October 20, 2009

If you’re anything like me, you may have bought some cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder thinking that they would come in useful one day or you may have needed some for that one recipe that you never repeated.

The problem now is that there are still plenty left over and that expiry date is fast approaching. If that is the case, I hope this post will give you some ideas for using your cinnamon in some creative ways.


Photo credit: Kim Martel


In baking, cinnamon can be used to flavour cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls or blended with raisins to make a tasty sweet bread.

Cinnamon goes really well with apples, bananas, chocolate, coffee, egg dishes, lamb, pears, rice, almonds, apricots and pumpkins.

It’s also lovely sprinkled onto breakfast cereal, yoghurt or bananas on toast, just don’t go overboard with it and make sure you blend it in a bit otherwise you’ll end up coughing as the powder is very fine.

Use cinnamon sticks to stir hot chocolate or coffee or other drinks that you want to add a hint of cinnamon flavour to. It’s nice added to a hot milky slippery elm drink to soothe the stomach.

Cinnamon added to crab apple or redcurrant jelly is also good.

There are some more ideas here:

How to use Cinnamon in your meals

Make your own mulled wine

Cinnamon flavoured sugar is simple to make but if you want to buy it ready made, you can get it from Steenbergs here.

Cinnamon blends well with cloves, cumin, ginger, nutmeg and mace, turmeric, cardamom and coriander seed, so use it to make your own mixed spice blend or curry blend.



If you have a few out of date spices, break them up, get creative and make a picture like the crazy looking spice girl in the photo above  (made this with my daughters a few years ago). If you’re going to want to keep the picture, glue it onto some card or paper rather than using a plate.

A few cinnamon sticks tied with red ribbon and attached to some mulling spices make a pretty and useful gift.

You can also find out how to use cinnamon powder to create some great cinnamon scented candles here.

If you have any favourite uses for cinnamon, feel free to leave a comment below.


Fizzy Bath Bombs

October 12, 2009

Having not been very successful in bath bomb making using recipes from various websites, I finally got round to using a starter pack which I’d bought from Aromantic a little while ago.  My 12 year old daughter helped too, we made a lot of mess using the round and heart moulds but it was great fun. She chose lime and mandarin for the essential oils and they smell really lovely.

Here’s a few photos of the results and attempts at making them look nice (practicing for gift ideas!).

Fizzy Bath Bombs


If anyone knows of a good and reliable recipe, please leave me a comment below. I’d like to have another go but source the ingredients separately.


Do You Want To Meet James Wong?

September 11, 2009

If yes, you’ll need to get your skates on because booking of the event where you can meet James Wong closes tomorrow – 12th September.

The Herb Society’s AGM and Conference is being held on 26th to 27th September in Stratford-upon-Avon. The speakers will be James Wong, ethnobotanist and presenter of the BBC’s Grow Your Own Drugs, and Anna Parkinson, BBC journalist and author of Nature’s Alchemist: John Parkinson, Herbalist to Charles I, a book about her ancestor who was born two years earlier than Stratford’s most famous son, William Shakespeare.   James and Anna will focus on herbs Shakespeare would have known, from their different perspectives.   On Sunday 27th there will be a special visit to Hall’s Croft, home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and son-in-law John Hall, which will be led by Sue Minter.

Reduced rate accommodation is available via the herb society’s sponsor, NFU Mutual.   To apply for a place at the AGM/Conference please complete the application which can be downloaded from

You will then receive an information pack.   NB:  booking closes 12 September! Contact Gwenneth Raybould at 020 8761 6565 or with any queries.