Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

One of the best parts of a night or two away in a hotel is the breakfast. At home I rarely eat breakfast and if I do it’s usually just toast or cereal. A hotel breakfast is a real treat, and like most people I like a big breakfast to set me up for a day of shopping, sightseeing or adventure. This week we were invited to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club to try out their award-winning breakfast.

In November 2016 the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club was voted as having the best breakfast in the North West by Trivago. We were invited down to put their breakfast to the test. It was a great excuse for a proper family breakfast to see us right for a wintery walk later that day.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast is served at the Grill in the Park from 6:30am -11am on weekdays, or 7am – 11am on weekends. Hotel residents can add for £10 upon check in for breakfast. For those not staying overnight, breakfast is available at £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club includes a selection of continental meats, cheeses and smoked salmon; fresh fruit and yogurts; muffins and pastries; cereals, toast and hot cooked breakfasts with a choice of freshly cooked eggs, local sausages, bacon and all the trimmings. They also have a chef on hand to whip up a fresh omelette for you and freshly made waffles, more of which later.

The Grill in the Park is a comfortable but stylish setting for breakfast, and on Saturday morning it was busy with families and couples having breakfast with plans to visit the nearly Trafford Centre, or Legoland, or like us got for a long walk in the country. 

Breakfast is self service, though a friendly waitress offered us tea and coffee and the small boy had a hot chocolate. The service was efficient, with waitresses clearing plates away and generally being very helpful. I chatted to the chef whilst he cooked my omelette and he and the waiting staff were great to chat to if you needed some advice about things to do locally.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Breakfast began with a selection of juices and fruit. Hubs went for a very lovely looking porridge with jam and bananas.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

The small boy loves fruit, so he had a big bowl of his favorites with some yoghurt. They also had a good selection of cheeses, meats and smoked salmon; as well as bread, muffins and pastries for those wanting a continental breakfast.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

I’d heard that the omelettes were excellent. They’re one of my favourite things, so I had to give them a try. There were about 8 different fillings to choose from, but I opted for cheese and tomato – all freshly cooked in front of me. When I got back to the table there was such omelette envy, we had to go back and get another for the boy.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

My husband opted for the more traditional fry up. He particularly enjoyed the sausages and the poached egg. I had a slice of fried bread with baked beans – a rare treat. It was so delicious I was sad to finish it. The small boy, true to form opted for a side of sausages to go with his omelette. He said they were the best sausages ever!

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

A special mention must go to the freshly cooked waffles. I love waffles but I rarely eat them. I’m so glad I insisted we share a waffle and maple syrup (for breakfast dessert). It was the lightest, airiest waffle I’ve ever eaten. It was a joy. If you go to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club for breakfast, you must try the omelettes and the waffles.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

We’d eaten and eaten well. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we all felt that the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club had nailed it. It was very, very good, with lots of choice and everything was well made and well cooked. 

I can see why the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club won best breakfast in the North West. If I was staying in the hotel I wouldn’t hesitate to book myself in for breakfast, but it is the kind of place we’d pop in to fuel up for the day if we were passing on our way to another adventure. Delicious.

For more information about breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, visit their website.

Breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

We were invited guests of the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club and our breakfast was complimentary. All images and opinions are our own.

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

Winter is hell on your hands. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t struggle with dry hands over the winter months, it’s really uncomfortable. I have eczema on my hands, I always have done, so I’m forever moisturising them. I’m not sure how this is possible, but I find that some moisturisers make my skin feel even drier. It’s hard for me to find a brand I get on with, which won’t cause flare-ups and one which will deliver the level of moisturisation I need.

This month I’ve been trying DermaSalve Hand Cream for dry and sensitive hands. It’s formulated to help keep skin looking and feeling healthy and contains no known irritants. It’s been designed to be used for dry skin conditions including eczema and is gentle enough to be used every day.

