IngenuiTEA Teapot Giveaway

IngenuiTEA Teapot Giveaway

This one is for all the Tea drinkers & gadget lovers – An individual teapot that clips onto your cup and dispenses your brewed tea, exactly as you like it! I’m not ashamed to tell you, I’m a woman that likes her tea super strong – stand your spoon up in it. Most people can’t cope with tea that strong (or wait that long for it to brew either) so an individual teapot works just nicely.

No special cup needed (my trusty Denby mug holds the teapot just fine). You do need a decent sized cup though as the teapot holds quite a bit of liquid – you may have spillage if you prefer drinking from tiny delicate cups and forget when you are releasing the liquid. Makes a great gift for a tea lover.

This IngenuiTEA teapot comes from Adagio Teas that not only do tea drinking gadgets but also a splendid range of artisan teas too. We’ve been trying out the vanilla tea & peach flavoured loose-leaf tea which make a summery change from traditional teas. If you are new to flavoured teas, Adagio also have tea sampler sets so you can mix & match until you find your favourite. For the true tea lover, there are also tea clubs where you are sent a monthly selection of artisan teas.

I have one of these IngenuiTEA teapots (RRP £16) to giveaway to one lucky reader plus some samples of loose-leafed teas. To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions on the widget – As usual, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post rather than on the widget.

The giveaway remains open until 11.59PM on 19th August (My birthday – yay!) Sorry UK entries only. Make sure you head over to Adagio Teas to admire their impressive range of loose leaf teas – Which ones do you fancy the most?

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In My Kitchen

There are just some months when it feels like there is so much going on but I am getting nowhere. Every July is like this – the nearer we get to the end of term, the more the girls seem to have on. I am officially useless at running down cupboards and the freezer – It seems like we have ‘stuff’ everywhere but not much to cook a meal with. I’ve done an emergency fresh food shop tonight to get us through – You know its bad when the girls are swinging off the cupboard doors, sighing with disappointment that we have no bread AGAIN! (PS I do feed my kids honestly, they are just really dramatic!)

So what is going on in the Costello kitchen? For starters, there will be cupcakes-a-plenty to send to nursery with Tara for her last day (weep!) and the possibility of a 13 cake for the resident teenager in the house but more about them later in the week.

Vita Coco Coconut Water

Who doesn’t like receiving surprise gifts? These Vita Coco Coconut Waters were a lovely unexpected gift last week – Nephew Sonny is a huge fan & thoroughly enjoys slurping on them.

Special K new breakfast range

We had a HUGE delivery last week from the people at Special K. Gone are the days of bland tasteless flakes (that were all the rage when I went to uni). The new range of products aim to add colour to our lives – I’m not entirely sure my life was lacking colour but I can confirm that the Special K granola has gone down very well. We all tried it yesterday – First impressions are that it is super chocolatey – the smell hits you before the taste. Even Millie tried a bowl and declared it nice. Dermot didn’t feel short changed by the low fat version (it is said to contain 30% less fat than other granolas) and Tara’s disappeared super quick!

Suckies Yoghurts

In the past month, the girls were also sent some Suckies Yoghurts – I really liked the approach of this company. We were not asked to include them in the blog (but I’m doing it anyway) and the package was all about the children. Suckies just wanted the girls to be their tasters – My girls are well used to giving feedback, however it always helps when there’s at least one cousin around to get involved too. The blueberry yoghurts were definitely the favourites. The strawberries went down well but both M & V questioned that they could still feel ‘bits’ when the packaging says definitely no bits.

