Band of Bakers Christmas Party 2014 – The Bakes

The 2nd annual Band of Bakers Christmas Party took place on the 27th November @ The Crooked Well in Camberwell. We had a good turnout, despite some last minute cancellations, and some fantastic bakes. This is just a little taster of some of the amazing food we had! I’ve tried to remember the bakers, if I’ve missed you out, let me know on Twitter and I’ll add you for full credit ūüėČ

Following the prep for my decorated biscuits, here is the result, not as bad as I feared, although the decorating was fiddley and time consuming, got bored by 10pm, so only half got decorated. Definitely a day long job! Loved having a go at piping though, and will definitely be doing this again.

My Biscuits

My Biscuits

Chloe's Turkey and Camembert & Cranberry Chelsea Buns

Chloe’s Turkey and Camembert & Cranberry Chelsea Buns

Jenny's (?) Christmas Pie

Rachel’s Christmas Pie

Eva's Candy Cane Biscuits

Eva’s Candy Cane Biscuits

Hmmm I can't remember - Sorry ;)

Gingerbread Stuffing With Sweet Potato By Chloe Edges

IMG_2711

Lauren’s Florentines – My Fav

Christmas Pub Cakes

Christmas Pud Cakes

Gemma's Parma Ham Brioche

Gemma’s Parma Ham Brioche

Rudolph Cupcakes - Cute!

Rudolph Cupcakes – Cute!

Biscotti Christmas Tree

Biscotti Christmas Tree

Lovely Christmas Macaroons - Chocolate & Brandy Butter and Spiced Orange

Lovely Christmas Macaroons – Chocolate & Brandy Butter and Orange & Mixed Spice

Aimees Choux Buns with Chestnut Cream

Aimee’s Choux Buns with Chestnut Cream

Gina's Mango & Passion Fruit Tart

Gina’s Mango & Passion Fruit Tart

Naomi's Sundried Tomatoes & Feta Muffins

Naomi’s Sundried Tomatoes & Feta Muffins

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Band of Bakers Christmas Party 2014 – Preperation

Tomorrow will be my 1st Band of Bakers Christmas Party, as last year I was too ill to attend, despite having baked all my canapes in preperation!

This year I will not get struck down by the lurgy, and so I have set myself the daunting task of doing fancy icing!

I’m going to create some Christmas themed biscuits, with some royal & fondant icing.

I have never made, or piped, icing before Рwish me luck!

I made the biscuits this morning, and they came out well (Yay!), a nice simple vanilla plain biscuit. Tonight could be stressful as I attempt to have a steady hand and finish them off!

Let’s see how close I can get to this…

Will my Christmas Biscuits look this good?

Will my Christmas Biscuits look this good? (From Biscuiterie)

Where did the summer go? Three races recap!

I knew it would happen, so I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, but still I’ve let myself down and all of you who come back to (or stumble upon) this blog expecting up to date race reports and baking disasters.

The summer flew by, and I competed in some big races, here is a quick recap of what I’ve been up to.

Following having the mumps I got back into my training and at the beginning of September took part in the Run to the Beat half marathon. This had the promise, and price tag, of a great race, however it was severely lacking in all aspects. I am sure many runners will have heard about the debacle that was the Nike Run to the Beat, here is my summary:

  1. T-shirts with incorrect date printed on it, hastily covered up with a stripe.
  2. Delayed start. Over 30 minutes holding in my hydration to get going!
  3. Crowded course. Especially when trying to squeeze 15K people through a 6ft wide gate! The route took us through woolwich barracks at around mile 4. I stood still for 10 minutes! This only aggravated my full bladder, so a toilet stop was also required!
  4. Coconut water! Seriously? I can only liken it to the devils spit – yuck!
  5. DJ stations – errr more like an iPod being played out of a white van, wish I’d worn my headphones.
  6. Water in cups. Filled by dirty dunking hands – nice!
  7. Hills and switch backs. Let’s cram all those into the last mile to make the end memorable.
  8. Collapsing bag storage. Apparently it ended in a mass scrummage for bags!

Can’t say I enjoyed it, time wasn’t the best either, and I had a little cry at the end due to my own disappointment in myself.

On the positive side at least I finished uninjured, I got a nice big medal, they refunded us ¬£10, and we received another ‘sorry’ by way of another Nike t-shirt.

I don’t think i’ll do this one again, the route wasn’t too bad apart from the end. And spookily I’ve now found myself living in Woolwich, so it must have been an omen.

In late October I found myself signed up to two 10 mile races within a week of each other…

Cabbage Patch 10 was a club championship run for my running club, Dulwich Park Runners, so we had quite a good turn out. I ended up running most of the race with Emma who helped push me on faster than I probably would have started had I ran on my own, and considering the last mile of this race was awful for me, that was probably a very good thing. The course is lovely, and even though not all the roads are closed, motorists are very considerate. This was my first 10 mile race and I hoped to finish in 90 minutes, managed to just sneak under with a time of 1hr 28mins & 28 secs, so was pleased. This year the free long sleeve t-shirt was actually made from technical material, unlike last year (hubby ran it), so this was a good improvement. Overall a very enjoyable run, especially as we had so many club members to compare the race with at the end.

A week later I ran in the Great South Run for Mind Charity. I found it quite difficult doing a run for charity as I run all the time, so I thought family and friends would be reluctant to sponsor me, but I have managed to raise almost ¬£150, my target was ¬£250 though, but I’m guessing they’ll still take donations¬†http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/harleybeecroft

I love Great Run events, as although there are 1000’s of people running it is always so well organised. The race took place the day before the supposed ‘storm of 2013’, so it was quite ‘breezy’ and there was a slight chill in the air! I even had to resort to wearing a bin bag at the start. Glad I did, and didn’t wear another layer, as once we were out of the wind it was actually quite pleasant. I couldn’t see or hear the warm up, so this was mainly a half-arsed attempt at staying warm and stretching. Because of the wind I was half expecting my time to be effected, and so settled into a comfortable pace. I spotted hubby at two points as I was running round so this buoyed me and spurred me on.

Weirdly I completely missed the cheering station for Mind, but a fellow Mind runner did give me some words of encouragement so that was lovely. It was also nice running with my name on display and getting cheered on by the crowd (and laughing to myself when people misread it!). As we hit the seafront for the last mile the wind literally hit us, but despite this I tried to maintain a decent pace. There was camaraderie with other runners as we commented on the strength of the wind. Even with this obstacle I managed to beat my time from the week before by 1 minute, so I was extremely pleased with myself.

Like I said before Great Runs are so well organised, great goody bag, medal and general organisation. Their results page and photo service are also fab. Would definitely do more of their races in the future.

So, that was my summer/Autumn. As I mentioned above I’ve moved to Woolwich, so it’s unlikely that I will be doing any club running, as it’s quite a stretch to get over to Dulwich. It’s a shame as I really liked the tuesday night runs, but I am sure I’ll find a more local club near me to get me through the winter months, and the build up and training to my 1st marathon in April. STILL EXCITED!