31 Dec 2012

Festive Sugar Cookies

I know this recipe is one week to late, but better late than never ! This is one of my favourite recipes because its so versatile and can be used fro christmas, easter, birthdays or just a good ol' sunday evening in with the kids ! Its a cookie recipe, brilliant for cookie cutters and the cookies don't loose there shape in the baking process.

2 cups all purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter + extra if needed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar
Assorted decorations for toppings

1) in a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt and leave to one side.

2) In a separate bowl cream together the sugar and butter.

3) Combine both bowls together and add the egg and mix together, If the dough starts to resemble breadcrumbs add more butter to thicken it up.

4) Once you have a pliable dough divide the mixture in half and flatten between two pieces of parchment paper.

5) Leave the dough to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

6) Remove one section of the dough at a time from the fridge and roll out to aprox 1/8 inch thick and cut your shapes using cookie cutters.

7) Once you've cut out all your shapes place the unbaked cookies int he the freezer for aprox 2--30 minutes (this will prevent them from spreading whilst baking) 

8) After half a hour remove from freezer and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for  15-18 minutes until golden brown (rotating halfway through)

9) Once cooked leave to cool on a wire rake until completed cool.

10) prepare your icing sugar with a small amount of water and mix until you have the desired thickness and decorate your cookies as you wish. 

11) Once decorated leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes, then simply enjoy !

As always heres a little video I made last week:

Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you come back soon!
If you have any questions, quires or comments feel free to leave them below.

Thank You,
Rachel Ward

12 Nov 2012

Peanut Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Heyy! So I know I haven't posted in nearly two weeks and I have no excuses so I'll just apologise and hope for your forgiveness. Today I've decided to give you my recipe for these delicious peanut oatmeal cookies with a hit of vanilla to make up for my somewhat disappearance over the last few weeks.


1 egg
1 cup oats
1 cups plain flour
1/2 cup peanut butter
4-5 sweetener tablets or 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt


1) Preheat oven to gas mark 3/350 degrees

2) Using a electric whisk beat together the peanut butter and sweetener/sugar

3) Add egg & vanilla and mix

4) Next add the flour, baking soda and salt tot he mixture and continue to mix until combined, (should resemble dry bread crumbs)

5) Next mix in the oats (If mixture is to dry add more peanut butter)

6) Roll mixture into balls and place on a greased baking sheet and flatten with your hand

7) Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown

8) Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack

9) Enjoy!

Heres a video tutorial I had for those of you who prefer to watch:

Thanks for your reading and I'll see you next time,
Rachel Ward

26 Oct 2012

Pumpkin Carvings

So its halloween on wednesday and even though here in England we don't made quite as big of a deal about halloween as the Americans do, we still like to throw a little party or two, and so whenever theres a halloween party of course there has to be pumpkins. Halloween and pumpkins goes together like Santa and his reindeer, so I'm going to let you in on a few tips and tricks to make your pumpkins the best in town. 

Although loads of people think that carving pumpkins takes skill and is a lot of hard work the truth is thats its pretty simple, firstly using cookie cutters or stencils can help you out a lot. Use a cookie cutter and push it into the hollowed out pumpkin, once you remove the cutter and repeat over the entire pumpkin you will have a really original and unique pumpkin, that will impress any party guests, similarly using a stencil you have the freedom to transfer any image you want onto the pumpkin. Basically draw a design on a piece of tracing paper (ordinary paper would also work) and lay it onto the pumpkin, then using a sharp blade or pen indent the image onto the pumpkin. once you have the basic outline on your pumpkin you can then use carving tools to separate the image from the pumpkin. 

Another quirky Idea is to simply hollow out your pumpkin and use it as a prop for amazing photographs of your young children, and you have instantly adorable photographs of your children to look back on in year to come. Simply cut two holes in the front of the pumpkin for your child to hang there feet out of and just watch as people 'aww' at your new photographs. Additional if your child is a newborn baby and to young to hold there own head up, stick a blanket in the pumpkin and lay them down inside it, its such an effective photography prop.

If your rubbish at carving then there are some basic and simple but effective carving ideas, Simply get a pen and stab the pumpkin many times and place a candle inside, the light from the candle will leak out through the holes and its such a beautiful and quick pumpkin idea that takes little effort. Or you could carve out little windows in your pumpkin to give it a warm 'homely' feeling and the light candle inside will represent the lights in a house, so cute. 

