My Favourite Puddings.

Well here we go! I’ve been saying for a while now I’m going to start sharing recipes on my blog! I’m a keen cook, baker and eater (as you’ll have probably picked up on if you follow me on the gram) and have dipped into the world of food blogging before when I shared recipes and stories of what I was eating while living in Italy on my Ambrosial Notebook blog (I’ll share a link at the end!)

So here’s my first real foodie post on this blog, and it’s dedicated to my favourite puddings.

If you ask me if I have a sweet tooth I’ll probably say no but this is a lie. I’m not one to snack on sweet things and happily will turn down a chocolate bar but live for post-meal puddings, sweet breakfast waffles and Nutella. These pudding recipes are the perfect combination of them and are recipes that me and my Momma make a lot. They never fail to satisfy and the leftovers are the best part! I swear you’ll love them a dangerous amount! (Sorry not sorry in advance if this post ruins anyone’s summer bodies).

Raspberry Waffle Pudding:

This recipe is to fill a large oven proof dish with pudding, enough to feed roughly 8 people. I usually half the recipe if feeding Max and I (there is leftovers but that’s a good thing).

2 Packets of Toasting Waffles (about 16 waffles), chopped into roughly 3cm square chunks

175g white chocolate, chopped into chunks, roughly 1cm squared

2 packets of frozen raspberries or 300g of fresh raspberries

60g Caster Sugar

1 tbsp Plain Four

550ml Creme Fraiche

3 eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Set oven to 200c (Gas mark 6)

Place half of the chopped waffles in the ovenproof dish, spreading evenly to cover the bottom. Sprinkle over half the white chocolate and half of the raspberries. Repeat the layers again and set the ovenproof dish to one side.

Measure the creme fraiche out in a large jug and whisk in the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla until all combined.

If you are preparing the pudding well in advance of serving at this stage you can cover the oven proof dish and leave at room temperature and cover the custard mixture and leave to sit in the fridge.

40 minutes before serving pour the custard over the raspberry waffle mixture and leave to soak in for around 10 minutes before transferring to the oven and baking for 30 minutes. The pudding is ready when the custard is set. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Nutella and Banana Croissant Pudding:

This recipe is currently in my story highlights on Instagram! (www.instagram.com/katiejade_natterfornowtblog)

It’s a recipe I worked on while I lived in Italy and Nutella and Croissants were very readily available. By the end of my year living there I was making it every Sunday and gaining weight at a very fast rate, I had to detox myself from it for a while once I got back.

If you’re not on insta or just fancy a written version of the recipe, here it is…

This recipe also fills a large ovenproof dish and is good for feeding a crowd, half the recipe if you’re not having a party!

12 Croissants (not fresh bakery ones, the slightly stale packaged ones work best)

A medium sized jar of Nutella

3 Bananas

4 eggs

300ml Double Cream

400ml Whole Milk

75g Caster Sugar

Vanilla Extract

Set Oven to 180c.

Half all of the croissants and spread the Nutella thickly on one side of all the halves. Arrange the croissants halves around the edge of the ovenproof dish (Nutella sides facing inwards) and then fill the middle with 2 rows of croissants with the Nutella sides all facing one way. Slice the 3 bananas and slide them between the croissants.

To make the custard measure the double cream and milk out into a large jug and whisk in the eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined. Like with the Raspberry waffle pudding at this stage you can set the pudding aside until later by covering of putting the custard in the fridge.

50 minutes before serving pour the custard over the croissants and leave to soak for 10 minutes baking baking for 40 minutes until the custard is set. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

….You should then maybe drink some green tea or go for a jog.

Katie x

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The Most Wonderful time of the Year.

Merry Christmas everyone, Let the festivities begin!

