blaze-on-fairy-lights-1

Blaze On fairy lights

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I have wanted to add some fairy lights to our lounge for a while now, but it’s one of those jobs that you never get around to. So when Blaze On contacted me about reviewing a set of their fairy lights I jumped at the chance, it gave S this kick up the back side that he needed to get his DIY mojo on and fasten them up onto the wall above the fireplace.

We chose the Tropical Bloom pink duo set of 20 LED lights to try out, I love pink and it goes well with our deep burgundy furniture too. Blaze On isn’t a brand that I have heard of before so these fairy lights were completely new to me and when you are looking at a picture on your laptop screen it is hard to tell what the product is going to look like in real life. But, I was very pleased with the fairy lights once they arrived.

blaze-on-fairy-lights

The lights are very well packaged in a recyclable box, very pretty fabric flowers that mimic the frangipani flower. The flowers have a very subtle floral scent which helps to give that fresh flower feel to the room and the lights are soft, not too bright or overbearing at all.

The length of the string is about five meters so you have quite a bit of wriggle room; we decided to put ours along the wall above the fireplace and around the large picture frame.

Some of the useful features of these fairy lights are listed below:

~ LED string life expectancy is up to 10 years (up to 100,000 hours of use).

~ Bulbs are modified to mimic the soft light of traditional bulbs.

~ Energy efficient and eco friendly.

~ The lights don’t get warm, they are safe and reliable.

~ Last but by no means least, there are NO bulbs to change! Now that is what I love about LED lights!

~ All fairy lights come with a one year electronic guarantee and UK technical support.

 blaze-on-fairy-lights-2

At £22.90 these fairy lights are great value and would make the perfect gift for someone too, especially as a new home gift or for a student that is off to University and needs to decorate their new abode.

You can see the full range of fairy lights available at blaze-on.com, also here is the link to the Tropical Bloom pink duo fairy lights featured in this post. You can also follow Blaze On on Facebook or follow @blazeonlondon on Twitter for their latest news and offers. Why not check out Blaze On’s ethical policy page to read about how they are committed to the environment? Does the ethical policy of a company affect your buying decisions? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

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

 

Preparing for Christmas 2014

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are that of members of the Mummy Whiskers household and mine alone. #CampaignHashtag #CollectiveBias

 

It doesn’t seem five minutes ago since I thought about preparing for Christmas 2014, counting down the days until the 1st December to put up the Christmas tree, and here we are just nine days away from the big day, scary! I personally still have lots to do; I’m finding it best to take one day at a time.

So this week it is the last week of term for G at preschool and they are having a Christmas party. As a food blogger it would have been a crime not to put my name down on the list to provide buns, there is nothing I enjoy more than baking, my kitchen is my woman cave where I go to bake sweet treats and escape from the boys in the house. I also needed to decorate the Christmas cake this week so I decided to grab some icing and decorating essentials whilst doing my regular shop at Aldi.

I decided to make mini buns for the little people and to make them festive I have decided to make mini buns that look like Christmas puddings. To get the perfect round Christmas pudding shape I opted to bake the buns in a cake pop mould.

Here is the recipe.

Mini Christmas pudding buns
Serves 80
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
For the buns
  1. 225 grams butter
  2. 225 grams golden caster sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 185 grams self raising flour, sieved
  6. 40 grams good quality cocoa powder, sieved
  7. 3 tbsp water
  8. 3 tbsp butter milk
  9. Cake release spray or butter for greasing
For the decoration
  1. 200 grams ready to roll icing
  2. Green sugar paste
  3. Red sugar paste
  4. Icing sugar
  5. 50 ml water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is creamy.
  3. Next add the eggs and mix through well.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Finally mix through the water and butter milk until you have an even mixture.
  6. Place the two halves of the cake pop mould tray on the baking tray side by side, you are going to fill both halves with cake mix.
  7. Spray or grease the cake pop moulds and spoon the mixture in evenly, each pop mould takes approximately 2 tsp of cake mix.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking tray from the oven and allow them to cool for five minutes.
  10. Move the buns onto a cooling rack and leave to cool fully.
  11. Whilst you are waiting for the buns to cool, take a large handful of ready to roll icing and colour it green by adding drops of green sugar paste to the icing with a cocktail stick. Knead rather than fold the icing, this helps the colour to spread evenly.
  12. Next you need to dust a dry clean surface with icing sugar, and then you can roll out the green icing. Use the holly shaped fondant cutter to cut out 80 small pieces of holly. Leave to rest on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  13. Now you need to make the white icing. Add 50 ml of water to a small bowl and add icing sugar through a small sieve stirring continuously until you have a thick white icing paste.
  14. Add a small dollop of the white icing to the top of each bun.
  15. Next take the cut out pieces of holly and place one on top of each bun.
  16. Add some ruby sugar paste to the left over icing and stir through until you have a nice bright red colour.
  17. Using a cocktail stick add some small drops of the red icing to the centre of the holly on each bun.
  18. Leave to set and you are ready to eat them!
Notes
  1. I could only fit 40 at a time in my oven so the cooking time was 15 minutes per batch cooked, giving a total of 30 minutes cooking time.
Equipment you will need
  1. Large mixing bowl
  2. Electric mixer and spatula
  3. Cake pop mould
  4. Baking sheet
  5. Cooling rack
  6. Small bowl
  7. Fork
  8. Holly shaped fondant cutter
  9. Palette knife
  10. Small rolling pin
  11. Cocktail sticks
  12. 80 mini bun cases
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