Suckies yoghurt testing

We are big fans of shopping local & get real buzz when we can support small local businesses. This delicious package of spices comes from The Spice Kitchen who’re based in Penketh, Warrington which is less than 10 miles from St Helens. The spices have only just arrived but I am looking forward to using them on my return from the hols. They smell glorious! Spice Kitchen Spices

Mash Direct Vegetable Burgers

I’m never sure what to make of ready made burgers but have had a soft spot for vegetable burgers over the years. These burgers from Mash Direct are free from artificial colourings, preservatives & flavourings and are really chunky! The kids were not that keen unfortunately but we adults thought they were fine. Stuffed with veg (which is why I suspect the children were sceptical) – We cooked them the traditional way, under the grill but BBQing is also possible. The packaging did create moisture (probably due to the high veg content) but this didn’t detract from their taste.

Tyrrells Crisps

Tyrrells Poshcorn

And lastly our favourite deliveries of the month, a range of unusual and new flavours from Tyrrells crisps and popcorn. My personal favourite is the Coconut & Caramel Poshcorn – The quality of their corn is great, nice and crunchy with a mild flavour and not too many hard un popped corn to break your teeth. The Summer Butter & Mint crisps are a great addition to a table when entertaining – we love this time of year when friends and family pop in and end up staying!

So let me know – What is going on in your kitchen this month? Will you be getting the kids in the kitchen during the school hols or is it just too hot to cook? Are there any products here, that take your fancy? I’m  off to nibble on more poshcorn!

Lemon & Grapefruit Drizzle Bundt Cake – #Bakeoftheweek

Lemon Grapefruit Drizzle Bundt Cake

Sometimes you just want a cake that zings at you – Simple to prepare, but substantial that you can have hearty chunks but yet it is light and crumbly – and oh Wow! How tasty.

Grapefruits are synonymous with holidays for me – I first discovered the joy of eating them outdoors for breakfast in France about 4 years ago and very much look forward to carrying on the tradition this summer. In true holiday preparation mode, I bought a grapefruit earlier in the week and remembered how amazing this cake can be.

Lemon & Grapefruit Drizzle Bundt Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 55 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light & crumbly cake with tangy lemon & grapefruit


  • 225g Butter
  • 500g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 1 Juice & Finely Grated Zest of Grapefruit (Keep a little of the grapefruit juice to one side for the icing drizzle)
  • 3 Finely grated Lemon Zest - Keep one lot of zest aside for decoration (plus juice of 2 of the lemons for the cake & 1 for the icing drizzle)
  • 380g Self Raising Flour (Plus around 3 tbsp extra for lining the tin)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 180ml Milk
  • 225g Icing Sugar


Preheat the oven to 170C and butter the inside of a bundt cake tin. Sprinkle flour inside the tin until all the butter is covered and shake out any excess
Using an electric mixer, whisk the butter and caster sugar until well combined and pale & fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time, carrying on whisking on a medium speed - Add the vanilla extract
Add the grapefruit & Lemon juice & grated zest - Add 3 tbsp of flour at the same time to stop it curdling
Add the rest of the flour, one tbsp at a time & the milk alternately. As soon as the last tbsp of flour & all of the milk has been added, turn the mixer off and continue to fold together by hand using a spatula
Pour into the bundt tin and bake for 55 minutes - Check after this time, if a skewer comes out clean then it is done - alternatively, the cake may need another 12 minutes - I sometimes turn the oven down to 160C at this point to stop the outside getting too dark
Drizzle Icing
When the cake is cooling, mix together the remaining lemon/grapefruit juice with the icing sugar
Pour over the top - allow it to drizzle down the sides and into the centre. Sprinkle over the remaining lemon zest

Lemon & Grapefruit Bundt Drizzle Cake

There was one recipe that stood out for me as a ‘must try’ from our last entries – These are Tin & Thyme’s Chinese Walnut Cookies – I love the thought of crunchy exterior and soft middles – the addition of walnuts are just my sort of thing. They are really small cookies too, so there is plenty of excuse for more than one! They use buckwheat flour which happily I have sitting waiting to use in the baking cupboard.

Chinese Walnut Cookies

Lets have a chocolate roundup – I’m off to France, where we will no doubt be consuming tons of the stuff!

