Recipe: Pansy Shortbread Biscuits

Look at these pretty little biscuits!

Perfect for a vintage tea party or afternoon tea.

I seriously love flowers. I always have a bunch in a vase in my lounge & dining room, and I look after my garden, keeping it in full bloom with different seasonal plants all year round, and now I'm taking my love of flowers that little bit further - by eating them!

I currently have loads of winter pansies blooming in the garden, so thought I take advantage and pretty up some shortbread biscuits with them.

They are edible - but make sure they are nice and organic & have no nasty pesticides and such like on them!

Recipe: Confetti party cakes

These little cupcakes are so easy, yet so colourful & fun - the kids love them. 

Sprinkles of rainbow confetti not only on the outside, but the inside too!

The best surprise at a party!

The 2 different cake confetti's I have used here were just 99p from B & M stores for a large tub.

COMPETITION: WIN The Great British Bake off goodies!

As the Dr Oetker competition was such a huge success, it is clear, lots of you like a good competition and you all love baking as much as me!

As the Great British Bake Off is currently gracing our screens, I thought I'd offer you the chance to win some GBBO goodies.

Meal planning: What's in season?

Do you know what is in season in each month?


Why should you?

Because, not only will it mean your produce is super fresh and tasty, it will also cost less.

And, if it's in season in Britain, it will more than likely be British produce too. Which helps farmers in this country. And boy do they need our help at the moment!

Supermarkets will most probably have good deals on in season produce and farm shops/ markets & greengrocers will be packed full so you can buy larger, cheaper quantities to freeze.

Or why not get the family out to a local pick your own farm. Often cheaper and a fun day out too.

Recipe: Pickled onions, beetroot & red cabbage with free printable gift tags

I make no apology here, but I am going to mention the big C word. Yes, in September. But I like to be organised and now is the time to be getting those pickles sorted ready for Christmas!

Christmas is not Christmas without homemade pickled onions in my house.

My Grandad used to make us all some every year. But now he's no longer here, I've carried on the tradition.

You cannot beat the crunch and perfect spiced from a homemade pickle.

And if you pop them into some pretty jars with one of our printable labels, they make the perfect, cheap gift, made with love.

Recipe: Salted caramel & apple cupcakes

So, we've done the caramel apple crumble, now's time to use up some more autumn apples from the garden, keeping with the caramel theme, but this time in yummy cupcakes.

The apples make the cupcakes deliciously sweet and moist.

And what makes these cupcakes extra special is the gooey salted caramel centre.

Recipe: Caramel apple crumble

Once again, with Autumn here, the inspiration for this recipe was a bag full of home grown apple's from the garden.

When you grow your own and end up with bumper crops, it forces you to think outside of the box when it comes to thinking of things to use them in. You kinda get fed up of the same old, normal apple pies & crumbles.

This recipe is so simple, yet so delicious.

Caramel and apples were made for each other!

Recipe: Slow cooked smoky sausage & bean casserole

This has to be the most flexible recipe I use and is always my 'go-to' meal on busy days and to use up what's lurking in the fridge. As long as you have the sausages and the basic sauce, you add whatever else you like. Each time I do mine it's different as I always just use what's there!

And best of all. The kids love it!

A real autumn/ winter favourite in this house.

This recipe feeds a very hungry family of 5 piggies.

It fills my slowcooker to the brim.

Family menu planning

Menu planning, to me, is essential. 

I like to write my menu & write a shopping list from that of foods we need. 

It helps with budgetting, makes food shopping much quicker, easier & less stressful and you are at much less risk of grabbing an unhealthy take-away several times a week because you haven't got anything in for tea.

I think it is especially essential when you have kids to cater for.

They love knowing what to expect for tea each day.

Organisation & preparation is key.

I do however find myself sitting with P every single Friday evening, attempting to write a menu & coming stuck for ideas. We always seems to think of meals we've already had that week. 

I like to mix it up a bit! 

