Thursday, 27 September 2012

Give away ~ Free Cup cake class at Sweet and Floral

Cup cakes are the new generation, every one is making cup cakes, they are popular at weddings, parties, baby showers, birthdays, engagements and believe it or not funerals also!!!A few weeks ago I attended cup cake classes at sweet and floral. As the name sounds Sweet and Floral is indeed sweet and floral, the cake studio situated in Enfield  is pretty pink with floral and lace everywhere.With shabby chic furniture and vintage look, its creates the perfect  ambience  to sit and learn the art of  cake decorating.Even the light switch has diamant√© on it!!

The photos of Sweet and floral are courtesy of sweet and floral website.

Amanda the owner of Sweet and Floral offers  a variety of cake decorating classes. There are basic classes in cup cake  and cookie decorating, Intermediate classes for those with a little more experience , themed classes for events such as mothers day, Easter and Xmas, Vintage and animal . There are even mother and toddler classes.There are many advanced classes too  for those who are more experienced and want to learn new skills such as a wedding cakes.To check out all the latest classes visit her web site here

I attended a techniques cup cake decorating class. It was really fun as the small groups meant that everyone got attention and had a perfect box of  beautifully decorated cup cakes to take home.

All the views in this post are my own and I am sharing my experience of the class.

If you want to experience these amazing  cup cake classes, Sweet and Floral have teamed up with and they are offering a special  offer of buy one get one free cake decorating class on any beginners, techniques, vintage and animal cup cake class during the month of  November/ December.To get the special Buy one get one free code email and quote giveaway in the subject box.

Sweet and Floral have also kindly offered one voucher for two for a decorating class  for techniques cup cake class to a reader.The Give away is open to all UK residents and who are  over 18 years of age.

How To Enter
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date - 31st October  2012 6.00pm

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Boondi Ladoo - Traditional Indian sweet

A traditional Indian sweet delicately flavoured with saffron and cardamom .


For batter:

8 oz /240 grams Chick pea flour
1 tablespoon melted ghee (clarified butter) for batter
1/2 -2/3 cups water approx
Pinch orange food colouring ( optional)

For sugar syrup

8 oz / 240 grams sugar
3/4 cup water
1 pinch saffron
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom powder
Pinch orange food colouring ( optional)

Other Ingredients:

1.5  tablespoons melted ghee (clarified butter) for final garnish
Oil for frying
15 almonds cut into slivers
10 almonds blanched and skin removed
2-3 drops red food colouring for colouring almonds


For the sugar syrup:

1. In a pan add the1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water, mix and bring to boil.
2. Add the saffron, cardamom powder and pinch of food colouring.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer the syrup until all the sugar is melted and sugar syrup reaches ½ thread consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.

 How to make boondi:

1. Sieve the chickpea flour to remove lumps and add a pinch of food colouring.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of melted ghee and make a thick batter using the ½ cup water.( batter should be dropping consistency so adjust by adding more water as required)
3. Keep aside
4. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.
5. Hold the sieve about 2 inches from the oil. Take a ladle full of the batter and pour small amounts on to the sieve with small round holes.
6.Allow the batter  to drop to form small round pearl sized balls.(If you find batter is dropping too quickly forming long strings, batter is too runny add more flour to the batter, on the other hand if batter is not dropping than its too thick so add a little more water to batter.
7. Fry these pearl sized balls in small batches. As soon as they are crisp remove them from the oil drain and add to the warm sugar syrup.
8. Repeat the procedure till all the batter is used up.
9. To make the red colour almonds, blanch the almonds by adding them to boiling water and leave for 5 mins. Remove the almonds from water and skin will slide off. Split the almonds in to halves and than quarters.
10. Add the blanched almond quarters to a zip lock bag, add 2-3 colours red food colouring, toss to coat the almonds to colour them red. Transfer them  to a sheet of  kitchen paper to dry.
11. Mix the boondi into the sugar syrup, coating evenly and leave for ½-1 hour for the syrup to penetrate the boondis.
12. After 1 hour add 1 tablespoon melted ghee to the boondis, add the almond slivers and mix well.
13. Pinch small walnut sized balls from the boondi and roll them into round balls, garnish with red coloured almonds and place them onto a serving tray.

You may like:

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Giveaway Free Tickets to Ideal Home Show at Christmas.


