Tuesday Quickie: Homemade Pasta

I love pasta! The first dish I ever learned to cook was macaroni cheese. I was 7 years old and couldn’t even reach the stove-top without a stool but (with proper adult supervision of course) I made my own cheese sauce from scratch, and it’s been my go-to ever since. Both of my parents were cooks and pasta fans, so many other pasta dishes would feature growing up – spaghetti carbonara, baked lasagne, ham and mushroom tagliatelle. True fact – I once one a pair of trainers from a Nickelodeon phone-in for being able to name 5 types of pasta.

Yet I’d never made my own pasta before, and I’m not sure why. Then I was inspired by a colleague bringing homemade pasta in for her lunch, and I finally decided to give it a go. My first attempt I just used a rolling pin and a pizza cutter for rolling and shaping and it worked. Obviously since then I’ve bought a pasta machine – any excuse! You can pick them up for under £15 online or in places like TK Maxx so just keep your eyes peeled for a deal.


Homemade pasta is ultimate simple food. Okay to get the best out of it you could do with a proper pasta machine, but in essence all it takes is two ingredients and some elbow grease. Sure you can push the boat out and use proper 00 flour, or semolina. However if good old plain flour is all you have in, then that’s all you need. I use the traditional egg but if you need or want to be egg-free, swap for a similar volume of your choice of liquid – water is the easiest and you could add a bit of oil for richness; or pesto, spinach or tomato for colour.

[recipe title=”Homemade pasta” servings=”3-4″ time=”20mins prep, plus 30mins chilling” difficulty=”easy”]

200g plain flour
2 medium eggs
Boiling salted water to cook



  1. Put your flour in to a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Crack your eggs in to this well
  2. Start by using a fork to mix the eggs and gradually incorporate the flour. As it starts to come together abandon the fork and use your hands until all the flour is combined with the egg and your dough comes together in a ball
  3. Turn your ball out on to a very lightly floured surface and kneed for 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll know you’ve hit the sweet-spot between sticky and dry when the dough is smooth and springs back slightly when you press it
  4. Wrap the dough well in cling film and pop it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. If you’re having a complicated sauce with your pasta now is a good time to prepare it
  5. After 30 minutes take your dough out of the fridge and it’s ready to be rolled and cut. Either use a rolling pin to roll the pasta out as thin as you can get and cut in to strips with a knife or (like I did) a pizza cutter. Alternatively, if you have a pasta machine roll the dough out with that. I tend to go through at thickness 1, then 2, then fold over (book fold) and go back to 1. I do this 3 times and then progress up through the numbers until my sheet of pasta is nice and thin before cutting in to ribbons.
  6. Leave your cut pasta to dry while you get a pan of salted water to the boil. This fresh pasta will only need about 3 minutes once it’s in the water!

I hope I’ve made that sound as easy as it is! Please let me know if I’ve inspired you to try homemade pasta, or if I’ve just left you craving a big bowl of carb-y goodness!


Maggie Bob Makes: Friends with Huggle

I moved house a lot as a kid. By the time I was ten, we had lived in 6 town and I was starting my 4th school. This means I never put down deep roots and formed those childhood friendships that many people do. Don’t get me wrong – I come from a large family so there were always siblings and cousins for company and I was never lonely. And we moved to Luton when I was ten and stayed there for 9 years, so I formed a solid friendship group through high-school and college.

Then the Internet happened. We got our first dial up connection in 1999. I was 15 and really developing my own interest in music (Queen) and movies (Rocky Horror) so I joined first Usenet groups and later online message boards and began to talk with people who also loved these things. Friendships blossomed and suddenly I had far-flung group of mates, some of whom I still count as my closest friends today. And one of whom is now my husband!


