Friday, 28 December 2012

Cake history

Most of us enjoy a delicious cake, tart or flan as a special treat - but do we ever stop to consider the history of our favourite baked goods? It's worth looking back to find out how cakes came into being!
What are cakes made from? An insight into the history of cakes is provided by looking at the ingredients involved. Most cakes are made from a combination of flour, a form of butter or shortening, a sweetener - such as honey or sugar, milk, eggs, a rising agent and a certain flavouring. There are many thousands of cake recipes from across the world which use variations of these ingredients and many are very ancient and associated with traditions and holidays - such as Christmas cake in England and America and stollen in Germany. Even modern recipes such as mince pies (not strictly a cake, but treated as one under the category of 'delicious baked treats'!) were preceded by ancient medieval recipes which combined meat mince and spices in a pastry crust and cobnut ties.

Early cakes The most primitive tribes began to make cakes around ten thousand years ago as flour was discovered as part of the agriculture phase. Medieval England featured a range of innovative cakes and these were referenced to in books and diaries, but these foods weren't conventional cakes as we`d recognise them. They were sweetened and flour based foods - similar in consistency to breads in many cases, but with the sweetening.

In fact, for a long period, cake and bread were used as interchangeable descriptors, with cake primarily being used to describe smaller sized breads. Remains of these foods have been found dating back as far as Neolithic times, where simple 'cakes' were created from crushed, moistened and compacted grains which probably would have been cooked on a hot stone. Today's equivalent would be the oatcake!
The Greeks and Romans The Greeks called cakes 'plakous', which derives from the word denoting something flat. Their creations tended to feature honey and nuts and where naturally heavy and filling.
Romans called their cakes 'placenta', deriving from the ancient Greek and also 'libum'. These ceremonial recipes were generally used as offerings to the gods. Placenta cakes were akin to today's cheesecakes and baked into a pastry case or base.

Into later periods, cake recipes evolved with more fruits and sweeteners, along with spices as these become more widely available. They tended to be used for special occasions, due to the expense of the ingredients. For this reason, cakes were a status symbol for the rich, who liked to be able to show how frequently they could afford to eat them. By the mid eighteenth century, yeast had been replaced with eggs as a raising agent and cake hoops were being used to shape the creations - linked with our modern cake moulds and pans.

In America and Europe, cakes became a sign of wellbeing and many regional varieties were developed. By the nineteenth century, the ingredients were becoming readily available and more affordable, with baking soda coming onto the market. Cakes started to become hugely elaborate and a sign of creative cookery, with rich icings, colours, shapes and ingredients that really embraced the experimental.
Today, after an interim period of industrialised and processed cakes in the eighties and nineties, people are returning in droves to their kitchens to embrace this most traditional, homely and enjoyable pastimes again - baking their own favourite cakes and devising their own new family recipes! If you've yet to enjoy the pleasure of cake-baking, gather up some quality CS Catering Equipment, ask your granny for a traditional recipe, or visit an online forum for discussions and tips. You may well never buy a commercial shop-bought cake again!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Cooking using left overs

If there’s one time of year when we’re likely to end up with a fridge full of leftovers, it has to be Christmas! The excesses of the holiday season mean that even the most-organised shoppers will tend to find themselves laden with extra ‘bits’ that they’re not sure what to do with. However, there’s no need to create waste; simply get creative in the kitchen and transform these bits into tasty new meals!

Turkey tends to be the obvious food that is available in abundance after Christmas day. But there are plenty of ways to use up the delicious and nutritionally valuable meat. Try making a fresh turkey and vegetable soup with plenty of sustaining root vegetables and starchy tubers such as sweet potatoes or regular white potatoes. You can use the turkey carcass to make an incredible stock, by simmering it with fresh herbs, a couple of onions and carrots and plenty of water to cover. Try cooking it very gently overnight and you’ll be rewarded with an incredible and highly nutritious, fresh stock in the morning, which you can then strain and use or freeze.


