Friday, 30 September 2011
Following in his mummys footsteps!! Please wish Jakes the best of luck with his creation for the Fabulous Bakin' Boys competition :)Lots of reviews coming up as well as some giveaways and product testing for you to try out!!
See you soon
Sunday, 25 September 2011
I have the new Hummingbird cookery book so will crack on with some of those recipes to upload!Thank you so much for all the facebook, website, emails wishing me a good one - its been fab!! :D
Saturday, 24 September 2011
So far this month i have won...
Trip to cook with Kirstie Allsopp (banoffee recipe via Carnation)
Oven gloves and Apron (via Anchor butter)
Ear pods and wipes (via Zagg - fab stocking filler for one of the boys!)
Mug (via Crunchy nut Cornflakes)
An overnight stay at the Hilton in Newcastle (via Impari)
Im psyching myself up for a big one - i just know its around the corner!! Whos with me on this and what are you hoping for in your big win?? :D
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Meningitis Awareness Week
‘cOUNTING THE coST OF MENINGITIS’ Video showS
HOW A SIGNATURE CAN HELP SAVE LIVES
Video call to action to sign petition for UK government for Men B vaccine
Meningitis Awareness Week (19-25th September) sees the launch of an online video to support Meningitis Research Foundation’s (MRF) Counting the Cost of Meningitis campaign and builds support for vaccination against meningitis and septicaemia. (meningitis.org/sign)http://youtu.be/T42wFgK-SZw
MRF is petitioning the UK Government to ensure widespread preventative treatment of the diseases is implemented at the earliest opportunity, reducing the lifetime impact of meningitis and septicaemia. The video explains the value of a signature encouraging people to signing up to the MRF’s petition , with a view to achieving in excess of 10,000 signatures.
The shocking lifelong financial costs of surviving meningitis and septicaemia have been examined by MRF in their ‘Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ campaign. Prevention is more cost effective than treatment; therefore MRF is calling on the Government to pursue the widest and earliest implementation of vaccines to prevent the diseases.
Counting the Cost of Meningitis is a comprehensive analysis of the lifetime impact of the diseases illustrated through two fictional case studies:
Peter, who was 18 months old when he was struck down with septicaemia which left him with multiple amputations and behavioural difficulties. Total lifelong costs of supporting Peter up to age 70 are £2,833,374.
Emma, who was three years old when she became ill with meningitis which left her brain damaged, deaf and partially blind. Total lifelong costs of supporting Emma up to age 50 are £3,507,664.
These illnesses have far-reaching consequences with survivors facing an on-going need for specialist medical care as well as additional educational and financial support running into millions of pounds.Christopher Head, Chief Executive of MRF said: “’Counting the Cost of Meningitis’ shows how those who survive can struggle to come to terms with the impact of these horrific diseases which change lives forever. Our campaign makes practical recommendations to Government to reduce the burden of disease through vaccination in the UK. Vaccination provides peace of mind across the country and we are urging everyone across the UK to sign our online petition at www.meningitis.org/sign.”
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
All prices include postage so you have nothing on top of the prices that you see and boy arent some of those pieces just the cutest ever - fab Christmas pressies - just sayin' :)
Monday, 19 September 2011
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml (¼pt) milk
5tbsp vegetable oil
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1tsp vanilla extract
397g can Carnation Caramel
100g (3½oz) chopped pecan nuts (optional)
You will also need:
12 hole muffin tin and muffin cases
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F or Gas Mark 5.
2. Place the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, oil, mashed bananas and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, without beating.
4. Drop spoonfuls of the caramel into the mixture, gently swirl through, but don’t mix it in – its nice to see little pockets of caramel bubbles in the finished muffins.
5. Place muffin cases in the tin and spoon the mixture into the cases until quite full. Top with the chopped pecan nuts, if using.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and eat fresh and warm.
Cooks tipThese muffins are delicious straight from the oven – perk them up the next day by microwaving for 10 seconds to warm the caramel.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
75g (3oz) light digestive biscuits
200g (7oz) Carnation Condensed Milk Light (half a can)
1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
150g (5½oz) extra light cream cheese
150g tub 0%fat Greek yogurt
250g (9oz) fresh strawberries
3tbsp strawberry jam
1. Crumble 75g (3oz) light digestive biscuits into a bowl, not too fine. Divide the crumbs between 6 wine glasses or small tumblers.
2. Place 200g (7oz) Carnation Condensed Milk Light (half a can) into a bowl and add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1tsp vanilla extract (optional). Stir together until the mixture has thickened.