Most people who know me know that I am one of those really annoying Christmas enthusiasts. I love it and nothing offends me more than the words ‘we’re not going all out for Christmas this year, just a quiet one’. Why would anybody ever do that to themselves?
It’s perfect: the time of year when chocolate for breakfast, day time drinking and eating till you need to lie down are just the polite things to do.
I’m guilty of taking It quite seriously, I begin mentally menu planning in September, begin stocking up for the Christmas treat table in October, recipe rehearsals in November, usually have shopping done by the start of December and I once spent 4 hours in Middlesbrough town centre in a dilemma over which was the best wrapping, ribbon and tag combination. And don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve listened to Micheal Buble’s Christmas album.
(This years wrapping paper is from Tesco, with personalised ceramic tags from Luna Moon Creations on Etsy.)
It’s my thing. It’s genuinely maybe my main talent.
This time last year I was coming to the end of 2 months travelling in Australia and New Zealand so I missed the whole Christmas build up. We had a late Christmas Day when I got back, just before New Year, which was lovely, but I do feel I have to compensate a little this year for missing last. And, with breaking up from school super early on the 15th, there are 9 full days of pre-christmas festive activities. And by pre-christmas festive activities, I mainly mean watching every crappy Hallmark Christmas film and baking mince pies.
I’ve come up with a list of Christmas pointers and necessities! It’s based on a list I first wrote in 2014 for the blog I kept while living in Italy. I’ve updated it and added to it for this post, but most of it still -and always will -stand true:
1. When Christmas shopping, don’t follow people’s ‘lists’. Never. It’s not about what they want to have, it’s about what you want them to have. I know my Dad hates novelty socks, but I love to see my Dad in novelty socks, so he’ll just have to act grateful and wear them when he’s with me. And that’s what Christmas is all about.
2. You should probably emphasise that it’s very important that other people do actually follow your ‘list’ although they can deviate from the list if they think of something better, more personal and more expensive. They’re the rules of lists.
3. Buy everything in Christmas packaging. I’m a sales man’s dream in December. Do I need Cornflakes?Do I regularly eat cornflakes? No. But am I going to buy a giant box with Santa on it? Yes, of course I bloody am.
4. Do the Christmas food shop in Marks and Spencer’s at 4 a.m. This is completely pointless as it’s just as busy as it is during the day. But still it’s fun and festive and you pick out something nice for your  breakfast when you get in.
5. Buy posh crisps in obscure flavours. You’ll find them in April and be really confused as to why you thought they were a good idea, but still, you’ll eat them one night when you’re peckish.
6. Take a day, or in my case 9,  before Christmas to literally just watch Christmas films and all the greatest Christmas specials.
7. Take a day after Christmas just to simply enjoy and immerse yourself in all of your presents. This day was a lot more fun when I didn’t just get shower gel and underwear,but it’s still always a lovely day.
8. Present displays. No grandparents or aunties or cousins ask to see my presents anymore, but I still like to make a little display in my room.
9. ‘He’s been’ have absolutely got to be your first words on Christmas morning.
10. As of 1st December (or maybe a week or so before), make everything Christmas themed. Socks, towels, toilet roll, bedding, hand wash, washing up liquid, bleach. Everything.
(Our pretty festive flat! Pretty mistletoe heart is from Rose and Ena, find them on Instagram!)
11. Supermarket tour. Go to every supermarket as you never know what they’ll have that’s a bit different. And buy all flavoured fresh creams you can find. Yup yup. That’s an important one. You probably won’t get round to trying them all but it’s comforting to know you can if you want. Also track down the shop with the best offer on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges; this year Tesco did buy 1 get 2 free -an absolute steal!
12. My Mam suggested the tip of don’t buy crackers because they are completely pointless. But my tip would be this: if your Mam says this, buy her crackers as a Christmas present. They are not pointless; they’re fun and festive.
13. Have family nights after Christmas where you watch each others new DVD’s. It’s this tradition that enlightened my Mam about the delight of Gatsby and made us realise my Dad is just too Boro Bloke to understand Les Mis.
(This was one from my original post from 2014 which I loved and didn’t want to take out but now I’m wondering if getting DVD’s is still a thing?! 2014 was a simpler time…)
14. Do not, do not, ever, let your brother win the argument of ‘we’re in our twenties now and we’re too old for hanging- up -stocking photos’. He’s wrong. Never too old. Also force your other half to have a photo with you too. It’s unlikely the photos will ever be shared ‘cos they’re never flattering as you’ll be make-up free and in your jarmies but it’s still quite important to have them.
15. Shop Small wherever you can. Attend local Christmas markets and craft fayres. Browse on Etsy, Not on the Highstreet and on Instagram. There are some beautiful prezzies, food and decorations out there and it’s so important to put money into small businesses. I’ll do a post on my favourite small shops sometime soon!
16. To feel super Christmassy and have a really lovely time go to a Christmas market. I think all cities now have one?! Get tipsy on mulled wine, pose in your cosy winter attire and eat a giant sausage. This year we had a girls’ weekend in Bath for the markets (more details at the end of this post!).
17. Christmas clothes and pyjamas are an absolute must. Update your whole wardrobe and underwear drawer to include festive pieces. Christmas jumpers, pyjamas and novelty socks are the most important I think! And in a world where there’s Primark, it isn’t very expensive to do!
18. It’s the only time of year when anybody in the UK buys a Radio Times. But it really wouldn’t be Christmas without it- it’s part of the family at Christmas time. And it’s so lovely to spend time reading through it choosing all the things you fancy sleeping through on cosy Christmas evenings and then rewatching the next day with a brew.
19. Boil a ham. It’s not Christmas till you’ve boiled a ham. Then live off it for days. It’s nice to boil it in cola, but then you can’t use the stock for soup, so, you decide.
20. Go all out on Christmas fragrances, everywhere. All the time. No non -cinnamon air until the middle January (See my previous blog post for some inspiration!).
As I mentioned a little bit earlier, at the start of the month, I went on a festive girls’ weekend to Bath! It was a perfect little weekend break! We went to the spa, ate and drank a lot and browsed the beautiful Christmas markets. With the cathedral as their back drop, they really did look beautiful and it was lovely to walk around sipping mulled wine. It’s such a beautiful city,I would 100% recommend it for a Christmassy mini break, but check the market dates as they finish Mid-December and be ready for crowds if you’re heading there on a weekend!
Speak again in the new year!
Bring on 2018!
Katie.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.

