Wednesday, May 4

BBQ Chicken with Mexican Rice Tacos #CincoDeMayo with Old El Paso

Did you know that on the 5th May Cinco De Mayo is celebrated - now I had absolutely no idea what this actually was for or about so had to turn to my old friend Google. It is actually a celebration among Mexican communities in Mexico and North America marking the Mexican defeat of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  This day is marked by celebrating all things Mexican.

I've a love hate relationship with Mexican food, I absolutely love to eat it however it's not something I choose to cook often as I live in a household of fussy eaters - well not really fussy, more those with plain tastes.  After a very successful fajita dinner recently where I cooked chicken and steak, peppers with onions and laid it all out on the table for the children to make up their own fajitas and the children love plating up their own food, rolling them and generally making quite a mess I decided it was time to test their taste buds again, only this time using the Old El Paso Stand 'n' Stuff kits as a base for our meal.

I chose to use the smoky BBQ soft taco kit with chicken as it's the children's favourite meat (Emmy has only just started to eat meat so I don't like to push the boundaries too much).

Old El Paso, Mexican recipe, BBQ Chicken with Mexican rice, recipe


Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 3 large chicken breasts thinly sliced (or cubed)
  • 1 pack of Old El Paso Stand 'N' Stuff Soft Taco Kit (Smoky BBQ)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of long grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp of Sweetcorn (frozen or tinned)
  • 2 Tbsp Adzuki beans (optional) (these need soaking in water for around 2 hours before cooking - or over night)
  • 1/4 Onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

To make:
  • Add 2/3 tbsp. of oil to a wok and warm over a low heat
  • Add the rice and coat in oil, add the onions, salt and cumin and cook until the onions are tender - keep stirring to avoid sticking
  • Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat - stir regularly to avoid sticking.  Cook for 10 minutes
  • After 10 minutes add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Then add the sweetcorn and cook for another 5 minutes
  • When the rice is cooked and the liquid all absorbed stir in the taco salsa (from the kit) to the rice and heat through - keep stirring

Meanwhile:
  • In a frying pan add 2/3 tbsp of oil and heat on a low heat
  • Add the chicken - cook through until the chicken is almost cooked
  • Add the BBQ seasoning (from the kit) and stir so it is evenly spread over the chicken - I added 2 tbsp of water here to stop the seasoning from sticking to the pan.
  • Cook until the chicken is cooked
Warm the tacos for 30 seconds in the microwave, add rice to these and top with chicken - serve.
I added sour cream to mine and the kids, and JalapeƱos to mine.



You could keep this recipe really simple by just cooking your rice in chicken stock and adding the salsa and nothing else except the chicken and if you aren't too keen on a strong flavour add only half of the BBQ seasoning, or leave off entirely.....the choice is yours.

Of course it is almost an essential part of eating different food in our house that you must dress up - who needs an excuse really, so the children donned Sombreros and played their Maraca's while watching The Book of Life.



This post is an entry to the Tots100 Cinco de Mayo recipe challenge sponsored by Old El Paso. The range of Old El Paso products is available in all major supermarkets. To find out more, visit www.oldelpaso.co.uk 

  


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Sunday, May 1

My Sunday Photo

It's been a while since I joined in with sharing a Sunday photo, I'll be honest that life gets in the way.  I take photographs daily and I was sharing them with you in my 366 posts, sadly I have lost my way with that again and I am now 4 weeks behind.  I will catch up but I am worried I may bore you with a huge 4 week montage of picures - I could do it in two parts, bite sized catch up posts.  Either way that won't be until next week as I am away at Blog On.

For now I will share my favourite shot from this week with you.

My handsome son having a much needed Mummy/Son day together. We had a run around in the park, went to the library, shops and them out for lunch.

Mother/son day, Park, church, bridge



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What to buy a three year old?

Woo Hoo - you’ve finally made it out of the terrible twos! Congratulations! I definitely think a medal for us parents is deserved for making it through this period.

