Funfetti cupcakes

We spied funfetti cupcakes on Pinterest and they reminded us of summer so we decided they were the perfect bake now the weather is nicer and it feels like summer is on its way!

You make our basic vanilla cupcake recipe and add some sprinkles to the mixture. You can use the long strands or the hundred and thousands, you could go multi-coloured or choose just one colour. These cupcakes are super fun and would be great at a summer party!

Cupcakes
120g butter
120g sugar
2 eggs
120g flour
tsp baking powder
drop vanilla essence
sprinkles

Icing
250g icing sugar
80g butter, softened
20ml milk
sprinkles

1) Preheat the over to 180 degrees and put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray (we used red spotty cases from Tesco)
2) For the cake beat together the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer, beat until the mixture is fluffy.
3)Crack in the eggs, sift in the flour and add the baking powder and vanilla essence. Beat until the mixture is combined but do not over mix.
4) Stir in the sprinkles with a spatula, do not mix too much as the colour starts to run. Add as little or a lot as you want, the more you use the brighter the cupcakes will be.
5) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 12 minutes. A skwewer should come out clean and they should look golden. Leave to cool
6) For the icing put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until fluffy. The longer you mix the fluffier and nicer the icing will be.
7) Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes when they are cool and then top with more sprinkles

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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

We love lemon meringue pie so decided to turn one of our favourite desserts into cupcakes. We made our own lemon curd, however if its easier just buy your own. In addition we are lucky enough to own a blow torch so it made finishing off these cupcakes a lot easier. You can quickly cook the meringue in the oven, however we are unsure how reliable this is.

These cakes do take some time to make and there are quite a few steps to follow. Make sure you allow yourself enough time for the cakes to cool before putting the meringue on top. Even though they do take a while they are totally worth it and will leave everyone wanting to go back for more!

Lemon Meringue

Cupcakes
110g caster suagr
110g unsalted butter
2 eggs
110g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
dash vanilla essence

Lemon curd
100g caster sugar
2tbsp corn flour
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 3 lemons
juice 1 orange
85g butter
1 egg
3 egg yolk

Meringue
4 egg white
200g caster sugar
2tsp cornflour

Cake method:
1) With an electric hand mixer or free standing mixer beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
2) Add the eggs with a tsp of the flour and mix
3) Add the remaining flour, baking powder and vanilla and beat together
4) Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and cook in the over for 12 minutes at 180C

Lemon curd method:
1) Put the cornflour, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan and on a low heat gradually stir in the lemon juice.
2) Make the orange juice up to 200ml with water and gradually add this to the pan stirring constantly. Cook over a medium heat until the mixture thickens stirring until you have a smooth mixture.
3) When the mixture bubbles remove from the heat and add the cubed butter until it melts
4) Beat the egg yolks and whole egg together then stir into the pan. Return to the heat and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens and plops off the spoon then remove from the heat

Prepare the cake:
1) Once the cakes have cooled use an apple corer to take out the centre of the cupcake. You may need to use a knife to get rid of a little more cake
2) Fill the cake with the lemon curd and then put the cake you have removed back on top of the curd

Meringue:
1) Put the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks
2) Add half the sugar a spoonful at a time whilst still whisking.
3) Whisk in the cornflour
4) Add the rest of the sugar a spoonful at a time and whisk until stiff

Prepare the topping:
1) Pipe the meringue onto the top of the cake or use a spoon
2) With a blow torch lightly cook/toast the meringue until golden

These are certainly a showstopper and the lemon curd in the middle a nice surprise for everyone enjoying the cupcake.

We hope you enjoy making and eating these as much as we did – don’t forget to share your recipes with us!

A toursits’ guide to London

Despite both living close to London we do love having a touristy day out in London and exploring the amazing city. London is incredible because there is so much to do regardless of your age and there is also so much history to the city.
We have decided to pull together some ideas if you are planning a day out in London. You can pick your favourites from the below list and tailor the day to suit your needs. The great thing about London is that a lot of it is walking distance away from each other and the best way to explore a city is by walking. When you walk somewhere you find areas that you wouldn’t normally discover and really explore the city.

Central Tourist locations:
Buckingham Palace – get off the tube at Green Park and walk to Buckingham Palace to see one of the most famous sites in London. This place is swamped with tourist so be careful in the crowds, but make sure you get that good shot. The best time to go is to see the changing of the guard at 11am.

