A Strong Coffee

Friday, 31 July 2015

Easy No Egg Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread Recipe

Middle man's main aim of the summer holidays was to make gingerbread men. Nice and simple and great for one of the many rainy days we seem to have had recently.

This gingerbread recipe has no eggs, and therefore is quite dry when you are kneading the dough. But it does mean that any left overs can be made into cookie dough ice cream!

You will need:

250g butter
200g soft brown sugar
7tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
4tsp ground ginger
2tsp bicarbonate of soda

lots of sprinkes and icing to decorate.

Heat the oven to 200C.

Melt the butter sugar and golden syrup.

Stir this melted mixture into the dry ingredients.

As there is no egg used in the recipe you may need to add a small amount of water to get it to the right consistency.

Roll out and cut out the shapes you require.

Cook for around 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

decorating gingerbread

Decorate with icing and sprinkles. This activity actually bought piece and quiet to the house for a good 20 minutes. Partly from the concentration in icing their shapes and partly from eating them.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Win Landmaster Wellies with DickiesStore

Summer is officially here, and that means it is time to start enjoying all the outdoor wonders that the UK has to offer, come rain or shine. In celebration of summer, DickiesStore has put together the ultimate outdoor activities guide. From the UK’s best hiking trials, fishing spots and outdoor adventures to the best country retreats to take the kids- it’s all covered here! Click on the map below to find the nearest outdoor heaven to you.
  I’ve teamed up with the guys at Dickies so that you can win a pair of their Landmaster Wellies (worth £57) so that you can make the most of your outdoor adventure, no matter the weather or season. Just complete the Gleam entry below. UK entrants only. Good Luck!

land master wellies

Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only Entries will be moderated, so please make sure that you comment if necessary. There is one prize of Landmaster Wellies size 4-13.  No cash alternative. No bulk or automated entries. If you have already won the prize on a separate blog giveaway with the same promoter they reserve the right to redraw a new winner. If out of stock a similar prize will be substituted. The winner will be chosen randomly. The winner will be notified by email (make sure you leave your contact details) and will have until 2nd Oct to respond with their address. If they fail to respond a new winner will be drawn. No PO Box address Competition closes on 2nd Sept at 11.59

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/pair-landmaster-wellies#sthash.XszWgoQ2.dpuf

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Vanish Review and Giveaway

"Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails, That's what little boys are made of."

There is no doubt about it, my little boys are messy. Little man can't even eat an ice lolly without it dripping down his chin and onto his t-shirt.

messy eater

When little man started pre school, I loved the idea that he had a uniform. Until he came home! I am still not quite sure what he gets up to there but it is a very messy experience! His white polo shirts are stained and look anything but smart. To be honest, I was going to throw them away and buy new ones, until Vanish asked if I would like to try their stain removal products.

grubby school shirt

Considering these were old stains, I figured I had nothing to lose. I wasn't really expecting Vanish to work. I was actually quite surprised with the results. I left the shirts to soak in the Gold Oxi Action for an hour and then put them in the wash with a Vanish Power Shot. 

stain free polo shirt

I was really pleased with the results and will be using these products on fresh stains in the future.

Vanish have offered one of my readers the chance to win a bundle of stain removing products for themselves. Just complete the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

vanish giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/vanish-bundle#sthash.z0pC3sEs.dpuf

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

BISSELL SpotClean Portable Spot Cleaner Review

Bissell Spotclean review

When I told my husband that I had been offered the chance to review the BISSELL SpotClean Portable Spot Cleaner to review, he joked that his Nan used to rave about BISSELL. Well now I have one, I can understand why!

The SpotClean is a portable machine that can be transported around the house to where it is needed. It is small enough to fit on the stairs and can even be taken outside with an extension reel to clean the car.

It requires a small amount of assembly to start, which is just attaching the clips for the nozzle and cable. In the box are the 2 trial sized stain cleaning products that you need to use for the machine, the Oxygen Boost and Spot & Stain 2x concentrate, so that you can get using the machine immediately.

