!

These are the rules of the Versatile blogger award:

1.  Thank the person who gave you this award.

2.  Include a link to their blog.

3.  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.

4.  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award

5.  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So  I’ve already done number one and two, so here are the 15 blogs that I have discovered recently that I particularly enjoy reading:

1. Nisha.Chokraborty at Hungerstruck!! – she has some delicious looking cake recipes and some amazing indian recipes!

2.  Twinbutterfly at Confessions of a Food Tourist – delicious recipes like chocolate mocha brownies, and great some great photos!

3.  The Rumbly Tumbly – Loads and loads of amazing dessert recipes

4. Little Parcels of Joy – Tons of lovely baking recipes

5. Holly Rachel Bakes  – Lots of lovely food, including some really unusual recipes, like trench cake,

6. Jane’s Patisserie –  I want to bake everything she bakes!

7. Gingerbread Jenn – So many amazing looking cakes.

8. Cafe Garima – Really exciting and interesting flavour combinations, that look delicious!

9. Lili’s Cakes – Really delicious looking cakes and treats, always makes me very hungry!

10. I Need a Feed – Discovered this blog on fiesta Friday – Vanilla and salted caramel macaroons – need I say more?

11. Foodlattio – All the dessert recipes on this blog look heavenly!

12. Spiced and Sliced – loads of really unusual recipes, really interesting to read!

13. Life in a Teacup – delicious looking bakes, and some exciting flavour combinations like strawberry coffee cake!

14. FOODMAP! Glorious FOODMAP! – This blog manages to make healthy food look absolutely delicious, well done!

15. At Home with Arwen – Great mix of baking and crafting! very inspiring!

So now for number five  – 7 things about myself – here goes!

1. I’m a PhD student  –  I suppose I should include what I actually spend most of my time doing! I’m currently in the second year of my PhD, which is looking at improving the yields of wheat. I really enjoy my work, but its nice to come home and do something completely different like baking!

2. I’m a massive geek – I mean massive, I love all the geeky books, TV shows and films. Last year I went to my first Comic Convention in Manchester (UK) , and had my first experience of cosplaying – I went as Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. I had SO much fun, I loved having everyone call me Cersei all day! This year I’m going again to a ComicCon in London, dressed and Lagertha from Vikings.

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3. I also love crafting – I also knit and crochet in my spare time, and we even have a craft club at work! if you like crafting too, you should check out my friends crafting blogs: Pretty Column and H’s Handcrafts

4. HUGE disney fan – I really really like disney, a lot! I have almost every classic disney film on DVD – I think my favourite is either Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid! Here is a picture of me and my friends dressed up as Disney Princesses for a party! We had Pocahontas, Ariel, Meg, Rapunzel (me!), Brave, Belle and Tinkerbell.

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5. I love dogs – I got my first dog – Gus when I was 13/14 and I loved him SO much, look how cute he is!

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Since then I have always loved dogs, and my parents recently got a new puppy, here is a picture of him in a jumper I knitted him:

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6. I love walking – I think I discovered my love of walking through my love of dogs! My favourite place to walk is the Alps, and I have been on waling holidays in the German, Italian and Austrian Alps, for the past few years. I love the walking and the scenery, hopefully I will get to go again this summer! These are some pictures of me in Austria last summer.

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7.  I read, A LOT – I think the first set of books I read was either Narnia or Harry Potter, (I can’t remember which one came first), but ever since then I have really loved reading. I like pretty much every book genre, but my favourite books at the moment are definitely the Game of Thrones books.

So there you go, hope you enjoyed reading, and check out some of the blogs I have nominated, they are great!

Also to those who I have nominated, participation is optional!

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Spiced Orange Jam

Sweet and Sour Orange Jam Spiced with Aromatic Star Anise, Cinnamon, Stem Ginger and Vanilla.

Even after making three jars of Seville orange curd, I still had around 300ml of Seville orange juice and zest stored in the freezer waiting to be used. When I came across some cheap clementines in the supermarket, I decided to use them, with the frozen juice to make an orange jam.

The very wintery weather wave been having recently inspired me to make a (slightly out of season!) christmassy jam, with mulling spices and warming ginger. It tastes wonderful just on toast but I will be posting a cake to use some jam up later this week!

Variations: You could use apple juice and fruit instead of orange for a mulled Apple jam.

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Ingredients: Makes Three 250g Jars

  • 300ml Seville Orange Juice
  • Zest from 3 Seville Oranges
  • 5 Medium/Large Clementines or Tangerines, Peeled and Chopped
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 4 Pieces of Stem Ginger, Finely Chopped
  • 50ml Stem Ginger Syrup
  • 400g Jam Sugar
  • A Splash of Spiced Rum
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence

Put the orange juice zest and chopped fruit into a pan with all the spices and bring to the boil on a high heat.

Cool a small plate in the fridge.

Add the spiced rum and then the stem ginger and syrup.

Stir in the jam sugar and turn the heat down.

Simmer the mixture until it has reduced in volume by about 1/3. This should take 30 minutes to an hour.

Once the mixture has thickened and reduced, check that the jam has set by spooning a small amount onto the cooled plate. If the mixture does not drip when tipped up, the jam is ready. If not you may need to add more Jam sugar or reduce the volume of the mixture further.

Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the jam into three sterilised 250g jars and seal tightly. Leave to cool and then sore in the cupboard, or in the fridge once open.

About my Blog

I started this blog because I absolutely love cooking, I have been cooking for about 6 years now and I have too many cookbooks to fit on my shelves!  I’m always looking for excuses to try out new recipes or to create some of my own, so I thought a blog would be the perfect place to share this.

I enjoy cooking all different types of foods, so I will be sharing recipes for Jams, Cakes, Biscuits, Pies, Stir fries, Pasta and lots of other exciting things.

I hope you enjoy reading 🙂