Saturday, 9 October 2010

Testers who blog

Well I din't have the resources of the big cook book writers at my disposal to write Prepped! ... I did have, however something which I think is turning out to give a better result altogether.

I have a team PREPPED online food bloggers who are gave these recipes a run through in the real world. I LOVE this. Recipes tested for real, and there is no hiding .

I know that the recipes will work like a dream and its down to these super people making sure what I make and write up from my kitchen works in practice in theirs.

SUSAN EASTON is a really fabulous Lancashire lass who cooks up a storm in her kitchen in Chorley. She keeps her own chickens and bakes delicious cakes using the eggs they lay. She tested out my 100mph batter cake and you can read about it here...

You can catch Susan on Twiiter @TwitTotte

TRACEY REILLY is based in Edinburgh and followed her dream to work in catering. She as savvy cook and has a super blog where she posted about testing the Lemon Syrup, Lemon Sorbet and White Rabbit Cocktail and the Lemon Chicken salad for me and gave some invaluable feedback!

You can also catch her on Twiiter as @nippie_sweetie

KATIE BRYSON certainly has to make the most of her time in the kitchen! A freelance food writer and blogger, she tested a double cook Duck & Noodles & canap├ęs recipe for me. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!

JO DYSON Jo’s Kitchen is a blog about simple home cooking that fits into a busy lifestyle. Jo is not a chef or a photographer, and has nicknamed herself ‘the ‘hungry blogger’ as food is not usually around long enough for a good photo! Jo lives in the Midlands and is the founding member of the Midlands Food Bloggers. Fortunately she’s a star and did manage to take some photos of the Eccles cakes she tested for me and blogged about it here!



is a stay-at-home mom to a 16 month old toddler. Living in the Kingdom of Bahrain ( Middle East) until quite recently lived in Birmingham. After moving to Bahrain, she started baking. She says the joy of watching your cake rise up to perfection is unparalleled. So you can say, I'm addicted! Her blog is about celebrating her life, and was good enough to test some Cheese biscuits for me!


Caroline is one half of Edinburgh Foody a superb site that delights in all thing foodie and Scottish - and boy do the Scottish love their food! It's a superb Blog and I was delighted when she offered to help !

Now you wouldn’t think much could go wrong with a Caraway and Parmesan Muffin - unless there is a typo .. Caroline spotted 25ml of milk should have been 250m! Thank goodness .. because they are delicious !


from Edinburgh Scotland, Jayne tested the Garlic Pasta Dish. has been living in Barcleona, Spain for the past 4 years. She’s a busy primary school teacher and says she’s a super foodie. is her website is especially for vegetarians living in Spain as she found it very difficult to follow her usual recipes in Spain She love all types of cooking but exotic dishes probably do it more for me than most. Oh and baking cupcakes is a regular occurrence in my kitchen!

HELEN BEST-SHAW I almost gave up getting
an elderflower recipe to be tested in the dead of winter as I finished Prepped. Luckily for me Helen is already prepped! as she had some elderflower syrup from earlier in the year! I was delighted as she agreed to
test the elderflower Macaroons for me. Helen lives in west London and is a 100% foodie through and through. Her Blog Fuss free flavors is terrific read!

JAYNE RIVERA LYNCH Lovely lovely Jayne lives in London but was born and mostly raised in America. Having followed lots of other blogs she’s now decided to try her own and kicked off by testing a few of my recipes! She says loves cooking, especially baking as you can see in this mince pie testing blog post!

ANDREA ROBSON Last week Andrea tested my Whoopie pie recipe. Her feedback was just superb! Andrea moved to London from Victoria, BC two years ago and brought her Canadian recipes and taste buds with me. She compares the differences between baking in North America and the UK on her blog Made With Pink. She describes herself as A self confessed hoarder of bakeware, cook books and any pink kitchen gadgets I can get my hands on. You name it, I have it.

ROSS SHAND (with his fabulous Charging Chimp Blog ) I can't tell you how pleased I am to have a man testing ! The first recipe tested was the caraway soda bread and he then went on to test out the Chicken liver parfait .. he's a rock star in the kitchen as far as I am concerned ! Ross is a self confessed geek married to a Caribbean foodie. He says that time is short for the both of us as we work long hours so any book full of quick dishes is going to be well thumbed in our house.

RENATKA BEHAN As a busy lawyer and now with two little children Renatka really knows what it is like to be short on time and still loves great food. She has a fabulous St Albans based blog and was brilliant at ironing out the wrinkles in the instant pancake mix recipe .. click here to read more about her Fabilicious pancake mix test!

Lovely LIZ POPE tested my Grandmothers Christmas cake and then went on to decorate it! Liz a primary school dance teacher by day and describes herself as a general homemaker the rest of the time. She loves blogging about her endeavors in homemaking, particularly from the perspective of her Christian faith. With a lovely husband and two naughty kittens to keep her company; her dream is to one day retrain as a pastry chef and artisan baker to continue the family bakery established roughly 150 years ago. I can certainly see why as she’s shown just what a great baker she is right here.

