November Degustabox

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November came around quickly and so did the November Degustabox, once again filled with lots of foodie surprises it was a fantastic box.

 

Kettle Chips RRP £2.19

We received salsa and mesquite flavour and they were gorgeous, needless to say they didn’t last very long! Kettle Chips are a very much loved in this house anyway, but this was a new flavour for us, one that I probably wouldn’t have picked up in the supermarket but I am glad we have tried it now.

 

Cool Dawn RRP £2.98 for two

I couldn’t try these as I don’t drink enough to get a hangover as I’m still breastfeeding and S doesn’t like liquorice, so I gave these to Big Brother to try out, I’m sure he will be needing them soon with all the Christmas celebrations!

 

Lindt RRP £3.25 for five

Well, what can I say? Thank you Degustabox for including chocolate and Lindt too! These are just the right size for a chocolate fix and great to hand out as a small treat to kids. Although in my opinion they are too nice for kids, so I ate them with S one evening while G was in bed!

 

Kent’s Kitchen RRP £1.85

Another fantastic creation from Kent’s Kitchen to help cook great meals without the hassle and mess that normally comes with it. We received the fajita shots and used them for a family fajita dinner last week, they were really tasty and we will definitely be buying these again.

 

Branston Chutney RRP £1.50

We received the Mediterranean tomato chutney, I made some quick and easy garlic bread using it, you can read about it here. I wasn’t sure what I would think about this but I really liked it!

 

 

PIP Organic RRP £3.00 for two

This cloudy apple fruit juice is delicious, G loved it too and they are the perfect size to include with your kids packed lunch.

 

Montano RRP £2.79

An Italian apple cider, S was very happy, he loves cider. I’m not a huge fan of cider but tried it and have to confess it was lovely.

 

Holy Cow RRP £3.38 for two

We received two curry sauce pouches to try, the Madras Chettinad curry sauce Mughlai Korma curry sauce. I am known in my family for my epic failures in making curry; my many attempts have left S and Big Brother running screaming to the local takeaway. I was pleased to receive these two curry sauces because it is so easy to make the curry and quick, perfect for midweek. They taste so fresh, they are fantastic and free from artificial ingredients and junk so it’s just like a fresh home-made curry but tastes a lot better, than mine anyway!

 

We received two sample presents in the box this month:

Drink Me Chai

A delicious spiced tea drink, you can make this with water or milk, I made it with water and it was lovely.

 

Baru Chocolate Clouds

These were a special gift from Degustabox this month to celebrate their birthday, these are individually wrapped treats. These are marshmallows with a layer of caramel then coated in dark chocolate. Absolutely delicious, that is all I can say really, we loved them! Thank you Degustabox and Happy Birthday!

 

We loved the box this month and I have a discount code to share with you all again, for £3 off your first order simply enter the code 7IPSI at checkout.

To find out more about Degustabox and how it works take a look at their website. You can also follow Degustabox UK on Facebook or @DegustaboxUK on Twitter.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the November Degustabox for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

Quick and Easy Tomato Garlic Bread

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You know how it is when you have one of those days where time is against you and you just want something comforting to eat that is light and not too filling, well that is when I crave garlic bread. I have become a huge fan of tomato garlic bread as I find it a healthier and lower fat alternative to cheesy garlic bread.

Tomato garlic bread is so quick and easy to make, if you are short of time and you haven’t done the grocery shop yet you can still make some delicious quick and easy tomato garlic bread up with store cupboard ingredients that most of us will have in the pantry.

I received a jar of Branston Mediterranean Tomato Chutney in the November Degustabox and straight away I decided this would be perfect for tomato garlic bread in a hurry!

I use low fat mini garlic naans to make these as it helps to keep the calories down of course! I also use my Breville Halo + fryer to grill them as I find it so much quicker than waiting for the oven grill to heat up. So without further ado, here is how I make them.

 

Ingredients:

~ 2 low fat mini garlic and coriander naans

~ Olive oil, preferably in a spray bottle

~ 4 tsp Branston Mediterranean Tomato Chutney

~ Dried mixed herbs

 

 

 

Method:

1) Spray a little olive oil on one side of the garlic and coriander naans.

