Monday, 25 March 2013

I have never been someone blessed with patience, if I make a decision I like to see results yesterday! I also love to make plans, even if they, realistically, may never come to fruition, I guess that comes back to the dreamer in me! However, in the past few months I have had to be patient. If you have been reading along with me you will know about our garage conversion. I had hoped we would be a few blog posts along by now but alas, when relying on the skills of others you just have to go with the flow. So, here we are finally, with a blank canvas, the walls and ceiling has been sealed and I now patiently wait for my husband to get started on the painting, and flooring, and kitchen area, he's even taking time off his day job to do it!

We are both itching to get it done, but with Arwen only being 10 weeks and our 2 other kids to look after, it will take sometime, waiting until bedtimes to begin any work. I know I will get carried away when it comes to dressing the room! Some of my decorative purchases already include, a gorgeous display cabinet from TK Maxx plus a dotty teapot shaped clock and white painted wooden heart bunting from Sainsburys!

So with our flooring purchased and wall paint mixed we are getting there!

Kathryn xxx

Friday, 8 March 2013

I have always loved baking but never dreamed I could make a career out of a passion, feeling I was destined for a tedious office job which simply served to pay the bills. Whilst it's easy to take things for granted I do have to pinch myself at times, as I realise I have the luxury of doing something I love all from the comfort of my own home. Yes I did have an office job before Candytuft Cakes, certainly not mudane, but after six years my heart wasn't in it. The birth of my first child came at the perfect time as during my nine months maternity leave I iced my first celebration cake... three children and a few years later here I am.

Whilst I adore what I do, when I don't have to bake, I love to cook! I love discovering new recipes and although I don't tend to follow them to the letter they have inspired meals which have now become firm favourites in our house. Risotto has long been one of those favourites, especially when teamed with butternut squash roasted with sage and crispy bacon! However I recently found a recipe for butternut squash risotto with the addition of toasted ground hazelnuts. Admittedly it's a bit of a faff on a school night, when you have to make a different meal for your two kids and are carrying a seven week old baby in a sling, but oh wow! amazing!!! You can find the original recipe here, Squash Risotto, definitely worth that little bit of extra effort!

Kathryn xxx

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

As we travel through this life some people and indeed some places are bound to leave an indelible mark on our memories. Some of these people and places have since gone and some are still with us but have merely been transformed... And so I come to the subject of this little post, a place of many memories, which started out as a sandwich bar, an escape from school at lunchtime and has grown into so much more. A place which has seen friendships through many years, new relationships form and grow, and even a romance blossom! The Good Food Emporium and more recently Babettes has been a part of my life for over 17 years and I am sad to see it go, but where did my mini love affair begin?

Being able to leave school at lunchtime once we hit 6th form was a revelation, a dander up the town, a bite to eat and banter with friends away from the classroom or school canteen added to our growing sense of independence. Finding a worthy place to eat was essential and the little sandwich bar on the corner of the Square was quickly established as our place of choice. Not only did you get a delicious choice of filled rolls/sandwiches with quirky names but always a friendly face to serve you. Yule Roll Over, Chicken Tango, Sweet Dreams, Honey Monster and even the Munch Brunch, which no one I know remembers but me, were a few of my favourites.

As time passed, school days ended and university up the North Coast beckoned, but my third year saw a return home and a placement year in Newtownards. Many a lunchtime was spent with a Yule Roll Over catching up with old school friends, which incidentally led to me meeting my husband. On that fateful day I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch, she had double booked, I was late. This resulted in me arriving for lunch just as they finished, so my friend left to go back to work leaving me in the company of her other friend, (little did I know the significance the homemade chocolate cake I had with me that day would have!) the rest, as they say, is history! So for reasons other than a tasty lunch and friendly service, this place holds many good memories! Even in more recent years we would take the kids, just so we coud get a Royal Avenue Champ fix, and they would happily have a hot dog, with copious amounts of ketchup of course, and some crisps on the side!

I'm sure we all have memories of places such as I have described. I know I remember various eateries from my childhood which fill me with nostalgia: Roulstons Bakery in Ards Shopping Centre where you could watch the gravy rings pop out of their little machine, fry, then get coated in sugar, eaten there and then was absolute heaven: Dorothy's in Millisle for their ice cream sundaes: The Stables in Groomsport for their Crispy Nutty Chicken, to name a few. So the memories of these places stay with us, even memories from our childhood, but it is only when we get older that we perhaps get to know those who create the food and the atmosphere which makes the experience memorable, and so it has been with Jackie and her staff. I look back with fondness on the food Jackie created under The Good Food Emporium/Babettes and equally look forward to her new endeavour, wishing her every success! We will certainly be availing of whatever delights she will be creating this time around and enjoy making new memories.

Kathryn xxx




Saturday, 2 March 2013




A full blog post of the story behind this cake will be coming up soon so check back but in the mean time head over to my facebook, twitter and instagram accounts for up to date news.


A full blog post of the story behind this cake will be coming up soon so check back but in the mean time head over to my facebook, twitter and instagram accounts for up to date news.

A full blog post of the story behind this cake will be coming up soon so check back but in the mean time head over to my facebook, twitter and instagram accounts for up to date news.



A full blog post of the story behind this cake will be coming up soon so check back but in the mean time head over to my facebook, twitter and instagram accounts for up to date news.


A full blog post of the story behind this cake will be coming up soon so check back but in the mean time head over to my facebook, twitter and instagram accounts for up to date news.