Win a Month’s Supply of Vitamin Water

vitamin water bottlesI think after the excesses of the festive season, we are all looking to get a little more healthy.  One of the things I’m looking at doing is trying to drink more water to keep me hydrated and to hopefully improve my health.  Last year when I was at a blogging conference called BlogOn I had the chance to try out Get More Vitamin Drinks.  These handy drinks are perfect for keeping you topped up with water when you are out and about, but they are great to have at home too.  As well as water, you get some extra vitamins to give your body a bit of a healthy boost and it’s good to know that they don’t contain any sugar.  They are low in calories too, so you can feel good about the diet too if you’re on one.  I like the taste too – I’ve tried a couple of flavours and they are very pleasant to drink.

Readers can win a month’s supply of Get More Drinks by entering the giveaway via the Gleam widget below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 5th February 2017.
Get More

Win a New Year Cleaning Bundle from Astonish

astonish cleaningA new year, a new broom!  I often feel that new year is a good time to clean instead of spring.  After Christmas I usually have the urge to declutter and tend to clean as I go along too.  There are a couple of downsides as some bits of spring cleaning are best done when the weather is warm enough to have windows open or to have good drying weather outside.  Winter though is a time when our houses can get dirtier as we bring in mud on our feet and I’m afraid my feline friends do the same – I have a nice line of muddy paw prints across the kitchen floor right now.

Being an animal lover, I like to make sure that the products I use are cruelty free.  Astonish, the British manufacturer of cleaning products, has a line of over 70 cleaning, laundry and personal care products that are Vegetarian Society Approved, as well as Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International registered. So I’m very glad to say that I’ve teamed up with them to offer readers the chance to win a pretty comprehensive bundle of cleaning products to help get your new year clean off to a sparkling start.

Enter via the Gleam widget below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 5th February 2017.

Astonish

King Cake Breadmaker Recipe

making a king cake with breadmaker

Often in the run up to Twelfth Night or the Epiphany we make a king cake.  It’s a cake associated with the arrival of the three wise men, kings or magi to visit Jesus.  It’s a type of cake that’s very popular over Europe (especially France and Spain) and many countries associated with European settlers.  It’s a sort of cakey-bread, if you know what I mean, think hot cross buns or brioche.  Sometimes the cake features some sort of thing to find inside the cake like a little figurine or a trinket, a bit like a Christmas pudding.  The idea being that whoever finds it is ‘king for a day’.

Ingredients

 

  • 85g citrus candied peel, chopped
  • 100g raisin
  • 50g pine nut
  • 50g glacé cherry
  • 5 tbsp rum, sherry or brandy (whatever you have in the house is fine)
  • 7g easybake yeast
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons of ground mixed spice
  • 85g of (softened) butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml milk

For the glaze

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the sugars

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Food colourings
  1. Soak the peel, raisins, pine nuts and cherries in alcohol either overnight or for a few hours at least.  You can miss this section out if you don’t want the alcohol, but I’d suggest soaking for a while in fruit juice instead to make the fruits nice and juicy.
  2. Put your ingredients into the breadmaker pan (except the soaked fruits and nuts) in the correct order for the machine.  My machine like the wet ingredients first.
  3. Select the dough setting that allows you to add raisins part way through the dough process if there is one.  Otherwise add the fruit mix towards the end of the dough kneading, so they are mixed in, but the texture isn’t destroyed by the kneading blade.  Alternatively add them yourself when you do step 4.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knock out the air and knead a little.
  5. Shape the loaf – often King Cakes are ring-shaped. Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet.  Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until it has roughly doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan oven) or 190 degrees or Gas Mark 5.
  7. Bake for around 45 minutes.
  8. Get the cake out of the oven and place on a cooling tray.
  9. Make some coloured sugars by mixing granulated sugar with a drop or two of food colouring in an empty jam jar.  Shake till the colour is well mixed – add more sugar or more colouring to get the shades you want.  Purple, green and gold (yellow) are traditional, but I use whatever I have to hand.
  10. Heat the apricot jam with the water and brush this on as a glaze.
  11. Sprinkle the sugars over the glazed cake.  This is usually done in blocks of colour to create a sort of striped effect.

decorating a king cake

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