National Bread Week: Maple Syrup Cornbread

April 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As National Bread Week continues I’ve decided to delve into my daughter, Lucy’s, recipe collection because she’s a fantastic baker. Over the years Lucy has perfected a variety of different breads and bakes everything from classic loafs to flat bread and the most delicious focaccia.

Today I’ve chosen to share with you a recipe which Lucy and I used to enjoy many years ago when we lived in the United States of America. Maple Syrup Cornbread might sound a little strange to those who’ve never tried it but it’s a fantastic side dish and a real American favourite that’s easy to make and very enjoyable.

The trick to making Maple Syrup Cornbread is to ensure that it doesn’t become too sweet. Remember that you’re only looking for a light, sweet taste and nothing more. Once it’s baked enjoy on its own with a little butter or alternatively use a fruity jam.

Maple Syrup Cornbread

National Bread Week – Easy white bread

April 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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There is nothing more delicious than a freshly baked loaf of bread and this week is the perfect time to indulge as its National Bread Week.

I’ve baked on and off for many years and have always found that bread is extremely rewarding to bake as its fills the house with a delicious smell and can be so easily enjoyed. I love to eat fresh bread with homemade soup, toasted with jam or simply by itself with a knob of butter.


National Bread Week- Homemade white bread

Although I’ve baked for most of my adult life I wouldn’t call myself a baker, however, my daughter Lucy has become renowned for her baking skills and is always bringing delicious goodies into the office including all varieties of bread. I‘ll be posting some of her own recipes later this week for you to enjoy too.

Until then I thought I’d share Paul Hollywood’s, the artisan baker who can be seen on The Great British Bake Off, easy white bread recipe which is a great starting point for any novice bakers, and by following this link you can view a video tutorial of Paul making the bread step-by-step.

Annette’s Websites of the Week- Jus Rol, International Women’s Day and Enjoy England

March 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week – For years people have said that perfect pastry makes the perfect pie. So as I’ve dished out some of my favourite recipes for British Pie Week I have to reveal my pastry cheat… Jus-Rol.

Jus-Rol is ready prepared pastry which comes in all varieties from puff, shortbread, butter puff, filo and even reduced fat pastry. Simply purchase the pastry you desire and store in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

jus rol

I know that some may be a little apprehensive about ready-made pastry and admittedly I was too as I enjoy making my own pastry very much. But Jus-Rol is brilliantly convenient and can make what would be a time consuming meal into a quick and easy dish which everyone will enjoy.

I’ve been on the Jus-Rol website this week and they have a brilliant selection of pastry recipes with everything from classic pies dishes to tarts and Danish pastries which would go down a treat at a tea lunch or dinner party. Simply use the onsite search tool to find the perfect dish for you- I’m thinking about making Strawberry Shortbread Stacks over the weekend inspired by Jus-Rol.

Jus Roll Strawberry stack

And for anyone who is a pastry novice the Jus-Rol team have produce some handy hints and tips on how to best handle pastry. I tend to struggle with filo pastry, folding and glazing such delicate pastry often ends in disaster, so I’ve found Jus-Rol’s technique video really helpful.

Definitely a site work checking out if you’re passionate about baking and looking for tasty short cuts. – Yesterday women across the world rejoiced in International Women’s Day. Here on the blog I shared the names of women who have inspired me and I really enjoyed reading the thoughts of Independent Women’s Day from other women’s perspective.

International Womens Day logo

Over the week I’ve visited International Women’s Day official website to learn more about this year’s event. The website is packed with news, discussions, debates, events and facts. It truly is inspiring to see that so many women come together on 8th March, something which I think we should be incredibly proud of as I can’t think of a more important time for women to unite and showcase the talent and abilities of one another.

International Womens day ladies

Women across the world unite for International Women's Day

I know that many people will have already attended talks and meets for IWD but if you’ve not yet the website is a brilliant resource to find on going events. Events range from discussing political opinions to working with women to help stop domestic abuse. There really is something for everyone and it’s important to note that International Women’s Day’s stretches far further than head strong activists.

It’s not too late to get involved. Simply visit the website for more information and whilst there I’d recommend taking a look at the art collection on the site produced by women across the world.