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

I tried the 200ml hand pump version of the DermaSalve Hand Cream. I think moisturisers in hand pumps are so much easier to use than a tube that you’ve got to try and screw the lid back on with slippery fingers. The pump dispenses just enough for my hands and has a slight foaming action when you pump some out.

The hand cream is white and not too thick and cloying which some creams can be. It is smooth and is easy to rub into your skin, and for me it sinks in well leaving my skin feeling silky smooth to the touch.

There is no fragrance added to it, I think it has a smell which reminds me slightly of oats, but it’s only noticeable if you give your hand a good sniff.

The DermaSalve hand cream costs around £8.99 and does not contain alcohol, fragrances, parabens, lanolin, steroids or other harmful irritants. Instead it uses natural wheat germ, jojoba in combination with aloe vera and vitamins to moisturise your skin.

It’s not greasy and your hands feel like they’ve been well moisturised for a good while after. I know sometimes I moisturise my hands and I need to moisturise them again and again as the moisturiser I’m using doesn’t deliver. 

My hands are working hard at the moment, looking after my family and cleaning up after the new puppy. I’m washing my hands more, going from a central heated house to the chill outside and back again. My hands get dry, the skin on my fingers split and they need a lot of TLC. 

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

I’ve been using this for about a week now. I use it after my morning shower and again in the evening. I’m really pleased with how my hands feel after I’ve used the DermaSalve Hand Cream.

I think when it comes to moisturisers, and especially if you’ve got dry or sensitive skin, or eczema; you have to try a lot of moisturisers to find the ones which work for you. I thought that the DermaSalve Hand Cream delivered the extra moisturising boost my hands needed at a time when they needed it the most.

DermaSalve also make face cream, body cream, baby & infant cream and foot & heel cream. I’m especially interested in trying the foot cream as I have eczema there too. I wonder if DermaSalve can solve my eczema problem for good. 

For more information about DermaSalve Hand Cream and other products, visit their website.

Note: I was sent the DermaSalve Hand Cream for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Recipe: Luxurious Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

Since I made my Norwegian Inspired Cauliflower Cheese Soup in the autumn, I’ve been a bit obsessed with this deliciously frugal soup. I’ve started using frozen cauliflower for the recipe, so it’s really cheap and as I keep a bag of it in my freezer at all times, I always have the ingredients to hand if I need to throw together a quick but delicious meal.

Before Christmas I popped into Manchester for a date night with my husband. We were off to a gig but fancied a pint first. We were propping up the bar when I spotted one of their specials was cauliflower and chestnut soup, and an idea formed which I couldn’t shake. I needed to make that lovely sounding soup.

I’ve had a tin of Clement Faugier Chestnut Spread in my cupboard for a few months now. I’d bought it with great intentions, but never managed to make anything with it. I’ve never tried chestnuts before, which I know is a bit strange. So I really didn’t know what to expect until I opened my tin and had a taste.

I confess I may have made a bit of a mistake using the Clement Faugier Chestnut Spread in my Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup. It’s a sweetened spread which is probably more suited for use in desserts, cakes and bakes, but although it did make the soup taste quite sweet, it actually worked quite well.

Having now tasted the chestnut spread I’m going to buy some more to make a good pud with, and maybe buy some unsweetened chestnut purée to make more soup with, but if sweet spread is all you’ve got, it’s not the end of the world.

Recipe: Luxurious Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup

Ingredients – serves 6

1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
900g cauliflower florets – fresh or frozen
300mls hot vegetable stock
400mls milk
250g chestnut purée
1 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, ground chilli flakes

Method

Gently fry your onion in the olive oil until it’s soft. 

Add your cauliflower florets to the pan and stir. Add the hot vegetable stock and 300mls of the milk. Add a little salt, pepper and ground chilli flakes, then put the lid on the pan and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for ten minutes. Add the chestnut purée and the finely grated Parmesan cheese and stir through. Using a blender (I used a stick blender), blend the soup until it is smooth. I added the remaining 100mls of milk at this stage as my soup was too thick. If your soup needs loosening up add some extra milk.