For turkey pieces, try making a traditional Coronation turkey dish with fresh cream, curry powder and almonds, or serve thick slices in fresh bread sandwiches, covered in melted cheese and caramelised onion for a decadent treat. If you’re feeling healthy, turkey also works very well in a salad with hearty leaves, sweet cherry tomatoes and a basic dressing made from oil, vinegar and lemon.

With leftover vegetables, such as the much-maligned Brussels sprouts, find new ways to fry them up and make them into high-flavour side-dishes. For example, Brussels Sprouts taste wonderful if they’re halved and sautted with bacon, butter and finely sliced onions   they will be crunchy, delicious and packed with vitamins and minerals. For parsnips and carrots, try cutting them into thin batons and roasting them in the oven with a healthy drizzle of olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Serve these roasted ‘chips’ with a home-made mayonnaise. And indeed, if you’re going to the trouble of making your own mayo  finely chop red cabbage, onions and carrots to make a fresh coleslaw. This will make a wonderful accompaniment to any leftover meats you are serving cold in the buffet.

If you have leftover potatoes, there are also plenty of innovative ways to use them up. Try frying them up with onions and corned beef to make corned beef hash, or mash with sweet potatoes, butter and cream for a delicious puree. Left over potato also combines very well with flaked salmon and can be fried into fishcakes with plenty of seasoning and served with sour cream and chives.

If you have left over pannetone, you’ll know that it tends to go stale very quickly. So take advantage and make a deliciously decadent pannetone bread and butter pudding, by combining slices of the sweet bread with raisins, sweet spices, Demerara sugar and milk beaten with eggs. Cream can also be used for real luxury and you’ll simply need to bake it in the oven to create a lavish dessert. If you have left over cranberries, try making them into a home-made sauce, or even whizzing up (de-stoned) in the blender with sweet pineapple and mint leaves for a very healthy smoothie.

There are plenty of ways to use up your leftovers when you start to think about it and be creative. Never be afraid just to combine a range of ingredients into a salad either, or throw together a buffet to use all the little bits up. It’s far better than allowing things to go to waste! And you’ll find plenty of recipes too that make the most of your Rangemaster and leftovers in one swoop  look online and find new cooking ideas on forums and cookery blogs to get you started and inspired!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cake in the Post

We do love seeing hearing the response we get from you guys. Thank you for all the lovely feedback we receive but I think you will agree this is a going the extra mile! If you think you would like to share your experience with us too then you maybe interested in our competition.



See this video at http://youtu.be/VyNHANACd-8

With Christmas fast approaching we thought that you may like to get something back for all your generosity. Sound intriguing? All you have to do is record or photograph someone opening a gift from us and email it in to us. The best image we get will win our Cake Slice Club for themselves for a whole year!

Share the competition through twitter or Facebook to be in with a chance of winning a single slice of our cake, there are 3 to be won and all for a click!

To give you plenty of time to do this the competition will close on 15th January 2013 and the winner will be announced on 17th. Please make sure that your recording is suitable for all ;) and please give us permission to use it in the future.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Fruit Cake!

Who are you calling a fruit cake? It's our cake slice of the week! Fruit generously soaked in brandy and added to this rich sponge cake topped with white icing. Only a month to go until Christmas and we thought it was time to get into the Christmas spirit, so add "surprise me" to your Christmas Card and we will send out a slice of this scrumptious cake. Perfect if Dad is the only one who likes it in your house, post a slice just for him!


You can also order our fruit cup cake too if you are looking for a Christmas present for Gran. Christmas might only be one day but we can help you spread the joy for much longer!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Polocini's Cycle Coffee Shop

"A cyclists' cafe is more than just a coffee shop, it's a workshop and a riders' hub – and a shared love of cake." - Matt Seaton

How do you combine cake, coffee and cycling? By opening a coffee shop of course.

