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Thoughts from author: Row

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Isabel bottle art
When set a project to create an Andy Warhol-style picture, 14 year old Isabel chose to use innocent for her inspiration. The finished piece is above and I'm sure you'll all agree, it's an A* all round. Thanks to her Dad for sending it in.

conker the world ... championships

Conkers
This Sunday sees the annual World Conker Championships kicking, or rather hitting, off in Northamptonshire. There can be no tampering with any conkers as they're supplied by Ashton Conker Club (who also kindly supplied this photo too), so soaking them in vinegar is out. Mittens to protect your knuckles are most definitely in.

spooky

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We've seen a carrot shaped like Buzz Lightyear, a cloud which looked like Great Britain, but never before have we seen a face in a smoothie. Until now.

Sarah got in touch to let us know she was finishing off the last of her strawberries and bananas smoothie, but decided to top it off with some mangoes and passion fruits smoothie and hey presto, the smiling face above appeared. (She's promised us there was no jiggery/technology pokery going on.)

cake a look at this

Jennifer Moseley cake close up 100824
If, like me, you're slowly but surely getting hooked on The Great British Bake Off (I was convinced I could smell the scones in this week's show), and it's inspiring you to get baking again, we have just the recipe for you.

This comes courtesy of the lovely Jen who is busy working on setting up her own cake company and wrote to tell us how she uses our drinks in her baking, specifically when icing the cakes. The ones you see above are lime, passion fruit and mango cupcakes, but she reassures us there are loads of combinations you can try, such as a banana sponge with pineapples, bananas and coconuts icing, or a chocolate sponge with cranberries, blueberries and cherries icing.

If you'd like to have a bash, here's Jen's recipe :

For the lime sponge :

  • 110g self raising flour
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g margarine
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • Rind and juice of 2 limes

Combine all ingredients with a whisk until fluffy. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 20 minutes.

For the icing :

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 150ml of your favourite smoothie (she used our mangoes and passion fruits in this recipe)

Whisk the icing sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add innocent fruit smoothie a 1/3rd at a time (don't let the icing get too runny, if it does add a bit more icing sugar) Once the sponge is at room temperature - ice your cakes & decorate.

And then voila, you can amaze your friends and family with your creativity and technically they'll be having some fruit at the same time. Cake has never been so good.

Ready, steady, bake.

Jennifer Moseley cake wide view 100824

PS - if you're really into all things cake, check out the Cake Britain exhibition at the Future Gallery in London this weekend.

Good (not gold) diggers wanted

Lilly-This%20is%20my%20Best%20side

Not only do meerkats have a comparison website, they now have their own online dating site. This came about after a lonely meerkat named Lilly was looking for love and needed a helping hand meeting Mr Right. You'll be pleased to hear she found not only Mr Right, but Mr Darcy himself, and they've now become proud parents to quads. Clearly they're both going to need a GSOH dealing with their new arrivals.

Thanks to Twinlakes Park for the photo of Lilly.