Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart

No Comments

Last month I was thrilled to receive two bottles of my favourite dipping sauce in the Degustabox, Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce. Normally I use sweet chilli sauce on everything that I eat, even chips, but I thought I would incorporate this sauce into a recipe for a change. I decided we needed something that was quick and easy to make, minimal effort and absolutely minimal washing up so I decided to make Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart.

The filling for the Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart is low fat, tasty and really easy to make. I also use ready rolled puff pastry to save on time and hassle. As for equipment all you will need is a baking tray, medium mixing bowl, spoon and a microwavable dish.

I cook the Quorn fillets first; you can either cook them in the oven, a frying pan or in the microwave. I tend to cook them in the microwave as it’s the quickest option!

If you are having the Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart on its own it would serve four, you could stretch that to 6-8 servings if you serve with fresh vegetables or salad and potatoes. The recipe for the Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart is below, why not give it a try yourself and leave some feedback on how you liked it. I love hearing other ideas for foods so please share what quick and easy meals you make for the family!

Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  2. Olive oil in a spray bottle
  3. 6 Quorn plain fillets
  4. 170 grams (tub) Philadelphia Light Garlic & Herbs
  5. 2 tbsp Reduced fat green pesto
  6. 2 tbsp Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200, 180 for fan assisted or gas mark 6.
  2. Put the Quorn fillets in a microwavable bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and cook in the microwave on full heat for 3 1/2 minutes (for 800w).
  3. Turn the Quorn fillets over; add a little more olive oil if needed and microwave for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Place the ready rolled puff pastry on the baking sheet, brush or spray with some olive oil.
  5. In a mixing bowl add the Philadelphia Light, green pesto and sweet chilli sauce. Mix well together.
  6. Next chop up the Quorn fillets into bite size pieces and stir them into the mixture in the bowl.
  7. Spread the contents of the mixing bowl evenly into the puff pastry, leaving approximately 2 cm of pastry uncovered around the edges.
  8. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you feel it needs longer to cook, keep it in the oven for an extra five minutes.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

Link up your recipe of the week
20141102_190252

Nutty Eves Pudding

No Comments

There is nothing quite like a warm pudding during the cold months, we seem to crave stodgy desserts as somehow our appetites increase as the temperatures outside drop. There is also something comforting about warm desserts, especially ones that come served with custard which is why I came up with this Nutty Eves Pudding.

Apple pies and apple crumbles are always circulating around my family, all year, regardless of the weather. For us it is never too warm outside to have apple crumble and custard! But I decided to make something else apple based because let’s face it, I will never make an apple pie or crumble as good as my Mum’s, ever!

This recipe actually serves 12, which seems excessive but it is perfect if you have a large family and if you don’t who’s to say you can’t enjoy eating it for a day or two after?!

The recipe is below; I would love to hear your thoughts. Does your family have a favourite pudding that everyone fights over? I would love to hear all about it. I would really appreciate your feedback too if you can spare a minute!

Please note you will need a large baking dish to bake this pudding in.

 

Nutty Eves Pudding
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6 large Bramley cooking apples, washed, peeled and sliced
  2. 150 grams hazelnuts, finely chopped
  3. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  4. 200 grams butter
  5. 100 grams light brown sugar
  6. 4 medium eggs
  7. 200 grams self raising flour, sifted
  8. 12 walnut halves to decorate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4.
  2. Add the apple slices and chopped hazelnuts to a large baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it is creamed well together.
  4. Beat in the eggs.
  5. Fold in the flour, ensuring it is mixed all the way through.
  6. Spread the cake mix over the apples and hazelnuts in the baking dish. Decorate with the walnut halves and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve with warm custard and enjoy!
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

Quorn Toad in the Hole

No Comments

As the cold nights are closing in we all search for the warm and comforting foods that we love and know so well. Toad in the Hole has been a family favourite for generations; simple to make and a good hearty family meal. Toad in the Hole with onion gravy, vegetables and maybe even potatoes quite simply warms you from the inside out and if you love Yorkshire puddings you will really enjoy this too.

