Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Bookish Quotes: Anniversary of Harry Potter

This week is the 25th anniversary of the publishing of the first book in the Harry Potter series of book. I'll just let that sink in a little. 

25 years!!

That means that for pretty much anyone under the age of 30, this book has been around their whole lives! 

This is the book that started the whole thing. The books, the movies, the stage shows, the spin offs, the careers and more.

However, rather than share a qhote from J K Rowling, I thought I would share a quote from a book that I read and really loved last year. 

I remember reading this passage and thinking how this character was going to love Harry Potter when she did finally get to read it. And, of course, I totally relate to the whole buying a book and not having read it thing too!

Do you remember when Harry Potter hadn't yet been released?

I walked over to Pop's bookcase and looked at his shelf of well-thumbed Stephen King novels; all those cracked spines and wrinkle lines on the covers, musty pages and the puffy bold typeface of his name that I liked to trace with my fingertips.

"He misses his mum," I said, as I pulled one of Pop's favourite books off the shelf. It was called Different Seasons and it was thick and yellowed with age, many of the pages bent from Pop's dog-ears.

Pop once told me that the world splits into two types of readers: those who bend the corner of a page to dog-ear when they read a book, and those who use a bookmark (and maybe there's a third kind who choose not to read, period - but he couldn't figure them out). Luca was the bookmark type. But Pop believed that dog-ears in a book were like laughter lines on a face - signs of love. All the books on his shelf had cracks and creases, and pen marks in the margins of his favourite stories, like rivers and roads leading to the best bits, the parts he wanted to remember.

"I think you miss her too," Pop said.

I put the book back but didn't know what to say to Pop that wouldn't hurt him. Mum was his daughter, and Anika wasn't mine to miss.

"I'm happier now that you're home," I said instead. And then to change the subject I asked, "Will you take Sam and me to Farrells one day these holidays?"

Pop opened his eyes and smiled - Farrells Bookshop in Mornington was the best around, and ever since I was a little kid, Pop had been taking me to the corner bookstore for a special treat every school holiday and plenty of weekends too. Any chance we could get, really. But between Pop's fall and his stay at the RRC and everything that had been happening, it was a while since we'd been. I bought this book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone last time we were there. I hadn't got around to reading it yet, but it sounded like a good story.

"It wouldn't  feel like proper holidays if we didn't go to Farrells," Pop said, and I smiled.

Monday, June 27, 2022

This Week...

I'm reading....

After a few weeks of not reading much at all I did manage to finish a couple of books this week. I read the first two book in the Outback Babies series, His Best Friend's Baby by Barbara Hannay and A Mother for Ella by Trish Morey.  These books are set in the fictional town of Wirralong and are part of 4 book multi author series. I have read two other similar series set in the past and find them really comfortable reads. I expect that I will read the other two books at some point soon.

Part of the reason for needing comfort reads over the last week is that we finally caught COVID, so it has been a bit of a rough week. When you combine it with end of financial year and selling a house, there's a lot going on. 

This week I am also reading The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy for a blog tour later in the week. This is a dual timeline novel set in London in WWII. What makes this one different for me is that one of the characters is Canadian. So far I am enjoying it.

I'm watching....

Feeling pretty blargh lends itself to lots of viewing, and somewhat unusually we watched a number of movies.

One of the movies we watched was Fire Island. This is a modern remake of Pride and Prejudice, with a cast of Asian gay characters off to Fire Island for their annual party weekend.

I then went on a bit of a foodie movie binge, starting with Toscana, which I talked about in this week's Weekend Cooking post!

I then followed that up with a documentary movie called Blind Ambition which followed the fortunes of the Zimbabwean wine tasting team. Really interesting! I plan to post about it at some point...maybe.

And finally, Master Cheng which is a movie about a Chinese cook who finds himself in a tiny town in Finland!

I do still have a couple more foodie movies that I would like to watch on my list too!

We also finished watching Obi-Wan Kanobe and started watching season 3 of Umbrella Academy.


See aforementioned statement about COVID! I am feeling much better today though. Even managed to work 12 hours today! Of coure, tomorrow I might be completely wiped. We'll see.