Trafalgar Square – You can walk to Trafalgar Square along the tree lined Mall from Buckingham Palace, or the closest tube is Trafalgar Square. You can visit the National Gallery here or the National Portrait Gallery and also take pictures of Trafalgar

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – You can easily walk to Big Ben from Buckingham Palace or from Trafalgar Square, or the closest tube station is Westminster. Big Ben is so iconic so you have to visit here when coming to London. If you are lucky you may see lots of protestors outside too. Make sure you walk along Waterloo Bridge to get a good shot and this bridge then takes you to the London Eye

London Eye – The London Eye is a great tourist attraction and personally we think the best time of day to go on it is at dusk so you can watch the sun set over London. The London Eye may be slightly expensive but if you haven’t been on it before then its highly recommended. You can spend your visit pointing out the iconic buildings across the skyline.

Sea Life Aquarium – a great day out for the family is the aquarium which is right by the London Eye. For those who love aquariums and sea creatures this is a fun day out!

Tower Bridge & London Bridge:
These locations are very close to each other so it’s a good idea to visit all these places together

Borough Market – Borough Market is foodie heaven and the closest tube is London Bridge. The best time to visit the market is early in the day as it is less busy, however the market is only open Wednesday to Saturday There are so many different food stalls here to purchase food from but also street food stalls to purchase delicious hot food. You could spend hours here tasting samples of different cheeses, meats and sweet treats. Make sure you visit Rabot 1745 for the most incredible hot chocolate.

The Shard – the tallest building in London is guaranteed to provide you with incredible views of London. You can be on the 72nd floor of this building admiring the London skyline with 360 degree views. To visit the viewing gallery you need to book in advance, but you could also visit one of the many bars or restaurants for dinner and drinks with a difference.

HMS Belfast – the HMS Belfast is moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and is such a fun day out for the whole family. There is so much to do and see on board the ship and of course great views of the iconic Tower Bridge. On the HMS Belfast you will learn all about live at sea but also about World War Two.

Tower of London – Tower of London to see the crown jewels is an excellent way to spend the afternoon in London. To make the visit enjoyable for kids you can download an interactive app to keep the kids encouraged throughout the visit. The great thing about a visit to the Tower of London is that you can spend as little or as long as you like here.

Tower Bridge – one of the most famous bridges that people often think is called London Bridge, but make sure you do not mix the two! Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that consists of 2 bridge towers tied together at the upper level by 2 walkways and you can visit Tower Bridge and climb to a glass floor walkway for impressive views of London. Your ticket also included a visit to the engine room to learn about the inner workings of the bridge.

Covent Garden/West End/Soho:
Covent Garden – you have to visit here purely to see how beautiful it is, the covered market place is gorgeous especially at Christmas. You will also see some amazing street performers here

Theatre – a trip to London isn’t complete without a trip to London’s West End to see a play or a musical. There are so many amazing shows on at the theatre you will want to see them all! Aladdin is incredible and so is Lion King if you are a Disney Fan. Mamma Mia is an amazing sing a long musical that is guaranteed to make you feel good. Matilda is also incredible and highly recommended. Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera are also excellent choices

Eating – There are SO many restaurants in this area that you are spoilt for choice. There are too many to put here, but look out for a post about pre-theatre menus in London soon. However, many restaurants offer excellent value pre-theatre menus so make sure you research or book in advance.

Regents Park/Camden:
London Zoo – London Zoo is amazing if we do say so ourselves! It’s such a big zoo so you could easily spend the day here. Nestled in Regents Park and close to the stunning Primrose Hill this is a great place to visit with the family. There are lots of events on throughout the day in particular learning about different animals. We love bringing a picnic to the zoo, however there are plenty of places to buy food too.

Madame Tussauds – Madame Tussauds is on the edge of Regents Park and is part of the famous wax work museum chain. You can take your picture with a number of famous people and pretend to be mingling with the celebs! The wax works change of a regular basis. When booking your ticket online you get to pick a time slot, its advised to book in advance otherwise you could be queuing for hours to gain entry.

Camden – Camden is very very close to the beautiful Regents Park. Camden is a very vibrant and eclectic part of London right by a beautiful lock. Camden is famous for its market so make sure you visit it for a browse. There are also many different street food stands to buy delicious food.

This is only scraping the surface of visiting London, make sure you check back for more blog posts about the best city in the world (we may be biased!).

Banana & Peanut mini loafs

Banana bread and peanut butter are two of our favourite things in life (well peanut butter is one of Annie’s, Rachel cant stand it but she does love banana bread). We have already created a banana bread recipe which is so delicious and simple to make.