I decided to make Quorn Toad in The Hole not only for myself as a vegetarian, but for G too because he loves to eat vegetarian food with me as well as eating meat with everyone else. I made this version with Quorn sausages, but you could use any type of meat free sausages that you prefer. I have also tried to make it as low fat as possible by using unsweetened soya milk.

This Quorn Toad in the Hole is perfect served with some fresh steamed vegetables and onion gravy. I have yet to attempt to make gravy; I still use the instant granules, sorry!

Take a look at my recipe below and let me know what you think, feel free to share with me how you make your version of the classic Toad in the Hole, I love hearing from others!

Quorn Toad in the Hole
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Quorn sausages (or any other meat free sausages)
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 70 grams plain flour, sifted
  4. 150 ml whole milk
  5. 1 medium egg
  6. Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, milk, eggs, salt and cracked black pepper to a large mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Leave to one side to settle.
  2. Preheat oven to 240, 220 for fan assisted or gas mark 9.
  3. Add the olive oil to the roasting dish and spread evenly ensuring the bottom and all sides are covered. Place the roasting dish in the oven for five minutes.
  4. Take the roasting dish out of the oven and add the Quorn sausages, distributing them evenly. Return the roasting dish to the oven for a further five minutes.
  5. Remove the roasting dish from the oven and pour the batter evenly around the Quorn sausages. Return to the oven immediately and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh steamed vegetables and gravy.
Notes
  1. Add five minutes cooking time if required.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

Bacon and Sausage Toad in the Hole

No Comments

As the cold nights are closing in we all search for the warm and comforting foods that we love and know so well. Toad in the Hole has been a family favourite for generations; simple to make and a good hearty family meal. Toad in the Hole with onion gravy, vegetables and maybe even potatoes quite simply warms you from the inside out and if you love Yorkshire puddings you will really enjoy this too.

Unless you are new to my blog, you will know that I am a vegetarian; so making meaty meals is a challenge. My family are all meat lovers, I am the odd one out and so the pressure is always on for me to cook the meat right and come up with tasty family meals.

So for this recipe I decided to add bacon for a bit of a twist, making a Bacon and Sausage Toad in the Hole. This Toad in the Hole is perfect served with some fresh steamed vegetables and onion gravy. I have yet to attempt to make gravy; I still use the instant granules, sorry!

Take a look at my recipe below and let me know what you think, feel free to share with me how you make your version of the classic Toad in the Hole, I love hearing from others!

 

Bacon and Sausage Toad in the Hole
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 Cumberland sausages
  2. 1 pack of smoked bacon lardons
  3. 4 tbsp olive oil
  4. 140 grams plain flour, sifted
  5. 3 medium eggs
  6. 300 ml whole milk
  7. salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, eggs, milk, salt and cracked black pepper to a large mixing bowl and beat well until the batter is smooth. Leave to one side to settle.
  2. Preheat the oven to 240, 220 for fan assisted or gas mark 9.
  3. Add the olive oil to the roasting tin and spread evenly, ensuring the bottom and all sides are covered. Place the roasting tin in the oven for five minutes to heat the oil.
  4. Take the roasting tin out of the oven and add the sausages first, distributing them evenly. Next sprinkle the bacon lardons around the sausages as evenly as you can. Return the roasting tin to the oven for another five minutes.
  5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and pour the batter evenly around the meat. Return to the oven immediately and cook for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh steamed vegetables and gravy.
Notes
  1. Add an extra five minutes cooking time if required.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

20141105_162813

Festive Chocolate Pinata Cake

No Comments

How can you improve on the perfect chocolate cake? By filling it with actual chocolates of course! So I decided to make a festive chocolate piñata cake. I recently received some Christmas fondant plunger cutters and a tilting cake decorating turntable from Kitchen Craft so I thought that I could put them to use with this recipe, the review will be coming very soon!

So back to the recipe, I decided to use a vanilla frosting instead of chocolate just to break up the flavours a little bit but also to help the cake look more festive (snowy). I used a 113g share bag of Aero Mint Bubbles but you could use any chocolates that you want.