So we are now soo close to it being the best time of year and I’m officially on my full festive setting. I’m planning a full post all about how I like to spend Christmas (mainly sitting down and eating) for the next few weeks, but as a little warm up I thought I’d share some of my favourite candles and home fragrances that are perfect for your festive season! As usual I went a little bit OTT with my buying. Theres not a room in the flat that hasn’t been touched by the scent of Christmas but thats exactly the way it should be I think!

So here we go… kicking it off with the candles..

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Golden Yuletide Spice – The Rose and Thistle Wax Patisserie

I’ve been following this little shop on Instagram for a while and her scents sounded delicious so requested a candle for my Christmas collection. This scent is available in wax melt form and is perfect if you like Spicy scents!

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Spice- Soul Candles

This is perfect. A really luxurious, spicy, festive scent. I’ve recently discovered Soul Candles and love the look of their Relaxing Aromatherapy candles too (I think I’ll treat myself in the new year!). It burns so cleanly and evenly. The scent throw is subtle in my big lounge but so lovely and comforting.

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Cinnamon Sugar and Spice- Lollyrocket Candles

I mentioned LollyRocket in my Autumn candle blog post. Her Coffee and Maple candle fragranced my lazy Saturday mornings for weeks. So when she released her Christmas collection I was straight in there. There’s a choice of design and festive scents. The cinnamon sugar and spice is the the perfect Christmas kitchen scent but it was a hard choice between that and the others!

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Gingerbread- Wickford & Co at Home Bargains.

I saw a lot of hype about these and the other scents in their Christmas collection on Instagram so thought I’d give one a go, and for less than a pound it would have been silly not to even try. On cold sniff it did smell quite nice and did release the scent really subtly when burning, it hardly filled the room but I did go for the littlest jar! All in all, not bad value for money!

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Winter Mint- DW Candles at Home Sense/TK Maxx

I’ve been a fan of DW candles for a while. You can always find them by the till or in the candle section of Home Sense or TK Maxx. They’re a real bargain and most of the scents are really lovely. They burn really nicely and even the little ones really throw the scent. I never thought I’d be such a fan of a minty fragrance but this one is so refreshing! And as a little bonus the boxes for their Christmas collection are adorable!

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All is Bright- Yankee Candle

I mentioned this one in my Autumn post but as it is technically part of their Christmas collection thought I’d include it in this post too! Its fruity and zingy but still very festive smelling too. I think this is my favourite Yankee Christmas scent and such a refreshing change from all the spice (which I do love but a change is nice!).

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Mandarin, Clove and Cinnamon- Marks and Spencer

To me, M&S is a big part of Christmas. They provide the good food, a lot of the good gifts, the lovely adverts and the scents! I can’t remember a Christmas without M&S Mandarin, Clove and Cinnamon candles and the oil version of this scent is how I fragrance my handmade Christmas tree decorations! They change the designs of the candles every year and I’m loving this years glittery rim star in the lovely box, these are a perfect prezzie!

