Tag Archives: Festival Of Love

Only Love Can Make Carrot Cake Without A Single Carrot

Gary, the creator of A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. has yet again exceeded all expectations, not only with his baking, but with his poetry too!! Admit it – you are really going to miss seeing what on earth Gary will come up with next! I know I will!

I have sometimes see Gary throw extra ingredients into a baking mixture, a very tailored bespoke mix of spices and flavourings that defy imagination. Yest this weekend, Gary’s kitchen experiments are leaning an entirely different direction. Yes, you may have noticed already that Gary is leaving out the key ingredient.

Earlier today, you may have seen his banana bread – without a single banana in it. Now we have Gary’s carrot cake – without any sign of carrot.


Gary – it is always an absolute pleasure collaborating with you!!! You make everything so much fun!! Which I love!! It’s been not just a beautiful day, but a beautiful weekend!

Please forgive my teasing….xx Well, until next year anyway! You know how much we love you don’t you!!

Waiting For Kushi Kitchen Love

I was so glad when the following blogger popped up in my inbox. It is Kushi (which means “happy”) Kalpesh! He promised me he would be baking a few weeks ago and was eager to share with us flavours from Gujarat where his parents lived as children, but I know he had difficulty finding the ingredients for the Indian sweets he wanted to make originally.

But determined to take part, Kalpesh, the creator of Kushi Kally took over the kitchen and with his mum overseeing him, Kalpesh made us naan bread – a garlic and coriander bread, which he said had butter brushed over it when it was piping hot out of the oven.

This is the post Kalpesh published about his naan:


Kalpesh, I really did not mind waiting for your baking photos, they were worth waiting for….and they gave me the chance to feature these two great love songs!

We’ve Had The Time Of Our Lives

This weekend has been everything we hoped for and so much more!!! And it is all down to the truly great bloggers that make WordPress so much fun! We have seen so many beautiful bakes, so many heart warming personal accounts, and swayed along to so many famous love songs!

And there is still more!! The gorgeous Ribana, creator of Popsicle Society, has been baking!! These are her Torta Del Nonna (or Grandma’s cake), with a sweet dough casing, lemon pastry cream filling and decorated with pine nuts and icing sugar. I am feeling slightly faint here Ribana! They sound devine!

This is Ribana’s superb post sharing her brilliant baking with us, including a link to her recipe page:


There is still more to come! In fact, what we have for you is very special!

I asked Ribana if she had a favourite love song, and I was thrilled with her reply – I wanted to save this one until the end of our BAKE OFF, and she has chosen the perfect song!

And it is more than time for some Italian love!! It is nighttime here in England – so an Italian night of love is in order. 🙂

Love Was Never As Pretty!

Included amongst the phenomenal line up of heartfelt baking creations we have been privileged to exhibit in THE 2021 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF FESTIVAL OF LOVE, we have been so impressed by the exquisite productions from Julie, the co-creator of One More Bite.

I loved reading the background behind these cornmeal, cardamom, almond cookies with orange marmalade, which are like a cross between biscotti and thumbnail cookies. They look as if they would melt in your mouth. Julie’s posts are excellent, and detail all the ingredients and techniques behind her creations. Please take a look at her fabulous site:


As well as the adorable cuties, we received a photograph of perhaps the most glamorous choux pastry production I have ever seen. These are her showstopping strawberry eclairs with lime/mint mousse and strawberry mousse. Aren’t they marvellous!

This wonderful weekend is drawing to a close, and I have to go to sleep!!! But I am leaving you with the remaining baking photographs from truly great bloggers, and a very special treat, which we are sure will warm everyone’s hearts!

We are so excited at what is to come as the conclusion of the FESTIVAL OF LOVE, including our BAKE OFF judge Jeanne announcing the 2021 STAR BAKER accolade, draws close!

The Weekend “Scone” Really Quickly!

I doubt that my attempt at a joke in the title of this post will make much impact. Maybe it is more of a northern thing. Don’t worry!!

But it really has just flown by!!! I still need to do some catching up myself on all of the wonderful comments from the truly great bloggers of WordPress who have been supporting our bakers this year. We are thrilled with the baking photographs and so pleased that so many of you are enjoying the BAKE OFF as much as we are!

I hope you have all recovered from the dubious poem Gary and I penned together! I know I know! We should stick to baking. However, that cannot be said of our next baker! For our wonderful multi0talented Kristian, the creator of (Tales from the mind of Kristian), who was one of fabulous special guest poet‘s this weekend, has been baking!!!

These are his delightful heart shaped cheesy potato scones. Kristian tells us the ingredients he used and relates how he made these perfect savoury tea time treats:


There’s a lovely rise on those scones Kristian!! Or you could say a lift perhaps….which would of course be a very dubious connection with the first song choice I am tagging to your bake!!

The Power Of Love

Yesterday we featured the Kiwi Lime Pie created by Lady Lewis, including the flavours she and her husband Robert agree on. But today we have something very special from Annette.

I remember hearing a lesson about love many years ago – if you love someone and you decide to bake them a cake – what do you put into it? Do you put your own favourite flavours? Or do you use the favourite flavours of the person you love?