I also used a small amount of roll out icing, which I coloured red and green to make a holly feature in the centre. You don’t need to do this though; you could make this cake at any time of year and for any occasion and simply decorate accordingly.

Equipment that I used:

~ Large mixing bowl

~ Electric mixer

~ Spatula

~ Two 18cm sandwich tins

~ Two cooling racks

~ One 9cm round shape cutter

~ Small smooth rolling pin

~ Cake decorating turntable like the one I am using from Kitchen Craft

Kitchen Craft holly fondant plunger cutter

~ Palette knife

Why not give this recipe a try and let me know what you think?

 

Festive Chocolate Pinata Cake
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 250 grams light brown sugar
  2. 200 grams butter
  3. 300 grams self raising flour, sifted
  4. 50 grams cocoa powder
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. 3 medium eggs
  8. 90 ml olive oil (extra virgin), or you could use vegetable oil
  9. 1 tbsp rum
  10. 100 ml butter milk
  11. 100 ml water
  12. 113 gram sharing bag of Mint Aero Bubbles
  13. 1 small piece of roll out icing
  14. 1 drop red sugarpaste
  15. 1 drop green sugarpaste
  16. 1 tub Betty Crocker vanilla frosting
  17. Cake release spray or butter for greasing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together well in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs.
  4. Finally mix in the water, butter milk, oil and rum.
  5. Mix for a few more minutes until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  6. Spray the two sandwich tins with the cake release spray, or grease with butter.
  7. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins.
  8. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes.
  9. Use a skewer or a fork and dip into the middle of each cake to test if they are cooked enough, the skewer or fork should come out clean.
  10. Transfer the cakes to wire racks and allow to cool.
  11. Use the round cutter to cut a hole in the centre of each cake.
  12. Take the two centres you have cut out and slice the top layer off each one, about 1 cm thick. Discard the remaining sponge. The two remaining pieces will be the base and lid to hold the chocolates in.
  13. Now place the bottom half of the cake on your cake board, place one of the two cut outs in the centre and press down gently.
  14. Place the other half of the cake on top, you could use some frosting to stick them together but it isn't necessary.
  15. Pour the bag of Mint Aero Bubbles into the centre of the cake. Once full place the second cut out piece back on top and press down gently.
To decorate
  1. Now you are ready to decorate the cake. If you have a cake decorating turntable place the cake on it's board on there. It will make frosting the cake so much easier.
  2. Using the palette knife frost the cake, top and sides; you can make it look however you want it to. I tried to make mine look bumpy like settled snow but you could make it look smooth if you preferred.
  3. Once the cake is frosted you have the fun part. Firstly, take a small amount of the roll out icing and using a cocktail stick, add some red sugarpaste. Now this is important, you must knead the icing until the red colour is even through, do not press it with your fingers or the palm of your hands as it would cause the icing to become sticky.
  4. Roll the red icing into three small balls to represent berries.
  5. Take the rest of the icing and colour it green, using the same method as you did above for the red icing.
  6. Dust a dry clean surface with some icing sugar and roll out the green icing to about 5 mm thick. Cut out a holly leaf.
  7. Finally place the holly and berries in the centre of the cake, I find a little water on my little finger to wipe the excess icing sugar powder off and to stick the pieces together works well.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

Casa Costello
20141001_140135

Sandcastle Water Park

No Comments

It has taken two and a half years for us to take G swimming, the excuses are pathetic really and we kept putting it off month after month. I would buy G a swimsuit and every time he grew out of it I would buy another, none of them used, apart from when we had the paddling pool out in the summer.

G won’t let one evening go by without having a bath, bath time is his favourite time of the day, and well actually he would spend ALL day in the bath if he could! When he’s not in the bath he is helping me wash the dishes, playing in the water table or splashing around in puddles.

So whilst in Blackpool last month we decided to take G for his first ever swimming trip and what better pool to take him to than the Sandcastle Water Park?! It’s the largest indoor water park in the UK with over eighteen slides and attractions, making Sandcastle Water Park a fun filled family day out.