Once the mini Christmas pudding buns were out of the way it was time for me to make a start on decorating the family Christmas cake. My littlest niece is obsessed with Disney’s Frozen and although we are a little late to this party in the Mummy Whiskers household we have fallen in love with the Frozen movie so I decided that the Christmas cake this year needed to be a Frozen theme.

I have included a step by step guide on how I decorated the cake in the recipe card below.

 

Disney Frozen Christmas Cake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. Fruit cake about 8 inch diameter
  2. 50 ml water
  3. 5 tbsp seedless jam (I used strawberry)
  4. 500 grams marzipan
  5. 1 kg ready to roll icing
  6. Ice blue sugar paste
  7. Orange sugar paste
  8. Black icing tube for writing
  9. Icing sugar powder
  10. 2 tbsp water
  11. Silver edible glitter
  12. 1 mint matchmaker chocolate or something similar that you have around the house
Instructions
  1. In a small pan heat up the 50 ml of water and the jam.
  2. Place the fruit cake on the cake board and place on top of the decorating turnstile.
  3. Now, learn from my mistake, have a brush to paste this jam mix onto the cake, don’t use a palette knife like I did. It is very messy! Anyway, coat the top and sides of the fruit cake.
  4. Next dust a large flat surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan.
  5. Use the large rolling pin to pick up the sheet of marzipan and place over the cake. Use the palm of your hands to smooth the marzipan, working from the top of the cake, then down the sides.
  6. Use the sharp knife to cut the excess marzipan away.
  7. Next you will need to brush some water over the marzipan; I just used my fingers for this. It helps the icing to stick to the marzipan.
  8. So, once again with a large flat surface dust some icing sugar, roll out two thirds of the icing and once again use a large rolling pin to lift this sheet of icing onto the cake.
  9. Use the palm of your hands to smooth the icing, starting at the top and working down the sides and over the cake board. I made sure the sides of the cake board were covered too, and then using a sharp knife cut away the excess.
  10. Now you need to mix up some icing sugar paste in a small bowl, I just add a little water then sprinkle the icing sugar into the bowl with a small sieve. Keep stirring with a fork and keep adding more icing sugar until you have a very thick glue mixture. You will now use this to “glue” the ribbon around the sides of the cake board. Cut away any excess ribbon, there shouldn’t be much though.
  11. So, onto the fun bit, take half of the remaining icing and colour it pale ice blue, kneading not squeezing. Make sure the colour is even then dust a surface with icing sugar and roll it out.
  12. Now use the alphabet cutters to cut out letters to spell out “Do you wanna build a snowman”. Using the snowflake fondant cutters cut out five large snowflakes and seven small snowflakes.
  13. Using water stick the five large snowflakes evenly in a circle around the top of the cake, then do the same between the large snowflakes with five of the small snowflakes.
  14. Take the letters that you cut out and using water stick them onto the icing around the side of the cake. Use the last two small snowflakes to fill the gap around the side at the end of the sentence.
  15. Now we need to make Olaf, hopefully you are more artistic than me as mine looks a little strange! Anyway, using the white icing build a snowman; two round parts for the body, and an oval shape for his head.
  16. Use the straw to poke through the body parts to stack them, then cut the excess straw, but leave a little bit behind to pop the head on.
  17. Using the black icing pen, draw on his eyes; eye brows; a smile and the buttons. Using the paint brush, colour his nose orange. Finally using chopped pieces of the mint matchmaker chocolate, stick two pieces in his body, one at either side for his arms and a little piece on top of his head for his hair.
  18. Rub a little water onto the centre of the cake and place Olaf on top.
  19. Finally dust some silver edible glitter over the snowflakes and writing and you are done!
Equipment you will need
  1. Cake decorating turn table
  2. Cake board 10 inch
  3. Large rolling pin
  4. Small rolling pin
  5. Small sieve
  6. Palette knife
  7. Sharp knife
  8. Large snowflake shape fondant cutter
  9. Small snowflake shape fondant cutter
  10. Drinking straw
  11. Scissors
  12. Thin paint brush
  13. Cocktail sticks
  14. Small glass of water
  15. Fork
  16. 1 meter of ice blue ribbon about 1 cm thickness
  17. Alphabet fondant cutters
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