As social media came to the fore of online interactions, I joined Twitter with gusto and began to follow new people who said interesting things, were retweeted by friends, or were part of local interest groups. I’ve met dozens of these people in the offline world and its been wonderful. Towards the end of my 20s I had a group of local friends who I could go on nights out with, or to galleries, theatres and films. All the things that are more fun with a friend by your side. Then I went and ruined it all by moving 400 miles away from most of these wonderful friends. Sure I had my sister and husband nearby, but I needed to start all over again in a new city. And making firm friendships anew in my 30s isn’t coming naturally to me.


Enter Huggle. This is a new social app to help you find people who hang out in the same places as you. As sociologist Dr Alex Huges praises:

“From the very first moment of meeting someone, how similar you are to that person plays a huge role in future interactions. Whether it’s romantic relationships or friendships, people are naturally attracted to similarity rather than appearance. Therefore sourcing a relationship based on appearance is not credible when looking for a long-term partnership. Individuals need to have shared interests, attitudes and values, for any relationship to work.”
The app is very easy to install and set-up and I’ve already been able to see a handful of other using the app near my home and place of work. Huggle boasts some decent safety features including a one minute photo verification, and because it uses your location, you can’t check in to places you’ve not been. I just need to use the app out and about now to see if I can find some like-minded people. I’m hoping to use it to find a cinema buddy (why waste a Meerkat movies code after all?). You can pop over to https://huggle.com/ to read more and download the app. Here’s to new friendships!
* This post was written in collaboration with Huggle and BloggerRequired. All content and opinions are my own. I have not been paid for this post.

Maggie Bob Wears: Body Shop British Rose Plumping Mask

I’m really getting in to taking part in blog chats lately. Although the subjects don’t always feel relevant to me, it’s easy to just skip (or observe and learn!) those ones, and take part in the ones where I feel I can contribute. We Are Thirty Plus run some stonking chats, and it’s been so good to meet and chat with other bloggers on a range of subjects from exercise, to social media, to wearable tech. Recently, they joined forces with The Body Shop to celebrate the high street store’s 40th anniversary, and it got me reminiscing!

One of the things I remember fondly about The Body Shop is their bath pearls – remember them? You could go in with your meagre pocket money and come out with a oil filled bath pearl in every colour and still have enough left over for a copy of Bunty and some penny mix. Yeah, that’s pretty much my childhood extravagance summed up there – gosh how times have changed, wish I was still so easily (and cheaply) pleased!


It was really fun to discuss with other bloggers our memories of The Body Shop, including their products past and present (their body butters are still a firm favourite it would seem), and remembering some of their stonking campaigns. I love how The Body Shop is so dedicated to animal welfare, as well as improving life for humans too.

After the chat The Body Shop got in touch to offer me some products to try, including one of their new Superfood Face Masks. There are 5 masks, each designed to target different skin types: Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask for maturing skin; Chinese Ginseng Rice Clarifying & Polishing Mask for dull skin; Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask for blemish prone skin; Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask for fatigued skin; and British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask for dry skin. Apparently these are also ideal for multi-masking, which I’m guessing is exactly what it sounds like and means you apply different masks to different parts of your face, depending on what the skin there needs.


I tried the British Rose Fresh Plumping mask, and I’m very impressed with it. The consistency is a bit like a good jam, but it spread on my face quite easily using just my fingers. I left it on my face for… ummm… at least 90 minutes but to be honest I lost track. It’s translucent on the skin and dries in to a slightly sticky finish. When I remembered I just washed it off with warm water. My skin is fairly well behaved, but it did feel extra good after the mask. The toning element this mask promises is good for me too, as I am prone to redness.


See how pretty fresh my face looks? The masks are all available in-store and from http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/ from this month, and are £15 each. There’s plenty of applications in each jar, so this is a lovely little treat. Do you have any fond memories of the Body Shop? The comments below are open…


Friday High Five #14

This has been a mixed bag of a week for me. In fact, even the individual days varied wildly – for example walking in to work on Wednesday I got caught in the thunderstorms and was soaked through (even my undies were wringing wet!) and had to get a kind colleague to drive me home so I could change. Yet walking home again that afternoon, completely unprepared for the change in weather, I caught the sun a little bit on my neck!