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Sweet Berry Joy- Glade

I picked this up when it was on offer in the Supermarket. And although the packaging isn’t the most inspiring theres no denying Glade candles do the job of throwing out a lovely smell.

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White Pine and Holly Berry- Tesco

A cheap and cheerful find which was worth every penny. Smells lovely and fresh and clean and the fragrance really filled the room!

Now, I’ve spoken before of my wax melt love and it’s just as strong in the festive Season! Wax Melts by Francesca has been my favourite wax vendor this season. Her range of Christmas scents is fab and my monthly subscription box has never been a disappointment! I’m particularly loving my ‘Winter Season’- a dupe of White Company Winter and ‘Christmas Trees’. Cleaves have also not disappointed, her Christmas Spice is the exact scent I was looking for to melt in cosy Christmas evenings and was well worth the stress of quickly checking out on restock night before she sold out! Wax melts by Francesca and Cleaves have also provided perfect Eucalyptus and mint fragrances for when the winter cold hits! (I’ve also found them really useful to help clear a migraine).

If you’re feeling a little confused about my wax melt love have a little look at my previous blog post on Autumn fragrances where I talk about the benefits of them and the best vendors a to buy from!

So as you probably already know I am quite the fan of a reed diffuser and despite many hours in White Company umming and ahhing over their Winter Diffuser I decided to keep it quite cheap with my festive diffusers (and just add the White Company one to my Christmas list).

I bought the Spiced Pear Cider diffuser from Tesco’s seasonal home fragrance range. I’ve had one in the past I was impressed with so knew I wasn’t wasting my few pound! These dinky diffusers do look very pretty, really simple with a coloured ribbon and release a lovely subtle scent. They also last quite I bit longer than the box suggests! This scent is lovely and spicy and perfect for a Christmassy kitchen! In the last few days I’ve also picked up the frosted cranberry version for our bedroom!

I also bought a Woodwick and Co Vanilla Snowflake diffuser from Home Bargains. It was questionably cheap so my hopes weren’t too high but was very pleasantly surprised. There’s no denying it releases it’s scent well and fills my little spare room with a lovely fragrance. £1.99 well spent and I’d definitely think about buying more diffusers from this brand in the future.

Now I’m going to quickly mention Zoflora. If you know about Zoflora then you KNOW about Zoflora. If you don’t you’re missing out. My mum has always used Zoflora so when we got our flat I was quick to stock up and started wiping EVERYTHING with it. It’s a concentrated disinfectant which can be bought in most supermarkets and places like Home Bargains. You dilute it and start wiping! It’s heavily fragranced so I avoid using it in food prep areas but keen to use it anywhere else. But the main reason I’m mentioning it in this post is because of their Christmas and Winter fragrances. I have memories of my mum passing me a washing up bowl full of Winter Spice Zoflora and asking me to wipe all doors, walls and skirting boards ready for having family round for Christmas parties. And to me now it is just one of the main scents of Christmas. Their other seasonal fragrances are just as festive and lovely. My top tip is to wipe down the radiators with it before turning them on, they then release a lovely scent when they heat up!

Hope this inspired you with some Christmassy scent purchases for your homes! I’ll be back soon with more festive talk!

Katie xxx

20 facts about me.

Hey everyone,

So I thought I’d copy some other blogs I’ve been looking at and do a 20 facts about me post to introduce myself a little bit more. This took a lot of thinking about, especially as I didn’t want to choose really obvious things, 20 is quite a big number!

Also using this post to share these photos of my dream dress! I’m going to a couple of weddings this summer and found this dress in Marks and Spencers to wear for them. I love the style and colour and it’s the comfiest dress to wear. It’s so silky it feels luxurious but for a highstreet price! I’m a big fan of anything from M and S, their jeans, pants, christmas wrapping paper, melt in the middle chocolate puddings…

 

So here we gooo….

1.
October- November is my favourite time of year and I’m getting giddy at how close it is getting. I love the cosy nights, Christmas buzz, watching Strictly Come Dancing religiously every Saturday night, adding pumpkin to every dish and making everything smell of cinnamon. I also feel a bit more comfortable fashion wise when it’s cold, I love boots, thick tights and chunky knits.

