A consistently good chocolate cake 

Hi guys! 

Today I thought I would share with you  the receipe I use to create a super rich and moist chocolate cake. This is not one for everyday as it’s really very naughty, but is perfect for birthdays and other celebrations. As it was my sons birthday yesterday this was the perfect excuse to make one.  


I came across this recipie when searching for a moist chocolate cake recipie, the original can be found here on foodess.com. This is an American recipie so I had to do a bit of research to check certain ingredients and temperature settings, I don’t know about you but if you start talking celcius to me I haven’t got a clue. 

I thought it would be a good idea to share the adapted version for my British readers if like me you get a bit confused with Amercan terminology. I’ve stuck to the cup method though as it’s a huge time saver not having to worry about weighing ingredients. 

I have tried this recipie with both buttermilk and the milk and white wine vinegar substitute, I can confirm it works both ways equally well. 

Ingredients – 

1 3/4 cups plain flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

3/4 teaspoons table salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk or (1 cup milk and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, allowed to stand for 5 minutes)

1/2 cup melted butter. 

1 cup hot coffee. 

Method – 

1. preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla esscence, melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs to bowl. Mix well for approximately 3 minutes. 

3. Add the hot coffee and stir in, don’t be alarmed if you think it looks too runny, it’s supposed to be.

4. Pour mixture into  2 greased and lined cake tins. Bake in oven for approx 35 minutes. When done poke with a skewer, if it comes away clean your cake is ready, otherwise pop it back in the oven for a couple more minutes. If you feel top of cake is getting a bit brown cover with a sheet of tin foil for rest of cooking. 

5. Allow to cool in tin for ten minutes, then turn out into wired rack to finish cooling. Once completely cool decorate as you wish.  Jed wanted a Minecraft cake, and this is how it turned out. 


Let me know if you give this recipie ago. Feel free to share any baking tips in comments.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂 

Feeling the pinch and reducing food waste, yummy roast with all the trimmings still gonna happen! 

Hi guys! So today’s post is a little bit different. I don’t know about you but but when it gets to the end of the pay month, (we get paid on a weird day), still trying to produce a decent meal for five hangry people (that’s not a spelling mistake) can be a bit of a challenge. 

I’ve always prided myself in the ability to be a bit resourceful, sorry if it sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but I thought it would be helpful to show a few tricks I’ve learnt along the way. 

Today’s dinner is a roast chicken with all the trimmings, I’m talking stuffing, yorkshires, gravy, the lot. As this is very much about using up whatever I have in the back of the cupboard and fridge there is no set recipie for this, but it will give you an idea of what you can do yourself. 

1. The chicken is being roasted on a bed of vegetable peelings, I won’t be waisting any precious carrots here. Combined with the meat drippings and a bit of flour you can still get a good flavoured gravy from those peeling that would usually being going straight in the waste. I’ve even chucked in the leaves from the top of the celery. I love doing this as is it removes the need to buy seperate gravy, and is a great money saver. 

2. I love a bit of stuffing with my roast, this is a great way of using up the ends of the bread that no one wants to eat, and would otherwise go in the bin. In a food processor I’ve just combined 4 bread ends, 1/2 onion, 100g butter, mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and the last bit of celery I had, seasoned with some salt n pepper. I have made this into balls that I’ve cooked in the oven for about 20mins. These were a big hit with the kids. 

3. I always save some meat from the roast to be making a stir fry rice the next day, tastes fab and costs next to nothing.  As the meats already cooked it so quick to do aswell, perfect on a busy school night. 

As you can see the kids have enjoyed their roast, the hubby did as well. I hope you have found this helpful, if like me you hate to be wasteful or just want to stretch some basic food items a bit further. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

My life lately – Birthday’s,Good Food & A Spa stay.

Hi guys!! Regular readers may have noticed that there has been an absense of posts on School Run Beauty this past week. Sorry guys I have had an extremely busy time full of birthdays and lots of fun. I’m not in the habit yet of scheduling posts, this is something I’m going to address though before I start my next OU module in April. I want to continue to post regularly during my busier study periods.  Any hoo I thought that it would be nice to share with you some of the things I’ve been up to in my absense.

Friday 6th March – 

Friday marked my step dads 60th birthday. My mum had arranged a party for him so being a good daughter I helped out with preparing the food. I also made the birthday cake which was quite a time consuming activity. I was so pleased with the results though. The cake itself was a very moist chocolate cake, it was designed to look like a stack of presents. 

We had a great evening, it was lovely catching up with family members, and a few surprise guests my step dad wasn’t expecting. 

Thursday 7th March – 

Today was another birthday celebration. This time the occasion was for one of my husbands old school friends. His fiancé had arranged a huge gathering of friends and family for a meal at a The Raj curry house in Brentwood. We actually filled the restaurant. Even the birthday boy was surprised that he knew that many people. 

The food itself was really tasty and thankfully the chefs didn’t use lots of artificial colouring like you can get in some Indian restaurants. After the meal we went to a popular music pub in Chelmsford to see my father in laws band ‘Break for Cover’ play. 

They are a great band and have quite a following locally. Check out their website Here.