Add any extra salt, pepper and ground chilli flakes if you think it needs additional seasoning.To serve, spoon into bowls and drizzle some of your favourite oil on top on top – I used a cold pressed rapeseed oil which I particularly like. Serve with warm crusty bread.

It’s as simple as that. My Cauliflower and Chestnut Soup is really delicious and it’s smooth, silky and filling. It’s a luxurious treat of a soup and more than a cut above anything I’ve had before. 

What’s your favourite chestnut recipe?

Win a DeWALT Toolbox from RS Components Ltd

With spring around the corner, my thoughts are turning to spring cleaning, decluttering and some DIY. There are no grand plans for extensive renovations, but there are a few bits and bobs which need fixing up, replacing or redecorating.  Every home needs a toolbox and a few basic tools, even I have a hammer and a small selection of screwdrivers, as well as some duct tape which is to my mind an essential every home should have. I’m no DIY expert, but I’m prepared to give some simple tasks a go, or patch things up until an expert can be brought in to do their bit. 

I’ve teamed up with RS Components Ltd who are based in Corby, Northants and are the world’s leading high-service distributor of electronics, automation and control components, tools and consumables. They stock a huge range of products suitable for both the home DIYer and for trade, all at very reasonable prices. 

They have a massive selection of toolboxes, starting from £3.59, all the way up to £325 and with brand names including Bahco, Bott, DeWALT, Facom, Raaco, RS Pro, Stanley and Terry.

I’ve picked out a really good all rounder to giveaway, I’ve chosen the DeWALT TStak Combo II Plus IV Plastic Tool Box which RS Components Ltd are currently selling for £68.60. This toolbox is a tough, durable tool case made from polypropylene plastic. Its solid metal hinges and heavy-duty metal latches make it robust. It has a strong metal handle and two compartments to separate smaller and larger accessories for greater organisation.Win a DeWALT Toolbox from RS Components Ltd

It’s a cracking bit of kit and perfect to get your tools in order and organised in time for a bit of spring DIY. What are you waiting for?

Win a DeWALT Toolbox from RS Components Ltd

To be in with a chance to win a DeWALT Toolbox from RS Components Ltd, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a DeWALT Toolbox from RS Components Ltd.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 8th February 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier

Over the last few years I have noticed that my allergy to dust mites has got steadily worse and I’ve started to suffer with hay fever during the summer months. Not only that, but despite having dogs for most of my life, it appears that cuddling our new puppy makes me wheeze. I’m never more than 2 metres away from a packet of antihistamines these days, and sometimes even they are not enough to cure my itchy eyes and tight chest. I needed to find a long term solution to cure my ills, so we’ve been putting the Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier to the test.

Review: Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier

The Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier is a stand alone air purifying unit which is suitable for use in rooms up to 18m². The purifier is white with grey accents and has an easy to use touch screen panel. It comes with a carbon filter and a True HEPA filter which are easy to fit. It is also supplied with an easy to understand instruction booklet.

It boasts a four-stage purification system which captures 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen and other allergens, dust mites, mould spores, pet dander and cigarette smoke.

Review: Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier

The air purifier looks like a stand alone fan heater and wouldn’t look out of place in a home or office. We set our purifier up in our living room, which is the room I spend most of my time in at the moment. During the peak hay fever months in summer I expect it will move upstairs to my bedroom so I can sleep better.

The air purifier is easy to set up. Before you plug it in for the first time you need to fit the filters. To do this you pull out the grey side drawer, remove the filters from their packaging and put the carbon filter in first, then the True HEPA filter. Push the drawer back in until it clicks and it is ready to use. 

