Bonjour, mes amis! My recent absence was due at first to a singing competition and then to the awful, evil flu. I’m better now and ready to blog again -LUCKY YOU, YAY!!

Having literally eaten my body weight six times over in the last two weeks to stay alive, I have now taken up the challenge of losing 7 – 10lbs before Christmas. (I’ve said it on Twitter now, so it has to happen.) This does mean that my baking will take a step back for a while and the cooking will take a step up.
HOWEVER! I made this recipe for one of my trips to Dublin two weeks ago and it is so fast and SO EASY and reminds me of being a little person. My sister used to make a variation of this and we always called them ‘hedgehogs.”
4 oz butter (at room temperature)
4 oz caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a dash of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz self raising flour
For the top:
150g raspberry jam, heated until runny
100g desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (170 fan)/ 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4


2: Add the egg, vanilla and flour a little at a time, mixing as you go until all ingredients have been used.

3:  Divide the mixture between 12 prepared lined bun cases.

4: Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
5: Lightly toast the coconut on a baking tray under a grill or in a frying pan until lightly golden.
6: Spread the jam on top of each cake and dip into the toasted coconut until coated.


I haven’t thought about new years’ resolutions at all yet. It’s almost as though I’m preventing myself from it. Like I don’t want to commit to actually thinking about anything seriously. I did a lot of serious thinking this year. There was that whole quarter-life crisis where I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. And I had that meeting with Ger and I thought I was ok and then I wasn’t again.

Well, anyway. I need to set goals for 2010, because 2009 was so very lacking in direction. It was just floating and bouncing and floating again. I am lucky that I have a job in a school for now, I can sing for now and I have piano students. These are all things that I at least don’t have to think about. I also know that I will be working for Midsummer Festival in the summer and there will be my brother’s wedding in July. After that I don’t know. But in fairness, that’s the next seven months taken care of. I would quite like to make a few new resolutions at the start of every month too.

Personal goals.

Obviously, I have to lose weight. I don’t even see this as a goal because it’s already happening. But it is a goal to be a size 10 for the wedding.

Things I want to take up: Low Whistle/Tin Whistle, belly dancing, running, continue piano and singing and guitar.

Finish my album. I can’t believe how long this is taking me.

Have some ME TIME. Been sorely lacking in recent months.

Sort the house out. Massive declutter. Paint, decorate, etc.

Make a YouTube video soonish.

Is that enough?


Turn Up The Musing

‘On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.”
Well it’s not quite the first day of Christmas, it is however the third day that I have woken up to a blanket of ice covering my car and freezing fog hanging eerily in the air. Imagine my delight when, on Friday morning, after waking up to find that my alarm had not gone off and I was late for work, I opened the door to a virtually opaque world. I had to feel my way to the car armed with jugs of water to melt the windscreen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I hate hazardous driving conditions as much as the next person. But there is something so reassuring about winter being, well, winterish. Especially living in Cork, the Wet and Warm Capital of Ireland, it’s nice to see some evidence of the change in seasons. Although I’m not crazy about waking up in the dark, working through the daylight hours and driving home to see a 4pm sunset.
Some people will blame global warming for this unusually bitter weather but I must say that it brings me back to my child hood. Many happy mornings were spent crunching across the frozen grass on my way to school bundled up in hats and scarves and anoraks. Good times. Personally I’m looking forward to the opportunity to don my favourite hats and scarves again. Nothing says “WINTER!” like disappearing under a sea of mittens and socks.
So come on people! Stop complaining! Stoke up that fire, pull out your comfiest blanket and snuggle down. If we’re lucky we might just get a white Christmas!
Turn to the Music:
To keep my smile warm I’m listening to “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray.  Listen to it first thing in the morning to keep you happy for the rest of the day.