A Strong Coffee

Monday, 24 April 2017

Kimberley Wyatt's Chipotle Quorn Mince Tacos

Now when it comes to Quorn products, I will be honest and say that I don't regularly buy them. Why? My husband likes meat. He will happily eat the Quorn snack eggs as he thinks these are a better alternative to "who knows what goes into" a standard one, but I haven't really convinced him on the rest. However, thanks to a lovely evening with Pussycat Doll and celebrity Master Chef winner Kimberley Wyatt I am hoping this will change.

selfie with Kimbetlery wyatt

Kimberly is the new ambassador for Quorn and I think they chose her well. She is passionate about healthy eating, lowering her meat intake and creating a sustainable way of living. She was one of the nicest celebrities I have met. Down to earth and beautiful inside as well as out. The recipes she shared with us were all delicious, but I have chosen the taco recipe to focus on as it can easily be made family friendly.

quorn pieces

For me, the things that make these tacos stand out are the pickled red onions drizzled in fresh orange and lime juice, combined with the flavours of the chipolte and corriander. However, my little ones are spice averse, and turn their noses up at anything new, so I made the same recipe for them, missing out the kidney beans and chipotle sauce. I am pleased to say it worked really well. Everyone was happy, there were clean plates and no one complained there was no meat. Infact middle man said how much he liked the meat!

One of the key things I have found using Quorn is that I have to appreciate it is not meat, I know, that is obvious right? Well it hasn't been to me before. I have tried frying the mince and ended up using loads of oil, going against the healthy meal I was aiming for. Kimberley advised to add some extra water as the Quorn soaks it up. This tip alone is great and means I will now try some new recipes using Quorn.

quorn tacos

Kimberley Wyatt's Chipotle Quorn Mince Tacos

For the filling
  •  1 Pack of Quorn mince
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle paste (I missed this out and used sauce at the end so it wasn't spicy for my little ones.)
  • 50ml water
  • 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 large tin of kindney beans
  • chopped corriander to garnish

To accompany
  •  Pink pickled onions - sliced red onion left to pickle in the juice of a lime and an orange
  • diced avocado
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream

  1. Preheat the oil in a large pan, fry the onion until soft but not coloured then add the garlic and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes more.  Add the chipotle paste if using. Crumble the stock cube and stir through.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and about 50ml water.  Cook for 15 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down, adding more water if it gets too dry. 
  3. Add the Quorn Mince and kidney beans then cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Season to taste then stir through the chopped coriander..
  4. Serve in a taco shell with shredded lettuce, diced avocado, the pink pickled onions and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream to taste. If you have made the tacos without the chipotle paste for the children then add some of the chipotle sauce to yours to give your tacos a kick! 

eating quorn tacos

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These Taco's are using a recipe of Pussycat doll Kimberley Wyatt. They are using quorn so are a great vegetarian and meatfree meal. They taste fantastic with the freshly pickled red onions

The evening with Quorn was a real eye opener. It made me realise that Quorn is a great alternative to meat and I just need to get used to cooking it differently. Kimberley also made us a great curry with Quorn pieces which I will be trying on my husband this weekend.

Kimberley Wyatt cooking quorn curry

I loved that my boys liked it and didn't even notice that it wasn't meat. In my effort to try and reduce our red meat consumption I will be cooking more with this meat free alternative.

Have you got any great Quorn recipes to share?

Oh and Quorn is currently on offer at Tesco - I have just stocked up on three of the minces for £5 as I am determined to learn how to cook with it after tasting Kimberley's recipes!

Family Fever
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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Priorities For A New House: Man v's Woman

So you may have noticed that I have been missing in action the past couple of weeks. After nearly a year, we have finally moved our family home. Now I am not one for change, so it was only a mile away and the boys are still at the same school. We said goodbye to the house we had bought our babies home to, and I am so pleased I made a little tour of it, before it was filled top to bottom with cardboard boxes.

