Ellie’s Summer Songs: Week Five

Hi all! This week’s theme is in honour of the massive news that is One Direction’s break from music (and we all know where that can lead…)


So here’s a small collection of some of 1D’s best songs – because they’re not just for teenagers!

‘If I didn’t have you there would be nothing left
The shell of a man who could never be his best
If I didn’t have you, I’d never see the sun
You taught me how to be someone, yeah’

‘We’re only getting older, baby, and I been thinking about it lately
Does it ever drive you crazy just how fast the night changes?
Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of disappearing when you wake up
But there’s nothing to be afraid of even when the night changes
It will never change me and you.’

‘And let me kiss you’

‘So get out, get out, get out of my head
And fall into my arms instead’

‘You’ll never love yourself half as much as I love you
And you’ll never treat yourself right darlin’ but I want you to
If I let you know I’m here for you
Maybe you’ll love yourself like I love you, oh’

Dida’s Delicious Recipes #GBBO

In The Vintage Cinema Club, (a book about summer, love, life, cake and vintage shopping), Dida makes yummy cakes. Here at HarperImpulse we’re all getting in the The Great British Bake Off mood, and today we’re sharing some of Dida’s recipes. They’re very easy to make and totally yummy. Tweet us your baking pics!Basic CMYK

DIDA’S 2-4-6 MELTINGLY DELISH SHORTBREAD HEARTS…Easy to make, even easier to eat…

2oz sugar
4oz butter/margarine (butter is most delish)
6oz plain flour

  • Pre-heat oven to 190ºC/350F/Gas5
  • Sieve the flour in a mixing bowl, and add sugar and butter.
  • Slice the butter into pieces, rub into the flour and sugar, then gently knead until the mixture can be rolled into a ball.
  • If you have food processor, you can whizz the ingredients all together, until the mixture is soft.
  • Take the ball of mixture, and roll out on a floured board, to a thickness of between half a centimetre and a centimetre.
  • Cut out heart shapes with a biscuit cutter, and transfer onto a greased baking sheet.
  • (Alternatively cut into rectangles or squares with a knife)
  • Bake for ten minutes, or until pale golden brown, then remove from oven.
  • Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Fabulous with coffee. Eat two, four, six….or more. I usually make double quantity, because they disappear so fast!

short h


5oz sugar
2oz butter/margarine
2 eggs
4 ripe mashed bananas (over ripe and black work very well)
7oz plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
Two dessert spoonfuls of cocoa powder

  • Pre heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas4.
  • Place the sugar and butter together in a bowl, cream together, then and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs to this bowl, and mix in carefully, then and add the mashed bananas and stir in well.
  • Sieve the flour, bicarb, salt and and baking powder into another bowl and stir in the cocoa powder.
  • Add dry ingredients to the other mixture, and stir in gently.
  • Transfer to a greased rectangular loaf tin (8 inch by 5 inches is good).
  • Bake for 60 mins, at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas4, or until well risen, firm on top, and slightly moist in the middle.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve sliced, fab with coffee or tea.


DIDA’S LUSCIOUS LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE…perfect to enjoy for afternoon tea in the garden, on a sunny afternoon.

For the glaze:
Juice from 1 lemon
50g of sugar (optional)

For the cake:
100g Self-Raising flour
100g Soft margarine
100g Caster sugar
2 Eggs
Zest of 1 Lemon

  • Put on oven, 180C, 4 gas, and grease a shallow 19cm cake tin
  • Grate the rind from the lemon onto a plate
  • Sieve the flour in to a mixing bowl, add the caster sugar, margarine, eggs and lemon rind Using a wooden spoon beat the mixture until light and fluffy and well mixed
  • Using a large spoon carefully put the mixture in to the greased cake tin
  • Spread the mixture evenly and wipe the sides if mixture is around the sides of the tin
  • Using oven gloves put the cake in to the oven for 15 – 20 min, or until golden brown and firm to touch
  • Cut the orange/lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Put the juice into a small bowl and mix in the small amount of sugar
  • When the cake is cooked, loosen it from the tin using a palette knife. Turn it out on to a cooling tray.
  • If you are having the glaze with sugar option, put juice and sugar in a pan, and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the juice (or juice and sugar) carefully over the bottom of the cake a little at a time and allow it to soak in.
  • If you’d prefer Orange Drizzle Cake to Lemon Drizzle Cake, replace the lemon with an orange. If you’d like your cake to be deeper, use double the ingredients, and a deeper tin. Cooking time for this will be longer.
  • When the cake is cool, slice and enjoy!

lemonWhy not enjoy your delicious treats alongside Jane Linfoot’s fantastic book, The Vintage Cinema Club, now only 99p!

