Sunday, 30 September 2012

Clandestine Cake Club AOG

Photo taken by Mike Wallis and nabbed from the Clandestine Cake Club facebook page

Yesterday was the very first Annual Organisers Gathering of Clandestine Cake Club.  Having been involved with Cake Club right from the very first one in Leeds I'm very proud to be an organiser, and have a lovely group of members in York.

Lynn very kindly organised a day conference for us at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, lucky for me it being so near otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go - although I did feel a little like I'd missed out on the experience of going away for the weekend and going for food/drinks with some of the other organisers.

We were greeted with huge goodie bags full of treats that Lynn and some of the other organisers had pulled together for us and then could mingle and get to know people before the talk started.

Lynn talked us through some of the finer points of adding blog posts, which if you aren't used to wordpress can be a minefield, and answered lots of questions from the floor.

When the coffee break was underway, Sharon and I snuck out to collect the flowers Sharon had organised (which had my absolute favourite cabbage roses in) and after the break we presented them to Lynn, along with some champers, a card, some money for treats and a couple of other presents - all the organisers were very generous with the collection, and helping collect the money meant I got to speak to a lot more people than I would have done.

We had lunch in the restaurant and then in the afternoon we had a talk on Bundt's by Rachel (aka Dollybakes) which has made me desperate for a bundt of my own - although they sound a bit scary to make!

After the talk we moved on to the bit we'd all been waiting for - trying the cakes that the organisers had brought along.  I opted out of making one, knowing I can't bake under pressure, and having my kitchen out of order on Thursday and Friday!

The table I was sat on was very lively, I got to meet some ladies I follow on twitter, and I learnt more than I was bargaining for from one of them..... I shall never look at a cake in the same way....  I stayed with Susan (EviesGran) all day - I wanted to try and keep with someone I knew just in case the baby made an appearance, thank you for looking after me - and also thank you for the lovely birthday present!

A huge thank you to Lynn, for being the Cake Boss, and organising such a wonderful day for us yesterday.  I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Betty's Tea Room, Harrogate

It was my 30th birthday on Wednesday, and having a baby on board I couldn't celebrate in my usual debauched fashion, with copious amounts of booze, so we did the next best thing and Phil took me for afternoon tea.

Dainty sandwiches, fruity scones and delicious sweet treats, all washed down with tea.  Heavenly.

I loved the pomp and ceremony of it all, pouring the tea through the strainer, using the tea cups and saucers and eating cake using a proper cake fork.

After we finished eating we popped into the shop before leaving and I picked up a fondant fancy - I ate that yesterday amidst the chaos of workmen all over the house, boy did I need it!  (I could do with another one today).

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


I was contacted by the lovely people from Gousto to receive two meals to make and review.  I really like this concept, choosing the recipes you want to try that week, and then getting all the ingredients you need to make it delivered to your door.

I chose the chicken with mascarpone and lime sauce, and pad thai.  Phil made the chicken dish, he found the instructions easy to follow and the dish was delicious!  I made the pad thai, but left out the bean sprouts, peanuts and chives that the recipe called for, but added some peas and sweetcorn.  I found the recipe really simple to follow, the instructions were clear and precise and didn't use any jargon.  I don't think I did my tofu justice though, it seemed to dissolve in the pan - I didn't squeeze out enough of the water.

I really enjoyed these dishes, but unfortunately for me a subscription is priced out of our food budget - particularly with me going on maternity leave in a couple of weeks time.  But a subscription like this would be so handy, no missed ingredients at the supermarket, and everything in the quantities you need!