November in review – all about the Christmas prep

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An alternative to the caterpillar cake

 

Another month gone, and we’re getting so close to Christmas now. After last month’s obsession with unusual foodstuffs like the Gummi Bear, this month has swung into full on gift searching, but at a more general level. And then the usual array of odd searches that cause me amazement, bewilderment and the odd giggle or two.

So, the top 5 things everyone had on their mind this month were as follows:

1. Foodie gifts and presents – bit obvious with the title of the blog, but a big switch, which suggests everyone is looking for ideas for the foodies in their lives. Over the month my ideas have included where to buy a whole pig, gifts for the tea and coffee lovers, gifts on a budget and what to serve if David Tennant pops round for dinner. Always best to be prepared. And if anyone wants to know, David coming to dinner could be the best gift you could send this foodie!

2. Cupcakes – you weren’t so much making your own as looking for two fabulous suppliers, Bedazzled Cupcakes for if you’re up here in the East Midlands, and The Kent Cupcakery for those in Kent. I would think. Great choices, and I would be getting a move on to get my Christmas order in quick with both, or your local provider. Would make a fabulous alternative to mince pies, or to a Christmas cake. For the adults, have a look at what Sally at The Kent Cupcakery is doing with Limoncello cupcakes! Definitely not one for the kiddies!

3. Hampers – these were definitely beginning to creep up the presents chart, all ready for the festive season. I wrote a piece on hampers back in October, and there are some specific posts on hampers from M&S, Not On the High Street and Funky Hampers. A number of you were looking at hampers you could put together yourself, and I’ll be posting some ideas around this shortly.

4. Caterpillar Cake Tins – wow, this really is the cake of the moment!  Don’t get me wrong, I love a caterpillar cake as much as the next mum, but this month I will be attempting a stable with three horses heads, thanks to MGG and her flicking through of Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes. Photos and tales from the kitchen to follow before much longer. The cake tin is a great route though to a very quick and easy cake, so to be recommended for working parents everywhere who want to turn out a great homemade cake.

5. Alcohol free drinks – some of you are getting ready for Christmas, and providing interesting options for those who don’t, or can’t, drink. I’ve written a few times about how much I like the cordials from Belvoir Fruit Farms, and I will certainly be stocking up on Spiced Winter Berries cordial this weekend. I’ll also be testing my resolve with the Bottlegreen limited edition sparkling presses, which are very pretty, not to mention very tasty.

And for entertainment value, these are my choice searches of the month:

1. Lambrini gifts – stop asking me, I still loathe all of them. Please don’t send me one.

2. Turkey twizzlers – please, I’ve told you before, not on my watch!

3. Campbells condensed soup vol au vent filler – ah, retro food lives on for another month!

4. Asda Vin du Soleil – really, once in this lifetime was enough!

5. Comedy photo aprons – just picture your face on Christmas morning if this one is coming your way!

Looking forward to seeing what comes out top of the pops on the foodie present front come Christmas time. Here’s hoping it’s both tasty, and tasteful for all our sakes!

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October in review

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Nosy or just curious?

 

Being nosy and curious are good attributes for what I do. Which means I am quite fascinated by what terms people search on to end up on the blog. The popular stuff gives a feel for what people are thinking about and looking for, and the random stuff gives you an idea on what’s happening on the edges. Sometimes, on the very surreal edges.

Given the title of the blog, and the key thing I write about, it’s probably no surprise that foodie gifts is the top term, so I’m going to ignore that each month, along with anything with the blog’s title in. So, here we go, a view of October

Top 5

1. Top of the shops is the Giant Gummi Bear. Who can tell why? Although I think they’d be fun to watch someone unwrap one. But I’m sure you’d get fed up of it by about half way through!

2. In a similar theme, lots of people were looking for, and buying, Baconnaise. I love bacon and I love mayonnaise, but I think I’d rather have the two things separately. It seems lots of you disagree and are busy stocking up on this.

3. There must have been a lot of kids having caterpillar birthday cakes if the searches were anything to go by! No more M&S cake though, you were after the cake tin, and Lakeland can oblige.

4. Lots of you are on a retro food kick, with vol au vents featuring highly. I think this must be something that’s passed me by, but now determined to see if I can come up with some fabulous versions. Or at least ones that don’t involve Campbells condensed mushroom soup!

5. Finally a lot of you were looking out for a local supplier to me of gorgeous cupcakes. Bedazzled Cupcakes really do put on a dazzling display and you’ll often find them at food festivals in the East Midlands. Worth a mid morning sugar snack!

Top 5 oddities

1. Unless he has a brother, as far as I know it’s Richard Corrigan. Not Keith.

2. What pepper is in the Jamie Oliver kilner jar? Black

3. Sorry, no idea on Thomasina Miers wedding. But hope the half dozen of you looking on the blog for it got her something nice. A quince tree hopefully.

4. How not to burn jam. Keep stirring it. Or buy a Tefal jam maker and let it take the strain.

5. Buy turkey twizzlers? Not on my watch you don’t. I’m not even sure making your own is my favourite idea.

So, bring on November and December, as running into Christmas always throws up some interesting and obscure stuff. Can’t wait!

Fabulous photo to illustrate this by jin.thai on Flickr.

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Foodie gift hunting at Firebox

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I love Firebox, I think it was created to answer men’s prayers, and women’s endless question of what on earth to buy a man! Their range has continued to grow, and there are some interesting options for gifts for foodies, and not just in the gadget department. Here’s my top choices of new stuff from them:

1. Marshmallow Fluff – ok, not my fave, but you have to try this at least once in your life, besides which the texture always makes me laugh. Firebox have the original plus strawberry and raspberry, so plenty of flavour combos possible!

 

Giant Gummi Bear - yes, you're seeing that right!

 

2. Giant Gummi Bear – oh my word, you have to see these! Firebox are the first to have them in the UK and they are awesome looking! They’re a great gift for a Gummi Bear lover, not so sure about their foodie credentials, but they will surely be a talking point. Hoping they come in a box, otherwise they’re going to be a so and so to wrap up!

3. Decantus Wine Aerator – perfect for disorganised forgetful foodies (like me) who love their red wine, but forget to open it ahead of time. Perfect foodie gadget, sounds like it should work so you should get the best out of your wine.

4. Baconnaise – there’s bacon, there’s mayonnaise, and then there’s their bastard lovechild. Possibly worth trying once.

5. Garlic Zoom – a bit gimmicky, but a hands free way to get finely chopped garlic if your knife skills aren’t that great.

6. Sparkling Gold Cuvee – recession, what recession? Bring on the blinged up bubbles, just for the heck of it!

So, not great shakes from a true gourmet;s perspective, but some fun stuff, some interesting stuff and some stuff that is worth trying just once in your life! Now, bring on the Gummi Bear!

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