After the successful Ideal home show London, Ideal home show Scotland,The countdown to Christmas begins with this year’s Ideal Home Show at Christmas 2012, running from the 14th-18th November, at London’s Earls Court, and we’ve got 5 pairs of tickets for you to WIN!

 Back for its second year and hosted by our celebrity ambassadors; Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Suzi Perry, Myleene Klass, Olly Smith and Gino D’Acampo, The Ideal Home Show at Christmas will offer six, extraordinary shows in one which include:
Interiors & Furnishings, Home Improvements & Outdoor Living, Technology and Gadgets, and Gifts and Decoration ideas, as well as Fashion & Beauty and Food and Drink, combined to give you style and advice on how to dress your home in time for the holiday season.

This year’s event will see a series of themed room sets, a new and unique Christmas Craft Theatre which offers a variety of workshops and advice on how to decorate your homes’ interior, from making your own decorations, table settings to Christmas cards and wreaths, as well as Home improvement ideas for those last minute jobs around the house.

There will also be a Traditional Christmas Market with gifts and crafts that cannot be found on the high street, as well as a variety of seasonal recipes and festive food and drink from a range of highly acclaimed chefs across the Food & Drink section. If that wasn’t enough to wet your appetite, there will also be the chance to indulge in a 3 course tasting menu at the Winter Restaurant.

For fun and festive entertainment visit our special Dancing on Ice Skating Rink where all the family can enjoy a skating session, a bandstand filled with Christmas Choirs and live performances by a range of West End Musicals, which will celebrate the start of the Christmas season and provide a great festive day out for the whole family.

Featuring over 600 exhibitors the Ideal Home Show at Christmas offers an unrivalled range of products and all the inspiration you need to make your home feel welcoming and inviting this season.
For ticket information and schedule please check the Ideal home website here.Tickets can  also be booked either online or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0844 209 7330.

Pictures and text courtesy of Ideal Home Show 

Ideal Home Show  at Christmas has teamed up with, to give you the chance to 
WIN one of 5 pairs of tickets.

How To Enter 
• Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
• Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
• Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
• Closing date - 30th October 2012 6.00pm
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Monday, 17 September 2012

Chilli sauce/chilli marinade a la shawarma~ Secret recipe club challenge 17th September 2012

This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select a recipe and try  it and blog about it.
My assigned blog was Heidi's World . This blog is written in Danish but the recipes could be translated using the google translate button.I chose the easy chilli sauce/chilli marinade a la shawarma recipe to recreate as I was planning to have a barbecue and it would be perfect for marinading the vegetables.The only changes I made were that 1 added a medium ripe tomato to the sauce to add more substance to the marinade and to reduce the heat..The original recipe can be found here.

Fiery Chilli sauce marinade that will jazz up any vegetable for grilling or barbecuing,


4 tablespoons ketchup
1 medium ripe tomato blended to a  smooth  puree
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 cloves crushed garlic
4 teaspoon of red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt


1.In a bowl add the  ketchup, blended tomato puree, oil, garlic and chili flakes and mix  well.
2.Season with cumin, lemon juice and salt.
3. Leave the sauce to rest for a few hours until ready to use.Use as a marinade for vegetables.

You may like:
Sambal Belacan Malaysian chilli sauce.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Giveaway~ Free Tickets Cake International NEC Birmingham

NEC, Birmingham from the 9-11 November 2012

Are you into baking and cake decorating If so, make sure you visit Cake International - The Sugarcraft & Cake Decoration Show at NEC, Birmingham from the 9-11 November where you will find everything you need for this irresistible craft. Spend three days in cake heaven with all the latest ideas, supplies, competitions, demonstrations and workshops from the industry experts. Over 100 exhibitors from across the globe will be offering the very latest cake decorating and sugar craft supplies. Whether you are after cutters, moulds, stencils or sugar paste, this is a must-visit show for cake enthusiasts.

 Become the next rising star in cake decorating and demonstrate your flair for frosting in one of the many Competition Classes. Categories include Decorated Celebration Cake, Two-tiered Wedding Cakes, Shoes and Handbags, Cupcakes and Junior Competition classes - there is something for everyone to try! For more information about the competitions please visit note the deadline for competition entries is 26th October 2012.

