Mammissima is written by Elisabetta Minervini, who was born in Molfetta, near Bari, a medieval port in the beautiful region of
Puglia in southern Italy. She moved to England in 1997, is the founder of award‐winning publishing company Alma Books. She lives in Richmond, London, with her husband Alessandro and their two children, aged twelve and nine. READ MORE
Today I offer you pork casserole with sweet apple. This time we’re using specially selected pork to make for a super tender dish. And we’re not using just any old apples; we’re using Bramley apples. The sweetness of the apples combined with the succulent pork makes for a really special pork casserole that’s so hands off it’s easy to forget it’s in the oven. READ MORE
The world’s largest cake decorating show is coming to Alexandra Palace for the very first time this month. A visual feast of sugarcraft and cake decorating taking place on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, it’s the perfect weekend treat for cake and baking enthusiasts. READ MORE
I have a giveaway for you to kick off the new year from Just Catering Supplies. It’s pretty much everything you might need to hold rather a large party, worth £43.80. There are two prizes available consisting of:
There are lots of ways to enter – see the Rafflecopter form below. The first way is just to leave a comment on this post. Easy peasy. Closing date 27th March 2015.
How to enter:
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Lakeland kindly sent me a whole host of chocolate related goodies for review. This is most definitely my kind of review. Here’s what I thought:
Train mould – As the mother of one train enthusiast this was heaven sent. Max (4) loved this, even took the mould to playschool for show and tell. The detail on the train is amazing, the mould turns out well (you MUST let the chocolate set properly first, don’t be impatient) and it washes easily too. It’s a must have for our little train enthusiast. My only criticism would be that the mould takes a lot of chocolate (850g); I’d love to see a smaller mould.
Two piece Christmas silicone choc mould – These moulds are lovely; they remind me of old fashioned Christmas decorations. They have all the good qualities of the train mould whilst taking less chocolate and also being perfect for topping cupcakes or even a Christmas chocolate cake.
Fairy tale village mould – Another big tick from us. This mould can be used for chocolate or gingerbread. I think this might be a perfect present for kids who want to make a gingerbread house but are scared of getting all the geometry right. Again, washes well, turns out well as long as you grease well.
Silicone thermospatula – I would recommend investing on one of these if you are in any way interested in tempering chocolate. That is, making sure that any chocolate you melt has a wonderful sheen on it once it sets. This spatula has an in built thermometer so no need to balance a thermometer and spatula over a bain marie any more. Great idea.
Dark chocolate – I have a confession to make that my husband and I ate this whole block whilst watching TV and drinking coffee. It was delicious. I can’t comment on it’s melting abilities other than it dissolves well on my tongue as the hot coffee washed over it.
Star treat bags – I have been using these bags to give mini mince pies away to pals in. They’re great for popping a piece of card into, giving the mince pies more stability, very festive indeed.
Homemade stickers – I have to confess that I don’t much like these. They didn’t seem hugely sticky to me. Apart from that, to me there’s something strange about shouting ‘homemade’ when giving a gift that clearly isn’t packaged in supermarket stamped cardboard. Not my thing.
Reindeer gift tags – I love these, they’re really thick and sturdy with a cut out reindeer. Only criticism would be that there’s only 3 per pack. I wanted to adorn all my presents with them.
I have 1 x Lakeland chocolate pack RRP £70 giveaway. There are lots of ways to enter – see the Rafflecopter form below. The first way is just to leave a comment on this post. Easy peasy. Closing date 17th December 2014. Please note Lakeland will post on a next day delivery up until the 19th, however in the event that any product is unavailable Lakeland will provide an alternative product of the same or greater value.
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Annie, of Spoon Cereals, came to the food industry in her second year of working in advertising. “I struggled to find a tasty, healthy, high quality bowl of cereal on my way to work each morning, which is why I decided to start up my own breakfast cereal company, Spoon Cereals, with mentor and business partner Jonny Shimmin.”
