Category Archives: Food

OXO cupcake corer – A handy baking gadget 

I love baking and I love a gadget! Today’s post puts those two things together as I had the chance to try out this handy gadget from OXO.

What is it? This handy little contraption is a cupcake corer. It’s one of those gadgets that I hadn’t even considered as a necessary part of my baking equipment before.

Until now I have replyed on a knife to core my cupcakes for filling which is usually quite an awkward and lengthy process. This gadget makes that process quick and easy.

All you do is gently push the tool into the middle of the cupcake whilst twisting and then pull it out again.

To release the removed core you simply push on the top of the tool and it pops out. Easy!

You are then ready to fill you cupcake with whatever filling you choose. I chose to use lemon curd.

You can either completely fill the cavity  or like I have done here or pop the cap back in ready for icing. Edit

I love this gadget it is simple and easy to use and provides a professional finish to your cupcakes. Priced at £6 available from House of Fraser it is a great little investment.

I’m looking forward to trying lots of different flavours. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Davina McCall 5 weeks to sugar free – Review

A couple of months ago I picked up Davina McCalls 5 weeks to sugar free recipe book. I have a son that is Type 1 Diabetic so I am always looking for inspiration when it comes to providing him a low sugar diet that is still exciting.  

 Now I have had the chance to try out several of the recipes I thought I would share my thoughts with you. 

The variety of recipes is great with some exciting mains and some great treats. It even contains a recipe for sugar free ketchup. 

I will point out that these recipes are free from artificial sugar rather than being completely sugar free. It uses ingredients such as honey and real maple syrup in it’s place. To make these recipes more diabetic suitable I substituted such ingredients with Agave syrup. It has a much lower GI number so is better for maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and doesn’t compromise on consistancy or flavour. 

The recipies are easy to work with, you don’t need any special skills. What I like also is she doesn’t use fad ingredients, just good wholesome food. 

Below are some of my attempts at reproducing some of the recipes.

 

Chocolate Mousse
 
 
Pork & Sweet Potato Chilli
 
This came out with a bit too much liquid I suggest halving the amount suggested in the book. 

 

Shepherds Pie with Sweet Potato toppjng
 
 
Peach Crumble
 
 
Roast Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpea Tray bake
  
Coconut Flapjacks
 

If you are looking for some healthy recipes and trying to reduced the amount of refined sugar in your diet I highly recommend this book. Don’t be afraid to substitute the recipes with Agave syrup if you want to make them for a diabetic it works well. 

This is available on Amazon right now for £8.00

Are you trying to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet? Do you have any exciting sugar free recipies I should be trying?  Feel free to leave you links to any on the comment section below. 

  
 

3 Great places to eat in Newquay Cornwall

We have recently returned from our family holiday to Newquay in Cornwall. We had a great time visiting the Beaches, Eden Project and eating out out at some really great restaurants. 

I thought It would be a great idea to share with you the restaurants that we had the best experience with. 

First up is The Boathouse situated on the edge of Newquay harbour. We   had spent a day on the beach and were looking for somewhere for an early dinner. We kind of stumbled across this restaurant as we hadn’t any set plans, it really was a great find.  

  

This is a very high quality fish restaurant. On the outside it didn’t look anything too special but remember that old saying ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’.

  
Inside it is pretty small but extra space can be found in the form of a covered veranda overlooking the harbour. This is where we had our meal. We didn’t have to worry about being cold whilst the sun was setting because there are outdoor heaters for cooler evenings.  

 
Food is reasonably priced, you can check out the menu here

We shared a lobster & crayfish salad  £9.95, well I say shared I may have accidentally eaten all the lobster myself.

  I then had the crab claws roasted in garlic butter & white wine priced at £13.95.  My husband is not a huge fish fan so he opted for the Cornish Rib-eye steak. 

 
These were super tasty, just be aware they are messy to eat. Not first date food, fortunately 15 years on the Husband has seen worse ha ha! 

Kids are catered for with a menu offering main meals at £4.95. Though this I have to say is very limited, the choice is either a traditional fish & chips with peas or a cheese & tomato pasta for non fish lovers. The portion sizes were very good as you can see from my daughters fish & chips below.  

