October 08, 2012

Bye Bye Blogger

Hi all

This is officially goodbye. I'm not gone forever but I have decided to finally make a decision and change to wordpress once and for all.

So please come on over to littlebitsofnice in wordpress, have a gander, like some posts and/or follow me.

I hope to see you on the other side!


September 30, 2012

Lemon And Blueberry Loaf

Yes you read that right. Lemon? Yes! Blueberry? Yes! Chocolate? No! I thought I would take a break from chocolate in my baking this week...I did eat a whole chocolate bar yesterday...oh dear. I'm poorly, don't judge me, I had to to feel better. Ahem...right?

One of my favourite loafs is a lemon drizzle - expect for banana loaf but that's just due to my weird excessive love for bananas. And my favourite muffins are blueberry muffins - 2nd to banana muffins of course, duh.

So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest for a lemon and blueberry loaf I thought nom nom nom nom. Literally.

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed

The Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf tin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  • While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.
  • Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
I was very nervous past this point as I have never made a glaze before and the loaf looked so pretty and yummy already. But I thought what the hell, let's do it!  So:
  • To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of the loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.
I didn't do so well with the whole pouring of the glaze properly so the loaf went from looking super delish, to looking...well, not so pretty!

As with most loafs you could of course bake it in different shape tins, make it mini muffin-like or super large. Just remember to adjust the baking time!

So although it didn't look like the prettiest cake in the end, my oh my did it taste amazing! Super fresh and a little zingy and incredibly moist. Just fabulous.


September 27, 2012

My week

Even if the trees aren't showing it much yet, autumn is officially here. By the way, that's code for "Im ill".

I'm going to make this short and sweet or I may just collapse halfway through as I have zero energy. I'm really sorry and I promise to make it up to you!

Here are some pictures of my week that either didn't make it the final cut in previous posts or that I enjoy but don't warrant a full rant about.

Doesn't the pier look amazing even in its burned out shell?


September 25, 2012

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

So another week and another baking session gone. I made those on Saturday as we were going to the baptism of our goddaughter on the Sunday and I thought I could take it with us...and completely forgot, but that's another story!
I found this recipe on The Little Loaf, which has some proper yummy recipes (I think I say that a lot about many blogs, but hey it only means that there is an incredibly huge amount of savoury and sweet tasty recipes out there to explore!).
I absolutely love brownies so the thought of making it so that it was bite size was just too much and I had to try it.
200g dark chocolate, chopped
75g unsalted butter
60g golden syrup
3 medium eggs
75g light brown sugar
110g golden caster sugar
75g plain flour
15g cocoa powder, sifted
Handful of cocoa chips (optional - I used some white chocolate ones as it's Christoph's favourite)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
In their recipe they used an eight hole muffin tin but I wanted to have them slightly smaller so I used a cupcake tin with some cute cupcake cases and it made 16 in total!
Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie, stir in the golden syrup and leave it to cool.
Whisk the eggs together with the brown and caster sugars until pale and thick, add the chocolate mixture carefully to not add to much air to the mixture. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, filling practically to the top as they won’t rise very much. Sprinkle the cocoa bits if using. Although if you are using white chocolate I would recommend pushing them in a little as you can see mine crisped up a little - it was still super yummy and didn't affect the taste but looks wise if I am honest it kinda did. Oh well, Christoph didn't seem to mind!
Bake for 18 – 25 min if using the muffin tin, otherwise bring down the baking time to about 13 minutes and check if it needs more time. You definitely don’t want to over bake these. "The middle should still have some wobble and a toothpick inserted should come out with moist crumbs clinging to it".
Remove from the oven and allow to cool if you can wait!

