Easter bakes with Cadbury’s

My children just love sweets; I remember when my first son was born, I attempted to convince him that raisins were sweets; it worked for a little while anyway. Now I have four older children they certainly know what they like – when I saw The Pink Whisk asking for Easter inspired bakes we had to have a go!

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Here are my three youngest enjoying an Easter trip to Cadbury’s World.

Recently I saw an idea circulating about Facebook – someone had made crème egg muffins, which looked superb. In our house we prefer brownies; all the children go mad for them as they are lovely and moist. We used our normal chocolate brownie recipe (listed below) and then part way through the cooking dropped the halved frozen mini crème eggs into each section of the mix.

Ingredients for our standard chocolate brownies + buy one packet of mini crème eggs (freeze the night before)

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 100g milk chololate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 95g plain flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a brownie baking tin (if you have one) or a normal tin if you haven’t.
  2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave.
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl and tip in 275g sugar. Beat until the mix has become thick and creamy.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the eggy mixture, then fold together.
  5. Sieve the cocoa and flour mixture over the combined mixtures. Gently fold in and pour into the baking tin.
  6. Bake the mixture for 15 minutes then press the Cadbury’s Crème egg halves into the mix. Put back in the over for another 5-10 minutes.

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My daughter (aged 10) loved making them, and we loved eating them! They were really straightforward to make and are the perfect Easter themed chocolate dessert. The result looks much more complicated than it is and it’s a really lovely tasty treat for the children too (and not too big either!)

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A new twist on pancake day #Cloudy2Competition

Tots100 are running a great ‘Show Us Your Foodimals’ competition in conjunction with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, so we just had to have a go, my children just love pancake day and as it’s just round the corner it seemed like a perfect excuse to dust down the frying pan and get the children involved in some basic cooking – it’s great fun making strange shapes and finding new and interesting ingredients to add. This year we decided to have some fun, so I bought a copy of OMG Pancakes by Jim Belosic and then topped up on food colourings and some chocolate drops for some experimentation in the kitchen.

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I let the children have a few attempts with the batter, our technique was to make up lots of batter and then add a few drops of colour to each small quantity once it was in the bottle. Here is William holding one of the most successful foodimals we did, he loves dinosaurs so it seemed like quite a good one to have a go at. He loved making it and enjoyed eating it even more!

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This is my entry to Make Your Food Fun and Win a £500 Home Cinema System!

I’m now addicted #RealMumsAllBran

We love breakfast in our house, even the children say it is the most important meal. We all sit at the table together and talk and eat, it is a great opportunity to catch up with each other too as we are a large family.

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So when I saw BritMums and Kellogs were asking for volunteers to take the #RealMumsAllBran 5 day challenge I jumped at the chance and got the bonus of three boxes of the cereal to begin with, these were Golden Crunch (a caramely flavour), Red Berry Crunch (nice and fruity) & Chocolate Wheats (awesome and chocolately).

So… how did I get on?

Day 1

I weighed myself first thing in the morning, naked before breakfast 9stone 4lbs – got dressed and tried the Red Berry Crunch (very fruity), I weighed out a portion which looks tiny in our large Ikea bowls, and tucked in. Yum!

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Day 2

I weighed in the same but my tummy looked a little flatter than normal, after 4 children making it flat is always a challenge in itself! Today, I tried the Chocolate wheats, the children are giving me some serious competition on these as they now say these are their favourite cereal (they best last the challenge!) I love the chocolate wheats – they are seriously delish. I did my Tesco online order and attempted to order more – but they don’t do them – Help!

Day 3

My weighin was a pound down today, as well as the #realmumsallbran I am also trying to drink more water which I think is helping me to not eat when I am simply thirsty. I am feeling great!

Day 4

Weigh is the same as yesterday but looking smaller and more toned, I will one day rediscover my abbs! Today I tried the Golden crunch cereal, I’m not as keen as I am a chocolate girl really. So I had a bowl of chocolate wheats instead of lunch, maybe a bit naughty but I just love them.

