Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Thorntons Mum of the Year competition launches nationwide



Following the success of its Mum of the Year competition in 2011, Thorntons is once again inviting the nation’s proud daughters and sons to nominate their mum in Thorntons Mums Appreciation Society, to win a one-in-a-million prize.

To celebrate everything they do for us all year long, Thorntons Mum of the Year 2012 will win an amazing two night spa and hotel break courtesy of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, plus a year’s supply of delicious chocolate from Thorntons. Three runners up will also receive a stunning Thorntons hamper worth £50.

2011’s Thorntons Mum of the Year, Hazel Floodgate from Surrey said: “I think it’s fantastic that Thorntons is recognising Mums and I think all the Mums that are entered are winners. I can’t put into words what it meant to be to be nominated by my daughter last year.”

Nominating your mum for this fabulous prize is simple – visit www.thorntons.co.uk/mumoftheyear to fill out the entry form from 20th February and tell us why your mum is the best in the world! The winner and runners up will be announced at the end of April.

Green and Black's Tasting Collection


Its the time of the year when Mums get pampered and if as a Mum you are like me, chocolate has its place on Mothers Day.

I was sent the Green and Blacks Tasting Collection of Milk, Dark and White Chocolate with a small Dark 70% Chocolate Bar and Tasting Notes

It contains a mix of twenty four miniature bars and tasting note cards featuring interesting facts, recipe suggestions and flavour combination ideas as well as a map showing in which part of the world each ingredient is sourced.


While nibbling on a bar I learnt that the best temperature to eat chocolate is around 22 degrees Celsius.

Another interesting fact was I should limit myself to just six different varieties of chocolate. Any more and I may suffer tasting fatigue!!

I felt that six was very generous of Green and Black's to suggest in the first place.

My favourite has to be the Butterscotch bar it has a crunchy bite to it, creamy milk chocolate and a lovely treacly taste.

Oh and if you can spare some then how about trying the recipe that comes in the box. Five Minute Chocolate Pots, its simple fast and you can get over the tasting fatigue while you are waiting!


For 6
Preparation and Cooking: 5 + 45 minutes

Ingredients:
· 200g Green & Black’s Dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate, broken into small chunks
· 100ml boiling water
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 125ml whipping cream

Instructions:
1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. Take off the heat.
3. Add the boiling water to the chocolate and vanilla extract. The water must be added slowly and gradually to avoid the chocolate splitting.
4. Add the whipping cream Рthe texture should be like that of cr̬me anglaise.
5. Pour straight into espresso cups and leave to set in a cool part of the kitchen for at least 45 minutes before serving.

 A tasting journey around the world to discover the intense and refined flavours of Green &
 Black's.

Much like wine, chocolate has an amazing complexity and depth of flavour. From the velvety sweet and fragrant white chocolate recipe to our smooth and intense dark 85% chocolate


Unicef This Mother’s Day help a mum save their child’s life



Forget the flowers and chocolates this Mother’s Day and buy your mum a truly life-saving gift; a nutritional UNICEF Inspired gift that will help a mum on the other side of the world to save
the life of her hungry child.

UNICEF, as the world’s largest children’s charity, is working right now to help the millions of mums and their children who are suffering from life threatening malnutrition, because they do not have enough to eat. All the nutritional gifts are real life-saving supplies delivered to the children who need it most.

Right now in West Africa alone, the lives of 1 million children are at risk, so there is no better time to buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift for your mum this Mothers Day.
This Mother’s Day help a mum save their child’s life and buy a nutritional UNICEF
Inspired gift from
www.unicef.org.uk/inspired


Peanut paste for a malnourished child £23.50
Your gift provides a month's supply of
therapeutic peanut paste- a life-saving food -
enough to bring a severely malnourished
child back to health.
Magic milk £12
Give life-saving, therapeutic milk for the treatment of severe
child malnutrition. Therapeutic milk is a milk-based powder
used in emergency feeding centres, refugee camps and
hospitals.


Gift basket with life saving supplies £22
This gift basket provides essential supplies to help
support the nutrition, health and education needs of
children.
The basket includes: therapeutic milk; high-energy
biscuits; oral rehydration salts; measles vaccines; water
purification tablets; exercise
books and pencils.

High energy biscuits £16
Provide high protein biscuits for young children caught up in emergencies.
The biscuits are filled with vitamins and minerals providing
vulnerable children with a source of high-quality nutrition in times
of food scarcity.