You don't even have to carve or cut or even stab your pumpkins, simply grab some paint and get creative. Painting your pumpkin white is such an unusually unique but effective little idea that looks incredible, you can add detail with a black sharpie, drawing cobwebs, spiders, ghosts or skeletons will instantly amaze your guests.

Im calling these ones 'Funkins' because there not scary at all, but more fun. Basically grab a handful of colourful sharpies and draw the most random characterised faces you can think of, You could even turn this one into a party game and get all the kids to design there own pumpkin and judge them. Such a cool little idea that can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

I hope you enjoyed my little pumpkin ideas and tips and tricks, I had a lot of fun with this post and I'm looking forward to halloween, I hope you found this post useful and now you have some more ideas for your halloween pumpkins.
Whats your favourite part of halloween? When I was younger mine was trick or treating and dressing up in the most scariest costumes of all (I was usually a witch every year).

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

25 Oct 2012

What's going on with me

Hello my lovely readers, Today I'm sorry to say that I'm not going to give you a recipe or show you how to DIY something or another, instead I though I would let you in on whats going on in my life at the moment and a tell you about a few projects I have coming up in the next few months. If your interested that is, you can keep reading, if not then I wouldn't blame you if you just skipped through this post, my life's not that interesting anyway. Ok, so for those of you that are still here I would like to thank you for your continued support, it really means the world to me that people are actually reading my blog and that my hard work is being appreciated, so thank you all very very much. 

Alright, here it goes;
I've been back at uni for maybe 4 or 5 weeks now and I feel like i'm the only one who hates it! I know 'nobody like school' but I hate university with a passion, I think it's more so the course I am doing, It's just not for me, I don't find it one tiny bit interesting and every day is a struggle to get up and attend. In all honesty I'm not there all that often my timetabled schedule is Tuesday 12-1, Thursday 10-4 & Friday 10-2, but I still struggle to make those seminars, I've spoken to those in charge but there all like; 
'Oh, well you would have to start from year 1 again in 2013 and you will have to pay for an extra 3 years studying which can total over 30 grand' 
There is no way I'm paying any more than I already am for a course that I don't even want to do. Of course quitting has crossed my mind several times but I don't think I could, I mean I'm already in my second year and I finish in march, then I've only got one year left till I graduate, and a degree is still a degree at the end of the day, even if it is in something I have no intention of pursuing in my future. Its still good to say that I finished something even though I didn't want to. Oh I'm sorry I didn't tell you what I'm studying did I: Criminology! I know what your going to say, 
'Well Rachel, why did you choose to study criminology if its not something you want to do'
and the truth is, I really don't know I couldn't think of a reasonable answer as to why I choose to study criminology, I guess it is because i applied last minute to go to university and criminology was one of the only courses available and I was more exited to actually go to university rather than dwell on the course I choose to study. 
I think I would actually enjoy uni if I was doing a course I enjoyed, I did originally apply to study mental health nursing but even though I got an A*, 1 A and 2 B's in college they rejected me from all five of my chosen universities, which originally put me of going to uni altogether, then I think it was June or July of 2011 I decided to reapply because I had no future goals or aspirations and I believed going to uni would inspire me to do something with my life (I still haven't been inspired). I think the best thing i should have done was take a gap year instead of rushing into things, I could have really though about what it is I wanted to do and actually enjoyed my time at university rather than settled for what was left and have a miserable time doing it. 

Anyway I think Thats enough of my moan about university life, on to my home life:
So I passed my driving test in March 2010 and I've only just bought my first car, so although I'm looking forward to driving and becoming more independent, part of me is terrified that I have forgotten how to drive, everyone keeps telling me;
'It's just like riding a bike, you wont forget, when you get behind the wheel it will all come back to you'
 But I'm scared that it won't. I suppose I'm just going to have to have faith in myself, I mean I did pass my driving test (Albeit on my third attempt) and I can drive, I mean there not going to pass someone who's incapable of changing a gear are they ? 
So my car arrives tomorrow between 11 and 3, I'm getting a new Citroen C1, in the colour red. I really love the car because it's small and cheap on insurance. I got my insurance for a bargain at £1033, which although its a lot of money generally, at my age for car insurance in a large city its pretty decent. When I first past my driving test, I was looking at insurance quotes and they were coming back at the minimum of £9000!!! Being a student, That was defiantly not in my price range, so after waiting two years my insurance came down nearly £8000, So that has to be one of my biggest bargains I've purchased this year. (I'll let you know how I get on with the whole driving situation tomorrow, wish me luck).

