Zuccotto Panettone and Ricotta Cake

Festive Food Swap

Baking is not my strong point and for anyone who knows me baking with kids stresses me out; flour everywhere, egg shells in the batter and sugar on the floor.


So, when we were asked to take part in Tesco’s Festive Food Swap, which encourages people to try different tastes from around the world, I was secretly pleased the Italian recipe I received, from Giulia Mulè,  was more of an assembly job rather than a full on baking experience, no need to even preheat the oven.

The Festive Food Swap  was also a great opportunity to introduce my daughter about different Christmas Traditions from around the World.  She was intrigued by ‘Befana’, a friendly witch who delivers sweets and toys on the 5th of January instead of Father Christmas.

We were asked to make a Zuccotto Panettone and Ricotto Cake, which is a traditional dessert from Florence, Italy.  It seems that, it’s a good way to use up all of the left over Panettone after the Festive Season.  I have to admit, it felt rather strange cutting up a perfectly good cake to make another one.


We had a lot of fun putting it together and narrowly avoided using the wrong size bowl, no idea why I was thinking in inches, a 16 inch layered Panettone Cake would have been massive.


I’ve had a look on Google and ours seems to look like it should so we were happy.  However, I have to be honest, I’ve never been a lover of dried fruit and don’t tend to eat a lot of chocolate or puddings in general,  so it wasn’t to my liking, but you could definitely taste all the different flavours and can see the a ‘peel’.


I think my daughter was put off by the Marsala wine (Fortified Italian Wine) even though it took Google, a Tesco Employee and myself to find it, she obviously doesn’t take after her mother who would never turn her nose up at wine.

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!


Thanks to Giulia and Tesco for the opportunity.

Is Tescos Cheaper?

Tesco Price Promise

Weekly shop for £50?  You are having a laugh…..

I was asked last week to review Tesco’s New Price Promise; you do your normal shop, then if you have done it online, like I did, you receive and email that shows you if you could have saved money by shopping elsewhere and they will refund you the difference.  If you’ve shopped in store there is a number on the bottom of your receipt and you can go to the website, enter the number and it will show you the same.

I did joke in the beginning that £50 would barely cover my wine for the week, but I took up the challenge, omitted wine and managed to do my weekly shop for less than the £50.  I was rather impressed with myself and will order a case of wine in shortly.

Weirdly for someone who spends most of her life online, I’ve never really got on with online shopping.  However, I haven’t done it in years and I found the process to be incredibly easy and may be persuaded to do it again.

I received this email this morning:

Tesco Price Promise

Tesco is on to a winner.  Even though I can get it cheaper elsewhere I”m now determined to shop with them to redeem by voucher?

Disclosure:  I was reimbursed to a value of £50 in return for this post.

When I was a kid……

I never appreciated how lucky I was growing up in Canada, until I had my daughter.   It now hits home whenever I roll up the rug in the front room, so she can ride her tricycle around the lounge and spend endless hours suffering germ infested soft play centres.

When I was a kid (god, I must be getting old) we lived in a small rural community with approximately 10,000 people.  We moved there when I was 2, there was a sawmill nearby and both my father and grandfather worked at it.  We lived in a secluded development set back from the highway and surrounded by forest.  In the morning, my sister and I’d head out the front door, with barely a goodbye to my mum and not return until dinner time.  We spent the whole day cycling, exploring and getting into healthy mischief.  If we got hungry during the day we all descended on the nearest house and helped ourselves to the fridge.  It was one big happy community.

This was my playground:

I’d give my right arm for that space and freedom again!  However, saying that, you make the most with what you have.  I’ve been in the UK for almost 12 years and I’m incredibly happy here and consider it home.  However, I still struggle with the lack of space.  I’m learning how to make up for it and have gotten over my urge of knocking down internal walls to make more space.

Nevertheless, in reality this is my garden:

It measures, approximately 5 x 9 metres.

However, thanks to ingenious toy manufacturers we have managed to create a scale model of my childhood playground.  We now have Outdoor toys, Little Tikes slide and a Little Tikes Playhouse.  It’s not Canada, but we’re enjoying the great outdoors!

What’s your worst nightmare?

Photo Credit

Back in my pub days I used to spend some time with some crazy Glaswegian ladies who also happened to be nurses.  We always used to joke what a nightmare it would be to be involved in some sort of accident and waking up with them standing over you.  Thankfully, that never happened but I did have a close call on New Years day when I ended up in A and E and the majority of staff were either still intoxicated or dreadfully hungover but I won’t go into that now.

This happened to a friend of mine awhile back.   She had a terrible phobia of the dentist.  I liken it to my fear of snakes, dogs and flocks of birds.  Unfortunately, she had a tooth abscess and was in terrible pain.  In addition, it was a Saturday and she was supposed to be going on holiday on Monday so she had to bite the bullet (so to speak) and book in with a dentist.  Luckily, we have another friend who is a private dentist and a very good one I must add.  So, she offered to open up her surgery and sort out my mate’s poorly tooth for her.

Can you imagine the look on her face when she looked up and saw yours truly in place of the dental assistant?  It was priceless.  Being a Saturday the regular dental assistant wasn’t available, so my dentist friend asked if I could pop in and help as she needed an extra pair of hands and I only lived around the corner.  It was great fun, I got to wear one of those face shields, play with all the buttons on the chair and operate the suction!  It’s not as easy as it looks!  Within minutes and with a bit of drilling they managed to release the pressure and her pain was almost gone instantly.

However, to add insult to injury she had to pay for the pleasure.  I bet she wishes she had dental insurance!

Are you scared of the dentist?

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