Ellie’s Summer Songs: Week Four

Hi all! The theme this week is Great Movie Love Songs – in honour of all you incurable hopeless romantics! (Like myself…)

And what better way to start than with a song that is now synonymous with dedicated couples who’ve learnt it for their first dance… all thanks to its climatic use in this movie classic…

From exhilarating dancing to soul-destroying tragedy in one fell swoop… Here’s Celine Dion’s heartbreaking ballad:

Next up, a British Classic! Who hasn’t dreamed of breaking into a community garden since watching the delight that is Notting Hill? Watch Ronan Keating do it instead…

Ahh Moulin Rouge – the marmite of love films. The Elephant Love Medley was a musical revelation for teenage me and I have loved it ever since… Props to the rest of you who sing both parts…

And finally, to finish on a nice upbeat note (ignoring the rest of the film) – this cheery number from 500 Days of Summer, you gotta love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Enjoy!


It’s already Week 3 of this year’s Bake Off and we all know what that means… it’s Bread Week!

bread catAnd this year’s bread-y showstoppers were among the best ever…

snakecyclelion king

Despite Paul’s usually frosty exterior, even he couldn’t help but admire Other Paul’s King of the Jungle offering – just look at it! And Tamal’s Breadcycle certainly did enough to make him one of my new favourites. Indeed, this week was certainly a game changer for me as contestants I’d previously overlooked suddenly caught my attention – how could I help but pledge my allegiance to lovely Alvin and his vast collection of bread? I take back all I previously said about him being of little interest!!

As for Dorret, despite my earlier championing, her time was finally up…

From humble beginnings…

dorret cale

To a display of modern art…

bedFinally the time had come when she’d made her bread (sorry) and had to lie in it…

But for me, the real star of this series of Bake Off will continue to be Nadiya, Queen of Facial Expressions! Don’t believe me? Just look…

nadiyanadiay face nadiya face






What a blessing! For those moments when you’ve zoned out slightly and aren’t quite sure about the tone of events – just look out for Nadiya’s face and she’ll set you right…

But sadly there are now only 9 contestants left… Time flies! I’m just counting down the hours until Dessert Week and the return of our favourite comedy duo (the fantastic Mel & Sue) – bring on Wednesday!!

Ellie’s #GBBO Biscuit Bake Off



It’s Biscuit time! Week 2 of the Bake Off introduced us to flat swirly cinnamon biscuits and precarious looking structures – leaving all of us just wanting to sit down and enjoy some of own freshly made biscuits with a good cup of tea… Unfortunately my flatmates were all too busy watching the show with me to provide any such refreshments but in times of trouble here is the easy peasy chocolate chip cookie recipe I always turn to…

  • 100g sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 200g flour
  • Chocolate chips (as many as you would like!)
  1. Whack the oven on – I’m never very precise on temperatures I’m afraid but approx. 180 on a fan oven!
  2. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until smooth
  3. Add the egg (but don’t let it curdle! I’ve never really been sure what is so terrible about curdling but I’ve been warned against it since childhood so it must be pretty bad!)
  4. Slowly add the flour (or all at once – this recipe is so easy it really makes no difference, just makes it easier to mix)
  5. Add the chocolate chips and voila! The mixture is ready. Now, I’ll admit, at this point I normally just start to eat the cookie dough but apparently that’s not very good for you so instead you should separate the dough and place each cookie on the tray (which you’ve greased with butter for this very purpose)
  6. Then pop the cookies in the oven for approx. 10 mins – however, you want to keep an eye on them and get them out when they still look a bit soft because they do harden fairly significantly when they cool
  7. Now eat and enjoy! With or without a hot beverage they are delicious :)

With this level of baking precision I doubt I would get very far on Bake Off but I do know that any level of baking significantly increases your popularity with friends.  As long as they taste good, who cares what they look like? Isn’t that what Mary Berry always says…?!


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