Thursday, 22 September 2016

Sponsored: My Great British Baking Wishlist

Autumn has officially begun and this is when my mind turns to all things comfy and cosy. Snuggley blankets, stylish (and unstylish) knitwear and extra cups of tea! But one of my main comforts is food, especially baking, and with the Great British Bake Off every week tempting me with new and delicious things to try, I think I should give in to temptation. I need something to do as the nights get darker and the weather gets colder!

I also joined my local Scottish Women's Rural Institute (SWRI for short) last week, which is well know for its competitions and home-bakes so I need to up my game and here are the tools I hope will help me!

I think most people would have a KitchenAid Artisan mixer on their wishlist! It not only combines ingredients (heehee!) but also great styling and comes in 27 different colours so it'll look amazing in anyone's kitchen!

After seeing those delicious churros last week on Bake Off, I fancy getting myself a deep fat fryer. Not only will this fry delicious doughnutty treats, but it also does twice cooked chips, another of my super unhealthy loves!

I love to make shortbread, but a nice embossed rolling pin like this Star Wars one would just make it that little bit better!

You can never have too many cookbooks! I only just found out about The Nerdy Mummies Cookbook! Where have I been?!

I love fresh cooked bread and I've only made a cob in the oven before, so a bread maker is a must! I didn't know they were so fancy with scone modes and fruit and nut dispensers!

I must admit that I'm scared to make macarons. I have the recipe, I could easily give it a bash, what's the worst that could happen?! Maybe a macaron mould would help!

And finally, a batter dispenser. It's terribly practical but I'm a dribbler when I try to fill those little cupcake cases or even when I'm making pancakes, so this would probably save me a lot of cleaning up!

So what do you think of my wishlist? Do you have any baking wants or tools you can't do without that I could add to mine?

This post was written in collaboration with Panasonic

Thursday, 15 September 2016

We're Getting Married!

In less than two year's time, Allan and I are getting married!

Engagement Mount Teide Tenerife

We got engaged two years ago when I was pregnant with Sorsha. We were on holiday in Tenerife, our first (and only!) holiday abroad together, and the pregnancy was still a secret. We had been together for less than a year but Allan proposed to me at the foot of Mount Teide and of course I said yes! When you know, you know!

Now that we've had two lovely babies and a move to our dream home it's time to concentrate on the wedding! We've discussed it at length and, luckily, we both want exactly the same thing! It's going to be a small wedding with our nearest and dearest in attendance and it's going to be affordable. We really don't have the money to splash out on anything extravagant and it's not really our style anyway so it'll be all about having a relaxed, fun day on a very small budget.

As we organise things I'll be sharing our plans, along with any hints and tips I pick up along the way to get the best deals for the big day! Feel free to comment with any wisdom you can share!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Review: Papa John's Pizza

Who doesn't like pizza? Everyone has their favourite toppings (don't get me started on the pineapple on pizza debate!) and a favourite takeaway which makes it just the way you like it. One place I had never tried but heard great things about was Papa John's and recently they got in touch and asked me to try them out!

Papa John's has two takeaways in Aberdeen, one on Great Northern Road and one on Holburn Street, so I popped into the latter and picked up our tea then we headed to Duthie Park to munch our pizza picnic!

Allan ordered a side of hot buffalo wings for starter. You get six wings in there and he said they were really hot but delicious!

I dug straight into my pizza, The Greek (feta cheese, red onion, fresh tomatoes, black olives, sliced pepperoncini, mozzarella and oregano). I was a bit surprised that the Greek was spicy but that's totally my fault for not reading the menu properly! I'm not a big fan of anything too spicy so I picked those peppers off! Papa John's has a two spice rating - one chilli means it's hot and two chillis means very hot - and I'd say one chilli was too hot for me! Allan on the other hand loves really spicy food and thought both pizzas were hot but in a good way!

Allan went for the Piri Piri Chicken pizza (Roquito® chilli pepper sauce, double piri-piri chicken, baby Portobello mushrooms and double red pepper). The first thing he said was that the pizza tasted really fresh. He could taste how freshly baked and non-greasy the base was and how tangy the tomato sauce was, but he was disappointed with the lack of chicken on his pizza, especially as it was meant to be double chicken.

For me the highlight was the dessert, cinnamon knots! Anything warm and sweet with cinnamon is a winner and these were no exception! Again they were really fresh and finished off our meal perfectly.

Have you been to Papa John's before?  What did you think?

This post was written in collaboration with Papa John's Pizza

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Maira Gall