Tag Archives: food

Happiness all rolled up.

I feel it is my civic duty to share a very important diary date…Sunday 4th October is Cinnamon Roll Day.  Really! Now that is my kind of day of celebration!

It’s a Swedish thing, as cinnamon rolls – Kanelbullens to give them their Swedish name – are a big thing there.  Very wise people the Swedish, clearly! To my mind, a decent cinnamon roll is truly a thing of beauty.

Although the locals have a distinctly sweet tooth, sadly Bruneian coffee shops are nowhere near close to serving cinnamon rolls, let alone great cinnamon rolls.  So I’ve resorted to making them myself. They’re a special treat because they are more fiddly than my usual baking repertoire, but wow are they worth the extra effort!  I use a recipe from the wonderful blogger Minimalist Baker, who, as the name suggests, keeps things simple but delicious.  I can highly recommend her recipe for cinnamon rolls.

cake - danish sq 4_003-1

Home-baked deliciousness!

I think I like cinnamon rolls at least in part because you can almost kid yourself that they are healthy, if you focus on cinnamon’s health benefits.  It genuinely is a spice with a lot going for it.

Amongst a long list of beneficial uses it has anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), and carminative (anti-flatulent) properties.  Not bad for a little bit of tree bark!

It also helps to regulate blood sugar when consumed, as well as stimulating brain activity when smelled.  Powdered as a spice for flavouring both savoury and sweet foods, or used therapeutically as an essential oil, cinnamon really is super-powered.

So like I said, it’s a health food.  A superfood even.  Just this once ignore the fact that all the other ingredients in a cinnamon roll are distinctly not health-foody.

I’m looking forward to a morning in the kitchen tomorrow, baking cinnamon rolls with my girly.  She loves helping me to make cakes, almost as much as she loves eating them.  Definitely a girl after my own heart!   And you?  You should be kind to yourself on a Sunday.  Go bake a batch, or get out and treat yourself to one.  Savour every mouthful, and thank the marketing genius who came up with the concept.   Happy Cinnamon Roll Day!

‘I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.’

(Ellen DeGeneres)

Happy talk.

With the parents she has, we always expected our little girl would be a talker. And we are now definitely in a language learning zone.  Already she has three very important words under her belt, which we are hearing…a lot!  In the order the words came out:

  1. mumumumumum
  2. mamama
  3. catcat.

Catcat, obviously, means cat.  Although, for the record, I have no idea why the repetition.  It isn’t how we speak!  My husband tried to persuade me that ‘catcat’ is actually a generic animal word, as our little girl apparently was saying it to a toy dog she has.  But when I asked if he was sure, because on the shelf right next to the toy there is actually a photo frame with a picture of our cats in it, he was less certain.

So it seems that even without pets here, I may have passed on my crazy cat lady ways, which makes me bizarrely happy.  I am so looking forward to going back to the UK in the summer and introducing our little girl to the cats.  She is going to love them.  Although I’m not entirely convinced that the feeling will be mutual.  She does not have the gentlest of touches!

Cleo - the most aloof of the three cats. What will she make of a toddler in the house?!

Cleo – the most aloof of the three cats. What will she make of a toddler in the house?!

When mumumumumum fell out of the bag, I was unsure. Mum?  Or yum? Every mum (secretly or not so secretly!) wants mummy to be their child’s first word.  But I was somewhat doubtful as, at the time, she was sat in her high chair, stuffing cubes of mango and blueberries into her little hamster cheeks like there was no tomorrow. And we have spent a lot of time saying ‘mmmmm, yum yum yum….[toast/cheese/peas/pear/chicken etc]’ so that she learns the words. So I guess I can hardly blame her.

It is also actually a very shrewd move on her part.  I am now very clear on exactly what she likes and what she doesn’t like, even though she cannot yet say the individual names of everything that is put on her plate.  Obviously things are going well when there are lots of ‘mumumumums’.  And equally obviously, considerably less well when there is a lot of head shaking, lip clamping and things being dramatically flung down to the floor!

Yum, yum, yum...toast!

Yum, yum, yum…toast!

If I’m honest, even mamama I cannot claim entirely for myself, as it actually covers a number of bases.  Most of the time I’m the one in the firing line.  But it can actually mean anyone else, including dad, granny, granddad.  Or even ‘hey you!’ if the cute smile failed to grab the necessary amount of attention.

So now I’m working on her next word being ‘daaa-deee’.  None of the others have been pushed on her, but I am making a conscious effort with this one.  Mainly because I know it will make my husband utterly overjoyed when she first says it.  But also because a friend tells me (from experience) that this is a very prudent move for sharing weekend parent duty.  When they wake in the morning and can shout for ‘daaaddeee’ as well as ‘mamama’, the baton can be quite justifiably passed. Now that sounds like a good reason, wouldn’t you agree?

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Food!


Beautiful persimmon fruit.  They have a vivid orange, shiny skin which is normally the thing that catches your eye.  But I think that in black and white the almost architectural calyx on top really stands out, which is lovely.

In this house we take our food seriously!  Food is for eating, not for photographing (well, most of the time!).  Moments after this shot was taken, the persimmon were peeled and chopped up, poaching in a pan of orange flower water with some peeled pear and a couple of bruised cardamom pods. Softened, blitzed and poured into an ice cube tray for freezing…very tasty, very quick, and perfect baby size portions to accompany thick, creamy greek yoghurt!  Our little one loved it!!  And after all, why should toddlers be stuck eating boring food, especially when good food is this easy?!