Enjoy England – This week VisitEngland have launched a new campaign encouraging us all to holiday here in England rather than escaping to foreign shores for a summer break.

Along with a high profile television advert featuring Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint and Michelle Dockery VisitEngland have launched, a brand new website that showcases holiday destination across England.

I know that many will be sceptical about the thought of staying in England for a holiday as often it’s expensive and this year prices are expected to shoot up due to the Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee. However, the site has come up with some savvy ways to holiday in England at affordable prices and is currently running a 20.12% discount on orders booked on the site.

Although I don’t think I’ll be swapping my summer getaway for a holiday here in England I would recommend checking out the website for lovely hotels and quality things to do over weekend breaks or even half term.  What I like most about the site is that it’s also considered easy access holidays for disabled and elderly people- there are lots of options available which is great to hear.

Have a look because you might be pleasantly surprised by the variety which really is on your doorstep-

Halloween recipes for grandchildren

October 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Baking is a wonderful way to get around boredom on rainy half term days, much like today.

With Halloween right around the corner I’ve discovered some wonderful recipes which are easy to make- even with grandchildren- and will make perfect Halloween treats.

creepy crawlies


These crunchy creepy crawlies featured in Sainsbury’s ‘everyday easy’ magazine are chocolate goodness which children and adults will enjoy greatly. To make simply prepare as though you were making chocolate rice crispy cakes, use sweets and chocolate fingers to create eyes and legs. Yummy!

homemade toffee apples

Homemade Toffee Apples are the ultimate autumnal treat. I’ve chosen a recipe from the BBC Goodfood website which easily explains how to create the perfect toffee apples. Using only four ingredients they are simple to make, however when making with grandchildren I’d suggest letting them watch as heating the sugar and water can be extremely dangerous. I always put wooden skewers into the apples making them much easier to eat and enjoy!

easy halloween cookies

Cookies are great to make with children as they are quick and easy. Using shaped cutters cookies are simple to theme – perfect for Halloween. These Halloween Cookies on offer a basic recipe which is delicious. To make extra special finish with coloured icing and edible decorations… spider web cookies!!

National Baking Week- Autumnal Pumpkin Bread

October 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My daughter Lucy is a keen and rather wonderful baker. So upon hearing about National Baking Week I was eager to feature on of her much loved recipes.

Lucy is sharing an ‘Autumnal Pumpkin Bread’ which is perfect for late October days and is fairly easy to bake. 

The great thing about this particular bread is the pumpkin as it is in season and tastes delicious at this time of year.  Simply scrape the inside out to get all of those delicious flavours. It’s a great idea to get your grandchildren to help. Then let them keep the remaining pumpkin, so they can go on to make pumpkin Latin’s in time for Halloween.

The recipe is simply delicious and is a great way to relish National Baking Week. I hope you enjoy!

Autumnal Pumpkin Bread

National Baking Week 17th 23rd October 2011

October 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s seems as though the nation has become obsessed with baking. Only a couple of weeks ago The Great British Bake Off gripped home bakers as they tuned in in their millions to watch contestants rise to the various baking challenges.

Now it seems as though baking is more than just a hobby it’s a fashion statement. Lots of high streets are bustling with quirky bakeries and even retailers are selling sparkly cupcakes to hungry shoppers.

baking week banner

If you’ve not yet caught the baking bug this week is the perfect opportunity to get inspired as 17th-23rd celebrates National Baking Week, an entire week dedicated to the pleasure of baking.

This year’s event is all about sharing recipes and encouraging others to get into the kitchen. Ruth Clemens, the face of this year’s event and a 2010’s Great British Bake Off finalist is at the heart of Baking Week sharing her own recipes in video tutorials featured on the website truly making baking easy.

ruth clemens

Ruth’s recipe collection is plentiful featuring everything from savoury pies and pastry dishes to cakes and deserts which would look fantastic at a dinner party. Meaning there is something for everyone to try regardless of your baking expertise or skill.

Baking is something which I really do find delightful as it has a wonderful way of bringing people together. Whether we have a bake sale in the office or my daughter Lucy bakes a batch or scrumptious shortbreads there is always a brilliant sense of joy surrounding baking. It’s lovely to think that National Baking Week will get more people baking and sharing such a great sense of happiness.