To use the Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier, plug it in to a wall socket and switch the unit on. It will spend the first four minutes assessing the air quality in the room and then start to purify it. The AeraSmart Sensor monitors the air quality and adjusts the fan speed to keep the air purified. The Aera+ mode is designed for use during peak allergy season.

The operating panel on the Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier is very easy to understand and use. For the most part for us the display has been blue, which is a sign of good air quality and that the filters are fine to use. If the AeraSmart Sensor light is anything other than blue, that means your air quality isn’t what it should be and the purifier should automatically adjust to the conditions and works to purify the air. If the filters are ok and not needing to be replaced, their lights should also be blue.

Review: Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier

The Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier emits a low hum which I stopped noticing after a couple of minutes. It has been designed to be ultra quiet and we thought it was as quiet as it could be. We all got used to it very quickly and even the dog was completely nonplussed by it working away in a quiet corner.

Each morning since we got the Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier I’ve switched it on and had it running for the day whilst I’ve been sat working in my living room. Since its arrival I’ve not had to take an antihistamine, this could just be a coincidence as it’s not hay fever season, but over Christmas I was taking them daily. I’m looking forward to putting the purifier through its paces in the summer.

I am pleased with my Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier so far. Living with allergies can make you really miserable and uncomfortable. Having this air purifier in my armoury makes me feel that when the itching, sneezing and wheezing starts, I’ve got something other than pills to make life more bearable.

For more information about the Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier, visit their website.

Review: Fellowes AeraMax DX55 Air Purifier

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

Win a month’s supply of Get More Vitamin Drinks

A couple of years ago we discovered Get More Vitamin drinks. They were cool and refreshing and exactly the kind the kind of flavoured water drinks I liked to buy, except these gave you a healthy vitamin boost where you needed it most.

Get More Vitamin Drinks have two ranges of water based drinks for adults and children, with larger bottles for adults and the smaller “A Little More” range for children. Each bottle is enhanced with vitamins and minerals (each flavour is different) and it supposed to be great for helping to re-hydrate you after exercise or in hot weather, or just whenever. It’s not a sports drink, it’s just a drink.

Win a month's supply of Get More Vitamin Drinks

 

In the Get More Vitamin range there are – 

 Sparkling Blackcurrant & Blueberry (vitamin A)
Still Apple & Raspberry (B vitamins)
Sparkling Orange (vitamin C)
Still Mango & Passionfruit (vitamin D)
Still Cranberry & Pomegranate (minerals)
Sparkling Lemon & Lime (multivitamins)

Get More Vitamin for kids –

A little More – Apple (multivitamins)
A little More – Orange (vitamin c)
A little More – Mango (vitamin D)

Get More Vitamin Drinks are available from a range of shops including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Ocado, and sell they for around £1.45 per 500ml bottle. You can find out more about More Vitamin Drinks on their website.

Win a month’s supply of Get More Vitamin Drinks

To be in with a chance to win a month’s supply of Get More Vitamin Drinks, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a month’s supply of Get More Vitamin Drinks.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 5th February 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Recipe: Lemon and Ginger Drizzle Cake

To say I’m a little obsessed with my new bundt tin is something of an understatement. I am constantly thinking of nice cakes to bake in it, after all, it’s just a fancy shaped cake tin and you can bake almost any kind of cake in it. Lemon drizzle cake is a real family favourite. It’s as light as a feather and the sweet but sour drizzle lends a satisfying tang to this afternoon treat. 

Recipe: Lemon and Ginger Drizzle Cake

I had a jar of Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup left over from Christmas and as lemon and ginger are one of my favorite flavour combinations, I thought I’d spice up my standard drizzle. I was not disappointed, it was everything a classic lemon drizzle should be, but with a lovely gentle hum of ginger. I’ll be baking this one again and again and again. My lemon and ginger drizzle cake is a winner!