Blog Indecision - Themes And Appearance

If there is one thing I have been most indecisive about since starting this blog is the layout and appearance. I am finding so very difficult to find the one layout and look that I am truly happy with. Maybe it's because littlebitsofnice doesn't have a direction, because it's a collection of random moments, thoughts, spaces, places, stuff, likes and...well...bits (of nice! *geeky giggle*).
All blogging platforms give varying degrees of freedom to their bloggers to do what they want. 
Blogger is really good for that. It does give you freedom to do nearly everything you want in all aspects and parts of the blog from playing with the width, colours, fonts, sizes, all of it regardless of what original theme you start with. I just feel there is something missing but I can't figure out what that is exactly.
Wordpress, where littlebitsofnice has been "cloned"(I am still deciding where home will be), is different. The themes seem a lot more intricate and crisp (make sense?) but you can do a lot less with them and therefore I find it harder to find the theme that will be just right. Indeed very little modifications can be made and whatever extra you could do has to be paid for. True, it's not expensive, but I love to change things constantly, I get bored quite easily and I am still unsure where littlebitsofnice is heading...I am therefore a bit wary of buying those themes and/or extras and then think "hmmmm".
I thought about checking out other platforms but I made myself stop because it was just getting ridiculous. I can't have the same blog, as I have no interest in having more than 1, in 3 or 4 hosting sites. I have also been looking various other blogs that I read and enjoy, not only for their content but also for the way it looks and that therefore provides me with the full blogging experience (know what I mean?). Here are a few:
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.co.uk/ - She changed her layout recently. For this one I am actually not sure it it's the layout or the fact that I love her content so much.
http://www.simplyscratch.com/ - Simple but perfect.
http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/ - my favourite - although I did like it when it was slightly "messier".
So here we are, theme change take 5, with a different theme for both littlebits Blogger and littlebits Wordpress, both very similar to each other.
What do you think? Better, worse, good, bad? Lost cause? Do you have any good tips on personalising your blog in either one of these sites? Do you have a "random" blog and if so how did you choose your look to reflect that? 
Talk about overthinking something!

September 22, 2012

Our Home - Kitchen

Finally managed to get pictures of our kitchen! I was doing a bit of tyding up so I thought there was no better time. Just like our bedroom, it isn't huge, nothing in our flat is! But again, we love it nevertheless.
My favourite bits in the kithen are: our cake toppers birds, our hampers...
...our Home Sweet Home door stop and our karibu sign (welcome in Swahili) over the kitchen door...
...our flowers...
...and last but not least...
...fairy lights of course!


September 20, 2012


For our wedding I asked my mother to send me pictures of when I was little as Christoph and I had pictures put of both of us up on a wall along with pictures of the people that shaped our lives.

I've been looking through those pictures a lot recently and I am feeling really nostalgic and sad. My mother isn't well and with my dad having passed away quite suddenly 3 years ago, I think that her not being well is really affecting me. My mother has always been this pillar of strength, never ill, solid, you know? Life is so fragile. That is why it is important to remember just how beautiful it also is.

Those pictures are some of my favourites of when I was a baby/child and some with my parents.


What are your favourite pictures of you as a baby/child? 


September 19, 2012

Iyengar Yoga

This isn't me in the picture before you ask! I do wish I was that flexible. That is one of the reasons why Christoph and I have started a iyengar yoga course today.

They take place in the Brighton Natural Health Centre (which is where the picture above is from, it is not one of my pictures), right in the middle of the lanes.

It is quite an easy place to miss as the building is quite small but the classroom was surprisingly big and airy and teacher as well as fellow students all were really lovely.

It is so nice to find a place that has yoga at a good time for me. Classes everywhere I looked where either at 10am or 7-8pm. As I work the 10am classes are a no no and as I am the kind of person that if I go home in the evening after work, to get me out of the house again would be nothing short of a miracle! These classes are at 5.30pm which are perfect for my 4.30 finish as well as Christoph's.

The reasons why I wanted to do yoga are many: for one thing I need to do some exercise. I also feel like I'm shrinking, if you see what I mean? I really feel that I need to stretch my body. I have trouble sleeping, and have had for years and I think it will help. Basically I am hoping it will help with my flexibility, strengthen my body and help with various little bits.

And I think we chose well to start with iyengar yoga. It's a form of Hatha Yoga,  which focuses on the alignment of the body. To find out more here's the Iyengar Yoga Association website for the UK.