Having not moved for 10 years, what has struck me more than anything is how much there is to do. We chose a house that we could live in from day one. Ok, some of the decor isn't to my choosing but we can change that as we go. The people we bought from were possibly the loveliest people ever. They left us furniture, curtains, lights, white goods. More than we could possibly imagine. Now trust me not everyone is like this. When my sister moved into her (more expensive) house, the sellers even took the lightbulbs!

However, it is the little things that you don't realise you will need that all start to add up. My sister kindly offered to have the boys to stay the weekend after our move. This was a Godsend. We can just about bribe them to look around one department store with the promise of a happy meal or cake, but as we had several plus ikea on the cards, doing it as a couple was much easier. So the night before our mammoth trip my husband and I wrote lists of what we needed.

My list:

Toilet roll holders x 2
Bath mat x 2
Pedestal mat for the kids bathroom
Free standing towel rail
Bins for the bathroom
Hanging rail for middle mans room
Pots for the two plants we had moved from our old house
New lightshade for the light in our bedroom
Low level storage for conservatory
Look for a bed for little man
Look for a desk and storage for big man
Wipe clean tablecloth for kitchen/placemats
Storage boxes for middle mans room
New frying pan
Bedside tables

My husbands list:

New sheet for our bed
A big TV
Sonos system

Needless to say we now have a stereo system that can be accessed from multiple rooms, have a lovely nights sleep and are currently deciding just how big a TV screen we require.

Have you moved recently? What would your top priority be?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Peach And Raspberry Muffins

Having read Have Your Cake And Eat It recently, I decided that I should make some bakes with fruit added rather than chocolate. These peach and raspberry muffins were simple to make and tasted great. I used some tinned peaches and frozen raspberries, which is a great alternative when the fruit aren't quite in season (and works out much cheaper too!) 

Peach And Raspberry Muffins

Peach And Raspberry Muffins

Makes 8 muffins

For the cupcakes
  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 oz of caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 raspberries per muffin
  • Half a tin of peaches cut into chunks
  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and eggs. Mix well and then place in the fridge for an hour or so.
  3. Pre heat the oven to 200C.
  4. Place a spoonful of the muffin mix into the bottom of each on the muffin cases.
  5. Add a few raspberries and peach chunks
  6. Add another spoon of muffin mix on top of the fruit
  7. Bake for around 20 minutes.

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Easy to make raspberry and peach muffins

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Inspired Afternoon Tea At One Aldwych

The Charlie and the chocolate factory inspired afternoon tea at One Aldwych has been on my to do list for some time so when my sister suggested it for my Mum's 70th Birthday celebrations, I was very pleased. My biggest concern was how would my boys enjoy it. When looking at the children's menu the only thing that was different was that they had jam, ham and cheese sandwiches. However, it turned out to be no problem and they were soon keen to try my sandwiches too!

The Charlie cocktail had us all intrigued. Presented in a clear teapot bubbling away it was quirky and tasted divine. It was a mix of whisky with cherry, grapefruit and champagne. I would highly recommend you try it.

Charlie cocktail

The sandwiches were then served along with our chosen teas. It was a lovely selection and I particularly enjoyed the vegetable wellington. These were filled up once we had finished them. The teas again were lovely. I chose the mango noir whilst my husband had the heavier chocolate tea. The boys were pleased to have hot chocolate.

Then came the cakes and desserts which looked beautiful and my boys faces just lit up.

charlie and the chocolate factory afternoon tea

A firm favourite was the candyfloss which was rhubarb and custard flavour. I personally enjoyed the black forest gateau and cocoa bean financier. As we were filling up fast, they kindly provided boxes so we could take the remaining cakes home.

As it was a special occasion they also bought my Mum a special Birthday Cake.

birthday cake One Aldwych

The afternoon tea was lovely and a good one to take children too. The service was second to none. So what did my boys think about afternoon tea? Big man piped up "I didn't like it Mummy. I loved it! Can we go again for your Birthday?"

What afternoon teas do you recommend? It's not a bad bucket list to make!

