Thursday, 20 September 2018

Jean-Christophe Novelli Goes Gold! #BeBoldGoGold

Each week in the UK and Ireland, more than 30 children are diagnosed with cancer. Two out of ten children will not survive their disease.

Renowned celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has whipped up a delicious gold-themed cupcake recipe to raise awareness and money as part of a leading cancer charity’s #BeBoldGoGold campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month which is happening now! 

3 different gold cupcakes

The French chef, whose young son Valentino was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer at just eight weeks old hopes lots of people will get involved and have a go at baking the quick and easy recipe.

Jean-Christophe’s golden honey and lemon cupcakes reflect the gold theme of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with supporters also being encouraged to wear a gold ribbon and help spread the word that cancer affects everyone, even children....


2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
125g margarine
25g runny honey
75g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

Honey filling (optional)
75g sugar
55g runny honey
110g double cream
1tbsp butter

Honey buttercream
125g soft butter
175g icing sugar
25g runny honey

How to make...

Runny honey filling.
Place the honey and sugar in a small pan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar is melted.
Allow the mixture to bubble gently without stirring for a few minutes until the mixture becomes caramel coloured.
Take off the heat and stir in the cream then the butter.
Let this mixture cool before putting it in the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Lay 10 metallic gold cupcake cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
Put all the ingredients for the cupcakes in a bowl and beat together, ideally with an electric mixer, until combined and soft.
Divide the mixture between the 10 cases.
Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden and springy to touch.

Carefully beat the icing sugar and soft butter together until soft and creamy (this is easier with an electric mixer but the icing sugar can create a huge cloud of sugar dust, so beware!)
Add the honey and beat until combined.

Assembling the cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are cool cut a hole in the middle and fill the hole with the runny honey filling. Top the cupcakes with buttercream.

To decorate:

Rose piping:

A cupcake with Rose piping

Use a piping bag with a large star nozzle filled with buttercream. Start piping from the centre of the cupcake and spiral outwards finishing on the edge. Finish with a puff of edible gold glitter.

Gold sprinkles:

A cupcake with Gold sprinkles

Spread the buttercream on to the cupcake using a butter knife then sprinkle gold crunch sprinkles on top. 

Smiley face:

an emoji cupcake with a smiley face

To make the gold dome, roll out caramel coloured sugarpaste and cut out a large circle. Gently lay the circle over a foam dome and allow to dry overnight. To make the face, pipe white dots using royal icing, cut out eyes and a mouth using circle cutters and black and white sugarpaste.

You can donate online or Text GOLD to 70700 to donate £3.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Our visit to Alnwick Castle - Part 2

I started writing about our visit to Alnwick Castle and soon realised there was just too much to fit into one blog post....It was such a great day out with so much to see and do....

After seeing Harry Potter and Dumbledore we headed over to the Fusilier museum where you can explore the history of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Discover what it’s like to be a soldier, put on the uniform, fire a Vickers machine gun or march with the band!

When we went into the museum Ellie was given a clipboard with a list of things to find.....It kept her busy and give Becky, Stu and myself to have a really good look at everything. It was all so interesting. I do love a bit of history...The displays tell the stories of soldiers and their families, from recruitment to veterans and remembrance.

We then decided to eat our packed lunch....There was plenty of grass to sit on and benches dotted about....Of course the girls and my fella had to find the steepest hill to sit on. Going up wasn't too bad but I feared for my life coming

We had a good look at the cannons on the gun terrace....The views were stunning! I really loved the set up photo frames in honour of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown who created the stunning views around the castle and River Aln for the 1st Duke of Northumberland.....

We had a quick look in the Castle Museum and the Constable's Tower but to be honest it was so full of people it was hard to see anything and it was so cramped. It felt quite claustrophobic....

Ellie was starting to get a bit sick by now of looking at historical things so we decided to go for and ice cream and a look around the gift shop. Ellie had set her heart on a broomstick from the gift shop she had seen kids walking around with them and I imagined these being about £10. I had been dreading this. You know what gift shops are like. Things are usually overpriced but I was really surprised. The broomsticks cost less than £3!

We had a good look around and I could have easily bought one of everything. They had a lot of Harry Potter related things which were being sold for great prices. I wish I had more In the end I only ended up buying some fancy jams and some of the Bertie Bott's Every Flavour jelly beans...

We had time for a quick peek in the Downton Abbey section and even though I am not a fan it was so interesting and the carriage in their was just beautiful! 

As we were about to leave we realised we had not looked in the State rooms....We didn't have to wait for a time slot and got straight in....Wow! I was blown away with how beautiful they were...Photography is not permitted within the state rooms so do have a look on the website to see what they look like. They looked like something out of a fairy tale. I think the library was my favourite of the rooms but the drawing room came a close second....I spent a good few minutes just looking at the ceiling! Ellie said when she grows up she will live in a house like this!

It was an amazing day out and now we have paid it is free to go back.....I think we will have to! There was plenty of things which we never got around to doing like the 'On Location' Film Tour, Broomstick training and the crafts when Ellie had her grumpy moment....hehehe

Have you visited Alnwick Castle before? What was your favourite part? If you haven't would you like to visit?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

L.O.L Surprise! Pearl Playset - Review.

Ellie is forever watching videos on You Tube of kids opening L.O.L dolls and although she had never had any of her own she loved them....I have seen reviews for the L.O.L Surprise! Pearl Playset and it looked like a lot of fun but it was too expensive at nearly £30 to just to buy for no occasion so she had to wait for her birthday....

Ellie had set her heart on a green one which was a bit of a nightmare to track down....I did manage to find one in Asda. Phew! Now they only seem to sell the pink one's....

L.O.L. Surprise offers more unboxing surprises with the L.O.L. Surprise Pearl Surprise. Discover shimmery, pearl surprises inside with rare, limited-edition dolls and accessories!

Product Features: 

Limited-edition Doll and Lil Sister
6 pearl surprise balls
1 shell-shaped doll stand
Glitter case becomes purse, storage case and bath playset
Recommended for ages 6+

The first layer has 6 balls to open which included two outfits for the doll. Ellie had great fun opening these....She half knew what to expect but it was all still a surprise for her...

The second layer is a seashell fizz that you drop into water to dissolve. It was huge!! It is advised not to put it in the bath but to use the case the set came in....

The biggest excitement came when it came to putting the fizzer in the water....Wow! Even I was impressed! It certainly did fizz! Some of it went onto the floor and when I was cleaning it up it did leave a pink tint on our laminate flooring....I think if it had been left for longer it may have stained it....That explains why they say don't put it into the bath....

Inside the fizzer there is a seashell container that has a Lol doll and a lil sister doll.....They were very cute.

For the price you pay (nearly £30) it does seem expensive when you see what you are left with, a couple of little dolls, outfits and a seashell but I would say it is well worth the price just for the experience and the excitement it creates....Ellie loved it and it really made her birthday special....

Monday, 17 September 2018

This is what we're eating this week. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went really well....We ate just about everything! We did have a bit of a hiccup mid week when I realised the mince was off...It shouldn't have been. The use by date was the next day.....Stu took it back and got it replaced. Phew! The roast dinner was moved to today. We had a lazy day yesterday. 

The last few weeks we have had a fair few takeaways. They have all been treats for going back to school and birthdays but we're done with them now. No more....We are back to saving a bit of money....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Roast chicken dinner....
Tuesday - Prawn noodle stir fry....
Wednesday - Fish fingers, chips and beans....
ThursdayWhatever's in the fridge mini frittatas with spaghetti hoops....
Friday - Pizza....
SaturdayBacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf & onion rings.
Sunday - Cottage pie....