Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cookies

Is there anything better than a chocolate chip cookie? Answer: Yes, when it's a chocolate chip cookie filled with delicious things!

This cookie recipe is my go-to recipe and it's so adaptable, you can add in any mix in of your choosing with great results. I've added in nuts, sprinkles, flavoured chips etc and each time they've turned out great.

After stuffing my cookies with Oreos and Nutella a few years back, I've been experimenting whenever I have some leftover chocolate and these Peanut Butter Cups and Marshmallows make a winning combination.


Dessert Nachos

This Summer, I decided to take a little blogging break. I still regularly tweet/facebook/instagram all of my cake related adventures, but I've been especially busy with work and any time I had to bake, was quickly eaten up with another task that needed finishing!

It was only recently when my other half whipped up some dairy free scones for breakfast one day that I decided I didn't really have any excuses not to enjoy some time in the kitchen again...

I'm blogging a very simple recipe today which I made in under 15mins in the run up to a family movie night. Removing dairy from my diet means that food like flavoured crisps etc are generally a 'no go'. As me and the boys sat down to watch a film one night, I realised that whilst I'd made them snacks - I had nothing to snack on for myself. Gutted!


Caramel filled chocolate chip cookie bars

 It's no secret that I have a cookie addiction. For me, cookies are the perfect baked treat; you can eat them whilst they're warm, they have a great shelflife and unlike many baking recipes you can often play around with your ingredients list to make your own personalised cookie of choice.

I LOVE a giant cookie and this recipe is no exception to that rule! I use an 8" square tin to make my cookie bars giving you 16 portions of double thick gooey cookies to scoff alone - or share if you're in the mood I guess...

I made these cookies using the pre-made carnation caramel which worked perfectly. You can also make your own homemade caramel and I think a salted caramel version would be utterly delicious as this version is super sweet so enjoy at your peril!


Our trip to Butlins Skegness!

We first visited the Skegness resort of Butlins back in July 2010, for a weekend break before the arrival of our 2nd son...a mere 4 days later! We were instantly hooked by the 'all inclusive' feel of the entertainment and activities offered on site and so the resort has become a firm family favourite.

Our 2nd visit back in 2012 was thoroughly enjoyed by the boys but myself and their Dad has a few reservations which caused us to question another visit.

But here we are in 2015, just returned from a 4 day trip and whilst we had an amazingly restful trip, some of our earlier observations still stand. You can read my earlier post here so I'll just update you with the new things we encountered on our holiday this time around.


3 things you're gonna love!

I don't know about you but as the weather turns hotter, my food thoughts turn towards tapas style grilled food and smoothies. My boys love smoothies and as they're so easy and healthy to make, I love to indulge them!

Being on a struct food budget means that whilst I'm never short of apples/bananas/oranges, the softer more luxurious fruits and veg are often out of my reach. Until recently that is! A few friends of mine had already discovered the amazing Anthony's Fruit and Veg Boxes who offer great value fruit and vegetables delivered straight to your door (within an NG postcode) and from my first delivery, I can safely say I'm a total convert!

I ordered the full £20 box which includes fruit, veg and a salad selection and boy was I surprised when the delivery driver turned up with this lot...


Gingerbread loaf with salted caramel glaze

A few weeks ago I attended the newly revamped Sneinton Urban Food Market and FINALLY got to meet (and sample) some of the lovely sauces from The Sauce Shop!

The Sauce Shop is a business run by the 'food passionate' Pam and James who make natural sauces from their home in Nottingham. A true local food business if I ever saw one! Pam is working hard to rejuvenate the Urban Food market scene in Nottingham and as The Phat Doughnut Co were also there, how could I resist attending?!

I managed to bag a couple of jars of their Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Sauce and I have to say - I'm smitten. I've already used half a jar of the Salted Caramel Sauce and it won't be long before I need to stock up again...


3 things you're gonna love!

I love searching out new and interesting things. Since moving to Nottingham 14yrs ago, I've become a real City gal and luckily for me we have so many fab things to see and do locally that I never need to venture far away from home!

Living near the big city also means I can search out products relatively easily rather than having to resort to buying online so I've decided to start a little series to share with you a few things that I just know you're gonna love!

First up is Coconut Oil. You may have noticed that this stuff is everywhere nowadays - and for good reason! I discovered Coconut Oil at Holland and Barrett and was hooked immediately. It comes in a hard form in a jar but softens relatively quickly in the palm of your hands. I use mine for cooking, as a hair mask, for removing makeup, as a lip balm...the list is endless and Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for even more uses. I now use Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and I've never looked back.


Dairy Free Chocolate Easter Cake

Leading a dairy free lifestyle is sometimes trickier than it seems, I mean it's pretty easy to spot 'milk' as an allergy on most ingredients lists/menus but sometimes I get complacent and things I ASSUME would be dairy free, often lead me into the most trouble!

This past weekend I have been working away in London. This generally means eating food from a standard pub style eatery and I'm pretty good at navigating a menu; steak and chips = GOOD, pasta carbonara = BAD.

But the first night of my stay I had a hotdog which was free from dairy, and it was delicious! On the 3rd night, I decided to finish off my stay with the same yummy meal only to end up in agony hours later. The onions were cooked on the 2nd meal (thay were chopped up raw 1st time around) so I can only assume they were fried in some butter or margerine. 2 days after that meal I'm still nursing a very sensitive digestive system but after spending 3 days at a cake show, all I can dream of is sugar!


Pink buttercream filled mini egg cookies!

There isn't much in life that can't be improved with pink buttercream. Even now I'm making it with Vitalite (as a dairy free alternative to butter) it still has the ability to cheer me up whilst I scoff down a spoonful between meals.

These cookies don't really variate from my standard cookie recipe except they include MINI EGGS! 

Yes, 'tis the season of egg shaped chocolate and now Hotel Chocolat have launched a milk free milk chocolate egg - I too can look forward to a creamy milk chocolate filled Easter.


Dairy Intolerance and me

2015 hasn't brought me quite the future it promised (hoverboards anyone?) but nevertheless, it's been action packed so far so I'm not complaining!

Last month, I had high hopes of posting lots of yummy Christmas recipes and sharing all my seasonal filled bakes with you, but then things changed and I find myself in the midst of a food crisis. You see, I've recently found out I'm Dairy Intolerant. For anyone with an allergy or intolerance, this can be troublesome. But for a butter loving baker, I'm taking it pretty hard.