Posts from the last week

Weekend Cooking: Toscana

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Toscana

Well, it was bound to happen. Covid finally made it into our house this week. My son picked it up, presumably from work, and of course then I caught it.

Whilst I sound like I have a head cold and have a cough at night, my main symptom is being exhausted, and yet I am having trouble sleeping. What that has meant is that I have only been working partial days. I haven't really been able to concentrate on reading so on Friday afternooon I was flicking through Netflix looking for something, no, anything to watch, when I stumbled across a Danish movie called Toscana.

Chef Theo is a grumpy, driven, perfectionist chef in a fancy restaurant. He is trying to attract an investor so that he can create his ideal restaurant which will be high end dining at it's most precise. Unfortunately, Theo loses his temper with the investor, blowing the deal. 

Coincidentally, Theo's estranged father had recently died, leaving Theo a crumbling Tuscan estate. Now that there is no investment forthcoming, he needs to find another way to raise some capital, and so a plan is made. He will fly out to Italy, sell the estate and then return to Denmark and his dreams. Easy.

What he finds in the small restaurant on the estate horrifies him. The waitress who initially serves him is unfriendly,  the food is average and the kitchen is not as clean as he would like. On his first night, he decides to make himself a late night sandwich but feels like he needs to spend 3 hours cleaning the kitchen to get it to his very, very high standards first. Let's not mention how his plan to get in and out of Italy quickly is derailed by the Italian way of doing business.

Make no mistake, there is not a lot new here. I am sure that you would have a fair chance of determining what happens next. Grumpy chef realises that there is value in a simpler way of life, realises the unfriendly server is a actually a lovely woman, starts to deal with his daddy issues, realises that the place is worth more than money. The End.  And, yes, there are no denying that there are strong elements of this familiar path to this film, but it isn't quite as neat as all that. That might all sound a little bit negative, but the reality is that I liked that there was a familiar arc to follow, and that I knew what I was going to get. And just like reading a crime novel where there is a crime committed and our detective solves it by the end, or a romance novel where two people meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after, it is the detail and the journey which makes each story different.

Two of the most enjoyable parts of this movie are the sights of the Tuscan countryside and the food, which are as much the stars of the movie as the actors themselves, and the film makers definitely played this up for the camera.  It took me a while to warm up to Theo, and I am not sure that totally happened. I think he was still loosening up after the main part of the film ended. In the very end scene, which would have been an epilogue if this was a novel, he had maybe relaxed enough to suggest that his character arc was well on the way to completion.

This was a enjoyable film to watch, and it has made me think that a weekend of foodie movies might be just the ticket given that I am stuck at home for the next few days. Or maybe I'll sleep. We'll see.

Weekly meals

Saturday - 
Sunday - 
Monday - Mexican chicken rice
Tuesday - Creamy pumkin soup with gnocchi
Wednesday - Green Curry Chicken Pie
Thursday - Steak with mushrooms and peas
Friday - Takeaway Friday

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Monday, June 20, 2022

This week..

I have missed a few weeks because i am super busy and I am not really reading or watching anything in particular! I've only finished one book in six weeks!

I'm reading...

I did read A Wedding in Tuscany by Sandy Barker, which I reviewed on Saturday, and I have started reading Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells in anticipation of book club next week. The theme for this month is family, so that is the family relationship that I have chosen.

Sisters of the Resistance is set in Paris during and just after WWII, so not only does it fit my bookclub theme, it is also a perfect read for the upcoming Paris in July event! I am so excited that it is back for this year, co-hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea and Deb from Readerbuzz

I'm watching...

The other day I wass channel flicking and I happened to see Notting Hill was on, which is probably one of my favourite movies of all time. It was followed by Wimbledon so that was a very pleasant Saturday afternoon.

That same day we went to see Top Gun: Maverick for date night. I am not the biggest Tom Cruise fan but I did enjoy this movie, both from a nostalgic point of view and for the modern story.

We have also started watching Obi Wan Kenobi as my husband is a bit Star Wars fan. We also started watching Miss Marvel because we like all things Marvel. We will continue with that in due course I think.

Finally, we were supposed to be going out on Saturday night but we ended up staying home. We wanted somethig


I did spend a little bit of time at the Williamstown Literary Festival yesterday. I got to listen to Steven Conte (author of one of my favourite reads from last year, The Tolstoy Estate) and Jock Serong talk Epic Fiction. The other session I went to was called Vivd Fiction and featured authors Suzanne McCourt and Caroline Petit.