I never like a 'slop' meal (spaghetti bolognese, casserole, curry etc) two days in a row or two 'chip' based meals.

Therefore I've now decided to work on a 4 week menu basis.

I've devised this plan below which sticks to a certain meal type each day, but I can choose from the 4 varieties each week. 

It works for us.

If you also struggle week in week out with organising meals, give it a go!

*Recipes to follow for some of the meals included below.

Recipe: Berry and Chocolate cupcakes

As it's national cupcake week, I thought it only right to get baking some!
The children have been picking blackberries from the garden this week and I'd been looking for something to do with them so decided I'd make my cupcakes berry ones.
And to me, nothing works better with berries than a bit of chocolate. 
The blackberry ones were so yummy I got the raspberries the children had picked from the garden in the summer that I had frozen, out to use too.
This recipe uses one batch of cake mix to make two different cakes (approx 12 of each) - Milk chocolate chip cupcakes with fresh blackberry frosting and white chocolate chip cupcakes with fresh raspberry frosting.

Banksy's Dismaland

Depressingly Brilliant.

Amazingly Dismal.

Eerily Awesome.

Bizarrely Familiar.

Perfectly Offensive.

Humorously Sarcastic. 

Ironically Fun.

COMPETITION - WIN A Dr Oetker cupcake baking set

To get my blog off the ground with a bang I'm having a celebratory birth day competition!

You could win this set which includes:
Banoffee sprinkles
Edible wafer cupcake cases
Chocolate cupcake icing
Salted Caramel sprinkle
Salted caramel cupcake centres

Check out our recipe for salted caramel & apple cupcakes using the above products HERE.

Competion opens at 1pm 10th Septemper 2015 and ends at 1pm on 24th September 2015.
Open to UK residents only.

To enter click here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


More competions at:

FREE downloadable autumn scavenger hunt check list

If you got your hands on our Free downloadable autumn bucket list - here is a scavenger hunt check list which was one of the activities to complete. Grab yours using the link at the bottom.
We're off to use ours on Sunday!

FREE downloadable autumn bucket list

Autumn is my most favourite season of all. Crisp golden leaves, autumn soups and stews, hot chocolate with all the trimmings, halloween, bonfire night, the excitement brewing for the ever nearing Christmas day, twinkly lights, candles.... I could go on! My kids love it as much as me so I have compiled a little 'bucket list' to keep the them entertained over the next few autumnal months.
Of course, this is only a select few things to enjoy, and you can compile your own list with different activities you would like to do. But if you like this one, I have included a link at the bottom of the page to a free downloadable version for you to print so the kids can mark off each activity as they complete them.

Over the next few weeks I will post recipes and instructions for some of the activities listed like the bread hedgehogs and bird feeders so keep an eye out for those!

Recipe: Halloween chocolate cornflake dragons nests

We probably all think of chocolate cornflake nests as traditionally an Easter thing, but they are so simple to make, kids love making them and they are pretty tasty too. 

So, I decided to re-make them for Halloween as Dragon and Dinosaur nests, but you could do them as any scary creature you wanted to really! All we did was use Cadburys green mini 'screme' eggs and some other halloween-ish mini eggs with red caramel inside, simply cut in half.

As my 4 year old is obsessed with sprinkles too, we added some orange shreds sprinkled on some and used some toffee sauce on others to make them extra gooey (and tasty!)

I also had the idea of  adding some spun sugar over the top as cobwebs for spiders webs. I didn't have time to try it, but someone could.... I think it would look good with a few of the small plastic spiders dotted around for display too. 

Recipe: Baked Raspberry & Lemon Cheesecake

I'm a little late getting this recipe posted in time for raspberry picking season but if you've been growing your own and are anything like me, you'll have a freezer FULL still. We reaped the benefits of growing our own fruit & veg this year and had a bumper crop of raspberries, so many I was running out of things to use them in. This recipe was definitely our favourite of the summer though! Takes a little time with baking and setting but very easy and well worth the wait....

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