A Strong Coffee

Monday, 20 May 2019

3 Delicious Desserts And #Cookblogshare #21

These delicious desserts would be perfect to impress at a dinner party. 

#CookBlogShare has long been one of my favourite weekly cooking linkies. If you love cooking then it is a great place to share recipes and ideas as well as commenting on each others tasty posts.
There are three lovely regular hosts Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie, Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy and Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes There are also some guest hosts and this week sees my turn.
If you are new to this link party please take a moment to read the guidelines below.  Joining in is simple and you are welcome to share your old and new recipes.

Last weeks link up was over at Everyday Healthy Recipes. There were lots of lovelt recipes shared and I will have to try out this creamy chorizo pasta recipe soon. However, it was these 3 delicious desserts that really caught my eye.

Biscoff Cheesecake

Kat at The Baking Explorer shared the most amazing looking Biscoff cheesecake. Best of all is that it is no bake! The cheesecake itself is silky smooth with extra biscoff spread drizzled over it.

Red Wine Poached Pears.

Sylvie from The Foodie Journey shared these delicious red wine poached pears. After a big meal, a lighter desert is often a good option and these pears would be perfect. Poached in red wine with spices and brown sugar, your guests would have just enough room to fit these in.

Torta Caprese - The Italian Flourless Chocolate Cake

Balvinder from Simply Gluten Free Kitchen shared this moist looking Italian flourless chocolate cake.  The recipe uses blanched almond flour as well as good quality dark chocolate.I think it would be a real treat for everyone.

Thanks for sharing your recipes at #cookblogshare

#Cookblogshare Week 21

Want to join in with Cook Blog Share this week? Here is how:
Link up your recipe, sweet or savoury, or any foodie post to the #CookBlogShare link party.  Just click the blue Add your link button below and follow the instructions.

Cook Blog Share

Include this party’s link in your post (so everyone else can find it).
Add the #CookBlogShare badge to your post (see the NEW code below).
Please comment on at least two other recipes.

You can also post your recipes on the Cook Blog Share Facebook Page. I’ll visit all the blogs participating in the link party and share your recipes across all the major social media channels.

If you tweet a link to your recipe to me, @astrongcoffee1 using #CookBlogShare I will retweet it. Please use #cookblogshare when sharing your recipes on Instagram.

Next week's Cookblogshare will be over at Easy Peasy Foodie.

For GDPR purposes, please make note that by joining in you are giving the #CookBlogShare hosts permission to use your pictures in a round up and on social media, if your recipe is selected to be featured! Thank you for sharing your recipes with #CookBlogShare! 

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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Meal Planning Monday

Well we continue to speed through the year, Last week big and little man had their SATs which I am glad are out of the way. This week my day off will be spent going into school to help out. I amnot sure why I torture myself like this! Food this week will has a few old favourites in, and I am going to try and eat more fruit rather than snacking on unhealthy cakes and biscuits.

Sunday: Cheats Sweet and sour chicken. I have been craving this since Friday.

Monday: Cheesy egg and bacon muffins

Tuesday: Sausage and mash

Wednesday: S
crambled egg and chorizo

Thursday: Chicken Kiev

Friday: Sausage pasta

What have you got on this weeks meal plan?


SAT's Are Over

This blog post is for my biggest boy. He has been sitting his KS2 SATS this week. As a secondary teacher, I believe that they are pointless. Just another way to judge a school and judge the teachers. Put a number on a child as to whether they are capable of learning how to answer an exam in the way that is required. I know that secondary schools will do their own tests and make their own judgements. But on Sunday night I failed and got really annoyed with my son. Despite me whining on about spellings for the last 6 months he hasn’t really bothered to learn them. Let’s face it, a few hours before an exam is never the best time to start learning the vast numbers of words that a 10/11 year old is supposed to know.

I got angry. Made out his life depended on it. I was very very wrong.

His work ethic is somewhat slap dash, but he is an 11 year old boy. Maturity is a huge thing when it comes to exams. As children go he is pretty mature. Just not when it comes to learning spellings. His reading and comprehension is above that of his age and surely a love of reading is more important at this time.

In short I was wrong. I got caught up on whether he is “better” than other children of his age group when that’s not important. What is important is that he is inquisitive, polite and kind. Qualities that aren’t tested but mean more to me than being able to spell the word controversy. I can also tell you one thing for sure. If there were SATs for solving Rubik’s cubes then he would most definitely hit exceeding expectations.

Has you child sat their SATs this week?