Sunday 8th – 9th March

This marked my turn to celebrate my birthday, I turned 33 this year. Boy do I feel old! Instead of a physical present my husband took me to stay at Lifehouse spa resort in Thorpe-le-Soken. 

This has to be one of the best spas in my area. My favourite room has to be the salt inhalation room. My skin always feels amazing after a a session in there. The pool area is also quite special. After dark mood lighting is used to create a wonderful sensory experience. How amazing does that water look? 

We had a superb meal in the restaurant, the chefs take extra care to ensure they are using locally sourced ingredients where possible. I had a very light beetroot and goats cheese tart, followed by gressingham duck with dauphinoise potatoes and a creamy wild mushroom sauce. 

I was also surprised with a special birthday platter of truffles. This is the cutest thing ever, I was a good girl and shared this with the hubby. 

The next morning after breakfast (the best Frinton sausages ever!),  I had an extra surprise in the form of a beautiful bouquet of flowers being presented to me at our table. 

We then went to the spa where we had a quick swim before going our separate ways for our beauty treatments. I had an amazing Espa facial whilst Chris had a shoulder, back and neck massage. We were so relaxed afterwards that we promptly fell asleep beside the pool, whoops! 

Lifehouse Spa is such an amazing place to stay, we took advantage of one of their spa break offers available on their website Here. This included dinner, bed & breakfast, full use of the spa facilities and a 25 minute treatment. If you have the chance to visit do, the grounds provide beautiful walks, the food is great and the spa is just amazing. It’s also an adult only hotel so really peaceful. You will come away incredibly relaxed, if not a bit too relaxed like us. 

So there you go that’s is what I have been up to lately. Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Sneaky veggie intake – tropical green smoothie 

Hi guys! So today your getting two posts, as I’m a mouthy so and so today, and seem to have lots to say. That and they are both relatively short posts, so I thought ‘why the heck not?’ Any hoo, I wanted to share this smoothie receipe with you, as it tasted great aswell as a great way to sneakily up the kids (and mine, hangs head in shame) veggie intake. 

What you’ll need:

1 large banana 

2 Kiwis 

10 green grapes

Large handful of Kale.

1 pot of mango chunks in juice – I have  used a handy del monte pot I have on standby in my store cupboard. A bonus is that it already includes the juice element I like to include. 

This will make either 2 smoothies or 4 smaller ones for kids. 

If a berry flavour is more your thing then check out this smoothie recipe from a previous post Here. I’ve  even gone to the lengths of telling my younger kids that this is green turtle juice, since they watched the TNT movie (Teenage Mutant Turtles to 80’s kids). I promise you though no turtles were harmed in the making of this post. Ha! I go to some lengths to get kids to eat the good stuff. 

Have you any crafty ways of including extra veggies to kids, or even for yourself? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂 

A healthy Pick n Mix alternative – Holland & Barrett find

My local high street is going through lots of changes, for the better I must add. This I put down to the perks of my home town recently securing city status. One of these developments is a spanking new Holland & Barrett store.

Now I must confess my motives for nipping in store were to check out the improvements to their natural beauty section, not to secure some healthy snacks. Ha, nothing changes there.

Anyway impressive beauty department aside, what got me most excited was the shiny new pick n mix station.

This is a pick n mix with a difference, you won’t find any artificial sugary sweets here. What there is though is a huge selection of different nuts and dried fruits that you can mix and match like you would with a traditional pick n mix. Yum, guilt free snacking!

For me this is especially exciting as I have a son who is diabetic, so pick n mixes are usually a big no no, he’d end up in a diabetic coma – Awkward. Jokes aside, this is something that I know I can treat him to, he has no nut allergies fortunately, and loves nuts, we would have to be careful with the dried fruit but this is ok in moderation.

This is what my husband and I had this afternoon as a cheeky snack, whilst in town.


The apple rings and, sweet chilli cashews are particularly nice.

Priced at £2 per 100g, this is not the cheapest way of buying such products, but to me this is a treat so the price is relative. Today though, the pick n mix was on offer at half price, so actually a very inexpensive treat.

Are you lucky enough to have one of these in you local Holland & Barrett store?

What healthy snacks do you like?

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

A healthy start – Smoothies all round


Hi guys, this is just a quick one today. I thought I’d share with you what I have been making for breakfast this week. You see I’m crap at getting my five a day, however this little concoction helps out.

I call it my superfood smoothie, as it’s packed with dark fruit and some greens that the kids will happily drink without realising they are there. Thank you Kale.

These are also really cheap to make as I picked up the frozen bags of fruit for £1-£2 each, in Iceland. I got far to excited when I realised you could by peeled and wedged frozen apples, but there you go I’m easily pleased.

You can add what you like, depending on preference but here I have included

25 raspberries
A large handful of blueberries
1 large banana
A large handful of Kale
150ml ish of cranberry Juice

This will give you 2 large or 4 small servings.

I’m like a bear with a sore head in the morning, so I make these the evening before, and keep them in the fridge overnight. This is a great time saver when your in a hurry and saves the mess, who wants to be cleaning a blender before heading out the door?

Have you got any tasty smoothie recipes? I’m in need some more inspiration.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