My eldest son (now 25 ugh!) was at a local primary school. A teacher cottoned on to the fact that I was a chef and asked if I could come in and help the children make and decorate Christmas cakes – “sounded like a good idea at the time” ????.
I enjoyed so very much working with the children and the teacher suggested that perhaps I should think about teaching children cookery for a living – hence Cookies was born! At the time Cookies started there didn’t seem to be anyone else going out and doing cooking parties, although there was a cooking school for kids in London. So it was amazing to create and be one of the first out there. I think anyone that has experienced a Cookies party or workshop will agree that we do have a wonderful time.
Happy New Year to you all.
New resolutions made? I bet many of you have said that you’ll lose some of those extra Christmas pounds and hit the gym more often. Check out Families Chiltern Magazine http://www.familiesonline.co.uk/LOCATIONS/Chiltern to read my article on wacky diets and the lengths of torture that some people are prepared to put themselves through to shed the pounds. For some sensible advice read personal trainer Jean Piggott’s tips:
- Psych yourself up. Be positive – this is something you can do.
- Picture what you want to look like – look at some old photos of yourself, when you were heaviest and lightest. Stick one on the fridge.
- Plan ahead – clear out the junk food, boxes of chocolate and biscuits so that temptation is not to hand. When invited out for social events try to ensure that you warn your host beforehand so that you are not expected to munch down half her homemade, full of fat and cream puddings.
- Keep a log of your progress and a food diary.
- Look at health hazards – exercise isn’t just about losing weight. Have you any old injuries to consider before starting an exercise routine, for example back issues? You may want to consider a quick health check with your GP.
- Time Plan, so that you have a goal of what you would like your target weight to be (be realistic). Schedule a down to earth period of time to reach your goal safely; 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks.
- Reward yourself. Not with a massive sugary snack after each work out but with a pamper yourself session; hot candlelit bath with essential oil and a face pack. And reward yourself as you reach milestones – a new outfit, get your nails done, new hair style…
- Review past challenges. Take the time to look back at where you were a week ago, a month ago; you’ll see that you are making progress, for example increasing the number of sit-ups you’re now able to do.
- Focus on challenges. Don’t worry that you may not have changed body shape overnight – focus on what you’re going to achieve this week.
- Join a gym and employ a personal trainer to help you reach your goals in a more healthy and realistic life style changing way rather than hitting on an unhealthy, unrealistic latest fad diet or some supposed miracle workout regime that has just been invented to waste your money.
You can contact Jean on 07805 292739 or visit her at www.fitness4less.com and see her in action here
Have you ever examined the ingredients of a shop-bought cake? For starters most of the basic Birthday cakes from well-known stores (which start around £25) contain over fifty different ingredients, mainly for prolonging shelf life. They also contain unnecessary amounts of sugar and are flavourless. These cakes are often unsuitable for nut allergy sufferers and those that are unable to have gluten or have other dietary requirements are not a consideration. I have often witnessed these cakes being uneaten or left at the bottom of a party bag turning into a pile of mush and then being thrown away – what is the point of this exercise? Adding so much sugar numbs our children’s tastebuds so that they cannot taste real food or notice subtle flavours. Their tastebuds have been stunned as with people who have too much salt in their food.
Supermum extraordinaire and amazing cake maker for Cookies Miranda is one of those mums who appear to be able to juggle three children (not literally) of varying ages while producing fresh homemade produce – no processed mumbo jumbo here. Miranda has plenty of hands on experience when it comes to home baking and we welcome her talents to our team. I for one have experienced Miranda’s baking skills on several occasions. In fact I deliberately invite her over as often as possible just so she will bring one of her delicious home baked creations with her. She is always home baking all sorts of goodies and yet still manages to involve her children, teaching them how to bake in the process, which is lovely to see. As a Supermum she always makes her children’s birthday cakes – some of which have been a challenge. However she always comes up with the goods…from a formula one Ferrari to Cinderella carriages and cats, it appears Supermum can put her hand to most things. Not only do these cakes look fantastic they also taste great. Miranda’s cakes start from £20 for a basic girl or boy cake and if you are interested you can order these cakes through Cookies by calling or emailing. Here’s just a couple of examples:
See my interview with Dr. Fariha Hussain about the challenges of studying while also being a busy working mum! There’s more about mums studying in my article in the September issue of Families Chiltern magazine.