maandag 28 december 2015

A Happy 2016

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas?! My daughters and I spent the days at home among family and friends. Which was lovely!

I am looking forward to the coming days. I don't have to go to work, which means I can spend extra time with my daughters: go ice skating, visit a museum or two and play board games.  The mild weather in The Netherlands is perfect for working in the garden as well.....I believe I need more days off from work. There is so much I want to do :-)

In today's post some photo's of our Christmas table and the Bundt cake, which I bake the day before Christmas and is slowly becoming a family tradition.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year!

See you again in 2016.


Madelief x 

zondag 13 december 2015

Christmassy chocolate cranberry muffins


It feels good to be back. Taking a blog break was just what I needed. My energy levels are up once more. My brothers wedding was lovely. I never realised how special a December wedding can be, with fairy lights and Christmas decorations wherever you look. Unfortunately I cannot show you the photo's, as I don't want to intrude on my brothers private life.

Hope you are all well and looking forward to Christmas?! I love the weeks coming up to Christmas, when the house looks festive, there are jolly songs on the radio and heavenly smells come from the kitchen. I baked some Chocolate cranberry muffins last week. They are really good and low in calories. So perfect for when you are on a diet or just want a healthier version of ordinary chocolate cranberry cupcakes. The recipe originally came from the good food magazine, but I changed it a little.

* 250 g self-raising flour
* 1 tbsp cocoa powder
* 1tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 85g light muscovado sugar
* 85g cranberries
* 50g dark chocolate, chopped
* 145 yogurt (low fat)
* 125 ml skimmed milk
* 3 tbsp sunflower oil
* 1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and cranberries. Heat the chocolate au bain marie until melted.

Mix the yoghurt and milk with the sunflower oil and the egg. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and stir in the liquid. Drizzle three quarters of the chocolate over the mix and gently fold until a swirling pattern appears. Don't overdo it, because otherwise the swirls may dissapear. Spoon the mixture into the cases. Make a swirling pattern with the remaining chocolate on top of the muffins in the cases. Bake in the over for about 15 to 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. 

I may post irregularly the coming weeks. As I am not sure if I will be able to put another post online before Christmas, I wish you and your family a lovely time.

Merry Christmas!


Madelief x

 * The cupcake liners and toppers are by Meri Meri

maandag 30 november 2015

The ghosts of Nunnington Hall


Thank you for your kind comments on my last few blog posts. I am sorry I haven't visited your blogs that much lately. The thing is, I can hardly find the time. I have taken up dancing (Lindy Hop) and together with the choir I sing in and off course family, friends and work, it takes up a lot of my time. I have decided to take a short blog break, as my brother is getting married in the middle of December as well and I am the photographer.  I will be back asap.

This summer the girls and I stayed for a week in a lovely cottage in Nunnington in North Yorkshire. What made our stay there even more special, is that we had a real country house on our doorstep 'Nunnington Hall'. It was built in the 17th century on the banks of the river Rye and once the home of the Ruthland family.

The hall is believed to be haunted, not only by the ghost of lady Nunnington, whose dress is heard dragging up and down the staircase, but by the ghosts of children as well. Others heard a party going on in rooms downstairs, but upon investigation the sounds couldn't be heard. As we wandered from room to room we enjoyed listening to the stories of the house and it's inhabitants. And no.....we did not see any ghosts :-)

The garden is a delight to walk through, with a rose walk, a meadow, a vegetable patch and colourful borders. There is a lovely tearoom and the possibility to play croquet on the lawn, which the girls and I always enjoy doing.

I hope my photo's do the hall and it's garden justice. I captured what caught my eye. If you would like to know and see more. Please have a look at their website.

Almost forgot. The winner of the book Besondere Frauen und ihre Gaerten by Callwey publishers is Janneke from the blog Het bloeiende buitenleven. Congratulations dear Janneke. I am sure you will find lots of inspiration inside. Will you please mail me your address, so that I can send the book your way?  I would like to thank the other ladies for taking part in my giveaway. I hope you will have more luck next time. 

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead! See you soon!


Madelief x