Anyway, no better way, as always, to see out the week than with my five favourite things right now.


  • I’m off to see Beyond Broadway Productions do Bring It On The Musical tomorrow evening and I’m super jazzed. My sister and I share a love for the movie this is loosely based on and I wanted to see the musical when it first came out – before had even heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now knowing he is (jointly) behind the music, I just know this is going to be such a fun night out. Cheerleader costumes at the ready!


  • My love of Rocky Horror has left me with a lifelong urge to buy anything with a lips print on it. This top is cute though, and looks nice and light for summer (where long sleeves will help keep the sun off my delicate skin). Plus, it’s currently only £2 (!) from TennerStore.


  • Yes – I have taken to Pokémon Go like a MagiKarp to water. Or to floundering on my desk like the one above! I think it’s a great app for encouraging people to get outside, and now that the initial server issues seem to be settling it’s been great fun altering my walk home to take my via as many Pokestops as possible.


  • Because apparently what I now like to do with my evenings is watch TV shows about maths I settled down to Wednesday evening to catch The Joy Of Data on BBC4. It was a brilliant look at how data is the ‘bridge’ between the ordered mathematical world and the chaotic real world. I’m pleased to note there’s been some other shows in this series, including The Joy of Logic and The Joy of Stats, which I’m going to have to catch-up with this weekend.


  • We’ve had something resembling a summer here in Scotland this week (sudden thunderstorms aside) and I’ve more or less chomped my way through a whole watermelon. So refreshing, and having it sliced up and ready to eat from the fridge was a genius idea. We also stuck some in the freezer, so I’m thinking it’ll form part of some sort of blended frozen (alcoholic?) drink this weekend!

Happy Friday folks – enjoy your weekends.



Maggie Bob Wants: Bullet Journal Essentials

It finally happened! I have fallen head, heart and soul for journaling. I bet there’s not a single one among you that is surprised. Journaling is just such a ‘Maggie Bob’ thing. Not only does it combine my two great loves of stationery and being organised, I genuinely feel like I’ve been more productive since I first stuck some washi tape and a to-do list in my notebook and called it a journal.


The concept of a bullet journal is simple – you define the purpose of each page as you get to it, keeping an index at the front to keep track of where everything is. So you can start your month with a monthly log, take a page for each day or week as you need for your to-do lists and reminders, break away mid-month to plan out your blogging goals, fitness & health goals, or just to doodle and write your magnum opus shit poetry. It’s more flexible than a calendar based journal, so it definitely suits my organised chaos aesthetic.

Not that I ever need an excuse to go stationery shopping, virtually or in real life, but of course taking up journaling has been a perfectly valid reason to expand my stash. Here’s what I’m currently lusting after and would recommend for someone getting started in bullet journaling.


Leuchtturm 1917 in Emerald | Rymans | £13.95

There’s a reason the Leuchtturm notebooks are a favourite with journalers, the layout with built in index and the leak-proof pages make these the perfect fit. I’ve picked up this one ready to use as my next day-book journal and I couldn’t be more excited to crack it open, to be honest!


Colourful Books Washi Tape | Lovely Tape | £2.90

Is a journal really a journal if it’s not decorated with stickers and washi tape? Well, probably, but it’s not any kind of journal I want to have a part in. I’m thinking of popping a section in my journal to log all the books I’ve read and this tape would be just perfect for embellishing that section, don’t you think?


Journaling Rubber Stamp Sheet | TraciBunkers on etsy | £21.14

I very quickly knew I didn’t want to use my unappealing handwriting to make up the days and months throughout my journal, and turned to the variety of rubber stamps I have. This set from TraciBunkers seems to have all bases covered, plus some extras.


Pilot V-Pen | Cult Pens | £3.64

I never thought I would be writing in fountain pen again, but I’m loving using Pilot’s V-Pen. This classic pen is available loaded with one of 8 colour choices of ink – which explains why people have recently been getting notes from me in purple or pink rather than my classic black biro.