Emergency Gift £18
Give a UNICEF 'emergency gift' and
help us to respond quickly to the needs of children caught up in emergencies.
Your gift will help provide essential supplies, including medicines, water kits, clean water supplies and other relief items to children and families.


UNICEF’s Inspired Gift range is unique, suitable for all budgets and easy to buy online. Each UNICEF Inspired Gift purchase comes complete with an exclusive Gift Card, which can be personalised and delivered to your choice of UK postal address.


About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and
promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget.
For more information, please visit

Easter fun at home with Cadbury

  
Easter is a great time for getting out and about especially if you have children, one of the best things to do is an easter Egg trail.
As National Trust members we have been on a few Cadbury  trails our favourite being at Belton House in Lincolnshire. The clues are dotted around the estate and it makes an exciting time for the children and parents get to take in the views.


Whats lovely is each child gets a reward at the end and its lovely Cadbury goodies.

This year we will be doing a DIY version as Cadbury kindly supplied me with an Easter Egg Trail pack of my own, my children are bigger now but we still do the trail, its such a great time, hunting for clues, we are considering our local country park, but if the weather is bad its easy to do indoors too!

Whereever you decide to go, have a Happy easter and don't forget the Cadbury Eggs!

This Easter, Cadbury is adding an exciting twist to the traditional Easter egg hunt with the Easter Egg Trail Pack - the perfect kit to create a fun-filled Easter egg hunt at home. With Spring in the air, it is the perfect time to get all the family together and have some fun over the Easter weekend (6th – 9th April) by designing your very own egg trails.

At Easter, families cannot wait to enjoy the thrill of hunting down their favourite chocolate treats. With Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trail Pack, it is easy to bring the magic home and create your own Easter egg hunts.

Each Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Pack contains:
·       10 x Cadbury Dairy Milk hollow chocolate Eggs
·       1 x winner’s prize- Mini Eggs bag

In addition to containing tasty chocolate treats, the packs are adorned with cutout trail markers and arrows, making them ideal to plan an exciting hunt at home. The Cadbury Easter Egg Trail pack comes complete with handles to transform the pack into a basket, perfect for gathering eggs on a hunt at home or in the garden.

Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Packs are available from major retailers at an RRP* of £4.09 (tbc).

For more inventive and fun ideas on how to make the most of Easter and create your own egg trails at home visit www.eastereggtrails.co.uk.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Renshaw’s Snip and Swirl and Simplymelt


Well this mother is making cakes for herself this year, I love chocolate and cupcakes are my favourite cake, so moist you can't help having another and another.
If you remember I used Renshaw's brilliant Ready to Roll icing for Valentines shortbread cookies. You can read the review here

The products are all user friendly and if you are pushed for time, great for helping you make wonderful creations that look fantastic and taste good too.

The Snip and Swirl is a real doddle to use even for somebody like me who gets in a bit of a mess when icing.


I made a batch of fairy cakes and resisted the urge to eat the icing straight from the bag. The icing is a very generous bagful, it needs a massage first. You can choose a star shape or a swirl, the cutting guidelines are marked out clearly.


Then just swirl onto the cakes, I got a little greedy as you can see with the amount of icing, but hey I needed a big cake. The taste of the icing is just so good, fudgy and chocolate all in one. I was definitely in the family's good books.


I tried out the Renshaw Renshaw’s StrawberrySimplymelt on a few spare cakes what do you think?

This again is so easy to use, just heat to melt in the microwave then pour onto cakes, shortbread etc. Then decorate with whatever you fancy. (The marshmallow one Paige nabbed!)


Put the Icing on the Cake This Mother’s Day with Snip & Swirl

Show your mum how much you care this Mother’s Day with a special home-baked treat.

With the help of Renshaw’s Snip and Swirl, creating picture perfect cupcakes and cakes has never been easier. Simply snip the ready-filled bag of deliciously rich icing and swirl over the top.

Mums will adore the three lip-smacking flavours including indulgent vanilla,milk chocolate and smooth strawberry. And to add that extra creative touch, two different piping profiles allow for a circular or star shaped topping. 

So say goodbye to filling and washing out messy piping bags and look forward to simply snipping along the dotted line, swirling out the icing and with the minimum of fuss,creating the perfect Mother’s Day cake.


