Category Archives: Cooking

Panettone & Yammos in Bath, England

How to Make Panettone

I have to share with you a gem we have found here in Bath.  A Neapolitan restaurant called Yammo!

Having lived in Napoli, Italia as a child and later as a teen I have become a food snob when it comes to Italian food. I resist going to any so-called ‘Italian’ restaurants in the USA and only found one in Malibu, California that came close to the food on which I was brought up. We stumbled upon Yammo one evening for dinner as our stomachs were growling, not knowing what was in store for us.  I was taking by surprise by finding a restaurant owned by a man from Napoli and won over by the amazing food. I have never tasted a pizza that tasted like the pizza from my home in bella Napoli, until I went to Yammo. One taste of the sauce on the pizza margherita and I was transported back home. We have since decided it is our favourite resturant in Bath and have returned to dine in as well as to order pizza delivery to our home.

How to Make Panettone

For my birthday this year all I would have loved to go home to see my friends and ‘family’ in Napoli.  My husband got me the second best thing which was to attend a Panettone demonstration with Ottavia of Ottavia in Cucina at Yammo with a free coffee and tasting session.  I have only ever eaten panettone, never have I made one.  Last year my mum (known as ‘Nonna’) and sister came for Christmas and we were all gutted that we did not get a panettone to share for the holidays.  Needless to say I was very excited to be able to learn all the steps for making this Christmas treat from Italia.

How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

I felt I had learned so much more than just how to make panettone from Ottavia at the panettone demonstration at Yammo.  Not only was I enjoying hearing her accent but she was filled with rich information about which ingredients will produce a better panettone and explaining the science behind cooking this yeasted rich bread.  In the photos above she shared tips of how to preserve the aroma from the orange zest by mixing it with your butter first, how to make your own candied fruits, the tools she uses for when she is kneading the dough, and how to hang your panettone upside down after it has finished baking.  How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone How to Make Panettone

How to Make PanettoneThe demonstration was amazing. I only wish we could have made it there as part of the class. I did however get to buy panettone cases so I can try this at home.This was my first time having homemade panettone, having grown up eating the ones from the store for Christmas in Napoli, Italia.  It was really soft and the most delicious panettone I have ever eaten.  I cannot wait to make my own this year too!  Thank you so much to Ottavia and to Yammo for hosting such an amazing afternoon!

66 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BD
For delivery call 01225 938328

Ottavia in Cucina

Q: Have you ever tried Italy’s beloved Panettone or made one at home?  




Dec Sponsors

I would like to give a shout out to all my sponsors on my sidebar for the month of December.  We have Sarah Rose joining us for the first time from Bristol, England and returning to the side bar this month are Tara from Ontario, Canada and Louisa from Abruzzo, Italia. You will also remember Kate, Lix, Kim, and Melanie my sponsors continuing on through this month from November.  Thank you to these lovely ladies for their support to ACR.

25 Days of Christmas

Checking in on the Nutcracker this morning, Prince Ice, who was up last night playing cards with T.Rex for peanut m&ms.  Unfortunately with T.Rex’s limited arm reach and after the Maddox broke the Nutcracker by having him eat a jelly bean, neither of them could enjoy their winnings. So the treats were left for the boys to enjoy with a game of cards after school.


*photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |

‘Fairy’ Cake Wars

The boys really love watching the television show Cupcake Wars.  So with it being a rainy wet day outside, we did our own version and called it Fairy cake wars.  (Cupcakes are called Fairy cakes in England) The boys really enjoyed decorating their cakes and they each made a special one for their daddy. 
Wondering what to do with the boys with it raining outside.

Fairy cake wars with my boys and these are my four decorated fairy cakes. 

The boys with their finished fairy cakes. 

Played fairy cake wars with my boys. These are mine with melted chocolate icing and decorations.

Happy Hanukkah!

We got our new furniture items from IKEA and I was more than excited to finally get our new bed put together.  Sleeping on the floor has been fun, but having a bed so much more fun. I will admit it took me longer than it should have because I did not follow the IKEA directions quite easily.  I finished and draped my scarves from Cambodia over the top to complete the look. 

Tonight the boys and I got together to make holiday cookies.  They were not normal chocolate chip cookies, but filled with Nutella and covered with white chocolate stars. They were very delicious!  They also got to work on their nightly holiday craft.  Tonight is also the first night of Hanukkah.  We put together our DIY mennorah and Ronan had the pleasure of lighting the first candle.  
Our new bed put together!
Nutella inside
The boys making cookies. 
Ryan and the boys with their christmas crafts and cookies. 
Nutella filled biscuits!
Ronan lighting the first candle.

