Friday, 24 October 2014

Green's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cupcakes

To celebrate the release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie Green's have released a new Turtles cupcake set. We were sent a box to try out for the purpose of this post.

As soon as Joseph saw the box he decided that he wanted to bake the cakes. The great thing about the cupcake boxes is that children are able to make these quick and easy cakes. It is an ideal way to introduce baking to children who want to bake more independently.

This is how we got on...


The kit contains all of the dry ingredients needed.
To make the cupcakes just add an egg and water.

Joseph poured in the dry cupcake ingredients into a bowl
with the egg and water.

Joseph mixed the ingredients together.

He divided the cake batter between the cupcake cases.

Once the cakes had baked and had cooled it was time to ice
and decorate them.

The cupcakes finished!



Joseph really enjoyed baking Green's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cupcakes. They are a great way to get more children into baking!

Disclosure: I was sent the cupcake kit for the purpose of this post. No payment was received. All views and opinions are my own  and 100% honest.

Healthier Halloween Treats

We all know that Halloween and sweet treats go hand in hand. The children get an overload of sugar, which is not great for them and often results in hyperactive little ones! Don't get me wrong I would never say no treats in moderation, but I do think that we should try and encourage more healthier snacks.

Sykes Cottages have challenged me to come up with some treats that the children will enjoy just as much as a bag of sweets, but treats that are healthier. This was a challenge that I have enjoyed coming up with and the twins have loved the spooky themed food and helping me in the kitchen.

The spider web pizzas and the banana ghosts are great recipes to cook with the children. The twins had so much fun helping me make them.

This is what they have been enjoying...

Spider Web Pizzas

Ingredients

Mini pizza bases
Tomato puree
Dried oregano
Mozzarella
Black olives
1 carrot

Method

Pre heat the oven to 200C

1 - Place 1tbsp of tomato puree per mini pizza base in a bowl along with 1tsp of dried oregano per mini pizza base in a bowl and mix together.

2 - Spread the tomato puree over the pizza base.

3 - Scatter over the mozzarella.

4 - Using a peeler shave off fine strips of the carrot. Taking a paring knife, carefully slice fine strips of carrot.

5 - Arrange the strips of carrots in a pattern that resembles a spiders web.

6 - Halve 2 black olives and place one half down in the centre of the spiders web. Slice the other halves into 8 strips and arrange around the half of the olive, they will become the spiders legs.

7 - Place in the centre of the pre heated oven for 8 - 10 minutes.


Banana Ghosts

Ingredients

Bananas
Chocolate chips
Cake pop sticks

Method

1 - Cut the bananas in half.

2 - Take the chocolate and place on the banana as eyes and a mouth.

3 - Place the stick through the base of the banana and serve.



Mini Pumpkin Pies

Ingredients

Makes 24 mini pumpkin pies

Flesh of a carved out edible pumpkin
600g sweet pastry
1 tsp mixed spice
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
150 mls milk
25g butter, melted
White chocolate writing icing

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180C

1 - To prepare the filling boil the pumpkin until soft, once cooked, drain and leave to cool.

2 - Cut out discs of sweet pastry that will fit into a muffin tin and line the holders.

3 - Gently prod the base of the pies with a fork, line with baking paper and weigh down with baking beans. Place in the pre heated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

4 - Remove from the oven and take out the baking beans and baking paper. Return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry has a golden colour.

5 - Once the pastry bases have baked remove from the oven and allow to cool.

6 - Increase the oven temperature to 200C

7 - Take the cooled pumpkin and press it through a sift so that you get a smooth puree.

8 - Beat together the eggs, milk, melted butter, caster sugar and mixed spice.

9 - Stir the egg mixture into the pumpkin puree.

10 - Spoon or pour in equal amounts into the pastry cases.

11 - Place the pies in the pre heated oven and bake for 5 - 10 minutes or until the filling is starting to harden.

12 - Remove from the oven and allow to cool before drawing on a spider web pattern with the chocolate writing icing.