RRP: £2.49 per 400gpack (tops 12 cupcakes)

For recipe inspiration visit: www.mybakes.co.uk

Kenyan Tea Review


I am a bit of a teapot and drink gallons of tea, after a night out I have to have my cuppa, the kettle goes on the moment I get up each morning. I drink black, green and fruit teas.
I love Asaam, Ceylon, Earl Grey and now I am going to dabble with Kenyan teas which actually are a part of most teas here in Britain
 Kenyan Teas sent me three delicious blends with individual tasting notes and an essential tea brewing kit, so that I can create my own perfect cuppa. I also received some handy tips to make a perfect cup of tea.

Work on the quantities of 1tsp of loose tea for a single cup, plus one for the pot.
Steeping times will vary according to taste so try a little after two minutes or up to four for a stronger taste. I went for four I like a real good strength.
Tea blending is a personal process, so try the teas separately in small amounts before blending to determine which taste you prefer.

My first tea to try was the Kenya Marinyn G.F.B.O.P - Marinyn is grown in the highlands at an altitude of up to 9000ft, resulting in this strong, brightly flavoured tea with a sweet quality and fresh, crisp aroma. The tea has a coppery colour, and is brisk and lively cup with a refreshing bite.

I thought this one was ideal when I'm really thirsty it had a lighter taste than I expected. It was almost a forest like taste woody and sharp. Each sip seemed to improve my experience of the tea.



Second was the Kenya Estate Milima Leaf Tea This very rare, large loose leaf tea is a traditional orthodox tea with a bright liquor and a full, slightly malty flavour. It is aromatic, fruity and spicy with some sweet floral notes.  

My favourite of the three teas it is strong, well rounded and reminded me most of my usual Assam brew. It really is a rich satisfying taste.



Last but not least Kaamba Loose Leaf Tea – This luxury black tea has a very malty flavour with light hints of currant and a bright golden colour when served with milk. It also has high levels of antioxidants.

I liked the fruity taste it reminded me of in aroma and taste of lemon. So maybe my tastebuds need improvement.  Its another strong taste and a thirst quenching brew. The colour is really orangey too, I liked the strong aftertaste a really good flavour that lingered on my tongue for a while.

I did make a nice blend of The Kaamba with the  Milima and found it to be the best blend for me.

I've really enjoyed this taste review and learned a lot, I will definitely be looking at Kenyan teas more often.


Some suggestions:

For a strong, malty taste try blending Milima with a small amount of the Kaamba loose leaf tea.
For a fresh, crisp tea with an attractive bright colour blend Kenya Marinyn and Kenya Estate Milima Leaf Tea.
Try the Marinyn and Kaamba teas together to offset some of the malty flavour for a bright, sweetish flavour.
Kenyan Tea Farm




Tea has been grown in Kenya since 1903 and quickly thrived thanks to the growing conditions, climate and altitude. Tea is grown in both large plantations and smallholdings across 180,000 hectares with production reaching up to 390 million kilos per year. Today Kenya is the largest producer of tea in Africa and one of the world’s largest black tea producers.



Britain is famously a nation of tea lovers with many of us drinking up to five cups of our favourite brew each day. Nearly half of us drink popular blended tea brands, but do you know where your tea leaves come from? It’s a well kept secret in your favourite cuppa, but most likely it will be Kenyan Tea.

Kenyan Tea is at the heart of many of Britain’s favourite teas blends, making up the 12 million cups of tea we drink each and every day in the UK. We’ve asked around to find out what makes your perfect cuppa, and while milky tea is still our favourite it seems we’re getting more adventurous.


More are trying lemon or honey in a cuppa, while over a third of you are experimenting with the purer tastes of loose leaf, single estate and rare teas from around the world.

Avoid a car insurance claim - top tips for looking after your motor



Adequate car insurance gives you peace of mind – it means that if the worst happens your liabilities are covered. But the chances of avoiding a claim on your insurance – and thereby preserving your no claim discount – can be greatly increased by taking a few simple measures that help to protect both you and your car.


