Wednesday 31 August 2016

My Take On The Classic School Sponge Cake!

Anyone else remember those delicious sponge cakes you used to get for dessert in primary school? I absolutely loved them and they were always even better with custard (chocolate preferably!). A vanilla sponge is quite a basic recipe so it turns out it's actually quite easy to re-create yourself and enjoy at home. Soft, vanilla sponge with sweet icing sugar and of course lots of hundreds and thousands on top. Enjoy!
slices of school sponge cake stacked on heart shaped wooden board
225g butter/spread
225 caster sugar
275g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk
Icing sugar

1. Pre - heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and grease a large square or rectangular baking tin
2. Like my Lemon Drizzle Cake I just put all the ingredients in a bowl one at a time starting with the butter and then I use an electric whisk to beat it all together. If you don't have an electric whisk, you could of course do this the usual way. Add in your butter and sugar, cream together until smooth then add in your eggs one at a time, beating after each one. You can then add in your vanilla extract and mix again. Finally, add your flour, baking powder and milk and mix thoroughly to ensure everything is combined and you have a smooth mixture
3. Pour into cake tin and bake for around 30 minutes, I usually insert a skewer after this amount of time, if it comes out clean then its done, if not then it needs a bit longer
4. Leave to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely 
5. Prepare the icing, I used around 150g of icing sugar and added small amounts of water at a time until it was a smooth paste but add as much or as little as you like! The more the better I say
6. Top the cake with the icing and then cover with sprinkles and slice!
slice of school sponge cake held up over rest of cake on chopping board
slices of school sponge cake on wooden chopping board
Let me know if you give this recipe a go! I think it's genuinely one of my favourite bakes ever.

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Monday 29 August 2016

August Favourites - Game of Thrones, Etsy Prints and Diet Doodle Diary...

I can't believe it's time for another monthly favourites!
Me Before You (Book) - I mentioned the film Me Before You in my May Favourites which I absolutely loved. I read the book years ago but I really wanted to read it again after seeing the film and I think because I've seen the film now it makes it even better, I can really picture all the characters and hear their voices and i'm really enjoying reading it. I find it hard to put it down once I start. I have almost finished it so when I have i'm going to read Me After You which I'm hoping will be just as good!

Game of Thrones - I really didn't want to watch this program, everyone has gone on about it for so long and I was adamant and I wouldn't be one of them, but George started watching it last month and I was catching bits of each episode and I was starting to get interested so we both started it from the beginning again and now we're onto series 3 and are loving it. So much happens and every episode is good which doesn't normally happen, we've had so many days just dedicated to watching it all day!

Etsy Prints - I have been wanting to make a photo wall in the bedroom for so long so I decided to buy some prints to put up and I found one on Etsy which I just loved, its the Camembear Print by ClareBarclayDraws, its so cute! It was £10 and I can't wait to put it up on the wall with a few others I have. She also sent me a postcard version of the print and a little lambrini print too for free which was an added bonus! 

Cadbury Tiffin Chocolate - I love Tiffin and make my own a lot, recipe here if you want to take a look, so when I saw this Cadbury tiffin a few weeks ago, I had to get it. It has added raisins and biscuits and is just amazing. It's limited edition so I need to stock up before it goes!

Cleopatra Candles - When we went to Meadowhall with the boys we went to Cleopatra in the lanes and I picked up a few candles, they had so many to choose from and they all smelled so good and were really strong so I thought they would make the whole flat smell nice. I got the Baked Apple one which was about £1.50 and I can't explain how good it is, and I also got the Intense Wax Melt which smells like mens aftershave! and that was only £1.25. I normally just get my candles from Yankee Candle and I sometimes pick cheap ones up from Primark, but I definitely want to go back to Cleopatra to get some more of these!

Diet Doodle Diary - I had one of these a while ago when I was getting back into Slimming World but after a tough few weeks, I fell off track and I wanted to completely start again. I picked a new one up from The Works, its should be £10 but is only £3 so well worth the money and it's great for using everyday to track meals and exercise. There are also sections in the book where you can write your goals, write how your feeling, stick pictures in for motivation, there is loads to it and I would definitely recommend it if you're wanting to track your weight loss and meals.