I hope to be sharing some of my favourite recipes later in the week- keep an eye out for those. Until then this video is rather marvellous as the NBW team created an enormous cake in St Pancras, London- Brilliant!


The Great British Bake Off- Congratulations Jo!

October 5, 2011 at 10:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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After another round of technical bakes and the final challenge of baking for a ‘British Summer Time’ street party the winner of The Great British Bake Off was crowned on last night’s show.

All three finalists Holly, Jo and Mary-Anne produced beautiful creations, which each showed off their brilliant skill and passion towards baking.

Great-British-Bake-Off finalists

However, only one could be crowned as the winner and in turn Britain’s best armature home baker. To my delight Jo, the housewife and mum from Essex walked away with the winning spot after producing a wonderful selection of classic cakes and tarts including the most delicious looking mini banoffee pie.


The Great British Bake Off has been a wonderful show with endless amounts of inspiration to get me back into the kitchen baking treats for my family and friends, and I hope you’ve felt inspired to do the same too. I’m already looking forward to series three.  

If you can’t wait for another year The Great British Bake Off: How To Bake book has been released featuring a variety of recipes from this series. Enjoy!

The Great British Bake Off- The Final!

October 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Great British Bake Off LogoFor the last 7 weeks I’ve looked forward to Tuesday evening. As at 8pm I’ve curled up on the sofa and watched one of my favourite ‘reality’ TV shows – The Great British Bake Off.

Described in one article today as ‘The X Factor – but with cake’ the show does have some clear similarities. Experienced judges; baking goddess and cookbook author Marry Berry along with artisan baker, Paul Hollywood. Contestants; 12 amateur bakers from all walks of life topped off with weekly tasks and challenges to push their baking talents to the very limit.

Although it might not sounds as glamorous and dramatic as other reality shows. You shouldn’t be fooled. I can’t think of anything tenser than contestants peering into their ovens to ensure iced fingers are rising sufficiently and tarts aren’t getting too golden.

Great British Bake Off

The truth is The Great British Bake Off is a fantastically charming programme, which has rallied an incredible amount of public support. The show has single handily raised BBC’s Tuesday evening rating as viewer’s, including myself, sit with their fingers crossed hoping that Jo’s bread rises and Janet’s croissants survive their bake.

Excitingly tonight is the big night as The Great British Bake Off reaches the final. The pressure is on for finalists Holly, Mary-Anne and Jo (the show’s dark horse but a favourite of mine) who face the final challenge of baking for a celebratory street party. I’m expecting lots of iced buns, Victoria sandwiches cakes and Bakewell tarts.

great british bake off finalists

After 12 weeks of watching baking triumphs and a few baking slipups I’m really looking forward to seeing who will be crowned 2011’s winner and the best amateur baker. More so I’m looking forward to seeing the wonderful creations which tonight’s final will undoubtedly offer as I’ve come away with lots of fantastic ideas and tip from the show thus far.

I thought it would be a nice idea to share Paul Hollywood’s Iced Finger recipe to celebrate The Great British Bake Off 2011– a bun which is always a pleasure to eat but one which I know people rarely bake at home.

iced finger recipe paul hollywood


Macmillan Cancer Support- Carrot Cake Cupcakes

September 14, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For me fundraising should be easy, enjoyable and fulfilling. I want to give my money to a great cause and receive something positive in return.

These are the reasons why I’m so fond of Macmillan Cancer Supports’ ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. As the event doesn’t interrupt everyday life and makes the day a whole lot better (especially if you or a colleague bake my delicious recipe ideas).

Today I’ve come up with a modern twist on a classic slice of carrot cake in the form of carrot cake cupcakes. Splendid and so very delicious!

Macmillan recipe carrot cake cupcake

For more information visit Macmillan Cancer Support online now.


World’s Biggest Coffee Morning with Macmillan Cancer Support- Chocolate Brownies

September 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Chocolate brownies are incredibly easy to make and go down a treat with tea and coffee. Use any type of chocolate you like. For those who aren’t so fond of dark chocolate milk chocolate is a delicious alternative.

For Macmillan’s coffee morning bake a huge chocolate brownie, cut into generous squares and there will be enough to feed the entire office. Don’t forget to collect a donation from everyone who has a slice and help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan recipe BROWNIES

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