Other than that, I don't think I need to say much other than this....

Well, maybe I do need say more. This means that we are constantly cleaning, saying do you know where this or that is, moving stuff into the garage, cleaning some more. You get the picture.

Posts from the last week

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: May stats

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Weekend Cooking/Blog Tour: Millefoglie from A Wedding in Tuscany by Sandy Barker

I have long been obsessed with Paris and France as a destination, but this year I have added Italy to my list of obsessions. I mean, Italy has always been somewhere I wanted to return to, but right now if I see a book with something Italian in the title I stop and take a closer look. And now we are planning to visit Italy early next year, along with Netherlands and France so I am even more attracted to such books.

And so it was that I saw that this book was available for a blog tour through Rachels Random Resources so I said yes, both because ....Italy and also because Sandy Barker is an Australian author that I have thought about reading for a while now. However, there turned out to be a couple of issues with this. One, I was so blinded by the word Tuscany I neglected to look closely at the description so I didn't realise that this was the fifth and final book in a series, and that all the books featured the same characters. I really dislike reading a series out of order at the best of times.

The other issue is that my day on the blog tour ended up being a Saturday which is my Weekend Cooking day. Once I realised I crossed my fingers that there would be plenty of food in the book that I could reference for my Weekend Cooking post, but I hadn't really been inspired until later in the book.

First, a little something about the book. As I mentioned before, this is the fifth, and final, book in the Holiday Romance series which features Cat and Sarah Parsons, Australian sisters who love to travel. Sarah is just about to turn 40 so her partner Josh has decided to surprise her with a trip to Tuscany. When Cat gets engaged to her partner Jean-Luc, they decide to get married there so that all of their closest friends and family can attend both events.

However, both Cat and Sarah are having emotional crises. For Sarah, the prospect of turning 40 has her contemplating the "something" that is missing from her life, something that she can't even identify herself. It's not her job or her relationship though. And Cat wants to marry Jean-Luc but she doesn't really want to move to Paris to live with him, and she doesn't want to have to organise a full blown wedding either. Luckily she has people amongst her family and friends who are happy to take care of the organisation side of thing.

Once everyone arrives in Tuscany, there are a number of issues that need to be worked through and resolved (lost wedding dress, uninvited guests, a host who is reluctant to let them use the space that they wanted) but there is also time for some sightseeing. It is really the sightseeing aspect of the book that I enjoyed the most and would make me want to go back and read the earlier books in the series. I suspect that if I had read the books in order, this would have been a much stronger reading experience for me.

As an aside, the prologue is the moment that Cat realises that she has misplaced her wedding dress. It actually brought back memories of my own wedding when I left my wedding dress on the plane, fortunately after we had already had the ceremony. It was only 15 minutes or so before I got it back, but I do recall the panic!

I had a few passages bookmarked as possibilities to talk about froom a food perspective, but as soon as I read this passage I knew that I had my quote for today!

"Are you sure this is what Cat wanted?" I ask, eyeing the 'cake' curiously. The baker was lovely - not a word of English - but all smiles and Jaelee managed to understand 'refrigerate' before he drove away leaving me holding an enormous white box. We've brought it into the apartment and it's now opened on the small kitchen table. It's beautiful, but it's not exactly a cake - more like a stack of flaky pastry sheets with custard, cream, and fruit in between.

"You said that she wanted a traditional Italian wedding cake. This is what is considered traditional here in Tuscany. It's called a millefoglie." I am extremely sceptical that this is what Cat meant.

"Hey, Sez," says Cat from the doorway to the kitchen. I flip the lip on the cake box closed.

"Heyyy," I say enthusiastically, "what's up?"

She looks at me oddly. "Why are you being weird? Oh, is that the cake?" She enters the kitchen as I place a flat palm on the lid of the box.

"It is, but it's bad luck to see the cake before the wedding." Jaelee tuts. I deserve it. I've essentially pulled a wedding superstition out of my bum.