Be a safe driver
Watching your speed and adjusting your driving to the weather and road conditions, will help to make your journey a safe one.
Always stay within the speed limit – it’s a legal requirement, and for a good reason: speeding is responsible for 13% of all road accidents where somebody is hurt.
When it comes to alcohol, the easiest way to make sure you stay within the legal limit is to avoid it altogether, if you’re going to be driving. Also be very wary of driving the morning after a night out – allow enough time for all the alcohol to work its way out of your system before taking the wheel.
If you’re a new driver, you can help cut the risk of being involved in an accident by taking further instruction. Consider completing a course like ‘Pass Plus’ – it might also help lower your car insurance premium.


Be security conscious
Protect your car from theft and damage by parking it in a busy, well lit area. Don’t leave anything valuable on display – most thieves are opportunists.
Always remove ignition keys when you step out of your vehicle and never leave it unlocked, even if you’re leaving it unattended for only a short while.
Consider fitting anti-theft equipment and maybe even a tracking device in case the worst happens and your vehicle is stolen.
Increasing your car security will help deter thieves and, again, could lower the cost of your car insurance at the same time.


Look after your car
Don’t wait until your car’s next MOT to fix faults. Defects can cause accidents and, ultimately, risk lives.
Keep tyres properly inflated and check the tread regularly for wear. Monitor oil, coolant and other fluid levels, replenishing when necessary.
A dirty windscreen restricts your vision, particularly at night when car headlights can dazzle. Don’t let windscreen wash run dry, and always make sure you clean the inside of the windscreen as well as the outside. Wiper blades should be replaced as soon as they show signs of wear.
A well-serviced and maintained car should be safer and should last you longer, saving you money in the long run.


Get covered
A great way to protect your car is to make sure your insurance provides adequate cover. Not all car insurance policies are equal, so always read the small print to ensure that you have the best cover for your needs.

Air Wick Air & Fabric with FreshBubbles™ Review




Well spring is definitely on its way as I'm currently reviewing lots of cleaning products and sprays.

I have reviewed lots of Air Wick room freshening products in the past the rather clever Air Wick Touch of Luxury Colour changing candles which were lovely over Christmas.

The Air Wick Odour Detect caused hilarity when we placed it next to Conor and it went off, see the reviews here
http://giventodistractingothers.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-air-wick-odour-detect-review.html

There are times when I like to use a quick blast of spray, having a puppy when he has just come in for a walk, after a meal, especially when visitors arrive etc.

Well Air Wick sent me a new spray to try and I was very pleased to receive an Air Wick Air and Fabric with FreshBubbles sweet pea spray.

Whats clever about this is two fold for me, its an air freshener, handy for any time, but its also a fabric freshener as the name says.
So its nice to spray a bit on the cushions and curtains to give a lingering fragrance.

Even more clever is that every time you sit down or brush past the curtains it continues to release bursts of freshness for up to 12 hours. 

A lot of air fresheners lose their scent in minutes, the Air Wick keeps on giving, a great new and very clever product. I will leave Air Wick to tell you how it works as they are better at it than me.

NEW Air Wick Air and Fabric with Fresh Bubbles™is new and unique to the air care category and is the only air freshener spray to use microencapsulated technology.

Combining two fragrance formulations within one product offers a dual benefit, with an effective instant action when sprayed in the air and microencapsulated bubbles that release the on-going fragrance when sprayed on fabrics.
Using technology previously used in some fabric softeners, fragrance is released for up to 12 hours as the bubbles are burst by your natural movement around the home.
If you have friends over you can now rest assured that you will not need to continue spraying to keep your home fresh throughout your day!  Air Wick Air & Fabric with Fresh Bubbles™will work with you to ensure that every time you sit down on your sofa, close the curtains to set the atmosphere for your favourite movie or just fluff your cushions, you will enjoy light bursts of your favourite nature-inspired fragrance.

NEW Air Wick Air and Fabric with Fresh Bubbles™comes in a range of fragrances, including the NEW Colours of Nature collection. Air Wick Colours of Nature range is inspired by the most vibrant scents and colours of nature that bring to life nature’splayfulness, colour and vibrancy. Leading the range is new Pink Sweet Pea fragrance, which captures the simple pleasure of a garden of freshly blooming flowers while creating a relaxing atmosphere in your home.


·        Air Wick Fresh Burst Bubbles are available at all major supermarkets

·        RRP£3.49
·        Last up to 12 hours and available in a range of four fragrances:
·        Pink Sweet Pea
·        Purple Lavender Meadow
·        Crisp Linen and Lilac
·        Ivory Freesia Bloom
·        Available in 345ml Plastic Bottle with propellant-free trigger
·        For more general brand information visit
www.airwick.co.uk

Vileda 1,2 Spray system and Extra Power Scourers


I love new gadgets and accessories, probably a good job as I review them.





