A Strong Coffee

Friday, 5 February 2016

Welsh Beef, Horseradish Potatoes and Homemade Yorkshire Puddings

Welsh Beef, Horseradish Potatoes and Homemade Yorkshire Puddings

This Sunday is National Yorkshire Pudding Day! To celebrate, Welsh beef sent me a lovely cut of beef that I could enjoy with some Yorkshires.

There is nothing quite like roast beef and homemade Yorkshire puddings for Sunday lunch and these horseradish potatoes really compliment the dish. 

To start, pierce the meat and stick on pieces of garlic and rosemary. Seal the meat before placing in a roasting dish and covering with a glass of red wine. Put this in the oven and start making your potatoes.

Welsh Beef

Horseradish potatoes are basically a potato gratin with horseradish sauce added to the cream.

Here I peeled 4 large potatoes and thinly sliced them. I then heated 150ml double cream, with 450ml milk and 3 desert spoons of horseradish. I placed the potatoes in the mixture and simmered for 10 minutes. (You may want to add a little more horseradish. As the boys were eating this I didn't want to make it too strong.) Place the potatoes and sauce in a dish and cover with foil and put in the oven with your beef.

Once the beef is cooked, take it out to rest and turn the oven up to 220C to make your Yorkshire puddings.

To make 12 Yorkshire puddings you will need:

175ml milk
175g flour

Whisk the mixture and divide between 12 muffin holes. (You will need to add oil to the bottom of each muffin hole if you don't have a stoneware muffin dish.)

Open the oven, take the foil off the potatoes and cover the top with grated emmental. Pop this back in the oven and put the Yorkshire Puddings in to cook too.

Now is the time to steam any accompanying veg and make your gravy. I used the juices from the meat, a little flour.

Welsh beef provided us with the ingredients for this meal.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Win! The Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adventure on DVD

Win! The Little Penguin: Pororo's Racing Adventure on DVD

With half term speeding it's way towards us, I have a new giveaway for you. Released on Monday 15th February on DVD and Digital Download, The little penguin:Pororo's racing adventure may be the perfect film to keep your little ones entertained this half term.

The film follows Pororo the penguin as his dreams come true when he participates in the ultimate Super Sled race with his friends. Pororo accidentally causes an aeroplane to make an emergency landing in Porong Village. Pororo and his friends manage to hitch a plane ride to the ice metropolis of Northpia with hopes of racing in the Super Sled Championships. But to win, Pororo and his friends must compete against the current champions led by The White Tiger as well as the scheming brown bears led by Fufu and numerous other teams. Along the way, Pororo will not only inspire the cynical duck sportscasters, Chip and Walter, but all of the animals of Northpia!

The Little Penguin - Pororo's Racing Adventure [DVD] can be ordered from Amazon. Lionsgate have also kindly offered to giveaway a copy to one of my readers. Just complete the Rafflecopter entry below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Valentine's Chocolate Bark

valentines bark

Over Christmas I made some Candy Cane Bark  which went down a treat with my boys and husband. It is simple to make and turns a couple of inexpensive chocolate bars into something much more exciting. With Valentine's Day on the way I decided to make some bark with pink goodies on top.

To make this you will need:

100g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate
Vegetable oil
A handful of pink mini marshmallows
A handful of pink chocolate beans
Some freeze dried strawberries.

Break up the milk chocolate chocolate and melt in the microwave with a drop of vegetable oil (1/4 teaspoon.)

Pour this onto some greaseproof paper and allow to nearly set.

Next melt the white chocolate and add a drop of vegetable oil. Arrange some of the freeze dried strawberry onto the chocolate.Pour the melted white chocolate onto of the milk chocolate. Decorate with extra freeze dried strawberry, marshmallows and chocolate beans.

Set in the fridge, before breaking into pieces.  Who would you give this to?

Valentine's Chocolate Bark

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A Safe Internet Plus Win Family Tickets To Bletchley Park!

A safe internet poster

Safer Internet Day 2016 takes place on Tuesday 9th February. To help promote the importance of online safety, Intel Security challenged big man to make a visual representation about what a safe internet would look like.

I have to say I was impressed with how much he and middle man knew about internet security, I haven't really gone into much detail with them about it before as I haven't really felt the need. We have parental filters so that certain sites are blocked. However as big man is using the internet more on his own, I thought it was a good time to discuss it with him.  His drawing shows some of the key ideas he has been taught at school even if his spelling isn't quite there yet!

