Sunday, July 27

A Quorn Cookery Class

Last week I was invited to attend a Quorn cookery class in London.  Now I'm not a vegetarian but I have been told recently by doctor that I need to help cut down my high cholesterol levels caused by Familial Hypercholesterolemia - a condition meaning I've had high cholesterol from birth.
With Quorn products being made from Mycoprotein, which is a nutritionally healthy protein source that is meat free and naturally low in saturated fat and high in fibre; I thought I would give it another try to see if I could be bowled over.
I've cooked with it myself and wasn't keen if I'm honest, however thought that learning to cook with it properly would be beneficial.
There were 11 bloggers present at the event, one being a very good friend of mine Laura - Tired Mummy of Two - it was clear from the off we were going to have a good laugh and enjoy ourselves!
After a few (or more drinkies) and some nibbles we were split into 2 groups to set about cooking.
To start with we started making our pudding - a Strawberry Meringue Roulade (well were weren't about to eat Quorn for dessert were we?). 

If you follow us on IG you would have seen this picture -
Laura & I were in fits of giggles after the chef was describing
his 'Stiffy' - sorry wine and beer was consumed!
This is me spreading the Meringue ready to bake, with the giggles and a shaky hand. (note the wine in the picture - hence I was incapable of keeping inside the paper line! - That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

Next we went onto make a Red Thai Quorn Curry.  Here we mainly watch the Chef prepare the ingredients and we then stirred/whipped them all together - the smell of the spices were amazing - there is something wonderful about the smell of a curry cooking.  There was one already cooking out as we arrived so that all the spices had infused.

After this we changed over groups and we went to make our own pasta.  This was great fun and something I have never tried before.  Of course it was made easy by the aid of a pasta machine to roll our pasta to the correct thickness and then to cut it perfectly for us.

Look what I made!

The pasta was to go with our Quorn Bolognese.

Of course next came the testing time - time to try our meals.

So was I bowled over?

I'm afraid not.  The meals did taste lovely however as a meat alternative for me they didn't work.  If perhaps they were marketed as something different and not as an alternative to meat, then maybe I would try again.  I'm not being funny but if you don't eat meat then why should the Quorn need to have the appearance of chicken or mince per say?

The Quorn mince was very soft in texture and quite mushy to eat, there wasn't any firmness and it just mushed like baby food under the fork.

The Quorn chicken was similar too, rather watery to taste and also mushed when pressed with a fork.

Don't get me wrong the meals were very tasty and full of flavour I just wasn't bowled over by the product itself - I tried to be and went in with a very open mind.

If you would like to try the recipes then you can find them all below and you can download them too:

Fresh Tagliatelle with Quorn Bolognaise Recipe

Quorn Red Thai Chicken Curry Recipe

Strawberry Meringue Roulade Recipe

I would like thank Quorn and the Underground cookery school for a lovely evening and for lots of giggles too.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the cookery class and asked to write about my experience.  I was not compensated in any other way.
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A little bit of luck with Online Bingo

Free time isn't something I ever get a lot of these day, not now I'm a Mummy to two livewire whirlwinds.  Nights out are a thing of the past and my evenings are spent online writing this blog or catching up on social media, linkies and other admin and accounting with goes on behind the scenes.
It seems only fitting that online games take a small part in my life sometimes and after seeing and giggling at the new Paddy Lucky Pigeon advert where a giant pink Pigeon poo's on passers by - of course instead of being cross and upset they are happy as it's supposed to be lucky, I went onto have a little play. 
I won!
OK it was only £8 but a win is a win after all and it was won playing Bingo at Paddy Power.
In the same week I won £10 on a scratch card, found a lost earring - one I had lost over a year ago, found in a place I had cleaned so many times before - not even a tucked away place but on a bedside table, very strange!
A similar thing happened when I was at School, I lost a ring as I was made to take it off on a School day (naughty me), I popped it into my top pocket for safe keeping and forgot.  Mum washed my blouse and my ring wasn't seen again for a whole year.  Almost a year later my Grandad found my ring on top of a freshly laid patio in my garden.  I still to this day can't explain that one.
This infographic has been created to so some other lucky winners:

 Are you a lucky person? 

Paul seems to think I am, and if ever we go out and there is something like a raffle he makes me get the tickets instead of him - now obviously I don't win all the time however I have had a few great wins.

Blog competitions I've entered have seen me win some really fabulous prizes such as over £300's worth of prizes for Christmas a few years ago, the top 10 baby toys last Christmas and a ticket to Cyhber and to the MADs!  Lucky me.

Now if only a nice big lottery win would come my way......

