Lauren Gemmell

Food, Fitness, and Technology

Category: Recipes (Page 1 of 6)

Ginger and Ale Cupcakes : Guest Post

Today I have a bit of a treat for you – CoffeeMuffin’s first guest post! This guest post is from Simone Gribble author of Grrr. Cupcake. (cupcakes for men). As you may know I hate the craze for cupcakes with huge amounts of frosting. Thankfully now Simone has people like me covered with her latest ebook.

The cupcake craze has been raging since the 1990s and hit Edinburgh a few years ago with the opening of a few specialist cupcake bakeries in the city centre. I’ve been baking my own cakes ever since I was a little girl and resisted additive and preservative rich store bought cakes. My icing skills weren’t as good though so when these speciality shops opened, professing to sell handmade cupcakes, I thought I should give them a try, for research purposes, you know.

I bought two. One was a banana caramel cupcake with two inches of icing and a dried banana chip on top. It sure looked pretty. Imagine my disgust when I bit into the cake only to find that the banana and caramel flavour existed only in the icing – the cupcake itself was pretty bland. The second cupcake, whose flavours I don’t even remember, fared no better.

Gingerbread and Sultana Mug Cake (5 minutes)

I’ve just started a sewing class, you know to learn how to use a sewing machine and make a skirt. It’s a Sunday night class, because I can’t make the ones during the week, and it turns out these things take concentration.

Sewing in a straight line takes focus and sewing a curve is worse. By the time I leave with a skirt full of unpicking to do… it’s blowing a gale outside, it’s dark and raining. I want something to eat but I know we have nothing in the cupboards.

Then I get into the house, it’s bright and warm, my husband asks me as I enter the front door if I want a hot drink, and suddenly I relax. I know what I am going to make.

Gingerbread Mug Cake topped with custard and almonds

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Apple and Sultana Buns

Although I am not immune to a little Christmas excitement in late October – I am already thinking about how to ice my Christmas Cake this year and if I can hand make Christmas Decorations to give out as gifts. I feel it is still to early for those heavy Christmas spices, ginger, allspice, cloves etc and you need to ease yourself in gently with some autumnal cinnamon first!

Memory Boosting Mackerel Salad Recipe

You may have seen over the internet recent reports that B vitamins can boost your memory, and overtime may counteract the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Mackerel with Spinach Salad and Broccoli

As a disease that has affected both my grandmothers (thankfully both in later life) this research is something that I am particularly interested in. While the research is in its early phases, by eating more foods rich in B vitamins – what is the worst that could happen? It may have no affect on memory, but it’s still good for you!

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Mother’s Day Homemade Gifts

To start off if you are in the UK – don’t panic! Mother’s Day has already been and gone for 2013. If you are based in the US and you haven’t got a gift yet – feel free to panic!

But I am here to help, if you are still looking for some last minute ideas for gifts. Here’s my top list:

A Camellia Plant, every couple of years my Mum would ask for a Camellia as a gift for Mother’s day. At the time I never got it, why would you want a plant? Games, make up, pair of shoes – that I could understand. However as I have started to grow a little older I have started to see the appeal.

I have one in my garden and it’s the first non-spring bulb plant to flower every year. That blast of high impact colour is so cheery, it makes me hugely happy!

Camellia Plant

I love that even when it’s really windy, which essentially rips the heads of the flowers, you end up with beautiful large pink petals covering the lawn.

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Textured Leaf Painting

I recently bought a painting from Art Of Texture on etsy, for my living room which I am loving so much I wanted to share with you!

Painting in living room

I love the texture of the leaves in the painting (it’s oil on canvas), which goes perfectly with the green and brown, natural, theme I have in my living room.

Je has lots of wonderful picture in different colour combinations – you should definitely check out her etsy store.

Hope you are having a lovely week so far.

Lauren x

Books you should read: An Everlasting Meal

I don’t really have a New Years Resolution this year, but eating less and being more efficient with the food I do buy is something I have been thinking about over the Christmas period.

Part of the reason for this was that I was lucky enough to get a copy of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace for Christmas. It’s not a recipe book per se, it’s more a book to change the way you think abut food. I started reading it one afternoon, where like only some of the best fiction, I sat transfixed reading cover-to-cover until I was finished.

An Everlasting Meal

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Knitted Boot Toppers

If you use Pinterest then you may have seen this image before. For a while it was everywhere.

I’m not exactly a skilled knitter, and I also don’t really have the patience to do long simple patterns – I need to feel like I am pushing myself. After looking at the notes on the project on Ravelry for Boot Candy Boot Toppers, this looked like the perfect pattern for me. It is quick to knit up, knitted in the round (new to me) and with cables.

Knitted Boot Toppers

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Fresh Mint Tea

While in Amsterdam I noticed that in our hotel beside the coffee and tea there was a glass full of mint. At that time in the morning I thought nothing of it, and filled my coffee cup. (I don’t often do a lot of thinking before my morning coffee).

But then on our last day we stopped in a cafe for one last coffee before heading to the airport. On the drinks menu was Fresh Mint Tea.

Fresh Mint Tea

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Recently Matt and I spent an amazing long weekend in Amsterdam.

Part of it was undoubtedly being on holiday for the first time since Christmas, but I think there was also more to it.

You can’t really beat a weekend of sunshine…


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