Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

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Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
Delicious light cupcakes with a chocolate oreo center and chocolate and vanilla butter cream.
  • 120g / 4 oz Self Raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 120g / 4 oz Softened Butter
  • 120g / 4 oz Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 10 Large Oreo biscuits
  • For Butter Cream:
  • 300g /10oz Icing sugar
  • 120g / 4 oz Softened Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 10 Mini Oreo biscuits
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F2. Cream together the butter and sugar, and add the eggs and beat together. 3. Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold the flour into the creamed butter and sugar mixture.4. Line a muffin tray with cake liners. Add a tablespoon of cake batter in each cake liner. Add one large oreo on top of the batter and spoon a a second tablespoonful of batter on top of the oreo. The cake liner should be 2/3 full with the batter5. Bake the cupcakes in a preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake center.6. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.7. In a stand mixture, cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.8. Take out half the vanilla butter cream into a bowl and keep it aside. To the remaining butter cream in the mixer sieve in the 1 tablespoon of cocoa and beat together to make chocolate butter cream.9. To ice the cakes get a dual icing bag and fit it with a star nozzle. On one side add the vanilla butter cream and on the other side the chocolate butter cream. 10. Pipe a swirl of the butter cream icing on top of the cup cakes and decorate with one mini oreo on top of each cake.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10

Submitting to:
  Lets cook for Easter event by simplyfood

Bake Fest event by cooks joy guest hosted by Mayuris Jikoni

Monday, 13 April 2015

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

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Mango and Coconut Smoothie
Delicious mango and coconut flavours in a creamy smoothie.
  • 1 Large ripe mango
  • 150 ml Coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh grated Coconut
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 10 Ice cubes
1. Peel and dice the mango and add it to the Optimum 9400 blender jug.2. Add the ice cubes, coconut milk and honey and blend all the ingredients for 1 minute to form a fine puree.3. Stir in two thirds of the fresh coconut and pour the smoothie into two tall glasses. Garnish with remaining fresh grated coconut.

Prep time: Cook time: None Total time: Yield: 2 Glasses

I added honey to my smoothie as my mango was not very sweet, if you have a very sweet mango leave out the honey. I made my smoothie in the The Optimum 9400 blender which was sent to me by Froothie to try out, you can see the original review here. 
All the views of the Optimum 9400 are of my own experience of the blender and totally honest and unbiased.
It  is available to buy at £329.00, It comes with a 1 MONTH TRIAL - MONEY BACK GUARANTEE (includes return postage costs for UK customers) Currently it is available on special offer only £299 for a limited time using your launch special intro coupon type intro30GBP.
If you like the sound of this awesome blender, please orders it through here.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Blog Props and Storage

Since I started blogging, I have accumulated a lot of equipment, blog props, china, tea towels, napkins, background boards and of course gadgets and cake decorating equipment. Keeping these organised and easily accessible had become a challenge.

What I needed was:
  • Colour coordination of my props
  • Neatly folded and arranged napkins and fabrics
  • Bowls and plates in separate piles 
  • Labelled drawers to identify contents
  • Separate storage for arts and crafts items
  • Sturdy storage boxes for larger items
In my dining room I have two small sideboards that are dedicated to prop storage; but stacking everything in them was really difficult as everything was jumbled up. 

What I needed was a set of small drawers which would fit in the side board where I could separate the items and store them for easy finding.

First I sorted all my props into piles:
  • Napkins
  • Terracotta pots 
  • Small dipping bowls
  • Large bowls
  • Plates
  • Cutlery
  • Misc props such as ribbons, straws, flowers, string.
  • Larger electrical items and bake ware and cake tins
Since my budget was limited, I looked around for some sturdy card board boxes with lids for my napkins etc and I folded them and stacked them in the boxes so that I could easily see the colours of them. Asda do some pretty card board boxes that are perfect for this

Next I found two old wicker hampers I had in my loft. The hampers were empty baskets that were once received with food items although you can buy them separately for about five pounds each from wicker hampers. I used the larger one to store my cards and fabrics and all my craft items. The smaller basket I used to store my craft equipment such as scissors, glue, glue gun,stencils, brushes etc.

Finally I wanted some sort of storage drawers that I could use to store my smaller bowls, cutlery and have them easily accessible. I managed to purchase some fairly inexpensive plastic drawer sets from my local Asda supermarket in their home section. They are very basic plastic and not very heavy duty but for my purpose they were fine. 

Each drawer unit has three drawers two small and one large, the smaller drawers were perfect for the smaller items and the slightly larger drawer is ideal for the bigger bowls. 

Furthermore, the drawer units all fit into my sideboard but can also be stacked on the floor or on top of the sideboard unit for free standing. Ideally, I would have preferred something sturdier, however they do the job perfectly so for the moment I am happy.

For my haberdashery, braids, buttons, beads and smaller craft items I purchased some mini three drawer units that I bought from the pound shop, yes pound shop each unit was only one pound. They are ideal for storing the smaller nick nacks. For the larger bake ware and gadgets that I don't use very often I was able to store these in strong cardboard boxes. 

There are many storage systems available if you need to sort out your storage. These vary from permanent storage units to wicker basket units, cardboard boxes, plastic lidded tubs and plastic and wooden drawer units. 

In my case, I needed storage for the house, but there are many situations such as a house move, relocation, student move or whilst having home renovations where one may need to source packaging, transport, temporary storage or permanent storage that is safe and secure. Space station is one company that offers a full storage and removal solution to all your requirements.

I am happy that all my equipment is now sorted and easy to locate in one place.

This post was in collaboration with Space Station, all views and opinions in this post are my own.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Spicy Roasted Chick Peas

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Spicy Roasted Chick Peas
A delicious and moreish snack that's healthy too.
  • 2 cans White precooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Pinch garlic salt
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C2. Drain the chickpeas from the can and pat them dry with a tea towel.3. Transfer the chick peas to a large bowl, add the olive oil, salt, garlic salt and chilli powder and toss together so that the chick peas are coated in the spices.4.Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the chickpeas on to the baking tray, spreading them out in an even layer.4. Place the tray in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, after which stir the chick peas around and bake them for a further 15 minutes.5. Turn the off the oven and leave the tray in there to cool. 6. Once cooled, transfer the chickpeas to an air tight container to store them. 

The canned white chickpeas can be purchased in any Asian grocery store or any large supermarket in the Special foods aisle.
For variation  in flavours you can add sumac, oregano, black pepper or Mexican spice.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: I bowlful

Submitting to :
 In my VEG BOX ~ Garlic event by citrusspiceuk