6 good news stories not to miss

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Find some light in the dark with these positive news stories

Social enterprise cooks up tasty support for kinship families

6 good news stories not to miss

According to the charity Family Rights Group, more than 180,000 children across the UK are being cared for by their kin – a grandparent, other relative, or family friend – due to their parents being unable to care for them. And while it’s an instinctive choice to make, it is a life-altering role that can come with many unique challenges.

Social worker Anna-Lou Manca has witnessed many kinship carers face financial and emotional difficulties over the course of her career, and it was for this reason that she founded Kinship Carers Hub in 2020 – a social enterprise on a mission to help kinship carers get the support they need to fulfil such a rewarding role.

The hub runs many projects – from employment opportunities to webinar training – which are all designed to provide guidance and support to kinship families, but their main project, Kinship Carers Cooking Club, is one combating social isolation through the power of food.

Each week, kinship families come together to cook and eat a meal, provided by the hub. Aside from the practical support provided through receiving groceries on a weekly basis, and learning about healthy, budget-friendly recipes, it also offers the opportunity to bond and access peer-to-peer support. One carer says: “It has allowed the children to see there are other children in the same situation as themselves, to show them that they aren’t alone.”

If you would like support as a kinship carer, visit kinshipcarershub.org

6 good news stories not to miss

Anna-Lou, founder of Kinship-Hub. Photography | Urszula Soltys

Workplace bullying survivor launches campaign for new UK law

The effects of workplace bullying can last a lifetime, chipping away at our confidence and undermining our self-esteem. But Skevi Constantinou, one woman who has been there herself, has come out the other side, and is ready to call for major change to protect others.

The former executive assistant was targeted at work over her chronic autoimmune condition, to the point where she eventually felt afraid to go into the workplace. And, sadly, she’s not alone. But despite Trades Union Congress (TUC) figures that found nearly a third of people have been bullied at work, with more than one in three people going on to leave their job because of it, workplace bullying is not currently recognised as a crime by UK law, leaving the door open for the perpetrators to get away with this behaviour.

“This affects millions of people, not just in the UK but globally,” Skevi says. “It’s so important that these people are represented and not made to feel that this is normal – to go to work and be treated that way. Bullies need to be stopped in the workplace.”

She points to Sweden as an example of a country that already has laws that specifically prohibit bullying in the workplace.

“We all deserve to go to work and be respected in a safe environment,” she says. “Whilst my own experiences have shaped me in

The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

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The best ever gluten free chocolate cake is a rich chocolate cake that is fluffy and light with a perfect crumb; this cake almost melts in your mouth. You would NEVER guess that this is a gluten-free cake.

Almost as exciting as the delicious richness of the cake is the fact that this is a very simple, one-bowl cake that comes together in just a few minutes time.

chocolate cake on small plate

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This gluten free chocolate cake recipe works beautifully as cupcakes as well for birthday parties and other get togethers. Paired with Salted Caramel Frosting, this cake was a massive hit at my son’s birthday party the first time I made it.

However, if you’d like to avoid chocolate crumbs tracked through the house, or if you’re looking for a white cake, (live and learn through my mistakes, mamas to young kids) I’m beyond thrilled to tell you that this recipe is truly The Best Gluten Free White Cake you’ll ever make. Truth told, it’s the best white cake I’ve ever tasted, gluten-free or not.

The sour cream and olive oil in this Gluten Free Chocolate Cake keeps it incredibly moist. I’ve successfully used light flavored olive oil in almost all of my baked goods for the past few years.

There isn’t a hint of olive oil flavor in the finished products. Be sure to use a light oil and NOT an extra virgin oil.

Picture me jumping up and down with glee over how perfectly this cake turned out. I tried a few different variations before this one turned out perfectly. I’ve made this cake over a dozen times now.

slice of chocolate cake on plate with fork

Best Chocolate Gluten Free Cake Recipe

Kitchen Tip: I use this sheet pan, this cake pan, or this cupcake pan to make this recipe.

  • ⅓ cup potato starch
  • ⅓ cup sorghum flour
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup, plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably dutch process
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup light flavored olive oil

Sweet tooth or sugar addiction? Here's everything you need to know

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What if your appetite for sweet treats is actually a sign of something more? We share the signs and symptoms of sugar addiction, and how to break the cycle

Sweet tooth or sugar addiction? Here's everything you need to know

When is being ‘too sweet’ a bad thing? Well, despite conjuring up imagery of kind and loving people, or a nostalgic treat for yourself to enjoy, the truth is, when it comes to nutrition, sugar can be a sly substance. It’s probably in more foods than you realise, from breakfast cereals and packaged fruits, to salad dressing and pasta sauce. And while a lot of us enjoy something sweet now and again, like many things in life, too much of a good thing is not always healthy. In fact, too much sugar can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, tooth decay, and even certain types of cancer.