All in all excellent and we cannot wait to go again next week!

September 18, 2012

Our Wedding - The Dress

First time my mother saw me in the dress in the wedding dress shop
Ah my dress. I love it so much, I do wish wedding dresses were more versatile and could be used at other times. Sadly they are not.

The picture above, although not taken at the wedding, is one of my favourites. Probably because my mother very seriously thought that there was no way in hell she was going to cry and in a fraction of a second of me appearing in it she was a teary mess. Silly mum, we all knew you would.

I also adore this picture of little Hermione, one of the flower girls, "wearing" my shoes. At least one of us did (I decided to go bare foot!) 


September 17, 2012

An Amazing Banana Loaf Recipe

I am quite sure I have posted about this recipe before but hey, that's just how much I love it.

I love bananas, in case you didn't notice in my banana post, and banana cake/loaf is delish. Add to that chocolate and walnuts and I'm one happy fat bunny!

I found this recipe in A cup of Jo. She does have some nice recipes and I have now tried a few with varying degrees of success. This one is a winner.

In her original recipe she also adsd bourbon - yum yum! - but I didn't have it in the house so I made it without it. And it is still completely delicious.


2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
170g semisweet chocolate chunks
And if you want the bourbon add 3 tablespoons of bourbon

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (170C) Butter a loaf tin and line it if parchment if you want!

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer, scrape down sides of the bowl, and add bananas, lemon juice (and bourbon). Beat until well incorporated.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat until almost incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and incorporate the last of the ingredients with a spatula.

Batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow loaf to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before putting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Yeah...ahem...we totally couldn't wait that long...so the first slice was falling apart! 

Enjoy this wonderful loaf with a fresh cup of brazilian coffee. Heaven.


September 16, 2012

The Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival 2012

This last week it has been The Brighton & Hove food and drink festival and we didn't find out until it was nearly too late, which is very typical! Its happens twice a year, once in April for the spring harvest and once in September for the autumn one.
L'Eglise is this little French restaurant that is 5 min walk from our home and that we have walked past many a times, always saying to each other just how we should go and have food there soon. Last week, as I had been feeling very poorly all week, Christoph had decided that he would treat me to some good food. It was by checking their website that he found out this festival was happening and that the restaurant was taking part. The were offering a 5 course meal cooked by a couple of wonderfully French cooks from the region of Lyon as part of an International chef exchange: Yves Rivoiron and Jean Louis Gelin, who may I just say has the most incredible moustache I have seen and who is the most jovial chef I've met. He even sang us a song (click here to hear it, it's worth it) while topping up his glass of wine. Fantastique!

Christoph told him his moustache was bigger than a submarine (here), all in French so we think he appreciated the effort?
The evening was lovely and very convivial. Everyone sat together, we were outside, and this gave everyone the chance to chat with different dinners, meeting some interesting people and of course, eating some wonderful food and drinking fabulous wine. We opted to try out Jean Louis own brew which tasted light and was very easy to drink - and which also gave us the worse headache we have both ever experienced. Own brew it was indeed! 

If you live in the area I would highly recommend L'Eglise to anyone that wants good food, cosy setting, wonderful hostess and interesting patrons.

A lot more happened this week end at the festival and I cannot wait for the next one, which I hope I will be in better form for!

September 14, 2012

Our Wedding - The Venues

We are getting there with the pictures! I decided I didn't want my wedding posts to be millions of pictures of us and the wedding, and that although I want to share some pictures here, this blog will not turn into our wedding album. For one thing, there is a reason why we had an intimate ceremony and posting hundreds of pictures here really kinda defeats the point. And secondly, unless you are me - because I can look at the pictures everyday all day - it would become really boring after picture number 20 (Less than that?! Really?).

So, we had a bit of a glimpse of the flowers and now we have a little glimpse of the venues. There will be more pictures than this, this cannot be said to be a glimpse, a blink maybe? 