Our friends Al and Clare have just done that, bringing together the three C's (cake, coffee and cycling) in the fantastic Polocini coffee shop in Romiley, Cheshire. 

Here you can rack you bike safely, enjoy a freshly ground coffee with a slice or two of homemade cake, catch up with fellow cyclists or maybe watch some cycling action on the screen.




On the wall there is a great display of cycling memorabilia that Al has collected from various races from all over Europe, from vintage cycling jerseys to the deviation arrows that the professional rides follow on race day.






As well as opening the coffee shop, Al successfully runs Polocini which encompasses cycling tours, cyclo-sportives and events which cater for all riders of all abilities. They have built up a reputation for providing the best food at their events, now they can boast at having the best coffee! Follow them on twitter too for all the latest news.




Friday, 16 November 2012

Cherry Cake

We thought this week we would go for something a little more traditional with our Cherry Cake. Our Cake Clubs will be receiving a slice of scrumptious vanilla cake with whole cherries inside. A really step back to childhood. Why not join our club yourself now and see what fabulous delights come from our kitchen each week. Or treat someone to our Cake Slice Club for Christmas and select "surprise me" for something new each week.



Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Derbyshire Life

I just wanted to say thank you to Andrew Griffiths for writing such a lovely article on us in The Derbyshire Life Magazine. I thought I would take this opportunity to share it with you all, we hope you enjoy it too and that it give you a slice of what we do here.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cake Slice Club


With Christmas fast approaching we thought that we had best tell you more about our Cake Slice Club. This is our gift that keeps on giving. Why should Christmas last for just one day when you can make it last for much longer! The mad build up to the day, then we overeat and crash on the day. Spread it out, send Mum her favourite slice that she doesn't have to share with Dad and reminds her that she is loved all year round. A slice of cake dropped through the letterbox for when you have all gone home and the house is quiet again shows she is always in your thoughts.

The best part is that if you select "surprise me" then your recipient will automatically receive our member's only club slice that week. So will be delighted by something totally different like Beetroot and Chocolate or Thor cake. We try to keep it seasonal and offer as much variation as possible, you can always find out what is in store by keeping an eye on our blog. On our birthday we sent boxes of Chocolate Dipped Cake Balls to all our surprises for that week! 

Maybe you like the idea of this for yourself? You could join our club and add a little surprise for yourself at the same time ;) We were shortlised for NotOnTheHighStreet.com's prestigious Innovation Award at their 2012 Make Awards, making this a truly unique and delicious present enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

New!


It is with a brimming sense of pride that I show you our new boxes for our Cake Slice Club. We have worked closely with Colin Shelbourn who designed this for us. We wanted to perk our boxes up a little and make them even more exciting to receive. Our Cake Slice Club is great for Christmas, especially if you aren't going to get to see someone. We can send you a gift certificate to include in your Christmas card and then start sending the slices in January. Let's beat those winter blues together. 

We hope that you love it as much as us!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake


You know how we like to seasonal at The Cake Nest and help you with your five a day ;) so this weeks surprise cake is Chocolate and Beetroot cake. Did you know that beetroot is amazingly good for you too. It appears to have so many health benefits we really should be throwing it into everything! So we created a lovely moist cake topped with white and milk chocolate. We thought it deserved to be wheat free too - well it's only fair we spread the love! So grab yourself a slice today or join up to our club to get your surprise each week.




Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Halloween


A strange time of year filled with fun but with a sinister background. I'm going to focus on the cake side of things but maybe that's not much better... soul cake is a small round cake  traditionally made for All Saints Day or All Souls' Day to celebrate the dead.

Bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits and, it is said, an ill-fated lottery began. If you were unfortunate enough to select the burnt cake you wouldn't see it through the night... human sacrifices are said to have been made to ensure good crops the following year.