The Sandcastle Water Park is a very family friendly venue with very clean changing and showering areas, large family sized changing rooms with baby changing facilities and a fantastic body dryer that only costs £1 for three and a half minutes, this body dryer is awesome! There is also a pram store area outside the changing rooms and locks are available to hire if you don’t have your own.

The rides and slides were fantastic, although I’m a wuss so S tried them out for me. He said Aztec Falls was his absolute favourite ride of the day; the entire ride was in darkness so you couldn’t see where you were going which made the whole experience more of a rush. S also really enjoyed the Sidewinder, it’s like a skateboard ramp but you are sat in an inflatable ring and slide up and down, back and forth. Sadly I couldn’t get any photos as my camera isn’t waterproof!

G really enjoyed floating around in the pool, especially the wave pool and the Shimmering Shallows where he spent most of his time running back and forth under the waterfall tree and playing in the HMS Thundersplash; a pirate ship / climbing activity / slide / tunnel which was a lot of fun for all three of us!

The Bongo Bongo Burger Shack is a great place to grab something to eat or drink without having to dry up and get changed, so you can refuel and keep enjoying your day at the pool. If you don’t like to get in the water but you want to be a part of your families fun day at the pool there is a large pool side seating area where spectators can sit and where you can all enjoy your refreshments.

We finished our day at the Waterfalls Cafe after a very fun packed day at the pool; it’s a lovely spacious area in the entrance of the water park. I managed to grab a snap shot whilst sat here having a drink.

We found the staff at Sandcastle Water Park to be extremely helpful and friendly, the whole water park was spotless and every need you could have as a family was covered by their fantastic facilities. The Sandcastle Water Park is the perfect family day out, especially at this time of year when the weather isn’t so great outside.

You can find out all about the Sandcastle Water Park on their website here. You can also follow Sandcastle Water Park Blackpool on Facebook or @SandcastleWater on Twitter to hear about their latest offers and news.

Disclaimer: I received a family pass for the Sandcastle Water Park for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

20140930_182400

Frankie and Benny’s Blackpool

No Comments

After a busy day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach we needed to refuel, so following a freshen up we headed to Frankie and Benny’s for dinner. I have always being fond of this New York Italian restaurant, it’s one of those restaurants where you feel like you fit in whether you are there with your kids, the whole family for a gathering, friends or even a romantic date. Although if you were out for romance on the night we were there you won’t have found any, G was having one of his tantrums.

The waitresses were great with the children, really polite and efficient; they really made you feel at ease. The general atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxing and happy, it wasn’t too busy either at the time we went, we have to eat early as we are still on toddler clock in our house.

So for the food, this is what we had and what we thought:

 

Starters:

~ For the starter we all shared a garlic pizza bread, my favourite. The base is super thin, just how it should be!

 

Mains:

~ G had the Chicken Strips with fries, a quote from the toddler “mmm mmm mmm” whilst enthusiastically nodding. I think that pretty much says it all.

~ For S it was F&B New York Chicken with house fries, he loved it, and he said it was very tasty and cooked to perfection.

~ I had the Penne Arrabbiata, my favourite and it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s a simple yet low fat healthy option that has a spicy kick to it.

 

Desserts:

~ Chocolate Pancake for G, he mainly just ate the ice cream as he was pretty full by this point, but he really loved it, in fact he buried his face in the plate at one point in true toddler style.

~ I had Eli’s Tiramisu, not great for the diet but it is my all time favourite dessert and we were on holiday so I decided that the calories didn’t count on this occasion. I can be very selective about calories when I want to, especially when it involves Tiramisu.

~ S had Warm Apple Pie, warm apple desserts are a firm crowd pleaser in our family so it was the obvious choice for S. He enjoyed it that much he couldn’t bear to leave a spoonful; needless to say he needed to be rolled out of the restaurant!

 

Overall we really enjoyed our dining experience at Frankie and Benny’s and would certainly return again with G for a family meal, they are a great eating out option for families.

