2009_06060040Not a world shattering event in itself you may think but it’s inspired me to post something up here after a long silence, which makes me feel all warm and goo-ey (a bit like these amazing bics). These are great for using up leftover marzipan and also dare I say, for anyone not massively into that neat marzipan thing (the chocolate helps!)


Originally from Chef MariaJane at www.recipezaar.com but modified by me!


  • 175g sugar
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 200g marzipan, cut into small chunks
  • 175gl unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 450g plain flour
  • 100g cocoa powder or 60g plus a few chunks of your fave choc bashed into pieces.

This makes enough for2 batches of 20+ biscuits, so you could freeze half or erm, be greedy!


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 180 C Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine both sugars and marzipan. Process until they resemble a fine sand, about 1 minute. Or cut into v small chunks and whisk up when other ingredients added.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add butter, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and egg.
  4. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl, once during mixing, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add flour and cocoa powder / choc pieces and mix until incorporated, scraping down once during mixing, about 1 minute. The dough should be very stiff. If too stiff add water tbsps at a time until mixture is workable.
  6. Baking in batches, drop 1 tablespoons balls of dough on prepared sheet, leaving about 2-inches around all sides. bake on the oven’s lower rack until cookies are flat and have a crackled surface, about 10 minutes.
  7. The cookies will be very soft. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

When R was a baby, we used to go to a toddler group. One week in the school hols, one of the other mums turned up with both her baby and her older child (probably about 6). The older child had a big furry rabbit costume on. If I’m honest, I thought “WTF??? Why is she dressed in that silly costume?” More to the point, I wondered why on earth the mum had let her leave the house like that.

Forward wind a few years… R is now 4. Yesterday while I was watching R have her swimming lesson, a mum wandered in with her little girl dressed in full father christmas costume. Yes, it’s March. Did I frown? Did I disapprove? Well, I actually found myself smiling. “How lovely”, I thought to myself. “That little girl was probably so passionate about dressing up that maybe just for once, her mum put aside her own vanity and cares about what other people might think and surprised her daughter by saying ‘yes, darling of course you can wear your santa outfit’.” What a lovely nurturing mum and what a lucky girl I thought as I sat smiling to myself.

Then the little girl proceeded to have a tantrum and throw down the packet of crisps she’d just been bought from the vending machine and stamp on them. She didn’t stop screeching for ages. “Mmmm” I wondered. “more likely her mum just let her wear the santa outfit because she was shouting blue murder when they left the house.” Perhaps not such a rosey image of parenting as the one I’d conjured up before. But ooops! There I go judging again…

I was dye-ing my corduroy jacket a blue denim colour today. Put the dye and the salt in the machine and then the clothes. Turned the machine on. Nothing. Faffed about on and off for a few hours leaning on, slamming and waggling the door. Nothing. So, while I figure out what to do next, thought I’d share some amusing things said recently by Miss R (just turned 4 this week):


There’s a baby crocodile in my cup. His name is Burt Elburt. I named him that. That’s his surname. His real name is lemon squash. And his middle name is cup. He and the spider were playing a racing game and he won. He fell over and got mud on his knee and then I washed it with the water in my pink cup. Look he’s all dry now.


There were friendly monsters in my bedroom. They were blue yellow and red. Like sonic. Sonic was blue, yellow was yellow and red was red. They were on my wall when I opened my eyes and then on my pillow. I saw them twice. No. I saw them 3 times because I saw them once on my wall and 2 times on my pillow.


Mummy, why have you got hairs on your lip like Daddy?

Mummy, why have you got hairs in your nose? You’ve got a haunted nose.

2009_010100121You know that big room at the sports centre? That’s where they do the jam-nistics.

2009_01150022I woke up most concerned that I was late for my 10am rendez-vous at the Post Office with Noel Gallagher. We’ve all got colds so sneezed and tissued our way through breakfast still half asleep. Not Noel, that was a dream. The night before’s dream was about my house being knocked down and replaced by a bungalow which turned out to be a tourist attraction with people buying nick nacks from the shop in my front room. Ahem… anyway, spent almost the whole day trying to make some sloe and apple jelly. Did it set? Did it heck. Tastes nice though.

Mr. P called me outside to look at our catastrophically blocked drains. I won’t go into details. There’s a brave man coming to sort it in the morning. He did say “not sure what time it’ll be as I’m going out tonight.” What a job, never mind with a hangover. (more…)

4am: “mummy, I had a horrid dream, a blue beetle was crawling on my leg”.

I foolishly allowed R into our bed and endured the next 3 hours being kicked, poked, coughed and farted at instead of sleeping . When it apparently became morning, the loo got blocked and nearly overflowed, so despite my eyes being barely open, I had marigolds and bog water right up to my elbows.

Later on while R was occupied doing some painting, I resolved I must do something about the stray sheep that’s wandered into the field at the back of us. The farmer who owns the field told me yesterday it wasn’t his or the farmer to the right of us. So I went about tracking down the numbers of the farmers to the left and straight ahead. Farmer to the left said it wasn’t his and gave me the number for the other farmer. I jotted it down on a piece of paper on the table.