However, there is an alternative... while soulers (mainly children and the poor) went around the village singing and saying prayers for the dead. It is said that each cake eaten would save a soul from Purgatory. Perhaps this was the beginning trick-or-treating. I prefer this idea. Whatever the truth is be careful what you eat this week! 




Friday, 26 October 2012

Thor

I love local delicacies and this is one very close to home for us, the Derbyshire Tharf (Thor) Cake. It is based on treacle and oats with a spicy mix of ginger and seems to be a regional version of Parkin but heavier. Parkin for those that haven't tried it is a lot more of a sponge cake by comparison, although equally yummy. I find Tharf gorgeous as it isn't as sweet and is deliciously filling, a real winter indulgence.

It's the perfect cake for bonfire night and as such it's our cake of the week this week.

So Cake Club, let me know what you think!





Don't forget you can join our Cake Club for yourself here. Something different each week, using seasonal ingredients and recipes!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Great Cake Mystery

Now I know that book reviews aren't really something I usually do but I couldn't resist this one, The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith. I'm not going to give away the story apart from to say that a young girl called Precious becomes a detective in this first book of the series when cake goes missing! This really is a delightful book, which I read with my children. Our six year old has declared it an absolute hit, asking if we can get more books about Precious. I think the fact that she lives in Botswana and she smiles all the time adds to the appeal. This book is a fabulous introduction to bigger books. The chapters are short but still give you a piece of the story, so keep the concentration levels in smaller children (our youngest is only four and she loved it!). It's a simple story, which is easily followed and I did a little recap each night, where the children told me what had happened the night before. The best part was this was Mummy's book, Daddy wasn't allowed to read it! If I'm honest I was also at the point that some of their books were so well read I could read them from memory, which gets a bit tedious after a while. I'm looking forward to this next stage of reading with the kids now, think we may try Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill!

So grab yourself a copy and snuggle up with the kids for a great bedtime story.


Friday, 19 October 2012

WOHOOO It's our birthday!

It's Friday and that means cake club surprises... what can I say it's our birthday too, 3 years this month, so it had to be something special! Chocolate Dipped Cake Balls all round it is! These delicious bites of cake mixed with buttercream and then dipped in chocolate are gorgeous we hope you all enjoy them. 




And to show that we love you all you can grab a box now for the same price as a slice for this week only at £4.95. Don't take our word for it, try them yourself!

sorry offer now ended

Thank you

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cup Cake Classes

We do get asked a lot about whether we do cup cake classes and the answer is "yes!". We are sorry that there isn't a section on our website as yet where you can book yours but just drop us and email and we will get you booked in. The most popular class we do is for children, minimum age is 5 but we will happily come and show them what to do so they can make their own party cakes! We do also run adult classes too, just ask.

Simply email Abi with your requirements and she will organise everything for you.


Friday, 12 October 2012

Peppermint Chilli Chocolate Cake

Before you pull a face you should try it. The chocolate we use is from South Devon Chilli Farm and is one of the nicest I've ever had. Hot and cold at the same time (if that's possible). None of our cakes are designed to blow your head off and there is something slightly addictive about this. So for National Chocolate Week we thought we would send you a firm favourite. Happy Cake Club everyone!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

National Poetry Day

Last Thursday was National Poetry Day, I love poetry and have enjoyed reading through the winners of this years Foyle Young Poets award. I thought I would share this with you as I feel the simple language is evocative of many childhoods. It has an underlying sadness to it mixed with nostalgia and love, amazing. 

Baking by Phoebe Boswall

Smells of baking remind me of you.
Your red apron, my small striped one with the torn pocket.
Your soft stretched skin, fingers kneading dough
into a ball. My fat floury hands
grasped for your amber necklace,
Quick, Phoebe, the oven!
You played with flavours,
made little blobs of buttery dough on the tray
Your warm kitchen, my safe haven.
You taught me your language:
bicarbonate of soda, self-raising flour, vanilla extract,
millilitres of milk, grams of sugar:
caster, muscovado, granulated.
Now your apron hangs empty on the peg.
I wear it from time to time; mine with the torn pocket
doesn't fit anymore.