2) Spread 2 tsp of the Mediterranean tomato chutney evenly over each naan.

3) Sprinkle a little of the dried mixed herbs over each naan.

4) Place the naans in the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes.

5) Serve immediately, these are perfect for a light lunch, as a side to a bowl of soup or pasta or as a snack.

 

Do you have a quick and easy way to make your favourite garlic bread? I would love to hear about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweetly Does It

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I have recently been trying out some baking and cake decorating products from the Sweetly Does It collection at KitchenCraft, I’m sure you have seen the recipes popping up on the blog over the past few months! Over this time I have fallen in love with KitchenCraft. They think of everything, anything you could possibly need in your kitchen, they have it!

So working through the collection, here goes:

 

Spookily Does It set of 4 assorted Halloween cookie / sugar craft plunger cutters.

These plungers are so easy to use, when you push down they leave an imprint in the shape and you can push down to remove the cut out shape in one piece, leaving no annoying fingerprint marks that a standard shape cutter would. This makes for really easy cutting out of cookie mix, sugar paste or marzipan. These Halloween shapes are just the right size to make bite size cookies for the little ones too; I have made three cookie recipes with them. Liquorice Shortbread Bites, Halloween Spiced Biscuits and Spooky Orange Halloween Bites.

 

Sweetly Does It set of 3 snowflake fondant plunger cutters.

The snowflake plungers are fantastic, the plunger means that they are cut out with intricate detail, they look so professional! I love these snowflake cutters and used them to make a Disney’s Frozen Christmas Cake which turned out really well!

 

 

Sweetly Does It set of 2 holly fondant plunger cutters.

Again these holly plunger cutters are perfect for cutting out detailed holly leaves to a professional standard. I used them on two recipes, both to make fondant holly shapes. I made the festive chocolate piñata cake and some mini Christmas pudding buns which both turned out great.

 

 

Sweetly Does It snowflakes silicone fondant mould.

This is a little trickier to use than the plunger cutters, but not that difficult really. The snowflake shapes are gorgeous, very pretty with a lot of detail!

 

Sweetly Does It tilting cake decorating turntable.

I don’t know how I have managed for so long without one of these! This turntable is amazing, it makes decorating cakes so much easier, not only does it rotate but it tilts, which means I don’t find myself climbing on the table and hanging upside down over the cake!

 

Sweetly Does It non-stick bake and carry cupcake tray.

Whoever invented this is a genius! The cupcake tray is one of the best quality trays I have had the pleasure to bake with and even better, I can keep the cupcakes in it to store them and protect them as it comes with a clip on lid with two handles. It’s perfect for providing cupcakes for an event, or to take to the office as S does sometimes! Recently I made peanut butter and jelly cupcakes with this tray and S used it to transport the cupcakes to work so that I wouldn’t eat them!

 

 

You can check out the full Sweetly Does It collection over at KitchenCraft, you will find lots of inspiration there too! You can also follow KitchenCraft on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube for information on their latest offers, news and inspiration.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the plunger cutters, silicone fondant mould, bake and carry cupcake tray and the turntable from KitchenCraft for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

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Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, the thought came to me when I received the Sweetly Does It non-stick bake and carry cupcake tray from the lovely people at Kitchencraft to review. I find I get bored of cupcakes with lots of frosting on top and crave cupcakes with a delicious filling instead. So I came up with this recipe for peanut butter and jelly cupcakes which is delicious, even if I do say so myself!

I have also recently received some goodies from Duerr’s; a jar of strawberry jam and a jar of crunchy peanut butter so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out!

 

I used light brown sugar in the cake mix instead of caster sugar as I wanted the cupcakes to have some strength to hold the peanut butter and jam whilst baking; I also find the light brown sugar gave the sponge a nice warm colour and richer taste too.

 

Unfortunately these cupcakes are not very good for the old diet, but fortunately they were greatly received when S took the majority of them to work with him to celebrate his birthday last week. I am so glad that he did because I couldn’t stop eating the ones that were left in the house!

