our traditional christmas dessert

christmas-bread-and-butter-pudding-mycreative

For at least the last five years (if not longer) my mother has been making a twist on bread and butter pudding for our Christmas dessert. As I won’t be with her this year I asked for the recipe so that I could make it in South Africa. I tried it out on the weekend to have with friends at a “friendly Christmas” (I think that is an appropriate name for a Christmas celebration with friends). I don’t have a recipe as such as my mom just makes it by magical mom skills but I thought I would share with you what we do.

Ingredients

  • a large panettone (I used a 750g one)
  • butter
  • apricot jam (although I am thinking fig jam or a cranberry jam would be pretty awesome too)
  • 1 pot double cream and  (you don’t actually get this in Italy so I used marscapone)
  • 1 pot single cream
  • milk as necessary (I used almond milk)
  • 4-5 eggs (depending on size, I used 5)
  • raisins (soaked in juice)
  • brown sugar

Method

Slice the panettone and make sandwiches with the jam and butter. I cut from the bottom so I have rounds which I think quarter to make little triangles. Place them in a dish with the little triangles pointing up.

Separately combine the single cream, double cream, milk, eggs and a bit of sugar (I just sprinkled it in) and beat until combined. Making this marscapone it kind of separated strangely but cooked to look fine.

Sprinkle the raisins over the sandwich ‘spread’ and the slowly coat with the liquid. It should  come as high as possible in your dish (although not cover the top of the sandwich peaks). Leave to sit for a while if you can. Then pop the pudding into the oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 180 degrees. Keep an eye on it to make sure the peaks don’t burn.

Serve with custard or ice-cream. It makes about 8 portions and is great for breakfast the next day!

Also check out my guest post on Leanne’s blog about what Christmas is to me.

#1day12pics | december

1day12pics-december

Well hello December! And hello the last #1day12pics for the year. The ‘official’ day will be on Saturday 6 December but you can take part at any time during the month.

I think you all know how it rolls by now. Take 12 photos, 1 every hour (ish – we won’t get mad if it is less than twelve or if the hours aren’t precise). Choose a theme if you like. I think December is perfect for a bit of a Christmassy theme but I won’t force anyone. Share on Instagram or your blog. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #1day12pics.

Once you have posted share your link.

Also don’t forget to check out last month’s posts.


#1day12pics is a monthly collaboration between MYcreative and Emma Davies Photography.

getting unstuck

getting-unstuck-mycreative

This has been an interesting year. Exactly a year ago I arrived in Trieste full of optimism and excitement (and joy at seeing my fiance for the first time in two months). But I quickly fell into what I retrospectively call my ‘period of stuckness’. I kind of panicked. In London I had been building towards something in my career but I now felt that I had turned a page and suddenly had to start a new chapter. I had a blank page staring at me and I suddenly had writer’s block, except it was for my life.

Don’t get me wrong things were happening, I was planning a wedding, I was exploring my new city but I felt stuck in what my ‘career’ was going to be. You know that all important part of your ‘you’ which makes you a worthwhile person and a provider to society?

So a little while ago I received an email from Marie of Kit and Caboodle Coaching offering a coaching session. I pondered it for a while and as the month moved on I realised that this ‘gift from the universe’ was something that I could really use. A little bit of guidance and steerage to help me see my stuckness from a different viewpoint. What better way to act like I love myself then giving myself time to work out what is going on in my head.

I had met Marie a few years ago and knew already that she was super approachable and easy to talk to. I practically ran home after dropping my mom at the train station after her visit because I was so excited about our session. Obviously as I don’t live nearby we had a skype chat which we both found worked really well. We were both able to sit down with a cup of tea, pens and paper and get into a very comfortable ‘chatting zone’.

We started off the session by clarifying what I wanted to achieve by the end (something I should perhaps do more in my everyday life) and then moved on to some activities. Over our conversation, Marie was able to pull out things that I was saying and highlight what I was saying back to myself. She turned my ‘stuck period’ into a time of ‘incubation’, a time that I had needed to nest and feel safe. Plus she helped provide some clarity for me now that I was ready to start ‘writing my life’ again.

Our conversation revolved mostly about work because at the moment that is the area I feel I need to concentrate on. Sitting down and having someone asking questions, some easy but some quite hard, and helping you breakdown the answers is really useful. Having that someone be a professional who has done this for a good many years makes it even better because she isn’t your best friend nodding and agreeing with you but someone who will dig down.

The point of coaching isn’t to provide you with the answer or the paths. It is to help steer you towards your answer. I suppose I kind of knew the answers before starting, but perhaps hadn’t been thinking about the questions in the right way. Marie was like the ‘ghost of Christmas present’ helping me to see things a bit more clearly.

I came to some pretty big realisations from the conversation. Like what I need a ‘job’ to provide me with. And that the idea of a ‘career’ doesn’t really fit into my picture of what I want my life to be. And helping me figure out some next steps. Pretty impressive for 90 minutes right!?