 
Now the best bit about The Boathouse I’ve save till last. Just check out how fresh the shellfish is. Yup you pass the live lobster and crab tanks on your way in! I was on my way back from ladies at one point and passed a chef carrying a large crab still wiggling on his way to the kitchen. 

 
It is definitely an experience eating here, the surroundings are beautiful and would make a romantic date night venue as well as catering for families. One I would highly recommend a visit to.

Now if fish isn’t you thing, and your more of a pasty and cream tea type of person then this next place is perfect for you. 

Pauline’s Creamery is located on the main high street in Newquay. It is a traditional bakery with tearooms above the shop. 

  

Now Pauline’s Creamery is in my opinion how bakeries should be, everything where possible is made on site, including the pasties. 

 
The cakes were amazing, Jed’s face when his chocolate fudge cake arrived was so funny. They are huge!! You can actually have these delivered via courier for special occasions. 

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t actually take pictures of the bakery itself the counter display will have you craving a cream cake. 

The last place I have to share with you is Zacry’s at Watergate Bay Hotel. This is a fine dining restaurant with stunning panoramic views of the bay. To see a sample menu you can do here

There isn’t a set children’s menu but they offer smaller portions and can adapt any dish to suit your child’s taste. 

My batteries ran out on my camera phone by this point so I was unable to take pictures of the food. 

I did manage to get some shots of the restaurant surroundings though.  

   
I may have of a lack of pictures of the food itself but you will just have to trust me on this one. The food was stunning, with focus on locally sourced produce but with a twist of American flair provided by executive chef Neil Haydock. 

I had Monkfish on a bed of Samphire, it was so good. I certainly couldn’t  recreate it at home. The romantic side of me wanted to try out the Samphire when I saw it on offer as it had been featured in the war time novel I was reading at the time. 

This is not a cheap meal out but if you are looking for something in the Watergate Bay Area that is extra special do check this place out. Most people think of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant when looking for places to eat in this area but this place really can hold it’s own. 

Have you any suggestions for places to eat next time I am in the Newquay area? I would love to here them. 

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Indulgent Cherry ‘n Chocolate Brownie Recipe

A couple of weeks ago I attended the #bloggerslvehub food and drink festival. If you want to read more about that you can do so in the post here. One of the brands I met there were Opies Foods. I had a lovely chat with the rep about their products and was particularly intrigued by the Cherries in Kirsch and the Pickled Walnuts. After leaving my details with her I was contacted by email with the kind offer of a selection of Opies ingredients to try out at home and some recipes to help me. 

 After conferring with the husband we opted to make these cherry and chocolate brownies. This is such an easy brownie recipe and tasted incredible, both warm and gooey, and set firmer a day later. If you are a fan of the classic black forest gateaux then you are going to love these. Let me warn you though these are positively sinful and definitely fall into the occasional treat category, certainly not for everyday.

  Ingredients

  • 180g/6oz plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 240/8oz plain chocolate
  • *1 jar Opies cherries in Kirsch, drained (keep the Kirsch to use at a later date, it is far too good to waste)
  • 120g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 450g/16oz sugar

Makes 16 Squares

Method

  1. Break the chocolate into squares, then melt along with the butter in a glass bowl over simmering water. Set aside.
  2. In a seperate bowl beat together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, but not stiff.
  3. Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl of eggs and sugar and mix till it is evenly combined.
  4. Fold the flour, salt and baking powder into the mixture until fully mixed.
  5. Take a greased and lined deep square baking tin and spread half of the cherries evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add half the brownie mixture spreading it evenly over the cherries.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6.
  8. Bake in a 160c/Gas mark 3 oven for approximately 40 minutes. I like a crunchy top with a gooey centre.
  9. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into squares.

*PR samples have been sent to me for use within this post.

Cereal Lovers – No added sugar cereal that actually tastes good!

As promised in Tuesday’s post, which was all about the bloggers food festival, I have a food brand discovery to share with you.

