A Strong Coffee

Sunday, 10 November 2019

[AD] Super Stocking Fillers from Rubik's

With Christmas approaching, Rubik's have your stocking fillers sorted, with some great puzzles and games.

Rubik's Stocking Filler Ideas

Sometimes in life, your children surprise you and do something that you never could. Yes my 11 year old is Rubik's cube made and given some time can solve any cube that comes his way. You can imagine his excitement when we were offered a Rubik's bundle to review. He has even given me the information on which cube is easiest to solve. (None if you are me!)

A new survey has revealed a third of all parents would choose the Rubik’s Cube as a stocking filler for kids this Christmas. The survey, which had 2,000 respondents, also included chocolate and stationery as top stocking solutions.

When it comes to beginners, the Rubik's 2x2 and Edge are the way to go.

Rubik's Edge

The Rubik’s Edge (RRP £9.99) is a great introduction to the new Rubik’s range. Whilst I haven't managed to solve it yet, it is an easier puzzle to get the kids hooked on. The cube is a single layer puzzle with nine cubes in the square. Turn, twist and rotate it to find the 192 possible permutations. The cube can shape shift and you can also turn the edge pieces.

Rubik's Edge

Rubik's 2x2

This is a deceptive cube. It looks easy. It is not! According to my son it is easier than the 3x3 but is still a challenging puzzle and may be a good starting cube.

Rubik's 3x3

Gone are the days when you could peel off the stickers to complete this cube. (*Cough* not that I ever did that!) My son spent weeks learning to solve this cube and can how do it in 20-30 seconds.(Apparently he needs to be even faster to hit a world record!)

He loves telling me that there are 43 quintillion combinations as that number is too big for me to comprehend. He even got his skills mentioned in his end of year report, as he impressed the class with in the Year 6 talent show.

Rubik's Orbit

My son describes this puzzle as the 2x2 remade. The Rubik’s Orbit (RRP £14.99) is a puzzle with a twist! The aim is to solve all six sides of the 360 rings to have a matching colour all the way around. . My son says that the colours are swapped around from how they appear on other cubes so this made it challenging at first. He can now solve it easily.

Rubik's Orbit

If you need help solving it?  My son has made a tutorial on how to solve Rubik's Orbit that you can follow.

Rubik's Match

Rubik’s Match (RRP £4.99) is a good card game that gets you thinking! You need to race to make the pattern you are given on your challenge card.

Rubik's Cage

This is a game for 2-6 players. The aim is to get three in a row like tic tac toe, but you can
Drop it. Twist it. Flip it. in order to Win it! The Rubik’s Cage (RRP £19.99) is a fast-paced, fun game of strategy. The aim is to get three cubes in a row, but is not as easy as it sounds!

Rubik's Cage

What stocking filler ideas do you have?

Disclosure: We were gifted these items for review

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

[AD] Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow Run At Alice Holt

Last night we took part in the Shaun The Sheep Farmageddon Glow Run At Alice Holt thanks to Forestry England.

Farmageddon bus

My boys are getting on the old side for the forest glow trails now, however, when they were younger it was a great way to get them on a walk. I still have fond memories of doing the Stick Man Trail a few years ago.The trails are free of charge, but you can purchase a trail pack which includes a Shaun the sheep hat, a uv light and clue sheet.

The Glow Runs do come at a fee as they are specially organised night runs. I had never done an organised run before so didn't know what to expect. I just thought it would be fun to do after as a family we completed the couch to 5K this year.

Meeting Shaun the sheep

On arrival we were given our numbers and could decorate a Shaun hat. In theory this was a lovely idea, but in practice the paints got everywhere and running in a sheep hat was pretty impossible.
There was a warm up with Shaun at 6.45pm with the run (not race) starting at 7pm.

The course was very dark and you did need a torch with you. There were lit up pictures along the way as well as guides showing you the route. Running in a dark forest was enjoyable, but there was a killer hill that most people chose to walk up!

The race was 3K and at the end the kids got some glow in the dark Lu-la ears, wooly socks and water.
It was a fun race, even though I hadn't factored how cold it would be waiting to run on an October evening!

Shaun the sheep glow run 

Have you tried one of the Glow Trails or Runs yet?

Disclosure: We were given tickets to the glow run in return for this post.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Recipes For A Bonfire Night Gathering #Cookblogshare #43

If you are throwing a bonfire night party you will wow your guests with these delicious, seasonal recipes.

#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 Lost in Food. There were lots of lovely recipes shared, and with bonfire night on the way, I think that these recipes would be perfect if you are having some friends over. Also check out these healthy stuffed jacket potatoes which would go down well.

Sticky Sausage Traybake

This sticky sausage traybake from Michelle and Lesley from Lost In Food would be the perfect dish for a Bonfire Night Party. Pop it in the oven, enjoy the fireworks and then tuck into some deliciously sweet and sticky sausages.

Sticky Sausage Traybake From Lost In Food

Easy Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkins aren't just for Jack O Lanterns. This easy pumpkin soup recipe

Easy Pumpkin Soup From Taste Botanical

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you are looking for a seasonal dessert then you cant go wrong with this no bake pumpkin cheesecake. Donna uses tinned pumpkin puree for this recipe to save the hassle of scooping out the middle.

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake From Donna Dundas

I also have some bonfire night recipes of my own that you may want to check out. Who can resist toffee apples or bonfire cupcakes?

Bonfire Cupcakes

Thanks for sharing your recipes at #cookblogshare

#Cookblogshare Week 43

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.

Include this party’s link in your post (so everyone else can find it).

