Monday, 18 June 2012

Pop Chips - A Healthier way to snack. (Giveaway)

So as you may know by now I am on a diet, while I will still enjoy the occasional cake-based treat, I need to spend some time becoming more balanced and healthy. One of my biggest weaknesses is crisps, I love nothing more than sitting down to watch a movie with a share bag of kettle chips or a bloody great bag of Doritos. Also, a lunchtime sandwich just isn't complete without a nice bag of cheese and onion walkers! Am I right?

When I started Weight Watchers it didnt take long for me to check the points of my favourite snacks and to be perfectly honest I was shocked! 15-20pp for a share bag, 5-9pp for a regular shop bought bag of crisps! I just couldn't afford the points! *sobs*

I started to experiment with "healthier" alternatives, which frankly went from bland to blander, oven baked, rice cakes, wholegrain I tried it all but none could fill the whole in my heart (exaggeration alert) left by the humble crisp.

Enter Popchips... I was apprehensive as my previous experience of healthy crisps had not been pleasant, but when the lovely people at Popchips offered to send me some freebies to try and review I bit their arm off (almost literally).

I was pleasantly surprised, I am not going to say they completely measure up to the mighty Kettle Chip or a full fat variety of your choosing but they were delicious! Packed full of flavour with an interesting texture. The chips are not baked or fried but popped.

"Popchips are popped with heat and pressure to make a naturally delicious crisp with all the flavour and less than half the fat of fried crisps, fewer calories and none of the fake colours or flavours (or greasy fingers) that gives snacking a bad name."

Despite reading all the websites and press releases I am still in the dark as to what "popping" entails, but however they manage it they have created a healthy snack alternative to my favourite crisps, so thank you Popchips!

For those Weight Watchers out there, a 23g bag of popchips is just 3pp and you seem to get more for your points than with baked crisps as they are lighter in weight.

So if you fancy giving them a go you can... Popchips – single serve and share bag - are available in five taste-bud popping flavours, including original, barbeque, salt & vinegar, sour cream & onion and salt & pepper. you’ll find them in waitrose and in selected retailers including whole foods, whsmith (stations and airports), planet organic, selfridges, harvey nichols, and costco. you can also order popchips from the comfort of your sofa through or

Now for the exciting bit...

The people at popchips are giving ONE lucky reader the chance to win 24 single serve bags of popchips!

To enter simply leave a comment below telling me your favourite snack food. It is as simple as that!

For an additional entry simply tweet " I have entered @nellyscupcakes #popchips giveaway, its pretty awesome: "

(feel free to adlib on the tweet, it will still count, just be sure to include a link!)

Make sure you leave a Separate comment below telling me you have done so (including your twitter username)

Unfortunately this competition is only open to UK residents.


Friday, 1 June 2012

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you'd asked me about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in April I would of enthused about all the wonderful baking I had planned and events I'd like to attend/organise, I would of gone on alarmingly about all the union jack themed bakes and regal inspired cakes I had planned. Now that it is right around the corner I have lost all my enthusiasm.

I am quite frankly a little sick of union jack bunting and if I never see another crown as long as I live it will possibly be too soon. I know, I know, I am being a complete scrooge but if challenged I will simply throw an epic straight-legged toddler tantrum.

OK, so I admit, I may just be letting recent real life events get in the way of my usual excitement for all things royal, but at this point in time I really don't care.

On top of the recent anniversary, we had to put our beloved cat to sleep on Monday. She had been poorly for a while and at the grand old age of 16 it didn't look too hopeful. I have never in my life experienced something so horrible as watching the vet do the deed, and my house feels empty and weird without her little jingly bell and persistent mewing.

So, I can only apologize for my complete lack of jubilee excitement, so when it came to choosing a Nigella recipe for this months Forever Nigella (which I am hosting) I was at a complete loss, and put it off till the very last minute.

I decided to just bake a classic, carrot cake, I mean who doesn't love carrot cake? I bet the Queen LOVES carrot cake (possibly).

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I stuck exactly to Nigella's recipe in "How to be a domestic goddess". The cupcakes were light and comforting, with a subtle hint of cinnamon. The cream cheese frosting was amazing, I do love a good cream cheese frosting. Highly recommend everyone to make these cupcakes if you ever need to cheer someone up, worked a treat for me.

Sincerest apologies to Sarah at Maison Cupcake for my lack-lustre hosting skills this month, I really should of planned better and thought about how hard this month might be for me.

Stay tuned for the round up of everyone who entered Forever Nigella this month which will be posted over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

Happy Baking

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