Cat gives me the odd look again. "What? No, it isn't. Let me see." She steps past me and lifts the lid of the box. All the air is sucked out of the room as my sister gasps. Cat eyes the 'cake' and Jaelee and I eye each other. It's the first time I've seen even the slightest hint of panic in those brown eyes.

"It's...." A thousand years roll by "...absolutely stunning."

Jaelee and I expel sighs of relief and Cat tears her eyes from the 'cake' and looks between us, then laughs. "Did you think I wouldn't like it?"

"Sarah did."

"You dag," says Cat. "It's exactly what I wanted." She tuts at me and I'm too relieved to care that I'm the butt of the joke.

"We better get it in the fridge though," says Jaelee. She lifts it carefully and I hold open the door as she slides it onto the middle shelf.

"Oh!" I look at Jaelee, panicked.  "What are we gonna put it on?" I ask. "We can't serve it out of the box." Or can we?

"This." She crosses the short distance to the other side of the kitchen and holds up an ornate ceramic platter. It's large enough, though I'm not sure what farmers working the fields have to do with a wedding. Hmm, I suppose all but one horse will be covered by the 'cake'.

The most obvious thought when I read this was the similarity between millefoglie and the more well known (and original) French version, mille-feuille. In both cases, the meaning of the name is 'thousand leaves' refering to the layers in the puff pastry which forms the basis of the pastry dessert.  One of the differences is that the Italian version sometimes includes a layer of sponge cake.

It turns out that there are many different names for this type of dessert, depending on where you live. For example, apparently in Canada, this could be called Gateaux Napoleon where they might use almond cream for filling, or there is a version in Sweden and Finland called Napoleonbakelse, which includes jam and currant jelly as part of the filling and decorations. There is also a South American version which include dulce de leche. The same site did suggest that vanilla/custard slice is a version of mille-feuille but, in my mind at least, it should have at least three layers of pastry! I am, however, happy to eat vanilla slice or millefoglie or whatever name we use.

It is possibly not a surprise that I know have some version or another of millefoglie or mille-feuille or whatever you want to call it on my to bake list! In a way that is kind of ironic as everything I could find suggested that this is not a dessert that Tuscans necessarily make themselves, but rather one that you order from a pasticceria.

Finally, as I was looking for some images of millefoglie, I found this video of one being made as part of a wedding reception. Rather than delivering the completed dessert, the baker assembles the cake (almost like a performance). I thought it was lovely so I thought I would share it with you all.

Weekly meals

Saturday - Butter Chicken Pizza
Sunday - Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Bolognaise
Monday - Family Dinner
Tuesday - Bacon, Vegetable, Risoni soup with meatballs
Wednesday - Beef and Capsicum Tacos
Thursday - Sticky glazed pork with greens and rice.
Friday - Takeaway Friday

About the book

The Parsons sisters are all loved up.

Sarah is living in Sydney with Josh and their cat, Domino, but is anxious about her fast-approaching fortieth birthday.

And Cat is still living in London with her flatmate, Jane, but is in a long-distance relationship with Jean-Luc, her childhood sweetheart and recently re-discovered love.

One of the sisters receives a surprise wedding proposal – it’s a yes! – and everyone heads off to Tuscany for a destination wedding.

Reunite with favourite characters from the Holiday Romance series in one of the most beautiful locations yet for love, laughter, wedding vows, and just a smidge of sisterly mayhem

Purchase Links -


·       UK

·       AU

·       US

·       CA



Google play:



About the author

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.


Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge May stats




This year as part of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge I am intending to provide some stats after each month and then at the end of the year I will do an overall wrap up for the year. That's the plan anyway. And today I am sharing a few stats about May.

During May there were 65 reviews shared by 23 participants. This month 6 of you have shared 5 or more reviews which is amazing! Well done and keep it up! 

In terms of the books, there were 58 individual titles reviewed, written by 54 different authors. 

Last month there were only 2 books that There were reviewed more than once. This month it is a differnt story with 6 books reviewed more than once. They were:

Natalie Jenner's Bloomsbuy Girls was review three times this month at Laura's Reviews, The Chocolate Lady's Book Reviews and at The Book Stop.

Elizabeth of York: The Last White Rose by Alison Weir was reviewd at Carpe Librum and at Series Book Lover.