I know that Lady Lewis is not particularly a chocolate lover, nor a cherry lover, but she knows what her guests enjoy! So she has been making a Black Forrest Cheesecake (oh thank you for putting Germany on the map Lady Lewis!) that everyone loves, especially her nephew Wills.

This is the post Lady Lewis created to feature her bake:


I know Lady Lewis has been making some changes to her site to concentrate on food, drink and music, and a lot of her personal posts have disappeared. But I noticed she has left one of my favourites – her lovely account of how she met her husband Robert!


I also know which songs are very personal to these two special friends of ours. In fact, I even included a real life event from their life in Annabelle’s story (in The LEARNERS AT LOVE Series) – do you remember the serious traffic accident that Annabelle is in when she comes to England? Well…it is inspired by something that happened years ago and perhaps cemented these two as the kind of couple who were never going to take each other for granted. Aaaaw – you know how much we love you two!!!

Power Of Love

Unbreakable Love And Unity In Baking Form!

We are super excited about our next blogger, the sensational Eleanor Lorene Lowe, the creator of the spectacular website You Lil Dickens.

Eleanor has produced something that captures so much of what has influenced this year’s GREAT BLOGGERS BAKE OFF being chosen as a FESTIVAL OF LOVE!

This is her appetizing fresh fruit pizza, constructed with a sugar cookie crust, cream cheese Icing and topped with fresh summer fruit

Made in a circle ⭕️ representing the unbreakable bond of love and unity! Two things the world needs more of! 

Amen to that!!! And that really is exactly why we picked this year’s theme. It means so much that we have a lovely warm hearted international community on WordPress.

Like never ever before, we know that mankind needs love on every level, in every corner of the earth, starting with under own own rooves, and then expressed to our neighbours. Why would we ever limit such a powerful force that can heal the deepest scars and revive the tiredest of souls?

Eleanor picked a love song by an absolute legend – Sam Cooke – that is as smooth as that cream cheese filling and just as delicious!!

Only Love Can Make Banana Bread Without Bananas!

There is one baker who always always is sure to bake from the heart – and that is of course, our very own Gary! Every year, we hold our breath, waiting to see the unique marvels he will come up with.

Gary, the creator of A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. has made something that we are still trying to digest – not literally, I mean figuratively – the mystery of how it is possible to make banana bread without a single banana?

You will surely be enthralled at yet another baking adventure as Gary shares the secret ingredient that perhaps was never intended to for a loaf tin:


Although Gary is a rock fan – and this weekend he has given me a fantastic opportunity to feature some of the best rock love anthems, he perhaps forgot than anyone who makes banana bread is just asking for Bananarama!!! But as we are also trying to squeeze in as many of the songs suggested for this weekend….we have another big favourite for you!

We Love Monika’s Baking!

We all know that when it comes to the baking world, France is the center of the universe. We also know that in a category all of it’s own is the love between sisters! I should know – I have five sisters!

My wonderful friend and colleague Marianne has shared with us a baking creation that cements France as top of the league when it comes to the international flavours we have been able to feature this weekend.

Marianne’s sister Monika created this beautiful Charlotte aux fraises, which was made with a recipe from her youngest sister Marina. This is so much like me and my sisters – we share recipes and clothes and lots of hugs!

The music choice for this beautiful bake is also notably French! I have never heard it before, but I loved it as soon as I heard it. This seems to be a favourite love song of Marianne’s mother. Marianne said it always makes it think of her mum happy and smiling!!

Oh my – I am loving how utterly heart-warming this weekend is!!!

A Dancing And Baking Queen!

We now have a yummy bake – and I can vouch for this personally – bake from a blogger who does not publish, but who does support other bloggers by reading their posts. When Dancing Queen, asked me if she could send a photo of a quiche in, I was very happy she wanted to take part in THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF FESTIVAL OF LOVE.

However, I think this is a very posh quiche, in fact the recipe she sent me makes no mention of quiche, it’s an Asparagus And Goat’s Cheese Tart. I read through the recipe, and was so convinced I would like it that I bought asparagus and goats cheese and made it for Jack and me! We loved it!!

These are the photos and recipe I received from Dancing Queen::

  • 250g fresh ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 250g asparagus
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 250g goat’s cheese
  • 25g hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 4tbsp single cream

Line a loose-based quiche tin with the shortcrust pastry. Prick the base of the pastry and then line with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 190°C/Gas Mark 7 for fifteen minutes. Then remove the baking parchment and baking beans and bake for another fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling water for a couple of minutes, and then drain and cut into bite sized pieces. Fry the chopped red onion in the vegetable oil until soft and golden.

Beat the goat’s cheese, eggs, and cream together or whizz in a food processor and season generously with salt and pepper.

Then tip the asparagus, onion and chopped hazelnuts into the pastry case. Pour over the cheese and egg mixture over the other ingredients.

Then bake in the oven for around eighteen minutes until the cheese filling has set and is golden on top. This can be served warm or cold.

Thank you Dancing Queen for participating in THE 2021 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF FESTIVAL OF LOVE. There was never any doubt about which tune we would be tagging to your baking!!!