House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book

This is not just any cook book, oh no, this is a very special cook book… this is a cook book in which you can find on pages 16, 17, 18 and 19 my very own Special Apple Pie Recipe!

We have been published in a real cookbook; not just an e-book but an actual book that you can hold in your hands and physically turn the pages. I just love it!

As you can probably guess I am chuffed to bits over this.

The whole project started back in August. I received an email in which I was asked if I wanted to be published in a cook book. Hell yeah! Of course I wanted to have my recipe in a book. The big question was which recipe… in the end actually it wasn’t such a big question… from all the recipes we have covered I knew that my Mums Apple Pie was the one which deserved fame the most. For years it was a closely kept secret but once we “let cat out of the bag” there was nothing to hide anymore. The recipe was out there, so why not immortalize it in print in a lovely cook book from House of Fraser.

House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

We re-wrote the recipe a little making it clearer and easier to follow. Then I had to bake one in order to shoot the “perfect” picture.

I think it worked.

The recipe reads well and the picture shows the pie in all its glory.

I feel very proud!

The whole book contains 14 recipes from UK bloggers; mostly cakes but who doesn’t love a good cake?

Just in case you had never heard about My Special Apple Pie Recipe before – here it is again – the new and upgraded version.

Enjoy!

House of Fraser - The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

6 eggs – yolks with whites separated

250g of unsalted butter

350g of plain flour

250g of icing sugar

2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar

3 tea spoons of baking powder

1kg of apples

Cinnamon (to taste)

Method:

1. Pastry

Mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar and butter (ideally all ingredients should be at room temperature)
After the pastry starts to form add the six egg yolks, one at the time. Mix everything together until you are able to form a ball. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge to rest.

2. Apples

Peel and core all the apples, using a grater shred them into small pieces. Once ready, put the apple shavings into a sieve to help get rid of any excess juice.

3. Preparation for meringue

Take a flat baking form – a roasting tin can be used if needed – grease the bottom and sides with some butter.
Remove your pastry from the fridge and split into two parts (¼ and ¾) – put the ¼ sized part back into the fridge for now; take the ¾ part, gently roll flat and place at the bottom of your greased baking form. Once ready cover the base with the shredded apples (make sure that they are not dripping with juice or you will end up with a soggy base, if necessary give them a squeeze with your hands before adding to the base). Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top of the apples. Now you are ready for the meringue part…

4. Meringue

Put the six egg whites into a mixing bowl. Whisk or beat until firm. When soft peaks start to form begin to add the icing sugar slowly. Once all the sugar is added and you are able to form stiff peaks stop whisking and with a metal spoon place the mixture on top of your cinnamon apples.

5. Topping

Once you have meringue covering the top of your pie; take the final ¼ of leftover pastry; and again with a grater grate tiny pieces on top of the meringue.

Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 220C, after 10 minutes reduce the temp to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes Or until the meringue peaks have a nice light golden brown colour.

Once cooled, you can dust with a little bit of icing sugar to make it look even more amazing.

Have fun if you decide to bake it!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Achievement
Yum

Suited & Booted campaign at House of Fraser

Have you ever hear about Suited & Booted? No? I am not surprised. I didn’t hear about it either until a few days ago.Suited and Booted

I would like to tell you who they are, what they do and why.

Suited & Booted is a charity that helps vulnerable, unemployed and low-income men into employment by providing interview clothing and interview advice. They give their clients suitable clothing – perhaps a formal suit or smart casual style – and then guide them through the process of a job interview. This gives them better prospects of success and contributes to their general self-confidence and self-esteem. They help to create a positive first impression when seeking employment. The first 30 seconds of an interview are crucial as employers make up their minds about potential candidates very quickly. Getting appearance and presentation right are vital to be seriously considered for the job.

I think the idea of it is great. It is hard to find any employment these days so the right appearance is vital if one is to stand even a remote chance of getting the job.

Suited & Booted is a new charity and they rely upon the help of volunteers, financial contributions and clothing donations to continue the work that they do and this is where House of Fraser comes in…

As part of a nationwide initiative House of Fraser is offering £100 off a new suit when customers donate their unwanted suits.

From Sunday 17th August till Saturday 20th September 2014 donation banks for unwanted suits, will be located at till points in the menswear department at House of Fraser stores nationwide.

Emily Cowburn, Junior Buyer, at House of Fraser, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be supporting Suited & Booted which provides such a valuable, and in many cases life changing, service to so many people. We would like to encourage as many people as possible to visit their nearest House of Fraser store to donate their old suits. Even if you have an old suit and are not looking to buy a new one, you can provide a fresh start for someone in need, and all it takes is one small donation.”

So if you have any suitable clothing please donate them at a menswear department at House of Fraser or directly into Suited & Booted.

The cause is just and if we all stick together and help one another we can really make a difference.

Suited & Booted campaign at House of Fraser

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide

by Mark

June the 15th will probably be a stressful day, or rather one of the days just before. Its Fathers day again and like all the other “days” in the calendar it’s a construct of the people to celebrate a good thing. Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. It has grown somewhat since those humble origins, designed principally to compliment mothers’ day.

Now the card industry and the flower growers and even the wonderful people who make chocolates have marketed their wares and been most successful in growing their business through Mothers’ day but they have struggled (barring the card industry) to make the same impression On Fathers’ day. This problem is everyone’s, there are no handy go to presents for dads (there are only so many socks an ties a man can need) especially when dads tend to have collected all the everyday objects they really want and let’s face it not many of us can afford the Aston Martin he really desires. Even if we could the problem will rear its head once again in 365 days, so what then!

Fear not my lovely reader for I have compiled a list of potential ideas you may not have considered before, or even if you have maybe it is time to consider them all over again.

Perfumes and After Shave

Perfumes / After Shave

This is one of the obvious choices but in my opinion it is a good one. They are not always cheap; even so, they always will make a nice treat… even for a male. The only really important thing to remember whilst picking the perfume is to pick the right one, which these days might not be so easy. If you know at least one scent your dad is enjoying but he already has some and you want to go with something slightly different you can use Mr. Google to find a similar one which will have the same ingredients in the base notes for example. Don’t be tempted to get him the new 1D perfume, just because you like it, after all, the gift is for him and not for you.

A special drinkA special drink

This is yet another example of an obvious choice but again I would recommend it. If you dad enjoys a nice drink every now and then Father’s Day make for the perfect occasion to get him a nice bottle of “something” unusual. Even if he isn’t a big drinker there must be something he enjoys on the odd occasion. Personally I like to have a quiet drink with my friend Jack (if you don’t, I am happy to take it off your hands).

Something he always really wanted but Mum doesn’t approve

Something he always really wanted but mum doesn’t approve

In my case it is a lava lamp. I always wanted one but Agata is not a huge fan of them. I finally got one… a friend of mine gifted me with it. It is not new but it does its job well and I can tick “owning a lava lamp” from my list. Despite my lamp not being a Father’s Day gift I know how it made me feel – happy! Something I always wanted finally appeared in my life. I am sure your dad has items like this on his list as well.

Something for everyday use just in case

Something for everyday use just in case

This one is a new for me but I think it might make a perfect gift for more than a few fathers out there – a headlamp aka head torch. The idea is simple – you have a torch and still two empty hands. Can you imagine how useful this is during late night dog walks… two dogs… two leads… two hands busy… one torch on my head lighting up the path ahead… Don’t have a dog? Not a problem, there is still use for it… what about the car breaking down in the middle of the night… you need two hands to fix it but you also need to see what you are doing… pop the headlamp on and you are ready to do what needs to be done. Or the loft, the back of the garage, the garden shed… or even late at night when you want to read a book but your OH is not so impressed with a side light on… the uses are endless.

Some special menswear

Some special menswear

As I have already mentioned, there is a limit to the number of socks and ties your dad might need or even want… but there are other clothing options. Think hard and remind yourself about conversation with your dad when he mentioned something he really wanted… maybe a wool sweater or a funky pair of boots…

If you think hard enough you will find some nice menswear except for socks and ties which will bring a smile on dads face. Failing this, ask mum for help 🙂

Life Proof Phone Case

LifeProof Phone Case

In this busy and hectic life we now all lead there is not always the time to take the due care we would all like to, it’s called being in a rush we have all experienced it, some of us experience it on a daily basis. At times of rushing it is all too easy to drop something, to knock it over or have that awfully expensive brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 effortlessly slide off the table and bounce across the floor all because your sleeve caught it as you reached for something at the far end of the table, I know I have that T shirt! Yet fret not a solution exists, I now discover. Boasting “out of this world” protection for your “out of this world” expensive smart phone the nüüd phone cover from LifeProof is really quite impressive. The list on the box says your protected from all accept a direct tactical nuclear strike though if that happened I doubt the phone will be first thing in your thoughts.

Something for bonding over with the kidsSomething for bonding over with the kids

A recent discovery, but I think intriguing none the less. A present that dads can enjoy with the kids or on their own as many adult versions exist. It’s an interactive adventure that does not require a plug socket or a computer or gaming console screen. It comes in that quaint old style, a book. A huge range exist of books that have a branching story line based on decisions you make, you don’t start at page one and read to the end as in the traditional sense rather you read from page one till the first decision and then you will be instructed where to carry on reading based on your answer. In this modern world though were everything seems to be augmented you can even get them with smart phone add on apps to enrich the experience even further. Bed time stories will never be the same again. I have Jack Hunter – The French Connection by Martin King set in 1392AD and my smartphone, so off into the castle we go to save the universe and hopefully some damsel in distress, oh and some gold; can’t have a good castle adventure without some gold for the taking!

Something to show him you really do care

Something to show him you really do care…

This might not be the sexiest of the gifts ideas but it is a practical one and it will show you really do care…

There comes a time in a man’s life when it dawns on him he is not as he once was. Lifting things becomes an effort, moving quickly is slowing down and various body parts that where once toned are starting to travel in all the directions like belly’s growing out or jowls forming. It’s usually around this time in life that a new order is brought into his life. One of eating right and yes exercises! Now whether you find it roll on the floor hysterical or it makes you nervous watching your father run off in his lycra shorts on foot or on that flash new bike he just bought there is something you can get him that will make everyone have peace of mind. There are many of them but the one that caught my eye was the Ozeri CardioTech from there premium series. It is a digital blood pressure monitor but with a potentially lifesaving feature, it can detect irregular heartbeats and hypertension! Grab him whilst he is collapsed on the sofa proclaiming to be fine whilst looking anything but.

Of course this does open up the endless possibilities of health supplements to help in his new found self. One that springs to mind which will probably come up quite quickly as “needed” is Padma Circosan, a herbal remedy that is amongst other things, very good at helping with cramping in the calf’s. Ever think you would see the day that your father was happy to receive some pills as a present, well it can happen. I am a biker and there is not a lot scarier than getting cramps whilst riding at 100 miles per hour the speed limit of 70m/h. I take Padma to help me with my cramps and it works well. Another one is Iron FitalF – it is a liquid iron which can help with constant tiredness and lack of energy. Observe your dad for a while and I am sure you will be able to notice the small changes and thus pick the correct health remedy to aid it.

So, this is my gift guide for incoming big day.

What’s on your Father’s Day gift list?

* This post is a brand collaboration.
We received some of the items mentioned for free in order to try them out.