ALETHIA HILL is a super tester .. she describes herself as , mother of a darling little boy and wife to a scoundrel of a husband (equally darling though). Her roots are from the southern tip of Africa, where she lived and worked until the early part of 2009, when as a family they decided to look for a better life for their young son, and made the move and now call the UK home. Now that's brave. I am delighted she has move here because she and Jack have taken the time to test one of my linked recipes and you can read all about tomato pasata, and soup here ... and meatballs in tomato sauce here.


Katey is an Edinburgh-based food lover, baker and cake addict. She has a fabulous blog Edinburgh Eats She has a million cookbooks and relaxes by reading through them and deciding what to cook next. Her dream job is to open a cakeshop/bookshop hybrid and is patiently waiting to win the Euromillions to make those dreams come true. I the mean time Katie tested my Rhubarb and Lamb Tagine, and when she opens her cakeshop I shall be up like a shot buying cake and books. Meanwhile you can read her blog post about testing out my recipe here.

Give HELEN REDFERN a mixer, an oven, a few ingredients and a laptop and she’s happy. If she could find a way to stop getting sticky cake mixture on the laptop she’d be even happier! Helen’s passionate about simple, family baking but with two children, a husband who works long hours and her writing she doesn’t get time to spend hours in the kitchen. So recipe have to work She tested the Raspberry and chocolate cake for me. As well as her blog you can find her as a foodie columnist here.

JULIA ENGLAND - what a star ! She is she describes herself as A total facebook addict with an upsurging twitter addiction ! A busy mum of 3 growing and hungry boys who took the time to test for me. She’s NHS office worker by day and wannabe foodie by night ! A perfect Time Short Foodie .. she spends evenings reading cookbooks (any and every!! Have shelves full) dreaming of food and watching foodie programmes! To Julia's Blog and to see what she things to the recipe Click here


Elaine is a busy working professor in America who I met on twitter! She was wishing she was a recipe tester .. and I asked if she’d like to test one of mine .. with three children and her interest in veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics and the environment her blog made me sit up and take notice. Her style is witty and forthright, as she tested out he Garlic yum yum for me! Click here to read how she got on....


Tested the pizza and bread linked recipe . As a professional recipe tester Englishmum has two boys aged 12 and 15 and works at home developing and testing recipes for magazines and recipe books, and writing about food and travel. Read her blog post here. She’s fabulous and describes herself as a 40 year old time wasting, talkative layabout, excessive twitter and arch procrastinator with a penchant for cooking, shopping, hot baths, Green & Black’s and a nice glass of red (not necessarily in that order).


Alison is 34 and lives in Rostrevor, a small village in County Down, with her historian husband Jim and a delightfully grumpy white cat called Frank. Her background is in TV production and she loves to cook - she enjoys reading (especially cookery books and design blogs), shopping, watching far too much TV. She goes on to say that her favourite cookery writers (apart from Vanessa!) are Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson although I own a very large stash of cookery books by all sorts of people. Testing recipes is just my ideal pastime. Heaven ! Click here to see her blog.

JULES – the other half of The Butcher and The Baker. As the Baker and the main author of this fabulous blog she is dedicated to teaching children about food through her business. Self-confessed geek and lover of all things vintage and cake shaped she's got one of the best blogs going. Living The Good Life in rural Derbyshire in a tiny cottage with an even smaller vegetable patch, and her husband the the Butcher. He is an engineer who always loves a challenge. . he is the Chief Gardener at The Cottage. Hugh F-W/Dick Strawbridge/Ray Mears worshipper.They make great team and live life to the full! Jules tested the Chocolate beef and Chocolate pasties for me here to read how she got on!

You are the most important link in this process.. if the recipe works you can be sure it will be down to these amazing people .. I can't wait for them all to meet at the Book Launch !

Please do let me know if you'd like to help .. there are lots to test!


  1. I'd love to test a recipe, but I see that the Garlic Yum Yum has already been done. :( Point me in the direction of the alternatives and I'll have a look!

  2. I loved testing the Pancake Mix! It was great fun and very exciting to be part of Team Prepped! I really can't wait for your book to be released so I can explore all your other recipes and time saving ideas!

  3. I'd be delighted to test a recipe or two. My blog is all about food for the slow cooker so if you have any recipes for the s/c then do throw them my way. However I can still remember how to cook without it (I think!) and it'll be great to try out some new non-s/c ideas too. We eat pretty much anything in this house, as does our adventurous 18 month old. Liking all the mentions of Nigel Slater - I always say he taught me to cook his books were so useful!

  4. I would love to be involved. I believe that a well-tested recipe is essentially the key to making cooking accessible to everybody. It's probably the reason for my personal food obsession. Without great recipes I would have given up before I got started. I'm a mum of two school-aged children, studying part-time, slave to the catering industry and I'm based in York, and my OH is a musician. I hope I'm not too late!

    Cat xxx

  5. What a wonderful idea!! I'm really hungry after reading this lot :D Now can't wait for book to be published so I can have a go myself. Very best of luck with it! x

  6. Happy to test your recipes - fabulous blog by the way, good luck with the book!


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.