I'm also starting a new job on Monday which is really exiting, I will tell you more about that once I start fully and get into the hang of things, what I will say is thats its night shift work, from 11pm till 7am three nights a week, and I know I will be half asleep in my uni lectures, but really, whats new there. So I'm looking forward to starting that, as you all know my last job was in America, I was a camp councillor at a summer camp in New Jersey which was a lot of fun. I'm actually thinking of applying to work in Australia once I finish this year of university, Theres a program owned by Camp America called 'Get Australia' and I think I'm going to go for it, I mean I'm only young once, and I might as well go for it when the opportunity arrises right? 

It's also my younger sisters 8th birthday at the end of November and I'm going to me putting my apron of for that, I will be baking here a birthday cake, and additional cupcakes and cake pops, I've got loads of ideas for it and my plan now is to condense down these ideas and create something amazing, My ideas include:
  • High heel cupcakes
  • Bunting
  • Green & pink cake pops
  • Banners
  • Sparkles
  • Brownies
  • Vanilla & Chocolate
  • Frosting
  • Marshmallows
There are so many ideas running through my head, so I need to put pen to paper and get creative with a plan and list of supplies, Once I have that done I will update you on the birthday project. 

Also the Apple event was the other day and I really don't know why but I spent nearly two hours watching the entire thing and afterward I literally wanted to buy every Apple product ever made, I have made a decision that I think I might buy the ipad mini, or the ipad 4, I really cant decide on which product to go for, I know its personal preference but the retina display on the ipad 4 is whats pushing me towards that although it is nearly £150 more expensive, so Im not sure. I also need a new laptop and the Macbook pro looks like the perfect computer however it has no disc drive! What on earth were they playing at with that one, I use my disc drive all the time and to spend so much money on a laptop I would expect it to come with a disc drive, I know I can buy an external disc drive which isn't so expensive but thats not really the point, the point is if I'm going to spend so much money on a laptop I want it to come with all the mod-cons and not missing such a vital component of a computer. If you have any advice for me, then please let me know what I should do. Oh also I got my bill for this months  phone contract and its £71!!! its only supposed to be £36, I went over on my data but over 1GB which isn't my fault, It just kept eating away at my data even when I wasn't using it, so I rand up Vodafone and they credited my account £20 and change my price plan so m I have 2GB roaming data, I wanted unlimited but apparently they don't do that, which I don't believe, I've still got one year left of this contract, but when it runs out I'm switching service providers. 

Ok, so you'll be glad to know that I'm done, I cant think of anything else going on in my life, but if I do I will be sure to let you know, Thank you to all of you that are still reading you really do deserve a medal for still being here.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

24 Oct 2012

Thrifted Frames

I love a good charity shop, especially when I find loads of bargains, and recently I've been finding loads of amazing little trinkets and bits and bobs which I plan to use them in upcoming DIY's and projects. Today I'm going to show you how to turn old picture frames into brilliantly unique and useful cork boards, prefect for the kitchen.
You will need:
1) Old frames, any size, shape, design, or quality.
2) Cork board (can be bought at your local craft store)
3) Paint / spray paint (any colour you want to frame to be)
4) Hot glue gun / superglue / no more nails 

Lets get started:
1) Ok, so the first thing you need to do is remove any old photographs or glass that are in your frames, so all your left with is the basic wooden frame
2) Once your left with your basic frame, it time to paint it whatever colour you want, I went for a white, but its totally our decision here. Basically all you do is paint the entire frame evenly or if your using spray paint make sure everywhere is covered with the paint and there are no uneven surfaces. 
3) Leave the painted frame to dry for 3-4 hours 
4) Take your cork board and glue it to the back of the now dry frame, if the cork board is to big, just cut it to size with a handsaw.
5) Once your cork board is glued securely to the frame all you have to do is hand it up on your wall and get pinning. 

There are loads of different things you can do with a old frame, and this is just one of them. Here are a list of other DIY old frame projects you can have a go at: (If theres something you like the sound of, then leave me a comment and I will post a DIY/how to instructional post for it:
  • Frame that shelf
  • Dry erase frame 
  • Framed chalk board 
  • Framed magnetic memo board
  • Mini frame key hangers
  • Framed fabric wall art
  • Old frame tray
Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I hope you enjoyed it and are inspired to recycle your old photo frames and turn them into something amazing. If you have any other ideas for recycling frames them please leave it in a comment so we can all benefit from it, thank you. 