One of the brands I met were Cereal Lovers who were very generous In gifting me some samples of their full range of cereals.  
Now, your probably thinking this is just granola right? True, but where this brand of granola is different is that it is made with no added sugar. Any sugars that are present are from naturally occurring sugars in the fruit juices that are used to flavour them, not the usual sweeteners such as syrup and sugar.

Let me put this into some figures for you, a 30g serving of the blackcurrant and apple flavour contains 20g of carbohydrates of which 3.3g is sugar.

My son is a Type 1 diabetic so for him this is the perfect cereal.  With some natural yogurt and strawberries this makes a lovely balanced breakfast. As the cereal Is high in fibre and low in sugar it really helps to maintain even blood glucose levels.



I have tried this granola myself aswell and can honestly say that they do not compromise on taste. My favourite flavour is the simply orange granola, it is really tangy.

As they are so tasty these granola can be enjoyed by anyone who wants a healthier breakfast alternative not just if you have to watch your sugar intake.

You can purchase these cereals directly from the cereal lovers website. Priced at £3.95 for 400g. Ok I won’t lie, this is a bit pricier than other granola but I’m happy to pay this for my sons  special dietary needs.

Do you like Granola? Is reducing your sugar intake important to you?

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The Bloggers Love Food & Drink Festival

On Monday I had the privilege of attending the Bloggers Food & Drink festival hosted by The Bloggers Hub. Check them out here if you want to find out more about their future events.

The event was held at Kanaloa Club in London. This is a quirky Tiki themed bar with some great decor features. I particularly liked the blown glass bottle ceiling in one area of the bar.

photo 3 (5)My only criticism is the lack of lighting in the venue meant that the products were not being shown off to their best advantage. Which really was a shame. So with that in mind apologies in advance for my poor photography.

Bad lighting aside though this was a fabulous event.  It seemed extra special as we got to meet so many of the brands actual creators and learn about the stories behind their brand.

Manny's Sauces

I was also able to share this experience with my Husband and Daughter which made a nice change as they do not get to experience much of what I getup to as a blogger.

photo 4 (5)

The event showcased a huge variety of brands ranging from Artisan Marshmallows from Brighton based Miss Millar’s Mallows‘ to Raw Milk from hook and son ,and sauces and cured meets from Manny’s Sauces. I urge you to check out MIss Millar’s website as my photos really do not do her product justice, they looked amazing and tasted even better. Espresso Marshmallow anyone? Miss Millars Mallows

If products that focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle are your thing that area was very well covered. I met some very exciting up and coming brands in this area that I will feature in their own blog posts soon, so  do keep your eyes open for those going live over the coming weeks. The photograph below  is a sneak peak at an upcoming post.

cereal lovers

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Thanks for stopping by schoolrunbeauty.com.

CAMRA Beer & Cider festival – An English Summer evening

Earlier this week my husband and I did the unthinkable and managed to get out on a school night. We popped along to the first evening of the CAMRA Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider Festival. Combined with the opportunity to listen to some live music,  what better way is there to spend a summers evening than supping artisan beers in the sun?

photo 1 (3)

Running for 37 years this has to be one of my favourite beer festivals, there is  such a diverse range of beers and ciders available to try.  I challenge anyone not to find one that they enjoy. What is even more special about this event is that it is only made possible by the volunteers that give up their time to man the various bars or take on the other roles needed to make this event happen.

photo 4 (1)
Poser! Pretending I know what I’m doing when it comes to choosing a beer
Favourites beers for me included the Brentwood Blonde a golden bitter with full fruit flavours and a crisp finish, and Lindemans Kriek Cherry Beer which is a Belgian draught beer.

Lindenams Cherry Beer
Lindenams Cherry Beer
Alongside the beers there were various food stalls offering goodies ranging from vegetarian curries, to bratwursts and burgers. If you have sweet tooth then doughnuts and handmade chocolate is available to try. I may have eaten one to many cinnamon doughnuts, whoops!

photo 5 We had a very funny moment when I thought it would be a good idea to try Scorpion Death Chilli Chocolate. It was freeking ho!! I promptly guzzled my cherry beer very quickly to try to cool down the burn.

image (24)If you are in Essex then there is still time to be paying a visit to the Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider festival,  it runs until  Saturday 11th July.

