5 Years Blogging: Win a Monin Coffee Syrup Set

monin coffee syrup set competition giveaway

This September marks 5 whole years since I started blogging. Five Years!! To say a massive thank you to all my amazing readers, each week throughout September I will be running lots of competitions with some fabulous prizes.

Today’s prize is a new Speciality Monin Coffee Syrup Gift Set, now available at Tesco (rrp £6.95).

monin coffee syrup set competition giveaway

If you don’t know already, I love my hot drinks but I am now firmly in the coffee lover camp and I like to mix up my flavours using a lot either with flavoured coffee’s or syrups.

The Monin Speciality Coffee set is the perfect gift – or a treat for yourself! The set contains five 50cl bottles of Monin’s most popular flavoured syrups, so that’s plenty of choice to make those favourite drinks.

It comes with an enclosed recipe card providing inspiration for coffees, mochas and hot chocolates with a dash of delicious Monin Gingerbread, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Caramel or Chocolate Cookie syrup. The pack even includes two limited edition coffee stencils to personalise favourite drinks with cocoa powder, cinnamon or sprinkles – let your imagination run wild!

How to Enter

To be in with a chance to win this competition

Answer this question:
How many different flavours of coffee syrup are in the Monin Coffee Syrup set?

AND simply follow me on:

bloglovin’ OR Twitter OR Facebook OR Pinterest OR Instagram

THEN Leave me a comment below to say where you have followed me and the answer to the question!

Terms and Conditions

The competition is open to UK entrants only aged 18 and over, one entry per person.

A winner will be chosen from all valid entries using random.org.

Competition closes 9pm Monday 8th September.

Good Luck and Thanks for Reading,

Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin’
If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store

6 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

6 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Now I’m in my 30′s (good grief when did that happen?!) I’ve been putting much more of a conscious effort into adopting a healthier lifestyle. In addition to working out more regularly and re-vamping my skincare routine, I have been trying to ‘eat clean’ around 85% of the time, meaning no added salt, sugar and sweeteners and eating fresh, nutritious healthy food to meet my body’s needs. Energy is a big issue for me so I like to make sure I start my day right by filling up on a balanced breakfast to fuel me for the day, so below I’ve shared some of my favourite breakfast dishes that I regularly enjoy. I’ve chosen 6 rather than 7 breakfasts as there’s always room one day of the week for a slightly less healthy option such as grilled bacon or sausage, pancakes or jam with toast.

My 6 healthy breakfast ideas:

1. Eggs of any kind

Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast

Eggs are high protein and really filling so are a great healthy breakfast option. Scrambled eggs are definitely a favourite of mine, served with wholemeal toast, and I like to make them on weekends when I have a little more time to make them properly – on the stove in a pan, stirred very slowly over a low heat until thick and creamy.

2. Mixed berries and natural greek yogurt

Mixed Berries with Natural Greek Yogurt

Berries (including blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) are SO good for you! They contain high amounts of Vitamin A and C needed for healthy skin and to maintain both your immune system and metabolism. I like to top a bowl of mixed berries with 0% fat greek style natural yogurt – it’s thick and protein rich (meaning I’m fuller for longer). I’m currently choosing fat free yogurt to help aid weight loss but you can swap to full fat or low fat to suit your personal taste.

3. Porridge with chopped dried fruit

Porridge with chopped dried fruit

Porridge oats are a great staple for breakfast time as they’re so versatile and porridge is a quick, simple way to fill up first thing. If you’re gluten intolerant check for gluten free versions. Traditionally porridge is more a winter time breakfast for me but I like to enjoy it all year round, made with milk and topped with dates and figs (dates are sweet but figs are better for you as they contain a much higher fibre content). Add a little honey or agave syrup if you like it a little sweeter.

4. Muesli, banana and almond milk

Muesli, Banana and Almond Milk

Some muesli is full of added ingredients so choose one that contains no added salt and contains only natural fruit sugars for optimum health benefits. Muesli is naturally high in fibre, low in fat and contains oats which help sustain energy levels throughout the morning. However, remember muesli is still high in calories (as the mixture of oats, fruit and often nuts and seeds are carbohydrate dense) so it’s best to measure your portions. I always choose bananas to top my muesli as they’re also great for energy, are filling and full of potassium. Almond milk is a new favourite of mine as it’s naturally low in fat and full of vitamin E (for healthy skin and nails).