Have a good day,
Rachel Ward

23 Oct 2012

DIY - Bath Bombs

This is what I need after a long hard day... a nice relaxing bath with a couple of these thrown in. I first read about these in one of those DIY magazines and thought to myself, 'I could easily make these myself', so that was my mission, and Im happy to say my mission was completed successfully. So if you, like me want to know how to make your own homemade bath bombs then look no further. 

You will need:
1) 300g Bicarbonate of Soda2) 100g Citric Acid3) 10ml Fragrance or Essential Oil of your choice
4) Food Colour 
5) A large mixing bowl
6) Suitable moulds to shape the bath bombs
7) Kitchen scales
8) A hand sprayer containing clean cold water

1) Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and the citric acid into the mixing bowl, seiving if necessary and thoroughly mix together until you have a consistent texture.

2) If using liquid food or cosmetic/soap colours, add, in drops, enough colour to make the shade you want, mixing it in quickly to avoid it fizzing up. If using a powdered colour, simply add, a little at a time, and mix until you have your desired shade.

3) Blend in the colour until you have a consistent shade throughout the mixture to avoid 'spots' especially important with powdered colours.

4) Measure 10ml of either fragrance or essential oil into mixture. Most essential or fragrance oils will not cause the mixture to fizz, but certain citrus oils may, so if this happens, mix in quickly and thoroughly. Do not leave the mixture to stand or it will slowly start to set.

5) Now, a little at a time and working the mixture all the time, spray a little water on it with the hand sprayer. Mix continuously to avoid it fizzing-up in the bowl and ONLY ADD ENOUGH WATER TO HAVE THE MIXTURE START TO HOLD TOGETHER WHEN LIGHTLY SQUEEZED IN YOUR HAND.

6) Test the mixture by squeezing some in your hand. It should JUST hold together and not be too damp.

7) Once this point is reached you need to work quickly to compress the mixture into your moulds.

8) Leave to set in the mould for 20-30 minutes

9) After 20-30 minutes they should be quite hard. Simply take the bath bomb from the mould and leave it to dry. If they've not hardened enough, just leave them in their moulds a little linger and test again.

10) There, you've made your very own bath bombs, now all you have to do is run a bath, throw one in and relax and enjoy! 

I hope you enjoyed this quick little DIY post and, good luck in making your own bath bombs. There prefect for these cold nights leading up to Christmas.

Thanks for reading and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

22 Oct 2012


They are so popular all over the world and It never crossed my mind to make them from scratch until lat week all i was craving was a breadstick but there was none in the cupboard, so I decided to make them, and boy am I glad I did, these breadstick are better than the store bough variety and the best thing about them is you can customise them to suit your taste buds.

1) 1 teaspoon salt
2) 1 teaspoon sugar
3) 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
4) 2 cups plain flour
5) 1 cup warm water

1) Combine the water, sugar and yeast together and leave to bubble for 10 minutes
2) Once it turns into a bubble mixture add the salt and flour in sections with an electric whisk until all the flour has been incorporated (you may want to switch to a spoon or spatula when the dough become very thick)
3) Leave the dough to rise in a warm area covered with a cloth for 30-40 minutes
4) Once risen, roll out and cut in 1 inch strips
5) Roll these strips into sausage shape rolls and place on a greased baking dish
6) cover your breadsticks with a cloth and leave to rise for a further 10 minutes
7) Once risen spread butter over the tops of the breadsticks and sprinkle with salt
8) Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees or gas mark 4 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
9) Once baked simply enjoy

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this simple but versatile bradstick recipe and I will see you tomorrow with another blog post.