Bake of the week Chocolate

1. Wonderful healthy & GF chickpea brownies from Lancashire Food – Lyndsey assures us we won’t even notice the chickpeas
2. These GF Chocolate Slices from the Free From Fairy do look truly decadent and contain just 6 ingredients
3. Another bakers that is rather fond of swiss rolls is Winnie who shares with us her Banana Swiss Roll with Chocolate Cheese Filling
4. A No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake from Et Speaks from Home – With interchangeable biscuit base depending on how sweet your tooth is
5. A beautiful Nutella Croissant Pudding and an incredible sad tale of broken baking dishes from the Not so Creative Cook

We are going through so many berries at the moment – the girls can munch their way through punnets without even noticing – Some great berry recipes included in this week’s entries:

Bake of the week berries

6. How amazing does this Mixed Berry Charlotte Russe look from Domestic Gothess – That Bavarian Cream looks heavenly!
7. Freshly back from her own holiday, Petite Raisin has created a speedy Peach & Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake
8. A warm welcome to the Bake of the Week gang to Living Life who joins us with her Fruity Olive Oil Cake – Good to have you with us!
9. Wimbledon Cupcake with a delicate rose flavour from ET Speaks From Home – I’m sad Wimbledon is over for another year, did you love it?
10. There are few things in life as good as Homemade Strawberry Tarts – well worth making your own pastry and custard – Tales from The Kitchen Shed has shared her very beautifully arranged ones
11. Perfect dessert for after Sunday lunch from Baking Queen 74 with her Blackberry & Rose Crumble – Mouth wateringly good!

I think this week is one of the most creative we’ve ever had – there’s so many ingredients that are all too forgotten when baking:

Bake of the Week

12. Enjoy the joy of quiche without the guilt of too much pastry with Hijacked by Twins and her Crustless Quiche – Full of veg and taste!
13. Perfect party food from My Little Italian Kitchen with her Olive & Pepper Focaccia
14. Totally melt in the mouth Butter Shortbread Cookies from Winnie’s Blog – Too pretty!
15. A very exciting week as I’d Much Rather Bake Than finally gets her own kitchen – I would adore some of her Cheese & Marmite Muffins – Are you a lover or a hater?
16. Another perfect Picnic Snack from A Free From Life with her Courgette & Chive Tartlets – This post is jam packed full of ideas!
17. Campfire Salmon that is proving popular over on Pinterest from Truly Madly Kids – We might very well indulge in this on our hols

Right, I’m off on my hols so I’m leaving #Bakeoftheweek in the capable hands of 2 lovely blogging friends for the next few weeks – Here’s the timetable:

This linky will remain open until Mon 27th July

Tues 28th July – Head on over to Lucy at Baking Queen 74 – Link will be open for 2 weeks

Tues 11 July – Jen at Jen’s Food will take over until Tues 18th August

Thanks so much ladies for taking over – Please support your hosts by sharing their posts

Plea: If you could remember to add the badge to your posts, I would be ever so grateful – I know that life comes first though and it is easy to forget! Its the only way we will build the #Bakeoftheweek gang and gets your posts shared everywhere!

Casa Costello
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Lemon & Grapefruit Drizzle Bundt Cake

This Is How We Roll Party Button

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Eat Your Heart Out

The Teenage Years Start – #MumsKnowBest

Mum Pretty Green Photography

*This is a sponsored post*

From next week I am the mother of a teenager! Eek – How fast did that come around? In fact, from next week I am the mother of a teenager for the next 15 years! Here could be where spreading those children out age wise becomes interesting (Believe me, life in this house is already interesting!)

I’m sure I will be turning to the 2 Grandmothers for advice and reassuring at various points during the next 15 years – after all, between them they have raised 7 children, with 6 grandchildren having gone through or already in the teenage zone.