Another book to be review twice was The Fugitve Colours by Nancy Bilyeau. This book was reviewed at The Chocolate Lady's Book Reviews and at She Reads Novels.

Helen at She Reads Novels also reviewed A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin, as did Janette at Witchyreading.

The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham was review at both Laura's Reviews and by Denise Newton.

The final book to be reviewed twice this month was from one of my favourites, Susanna Kearsley. Her book, The Vanished Days was reviewed by Helen at She Reads Novels and at Series Book Lover.

Other authors who were also reviewed more than once included Abir Mukherjee, Amor Towles, Joyce St Anthony and Leonard Goldberg.

It's not too late to join the challenge this year. You can find all the sign up details here and if you have a link to add to the challenge the June Linky can be found here.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Chowderland by Brooke Dojny

Before I start my post for this week, I wanted to apologise for not having a linky in last week's post. I am not sure what I was doing, but somehow,  I completely forgot to do the second half of my post! Whoops!

Anyway...on with this week's post!

Soup weather is definitely here for us! It has been freezing here this week. Well, not freezing like a lot of people in other places experience but 12  degrees celsius (53 degrees fahrenheit) is cold!! 

We have a couple of different soups that we make each winter, but it is always nice to find a new recipe to try. Our two main soups are a pea and ham soup which my husband then puts some Dutch sausages into and the Bacon, Vegetable and Risoni soup that he now adds pork meatballs into. Occasionally we will also do pumpkin soup. It is, however, time to find a new recipe to try.

You may recall that several weeks ago now, I put a call out to ask if anyone had a good seafood chowder recipe. Tina and Jackie both came through with some recipe links for me to try, and then Raidergirl came through with some Canadian chowder recipes too.

Tina also mentioned this book, Chowderland by Brooke Dojny, and I was very surprised to see that my library had this available via digital download. 

Now I am going to come straight out and say that it is unlikely that I will cook much out of this cookbook. A lot of the base ingredients are not as accessible to us. For example, a lot of the recipes used canned clams or seafood as a base which we can't easily obtain

What I did love about this book is the little asides and titbits of information and the sheer variety of recipes. For example, the first section includes recipes for a Boston Style Creamy chowder, then Connecticut Shoreline Semi Clear Chowder, Milky Maine Steamer Chowder, Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder which includes tomatoes in the recipe (to quote the author "oh heresy").

It's not all regional recipes and it isn't only chowder in the book. There are also fish stews, bisques, gumbo as well as accompaniments such as bread and salad and some dessert!. For example there is recipe for a Bermuada Fish Chowder and a Portuguese Fish Stew. And while, I think of chowder as a particularly winter dish, there are spring chowders, and a Double Corn Summer Chowder, chowders made with turkey and beef. I guess what I am saying is that there is a huge variety of recipes in this book!

The first chowder I ever remember having is the quintessential chowder in a sour cream cob in San Francisco.  I know that there are probably chowder afficionadoes who would suggest that there are much better versions and much better ways to experience to a great chowder, but just the thought of it brings back such great memories! We are talking about heading to San Francisco next year (maybe!) and I am sure that we will find ourselves on the pier eating chowder!

And as for the chowders.... we ended up trying this recipe from Tina with some adaptations. Of course, we had to specifically order Old Bay Seasoning as it just isn't available in our supermarkets. However, we are thinking about using it as part of the batter next time we make fried chicken as suggested on the bottle

Seafood Chowder

2 onions
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
3 peeled potatoes
A bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 cups cream 
3 fillets firm white fish
Handful green prawns
Handful scallops

Saute onions in olive oil or butter. When they are soft add wine and turn up the heat until it reduces. Add potatoes and seasonings, and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Heat (but don't boil) the cream in a separate pot, be careful not to boil.  Add the cream and the fish to the potato mix and cook another 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy

I was a bit heavy handed with the Old Bay Seasoning so I will stick with just a teaspoon of seasoning next time.

And to finish, a quote from Moby Dick:

"Fishiest of all fishy places [on Nantucket] was the Try Pots, which well deserved it's name;  for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowders for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you began to look for fish-bones coming throough your clothes."

I'm not sure that I am ready to have chowder for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we will have this one for dinner again!

I am also linking up with Souper Sunday hosted by Deb in Hawaii.

