Junction Bar & Brasserie in Windsor {review}

It was a Tuesday night when my friend and I ventured out to Windsor to visit Junction Bar & Brasserie. I had been invited to check it out as it's just opened in the last month and they were looking for people to check it out! I said of course as if I hadn't I would be writing this post.

Junction aspire to be the place that people go to have a great time and a place where memories can be created. A place where people get together.

Junction literally means a point where two or more things are joined. 

It's located right in the middle of Windsor just down from the castle. It doesn't look like much from the outside, in fact it sort of blends into the rest of the shops on the street. It doesn't help that right now there is construction going on outside (as seen in the picture to the right).

However, once inside you can tell that some thought has been put into the decor. It is interesting and well thought out. A bit hip with the string lights and pictures half painted blue.

What is most important is the food! The food though is what always matters most and then service. It was quiet that night so we were pretty well taken care of. 

We started with the Thai style fish cakes and pan fried scallops with parsley puree, tomato relish and pickled radish. Both were presented nicely and both were very good. 

We then spent a bit of time deciding what to get as our main because everything looked so good! I settled on the Shepherd’s pie with glazed seasonal vegetables, because as the weather has been chillier I have been craving more comfort food! I wasn't disappointed! It was a nice rich sauce with very buttery mashed potatoes. My friend ordered the Duo of pork with Mac├ędoine potatoes and pork jus and she was very impressed with it! 

We were pretty full after a starter and a main, but we could resist trying something off the dessert menu!! My friend went for the Belgium chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream and I went for the Baked cheese cake, fruit salsa & Roseberry sauce. Both were delicious and rich! 

We had a good night and the food was really good! I would recommend it if you live in or around or planning to visit Windsor! Definitely worth a visit and find out for yourself!

Junction Bar & Brasserie: 51, Peascod Street, Windsor, England

These pictures and more can be found on my Instagram! If you are interested in my adventures follow me there @unitedcakedom

notes: As mentioned above I was invited to visit Junction, I was not asked to give a positive review. All opinions are my own check out my contact/policy page/tab above for more information. 

Peanut Butter and Banana Milkshake

So, my good friend loves milkshakes. We talked forever about making one of those popular monster milkshakes ... you know the ones with the cups covered in chocolate and sprinkles and has cookies or doughnuts sticking out the top? We were totally pumped for it and we were like yay let's definitely do it! 

However, in the end it looked like a lot of effort for a milkshake. We weren't in the mood for all the faff and to be honest all the sugar. So, we made just what we wanted a simple peanut butter and banana milkshake. 

For this milkshake I literally blended some peanut butter, a banana, vanilla ice cream, and a dash or so of milk. Topped it with whipped cream and some dry roasted peanuts. Dry roasted because that is what was in the cupboard! I couldn't tell you how much I used of each ingredient and let's face it for a milkshake do you need to know? 

I believe you can use as much of or as little of each that you want and once it's blended it will still taste great! 

Do you have to have a recipe to follow? Let me know in the comments below! 

Baking Lately - the adventures and happenings at United Cakedom

I wouldn't say I loved my job at Sainsbury's, as an online shopper, but I didn't hate it either. I loved being a witness to the sun rising and to scenes like the one above. I loved having my whole day ahead of me, but most of all I loved my co-workers. It was a comfortable environment and we were a great team of people. The only thing that made me want to change my job is that I was tired of dragging myself out of bed at 3:30am for a 4pm start. Picture below was taken on my last day and you can see how tired I am. 

I have found another part time job that suits my lifestyle better. It's just another change in a year of changes. I am looking forward to a new challenge, but sad about leaving behind two years of essentially some really great friendships. There are a handful of people I will be keeping in touch with, and the rest well let's just say thank goodness for Facebook!

One of things I did before I left is bake this Coffee and Walnut Cake for a charity bake sale going to BIBS, the local charity that our branch is currently supporting. Recipe can be found in Nigella's Kitchen on online here

I was told it was big hit and I got pictures of people eating it and the empty plate! The bake sale it's self was a big hit and it raised money for a great cause! BIBS (Babies in Buscot Support) is a registered charity that supports babies and their families in the special care baby unit (Buscot Ward) at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. 

This cake is one of many things I have baked lately, but haven't shared with you all! A lot of what I have been baking is stuff I not only have baked before, but also blogged. Here are a few of the things I've been Baking Lately

Banana Bread 
(I haven't actually blogged this, but the recipe comes from the hummingbird bakery cookbook.) 