If you would like to win a copy of 101 Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy you can enter the competition here


Friday, 5 October 2012

Raspberry Blondie

Hope you are all looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Our Cake Club will be enjoying our Raspberry Blondie this week. A scrumptious caramel taste with bursts of fresh raspberries to tickle the taste buds. If you fancy a slice yourself you should join our club, something different every week. We like to play with new flavours and use seasonal products so come and grab a slice, your first month is free!

Happy Friday everyone.


Monday, 24 September 2012

The Cake and Bake Show

What can I say? What an amazing weekend! For those of you that didn't make it to Earls Court this weekend for The Cake and Bake Show I can tell you, you missed a treat. For the very first show, it was a huge success. People taking seats an hour before Mary Berry started her demonstration tells you how popular she was and it was lovely to see so many from the Great British Bake Off past and present.

It was great see so many new and familiar faces too in you guys. Catching up with people from Twitter and Facebook that we have known for a long time was really lovely, thanks for introducing yourselves. Our stall was very popular and our new "Say it with Cake" seemed to be ticking all the right boxes for you so as promised you can buy it now from our site. All you have to do is click below. Tell us what flavour cake and the message to go on top and we will hand make and post it for you as promised.




Flavour
Message (15 characters)

We were lucky enough to have our stall right next to the demonstration area so got to glimpse the celebrity chefs as they passed by. Fab to find there were no divas amongst them! I believe that poor Mary was a bit swamped with appreciation although she tried to sign as many books as possible. 


It was lovely to see Edd Kimber too, we have met previously and so it was lovely to catch up. Funnily enough his new book has the same name as our new cake, a popular choice, obviously we all want to "Say it with Cake"

Almost feel sad that it's all over but then there's always Manchester at Easter.... details to be released shortly!


Friday, 24 August 2012

Time Out

Every once in a while we all need some time out. A time put aside just to unwind? Maybe. Or maybe just time to escape. Personally I always feel that getting out of the kitchen and taking a long walk with the dog clears the mind. Sometimes when it feels like everything is getting too much it can be just the ticket. Working from home can create a little cabin fever. The pressures of the day are harder to leave at the office door when you are live in it. They can even make me feel trapped and force me to keep working well past a sensible time. Do people really care if I answer an email at midnight?

We all have our own version of time out, it could just be sitting in front of the TV in the evening or reading a book. Whatever it is we should all do it. Life can be very hectic and without looking after ourselves, we are pretty useless to anyone else.

So grab yourself a cuppa, a slice of cake and a good book and give yourself a break. Feeling energised is a great start but perhaps you'll feel inspired too.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Kitchen Magic


Many of you will already be aware but where once I was one, now we are two in the kitchen. The Cake Nest is an entirely family run business, with all baking done in house and so when I needed extra help it was only right that my husband came and joined me. So I have set him to bake and, just in case you were worrying, he comes from a strong line himself, with his gran being a professional cake maker. 


Now you may be wondering what he is getting up to. Within minutes of joining us he shot off to Slattery's to do their chocolate course. Oh the joy of him coming home with bags of chocolate that he had made but we knew it wasn't meant to be for us and so I put him in the kitchen and let him work his magic the results have been amazing.


Mr Cake
Our next big thing is the Earls Court, Cake and Bake Show in September. Steve is busy creating some wonderful goodies to wow you on the day that will be available on our website afterwards. Try our cake balls today to test his skills and then control your drooling and come and visit us. Grab your tickets now and you'll even get a discount by quoting "FLYERIHS".


Please offer a warm welcome to Mr Cake, the man himself, Steve Phillips our Creative Baker.

