New Years Resolution

It might be a tad late for a New Years Resolution but I had far too many cakes, biscuits and other treats leftover to want to start any earlier than now. Plus better late than never (and other awesome clichés) but from here on out I’m on a mission. A healthy, mindful mission to get back to good proper food, which hasn’t been roasted in fat, smothered in sugar or otherwise improved made unhealthy. Initially (and because I lack super willpower) I just want to swap to healthier options of things I already use. Such as swapping vegetable oil for Olive, or white bread for wholemeal which sounds easy enough.

Several years ago I went on a fun filled trip to London to learn all about the virtues of Olives (they’re even great for your skin!) but despite significant enthusiasm at the time I’ll admit I’d all but forgotten most of the things I learned. In fact about the only knowledge I retained was that the vast majority of Olives come from Spain. However I do have this handy little guide from Jamie’s Italian restaurant to help me.

The only downside of that guide is it’s making me feel like having a snack! I have a couple of great olive based recipes in the blog archives if you’re feeling similarly inspired.

For the Tortilla De Patatas , aceitunas espanolas y chorizo (Spanish tortilla with Spanish Olives and Chorizo) recipe click here. Or you could try the Queen Spanish Olives Stuffed With Fried Manchego Recipe here. I even have a slightly less healthy Trufas de chocolate y aceitunas espanolas (Chocolate and Spanish Olive Truffles) Recipe here, although I suppose that one does slightly fly in the face of my healthier eating resolution 😀

Have you tried swapping for healthier alternatives to welcome in the new year?

Haddon Hall at Christmas

haddonhallWow the last few weeks have been busy! My kids seem to positively collect Christmas events and every year there’s even more places they need to be. We’ve had parties galore, dance recitals (the rehearsals were constant!) plays, sleepovers and more! So when a rare non booked day presented itself last weekend I grabbed the opportunity to visit the wonderful Haddon Hall at Christmas time.haddonhall7

For those not in the know (I like to pretend that I am) Haddon Hall is a fortified Medieval house in Derbyshire owned by the Dukes of Rutland. If it looks familiar to you though that’s probably because it features regularly on film and TV. It’s used for just about every production of Jane Eyre (they might as well rename it Thornfield at this rate) and it even featured in the cult classic The Princess Bride!haddonhall3

For the festive season however Haddon has been celebrating the year of the bard with Shakespearean themed decorations (we now have Will Shakespeare hanging on our tree thanks to the giftshop). haddonhall9

haddonhall5Even more festive is the fact that their chapel is dedicated to good old St Nic himself. You can even spot the big man (looking more svelte) saving babies from being eaten in a time of famine amongst the outstanding paintings that adorn the chapel walls. Some of his other laudable (and perhaps slightly less gruesome) deeds are represented as well.haddonhall1

The hall while lovely at any time of year really comes alive at Christmas thanks to the decorations and general jollilility (made up festive word there) that seems to abound.haddonhall2

In between chatting to staff about stunt women throwing themselves off the battlements and just how polite Micheal Fassbender (or Micheal ‘Gorgeous’ Fassbender as they refer to him) the kids had some lovely festive poems read to them while seated on a genuine Tudor bench. haddonhall4

We even caught a performance by the Royal Northern College of music.


One lovely little addition this year was the opening of the normally shut gardener’s cottage as a Christmas pop up shop, I love the topiary outside 🙂haddonhall10

It’s such a fabulous place to visit and I hope my pics do the hall justice at least a little bit. I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area next year.haddonhall8

Pikachu Cake

Pikachu Cake

Another birthday has been and gone in the Angel Eden Blog household and yet again I made the silly mistake of asking my son what kind of cake he would like. This always seems like a wonderful idea until it comes time to actually bake and suddenly the realisation that this might be tougher than I anticipated sets in! This year he enthusiastically requested a Pikachu Cake! Even more specifically he wanted a fat fluffy Pikachu cake!! Pokemon Go has a lot to answer for.


Thankfully Pikachu is somewhat light on the colour differences so he was actually quite a quick cake in comparison to previous requests which required millions of bowls/pieces of icing mixing up.

Pikachu Cake

I was quite chuffed with the finished product, although getting him to the party in one piece was nerve wracking, I became convinced one of his ears would fall off!


He seemed to go down very well with all the party guests, although the moment we chopped his head off did feel a little sad lol.

Pokemon Cake

Of course they’ve immediately requested various other Pokemon cakes but for the moment at least they’ll have to wait, although I’m semi tempted to make a Jiggly Puff because he was my favourite character when I was little 😀 In fact I joined in with the Pokemon Go mania with the sole intention of catching one and now that I have I’ve somewhat lost interest, that plus it seems to need constant updating and drains my phones battery like nothing else. Mind you I have a very short attention span when it comes to games in general (much to my brother’s annoyance when I would quit two player games when we were little).


Have any of you guys ever attempted to make a Pokemon cake, I’d love to see some other variations. Overall I’m very pleased with my fat fluffy Pikachu cake.