Lemon and Ginger Drizzle Cake

Ingredients (serves 16)
6 oz caster sugar
6 oz softened butter
3 eggs
6 oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 pieces of Opies stem ginger in syrup, finely diced

For the icing –
150g icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of half of the lemon
Syrup Opies stem ginger in syrup

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190°. Liberally grease your bundt tin with melted butter and dust the inside of your tin with flour so that the flour is stuck to the butter and your cake shouldn’t stick to the tin.

Beat your butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and lemon zest and give them a good mix. Add the finely diced stem ginger and combine.

Pour the lot into your bundt tin. Smooth the top of the batter and bake in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes.

Once cool, turn out onto a suitable plate or cake stand and make up the drizzle icing. 

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the lemon juice and zest. Loosen the icing by drizzling in some of the syrup from the jar of stem ginger, use as much or as little as you would like, I used around 3 teaspoons of the syrup. 

Prick your cake all over with a skewer and carefully spoon your icing over, trying to get some of it down the little holes in your cake. Leave it in a cool place for the icing to set a little, then serve with a pot of tea.

Recipe: Lemon and Ginger Drizzle Cake

I made my cake in a bundt tin because I don’t need any excuse to bake a bunt, but it would work equally well in a loaf tin or any other cake tin you have to hand. This lemon and ginger drizzle cake is a lovely, light as a feather cake. 

A lemon drizzle is a firm family favourite, but adding stem ginger takes this to the next level. What’s your favourite cake?

This is how it feels to be lonely

Here’s a thing. I’m lonely. I’m very, very lonely. I live in a busy house full of busy people and I’m busy helping people put shoes on, wiping noses, cooking tea, washing school uniforms, walking the dog. It’s endless and endlessly repetitive. A thought keeps creeping into my head and I keep pushing it back so I can’t acknowledge it. But I’m lonely. I’m so very lonely.

Back in the day I had a busy job and work colleagues, legions of friends to go out with and an active social life. Now my life is lived for the most part online. It is wasn’t for the constant chatter about the practicalities of living, finding shoes, being late for school, what’s for tea and me telling the dog what a good girl she is, I’m sure I’d not speak to anyone about anything. I’m really very lonely.

Sometimes I lie in bed at night listening to the quiet creaking of the house and the gentle snoring of the boys in their rooms. I turn over and hug myself to sleep. Sometimes I lie on my arm until it’s numb and I hold hands with myself, just to feel the comfort of human touch. I’m so bloody lonely.

I miss banter, I miss laughing with other people, I miss making people laugh. I miss talking about last nights TV and I miss people needing me and wanting me. I am superfluous. If I vanished I’m sure people would only eventually notice because I stopped tweeting, or the dog needed walking and no one had done it. Or that tea wasn’t on the table.

This sounds so self pitying, but I feel so alone. I feel so lonely. I can’t see a time in the future when I won’t feel like this, if anything it will get worse and I’ll feel more alone and lonely every year. And I don’t know what to do to fix that, other to keep lying on my arm so someone will hold my hand while I fall asleep at night.

Goodnight xx

This is how it feels to be lonely

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs – great to make with kids!

The school holidays can take a lot of filling. On our last day off school we met up with some friends and headed to Bella Italia for lunch, then for a play at the nearby Wacky Warehouse. Lunch for 7 lively kids and 4 weary mums was a nice relaxed affair, the food was a crowd pleaser, but one thing caught my eye – the pizza hot dogs on the kid’s menu. It was something I knew I’d have to recreate at home. I had a hunch they’d be a hit and they really were.

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs - great to make with kids!

Not only are the pizza hot dogs great for kids to eat, but it turns out they’re lots of fun for them to make too. They are as junky as they sound, but as a once in a while treat they’re pretty blooming fantastic. If you’re feeding vegetarians you can use vegetarian hot dog sausages (which I’ve fed to both boys before and they’ve not noticed), if not, just choose your favourite frankfurter or hot dog sausage.

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs - great to make with kids!