What are you doing at the moment to prepare for Christmas? Do you decorate a Christmas cake for Christmas day? I would love to hear about your cake designs and would really love to see them, why not send a photo of your Christmas cake to the Mummy Whiskers Facebook page?

 

Mini Christmas pudding buns

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This recipe is part of a shop, preparing for Christmas 2014, that was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are that of members of the Mummy Whiskers household and mine alone. #CampaignHashtag #CollectiveBias

 

Mini Christmas pudding buns are what I decided on making for G’s first Preschool Christmas party, they are little buns for little people so it seemed to be a good idea. Let’s face it as a foodie blogger I couldn’t not put my name down for cakes and buns on the list, that would have been the ultimate sin!

To get the perfect round Christmas pudding shape I opted to bake the buns in a cake pop mould, I added them to mini bun cases once they had fully cooled down and were ready to be decorated. 

Here is the recipe and directions for decorating. If you try this recipe please let me know what you thought, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you and if you liked them. If you have any photos feel free to share them on my Facebook page too, I would love to see your Christmas baking creations!

Mini Christmas pudding buns
Serves 80
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
For the buns
  1. 225 grams butter
  2. 225 grams golden caster sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 tsp baking powder
  5. 185 grams self raising flour, sieved
  6. 40 grams good quality cocoa powder, sieved
  7. 3 tbsp water
  8. 3 tbsp butter milk
  9. Cake release spray or butter for greasing
For the decoration
  1. 200 grams ready to roll icing
  2. Green sugar paste
  3. Red sugar paste
  4. Icing sugar
  5. 50 ml water
To bake the buns
  1. Preheat the oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is creamy.
  3. Next add the eggs and mix through well.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Finally mix through the water and butter milk until you have an even mixture.
  6. Place the two halves of the cake pop mould tray on the baking tray side by side, you are going to fill both halves with cake mix.
  7. Spray or grease the cake pop moulds and spoon the mixture in evenly, each pop mould takes approximately 2 tsp of cake mix.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking tray from the oven and allow them to cool for five minutes.
  10. Move the buns onto a cooling rack and leave to cool fully.
To decorate the buns
  1. Whilst you are waiting for the buns to cool, take a large handful of ready to roll icing and colour it green by adding drops of green sugar paste to the icing with a cocktail stick. Knead rather than fold the icing, this helps the colour to spread evenly.
  2. Next you need to dust a dry clean surface with icing sugar, and then you can roll out the green icing. Use the holly shaped fondant cutter to cut out 80 small pieces of holly. Leave to rest on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  3. Now you need to make the white icing. Add 50 ml of water to a small bowl and add icing sugar through a small sieve stirring continuously until you have a thick white icing paste.
  4. Add a small dollop of the white icing to the top of each bun.
  5. Next take the cut out pieces of holly and place one on top of each bun.
  6. Add some ruby sugar paste to the left over icing and stir through until you have a nice bright red colour.
  7. Using a cocktail stick add some small drops of the red icing to the centre of the holly on each bun.
  8. Leave to set and you are ready to eat them!
Notes
  1. I could only fit 40 at a time in my oven so the cooking time was 15 minutes per batch cooked, giving a total of 30 minutes cooking time.
Equipment you will need
  1. Large mixing bowl
  2. Electric mixer and spatula
  3. Cake pop mould
  4. Baking sheet
  5. Cooling rack
  6. Small bowl
  7. Fork
  8. Holly shaped fondant cutter
  9. Palette knife
  10. Small rolling pin
  11. Cocktail sticks
  12. 80 mini bun cases
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

What do you make for Christmas parties? I would love to hear about your recipe ideas in the comments below. 

