Featured Post

Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Super Easy Meringue Kisses: Valentines Baking Ideas

 As you can probably tell baking is one way I am passing the time during lock down! I have always loved baking but tend to dip in and out of it. A friend asked me to start sharing some recipes and I have been doing over on the Grazing Brew Box and thought I may as well here too. 

I have also thought meringue was tricky and that there must be a knack to it. These meringue kisses look super impressive but are actually really easy to make. If you’ve made meringue before then you will know it’s just a case of whipping your egg whites and then slowly adding your caster sugar. 

Valentines baking Ideas

There are various ways to add colour but you need to be sure to use a paste colouring not a liquid form. Sugar Flair colourings are great for this. You can either add some colour in when mixing your meringues (not if you have a liquid colouring as it will ruin your meringue and it won't stiffen) or to paint your piping bag! It depends if you want a block colour or swirls. 

Easy Meringue Recipe

In the photos below I twirled some into the finished meringue mix loosely to leave stains if you like and then painted the piping bag too! It came out pretty intense which is exactly what I wanted! 

Of course if you are going for a valentines look then red is the key! 


3 egg whites

2 cups of caster sugar

Food colouring

How to make your Meringue Kisses

Preheat your oven to around125C FAN

  1. You will need 2 baking trays lined for this. Baking parchment is best if you have to hand! 
  2. Next Separate your yolks from the whites, try not to get any yolk in there or you risk the meringue not stiffening! 
  3. Whisk them until they are stiff and fluffy. It’ll take a few minutes on a high speed, I use my Kenwood K Mix but use what ever you can! If by hand it can get very tiresome but is doable! 
  4. When the egg whites are looking stiff, keep your mixer running and  add the sugar to the eggs whites one teaspoonful at time until it is all added, as long as you drop it all in at the same time you should be fine! 
  5. Prepare your piping bag. If you wish your kisses to look a bit like mine with the streaks of colour then paint stripes of food colouring down the side of the bag using a brush of some kind. 
  6. Spoon the meringue into the bag (if you wanted to add some swirls of colour do this to the mix before you put in the bag) and pipe little kisses on to the baking tray. Go as big as you like! However you will need to be quite consistent for them all to bake equally and not to catch any!
  7.  Put your baking trays in your  oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes, Meringues like a slow cool bake. Do NOT be tempted to whack the heat up on your oven, believe me I have tried and failed! .
  8. The meringues are ready when they’re hard to the touch, don't press hard though, they are fragile!  
The meringue kisses will keep for 2-3  weeks in an airtight container.

Meringue Kisses

Have you caught up with my super goey NYC Nutella filled cookies recipe yet? 

The Most scrumptious Nutella Filled NYC Style Cookies

 If you are anything like me then you have been hunting for super easy Cookie Recipes to smash during lockdown, maybe with the kids, maybe just for yourself! 

This recipe is an old favourite of ours and one that I do at least monthly, it is pretty much fail proof and always goes down well! I love a thin cookie but I absolutely love a filled cookie recipe and even better than that, a New York Style Cookie! I meannnnnn.... How could you not?

People often think these may be be a little complicated to bake, but actually they're super easy! 

You have to be a little more prepared for when you are going to do them as you have to freeze the chocolate sauce into mini portions to pop inside the cookies, but that's it! 


* Nutella frozen into little portions (My recipe usually makes around 10 but I like them BIG)

115 g  Butter - you will need it soft

175 g Light Brown Sugar or Coconut sugar (slightly healthier!!!) 

1 tsp Vanilla Essence (The better quality the nicer they will be!)

1 Medium Egg

275 g Self Raising Flour

Small pinch of Salt

200 g Chunks of Chocolate (I use a mix of Milk and Dark but any is good!) 


Pop dollops of your chocolate spread or Nutella onto a lined tray, and freeze till solid. The smaller they ae, the quicker they will freeze! 

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan, you are going to want to cook them on a middle shelf. 

Beat together the Butter and Sugar until as fluffy as possible, and then pop in your essence and Egg and beat again till smooth. Please note Coconut sugar doesn't go as fluffy as other varieties so don't panic! 

Add all of the other dry ingredients in to the wet mix. Make sure it is well combined. 

Next choose how big you want you cookies to be, you want them pretty standardized so they cook well. If I am doing for the kids an ice scream scoop is the perfect size to portion out. If I am doing for all of us or friends then GO BIG! 

