January Joy: Try some new recipes

One of the things I wanted to do for my New Years resolutions was to eat a wider variety of food. I don’t know about you guys but I feel we are in a rut of eating the same 5-10 dishes night after night, Spaghetti Bolognese, Fajitas, Stirfry, Pasta, Salmon… In winter theres the added problem of eating too much stodge so I wanted warming winter foods that wouldn’t make me look like a polar bear even if I felt like one. I’m not so sure about how I’m doing on that last point but I have found some great recipes I thought I’d share.

The Carb-free comfort dish: Cod, Cauliflower and Chorizo mornay
The healthy breakfast: Bircher Museli with Apple and Banana
The Vegetarian option: Roast Aubergine Parmigiana
The one your kids will eat: Cheesy ham and broccoli pasta

To inspire me with some new recipes I bought Good Food magazine and I really enjoyed it. All of the recipes above have been tried by us from this months magazine and I’m seriously considering a subscription – it’s £5 for 5 issues right now! Despite being carb free the cod mornay was amazingly satisfying and comforting, the bircher muesli is awesome for getting some fruit in right at the start of your day and the cheesy pasta was a massive hit with Bea – including the broccoli!

Have you tried anything new this month? – I’d thoroughly recommend all of these!

Rebecca x

How to Create Your Own Smoothie

I am always trying to get more fruit into my diet – veg I am good at eating, fruit not so much, so I loved this post that Katie sent in on DIY smoothies…

Florence Finds, Michelle Kelly, Pocketful of Dreams

Summer may be almost over after a sweltering July, but come sunshine or showers I think that smoothies are the perfect summer beverage. Indulgent enough to be a treat, but packed full of nutritious goodness. Filling enough to be a snack, but light enough to not feel heavy. #winning

The best part about them? How ridiculously easy they are too make.

Avocado, Blueberry & Ginger

With that in mind it seems daft to give you a smoothie recipe – instead here’s my formula for creating a delicious smoothie every time.

What you need:

Something creamy – bananas, mangos, or yogurt all work here.
Something liquid – apple juice, milk, coconut milk
Something sweet – honey, syrup, strawberries
A little something something – oats to provide a little more energy, cocoa powder to make your drink a bit more indulgent, your favourite spice… Whatever makes you happy.

Banana, Cocoa and Honey

You don’t have to use all four – ripe bananas are often both creamy and sweet, or maybe your fruit is so good it doesn’t need that something extra – but generally with this combination you’re sure to get good results. Equally, the exact proportions depend on how you like your smoothies – I try to use about half liquid to give a thick but easily drinkable consistency but you can use more/less.

Once you have your ingredients, just chuck them in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Banana, Peanut Butter & Honey

Here are a few of my favourite flavours:

Avocado, blueberry, ginger and apple juice
Banana, peanut butter, honey and milk
Banana, cocoa powder, honey and milk

Although really any combination of fruits will probably taste just great! Have you got any favourite smoothie flavours?

Katie x

PS. Find Katie on Pinterest and Instagram

Pancake Party…

There are a few things every year that I religiously celebrate. Apart from Christmas, pancake day is right up there. It brings back such strong childhood memories – every year we used to just have plates of thin, soft, crispy edged pancakes drowned in sugar and lemon. Years later when Pete decided to treat me with savoury pancakes I was so disappointed! I’m not a big fan of savoury pancakes but yesterday I stumbled on this recipe and could be a convert…

Jamie’s Big Brunch pancakes, with French Guy Cooking

I’m a huge fan of brunch recipes so it didn’t take much convincing for me to consider trying this, even as a dinner recipe. That lead me to these, Crepes and salted butter caramel. A perfect end to my favourite food festival ever.

So, who’s having pancakes tonight?


Today I also have a little message to pass on from Anna and the team at Any Other Woman:

On 8th March, it’s International Women’s Day 2014. On Any Other Woman we traditionally celebrate IWD with a day of posts on a theme relevant to being a woman. You can see previous posts here.

This year, on Friday, we want to do something a little different. We want to run snippets of advice throughout the day from our readers. And our question is this:

What advice would you give the next generation of AOW readers?

What do you wish someone could have told you? Email (anna@anyotherwoman.com), or tweet @AnyOtherAnnaK / @AnyOtherAisling whatever advice you’d like to give – it can be a few words, a paragraph or a whole post.

Get involved readers and if you don’t have any wisdom to impart, make sure you head over on Friday and read what the AOW community have to say.


Friday Food: French Toast Bake

I do like to keep things topical here at Florence Finds, sharing seasonal suggestions and perhaps something like last week’s salad would be more appropriate for this week’s Friday food, although I would like to take a moment to note how excellent the timing was on that one given the weather you’re all enjoying. 😉

Today’s Friday food how ever comes to me from you, across the Atlantic. It was my breakfast when we stayed at the beautiful and homely Kern River Inn and Virginia, the owner, made it for our breakfast. I asked for the recipe straight away and heard about how it was a ‘church supper’ dish. She told me how as a child she used to go to church suppers, where all the old ladies in a town would take along a dish and get together. The groups often produced booklets of cherished recipes and it was from one of these that she first found this recipe.

It was seriously one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve ever tasted, and can apparently be made with countless variations if you season the egg, milk and butter mix to create a savoury wash and omit the sweet ingredients, instead adding your choice of savoury additions. Ham, spinach and cheese was Virginia’s particular recommendation. I also think it would make a great winter dessert warm from the oven with ice cream, custard or cream.