Add the #CookBlogShare badge to your post (see the code below).
Cook Blog Share

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! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, 10 October 2019

[AD] Bank Attack Giveaway

You may remember that last week we reviewed a new fast paced game from John Adams called Bank Attack.

Bank Attack from John Adams

I love that it doesn't take long to play and is one that all our family can enjoy.

With Christmas on its way, it would be a great game for tweens and teens that can often be so hard to but for.

With 2-4 players, you can work together to break into the vault. Just stay calm and don't let the pressure force you into making a mistake.

I am pleased to be able to offer one of my readers the chance to win their own game of Bank Attack.
Just complete the Gleam giveaway below.

Good Luck!

  Bank Attack Game

Monday, 7 October 2019

Homemade Toffee Apples For Bonfire Night

There is nothing like a homemade toffee apple on bonfire night. Making your own taste great and if you eat them on the day they are made they don't go soft or have that fizzy taste like ones from the supermarket can.

Toffee Apples For Bonfire Night

Homemade Toffee Apples For Bonfire Night

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • a few drops on red food coloring
  1. First you need to pop your apples into boiling water for a minute to get the waxy coating off. Without doing this step the toffee wont stick.
  2. Take your apples out of the water and dry them with kitchen towel. Then put a cake pop/lollipop stick or skewer into your apples.
  3. Add the caster sugar and water to a non stick pan.
  4. Boil until the sugar dissolves
  5. Add the vinegar, golden syrup and food colouring and continue to boil
  6. Using a bowl of cold water, you can check when the toffee cracks. You need it to start getting thicker and then drop it in the water. If the toffee is soft and squidgy then it is not ready. If it solidifies on hitting the water then it is ready to coat your apples.
  7. Tip the pan 45 degrees and coat each apple with toffee before placing on grease proof paper.
Homemade Toffee Apples

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homemade toffee apples

More Recipe Ideas For A Bonfire Night Party

If you are throwing a bonfire night party this year then I have some other tasty treats that you might be interested in. 

Bonfire cupcakes with added crackle!

These bonfire cupcakes are easy to make and will put a smile on peoples faces when they crackle in the mouth! 

Caramel Apple Popcorn

I love making homemade popcorn and this caramel apple popcorn.is delicious without being overly sweet.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

[AD] Bank Attack Review

This week we have been testing out the new Bank Attack game from John Adams. Finding a game that suits all of my three boys (aged 7, 9 and 11) can be hard. Finding one I like too, even harder!

Bank Attack Game

I was immediately drawn to this game as it said it was fast paced and can be played in 5 minutes. For me, games that go on for hours are a big no. We just loose interest.

The concept is easy, but in practice it is harder than you think. The idea is that you work as a team to rob the bank. The safe containing gold gives you instructions to follow. Each person has a job, money man, lookout, hacker and explosives expert. The electronic bank tells you to pick up objects, pass and swop objects and use them. When it tells you to use them, you have to press your players button. This is the machine checking you are following the instructions carefully. It will tell you if you have made too many mistakes and the game will be over.

Playing Bank Attack

There are several levels but we have failed to make it past level one! You have to concentrate and it will start making noises to panic you that you are running out of time.

I really liked this game as it is short and fast paced. Bank Attack is for 2-4 villains aged 7+. It’s available to buy at Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer, SRP £24.99.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Quick And Easy Cheese And Ham Quesadilla

Weeknight evenings are hectic so quick and easy cheese and ham quesadilla are a regular on our menu.

Cheese And Ham Quesadilla
Cheese And Ham Quesadilla

With the boys having a school dinner most days it works well to have a smaller, lighter tea. On Mondays they go to karate which leaves us a small gap from getting in from school to getting ready to go out again. These cheese and ham quesadilla are simple, tasty and really quick to make. We are talking a few minutes!

Of course you can mix the flavours up, left over taco mince will be great with cheese and salsa. My 9 year old likes BBQ chicken and cheese in his. All of the family like the ham and cheese combination.

Quick And Easy Cheese And Ham Quesadilla
Quick And Easy Cheese And Ham Quesadilla

Quick And Easy Cheese And Ham Quesadilla

  • Grated cheese
  • Ham
  • flour tortillas
  • a small amount of oil for frying

  1. Pre heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add a flour tortilla. Place the grated cheese on top.
  3. Next add a slice or two of ham (depending on the size of your wrap.) and another tortilla on top.
  4. After a minute of so when the bottom tortilla is starting to brown, flip the whole quesadilla over.
  5. As the pan is already hot, it will take less time to cook this side so keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
  6. Serve with salad.
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Simple midweek lunch, cheese and ham quesadillas

More Quick And Easy Recipe Ideas Made In less Than 10 Minutes!

Sometimes time really is of the essence so having these recipes up your sleeve for busy weeknights will really help out.

Smoked Salmon And Poached Eggs

Chili And Lime Avocado, Smoked Salmon And Poached Eggs
I honestly can't get enough of this recipe. I started making it at home after eating a similar dish at Bill's Restaurant for breakfast. The kids have it without the avocado, but the lime and chilli give it a subtle kick that just makes me keep coming back for more.

Scrambled Egg And Chorizo

Scrambled Egg And Chorizo
Scrambled Egg And Chorizo

Again another simple meal that packs flavour. It really is worth taking those few extra minutes to cook the egg on a slower heat as it with taste creamier.

Cheat's Croque Monsieur

Cheat's Croque Monsieur
Cheat's Croque Monsieur

If cheese and ham are your perfect combination then this recipe is just what you are looking for. With the addition of cream cheese for extra creaminess, it is nearly as good as the real thing.