Featured Posts

Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

Read more

Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

Read more

Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

Read more

A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

Read more

Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

Read more

Pancake Day Recipes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 05-02-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

0

With a week to go until Pancake Day you may well have started thinking about what sort of pancakes you’re going to make. I know a lot of people I follow on Twitter use Pancake Day as an excuse to eat pancakes at every meal – and good on you if you do – but in our house we usually tend to just have them as dessert in the evening, though I may be open to persuasion.

Fresh ingredients are key to a good pancake – I don’t just fancy the bottles of ready mixed batter personally! – but you also need a good frying pan and a good turner. When I cook pancakes I use a good flexible silicone turner, generally as thin as I can to ensure I don’t leave half the pancake in the pan. I’ve never been brave enough to try tossing them – I fear for the floor! I like the look of this one from from Oxo – nice thin edges with a big surface area.

Your frying pan should ideally be non-stick to avoid any disasters. This Pancake Pan from Typhoon is perfect. Its 28 cm diameter gives you plenty of space to create nice big pancakes, and because its made from carbon steel the heat spreads evenly so it cooks quickly. It can be used on all cooker tops and can even be put in the oven if you use it for frying anything else. The pan and handle are one piece of metal so you need to use a handle holder or wear oven gloves when you’re handling it. The oven gloves which are actually gloves are ideal for this as they give you good grips and excellent control.

So you’ve got your kit and you’ve made a stack of pancakes – how are going to fill them? Well these are my two favourite recipes from Philadelphia – one savoury and one sweet – which you should try out on Pancake Day next week. Enjoy!

Vegetable Pancakes

Ingredients
350g mixed vegetables like baby corn, baby carrots and mange toute.
150g Philadelphia Light with Chives
3tbsp semi-skimmed milk
Black pepper
Mixed Salad to serve

 

 

Instructions

Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and steam or microwave for about 5-8 minutes until tender.

Heat the Philadelphia with the milk – don’t let it boil – and then mix with the vegetables and pepper.

Fill each pancake with the mixture and serve with a salad.

Alternative: Add pieces of cooked chicken from your Sunday roast to the Philadelphia when you’re warming it.

 

Choccy Philly Strawberry Pancakes

How delicious does that look?
Simply spread Philadelphia with Cadbury onto each warm pancake and decorate with slices of fresh strawberries. If you’re feeling really decadent – and I hugely suggest you do – you could also add a dribble of cream to this too. I think this recipe is going to prove VERY popular in my house next week, especially with Little Man who loves chocolate and strawberries.

 

 

 

Have a great Pancake Day!

Making Christmas Easier With Asda

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Foodie, Information | Posted on 17-12-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

We all want to create a magical Christmas this year for our families, and especially our children. Hopefully you have all got your presents bought – and no doubt some of your efficient enough to have them wrapped as well – and houses are probably decorated too. The thing I find that needs the most organisation after the complications of what to buy people, is food.

We have a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, lots of vegetables, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and stuffing. There’s usually some bread sauce and cranberry sauce too. Dessert is never a problem as Grandma always ensures we have trifle – the best EVER – and meringues to go with and cake, mince pies and pudding that there may be too. As you can see, food is a big part of Christmas.

Little Man is also a big part of Christmas, and this year as he’s so much more aware of whats going on, and beginning to recognise Santa and understanding what presents are, I don’t want to be spending all Christmas Day in the kitchen. I want to be spending it with my family, and my most important member, my son. So this year I’m going for a nice easy Christmas, without scrimping on quality. I want to be able to pop things in the oven as necessary, but not spend hours preparing and watching over the oven or the hobs as things cook.

This Christmas I am relying entirely on Asda, and I know I wont be disappointed.

Firstly my turkey is coming from there. A nice sized turkey, enough to feed four adults and a toddler on Christmas Day and then give us some leftovers for the next few days. My fresh turkey from Asda’s Butchers Selection is costing £18 which I think is pretty reasonable for the size of it, and for the fact its fresh, not frozen. The turkey will be pimped up a little with some butter which I’ll be placing between the skin and the meat to make it nice and moist, and I’ll probably stick a couple of clementines inside to add to the flavour. Nothing too fancy. This should take about 2 and a half hours to cook, depending on weight of course, and hopefully I’ll be able to cook this then leave it to rest for an hour or so whilst I get the accompaniments cooked.

