Birthday time again


Birthday cake As I mentioned on my blog this time last year, my Christmas doesn't start until after my son Daniel's birthday which is tomorrow, the 27th.

This afternoon I've been busy wrapping his presents and making him a chocolate birthday cake. He may be almost 23 but I still wouldn't be able to let a birthday go by without 'THE cake'!

Unfortunately both Sophie and I are working tomorrow afternoon and evening so it will have to be a birthday lunch – I'm thinking 'tricolore' followed by cake. Don't think I'll bother with the candles though, wouldn't want the smoke detector going off!

So this weekend I wil be getting the Christmas cake(s) made – one for home and one for QVC, and also continuing with the Christmas wrapping - the present variety rather than the vocalising. Notice I said 'continuing with'? One of the benefits of having Sophie living at home is that she is a dab hand at present wrapping … as Tesco say, every little helps!

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, Sophie's room is still unbelievably tidy … MOST of the time.

We are having both my Mum and Chris's Mum down for Christmas this year and I was wondering if any of you have any ideas for something a bit different to try rather than just steamed sprouts and broccoli, and roast carrots and parsnips??? Any suggestions gratefully received!

Must dash, got to get ready for the Butler & Wilson TSV tonight!

Speak soon,
Julia. x


  1. Ann Allan November 28, 2009 at 12:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It was so lovely to see you and Simon,definately worth traveling on the train from Edinburgh for the preview on Monday.
    It was so nice to meet and chat to you both.It felt strange as I feel i know you both as friends already.
    When you and Simon are on a show you are such a natural double act i have such a good laugh and feel part of the show.
    Both of you look so much younger than on the telly, you were both so open and friendly.
    It was nice to speak to the models they are even more stunning and so lovely to talk to as well.
    I was having such a great time I forgot to ask for an autograph for my son Scott. He recently moved into his own flat with 24hr support, he regularly reminds his support workers and new friends that he is a member of QVC. I gave him the mug from the goody bag and he is over the moon with it.
    Thank you all for such a warm welcome from all involved it was really appreciated and such a special evening.
    Take care

  2. jill December 1, 2009 at 2:51 am -  Reply

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over 22 years(since I was 16)and a “practicing” vegan for most of those years(I occasionally get seduced by cheese and white choccies),there’s almost no vegetable which I havn’t roasted or steamed.I love roast sweet potatoes,roast mushrooms(got to get the timing right on those,they go in last for about 5/6 minutes)roast yams,casava,breadfruit,oh my days we have an abundance of riches in the veggie world.However,i’ve never been able to stomach aubergines,I love the colour of them but the texture makes me want to “gip”,lol.Roasted onions are also divine and super nutritious too when cooked in this fashion.
    Basically Julia,it’s just trial and error but if you care to experiment with any of the “exotic” root veggies i’ve mentioned,your palate won’t be disappointed.
    Oh yeah and of course you’ll know this but this is for the benefit of anyone else reading,brussel sprouts are delicious,where people go wrong is that they cook them to buggery,they only need cooking for about 30 seconds in of inches of boiling hot water and they are done,they should be al dente,they are also deee-lish in a stir-fry.
    Mushy sprouts bad-crunchy sprouts good:)

  3. Magda Chetty December 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Like you, I start to think of Christmas from today (the 1st of Dec) as we have 3 birthdays in November in the family, the last on was on the 29th.
    Like Jill said try to roast sweet potatos, it is fab and different.
    I had a great time watching you and Simon this week-end, it was so much fun, and I spent a lot, I do not ever want to see my credit card statement. I got 2 earrings( the double stars in multi oooh waw), and 2 sets of necklaces with earrings, the one time only on Saturday as a present for a friend, but I don”t think I”ll be able to part with it when it arrives.
    Happy Christmas shopping, have a great December.

  4. julia roberts December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ann
    So pleased you enjoyed your trip down to London to see us, and hope you enjoyed watching all the shows – it was a crazy four days, and I think Simon was quite exhausted by the end of it (although he still managed to go into both his shops on the Saturday!!!!!!!!!)If you would like a signed photo for Scott just send me a letter to QVC with your address on it and I will send him a photo in time for Christmas to go with his mug.
    Much love
    Julia xx

  5. julia roberts December 1, 2009 at 10:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Gosh you’ve been a vegetarian for almost as long as me but you started when you were younger. I’ve tried roast sweet potato with a little rosemary and I also like them mashed with parmesan to take away the sweetness. I do roast onions – at Christmas I sit it in the middle of the stuffing so that the juices ‘bleed’ out into the stuffing – delicious! I’ll give the mushrooms a miss though cos I’m not a huge fan except porcini mushrooms in risotto. I don’t mind aubergines but I’ve not tried yam, casava or breadfruit, so thanks for the suggestions.
    I steam my sprouts cos I don’t like them soggy but I haven’t tried them in stir fry so that’s another idea to try. Enjoy your Christmas dinner
    Julia xx

  6. julia roberts December 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hello Magda
    Good to hear from you and so pleased you enjoyed the Butler and Wilson weekend ……….. those star earrings are totally gorgeous!!! As I said to Jill I have tried roast sweet potatoes but I don’t even know what casava looks like so I will have to do a bit of research!
    I hope your health is a bit better now?
    lots of love
    Julia xx

  7. alison keenan December 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jules, How about steamed vegetable medley. Cut carrots and parsnips into thin batons and steam gently until soft. Whilst cooking gently fry breadcrumbs, onions (bacon is lovely if you can find a Quorn equivalent) fresh mint and sage chopped and once your carrots and parsnips are soft squeeze a little lemon juice over them and add a knob of butter. Place in a dish and sprinkle the softly fried breadcrumbs and onion on the top. Actually another easy tip for brussell sprouts this time – from my first ever love Veljko’s mum – is to take from the pan when al dente and add to frying pan filled with hot butter and breadcrumbs. They l great and taste LOOOOOOOOOOOVely. Can I come for dinner???? Love Ali K xxxxx

  8. julia roberts December 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Everything sounds lovely (if a little fattening – which of course you don’t have to worry about!!) … and of course you can come to dinner whenever you like!!!
    Love Jools xxxxxx

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