Thanks for reading and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

21 Oct 2012

Pineapple & Vanilla Cream Cake

I have always been a huge fan of low fat deserts and looking for different ways reduce the calorie intake in them and this recipe contains no sugar or butter, which always puts a smile on my face. Its a combination of two different desserts and I altered them and turned them into one brilliantly delicious desert I like to call my 'Pineapple and vanilla cream cake'. So if you want to have a go at this yourself then keep reading:
1) 1 pack vanilla/white cake mix
2) 1 tin pineapple pieces with juice
3) 1 tub double cream
4) 1 pack vanilla angel delight / vanilla pudding
5) 1/2 pack malted milk biscuits (or any you prefer)

1) Combine the pineapple with juice to the cake mix and whist with a electric mixer until combined
2) Crush biscuits and set to one side
3) Pour cake batter into baking dish and sprinkle biscuit crumbs over the top (leave 1/3 of the biscuit crumbs to one side)
4) Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
5) Whisk together the double cream and angel delight ( if it becomes to thick add a splash of milk)
6) Once the cake has been cooled cover with the cream and pudding mixture (the more the better)
7) Sprinkle the remaining biscuit crumbs over the top of the cake
8) Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours

So, there you have it, I'm proud to say this is one of my original recipes and I really hope you have enjoyed it, if you plan on making this then please let me know as I always like it when others recreate my recipes.

Heres a video for those of you who prefer to watch me demonstrate how to make this cake:

Thanks again for reading my blog, it really does make me happy that people are enjoying my recipes as it takes a lot of effort and time to make them and I'm really happy people appreciate what I do.

Thank you and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

20 Oct 2012

Lemon Bars

I know lemon is typically a summer fruit and traditionally incorporated into summer dishes, but I really wanted to share this recipe with you as its super easy and will impress anyone who you serve it to. It only contains a couple of ingredients and can be whipped up in minutes and ready to serve (perfect for those last minute guests).

1) Vanilla cake mix
2) Lemon pie filling
3) 1 pack digestive biscuits / graham crackers
4) 1/4 cup butter (melted)
5) designated coconut 

1) Break up biscuits until they resemble breadcrumbs, add melted butter, then mix until combined
2) Place in the bottom of a greased baking dish (lasagne dishes or cake tins work fine, any dish with a depth of 3-4 inches will work perfectly) 
3) Evenly distribute the biscuit mixture along the bottom of the dish
4) In a separate bowl add the cake mix and lemon pie filling and whisk together until combined
5) Pour cake/lemon mixture over the top of the biscuit base 
6) Bake in a pre heated oven at 350degrees/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes 
7) Once baked, cool for 10 minutes then sprinkle coconut over the top
8) Now its time to slice your bars, they can be any size you like depending on how many slices you want to make.
9) Once sliced, they can be stored in a tuber-ware container for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. 

I hope you enjoyed this one, and If you bake them then don't forget to let me know how you got on, its always nice to see people baking my recipes.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day,
Rachel Ward.

19 Oct 2012

The Best Homemade Buttercreams

Hi, I know I've been posting a lot of food oriented posts this past week, and I hope you don't mind because I have tons of ideas clogging my head and I need to release them some way without forgetting them, this seemed like the perfect way, so all of us can benefit from my weird, wacky and sometimes crazy food ideas. If you hadn't noticed I've blogged everyday for just over a week and thats my plan for the current future 'Blog every day for as long as possible', so wether it be a recipe, DIY project, product review, or anything else of that sort, I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot from me. So before I get on with todays blog post I just want to say if theres anything you want me to post such as certain recipes or sorts, then leave me a comment and I will be sure to do my best with that. Ok so now thats out of the way we can get on with what you all came here to read in the first place. Buttercream! Everyone knows buttercream is a simple mixture of butter and icing sugar and sometimes that can be a bit boring, so I'm going to let you in on a few of my favourite recipes to make your buttercream that bit more interesting.

1. Salted Caramel Buttercream
First of all I'm going to tell you how to make the caramel for the salted caramel buttercream.


1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt,
 kosher or sea

1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. 

2. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.

3. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. 

4. Do not stir from this point on, but instead swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn. 

5. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds. 

6. * Be careful here * Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly and is very hot. 

7. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.  

8. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Save any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 

Ok, so now you've made your salted caramel it's time to make the buttercream.


2 sticks butter at room temperature 
8 ounces of cream cheese

3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel (recipe above)


1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar into butter/cream cheese mixture and beat until combined

 3. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
4. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.

2. Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream

This one is one of my favourites, its so creamy and light and has that great strawberry taste. 


2 tubs of marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup powdered/icing sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter (softened) 
Strawberry extract (can be substituted fro vanilla or any flavour you prefer) 
pink food colouring 


1) Whip the two containers of marshmallow fluff in a mixer

2) Gradually mix in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time to the marshmallow (beat well)

3) Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and beat well until combined

4) Add 2-3 drops of strawberry extract and 1-2 drops of pink food colouring and stir until completely mixed in.

