Here is a very special Panettone Al Forno recipe particularly good for Christmas.


Ingredients (panettone)

  • 120gr panettone
  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 80gr caster sugar
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 20gr butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Vanilla sauce to serve


Ingredients (vanilla sauce)

  • 500 ml milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod halved lengthways



Method (panettone)

  1. Preheat oven at 170c
  2. Tear the panettone into pieces and place in a bowl
  3. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from heat and stir sugar in until dissolved
  4. Pour the mix over the panettone
  5. Grease individual mould with butter and dust with flour
  6. Put the soaked panettone through a sieve to drain, place in a bowl and add the egg and egg yolk, mix well
  7. Spoon the mix into the mould, dot the surface with butter and bake for 20min. then increase oven to 190c for 10min cool it down and serve with vanilla sauce.


Method (vanilla sauce)

  1. Bring milk to boil then remove from heat.
  2. In a heatproof bowl put the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla pod; beat vigorously until fluffy, gradually add to the hot milk
  3. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook; stir constantly until thickened
  4. Strain and leave to cool before serving.

Top tip: Serve with ice cream instead of vanilla sauce to save on time!


This recipe was kindly provided by Zizzis restaurant and more recipes can be found on their website.



    Looking for a last minute present for a little girl?                                                  

    Like many mums, little girls love new shoes.  It is lovely to have a new pair for Christmas Day and all the festive parties.

    It always winds me up about things that are small so hence use less materials can prove as or more expensive than larger items. However, I don’t want to deny my daughter her love of sparkles.

    Back by popular demand, Aldi is stocking its coveted Girls Fashion Shoes just in time for celebrations.

    Available in sizes 6 – 12 and two colours; pink and black, each pair is beautifully encrusted with gems and beads and features easy-to-fasten Velcro straps, giving the £49.99 high street equivalents a run for their money at just £8.99 per pair.

    We were sent a pair to enable this post.  They look really good and were comfy to wear too.

    Aldi shoes


    In store on 19th December, these fashionable pumps are perfect as a last minute Christmas stocking filler, but be quick as they’re part of Aldi’s Specialbuys range – once they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Do check out Aldi this Christmas – they have a far wider range of things available than I previously thought and it could well prove to be the best last minute shopping store of all with very affordable prices.


    Sparkly Shoes For Girls



    You will wake in the night

    You will pretend everything is fine

    You are warm and cosy

    The world can’t be crashing really

    The pain hits

    Solar plexus

    No chance of sleep now

    Wake up

    Do the routines when don’t feel capable of doing so



    Pushing away

    Coming together

    Clinging to each other and hope






    Need to make a plan

    Not in a fit state to do so




    Lashing out

    Rollercoaster ride

    And that all-encompassing feeling that you don’t deserve this

    And exhaustion

    Yesterday, I wrote one of my whine whine woe is me type posts.

    All that happened was that my family decided it was OK to mark my birthday later in the day.  Today of all days I should remember that I am blessed to have a family and to be in their lives.

    So here is a reflection on my amazing birthday yesterday.

    I woke up and Google wished me a happy birthday with a picture of cakes and cupcakes.

    I had a birthday message from the founder of BritMums in my inbox.

    I was surrounded by my healthy and loving family.  They did not do what I wanted in the way that I wanted.  Sometimes I need to grow up a bit and recognise that I am not a princess.  My mum and dad treated me as if I was.  I cannot expect that from everyone and should value the fact that I had it once.

    When I had my meltdown on my blog and on Twitter, plenty of people wished me happy birthday and used amazing words like gorgeous, beautiful and inspirational about me.

    They could have said “Get over yourself you moody fat frump” but they didn’t.

    I think my mood started to shift with a blog comment from Sally from Tots100.  It was the right mix of firm and realistic words with kindness behind them too.  She even gave me a bit of an action plan as to how to take control and make the day better.

    So I took my birthday money found in the birthday card from my brother and headed for the charity shop leaving my husband to look after the children.

    I should say my husband had now delivered a very soppy card and a onesie which is what I had mentioned wanting  a few weeks ago.  I have never had one and it seemed like something fun to have.  To be honest, I have most of the things I want in my life materially so this went down well although I continued my grump for a while just for pride’s sake.

    For about £15 I purchased a cuddly toy, a Christmas jumper, a beautiful top, some books and a few stocking fillers for the children.

