I {heart} peanut butter!!

If you saw my last post you’ll know that I've acquired yet another book that mostly has to do with making sweet things. I had two things booked marked as I’m going to make these like right now. The first of the two were these Peanut Rice Krispies Squares.

It’s implied in the description part of the recipe that Jamie eats peanut butter out of the jar. I think every peanut butter lover does so. Since I consider myself a huge peanut butter lover I couldn't pass these up!

I also can’t believe I never thought of adding peanut butter before?  They are Peanutbuttery marshmallowey goodness in a bar!

If you love peanut butter as much as I do and have never tried this combination I suggest you do! 

Peanut butter Rice Krispies squares
75g butter
250g marshmallows
150g smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
130g Rice Krispies
sprinkles (optional)

These are so easily molded into any shape just make sure you line the tin with parchment paper, it all depends on how think you want them!

In a saucepan once the butter has melted add 200g of the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Take off the heat and mix in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Add the Rice Krispies and the remaining 50g of marshmallows and mix until it’s all covered. Moving fast put in your lined tin and smooth the top with a spatula or as Jamie says with another sheet of baking parchment and use your hands to smooth it down. Leave to sit for 2 hours or more on warm days. Cut into squares. I used my Wilton’s heart cutter, but they don’t look that much like hearts, ah well whatever. Sprinkle with whatever you want! They keep up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Check out Jamie Laing's new book Candy Kittens for extra flavors and ideas!!

I'm not gonna lie the other reason I made these first is because I had everything in my cupboard already! Stay tuned for the second thing I will be making from this book. I am hoping to do so this weekend, but we’ll see depends on the weather! 

SW3ET DREAMS with Jamie Laing {book signing & review}

I got to meet Jamie Laing!

It’s not very often we get cool people in Reading signing their books. At least not books that I’m interested in. 

I arrived at WHSmith half an hour early with my eldest Mini Baker, who fell instantly in love with the pink cover and the kitten shape on the front cover! 

If you haven’t heard of Jamie Laing he is one of the stars of the E4 hit show Made in Chelsea and Candy Kitten is his baby. Candy Kitten was created out of Jaime’s love of everything sweet and a love of a good party!

Besides the book Candy Kittens is a brand with clothes and other accessories available on his website. In fact there is a shirt that says ‘love candy’ that I am coveting right now. It’s out of stock at the moment.

I wonder if Jaime could hook me up? I mean now that we’re on a first name basis and all. I said hi, then he signed my book “To Lisa and Aurora All my Love Jaime Laing,” we took our picture together, then I said thanks and nice to meet you. See. Best friends.

No? I guess I’ll just have to keep an eye on the site and hope it comes back in stock.

Anyway… the book is broken down into sections titled, SW3et Dreams; Kitten Cakes; Yea Boi! Biscuits; Cool Stuff; & Pardy Drinks. There are tips on how to be a Candy Kitten as well as all of fun treats that are perfect for any occasion you want to make feel like a party! Here is a short list of what I’d like to have a go at…

Sparkling blackcurrent marshmallows
Sherbet dip-daps
Sour watermelon jelly diamonds (picture)
Salted Caramel Sweets
Butterscotch toffee apples
Marshmallow Fluff
Eton Mess cupcakes
Peanut Rice Krispies squares (and variations)
Strawberry-vanilla rainbow cake (picture)
Trillionaire’s shortbread
Black raspberry macarons
Cherry and cream ice pops
Bubble coffee
Lemonade ice cream float

Overall it’s a fun and entertaining book with a lot of sweet treats to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth! It's also ahead of it's game with a new way to read books, by downloading a free app you can scan the pages of the book in a sort of video scavenger hunt for Jaime's favorite recipe!  

One of the biggest reasons I love this book is because it’s called Candy Kittens. I know it’s completely irrelevant to the actual book and I  have no reasoning beyond the fact that I am an American and I still use the word ‘candy’ in describing sweet stuff even after 8 years of being in the UK.

notes: Nigella was the last cool person that I am aware of, that has come through Reading and I wrote about it on my other blog here. I have said it before and I will say it again I judge books by covers. I can’t help it a cool design draws me in every time!

Signing my book while my little one checked out the candy bowl! 

Rock n Roll {Ed's Diner Review}

This weekend I had an opportunity to visit Ed’s Diner, that recently opened up in The Oracle (Reading, Berkshire). 