 Enjoy the three Demonstration Theatres where you will find some of the greatest sugarcraft and cake decorating talents from home and abroad showcasing their enviable skills. These delicious demonstrations will include this year’s International Guest Mercedes Strachwsky who will be joining us all the way from Florida, USA! Self taught Mercedes has won many awards and even has one of her designs featured as a permanent exhibition at the Orlando Science Center. She will be showcasing her exquisite ‘under the sea’ sugarcraft creations and sharing her top tips and advice.

 Guest chef, Paul Da Costa Greaves, will be whipping up a frenzy in The Bakery Theatre where he will be demonstrating an irresistible range of quick and easy baking recipes for everyone to try - just in time for the Christmas season. If you have always wanted to take up sugarcraft but never known where to start then pop along to A Taste of Sugar Mini-Workshops. Designed especially to help sugarcrafting newcomers and juniors learn fantastic cake crafting techniques, this is a unique hands-on experience.

 Chocoholics will be flocking to the sinfully tempting Chocolate Experience where Mark Bateson will be offering top tips and creative ideas in the art of chocolate. What’s more, expert Tracey Mann will be showcasing her phenomenal Chocolate Box Christmas House, complete with a smoking chimney!

 Head to the Cake Decorators Kitchen where the Knightsbridge PME team will be offering inspiring demonstrations with all the latest ideas and delicious creations. The exciting live PME Cake Decorating Competitions will be returning to the show with the Cupcake Challenge on Friday; PME Student of the Year on Saturday and PME Cake Decorator of the Year on Sunday. Competitors will go head-to-head in a bid to produce the most creative and artistically decorated cake and cupcakes, while competing for the £1000 grand prize! With all this and much more, make a date in your diary to visit Cake International - The Sugarcraft & Cake Decorating Show, coming to the NEC, Birmingham - you won't be disappointed!
 For more information and to book tickets please visit

 Pictures and text courtesy of ICHF

 ICHF have teamed up with and generously offered 5 pairs of tickets to 5 lucky winners. The Giveaway is open to all UK residents and must be over 18 years of age.

 How To Enter
· Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
· Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
· Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
· Closing date - 20th October 2012 6.00pm

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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Kenyan Spicy Black eyed bean stew.

Spicy and rich protein packed Kenyan black eyed bean stew.


8oz / 240 g  pre cooked blackeyed beans
1 tablespoon  sunflower oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1.Chop the tomatoes and pulse them in a blender to make a smooth puree.
2. Heat  the oil in a pan and when it is hot saute the garlic. Add the blended tomatoes, salt, cumin powder,chilli powder and pepper and cook the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes until oil starts to separate and tomatoes loose their rawness.
3. Add the precooked beans and 100 ml water and mix well.
4. Simmer the stew on medium heat for 6-7 minutes until the stew thickens and spices infuse.
5. Remove from heat  and stir in the lemon juice.
Serve hot with rice or flat breads.

NB- I find that this recipe works best with slightly overcooked and mushy black eyed beans as it gives the stew a rich creamy texture.

You may like:

Submitting to:
Flavours of Kenya event by guest hosted by Jagruti of JCO

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Giveaway ~ Elisabeth Shaw Chocolates.

I recently had a large hamper of Elisabeth Shaw Chocolates  to sample. The chocolates are made by one of Britain's best-loved luxury chocolate makers using only the finest ingredients.

Amongst the many flavours such as creamy Butterscotch, tasty Orange and smooth Milk Mint Chocolate, the mint crisp is by far the favourite. In the range there are also smooth, luxurious chocolate batons with tempting fillings. The flutes come in a range of tempting flavours: Mint, Orange, Latte Macchiato and Amaretto. For the alcohol lovers there is also a special range of the finest dark chocolate with liqueur centres which are made with some of the world's famous brands: Cointreau®, Courvoisier VS Cognac®, Harveys® Bristol Cream®, Irish Cream, Drambuie® and Grant's®.

We ate the chocolates as they were but there were so many(not that we are complaining), others we dipped in ice cream and devoured them and the mint crisp ones made a wonderful topping crumbled onto delicious vanilla frosting on a gooey chocolate cup cake.I was particularly impressed by these chocolates as they are suitable for vegetarians but also that Elisabeth Shaw also maintain ethical and fair relationships with all their suppliers, including the farmers who provide them with essential ingredients such as cocoa, sugar and milk.
If you would like to try them you can purchase them on line or from many large supermarkets in the UK such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op and Booths and other independent stores.