My mum always laughs that I will check with her if she thinks something is still safe to eat – You know, when its been in the fridge a little too long or has it been in the oven long enough? Force of habit cannot get me out of this … not even my Advance Food Hygiene Certificate, 3 children of my own and my own food business! (The picture above is of my Mum and her 6 grandchildren recently taken at Pretty Green Photography – Blog Post about our photo shoot coming soon)

Mr C’s mum is very quiet with her advice but its always there. She has the best sayings imaginable which appear when we most need them. Such as:

* You can run but you can’t run from yourself (On someone who blames everyone else for their life being a bit rubbish)

* They look at you like ‘I’m it, your **it’ (This saying doesn’t really reflect how gentle and warm my MIL is …but it is a perfect way of describing some folk!)

and my favourite when I was expecting Violet and not all that hungry …

*An empty bag won’t stand up – Brilliant!

Over on the Casa Costello Facebook page, I asked for your mum’s favourite sayings. Here’s what you came up with …

Sonia – You canne have your pudding if you dinne eat your meat.

Paul – When she’d forgotten what she was about to say:
“Must’ve been a lie!”

Jayne – When you fell over, Mum used to wipe it with a cloth and say “that will be a pigs foot in the morning”. I never really understood it but still checked the next day

Sue – You won’t feel the benefit when you go outside, I.e take your coat off. (I bet ALL mums have said this!)

Sarah – My mum warning me about boys..” it doesnt matter how nice they are or how shy they are, they all know it’s not for stirring their tea with”

Jane – Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves

Barbara – ‘Go to foot of our stairs’. used when surprised amazed etc …

Karen – Something that my grandma says in difficult times is ‘they won’t always be dark days’

Paul – The other one my Grandma said that used to make us giggle was “Better an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.”

Sarah –  “Keep your pecker up” was my mums catch phase and answer to everything! Even thought of having it on her grave stone.

Pippa – A friend to all is a friend to none.

And my favourite is from Jackie – My mams favourite is you’ll be twice married before you’re dead. She’d use this when we hurt ourselves.

Thanks for joining in everyone – A little gift will be making its way to you soon, Jackie.

As part of Littlewoods #MumsKnowBest campaign they have produced a series of videos about Mums. In honour of the Costello family approaching the teenage years, I thought the short film (34 seconds) below was appropriate: (PS So far Miss M is a dream and showing no signs of teenage rebellion – She may however kill me when she reads this post!)

Just before I finish, don’t forget to leave me your pearls of wisdom on how to cope with teenagers – If gin is your answer, that’s completely fine!

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A Lovely Week

Tara School Visit

As we come to the end of the school year, there are so many happy events taking place.

We have started a ban on Minecraft in the last week – straightaway the craft boxes came out, the girls started chatting, they played outside and life became more about the family. I’m terrified to hear that Minecraft is being considered as an addition to the curriculum – please no!

The girls’ social calendars are bulging – Even Baby T is flitting from one party to another. Last week saw my baby go to her first party where I could leave her for a while. It was at our friend’s house but even so I thought she would insist on me staying – How wrong I was, she couldn’t wait to be left!

It wasn’t the only big event in her week though – Little Tara had her first afternoon in school! I know! How fast has THAT gone? There were absolutely no nerves whatsoever – It helps that she knows loads of little ones who will be in her class. The teacher must be wondering what a year she has in store, with all these confident kids starting at once.

We were to leave the children for about 1/2 an hour while we filled in paperwork. Again, not a nerve in sight – We returned to find the children sat drinking juice and eating biscuits on the carpet. The teacher was asking them about their brothers & sisters – Tara didn’t talk about her sisters, she just wanted to tell everyone she had a cat!

Minion Movie

We also had a visit to the Minion movie on Monday – complete with plenty of minion accessories! The girls (and one boy) sat really still throughout – aided by plenty of popcorn obviously!

In other news, I had a great night out with Violet watching Millie in the school dance show – I actually watched it twice, having a rare night out with my mum too.