Beauty & The Beast Planner Stickers | PlannableDesigns via esty | £2

There’s a whole industry sprung up around making stickers for journals, so whatever you are in to there will be stickers for that. I happen to love Beauty & The Beast (a brunette princess with her nose in a book? That’s totes me) and these stickers are the cutest. They are designed specifically to fit standard journals like Filofax, Erin Condren etc, but I’ll make them fit mine because I just have to have them.

So there you have it. I’ve got another blog post done that I can tick off in my journal (done!), and hopefully I’ve inspired you to either start journaling, or at least go and buy some more pretty stationery. Because we could all use that.


Maggie Bob Wears: MAC Retro Matte

What I know about makeup could fill a postage stamp, but one of my dearest friends bought me a MAC lipstick a few years ago and got me hooked. Now I have a little tradition where I buy myself a new lipstick whenever I’m going through Duty Free. This isn’t significantly cheaper, but it gives me an excuse; or to look at it another way it limits my habit. As I don’t fly very often I only have 3 lipsticks in current use and I’m going to show you my most recent acquisition which I got in Copenhagen airport during my trip last month.


Now as I’ve already mentioned I’m not a makeup person by nature. When I apply lipstick I don’t prime my lips first. I don’t use a lipliner, or apply with a brush. I simply apply the colour directly on to my lips, and if I’m not in a rush I may even blot. With this lipstick I find that’s enough. I’ve read some reviewers complain that the matte is too dry or drying, but honestly I’ve not found this to be a problem. I find MAC’s mattes to be quite slick without having the stickiness of a gloss. It doesn’t feel overly dry on my lips, and the colour is nice and strong. Best of all it lasts! I’ve included pictures of it freshly applied and after a full work day so you can see.


This shade is called Ruby Woo. I really wanted a good proper red (my last one was ‘Relentlessly Red‘ which somehow looks more pink on), and had this one in my hands for all of 2 seconds before Tim said “Oh yes, that one!”. I’d only just started looking so I don’t think he was just bored and trying to hurry me along. Somehow he just has a good eye for colour because as soon as I applied this I knew it was the red of my dreams. I’ve worn it pretty much every day since I bought it because, as we all know, a good red goes with everything*.


I’m going to be taking a flight again next month, so I’m contemplating colours. Do I go for something daring like a plum, or perhaps it’s time I had a good nude in my repertoire? If my makeup savvy friends and readers could leave me some suggestions, that would be great.


*applies to wine as well as lipstick

Maggie Bob Bakes: Chocolate Raspberry Loaf Cake

Do you ever buy something ‘just because’ and then have to backwards engineer a reason for your cupboard full of weird and wonderful ingredients? Yeah, me too. So after a trip to Lidl I had a bottle of raspberry syrup glaring at me accusingly from across the kitchen. Then on baking Sunday I couldn’t take it any more – I will not be judged by an impulse buy! I had to throw together a recipe to use the syrup. A loaf cake is always an obvious choice for me, but as I didn’t have any eggs in I decided to get creative so, yup, this is also vegan.


There’s a bit more method in this than my normal “mix everything in a bowl and cross your fingers” approach, but I’ve balanced this by using a simple cup measure. I’ve included weights if you need them, but I’m a total convert to cup measures now – much less fuss. I was a little taken aback by how runny this batter is, although as you’ll see from the photos I had great fun pouring it in to the cake tin. What I’m saying is don’t worry if your mixture looks more like ganache than cake, it’ll all come out okay in the end.


[recipe title=”Vegan Chocolate & Raspberry Loaf Cake” servings=”10″ time=”15mins prep, 50mins cooking” difficulty=”easy”]

Self raising flour – 1 and 1/2 cup (192g)
Cocoa powder – 3 tbsp
Sea salt – 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil – 6 tbsp
Raspberry syrup – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Cold Water – 1 cup (235ml)
Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup (150g)



  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170oC and line or grease a standard loaf tin
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in to a bowl and sprinkle through the salt, stirring to distribute.
  3. Pour the oil, syrup, lemon juice and water in to a large bowl and gently whisk to combine. Slowly add the sugar and stir through.
  4. Spoon your dry mixture in to the wet, gently whisking as you go until everything is combined in to a smooth, velvety runny batter that resembles your favourite ganache.
  5. Pour the mixture in to your loaf tin and bake at for 45-50 minutes – until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Slice to serve. If you want to be really popular, do what I did and take a loaf in to work. That one disappeared very quickly.


