Forever Nigella #11: Anything goes

I don’t deserve the lovely readers I have, I really don’t.

I mess you about, I disappear, I kind of shrug back and then loaf off again with little more than an occasional tweet. I try to avoid “me me me” outpourings on here but feel I owe my regular readers an explanation for the lack of regular recipes lately.

Being frank for a moment, I haven’t felt like baking for the site and the Christmas tree was hogging the best spot in the house for taking food photos. Apart from checking email on my phone I’ve barely sat down in front of the computer for nearly a month. I had meant to take some time out last January but it never happened so this year I’m determined to have a proper break!

It’s only by stepping off the hamster wheel for a few weeks that I realised how long it had been since I just did stuff around the house without feeling guilty that I was procrastinating doing something else. Five years to be precise i.e. pre-pregnancy. A rug was pulled from under me when Ted arrived three months early and ever since I’ve felt like someone holding arms full of boxes and being expected to walk upstairs whilst someone placed still more on top.

With the book all but finished and my son at school, I’m finally enjoying a bit of peace and “me time”. I probably won’t post as frequently for a while but rest assured I am still here, chilling out, taking some time to look after myself for a change – for six hours a day during the week at least.

It’s in this relaxed mode that I launch the new look Forever Nigella.

More consistent, easier to keep up to date with, easier to keep track of who else is entering – both for you and me.

The badge will still get the dates updated monthly although I won’t nag my husband to redesign it every month – maybe 3-4 times a year instead as I know you like the pretty designs!

The theme will be pure Nigella from now on. Now that we’ve gone through a year of themes, without getting repetitive any new themes are likely to be too specific, especially if people only have one Nigella book.

Although we’re ditching the theme, I suspect that seasonality will play a big part in who enters what anyway.

So from now on:

Forever Nigella now starts on the 1st of each month and ends on the 28th. You may submit ANY Nigella recipe.

The current host is Sarah at Maison Cupcake i.e. ME. When the new system settles down I’ll get some people to host – I have a list of lots of you who have asked to but I’m too disorganised to get this set up in advance and always end up hosting myself at the last minute.

The announcement post will go live on the 1st of the month with the new Linky. So you can blog your entries at any time from 1st -28th or hold on to them a few days for the next month’s round of entries.

We may not always have a prize but this month we do…

This month’s prize:

Everyone submitting their entry to the Linky Tool will be eligible to win a copy of Australian Women’s Weekly’s book of Cupcakes and Fairy Cakes.
Everyone means YES I WILL MAIL IT INTERNATIONALY. No there isn’t an alternative, I’m giving away a book not a voucher. If you win and don’t want the book, yes I can mail it to one of your mates who would like it instead. You see, I’m flexible.

On this occasion I am choosing a winner myself as I’ve not organised anyone else to judge. Previously, getting someone else to judge entries in a draft post was a total pain in the bum but it would be easier now we run this with a Linky. Thinking on my feet it might prove easier in future to get people to judge winners rather than host this thing. But for now we’ll suck it and see. I’ll pick who wins this time, my blog, my rules.

A reminder of the rules:

Forever Nigella #11
Challenge: To prepare and blog any Nigella recipe.
Deadline: 28th of the month, at midnight wherever you are.
Round up: By Linky Tool on the announcement post which is linked to on the Forever Nigella page.

There are:

  • No rules about how often you must take part
  • No rules about stuff being secret until certain dates
  • No rules that everyone cook exactly the same thing
  • No rules about not being able to submit to any other blog events – just check it doesn’t contravene the other guys’ rules

But there are 3 rules:
1. Blog your entry by the deadline including:
a) the current Forever Nigella badge
b) a link to the current host’s announcement post
c) a link to the official Forever Nigella page at Maison Cupcake: (if hosted by someone other than myself)

2. So not to breach Nigella’s copyright you must NOT reproduce recipes verbatim as shown in her books. If using an original Nigella recipe, tell us which book it is from and/or where we find it online (see most likely sites below). If you’ve adapted the recipe in some way i.e. changed at least two ingredients or amended the method then it’s ok to publish the a recipe in your post but you MUST write the directions in your own words.

3. Tell us about your post by adding it into the latest Linky Tool here.
I have made this into a Blog Hop so feel free to post the script at the bottom of the announcement post to encourage your readers to visit other entries.

Don’t forget to tweet your post with the hashtag #forevernigella – I will retweet all those I see!