So without further ado here is the recipe:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 225 grams butter
  2. 225 grams light brown sugar
  3. 225 grams self raising flour sifted
  4. 225 grams medium eggs (preferably free range)
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. Sprinkle of ground vanilla
  7. 12 tsp strawberry jam
  8. 12 tsp crunchy peanut butter
  9. Icing sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together well until you achieve a thick creamy consistency.
  3. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and eggs. Mix well.
  4. Finally mix in the ground vanilla.
  5. Place 12 cupcake cases into the non-stick cupcake baking tray.
  6. Spoon the cake mix into each cupcake case evenly so that they are 2/4 full.
  7. Add one tsp of jam to each cupcake.
  8. Add one tsp of crunchy peanut butter to each cupcake with the jam.
  9. Finally top each cupcake with one tsp of cake mix to cover the jam and crunchy peanut butter.
  10. Place the cupcake tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes, they may need longer.
  11. Allow to cool in the cupcake tray for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to fully cool.
  12. Sprinkle with some icing sugar to decorate and you are ready to enjoy them!
Equipment you will need
  1. Large mixing bowl
  2. Electric mixer
  3. Spatula
  4. Spoon
  5. Sieve
  6. Scales
  7. Cupcake tray (I used the Sweetly Does It non-stick bake and carry cupcake tray)
  8. 12 cupcake cases
  9. Wire cooling rack
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 What do you put in your cupcakes? I would love to hear about them, please feel free to share in the comments below.

 

 

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Dieting and starting again

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Despite the fact I have being dieting for quite a while now, I hadn’t realised how much I had let things slide. I have put so much weight on over Christmas, all entirely unnecessary, but I did it all the same. I have also had a very nasty wake-up call this week, after almost three years after my Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy, of feeling tired, achy and generally weak I have seen a new doctor who thought to test my vitamin D levels. It turns out they are severely low!

This had made me realise that I need to pull myself together, not just to lose weight but to look after my general wellbeing and health. So to kick start the new healthier me and become more organised with eating and meal planning I purchased a new journal in my Weight Watchers meeting this week.

The journal only cost £4.95; it is a tracker for twelve weeks. The journal will track my foods, activity, propoints used and activity propoints earned and used. I can use the journal to meal plan and make notes to summarise the week and plan for the week ahead. I am hoping this will help to keep me motivated, I keep the journal in my handbag and take it everywhere with me. I have included a photo in there so that I can remember why I am doing this.

So wish me luck, I’m going to need it! Do you have any plans to improve your health or general wellbeing? I would love to hear all about them.

 

Super Busy Mum

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Eisberg alcohol free wine

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I like a good glass of wine, I always have but with breastfeeding I prefer to avoid drinking as much as possible. It is hard though when you are eating a lovely meal and you could just do with a nice glass of wine to go with it but you don’t want to drink for whatever reason. So for the first time ever I tried some alcohol free wine; I tried Eisberg alcohol free Rose wine.

We took our bottle with us to Blackpool and enjoyed it one evening with a Papa John’s takeaway when we were too tired to be bothered eating out. I was actually amazed at how much it tasted like any other rose wine, you could not tell by the taste that it was alcohol free at all. It looks like ordinary wine; it smells like ordinary wine and it tastes like ordinary wine. Perfect if you are trying to hide an early pregnancy, no one would notice that you were drinking alcohol free!

 

Eisberg specially select their grapes from specific vineyards so that the grapes have the ability to maintain their grape taste after the alcohol has been removed; very clever! Eisberg have very carefully and thoughtfully created a delicious range of wines here that are very low in calories and alcohol free. There is a great selection available, you can find out more about them on their website here.

These wines are perfect for making mocktails too; you will find some ideas on the Eisberg website. It is also dry January this month and if you are taking part then why not give these lovely wines a try?

 

 

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Eisberg Rose alcohol free wine for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

A Treasury of Christmas Stories

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A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs. Produced by Parragon Books.

 

In December we received a beautiful and very special book from the Parragon Book Buddies Club; A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs. It is a large book filled with a variety of traditional Christmas stories and Christmas carols. I personally love anything traditional at Christmas so was very pleased with this book.

