Pistachio and white chocolate cake – and swimming in November

Being unable to swim at the pool with my club because of current local coronavirus rules has encouraged me to do more open water swimming. Luckily, some outdoor sports are still allowed (with appropriate social distancing) and there is plenty of room in the North Sea! I’ve swum in Northumberland at dawn – I have … More Pistachio and white chocolate cake – and swimming in November

Blueberry and banana cake – and some autumn colour

Although it’s been raining non-stop for the last few days we have had some beautiful autumn sunshine over the last few weeks and the colours in the garden and on my usual run/walk are amazing. Here’s a recipe for Blueberry and Banana cake Blueberry and Banana cake 100g butter (softened) 50g caster sugar 2 large … More Blueberry and banana cake – and some autumn colour

Blackberry and apple jelly and a fantastic apple harvest

Last year our wonderful Bramley apple tree didn’t produce any apples – only the second time it has failed in 20 years. Luckily I had plenty left in the freezer from the previous year and have been able to work through them. I thought it would be good to try and empty the freezer ready … More Blackberry and apple jelly and a fantastic apple harvest

Pistachio and lemon cake – and zooming during lockdown

Thankfully, lockdown is slowly being lifted and we are now able to do more and go further. Mr McGregor and I have managed to do some walking and I’ve managed to swim in one of the local reservoirs and in the sea (indoor pools are still closed in Scotland). My birthday was just after the … More Pistachio and lemon cake – and zooming during lockdown

Raspberry, almond and oat bran muffins – and the benefits of oat bran

Mr McGregor and I like our porridge in the morning. With that in mind I ordered some of our favourite Mornflake porridge oats directly from the mill in South Cheshire shortly after the start of lockdown. Since there has been a shortage of flour in the shops I also ordered some oat bran to use … More Raspberry, almond and oat bran muffins – and the benefits of oat bran

Blackberry spelt muffins – and a couple more book recommendations

If you asked me how many books I read in a year, I’d probably say ‘about 20’. I thought I’d keep a list of what I’ve read (and another list of books to be read….) and I’m quite surprised to find I’ve already read four so far this month. I suppose it is likely to … More Blackberry spelt muffins – and a couple more book recommendations

Apple, ginger and cranberry cake – and some book recommendations…

I’ve promised some book recommendations to a couple of my friends who have absolutely loved The Salt Path which I mentioned in this post. So here you are ladies – firstly, All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison is an amazing read. Set in East Anglia in 1933, it is incredibly atmospheric and very, very … More Apple, ginger and cranberry cake – and some book recommendations…

Not-so-healthy ginger cake – and welcoming a new decade

Wow, it’s 2020 already. How did that happen? I started the decade with a sunrise swim which lasted, oh, seconds at least… We’ve managed some beautiful walks over the holidays – it has been cold, but crisp and clear. On days like this, Edinburgh is even more beautiful than usual – this is a view … More Not-so-healthy ginger cake – and welcoming a new decade

Orange and saffron cake (dairy free +/- gluten free)

I haven’t posted for ages. There are a few cakes to share with you so here’s one I made this weekend. It doesn’t look much, but it is lovely, I promise. Mr McGregor complains that he doesn’t like ‘carrot cake’, but he has seen this one off. This is a modified version of Harry Eastwood’s … More Orange and saffron cake (dairy free +/- gluten free)

Chocolate, pistachio and courgette cake (gluten and dairy free) – and a funny summer for the garden

I haven’t posted for ages. I’d like to pretend it was because I was doing too much other interesting stuff, but I just got out of the habit….. of writing, not baking, obviously. So here’s a garden update and a new recipe. The weather has been decidedly odd this year, but I guess this unpredictability … More Chocolate, pistachio and courgette cake (gluten and dairy free) – and a funny summer for the garden

Spelt, apricot and ginger rock cakes – and Printfest 2019

We spent this weekend with friends in Lancashire – mainly as I wanted to visit Printfest, held in the lovely town of Ulverston in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria. Printfest brings together printmakers from all over the UK and is ‘dedicated to the exhibition and sale of contemporary hand-made prints’. I really enjoyed looking … More Spelt, apricot and ginger rock cakes – and Printfest 2019

Apple fruity tea loaf – and spring in the garden

It has been a lovely easter weekend in Edinburgh – warm enough for us to sit out in t-shirts……. I spent some time with ‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women’ – an anthology collated by Ana Sampson. It contains poems by very diverse poets, ancient and modern, names I know and … More Apple fruity tea loaf – and spring in the garden

Gluten free rhubarb and almond cake – and experimenting with sourdough

I love sourdough bread, but thought for a long time that making it would be an incredibly arduous process that I would never fit in around work etc. I also worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep the sourdough starter alive, or that it would grow and grow take over the whole kitchen. How … More Gluten free rhubarb and almond cake – and experimenting with sourdough

The perfect gluten free ginger cake? – and doing some ‘art’ again

As a child I used to draw and paint happily and unselfconsciously – I imagine my mum still has loads of my old scribbles stored away in the loft. I recently found one picture of a fairground that I can remember drawing – looking at it I am immediately back as the 6-year-old me, sat … More The perfect gluten free ginger cake? – and doing some ‘art’ again

