Friday, May 27, 2011

Kitchen Stools Direct: A Giveaway

Just as I was leaving for Weimar, Germany to attend this fantastic writing, photography & styling workshop, I received this huge box from Kitchen Stools Direct & asking me if I would be interested in reviewing/hosting a giveaway on my blog. The thought of it made me smile: its so funny because I spend most of my time sitting on my Bar Stool, using my kitchen top as laptop table; writing blogposts or editing pictures.
Kitchen Stools Direct a 100% Internet based business focused on selling you the broadest range of high quality kitchen and bar stools at the best prices in the UK." The fact that they have an E-showroom, helps keep their costs down which explains why they offer you a great deal. Kitchen Stools Direct ship all of their stools directly from the warehouse in Hertfordshire (so no expensive showrooms which you end up paying for!). Delivery is free for all orders over £75, and you can expect to receive your products within four days of ordering – generally within two days.
Did they tick all my Boxes? 

  • Kitchen stools come with a 12-month warranty. Check! 
  • Best range of kitchen and bar stools in the UK. Check! 
  • Most stools have top-quality adjustable “gas-lift” seat tops. Check! 
  • Kitchen Stools Direct has the best prices in the UK. Check! 
  • They gladly offer a refund if not completely happy with your stool. Check! 
  • Easy to assemble with the Allen key provided. Check! 
  • End result looks as good as the ones in the picture. Check!
I got this Zenith Kitchen stool from their wide range and have already added this shocking funky red poduim set to my wishlist.

Giveaway Rules:
To participate in the giveaway and be able to win a gift certificate for Kitchen Stools Direct, a competition entrant needs to (no. 1 is mandatory):
1. Like Kitchen Stools Direct on facebook:

2. Find the product you love the most on their site and leave a facebook comment on the product page (bottom area) writing 1 thing you like most about that product. For example " I love the comfortable seat this bar stool has"

3. Visit their homepage. Find the Facebook Share button on the side and share the website on your facebook.

A comment must be left on this blog (by midnight 3rd June 2011 EST) to let me know how you have entered. The winner will be chosen randomly by ( and the competition is only open to UK residents.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weimar #Plate2page: Ending on a High Note!

Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye? ~ Author Unknown
Photo: Julia 
Today is not a good day...
I showered, I got dressed, Put on make-up, but didn't like any of it… Still shaking my head in disbelief that its over…
I am paralyzed. Paralyzed by the pain I'm feeling in my heart and mind; that its over...
Feeling empty and speechless after a fabulous #plate2page weekend in Weimar, with just flashing images of all the good times we had. So much fun, passion, creativity, dedication, friendship, information, and support. 
 Doing what we do best: taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other!
Divan Restaurant in Weimar.
Working on Assignments.
Gorgeous Simone & Jamie.
I will share my fantastic #plate2page learning experiences in the next few blog posts once I fight with my emotions and emptiness with more twittering and facebook chats with my new found family.
Do check out the Facebook Plate2Page fanpage for all the updates and photos from my friends or follow the twitter handle
Jasmine, Me & Julia: All smiles for the Camera..

Ken & Jeanne working out camera settings.
Gawd! Why don't things just stop for a while ?...I was so not ready to bid Auf Wiedersehen! Not Yet!  Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we like so much and just stay together? Forever? So many such questions running in my head...
Photo: Simone Ah..when will have such Happy Breakfast times again!

In gentle flutter of wings, stir the breeze of everlasting friendship…sweeter than honey… oh butterfly...
Flutter into the clear blue skies…and bring us all together in one big pile of Love again! 

Before I forget I got back with a BEAST filled with goodies from fantastic sponsors: Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board),Wines of South Africa, Hotel Chocolat, Prokit UK, Maison Georges Larnicol, OXO (now that huller puts my cherry pitter to shame), Ergo Chef Knives,Sweet Pete’s.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Chocolate Cake with a Twist: with Beetroot

"Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits." - Baron Justus von Liebig
I love experimenting with new ideas and this is once such successful experiment. After all the laid back Easter break getting back to work is kinda hard...esp with the weather so dull after the holidays, it sort of affects your mood. Well, frankly all I needed was a chocolate pick-me-up..nope not the emergency boyfriend replacement kit..but something moist and chocolatey baked at home. Something easy to whip a simple dump-it-all-in-the-processor-cake. "S" absolutely loves the carrot cake I make... Infact I think it is okay to say that it's the only cake he likes and goes for a second helping.Being a die-hard chocoholic I have been trying hard to convert him (with little luck). So this is my umpteeth #attempt to make him a chocoholic..This super moist chocolate beetroot cake should melt even the stoniest of hearts. 
Dont be intimidated by using vegetable in your cake, trust me the beetroot in this cake is almost non-existent, but renders its sweetness, deep colour and moistness to the cake. 
Both of us are really trying to lose some weight and for some reason this cake (maybe because it has beetroot) allows you to indulge with a little less guilty feeling! I managed to make my friends eat the cake and then revealed the secret ingredient...but all of them loved it! You could skip the ganache and make a lovely mascarpone icing just like the one for carrot cakes and maybe colour it deep pink.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Self Raising Flour - 175g
Muscavado Sugar - 150g
Caster Sugar - 100g
Baking Powder - 1/2tsp
Cocoa Powder - 50g
Chopped Dark Chocolate - 75g, melted
Pinch Salt
Roasted Hazelnuts - 100g+extra for topping
Beetroot grated or cooked - 2 (abt300g)
Oil - 180ml
Sour Cream- 2tbsp
Large Eggs - 3
Vanilla Extract - 1tsp
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 8" springform tin with parchment paper.Whiz all the ingredients in a food processor, until you have a smooth and creamy texture. Pour and scrape the cake mixture into the prepared form and bake for 45-60min or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
For the Chocolate Rum Ganache
Dark Chocolate 150g, chopped
Heavy Cream 80ml
Dark Rum 30ml (optional)
In a saucepan heat the cream until just slightly warm. Pour the warm cream on chopped chocolate and whisk. Slowly stir in the rum. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Using a metal offset spatula spread the ganache on top of the cake as desired.
Design © 2011 Laura Jane Designs