These are sweet treats made with pumpkin and the children will never know that they are eating it. These pies are very similar to custard tarts in flavour and were soon devoured by all!


Have a great Halloween and enjoy x

Disclosure: This is my entry into a healthier Halloween competition that is run by Sykes Cottages. I received a budget for ingredients.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Gousto Review

In the past I have seen Gousto recipe boxes and have always wondered what they were like. But I was unsure whether would there be enough food for all of us and would we like the recipes? Because of these questions I have not ordered in the past.

So when I was asked if I would like to review a Gousto box and their services I jumped at the chance. In this review I will be giving you my opinion on how Gousto will feed your family, the quality of the meals and if they were enjoyed.

Gousto's website is nice and easy to navigate. Each week Gousto change the selection of meals that are available. You simply go online and select which meals you would like to be in your weekly box. They supply boxes to feed 2 people and 4 people.

When the box arrived I couldn't wait to see what we had been sent. The box was divided into two sections. One section for vegetables and dry ingredients while the second side contained a wool cool bag containing meats and chilled ingredients.




The box that we received contained three meals. All of the ingredients were weighed out and clearly labelled. 

We received:
  • Chicken and Parsnip Risotto
  • Harissa Beef Patties
  • Chorizo and Giant Couscous
This is how we got on with each of the meals...

Chicken and Parsnip Risotto

This was the first meal that we tried. We all love risotto so I had a feeling that we would enjoy this meal. In the past I have never thought about using parsnips in a risotto. But after cooking this meal, I will be using them a lot more! They added such a lovely sweetness to the meal and the whole family loved it. The children were even asking for more! The parsnips that came in the box were still covered in mud they were that fresh!

The ingredients for the meal.

The finished Chicken and Parsnip Risotto.

Harissa Beef Patties

The recipe for the Harissa Beef Patties is very similar to beef burgers so I expected these to also be a success. The patties contained harissa which is spicy, as the children were eating the patties I did not add all of the recommended amount as I did not want them to be too spicy for them. One advantage of Gousto is that the ingredients are all separate so you are able to add less spice if you wish. The beef patties were served with roasted sweet potato wedges and red onion. The harissa yogurt was too spicy for the children, however it was perfect for me! If I was to cook this meal again I would probably add a side dish of salad purely to have more of our five a day.

The ingredients for the meal.

The finished Harissa Beef Patties.

Chorizo and Giant Couscous

After living in the Canary Islands for 7 years, I love Spanish cuisine, so I was delighted when I saw this dish. Chorizo is one of my favourite meats to cook with. It has an immense flavour which adds so much to a dish. We all enjoy couscous but have found in the past that it has been too small for the twins to manage eating well. However this recipe used giant couscous, which I have not seen before. The couscous grain is the perfect size and goes well with lentils. The only down point with this meal was that it was too spicy for the twins. I did not use all of the Moroccan spice ras el hanout, next time I would use even less. However the hubby, Joseph and I loved the meal and all had seconds!

The ingredients for the meal.


The finished Chorizo and Giant Couscous.
I have been delighted with all of the meals, my only tip would be to add the spices gradually if you are feeding young children or do not like your food too spicy. But this is easily done as the ingredients are all separate. I do have to admit to being very fussy with the quality of meat that I buy. The meat that is supplied by Gousto is from British farms that uphold the highest standard of animal welfare. All of the meat was of the highest quality and was lovely and lean. Having all of the ingredients weighed out for you certainly saves a lot of time when preparing a meal. We received a box for 4 people and we found that it was the perfect amount to feed the 5 of us. The Gousto boxes are also ideal to take on holiday in the UK. It is such an easy way to pack the ingredients that you need to create delicious meals as you would at home.

I would thoroughly recommend using Gousto and will definitely be ordering from them in the future. For more information visit gousto.co.uk.

Disclosure: I was sent a Gousto box for the purpose of this review. No payment was made. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.