3. Marshmallow Melt
Heres a quick alternative to buttercream to top your cupcakes, its quick easy and simple to do.

Large marshmallows

1) When cupcake have 5 minutes left to bake, top them all with a single marshmallow,

2) The marshmallow will melt on top and turn into a simple buttercream/icing alternative

 4. Nutella buttercream
I saved the best for last here, this one is my all time favourite buttercream, here it is;


1 cup butter
2/3 cup Nutella
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream


1) Cream butter and Nutella with a electric mixer until fully combined together and there are no streaks

2) With mixer on low speed add 6 cups of powdered sugar (one at a time) 

3) Finally add in the whipping cream and keep mixing until light and fluffy

4) If buttercream is to thin add more powdered sugar and if to thick add more whipping cream until you have the right consistency

5) Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy!

Well, thats all I have for today, I hope you enjoyed and if you have a favourite buttercream recipe that you would like to share them please leave it in a comment so we can all have a go at it. As always thanks for reading and I'll see you tomorrow with another blog post. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day,
Rachel Ward

18 Oct 2012

Halloween Party Food

I love the fall, the cold dark evenings, all wrapped up in hat, gloves and scarf. People think I'm a bit strange that I say its my favourite time of year. Theres just a sense of homeliness when its cold outside and inside cosy and warm, with a fire lit up and sat on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate watching a good movie. With fall comes Halloween, a time when kids can become whoever they want to be and get all hyped up on sugar and adrenaline. People all over the world host parties to celebrate this time of year, if your planning a party this year and need some inspiration for party food to prepare that will scare your guests into next year, then look no further. I have come up with 10 spooky party food snacks that you and your quests will enjoy again and again. 
1) 1 pack of ice cream waffle cones
2) 3 cups of chocolate moose
3) 1 pack of Oreos
4) 1 big bar milk chocolate (melted)
5) 100's & 1000's in the colours orange, white & black

1) Melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler until melted
2) Cover outside of the waffle cones in the melted milk chocolate, the dip into the 100's and 1000's
3) Leave to dry
4) Once dry, fill with the chocolate moose
5) Twist oreos in half and using one side stick to the bottom of the cone (using the melted milk chocolate as a glue) 
6) Enjoy! 

1) 5-6 apples
2) 1 pack of caramels 
3) Lolly sticks
4) 100's and 1000's, nuts, sprinkles, candy corn
5) 2 tablespoons milk

1) Melt caramels in a double boiler adding the two tablespoons of milk and stir until smooth
2) Once melted, stick the lolly stick into the apples and dunk into the melted caramel until covered
3) Next dip into sprinkles/nuts/candy corn or topping of your choice
4) Enjoy!

1) Chocolate cupcake mix
2) Chocolate frosting
3) 1 pack of Oreos
4) Orange and brown smarties

1) Bake cupcakes according to package instructions
2) Once cooked and cooled, frost with chocolate frosting
3) Split Oreos in half and using the icing side place 2 Oreos on each cupcake (see picture)
4) Place brown smarties the centre of each Oreo
5) Finally place one orange Smartie in the middle of the two Oreos
6) Enjoy your owl cupcakes!

1) Jelly/jello 
2) Straws
3) Sellotape

1) Mix up jelly/jello according to package instructions
2) Stick Sellotape to one end of the straws to close one end of.
3) Pour the mixed jelly into the straws and fill to the top
4) Leave to set in the fridge for 4-5 hours
5) Once set, cut the straws away and you will be left with strips of jelly that look like worms
6) Enjoy! 

1) 1 pack of Oreos
2) vanilla flavoured angel delight
3) orange sprinkles

1) Mix up angel delight according to package instructions
2) pour a small amount of angel delight into the bottom of a glass, top wit a small amount of orange sprinkles, top that with more angel delight, and then topped with crushed Oreos
3) Repeat this process until you reach the top of the glass
4) Enjoy! 

1) 1 pack of peanut butter cups
2) Pretzel sticks

1) Stick a pretzel stick in the bottom of a peanut butter cut
2) Enjoy!

1) 6 Red & green peppers
2) 1 pack of Spaghetti 
3) Your favorite pasta sauce 

1) Boil spagetti according to package instructions
2) Once cooked, drain and put back into the pot
3) Into your pot on a low-medium heat stir in your favourite pasta sauce
4) Using a sharp knife cut the top of the peppers and carefully removed the centre
5) Carve your peppers into whatever scary/spooky faces you feel like
6) Once pasta and sauce is heated through pour into the peppers and place the pepper lid back on
7) Enjoy!

