Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Me, food, art and photography

This one's a little more about me and what I enjoy doing. For those who don't know, life can get a little busy in our house with 3 teenagers with different levels of autism, coeliac, lots of food intolerances and a daughter with CFS/ME. I guess life is very different compared to the average house but it's all normal to us, we don't really give it much thought these days. I guess over the years you just adjust to things and work around any issues that arise to make life a little easier for everyone in the family. People ask ''How do you cope?'' I really can't answer that, we just do! As a parent of children that are different, you do what you have to.

Over the years I have tried to do many things just to have something for myself  but then one or other of the children would be ill or have to be home educated again or be part-school part home educated. It's only now, as the children have come into their teens, life is much more settled as far as the autism goes and I am able to concentrate more on some of the things I would like to do.

Photography is a great love of mine, when I am looking through that camera, my mind is clear of everything else but what is right in front of me. I can't explain how lovely that is when at all other times, you stress or worry about everything and everyone else. To have a clear mind through photography is a luxury I enjoy.

Most of the things I have done or tried to do,  have been centred around my art and the love of cooking and of course photography. To be honest I think cooking can be quite an art too! Especially if you cook it and take your own photos, which I am doing at the moment for a cookbook I have been trying to write. It is taking it's time as things happen and my children always come first. 'It will be done when it's done' as my grandmother used to say. But here are a few pictures just to tease you :) I even hand painted the eggs to use for the photos.

Easter and Christmas snaps from my cookbook. click on the picture to make it larger.

This is me - I like to cook, I love my art, nature and my creative side and I really love photography and where possible I try to bring them all together in what I do. I guess you could call this an escape too. Escapes aren't just about getting out, they are about finding something for yourself that you really enjoy doing. I know so many people who have a real passion for cooking and to watch them, it really is an art and you can see at that time, that is all they are thinking about too. Lots of people can cook but it's finding that passion for food and the love of creating new things that really makes a good cook.

I also like to make people happy with the things I create. I love to see people smile and if I can do that through something I have made then all the better :)

I am a bit naughty here am I not? I am teasing you all with the sweet foods :) Just to make you feel better, I don't actually eat sweet foods much, or chocolate, I just like making them for other people. I would much prefer a savoury dish so here are a few for you :)

This one's mine. Roast pepper and tomato soup, people think soups are easy and a bit of a cheat when it comes to making a starters but I think that's wrong. Sometimes more effort goes into some soups than the main meal. This one takes a little time to prepare but well worth it.

This one is my Grandfather's recipe of Cauliflower Soup, even if you don't eat cauliflowers, you will love this, a very old recipe but standing the test of time very nicely.

Some more samples of the soups I make.

Venison in a rich tomato sauce

 This one is my Mother's recipe and is savoury - Stuffed mixed peppers :) My Mother always taught me "When cooking, always think of the colours to make the dish look pretty to the eye."

                                  Some more snapshots from my cookbook...


Oh dear, slipped another sweet one in here - sweet stuffed dumplings topped with a little melted butter, vanilla sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon, yummmmy

This one is mine, fruit marinated in a little kirsch, great for Christmas, great over ice-cream too or as one of my pictures below shows, over my grandmother fruit bomb.

My Grandmother's fruit bombe

Christmas Biscuits, my favourite baking time and I make everything twice so all special diets are covered.

I guess my interest in photography has always been there from when I was very little, raiding my Grandmother's and my great aunts cupboard to look through all their old black-and-white photos. I have always loved photography and love taking them. It is also something I can fit in around the children which is always good.

I also makes cakes and chocolates, not as often as I would like to and just for close friends and family. More tease photos coming so be warned! 

This was a wedding cake I made for my best friend's daughter. I was shown the flowers which are on the bottom right of the picture and matched the cake to them. 
I don't make theses for profit so unless you're a close friend or family, please don't ask me to as each of my creations take quite a long time and I make everything for them from scratch. Life doesn't allow me to create too many so I make them as one off specials. I like to see things from beginning to end and take my time as I find it relaxes me. When I make one of these cakes I make them with the person in mind so I need to know their likes, what sort of person they are. Again I think it's the artist in me, I create a picture in my head and then try to recreate it in my cakes.

Here are a few more cakes I created, please excuse the quality of the photos but some were taken on my little camera or my phone.

This one was for a very dear friend of mine who had a Hawaiian party for her 50th

I loved making the doll for this one and the flower chains, they remind me of sweets we used to buy as children.  

My Daughter's Gluten free Butterfly cake. It took me ages to paint all of them.

This one was for my friends mother in-law who loved gardening. My favourite part of this cake is the picket fence, it took me ages to make but I was really pleased with it. It's strange I don't think of them as cakes but as creations of art. A little like making a model but edible :)

The granny from the garden cake.

Teddy Bears' Picnic for my lovely Great Nephew's 1st birthday 

This one was his Christening Cake

My Daughter's gluten free/dairy free birthday cake.

Thomas and friends, I sort of made this one up as I went along :)

Here is another Thomas and friends

This one I made for my Nieces' joint 18th and 21st birthday earlier this year, Handbags, shoes and make-up.
what more girls want?

With matching cupcakes

The next ones were 200 cupcakes to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, that was a busy few days.

The next one is for all you chocolate lovers, one I made for another niece recently. A chocolate box cake with hand made truffles by myself inside it. The base is all cake but the lid is solid chocolate.

My chocolate truffles


  1. You have an amazing talent Jana. You could easily charge a huge amount for your cakes, but I can see how you'd want to keep them as a labour of love instead.

    Claire R

  2. Wow is about all I can say! You are one very talented lady! Love reading your blogs x

  3. Thank you both so much, so pleased you like my blogs :) This one was just a one-off as I like to show where I walk and thats what this blog is about but I was stuck inside for a few days, so wrote this instead. Guess it's all part of the same thing and people get to know a little more about me x

  4. Wow, is there no end to your talents? The cakes are fantastic, and I hope one day to be able to buy your recipe book!

  5. Thanks Bobbie :). It's all part of my art from photos to painting to cooking. I had good teachers in the kitchen and come from a family of good cooks x

  6. Wow! Jana you are amazing. I love cake and photography too.