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Christmas 2014 was good: lots of fun family time, and although having The Toddler around did mean less in the way of wine than usual it did mean more legitimate lego building. I also had a helper for lots of the Christmas baking. It was strange to think it’d be the last Festive time in our house, since …

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This week is British Pie Week, I didn’t make it up – http://www.britishpieweek.co.uk/ 

I heard of this because it was trending (unpromoted) on Twitter. Further investigation showed that it is made up and sponsored by Jus-Rol, the pastry manufacturers. The problem I have with this is NOT that a company is using an everyday dish to promote its product, but that inexperienced cooks might think they need a particular brand of pastry to make a pie – nonsense! Go experiment people! There are plenty of excellent recipe books out there in print and on the internet.

I’m buying into the spirit of the week anyway, but not with readymade pastry. I’ll be reading the Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies tonight and seeing what takes my fancy. I love pies (if you know me, this is evident at the waistline) so any week that promotes healthy and interesting cooking is fine by me, made up celebration or not!

Dragon Cake for Dad's 65th birthday by squeejay

It wasn’t easy to try and beat the Han Solo in Carbonite cake I made fro Dr B a few years ago, but this might be a good contender! I made it for Dad’d birthday last month.

Vanilla sponge with a strawberry and buttercream fillling for the body, a smaller round cake for the head with another half a small cake on top for the brow, cake wedges for the ail. All covered in fondant icing with added sparkles for scales.

Yum!

This Christmas brought a lot of excellent presents, one of the best (and I can say this as I bought it – ha!) was the new book from the Hairy Bikers, or the Dirty Bikers as Andy insists on calling them. It is called “The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies: The Ultimate Pie Bible from the Kings of Pies” and is very very awesome.

Not content with just the average pie recipe, they have savoury pies, sweet pies, potato topped pies, canapies (!) but the best category is that of hand held pie. This week, we had a go at making the humble pasty; shortcrust with a lamb and beef filling. These aren’t the best photos but the tasty goodness didn’t last long enough to take any nice ones!

So far, I can’t recomend the bikers pie book enough and so this weekend I’m planning another pie baking session, but maybe also a kinect fitness hour to balance things out 🙂