1) 1pack of marshmallows
2) Skewers
3) Black and red writing icing
4) 1 big bar white chocolate (melted)

1) Stick three marshmallows on a skewer
2) Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth and glossy
3) Dunk the marshmallow skewers into the melted chocolate 
4) Once dry use the writing icing to draw faced on your marshmallow mummies
5) Enjoy!

1) 1 pack Frankfurt sausages
2) 1 pack shortcrust pastry

1) Cut the Frankfurt's in half
2) Roll out the pastry into long thin pencil like strips
3) Wrap the sausages in the pastry strips
4) Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown
5) Enjoy! 

1) 2-3 apples
2) Smooth peanut butter
3) 1 pack of Mini marshmallows 

1) Cut apples into slices using a apple slicer or knife
2) Spread peanut butter on one side of every slice
3) Stick 5-6 mini marshmallows onto the peanut butter side of the apple, and using another slice peanut butter side down stick it on the marshmallows
4) Enjoy !

Thanks for taking your time to read these halloween party food ideas, if you have more party food treats that you would like to share, them feel free to leave a comment as I would love to hear them. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a good day,
Rachel Ward

17 Oct 2012

Macaroni Bake

This is so easy to prepare and bake, its one of my favourite recipes to create when I have little time on my hands as its not time consuming at all. I contains on 4 ingredients, of course you can add more to it if you want, but the basic dish is so good you wouldn't want to add anything else to it. It all started with the noble macaroni pasta, I have to admit, I had not tried macaroni cheese until this past summer when I was in America, and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste, It wasn't as cheesy as I was expecting it to be, But it was creamy and delicious and defiantly something I wanted to recreate myself. Everyone knows cheese and tomato go together like no other, so thats what I'm going to do, combine these two staple ingredients with the macaroni, but I still wanted some more texture in the dish, which is where my fourth and final ingredient comes into play... Bacon ! (of course you can use any type of meat you feel like, ham, sausage, chicken, turkey, minced beef etc...). Do you want to know how it's made, then keep reading:

1) 1 packet of macaroni pasta (Of course you can use any pasta shape you prefer)
2) 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
3) 1 can tomato soup
4) 1 packet of bacon (or your preferred meat) 


1) Preheat oven to 350degrees / gas mark 3

2) Boil pasta according to packet instructions, and drain.

3) Fry/grill bacon according to your preferred taste buds.

4) In a large bowl, add the pasta, half the cheese, bacon and entire can of tomato soup and mix well.

5) In a casserole dish pour in the pasta mixture and spread, with the remaining cheese sprinkle over the top.

6) Put in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

7) Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes to set, then slice and enjoy! 

Of course you can add more ingredients to this bake, peppers, mushrooms, or even chilli flakes for that added kick. If you have any other great ingredient ideas, then feel free to leave it in a comment below, I'm sure others would love to hear it.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this simple recipe and have a good day
Rachel Ward

16 Oct 2012

Caramel Apple's

Halloween is nearly upon us and so that means only one thing, Caramel Apples. I remember the first time I had a caramel apple, I must have been 4 or 5 and it was during bonfire night, I was stood there watching the fire burn whilst biting into a caramel covered apple on a stick. Back then it was a basic caramel apple, but nowadays the apples are covered in all sorts of sugar coated candy's and nuts, which makes them even more delicious. Today I'm going to share with you my easy caramel apple recipe, that will knock those store bought caramel apples right out of the room. 

1) 6 apples (Preferably something tart, Granny Smiths work great) 
2) 1 package of individually wrapped caramels (3-4 cups) 
3) 2-3 tablespoons of milk
4) 1 bar white or milk chocolate 
5) A variety of crushed nuts/coconut etc (optional)
6) A variety of chocolate chips/M&M's/Honeycomb etc (optional)
7) 6 lolly sticks

1) Remove the stem from the apples and push the lolly sticks half way through each apple until they feel secure.

2) Unwrap caramels and place in a bowl with the milk, put on a double boiler over a low-medium heat and stir until smooth. (If its to thick add more milk)

3) Dip apples into the melted caramel and place on a silicone mat/non stick mat

4) OPTIONAL: Double dip into melted white/milk chocolate and sprinkle nuts/candy on-top.

