Archive | May, 2013

Clandestine Cake Club at Matthew’s Coffee House, Cleckheaton.

17 May


Lots of our regulars couldn’t join us on Thursday evening for our Clandestine Cake Club meeting, as holidays, training courses and illness  prevented them from being with us. We did however have new members join us and we had a great time.

Matthew of Matthew’s Coffee House in Cleckheaton joined in the spirit of the evening and managed to eat a piece of all of the 9 cakes! Not quite the record of 11 pieces of cake held by Rob of the Leeds group but close!



The cakes some highly and beautifully decorated and some plain, all tasted superb.

SAM_2703The cakes were Chocolate sunflower cake  by Penny,  Beetroot and hazelnut cake by Helen and Malibu and pineapple cake by Bernie


SAM_2702Chocolate cake with a smiley sunshine by Danielle, Sunshine marmalade cake by me (Sue Jones)  and Featherlight sponge (from the CCC cookbook, Helen Jones from our group’s recipe) with a smile on it by Sally


Raspberry surprise fatless sponge cake by Irene, Pineapple upside down cake by Andrea  and Apricot flavoured cake by Kay


SAM_2692 SAM_2691 SAM_2690 SAM_2689 SAM_2688 SAM_2687 SAM_2697SAM_2699SAM_2700

A great spread of cakes!

Photos below of everyone arriving and settling down.

SAM_2694 SAM_2695 SAM_2696We must have behaved ourselves as Matthew has said we can return anytime!

Thanks to everyone for making it a great evening and thanks to Matthew for having us.

30 ways to save £1.

15 May

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin, are asking bloggers to write down 30 money saving tips each as they are hoping to putting together at least  1,000 tips.

It is a challenge to you all too and there is a possible prize of £2,000 for the lucky winner of the competition.

Read about the challenge here:

These are my money saving tips:

1. Check out MoneySupermarket. com to find the cheapest of many things (house and car insurance to name but two)

2. Forage for blackberries in the hedgrows and make your own jam and save glass jars with lids to put your home made jam and preserves in. Do not buy expensive new jars.  When sterilised old jars are just as good.

3. Bake your own bread pies and cakes. Home baking tastes much better than shop bought too.

Milk twist loaf

Slices of home made bread                                                       Milk Twist loaf

DSC_1925                                    Marmalade and sultana loaf

4. Buy your Christmas cards and wrapping paper in January in the sales and put them away with your Christmas decorations so you know where to find them.

5. Save old Christmas cards and make gift tags out of them for your gifts.

6. Peg washing outside to dry when possible. Electric dryers are very expensive to use so avoid it when you can.

7. Do not spend on Credit cards if you cannot afford to pay them off immediately. If you use a Credit card, completely pay it off when the bill arrives to save incurring charges.

8. Use a Credit card which gives you rewards. Tesco for instance gives you points which turns into cash or can be exchanged for 4 times the value for restaurant vouchers. ( a nice treat!)

9. If you are not going to use any fresh vegetable you have bought immediately, prepare, blanch and freeze for future use.

10. Look on the reduced shelf in Supermarkets. Many items may be a fraction of the original price and obviously still within the sell by dates. If you are not going to use immediately, freeze on the same day for future use.

11. Avoid cooking too much spaghetti for a meal by using a portion measure and only cook the amount needed so avoiding waste.


12. Buy a growing lettuce and remove only the leaves you need for each meal. The lettuce will continue to grow. (Remember to water it!)

13. If your Supermarket charges for carrier bags, always remember to take reusable shopping bags with you to avoid the expense.

14. Use old carrier bags as rubbish bags to avoid ever having to buy bin bags.

15. Sell unwanted items on Ebay. Look around and see what you are no longer using. Your rubbish may be some one elses treasure.

16. When washing powder, washing conditioner, wash up liquid, dishwasher tablets etc are on offer, stock up. Do not pay the full price again!