The compnay was only launched a year ago and already they’ve been on Dragons’ Den where they secured investment from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden. They supply granola and muesli to Harvey Nichols, nationwide as well as local high-end delis in London. They sent me four of their cereals to try. Well cereal is the wrong word – they sent me muesli, granola and a museli-granola hybrid. Here’s what I thought:
Apple & peanut granola – this was my favourite. I loved it. Now I am not usually an apple person unless they’re crisp and fresh and raw. I don’t really go in for apple crumble, apple cake… you get the idea. But these dried pieces of apple (of which there were lots) really did it for me. They were ultra chewy and sweet; so to get the sugar you really had to work for it. This seemed right and fitting. The peanuts were as delicious as peanuts always are. A great combination that felt ever so slightly American for some reason. I admit to eating two bowls back to back upon first tasting. I sent the rest of the packet to work with my husband to stop me gobbling it all up as snack style trail mix.
Cinnamon granola – Gosh, I don’t want to sound like an old misery but again, I am not big on cinnamon baked goods. They always taste artificially sweet to me. I don’t know why. I really did like this granola though. The toasted hazelnuts were crunchy and abundant (none of that hunt the nut business here), the cinnamon coating was subtle and added a lovely crispness to the outside of the granola pieces AND it had coconut flakes. I am a coconut nut. I ate a small bowl with milk and then two tumblers-full as snacks. I have asked for this granola to be removed to husband’s work for fear of eating the whole lot in one sitting. (FYI: This variety has won a Great Taste Award).
Granola-muesli mix – I have issues with the naming of this. I reckon the makers of Spoon can be a bit more creative. One of them used to work in advertising for goodness sake (as a fellow ex ad girl I know it matters not which department she worked in; all ad folks are frustrated copywriters and art directors, even the copywriters and art directors). Anyway, onto the taste test; I ate a bowl with milk and I give it a tick. Enough dried fruit (ie/ a lot) to remain sweet , lots of brazil nuts, hazelnuts and almonds plus oats and rye flakes and spelt flakes galore. Yes it was very nice indeed but I couldn’t help think of the granola’s I’d sent into exhile (see above). Sorry, but my heart belongs to apple and peanut granola.
Fruit and nut museli – Come on guys, there’s a better name for this surely? Okay, so this is a breakfast for those folks who like to eat clean. There is no sugar, I repeat there is no sugar present in this muesli. And it tastes like it has no sugar. (Not even maple syrup which everyone knows isn’t really sugar, it’s healthy sweet syrup, right?) It was full of the good stuff; oat flakes, rye flakes, spelt flakes, hazelnuts that had been toasted to perfection, almonds, brazil nuts and loads of apricots, dates and sultanas. Even some pumpkin seeds. But honestly? This was too worthy for me. No thanks. I will leave it to the Eat Clean brigade and their perfect skin and jutting hip bones.
This is possibly the longest review in history but still I have more. I did have a small issue with the packaging. I LOVED their Harvey Nics (and surely Waitrose soon?) friendly outer white paper bags but the inside cellophane type bag was a bit too easy to rip in my opinion. The cereal doesn’t seem to be suffering from this as the white bags have a nifty fold over thingy that seals rather well. Still… this is a review so I’m going to mention it.
I have 1 x Spoon Cereal gift pack RRP £20 giveaway. There are lots of ways to enter – see the Rafflecopter form below. The first way is just to leave a comment on this post. Easy peasy. Closing date 20th February 2015. How to enter:
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Base Fashion sent me a lovely Gant Christmas jumper for baby Lawrence. It’s beautiful and it cost £42! That’s more than I spend on my own Christmas jumper, but it’s oh so soft being 100% cotton and has sweet little buttons on the shoulder to get it safely over his head without the usual squawking that ensues when I try and introduce anything other than a baby gro. Is it wrong that I am considering having this jumper framed once Lawrence has had his winter’s wear out of it? It’s just so incredibly dinky I want to preserve it.
I have 2 x Gant baby Xmas jumpers to giveaway worth £42 each (RRP). The available sizes are here. There are lots of ways to enter – see the Rafflecopter form below. The first way is just to leave a comment on this post. Easy peasy. Closing date 12th December 2014. How to enter:
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