5) OPTIONAL: using a piping bag with the smallest nozzle, you can get fancy with the melted chocolate and make cool designs on your caramel apples. 

6) Enjoy! 

Theres so much you can do with a basic caramel apple, so many different ways you can decorate them and make then taste even better. I have given you a few examples of a variety of different things you can do with them, but if you feel like you have a better idea then feel free to leave it in a comment, I would love to hear it and I'm sure everyone else will benefit from it as-well. 

Thanks for reading, and have a good day,
Rachel Ward

15 Oct 2012

Jelly Oranges

This is a good'en people! Like most of my recipes its really quick and easy and costs only penny's to make. At first glance it just looks like ordinary orange segment, but look closer guys, this is no ordinary orange. Oh no, this is one half of a party time classic, yep thats right its JELLY! (or jello if your from America). 

1) 2-3 oranges
3) Jelly (any flavour)

1) Cut oranges in half and scoop out the middle
2) Make up jelly as directed on packet and pour into orange halves
3) Put in fridge overnight
4) Once set slice into segments and enjoy !

If your more of a visual person, then worry not I've also make a step by step video to help you out:

That's it, its so visually intriguing and i'm sure it will be a hit at any children's birthday party's, or use red jelly and add some gummy worms to the middle for a halloween take on it, it will be sure to impress the guests at any halloween party you may be planning. I hope you have fun experimenting with different colours and flavours, no matter how you make them, they will always come out great.

Thank you and have a nice day,
Rachel Ward

Nutella Fudgesicles

I had nearly a full jar of Nutella in the kitchen cupboard that hadn't been used and I hate to throw things out so I decided to make some fudgsicles, and I know its autumn and cold outside and they are preferably not the first choice of snack for anyone at this time of year, but ohh my!!! just wait until you taste them, there so creamy and soft, and taste just like ferrero rocher (on a stick). Anyway enough of me babbling on, heres how to make these super simple, easy, quick and cheap homemade Nutella fudgesicles. 

1) 1 cup of cold skimmed milk
2) 1/3 cup Nutella

1) Mix both ingredients together
2) Pour into lolly moulds
3) Freeze for 4-5 hours
4) Enjoy!

I told you they were really simple to make, I could even do it with a blindfold on (maybe I will try that one day). These would be great to make on a hot summers afternoon, although you will probably have to wait until next year for that. Another little tip would be to mix chocolate chips into the mixture which would add a little more texture to the fudgesicles. 

Thanks for reading, and have a good day
Rachel Ward

14 Oct 2012

Easy Marshmallow Fondant

This has been a revelation in my life over the past few weeks, and I thought I would share it with you. I've always used store bought fondant to cover cakes with in the past and although its always worked out great, it always became hard and grainy also with many store bought fondants they contains many additives and preservatives to help keep there shelf life. Now I've found the solution to using that store bought fondant, a homemade fondant made with marshmallow and it only contains three ingredients. 

1) A bag of marshmallows (big or small it doesn't matter) 
2) Icing sugar (1 packet)
3) Food colouring 

1) Add 2 cups of marshmallows into a microwaveable safe bowl, add a couple of drops of water to the marshmallows until they are all damp (Not soaked)

2) Put the damp marshmallows in the microwave on 10 second intervals until they puff up and easily stir into a goo with a wooden spoon (grease your wooden spoon with a little butter) 

3) Add your food colouring to the melted marshmallows and stir until you get the colour you desire 

4) Start folding the icing sugar into the marshmallow goo until it resembles a soft and fluffy dough

5) Grease your hands with butter and turn the dough out onto a surface sprinkled with icing sugar and kneed the dough until it is stiff enough to roll out (if things get quite sticky just add more icing sugar, if things get to stiff just add a little butter to the dough) 

6) Once the fondant is stiff enough to roll out, you are done! Now all you have to do it cover a cake with your fabulous marshmallow fondant. 

To store your fondant wrap them in greased cling film, plastic wrap or ziplock bags, This fondant will have a shelf life of three or four months, if you've stored your marshmallow fondant and its become quite stiff it can be softened up by kneading a bit of butter into it and putting it in the microwave or 2-3 seconds at a time. 

This is a great alternative to store bought fondant as its cheaper to make and delicious, also you know exactly what has gone into it.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day,
Rachel Ward