Play Me by Katie McCoy

Jake is here! Play Me by Katie McCoy is released today! This is one hot dish you don’t want to miss out on.

Blurb
Recipe For:A Roll In The Hay Hot Crossed Buns Love

Ingredients:

1 Chef (equal parts sexy and carefree)

1 Pianist (equal parts uptight and endearing)
1/8 inch of drywall between their apartments
2 opinions on everything

Combine all ingredients, mix vigorously, and be prepared for an explosion of heat.

Pianist Ella Thomas is training for the competition of her life. Finally in an apartment of her own, she can practice from dawn till dusk.

But she didn’t bet on the sexy and frustrating neighbor keeping her up all night – even if he does cook like a maestro and kiss like it‚Äôs his job.

Jake Matson is living his dream as Head Chef at one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco. He’s easy going, flirtatious and not looking for love. He didn’t expect to be completely distracted by the girl next door, whose buttoned-up appearance hides the seductive firecracker underneath.

What happens when opposites attract? As their tension fires up, can they create a new kind of music together or will everything boil over?

Review

I received a free copy for an honest review.

Ella has lived and breathed classical music her whole life. With a family who don’t believe in her classical career and an ex boyfriend telling her she isn’t good enough to succeed, she’s determined to prove them wrong. How? By winning the most prestigious competition for classical pianists. Moving into a place of her own she had thought she could spend her days and nights focussing purely on her music, even if it meant she lived off canned soup for the next few weeks.

What she didn’t count on was her neighbour coming home in the early hours of the morning every night and demanding she not play her piano in the mornings so he can sleep. What starts out as a battle of wills soon becomes something a whole lot more. Her teacher keeps telling her not be distracted, to focus solely on her music, but what if Jake is just the distraction she needs?

I loved every moment of this book! It was had drama, romance, heat and some pretty funny moments too. Jake can bake me chocolate brownies any day ūüėČ Definitely not one to be missed!!

Read it for yourself here…

Amazon US / UK
Author Bio
Katie McCoy is a self proclaimed sushi addict, Cardinals baseball fanatic, and lover of all things theatrical. A St. Louis native transplanted to Brooklyn, she acts, sings, and shakes her booty when she isn’t writing books about hot men and the girls who love them.

 Connect With Katie

Giveaway
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What’s A Cupcake Worth To You?

I like to think of myself as a passionate baker – I’m quite a passionate cake eater too…I love both creating unique and colourful cakes and finding amazing cupcakes to try when I’m out and about. Usually my love for cake will¬†result in me ‘splashing out’¬†on the ¬£3 – ¬£4 cupcakes and muffins in popular coffee shops such as Starbucks and Costa, but¬†a gentlemen in Toronto¬†decided to extend his love for cake even further¬†by¬†commissioning¬†a $900/¬£540 cupcake for his wife’s 40th birthday, hence making it the most expensive cupcake in the world after beating the previous record of $750 for the Decadence D’Or cupcake from The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Le Dolci Bakery in Toronto created a cupcake that contained both his and his wife’s favourite things. These included –

 

The Most Expensive Cupcake In The World

Inside the Cupcake is:

  • Artisan Beer
  • Valhrona Cocoa powder
  • The cream filling is flavoured¬†with a¬†bottle of Krug Collection Brut Champagne worth ¬£500 in the UK and,
  • Rosewood Estate Honey

The Chocolate Icing is made from:

  • Butter¬†made by a historic Normandy dairy cooperative
  • 70% Amedei Italian Chocolate from Tuscany
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
  • French sea salt from the Carmargue Region
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Tahitian Vanilla beans

It’s decorated with:

  • A chocolate cup with gold flakes, gold strips and diamonds made out of sugar
  • Gold leaf
  • As well as edible gold fondant flora and fauna
  • Caviar Bubbles made using molecular gastronomy
  • Diamond sprinkles
  • And a pipette of 21-year-old Courvoisier Cognac to drizzle over the cupcake before eating it!

