Friday, 24 October 2014

Asda Simply Roast In The Tray

Asda have a new Simply Roast In The Tray Beef and sent me some to find out if it was simple.

I did have a few doubts

I spent many Sundays feeling grumpy about the cost of a joint of beef, buying all the trimmings, spending ages in the kitchen to end up with tough string slices of beef, you could actually use for a boot sole. So I cook it a certain way, buying the right meat for the job and would never just put it straight into the oven. 

But last Sunday I did. In fact with this topside joint, you only remove the cardboard sleeve.

You can of course remove all the packaging and put it in a roasting dish, but if time is of the essence and you want a guaranteed nice piece of beef, then it really works. Plus no washing up or a greasy tin. 

The bag and tray do not burn. 

 It does indeed cook the perfect beef joint – no mess, no fuss, slices so well and plenty to go around for 4 and a few slices over for a sandwich the next day.

Oh and the taste is really really good, no gristle, no chewing for ages, no grumpiness, the texture, melt in the mouth. I will definitely be trying out the rest of the range. There are briskets, silverside, garlic and herb and many more in the range. I will be trying the Peppercorn beef joint this week.

I am happy that I can put together a roast dinner easily as with Granny, I cannot always guarantee the time for a Sunday dinner. For me the beef joints are brilliant.

Try it with the recipe for The Best Ever Yorkshire Puddings (Apparently)

I received the Simply Roast in the Tray joints from Asda in order to post this review, my opinions are my own.

Freebie Friday 24th October

Freebie Friday again!! Hope the postie has been bringing you lots of goodies, please let me know and also any blog giveaway wins you hopefully have to report.

If you like the Giraffe breakfast post and fancy another free brekkie, oh and live in London. 
Find out about two free fresh sausage sarnies in next weeks Freebie Friday.

I am still adding Worth a Go as so many, if you are reading this bit and not jumped straight to the goodies, can you tell me if you use it, like it or both?

A few nice coupon combining deals especially if you are stocking up for christmas 
Going to get me some Shloer definitely 62p a bottle

Bloggers don't forget to add those giveaways, discounts and any freebies and note the blogger freebie below too!!
Compers too feel free to add any you see and share the love!!


Free Christmas Turkey with the Daily Mail and Iceland

How to Claim: All you have to do is visit, fill in your details and start entering the Unique Numbers printed on the back of the paper every day. To claim your FREE Christmas turkey, you need to enter at least 16 out of 30 Unique Numbers between Saturday, October 18 and November 16, 2014 and redeem your turkey with 2,000 Mail Points. Once you’ve redeemed, you’ll receive a coupon to take to your nearest participating Iceland store to pick up your turkey from November 21, 2014. Excludes Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Free Breakfast In Giraffe Restaurants

Keep your dressing gown on for a free breakfast!

To help you adjust after the clocks change we’re bringing back our Dressing Gown Day on Monday 27th October.

Until 11am anybody wearing a dressing gown can tuck into our Good Morning Brekkie deal absolutely free!


Origins Plantscription Serum 2 week supply (see Oct 17th post on the FB page)

Free explorer pack for children

Zingology Free samples

Calling all Bloggers, Journalists, Foodies, Bakers and Parents of Fussy Eaters

Free Coat Hook (weird but oh well!)

Free Vitamin D Chewable for children

Atkins Free Chocolate bar

Free Natures Path Porridge

Free Holiday Sessions Football Skills classes for kids

Free Nicoccino smoking replacement sample

Protect and Store Travel roll bag

Free Roasters Coffee Scoop

Room On A Broom Halloween Activities downloadable

Free Halloween Printables

Nuby UK Free Soother or other gift

Bodyform Ultra 3 samples

Hugo Boss sample

O2 Priority

Free hotel chocolate caramel skull with O2 priority moments (2/11)
Free Slap Wrap from halfords
50% off Fright Nights at Alton Towers

Worth A Go As So Many

1000 boxes of After Eights, top prize of £1000, 10 X £100
Win After Eights

100 Philip Kingsley  Elasticisers

5,000 Dorset Teas for you and a friend

Free entry Monkey World if you are in Halloween dress 31st Oct

130 Pizzas, dvds, satellite boxes etc

50 copies of the brand new Room on the Broom BIG Activity Book.

