A Strong Coffee

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Surprise Inside Halloween Mummy Cupcakes

These Halloween Mummy cupcakes are sure to give your guests a surprise this Halloween. They are easy to make with some ready made icing and smarties. Then bite inside to get a surprise!

Surprise Inside Halloween Mummy Cupcakes

Each cupcake is filled with some strawberry jam bit cutting a round in the cake.

jam filled cupcakes

Once covered with buttercream and the icing bandages the jam can no longer be seen. 

making halloween mummy cupcales

A couple of smarties and an icing pen, finishes off these Halloween Mummies. They are both a trick and a treat!

surprise inside halloween Mummy Cupcakes

Surprise Inside Halloween Mummy Cupcakes  Cupcakes

  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz caster sugar Sugar
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs

  • For The Mummy Decoration 

  • 150g Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • Smarties
  • A chocolate icing pen
  • White ready made icing
  • Strawberry jam
  1. Mix the cupcake ingredients together and divide between 12 cupcake cases. Bake at 180C until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  2. Mix the butter and icing sugar together with a small amount of water to make the butter icing.
  3. Cut a circle in the middle of each cupcake. Fill with jam and place the cake back in.
  4. Cover each cake with buttercream.
  5. Roll the icing and cut a circle the same size as your cupcake. Cut this into strips and place on your cake. Trim where necessary.
  6. Use the icing pen to stick on two smarties for eyes and add pupils.

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Easy to make halloween Mummy cupcakes, filled with a surprise inside jam centre

If video is more your thing then I have made a short one here shoeing you how I decorated them,

Link up your recipe of the week

Casa Costello

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Making The Future Brighter

baby boy sleeping

Becoming a parent changes you in so many ways. Life is no longer just about you. It is about the future generation. Building a better world for your little bundle of joy. As we have three rather huge growing bundles then there is lots to do!

I moaned when recycling boxes were introduced. But now I happily gather my paper and plastic and separate it from my rubbish.

I moaned about the 5p charge for plastic bags. However, I now carry some pretty reusuable bags with me where ever I go.

I moaned when my husband spent forever looking at new cars. But now he has chosen a hybrid with low emissions it is good for our wallet and the environment.

Whilst it is probably coming across that I spend my life moaning, it isn't really the case. (Well not always.) I like many people am just not that good with change. However, when you see how it is improving the environment and in turn the life that your children will lead, change becomes easier.

Something I have learned from my children is how important it is to help others too. It is important that we all do our little bit to make our world a better place. It can be as simple as buying shower gel! Unilever are helping make a brighter future with a number of projects supported by their leading brands. Persil has partnered with UNICEF on a Learning For Tomorrow initiative. Enabling quality education for some of the world's toughest areas. Domestos is committing to helping 25million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Dove has a self esteem project helping young people have a positive relationship with their appearance.

There are so many ways we can help make the future brighter for our children. My recent decluttering efforts have seen bags full of clothes go to the charity shops. Now I just have one more challenge to get through. Convincing my boys to say goodbye to some of their old toys. I know that they will be happier if they know they will go to a good home. If it will help someone else. And if they are told that there will be less Christmas presents if they don't have a clear out soon.

What steps are you taking to make the future brighter for your children?

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever 

Win £500 Pizza Express Voucher With A Spooky Face Pizza

Who would like to win a £500 Pizza Express gift card? *Jumps up and down with hand in the air* Well you have to be quick! This fun competition ends 19th October. All you need to do is create a spooky face pizza. You can make it, draw it or write about it. Your choice, but it does need ingredients that pizza express use.

pumpkin face pizza

I have been at my local Pizza Express doing just that. Yes I have been having a pizza making party for one so I could make my very own spooky face pizza.

making a pizza
I think this shows that I was taking this pizza making business very seriously!

Whilst I don't think my Jack O Lantern will be winning too many prizes, I can confirm it tasted fantastic.

I used a combination of mushrooms and black olives for the actual face. Then mozzarella and pepperoni for the rest of the pumpkin. Some basil to the top and I was nearly there. The manager *may* have helped me a little by suggesting some peppers to make it look more like a pumpkin. I had never tried these before, but my they are tasty.

pumpkin face pizza
A tense moment - Would it look any good when cooked? I snapped a photo just incase!
So here is my finished spooky face. Can you do better? Probably! Just head over to the Pizza Express site to get all the details and make your own pizza for tea!

pumpkin face pizza

Whilst I was there I also had a quick look at their Autumn menu whilst I was waiting for my pizza to cook. Let's just say I think I will be returning pretty soon to try out The Molten Magic Chocolate Fondant!

Anyway without delay, get drawing or making your pizzas to enter. All details can be found here.
Good Luck!

In collaboration with Pizza Express

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Crackling Bonfire Cupcakes

These crackling bonfire cupcakes are easy to make and perfect for a fireworks night celebration. I chose to use honeycomb matchmakers and the addition of popping candy make them even more fun to eat.