Selected pictures and text courtesy of Elisabeth Shaw.The opinions and views written in this review are my own.

So that you too can have a taste of these delicious luxury chocolates, Elisabeth Shaw have teamed up with and  generously  offered a hamper of their chocolates to one reader.

The Giveaway is open to all UK residents and must be over 18 years of age.

How To Enter
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date - 12th October  2012 6.00pm

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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Matoke~ Kenyan Plantain Green Bananas Stew

Yield: Serves two

Matoke~ Green Plantain Green Bananas Stew

Matoke~ Green Plantain Green Bananas Stew

Green Plantain Green Bananas Stew is a delicious wholesome spicy plantain stew that's delicious served as an accompaniment to a main meal. It is also eaten during fasting periods.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 25 M


  • Ingredients:
  • 5 green bananas -raw plantain (Matoke)
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 green chillies.
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander for garnishing


  1. Method:
  2.  Peel the green bananas- plantain and slice them in to 5mm thick round slices with a serrated knife from your knifes set. Soak them in cold water.
  3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  4.  Slit both the chillies and remove the membrane and seeds and cut into 4 pieces.
  5. Heat oil in a pan when it is hot add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  6. Drain the bananas and add to the pan followed by the tomatoes, salt and pepper and chillies
  7.  Mix well and add the water.
  8. Bring the stew to boil , than reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until bananas are tender and sauce has thickened. Add the lemon juice and stir.
  9.  Transfer to serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You may like:
Cassava fries

Submitting to:
Flavours of Kenya event by guest hosted by Jagruti of JCO

Friday, 7 September 2012

Thai Green Mango Salad ~ Som Tum ma muang

Thai Mango salad, tropical sharp and tangy mango balanced with sweet coconut in a sweet and sour and spicy dressing.


I large green mango
60g / 2oz fresh grated coconut
2 red chillies cut into thin strips
1 red sweet pepper cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander leaves
1 small red sweet onion cut into very thin slices


1 tablespoon soya sauce(replacing fish sauce)
1 tablespoon sweet Thai chilli sauce(replacing shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 red chilli finely chopped


1. Peel the mango and remove the stone, using a mandolin slice the mango into long thin ribbons (alternately you can grate it or cut it into juliennes) Add it to a large bowl.
2. Add the red chilli, red pepper, half the coriander , onion  and half the coconut to the mango and toss well.
3. Add all the ingredients in the dressing list to a jar with a screw top and mix well.
4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
5. Transfer the salad to a serving dish and garnish with remaining coconut and coriander.

You may like:
Thai Raw Papaya Salad

Submitting this to:
Flavours of Thailand ,event by guest Hosted by Reva

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Give away~Free Tickets to BBC Good Food Show London Olympia

London Olympia 9th - 11th November 2012

Its time yet again for the BBC Good Food Show, and this year is even better than before and the exciting news is that its being hosted in London Olympia between 14th and18th November. It is  featuring The Wine Show together with the regulars such as cookery demos, producers village, eateries and  the fantastic 600 seat super theatre. It will be the perfect place to shop for all your Xmas presents and enjoy a day out in London.
Again this year BBC Good Food Show have teamed up with and  they are offering three pairs of tickets to 3 lucky winners.The Giveaway is open to all UK residents and must be over 18 years of age.

How To Enter
·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date - 31st October  2012 6.00pm

Pictures and text courtesy of BBC Good food show
For those of you who wish to enter for the BBC GOOD FOOD Show NEC Birmingham click here.
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Monday, 3 September 2012

Flavours of Morocco Round Up

Thankyou to everyone who participated in this event.You can check out the round up here.

Round up ~Lets Cook with Fruits.

Thankyou to everyone who participated in this lovely event, there were some delicious entries.Here is the round up.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Lets Cook Soup Event.

Summer is nearing to an end and we are slowly approaching autumn. Autumn brings cooler weather, darker evenings and its perfect for a warm bowl of soup.Soup can be so versatile it can be a light meal or it can be a one pot hearty main meal. It can be served hot or cold as a starter or a main, the combination of flavours are numerous. Soups can be rustled up in moments, they are perfect  for using up left overs. This event is all about soup.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any vegetarian soup hot or cold (eggs allowed) please link your post using the linky below by entering your Post Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is not mandatory but usage is encouraged as it helps to spread the word visually if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
5. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format

Your Name:
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.
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