All of these create a cupcake with “undertones of honey, caramel, lavender, vanilla, banana and orange blossom.” The creator and owner of the bakery Lisa Sanguedolce described the cupcake’s decorations like this:

The cupcake sits in a hand-made, edible chocolate cup garnished with crunchy edible pearls and dusted with 24-karat gold flakes. It is adorned with edible gold-painted branch with leaves, fondant flowers edged in gold, edible sugar diamonds and delicate hand made champagne caviar bubbles. It also features a pipette filled with limited edition Courvoisier that is drizzled atop the cupcake before consumption.

Sounds pretty impressive right? Apparently the husband and wife duo were “super happy” with the results, which is just as well after the amount they paid for it! But is this cupcake really too good to eat? And is it really worth spending this much money for? After all you can’t have your cake and eat it too…All I know is I definitely wouldn’t mind a taste.

What do you think – fancy a taste? How much would you spend on a cupcake?…

What’s A Cupcake Worth To You?

Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake Squares

I found the recipe for these scrummy creations today in my local supermarket so I just had to share it with you!

‚ô• Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake Squares ‚ô•

237 kcals, 19g fat (11g saturated fat), 5g protein, 0g fibre, 19g carbs, 15g total sugars, 0.3g salt

Timings: 55minutes plus cooling and chilling

Ingredients

Raspberry Cheesecake

  • 100g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 75g butter
  • 200g ginger nut biscuits

For the topping

  • 600g cream cheese
  • 450g Greek yogurt
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornflour

For the ripple

  • 150g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 160¬įC/140¬įC fan/gas mark 3.
  2. Scatter the nuts over a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, then leave to cool.
  3. Melt the butter gently in a pan. Put the toasted nuts into a processer with the biscuits and whiz them together to create crumbs. Add the now melted butter to these and whiz again to combine. Tip this mix into a 24cm x 34cm, 4cm deep tin and spread the mixture around the bottom evenly.
  4. Mix all the topping ingredients together in a mixing bowl and the spoon it over the crumb mix in the tin, smoothing over the top.
  5. To create the ripple, whiz the raspberries and icing sugar together in a mixer, then strain the mixture through a sieve. Pour this purée over the top of the cheesecake, using a skewer to make a swirly pattern over the top.
  6. Bake this in the oven for 45 minutes, then leave it to cool before placing it in the fridge to chill. Once chilled you’ll be able to cut it into squares (Though if you want to leave it whole as an impressive table centrepiece¬†you can!)

You can make this cheesecake in advance and keep it in the fridge over night ready for the next day. It will keep in the fridge for a few days¬†though I¬†recommend you eat it soon¬†– it’ll taste better! You can even save a few raspberries to serve on top of the cheesecake for a little decoration ūüôā But it’s just as good on its on – I mean who doesn’t love cheesecake!?!

Have a go and let me know how you get on! Enjoy ‚ô•

 

Afternoon Tea: How To Make Strawberry Jam

As a true English girl I absolutely love afternoon tea (though I’m more of a coffee girl over tea). Nothing beats having some amazing cakes, or the little triangle sandwiches you get in tea rooms on¬†a fancy china cake stand! But best of all?¬†Scones, jam and cream!!! Now don’t get me wrong I love a good scone but I only ever have them as a treat once every so often – we had an American exchange student once who generally thought English people have afternoon tea everyday which I can assure¬†people everywhere we definitely do not (well the normal ones don’t…), I’m pretty sure I’d be morbidly obese or hospitalised if I indulged everyday! But saying that I really do love afternoon tea and there’s nothing better than doing it yourself, so let’s start with the basics – JAM! Here’s my Mum’s famous recipe…

‚ô• Strawberry Jam ‚ô•

This recipe makes about 1 1/2kg or 3 1/4lb and makes between 4 to 6 jars (depending on their size)

Jam 10

Equipment

  • Heavy based 4.5lt (8pt) saucepan
  • 4-6 sterilised jars (see Step 9)