Banana and Cardamon – and 50th birthday parties #50in50

Many people suffer from seasonal mood variations and for some this can be a severe problem. I’m sure you will be aware of the term Seasonal Affective Disorder – a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. Over Christmas I read ‘The light in the dark‘ by Horatio Clare, who has seasonal … More Banana and Cardamon – and 50th birthday parties #50in50

Vegan banana and chocolate cake – and we should be talking about fibre

You may have seen the recent news reporting that around 90% of us are not eating enough fibre. This has come after the publication of a paper published by Andrew Reynolds and colleagues in The Lancet medical journal, which sadly is not freely available to all, even though it was commissioned by the World Health … More Vegan banana and chocolate cake – and we should be talking about fibre

Gluten and dairy free carrot cake – and some reflections on 2018….

It’s 2019 then! How did that happen?  I’m back to work tomorrow after a Christmas and New Year break (thankfully, Scotland has an extra public holiday on 2nd January just to allow us to ease into the New Year a little more slowly). We spent Christmas in Northumberland where I managed a Christmas Day swim … More Gluten and dairy free carrot cake – and some reflections on 2018….

Apple and Blackberry Loaf – youth hostels, ballet and a mighty fine pie

One of my aims for #50in50 was to spend more time with friends and I recently spent a weekend with a group of girls I have known for many years. We spent a day walking – fortified by a large number of snacks – and although the weather forecast for the weekend was terrible, we … More Apple and Blackberry Loaf – youth hostels, ballet and a mighty fine pie

Apple muffins – and all things woolly at Yarndale #50in50

Mr McGregor and I are just home after a wonderful weekend staying with friends in Lancashire. Our friend John owns a magic beer-making contraption known as a Grainfather, and needed to brew his Christmas Ale. Mr McGregor was a very willing helper in this endeavour and was delighted to donate his own hops. A very happy … More Apple muffins – and all things woolly at Yarndale #50in50

Courgette and smoked salmon tart – and another book recommendation

Up until a year or two ago, Mr McGregor insisted that there was no point growing courgettes as ‘they don’t taste of anything’. Thankfully he has seen the error of his ways and now grows a couple of courgette plants in pots. This year we have had a really good courgette crop and I’ve been … More Courgette and smoked salmon tart – and another book recommendation

Blackberry and apple muffins – and exploring women’s writing #50in50

Since Mr McGregor doesn’t actually read my blog (he just eats the cakes), I feel free to admit that I have recently bought quite a few new books. Looking at them now, they are all by women and mostly involve nature writing. Reading more books written by women wasn’t originally on my #50in50 list, but … More Blackberry and apple muffins – and exploring women’s writing #50in50

Lemon mascarpone sandwich cake – and climbing The Cheviot #50in50

One of the things I wanted to do as part of my #50in50 challenge was to climb The Cheviot – the highest hill in the Cheviot Hills, which straddle the English-Scottish border. We must have driven past this range of hills hundreds of times on our way driving north or south, but I’d never walked … More Lemon mascarpone sandwich cake – and climbing The Cheviot #50in50

Rhubarb and almond cake – and music festivals #50in50

I am not the only one with a 50th birthday this year – many of my friends are also reaching their half century. One of them decided to celebrate hers by gathering a group of us together at a music festival – ‘Let’s Rock Bristol – The Retro Festival’. Mr McGregor and I travelled to … More Rhubarb and almond cake – and music festivals #50in50

Apricot and almond cake with rosewater and cardamom (gluten free) – and spring is here at last!

I am really enjoying this spring, it somehow seems more vibrant and alive – the colours seem so bright and fresh and everything in the garden is shooting up suddenly. I wonder if everything really is happening very quickly after such a long winter, or if I am just enjoying it more because the bad … More Apricot and almond cake with rosewater and cardamom (gluten free) – and spring is here at last!

Lemon and almond cake – and ‘my first jumper’ #50in50

I haven’t posted for a while – Mr McGregor and I have been doing some decorating and re-organisation and there has been no time to think up new cakes. I have spent a few happy, if dusty hours sorting ‘things’ I had stored in the eaves of our house. Much of it was, of course, … More Lemon and almond cake – and ‘my first jumper’ #50in50

Pistachio and almond cake – and knitting my first jumper #50in50

Well, winter has returned with a  vengeance! We haven’t seen snow like this for years and as usual, everyone is totally unprepared and the country has shut down….  Although the garden looks very pretty, the Scottish weather may finally have got the better of our little olive tree The sprouts still look OK though…. One … More Pistachio and almond cake – and knitting my first jumper #50in50

Apricot and almond cake – and Irish jigs #50in50

The first musical instrument I learnt to play was the recorder. I think a group of us used to play recorders to accompany hymns in our primary school assembly. Listening to a group of small girls tooting and squeaking away must have been particularly delightful for our fellow pupils. Having said this, I heard a … More Apricot and almond cake – and Irish jigs #50in50