Previous Favourites - June and July (The Lean Machines, Love Island and VIP) and May (Me Before You, Yankee Candle and Spotlight).

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Wednesday 24 August 2016

Ginger Beef Stir Fry Recipe...

I love a good stir fry but it isn't too often I make my own, sometimes it can be a bit boring but this was really nice and I served it with rice which made it even better, I just love rice. I had never made this before but after seeing a few recipes online I thought I would give it a go and it makes a change to the usual meals I seem to just repeat over and over!
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded (I use frozen chilli from aldi)
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
pack of stir fry vegetables 
Lean beef steak strips
1 tbsp hot curry powder
200g Long Grain Rice

1. Spray a pan or wok with frylight and cook the beef strips. 
2. When cooked, remove from pan and add the garlic, ginger, onion and stir fry vegetables until they soften. 
3. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, then add the soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce, if adding extra chilli flakes or any de-seeded red chilli add now and stir fry for another minute. 
4. Add the beef pack to the pan and stir into the vegetable mix.
5. Serve with rice, I usually use boil in the bag rice, 1 bag is normally enough split between 2 of us.

Other Recipes - Fanta Chicken, Egg Fried Rice and Pork Stir Fry, Mushy Pea Curry.

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Monday 22 August 2016

One Of The Best Weekends! Finding New Places and Indoor Picnics...

Last weekend was one of the best in a long time, I enjoyed it SO much and it was just what I needed as the last few weeks have been really difficult and stressful.
We had Georges brothers for 3 nights and we weren't really sure what we were going to do so on Saturday we went to Meadowhall for some food and a Starbucks. I picked up some new candles from Cleopatra which smell incredible. I can't remember the last time I went in that shop but me and Alfie picked a few things up from there, I got the Baked Apple Candle, the smell is so strong and I can't wait to burn it as I think the whole flat will smell of baking! and I also got the Intense Wax Melt which smells like Georges aftershave, I love candles that are a bit different and they had so many to choose from, I definitely want to go back and get some more. George and the boys also got a few things and we went to Starbucks but mine was so disappointing! I got the new Peach Green Tea Lemonade, I like all of those things but together it just wasn't good, i'll stick to my Chocolate Frappuccino next time. That night I made a curry and everyone loved it, I love it when I cook for people and they like it, I always worry people think my cooking's bad! I made a Rogan Josh and a Tikka Masala with all the sides and everything was eaten so I think thats something i'll be making again. 

On Sunday as the weather was nice we decided to go for a walk and we ended up finding a park literally round the corner from ours which we had never known was there until now, even though we've lived here nearly 2 years. We walked through the woods and took some pretty pictures, it was nice to just walk and find new places and all the boys were playing Pokemon Go so they were happy. We ended up near Concord Park and stayed up there for a while, the weather was so nice and we took some drinks and snacks so it was a really lovely afternoon. Our plan was to go back on the Sunday with a picnic, George and Alfie walked to Aldi that morning to get loads of food, I don't know how they did it as its not that close to ours, but I really wasn't feeling well so we had an indoor picnic instead and watched Sinister 2. I think we made too much food, there was so much left. I had made my Chocolate Loaf Cake the night before so there was that and we had loads of oreos and marshmallows as we had been making milkshakes over the weekend too, they then got waffles, sweets, pringles, crisps, breadcakes, cheesestrings, scotch eggs, sausage rolls and a huge cupcake tray. We set it all up on the living room floor on a blanket and it was such a good idea and something so simple but fun. 
It was just a great weekend and one I think i'll come back and read about on my blog in the future, definitely one of my favourites.

Similar Posts - A Weekend Away To London, Scary Films, Eds Diner and Date Night.

