Tag Archives: How to

Ten Ideas to Make Life Easier at Home

Aztec Pen Holder 3

These ideas will help you to organize your life a little better.

Just small changes to your daily habits will save you a bit of time and thought – nothing spectacular, but if you save yourself even five minutes a day, this is over two hours a month – two hours when you can sit back and put your feet up (or whatever you do with your leisure time).

See what you think:

1.  Paint the top of electronic device plugs with a marker, so that you can see immediately which side to plug them in

You know how fiddly it can be, working out which way round the connector plugs into the socket.  Once you have marked them in a contrasting colour, you’ll never have that problem again, because there’s only one way to plug them in, and that’s face-up so that the identifying marks show.

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Connector Plugged Into my Computer (Red Arrow Shows White Identification Marks Painted on)



You can buy these Sharpie Marker Pens on Amazon

They are very useful for marking items, posting parcels, doing artwork and colouring in.  The ones shown are in a packet of 24, which gives you a good range of colors, but you can also buy smaller packs

Just follow this Amazon link to take a look


2.  If you see a useful advert on a notice board or in a shop window, no need to arduously write down all the details – just take a photograph with your smart phone

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Advert Photographed by my Android Phone


3.  Never leave the room empty-handed –

This one was one of my mother’s favourite sayings, oft repeated and very labor-saving.


4.  Keep like things with like, where possible

For instance keep all your tea-making equipment including teabags, sugar, mugs and pills which you have to take regularly near the kettle.


Keeping All the Tea-Making Equipment in One Place

5.  Put a plastic food container on your kitchen counter when peeling fruit and vegetables so you can collect the waste easily to transfer to your recycling bin


Plastic Food Container as Kitchen Counter Waste Box

6.  Keep several pens around the house –

Certainly one in every room, but consider keeping one in every handbag, one near every phone, one by the front door, one in the hall, one on your kitchen counter, one on your bedside table, one in your shed and one in your car.

 7.  Keep a shopping list near your kitchen store cupboards or fridge

And make sure everyone writes down any item that they see is low in stock, or if they have used the last one.  This ensures you never knowingly run out of any basic food or equipment. Well, that’s the principle, anyway – we all know that people won’t always remember, but if they even do it some of the time, it’s a help.

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Magnetic Shopping List on Side of Fridge


You can buy a Magnetic Shopping List with Pen Attached on Amazon

They have plenty to choose from, some with and some without pens.

I’ve been using one with a pen (as you can see in my photo above) for a long time – it’s quite convenient not having to scuffle round for a pen when you’re in a hurry.

Here’s the Amazon Link

8.  If you re-use plastic takeaway containers, use an indelible marker to mark each container on the bottom with a letter or number and the same number on the corresponding lid

This means you will never have to hunt through a pile of lids to find one that fits, because each box has its own lid.  A refinement of this is to then store the boxes in alphabetical or numerical order and likewise the lids.


9.  Keep a packet of small sticky labels in your kitchen drawer, so that you can label every container before you put it in the fridge or freezer

Write on the label the contents and the date it was cooked.  Then you’ll know which to use up first, and you won’t have to open every lid to see what’s inside.


10.  Keep a plastic pot lid on your kitchen counter so you can dump your used teabag, teaspoon or cooking utensil, to avoid making a mess on the counter itself

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Yogurt Lid makes a Handy Spoon Rest


You might also like How to Defrost a Freezer Quickly

Poppy Seed Pudding Diana

Recipe For Poppy Seed Pudding Diana

Not everyone likes poppy seeds, but if you do, you will love this Poppy Seed Pudding. It would make a delicious dessert for a special dinner.

This pudding recipe evolved in my own kitchen – that’s why I named it Poppy Seed Pudding Diana – a delicious and unusual pudding.