 

Casa Costello

Disney Frozen Christmas cake

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This recipe is part of a shop, preparing for Christmas 2014, that was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are that of members of the Mummy Whiskers household and mine alone. #CampaignHashtag #CollectiveBias

 

I have to confess that I am a bit late to the Frozen party, we watched it for the first time two weeks ago while G was poorly. I can now confirm that we have joined the Frozen frenzy and we love it! G especially loves Olaf the snowman and as my littlest niece also loves Frozen I have decided to decorate this year’s Christmas cake as a Disney Frozen Christmas cake.

Every year I make the Christmas cakes with my Mum using my Nanna’s recipe, it’s our tradition and it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we have made them. I’m afraid I can’t share the cake recipe with you, it’s not mine to share and it holds a special place in my family’s heart so it will be staying there. But I am going to show you how I decorated the cake, with a step by step guide that I will try to make as straight forward as possible!

 

 I won’t keep you waiting any longer, the details on how I decorated this cake are in the recipe card below:

 

Disney Frozen Christmas Cake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. Fruit cake about 8 inch diameter
  2. 50 ml water
  3. 5 tbsp seedless jam (I used strawberry)
  4. 500 grams marzipan
  5. 1 kg ready to roll icing
  6. Ice blue sugar paste
  7. Orange sugar paste
  8. Black icing tube for writing
  9. Icing sugar powder
  10. 2 tbsp water
  11. Silver edible glitter
  12. 1 mint matchmaker chocolate or something similar that you have around the house
Instructions
  1. In a small pan heat up the 50 ml of water and the jam.
  2. Place the fruit cake on the cake board and place on top of the decorating turnstile.
  3. Now, learn from my mistake, have a brush to paste this jam mix onto the cake, don’t use a palette knife like I did. It is very messy! Anyway, coat the top and sides of the fruit cake.
  4. Next dust a large flat surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan.
  5. Use the large rolling pin to pick up the sheet of marzipan and place over the cake. Use the palm of your hands to smooth the marzipan, working from the top of the cake, then down the sides.
  6. Use the sharp knife to cut the excess marzipan away.
  7. Next you will need to brush some water over the marzipan; I just used my fingers for this. It helps the icing to stick to the marzipan.
  8. So, once again with a large flat surface dust some icing sugar, roll out two thirds of the icing and once again use a large rolling pin to lift this sheet of icing onto the cake.
  9. Use the palm of your hands to smooth the icing, starting at the top and working down the sides and over the cake board. I made sure the sides of the cake board were covered too, and then using a sharp knife cut away the excess.
  10. Now you need to mix up some icing sugar paste in a small bowl, I just add a little water then sprinkle the icing sugar into the bowl with a small sieve. Keep stirring with a fork and keep adding more icing sugar until you have a very thick glue mixture. You will now use this to “glue” the ribbon around the sides of the cake board. Cut away any excess ribbon, there shouldn’t be much though.
  11. So, onto the fun bit, take half of the remaining icing and colour it pale ice blue, kneading not squeezing. Make sure the colour is even then dust a surface with icing sugar and roll it out.
  12. Now use the alphabet cutters to cut out letters to spell out “Do you wanna build a snowman”. Using the snowflake fondant cutters cut out five large snowflakes and seven small snowflakes.
  13. Using water stick the five large snowflakes evenly in a circle around the top of the cake, then do the same between the large snowflakes with five of the small snowflakes.
  14. Take the letters that you cut out and using water stick them onto the icing around the side of the cake. Use the last two small snowflakes to fill the gap around the side at the end of the sentence.
  15. Now we need to make Olaf, hopefully you are more artistic than me as mine looks a little strange! Anyway, using the white icing build a snowman; two round parts for the body, and an oval shape for his head.
  16. Use the straw to poke through the body parts to stack them, then cut the excess straw, but leave a little bit behind to pop the head on.
  17. Using the black icing pen, draw on his eyes; eye brows; a smile and the buttons. Using the paint brush, colour his nose orange. Finally using chopped pieces of the mint matchmaker chocolate, stick two pieces in his body, one at either side for his arms and a little piece on top of his head for his hair.
  18. Rub a little water onto the centre of the cake and place Olaf on top.
  19. Finally dust some silver edible glitter over the snowflakes and writing and you are done!
Equipment you will need
  1. Cake decorating turn table
  2. Cake board 10 inch
  3. Large rolling pin
  4. Small rolling pin
  5. Small sieve
  6. Palette knife
  7. Sharp knife
  8. Large snowflake shape fondant cutter
  9. Small snowflake shape fondant cutter
  10. Drinking straw
  11. Scissors
  12. Thin paint brush
  13. Cocktail sticks
  14. Small glass of water
  15. Fork
  16. 1 meter of ice blue ribbon about 1 cm thickness
  17. Alphabet fondant cutters
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