I used a pizza base mix – most supermarkets have their own these days; a jar of pizza topping and some of those bright orange cheese slices you put on burgers. It’s up to you if you want to use a homemade sauce or a less processed cheese. These pizza hot dogs are a quick meal the kids can help you make. Perfect for a picnic lunch, movie nights at home, or for when you’ve got a crowd of little monkeys around for a playdate or party.

Pizza Hot Dogs

Ingredients – makes 8 
1 packet of pizza base mix (145g)
8 slices of burger cheese
1/2 jar of pizza topping sauce
8 frankfurter or hot dog sausages

Method

Make up the pizza dough following the instructions on the packet. Pre-heat your oven to the temperature suggested on the packet  – mine was 200°.

Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and roll out into rectangles (on a floured surface). There needs to be about 2cms at the top and bottom and 3cm each side when you put your sausage on.

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs - great to make with kids!

Take each cheese slice and cut it in half. Then lay the cheese on top of the dough and spread a heaped teaspoon of the pizza topping sauce on top of the cheese. Put your hot dog on top of the tomato sauce.

Fold the top and bottom edges of the dough over the sausage and press the edges of the dough together. Pull one of the long edges over the sausage and tuck it under. Pull the other edge across so the sausage is hidden inside. Pinch all the edges together until they are sealed shut.

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs - great to make with kids!

Dust a baking tray with flour or polenta so the dough doesn’t stick. Lay your pizza hog dogs on the tray. You may want to brush them with olive oil at this point, but that’s up to you. 

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The time will depend on how thickly you’ve rolled out your dough. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.

Recipe: Pizza Hot Dogs - great to make with kids!

They retain their heat very well, so it’s an idea to cut them open and leave them to cool before little ones get their hands on them.

These Pizza Hot Dogs are really fun to make and a real family treat. You could fill them with your favourite pizza toppings too – pepperoni pizza hot dog anyone?

Casa Costello

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

The Great British Bake Off has been a real game changer for amateur bakers like me. It’s given me the confidence to try new bakes and introduced the nation to previously unheard of treats from all over the world. Before GBBO I’d never seen or heard of a bundt before, but it soon became a cake I needed to bake. This week I made a Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch and I became this week’s star baker (in my house only). 

I’ve wanted a bundt tin for a long time. Every so often I’d have a look around for one but they were always a bit beyond my budget and I couldn’t justify spending that much on a cake tin. A few weeks before Christmas I spotted a Crofton bundt tin in Aldi for around £11 and I couldn’t resist. I’ve been itching to use my bundt tin ever since. 

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

For my Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch I used a 250g jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch. I drained the cherries and set aside the kirsch for drizzling over the cake. It was really very good and the boys managed to demolish it in double quick time – always the sign of a successful bake.

Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

Ingredients (serves 16)
150g butter
150g sugar
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
100g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch
1/2 tub of Dr Oetker Easy Milk Chocolate Icing

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 190°. Liberally butter your bundt tin and using 25g of your cocoa powder, dust the inside of your tin so that the powder is stuck to the butter.

Beat your butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour, 75g of cocoa powder and baking soda and give them a quick stir, add the eggs and thoroughly combine. If your mixture seems a bit stiff or dry, add a splash of milk.

Drain your black cherries, reserving the kirsch for later. Stir your cherries into the cake batter and pour the lot into your bundt tin. Smooth the top of the batter. 

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 190°. After 30 minutes, check it’s cooked through with a skewer and remove from the oven. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes.

Once cool, turn out onto a suitable plate or cake stand and decorate. I used half a tub of Dr Oetker Easy Milk Chocolate Icing which you just microwave and then drizzle over with a spoon. I also whipped some cream to serve with it and spooned over some of the kirsch I’d set aside from the jar. Delicious. 

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

It was a really lovely pudding and the kirsch made the cake extra moist and a little bit naughtier. I’m looking forward to getting another bundt in the oven.

Casa Costello