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Poppy Seed Pudding Diana

I developed a lasting interest in cooking when working in, and helping to run, a restaurant in the 1960’s

It wasn’t a fancy restaurant, maybe more of a cafe really, where the emphasis was on simple home-style food, and as a result of that experience, I became adept at creating simple easy recipes, using the sort of ingredients you might have around the home,

Ingredients For Poppy Seed Pudding Diana –

Assemble the Poppyseed Pudding Diana Ingredients before you start


  • Poppy Seed Pudding Diana
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Plain Flour
  • ½ teaspoonful of Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons of Water
  • 1½ teaspoonsful of Mixed Spice
  • (or mix your own:
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoonful of Lemon Juice
  • ¼ teaspoonful of salt
  • Optional: Philadelphia Cream Cheese (or other cream cheese)
  • Tin of Poppy Seeds Cake Mixture (get these from a Continental or Polish store)

Equipment for making Poppy Seed Pudding Diana

– The main utensil is a low sided large baking sheet

– Greaseproof paper or silver foil

– Electric Hand-Mixer

– Mixing bowl

 Method for Making Poppy Seed Pudding Diana – Your Poppy Seed Pudding Diana Will be ready in 25 Minutes

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Instructions for Making Poppy Seed Pudding Diana

It’s so easy –

  •  Blend the sugar and eggs in a bowl for 5 minutes (until creamy and frothy)
  • Mix the Flour, baking powder, spice and salt together, then gradually add them to the sugar and egg mixture. Add the water and salt and blend all together.
  • Pour in the mixture and spread evenly
  • Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the mixture is springy to the touch
  • Remove from oven and separate the cake from the paper or foil with a knife or fish lift
  • Spread the poppy seed mix on the top and then put blobs of cream cheese on top
  • Cut into slices and either leave to cool or serve immediately with cream or ice cream.

YouTube video poppy seed recipe – This one seems to be popular: I’m planning to follow it myself

What do you do When Your Recipe Goes Wrong?

What would you do if your cake turned out wrong?Are you the kind of person who would simply cut your losses and chuck the whole lot in the bin, or would you salvage what you can, and be creative?

I personally like to see what can be rescued, and whether I can still make something nice out of it.

I’ll let you into a little secret: I developed my recipe for Poppy Seed Pudding Diana when I rescued a cooking disaster and turned it into something spectacular -follow this link to the story of how it evolved – Poppy Seed Pudding – How a Recipe Was Born

So what would you do? 

Take The Poll Below and See How Many People Share Your Views


One of my Foodie Designs on Zazzle – a Tongue-in-Cheek Political Statement “We’re All in This Together!” With Grinning Mushrooms


On Zazzle you can choose your design and then put it on any product

And Here’s an Apron “I Love Home Cooking!”

See my Zazzle Shop – Glorious Confusion for more Products.

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It’s so nice to hear from people all round the world…….. I love to get feedback (no pun intended)

How to Make Dumplings or Kneidlach for Soup and Stew

This is a traditional Dumpling recipe, very easy to make,

suitable for beginners

Dumplings, also known as kneidlach, add another dimension to soup, and are a delicious alternative to croutons.

 Dumplings 2

Dumplings Cooking in Soup

Cooking Time:

Preparation – 5 -10 Minutes,      Standing – 20-30 Minutes,  Cooking – 20-25 Minutes


  • 1 Cup of Matzo Meal
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Chicken Fat
  • ¼ Cup of Water
  • Pepper and Salt
  • Optional flavourings: Cinnamon, Chopped Fried Onion


  •  Beat the eggs well until they have fluffed up
  • Add all the other ingredients and stir them all in to make a stiff batter – stir them well to aerate them, as this is what causes them to fluff up
  • Let the mixture stand, preferably refrigerated, for 20-30 minutes – this makes it easier to shape the dumplings.
  • Then roll them into balls about the size of a golf ball.  Wetting your hands before you start will prevent them sticking
  • Add them to the Soup or Stew and cook for 20-25 minutes with a lid on the pot. As they will absorb some of the liquid, you may need to add a cup of water to the pot.
Dumplings in Soup - Kneidlach

Dumplings in Soup – Kneidlach