5. Overnight oats (with raspberries and almonds)

Overnight Oats with Raspberries and Almonds

Overnight oats (also known as breakfast oats and similar to the dessert cranachan) is one of my favourite breakfast dishes! Prepare this the night before and in the morning you’re good to go – you can grab this and eat on the way to work or if you’re in a hurry without worrying about missing the most important meal of the day. You simply mix porridge oats with yogurt (here I’ve used raspberry and honey yogurt) and layer the mixture with your favourite fruit (I use frozen fruit so it’s defrosts overnight). Then in the morning stir it or eat it as is. For an extra crunch I like to add a sprinkling of chopped or flaked almonds and for sweetness, a drizzle of agave syrup.

6. Tropical fruit, greek yogurt and granola

Tropical Fruit, Greek Yogurt and Granola

I like to change it up by adding different fruits to my breakfasts and one of my favourite combinations is mango with blueberries. I like to eat them together as a snack but for breakfast I top them with greek yogurt and a recent find – mango and macadamia granola – to make it a bit more substantial. I choose macadamia nuts because they are full of nutrients, healthy fats and are a good source of protein. Again, granola is another breakfast cereal that can have many hidden ingredients so I try to choose a healthier option with no added sugar or salt and weigh or measure it out before serving. Alternatively you can make your own granola – one of my favourite recipes is this Healthy Homemade Granola from Bless This Mess.

So which of the above gets your tastebuds tingling?

Also leave me a comment below telling me your own breakfast recipes or favourite breakfast dishes, I’d love to hear what you have for breakfast or brunch – is it very different to these ideas or perhaps you skip breakfast altogether?!

Thanks for Reading,

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store

Easter Treats 2014

chocolate raspberry hazelnut paella recipe easter

If you’re after something a little different this Easter holiday here is my round-up of a few favourite alternative Easter treats (don’t worry, chocolate is still very much on the list!)

1. OK so call me crazy but I really like the sound of this Chocolate Paella recipe. It’s like a chocolatey rice pudding with hazelnuts, raspberries, chocolate (obvs) and white chocolate buttons. What’s not to love?!

chocolate raspberry hazelnut paella recipe easter

Paella de Chocolate: Chocolate, raspberry and hazelnut paella

Serves 6 – 8 people because it’s really chocolaty!!

Cooking time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

300g of Spanish paella rice such as bomba or calasparra

2 tsp granulated sugar

20 ml vanilla essence

10g of extra brute chocolate powder

25g white chocolate callets (mini buttons)

1 orange (for peel and zest)

160g of dark chocolate (I use 53% for this recipe)

25g raisins

25g chopped toasted hazelnuts

200g fresh raspberries

650 ml water

CROCKERY/KITCHENWARE

1 paella pan or a 30cm large heavy bottom frying pan

1 small saucepan

1 microplain or small box grater

METHOD:

Place the rice into a heavy based saucepan with the cocoa powder and half the vanilla essence.

Add in 500ml of water with the orange peel and give it a quick stir. Place the pan onto the stove and turn the heat up in the pan to a rolling boil and then down to simmer for 14 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure the rice doesn’t stick.

All you are looking to do here is infuse the rice with a little orange and vanilla, open up the pours, inject the cocoa rouge colour into the rice but you are not playing with the starches of the rice. After 14 minutes the rice should still be firm.

Remove the rice from the pan immediately and spoon it out onto a big plate, or tray or anything you can find to halt the cooking process. Spread it out really thin so it can cool almost instantly. Then remove the orange peel. I refer to the rice as ‘par-boiled’.

Place the paella pan onto the stove and add in the sugar, raisins and the rest of the vanilla extract and the remaining water then bring to the boil, turn down to a medium heat.

Taste it, this is your Caldo – your broth, and this has to be spot on… if you want to add a dash more vanilla, then now’s your chance… Get ready the next stage is full on and you cannot leave the stove!!

Quickly throw in the par-boiled paella rice.

Then give it a good stir through to spread the par cooked rice out evenly. Leave it to gently bubble away for about 4 minutes so the caldo can get to work with the rice, remember this is the first time the rice has had chance to absorb the sugar.

Then drop in the dark chocolate. And give it one more stir, just one swoop through the pan and then that’s it

From now on remember this rule…move the pan, do not stir the paella.

Turn the heat to low, let the rest of the broth be absorbed by the rice, this takes about 1 minute. Once the broth has totally disappeared, check that the rice is al dente – cooked but with a slight bite, then remove from the heat.

Bring the hot pan out of the kitchen and into your serving area, I like to get everyone involved at this point, all those little fingers going to work

As a family you can sprinkle over the white chocolate (you can either use callets as I have, or chips or you can even snap and shave off from a block. Just let it melt on the top.

