A Strong Coffee

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hans Solo World Book Day Costume and A Star Wars Giveaway!

The hardest thing about making this Hans Solo costume for World Book Day was keeping little man still. With a water gun in his hands he just wanted to leap around shooting baddies!

Egmont have challenged myself along with some other bloggers to come up with some Star Wars outfits for World Book Day. My boys love Star Wars, but I was a bit stumped with an easy to make outfit. So I went on a hunt around the house to see what we had that I could use. When I found a suit that little man had worn for my sisters wedding in his wardrobe, Hans Solo sprung to mind.

I grabbed a pair of Wellington boots, skinny jeans, white shirt, an old belt and a Quixels gun and started assembling the outfit. You can see exactly what I did in this short video:

As you can see from the photos, little man is one happy Hans Solo! If you don't have black wellies, maybe you have some girls boots that could be used instead. No white shirt? Maybe a karate top. Having a good look around your house can really put ideas into your head.

In celebration of World Book day Egmont Publishing have offered me a set of the Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space Books to giveaway to one of my readers.

Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space books

Big man has just started the series by reading The Snare. The first page sets the scene explaining that the Clone Wars have ended and the Jedi order has been destroyed. The evil Emperor Palpatine is the unopposed leader of the galaxy. The book focuses on Milo and Lina who are the children of the captured Imperial Captain Korda. Milo and Lina set out in their starship Whisper Bird to rescue their parents. But with the Imperial forces lying in wait, can they escape the snare.

The Nest: Still looking for their parents, Milo and Lina Graf need some help. They trace their latest clue to the jungle, where a terrifying adventure unfolds.

The Steal: Still on the hunt to find their kidnapped parents, Milo and Lina have something special stolen from them and have to embark on their most dangerous mission yet.

The Dark: In this story Milo and Lina are adrift on a starship that is spiraling towards disaster. Not to mention the fact that there is a criminal on the loose and the Empire are closing in. But something deadlier awaits them - the dark.

The books are aimed at confident readers from around aged 8 upwards. Big man struggled at first with the concept of the books as they focus on different characters from the films he has seen. However, a Star Wars fan sure to be won over by these new adventures in wild space. The books can be purchased from Amazon.



And there is a new title that you can pre order to receive in March: The Cold. Still looking for their kidnapped parents, Milo and Lina are left them stranded on a desolate ice planet after an ambush. With an old enemy out for revenge, can they survive THE COLD?

To win a set of  Star Wars Wild In Space Adventures, just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Star Wars Wild In Space Adventures

If you are, or know a Star Wars fan, then Egmont Publishing really do have a book for everyone. From fact files to adult colouring you can see their full range here.

Need some more inspiration? Here Eileen has made R2D2 and Angela will be showing you how to make Yoda.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

This is a commissioned post

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Fried Sage And Anchovies

I first tried deep fried sage and anchovies when I attended a Red Letter Days Cookery Class at Caldessi Cookery School in London last year. It was a Tuscan Cookery Class. To be brutally honest, I was a little disappointed it was on the menu. I don't mind anchovies, on a pizza. But who eats them at a dinner party? Tuscan people do! And do you know why? Because they are absolutely delicious! 

Whilst I didn't have any 00 flour, which is recommended, plain flour can be used and the results are good. My eldest son had been asking to try some anchovies as he had seen some in the cupboard that I had reviewed recently. I thought this was the perfect chance to recreate the dish that I had eaten at Caldessi.

Fried Sage And Anchovies

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper
  • large sage leaves
  • 1 jar of delicius anchovies
  1. Mix the egg and flour together and then whisk in the milk. I used a cup of semi skimmed milk. The batter is quite light, you don't want it too think and heavy.
  2. Add a little salt and pepper.
  3. Add some oil to a pan and heat it up. (Grape seed oil is recommended but I used vegetable oil.) Add a drop of batter to check that the oil is hot enough.
  4. Take the anchovies out of the jar and make sure they are dried on some kitchen towel. Depending on the size of your sage leaves you may want to cut the anchovies in half.
  5. Sandwich an anchovy between two sage leaves and then dip it in the batter.
  6. Fry until a light golden brown.
  7. Allow to rest on some kitchen towel to get rid of excess fat.
  8. Enjoy whilst warm.

I was pleased to say that my 9 year old loved these as much as I did. I am hoping that we may see them on our trip to Italy later this year.