Enjoy, and if you give this one a try, let me know in the comments below. Also, if you think of any other syrups I can swap in for the raspberry I’m interested to experiment.


Friday High Five #13

This is at least the third time this week I’ve been certain it is Friday, but only the first time I’ve been right. It’s obviously been a long week – I don’t know if all of you have felt the same? So here are five things just to round out the week and see us in to the weekend together. Grab a G&T and let’s show this week who is boss!


  • I have a lot of hats, but none of them are yellow. Well this one from ASOS is only £18 and will fill the colourful gap in my headwear wardrobe just nicely, thank you


  • My review of The Auld Hoose in Edinburgh was highlighted as Review of The Day on Yelp today and it’s made me hungry for a giant plate of nachos again. I know I’ll never be able to finish them, and then will come the regret, but still… nachos.

  • Lin-Manuel’s last Ham4Ham (4 now) – the end of an era, but what a sweet send off. And yes – my Hamilton obsession is not abating. Not even slightly.


  • Louche dresses always make me feel great. The cut of this Duchess dress, and that geometric Bauhaus pattern just make my heart sing, and the reduction to £41 doesn’t dampen my tune.


  • Homemade iced tea – I still can’t get enough of our refreshing homemade iced tea. Tempted to try it with other fruit flavours now, though the peach is such a classic. Don’t forget to check out my recipe.

Maggie Bob Goes: To Malmö

So, following on from my brief summary of our trip to Copenhagen, I can’t not mention Malmö. The only thing I knew of Sweden’s 3rd city before our trip was its role as a Eurovision host. We had only planned to take advantage of the Sound Bridge to spend one day in Malmö, but with the trouble we had with our accommodation, we actually spent just over half of our break there. So what did we do & discover?


  1. Malmö is beautiful and very chilled. I think Sweden could quickly rival The Netherlands as my favourite place to visit for a laid back city break.IMG_0037
  2. Ribersborg is a beautiful beach. There’s the well known bathing house which we didn’t visit this time where you can skinny-dip in the open water and take some time in one of the saunas.IMG_0035
  3. Tim celebrated his 33rd birthday by paddling in the crystal clear sea, the cool water being a perfect relief on a day where the temperature hit 27oC. I’d have liked to paddle out deeper, but was a little apprehensive of the jellyfish we spotted. They didn’t seem to put off the locals who were swimming out or on body-boards.IMG_0748
  4. Malmö castle contains a multitude of museums, so there’s bound to be something that interests you. From it’s history as a prison, use as a refugee camp, or the more contemporary displays of fashion and (currently) papercutting, we passed plenty of time here. Entry is 40SEK (around £3.50).IMG_0745
  5. Your ticket (actually a sticker) for the castle also gets you entry to the Technology & Maritime museum across the road where you can crawl through the deck of a real submarine, if that’s your sort of thing.IMG_0008
  6. Midsummer is a huge deal in Sweden – in fact it’s a public holiday. We found this out when all the shops had notices up saying they would be shut on the Friday for midsummer’s eve. Also, everywhere was selling strawberries as apparently that’s a tradition.IMG_0039
  7. Our last minute budget-ish hotel was a great find, First Hotel Mortensen. It was comfy, central and honestly the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever had at a hotel. I know it’s a simple thing but most places can’t even get scrambled eggs right, never mind perfect soft boiled eggs, smoothie shots & high quality coffee too!IMG_0004
  8. When things get too hot and sticky, a church is always the best place to seek refuge! I don’t do well in the heat, so when it hit the high 20s I was quite happy to duck in to St. Petri, knowing it would be refreshingly cool. It also turned out to be gorgeous inside so, you know, win-win.IMG_0753
  9. We went to Folk & Rock which is a record shop with a wee café inside – my absolute dream! I enjoyed a rather tasty sandwich and cider surrounded by records, CDs and music magazines; then did a bit of browsing/shopping, all in the one place.IMG_0005
  10. Speaking of music, we didn’t hear an ABBA song once the whole time we were in Sweden. There was a street performer in Copenhagen blasting out Mamma Mia, but that was it our whole trip. How disappointing! We’ll have to counter this by planning a trip to Stockholm and the ABBA museum in the future.