Ingredients

  • 800g (1 3/4lb) fresh strawberries (NB: you can use frozen¬† fruit but defrost it first)
  • 1kg Jam sugar
  • a knob of unsalted butter

Recipe

  1. Take your strawberries and cut them into quite small pieces, removing the stalks, then put them all in the saucepan.
  2. Put on a low heat so the fruit starts to become more of a mushy purée, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add all of the jam sugar and continue to simmer on a low heat, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved (use the back of the spoon to see if there are any sugar granules left and scrap it around the bottom of the pan to see if you can feel any).
  4. Once completely dissolved add a knob of butter.
  5. Bring the heat up slowly until it starts a rolling boil – it’ll start¬†to bubble vigorously, rising up the pan and can’t be stirred down again.
  6. Boil the mixture like this for 4 minutes.
  7. After 4mins a layer of white-coloured scum will form on top, remove using a spoon and throw away.
  8. Once done remove it from the heat and leave it to cool.
  9. Meanwhile sterilise the jars. Place them on a baking sheet on a tray in the oven¬† preheated to 170¬įC/325¬įF/Gas mark¬†3 and leave for 10 minutes.
  10. Once the jars and the jam have cooled pour the jam into the jars (if you have a jar funnel use it!) and place waxed jam discs on the top before sealing with the lids. IMPORTANT: make sure the jam and the jars are the same temperature when you put the jam in, if one is too hot and the other cold the glass jars will crack!
  11. Leave the jam¬†to solidify before using – if it’s still runny¬†after a few hours repeat¬†Steps 4 – 7¬†again.

This recipe can be used for strawberry, raspberry, tayberry or loganberry jam and will keep in a cool place for several months if left unopened with a wax seal. All you need now is the scones and cream! Or better yet spread it in a cake or just on some toast ūüėČ

Give it try and let me know how you get on!

Quick Sausage Cassoulet

So you’re off to uni, but there’s just one problem…You have no idea how to cook or what too cook on a budget! I thought for my first recipe I’d start with a classic student combination – sausages, beans and stuffing!

‚ô¶ Quick Sausage Cassoulet ‚ô¶

How long does it take?: 30mins     Serves: 4 people     How much does it cost?: ~ £1.34 per person

452kcals, 14.3g fat, 4.4g saturates, 13.7g sugars, 3.21g salt

Quick Sausage Cassoulet 7Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 454g reduced fat pork sausages
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 390g carton chopped tomatoes (preferably with basil, chilli and oregano)
  • 150ml chicken stock (made with 1/2 a chicken stock cube and 150ml boiling water)
  • 410g tin butter beans in water, drained and rinsed
  • 410g tin cannellini beans in water, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 x 130g pack roasted garlic and herb stuffing mix
  • 1/3 x 28g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 200¬įC, fan 180¬įC, gas mark 6. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the sausages for 5 minutes until they turn a golden brown then add all the diced vegetables and the smoked paprika – fry for another 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and all the beans in and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the stuffing mix, half the parsley and 150ml of water , then set aside.
  3. Stir the remaining parsley into the sausage mix and season with ground black pepper. Pour this into a large, shallow baking dish (such as a pyrex dish) and spread the stuffing over the top.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the stuffing is crispy on top then serve. You can serve this with salad, vegetables or even with some crusty bread.

This is actually really easy to make and who doesn’t like sausages and stuffing!!! Have a go and let me know how you get on!

Red Velvet Loaf With Berry Frosting

Next week sees the return of one of my favourite TV programmes…..The Great British Bake Off!!! So in honour of this I thought I’d share this scrummy recipe with you…

‚ô• Red Velvet Loaf With Berry Frosting ‚ô•

Serves 12           351 kcal, 18.7g fat, 10.7g saturates, 29.8g sugars, 0.27g salt

Red velvet loaf with berry frosting‚ÄĘ Ingredients ‚ÄĘ

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp. cochineal red food colouring
  • 150ml Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 75g soft cream cheese
  • 250g summer fruits (reserve the juice if from frozen)