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Meal Planning Mondays

Well I have been missing in action recently. Work has been busy and we have been doing some home improvements. Unfortunately this has just led me to think we need to do more! I have written before about how I felt that I was living in strangers house and I have now realised that this extends to pretty much every room in the house. I have made do with the colours chosen by someone else and now is time to make changes. It may take some time. I will share my dressing table area soon as I am so happy to have a little section for me.

As for food this week, some simple meals are required just so I can get on top of things. 

Sunday: Roast beef and Yorkshire’s. Who doesn’t love a Yorkshire pudding?

Monday: Boys are off to karate so pizza and salad

Tuesday: Frittata

Wednesday: Chilli con carne

Thursday: Freezer surprise.  Basically something simple that can be heated up.

Friday: Salmon. I stocked up on this when it was nearly £2 cheaper at Easter. Wish I had bought more now! 

Saturday: Probably a curry using a Spicery kit. They are so good. 

What do you have planned this week?


Saturday, 27 April 2019

[AD] Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor Review And Giveaway

The Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor is a science set aimed at children aged 5-9 who like collectibles. To be honest I have yet to find a child that doesn't like a blind bag toy. However, the excitement is even greater here as the toy is encased in a bath bomb type substance. So let's start with what is in the box.

The box states that it is a 12 piece set. This includes all the various parts and the instruction booklet.
There are a few experiments that you can carry out using the whirling wave reactor, but it will require a trip to the shops to buy some ingredients like vinegar, food colouring and bicarbonate of soda.

My youngest (aged 7) was very keen to find out what his mystery beaker creature was and was keen to do this first. He did require help with all the opening and closing parts of the reactor.

Whilst the water changed color and had a few bubbles in, it wasn't quite the bubbly reaction depicted on the packaging. Little man also struggled with the handle falling off now and then. He was excited to see the bath bomb substance break down and his beaker creature starting to appear.

The came in a little pod and when opened, little man could use the chart to identify him.

Next up, little man decided to have a play with his colour changing beaker creature that came in the set. Here, the blue beaker creature could change colour when put in ice cold water. He thought this was very clever.

So you can clearly see how the reactor works, we have made a little video.

Unfortunately, I have not managed to order the rest of the ingredients in to try out the other experiments yet, but they include colour mixing experiments and spaghetti rising and falling when put in with vinegar and sodium bicarbonate.

Learning Resources have kindly offered the chance for one of my readers to win a Whirling Waves Reactor of their own (RRP £16) Just complete the Gleam giveaway below. Good Luck!
Creature Beakers Whirling Waves Reactor

Monday, 15 April 2019

Easy To Make Easter Nest Cupcakes

With Easter round the corner and lots of schools on holiday, these easy to make Easter nest cupcakes will keep the children busy.

Easy To Make Easter Nest Cupcakes

Little man is my resident baker and loved making these cupcakes with me. We just used a plain cupcake recipe as we were topping them with so much chocolate. One or two of the cupcakes only had one egg in as Mummy may have tested one or two of the mini eggs before realising there weren't enough!

Easy To Make Easter Nest Cupcakes

Makes 10-12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
  • 4oz butter or Stork
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz self raising flour

For the frosting
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 bar of melted chocolate (100g)
  • 3 flakes cut into smaller chunks
  • 2 mini eggs per vake
  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 10-12 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, and melted chocolate together using an electric whisk. Pipe in a swirl on the cupcake
  6. Add 2 mini eggs to the center of the "nest" and then flake pieces around the outside.
Pin it for later:

easy to make easter nest cupcakes with mini eggs

If you are looking for some other Easter bakes then why not try these Malteser Bunny cupcakes

or one of my favourite cakes ever: cherry and marzipan cake.

Cook Blog Share

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

[AD] Artie 3000 Code Your Robot To Draw!

My boys have been very lucky with our latest review, Artie 3000. A robot that you can code to draw.
When it comes to computers, I would say I am OK for my age, but coding is not my strong point. I have learned bits here and there with my blogs, but still have a lot more to learn. Now that coding is being taught in schools, this is a lovely educational gift aimed at children aged 7+.

Artie is easy to use and comes with simple set up instructions. It comes with pens but you need to purchase batteries. There are some simple cards to help you get started. Artie connects via bluetooth to your tablet or PC and you then go to a special website. Here you can use the preset instructions or have a go at coding yourself. Any codes that you write yourself can be saved to use again.

My boys are aged 7, 9 and 11 and are all keen to use Artie. It is my 11 year old that can work him best, and is now able to write some simple code himself. Here is a little video we made so you can see him in action.

Artie 3000 has an rrp of £69 and can be purchased from Learning Resources.