28 May 2017

Paul Hollywood Baking Mix

Paul Hollywood Baking Range

Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake-off (plus other shows about bread, cakes, pies and pastries) has brought out his own bread based mixes so we can knead his dough at home and make masterpieces in our own kitchen.

I have tried:
Luxurious Cheese & Rosemary Scones to which you need to add an egg, 80g butter and 180ml of milk.
White Plaited Loaf Mix to which you have to add 40ml of Olive oil and 340ml cool water.
Garlic & Herb Tear 'N' Share Bread Mix  where you add 50ml Olive oil and 320ml of cool water.
Barm Cake Roll Mix which needs 40ml Olive oil and 345ml of cool water.

They are surprisingly easy to make, but you do need strong arms (or a dough attachment for a mixer) and you need to follow the insructions about how to prove the dough.

For a mix they are useful as it saves you weighing and measuring, adding yeast etc... but they do take a while to make.  They are not instant and you have to mix, knead, cover, prove, knead, cover, prove etc... etc.. exactly the same as if you are making bread from scratch.   So put aside an afternoon if you would like to try making your own Paul Hollywood creations.

Tastewise - spot on!  We really liked them.  I wrapped the barm cakes (I call them rolls, my husband calls them baps) in a bag and they did keep for a few days.  The Garlic Tear 'N' Share was eaten by the family in one go (I was quite proud of that one!).

Each mix bag makes one large loaf or 8 good sized scones/rolls/barms/baps.

Please check http://bakingmixes.paulhollywood.com/ for ingredients and allergy advice for each product.  All details for each product are on his website including the nutritional information.

I was impressed, they took a bit of time, but they are quite therapeutic to make and its interesting to see how big they rise as you prove them :) 

Martha White Muffin Mix

Martha White Muffin Mix

Since 1899 Martha White has been a trusted name in Southern kitchens, providing folk with the highest quality products.  Martha White has been a trusted name in MY kitchen since 2016 when I discovered the mixes in Walmart in the USA.  I popped some in my trolley and brought them back to the UK with me, my cousin kindly sends me a few through the post to keep my cupboard stocked.


There are a lot off different flavours and varieties, including Gluten Free mixes and Whole Grain Muffins.  I like the everyday varieties which only require 1/2 a cup of milk to mix them up.

They are simple to make, just tip the contents into a dry mixing bowl, add the milk and mix throughly.  I prefer to use my electric whisk to make sure the mixture is creamy and lump free.

Each pack makes on average 6 large muffins or 10-12 smaller cupcakes.
You have to bake them for 12-14 minutes or until browning, I normally keep putting them back in until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean.  It all depends on how big you have filled your muffins with muffin mix.

Each pack is a different flavour I have tried Chocolate Chocolate Chip, (White sponge) Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, Blueberry, Apple Cider, Apple Cinnamon, Wild Berry, Blueberry Cheesecake and Lemon Poppy seed.
The only version that I haven't liked so far has been the Lemon poppy seed, mainly because I don't like poppy seeds because they get stuck in your teeth.  My favourite has been the Blueberry Cheesecake as they tasted like blueberry but had a slightly sour cheesecake taste.  These were lovely warm!

In the USA they eat them warm with butter, I have tried this and it is ok. However in the UK we usually eat them warm or cool just as they are, or sometimes with a swirl of buttercream icing.

On average per pack each serving (muffin) is around 160 calories.  Quite high but as a treat and as part of a balanced diet I can't see an issue.  All packs state that they are a good source of Calcium with 5 vitamins and iron.

Most packs state that they contain Egg and Wheat.  They may contain Milk (well they definitely will once you add in the 1/2 cup milk) and soybean ingredients.   So avoid them if you have any allergies with any of the ingredients.   

More information is available on the Martha White website:

11 May 2014

Vinyl Revolution

Vinyl Revolution are a small company based in Oxford. Who specialise in creating artwork on vinyl for business use and normal folk like me! 
Until I discovered Vinyl Revolution I never realised exactly what could be created using vinyl, they have transformed interior design by supplying artwork that is very affordable and simple to use. 