3. Whisk 150g (5½oz) extra light cream cheese and 150g tub 0%fat Greek yogurt in a small bowl until smooth then fold into the thickened condensed milk, don’t over beat. Spoon the creamy mixture over the biscuits. Chill for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Chop 250g (9oz) fresh strawberries, mix with 3tbsp strawberry jam and top the cheesecakes with the fruit to serve.
TipUsing the juice of one lemon with half a can of condensed milk in this recipe acts as a setting agent, thickening into a deliciously easy cheesecake topping without gelatine.
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Makes: 60 pieces
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1hour
400g (14oz) dark or milk chocolate
397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
25g (1oz) butter
100g (3½oz) icing sugar
55g (2oz) roasted chopped nuts (optional)
1. Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a non-stick saucepan with the condensed milk and butter, heat very gently, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively place these ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 10-20 second bursts, stirring frequently until the mixture is silky smooth).
2. Beat the icing sugar into the mixture until combined thoroughly. Press the fudge into a 18cm (7in) square tin, smooth over the top and press the nuts into the surface, if using.
3. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until set, cut into squares.
Try any nuts or dried fruit you like in this recipe – pecans, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds all work really well. Or you could try adding cranberries, blueberries or even mini marshmallows!
For Christmas fudge look out for glittery decorations – silver balls or even silver or gold leaf for a really special present.
Friday, 16 September 2011
Me and mum travelled down to London on Wednesday and arrived at The Bloomsbury Hotel around 4.30pm. Knowing dinner wasnt for another 3 hours we set off to find either The Hummingbird Bakery or The Primrose Bakery....well, if i had been by myself i may have worried slightly as we got more than a little disorientated and ended up doing a huge circle when we only needed to have turned left out of the hotel instead of right!! lol For the film buffs amongst you - I had Run Fat Boy Run blisters - im not joking, thats what you get from wearing 5 inch heels on a treck round the capital!! Oh that darn thing called vanity! Whilst searching we came across the cutest bakehouse - Ellas Bakehouse and the girls were lovely, cakes were so cute and i couldnt resist picking up some mini ones for the boys!
Photos of Primrose bakery and we got 2 cakes which we split - one raspberry & white chocolate and one banana & chocolate (one was dry, one was lovely - lets not dwell hey!) lol
Back at the hotel and I chose... Scallops with Foie Gras for starter, Salmon steak with potatoes in parsley and creamed cabbage for dinner and Millefeuille with raspberries, fresh cream and white chocolate ice cream...to say I didnt finish the dessert makes me sad! lol
The taxi picked us up at 10am and we headed off to Divertimenti cookery school where we were met by PR upstairs. We were all introduced and led downstairs to the school (upstairs is the shop and omg what droolworthy stuff they had!!) where we met Kirstie. I was first through the door and she literally doubled over laughing saying how unreal it was and how she couldnt believe it - I did ask her if she was going to get an injunction which i think made the laughing worse! lol It was fabulous and as though we were friends if that makes sense - shes is such a lovely laid back lady with such a fabulous sense of self that she makes everyone feel comfortable straight away.We baked banana muffins,fudge and strawberry cheesecake pots then had photographs taken - Kirstie even suggested to the PR people that we work on something together!! EEK Im definately going to follow that one up!
One photo of us both looking at different cameras -and one where it looks like im in Madame Tussauds!! lol (she really is that flawless!)We were given these gorgeous spotty refridgerate bags to take home all our goodies in as well as another cloth bag with Nestle Carnation goodies inside!
Kirstie had to stay at the cookery school to do all of the cookery again for the press in the afternoon but the rest of us headed off upstairs and next door to Strada for lunch - ok when i say lunch it was bruchetta with sundried tomatoes and goats cheese, spaghetti ragu and for dessert panna cotta with warm fig. To say the diet went out of the window is an understatement and im still full now!!
All of the ladies who won were lovely, there were 3 other ladies who brought with them a mix of mother, son and friend so it really was a good mix :) I hope we all keep in touch one way or another and hopefully we will come across each other again - maybe another competition?! We all have each others winning recipes to try so i will post pics on here when im done and hope to get in touch with the ladies to see if its ok to post links to their blogs etc :)
I am entering this post into a competition through Travelizer to win a city break!!
Friday, 9 September 2011
Well, I entered it for the Carnation competition that was looking for the best banoffee receipes out there. I didnt expect to get anywhere but look at the email I received!!