Chocolate Dipped Cake Balls

Friday, 29 June 2012

Make Awards



Last week I took a trip to London. Country mouse, that I am, I got in my car and made my way to the Make Awards. These are run annually by NotOnTheHighStreet.com and this year we were lucky enough to be shortlisted for the prestigious Innovation Award 2012 for our Cake Slice Club

After a morning of inspiring speakers, we were treated a lovely buffet lunch, with some delicious eton mess. Then it was time to sit down and ready ourselves for the awards.  There were some truly amazing products including a champagne cork stool and the Stitch a Map postcard. The competition was inspiring and also made us realise what we had achieved to make it to the top three. 

I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other sellers and to get out of the kitchen. Hearing other peoples' stories and how we all strive to go the extra mile warms the soul. Juggling your own business is an art in itself and one that I am still learning, picking up tips from others in the same position really helps. Unfortunately, we didn't win this year but we aren't down-hearted, just more determined than ever to give you something even more impressive for next year so watch this space...!

In the meantime, we are celebrating the best of being British with our new GB cake pops these are a limited edition item and only available from NotOnTheHighStreet.com. However, if you would like to order these for a party and require a larger quantity please contact us directly to arrange a discount.

Thank you for all your support!


Monday, 20 February 2012

Hot Chocolate

These cold and rainy days need some good hot chocolate to cheer us up. Mine's not quick but it's worth the effort!


Ingredients
1/2 cup of Oats
500ml Water
100g Dark Chocolate broken into chunks
Cream to taste


Method
Simmer the oats in the water for 10mins. Using a blender process the oats until smooth then add the chocolate and blitz again. Pour into a cup and add cream to taste. Snuggle down and enjoy!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Steamed Pudding!

By popular demand here is my recipe for Chocolate and Cherry Steamed Pudding. Don't be put off by the length of time it takes to make... your part is done in minutes the rest is down to the oven!


Ingredients
125g Unsalted Butter (very soft)
125g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
100g Self Raising Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
4tbs Cocoa Powder
1 Jar of Cocktail Cherries (225g)


A sheet of foil




Method
Pre heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Half fill a roasting tin with water and put it in the oven. Grease a pudding basin, a pirex bowl will do the job just as well.


Mix all the ingredients including half on the syrup from the cherries but not the cherries themselves until thoroughly combined. Then throw in the cherries!


Spoon into basin. Take foil and make a pleat in the middle (to give the pudding room to rise) place this on top and secure.


Place in roasting tin of water and cook for about an hour (should feel firm to touch).


Turn out and serve with a big dollop of cream!


Enjoy

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Running Route

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to come and run with me. It means a lot to me. And to those of you who want to wave as I go past... you are amazing! A smile and a keep going really boosts morale! So here goes, if you fancy a wave, a mile or two or perhaps a whole morning with me let me know
  • Saturday 31st March       -        Tynemouth - Ponteland
  • Sunday 1st April              -        Ponteland - Maften
  • Monday 2nd April            -        Maften - Redesmouth
  • Tuesday 3rd April            -        Redesmouth - Keilder
  • Wednesday 4th April       -       REST DAY 
  • Thursday 5th April           -       Kielder - Saughtree 
  • Friday 6th April                -       Saughtree  - Newcastleton
  • Saturday 7th April           -       Newcastleton - Canonbie
  • Sunday 8th April             -       Canonbie - Carlisle
  • Monday 9th April            -       REST DAY 
  • Tuesday 10th April         -       Carlisle - Caldbeck
  • Wednesday 11th April   -        Caldbeck - Cockermouth
  • Thursday 12th April        -       Cockermouth - Whitehaven

The distances range from 10 to 16 miles please contact me for more details. Please note that this may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as path closures etc.

Look forward to seeing you! Only 6 weeks to go!



