Baking Day!

So today we decided to have a baking day in the Ramblings Kitchen. We had been sent a few baking related products to test and review recently so we were excited to give them a go.

First up was a kit from The Real Cupcake Company. You might have seen me mention them in my Foodie Heaven article as a Christmas food idea! The Real Cupcake Company send their kits through the post. You then pop the bags in your fridge until you use them. They come with a best before date of around a week in advance so you have to use them pretty quickly. You only have to add 2 eggs to the kit to make them though which impressed me.

The cupcake mix was easy to mix, I just added the eggs and then whisked for a minute or so and they were ready to spoon into the cases. Unfortunately, the supplied cases were a little too big for my bun tray so I used my own, I think The Real Cupcake Company ones would work perfectly in a muffin tray though. I just spooned the mixture into 12 cases and popped them in the oven. The instructions firmly told me not to open the oven for at least 10 minutes so I made a cuppa and we went to play in C’s tent while they cooked. I was pleased about the lack of washing up too, no measuring etc is always a good thing.

Once cooked we let them cool and then used the piping bag and nozzle supplied to decorate the cupcakes with the Lemon frosting. The frostings are made with real fruit and delicious, natural ingredients. The frosting was very tangy. C tried it and declared “It tastes like yellow!” He also did that fantastic toddler shake that they do when things are a bit tart!. He loved that the kit also came with sweeties to decorate. I was impressed by just how easy the cupcakes were to make, and I think with a little bit of skill you could make them look amazing too. Please excuse my decorating skills, baking is not my strong suit.

The Real Cupcake Company kits start at £9.99 for the Lemon, Orange and Strawberry flavours and go up to £11.99 for the wicked Strawberry and Champagne or Blueberry and Bourbon ones. A little bit more than I would usually pay for a cake kit but these were very simple and tasty and contained natural ingredients.

We then moved on to some children’s baking products. We used some of The Real Cupcake Company cupcakes to decorate with these awesome kids items.

First up was the Renshaws Magic Melting Icing.

A BIG pot full of a stiff icing that once warmed for just 50 seconds turned into a shiny delicious pourable icing. Not only was it really easy to use but also it tastes blooming AMAZING! The raspberry flavour will be a sure winner with children and as it’s made with real fruit juice parents will be pleased that it doesn’t contain any ‘nasties’. I loved how expensive and luxorious it looked. It was really easy to ice the buns as it was melted but not too runny. It’s also only £2.15 and would easily ice around 30 cupcakes/buns with no problem, probably even more!

The other product in the Renshaws range that we had to test is the Ready to Roll Sugar Dough in the Cool colours, it included four blocks of sugardough, red, yellow, blue and green. They would be perfect for decorating Christmas or birthday cakes. The hard blocks of sugardough soon softened with a quick knead and then you roll them out and you can use cutters or a knife etc to make funky shapes to decorate buns and cakes. Now as I’m not a baker I have very few shape cutters so we had to make some basic items. I’m now on a mission to find  some better cutters asap! The Sugardough costs £2.79 which seems very reasonable as you get the four colours and they roll out into huge sheets of icing so they will go a long way. Here is one of my terrible attemptes, I personally like the lifelike face.

I’m really excited by other products by Renshaw, check out their website to find out more!

We really enjoyed our baking day and I think we might have to do it more often.

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Amy’s Kitchen

Amy’s Kitchen is a family business, started in 1987. They pride themselves on for using all natural ingredients and for offering a wide range of foods that are all vegetarian and includes products from pizzas and veggie burgers to cakes.

The nearest shop to me that sells the Amy’s Kitchen range was our local Asda, we don’t do our main shopping there so we made a special trip to go and discover the Amy’s Kitchen range. I was disappointed to find that they only stock ONE item from the range! I wasn’t very impressed. So I couldn’t choose a variety of products from the range to tell you about. But I did get the Amy’s Kitchen Gluten Free Bean & Cheese Burrito.

  Image courtesy of Amy’s Kitchen UK 

I don’t think I would have chosen this product if there were other things from the range but I wanted to give it a go.

I read the cooking instructions and was pleased to find that it microwaved in just 3 minutes which seemed perfect for what I would call a snack product. You can also oven cook the burrito but at around 50 minutes this seemed a bit like hard work!

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Gluten Free Bean & Cheese Burrito. I really didn’t have very high hopes as normally I wouldn’t opt for something gluten free, especially a burrito which in nature scream gluten to me! It looked a little bit anaemic as I took it out of the microwave (I’m sure that if you oven cook it you could get a better finish) but as I ate it I found it tasted better than it looked.

It was stuffed full of beans, cheese and rice. For me it could have done with being spicier, and perhaps needed something to dip it in like guacamole or sour cream but it was ok. Priced at £1.98 I felt it was just on the edge of what I would pay for a small lunch/snack.

The wider range sounds great with pizzas, indian meals and pot pies all in there and the tasty sounding Black Bean Tamale Verde meal.   

Potty Training Is So Hard!

After my post at the weekend about the Best and Worst of last week being around potty training things went down hill quickly yesterday.

To say that it tested my patience, strength and resolve is an understatement. The day started well. C asked to take his bedtime nappy off and used the potty happily and put his big boy pants on. Hurray I thought, he is really getting it!

I spoke too soon. What a nightmare, two accidents before 10am and then a really bad poo accident and I was so tempted to stick a nappy on him and leave it. But I decided that I would have wasted all our hard work over the last few days and I would be giving him an easy way out too, not just me. So I cleaned him up and stuck pants on again and luckily we had no more accidents!

So far today we are going ok. No accidents but it’s quite hard work. On Saturday he was brilliant, no accidents, lots of potty trips, all instigated by him. Where did it all go wrong?

Harry’s Legacy

The amazing and inspirational Harry Moseley passed away last night after a long battle against brain cancer, he was only 11 years old.

(Image from Harry’s Charity page www.helpharryhelpothers.com)

Harry has been a inspiration to so many people as he fought cancer with dignity and determination. He worked tirelessly and single handedly raised £85,000 for brain cancer research by fundraising and selling hand-made bracelets. He worked with Cancer Research UK to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds by supporting their work and speaking about his illness at events to raise awareness and generate support.

In memory of Harry you can still support his amazing campaign by buying one of his friendship bracelets and wearing it with pride, just click HERE to visit the page, the minimum donation is just £2.

You can also just make a donation by clicking HERE  or via his personal Just Giving Page  http://www.justgiving.com/Harry-Moseley

Let’s help Harry leave an amazing legacy to other Cancer sufferers and their families by helping his cause. Dig deep people!

I’m sending my best wishes to Harry’s family in what will be their darkest hour. You should be amazingly proud of your brilliant little boy and all he has achieved. He was one in a million.