    I then headed to the baker’s shop for treats.

    By the time I got home, there was a birthday card again of the soppy variety from the children and a cake in progress.  My husband made the cake and was pacing the kitchen as if expecting a baby!

    I smiled as the card-writing went on in secret and yet with a mother’s eyes so very obvious to me.

    Then the gathering of everyone so they could turn of lights and bring in the cake for me to blow the candle out and make a wish.  The usual wish of course.

    As this is the first cake my husband has made in the 16 years we have been together, it was very good.  Light and tasty with a little hint of orange.

    My husband then made me a special dinner with my favourite lamb and good vegetables.

    Puddings and a cheeseboard were also provided but I chose to have these today instead.

    Today I have felt far more positive.

    I also think it might be worth adding a P.S. to some of my blog posts “This post was written under the influence of PMT”

    As Sally reminded me yesterday, all birthdays are special.  It reminded me of Oprah saying recently on telly how you dishonour those who did not get to your age by not enjoying your birthday.

    I guess this post is by way of an apology and a thank you.



    It is no secret that I love most things to do with the Eighties.

    However, it is a decade which divides opinion – some believe that it was the time when the UK became a more modern, forward-looking country while others feel that it had brought nothing but misery for millions of ordinary people. However, on the whole,  I think the 1980’s brought us plenty of great things, whether they were tech innovations, iconic TV shows or great bands.

    Here are 10 of the best:

    Digital watches

    Although they weren’t the most important development, they were certainly among the coolest. Mainly produced by Casio, these watches were seen as surprisingly fashionable, even those that had a calculator!  I remember thinking they were the ultimate in style and admiring anyone who wore one.


    Aussie soaps

    I used to watch the Sullivans with my mum.  My brother told me about Neighbours so I started to watch that fascinated by all things Kylie and Jason..  I added  Home and Away to my essential viewing list.  Apparently, they used to bring in more viewers than Corrie and Eastenders.

    Rubik’s Cubes

    Who can forget the joy and complexity of the Rubik’s cube.  I loved the bright colours and tried to work it out as if my life depended on it.  They were hard to crack, but if you managed to finish it (without cheating), you would feel as if you had cracked the Enigma code or something similarly important!  I could manage a side if I recall correctly but check out this article on how to complete the Rubik’s Cube.


    Amazing TV cars

    The 1980’s was a grim time for cars on the road. However, on TV, iconic vehicles such as the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard, the A-Team Van and KIT, the talking car from Knightrider, were all cool as!  Even I had a thing about the car although never got women’s thing about the man who drove it.

    Otherworldly kids’ TV

    I loved Swap Shop.  It was television for us children and it felt as though you could get involved.  This was very exciting back then before the days of social media. ALF, the friendly alien with the long snout, was one of many fun characters to grace the screen. Other great 80’s kids’  shows include Going Live and Transformers, which was revived as a successful film franchise.

    Arcade games

    The likes of Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong gave 80’s children hours of fun in arcades. The only problem was that in order to get the high score, you had to beg your parents for extra pocket money!  I never really got into these things but I do remember students at college loving them too.

    The NES and Sega Master System

    Both consoles meant a big upgrade from the Commodore 64, providing better graphics and new titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog. The Game Boy also deserves a mention, especially for making gaming on the go loads of fun.

    Novelty PEZ dispensers

    Coming with heads of Star Wars, Disney and comic book characters, these dispensers were as fun as they were collectible. As for the sweets themselves, they weren’t a patch on Refreshers or Love Hearts but you could share them.



    The Walkman

    One of the best inventions of the past few decades, the Sony Walkman made journeys a little more bearable, unless of course your cassette tapes got scrambled.   I actually miss trying to sort out scrambled casette tapes which is proof positive of just how much I loved the Eighties.  Walkmans helped to pave the way for MP3 players and iPods, not to mention CD players before then.  I have 2 unsued Walkman found amongst my mother’s things.  Dad told me she never used them but wanted to be down with the kids.

    What Made The Eighties Such A Great Decade?

    BMX bikes

    The successor to the Raleigh Chopper, these inventive bikes represented the stuff of dreams for adventurous kids who wanted one ever since they featured in E.T. Their popularity kept going well into the following decade, even if they were hard to master straight away.

    So what are your memories of the Eighties and what items represent that decade for you?