First of all I would like to say Happy Easter to you all! I hope you all got lots of wonderful chocolate Easter eggs and are scoffing lots of cakes!
During the Easter period I have been entering lots of competitions (especially for Easter eggs!) I have yet to win an Easter egg yet but my fingers and toes are still crossed! However I did win a twitter competition with Mr Kipling Cakes
and what a cakealicious surprise I had through the post! Thanks Mr Kipling!
The brightly coloured orange box contained Lemon Whirls, St Clements Slices, Lemon Fancies and Lemon Bakewells.
As you can tell from the picture above I love the Lemon Bakewells best! They are crumbly, sweet and just scrumptious!
Mr Kipling’s current promotion on Twitter is #BetterWithCake and I have to agree with them! Life is better with Cake!
So why does cake make you feel better?
Baking all sorts of cakes, brownies and scones is very therapeutic and can help stimulate the mind. It gives you a sense of achievement when you look back at what you have created.
I love this quote from Mary Berry the ultimate Queen of Cakes: “If you’re feeling a little bit down, a bit of kneading helps,”
I would like to hear what you love to bake, and does it make you feel better?
This is the Gluten- Free Cookbook by Heather Whinney, Jane Lawrie & Fiona Hunter that I won, and it’s come in very useful for my gluten-free loving friend Steve!
Last night we decided to head to Frankie & Benny’s for birthday celebrations for two of our group, my husband being one of them! I decided weeks ago to make the birthday cakes gluten-free with my beautiful competition win cookbook. I did slightly deviate from the recipe to make it my own, and I am glad I did as I feel it turned out much better, I have always liked playing around with recipes! Anyway this was my first attempt at a gluten-free cake and I had no complaints at the end of the night so must have been good!
I topped the chocolate cake with melted milk chocolate and crumbled flakes, the centre was chocolate buttercream. Perfect for a chocoholic like me!
Our visit to Frankie & Benny’s was brilliant! They took the birthday cakes to the kitchen as we arrived, ready for the end of our meal. They supplied us with a separate gluten-free menu with the main menu’s which was very helpful. We had sharing dough balls to start with for us that were non gluten-free, while we were deciding on our mains. I chose to have the pulled pork burger as shown above, which was very yummy! Everyone agreed all our food was great! I have to give a special mention though to the cheese and bacon fries, mmmmm they were amazing!
I noticed on the front of the menu that they do a competition to win a £25 voucher if you tweet them a piccy of your party using the hashtag #Frankies. So that’s what I have done! A competition addict like me cannot miss the chance to enter!
At the end of our meal the lights dimmed and then the music started! The staff came out with the cakes singing happy birthday at which point the whole restaurant started singing as well! It makes for a lovely atmosphere, and was the topping on the whole evening! They did live up to their promises of Great Food, Great Service Guaranteed!
I would love to hear if you have ever tried any gluten-free foods, this was my first time and I have to say I am impressed. The texture is different to a normal cake, but still tastes good!. I found afterwards I felt much lighter in my stomach and not bloated at all.
This is my collection of cooking book wins, from various Twitter competitions over the past 18 months. I have a huge sweet tooth and the recipes in these books are to die for. My favourite book out of the three is Freeze written by Justine Pattison. It’s one of the most useful books I own! It contains not only recipes but ways to make the most out of your freezer. Some of the top tips inside include different reasons to freeze. A couple of the reasons are you have less waste, which in turn saves you money and you have the flexibility to store various meals without extra supermarket trips, costing again less money!
I use my freezer like its going out of fashion! I freeze bread and only take out what I need, so it’s kept fresh and soft. On Sundays my husband and I do big batch cooking and make enormous cottage pies and lasagne’s to freeze for the coming week as we are both very busy with work. Sometimes when we have been out of the house for 12 hours or more its hard to get the motivation to start cooking a meal, so our freezer batches come in quite handy in these situations!
Here is another top tip I recommend! If like me your freezer is not the biggest, and after a couple of tubs of ice-cream you have hardly any room whatsoever for anything moderately bigger than a chicken. Take all the outside cardboard packaging off all the food products and cut out the cooking instructions to place on the front of the fridge with magnet. Instantly you have room for that steak and ale pie that you slaved over by making the pastry by hand! Who needs all that extra cardboard on a box of ice-lollies? when you can slide them individually into gaps in the freezer drawers amongst the bag of frozen peas and turkey dinosaurs! So not only will you be saving money by using your freezer economically, but you will also be creating a wonderful colourful collage of bits of cardboard cooking times on your fridge-freezer!
I won a box of Tyrrells Crisps back in January and these turned up this week! There is an assortment of crisps, popcorn, vegetable crisps and a packet of fried beans which I am eager to try! Thanks Tyrrells!
My win today was of a book from Goodreads (which is one of my favourite websites ever!) called The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. When I saw this competition I really really wanted to win a copy of this book, as I have read many of his other books. Which include Scarecrow, Iceman, Seven Ancient Wonders, Contest and Area 7. Matthew Reilly is a fantastic action, thriller writer. His books are well thought out with great lead characters. So I am well excited to add this book to my collection!