 

Do you decorate a Christmas cake every year for the family? I would love to know what wonderful festive creations you have come up with. Please feel free to tell me about them in the comments below, you could even send a photo of your masterpiece to my Facebook page and we could start a collection of Christmas cakes going.

 

 

Casa Costello

20141001_173049

Mere Park Sizzling Pub Blackpool

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Eating out with the family whilst on holiday can be quite expensive and a stressful experience too, finding places to eat with children that are clean and serve good quality food for reasonable prices isn’t easy. Whilst we were in Blackpool we visited the Mere Park Sizzling Pub Blackpool for a family meal, our aim was to see how affordable and easy it would be to eat out as a family in a Sizzling pub.

On arrival we found a table very easily, the whole pub was really clean, especially the high chairs which I was pleased about as this can be a pet hate of mine using high chairs that haven’t been cleaned properly.

The staff were wonderful, so polite and friendly, they were also really good with G, talking to him and including him in conversations, I thought it was really nice that they made time for the children at the tables too rather than just talking to the adults.

We didn’t have starters are we weren’t overly hungry, so we went straight to the mains.

 

Quorn Lasagne

I had the Quorn lasagne which came with a salad, I was really pleased to find a Quorn dish on the menu, and I really love Quorn but don’t often find it available when eating out. It was delicious, a perfectly sized portion and really very tasty.

 

Pork Bonanza

S had the Pork bonanza which was BBQ glazed ribs, sausages, BBQ pulled pork and a gammon steak with chips, onion rings and coleslaw. WOW this was a massive serving! S loved it though, he said it was the best meal he had had in a long while.

 

Fish Goujons

G had fish goujons and chips; he ate pretty much most of what was on the plate, which was a lot of food, so I think that is a pretty good sign of how good it was!

 

 

As for desserts they are fantastic at the Sizzlers Pubs and very affordable too so there is no excuse to skip dessert.

 

Caramel Apple Crumble

S had the caramel apple crumble with custard, one of his favourite puddings. S has always loved the desserts at Sizzling Pubs and this one was certainly no exception!

 

Honeycomb Explosion Sundae

I had the honeycomb explosion sundae which was quite simply delicious, there isn’t really much else to say other than that the desserts are fantastic value for money and very generously sized portions.

 

Custard Face

G had the custard face pudding, a bowl full of warm custard topped with chocolate sauce and Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate buttons. He could not have been happier with his dessert; in fact I wouldn’t have minded it myself!

 

We had a wonderful family meal and will definitely be going back again, the staff are wonderful and I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality.

If you want to find out where your nearest Sizzling Pub is or take a look at the full menu then visit their website here. You can also follow Sizzling Pubs on Facebook or follow @SizzlingPubs on Twitter to find out about their latest offers and deals.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary meal at the Mere Park Sizzling Pub in Blackpool for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

 

 

Degustabox1

October Degustabox

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I’m a little bit late with my review of the October Degustabox due to G being very ill throughout the month, but here it is, finally! Personally I thought the October box was fantastic with a great range of foods included. So here we go:

 

Special K Cracker Crisps RRP £1.29

We received a sharing bag (80 grams), barbecue flavour. I love these as they are a great alternative to crisps for those that enjoy savoury snacks. I personally have a bit of an addiction to crisps so found these really helpful for keeping me on track with my diet last month whilst still getting my savoury snack fix.

 

Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce RRP £1.39 each X 2

Well it’s almost like Degustabox read my mind this month! For years now there has always been a bottle of Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce in my fridge, I have this delicious dipping sauce with everything, chips, burgers, crackers, garlic bread, pizza, everything. I adore sweet chilli sauce but have never used it in a recipe before for cooking, so I decided to change that last month and I made Quorn Pesto and Chilli Tart, using Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce of course and it came out really well so I will be making that more often!

