How to Make an Angry Birds Cake

I love Angry Birds.

‘What’s Angry Birds’? I hear you ask. No I do hear you, I hear the voices. In my head. No I don’t really.

For the uninitiated, Angry Birds is just about the most popular App on the iPhone. You shoot little (and very angry) birds at some Bad Piggies who have stolen their eggs. It’s incredibly addictive.

So when my youngest son’s birthday came round last month I decided an homage to Angry Birds was in order (for he too is an aficionado of Angry Birds).


Continue reading

Emergency Pumpkin Jack-o’-lantern

It’s 3 O’Clock on Halloween. We have pumpkins. We have fake blood. We have sweets and chocolate. And we have to go trick-or-treating. So we have to get busy. First off we need a Jack-o’-lantern (that word is not easy to type BTW).

So busy we got. Preparation is the key. Scaring children is the objective! So to get to this:


Continue reading

Why I love France – Beef Kebabs and Chocolate Coconut Mousse

So this week has been eventful – a few days off in Provence, southern France, enjoying sun, heat and food, courtesy of the in-laws, (A major food discovery in Aix was melon served up by my sister-in-law at their house in Rians, more on that later) and we had two birthdays (me, now 43, and my oldest turning into a teenager).

Rians and Dam 238

Aix in early summer – v Nice!

Continue reading

Trifle! And How It Can Help You Stay Connected With Your Children.

This weekend we visited one of my sisters’ homes and celebrated my oldest niece’s birthday. The event highlighted for me the inevitability of growing up and getting older. The third generation of my family now consists (my side) of 2 children (boys), one nephew, and now no less than four nieces.

The youngest of these is not yet one (at least I don’t think she is, I’m really rubbish at ages and birthdays) and is still small enough that even though she can sit upright she has a tendancy to roll around on her backside and then flop forward and face-plant if you aren’t careful.

Nevertheless she provides good entertainment value: I was holding her (she is small but seems to weigh her equivalent size in lead) and gave her one of those baby biscuits; she was happily chomping on it and then when I looked down she seemed to have forgotten it. I pulled her hand up so she could see it and then she reacted like it was something she had never seen before and she continued gnawing at it; the whole episode made me think that babies have memories like goldfish – 3 second retention span.

This made me think about the boys – one minute you are changing nappies, reminding them to go to the loo and so on, the next minute you are explaining to their teachers that they ‘are good kids’ and that ‘they just need a firm hand’ and whatnot.

Nevertheless I have found that the older children get the more useful they become…especially in the kitchen. The capacity for children to eat food (especially males) is quite amazing. The oldest boy now only seems to appear when he requires fuel. He sort of just appears like a jack-in-the-box, eats, and then disappears.

So in an attempt to stay connected with these people, (seems like the best description), I try to encourage participation in the kitchen.

And there is no better way to encourage this juvenile collaboration than when making trifle. It’s simply irresistible.


Continue reading