So, that was 2012…

2012. A pretty busy year. It started off in excellent style with a cosy house party for 4 (plus two toddlers) in Prestwich and ended with me sitting on my own on the sofa watching Alan Carr, drinking Shloer and eating a pomegranate with a pin. Some amazing things happened inbetween. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Being Francesca’s mummy.
  • A great holiday in Wales.
  • Making an owl cushion.
  • Numerous visits to Smithills Farm.
  • Buying a lovely house in Whitefield and moving in.
  • Having a smashing, sophisticated hen party.
  • Getting married.
  • Being at the gorgeous wedding of Raquelle and Paul.
  • Doing some ace gigs, including singing as well as saxophone playing.
  • A lot of cake club action.
  • A decent amount of time with The Tarts (there could always be more).
  • Picnics in the garden.
  • Playing sax at our wedding.
  • Jungle Mayhem.
  • Spending time with Lisa, Claire, Anna, Emma, Neda, Vicky, Catherine, Katie and Marcia.
  • Watching Isobel, Penny, Louie, Erin, Kasra, Adam, James, Charlie and Dalia grow into brilliant little people.
  • Mum kicking cancer’s arse.
  • Getting pregnant.
  • Getting an iPad
  • Francesca turning two (nearly three).
  • Having a proper, lovely, big Christmas tree. 
  • Farmer Christmas visiting and the excitement of the festive season.


Quite a lot of good stuff, yeah? ImageEpic.


Emergency chocolate cake

Sometimes you just need an instant cake fix, that’s just the way it is. Tonight was one of those nights. I had all the ingredients to make something but just not the oomph. So you know what I did?

Cake in a mug.

Yep, you read that right. Cake. In a mug. In a microwave.

Sounds dirty and wrong. And it is. But get it right and it’s genius. There are loads of cake in a mug recipes on the internet and I have tried one before, but it wasn’t that great. However, my need tonight was pretty great, so I thought I’d give it another go.

I found a really simple recipe with great reviews. It goes a little something like this:

  • 4 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of beaten egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • dash of vanilla essence (or flavouring of your choice)
  • chocolate chips or chunks broken into pieces – I used dark chocolate pieces, about 2 tbsp worth.

Mix all the dry ingredients into a large mug.
Add the egg and mix well.
Add vanilla, oil and milk and mix.
Toss your chocolate in a little flour and gently add to the mix (this helps stop them sinking to the bottom).
Bing in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes depending on the power setting. Mine is 800 watts and I found 3mins 30 seconds was perfect, but all machines vary and you may need to experiment.
Depending on the size of your mug, the cake may well explode out of the top, but don’t worry, it should sink back down. Keep an eye on it when it’s cooking. If you’re worried, take it out after 3 minutes, you can always pop it back in again. 

For me, it came out brilliantly. A good, rich cakey texture and not gloopy or fudgey. It’s quite a big serving and could probably serve two, although depends how strong your need for a dose of cake is.

Cath Kidston mug