And so we start another crazy week with plenty of plans – I’m hoping we have little Sonny come to visit again this week. Who knows what his outfit will be this week – this pirate ensemble was last Monday’s creation!


So how has your week been? I’m joining in with Tanya from Mummy Barrow who has started a linky inviting us all to share our weeks – Bit of a crazy one here this week … Blackpool, School Music Concerts, Leeds x 3, Awards Ceremony, Art Festival, Christmas in July London, Bristol & Manchester. Next week’s instalment is going to be enormous!

Mummy Barrow My Week Linky

Passion Fruit Mojito (Mock or not!) – Secret Recipe Club

Passion Fruit Mojito

There’s not many recipes I can think of that get Mr C singing Club Tropicana and pretending to be George Michael! Safe to say, we are in holiday mode here and counting down the days. Bearing that in mind, my choice for this month’s Secret Recipe Club is definitely holiday inspired.

This Passion Fruit Mojito is the brainchild of Claire from ClaireKCreations. Claire C (formerly Claire K and hence the blog name) has an utterly beautiful blog – clean and fresh exactly how I like them, jam-packed full of appealing dishes. Claire’s blog has made me wish that we actually got to visit our Secret Recipe partners – she hails from Brisbane, Australia which is a part of the world I’ve long had on my Travel WIshlist.

Claire had a love of baking too – I’ve got my eye on making her Coconut & PassionFruit pound cake and also this incredible Chocolate Butterscotch Pavlova!

Passion Fruit Mock Mojijto

Now, the Mojito I have pictured is strictly a Mock Mojito – Contains Passion Fruit (mushed up), Lime juice, Sparkling Water and plenty of crushed ice. I couldn’t get hold of any mint but if you can, scrunch up a good few leaves and add. We’ve since had this again and used lemonade by accident – still works!

Shortly after taking the shot though, we experimented and can confirm that adding a slug of gin, makes it taste pretty wonderful too!

To see what everyone else has been creating in this month’s Secret Recipe Club, visit the entries below. There’ll be no Secret Recipe from me during August as we are away – Have I mentioned, I’m going on holiday? 😉

Secret Recipe Club

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Bacon, Mushroom & Basil Savoury Muffins #Bakeoftheweek

Bacon, Mushroom & Basil Savoury Muffins

Picnic season is in full swing around here – Over the summer holidays we eat on the beach most days. I’m not a huge sandwich lover (Mr C is though) so am constantly looking for sandwich alternatives. Savoury muffins are definitely handy, they can be frozen and defrosted just in time for impromptu days out too.

I can highly recommend savoury muffins for trying out new taste combinations – the rest of the ingredients are inexpensive and they are not too time consuming to prepare. If you have some random vegetables or cooked meats loitering in the fridge, bung them in. See what happens!

My Bacon, Mushroom & Basil Muffins are a tried and tested recipe and taste combination – I find it hard to eat bacon without mushrooms.

Bacon, Mushroom & Basil Savoury Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Savoury Muffins packed full of bacon, mushrooms & basil - perfect for picnics


  • 70g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 125g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Chickpea Flour (Or Wholemeal flour if you have that. Or plain flour if you only have that!)
  • 200ml Milk
  • 5-6 Rashers of Bacon (Chopped into 1/2cm pieces)
  • 1/2 Onion (Chopped finely)
  • 4 Medium Chestnut Mushrooms (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 12 Medium Leaves of Fresh Basil (Chopped finely)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Splash of vegetable Oil


Preheat the oven to 170C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with Cupcake/Muffin Cases
In a medium frying pan, heat the oil then gently fry the onions until transparent. Add the bacon and continue frying until just cooked.
Spoon out the onion/bacon and fry the mushrooms until soft
Re-add the bacon/onions (it will still be hot) and the basil and mix together.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg and butter - Add 2 tbsp of flour to stop it curdling
Add the flour and milk alternately a tbsp at a time, whilst mixing on a slow speed
As soon as you have added all the ingredients, stop mixing and stir by hand using a spatula
Add in the bacon/mushroom/basil mixture and divide evenly between the 12 cases
Bake for 20 minutes - You may need to bake for a further 3-4 minutes if not quite cooked
Best eaten warm but if freezing, leave to cool and freeze the same day