It wasn't my experience at Ed’s. The first time was years ago wondering around London and randomly happened upon an Ed’s at lunchtime.

Then not too long ago one opened up in Basingstoke, which I made my husband take me too. If that doesn't tell you that I am a fan of Ed’s Diner then I don’t know what will. It’s also pretty obvious then, that I was super excited to see one open up in Reading!! 

My friend, Cathy who loves American style food (I honestly think it’s the only reason she’s friends with me) was my date for the night. We weren't disappointed. The food and atmosphere was great. The staff was friendly and helpful. It was an all around good experience.

Cathy had an Oreo Milkshake, Chili Cheese burger combo plate, and a pancake stack for dessert. Here is what I had!

Rootbeer Float:

Big Bubba’s Bacon N’ Cheese Burger:

Atomic American Fries:

Lot of Waffle:

Have you ever been to an Ed’s Diner? If so what was your experience? What did you get? What flavor of milkshake or malt would you suggest?? (I love the peanut butter one!)

Notes: Check out my full review!! (removed as of 31.1.2016) Ed’s Diner Reading: Upper Floor, Broad Street Entrance; The Oracle Shopping Centre; Reading RG1 2AG (NOW CLOSED 2017) and Ed’s official site visit to sign up for the newsletter you get a coupon for a free shake a few weeks around and including your birthday! 

Turtle Cheesecake Tartlets {weekend baking with Janet}

I was going to a wine party and wanted something sweet and decadent to bring along. 

I had a hand-me-down book of appetizers from a friend and this recipe was in it. Lucky for you it's also found on the Pillsbury website, here

all you need: 
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
 ½ cup milk chocolate chips
4 oz cream cheese (from 8-oz package), softened
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons caramel topping
1 egg
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans 

for the instructions follow the link above! 

It was perfect because is was a semi-homemade recipe which cuts down on prep time, making it easy to make sort of quickly...like whipping up for a wine party!

These were a big hit at the party and they were a perfect finger food size! ~Janet 

The Husband of a Home Baker {weekend baking with Janet}

Of all the reasons that I love baking, this reason surprised me as one of my favorites: my husband is a baking critic.

Not only does he keep it real while I'm baking; trying out all the goodies (and the not-so-goodies) but he can also spot a home baked item from first bite AND give a pretty accurate critique. For example he told me that he doesn't eat fondant and that he doesn't like to eat day old store bought cupcakes.

This amuses me because before I baked at home, he wouldn't have even known what fondant was!

He's brutally honest, which at first was a hard thing for me to take. Now I know he will not only be honest about the stuff that is not quite right, but also about the stuff that is. Then he showers me with praise, which is one of the unsurprising reasons I love to bake: the satisfaction of making something that is delicious!

I made these Whoopie Pies for my husbands pot luck at work - they are chocolate chip pies with Caramel Italian Meringue filling from Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz and David Lesniak. They were a hit and really, really yummy! ~Janet 

 Whoopies - all boxed up and ready to go! :)

notes: Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz and David Lesniak or Baked in America for the UK version

That's a wrap [birthday wrap up]

It’s not every day one turns 30, but I suppose that can be said about every birthday. It's been exactly a week since my birthday, it's time I stop going on about it.

That's what this post is about to wrap up my birthday and not talk about it again until next year. If I even admit I have a birthday next year. We'll see.

However this year I decided to make a big deal about my birthday and this is to share what I got up too and some of the awesome presents I got! 

It started the Friday (the 10th) before my birthday with a night out. I went to town with a couple of my girl friends. We started with cocktails at The Slug and Lettuce, then dinner with wine at Nando's, then back to The Slug and Lettuce for more cocktails. The 7 dwarfs served us, thankfully Sneezy didn't sneeze in our drinks and Grumpy tried to be really grumpy, but he didn't do a very good job of it. It was a good night. 

They bought me Joseph Joesph nesting bowls. Yay! They are awesome! Thank you Kim and Kirsty!

Then I went on a baking course for the day. Thank you Mom and Dad! See previous previous post to read all about my day at Cake Boy in Battersea, London. 

Then I had a party. Where friends and family came with drink and we were all very merry.

A few people brought bouquets. My favorite was My Floral Cupcake, it contains, blueberry roses, pink roses, Lydia spray roses, lisianthus, and chrysanthemums! Thanks Cathy! Looking forward to our date tomorrow (Friday)!