Then add the hazlenuts and a good grating of orange zest, plus a little squeeze of a wedge or 2 for good measure!

A Rest is so important: about 2 or 3 minutes is my golden rule,

Well if you can stop the kids delving in….
(Recipe courtesy of Antony Bennett – www.latasca.co.uk).

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2. This caramel tea is super delicious. You know me, I love tea so I’m easily pleased! But this truly is so nice as a sweet treat or a posh Easter gift.

caramel tea east india company easter

Caramel Tea for Easter, £10.00
(Available at The East India Company flagship store on Conduit Street, or online at www.eicfinefoods.com)

This smooth blend of pure Ceylon black tea with rich notes of caramel offers a full-bodied decadent cup with a sweet aftertaste. With its distinct aroma of caramel, this tea is the perfect way to awaken the senses on Easter morning.

Brew time : 2g tea in 200ml water for 4 minutes

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3. For low (no) calorie easter treats, I love the range of Lush easter products. Typically I buy Fluffy Egg bath bombs this time of year (as all the easter products are limited edition) and it smells like sweet pink candyfloss and produces many many bubbles!

This year the new products include Golden Egg (I think they may have had this last year too?), Carrot Cone and Funny Bunny Knot Wrap – the latter two being full of lovely little bath and body treats, giving the perfect excuse to have a little pampering over the bank holiday weekend.

Golden Egg bath melt ballistic


A brand new invention… this egg is a bath bomb coated in bath melt mixture. It will unexpectedly sink to the bottom of the bathtub while the outer layer dissolves, popping to the surface as the fizzing centre is revealed.
Ingredients The outer bath melt mix is made using our beautiful fair trade, organic Colombian Peace Village cocoa butter and olive oil from a brand new permaculture project we’re working with in Palestine. Scented with the best selling Honey I Washed the Kids fragrance, it’s coated with PET free golden lustre.
Inspired by chocolate cream eggs, we reverse it and coat the hard bath bomb centre with a creamy bath melt shell. £3.50 each

Carrot!


Inside this carrot-shaped cone you’ll find a rabbit hidden within a slice of Carrot soap; a Bunch of Carrots for the rabbit to enjoy; and a Golden
Egg, a reward for the bunny for eating all of his carrots! You’ll discover the contents as a story, along with a maze game for the lucky recipient to play as they search for the Golden Egg! Vegan 
£16.95.

Funny Bunny



Tied up inside this organic cotton Knot-Wrap is a selection of limited edition Easter treats. The organic cotton Knot-Wrap is from re-wrap, a women’s co-operative in India. By choosing the Lush Knot-Wrap gift options, instead of traditional paper wrap, you are helping us save 11.6 tonnes of waste per year. Especially relevant at times like Easter when excess packaging is so prevalent.
CONTAINS: two Bunny bubble bars; A Bunch of Carrots reusable bubble bars and a Fluffy Egg bath bomb. Vegan
 £19.95.

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4. For a grown up Easter treat try this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes by Eric Lanlard. They are a combination of chocolate and spicy ingredients, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Omit the chilli and cayenne pepper for a result more akin to a chocolate hot cross bun!

eric lanlard mexican cupcakes

Makes: 12 Cupcakes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
175g (6oz) plain flour
225g (7.5 oz)caster sugar
4 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
1 tsp white wine vinegar
5 tsp sunflower oil
chili pepper cake decorations, to
decorate

For the Frosting:
100g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate, broken into
pieces
150g (5oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) icing sugar
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate
of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl. In a large bowl, blend together the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract,
vinegar, oil and 250 ml cold water. Mix the dry ingredients into this mixture until the batter is smooth.

2. Divide the mixture between the paper cases (it will be fairly liquid) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a
skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. To make the frosting: melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water,
making sure the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. When melted leave to cool. Whisk the butter and
icing sugar together until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the cooled melted chocolate and the cayenne pepper. Pipe
the frosting onto the cooled cakes and top with chilli pepper cake decorations to finish.

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5. There’s still time to enter my Easter Fashion Competition which finishes on Easter Sunday! Follow the link and you could win yourself your favourite fashion item for spring summer.

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I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend and enjoy the bank holiday (fingers crossed for good weather) and don’t eat all your chocolatey treats in one go!

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If you love baking check out my new book ‘How to Start a Successful Cake Business‘ – now available on Etsy and Amazon Kindle Store