Friday, 21 November 2014

Vote for the next Higgidy pie! Vote #Higgidypork! ;)



You may remember that I told you about Higgidy's Recipe Hunt last month, well.... now you can vote for your favourite recipe which will be sold in Sainsburys in the spring!!


 I am rather excited (and somewhat flabbergasted) that Higgidy has shortlisted my Pulled Pork and Sweet Potato recipe, along with equally delicious sounding Sunday Roast Pie and Paneer & Pumpkin. YUM YUM!!


To vote for your favourite, simply visit the Higgidy website and select your favourite! Obviously I'd love for you to vote for mine, but please do vote for whichever one takes your fancy.... they all sound rather scrummy!!


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Parragon Book Buddies: Dino Supersaurus Boxset


We have been reviewing the most awesome boxset from Parragon books; it's perfect for Christmas for both girls and boys!

Little One learned all about dinosaurs last Summer and ever since, she's bee very fond of them - even more so than before!

The Dino Supersaurus Boxset is the latest addition to the Dino Supersaurus collection and we LOVE it!


Description
Kaboom! T-rex and the evil Sinistaurs are on a mission to destroy New Dino City...again! Get busy building your heroic 3D Supersaurs and help them save the day! Charge your dinos up with superpower add-ons. Your activity book has simple step-by-step instructions and is packed with awesome activities, supercharged scribbling and cool colouring. So get ready to take on the evil Sinistaurs and save New Dino City!

The set contains an activity book, and hard backed pop-out sheets for you to create 5 of your own 3D Supersaurs. You can then use the activity book to 'act out' stories or make up your own!

So much fun!


I really like that the pop out 3D designs have been printed on strong, sturdy board rather than flimsy card that I've seen in similar activity packs. It means the characters actually stay together once built, but it also means that they pop out really easily and without tearing.

 The Dino Supersaurs look fantastic and you can add parts to them to 'supercharge' them, as Little One calls it. Nothing can stop them now!!
This fantastic boxset can be found on Amazon for just £8.49 at the moment (RRP £12), which is incredible value. Link: http://amzn.to/1qr2hSZ

Friday, 14 November 2014

Degustabox October #review PLUS a quick, hearty curry #recipe using a Kents Kitchen Meal Kit



I know, I know! I say it every month, but this is my favourite Degustabox so far! They do genuinely get better and better each month!

It was packed with goodies that we all are enjoying as a family; treats, cupboard staples and new products we hadn't even heart of before.

What was in the box?



Kellogg's Special K Cracker Crisps - These are really tasty and with 60% less fat than some other crisps, you're on to a winner with these.



The Degustabox Fridge is back this month and I'm so pleased that the voucher is valid in all my usual supermarkets. The voucher entitles us to a 4 pack of  New Benecol Greek Style Yogurts. I haven't picked these up yet as I put the voucher away and keep forgetting to take it out with me! Doh! I shall be enjoying these in next weeks shop though!


My baking favourite, Dr Oetker introduces me to yet another new product - Premium Extra Dark Chocolate.  I can't wait to treat myself to a rich, decadent cake to celebrate my birthday ;)


The kids absolutely love BEAR Alphabites, so we were very happy to see a mini box of these in our haul. They make a delicious healthy breakfast with no refined sugar or salt, and the little ones wolf them down, ending the fuss at breakfast time.



I have to say, I think Middle Miss almost passed out when she set eyes on this rather scrumptious pot of Solo Marshmallow Crème in their Toasted variety. This is spreadable marshamllow, perfect for a treat on toast, used as a baking ingredient or just eaten straight from the tub..... ahem....so I'm told ;)



We had two Brioche Pasquier products in our box this month, Pain Au Lait, which I passed on to my parents who had yet to try them (they loved them by the way!) and the most amazing Sliced Brioche Loaf which I am in love with. It's gorgeous toasted with butter or a sprinkle of brown sugar and delightfully sinful smothered in clotted cream and topped with sliced strawberries!

I've promised the kids that I'll make some 'donut-style' Gypsy Toast with it, so I'll blog that if they like it!!


A baker can never have too much cocoa powder and I do like this one by Dr Oetker. I love the handy sachets as they are so convenient and don't take up much space in my (over-flowing) baking cupboard!