N.B. Your entry must have been published since the announcement post. You may only submit something from your archives if you republish it as a new post.

Thank you for bearing with me during the past few weeks, I am always amazed as many people join in as they do when I go “off radar” for ages, I always visit and comment all the entries eventually although I’ve been slower than I would like lately. I always retweet those entries that I see using the #ForeverNigella hashtag.

The final bit of business is to announce the winner of Forever Nigella #10 who bags a set of these slinky digital Salter scales. My personal favourite post from Forever Nigella #10 was this wonderful rocky road wreath dotted with green and red smarties by Susan at Not just any old baking. Well done Susan!


  1. says

    Looking forward to it! I must have done something wrong for the Christmas one as my entry isn’t in the Blog Hop linky box thing. Oh well, looks like I’ll have to buy myself those scales I need! :-)

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Oh dear, you’ll have to keep an eye on it next time and see if it registers, I can always add them in manually if you can’t get it to submit at your end.

  2. says

    so, not that i’m moaning but does the linky tool mean you wont do a round up at the end of each month? I love the round-ups, it makes me feel part of a gang…

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      The Linky is an ongoing round up, everyone can see everyone else’s entries already. I guess I could include the script to the previous month in the announcement to the new one so everyone can see how many entries there were without looking for the old post. You get two links from the Linky Tool to your site, both text and image so it’s good link juice for page rank etc. I’m all for stuff that makes life easier!

  3. says

    Awwww, good for you for making the decision to take some time for yourself – and it must be so nice to be missed by your readers – enjoy your down time. With love – Lucie x

  4. says

    I’m all for taking time off for ourselves, especially women needs it the most. I’m not sure if I could join this round with Chinese New Year in less 2 weeks, haven’t done any baking and food prep yet for the celebration.
    A suggestion: Can you do a generic Forever Nigella badge without the date? So that bloggers like me can put the event badge on our blog’s sidebar.. help to promote..

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      I am considering a generic badge… if it’s what everyone would prefer I can do it.

  5. says

    Wow it must feel so strange to have the days to yourself again after so long. You should definitely enjoy it as you have been so busy putting your book together and I can imagine that taking it right out of you. However, your photos just keep getting better & better so you will keep inspiring us all. I will try to join in although I am having a bit of a mad month. Love last months winner too! x

  6. says

    Hey, don’t feel you need to apologise for taking a breather. Blogs should be a pleasure not a chore…otherwise it shows. Will be glad to see whatever you offer us over the coming months. I think the linky blog hop thing does not work for users like myself but not to worry I will let you know if I make a Nigella recipe. Take care of yourself. Claire x

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Thanks Claire – you can still submit links from sites to the Linky but it won’t let you host the script at the bottom of your own post.

  7. says

    Hi Sarah, it’s wonderful to see you back and there is no reason to apologise for taking a break. Life is hectic sometimes. I am looking forward to a new Nigella recipe in my life, so thanks for the freedom to make any. :)

    I saw your comment on my site and thought of how tedious it might be to go through all your back posts if you do want to add cup measures. When I am making new recipes I weigh and measure the ingredients myself. But when I am converting old recipes, I use two websites to help with the measurements conversions. This one does different types of flour, sugar, honey, and oats. The other uses densities to convert measures for lots of ingredients. Good luck…! I try to update one each time I write a new post. So take it slow and in time lots will be converted. Start with the most popular recipes first! :)

  8. says

    You definitely deserve some “me” time and should not apologise for it! Thanks for hosting #forevernigella – I’ve only entered once but would love to enter more this year. I would also vote for a generic badge that I can put on my sidebar.
    Congrats to Susan on winning the gorgeous scales. Definitely can’t tweet #neverwinasausage anymore! :)

  9. says

    hey, everyone deserves some “me” time! and think about it, we readers don’t alwayss comment on every blog entry that you write too! I myself am guilty of that, even though I do visit your blog quite often, esp for the nigella roundups, sorry ):

  10. says

    No need to apologise for taking some time out Sarah – your blog is for you so we are all happy to read this when you are here and happy to wait for you to come back. Am sure Ted keeps you super busy! Good luck with Forever Nigella – sounds like a lot of work – lucky you!

  11. says

    Hurrah, thought I’d missed the deadline but managed to get my banana butterscotch bread up there! Hope you had a nice break away from the blog – it’s much needed sometimes isn’t it.