Even before this blog started I have always loved ads for a new product, When it comes to Vileda, I think I have tried most of their mops and a lot of the other cleaning products for washing up, right from the first one years ago and since then was hooked on the thought that goes into a product.

I am a lazy soul by nature, I think I need variety to get me into the swing of housework. So when Vileda come up with new ways to make mopping easier I have to try them. Up until now its still been a mop and bucket but and I must admit to getting fed up with this as I have a small utility area and could do with just a mop. I have taken to using floor wipes, but hate the bending down.

Having a puppy now means I am washing the floor more regularly, so for those inbetween times when I just want to give my floors a quick clean the new  Vileda 1,2 Spray system is perfect.


The cleaning liquid is already integrated into the handle and easy to top up. It smells gorgeous too, it gives a lovely light fresh scent.



I found it so easy to use in the kitchen



But where I feel it really helped me was on my laminate floor. I am aways wary of using too much liquid on my wooden floor, but the spray released is fine and the cloth easily absorbs the liquid as it glides over the floor.

I really love the 1 2 Spray and noticed that its on special offer right now on Tesco Direct. Also available at Asda, Wilkinson, B&Q


I was also sent Extra Power scourers now a scourer is always handy to have and I tend to use the non scratch variety on my pans and bakeware that is not designed for the dish washer.

Why is it that these pans, usually have the caked on food and need serious rubbing?

So out comes the scourer and you get to work, when you have finished the scourer is caked in food and bits are caught in the fibres, ewww! I rarely want to use it again until its been in the washing machine and then they are never as good!

Well those issues have been thought out by Vileda and they have come up tops again. The scourer has an innovative and unique 3D cleaning surface  which shifts even the most stubborn dirt with ease, giving me more power for less effort. And because the surface is sealed, it’s easy to rinse after the job is finished. Another great cleaning accessory.

Available in Extra Power and Non-Scratch Power.     

Nailene Winners



Winners of the Nailene nails and Utra Adhesive tabs coming up, but first thank you for all the tips for nail care and polishing. There have been some great tips for removing glued on nails may have a go one more time.

For now I love these ultra adhesive tabs so easy to use and remove after with no damage to my nails, my tip for these, make sure you press firmly down on each nail, the ones I didn't loosened.

Loved the jokes too. Thank you for making snigger!

If you didn't win and want to try these clever adhesive tabs Boots stock them and the price is great at £2.49.


MumOfOne aka @hlac1
Claire Trevor via gmail
ButtonF1Fan @buttonf1fan
M. aka @maisietoo
mummy24 @ashlallan
Asallan has asked me to redraw as she won on another blog, so the very lucky winner is


Congrats to you all, please send your details via my email details under my photo on the right!
Please get in touch within one week, or I will have to pick another winner.
The prizes are sent direct from Nailene.

Please allow Nailene 28 working days to send the prize

Monday, 27 February 2012

Proactiv Solution 3 now available at Boots


Spots and blemishes can really be a curse, you can wear your best outfit, your hair is fabulous but unsightly marks on your face shoulders and back can just totally ruin your confidence, trying to cover them up, seems mostly to just highlight them. Acne isn't just a teen dilemma it can hit all skin at any age.
We all know that treatment and prevention works best.

There are some good products out there a few I and Paige have tried just seem to make our skin taut and some have even caused stinging and dry patches.

When  I was offered the chance for us to try Proactiv Solution, I first read the comments by the Brand Ambassador Katy Perry.
She says " Blemishes really made me want to hide. I'd wear makeup to bed or stay in if I had a bad breakout. I've tried so many things and because I pride myself on being a real person - somebody who gives hugs, not handshakes, I want to tell people about my experience. Since I started using Proactiv, I've seen a massive change in my face and my confidence. I really believe in Proactiv"

Hailed as the ‘must have’ range by other A-list celebrities, such as  Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber, the world renowned Proactiv® Solution is now available exclusively at Boots.com and in Boots Stores.

Well I have been using each day and unlike other spot treatments this does not dry the skin, it feels refreshing in a way, skin feels really clean and I haven't had my usual outbreak of spots that occur each month. 