I've saved this scrummy looking Get Buzzing energy bar for hubby as he is really into them. They are  100% natural healthy flapjacks that 'complement a well balanced diet by providing fast and slow releasing energy that will keep you going for longer.'

They look amazing!!!



Jelly Belly are our favourite jelly beans ever! We had never tried the sour ones though, and we were not disappointed. So juicy, so sour! YUM YUM!!

Did you know that every single bean can take up to 21 days to create???? No, me neither until I heard about it from Degustabox!



I love Enhance for water. Such a great idea, perfect for making drinking water more exciting They are made with real fruit juice and is only 1 calorie per drink!


Blue Dragon is a brand that's very popular in our house, especially with hubby. These Sweet Chilli dipping sauces are so versatile. You can use them as dips for snacks, in cooking or as condiments to enhance your favourite meals.


Finally, my favourite product in the box was this Bengal Meal Kit from Kents Kitchen. These clever kits provide you with an easy way of creating a fantastic meal in just 20 minutes. Made with only natural ingredients they are a must-have for every kitchen cupboard.

I really fancied a curry for tea the other night and decided to have a go at the lovely recipe provided in the Bengal kit. Unfortunately though, it required a tin of coconut milk, which I love but hubby hates, so I improvised. 
3 little pots - infused oil, spices, curry paste

Ingredients:
  • 1  Bengal Kents Kitchen meal Kit (it's infused oil, spices and a curry paste base)
  • Chicken breasts (I usually use 2 per person)
  • 2 tins/cartons of chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
Method:
  • Using the meal kit instructions, heat everything in a pan until the chicken is properly cooked though.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with your favourite fluffy rice, Naan and condiments.

I absolutely loved using this meal kit, and I will definitely be buying some more from the range. You only need to add a couple of ingredients and you have a beautiful, delicious meal in under half an hour. PERFECT!

Find out more from Degustabox on social media - Facebook and Twitter


 *Review

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Homemade Thursday - Kents Kitchen Chicken Curry

  
This is a little bit of a cheat but I don't think that matters when the ingredients are great in quality.

I have been loving this months Degustabox (review coming later today), as it's introduced me to Kents Kitchen Meal Kits.

I really fancied a curry for tea the other night and decided to have a go at the lovely recipe provided in the Bengal kit. Unfortunately though, it required a tin of coconut milk, which I love but hubby hates, so I improvised.



Ingredients:
  • 1  Bengal Kents Kitchen meal Kit (it's infused oil, spices and a curry paste base)
  • Chicken breasts (I usually use 2 per person)
  • 2 tins/cartons of chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
Method:
  •  Using the meal kit instructions, heat everything in a pan until the chicken is properly cooked though.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with your favourite fluffy rice, Naan and condiments.

YUM!!

What have you been making?

I'd love to see your homemade/handmade posts, please do link them up and share your creations.

If you would like to link up anything 'homemade' that you've blogged/pinned/instagrammed then please do so at the bottom of the post! This doesn't have to be food. It can be needlework, crafts, paintings, woodwork.... you name it!

It can be an old post or something new.... it's all about sharing ideas and inspiring each other!

I would love you forever if you would either grab my button (below) or text link back to me.

Homemade Thursday


You can link up anytime between now and 16th November 2014 and then the next Homemade Thursday linky will open on the 20th November

To read more about Homemade Thursday please look here.

Travel Sleep Solutions: Peppa Pig My First Ready Bed

Review -


We have been having a few sleep challenges with Baby Girl recently. Many of those I will talk about in another post, but one problem we were having was encouraging her to have her daytime nap when not at home.

The mind of a toddler is always on the go... dragging their not so willing, over-tired bodies with them. There is far too much going on to sleep. I mean what if she misses something? Who will play with her toys? Will nanny save her any 'cake-cake'?

Sometimes if we are out, she will fall asleep in the pushchair, but she is the only one of my children that will rarely fall asleep in my arms. So, what do you do at nap time when you are visiting friends or family? You can't very well lug a travel cot with you, especially if you don't drive.