What is your favourite Tuscan food?

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deep fried sage and anchovies from a tuscan dinner party menu

Monday, 13 February 2017

Courgetti With Pesto And Manchego

I devised this courgetti recipe after AO.com challenged me to make a healthy but exciting dish using the Kenwood Electric Spiralizer. My husband isn't a fan of having a meat free dish, and when I told him that it would also be pasta free he was even less pleased! He was worried that courgetti just wouldn't cut it. Luckily, by using some of his favourite flavours, I soon changed his mind.

I am still getting to grips with my Kenwood electric spiraliser. You can see it in action here:

The biggest tip I have for using the  machine is to make sure your vegetables are fresh and as straight as possible. Results aren't great if the vegetables have been sitting around for a while. The spiralizer is easy to clean with the detachable parts being dishwasher safe.

Courgettes have been hard to come by in recent weeks, but I was pleased to be able to get some last weekend. I used the linguine blade to make the courgette ribbons and was pleased with the results,

Courgetti With Pesto And Manchego

Serves 2
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 tsps reduced fat red pesto
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • A handful of olives, sliced
  • 3 sundried tomatoes chopped
  • 50g manchego cheese cubed
  • Chilli flakes
  1. Spiralize the courgettes. 
  2. Steam in the microwave for 2-3minutes.
  3. Add the pesto and garlic to a frying pan and heat through. 
  4. Add the Olives and sundried tomatoes.
  5. Add the courgetti and make sure that it is coasted in the pesto.
  6. Add the small cubes of manchego cheese.
  7. Divide between 2 bowls and top with some chilli flakes.

This meal was delicious and both my husband and I are looking forward to trying some more healthy meals with it.

Do you have a spiralizer? What recipes do you recommend?

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Courgetti With Pesto And Manchego, a tasty healthy meal

Family Fever

Hijacked By Twins

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Date Delivered Review And Giveaway!

This weekend my husband and I had a date night thanks to Date Delivered. We would love to go on more dates, but with no family nearby and babysitters being costly, we tend not to do much together. The Date Delivered subscripton box is perfect for a couple like us, who can't easily go out on a date.

date delivered box

The box came nicely packaged and had everything to make a lovely date night. As I am a bit of a foodie, our box was food focused. You can advise the type of things you enjoy before your box is delivered. Here is a unboxing video of our Date Delivered box.

Along with the food and drink, there was a bonding activity. This was a set of questions focused around curries with the odd relationship question. Slightly random, but got us talking.

All the products in the box were lovely. The Spicery package was particularly good. Here you are sent all the spices to prepare a delicious meal. You have a shopping list on the back so you can make sure you have everything in. Whilst it did take a long time to prepare (a good hour and a half) it was worth it. I would suggest reading the recipes through before hand. I saved some time by making these Saffrom Kheer in the day.

Date Delivered can be purchased as a one off gift for £33.95. There are also subscriptions available. If you are looking at buying it for yourself you can check out their current deals here.

I think the Date Delivered box is a lovely idea and we really enjoyed our date night in Mumbai themed box. I am excited to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win a Date Delivered box themselves. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Date Delivered Box

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
Family Fever

Monday, 6 February 2017

Monday Morning Super Powers. What Are Your npower Parenting Super Powers?

Our usual Monday morning starts something like this:

Mummy where is my book bag?

Mummy where is my water bottle?

Mummy I haven't got a school jumper.

Mummy where is my Maths homework?

Mummy where are my trainers?

Mummy my school shoes have disappeared!

Pretty much every week, we have this scenario. All before 7.30am. Sometimes it is even before I have had my coffee. With three small boys there are a lot of Mummy where is questions.

Lego, Pokemon book and super hero mask

By 8 o'clock I have found 20 missing items. Then I walk into middle man's room to make sure he is dressed. Of course he never is. He is usually sat in his pants, surrounded by Lego and reading his Pokemon encyclopedia.

"Why aren't you dressed?" I shriek.

"I can't find my school uniform."

"Argh! It is in your wardrobe where it always is!"

"Oh, I didn't see it there." he says nonchalantly, whilst flicking over the page of his book.

I won't lie, when I was little I never thought I would have good vision. Two eye operations before the age of 7. A patch like a pirate. I was told that as I had a squint I would never be able to pilot a plane. Therefore my superpower came as a bit of a shock. However, it appears that I have supervision. A special power to find things that are often right infront of my boys. Yet they, with perfectly good eyesight, can't see them.