I can honestly say I had a properly relaxing holiday, and I’m looking forward to visiting again and discovering more of Denmark and Sweden.

(As before, some pictures are mine, but gratitude to my husband for providing me with decent snaps from our holiday while I mostly took pictures of him and my food!)


Maggie Bob Goes: To Copenhagen

Ah yes – after the holiday comes the inevitable holiday blog post. I’m very much in a listing mode at the moment, so I just thought I would give you some tips, thoughts and memories from Copenhagen today, and the same from our time in Malmo in my next post.


  1. hotels.com saved our bacon. After our AirBnB apartment turned out to have no curtains/blinds (seriously?) we needed to find somewhere to sleep urgently. Not just wanting to wander in to hotels until we found one with availability that night and a price-tag under £500, we plonked ourselves down on a bench by the canal, loaded up the hotels.com app and within 10 minutes had found and booked a hotel a 15 minute walk away. A huge relief at 8pm after 5 hours of walking, waiting and worrying in the sticky heat. We arrived to find our new hotel had not one, but 5 beds. And extra curtains too!IMG_0011
  2. The Metro in Copenhagen is fast, frequent and cheap. Plus you can sit up the front and pretend you’re driving, just like we all do on the DLR in London too (don’t pretend you don’t)copenhagen-metro-maggiebob
  3. They seem to be fond of the word ‘bastard’ in Copenhagen. As well as the below sign, which was in the café of the National Museum, we also frequented (well, went twice to) Bastard Café. One translated review changed the word ‘bastard’ to ‘hybrid’ which seemed quite a poetic take on it.copenhagen-museum-cafe-maggiebob
  4. Their tap water is eminently drinkable. Like Edinburgh or Amsterdam I found many places offer tap water, either already out or on request. Don’t be afraid to have some water for the table along with your meal and any other drinks. It’s of a similar quality to UK water, and was very welcome in the warm sticky weather during our visit.IMG_0007
  5. I’m not sure we indulged in much traditional Danish food, but it’s worth wandering slightly outside of the touristy areas to eat. My Croque Madame below from Brasserie Degas was one of the best I’ve had.copenhagen-croque-madam-maggiebob
  6. Almost everything in Copenhagen Airport closes at 10pm. As we found our when our 10pm flight was delayed by two and a half hours and we couldn’t get the vending machines to accept our card. So if you’ve got a late flight, make sure to get your shopping, eating and drinking in early.IMG_0002
  7. Our time in Copenhagen was limited due to the above mentioned AirBnB fiasco, as well as transport problems on the last day, but we managed to check out the National Museum of Denmark (come for the Vikings, stay for the creepy dolls house exhibition), Copenhagen City Hall (gorgeous inside and out), the impressive Central Station and the tranquil Frederiksberg Gardens.IMG_0013
  8. Sights we didn’t get to see this time and we’ll have to make a return visit to see (oh, what a shame!) include the Rundetaarn, Christiansborg Palace and the Cisterns of underground Frederiksberg.IMG_0003
  9. We got to meet/hang out with a real-life internet friend, Calucita. You should check out her twitch channel for awesomeness.

  10. Tivoli Gardens is rather impressive, and also worked as a good navigation aid when walking around the centre. We didn’t venture in, but you could easily pass a whole day there.IMG_0014

Some of those pictures are mine, but all the good ones are thanks to the husband!