A Café in Your Kitchen

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Ever feel like you’re perpetually living life on a bit of a budget? Me too! With work to be done on our first home, a kitten in need of pricey knee surgery and a trip to the US and Europe on the distant horizon, Kevin and I are working hard to keep our spending in check.

One of the first things to go when you tighten your budget is eating out – gone are takeaways on Friday nights and leisurely weekend morning brunches! But just because you can’t eat out as often doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy café-style dining at home – you can still have pancakes with berries for breakfast, you just need to grab the ingredients in your weekly shop. Then just invite a couple of friends over and you’re set…

Well, almost. The hardest part about cutting back on eating out is giving up the café coffees – you just can’t make them that good at home, right? Wrong.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

What an absolutely stunning weekend – it felt like Spring! We made the most of the beautiful weather and did a bit of exploring around the city – including getting to know our new neighbourhood a bit better. It was definitely a wonderful weekend.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend too. Here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

Phew, what a crazy weekend. It started off with a bit of mayhem, after finding out the reason one of our kittens has been running like a rabbit and limping from time to time is that he has dislocated kneecaps – not only does he need very expensive surgery to fix them, it needs to be done as soon a possible so he can grow healthy, strong legs. Luckily we had a lovely weekend planned and spent lots of time with friends and family – it really takes your mind off things!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend – here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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Homemade Cherry Ripe Tartlets

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Cherry Ripes are one of those chocolate bars that you either love or hate. I’m in the latter camp – they’re always the last chocolates sitting at the bottom of my Favourites box. It’s funny really, because when you break it down there’s no reason not to like them . Cherry? Yum. Coconut? Yum. Chocolate? Yum.

So when McDonald’s released a limited edition Cherry Ripe McFlurry I wasn’t too sure what to expect – and to be honest, I didn’t think I would like it! But my husband and I decided to try it for a Saturday afternoon treat. And guess what? Somehow they’ve managed to create a Cherry Ripe McFlurry that pulls out all the best parts of a Cherry Ripe without that divisive quality – think creamy soft serve ice cream topped with a light cherry sauce and lots of chocolate flakes. Yum!

Having enjoyed the Cherry Ripe McFlurry so much I decided to come up with a Cherry Ripe inspired recipe of my own – a beautiful cherry and coconut tartlet that’s absolutely packed with real cherry flavour. Yip, even though it’s not cherry season you can make a beautifully flavoursome cherry dessert without using faux-cherry essences.

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Five Favourite: Decorating Tools for Beginners

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There’s no denying it – the world of cake decorating can be absolutely bamboozling when you first begin to get into it. Not only do you come across all kinds of words and phrases you’ve never heard of before, but a visit to your local cake decorating supply store is exciting and overwhelming all at once – there are just so many items available!

Unless you have lots of money to burn, chances are you won’t be able to buy every tool and gadget you see straight away. And you don’t have to. There are really only a handful of things you should think about buying reasonably early into your foray into cake decorating – the trick is knowing which items these are.

I totally remember how confusing it was working out what to buy when you’re just starting out and often receive emails from lovely readers asking exactly the same thing. With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of the five things I recommend setting yourself up with when you’re new to cake (and cupcake!) decorating.

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

After weeks and weeks of busy weekends we finally got a chance to take some time out and relax this weekend – it was amazing! For me that meant spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking some rather special treats – not only the doughnuts I shared yesterday, but some decadent creations I can’t wait to share in coming weeks.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too and are kicking off the week nice and rested. Here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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Coffee & Doughnuts

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Despite being an avid tea drinker for the majority of my life, since I entered the working world a few years ago coffee has firmly cemented itself as a ‘must have’ item to get my day off to a good start. It’s not just the caffeine (though that certainly helps!), there’s something about that silky coffee flavour that makes the world seem just that little bit better.

There are two things in the world that go incredibly with coffee – chocolate and doughnuts. Not only does coffee go beautifully with a freshly baked doughnut, but it helps bring out all that beautiful chocolate flavour. So when I dreamed up these rather delicious chocolate and espresso doughnuts this weekend, I was left wondering why I hadn’t thought of the idea sooner. It just makes sense.

I am so unbelievably in love with these doughnuts. As baked doughnuts not only are they a little healthier than their fried counterparts, but they’re much quicker and easier to make – no thermometer or heated oil required! And then there’s the flavour…

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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

Can you believe it’s August already? I swear it’ll be Christmas before we know it – not that I’m complaining. We had a busy yet relaxing weekend perusing the stalls at The Food Show (I discovered something pretty exciting there that I can’t wait to share with you soon!), spending time with friends and hanging around the house with the kittens. A rather lovely weekend!

I hope you had a lovely weekend too – here are five things to get your week off to a great start…

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