I also received this gorgeous cake stand! Thanks Sharon!

I also received chocolates, wine and a bottle of Jack, a picture frame, various gift cards, and lots of cards with the number 30 on them!

Oh and I have to include the gift from my husband... the Kitchen Aid! Thank you! I love you! 

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special!! It was an awesome day and an awesome night!! :0) 

Outsider Tart, Chiswick {bakery tour}

I have been a fan of the David’s the owners of Outsider Tart since I bought myself a copy of their book 2 summers ago. I have stated more then once my love for their book Baked in America. I even traveled to Oxford to get them to sign it. So it's a bit odd that this was my first visit to the shop, store, cafĂ©, bakery, all of the above?  

Thursday after my day at Cake Boy (see previous entry) my friend Lauren, picked me up and to avoid rush hour traffic hung out at Outsider Tart for a bit. It was on our way back to Berkshire, not that I needed an excuse to visit!

The day before I had tweeted them @OutsiderTart and asked what I should try as my birthday treat. I had a reply saying I should ask for him (David) when I got there because he was working on an ice cream sandwich.

Before I get to the ice cream sandwich can I just say that if you are planning to visit Outsider Tart you should go on Thursday night because it’s Chili Night and the chili was amazing! It was accompanied by the best corn bread I think I have ever had. Or at least the best I have had since I left Indiana in 1998.

Back to the ice cream sandwich…it was good! It was gorgeous! The vanilla ice cream middle was the perfect balance to the rich chocolate cookie outside. I hope they decide to add it to the menu! 

Thank you so much David for letting me try it out! I hope to visit again soon!!

Adventures at Cake Boy [Battersea]

In the words of my little one: Best Day Ever!

Before Christmas (last year) I started looking around for a baking class to attend. There are a few here and there around London, a couple outside of London as well, but Eric Lanlard’s at Cake Boy seemed the best by far. Along with the fact that there was one on my birthday it seemed like fate.

The day started with breakfast and a briefing by Eric, before getting on to the baking. The first half we made 3 delicious treats a Yuzu Tart in a Matcha pastry, a Light Fruit Cake, and a Valhrona Chocolate Mousse on a crunchy praline base. We paused in the middle for a delicious lunch before finishing the day with decorating our treats!

(When I got home I set my bag on the counter and the fruit loaf slipped down off the top of the boxes and brought the whole bag to the flour. I was so upset, but thankfully everything was alright. Only a few bumps and bruises, still edible, which is the only important part!)

It was obvious that Eric and staff have done this before it was very well organized and the day ran very smoothly. The best part was that I didn't have to clean up after. Bowls and spatulas would just disappear and come back clean, it was like magic. The other four ladies I was with were very lovely and we all got on very well. In fact everyone was amazing especially Eric, he was patient and gave very clear instructions, everything you'd want in a teacher. The staff working that day were also very friendly and helpful! 

We took home all our treats, along with the aprons we wore, and a goody bag full of baking essentials. Let me just say I have tried all of them since I have been home and they are all amazing. My favorite is the Yuzu Tart. The yuzu has such a refreshing yet tart taste it’s delicious. All of the treats we made are more then doable at home, but I don't know that they are the type of things I would bake at home. It's another reason I chose this class. Oh and if you want to try the Yuzu Tart it's in Tart it Up! 

It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you Eric and everyone at Cake Boy for making it a great experience. A bigger thanks to my Mom and Dad for sending me!

Oh and I forgot to mention I had a fun birthday cupcake!

notes: most of the pictures are mine save for a few that were sent to me from one of the ladies on the course with me!; for classes at Cake Boy; my review of Chocolat; my review of Tart it Up!; my first thoughts on Home Bake 

Bake Brave today on World Baking Day!

Happy World Baking Day!! 

Have you been Baking Brave today?? 

If you have young kids and want to bake something easy, but super delicious with them today check out level 10 on the World Baking Day, for Banana CinnaMuffins! 

If you don't have kids and you want something to make your house smell amazing and to show off to friends these muffins are perfect for that too!! 


Place in a 2lb loaf tin for an alternative bake! 
Thank you Janet! 

All you need to make this delicious bake!! 
You probably have all of this in your cupboard.... so go make them!!