2.
I missed this season last year as I went travelling around Australia and New Zealand in a campervan with my friend Sophie. It was tough going at times but we had an amazing time and saw the most beautiful places (writing a blog post about it is on my to do list!).

3.
I lived in Italy for year from 2014-2015 working as an Au Pair and English teacher just outside Milan. I’m still really close to the family I lived with and they feel just as much like my family as my actual family. I learnt Italian at night school while I was there, I can follow conversations in Italian but don’t really have the confidence to try joining in!

4.
I used to work for Walt Disney World in Orlando. I worked for 2 summers in 2013 and 2014. The first year I was a Housekeeper at Old Key West Resort and the second year I worked in Animation Courtyard in Hollywood studios, seating guests for the shows, spieling the health and safety rules and quite often parking strollers.

5.
The summers after working at WDW I did some travelling in America with my friends, lots of amazing memories and very drunken times were had (will never be able to look at a fireball shot again in my life).

6.
I’m a really big fan of Craft Beers, love trying different ones, especially local brews. My boyfriend designs beer cans and bottles and I love going to a bar and seeing his designs behind the bar (look out for the Bad Co collection!).

7.
I never have any idea what’s in the charts at that moment. I’m a bit of an old soul when it comes to music! My spotify playlists are full of old songs and I only listen to Radio 2. I love the Beach Boys, Carole King, Chuck Berry and Frankie Valli. (But I do really really love anything by Little Mix after a few drinks).

8.
I first met my boyfriend when I was 11 when my friend dared me to go up to him and touch his hair (he had massive afro hair at school). I got close to him and bottled it! We got together properly when I was 23 and I haven’t looked back since (well maybe been a bit tempted sometimes when he leaves wet towels lying about or doesn’t empty the dishwasher).

9.
My favourite TV show ever ever is the Royle Family, I could watch it every night, sometimes when the TV schedule is a bit dry I do. I know every word but I still just love it. My other favourites are period dramas, crime dramas and a good documentary (especially one about a conspiracy!).

10.
I run a small business called Dirty Little Daffodil, I do family portrait cross stitches, cushions and bunting. I love sewing and crafting! My idea of a perfect afternoon is radio on, candle burning, cup of tea and getting on with some crafty projects!

11.
I’m a real foodie and love cooking, baking and eating out. My bookcase is overflowing with cookbooks but I still have such a long wish list of more! I love watching cooking programmes too and always so content watching Saturday kitchen with a bacon bun and a brew on a weekend morning. My all time favourite food hero is Nigella Lawson, she’s my ultimate girl crush and she always has recipes for what I fancy.

12.
Despite not being afraid of a bit of indulgence I am actually a qualified nutritionist! I did my degree at Sheffield Hallam University and loved every second of uni life. I am really passionate about about food and eating properly but am a firm believer in a bit of what you fancy does you good.

13.
My idea of food heaven is anything carby, I love pasta, potatoes and bread. My dream dish is pasta with chilli and prawns and garlic bread! My food hell is Melon, never liked it and no idea why! I’d probably be a lot thinner if my heaven and hell were the other way round!

14.
I think I spend more on my flat looking and smelling nice than I do myself! I love interiors and home fragrances! (I’ll write a post about these too!)

15.
I love pyjamas and loungewear, it’s pretty rare to catch me in the flat wearing anything else, comfort first.

16.
I used to have a Bernese Mountain Dog called Oscar, we all loved him more than anything. He died in 2014 but still has the biggest piece of my heart and he will always be the best looking dog to walk the earth.

17.
My favourite shop in the world is Liberty London, I could spend days in there and I’m obsessed with everything they sell, particularly the fabrics!

18.
My favourite films are About Time, The Great Gatsby and the Jurassic Park (and world!) series. 

19.
I drink a lot of tea! If I’m having a day in the flat pottering about I can easily get into double figures. I love a good proper brew or green tea. I love the taste of coffee too but it makes me feel like my head’s going to fall off and the end of the world is coming. I decided to be sophisticated and order an Americano on a date once, safe to say it didn’t end well!

 20.
I like to write a lot of lists! Of stuff to do, buy, things I have done, things I have bought. It makes me feel a lot more organised than I actually am!

 

There we go! Tah-Dah!