So, that's a quick update on what I've been up to lately! I am still baking, but not as frequently nor as experimental as I used to be. I have also been a terrible baking supporter and have missed most of the Great British Bake Off this year. Think I will spend the rest of my Sunday trying to catch up with it as it is the semi-finals this week! 

It is my hope that once I've settled into my new job and I get a new routine set I will have more time to not only bake, but blog and get back into the blogging world! I have missed it as I have been dealing with real life stuff. 

I was all ready to get my Jamberry business off the ground and running and I've literally done nothing in regards to running it as a business, but I am still buying and using them! My latest manicure is called Ribbon Dance and I'm very pleased with it! 

A link to my sight if you want to check them out! 
There are a lot of new styles for Autumn/Winter! 

Thanks for reading! Do you have a favorite cake or cookie or pastry or bread and so on recipe that you bake over and over again? Leave a comment below I would love to know! 

notes: This post has not been sponsored in any shape or form by any of above mentioned people/places/things! Please see my contact/policy page above for more information! 

Fluffernuffer Blondies (one pot)

I know it's Fluffernutter not Fluffernuffer, but see I heard wrong the first time I ever had anyone say Fluffernutter to me and I have never gotten it right since.

If you know me, I talk funny. And I don't think I talk funny just because I have an American accent in a foreign country kinda way. I mean I say words wrong and I make up words without even thinking about it. It's just that sometimes my brain is on fast forward and my mouth doesn't always keep up with changes in wordage.

These blondies are a very good example of my thought process. First I wanted to make banana brownies. Then I thought that bananas would be good with peanut butter. Then I was like you know what's good with peanut butter? Marshmallows!! Then I was like ooooooo fluffernuffers! Then the bananas were completely dropped from the ingredient list.

It's a mess living in my head!

If you are know asking yourself what the heck is a fluffernutter? I will tell you it's a sandwich. Specifically a sandwich with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. According to what I have read it has to be on white bread as well. I myself have never had a fluffernutter sandwich, but I love the combo of peanut butter and marshmallows.

So, I made peanut butter and marshmallow blondies and called them Fluffnuffer Blondies! One last thing the best thing about these blondies is that they can be made in one pot! I am always 100% in favor of less dishes.

Fluffernuffer Blondies

100g unsalted butter
225g white chocolate, broken up
175g light muscovado sugar
1 medium egg, beaten
200g crunchy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
80-100g mini marshmallows

Heat the oven to 180C and line the sides of an 8 in/20cm square cake pan.
Melt the butter and white chocolate together in a medium/large saucepan over a very low heat. When the butter has melted remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Beat in the sugar, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the mixture and fold in until just combined. Gently pour/spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Then scatter the mini marshmallows all over the top until completely covered.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Since you can't see the top of the blondies, due to all the marshmallows, you won't be able to tell if they are golden brown. If you are unsure give them an extra few minutes it won't hurt. Also if the marshmallows start to brown too quickly just place a loose sheet of aluminium foil on top.
Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares and then eat them!

notes: Read more about Fluffernutters here! Recipe is loosely based on one from Rachel Allen's Cake book. 

Your 5 Must Haves this Season with The Oracle {Reading, Berkshire}

I read somewhere that we only wear 20% of our wardrobes and it got me to thinking about what I wear out of my wardrobe and I would have to say that it's a probably fairly accurate percentage. I wear the same two or three pairs of jeans and the same handful of t-shirts and/or sweat shirts that depends on the season. The rest sits there and I keep saying yeah I'll wear that one day.

Therefore it's very important to take the time to pick out those items that one can and will wear over and over again. This is the idea behind The Oracle's "Your 5" campaign. I was invited along as a blogger guest to check out what it was all about. 

One of the professional stylist's took me through the must have coats, knitwear, trousers, boots, and skirts before having a quick makeover with MAC makeup.

At each station we discussed the different looks and colours of the season and I couldn't resist the military style coats especially the black one pictured above in my 5 must haves! Knitwear is always a must when the weather starts to change! Sweaters are my favorite because they can be dressed up  and down depending on where you are going.

One can never go wrong with a great pair of black wide legged trousers. It's a must for any and every occasion. Because it's such an important piece of clothing it's in my general opinion to pay a bit more for them. I have bought many of cheap pairs that only ever made it through a few wears.

Boots. I personally have been in search for a pair of boots for ages and I found a pair from New Look that I just had to have! As seen in the picture below. The heal is a bit taller then I'm used too so I will have to practice walking in them.... but I am in love with them!