 

Get Buzzing Flapjack Bar RRP £1.30

We received the original nutty bar which I shared with G, he is a nightmare for eating fruit but he loved this bar, in fact he was fighting with me for it so I didn’t get much myself. From the little amount that I managed to grab it was delicious and filling, a very healthy alternative to snacking bars and sweets.

 

Enhance Drinks RRP £2.49

I have seen these little flavour enhancers around the shops recently but never actually bought any, I was never really sure what to think about them and tend to drink water anyway. Recently though I have found it difficult to buy sugar free drinks for G that are healthy when we are out and about and with G having a strong dislike of plain water on most days I find keeping his drinks healthy a challenge. So I decided to give this cute little bottle a try, we had the orange and passion fruit flavour which was really tasty! It’s nice and small so easy to keep in your handbag or changing bag and has made my life a lot easier when I go out with G. Now I can just buy him a glass or bottle of water, add a few drops of flavour enhancer and he is happy, so am I actually as I use it myself sometimes too so I will be sure to keep buying these.

 

Kent’s Kitchen Meal Kit RRP £2.50

We received the Bengal meal kit which is a 1, 2, 3 meal kit consisting of Bengal paste, Bengal spices and garlic infused oil. All I needed to do was add some diced meat / Quorn; coconut milk and fresh mint and coriander. This kit serves two to four people and only takes 20 minutes to cook. It’s perfect for a tasty midweek meal when time is against you.

 

SOLO Toasted Marshmallow Crème RRP £1.99

WOW, just WOW! I have never been a fan of marshmallow spreads, but this toasted marshmallow crème is so tasty and not at all sickly as you would have expected. I love it on crumpets for a sweet treat!

 

Dr Oetker Premium 90% Extra Dark Chocolate RRP £2.49

Every baking fanatic out there will know that only the finest, top quality chocolate will do and Dr Oetker is by far a brand that I always trust. I am so sad to say that with all the illness this month I haven’t managed to bake any chocolaty delights, but I will do soon.

 

Bear Paws RRP £0.55

Pure fruit dried and shaped like bear paws, very cute and tasty. I found these a great way to disguise fruit for G and he thinks he is having a treat. I eat them myself, they are really tasty and I find them great for popping into G’s bento lunch box. I recently added them to Bento lunch #2.

 

Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder RRP £1.89

Perfect for baking chocolate sponges and puddings, another excellent quality product from the awesome Dr Oetker!

 

Brioche Pasquier Sliced Loaf RRP £1.69

We love brioche in this house, there is always some sort of brioche bread in the bread bin. I decided last month to make a bread and butter type pudding with the brioche loaf from the Degustabox, although I have never liked bread and butter pudding. In an attempt to change my feelings towards bread and butter pudding and to be more festive I made a Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding. Well I never expected it to turn out this well, it was amazing and everyone loved it.

 

Jelly Belly RRP £2.50

G was rather thrilled to see a big bag of jelly beans in the box last month, despite been ill this really cheered him up and he enjoyed munching on them once he started to feel better. G can’t talk much yet but if you want an idea of how good they are, he wouldn’t share, at all!

 

Brioche Pasquier Pain Au Lait With Chocolate Chips RRP £1.60

As always these have to be our favourite type of brioche, they didn’t last very long, they were eaten so fast I couldn’t even get a photo!

 

Degustabox Fridge Benecol Greek Style Yogurts

October saw a voucher to try the new Benecol Greek style yogurts, Benecol is a well know brand providing products that help to lower cholesterol. With that in mind I gave these to my mum to try, she isn’t much of a yogurt fan but really enjoyed these.

 

Bear Alphabites

We received a sample gift last month from Degustabox, a sample box of Bear Alphabites. We have previously tried these with Degustabox and love them. They are a tasty and healthy cereal choice for kids. Although I also use them in G’s lunch box, you can see them in use in G’s Bento Lunchbox No 2.

 

Over all October was a fantastic month for Degustabox, my favourite item been the toasted marshmallow crème, something I never expected to love so much.