You can see the full menu available at Frankie and Benny’s on their website here. You can also follow Frankie and Benny’s on Facebook or follow @frankienbennys on Twitter for their latest news and offers.

Disclaimer: We received a complementary meal at Frankie & Benny’s for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

20140930_131217

Blackpool Pleasure Beach 2014

4 Comments

Last month whilst on our holiday in Blackpool we visited the Pleasure Beach which is said to be the UK’s most ride-intensive park. I have to confess I haven’t set foot in the Pleasure Beach for many years, almost twenty, now that I’m showing myself up by admitting how old I am becoming, I shall move on back to talking about the park.

Everything about the Pleasure Beach has changed since my last visit, no longer can you aimlessly walk in; gone are the crowds of passers-by and spectators; no more long queues to get on the popular rides; and definitely no more tantrums from children because their parents won’t pay for another ride. The Pleasure Beach has become its own private destination of fun and adrenalin, catering for everyone from the big wuss (me) right through to the adrenalin junkie thrill seekers (S).

So we started our day at the ticket office, the staff are very friendly and professional, the ticket office is spacious and clean, yes I’m a stay at home mum so I notice these things! We were given the unlimited ride wristbands, it was like been on an all inclusive holiday where you eat and drink far more than you normally would because it’s “free”, come on now, we all do it!

Now, as I explained I am the wuss of this family, so my plan was to go on kiddie rides with G and S would try out the “big boy” rides whilst I watched G. So here is a list of most of the rides we tried and what we thought:

~ To start with S tried the Ice Blast, basically a ride that shoots you up 210 feet at a speed of 80 mph, a definite thrill that was for sure!

~ I took G on his first ride next, the Alice Ride, built in 1961 it’s one of the older rides which I love, and I love a bit of vintage so this ride was right up my street! It was a lot of fun, G loved it, and he was fascinated by all the decorations and features as we travelled through the ride. This one for sure was my favourite ride of the day.

~ Next was another ride for G, the Fairy World TAXI SPIN. This I was NOT prepared for. To be fair it doesn’t travel very fast, but it does lift up pretty high, OK well high for someone who doesn’t particularly like heights anyway. Oh and if you are accompanying a small child on this ride, be aware that there is a big red button right in front of you both which naturally attracts the curiosity of every child resulting in the taxi cab being flung up high and back down again with a thud as soon as your delightful child releases the button. If you are ok with heights, like most normal people, then you will enjoy going on this ride with your child, it is actually pretty cool.

~ The Backyardigans Pirate Treasure was next up for G, this time I convinced S to go on the ride with him whilst I recovered from the Fairy World TAXI SPIN. They found the perfect pirate ship to sit in and off the ride went, spinning really fast, they loved it. I was worried about G but he really really enjoyed this ride, he sure does take after his Daddy in that area! As the ride slowed down and we all thought it was over, there was a surprise in store, the ride started travelling in reverse, faster and faster much to S’s surprise. G loving it screams of delight whizzing past.

~ We reached G’s favourite ride in the park next, Dora’s World Voyage. This ride is a boat that runs through a lake visiting France, Russia, Tanzania and China. You will see Dora and some of her friends and if you listen you will learn how to say hello in each language as you travel through the destinations. It’s very relaxing and a lovely ride, G was fascinated and loved it so much he asked to go straight back on it again!

~ S took G on another ride, the Bikini Bottom Bus Tour. I have recently been introducing Sponge Bob Square Pants into G’s life; he loves it, especially his Build a Bear Patrick!

~ Back to the “big boy” rides, S went on the Avalanche, rather him that me. He loved it, he said it was pretty scary, in a good way and gave him a buzz!

~ That was it, he was on a roll then, also visiting the Revolution, an old ride that was built in 1979 but had a refurbishment in 2012. The ride speeds off doing a 360 degree loop and then the ride is launched backwards to the starting point again. The hardest part for S was climbing up the huge flight of starts to get to the ride, but that is only because he is lazy. (Don’t tell him I said that!)