Last must have item was a skirt, but I am not a big skirt person. I did fall in love with this long black leather skirt and I have been thinking about it since yesterday. It might be that item I go back to buy sooner then later! I will keep you posted!

And before I left I had a quick stop at the make-up counter and had a mini-makeover! She asked what colour I wanted to go with for my lips and I said lets go crazy! Crazy for me anyway! Lately all over histogram I have been seeing people with purple lips so that's what we went for! It was MAC Instigator! I had compliments on it all night!

Today is the last day they will be in The Oracle so if you have moment go see them! Everyone was super nice and informative!!

notes: I was invited along to the event and was compensated for my time. I was not asked to give a positive review. Please see my contact/policy page for more information. 

Mason Jar Nation by JoAnn Moser {book review}

Mason Jars have an interesting history and in recent years have become widely popular for it's variety and numerous uses. For food bloggers like myself they make great props and are great to bake cupcakes in!

However, JoAnn Moser shows us that that's not all they are good for! She gives us 50 different ways to use mason jars and I'm sure her ideas will inspire you to do much more with them! The chapters break down by Crafts, In the Garden, In the Kitchen, Inspired Storage, and Lighting and Lanterns.

I'd love to try and make -

From Crafts: 

  • Lucky Bamboo Water Garden
  • Tissue Paper Tumblers

From In the Garden:

  • Mason Jar Bird Feeder
  • Jar Band Wind Chime

From In the Kitchen:

  • Dark Forest Trail Mix
  • Pineapple-Infused Vodka
  • Homemade Butter in a Jar
  • Fruit smoothie in a Jar
  • Night-Before Granola
  • Yogurt Breakfast Sundaes

From Inspired Storage:

  • Swizzle Stick Pop-up Holder
  • Wine-Not Desk Organiser
  • Clip and Binder Holder

From Lighting and Lanterns:

  • Moonbeam Stakes
  • Vintage Firefly Lantern

I am not much of a crafter so the projects I would be most interested in are probably on the easy side, but there are more challenging projects for the craft inclined!

Overall the book was very well researched and I thought the projects weren't just cute, but actual things people would want to try out!!

notes: I was given a copy of Mason Jar Nation by JoAnn Moser to review by the publisher, Cool Springs Press. Retails at £11.99 and available now from your local book retailers or online! All opinions are my own, I was not given any other compensation nor was I asked to give a positive review, please see my contact/policy page for more information.

Apple & Elderflower Drizzle Cake

The Great British Bake Off is back! Well it was what 2 weeks ago? Every year I say I'm going to bake along with the Bake Off and every year I don't. I like baking and I enjoy the show, but I hate feeling like I have to bake something I don't want to bake just to tag along.

But every year there is that part of me that wants to tag along! I want to be apart of all the social media groups that are baking along and take part in all the competitions held by Lakeland and Dunelm and other various kitchenware companies.

I just can't get my act together. I made a drizzle cake, the one I'm about to share with you two days after the first episode! Yay great, but I'm only just blogging about it. Oops. I also had all the ingredients to make Viennese Whirls and I still have all the ingredients sitting in my cupboard. Oops again. And there is no way I'm going to prepared for this week! Bread.

However, I will be watching every week and maybe I'll be able to sort it out and actually bake something and blog it all in the same week? Although please don't hold me to it.

Apple & Elderflower Drizzle Cake

2 granny smith apples, diced
juice and zest of one lime
2 tbsp sparkling elderflower presse
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
250ml sunflower oil
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs, 3 separated
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp sparkling elderflower presse
juice and zest of one lime
50g demerara sugar

Heat the oven to 160C and grease the bundt with butter and dust lightly with flour.
Mix the diced apples with the juice and zest of the lime along with the elderflower presse.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and almonds and leave to the side.
Beat the sunflower oil, 125g of the sugar, 1 whole egg and 3 yolks plus the vanilla until completely combined it should be lighter in color. Fold in the dry ingredients and just the juice from the apples.
In a separate bowl whisk the 3 leftover egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the leftover 125g of sugar and whisk until thick and shiny. Gently fold it into the cake batter a third at a time. Last, but not least, fold in the diced apples.
Gently pour/spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before carefully turning the cake out of the pan gently poke holes around the cake.
Leave mixing the drizzle ingredients together until you finished the last step. You don't want the sugar dissolving in the liquid you want it to be a bit crunchy where the sugar doesn't soak all the way through. Leave to cool completely before serving!

notes: recipe is inspired from a BBC Good Food recipe found in their 2016 calendar.


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