If you want to try a Degustabox yourself I have a unique discount code, simple add 7IPSI at checkout. You can see the full details of how the Degustabox works on their website here, you can also follow Degustabox UK on Facebook or follow @DegustaboxUK on Twitter for their latest news and offers.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Degustabox2

Bento Lunch 2

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I have finally got around to sharing another bento lunch box with you; G was very ill for most of October and some of November so hasn’t been eating much and missed a lot of Preschool. Anyway he is back now and feeling much better so I have finally got around to writing up bento lunch 2.

Last month I received a sample present in the October Degustabox; it was a box of Bear Alphabites cereal. G loves these and will eat them dry as a grazing snack so I have started to add them to his bento lunch box for Preschool some days. We also received a packet of Bear Paws, dried fruit shaped into paws to make it more fun an appealing to children. The Bear Paws are delicious, I love eating them myself too!

So here we have our bento lunch box no 2!

 

Foods Included:

~ Bear Alphabites cereal, roughly a handful.

~ Bear Paws dried fruit pieces, small handful.

~ Cheddar cheese cut into flower shapes.

~ Cream cheese sandwiches cut into bite-sized squares.

~ Apple flavour rice cakes, about four or five.

~ Small piece of home-made fudge.

 

Needless to say this bento lunch box came home from Preschool empty, G really enjoyed it!

I have yet to be brake and include decorative forks into G’s bento lunch box; I’m worried he is a bit too young for them still or that he might lose them at Preschool.

What do you pack in your child’s bento lunch box? Or do you have a bento lunch box for yourself? I’d love to hear how you pack up lunches.

 

 

Broiche3

Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding

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I’ve never been a fan of bread and butter puddings but when I received a brioche loaf in last month’s Degustabox I decided it was time to try something.  Thinking of alternatives that would make this more appealing to me I can up with adding Irish Cream Liquor, one of my favourite drinks, so I made a Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding. Would a Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding turn out successful?

I used a large ceramic dish to make this and it served six, with custard. This pudding has changed my opinion of bread and butter pudding forever, it is delicious! Probably very fattening, I did calculate the ProPoints value for my Weight Watchers diet, this came in at 8 ProPoints per serving, not too bad really. Should I even be confessing on here that I ate it? Oops!

Well the Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding was a huge hit, empty bowls all around! The remark from S was “when are you making this again?” Yes, this means I have got it right, even Big Brother and Mum enjoyed it and want me to make it again. I can safely say it was worth the 8 ProPoints too!

So here is the recipe, give it a try and see what you think. If you have a minute spare please review my recipe below too.

Equipment:

~ Large baking dish

~ wide jug for mixing

~ Hand whisk

 

Brioche and Irish Cream Pudding
Serves 6
For Weight Watchers this pudding works out at 8 ProPoints per serving.
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. 8 Slices of brioche Pasquier Brioche
  2. 50g Light butter
  3. 50g Milk chocolate chips
  4. 2 tbsp sweetener
  5. 100ml Elmlea double light
  6. 200ml Irish cream
  7. 1 medium egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180, 160 for fan assisted or gas mark 4.
  2. Grease a large baking dish with a little spray of oil.
  3. Butter both sides of each slice of brioche and cut each slice in half.
  4. In a jug whisk together the egg, Elmlea cream, Irish cream and sweetener.
  5. Add a layer of the brioche to the baking dish; sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over the brioche then repeat with the remaining brioche and chocolate chips.
  6. Next pour the cream mixture evenly over the brioche.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes; making sure the pudding is browned well.
  8. Serve with custard.
Mummy Whiskers http://mummywhiskers.co.uk/

Link up your recipe of the week

20141114_105443

Trunki ToddlePak Reins

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As part of our new role as Trunki Testers we were recently sent the new Trunki ToddlePak Reins, we chose the yellow ones because G loves lions (or Raa Raa’s) as he calls them!

At first sight the ToddlePak Reins looked complicated but once we unpacked them it was clear to see they were very simple to use. I have listed the key features of the ToddlePak below so you can see them clearly:

~ Unique safety clip which makes it very easy to adjust the shoulder straps and waist band easily and all at once.

~ Reflective detail which is very important at this time of year now that it is getting dark so early.

~ Combined reins, training rein and leading rein for when your toddler gets older and needs the extra length to gain freedom.

~ Comfort from the padding which is very important, honestly would you wear it yourself if it wasn’t comfortable?