100 Advanced Copies the Life i left behind, Colette Mcbeth 20th Nov

1000 Fireball Freebies

100 Max Factor Masterpiece Transform Mascaras (Daily Nov 6th)

Money off Coupons and Clever Combining

Shloer White Grape Juice for 62p at Tesco on offer at £1.12
50p off coupon here

Neutrogena Deep Moisurizer Body Lotion 400ml at Tesco, usually  £4.99 only £2.32
£1 Coupon here
On offer for £3.32

Anchor Squirty cream (Need to login or register)

50p off John West No Drain tuna only £1 in Iceland

Special K 50p off

Word FREE image made from cubes,  mosaic pattern thanks to Shutterstock

Shopping in supermarket. Shopping trolley image thanks to Shutterstock

02 Logo thanks to Shutterstock

Free label image thanks to Shutterstock

Spotlight image thanks to Shutterstock

Thursday, 23 October 2014

#RealJuice with Philips Viva

 'Juicing for health' week has been a great discovery.

To give you a little background on me, I was the fussiest child on the planet. If you have toddlers who are hard to feed veggies to, then do not despair, there is hope they will become a lover as they grow. Just keep trying and try not to battle too much.

I point blank refused to eat vegetables,  so far as if any food had onion in, I refused it. Somebody told me potatoes were a vegetable and for a while I refused those too. Baked beans were also shunned, fussy was my middle name.

My poor Mum probably tore her hair out trying to cater to me, we had so many food battles, I won most and even the school who back in my day, made you sit all afternoon in the hall with cold congealed stew with the warning, I could not leave until I ate lost against my stubbornness. I won that battle too.

I now eat everything, bar kidneys, not a veg I know and I am not keen on sweet and sour. But I still am not what you would call a lover of vegetables. 

I eat them, I love them in a casserole and curried but mainly I do eat them for the obvious health benefits.

So when Philips asked me to try the juicing, I did hesitate. Lots 5 a day veg juiced is not my cup of tea, sorry to mix metaphors.

However I have drank every single one and surprisingly raw and juiced I actually loved. I think I can say love. 

The Philips Juicer has been brilliant, easy to set up, super easy to clean, nice and compact,  for the full review see here.

The only problem I had was forgetting to put a glass under the Melon cooler. Do not do this, it was possibly the worst fruit to do it with, it splashed everywhere mainly on me.

Day One

I wanted to hold my nose for the first Classic Cleanse juice, beetroot I really never go near. Added to carrot, celery and apple I actually while not relishing it, was surprised it was drinkable. In hindsight i would add an extra apple to make it not so much sweet, but tastier for my liking. Conor who said he would try liked this one.

Day Two 

Glowing Greens Juice. Including cucumber which contains silica to help keep the skin elastic and pear to fight free radical damage to your skin. Pear, spinach, lemon celery and parsley. This was the one that I loved, Conor who has done the juice program with me did not like the lemon, but as most of you know it made the drink for me. I added two apples. I actually got a comment from asking had I changed my foundation, I had none on, so I think this one worked.

Day Three

The 4pm Pick Me Up. Wow this one was  super green. Added cinnamon as this regulates blood sugar levels. Not my fave so far,  I am not a lover of cinnamon but downed it fast as I know its super healthy. My slump time hits at this time as for most people, I steadily get worse, Granny needs seeing to a bit at this time of day, then the family descend, dinner, tidying up. I found I was bubbly. A friend online asked me if I had been drinking as I was so bubbly. Haha.

Day Four

 The Fat Buster, Melon and mint cooler. Yummy despite me not being overly keen on mint. I loved this , I will definitely be drinking, despite not needed a fat buster until holiday times.

Day Five

Stir and Purr juice. This was the bedtime drink, maybe the light and mix of fruit, makes it the strangest looking juice, however a lovely flavour. Pineapple have melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. This is the drink that is staying as I need it, getting up with Granny in the night, I do not get off easily after, with this I did and as a bonus, Chris switched my alarm off and I had a lay in until 9am.The cucumber as mentioned above are great for the skin as before so this is a winner for me. Cherries and Tomatoes are also good sleep aids. Oh and it is really really tasty.