We are pleased to let you know you are the lucky winner of the ‘delicious.’ online competition to win the luxury baking experience with Kirstie Allsopp.
We really loved your recipe for Luxurious Banoffee Pie. The coconut gave it a great texture and flavour and it looked divine.I am taking my mum with me for a dinner and a nights stay over in London, we get to bake with Kirstie the following day at a cookery school and then have lunch at Strada before our journey home -eek...meeting Kirstie twice in one month (technically as last months was the 16th and this month its the 15th!) lol
I know I am so lucky to have won this and thank everyone for their feedback from last years recipes as I wouldnt have entered it you all hadnt said how much you enjoyed it!!
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
FIRST AID AWARENESS MONTH
St John Ambulance is launching Save a Life September this year as part of a drive to raise awareness of the importance of first aid. The charity’s national first aid awareness month will aim to equip people with basic skills they could use to be the difference between life and death.
Throughout September, the charity will be giving hundreds of free first aid demonstrations in key areas, such as shopping centres and town squares, all across the country. The public will learn how to save a life using five easy to follow techniques and will receive a free pocket-sized first aid guide, to keep on them in case of an emergency.
Sue Killen, CEO, St John Ambulance comments: ‘We believe that no one should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it, which is why we are launching Save a Life September. By holding first aid demonstrations across the country, we want to reach as many people as possible, so that more people are equipped with the skills to save a life. Anyone who needs first aid should get it and armed with this knowledge we can all be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’
St John Ambulance has revealed that up to 150,000* people a year die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live.. This includes nearly 900 people who choke to death, 2,500 who asphyxiate from a blocked airway and 29,000 who die from heart attacks.
For more information on Save a Life September and to find out what’s happening in your area, please visit: www.sja.org.uk/sals
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
To prove just how soft Persil 2in1 with Comfort is, Persil launched Pass on the Love Picnics at this year’s Camp Bestival, with some help from celebrity mum Jo Whiley. Families washed their old cuddly toys in new Persil 2in1 with Comfort and brought them along to be swapped with other festival families or donated to Oxfam.
Because new Persil 2in1 with Comfort combines the brilliant cleaning power of Persil with the delicate softness of Comfort, it’s ideal for washing fluffy bunnies and furry teddies – making them softer, cleaner and more fragrant than ever before. So they were extra snuggly for their new owners at Camp Bestival!
The day was a huge success – Jo joined us in our picnic area where everyone enjoyed snacks, games and puppet shows – and of course the kids had loads of fun swapping their newly-washed toys. Mums even had the chance to relax and unwind on giant bean bags where our laundry experts were on hand to answer their cleaning questions over a cup of tea.After reading the above write up on the Netmums site I jumped at the chance - you know me and wicker baskets, add in some food and an excuse to sit with the kids playing tea parties and well, im in heaven! lol
The hamper arrived and in it was a bottle of Persil 2in1 with comfort to wash the teddies with, some half price vouchers for said washing liquid, a cute little bunny, a picnic blanket, picnic cups (paper not plastic) and napkins! :)
We visited the charity shop and bought some new bunnies etc to wash and donate to a hospice. They all smelled divine and Jake (typical boy!) turned one upside down and even said 'their butt smells nice too'!! eek - the joy of boys!!
Thanks to typical UK weather it has done nothing but rain since and the only dry spell was when we had th bears out to dry! We decided to hold the picnic indoors and have a tv watching, bear cuddling, juice drinking lunch :) Evie loved the fact she had all the bears surrounding her and sat quite happily which munching away on a sausage roll! The boys however refused to have their pictures taken and ran off to play on their xboxes!! lol
A girls only picnic was pretty cool and it certainly wont be the last now the boys are back to school - thanks Persil :)
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Scott: 'mam why would we have a party to go back to school - we arent happy??'
Me: 'I am and thats worth a party!' lol
So, what with my kids and my sister 2 little ones I set about making a Back to school party..
We had green apple cakepops, a 6 layer apple cake, eton mess, fresh apples, bottles of milk with paper straws (you had to give the answer on the straw to get the bottle) and keylime pie marshmallows.
The kids were all given lots of goodies to play with including a new back to school backpack, pencils, books etcand a little tin lunchbox which we filled with ham sandwiches and crisps :)They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and kept running outside to the trampoline pretending they were going on a school trip! lolThis last 6 weeks have flown over and although im sad to see the boys all go back to school i will be happy to finally be able to clean a room and have it tidy for at least half the day!! lol