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.

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.   

Growing Up With Nûby

Nûby Soft Flex Bottle Review

Nûby Grip N Sip

You can buy all the Nûby bottles and cups from the Nûby website. During October, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nûby are offering FREE DELIVERY on all their online orders and will donate 10% of all online sales to Breast Cancer Care.

 

Beautiful Storage Boxes by Freya Design

Freya Designare the most beautiful storage boxes. They come in a range of colours, sizes and designs

The keepsake boxes are all made from solid wood, New Zealand pine, European alder and birch which are all light in weight but robust. They are painted with non toxic paint in a range of stunning colours they look great.

I received two boxes, the first is a white storage box which I am using as a place to store nappies, wipes, cream etc in my lounge. So now I have everything I need in really easy reach but it’s no longer on show! It is a good size and holds all my changing things with ease.

The second box is smaller. Inside it is a space to write a message or name. At the moment C has decided that it is a little toy box but I want to keep little keepsakes and trinkets in there so it may be a battle of wills, or I might just find a high shelf!

The boxes are great quality and make beautiful storage options for any home. They have a whole range of boxes ranging from special baby boxes to Christmas trinket boxes. Whatever you choose you can be assured that it will be commented on by your visitors and will look great.

You can buy online at Freya Design

I’ve been testing games on the Kinect for XBOX 360

I have been testing some games for Kinect on the XBOX 360

If you haven’t tried Kinect then you are missing out! No really you are missing out. It’s so much fun. With loads of games for the whole family, whether you are looking for kids games, family games or fitness then you will find something in the Kinect range.

I have been testing three products this week.

Kinectimals

Dance Central

Kinect Sports

I’ll start with Kinectimals. This super cute game is aimed at children 3 years and up. I decided to let C have a go anyway (he is 29mths) and he could do bits of it. Basically, your child uses their whole body to interact with lion cubs, tiger cubs etc and journey around an island carrying out tasks on the way. So they don’t have to learn how to use controllers or do button combinations. A great way to keep the kids active and engaged! C was a bit young really but he did enjoy watching me play so that the game became almost like a movie for him, he sat on the couch instructing me what to do and I jumped around the room like a mad woman, well at least it was a bit of exercise for me. I think once he is a little bit older Kinectimals will come into its own. I highly recommend it for 3-7year olds as they will enjoy the jumping around and the animals

Dance Central – I am really enjoying the Dance Central game. I have adopted it as my daily workout because you dance to recent songs and do proper dance moves. You have the option to break the routine down so that you can practice each bit at a time or to perform it so you can just boogie. Each song has three levels of difficulty and as you go up the levels the song includes more different moves. There is also a workout function which tracks calories used in each play session which is useful if you fancy using it instead of a workout video. Great fun game and doubles up as a workout, you can also connect to XBOX live and buy more songs to add even more game play!

Kinect Sports – Great fun for the family. Play as teams or in direct competition against your family! I laughed myself silly playing volley ball very badly but really enjoyed the boxing, it was a real stress reliever being able to punch the ‘opponent’ and it really tired me out! I was pooped. With other sports like Football and athletics it covers a wide range of sports and skill sets.

Kinect have some great new games out this Christmas too so keep your eye out for my Christmas features to find out more!