We recently received some ‘Peanut Hottie’ in the post and new straight away we had to create a recipe using the product. we love banana and peanut butter porridge so we thought it would be perfect to add the peanut hottie to our banana bread recipe and instead of making a big loaf we would make mini loafs!

You can purchase Peanut Hottie in all the leading supermarkets here in the UK including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys. We cant wait to try the peanut hottie with chocolate drink as well!

peanut butter loads

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tbsp peanut hottie powder
100ml milk of your choice
Peanut butter to drizzle

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Grease the mini loaf tin with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Mush 3 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & Peanut hottie
Once combined add the mashed banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tins
Bake the banana loaf for 15-20 minutes until cooked throughout
Once cooled drizzle the mini loafs with peanut butter we used pip and nut!

Enjoy and as always send us your creations you can find us on Instagram and Twitter!

April favourites 

April has been such a busy month for us and we have absolutely loved it! We both went away for the Easter weekend with our families, Rach went to Northern Ireland and Annie went to Suffolk. Rachel also celebrated her Birthday in Paris but most importantly the day was spent at Disneyland Paris how amazing! Rach also started a new job which she is loving and Annie ran a half marathon at the beginning of the month.

The summer months always get so busy and we have some exciting plans for May which we cannot wait to share with you over the next month. You can keep up with our whereabouts over on Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.

Assisted Squat Rack-  Recently we saw Tiffany Watson from MIC using the assisted squat rack in the gym to do a exercise we had never tried before. It inspired us to use the machine and as a result we ended up doing a full body workout on it! We have been loving it and boy could we feel the burn the next day. We will be posting the video on our Youtube channel soon!

Sugar free syrup in coffee shops– we have recently realised that Costa and Starbucks offer sugar free syrups! We don’t know how long they have been serving them but how did we not know about this before now? We are all for living a balanced lifestyle but we would much rather eat our calories than drink them and that is why we are opting for sugar free from now on.

London designer outlet- as you might have seen from our previous blog post or vlog we have been loving LDO! We spent the day there one Saturday and couldn’t wait to go back! We love to regularly update our active wear collection so the shops at LDO are perfect just for that!

Filming workout videos- we have had so much fun filming workout videos for our YouTube video recently! We meet up before work at the gym (6am are we mad?) to film videos especially for you guys! We have had a lot of fun mixing up our workouts and thinking of some fun and challenging exercises. So far we have posted; medicine ball workout, duo workout & full body workout.

The Good Guru- we have found a new favourite protein! We have sampled several of their proteins this month and they are so delicious. We especially love the individual packets as they are perfect to pack in your bag when going on holiday which as you know is something we love to do as often as possible. They also make vegan protein which is great for those that follow a vegan diet. We added the vanilla one to pancakes and also smoothie bowls. The Good Guru also make amazing porridge sachets with added protein and the berry one is a firm favourite that smells and tastes delicious.

Gato puddings- oh my gosh these puddings are DELICIOUS if you haven’t tried them already you need to! Rachel tasted them when she visited their stand at the Natural and Organic product show in London and she just had to introduce them to Annie. These puddings taste amazing served fresh from microwave and we loved all three flavours especially the chocolate and aubergine fondant & the orange and cardamon polenta sponge. They also have chocolate and coconut brownie too. Go check them out as they are perfect for dessert.

We cannot believe how quickly April has gone and that is is now so close to May! These months have been flying by and we guess its because we are working more and more on the blog and enjoying it more and more each day. We have mo specific plans for May apart from the fact that we have another bank holiday weekend which is always fab.
If you have any recommendations of places to go or things to do during May then let us know!

Cute Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes are nice and easy to make and the kids can easily get involved too (licking the bowl as well of course!!). We decided to make our simple cupcake recipe and then decorate with red/pink coloured sugary treats. You can decorate them however you would like, the brighter the better!

Heart cupcakes

Cupcakes:
120g butter
120g sugar
2 eggs
120g flour
tsp baking powder
drop vanilla essence

Icing:
250g icing sugar
80g butter, softened
20ml milk

Method 

1) Preheat the over to 180 degrees and put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray (we used red spotty cases from Tesco)
2) For the cake beat together the butter and sugar in a free standing mixer, beat until the mixture is fluffy.
3)Crack in the eggs, sift in the flour and add the baking powder and vanilla essence. Beat until the mixture is combined but do not over mix.
4) Spoon the mixture into the cases and then cook in the oven for 12 minutes. A skwewer should come out clean and they should look golden. Leave to cool
5) For the icing put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until fluffy. The longer you mix the fluffier and nicer the icing will be.
6) Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes when they are cool and have fun with your decorating!

Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

healthy eating 1

Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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