This is a featured post.  Please see my disclosure page for further information on this and other such posts.
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Saturday, July 26

Project 365 - Photo Round Up, Week 30

We have survived the first week of the Summer holidays - It's been a very busy one and SO very HOT, with a few thunder storms thrown in for good measure.
So here it is - our first week of our Summer holidays:
Day 201:
A walk in the sun, both kids with their prams and dolls and the dog following along. 
Day 202:
Bike riding - we tried taking Emmy's stabilisers off of her bike today.  It didn't go well however we are extremely proud that she tried.
Day 203:
Staying safe in the Sun - Harry is wearing his Konfidence Sun suit - it is on back to front as Emmy put it on him (review to follow) and Emmy is wearing her new one bought from John Lewis.
Day 204:
Emmy had her ears pierced today, after 2 year of asking.  She is so pleased and was so brave not even sheading a tear - you can read how brave she was here.
Day 205:
A Mega Bloks Day - we've been sent some new First Builders sets for review and they are proving rather popular
Day 206:
A storm hit today - of course it didn't last long so there was only one thing to be done - Puddle Jumping!
Day 207:
More blackberry picking today
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Friday, July 25

Healthy with a touch of naughty on top - Making Fruit Popsicles

We're feeling HOT HOT HOT!!!
Summer is here, School holidays have hit and my kiddies want to be outside all of the time, that's a good thing and I encourage it.
They especially love bouncing on the trampoline. 
In this weather it just makes them even hotter though so a great way to help cool down are ice lollies, now given the chance they would happily live on mini milks however that isn't going to happen any time soon.
This week they have been helping to make healthy alternatives.
Get your minds out of the gutters!!! These are kids popsicles
Banana and Chocolate popsicles:
What you need:
  • 2 bananas
  • 500g milk chocolate
  • 4 lolly sticks
  • hundreds and thousands
  • Baking Tray
  • Grease Proof paper
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Spoon
How to make:
  • Line the baking tray with grease proof paper
  • Break the chocolate into the bowl and microwave for 45 seconds (keep checking and stirring, add for a further 20 seconds, stir and repeat until melted)
  • Meanwhile, cut the bananas in half and insert the lolly sticks
  • Place these on the baking tray
  • Remove the melted chocolate and spoon over the banana - lay onto the baking tray once covered
  • Cover in hundreds and thousands
  • Repeat with all bananas
  • Freeze for at least 1 hour

  •  Enjoy!
This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 July challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Elveden Forest.
My recipe was inspired by Deb Rogerson's tip of adding chocolate and hundreds and thousands to frozen yogurts over on the Center Parcs blog.
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Thursday, July 24

Giveaway: Win 2 tickets to see Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Luna outdoor cinema in Regents Park

We all know that many of the old movies are the best, and it is often the case of they don't make them like they used to!
I've a special treat for you today - I've giving away 2 tickets to see one of my all time favourite movies - Breakfast At Tiffanys.
The film is about a lonely, struggling writer who becomes enchanted with his neighbour, an independent young woman who strives to be a high-climbing socialite with a perchance for high-fashion and wild parties. But, soon he uncovers the vulnerability she has at heart.
It really is a lovely movie, if you've not seen it you really should.
Luna outdoor cinema's are popping up in lots of venues this summer showing movies such as Dirty Dancing, Grease, Gold Finger & Back to the Future - there are many more film showing in various venues.  You can find a Luna outdoor cinema near you on the website here.
These outdoor cinemas are being supported by Pago Fruit Juice who have very kindly given me these tickets for one of you to win.
I was also sent a lovely hamper of goodies to enjoy a home cinema experience as I am unable to attend the screening myself.
I hadn't tried Pago Fruit Juice before and was very keen to try them out.
Settling down for family movie time seemed a perfect time to try these out.  They are made from 100% fruit juices with no artificial ingredients added.  They are also sold in over 35 countries worldwide.
These juices come in small 200ml cute glass bottles.  I was sent 4 different flavours to try out:
  • Mango
  • Cloudy Cherry
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Orange
It was nice to see and to try a variety of flavours especially ones I wouldn't normally think to try out and I was pleasantly surprised by them all.
The Cloudy Cherry was my favourite, a strong flavour with an after taste of cherries (OK that seems obvious however what I mean is it tasted just like I had eaten a bowl of cherries, it wasn't a watered down taste). 
The Grapefruit had a sharp taste however not as sharp as the usual supermarket Grapefruit juices, this is very subtle and not over powering at all.
Mango was very refreshing and the Orange was pleasant, not my favourite as it does contain bits which I'm not keen on but it was very nice.
These juices are now on my shopping list whenever I see them as my own special treat.

Giveaway Time
If you would like to enter to win 2 tickets to see Breakfast At Tiffanys at Regents Park on 1st September - Doors open at 6.45pm with the showing beginning at 8.30pm, then please fill in the rafflecopter form below.
This giveaway will end at Midnight on 14th August 2014 - Good Luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is for 2 tickets only, travel and refreshments are NOT included, also seating is NOT provided - this is an outdoor cinema experience so you could take your own chairs or a picnic blanket.

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