~ The last ride that S went on was of course The Big One, it’s over a mile in length with speeds of up to 87 mph and the first drop is the worst according to S, he said it feels just like a vertical drop and the rush is amazing. This ride doesn’t go upside down so I was really tempted to go on it too, but not on my own and we didn’t have any babysitters with us so I passed this time, but I will definitely give it a try next time we are there.

~ So the final ride of the day was the Gallopers, I took G on this ride. I LOVE traditional carousel rides and always want to ride on them so I was probably more excited than G. I let him pick a horse for us and off we went. This traditional carousel has music playing from its own on board organ which I absolutely loved, I love the vintage features! G enjoyed the ride too, I was worried if he would hold on properly, but he did!

Upon leaving we walked through the gift shop which is filled with lots of tempting treats. We were met at the gates by some friendly security staff that needed to scan our wristbands before we could leave.

Although the Pleasure Beach is now enclosed you can leave and return on the same day as long as you keep your wristband on. Although to be honest there really is no need to leave as there are so many facilities in there and with the special offers they do on the all you can eat and drink wrist bands you can grab yourself a pretty good deal on refreshments for the day.

We loved our day at the Pleasure Beach and have decided to make a visit to the Pleasure Beach a part of our family tradition of making a trip to Blackpool every year in September / October to see the illuminations.

The Pleasure Beach is a great day out for all the family, we proved ourselves that even a two year old can have a fun packed day there. If you are buying at the gate the unlimited wristbands are £29.99 per adult and a child’s unlimited wristband is £26.99, however you can buy them online at a discounted rate from the Pleasure Beach website here. If you’re not a fan of the rides but still want to enjoy the day out with your family you can buy an entry pass for only £6. You can also follow Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Facebook or @Pleasure_Beach on Twitter for their latest news and offers.

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

We're going on an adventure
20141102_190252

Sunday family meal

No Comments

It was decided that we needed a family meal on Sunday and it was my turn to host. This usually ends up with me being made fun of as I have to produce something tasty and meaty for my meat eating family, which I am never trusted to do as I’m a vegetarian. The meaty history of my family goes back to my Granddad who was a master butcher; yes, he probably did turn in his grave nineteen years ago when I announced my new found vegetarianism. (God rest his soul!) I also needed to create something similar but meat free for myself too, oh and a pudding, don’t ever feed my family and not have pudding ready!

So perfectly timed for my project with #CollectiveBias I found myself dashing to Aldi on Sunday morning to find some inspiration, oh and ingredients of course! We have started to #shop at Aldi more recently, it makes such a difference to our grocery costs and I love that I don’t have to compromise over the quality of the food either.

The meat and poultry aisle
The meat and poultry aisle

I decided a simple main would be the best option for the day so that I had the time to also make a vegetarian version. A simple pudding was also on the agenda, quite honestly because time is never my friend. So I made bacon and sausage toad in the hole for the family; Quorn toad in the hole for myself and a nutty eve’s pudding that everyone could eat. I have to confess I didn’t make my own gravy or custard, sorry! Everyone really enjoyed the food, which was good! G became very tired and went to bed before pudding, so we were able to slump on the sofas and relax whilst eating the nutty eve’s pudding which went down extremely well, especially with S and Big Brother!

Take a look below for the three recipes that I made on Sunday, I’d love to have your feedback on them and to hear about your family meals.

 

Bacon and Sausage Toad in the Hole
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 Cumberland sausages
  2. 1 pack of smoked bacon lardons
  3. 4 tbsp olive oil
  4. 140 grams plain flour, sifted
  5. 3 medium eggs
  6. 300 ml whole milk
  7. salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, eggs, milk, salt and cracked black pepper to a large mixing bowl and beat well until the batter is smooth. Leave to one side to settle.
  2. Preheat the oven to 240, 220 for fan assisted or gas mark 9.
  3. Add the olive oil to the roasting tin and spread evenly, ensuring the bottom and all sides are covered. Place the roasting tin in the oven for five minutes to heat the oil.
  4. Take the roasting tin out of the oven and add the sausages first, distributing them evenly. Next sprinkle the bacon lardons around the sausages as evenly as you can. Return the roasting tin to the oven for another five minutes.
  5. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and pour the batter evenly around the meat. Return to the oven immediately and cook for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Add an extra five minutes cooking time if required.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh steamed vegetables and gravy.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