The cleanser really gets into the pores and all the grime is gone. I have been using a very small amount twice a day on wet skin as instructed. When I first applied I felt I used too much and massaged it in, I feel its easier to apply lightly to damp skin and leave on for a few seconds. What I think is beneficial for the facial skin is rinsing with warm water after cleansing.

I did find that only once a day is sufficient for me face too, so the cost is greatly reduced as it will last for four months, this may not be advisable for all problem skin.


The toner is my favourite, it feels so fresh and wakes up my skin.
What I like is its a whole system that appears to look after my skin, not just zap spots, its gentle which I feel is the greatest benefit when using products on the face.
Again I used sparingly and once a day.

Paige has asked to try it now, she sometimes gets dry rash type patches if she uses any that are too harsh, so as a consequence has tried to just get on with it. We did a test patch on her damp skin in readiness , rinsed off and so far so good, she mentioned a tingling sensation but no further effects.

Its £39.99 this is for all three products and its two months supply so this compares very favourably to other products bought singly.

Proactiv® Solution was co-developed by leading dermatologists Katie Roden MD. and Kathy Fields MD.

The 3 Step System is a complete skincare solution that helps prevent breakouts in three simple steps, twice daily.
The ingredients in each step work together to cleanse the skin, help unclog pores and target the leading causes of breakouts.
  • Renewing Cleanser 120ml - This mild formula gently cleanses while tiny beads exfoliate skin cells to help unclog pores by removing dirt and impurities to reveal clearer skin.
  • Revitalising Toner 120ml - Our gentle toner removes excess oil whilst natural botanicals soothe and soften your skin
  • Repairing Treatment 60ml - This specially formulated, light lotion penetrates your skin to help clear blemishes and to prevent further breakouts.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Healthy Red Thai Beef Curry



Now Thai cooking is flavoursome yet due to the use of coconut milk and oil tends to be a meal high in fat, but with the gorgeous fragrant flavour and use of great herbs and vegetables its a shame to miss it off the menu.

Inspired by a recipe using Kara milk on Slimming Eats, plus my Taste Team challenge to cook around Asia and then adapting  my own Thai recipes, and making new slimming world beef recipes.This meal uses a few less fattening ingredients to make a dish that still gives a flavour of Thailand. My low fat Thai curry gives me yet another fast and easy Slimming World recipe,that the whole family love.

 This will suit those on a low fat diet,  people who have a dairy free diet and great for Slimming World members too.
I replaced the coconut milk in tins for Kara Low Fat Dairy Free Coconut milk found in Tesco Extra.

If you follow Slimming World you can have 400ml of Kara for 1 HEXa, so a serving of this Slimming World Red Thai curry would be quarter of a HExA (100ml of Kara), the dish I cooked served four. So make sure you get the rest of your HEXa

While on the subject of values for Slimming World various Thai curry pastes carry different syn values so please check. I used Thai Taste red curry paste as its 1/2 syn per 60g , chosen  also as it's a good flavoured, authentic spicy paste.
 

My tip is get to the Asian grocers if you have one locally and buy a pack of fresh Kaffir Lime leaves, I got a big bag for 99p and they are in the freezer to just pop into any Asian dish. They really  give a citrus zest to the dish and make it a little more authentic.

I still aim to make the Thai paste myself soon but for now I am rather pleased with the result.


 I cooked with beef to allow for the need to reduce the liquid that comes as a result of using Kara, I am sure chicken would suit, however it will be a more soupy affair.

I was concerned the final dish would be a little too liquid when first cooking, I made sure it had a long time simmering until it was reduced. Its a dish to leave to bubble and fill the house with fragrance.
 

 
400g lean stir fry beef or frying steak
Frylight spray
1 whole green pepper finely sliced
250 Fine green beans
150g mushrooms sliced
60g Thai Taste red paste (1/2 syn) or 3 tablespoons of any Red Thai curry paste (3 syns)
1 tin tomato puree
400- 600 ml of So delicious or Kara Coconut Milk
5 Fresh Kaffir Lime leaves bruised with back of a knife.
 2 stalks of galangal julienned
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 sticks of lemon grass
1 large red chiili, greens good too or omit if a milder dish is desired.


Spray a heavy pan or wok with Frylight spray and lightly brown the beef
 add the Red Thai Curry Paste and tomato puree and continue to fry on a low heat for a minute to allow the pastes to infuse with the meat.