You do not need any specific knowledge or tools and the vinyl will not damage your walls or appliances.
Vinyl Revolution provide a wide range of designs from fridge wraps to huge wall art, you could transform your fridge or cover your wall in Banksy art all at affordable prices.  They also have a large range of Macbook covers in a variety of designs.
Their online shop is easy to navigate and the ordering process is simple.  For more complicated designs or custom requests you can contact them direct for a quote or simply for advice.
I own a Land Rover Defender called 'Smurf', it is kitted out for challenge events, off-roading days, events and shows.   I required a large Papa Smurf design for the roof as the vehicle can climb steep inclines spectators get to see a lot of the roof. 
Vinyl Revolution can also create custom designs from vinyl in a wide range of colours and sizes.
I sent my image and size requirement to Vinyl Revolution, after a quick chat about usage, they designed a product custom for my vehicle.  I expected to wait weeks for it to arrive, but my large vinyl Papa Smurf head was delivered within 3 days!

My packaged was expertly packed in a tough cardboard tube and included a small scraper tool to assist when sticking the vinyl to my car.   I checked the website for instructions of how to transfer the large vinyl design to my roof, cleaned and dried the area thoroughly and picked a day with fine weather. 

A few air bubbles
Then came the tricky part, tricky as in I had to climb up on top of my Land Rover to fit it!  As the wheel are as high as my waist - it is pretty high up!

Between my husband and I we placed the vinyl where we wanted it and started to peel the backing off of the vinyl image, I peeled slowly as my husband placed the image onto the metal roof and smoothed out any air bubbles.  We have placed other vinyl images onto the vehicle before and have always had trouble with the product stretching or tearing as we smooth the air bubbles out.  Vinyl Revolution use thick high quality vinyl, we had no trouble with air and as we manipulated the image the vinyl did not stretch or distort at all - we were very impressed!

No air bubbles !!
Since the vinyl image has been on top of the roof in the sun for the past week there has been no fading or lifting, the areas around the ridges have shrunk down by themselves for a better fit - we are really please with the image and ease of fitting.
Andy and I are so impressed with the quality of our custom sized vinyl that we are happy to advertise Vinyl Revolutions logo on the doors of the Land Rover. These will be shown to other vehicle enthusiasts at car shows around the country.  
Vinyl Revolution also cater for work vans to show your company logo and contact information.  These will be custom designed and printed to your requirements, please contact Vinyl Revolution for a quote: www.vinylrevolution.co.uk

Vinyl Revolution offer a huge range of designs, pop over to their website to take a look.  Transform your living room feature wall or children's bedrooms with a personalised piece, make a feature of your fridge or just transform your Macbook :)

Interested?  Worried about how to apply?

Please visit: www.vinylrevolution.co.uk for more ideas, quotes, set prices and information.

Max Cleavage

MaxCleavage.com Summer Swimwear 2011 468x60

Dominos BBQ Melt Pizzas

Dominos NEW 
BBQ Chicken Melt and BBQ Meatball Melt Pizzas

I was asked to review the latest BBQ Melt pizzas from Dominos, of course I jumped a the chance as my family love 'pizza night' and Dominos is a bit of a treat for us.

Andy was chuffed as he loves BBQ sauce based pizzas, he finds that the BBQ sauce (instead of tomato) gives the pizzas more depth and oommph when you eat them, so to be told that we were to review their new BBQ Chicken Melt and BBQ Meatball Melt pizzas he was quite excited.

I had to go to my local branch to order as Dominos had kindly sent me some vouchers, I usually order online as their process is really easy.  
www.dominos.co.uk lets you login with your postcode which links you to your local store, you can select your food from a wide menu, view all the offers, mix & match etc.. and see the price of your order as you go along.   After a few clicks to order you can even see which stage your order is at (preparation, baking, etc...) which is handy for delivery. 

I ordered a large BBQ Meatball Melt and a large BBQ Chicken Melt plus sides of a combo chicken strippers & potato wedges box and some whirly hotdog sausage bread things (they looked quite cool on the menu).

The whole shop smelt fantastic and I was drooling waiting for my order.