Your child's third birthday is an important milestone for both you and them. You are now headed into a time of much less demanding attitude, but much more specific needs that can now be enunciated - although I do pre-warn you that the 'Threenager years' do exist - it's a period where they know better then you, have an answer to everything and a question to accompany that and an attitude of a hormonal teenager - you thought the terrible two's were hard enough.....I'm sorry to say this is worse.

I digress though, and it isn't all bad; so back to birthday's: If you are pondering what the perfect gift to get your three year old is, pay attention to the cues they are dropping around you. What is their favorite movie to watch? What kinds of toys do they gravitate to? When they go over to a friend’s for a playdate, is there a certain stuffed animal they always rush to, hug, and cling to when it is time to go? Of course there is also that long list of 'I want' and 'can I have' which comes daily during the TV adverts.

If your child is anything like mine then they are absolutely enamored with a number of movies. Luckily, you can purchase a huge range of toys from the Disney Store. Not that you need to purchase them all, but you do have the opportunity for huge savings right now. With 60% off and free postage a possibility, you will definitely want to look into the items for sale at the Disney Store. It’s way too good of an opportunity to pass up right now - who doesn't love a good sale!


Your child will be staring up at you on their birthday- well, let’s face it, on pretty much any day - begging you for a toy, any toy. Getting your toddler the perfect gift is one of the most rewarding things one can do. And sure, getting it for their birthday where others can see just how well you know your kid is a nice ego stroke, too. This works well with Nieces and Nephews too.

If you are looking for the perfect gift for your toddler then I would suggest a closer look into the Disney Store. You’ll get free postage on anything you buy anyway- what more can you ask for? The perfect gift and a shopping trip you don’t even need to strap your screaming angel into a car seat for! This is usually my go to site when looking for gifts for friends children - everyone loves good Disney movie and they is usually something to suit all budgets:  Emmy loves all the notebooks, tea-sets and dressing up clothes and of course everything Frozen related, while Harry is happiest with anything to do with Lightening McQueen, Toy Story or Mickey Mouse.

Other present ideas for this age group that I would suggest are:
  • A bike with stabilisers - complete with a helmet (add a bell for an added treat but in my opinion steer away from a horn - been there, done that and hated the noise)
  • A scooter - 3 wheels for this age is ideal - again with the added helmet for safety
  • Duplo - a lovely introduction to Lego, perfect for smaller hands
  • Play Doh
  • HappyLand
  • A toy kitchen/till/cooking utensils/food - Always a firm favourite in our household
  • Dolls House
  • Toy Farm
  • Puppets


"This is a collaborative post"




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Saturday, April 30

Blog on Mosi: What I'm wearing

You all know me well enough by now to know I'm not a very organised person. I have all the best intentions but am far too easily distracted so in typical Clare fashion but not late as it's the evening before and I am in my hotel room in Manchester here is what I'll be wearing to Blog On tomorrow .

I am very lucky in that tomorrow I have been dressed by Celuu who very kindly let me choose an outfit for this event.  Celuu specialise in relaxed glamour wear and perfect tailoring, they retail in sizes 12-22 and have recently launched online after being stocked in John Lewis.

Having seen what Laura has been keeping quiet I am very glad I changed my mind and didn't opt for this lovely dress:

Florence lace dress

Instead I went for a more practical choice with a pretty blouse and a poncho style cardigan - as let's face it the weather has been awful and I want to feel comfortable throughout the day mingling with very good friends and brands, attending the sessions throughout the day and then after the conference is over Paul is picking me up and we our off out to dinner.  I wanted something which I would usually choose to buy myself, it will be a very busy day and if I am constantly fiddling with clothes and worrying about it being tight, short or not my usual style it would have taken my focus away from enjoying myself.

I had a very bad habit a little while ago of only buying dark coloured clothing, I lived in black and there was pretty much NO colour in my wardrobe, now when I put an outfit together I will not allow myself to choose two dark coloured items.  By adding a coloured or a patterned top I am then able to wear my comfy and trusted dark coloured trousers happily.