Ingredients (Serves 8)
10 slices of cubed thick sliced (dense) bread
3 oz sweetened cream cheese spread (mix with a desert spoon of icing sugar and a little vanilla essence, to taste)
8 eggs
1.5 cups of skimmed milk
6 tablespoons of melted butter
3 tablespoons of apricot preserve (or substitute fresh fruit – wetter fruits are better, like peaches)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your baking dish.
  • Whisk the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add your cubed bread and stir careful then put the mixture into your baking dish.
  • Spoon dollops of the sweetened cream cheese and apricot preserve onto the top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the toast is puffed up and browned on top.

Serve with maple syrup if you have a really sweet tooth.

Thank you for the recipe Virginia!

Enjoy and happy weekend, don’t forget to pop back for Friday Frock later!


Friday Food: An American Pancake Stack

It’s Good Friday which means a four day weekend (for some – sorry if you’re reading this and working!) and a bit of time off for me too. First though, after making these last Sunday I thought how perfect they were for the long weekend and decided to share them with you all.

I’ve never made American pancakes from scratch before (I did used to use the packet mix, try Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix if you’re feeling lazy,) after being scared off by over complicated recipes containing ingredients like buttermilk. And who keeps buttermilk to hand for when you fancy it on the weekend? My favourite way to serve these is with grilled streaky bacon and sweet maple syrup, but you could serve them with scrambled eggs and the rest of the constituents of an English breakfast for an American twist on it.

Either way, make sure you have plenty of time, it’s a super easy recipe (via Cupcakes and Cashmere), but deserves to be savoured with coffee and the papers, for a totally relaxed start to the day.



Festive Food: Rachel’s Spiced Apple Muffins

This afternoon, we have a slight break from the usual schedule and we’re bringing what is normally Friday Food to you a little early, (under the cunning guise of festive food – clever no?!) There are a few reasons for this, firstly, I have something to fit in tomorrow, but secondly, I was so excited to receive this from my lovely sister-in-law that I just had to post it! Despite her protestations, Rachel has been amazingly supportive of me starting Florence Finds and I’m so thrilled to include her on these pages. Please give Rachel a big Florence Finds welcome… 🙂

I’d like to introduce myself to all you lovely readers out there! I’m Rachel, Rebecca’s sister-in-law (Pete’s sister) and I have a confession to make. I’ve not been very supportive of Rebecca in her new venture. Being a big of a blog-reading-virgin, it has taken me a while to become used to checking out FF every day, so I am writing this by way of an apology to Rebecca (and because these buns are so damned delicious, I couldn’t not share!)

Every week, my daughter and I attend a toddler group, where one of the activities is baking. We made these not long before Christmas and I can honestly say they are the most baked thing in my kitchen at the moment.

Image credit: Eat Make Read.

Now, I’m no master baker – so for me to be able to share something with you that’s successful is really saying something! I remember (and probably so does Pete) in my younger days, trying to bake at home and it often (always) going wrong – whether I’d left out the sugar, forgotten to line the tin or just not read the instructions properly! For me, being on the Great British Bake Off will only ever be a dream – but I really do enjoy baking!
So, here we go……

Apple Spiced Muffins!
(makes 12 large muffins or 24 small buns)
125g butter, diced
75g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
75ml milk
3 eating apples of choice tossed in a little lemon juice to stop them browning (I used cooking apples once and they were great!)
30g sultanas

1. Pre-heat an oven to 190°c. Place butter and sugars in a bowl and beat together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until well combined.
2. Sift the flour and cinnamon/spice together. Gradually beat in the flour and milk, alternating between the two until well combined with the butter mixture.
3. Fold in the grated apple and sultanas and combine well with the batter (I use a whisk for this part!).
4. Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins so they are just below ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes.

TOP TIP: Don’t be tempted to do what I did once and put in extra apple (because I was feeling healthy). The extra weight made the batter too heavy and they didn’t rise. Saying that, a visiting friend enjoyed them so much, she left with half the batch I’d made that day, so they couldn’t have been too bad!

Seriously, these are so easy to make! If I can do it… and all that! Happy baking! Now I must go and check that carrot cake that’s in the oven. Whoop Whoop!

Rachel xx

PS: My New Year’s Resolution: To read Florence Finds EVERY day. Oh – and to be more organised with the food shopping (but don’t tell my husband!)

PPS: I’m making a spinach and chick pea curry on Saturday night for friends – if it’s any good, Rebecca may let me post it! Watch this space!

Weekend Webwalk

(…and a sneaky belated Friday Food!)

Happy weekend folks! I’ve literally had so much good stuff to fit in this week that I haven’t managed to get it all shoe-horned in, so this week’s Friday Food is coming better late than never for your weekend baking entertainment. I’m going to be making this one for a late Sunday brunch I think… with eggs, maybe some bacon and maple syrup, and the papers. So enjoy!

This week it’s Cinnamon pull-apart bread by Joy the Baker, found via A Small Scoop

Head on over to Joy the Baker to get the full recipe and how-to, and think of me on Sunday morning when I shall be stuffing my face with this pillowy sugary sweet cinnamon goodness. 🙂

You can thank me later…

In the meantime, for your Saturday morning (hopefully lazing in bed) read, here are some web links I spied and took Florence’s Fancy…


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