Coming soon: Cheese, Onion & Rosemary Savoury Muffins

Bacon Basil & Mushroom SAvoury Muffins

My featured bake for this week is from Sarah at Maison Cupcake – Great to see that Sarah has joined the Bake of the Week gang. This week she is sharing this incredible Blackberry Chocolate Charlotte Cake. She tells us that if you can melt chocolate, you can make this cake – so there’s a challenge! Just a beautiful cake!

Chocolate Blackberry Charlotte Cake

Now because I’ve done a savoury bake for this week’s Bake of the Week, I’ve highlighted other savoury entries too. I’m trying to cut down on some sugar at the moment – Don’t worry, it won’t last long. Its just occurred to me that in a few weeks I’ll be parading around a french campsite in a swimming costume. That’s my attempt at dieting!

Bake of the Week savoury

Left to right:
* Cheesy Mexican Corn on the Cob from Petite Raisin – My girls devour all signs of corn. They would marvel at those beautiful leaves.
* I can almost smell this divine Garlic & Herb Twister Bread cooking – Homemade is always better than shop bought! Tales from the Kitchen Shed is right about it being a fabulous centre piece.
* Not strictly savoury but with a savoury ingredient – These Marmite Macarons will divide the nation. They would in fact divide our house – One of the only things Mr C won’t eat – I can lick Marmite off a spoon!

Bake of the Week

1. I cannot think of a more appropriate way of using those blue & pink sweets on a cake than this baby shower/gender reveal cake from Mummy Mishaps – Love it!
2. Making great use of an abundance of summery fruit with these Peach, Pistachio & Rose tarts from Domestic Gothess.
3. What child wouldn’t love these Oreo Surprise Cupcakes from Mama Mummy Mum?
4. Rhubarb Strawberry Meringue Tart from the Gluten Free Alchemist – Its amazing what this lady can do when she starts to tinker with a recipe!
5. I don’t think I’ve ever baked with Ricotta – This Ricotta cheesecake from Winnie’s blog has got me intrigued. Very clever!
6. Truly Madly Kids has produced the cutest video on how to make Wimbledon Cake Pops – She and her girls are naturals in front of the camera I tell you!
7. Lemon & Sultana Scones to rival the best of them from A Free From Life – Perfect with Chia Jam & Coconut Cream
8. Vicki from the Free From Fairy has excelled with her Oat Free, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Chocolate & Coconut Flapjacks – They look so moist and rich.
9. I feel for Baking Queen 74 this week. She has ripped her hands to shreds picking gooseberries. Ouch! This Gooseberry Frangipane Tart is worth it though 😉
10. Super cute Milkshake Cupcakes from A Strong Coffee – I know a few teachers that would love these as an end of school year gift!

And ta-dah! We finally have a Bake of the Week on time! Thanks again for all of your entries – I didn’t even do a Twitter reminder this week. If you do not want me to send you a reminder, please let me know – I won’t be offended. I’m still making my way around all of the entries to comment but have been busy sharing. Please add the badge to your post as usual – Up to 3 entries per blog. No theme.

Casa Costello
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Chilli & Coriander Pesto

Chilli & Coriander Pesto

Speedy, easy & versatile. Sums up this recipe. It occurred to me last time I made this Chilli & Coriander Pesto that I have never blogged the recipe before. Its so easy and a case of bunging ingredients into the blender, that it almost doesn’t feel like a recipe. I can’t remember how I found that the ingredients just worked together – they just did! I think the addition of the chilli came last, I had mixed the other ingredients and thought it needed a bit of a kick. If you want a really spicy pesto, then go ahead, bung 2 chillies in.