I decided that I would start with my rather stained rug. The flash of the camera makes it look even worse than I had realised. I used the measuring levels on the first jug to add the required amount of water and cleaners.

stained rug

I sprayed the stains and then used the brush to really get into them. Considering these are old stains I was amazed at the result.

Here is what came out. Eewww!

dirty water

I have to say that this started a bit of an obsession. I have now gone over all the stains on the carpets upstairs and have completely done the stairs. The carpet here is pretty old and worn but it is amazing the difference that using the BISSELL has made. I also thought I would try our dining room chairs. Again I achieved great results with just one use.

Before and after cleaning chairs

As the BISSELL SpotClean is portable I thought I might give my car a treat.

cleaning car seats

The BISSEL SpotClean Portable Spot Cleaner has an rrp of £129.99,  which I think is good value. The Spot & Stain 2x concentrate is £8.99 and the Oxygen Boost is £9.99, however, they have a 3 for 2 offer on at the moment which again, makes it quite reasonable. After my initial clean of the house and car with it, I expect I will only use it as and when something gets spilt. It is small enough to store and simple enough to use that it will be easy to get out when accidents happen. Having read other reviews, it is meant to be particularly good with cat sick so may be worth considering if you have a pet.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Black Cherry And Chocolate Cupcakes

black cherry and chocolate cupcakes

At Christmas my friend introduced me to the world of flavoured icing and last week I went to the local cake shop to buy some myself. Sugar and Crumbs do lots of different flavours and here I chose the black cherry to make a Black Forest gateaux style cupcake

Makes 12 Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
3oz self raising flour
1oz of cocoa powder
chopped glace cherries (optional)

For the frosting:

250g Sugar and Crumbs Black Cherry icing sugar
125g softened butter
1 tbsp milk
A few drops of red food colouring.

Fresh cherries

Start by making the cupcakes. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Cream the butter and caster sugar.
Mix in the eggs, flour and cocoa powder.
Chop some glace cherries in half and mix in.

Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and cook for around 15 minutes.

chocolate cupcakes

Once cooled make up the butter cream up as per the instructions on the pack. Add a few drops of red food colouring.

cherry icing

Pipe onto the cupcakes and add a cherry to each one.

chocolate and cherry cupcakes

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Arlington Court National Trust - Devon

Arlington court

When on holiday in Devon this Easter we visited Arlington Court. I have to say I need to thank the weather! It was one of those things where the beach was cloudy but it was nice inland and this in combination that we have National Trust passes made us decide to go here. The flyers just talk about the carriage museum. We didn't even make it there as the grounds were so lovely.

Peacocks roamed around the gardens and we went on a long trail. Best of all was the children's playground area. Woods stepping stones, ropes to climb up hills. We could have stayed here for hours.

den area

climbing a rope

The boys were excited by Pooh stick bridge. It ended in tears when our sticks seemed to disappear! 

pooh stick bridge

Arlington Court was absolutely beautiful and so much more than a carriage museum. Definitely worth a visit if you are in North Devon.


 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Spicy Macaroni Cheese With Prawns

spicy macoroni

This dish was inspired by a lovely meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. I would have never have thought of putting prawns and macaroni cheese together and here I used a Mexican cheese on give it a bit of a kick.

You will need:

200g pasta it doesn't really matter what shape you use. 
A knob of butter
A dessert spoon of flour
250ml of milk
1 cup of grated cheddar
1 cup of grated Mexican cheese (plus extra to melt on top)
200g of prawns
Juice of a lime

Start by cooking the pasta in salted water.

Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter and adding the flour. Next add the milk and stir in the cheese. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.

making cheese sauce

Meanwhile fry the prawns and them add the lime juice. Stir these into the cheese pasta.

lime on prawns

Top with breadcrumbs and more grated Mexican cheese and melt under the grill.

ready to grill


spicy macaroni with prawns

Link up your recipe of the week

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