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Thoughts from author: Ceri a

conversations on the coast

Back in June 2009, you might remember our friend Nick Hand got on his bike and spent 3 months pedalling over 6000 miles round the coast of the British Isles.

Nick
On the way, he interviewed all sorts of artists and craftspeople about their work, took their photographs and made little soundscape videos of them as part of his project, Slowcoast.

Nick2
From to cheese makers, boat builders through to A list Hollywood actors (clue: she was the pasty one with the big carriage in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and a stickmaker called Bill, Nick met all sorts on his travels.

We kept him fuelled with smoothies and veg pots and lots of you sent him top places to go for cake

Cake

Well, Nick has now published a beautiful book filled with brilliant photos and stories of the folk he met called Conversations on the Coast and he's very kindly given us a copy to give away.

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All you have to do to win it is tell us the best cake you'd offer Nick if he cycled up to your door and Nick will pick his favourite next week.

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fruity freaks halloween competition

With Halloween just around the corner, we're calling on kids across the land to delve into the darkest hollows of their imaginations (and vegetable drawers) to create their very own fruit and veg monster.

The first 1,000 spooky creations we receive will win a special set of limited edition Halloween number magnets (0-9) all of which glow-in-the-dark (and look spookily good next to our alphabet ones, which are in our kids smoothies right now)

Fancy getting involved?

Here's how to play

1. Cut, carve and create your fruity freak or vegetable monster from the weirdest looking fruit and veg you can find. Artichoke arms, broccoli bodies, celery claws - anything goes. Just make sure you get a grownup to help you with any sharp knives.

Auberge

2. Give it a ghoulish name, spelling it out with your innocent magnets

3. The post a picture of your scary monster in our Flickr gallery. The first 1000 entries will win a special spooky set of limited edition glow-in-the-dark number magnets

Magnets

4. And don't forget to clear up the mess - or the ghosts won't be pleased. Why not use the leftover fruit to make a smoothie or whip up the veg bits into a tasty soup?

Find out about our Fruity Freaks competition right here


tiffin o'clock

Kirsty made this Malteser Tiffin recipe for the AGM and it went down a storm

Tiffin

She found the recipe on Mumsnet and whilst we're not sure who the author is, they are truly an excellent person and have made a lot of people here very, very happy (if not slightly more rotund)

Here's the recipe for the tiffin of your dreams (which also happens to be extremely easy

Malteser chocolate tiffin

This is based on a recipe from the Blacksmith's Coffee Shop, Belsay, just north of Newcastle. Use the best chocolate you can get (minimum 60% cocoa solids for dark; minimum 30% for milk).
Ingredients
100g quality dark chocolate
300g quality milk chocolate
100g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
275g digestive biscuits, crushed
250g Maltesers
1. Melt the dark chocolate, 100g of milk chocolate, butter and syrup together in a pan and stir in the crushed digestives.
2. Next, gently stir in the Maltesers and tip into a lined Swiss-roll tin (23 x 33 cm), levelling out the mixture with the back of a spoon.
3. Finally, melt the remaining 200g milk chocolate and pour over the top, smoothing out carefully.
4. Pop in the fridge until set and then once cold, cut into pieces.

dan's cookies

Dan B's Toblerone cookies were such a hit at Saturday's AGM afternoon tea/cake fest, that lots of people have already been in touch to ask for the recipe.

Cookies

Dan has very kindly shared his recipe for you to make at home here (providing he gets sent a sample of all first batches. Usual address please).

Dan B's Toblerone Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 75g butter or margarine
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 75g light muscavado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g bar milk Toblerone, roughly chopped

Preparation:

1. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.

2. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg.

3. Fold in the flour and Toblerone pieces. Place large teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheets, allowing room for them to spread. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

4. Cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. The cookies can be eaten warm or cold. If they make it to the cooling rack that is.