Saturday, 31 October 2015

Foodie Penpals - October

This month my foodie penpal came from France - Anne at Les Recettes du panier . I sent my parcel to Kate in Wales -she doesn't have a blog. This is what I sent to Kate

And here is my lovely parcel from France....

There was a lovely note from Anne apologising for the fact that she couldn't get any Macaroons as I asked if she could find any but it didn't matter as there were some gorgeous treats to make up for it!!
Look at these lovely biscuits...

Look how pretty they are all wrapped up! I opened these immediately and they didn't disappoint they were lovely , buttery and light delicious! so I had a few of them! They are gorgeous crumbled over ice cream as well..

I love Lindt chocolate and haven't tried the Raspberry flavour before - mmm delicious, its very rich so a couple of squares are enough to crave my chocolate hunger at a time.

Popcorn - you can't go wrong with popcorn - this is waiting to be consumed on a movie night.

When you open this there is a lovely aroma of pears - it is pear pieces covered in dark chocolate - I ate these in my morning granola and it was divine.

I can't wait to use this - its a lovely cookie cutter with a stencil on the top.

There was also a lovely Eiffel Tower keyring that Anne sent but Molly has taken it and its in her toy box somewhere!!!
Once again a lovely Foodie Penpal - next month is the last one until January so if you want to join head over t Carol Anne at her Blog

Saturday, 17 October 2015

More GBBO - Christine Wallace

Its been a Great British Bake Off few weeks (with more to come...) Last week at the local baking group that I belong to we had a special guest of Christine Wallace - quarter finalist on the 2013 GBBO series. This was her second time here, last year she came and made her delicious 99ers that she did on the show. This year she made muffins and oh my they were delicious!!! I am not really a muffin person I find them to dry and not very exciting but Christine has changed my mind on these!! She made Coconut Lime and  Blueberry muffins as well as Chocolate Walnut Whip muffins. Both were heavenly.... The Coconut,Lime and Blueberry ones had a shot of Lime curd in the middle of them which made them delicious. The chocolate ones had marshmallows hidden inside as well as marshmallow fluff - not one for people on a diet!

Coconut Blueberry and Lime Muffins

Chocolate Walnut Whip Muffins

They are from her cookbook - 50 comfort recipes that you can get HERE

She was also here to judge our own version of a Bakeoff challenge - we were all asked to bring in 4 vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and Christine judged who the best 3 were. There were 18 entries

These are all the entries waiting to be judged

My entry!

Christine tasting my cakes!

Thirsty work tasting 18 cupcakes!

 and guesss what..... I WON!!!!! I was so surprised and shocked infact I am still very excited that I won! I used a good old Mary Berry Recipe to be in keeping with the GBBO theme.
My prize was a signed copy of her book and a lovely vanilla car freshner..

Winning Cupcakes!

So excited!!!

We even made it in to the local newspaper! How exciting!

It was a fab evening , I have had so many lovely comments and messages from friends about my little win. I am still in shock that my little cupcakes won !

Friday, 16 October 2015

Easy sew girls skirts

One of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew was so that I could make clothes for Molly and Henry. I have as usual researched a lot on Pinterest . There were hundreds of pins of easy sew dresses but I wanted to be able to see how to make one , I then remembered good old YouTube! Of course! There were lots and lots of videos but the best one was so simple and was really short. I hate listening to people prattle on about what they have made, who they are for, where they got the fabric from.. Grrrrrr JUST GET ON AND SHOW ME WHAT TO DO! phew feel better now.
This is the link to the video tutorial here   Dana explains what to do without prattling on - I have watched a few of her other videos and they are all very simple - plus she is very chirpy and happy which is always good - her website is full of inspiring things to make too.

Making these skirts is so easy and the sense of achievment is fab - I am constantly asked where I got Mollys skirts from and it is exciting to say I Made Them!!!
So this is the first one I made.....

This is one that I made for Easter and got a little adventurous and added a stripe to the bottom of the skirt and love the effect. (Molly posing for the camera!)

The foxes one is my favourite though - how cute is this pattern!

 Drama queen - she is saying no more photos!

I could make these forever as there is so much material that I love!
I want to make some more for the winter including a Halloween one... Going to try to make pyjamas for Molly and Henry next....

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Frances Quinn - Bake off Winner 2014

I love the Bake off  and have watched all the series so was very excited to hear that Frances Quinn last years winner was coming to Warwick to talk about her new book Quinntessential Baking .

I went with 18 of us from our local baking group and we all managed to get there early and sit on the front 2 rows. I wasn't sure what to expect and I hadn't even looked at her cookery book but after listening to her talk about it have asked lovely Stephen to get it for me for Christmas ( I know its only October but I have to start early with my suggestions!).
She talked for an hour and a half and had a power point presentation with a couple of videos to show - now that to me sounds really dull but it was quite the opposite. Frances is very confident and a natural speaker and very funny - she not only went through her book talking about her inspiration for it but spoke of the Bake off and the process she went through. It was interesting to hear what happens in the background - apparently in one of the first episodes she had a curdling disaster and said that if anything slightly wrong happens all the camera men descend on you! But fortunately as there were so many of them in the beginning she got away with it. She also spoke of some of the commissions that she has been asked to do since winning.

She had a couple of videos to show - this one is may favourite - How to make her marzipan bees
Frances is so creative and makes eveything she bakes look so easy and effortless. It was a fantastic evening despite that fact that I was coughing like a lunatic trying not to ruin it for everyone! Have a bit of a Bake Off few weeks coming up... watch this space...

Monday, 5 October 2015

Foodie Penpals - September

Love Love Love when I get my food parcel each month!
This month I sent a parcel to Belle it as her first time participating so I felt the pressure to make it a good one! She didn't have any preferences for anything which was good . You can read about it HERE fortunately she liked it!

My parcel came from Lithuania this month and I had some lovely things......

In my parcel I received some of Kamiles' favourite Lithuanian things which was fab.

* Bar of dark chocolate
* sweeties with fabulous Lobsters on the outside ( they don't taste of Lobster thankfully!)

* Chocolate mushrooms (these have all gone now - Molly loved them!)

* Fried Bread
* Dried Sausages ( really looking forward to these)

* Cheese and garlic bread sticks
* A sauce that Kamel says is lovely with meat.

She also included this postcard from her home town and wrote details of all my gifts on the back.

Once again a lovely parcel to receive, Looking forward to next months treats! - if you would like to join in click HERE