What is sugar addiction?

First things first, there is no shame in enjoying sweet flavours. And there is a big difference between liking a sugary snack now and then, and actually finding yourself with a sugar addiction. With the latter, sugar addiction can be behavioural (when you eat despite not being hungry, or snack compulsively) or chemical (when your body experiences negative effects or physical cravings if you try to cut down or stop eating sugar). Essentially, the stage where it becomes a problem is when the sugar reliance is affecting you mentally and/or physically, and you feel as though you can’t do without it. For many people, the main draw of eating sugary foods or drinks is that they can give you a short-term energy boost. When we feel stressed, tired, or anxious, we may turn to sugar-filled foods or snacks to try to experience this quick energy release we need – even though it is a short-term solution to what is often a long-term problem.

In turn, this can lead to associating certain foods that are high in sugar with feeling happier and filled with energy, thanks to the release of endorphins. When we do this too often, a one-off comfort can become an unhealthy way of trying to cope with other feelings we are trying to avoid.

Signs, symptoms and effects

Studies have revealed that eating too much sugar can lead to:

. Cravings, sugar tolerance, and higher consumption
. Binge-eating
. Withdrawal symptoms
. Emotional or psychological dependence
. Unhealthy coping mechanisms

How do I know if I’m addicted to sugar?

If you’re worried you might have an unhealthy relationship with sugar, there are many common signs you can keep an eye out for. Ask yourself:

  • Do I feel guilty when eating?
  • Do I hide what, when, or how much I am eating from family, friends or colleagues?
  • Do I make excuses about what I’m eating? (I’ll eat healthier tomorrow; I had a hard day, I deserve a treat)
  • Are my portions getting bigger?
  • Am I hungry when I eat?
  • Do I eat when I’m feeling emotional? (Sad, upset, stressed, to celebrate, for comfort)
  • Is the food I eat really sugary
    or salty?
  • Do I often feel sleepy, low energy, or lethargic after eating or s

Salted Caramel Frosting

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Buttery sweet caramel sauce with just a hint of salt combines with cream cheese for silky smooth salted caramel frosting perfection.

chocolate cupcakes with frosting and caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Frosting

I knew before I made this frosting that {Salted + Caramel = Frosting} it was going to be a good thing. However, I had no clue that it was going to be a great thing: an almost indescribably awesome frosting.

I’m not usually a big fan of frosting, but I am a huge fan of homemade caramel sauce. So, pouring caramel sauce into a whipped cream cheese frosting sounded too delicious not to try.

I am a big fan of real flavors. It can take a bit longer to develop those flavors sometimes – but it is truly just minutes in many cases. Caramel is one of those.

frosting with salted caramel

Water and sugar simmer slowly in a simple syrup. No need for a candy thermometer, just keep cooking until the sugar dissolves. Once that happens turn up the heat and keep cooking until it turns an amber color.

Caramel can be tricky because you want to keep it moving to prevent burning but not really get any of the sugar crystals that might form on the sides of the pan back into the caramel. Those pieces will make little crunch bits in the caramel sauce.

Once it achieves that rich amber color, add the butter, cream, vanilla, and salt. Stir them in gently and let the sauce cool before refrigerating.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

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Homemade salted caramel sauce is ridiculously decadent and delicious. This sweet sauce makes a terrific addition to countless desserts.

From ice cream to cakes, coffees, and brownies, it is delicious. But this sauce also makes a great food gift for any occasion.

caramel sauce in short jar with spoon

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

I LOVE this sauce. I made it for a special dessert and loved it so much, I just kept making it. I’ll be sharing that dessert soon, but first, here is the sauce.

I made this three times in a month when I first started making this and it rapidly became a favorite addition to a cup of Cafe con Leche. (Authentic? no. pure heavenly caramel latte deliciousness? yes.)

spoon over jar with caramel sauce

This no candy thermometer required caramel sauce is the perfect balance of salty and sweet. While many homemade salted caramel sauces boast of just having 4 ingredients. I am quite okay with this version having 6.

The addition of a little bit of water and vanilla is just right. I like dissolving the sugar completely in the water and cooking it down to an amber color. This will decrease the likelihood of burning the sugar.

My other secret ingredient is vanilla. Whether you use the extract, paste, or scraped vanilla bean it gives it such a warm rich depth, I can’t imagine making salted caramel sauce without it.

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