Well do you know what is even better, Marie is being a lovely human being and offering you some special discounted sessions. So you know what, you should head over to her site and make that happen! Also you probably want to follow Marie on instagram because she is a creative genius.

kit and caboodle coaching offer

read ’em and eat

read em and eat - muesli for breakfast by mycreative

READ ‘EM >>>

I feel like I am very far from where I want to be in my ‘career’ (and mostly don’t even know where I do actually want to be) but this was an interesting piece to listen to.

An interesting short video on our social media ‘obsessed’ lives.

The lessons from being wrong.

An interesting podcast with Michael Pollan and edible food like substances.

They’re just habits and habits can be changed.

If there was a little girl in my life I would be buying her clothes here. I wish some children’s clothes would come in big people size!

Loved this differentiation between happiness and joy. I don’t suppose it matters what you call either but having an awareness that there is a deeper ‘joy’ lying under whatever you are feeling is uplifting.

All these things to do with chickpeas!

EAT >>>

Much as my instagram feed might deny it, sometimes I do just eat muesli. I like to keep it interesting though. Sometimes it is shop bought and sometimes it is a collection of cereals. I might have it with yoghurt or almond milk or oat milk. Sometimes I have a banana. This week I bought some figs. Throw on some chopped almonds and tahini.

How do you spice up your muesli?

read ’em and eat

broken breakfast

It was a sort of busy week. I am now working my standard hours at the job but I did some extra tutoring lessons this week and am attempting to get back to more regular blogging, exercise and set aside time for working on my dissertation, Italian and creative projects. On the last three nothing has happened of late (oops). On the exercise I did a Jillian Michaels video on Wednesday and walked like an old lady for the rest of the week. Remind me not to not do Jillian Michaels for a few months again!

I feel it takes a couple of weeks to work into a routine anyway and it is just about testing and changing. Do you have any tips for settling your routine quickly?

READ EM >>>

This made me giggle.

You don’t have to tick a box.

I could move into Darwin’s House.

How about signing up to Decorator’s Notebook’s newsletter and giving a notebook to a child in need?

Maybe if I can’t find a vintage portrait I might get some more contemporary pieces. Like from Elizabeth Mayville or Clare Elsaesser

Instagrammer to follow: Need a bit of calm in your life? You know how I love a feed which is consistent and @michellelouise__ is doing it with perfect simplicity.

EAT >>>

On Friday we had one of Tim’s tutees around for dinner. Man is it nerve wracking cooking for an Italian! So of course it was probably the worst meal I have made in ages! A dry main and a baking disaster.

The baking disaster was an attempt at what I dubbed ‘a deconstructed autumnal Victoria sponge with an Italian twist’. Perhaps this is where I went wrong. I basically wanted to make sponge cupcakes with a plum sauce and marscapone (because you can’t buy double cream in Italy, or at least that I have found). I used a combination of this recipe and this one but swapped the flours for spelt and buckwheat. I don’t know if it was the ingredient combination or the fact that baking in a gas oven is really hard but the ‘sponge’ was more crispy in texture and broke when I took it out the pan. It still tasted quite good and there were enough ‘good pieces’ to give to our guest without being totally mortified.

I had the leftovers for breakfast!

 

decorating from a distance

I currently have two homes! One is the flat that I am living in with my housemate until the end of the month when our lease ends. The other is our new flat in Italy where Tim is installed and I have only seen through a plethora of photos kindly provided by the former tenant. This is likely to be the only time in my life I can say that.

So, I am currently decorating our Italian flat that I have never physically seen, from a distance, on a limited budget, with the restriction of furnished property (in the style of grandma-meets-early-90s-Ikea). My current aesthetic is grey/neutrals Nordic-minimalism (yes I know, original) and this flat doesn’t quite agree with that. It has some great features like lots of light and parquet flooring in the lounge and bedroom but also a blue tiled bathroom, the bedroom has an excess of shiny black and/or mirrored wardrobes and generally the storage solutions are very strangely placed. I am by no means an interior styling mavin so this is going to be a challenge. Once I get there I will share some progress pictures on how I go about making it home, but in the meantime I thought I would share some inspiration.

First up is the bedroom cupboard solution. I had thought of getting some ‘renters’ wallpaper but unfortunately though it is beautiful it is a bit beyond the budget. (If you are thinking of some options Joanna suggested Photowall and Surface View which both look to have awesome products). Instead I am pondering a simple solution of sticking pictures to the cupboard! I am thinking a monochromatic palette would work well. The question is whether I go for polaroid type prints or larger images.

bedroom-cupboard-solution

In the blue bathroom I had originally thought of going for some grey accessories (brave I know) but then thought hey let’s go all colourful in this and maybe the blue will look less … ‘blue’. Tim was able to pick up a flamingo shower curtain at Ikea and I think some other quirky splashes of colour will certainly make for fun.

colourful-bathroom-solutions I am also having a basket obsession and hoping I will be able to find some for random storage around the flat, including at the front door if I am able to evict a particularly dated entrance stand.

baskets

Have you had any rental quirks that you have found good solutions for? I’d love to hear about them. Links welcomed!

Image sources – one: 1 | 2 | 3 / two: 1 | 2 | 3 / three: 1 | 2 | 3