Roll your dough gently into a ball and flatten the dough slightly so it goes a bit flatter, and add a frozen  Nutella piece to the middle and then ensure the dough goes all around it. Careful not to over work your dough though. 

Line your baking trays with baking paper or grease if you don't have any. Your cookies will spread a bit whilst baking, so spread them out well on the tray. 

Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes. The more you bake them, the less oozy they will be. I like mine super goey but my husband likes them more crunchy - so what you fancy! 

Hayley xx

Lockdown 3.0: Coping Strategies

 And here we go again.... 

On NYE I sat and wrote the first blog post I had got around to in some time, thanks Covid! And yet here I am again, back in lock down. How awful is it that it feels almost normal now a days to not see anyone for weeks on end? To not get out of the house except for the daily walk and to pop for some essential groceries?

Lockdown photos
Unsplash Photos: Glen Carrie

Anyway, this isn't our first rodeo! I thought I would share a couple of coping tactics that I have picked up along the way that I definitely helping me out this time around. I would love to hear of your own coping strategies if I have missed any and should be doing them! The coronavirus pandemic has been hard for lots of us, for lots of various reasons and all that we can do to help one another right now has to be a win! 

Mind says "Coping is our ability to respond to, and deal with, unpleasant, difficult or stressful situations. Our ability to cope with things can vary – we can cope well one day, and poorly the next" and this couldn't be more true for myself. 

1. Look for something positive in each and every day. At the end of each day when the little ones are tucked up in their bed and I get that moment to take a deep breath and turn on the tops to a very hot bath I like to remind myself of something positive from the day. Some days this is easier said than done, but there is ALWAYS something. Maybe it is that the kids got their set work done without too much fuss, maybe that huge pile of laundry got put away, perhaps you spoke to a friend or family member, maybe you got 5 minutes too pick up a book or just sit outdoors with a hot cuppa. 

2. Get outside. Again I appreciate this isn't always an easy option for everyone. But IF you can then get out. In doesn't have to be a huge, long hike (Boris won't let us anyway hey!) but just a 5 minute walk around the block can help so much. I even find just wondering about the garden with my cup of tea helps me clear my mind a little. And my 2 kids have to get out once a day or they are at one another's throats all day long, it seems that they forget any tension as soon as they are out. They can be free and I don't need to shout at them or restrict them! We often just walk up to a muddy old field where they can just be free and kids for half an hour, let their imaginations run free. And I can have 10 minutes to just observe and be still. 

3. Feel productive. Each morning I write a list. I have to admit I love a list and I love getting pen to paper, although I know it isn't for everyone. For me I like to write a list purely for the reasons of ticking it off and feeling accomplished. It is a feeling that I like and gives me real satisfaction. I do it for my day job but I also do it for generic things such as post letters, do the ironing, walk the dog, call mum, anything that I know will make me feel productive. 

4. Talk to People. Yes, we can't physically see them but we have great social media now which means they are just a tap of a button a way. I am lucky in that my day job means I speak to people all day long but it is also good for me to put time aside to talk to friends and family. Make a conscious effort to pick up your phone and call family and friends, it is all too easy to lock yourself away and become lonely. You could even create a habit or routine out of it, such as having a morning coffee with a family member, virtually of course. If you have the facility to do this over a video call, then even better. I often sit and have a coffee break with someone from work, or call my mum during my lunch break so I can see her and have a catch up. 

5. Cut out the noise. This has been a big one for me this time around. As much as I love social media and I am a visual person and love scrolling and procrastinating, but sometimes the clutter of all those notifications becomes too much. The endless messages and posts were almost starting to become expectations and competitions and no one else was setting them for me, just myself. I found by coming off a few WhatsApp groups and limiting my social media usage, for example I have removed the Facebook app off my phone then I started to feel free, like I had more time, and no one was expecting anything from me. This is very much my personality traits though and you may be very different. I love social media but the endless scrolling was not doing me any favours! Especially when home schooling was top of the agendas! 

So they are just my top 5! I would love to hear what else you have been doing to help yourself this time around. I of course am still a HUGE fan of a hot, long bath and the odd bar of chocolate with a trashy series, (Oh, Hello Bridergton!) but these are other steps I have taken to survive this next few months! 

Hayley x