Next up is a mountain of vegetables. I want to make sure there’s a good variety of vegetables – mostly due to the epic quantities of cake and chocolate which will be coming later – but I don’t want to be wasting precious time peeling, chopping, slicing, and prepping. You could be uber efficient and prepare your vegetables in advance and pop them in the freezer to bring out the night before – and I do know a few of you have done that already and I salute you. Me? I’m going for the lazy approach and using Asda’s Extra Special Prepared Vegetables this year. There is a great range to choose from and I’ve ordered four packets – 2 packs for £4 is the offer on at the moment – which should keep us all happy. On my table this year you’ll find Baby Parsnips with Parmesan Crumb, Baby Sprouts & Bacon with Sage Butter, Slowly Braised Red Cabbage with Apple & Cranberry, and Clementine Roasting Vegetables. The vegetables take between 30 and 50 minutes in the oven to cook, you literally just pop them in there. The Sprouts are even more efficient and take just 5 minutes in the microwave or a quick fry on the hob. More than likely I’ll peel and boil a few carrots for Little Man who is a bit carrot obsessed, but that should be the height of my effort this year.

I am cooking my Roast Potatoes myself, despite the temptation to buy those ready to roast too. This year though we are using Asda’s Extra Special Rudolph Potatoes. These have a distinctive red skin – hence the name – and are perfect for roasting. I’ll be parboiling them, some with skins on and some without, and then roasting in goose fat for about an hour. I’m still debating mash too, and also debating whether it’ll be made by me, or Asda. Rudolph Potatoes come in 1.5kg bags for £1.75 and you can get two 220g jars of Extra Special Goose Fat for £4.

When it comes to drinks those too are coming straight from Asda. I recently attended a wine tasting event organised by Asda. This was great fun, but also the perfect opportunity to discover new wines, and decide precisely what would be on my table this year. I’m a big fan of white wine, and despite many attempts I’m not keen on red, so there will be plenty of white in my house this year. Being drunk in my house this Christmas will be Asda’s Extra Special Prosecco – perfect for the party season and a bargain at just £6.48 a bottle – the French Etoile De Nuit Sauvignon Blanc, and a tasty Spanish bottle of Alba Rino. No doubt these will be getting drunk with Christmas dinner, but also enjoyed later that evening with a few tasty snacks. I advise you all to go and buy a few boxes of All Butter Gruyere & Poppy Seed Twists to nibble on. My newest addiction.

So Christmas this year for my family is definitely an Asda one, but its going to be affordable, easy and above all else tasty. For me, there is nothing better than a great family Christmas, and because of Asda, I’ll be able to enjoy one. Happy Christmas.

Product Review: Riverford Medium Vegetable Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-12-2011

Tags: , , , , ,

3

If you follow me on Twitter (@SussexMummy) then you may recall a couple of weeks ago I was asking about the organic vegetable boxes you can get delivered by a variety of companies. Abel & Cole and Riverford are the main ones I’ve heard of so I was trying to gauge opinion on them both. I must admit that people are pretty much divided on who is the best! The person behind Riverford’s Twitter feed contacted me and offered to send me one of there’s to sample and review – now who would say no to that?

Riverford was born in Devon after Guy Watson began delivering vegetable boxes to around 30 of his local friends. Nowadays Riverford – with the help of its delivery team and its regional farmers – delivers approximately 40,000 boxes per week.  As well as providing delicious organic vegetable boxes, Riverford also offers fruit, meat, salad, milk, eggs, bread and all manner of food items direct to you front door.

Here’s the medium sized vegetable box we received:

A medium vegetable box is designed to feed 3-4 people and comes with 10 varieties of vegetable, generally always having potatoes, carrots and onions. The contents change with the seasons and the availability, and so the week we got a box we received potatoes, carrots, onions, vine tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, Jerusalem artichokes and leeks. Now there are two adults, one 1 year old, and two fat guinea pigs in our house and the box has lasted us two full weeks. Obviously how long it lasts will depend on your cooking style and the appetite of the people in your house.

The difference in taste and flavour of the vegetables from what I usually buy in my weekly supermarket shop was phenomenal. Something as simple and basic as a carrot tasted totally different. When I’m preparing vegetables for cooking I’m always snacking on it as I peel and chop. That one taste of a slice of raw carrot had me converted instantly. Whilst I still buy supermarket vegetables for my guinea pigs – they need a constant supply of green beans – I won’t buy it for the family any more. A fortnightly medium box will be getting delivered to me from now on. In fact only yesterday I placed my order for a box for next week – Christmas is going to be very tasty and healthy… kind of! The contents are already listed on the Riverford website and we’re getting parsnips, cabbage, sprouts and more.

With Riverford I know its organic and I know its fresh. With each delivery I get a leaflet telling me how to store my vegetables and some handy recipes using the contents of my box. What I loved about the recipes was that they don’t just include one vegetable, they include multiple to ensure you use up the contents of your box. The Riverford website is also bursting with more recipes. If you get anything you don’t recognise or know what to do with – I did get a bit stuck with my Jerusalem artichokes but thankfully Grandma was on hand to cook them for me – you can give them a ring and they’ll help you out.

Go to the Riverford website now to order your Christmas Vegetable Box – they come in a variety of sizes so you’re bound to find one that suits you and your families needs – or any other of their delicious produce.