Well, we no longer have this problem thanks to Baby Girl's very special Peppa Pig My First Ready Bed by Worlds Apart. Oh, the look on her little face when she saw the box, let alone the actual bed, was priceless.


In case you don't already realise, Baby Girl is head over heels in love with Peppa Pig (and Doc McStuffins). Wherever that lovable pink pig can be found, Baby Girl will follow. This adoration can be put to good use! ;)

What a better way to entice an over-tired toddler to climb into 'bed' and snooze away those weary grumps than with the help of their favourite character? My  children have always found having their favourite character with them very comforting.

I must admit, I've never liked inflatable.... well, anything to be honest. But, this is brilliant! It inflates with little effort using the supplied pump and stays that way until you want to deflate it again.

Unfolded, waiting to be pumped up

All pumped up, waiting for snuggles

It has an integral cover which is super-soft and lovely to snuggle under, and I really like the 'bed head' that acts as a bumper to prevent tumble or bumps as the little one sleeps.

The cover also can be removed for washing, which is always a blessing when it comes to bedding of any description.

The clever design means that when deflated, it folds into a handy carry case with a handle, so it can be carried easily or even hung on the pushchair like I do (The pump fits in the shopping basket underneath too!)

Awww all snuggled up and cosy

It's been a Godsend this last few weeks - perfect for visiting family, camping, holidays, sleepovers or just as an alternative sleeping area if your child is sick. Little One used this recently when she was poorly and we wanted to keep her close to us so that we could keep an eye on here easier in the night.

The girls love it, and the mattress is surprisingly comfortable! They love it so much that they use it for playtime as well as sleep.


This is how I found their Wendy house the other day - how cute is that?!

My First Ready Bed is available to buy from various outlets, such as Amazon, Toys R Us and Tesco (Around £30)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Join us for a fabulous #DesignaFriend Twitter party on 12th November 4-6pm #sneakpeak



Little One is beyond excited! We have just received the most amazing box full of goodies ready for the #DesignaFriend party next week!


I haven't opened anything up properly yet, as I want Little One and her gang to have a surprise on the day, but wow!! They are going to have SOOOO much fun!


There's DesignaFriends goodies for the girls to play with, goodie boxes and lots of fun activities for them to enjoy!

I can't wait either! It's going to be amazing!!



Join in with the fun on Twitter on Wednesday 12th November 4-6pm with @UKMumsTV using the hashtag #DesignaFriend 

See you then!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Homemade Thursday - a round-up of my #homemade week



Once again this week has whizzed by and I've had virtually zero time to make anything. All my plans for bonfire night where scuppered as Baby Girl is poorly with some God awful viral thing that's doing the rounds. (I may sleep again one night!).

Anyway, it's not all doom and gloom. Since last time, the children have been having fun getting messy in the kitchen and...get this.... I dug out my paints and brushes ready to finish some half-painted projects that have been gathering dust for years... Yes, YEARS! *blushes*.

 I briefly mentioned our bubblegum cookies in last weeks post and I have to say I was disappointed slightly as they were rather cakey. They tasted wonderful but we like our cookies to be chewy or crumbly, not really cakey. However, they did look good and the kids (+ hubby) devoured them.


We also made some cheats ice cream using Angel Delight which was more successful. I'm going to give it another go with the vanilla flavour.


What have you been making?

I'd love to see your homemade/handmade posts, please do link them up and share your creations.

If you would like to link up anything 'homemade' that you've blogged/pinned/instagrammed then please do so at the bottom of the post! This doesn't have to be food. It can be needlework, crafts, paintings, woodwork.... you name it!

It can be an old post or something new.... it's all about sharing ideas and inspiring each other!

I would love you forever if you would either grab my button (below) or text link back to me.

Homemade Thursday


You can link up anytime between now and 9th November 2014 and then the next Homemade Thursday linky will open on the 13th November

To read more about Homemade Thursday please look here.


Monday, 3 November 2014

Join us for fun and prizes at the #DesignaFriend Twitter Party!



We can't wait to host our #DesignaFriend party on 12th November!

Join in on Twitter using the hashtag #DesignaFriend for fun and prizes! You'll also get the low down on all things DesignaFriend which I am certain will be on lots of Christmas wish lists this year!