17. If you use half a can of chopped tomatoes or coconut milk or similar, freeze the remainder in ice cube trays to avoid throwing away the second half the week after, when you find it in your fridge. (The frozen ice cubes defrost much quicker than in a large solid block!)

18. If you have an over ripe banana and don’t want to eat it, don’t throw it away, freeze it. Frozen banana doesn’t taste of ripe banana but is a beautiful silky ice cream, or use over ripe bananas in baking to make a banana loaf of cake. Don’t throw them away.

19. Save jam jar lids and put them in a box. These make a lovely noisy, safe toy for children to play with.(There are no sharp edges, too big to swallow and great for little hands to clutch)

20. Any childrens broken crayons can be melted together and put in silicone moulds to cool to make funky different shaped crayons.

21. Buy own brands in Supermarkets. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know the difference. Some, not all, are made by the same manufacturer as named brands.

22. Dont throw away any boring cold left over meats from a Sunday roast. There are recipes online to make new interesting dishes, Chicken noodle soup, Caribbean Pork Stew, Spicy Lamb and Harisa Cous Cous, Thai green beef curry to name but a few.

23. Grow your own vegetables. Even in a small plot you can grow somethings. I grow runner beans in a large plant pot with a cane wigwam and string for them to climb up.

24. If you are having a baby, take anything anyone offers in clothes or prams etc. Children grow so quickly that they often don’t wear things out.

25. Make hand made gifts and birthday cards. If you have lots of time and not much money, love is the added ingredient. Personalised gifts and cards are always well received

DSC_0803                                                                    Plant pot bird feeder

Personalised gifts 3                                                                    Decorated plant pot and candle

SAM_2383                                                      Hand made birthday card


                                                                  Hand made cards

Handmade zippered bag                                                                Hand made zippered bag

Cookies in a jar

                                                           Cookies in a jar, Christmas gifts for friends.

26. Buy a cheap bottle of vodka  (Lidl sell one!)  Some of the vodka with added water sprayed  into the air in a fine mist is a good air freshener and will work out cheaper than aerosol cans of freshener.

27.  A dish of bicarbonate of soda in the fridge will cheaply take away unwanted odours.

28. If you have run out of expensive cleaning materials, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar can be used to clean your cooker, your bath, your sink etc.

29. Make a list when you go shopping and stick to it. Don’t buy items on impulse. Buy only what you need. Sometimes Supermarket shopping online can be cheaper and paying a few pounds for delivery may be cheaper than driving to shop and then impulse buying.

30. Exchange your talents with a friend. For example, if you can shorten trousers and your friend can fill beautiful hanging baskets you have things to offer each other in place of money.

Now its your turn. Can you find 30 ways to save £1?

Jack of all trades!

6 May

What do they say, “Jack of all trades, master of none!”

I suppose that’s me.

I can cook but I wouldn’t make it on Masterchef.

I can bake but the Great British Bake off wouldn’t want me.

I can sew and put in a zip but the Great British Sewing Bee would be my downfall.

I can knit.

I can crochet.

I can change a fuse in a plug.

I can use a lawn mower and cut the grass.

I can jet wash the patio with the Karcher.

I can hammer a nail into wood.

I can wallpaper a room.

I can use an electric drill. ( I put venetian blinds up in the kitchen, bathroom and the small window at the top of the stairs) Don’t look close though!

I have mastered the laptop in a fashion, I can write a blog on WordPress!  I can put data onto a disc.

I can in fact do many varied things yet I am master of none.


Where I do excel though (blowing my own trumpet) is:


Being a great Mum.

I know my children will agree. I help them however and where ever I can and will always be there for them.

I always, without exception, put them first


Being a fantastic Grandma.

I can rock a baby to sleep.

I can sing wonderful songs (*cough* Hmn Hmn!)

I can tell great stories.

I give amazing cuddles.

Sleepovers at my house are great fun!


….so that’s ok then.   I can live with that.


Good job my name isn’t Jack…. My name is Sue!