The blouse I picked is the Juliet Hanky Hem Blouse in a floral print, a white based top with flowers over.  It is cut from lightweight chiffon which flows and drapes the silhouette, the shoulders have an intricate pin tuck design to them and the body is jersey lined which helps to make this top fall over my lumps and bumps and of course covers my mummy tummy rather nicely.


I am teaming this with a waterfall cardigan - this is a shawl style cardigan in a heavy knit, it is a mixed colour blend of black mixed in with silver, perfect for the cooler evenings and the cold mornings, the school runs or for pulling on when I am working at home in the evenings instead of putting on the heating.


I'm undecided currently which trousers I will be wearing - my black or blue jeans.  That decision will be made in the morning depending on which fit better after pigging out on a carvery for dinner with Paul and Jaime tonight.

Thanks to Celuu for proving my outfit for tomorrow, now you know what I am wearing please do come and say Hi, and now I am off to enjoy a lovely roast and a good nights sleep child free.



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Friday, April 29

Review & Giveaway: Fluffimals

I have no idea what it is about cuddly toys but every child seems to love them, Emmy and Harry have loads of them and whenever we go for a day out they head straight to them in the gift shops, I was actually the same as a child and it didn't matter how many I had I always wanted more.

Recently they were sent a Fluffimals kit and their excitement showed as soon as they opened the box.



If you haven't yet heard of Fluffimals and have no idea what I am talking about then I will tell you:  Fluffimals is a very cute mini soft toy that comes with a fluffy machine which allows you to stuff your own friend in the comfort of your own home.

You'll have all heard of a store where you can go to stuff your own toy to create/build your own friend - well this set is of a similar concept to that only on a smaller scale and once you have created your friend you are actually able to re-stuff them to create a new personality for your special pal.

Inside the starter kit you will find:
  • A fluffy bear
  • Fluffy factory
  • Glowing heart
  • Magic personality fluffy stuffing
  • Tweezers
  • Hairbrush
  • Birth certificate
  • Personality ingredients cards


Setting up and making our own fluffy friend was very easy, firstly you need to add the handle to the machine.  Next you choose the personality card which best suits your bear - this is like a teddy bear recipe card, it tells you which colour pompoms to stuff your bear with.

Using the tweezers you then place the pompoms into the top of the machine, making sure you push the dial on the front to locked otherwise they will just fall down into the drawer below. 

You then activate the glowing heart by pulling out the piece of plastic attached and shake the heart, unfortunately ours didn't seem to actually glow very well - it started for a few seconds then never again even with vigorous shaking.  On the back of the teddy there is a twist stopper, unscrew this and place in the heart and attach the teddy to the machine.  Turn the handle to mix the pompoms around and then unlock the tray by pushing across the dial on the front.  Turn the handle again and the pompoms will fall down and then using the handle on the side it will cause the pompoms to be twisted across into the teddy.

Once all the stuffing is inside the bear you then take it off of the machine and twist the stopper back onto the back. 


You can name the bear and even write out its birth certificate.  If you want to change the stuffing of the bear (the personality) you just unscrew the back and start over again.

We were also sent an extension kit so both children could create a friend - this contains a cuddly friend ready to stuff, along with pompoms, a glowing heart, birth certificate and personality cards. The great thing about the extension kits is that once you have purchased the starter pack you can reuse it over and over again with the extra packs - it would be a great party activity and instead of giving a select group of friends a goodie bag they could instead take home their own fluffy animal.

Both Emmy and Harry enjoyed making their own friend, it was simple enough for them to do alone although neither of them went done the personality route - they just wanted to see how many pompoms they could add into the machine and then into their new friend.


Giveaway Time

I have very kindly been given a starter Fluffimals kit to giveaway to one lucky reader, so if you would like to enter for your chance to win this lovely prize please fill in the rafflecopter form below.
This giveaway will end at midnight on 23rd May 2016.  Good Luck



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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