 

Wimbledon Afternoon Tea at The Landmark Hotel

Yesterday was a very good day, It was one of those day’s that is filled with fun, good food and great conversation.

I was very fortunate to be invited to The Landmark Hotel in Marylbone to join 11 other bloggers for a Wimbledon Themed afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is taken within the stunning Winter Gardens.

The space is truely awe inspiring and reminded me of the spectacular lobby’s found in Caribbean  hotels, with sweeping staircases, palms and a beautiful glass ceiling. For a while I completely forgot I was actually still in the busy centre of London.


The event was hosted by Ladbrokes Bingo, and was a brilliant opportunity to meet some other bloggers and the charming and very easy on the eye #BuffBallBoys. If your heading to Wimbledon this year do keep your eye out for them.

 

Photo Call for the #BuffBallBoys

We were treated to a champagne afternoon tea that consisted of delicate finger sandwiches, traditional scones with jam and cream and miniature deserts.
 The sandwiches though traditional had a special twist as they were made using artisan flavoured breads. My favourite had to be chicken and tarragon on a walnut bread.

Sweet favourites for me had to be the Pimms Jelly, infused with Mint and a pistachio sponge with Ros’e Champagne cream.

Once again thank you to Ladbrokes and to Lucy for making this experience possible. This was a lovely way to spend a Monday Afternoon and to meet some people with similar interests.

The special Wimbledon Tea is available  until 12th July, so if you want to experience it then don’t hang around.

Are you a fan of afternoon tea? Do you have any recommendations of other places I need to visit for afternoon tea?

Cajun Spiced Parnsip & Courgette Crisps

Who doesn’t love a packet of crisps? I hold my hand up, I’m an absolute bugger when it comes to salty fatty snacks. In search of a healthy alternative I came across how to make your own vegetable crisps. Oh and Guess what, they are easy and very moreish.

I have twigged the original recipie to suit my own personal taste, I like a bit of spice, especially with the parsnips.

To make these all you do is use a vegetable peeler to create thin slices of your chosen vegetable.

Lay your slices out on a baking tray. Here’s a little tip got you, these work better if they are flat and not overlapping.

Lightly brush each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle lightly with Cajun pepper and sea salt.

Pop in the oven at 120 degrees c for approx 1 1/2 – 2hrs. They are ready when the slices of vegetable have crisped and turned a golden colour.


These will last a couple of days in an airtight container, though ours didn’t make it that far, whoops!

Have you any suggestions for other seasonings? I’m thinking a bit of cider vinegar once cooked.

Diabetic friendly nutty cacao bites recipie 

Hi, guys! 

  I haven’t shared a food post on the blog for a little while,and to be honest with you was hesitant about sharing this one. There have been a fair few cocao ball posts out there and I didn’t want to be jumping on the band wagon. Having had a go out making our own version, with my diabetic son and to great success I decided that actually I am going to share our recipie as I thought it would be helpful to other parents. 

  

As the parent of a Type 1 Diabetic it can be very hard some times finding food that satisfy’s a child’s urge to eat sweet foods. Whislt it’s ok for a diabetic to have the odd naughty treat occasionally , it’s still handy to have a range of no added sugar treats up you sleeve. These little balls of goodness have done the job perfectly. 

This quantity made 12 balls, if you are a carb counter each ball has a carb content of 8. 

  Ingredients – 

100g ready to eat dates

25g banana chips

30g almonds 

30g hazelnuts

100g desiccated coconut

15g Cacao Powder 

30g pure coconut oil

In a blender/food processor combine all the ingredients except the coconut oil. Once this has broken down into a breadcrumb like texture knock out into a bowl. 

Melt your coconut oil in a microwave in 10 second bursts being careful not to burn it. Add this to your mixture and give it a good stir. You can then use your hands to shape it into 12 balls. 

  Pop them in the fridge to set slightly and enjoy. We had these as an after dinner pudding. 

As you can see Harrison was very pleased with his homemade treats, best of all there is no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

My other kids, without Diabetes loved them too. 


Do you have any handy sugar free recipies? Do leave me your links to any you have. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