Weekly meals

Saturday - 
Sunday - Roast port, vegies.
Monday - One-pot chicken casserole with ciabatta roll, raisins and capers 
Tuesday - Birthday Dinner
Wednesday - Panissa Rice Alla Bolognese wtith capsicm and cheddar
Thursday - Creamy thyme & parmesan fettucine with pangrattato, mushroom & kale.
Friday - Takeaway Friday

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Passing time


Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the topic is Books With a Unit of Time In the Title (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity, etc.) (Submitted by RS @ The Idealistic Daydream)

My plan is to work through the units, starting with a year and working down to seconds.

Year One by Nora Roberts - Starting with a year. 

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks - It's only as I was putting this post together that I realise that both of these books are about plague or sickness.

Just One Year and Just One Day by Gayle Forman - I couldn't resist using both of these titles for this theme.

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber - After day comes night. Or does day come after night?

The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati - The next unit of time is hours.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton - and hours

Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons - and more hours

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak - moving down through the next two units!

Time and Chance by Sharon Penman - And time is what this theme was all about!

What books did you share for this week's prompt.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Six Degrees of Separation: Sorrow and Bliss to War and Peace

Welcome to this month's edition of Six Degrees of Separation, which is a monthly meme hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite and Best.  The idea is to start with a specific book and make a series of links from one book to the next using whatever link you can find and see where you end up after six links.  I am also linking this post up with The Sunday Salon, hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz. 


This month's starting book is Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason.

Sometimes when I am putting these posts together it is a somewhat random connection which jumps to mind. Other times there is an overriding theme  which jumps to mind. This month it is a very simple theme! I am sure you will be able to pick it.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Shadows and Light by Anne Bishop

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My theme was opposites! 

Next month the starting point is Wintering by Katherine May

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Weekend Cooking: What I Baked In My Kitchen in May

The first Saturday of the month is when I share all the things that I made in the previous month. I say all the things, but I haven't been baking as much as I had been, but I do have a couple of things to share.  One is an old favourite, and the other is a new recipe to me!

First the old favourite which is Chocolate Sour Cream Cake. I love making this cake. It's so delicious, and I find it so mesmerising to watch the mixture in the mixer.  The texture is so lovely and the colour is gorgeous (you can see a video of it here but maybe without the sound on!). I also love making the ganache and watching it as you pour it over the cake. One of the reason for making this cake was to use a new bundt tin. Normally I make it in this tin which has a very gentle shape.

This time, I used a different tin. I think that the ganache poured more pleasingly over the simpler shape, but the one below does look appealing (even pre ganache). And the most important thing is the taste, which is amazing!!

I shared the recipe for this recipe a few weeks ago.

The other thing I made this month was Jubilee Pudding. I suspect this is being rolled out of a lot of kitchens in the UK this weekend as the country celebrates the Queen's platinum jubilee. I shared my adventures in making this last week.

I have a plan to make something today but we will see if that actually happens or not.

We decided that we wanted to buy a new kettle and toaster, ideally to use to add a pop of colour in the sale photos for this house and then to actually use them in the new house. We looked at lots of different options and ended up buy these ones. I have to say that they looked more red than brown in the online pictures so not sure that we are getting the pop of colour we are looking for. The kettle is also much slower than the one that we had, but I do like the pour on this one.

I am enjoying having a four slice toaster, which I have never had before. 

Getting ready to sell this house in anticipation of moving into the new place currently means lots of sorting and moving things around. We had been using the second living area as our dining room space but we've had to put the dining table back in the dining room (it's a bit big for the space but oh well) and stage the second living area as a living area! We haven't even had an open house yet and I am already looking forward to this stage of the process being done.

I recently got a new phone, and of course the next thing to do is buy covers to protect the phone. I ended up getting severl covers to use interchangably as the mood strikes me. The one that is relevant for today though is this cover, which I love. I might have a look and see if I can find a cake one!

I am sharing this post at Sherry's Pickings as part of her In My Kitchen monthly event.

Weekly meals

Saturday - Date night
Monday - Chicken Kiev, mash and beans
Tuesday - Tuna pasta bake
Wednesday - Chicken enchiladas
Friday - Takeaway Friday


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