Quorn Toad in the Hole
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Quorn sausages (or any other meat free sausages)
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 70 grams plain flour, sifted
  4. 150 ml whole milk
  5. 1 medium egg
  6. Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, milk, eggs, salt and cracked black pepper to a large mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Leave to one side to settle.
  2. Preheat oven to 240, 220 for fan assisted or gas mark 9.
  3. Add the olive oil to the roasting dish and spread evenly ensuring the bottom and all sides are covered. Place the roasting dish in the oven for five minutes.
  4. Take the roasting dish out of the oven and add the Quorn sausages, distributing them evenly. Return the roasting dish to the oven for a further five minutes.
  5. Remove the roasting dish from the oven and pour the batter evenly around the Quorn sausages. Return to the oven immediately and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Add five minutes cooking time if required.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh steamed vegetables and gravy.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/
Nutty Eve's Pudding
Serves 12
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6 large bramley cooking apples, washed, peeled and sliced
  2. 150 grams hazelnuts, finely chopped
  3. 3 tbsp maple syrup
  4. 200 grams butter
  5. 100 grams light brown sugar
  6. 4 medium eggs
  7. 200 grams self raising flour, sifted
  8. 12 walnut halves to decorate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4.
  2. Add the apple slices and chopped hazelnuts to a large baking dish.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it is creamed well together.
  4. Beat in the eggs.
  5. Fold in the flour, ensuring it is mixed all the way through.
  6. Spread the cake mix over the apples and hazelnuts in the baking dish. Decorate with the walnut halves and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve with warm custard and enjoy!
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

Disclaimer: I received compensation for this post from Collective Bias. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

Loyalty and fairness

2 Comments

Loyalty and fairness are two qualities that are incredibly important to me, which is why it is so important for me to instil these qualities in G. For me they will help him to go a long way as he grows up and hopefully he will be surrounded by loyal people in his life too.

As G is only two and an only child it is difficult to find ways to instil these qualities into him, but I do encourage him to share with S and I, or anyone else that he is with at the time such as Nanna, Uncle Do-nut or his cousins. I always encourage him to be kind and fair to everyone. Sometimes he is a little too generous in that he wants to share his food and whether you like it or not that food will be shoved into your mouth!

I have a short video of G during the summer with his Nanna feeding the chickens at a farm we visited, he is sharing the cup of food with his Nanna and making sure all the chickens get fed! You can view the video below:

I always strive to teach G to wait his turn and not push in front of the other children, to be kind to them and considerate. Although he is an only child attending preschool four mornings a week is helping him a great deal. He is a very caring and considerate little boy to say he is only 2, if he sees that someone is upset or crying he will pat them on the head whilst making an “aww” sound, if you’re lucky you may also receive a cuddle!

G and I sharing mud whilst making mud pies together.
G and I sharing mud whilst making mud pies together.

For me as a grown-up and in a business sense I find that I have loyalty for banks, shops and service providers that continue to treat me with the same importance as potential new customers. Sadly not many businesses do though these days (don’t I sound old!) which is why I am pleased to be telling you that Natwest are also focusing on loyalty and fairness at the moment with their new Hello / Goodbye campaign. They are waving goodbye to great deals that are for new customers only, unexpected bank charges and giving that little bit of extra flexibility over credit card repayments.

I don’t know about you but I always feel annoyed by those special deals that are for new customers only, they only encourage me to move from one bank / provider to another on a regular basis and quite honestly I would prefer not to have the hassle of moving around, so to be rewarded for loyalty by receiving the same deal as a new customer it makes for much happier customers that will stay loyal in return.

Natwest have also created a video which is an experiment into fairness, it’s definitely worth a watch and is very funny! See the link below to view the video.

You can read more about the fairer Natwest here.

Disclosure:  I’m working with BritMums and NatWest on this project and have been compensated. All opinions are formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.