Crackling Cupcakes

  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz caster sugar Sugar
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs

  • For The Bonfire Decoration 

  • 150g Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • orange food colouring gel
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • Popping candy
  • Honeycomb Matchmakers
  1. Mix the cupcake ingredients together and divide between 12 cupcake cases. Bake at 180C until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  2. Mix the butter and icing sugar together with a small amount of water to make the butter icing.
  3. Take a third of the mixture and add orange colouring to it. This will be the flames.
  4. Take the rest of the mixture and add the cocoa powder.
  5. Put the chocolate butter icing into a piping bag and make a high swirl in the centre of each cupcake.
  6. Break the matchsticks up and arrange them around the swirl as a bonfire.
  7. Sprinkle each cake with popping candy.
  8. Finish the cakes by piping small orange flames.

When making these cakes it is important to use orange gel rather than a liquid food colouring. The later will make the icing taste bitter. I use the colour splash gels. You can now buy popping candy in the baking sections at a lot of the supermarkets if you can't find it in the sweet section.

Are you off to a fireworks party this year?

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easy to make bonfire cupcakes that crackle when you eat them thanks to the addition of popping candy

Link up your recipe of the week

Casa Costello

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Chicken And Chorizo Lattice Pie

This chicken and chorizo pie recipe is rich and tasty. Not one to try if you are on a diet. I chose to make a lattice as I am not keen on loads of pastry and it also cuts down on a few of the calories. I chose to serves it with a mix of green beans, peas and sweetcorn.

chicken lattice Pie

Again this recipe is easily adaptable. As my boys aren't keen on anything too spicy I just made them plain chicken ones.

Chicken And Chorizo Lattice Pie 

           Serves 4
    For the Pastry

  • 100g Butter
  • 225g Plain pastry
  • Pinch of salt
  • egg to wash

  • For the filling 

  • 500g diced chicken.
  • 175g diced chorizo
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1dsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 chicken oxo cube
  1. Start by cooking through the chicken and chorizo.
  2. Add the cream, chilli powder and oxo cube. Divide into 4 pie dishes.
  3. make the pastry by rubbing the butter and flour together. Add the salt and slowly add some water to combine.
  4. Roll out and cut into strips.
  5. make a lattice over the pie dish and brush with egg.
  6. Cook at 180C until golden brown.

making chicken and chirzo pie

This is a real treat and perfect for a winters evening.

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chicken and chorizo lattice pie is a perfect winter treat. Rich and full of flavor.

Mummy Mishaps

Friday, 14 October 2016

A Sprint To The Grave

Photo Credit: Loic Djim from Unsplash

So here is the deal. Yesterday at school pick up I heard some other Mum's chatting.

"Well it's Harvest Festival next week." one exclaimed.

I smugly laughed to myself as they were clearly confused. Harvest festival isn't until the middle of October. Right by half term. Oh crap!

I am not sure how it is nearly half term. I mean it was only Christmas a couple of months ago.

I am not ready. My baby has only just started school. I am supposed to be getting organised. I feel less organised now he is at school than when he was at home. I haven't even had time for the daytime TV binge fest I had planned.

Where is time going? Will it ever slow down? Am I now on a constant sprint to the grave?

Part of me wants a time turner and the other part just wants to stop time. To take a breath and appreciate my not so little boys. They are changing so fast. I can hardly keep up.

I want to remember the little things.

Little man and his skipping. "When I am happy I skip Mummy. When I am really happy I skip really fast."

Middle man contemplating "who I will be married to in 20 years?"

Big man and his loom bands. Yes you have read that correctly. The craze that ended 2 years ago is still alive in this house. Mainly thanks to big man's entrepreneurial skills of managing to get my sisters friend to give him a pound for the one he made her so that he could make more.

These things wont last forever. But sometimes I wish they would. I get all melancholy. Then out of the blue I am reminded that them growing up isn't all bad. Little man comes home with 5 cereal packets hanging together by sellotape.

"It's a robot Mummy"

I smile and say "Oh Wow! How great!" whilst thinking how can I get that in the recycling without him noticing.

Maybe time can slow down once he has left the junk modelling world of reception.

So is it just me or does time really go faster the older you get?

Bubbablue and me school days linky

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Slow Cooked Meatballs With Chilli Cheese Centre

These Slow Cooked Meatballs with chilli cheese are a great weekday meal. If like me, you have children that aren't keen on too much flavour you can make mozzarella or leave them plain. You can either make the dish in two stages or just put it all in at once. If you do the later I suggest that you use a low fat mince as otherwise there will be lots of fat in your sauce.

Slow Cooked Meatballs With Chilli Cheese Centre

Slow Cooked Meatballs With Chilli Cheese Centre 

  • Scotch Bonnet And Red Pepper Cheese
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 slice of bread 
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 oxo cube
  • 1tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Set your slow cooker to low.
  2. Cut the cheese into small cubes. It is quite a soft cheese so you should then be able to roll these into little balls.
  3. Blitz the slice of bread in a food processor so that you make breadcrumbs.
  4. Combine the breadcrumbs with the mince, bread and egg.
  5. Use this mixture to wrap the meat around the cheese and place in the slow cooker for a few hours.
  6. Remove any excess fat and then add the tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and oxo cube.
  7. Cook for a further 30 minutes and serve of pasta of your choice.

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slow cooked meatballs with a chilli cheese centre