Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all of us wonderful Mothers out there and to your Mothers.  To compensate for a lack of recipes recently I have included a few great ones today, including one of my favourites which comes from my own dear Mother.  She died 19 years ago so it has been a long time since I have shared Mothers Day with her.  But cooking one of her recipes keeps her with us.

My day started perfectly with a lie in followed by a cup of tea in bed brought to me by Harvey.  I received lovely cards and gifts in bed and then got up and made smoothies.  It was so wonderful to have Lara here too to make them for.  We had frozen mixed berries with banana and almond milk, thinned down a bit with coconut water.

Lara made everyone American style pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.  Sublime.

The sun shone and we went to Jane’s garden opening and then a dog walk over the road in the woods.  When we got back I began to bake a special cake for special friends.  Kath, Matt and Henry leave for NZ on Friday so they were all coming for supper tonight.  Our last meal together before they leave.

I had seen an amazing 4 layer cake on Nutty Crunch and decided to make that.  However, on closer inspection I did not have all the ingredients plus it was a vegan cake and I wanted to use eggs in mine.  So I made my standard cake recipe I always use and made 2 chocolate and 2 plain sponges.

Sponge Cake


  • 175 g butter (or non dairy equivalent)
  • 175 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g self raising flour*
  • 1 and ½ tsp baking powder

* to make chocolate cake, use 150 g flour and 25 g cocoa powder


  1. Pre-heat Oven to 180 ° C.
  2. Butter 4 x 18 inch  cake tins.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs.
  5. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder (and cocoa if making chocolate).
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  7. Turn cakes out on to wire cooling tray and leave until cool.

Buttercream Icing

175 g butter or non-dairy equivalent
300 g icing sugar
cocoa powder to taste

Cream butter with icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Whisk until light and creamy in texture.

Celebration Cake


4 cakes (from recipe above make a chocolate and plain cake)
1 punnett strawberries, sliced
2 cups frozen berries
½ cup icing sugar
Cherries in Kirsch
1 portion of chocolate buttercream
1 tsp Orange Blossom syrup (optional)
Cake decorations, such as sprinkles and crystallised violets.


Place one chocolate cake on cake stand.
Cover in half the sliced strawberries

Place a plain sponge on top.
Heat the mixed berries with the icing sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves and mashing the berries lightly.

Place all the berries and their juice on top of the plain sponge.  It may seem like a lot of juice but the sponge soaks it up.

Place a chocolate sponge on top and cover with strawberries.
Place a plain sponge on top and cover with cherries and some of the Kirsch.

You will end up with 4 layers of cake and 4 layers of fruit.

I had some orange blossom syrup and I stirred 1 tsp in to the buttercream.

Cover the top and sides of the cake in the chocolate buttercream.  Add decorations.

This is a very tall cake!

While I was making the cake, Lara made the potato salad.  I am so happy she is here with me this year for Mothers Day.  I was so miserable last year when she was in Australia.

From the Food Network, via my friend Laura in Canada, comes this wonderful recipe for a Purple Potato Salad.  I used a mix of 3 types of potato, including the lovely purple ones.

Purple Potato Salad

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 pounds new potatoes (try and include some purple ones 🙂 )
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed first in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Boil potatoes until just soft (about 20 minutes) and drain them.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients together and stir in the potatoes.
  3. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

I made a salad of lollo rosso lettuce, sugar snap peas, carrots and yellow pepper.  I added a simple dressing made with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard and a small pinch of salt.

We had the potatoes and salad with BBQ chicken, which is a recipe my Mother used to make which my cousin Hannah passed on to me a few years ago.  The sweetness in this dish makes it very popular with children.

Mummy’s BBQ Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 – 6  pieces of chicken ( I use a whole chicken chopped in to 2 x breast and 2 x legs)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 8 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Tabasco to taste (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 200 ° C.
  2. Brown chicken pieces.
  3. Mix other ingredients together in a large casserole dish.
  4. Add chicken pieces to BBQ sauce and mix well to coat chicken evenly.
  5. Bake in oven for 30 – 40 minutes.

This is an easy but very tasty chicken dish which we all enjoyed.

We ate dinner with champagne and toasted our dear friends bon voyage and hoped that their new life in NZ will be all they want it to be.

Followed by the celebration cake.  Just to clarify,  we were celebrating our friendship, not our friends departure.

It looked great when we cut it open and it tasted good too.  It was rich though and one slim slice was enough.

Before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye.  Sadly Matt had to stay home as he is ill so here’s a virtual farewell :-).  We said good-bye to Henry

and Kath.  Farewell, dear and special friends.

I am so sad they are going, but really happy they have finally made a tough decision and are going ahead with it.  I wish them all the very best and look forward to visiting them in their new home on the other side of the world.  Which in this day of Skype and Facebook is really not so very far away.

So this has been a fun and emotional day.  But for me it will soon be at an end as I have to go to bed early.  I am off to Birmingham tomorrow and need to catch the 5:30am train.  I hope you have all had a lovely day.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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12 Responses to Happy Mothers Day

  1. laura1952 says:

    I’m so happy for you that Lara was there to share Mother’s Day with you and that Harvey and her treated you like the royalty you are.

    I am sorry you had to say goodbye to your friends, but yes, Skype and Facebook are a great way to stay in touch.

    The food looked awesome and even the cake looked delishious. I am not a cake eater, but your four layer cake was tempting to want to try. I may just make this for Easter Monday dinner with my family. I have hibicus flowers in rose syrup I can substitute for your orange blossoms. We usually have them in champagne. 😀 Ironically, they come from Australia where your dear daughter was last Mother’s Day. I have a friend returning from a winter spent in Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday and will see her on Sunday with the many pictures that were taken from January – March.

    Have a good week at work.

    • The cake was really good. One of the best bits was the mixed berries which I heated up with icing sugar. They syrup was soaked up by the sponge so it tasted wonderful. Next time I will skip the cherries in Kirsch and do 2 x mixed berries.

      have you ever been to Australia and NZ? Well worth a visit if you can get there.

      have a good week too x

      • laura1952 says:

        No, we haven’t been to Australia or New Zealand. I am sure after I see the pictures my friend is showing on Sunday I will want to more than ever. My friend is now on an 18 hour airport delay in Dallas and hopefully the fog we have today from the crazy warm temperatures of the first day of Spring 2012 dissapate so she doesn’t experience another delay trying to land in Toronto.

  2. Lucy Murphy says:

    Wow lara’s pancakes look professional. Lara B when are you going to make some of those for your aunty? And as for the cake……

  3. Sarah says:

    Zoe – that cake is A-mazing! I shall be making it that v soon! xxx

  4. irisha says:

    wow, what a feast! I am so pleased you tried the cake and liked it too! I really do miss using eggs in baking quite frankly trying to be vegan, but on the bright side chocolate cake turns out quite well even vegan. It really is a very rich cake!

    That potato salad sounds wonderful and easy to veganise too. I am not sure where to get purple potatoes though, any ideas?

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