Sunday, 20 April 2014

Cake and Bake Show Manchester

I was lucky enough to get a press pass and plus one for the Cake and Bake show in Manchester a few weeks ago.  I took my sister in law with me again, who is a much better baker than I am - and a significantly better cake decorator!

We took in some of the demos, had a wander through the cake competition, and then spent a long time looking at the stalls. The entries on the cake competition were of a really high standard - the children's ones were much better than I could have done.  I thought this Jungle Book from the adult competition one was the best.  I can't imagine having the patience to produce anything so detailed!

I have to admit that we were conned by one of the stallholders, we were taken in with the promise of a
tarot and palm reading, then once we'd paid found out it was a computerised thing, which did a scan of our hand, then the tarot cards we picked out were entered into a computer and then some numerology - we then got a massive print out - not quite what we were expecting, and definitely a waste of money!  Serves us right for being gullible though.

Our best deal of the day was by far the Billingtons sugar one, where we got 2 bags of sugar and a lovely tin for a fiver.

I also got a gorgeous garlic chutney - which will be the first one on my list to try and emulate for this year's christmas hampers, and some cheeses from the Cheshire Cheese Company - I got the vintage gold and caramelised onion and rioja, they were absolutely fantastic. I wasn't sure if I'd got a good deal, they did them 4 for £15 for me, but when I had some more when I got home I knew I'd made the right choice.  The vintage gold went very quickly, both me and Phil loving it, but luckily I've had the other one all to myself.

We found there to be more food stalls, and less cake making implement stalls this time, which was disappointing but certainly didn't ruin the experience.  I'd be interested in seeing how the London show compares to Manchester, sadly I won't be going this year - I'll either be very overdue and be banned from travelling, or will have a baby that's less than a few weeks old.  There's always next year though!

Thank you again to Nudge PR for the tickets, the refreshments and the use of the press area - it was very much appreciated by us both.

Been a while....

So it's been a while since I last posted, not an unusual occurrence, life sometimes does catch up with me and blogging takes a back seat.  We announced about 6 weeks ago that I'm pregnant again, due with baby number 2 in September.  Like with my previous pregnancy, I've found with this one that I've completely gone off food - I really haven't cared what I've eaten, and food has been strictly for fuel.  I've lost weight on the back of this, but my appetite for food is slowly returning and herein will commence my weight increasing.

I gave up slimming world at week 6, I was struggling so much with food, it just seemed silly to be stressing myself out trying to stay on plan.  I'm half tempted to go back now I can cope with food again - but I'm waiting to see if the swelling will start up, it was around this time last time that I started to balloon up.  I'll definitely be returning when I've had this baby - I may even go back just before baby is due just so I can have a super duper enormous weight loss.... although it is cheating.

I've eaten out quite a bit recently, but mostly just to family friendly places - I've found that I'm loathed to go anywhere small or trendy with Daisy, because I don't feel like those kind of places are welcoming to kids - and that we'd upset the other diners.  We've had some great experiences out with her recently; in TGI Fridays they were brilliant with her, even bringing out some sticks of chopped vegetables because she was hungry before the food came.  I took Daisy and Phil's niece and nephew out for Pizza Hut buffet the other week, and because Daisy hardly ate anything they didn't charge us for her - which I thought was really good.  I'm almost afraid to go places with her that are independent/trendy or don't have room for the pushchair.

I did meet my friend Mrs P for tea quite a few weeks ago, and we went to the Hotel Chocolat restaurant Roast and Conch.  we ordered off the set menu, 2 courses for £18.  I had the Confit of Leek and Potato Nib Cake - it was absolutely gorgeous.  Mrs P had the beef dish, and we both opted for the mousse to finish.  I'd definitely go back again, and I'm really interested in the breakfast menu.  Even though we'd stuffed ourselves and had a pudding, we still picked up some chocolate downstairs - I tried some 50% chocolate and loved it.

I've made a couple of nice dishes that I've thought I should have blogged about, but hadn't thought to photograph, and I've picked up a few new cookbooks recently so I need to get back into cooking properly and back to blogging regularly.