Blogging Essentials – My Top 5 for beginners


5 Blogging EssentialsFirst things first, I am definitely not claiming to be any kind of blogging expert! However, I have been involved with websites since 2002, and I’ve been blogging in one form or another since about 2008. So I have picked up some useful information along the way.

These are my Blogging Essentials – the first things you will need to set up a blog. I’ll tell you what I use on my blog, and give you some useful links for more information.
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Secrets of the Singer Girls – book review

Secrets of the Singer Girls by Kate Thompson

Set in the Second World War, ‘Secrets of the Singer Girls’ follows 16 year old Poppy Percival as she leaves her countryside home for the East End of London. She starts work in a clothing factory, taking with her a dark secret.

There she makes new friends, all playing their part in the war effort and all of them hiding some painful truths. The war throws their lives into turmoil but it also brings them closer together than they could have imagined.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of ‘Secrets of the Singer Girls’ for review, but all of the opinions expressed in this piece are my own. [Read more…]


Chicken and Cannellini soup

Chicken and Cannellini SoupChicken and Cannellini soup is ideal for using up any leftovers you might have from your Sunday roast chicken dinner. Most of the ingredients are the sort of thing you have in your store cupboard, and it is quick to cook – ideal for a Monday night dinner.

It is also perfect at this time of year when the weather can be so changeable. When I originally bought the chicken to roast, it was a gorgeous 20C outside. By the time I came to make the soup and take the photographs, the weather had turned grey and rainy. Perfect soup weather, but not so great for photo taking! [Read more…]


Bolognese Sauce with pasta

Bolognese Sauce on Spaghetti with Parmesan CheeseOK, I know this is about as inauthentic as Italian recipes can get. And considering how inauthentic my risotto can be, that is really saying something.

Spaghetti Bolognese was one of the first things I learned to cook as a teenager. Back in those days, I used to just chop and fry an onion, add some meat and mushrooms and then pour over a can of chopped tomatoes and let it cook for a few minutes. Over the years, I gradually refined and improved the recipe and now this is one of my staple meals.

I usually double up the recipe and freeze it in single portions, which means that I know that I’ve always got a quick meal in the freezer. Bolognese sauce is also a good way to cram veg into a meal, because you can throw in anything suitable that you have to hand – peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn all work well. [Read more…]