Family Fever

Friday, 7 April 2017

Win Bob The Builder - Dig This On DVD

I have fond memories of Bob the Builder. Big man used to love seeing the 4D Movie at Legoland and playing memory games on his Bob The Builder phone. Although Bob has had a revamp since those days! Little Bob the Builder fans will be excited to know that there is a new DVD out on Monday 17th April filled with their favorite characters.

Bob the builder dig it DVD

Bob the Builder - Dig This is bought to you by Abbey Home Media. Join Bob and his team as they construct projects using a foundation of determination and working together. With his business partner Wendy, apprentice builder Leo, and a team of machines, Bob is ready to get to work in Fixham and Spring City.

This team digs into any project, hammering out solutions to problems, all while building confidence along the way. No project is too big or too small – from fixing a leaky roof to repairing a skyscraper. After all, the fun is in getting it done!
In Dig This, Team Bob are digging the foundations for a skyscraper in Spring City’s new business zone, but work has to stop when they come across some ancient Roman ruins. 

This new collection features seven fun episodes: Dig This; Saffi’s Treehouse; Out of the Woods; Stormy Weather; Bear Mountain; Bentley’s Bones and Home on the Range.

You can pre order the DVD on Amazon.

I am also delighted to be able to giveaway a copy to one of my readers. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Bob The Builder Dig This DVD

Monday, 3 April 2017

Fress By Emma Spritzer Review And Giveaway

Fress is a recipe book by MasterChef finalist Emma Spritzer focusing on bold flavours from a Jewish kitchen.

fress recipe book

Having quite a few recipe books, I often find that I flick through a book and there are one or two recipes that take my fancy. This book is the first in a long time that has really made me excited about cooking. 

There are an array of recipes that take my fancy. From lamb kibbeh to tahini banoffee sundae, there are so many easy recipes that are pictured looking delicious.

tahini banoffee sundae

I don't like to review a recipe book without trying at least one of the recipes. As our house is packed full of moving boxes I decided to try an easy one and made myself a portion of chili and coriander fried potatoes. The flavours were amazing. It was simple to make and whilst I had to use dried chili as I was out of fresh, I can imagine it tasted even better when followed to the book.

chili and coriander fried potatoes

I like the fact that many of the recipes have tips with them to provide a little extra guidance or ideas of how long it will keep.

I have to admit that last week I knew absolutely nothing about Jewish food, but I am now excited about trying some more recipes. 

I am excited to be able to offer one of my readers a copy of the book in a giveaway. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!


SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Listed on Prizefinder

ROBLOX Toys Series 1 Unboxing And Review

ROBLOX fans will be pleased to know that series 1 ROBLOX Toys have arrived in the UK and my boys were lucky enough to be sent a package to review.

Roblox Toys series 1

I always thought I would be "down with the kids." However, it turns out I am really not! When I was asked if my boys were into ROBLOX, I replied with a "I think so....." You see they get over excited when they are telling me things and it turned out that I was an out of touch Mum who thought it was called Road Blocks.

Anyway, they do play it and were keen to receive a surprise package. Middle man is an avid subscriber of Squirrel Stampede, so had seen some of the toys when they hit the United States. He therefore wanted to do an unboxing video himself for you tube. (Middle man is keen to be the next Dan TDM or open a joke shop when he is older.)

As an adult who doesn't really understand the game, I wasn't really sure of the attraction of the toys at first. However, middle man loves small characters of all varieties. Lego men, Grossery Gang, Moshi Monsters back in the day. He just loves these little things and the ROBLOX people are great as they come apart. You can mix and match them. We received Mr Bling Bling and  Work at Pizza Place, both of which come with online codes to redeem an exclusive online item.  Middle man has had their legs on their arms, wearing different hats, making different people. It has kept him happy and he has played with them every day since they arrived.

Personally I find these type of characters good, when they decide they want a ROBLOX themed cake for their Birthday!

Middle man really likes the mystery packs and was excited when he saw that there were 40 to collect. I can see some of his pocket money being spent on these.

Are your children into ROBLOX? Have they got any of the characters yet?

Family Fever