Monday 25 November 2013

Light Night and Leisurely Breakfasts...

Have you noticed that there seems to be a correlation between how much fun you're having, and the blurriness of the photo's you take? Or that the best moments go by totally unrecorded. Except of course for those fuzzy images that are ingrained in your memory forever. 

I woke up on my birthday morning to: card, coffee and gorgeous green orchid from A. No idea where he was hiding it! Followed by veggie brunch with spinach and bubble and squeak, and Becky's baked beans at one of our new favourite places. They have the most enormous portions, and pancakes to die for, big fluffy ones. If I'm totally honest they don't have the best veggie food...but that's not what we go for. The atmosphere and service are amazing and I just love looking at all the quirky decoration.

Then came the fun of opening cards and parcels that arrived in the post. Nice kitchen related things, cookery books, cosmetics, Japanese scented candle, plus phone calls and being serenaded 'happy birthday'.  After very late brunch...3pm followed by vintage shopping...we settled in Saturday night to a couple of episodes of Nordic Noir; the first two programs in brand new series of Borgen. I still love it...

We'd planned to be in London with H, but I was still feeling a bit like a hamster with a swollen throat, so we decided to catch up this weekend instead. She came home, boyfriend too, from uni in Bristol. 'A' made his famous pizza's and 'H' made her sunshine toast. I did lots of baking, whipped up gallons of pancake batter. As usual double batches so that I can freeze some to make stuffed pancakes.We all had fun flipping them in the frying pan. Don't you just love having time to enjoy leisurely family breakfasts.

It was Light Night in town Friday with the St Giles Fair. The museums opened until late. As usual we missed the lantern procession but there was live music everywhere. Traditional and modern, outside and inside. Making good use of the acoustics in spaces like the Ashmolean. Fake snow machines (still waiting for the real stuff) hot chestnuts roasting, lights sparkling...what more could I want... 

Some Leisurely breakfast ideas:

Wafer thin wheat flour pancakes 


  • 4oz of plain wheat flour
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 of a pint of milk and water...mostly milk, or non-dairy alternative
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • Butter or non-dairy alternative


  1. Sift the flour and pinch of salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre and crack the two eggs into it. Beat the eggs into the flour
  3. Gradually add the liquid, incorporating all the flour until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Melt a nob of butter and add two table spoonfuls of it into the batter, stirring well.
  5. Pour some of the remaining butter into a frying pan on the hob coating it thinly. 
  6. Pour in a couple of tablespoonfuls of the batter to coat the pan pouring it to ensure it reaches the sides making a thin layer. 
  7. Cook until the pancake has set. Toss and continue to cook the other side until cooked. 

This made about six smallish pancakes. These are scrumptious served with fresh lemon juice and a dusting of icing sugar or maple syrup.

Spelt pancakes with smoked haddock omelette

Spelt pancakes

Ingredients and method:

  • Exactly the same as for the wheat pancakes except substituting the wheat for spelt flour.
Smoked Haddock omelette

Ingredients for two mini omelettes:
  • One smoked haddock fillet. Salmon or other fish works well too
  • Four free range eggs
  • Butter or oil to cook

  1. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat well. You may like to add a little black pepper, but as the smoked fish is very salty I don't think it needs any more salt adding.
  2. Flake the fish into small pieces making sure that you remove any skin and bones. 
  3. Pour a little oil into a omelette or frying pan, removing any excess with a piece of kitchen paper.
  4. Allow to heat up then reduce the heat and then pour in the eggs. Once the omelette has begun to set but the top is still liquid place pieces of the fish on top.
  5. Cook until set.
  6. Place a small omelette onto one of the spelt pancakes. Roll up, cut in half diagonally and then serve. This is delicious served with a sweet chilly sauce. 

Chilli bubble and squeak with baked eggs.

Ingredients for four people:

  • Two leeks
  • Two large portobello mushrooms or a couple of handfuls of small ones.
  • Two  ripe tomatoes or a couple of handfuls of cherry ones
  • Left over roasted vegetables. I only used the garlic, red onions, sweet peppers and potatoes for this.
  • Olive or rapeseed oil for frying
  • Four free range eggs
  • Dried chillies to taste
  • Sea salt and black pepper plus a tiny bit of turmeric about a quarter of a teaspoonful. 
  1. Trim, dice and was the leeks very well.
  2. Pour a little oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan, add the leeks and saute. If using any pre-roasted garlic cloves add at this point. After removing any papery skins add the soft pulp.
  3. If you have any fresh sweet peppers, de-seed and add to the pan at this point. Cook until the leeks and peppers are beginning to soften
  4. Slice the mushrooms and tomatoes then cut into small cubes, add both to the pan. 
  5.  Cut roasted potatoes and any other pre-cooked vegetables into similar sized pieces and add.
  6. Season, stir well, cover and allow to cook until all the vegetables have cooked down to a soft texture.
  7. Make four wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each one. Season each egg with a little salt and black pepper, cover and continue cooking until the eggs have set but are still runny in the centre. 
This was a big thumbs up from everyone, either with-or-without eggs. It's great when you find something everybody likes. A really spicy dish mellowed by the creamy eggs. Very substantial it would make a great lunch or supper dish too.

If you have a very sweet tooth Lemon drizzle cake or you can use the same batter, add a little more lemon juice, lots poppy seeds and omit the sweet syrupy glaze to make Poppy seed muffins 

I hope you find time for a leisurely breakfast some time soon...



  1. Happy birthday Debby!!!
    A few days ago was my birthday too, but my breakfast was not as good as yours hahaha.
    Light night photos are very nice.
    ummm, the poppy seed muffins, delicious!!
    I wish a good week

    1. Thank you Montse, and the same to you. I hope you had an amazing birthday.
      Hope you have a great week too.

  2. happy birthday! blurry or not, I saw happiness and fun! Looks like you did a lot to celebrate :) Thanks for the recipes as always.