View Coast to Coast Run 2012 in a larger map

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Competition Questions

Q1 . from Global Therapies - Which of our clients who ran the FLM (Flora London Marathon) said "Regular sports therapy and massage really does help to keep those muscles working more efficiently and can not only cure, but actually prevent injury." and why do they think this?
Answer - Sue Clapham, because her knee problem was helped by massage and excercises, and massage pre-race prevented problem from chronic tendonitis, and felt fine while other runners in the same race were sore and stiff
Recommend a friend and get £5 off your next visit 


Q2.  from Balloon Baboon Our latest design is a Balloon Bear holding some flowers. What is he called?
Answer - Loving Bear
Quote "CAKENEST" at checkout for 10% off


Q3.  from Bay Web Design - how much does Bay Web Designs charge for a one page web package?
Answer - £95 for a whole year


Q4. from Designa SausageWhat does a Connoisseur’s Sausage Making Kit contain?
Answer - ‎2 dry beef sausage casings, choice of 2 seasonings, natural stabiliser, new recipe book


Q5. from Little Sunflowers - How many colours are available in Scooby Doo Kids Crocs?
Answer - 3         
Grab yourself a 10% by entering "CAKENEST" at the checkout


Q6. from Colemore FarmWhat is the name of the newly renovated barn which is now available for guests this year?
Answer - Frog Mill Barn      
Mention The Coast to Coast Run when booking and get 5% discount 


Q7. from Taste the Seasons - Editor Andy Darlington will be judging the dairy products classes at which Derbyshire show this summer?
Answer - The Bakewell Show


Q8. from CaterFor.co.uk - How many pies can be stored in our online Parry LPG Pie Cabinet?
Answer - 45      
Type in "Cakes-7268" for 10% off


Q9. from The Gay Card Company - Some say half full, others say half empty, either way there's plenty of our trademark balloons here - question is, just how many? Get the closest answer and you'll bag yourself a free pack together with 25% off your next order!
Answer - 843






Q10. from The Cake Nest - What are the best cakes to give children in their party bags?
Answer - Push Pops!


REMEMBER YOU NEED TO VISIT COAST TO COAST'S FACEBOOK PAGE AND SUBSCRIBE TO ANSWER OR TWEET @C2C_RUN


All prize winners will be notified personally, full details of winners can be obtained on request




Don't forget to sponsor me on my 180 mile run if you have any spare change it's much appreciated! 



Monday, 6 February 2012

COMPETITION WEEK!

And so we are off. Every day this week you will find a question about one of the lovely companies sponsoring me on my Coast to Coast run. So let's have a quick glance and the rules and then I can give you the first question...


THE RULES!

To enter this fabulous competition week, you need to do THREE things:

 1. You need to subscribe on our Facebook wall or follow me on Twitter and it's easy peasy.

 2. Answer the question - obvious but don't forget! You will find this on twitter and Facebook twice a day (first thing in the morning and another at lunch time)

 3. Answer everyday to go in for our star draw at the end of the week

For an additional chance of winning, share the competition on your facebook page or on Twitter! 

Competition ends 12th February. Good luck!

THE PRIZES!

There are a range of things up for grabs including, cake club membership and free advertising for your business!

FOR TWO RUNNERS UP!

There are some amazing discount codes we can offer you which should sort everything from valentine's day to your holidays!


Terms and Conditions

1. Only one prize can be given per household, no cash alternative.

2. Winners will be selected at random at the end of the week and notified by email within seven days.

3. The prizes are non-transferable.

4. The winners’ names can be requested in writing from The Cake Nest

5. We'd love to be able to tell people who has won and may ask for you to let us use your name in our publicity materials, but would only do so with your consent.