Middle man is all for utilizing my special powers. He is Lego mad, just like his Mummy. I was so pleased when he asked for a giant set for Christmas. It would be something we could work together on. Build together and bond as mother and son. As he unwrapped it on Christmas day, you could see his excitement. He turned to me and said:

"You can help me if you like Mummy."

"Oh yes, I would love to!" I exclaimed.

"Yes. You can be my chief Lego piece finder."


Thanks. So what is your parenting superpower? npower are partnering with Emily and Peter Andre who will be seeking parents with amazing superpowers throughout the UK.
Here is a little video to give you and idea of what they are looking for:

npower are keen to know what your parenting super powers are. There are three amazing UK theme park resort breaks as prizes. All you need to do is to visit www.familysuperpowers.com or tweet them @npowerhq and share an image or video of your super powers using #familysuperpowers.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I will receive a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Malteaser Cupcakes With MaltEaster Mini Bunnies

These Malteaser cupcakes With MaltEaster Mini Bunnies are sure to put a smile on everyone's face this Easter. The cupcakes are Malteaser flavoured with crushed Malteasers inside and the grass frosting is malt flavoured too.

The hardest thing about making these cupcakes, is not eating all the MaltEaster bunnies before you put them on the cupcakes!

I used the grass nozzle from my piping kit. It is really simple to do. You just need to apply pressure and release. Luckily you tube is always on hand for cake decorating tips if you still aren't sure.

Malteaser Cupcakes With Malteaser Mini Bunnies

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 3 oz self raising flour
  • 1/4oz cocoa powder
  • 3/4 oz horlicks
  • A handful of smashed Malteasters
For the frosting
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2tsp horlicks
  • Green food gel - I use colorsplash
  • Grass icing nozzle
  • MaltEaster Mini Bunnies
  • Sugar flowers
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  2. Mix all the cake ingredients together. I find that it is easier if the butter is melted in the microwave first.
  3. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases.
  4. Bake until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool before adding the frosting.
  5. To make the  frosting mix the icing sugar, butter, horlicks and green colouring together using an electric whisk. It needs to be quite soft to be piped using the grass nozzle.
  6. Pipe the grass effect over the cupcake. Add a MaltEaster mini bunny to the top and a sugar flower to the side.

Nearly too cute to eat....but only nearly!

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Hijacked By Twins

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

New Potato, Pancetta & Goats Cheese Frittata

The inspiration for this new potato, pancetta and goats cheese frittata came from my love of new potatoes with bacon and mint sauce. It was one of my favourite summer dishes growing up and still is now. However, I don't need to wait until the summer thanks to Tesco and these delicious Cypriot new potatoes.

New Potato, Pancetta & Goats Cheese Frittata

The Cypriot new potatoes are available from Tesco loose or in the 750g packs such as that pictured above. After a quick wash they can be boiled, steamed, roasted or baked. There is no need to wait until the summer to enjoy new potatoes as the Cypriot new potatoes are instore until the end of March.
Frying new potatoes, pancetta and red onion

This new potato, pancetta and goats cheese and frittata is a quick, easy and most importantly delicious lunch.

New Potato, Pancetta & Goats Cheese Frittata

Serves 4-6 people

ingredients for frittata

  • 140g Cypriot New Potatoes thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion tinly sliced
  • 65g smoked pancetta cubes
  • 8 eggs
  • 75g goats cheese
  • Fresh mint
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  2. Thinly slice the Cypriot New Potatoes and heat in a frying pan (with metal handle) with a small amount of oil.
  3. Cut and thinly slice the red onion and add this and the pancetta to the frying pan with the new potatoes.
  4. Fry for around 5 minutes until the pancetta is browned and the onions softened.
  5. Whisk 8 eggs and add to the frying pan.
  6. Dot the top of the frittata with goats cheese and place in the oven for around 20mins.
  7. When the top of the frittata is browned, take it out of the oven and top with some fresh mint.

What is your favourite recipe with new potatoes? Have you tried the Cypriot New Potatoes from Tesco?

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This is my entry to the #CypriotNewPotatoes challenge on Foodies100 with Tesco. The ingredients were supplied by Tesco.
Hijacked By Twins