Chanel 527 Nouvelle Vague and silver glitter for Chrismukkah spirit!
Happy Hanukkah!

Halloween in England


The boys making Skeleton Gingerbreadmen.

I will be upfront and honest that Halloween has never quite been one of my favourite of holidays. Growing up I was frightful watching films like It and Freddie Krueger. Do not get me wrong, I love a great Alfred Hitchcock film, but willingly watching something I know will scare me is not my cup of tea. The last time I was in a haunted house I was a freshman in high school and I remember pushing my friend over so I could run out after something had jumped out at me with a chain saw. Two years prior I had worked at a Haunted House on base, which was more enjoyable but ended up slipping on fake blood and breaking my arm. Needless to say I do not harbour a strong appreciation for attending scary houses on Halloween. Growing up in Europe, though surrounded by americans on the military bases, I had a much more subdued versions of Halloween than the average American growing up in the United States. There was one year that my sister and I could not get a pumpkin, because they had sold out so fast at the commissary on base. Not wanting to be deprived of the seasonal festivities, we took apples from the kitchen and carved them instead. You may be thinking if that is even possible, and while they may not have been very pretty, they did the job at least.

From as far back as I can remember, my mum had this rule where my sister and I could not dress up as anything scary. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and wanting desperately to be Glenda from the Wizard of Oz, one of my favourite childhood films. Despite my persistence in the matter, I was turned down on the fact that even though Glenda did ‘good’ magic, she was a witch and that was classified under the ‘What Not to Wear for Halloween’ category. I loved dressing up all the same and that has become the one thing I really enjoy about the holiday. My partner on the other hand, has grown up loving the holiday and has a mother whom on every Halloween dresses up like a scary witch and hands out caramel apples to the neighbours. Once we had kids we had to see how to start new traditions with our family. While I still hold onto the ‘no scary costumes’ rule, we have allowed some halloween decorations to enter our house. This year we even had a one of the shelves on our bookcases dedicated for all the Halloween crafts that the boys made. Since Ronan and Maddox both love cooking (and eating!) I picked up a halloween cookie recipe that we did together as well as watching kid cartoon films based on the holiday like Garfield and Scooby Doo.

At Church playing games for Hallelujah Night.

Veggie Bangers and Chips with Orange Squash for Supper.

Maddox making Handcuffs.
aNow where that is how Halloween has been experienced in our family, we had the opportunity of experiencing it together for the first time in England this year. I honestly do not remember dressing up for Halloween or doing anything for the holiday at all when I was a young girl living in England many years back. It is still not a very big holiday here, though it has grown in popularity in the last 20 years. The one thing that jumped out at me was how all the fancy dress (aka costumes) items at the store are based on the generic Halloween characters like vampires, werewolves, witches, skeletons, and ghosts. Basically all the things I would not have been allowed by my mum to wear for Halloween. One of the perks of my job is that I get to meet a lot of people, and talking about holidays and cultural customs comes up quite frequently with my clients. I would bring up how my kids were going as comic book characters (Batman and Green Lantern) and I was surprised with how many reactions I got to their costume choices because it was not “Halloween” fancy dress. With that said when we did go Trick or Treating, we saw not a lot of variety of costumes and it was mostly older kids like teenagers that I saw out or adults in costume at parties.

With the lights out we sang, ‘Shine Jesus Shine’, one of my favourite songs.

Ronan linking up his bracelets.

For our family we ended up squeezing in two different actives on Halloween. I picked up my boys from school and as soon as we got home I quickly made them sandwiches for tea while they got changed out of their school uniforms. We lefts straight away to walk to Lindfield where we attend church on Sunday. It is about an hour walk, if I go at the boys normal walking pace, but it is a beautiful walk that we enjoy together. Ryan joined us from the train station, after getting out of class, and we attended the Hallelujah party at the church for the evening. The boys got to do crafts and games and enjoy a yummy supper of bangers and chips with orange squash to drink. Afterwards there was glow sticks, singing, fireworks, and a chinese lantern was lit into the sky. We had a really nice time, despite how tired the boys were from school already. On our walk back home I had the boys change into their Halloween costumes, and we went trick or treating at a few houses that were participating in the evening and one pub had candy out for the kids to take. I think the boys were a little disappointed that their candy bounty was quite a bit smaller than years past, but with everything we fit in for the evening they had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed just being together as a family and watching the smiles on my boys’ faces. A smile is precious and nothing is more priceless for this proud mummy of two.

A few photos from Trick or Treating in Lindfield.
The houses that were participating had a Jack O Lantern or Halloween decorations in their windows.