The four arrows coming from his stick man say that you shouldn't give out your details like your address, don't meet people, be nice and tell someone if you are worried. He knew things like sharing passwords, telephone numbers and other personal details such as what school he goes to are a bad idea.

Intel Security are helping consumers with security software such as TrueKey. If like me you have a million different passwords for online accounts that you invariably forget, then I would suggest you look into this. Basically TrueKey is security software which signs you in with your password by using face or fingerprint recognition. Clever! Intel Security also offer McAfee LiveSafe which provides protection so you can shop, surf and keep all your devices secure online with a single subscription.

Have you spoken to your children about internet security yet? The world has changed a lot since we were at school and you will probably be surprised like I was at how much they already know.

To celebrate safe internet day, Intel Security are running a giveaway of a family ticket to Bletchley Park. Here you can explore the top-secret world of World War 2 code breaking set within a beautiful Victorian estate. Just complete the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

Please note that this giveaway is being run across a number of blogs, One winner will be chosen at random.

ThePrizeFinder - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/family-ticket-bletchley-park#sthash.zAYXGauq.dpuf

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Monday, 1 February 2016

The Passport Photo

I have talked about my parenting fails with little man before. Nothing awful. It is just hard being a busy Mum, juggling three boys. Who gets their names right anyway?

Well things have been going pretty well recently. Bar the fact that he went to school in two right shoes. But that happens to everyone right? It happened to middle man! So for a brief time I have felt like I am winning at this parenting lark.

I have been organised. So organised I decided to renew little man's passport photo. We have a rather exciting trip planned this summer and although his passport was valid it needed renewing so there was 6 months validity from when we return. I thought I would get in there early and get it renewed before everyone forgets that they need theirs for their summer hols.

We went into town to the photo shop. I made sure he was dressed nicely to look his best.

Little man tried not to laugh, but everytime the camera was pointed at him he wanted to smile.

The photographer said he had an acceptable photo and went off to print it.

I got little man down from the extra high chair to put his coat on....

.....and then realised what I had dressed him in.

The passport photo fail

The moral of the story? Wear any old stained t-shirt to have your child's passport photo taken as it is better than him looking like a criminal wanted in many countries.

What have your parenting fails been recently? Please assure me I am not alone.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Human Body Factivity Review And Giveaway

This month's Parragon Book Buddie Book is the Human Body Factivity set. It includes a plastic skeleton to make. (Not a dead person with no skin as little man chose to describe it!) Big man was excited by this and wanted to make the model straight away. Unfortunately it was fiddly. A bit too hard for him (aged 8.) I wont lie I struggled fitting the parts together. But I got there!

The book itself is a work book style. It has activities to complete which include drawing, games and mini experiments. Your child can even measure how fast their nails grow over a month. Providing that they don't bite them!

The book tackles the science behind it in a fun an engaging way for children. If like me you have a child that loves science then this book will help explain the human body and get them learning. 

Human Body Factivity Kit  can be purchased from Amazon. Parragon have kindly offered a copy of the book as a giveaway prize for one of my readers. Just complete the Rafflecopter entry below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/human-body-factivity#sthash.ryv0Xc1a.dpuf

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Friday, 29 January 2016

Carrot, Walnut and Maple Cupcakes

Yesterday was a day where cake was required! So I had a look in the cupboards and made these beauties. Carrot and walnut cupcakes with a maple cream cheese glaze. My boys loved them as much as I did!

To make 12 cupcakes

3 large carrots grated (or whizzed up in your blender)
75g butter or margarine (I used the latter as I hadn't got any butter in)
70g walnuts whizzed up in the blender
75g Maple Syrup  - I used Clarks Maple Syrup
100g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Pre heat the oven to 180C.

Mix all the ingredients above together. Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases. I will warn you, it is not the prettiest mixture to look at uncooked but it tastes great when it is. Cook the cupcakes for around 20minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.

In the meantime make the maple cream cheese glaze.

You will need:

50g soft cheese (I used Philidelphia light)
100g icing sugar
30g maple syrup

Mix the above ingredients together and when cool place onto your cupcakes and decorate with some crushed walnuts.