Add the pepper strips,  emongrass, fish sauce, chillis if using and stir.
 
Finally add 400 ml of Kara milk, mushrooms, fine green beans and  kaffir lime leaves.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is thoroughly cooked through and sauce has reduced and thickened. If you find you need more Kara milk add accordingly.

The first attempt I used all 600ml, the second I used 400ml and added a splash in the middle of cooking.


About 20-40 minutes dependant on meat used and sauce thickness you wish.
Serve topped with fresh coriander.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Ax Paris Win Exclusive tickets to see Olly Murs




Brit award nominee Olly Murs has announced a one-off conert this summer on Sunday 5th August playing at the final of Lytham Proms Festival.

The concert will be a special date in Olly’s summer diary and ticket demand is expected to be high.
By registering with AX Paris you’re also eligible for the pre-sale offered at 4 tickets for the price of 3!
So... if you want to be part of the party this summer register below for your chance to win!


 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

From Me To You journal for Mothers Day


This is a truly wonderful gift that gives back to you, I am a sucker for family history, the personal kind, I love to know about the woman or man behind the title of Mum, Dad, Granny etc and this  Dear Mum, From Me to You journal makes it easy to record those gems forever. 
Also great is that all the money form the gift goes to hopefully gift cancer research, now this is a truly giving gift. 

It’s Mother’s Day in three weeks (18th March) and Cancer Research UK has a really wonderful To Mum  ‘From you to me ’journal available from its online shop – www.cancerresearchuk.org/shop

Invite your Mum to complete this intriguing journal that will capture precious memories, experiences and family insights. It's a gift with a twist as once completed, you get it back! She will take a journey down memory lane thinking about her life and experiences with you and then returns it, for you and future generations to treasure. Each page prompts a question to be answered such as ‘where was your first holiday’, ‘what did you think when I was born’,‘what is your favourite family memory’, ‘what was your first job’ and much more, you can also add pictures into it too.

It’s only £9.99 (minus postage) and 100% of profits from the online shop go to Cancer Research UK for its life-saving work into beating cancer.

Unwrapped *UK Premiere* on the Food Network



Ever wanted to find out how exactly what goes into those delicious American treats? From peanut butter to marshmallows and bubble-gum, host Marc Summers visits test kitchens and helps viewers discover to explore the secrets of classic American foods.

With a special Premiere episode for Food Network UK’s seven-hour Italian Weekend extravaganza, viewers will be taken on an Italian-American food journey, finding out exactly how low-carb pasta is produced, and not forgetting a visit to a noodle work of art!

Each week a new delicacy will be discovered, with viewers left wanting to make a visit across the pond by the end of the series to sample the specialities for themselves.

Unwrapped *UK Premiere*
Saturdays from 18th Feb, double bill at 4pm

TYRRELLS CRINKLY VEG CRISPS REVIEW

Tyrrells veg crisps have gone all crinkly and I must say I like it. I first tried these truly different snacks at The Good Food Show and despite me expecting not to like them, I was impressed. I think having potato snacks for so long I wasn't sure it would be too much of a jump for Tyrrells to try. I am glad they know snacks better than me because they so work.

I love to make a fresh dip and often a cold salsa, as they are one of my five a day its just no excuse to tuck in.

To further make these already tasty favourites a bit more nommy, they have added a seasoning of Rosemary and Wild Garlic. Its like eating a lamb roast dinner, sorry if you are a vegetarian but that is what they remind me of.

Tyrrells, the quintessentially English crisp brand, will be tantalising taste buds again with the launch of its Crinkly Veg crisps. A delicious mixture of crinkle cut Beetroot, Parsnip and Carrot Crisps seasoned with Rosemary and Wild Garlic is available in 150g bags with an RRP of £2.99 and 40g bags RRP of 99p.
 
For years now, Tyrrells has wondered what would happen if they were to take your favourite root vegetables and put them through the wonderful contraption that is –The Crinkler. The answer is a deliciously thick cut, sweet, earthy vegetable with a truly satisfying crinkle crunch!


The Crinkly Veg crisps will be available in 150g bags with an RRP of £2.99 and 40g bags RRP 99p and stocked in leading multiple retailers, and quality independents, delis and farm shops.


For more information on the core Tyrrells range or other products please visit
 www.tyrrellscrisps.co.uk

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