Chilli Coriander Pesto  

Chilli & Coriander Pesto

Serves 10+
Prep time 5 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment
Misc Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue
Spicy and fresh Chilli & Coriander Pesto - Perfect for an alternative to traditional basil pesto


  • 1 Red Fresh Chilli (Chopped into small pieces - You can use the seeds if you like it spicy)
  • 3 Handfuls Fresh Coriander
  • 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 100g Whole Almonds
  • Salt & Pepper


If you like a garlicky taste, this also works well with 1-2 garlic cloves added


Place all the ingredients in a blender or strong food mixer - You might want to chop the nuts up slightly first if you are worrying about the rest of the mixture going too mushy but there is no need
Blitz for 1-2 minutes - keep scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure it is all combined
Keep refrigerated, covered with cling film

Potatoes with Chilli & Coriander Pesto

We mostly use this pesto recipe on top of scorching hot potatoes or mixed with prawns in a lovely light salad. Perfect for al fresco eating at this time of year!

Chilli & Coriander Pesto

Honey Balsamic Peaches & Pineapple – Due Vittorie Balsamic Giveaway

Honey Balsamic Peaches & Pineapple

I never fail to be amazed by how versatile Balsamic Vinegar is – Long gone are the days of only using it on a tomato & basil salad (Although it is still pretty delicious nonetheless!)

I am very pleased to be working with Due Vittorie Balsamic Vinegar as they launch their range of vinegars at Ocado. There are 2 types, Oro for every day use (£9.99) and for extra special occasions when you are really trying to impress, the Tradizionale (£49.99 for 100ml). I have been putting both types of balsamic to the test and can confirm that both the Oro & Tradizionale are pretty special.

Due Vittorie Oro Balsamic Vinegar


Honey Balsamic Peaches & Pineapple

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Tangy grilled peaches and pineapple served with a thick honey & balsamic glaze


  • 1 Peach per person
  • 2 Pineapple Rings per person (I used fresh pineapple as this is a stronger taste)
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Runny Honey
  • 50g Almond Slices


  • Sprinkling of Demerara Sugar


Slice each peach into 2 halves and remove the stone. Place in a small oven proof dish
Place the pineapple in the gaps left by the peaches. I chopped mine into 4-5 cm pieces first.
In a cup, mix together the honey and the balsamic then pour over the fruit. Make sure all the fruit is covered.
Place under a pre heated grill for 10 minutes
Remove and stir thoroughly - I turned the peaches upside down and cook for a further 5 minutes
Repeat step 5, this time turning the peaches right side up again
Remove from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature
Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until just starting to turn golden
Serve the fruit with whipped double cream and sprinkle over the nuts and some Demerara sugar if required

Baslamic Peaches & Pineapple

Due Vittorie Balsamic Vinegar Giveaway

I have one bottle of Due Vittorie Oro Balsamic Vinegar to giveaway so you can make your own Balsamic delight – To enter, please follow the Rafflecopter widget instructions below. As per usual, to enter your comment must be at the bottom of this post, rather than in the widget itself.
UK entries only I’m afraid – The competition will end at 11.59 on 17th July 2015.
I will ask for the winner’s details to send to the company who will send on your prize – Your details will not be used for any other marketing.

Good Luck to everyone who enters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Honey Balsamic Peach & Pineapple

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Mint Aero Swiss Roll #Bakeoftheweek

Mint Aero Chocolate Swiss Roll

This has turned out exactly as I imagined/hoped it would. If you are a fan of Mint Aeros, then this is the cake for you! Not too many ingredients and fairly quick to make.

Mint Aero Chocolate Swiss Roll

Serves 8+
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 14 minutes
Total time 39 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party
Light chocolate swiss roll with the flavour of Mint Aeros - Splendid for any table centre piece!


