Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes

Easter is always a tricky time for Frankie and his allergies but this year he is feeling it even more so.

For a few months he had been allowed dairy and it had opened up his eyes to the world of real chocolate.

We had all really hoped that this would be the first year he would be able to get a Easter egg the same as his siblings but sadly this isn’t the case.

Stomach problems, bad skin and mood swings had all come on in force again and the doctors decided it was probably down to the dairy so we had to say goodbye to it again.

It’s been a hugely tough couple of months as he was so enjoying everything that came will the inclusion of dairy so this Easter I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it special for him.

These cupcakes that mimic a chick cracking from an egg have really put a smile on his face and could easily be converted to your usual ingredients.

Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes 

  • 100g gluten free self-raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g dairy free spread
  • Egg replacer for equivalent of 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder 
  • Pack ready roll fondant icing 
  • 12 decorative chicks
  • 12 cupcake cases 
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F and lay out cases into cake tin.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with electric whisk until combined.
  3. Place ingredients into cases as bake for 13/16 mins.
  4. Once cook allow to cool on rack.
  5. Whilst cooling roll out a small amount of icing to about a thickness of 2cm.
  6. Cut out a circle slightly larger than the cakes and create a cross in the middle.
  7. Lay on top of the cake and peel up edges of the cross to open a whole in the centre.
  8. In this gap place one of the chicks to create the look of a hatching chick.

Celebrating National Pizza Day With Sweetpea Pantry

Who doesn’t like pizza would be an easier question to ask than who does.
Pizza is the the most popular choice when it comes to takeaways with pepperoni coming in as the top choice; and if you thought pizza was a relatively new thing you would be very far from the truth as the first ever pizzeria was opened in Italy way back in 1738!

There are a whole variety of toppings available now and as a family we love evenings of making up our own combinations.

It is the perfect meal to allow everyone to get hands on and pick the things they they really like.

To celebrate National Pizza Day I have joined up with the lovely people at Sweetpea Pantry who challenged us to create on own pizza using their fab Playful Pizza Dough Mix.

A while ago we were lucky enough to try out their Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix and were more than impressed with the child friendly mixes that are easy to prepare, healthy and great fun.

The Playful Pizza Mix lived up to what I expected and created the perfect base to make our creation.


I decided to steer away from the norm and create a sweet pizza but keeping  sugar to a minimum with a few products that are low in sugar but still taste good.

Take a look and see if it is something you fancy giving a try, it would actually be the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Heart Pizza

  • Pack of Playful Pizza Dough
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g dairy free milk choc chips
  • 50g dairy free white choc chips
  • 300g Jim Jams reduced sugar hazelnut spread
  • 50g freedom vegetarian mini marshmallows
  • Handful of raspberries
  1. Mix the dough according to the instructions.
  2. Once ready take one of the three dough balls and create a heart shape leaving a slight lip around the edge to create the crust.
  3. Prick the dough with a fork and cook for 10 mins.
  4. Take out and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Next take the hazelnut spread and cover the base.
  6. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips first, followed by the marshmallows and finally add a few raspberries to the very top.
  7. Place under the grill until the marshmallows have slightly toasted and the chocolate has melted slightly.

Let me know if you give this a try as I would love to know what you think!

Baking With Sweetpea Pantry’s Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix

I’m normally one to avoid pre-packed cake and biscuit mixes in favour of just starting from scratch myself, but when I came across what Sweetpea Pantry had to offer with their healthy take on pre-packed baking I was intrigued and could wait to try them out!

Sweetpea Pantry offers a great range of nutritionally balanced mixes that are free from refined sugar, gluten free and packet with plenty of wholesome ingredients to keep little tummies full without the junk.

With the little ones busy playing in the garden number three got set to try out the wonderfully named Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix.

The pack contains everything you need and a small list of store cupboard ingredients that needed to be added to.


The instructions were easy to read and follow and number five had a fantastic time mixing, rolling and having a sneaky taste as we prepared our biscuits.


We picked a gingerbread man shaped cutter to form our biscuit and added a few raisins as eyes once they were baked.


I will definitely be picking some more mixes from their range to put into my store cupboard as they are the perfect way to create a healthy treat for your little ones with no fuss and plenty of flavour!

*we were given this biscuit mix for the purpose of the review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Energy Saving Cooking With Ian Cumming And Smart Energy GB

As you can imagine a family of seven run up pretty high energy bills.  With lights being left on, gaming devices flashing away and the washing machine on constantly our house is using up energy at a rapid rate for a large part of the day.

The problem is until the shock of the bill comes in, as a family we do very little to conserve this energy and this in turn has a detrimental effect on the environment as well as our pockets!

When I was asked along by Smart Energy GB to take a look at their new smart meter and try some recipes that had been deviced by Ian Cumming from ‘Great British Bake Off’ to save energy I was extremely excited to see how it would all work.

All across the country there is a huge roll out of these smart meters that allows all the information on your gas and electricity usage go directly to your provider making your bill more accurate and cutting out the need to have your meter read from home.  In addition to this you have an in-home display that allows you to see in pounds and pence exactly how your energy is being used.