We had a civil ceremony, which was beautiful and intimate, in this stunning place. Pennyhill Park is indeed a spectacular place.

And once we had the serious stuff out of the way, we made our way to the Franzkowiak's.

It was such a fun party, no rules, no timings, just a group of people having good food and lovely wine.

I will post more pictures of both ceremony and party, for a better glimpse ;) soon!


September 13, 2012

Our Home - Bedroom

I've been wanting to share some pictures of our flat for a while now but either life is too fast or the house is too messy and before you know it we have been here for weeks.

We personalised a cheap Ikea wardrobe by simply changing the door knobs. I bought mines from a shop around the corner from where we live and chose to have them different from each other. We also added a string of colourful beach huts to the side of it. We are in Brighton after all.

Yes it's small - Brighton rental prices are painful! - but it's the first flat we have rented unfurnished and had to buy everything for it. 

And yes it was on a budget - newlyweds here! - but we think it's cute. I love our bedroom.


September 11, 2012

Our Wedding - The Flowers

So, the first installment of our wedding photos is finally here! I am starting with the flowers as they looked gorgeous thanks to our florist Jenny from Wooldridge and Sleep

                                         1. Bridesmaids bouquets  2. Flower girls hair clip  3. Bride's bouquet  4. Bride's bouquet

My bouquet: what can I say but that I thought it was so beautiful! It had one of the loveliest peonies I have seen, the colours were stunning and looked as if they had just been picked from a field.

I did keep forgetting it everywhere I went...and I had various people bring it back to me throughout the day...Oups! 

I particularly loved the bridesmaids bouquets. They looked incredibly cute and delicate with a mix of white and pink gypsophilias. They are definately one of my favourite flowers.

The flower girls clip was super cute too, although they didn't last very long on the hair of our lovely but very active little girls who by the end of the day had gone from lovely pink to, well, black really!

We also had some daisies in little jars on the registrar's table and some mason jars hanging on the chairs filled with some more gypsophilias. Those, the daisies and gyps, were taken back after the ceremony to the marquee and used for the venue too on the tables!

Peonies, daisies, gypsophilias...perfect!

September 08, 2012

Dinosaur Biscuits

I've been wanting to use my dinosaur cookie cutters for months now, ever since I bought them when we went to the Natural History Museum in London

I had been a bit worried about making biscuits though, as I thought they would be very hard to get it right and for some reason using the cutters was quite daunting. Well daunting it is no more! I LOVE it and it's so much fun!

So, I started by looking everywhere on the internet for a biscuit recipe. Took me at least 1 hour to decide on which one to go for, I wanted to make sure it was going to be good. You see those little monsters aren't just for me and making me happy - and they do, trust me, you have only to ask Christoph and he will tell you that I screamed like a little girl when I make my first dino biscuit shape...I got so excited...ahem... - but they are also for our little visitors today. We are super excited as we are going to see our nieces and newphew today for a little picnic on the beach (yes yes the beach, again, we are new in Brighton ok? ;)) and what best for little snacks and a little extra energy - the energy is more for us adults - than Dino Biscuits?

And BBC Good Food turned out to have a good recipe so that's the one I chose. 

It's called Basic biscuit dough as you can add various things to it to make how you want want it. I chose to put some lemon zest in it for a little bit of zing (athough not enough if I am honest, next time I will put the zest of 2 lemons instead of 1). 

Here's the recipe:


  • 250g butter , softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour

  • Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine. Sift 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined - you might need to get your 
    hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.

    Roll it out and start cutting! Repeat until you have no dough left. This recipe made LOTS of biscuits.

    Bake in the oven at 160C fan (180 non fan) for 11-12min. Then leave it too cool on a wire rack before storing. You can of course make them look very cool by adding colour and extras which I didn' do but maybe next time!

    September 04, 2012

    Another Day in Hove...

    ...and some pics from the beach again! The weather was so beautiful today when I finished work that we got home, changed from out work clothes, packed a bag with some wine and headed down to Hove seafront. Just what you need after a days work.