No Tricks only Treats this Halloween

Halloween these days is a time for treats and this Halloween I treated Reuben to a very special afternoon tea…

This treat tea is a mix of savoury and sweet and is filling enough to be served as a meal. I added some Halloween decorations and confetti to create a really spooky look.

decorations from Poundland

As well as a sandwich (a gingerbread man cutter was used to make it body shaped), a selection of fruit and carrot/celery sticks and hummus, a selection of sweet treats was served too.

An oreo topped spider cupcake….

Spiderweb cupcake wrap from eBay

A lime jelly in a jar…

Mini jars from Wilkinsons

Homemade lemonade (coloured with natural orange colouring)…

Mason jar glass from Wilkinsons

A vampire chocolate chip cookie…

A chocolate brownie severed finger…

If you wanted to re-create this tea, much of it can be created with existing items. If you’re not much of a baker, an iced cupcake can have an Oreo cookie added to the top with legs make from chilled piped chocolate, Matchmakers or coloured icing. The Vampire cookie can be created with a shop bought white chocolate cookie, some pink icing, mini marshmallows and a jelly strawberry or icing tongue. The lime jelly can be made spooky with some cake decoration eyes (available from the baking aisle – these ones are from Cake Decor) which are also used on the spider cupcake. The brownie finger is the most complicated, made from a stick of chocolate sponge or brownie covered in royal icing and coloured with some natural food colouring.

As you can see, it all went down rather well!

With my son just turned 12, I know my time of being able to have this kind of fun is running out but I’m loving still being able to share these moments with him. Now anyone got any ideas for teenagers at Halloween? Now that IS scary!!!!

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With thanks to Clarrys Restaurant.

#AD Midweek Meal Inspiration with Capsicana

Last week I was lucky enough to be sent some new cooking sauces to try out by Latin food experts Capsicana as part of their #CapsiCarnival event. Capsicana is an authentic Latin American cooking sauce range, inspired by real Latin American dishes such as Mojo sauce from Cuba, Aji Verde sauce from Peru and Moqueca from Brazil. Bursting with real authentic ingredients from the region they also contain no artificial colourings or flavourings, are suitable for vegetarians, gluten free and only use non GM ingredients too.


For our first use we went for the Mexican Chilli & Honey sauce. This is a sauce based on ‘Puerco al horno con salsa de chile ancho y miel’, a classic Mexican dish. To recreate it, Capsicana use Mexican-grown chipotle & ancho poblano chilli peppers as well as honey, which has featured in the country’s food since Mayan times. The Mayans believed that a native stingless bee had been given to them by one of their gods and that it was a link to the spirit world – honey has been integral to Mexican cooking ever since. Its a medium level heat so I thought was a good place to start!

Following the receipe on the packet (I love a bit of receipe inspiration) we needed fresh chicken breasts, some peppers and an onion to create our feast. Its a lovely thick sauce which smells delicious the minute you open it and theres lots in a pack. One pack = two servings and its definitely enough for two hungry people.

Once the chicken was done, we chose to serve it with sautéd potatoes and a fresh salad and I have to say it was delicious! The sauce has a deep, rich flavour and a good heat to it without being too overwhelming. It is measured as medium heat which I’d say is about right. The sweetness of the honey isnt sickly, in fact it balances out the chillis really well and I found it a really delicious and easy to use cooking sauce.

Capsicana latin cooking sauce review Mexican Chilli and Honey - Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Capsicana latin cooking sauce review Mexican Chilli and Honey - Always a Blue Sky Girl blog
Capsicana latin cooking sauce review Mexican Chilli and Honey - Always a Blue Sky Girl blog

Overall, I really liked this sauce, its consistency, pack size and flavour and it created a quick and easy dinner for two which as a busy person, I liked even more.

But best of all? I’ve still got three more sauces to try yet…

Capiscana quick cook sauces are available in Sainsburys and Waitrose priced at £1.99 each. 

For more information and recipe ideas visit http://www.capsicana.co.uk

*I was gifted this product but all views stated are my own. For more information please see my disclaimer section.

Pharmacy 2

Let go back in time…

Its 1998 – London is in the grip of the Rule Britannia phase, Brit Pop rules, as do lads and ladettes doing too many drugs, New Labour were telling us ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ and the British art scene led by the likes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume is changing the face of modern art.

Mathew Freud and Damien Hirst open up Pharmacy, a restaurant in Notting Hill and the rest is the stuff of legend. I went once with some people from Loaded Magazine (remember that!?!) but sadly I cannot mention most of the stuff that happened that night for fear of being sued! It was a pretty cool place though, although the waiters in surgical gowns did freak me out a bit…

Jump forward to now and Damien Hirst, in collaboration with chef Mark Hix, has opened Pharmacy 2, this time based in his Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, South London.  See below what I discovered…

Its small but perfectly formed! The bar area is a mix of neon, pill prints and hanging leds.  Hirst butterfly print medical ‘+’ signs sit each side of the mirrored bar backdrop and cocktails are mixed as you perch on pill shaped bar stools.

There are booths to sit in for bigger groups and loads more Hirst originals. I tried to leave with one up my jumper but sadly there were too many waiters!

img_6420And even the bar stools are cool…  Just like the original piece of art, 2500 or so different pills fill the cabinets on the walls…The menu covers British and European classics, including the likes of shaved winter squash with Treviso and Graceburn cheese, white polenta with a Burford Brown egg yolk and shaved Wiltshire truffles, plus a Mark Hix signature dish of crushed potato and black pudding with pineapple upside-down cakes or chocolate mousse with honeycomb for dessert. Pharmacy 2 covers breakfast, weekend brunches and Sunday roasts, plus it serves a mean cocktail.

What do you think? Pharmacy 2 is now open for bookings – find the details here.