Day Six

Beat the bloat. Pineapple, lime, apples and mint. The inclusion of mint aids digestion and stops the bloat. Gorgeous drink, this one is brilliant for those meals which leave you having to loosen the buttons on your clothes. I did have way more than this but I forgot and slurped some, not a nice look for a photo.


Day Seven
Super Skin Juice I picked this out of the list as I felt the Glowing Greens juice already helped my skin, with the addition of lime which makes the skin glow.Lime is a bit of a magical fruit as it rejuvenates skin, protects skin from infection and is an anti oxidant.


For one week, I have been amazed how easy it is to juice and start to like vegetables more. In the raw state and mixed with a natural sweetener like apple or pear, it is so easy to incorporate them into my diet.

I had a headache for the first three days, I think it was the juice and  feel maybe it was my body getting rid of other toxins, I did get incredibly hungry for the first three days too. 

I can say my bowel is way better, this very evident without going into detail.

Skin is certainly looking good and I am most impressed with this, at my age, my skin needs help!! 

I did feel a bit tired at the beginning of juicing , energised after the drinks but tired all round, however I have had a lot more home life stress so not sure it was the juice. This has changed and with a real lot of stress on the last few days I actually felt the juice has finally helped.

Sleep is way better and I wake more easily. I feel better all round at the end of 7 days.

I will be continuing and looking at which, fruits, vegetables and herbs do what for my body more and combining to keep me going. As a carer I need this and I also am going to juice for Granny after looking up advice for elderly people.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Best Ever Yorkshire Puddings (Apparently)

I hold no responsibility or credit for this recipe. My husband is from Yorkshire, I hold no responsibility for this either. He claims this is the best ever Yorkshire Pudding recipe.

Long is the debate in our house, we have our own war of the roses, my Mum being of Lancashire birth,  me being more rose than him though. 

He claims that a Yorkshire long distant relative made this recipe, somebody's Granny and it has been scribbled down and passed to those who have true Yorkshire blood. 

I fear he makes this up as he could not cook a thing when we first met, however after copying my recipes and tinkering in the kitchen, he now cooks the best roastie and the highest fluffiest Yorkshire puddings in the house.

 I agree with his statements constantly, after all if I were to win this argument, it would be me cooking them, haha. 

The other reason I am adding this recipe is for the purpose of reviewing the OXO Good Grips Flour Sifter, a bit strange you may say, but I was trialling it along with a mixing bowl and whisk for OXO as part of National Baking Week and I made an Orange and Sultana Pudding. In my haste to get the recipe prepared I forgot to use the sifter, so wanted to give it a proper review. Giveaway for this, the mixing bowl and the whisk here.

Chris and I like the lidded top and bottom of the sifter. It means the flour or product to sift can be added to the jug, a handy measure on the side, saves a bowl, also you can store flour in the jug for future use. It easily sifts and very finely, there is a handy for want of a better term,  flour jiggler, to get the last flour into the bowl and squish out any lumps. As with most OXO Good Grips the handle is a comfortable fit.

On to Chris's Best ever Yorkshire Pudding recipe!

This is as old recipes were in years gone by, simple and no weighing and no hard preparation.

The gubbins

A glass of eggs 
A glass of flour 
A glass of milk

Glass is tumbler size and holds about 4 eggs (interference from Jo)

How to make!

Oven needs to be at least 200 C, fan 180.

First remove all southerners from the room! ( Please do not get on at me, I am from the south too)

Put all the ingredients in a bowl, whisk together really fast and well until you have a smooth batter. if there are lumps in don't bother, its lumps, it is fine!

Place in a jug and leave in the fridge overnight.
Bring out of t'fridge for an hour before you need it.
Before using it needs a damn good whisk, if you have a hand blender its useful, if not never mind.

You need to make sure you have lots of oil in each pudding tin mould. Don't be stingy.

It has to be hot, hot, hot! A good 20-25 minutes, the oil should be smoking!
Pour your batter mix in as fast as you can.
Cook until they look done, really. At least 20 minutes, but do not open the oven at all, so get out meat and potatoes and keep warm.