This treasury is a book for all ages, for all the family to enjoy together and the hard back covers mean it will hopefully stand the test of time and last for many years. The illustrations in the book are beautiful and I think I probably enjoyed reading through this book as much as G, maybe even a teeny bit more!

There is such a large collection of children’s books available from Parragon that it is worth taking a look, there is a book for everyone of any age and with any interests! At £6 this is excellent value, a beautiful book to be treasured by all the family for many Christmases to come over the years.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this ”A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs” book for the purposes of this review and as a member of the Parragon Book Buddies club. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

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Baa Baa Black Sheep Produced by Little Learners, an imprint of Parragon Books.

The November story book for the Parragon Book Buddies club is a puppet story book called Baa Baa Black Sheep. Puppet story books are G’s all time favourites so he was very excited to receive this book!

The book is made with thick card board pages, thick enough to survive some chewing so I would say this book would be suitable from baby to preschooler. The puppet sheep encourages interactive play and hand eye co-ordination. You can sing the words or read them as it is basically just the nursery rhyme which makes it a nice quick read if your little one is the impatient type.

G loves playing with the puppet while I sing along to baa baa black sheep, his speech is still very limited sadly but he does understand what a sheep is now thanks to this book and will point them out and shout “baa”!

There is such a large collection of children’s books available from Parragon that it is worth taking a look, there is a book for everyone of any age and with any interests! At £3.99 this is great value, a lovely little book that is very engaging and a lot of fun. The perfect little treat for any little person! This book is part of the Little Learners range, Little Learners is an imprint of Parragon Books.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the “Baa Baa Black Sheep” story book for the purposes of this review and as a member of the Parragon Book Buddies club. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

Count to 10 with a Mouse

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Count to 10 with a Mouse Written by Margaret Wise Brown; Illustrated by Kirsten Richards.

The October story book for the Parragon Book Buddies club was a lovely book called Count to 10 with a Mouse. It came in a lovely gift presentation box along with a soft toy mouse.

The story is about a little mouse that couldn’t count; he went on a journey to learn to count to ten. On this journey he met lots of different animals who all helped him to learn to count to ten.

It’s a lovely little story, perfect for preschool aged children to help them learn to count to ten. The soft mouse toy is a wonderful addition to the book; G loves cuddling the mouse when we read the book. G also loves to read the book backwards too! G has always loved books so I haven’t had a problem getting him to engage when we are reading but I can imagine if you do have a little one who won’t sit for long enough to read anything then the toy mouse would help to keep them engaged in the book.

There is such a large collection of children’s books available from Parragon that it is worth taking a look, there is a book for everyone of any age and with any interests! With an RRP of £6 Count to 10 with a Mouse, which is a book and a toy that come in a beautiful presentation box, is very good value for money and the perfect gift or stocking filler.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the “Count to 10 with a Mouse” story book set for the purposes of this review and as a member of the Parragon Book Buddies club. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

Peek a Book

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Peek a Book Written by Malachy Doyle; Illustrated by Rowan Martin.

We joined the Parragon Book Buddies club in September 2014 so you will be hearing about a new book each month that G has tried out, the first book is Peek a Book! Obviously we are a little behind with these posts thanks to three months of illness, doctors and hospital trips, but thankfully we are all getting back on track now!

Peek a Book is a delightful story about a cat running away from a dog, whilst cat runs through various popular fairytales dog follows her. There are lots of holes to jump through and doors to open as you turn through the pages of this book and you get to find out what happens at the end when dog catches up with cat.

G loves this book; he really enjoyed the story of chase between the cat and the dog. He found the holes and the doors to be great fun and regularly picks this book up to have a read. It does help that G adores cats, having two at home, but he does love all animals too and really enjoys any book that includes animals.

Peek a Book has often been the choice of bed time story in the Mummy Whiskers house and will be a firm regular for quite some time to come too.

There is such a large collection of children’s books available from Parragon that it is worth taking a look. With an RRP of £2.99 Peek a Book is excellent value for money, just the sort of book that we would buy for G as a good behaviour reward.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the” Peek a Book” story book for the purposes of this review and as a member of the Parragon Book Buddies club. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.