I'll have more details soon, but for now, set your reminders and note in your diary that you are invited to the #DesignaFriend Twitter Party on Wednesday 12th November 4pm-6pm!

Bring cake! ;)


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Stocking Filler idea: Postman Pat The Movie on DVD


Review

I often buy DVDs for the children as little tree presents or pop one in their Christmas Eve box. I try to choose movies that all the family will enjoy so we can snuggle together in front of the TV whilst we unwind and wait for Santa's big day.

I have quite a list of titles this year such as brand new release, Postman Pat The Movie. Yes, really! It's not just for preschoolers - the whole family enjoyed this one!


With voices provided by huge stars such as David Tennant, Rupert Grint and Ronan Keating, it really is a must-see family movie this season.

It's an all singing (literally), all dancing, fun-packed story where Pat learns a few lessons in what is most important as he enters a talent show.  (X Factor fans will snigger at the judge 'Simon Cowbell'!!)

But with Pat destined for super stardom, who will deliver the Greendale post? Things are not what they seem in the usually quiet village!

Postman Pat The Movie is out now - currently £7 on Amazon.

Our #angeldelightmoments - Angel Delight, but not as you know it! - family time and cooking with kids.




I remember Angel Delight from my own childhood. It made for a lovely, quick dessert that always felt like a treat - especially when it had a good dollop of cream on the top... we knew we'd been good if we had that! ;) Nowadays we enjoy squirty cream and some fruit (or a cheeky Haribo if we have been really good!)

Desserts are still a big part of our family meal times, and as a mum of fussy eaters, I sometimes use desserts as an incentive to try new foods and although the children usually opt for fruit as their 'dessert',  special treats are enjoyed frequently as well. (Moderation is key...right!?)



We love nothing better than making a huge mess in the kitchen, rustling up something creative and yummy to eat. BritMums sent us some new Bubblegum flavour Angel Delight to try and Middle Miss gasped when she read the word 'milkshake, and then followed it up with, " We could make milkshake ice cream!"

So, that's what we did. 


It's somewhat a cheat as I can't be bothered with whipping and churning and all that malarkey,...plus the children wanted the ice cream the same day and having to wait 2-3 hours for this to freeze was almost too much for Little One as it was! ;)

I do have an ice cream maker, but I haven't got to grips with it yet. I think that might be a project in the run up to Christmas.... maybe some Christmas pudding ice cream or something? Mince pie, perhaps..... Middle Miss just suggested candy cane flavour... I do love that girl! :)

Anyway, this is how we made our ice cream:

Angel Delight Easy Bubblegum Ice Cream


  • 1 pack of Angel Delight Bubble Gum flavour
  • 1 tin of custard
  • 1 pot of double cream (250ml or a whole pot of Elmlea is perfect)
  1. Add all three ingredients to a mixing bowl, whisk until the powder can no longer be seen (should only take a few minutes by hand).
  2. Transfer to a container with a lid, cover with cling film and fasten lid.
  3. Place into freezer for 2-3 hours until frozen.
  4. Serve using a ice cream scoop. I recommend taking it out about 10 minutes before serving, just so it starts to melt a little.

We had a second pack and I wanted to be a little bit more creative with it, so we decided to make cookies. Now, I adapted a recipe I'd found online; converting it into grams from cups and substituting flavouring for a little milk. 

They were dead simple to make - perfect for the children to get their aprons on and get cooking. 

The cookies tasted gorgeous but are more cakey than chewy, which is how I like my cookies to be - so I might try them again with a little less flour.

Anyway... look.... YUM YUM YUM!!

 
They looked ever so pretty going into the oven and you need to give them plenty of room to spread, because they really DO spread!!


I've mentioned many times before that cooking with my children has definitely helped conquer fussy eating. I absolutely believe that it's vital for children to be involved in cooking and creating in the kitchen; whether it's to understand where their food comes from, or just to enjoy an activity with their favourite grown-ups.

Some of our best conversations have happened whilst stirring cupcake batter or waiting for the oven timer to go 'ping!'

What do you think of our Angel Delight creations?

Are you an Angel Delight fan? What are your #AngelDelightMoments?



This post is an entry for #AngelDelightMoments Linky Challenge.
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