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Tuesday 16 August 2016

CB12 Mouthwash Review*

I was really happy to receive the CB12 Mouthwash to review a few weeks ago, I had heard of the brand before and had seem them on social media but I had never thought to give it a try and to be honest I wasn't sure where I could find it until now. 
CB12 Mouthwash is recommended for daily use, I have been using it in the morning after brushing my teeth and have found they have felt much cleaner than usual and I can taste the mint all morning! It ensures fresh breath because of its patented formula which provides protection for 12 hours, so its great to use first thing in the morning and it will protect your teeth all day. 

'The powerful and unique combination of zinc acetate and chlorhexidine within CB12 neutralises the formation of the substances that cause unpleasant breath.

The unique and patented formulation of CB12 binds with the lining of the mouth, teeth and tongue, ensuring up to 12 hours of long-lasting first class breath. 

Scientific studies using instruments specifically designed to detect the sulphurous gases at the root of unpleasant odours, together with clinical trials have proven that CB12 is safe, effective and long - lasting.' 

I am always conscious that I have bad breath even though im sure I don't but this has really helped and I feel much more confident in the morning after I use it. I never normally use mouthwash, only normal toothpaste and then throughout the day i'll have chewing gum but now I've got this I want to stick to using it every morning! It's really easy to use (as im sure most mouthwashes are) there is a specific fill line so you don't use too much and all you do is keep it in your mouth for around 30 seconds, I could really tell how clean my teeth felt straight away, it was an odd feeling as it does make your mouth feel a little dry afterwards but with a bit of water that feeling goes away and its just a minty taste that lasts for ages. I was sent the mild CB12 to review which is supposed to be good for those who are more sensitive to strong flavours but they also do another bottle too. You can buy it from Boots for £14.99 which I do think is a bit more than I would normally choose to spend on Mouthwash but I have been really impressed with it and do think it has made a difference, it definitely lasts a lot longer than other mouthwash I have used anyway! 

Have you tried this before?

*Thank you to CB12 for sending me a bottle to review, as always all opinions are my own and I wouldn't feature something I wouldn't use. 

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Monday 1 August 2016

3 Simple Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is something I really struggle with, most days I just don't have time for it because I prefer my sleep, but recently I've been trying to make more of an effort with it, these are a few of my favourites which are healthy but can also feel like a real treat!

Overnight Oats 

This has been a favourite of mine for a while now since starting Slimming World. I wasn't sure at first what it would be like but it was so much nicer than I expected and you can change it up every time so you don't get bored. The base is 35g of oats, and then either plain fat free yoghurt or you can choose a flavoured one, a muller light is a good choice as there are so many different flavours. My favourite is a strawberry flavoured one, I layer my oats and a strawberry yoghurt and then I layer strawberries and sometimes mixed berries too. I sometimes sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top which just adds a little something extra and you can definitely taste it when you mix it all together the next morning. There are a few other variations which i'm yet to try, like a banana and custard overnight oats, again just 35g of oats, a banana and custard muller light and sliced banana. So simple but will feel like a treat. 

Baked Oats 

Another one I wasn't sure about until I tried it, a few people had said it tastes like a cake and I can see why it might feel like a bit of a healthier version of one, I added frozen blueberries to mine and it did actually taste a bit like a blueberry muffin! All you need for this is 35g of oats, 3 tbsp sweetener, 1 small egg, 90g of fat free yoghurt, a few drops of vanilla essence and any fruit you want to put in! A few people add chocolate chips instead of fruit and that does look really nice. I baked mine in a 200 degree oven for 35 minutes and topped with 1 tsp of nutella and served with loads of extra fruit on the side. Definitely one to make if you have a bit more time in the morning. 

Breakfast Wraps

 I just love a breakfast wrap, I use Weight Watchers wraps which are only 107 calories. I grill bacon, all fat removed and if we have some I also use low fat sausages, while these are cooking I make a really thin omelette using 2 eggs, a bit of milk and seasoning. When this is done I put this in the wrap first, then the sausage and bacon then I sprinkle some grated cheese on the top then fold. The cheese melts and just tastes so nice. I have actually made this for tea before, I just served it with some Slimming World Chips and Beans and it was so filling. 

What are your favourites for breakfast?

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