‚Äʬ†Recipe ‚ÄĘ

  1. Preheat the oven to 180¬įC, fan 160¬įC, gas mark 4. Grease a 2lb/900g loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Put 100g of the butter into a bowl and beat together with the sugar either by hand or in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time with 1 tbsp. of flour, then stir in the red food colouring, yoghurt and vanilla extract. Sift in the remaining flour and cocoa powder and fold together until smooth.
  3. Pour this mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 – 55mins until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Whilst the loaf cools, make the frosting. Beat the remaining butter either by hand or with an electric whisk until smooth, then gradually sift in the icing sugar. Add to this the soft cheese and beat together until thick and pale. Spread this over the cooled cake and top with summer fruits and any fruit juice reserved if using a frozen bag of summer fruits.

My housemate is obsessed with anything red velvet so this bake is very popular at university! It’s so easy to make but it still looks so impressive on your table. Plus it’s got fruit in it…that makes it kind of healthy right?!

Have a go and let me know how you get on in the comments below!

(*Photo and Recipe credit go to Sainsbury’s)

I Dream In Chocolate

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me” – Audrey Hepburn

Over the past few years I have definitely sought comfort in chocolate on many occasions. Whether it be drinking a mocha whilst working, or having dark chocolate truffles during yet another Nicholas Sparks movie (along with¬†the mandatory¬†bunch of tissues of course). But hey chocolate doesn’t judge you for having bad bed hair or knowing all the words to High School Musical (watching it on repeat for 8 hours with your nieces will do this to you).

Chocolate is A-MAZ-ING. Period.

But my point for this post other than declaring my love of chocolate, is to share with you my all time favourite chocolate pudding recipe. The kind of pudding people demand you make for them. The kind of pudding you relish making and have to stop yourself from eating all of. And most importantly, the kind of pudding that makes you smile like a Cheshire cat no matter how horrid you’re feeling.

MY OH SO Saucy Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

Evernote Camera Roll 20130703 152924For the cakey bit –

  • 1/2 pint of milk
  • 75g¬†dark chocolate
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

For the saucy bit –

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 300ml boiling water

Serves 4 (Well it’s meant to but I doubt you’ll be able to resist it so probably 2 servings, maybe 3 if you’re really good!)

  1. Lightly grease an 850ml oven dish (a big Pyrex dish would be perfect for this)
  2. Break the chocolate into the milk in a saucepan and gently heat. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted and then leave to cool.
  3. Beat the caster sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then sieve the flour and cocoa powder in, and gradually add the chocolate milk. You may need to whisk it to get it completely smooth and once it is pour it into the prepared dish and put to one side.
  4. Next you need to make the sauce. Mix the sugar and cocoa powder together, adding a small amount of boing water to make a paste and then gradually pouring the rest in to make the sauce. Pour the sauce over the cake type mixture made in step 3 but DO NOT MIX IT IN!
  5. Place the dish in a preheated oven at 180¬įC/350¬įF/Gas Mark 4 for around 40 minutes depending on your oven. It should be dry and springy on the top. Let it stand for a few minutes and then DIG IN!

TOP TIP: Place the dish with the cakey mixture from step 3 on the tray in the oven¬†before pouring¬†the sauce made in step 4¬†into it – this prevents any mixing or spillages when moving the dish into the oven ūüôā

This makes the most delicious¬†chocolate pudding you will ever have, trust me. Serve it with yoghurt, cream or my personal favourite, ice cream. Or just eat it right out of the dish, it’s that good! It’s better if you eat it straight out of the oven, but leftovers eaten the next day are just as good – just add some boiling water and reheat it to make more sauce. For something a bit more sophisticated you can make it into a mocha saucy pudding by adding a tbsp of instant coffee to the cocoa powder and sugar in step 4 before making the paste and therefore sauce.

I guarantee this will make you feel so much better, it is literally a miracle pudding and believe me, you will be dreaming in chocolate for days!

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” – Charles M. Schulz