  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 3oz Caster Sugar (Plus another 2 tbsp for sprinkling on the baking tray)
  • 2oz Plain Flour
  • 1oz Cocoa Powder
  • 113g Mint Aero Balls
  • 284ml Double Cream (Whipped until very thick)
  • Green Food Colouring
  • 1 teaspoon Peppermint Extract


Preheat the oven to 190C and line a Swiss Roll tin or Silicone Tray with baking parchment - Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of caster sugar on top of this parchment
Whisk the caster sugar and eggs with an electric mixer for at least 10 minutes until thick and pale. When you lift the whisk out of the mixture, the lines should remain there for a few seconds after.
Gently fold in the flour and cocoa until just combined
Spread gently and evenly across the baking tray and bake for 12 minutes - turn once, then continue baking for a further 2 minutes
Remove from the oven and as soon as you are able, bend the cake over to a roll shape - Unroll then allow to cool fully
Meanwhile, chop the bag of Mint Aeros (except for 10 balls that you will use as decoration) and add half to the whipped double cream, along with the peppermint extract
When the cake has fully cooled, sprinkle the remaining chopped Aero Balls on top of the cake, then spread the cream evenly on the cake - I took 3 tbsp of the cream mixture to one side to use as decoration
Roll the cake from one of the thin ends until it looks like a swiss roll then decorate with the remaining Mint Aero Balls and cream mixture

Mint Aero Chocolate Swiss Roll

Caramel, Vanilla & Chocolate Nut Cake

My chosen featured bake for this week has left me yearning for buts, caramel and vanilla – 3 Flavour Eclair Cake from Winnie’s Blog

Bake of the Week Entries

1. If you fancy a change from normal chocolate cupcakes, these roasted Strawberry Chocolate Cakes sound so intense and dreamy from Tin & Thyme

2. Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Icing from Nic’s Bakes

3. A mega post from the Free From Fairy containing some wonderful Chocolate Tahini Cookies that just ooze with goodness.

4. Dark, squiggly and completely tantalising, Dulce de Leche Brownies from Maison Cupcake – A warm welcome to the Bake of the Week gang!

5. Bringing back memories of my summer hols with her Mojito Cupcakes is Mummy Whiskers – Just in time for my next holiday! Yay!

6. Gearing up for the 4th July festivities is A Strong Coffee with American Flag decorated Cupcakes

7. Red Velvet Tiramisu Brownies from The Not SO Creative Cook

8. Love these Ramadan Themed Cut Out Shapes Sugar Cookies from The Not SO Creative Cook – Lovely to have you back!

Bake of the Week

9. Summery and light, Asparagus & Pesto Puff Pastry Tart from Julie’s Family Kitchen

10. Jibber Jabber Uk shared with us a fantastic Summery Strawberry & Cream Victoria Sponge

11. I would never have thought of using a slow cooker for Bread & Butter pudding nor strawberries – Baking Queen 74 has excelled with her Brioche Strawberry Pudding

12. Wonderful Plum Sugar Cake – Great for using up plums from Winnie’s Blog

13. Low Carb Courgette ‘Pasta’ Lasagne from Claire at Six Degrees of Harmony

14. Just delightful and so perfectly up my street, Gin & Tonic Cake from Truly Madly Kids

15. Recreating Mum’s Apple Pie with Spiced Wholemeal Pastry this week was Searching for Spice – This is my Mother-in-Law’s favourite dish. I might treat her!

Slice of Mint Aero Chocolate Swiss Roll

Normal rules apply for Bake of the Week – Up to 3 posts per baker. No theme – all welcome – they don’t have to include a recipe, just a post about a bake whether it be sweet, savoury, small, large, decorated, disaster, slow cooker or oven. Please include the badge to spread the word in your post and if you get chance visit some of the other entrants to admire their bakes.

Casa Costello
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I’m so pleased to be able to join in with one of my favourite linkies this week – The theme for #thegallery is CAKE – How perfect! Click the badge to see what other people are entering.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery