Treat Yourself 4th July Style!

Every year I get more and more press releases about Thanksgiving and 4th July – which I love, because I’m a foodie hipster and I was into this before it was cool (do you have that on record?). This year, I was asked if I’d like to try some Post cereals, and of course, I said yes, because if there’s one thing Americans know how to do, it’s add sugar to stuff that’s already sweet, and make it even more awesome that it already is.

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Yes, I love healthy breakfasts, avocado on toast, granola, poached eggs, etc, but you know, sometimes you just want a bowl of cereal and milk, simple, sweet and delicious. Bleary eyed and morning-breathed, hunched on the sofa and counting down the minutes to work, or bleary eyed and tousled-haired, hunched over the sink eating a midnight snack, a bowl of cereal is always a tasty treat. But I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here. Of course, if you portion it right, cereal is actually a low-cal option, as both the cereals I was sent were around 120 calories a serving…

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Think Pink!

It’s October, which means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That doesn’t just mean raising money for breast cancer – that also means learning about it and spreading the word to others. But fundraising is also a pretty important part. For two weeks we’ll be pink at Distracted Gourmet – but then we’re turning all spooky for Halloween near the end.

Think Pink cupcakes

One good way you can help Breast Cancer Awareness Month reach even more people is to ram it down their throats. Literally! The slogan for this campaign is Think Pink, and if there’s one thing that goes nicely with baked goods, it’s pink.

Hey cupcake!: Think Pink cupcakes

Take some pink cupcakes into work and share them with your colleagues. If you want to raise money, why not charge a small amount for each cake and give it directly to charity?

White cupcakes: Think Pink

These are love buns, which are made with a recipe by Nigella Lawson, originally intended to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But I think you can make them to celebrate your boobs. Or, if you don’t have any boobs, celebrate someone else’s!

These cupcakes are a basic white cake mix with a meringue-type topping that is kind of marshmallowy. Very unusual! I coloured the topping with Wilton’s pink colouring gel, so as not to lose the thick consistency.

Lonesome cupcake: Think Pink

I bought my pink sugary sprinkles and pastel pink and blue cupcake cases from Asda – so cheap compared to some of the prices I’ve seen. The cupcake flag is from Momiji.

If you want to join in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and turn your blog pink for October, go to Pink For October for information and resources. There’s also information on there for turning your Twitter background pink, as well as a Facebook group, and a place to register your site. You can also turn your Flickr pictures into Breast Cancer Awareness posters at Bighugelabs, where you can also find more resources for your blog, including ribbon logos.

For baking-related Breast Cancer Awareness stuff, you can visit The Cakes, Cookies & Crafts Shop (UK) and find Awareness Ribbon cookie cutters, cake cases, oven gloves and more.

The Shocking and Horrible Story of Lisa’s Cupcakes

My good friend Lisa, who lives an hour and a half away from me, and whom I don’t get to see very often, had her birthday a couple of weeks ago, so R and I had the fantastic idea of baking her a load of cupcakes and taking them with us when we went to visit.

Lisa's cake

So, we got to work. The plan was R would bake the cakes during the day, I would prepare the buttercream and organise cutters, and then we’d decorate them in the afternoon before we drove up.

Cakes vs Books

I made a new recipe for cream cheese frosting, which included delicious shards of caramel, making a great crunchy texture and smooth sweetness to contrast with the cream cheese.

Rachel's scary Care Bear

Rachel even made the world’s creepiest and disturbing Care Bear, which to me looks like one of those poignant social services adverts about broken childhoods.

Side on view

We dyed fondant all kinds of beautiful bright colours, cheerfully telling each other how much Lisa would love to see her gorgeous little cakes, and how much we’d appreciate it if someone made us some kick ass cakes for our birthdays.

Mixed cupcakes

Then, when we were halfway through, I remembered something somewhat vital.

Lisa's cupcakes

Something that, had we remembered before we started, would have been most useful indeed.

Sakura blossom cake

The last time we met her, Lisa told us she cannot eat flour.

Flowery cupcakes

She’s on a gluten-free diet.

Starry cupcakes

Oh pants.

Flowey cupcake

Sorry Lisa.

We hope you enjoyed looking at the cakes, anyway… Ah, fudge.

Please note, no Lisas were harmed during the making of these cakes, and also note that I did buy her a present she could use, unlike R, who bought her chocolate which now Lisa also cannot eat. We love you Lisa, please forgive us!

A Halloween cupcake preview…

Over the weekend, I’ve acquired some food colouring paste, numerous sprinkles and cupcake cases, and an obscene amount of butter, sugar and eggs. I’ve also learnt how to mould fondant into mini pumpkins (and, more importantly, found out what fondant is and where to buy it from). All of this is for a good cause…

Halloween cupcakes

More cupcakey Halloweeny goodness when it’s actually October… I just couldn’t resist posting these babies now!