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happy easter cake + sugarcraft giveaway.

Easter Cake

Hope you're all enjoying the start of Spring and making and baking some Easter treats. If you haven't made anything yet, here's a little Easter cake to hopefully get you inspired! I've always wanted to work on some sugarpaste and cake decorating skills - so what better excuse than this lovely selection of sugarcraft tools from VonShef at Domu. Showcasing the alphabet cutters, piping nozzles, various stampers and a swizzling cake stand (technical term), at the bottom of this post they'll be a chance to win all the tools featured in the post. Exciting stuff!

Sugarpaste Flowers

earl grey bunny biscuits with lemon drizzle.

Easter! What better time to combine your love of tea into the shape of a bunny rabbit and call it seasonal? Made with a crunchy Earl Grey infused biscuit and drizzled with signature lemon icing, these are the perfect Springtime treat for little ones and grown ups alike. I used the lovely new bunny cutter from the Laura Ashley Easter range too - which you can win in my latest giveaway.

gas st. social, birmingham.

Set back from the twinkly lights of Brindleyplace canal in Birmingham, Gas St. Social is the new hangout to go halves on sharing boards, celebrate special occasions or a sip on cheeky cocktail or two. As the name suggests, the restaurant is all about meeting up with pals and mixing and matching their platters over one too many Brambles. But if sharing isn't your thing (me neither - sharing platter for one please!) they also have a contemporary menu packed with modern meals to suit your mood. The decor is modern and eccentric; think old typewriters, exposed natural wood grain and retro prints with a nod to the Birmingham roots of Cadbury and the original Typhoo tea factory.

laura ashley easter collection 2015.

Introducing the charming Easter gift collection from none other than Laura Ashley. Growing up, my mum used to make all sorts of dresses and homeware from Laura Ashley fabric, synonymous with British charm and designs influenced by all things countryside. These days, I love pottering about in the accessories section of their shops trying to resist buying floral duvet number 8374940. So you can imagine my joy at the most recent Easter collections, with and exciting giveaway for my readers too.

The delightful range features Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, luxurious truffles and Easter chick marshmallows, all in an endearing pastel palette reminiscent of Spring. You could easily find a fun Easter gift for a child as well as something mum would love. 

pressure cooker texas style beef brisket with the tefal clipso.

In the last few years the low 'n' slow cooking revolution has truly excelled. Barbecue competitions, soul food joints and weird and wonderful marinades have flourished with the growing want for juicy, flavoursome and fall-apart meat. 

This sounds all very well but other than when I'm snoozing I can't remember the last time I stayed in my house long enough for a joint of meat to slow cook in my oven (safely) for 8 hours. Also, I'm yet to invest in a slow cooker. Enter... the loyal pressure cooker. I've tried out pulled pork, stews and even paella in my trusty Tower contraption. So how will the swanky new Tefal Clipso fare in the pressure cooker league table?

gourmet burger kitchen, the mailbox, birmingham.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Hope you're ready for this Birmingham - your GBK is back in action! Last week Gourmet Burger Kitchen re-opened its doors at The Mailbox to show off its snazzy new look and droolworthy burger menu. The nationwide burger brand is known for its, well, gourmet burgers, with stacks of flavours to suit all tastebuds. What would you go for?

Gourmet Burger Kitchen Birmingham

creme egg bakewell tart.

Easter is an exciting time for baking. So much awesome pancake, chocolate, hot cross bun and Easter baking inspiration. Not to mention delicious Mini Eggs and Creme Eggs hitting the shelves ready to be devoured. And that can only mean one thing... Creme Egg baking recipes! It's no secret the Bakewell is my all time favourite dessert, so here it is with an Easter twist! (Plus - a generous helping of Nutella!)

olive it! chorizo and olive skewers + win a cookery class with omar allibhoy.

I just love tapas. Second to sushi, it's probably one of my favourite meals to share. (Or sometimes, not share). The smoky flavours of paprika, the abundance of olives, fine Spanish meats, crispy calamari, stacks of Manchego cheese and wholesome paella, all washed down with a rich and fruity red. 

Hungry yet? Me too. If you love tapas as much as me, this prize is right up your street; the chance for you and a friend to win a cookery class with spanish chef Omar Allibhoy, in collaboration with Olive It!

bob bob ricard, london.

If you haven't seen this press for champagne button on your instagram feed yet, you're clearly following the wrong people. Seriously though, you can't miss it, it's the most talked about button since that one they push on the voice. I have to admit it was the very reason I looked up london's Bob Bob Ricard in the first place. Then I saw the enticing British and Russian fusion of a menu (not with the extortionate price tag I anticipated) and I was sold. think lobster macaroni and cheese, 28 day aged scotch beef wellington and truffled mashed potatoes.

gluten free millionaire's shortbread.

An indulgent millionaire's shortbread recipe, that's also gluten free. The classic recipe has a gluten free shortbread base, syrupy caramel and a naughty double chocolate topping. Since there is no reliance on gluten like with bread and pasta, I've found gluten free flour works really well as a like for like replacement in shortcrust pastry and most crumbly, biscuit like recipes. without further ado, let's get baking!

how to make homemade pasta.

I love making fresh pasta at home. I see it like the savoury version of making cupcakes; time consuming, therapeutic and rewarding. It tastes so much better homemade and it's perfect for when you're feeling creative. On the other hand, I definitely wouldn't recommend attempting making it when hungry. Pasta dough is definitely not as tasty as a bowl of buttercream. 

Since my Granny and Grandpa bought me the fantastic gift of a pasta machine back in Christmas 2012, I've been trying my hand at all sorts of homemade pasta shapes, sizes, flavours and dishes. I'm by no means a pasta pro, but i thought it was about time I shared some pasta making tips and tricks i've learnt along the way.