At home we unpacked the pizzas, sides and dips and tucked in .... this is where things went a bit wrong :(  

For a start the pizzas did not look like the ones advertised, in the adverts they ooze with extra mozzarella and have a lovely thin crust.
Ours were dry, hard, crispy and didn't seem to have much topping to them.
We seemed to have more crust than cheese.

BBQ Meatball Melt
BBQ Chicken Melt

We were disappointed.
Usually the pizzas from my local Dominos are lovely, full of cheese, overflowing with lots of fresh toppings, yet today .... I don't know what went wrong???  It could just be my local store or they could all look and taste like cardboard - I don't know??

On a plus note the side dishes were lovely! 

The hog dog sausage bread thingys were gorgeous, very soft bread with a garlic & herb dip,very nice.  I would definitely order these again, they also offer lots of different variants of the same product with different fillings.

The combo box I would have liked to be filled with a few more potato wedges but all were cooked to perfection.

The whole order came with lots of different dips which was great, we had Honey & Mustard, Garlic & Herb and BBQ to choose from.

As you can see we polished off the side orders quite quickly, unfortunately the pizzas were not all that great, too much bread/crust, not enough toppings and you couldn't taste the BBQ sauce base at all.

I will return to Dominos as I haven't had any trouble in the past, but I won't be ordering their BBQ Melts again!

18 Feb 2014

Free Personalised Cookbook and Apron, For Your Recipes

Free Personalised Cookbook and Apron, For Your Recipes

Create the perfect kitchen keepsakes for your family and friends, with a free personalised cookbook and apron - simply by sharing your love of food.

New recipe-sharing website Gourmandize.co.uk, are inviting all food buffs and kitchen connoisseurs from across the UK & Ireland, to create their very own free deluxe cookbook, and also receive a free personalised apron.

Whether they are your own culinary creations, family favourites or shared recipes between friends, your deluxe-edition A4 cookbook will be the perfect keepsake or gift to share with others.

And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not ditch the oh-so-obvious red roses and teddy bears and make something truly unique for your someone special.
To get started, simply become a member of Gourmandize UK & Ireland, and begin adding your prized recipes and culinary treats to our site at Gourmandize.co.uk.

Once you’ve uploaded your first 10 recipes, you can begin to craft your own bookshop-quality cookbook, at no cost, and with no shipping fees.

Once you’ve added 40 of your recipes - and photographs, should you choose - just hit complete and your new customised cookbook and apron will be on your kitchen counter in no time.

Next personalise your own burgundy-coloured apron, with your name, the names’ of friends or family, or even add your own creative touch, such as ‘Queen of the Kitchen’ or ‘Baking Boss.’

To start making your no-cost cookbook and receive your free apron visit 

13 Dec 2013

free personalised e-story

www.itsyourstory.co.uk are giving away a free personalised Animated Snowman e-story book to every child between now and Christmas.

Each e-story book incorporates the child's face into the illustrations making them the star of the story. It also incorporates their name, friends name, village/town and other information about them into the storyline. Each story book also includes a message from the creator at the front, making it a lovely Christmas keepsake.
The Animated Snowman e-story takes the child on a magical Christmas adventure to the North Pole. There's something to spot on every page from falling snow and glowing candles to a roaring fire and flying fairies.

The story follows the child's adventures when they wake on Christmas morning to discover a double-decker bus parked in the garden full of snowmen. Without hesitation the child jumps on the back of the bus and heads to the North Pole to help Father Christmas and his elves wrap, sort and deliver all the presents. Will they make it back to their home before everyone wakes up? And will their family believe that they have helped save Christmas?
Making a personalised e-story book with Itsyourstory couldn't be easier - simply upload a digital photo to their website, fill out the information about the child and Itsyourstory will do the rest using the latest digital print technology. You will then receive an email with a link to view the e-story as many times as you want. This can be forwarded to friends and family for their enjoyment too!

To create a free Animated Snowman e-story simply visit https://www.itsyourstory.co.uk/products/49-animated-snowman-e-story before Christmas and use the code FESTIVEFUN at the checkout.