For me seeing the money racking up in front of my eyes would make me way more aware of everything I was spending day to day and make me find ways to cut the costs.

In our house the cooking is solely down to me and I have to admit although I am very thrifty when it comes to the food shopping the amount of money it costs to cook the meals has never really entered my head.

I was lucky enough to be able to sample some wonderful dishes that had been created in an eco friendly way by the lovely Ian Cumming.

Ian served up a succulent chicken and lemon tagine that was cooked in a slow cooker which uses less energy than a light bulb, a scrumptious Scottish salmon macaroni cheese that was cooked under the grill rather than in the oven and using pasta that was cooked simply by covering once the water was at boiling point and left to soften from the heat that has been retained, a to die for elderflower, honey and blueberry cheesecake that used no enery at all and some super tasty feta and spinach buns that I gave a go at making myself.


All of these recipes were super easy to make and could save you a lot of money in the long term.

If you would like to check them out then take a look at this video to find out more.

I came away from the afternoon with a full belly and full mind of all these ideas that I couldn’t wait to put into practice.

Kitchen Equipment Galore With Kenwood And DeLonghi 

A few weeks ago I was asked along to the Kenwood and DeLonghi press preview.

I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets and live off copious amounts of coffee so this was right up my street!

Upon arriving at the venue in West London I was greeted by rooms full of super enthusiastic people all ready to show what off these great new gadgets could do.

My first stop was to see Simon from Pasta Remoli.  We had met before whilst I was doing a review for his wonderful restaurant and I knew that he would be full of passion whilst demonstrating how to make georgous, fresh pasta using the Kenwoods Chef Sense food processor.


I was initially really taken with the wonderful colours they came in that would look wonderful on any kitchen worktop.

The food processor comes with a huge array of attachments including the pasta maker that Simon was demonstrating.



He made sheets of perfect pasta with ease  that were then turned in to the tastiest tortellini I’ve tried.

From here I sampled some healthy smoothies and delicious ice cream, all of which took minutes to make.

The whole range of Kenwood applicances were easy to use and more than pleasing on the eye.  The food processor has been firmly placed on top of my Christmas list.


From here I was taken on a real coffee journey  from roasting my own beans to enjoying the finished product with a slice of cake.


My eyes were opened up to what an intricate process it takes to get that cup of coffee we all grab to start our day.

We have been looking at coffee machines for a while now and after being introduced by DeLonghi’s new super machine any other will have a lot of living up to!


All of their machines produce fabulous coffee in a few easy steps, even for a technophobe like me.

The top of range machine has the best feature I have seen before though.  A downloadable app can be set up so that you can have your own truly personalised coffee at the touch of your iPad screen.

Think back to the ‘teas made’ era and here you have the much improved version.


I came home with my head buzzing with new ideas and a huge lists of gadgets I would love to try out in the future.

Elevenses Recipe Book Launch

  

Stopping for tea and cake at eleven is a quintessentially English tradition that also stands firm in the work place with all of us nipping away from the desk to grab a quick snack.

Some of use like to opt for the healthy option of a smoothie or a piece of fruit whist others would rather indulge in a chocolaty treat or a nice sticky bun.

Whatever your preference there is a need for an energy boost at this time as our sugar levels dip and our next meal is not until lunchtime.  So something to tide us over and keep us going for those next few hours is much needed.

The people at Furniture At Work have compiled a great book with a selection of recipes from a group of Blogger’s, including myself which can offer something from a super healthy treat to something a little bit naughty!

If you fancy taking a look you can download the link here. There really is something to suit everyone and help you get though that workday.

Allergy Friendly Strawberry Cupcakes

Valentines Day is fastly become a big celebration in the UK with it being a day not just for couples but something that the children now join in with.

My older children all attend Valentines  discos at school and the younger ones have made some beautiful cards at school.

To be honest for me it should be something special left for couples to enjoy but im going with the flow and letting the kids join in with the celebrations too!

Number four wanted to do some baking this week so we went with a pink theme and made some strawberry flavoured cupcakes that were suitable for his allergies.


Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes

Cake Mixture

  • 110g self raising wheat free flour
  • 110g dairy free margarine 
  • 110g caster sugar
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp strawberry flavouring
  • 1tsp red colouring

Buttercream Frosting 

  • 140g dairy free margarine
  • 250c icing sugar
  • Few drops red colouring
  • Strawberry flavoured sparkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and lay out 12 cake cases ready for filling.
  2. Best the butter and sugar together, add the egg replacer, flavouring and food colouring.
  3. Fold in the flour until completely mixed.  Then transfer to cake cases.
  4. Cook for 10 mins then place in a wire rack to cool.
  5. Make up the buttercream by combining the margarine with the sugar and then mixing in the food colouring.
  6. Once the cakes are cooled place the butter cream on top and pull a fork over the top to create a rough surface and then sprinkle over the strawberry sparkles.