About Me

My name is Claire. I am 25 years old and live in Leeds.

Random (non-food related) fact about myself: I attempted to do a bungy jump in 2009 when I was in New Zealand... it basically ended up with me being pushed off a platform 154 feet in the air over a river... See below (I can't actually believe I'm posting this on my blog when I can't watch it myself).

I started my blogging life in May 2011 with my other blog Breadsticklers, my first blog is all about restaurant reviews (as well as the occasional cafe and takeaway) it started to manifest itself in to an all round food blog as I started baking and cooking more. I am quite attached to my first blog and so the decision to make a second wasn't a light one, I felt I was betraying my first blog... silly I know. However as I thought more about it I realised that people started following Breadsticklers because of what it does, it reviews restaurants in and around Leeds and occasionally venturing further when I do.

When I started getting more involved in baking, and twitter/blog baking competitions and challenges I started to discover a new twitter friendship group and a new set of blog followers. These lovely people are not necessarily contained to Leeds and the Yorkshire region, they reach as far as Australia. So would these people who share their baking attempts and read my blog also want to read about the newest restaurant in Leeds? I doubted it. I wont be totally deserting my Breadsticklers blog, I still LOVE eating out but it will remain what it was originally made to do, to review eateries.

Back to this blog. I have been baking as long as I can remember. Both of my parents love baking and one of my earliest memories is my dad making the Christmas cake in the largest mixing bowl you have ever seen in order to make half a dozen cakes for us and the rest of the family. Whenever my dad used to make the Christmas cake he used to call me in to help and once all the ingredients were in the bowl he used to lift me up and tell me to stir the bowl and make a Christmas wish. A very humbling memory that brings a smile to my face and I can still remember the drifting smell of Christmas cake wafting through the house.

My parents were older than most of my peers parents in that they were 35 and 38 when they had me, they were very old fashioned in my eyes especially when I compared them to my friends parents. When I invited friends round for tea after school they used to go home and tell their parents that we ate Sunday dinner during the week! For this in my parents eyes was a proper dinner none of this chips and chicken dippers, which they did eventually have to cave in to after I had visited a few of my friend's houses for tea.

So when it came to going to University... I only knew how to cook roast dinners and ready made meals. I started to explore cooking using my trusty student cooking book, which taught me basics such as how long to cook a chicken fillet for, how to make eggy bread etc.. and began on a journey of discovery.

It was a steep learning curve.. I have dug out some pictures so you can see...

This one was labelled 'best meal so far'....

A friend introduced me to Fray Bentos pies... stay away from these please, full of salt and fat (bad fat).

 A lot of drinking as a student often meant I ate this for breakfast.

A lot of drinking also meant I ate a lot of this after drinking....nice.

I put on a considerable amount of weight as you can imagine. So this led to me dieting throughout the whole of my third year of uni and also about a year afterwards.

My culinary skills I would like to think have since improved from my student days...

First attempt at home made pizza.

First attempt at cheesecake..

First attempt at chocolate fondant... 

Nigella's grasshopper pie... 

This was pretty amazing..

Nigella's Key Lime Pie... 

Chorizo filled chicken with chorizo stew.. a recipe from Saturday Kitchen. 

Jamie Oliver's chicken... can't remember which one. 

My first attempt at making my own cheesecake recipe.. this was blueberry cheesecake.

My first attempt at cake pops..

Halloween cupcakes I got the idea from another baking blog Baking Bar mine didn't look quite as good as theirs however!

So at the age of 25 I am hoping to perfect the art of cooking and baking so that by the time I have kids, they will be able to look back fondly at their eating memories and declare to all their friends that their mum makes the best.... (fill this space in about 20years).

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