 

We have used reins for G since he started walking at around 15 months old, so he is very much used to them. We have tried a few different types but the ToddlePak is by far the best one that we have used. We first gave the ToddlePak a test run when we visited Eureka! a few weeks ago, we went straight to the leading reins as G is two and a half. He loves the lion design and the bright colours; he was also happy with the front fitting and was very willing to help put the ToddlePak on. Within a matter of seconds he was securely fastened into the reins and they were adjusted to fit comfortable.

I found that because the lead fastens to both sides of the harness this gives G more balance if he tries to run off and pulls on the lead. I also found that when he did have a toddler meltdown that I could prevent him from hitting the ground hard as the strength in the lead due to is been fastened at both sides meant it helped to keep him up.

I also use the harness without the lead when G needs strapping into the buggy or a high chair, I’m sure I’m not the only one with a Houdini toddler on my hands am I?! I simply weave the straps of the high chair or buggy through the ToddlePak harness and ta-dah! He is securely strapped in.

So I’ve listed below some of the reasons why I love the ToddlePak for you:

~ The padding in the harness which makes it so comfortable to wear.

~ The lovely bright colours and choice of animal designs, not just because I love them but G loves them too!

~ The reflective detail, I’m always safety conscious!

~ The ease and simplicity of fastening and adjusting the reins.

~ How the lead fastens on at both sides rather than just in the centre of the back.

~ How easy it is to wipe clean the reins, toddlers are messy creatures after all!

 

I could go on forever, there is so much that I love about the ToddlePak! We have taken them everywhere with us since first trying them out, I am so tempted to buy one set in each animal design because they are all so cute! The ToddlePak is priced at £17.99 and worth every single penny!

You can check out the full range on the Trunki website here. You can also follow Trunki on Facebook or follow @Trunki on Twitter to find out about their latest offers and at the moment they have a 12 days of Christmas competition running! If you do buy a ToddlePak or two why not share your photos or videos with Trunki on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram or Google+?

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the Trunki ToddlePak Reins 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

Halo-Chips

Breville Halo+ Health Fryer

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I was very excited to be chosen by Britmums to be one of the lucky bloggers to receive a Breville Halo+ Health Fryer to review. All my dreams had come true, I finally had the chance to make low fat chips and stay on plan with my diet! I love chips but since going on a diet I scrapped the deep fat fryer and after finding that oven chips just didn’t cut it, I gave up on chips, it was a sad day.

The dark days are gone now because the Halo+ makes delicious chips with only one tablespoon of oil, it’s amazing, so amazing that I found myself stood in the kitchen watching it work its magic on the home-made chips, needless to say S was becoming worried about my mental state as I kept shouting for him to come in the kitchen and watch the Halo + with me.

Well hello there...
Well hello there…

I’m afraid to say I didn’t manage to take a decent photo of the chips to show you; firstly it was late evening and our first night back home from the hospital with a very poorly G so the lighting was bad. But if I’m honest, as we were sat half way through eating our chip butties it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken any photos of the chips. Oops!

For me thought the Halo+ really came into its own when I started to use it as a grill through the week. Just ten minutes on dual heat and I had the perfect crumpets, heaven!

Heavenly crumpets
Heavenly crumpets

We had pasta one evening so I chopped a fresh garlic baguette in half and added both halves to the Halo+; cooked for ten minutes on dual heat and we had the most delicious garlic bread.

Perfect garlic bread
Perfect garlic bread

What I really love about using the Halo+ as a grill is that you don’t need to wait for it to warm up; I honestly don’t think I will ever use my regular grill again; it takes a good fifteen minutes to warm up before you can cook anything.

Finally earlier tonight I made home-made tortilla chips and salsa hummus for the tea party at Big Brother’s house, they turned out perfectly and you can read the full recipe here.

Mmm tortilla chips!
Mmm tortilla chips!

I found the Halo+ to be so versatile; it also includes a roasting rack, perfect for meats. The tilt feature is great especially for cooking chips or tortilla chips and the grill is amazing, but I’ve already told you that.

One thing I never imagined I would be able to do with the Halo+ is bake, but you can. I will be trying out cupcakes in the Halo+ very soon so watch this space.

Retailing at £169.99 I would honestly say it is worth its weight in gold, especially considering the grill, it is much more energy efficient that my oven / grill.

You can see the full details on the Breville website here; you can also follow Breville UK on Facebook, @brevilleUK on Twitter or check out their Pinterest board for inspiration.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the Breville Halo+ Health Fryer for the purposes of this review. I am working with Britmums and Breville in relation to this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.