6. Eligible entrants will be automatically entered into the draw unless they opt out by contacting us at thecakenest@me.com

7. Competition valid for UK residents only.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Coast to Coast Countdown

With only 8 weeks to go I thought I should fill you in on all that's been happening and what we have coming up. We need a big shout out going to our t shirt sponsors (so many we now have two made!). They are a varied collection of businesses that will have you buzzing this week


The Cake Nest
Glossop Screenprint
Inform People
Edwin Wild & Son  - Local butchers in Whaley Bridge
Country Basket - Local veg shop in Whaley Bridge

I would tell you more about them all but it really is in your best interest to go take a look at their websites as tomorrow we will be starting our week long competition where everyone will be a winner! So keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter to find out more as well as on here! 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Marathon

I completed my first ever marathon yesterday and wanted to tell you about my experience. Firstly, I am tired, emotional and ache in places I didn't know existed but very happy! When I first decided to run 180 miles for Children's Adventure Farm Trust I thought it would be a good idea to do some "mini" events along the way. So just before Christmas I did a week of zumba. This was great fun and a big change from my social norm (I like running with people but mostly do this by myself). Just need a little more work on my coordination and zumba may just be a bit of great cross training for me. 

I wanted to make sure that what I was doing stayed close to the front of your mind and mine. I decided that it would be easier to train if I set myself a challenge again before easter so I signed up to the Gloucester Marathon. I got my training plan from Nik Cook and did my best to stick to it. I have to say it gave me a lot of confidence and felt so much stronger. Then the week before the event I got my race number. Excitement turned to fear as I realised there was a cut off time of 5 hours on the race. All my training had been to my heart rate and time not speed. I really started to doubt myself and then I got a chest infection....! As an asthmatic this wasn't good. I went to the doctors and got myself sorted. The lovely nurse I saw (Debbie for all you local people) was brilliant. She calmed me down and reassured me I could do it and to go and run my race whatever happened.

So Saturday the nerves started kicking in again as we drove to Worcester to spend the night at my in laws. They were fab and Tim gave me the hugest plate of spaghetti bolognese for tea! And as all you generous people started pouring in with sponsorship and well wishes I began to relax and really think I could do it. I went to bed and slept.. well not great. Strange bed, strange noises and to be honest a lot of tension inside. I woke feeling ready though so after a bowl of porridge we were on our way to Gloucester.


Arriving was daunting. I saw lots of people wearing 100 marathon and various other club t shirts and thought "oh no I'm playing with the big boys what am I doing here?".  Mentally I switched off I think. I listened to the safety talk and wondered about the places they were talking about (i've never been to Gloucester before). Then we all walked up to the start line and before I knew it we were off!

What can I say the first half was amazing. I was well on target for completing in 4 1/2 hours. Then I got to 16 miles... the pain was horrible. It was right at the top of my legs, the slightest incline felt like a mountain. My wonderful husband then jogged along with me for the next mile till I told him to go away as he was making me cry! Love does funny things to you, I needed him then and to see him at the end but not before.

For me Gloucester was great. The other runners were amazing. I loved running alongside the old guys - 40 years older than me and still taking it in their stride. Thank you for your tips, encouragement and (yes I did notice the pacing). For me the worst part was the laps. Three in total for which you got a band each time, these will always serve to remind me that when the going gets tough I CAN do another lap. The last lap was the hardest, mainly because I was near enough alone. I'd been lapped by everyone by now and it was just me and the marshals. Being followed by the sweeper vehicle is like being followed by the grim reaper, I can hear you and can't run away! 

As for the pain, well it moved is all I can really say. At one point I couldn't run and then I couldn't walk. I just set my head to thinking I was going to finish. The weird thing was I didn't feel tired. My hydration and fuelling seemed to go really well. Sorry Nik, I think I should have done a bit more cycling as you told me too.

So what went wrong? Nothing as far as I'm concerned, I finished. Yes I was last but only 374 people completed out of 500 starters. Did I do it within 5 hours? Not in the slightest 5:56:40 and for this I very much appreciate the marshalls and the sweep vehicle that kept an eye on me and kept me going. Thank you for waiting for me and I felt great after (ok so walking is still an issue but that's a small price to pay). Would I do it again? Not today but maybe one day. 

I am very proud to have received my medal and feel like the Coast to Coast run is achievable. Thank you for all your donations and keep them coming!