Monday, 20 October 2014

Cheesy Witches Fingers, Fiery chilli and Gaucamouldy Eyeballs

I was sent some goodies to cook up a Halloween treat from Unilever Kitchen, to cook up some ghoulish treats for the family.

When it comes to Halloween, the Unilever Kitchen much prefer the ‘treat’ to the ‘trick’ here, so they challenged me to whip up some ‘treat’ snacks and dishes to keep the family warm during the Halloween and Bonfire season.

To help me on my spooky challenge they provided  a delicious foodie Halloween and autumn themed hamper, full of mouth-watering seasonal treats, Unilever products as well as some Halloween inspired surprises. 

I decided to try and make a ghoulish  autumn dish that would be fiery and gruesome all in one. Witches fingers are incredibly good fun to make, children love them, they add a great tough to a buffet table and they taste lovely cheesy and light too.

So I made a fiery hot chilli, using the Mexican Knorr Flavour Pot, adding some gory eyeballs to the dish to keep the food looking Halloween themed. 

Then my real scary addition, Witches fingers recipe. I could only find sweet recipes and American versions, so I went to a cheese biscuit recipe and removed the parmesan. I make at  thin rounds at Christmas, not knowing if it would work like this, but I think it was a total success.

I am probably teaching you nothing new with a chilli recipe. I always add cumin, its an authentic flavour for chilli but I am sure you may have your own go to recipe.
The Knorr Mexican flavour pot is very handy for an all in one flavour. Easy to use and gives a nice flavour addition to my standard ingredients. For children's palates, I would definitely just stick with the Knorr flavour pot.
 We d like our food fiery so I did add more chilli.

You will need 500g lean minced beef
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 red pepper 
1 green pepper
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin of tomato puree
Knorr Mexican Flavour pot
1-2 tsps extra chilli if you like it hot.
1 tsp cumin

Brown the mince and add to a large saucepan, fry the onions, peppers, garlic until soft, add to the pan. Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 20 minutes, its better if you leave it cooking for about 45 minutes.

The  Gaucamouldy eyeballs I saw a picture on Pinterest, again you need no real recipe, however if you like an easy homemade  tasty, guacamole see my recipe here, shop bought is fine too. 

Cherry tomatoes
Guacamole and black olives

Chop the cherry tomatoes in half, scoop out some of the inside. Fill with guacamole, then top with a slice of olive.

Finally the most fun I have had with a recipe, using the Flora buttery made this recipe a cinch, I usually use butter and have to wait for it to soften, this time I could get stuck in straight away. 
The end taste was as good as with butter and it is so fast to make, using a processor, these are great to whip up for any dinner party, just make them in rounds rather than the spooky fingers. 

Cheesy Witches Fingers

250g strong Cheddar cheese
75g Flora
150g plain flour
1 egg
Salt to taste 
A  pinch of chilli powder or paprika (optional)
Egg or milk to glaze.
Whole almonds.

Put all the ingredients apart from the almonds into a food processor, using the chopping blade. Process until the mixture comes together into large pieces.

Remove from the processor, knead lightly and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, can be left for an hour or so. this bit is important as it just will not roll properly and or crack in the oven.

Next roll out small balls of the cheese dough and then use grease proof or parchment paper, if you have warm hands like me or without if cool handed! 

Roll each ball into a sausage shape about the size of your finger.

Next using your forefinger and middle finger spaced, make two gentle dents in the dough, these will be the knuckles.

Make sharp small cuts into the dough to create finger creases.

Push a whole almond quite deeply but gently into the dough, sort out any bulges at the side, redo any creases, then place on a lined baking tray, gently glaze with egg.

Place into the oven 160 Fan, 180C, Gas mark 4 for 20- 25 minutes, do cheack after 15 depending on thickness of the fingers and your oven.

Leave to cool totally before removing.

I arranged on a bed of kale and added some washed plastic spiders to make it more spooky. What do you think, scarily realistic?

Thanks to Unilever for the Halloween fun, I hope whatever you make this year its a success. Why not have a look at Twitter for other ghoulish recipes @UnileverKitchen, using the hashtag #UnileverHalloween

I was sent a hamper of food to choose some of the ingredients to make this Halloween feast.

Homemade Thursday


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