Day 5

I have noticed a difference and I am 2lbs down on 5 days ago, which is superb. Again I had the chocolate wheats, the box is now empty and my local store don’t sell them!

Day 5 and beyond

I loved the challenge and feel slimmer since, at the weekend I wore my new red dress to dancing, it fitted really well and I got loads of comments on how nice it looked. I smiled to myself as I know it fits better since I have been doing this challenge. Thanks for the opportunity to take part!

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This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kellogs

Tell some #KitchenTales – and hopefully win John Lewis vouchers

This is a great bloggers competition – BritMums & Fairy Platinum have teamed together for a #KitchenTales challenge. All you need to do to take part is write a post about their kitchen (featuring Fairy Platinum). Ten lucky winners receive a £100 john Lewis voucher to buy whatever they like – I fancy putting it towards a new food processor! The first bloggers to take part also received a free pack of Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets, and I was one of the lucky ones! (just post before 30th June 2014 to take part)

I just love bright colours and when Mr gave me free range with the colour palette I chose black and red for the kitchen, the walls are postbox red and the tiles are black. Most of the appliances are stainless steel which looks great when they are freshly cleaned but not so great when they are not. A dishwasher is a must, every house should have one – I remember one Christmas when ours broke and we were without it, doing the dishes seemed like some kind of torture, I think now we have lived with one we wouldn’t be without! The dishwasher tables were ace, we used them all quite quickly as with a busy household of 6 – our dishwasher gets major use.

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I love my kitchen, we last decorated about 10 years ago but it still looks pretty good. I do need to touch a few bits here and there with a paintbrush when I get the opportunity but other than that I am very happy with it. Below is some wall decor – two prints from my photography A level, I chose to do the horoscopes in food and drink so a couple of these printed up suited the ‘foodie’ theme I wanted for the kitchen.IMG_5717 IMG_5723 IMG_5721 IMG_9351 IMG_0770a

Above are some details from my kitchen, I love all things moustache so the mugs were a must, and if its black or red then it will fit in our kitchen. Our children love baking too, so the kitchen doesn’t stay clean for long, thats for sure!

This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum.

Restyle me dad – pretty please!

Here is another great competition I felt I had to enter – The guys over at Mainline Menswear are giving all bloggers the chance to win a £250 towards an outfit for Dad to smarten him up and give him the most stylish Father’s Day ever! All you have to do is dig out an old piccie of you and your dad from the archives. After a few hours of searching I found this photo of me and my dad, in true late 1970′s fashion, I would have been about 8. My dad is tall, or at least he seemed like the only tall person around when I was young but these days its not uncommon to be 6ft 4″.

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I so remember this cardigan of his, he always wore it with baggy bell bottom jeans which almost made him look taller than he was! He still has problems getting items that fit properly so I would just love to give him this voucher to choose some superb items from your collection.

The outfit I’ve chosen from Mainline Menswear falls into the smart/casual, category – hopefully perfect for a stylish 63 year old man. My parents love going dancing so these items would get lots of wear as they have a better social life than me!

 

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I have chosen a Pretty Green Wiggins Military Shirt Blue which would look superb on a night out, along with the Armani Jeans P15 Slim Chinos Stone Beige and

Pretty Green Desert Boots Brown. This comes to £298 but I would happily make up the difference as it is such a cool present to give!0000 ss pics 003 019

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So what would you choose? Just choose a photo and some clothes that would suit your dad from the website here.

Run away!

Ok, I admit it – all of us really dislike football in this house. In fact sport in general is a no no, I mean we are quite happy to take part in sports, Matthew and William are keen BMX’ers, and William also enjoys boxing. Both the girls love gymnastics and Charlotte loves her majorettes. But mainstream sports are just quite tedious to watch on telly, I have never understood people who watch a game and get so worked up about it. I assumed that something in the football world is fast approaching as all the shops and supermarkets seem to be filled with England merchandise. I asked a friend the other day who was also as clueless, then I saw this competition and realised we are about to be hit with world cup mania!

All of us however love Italy, we have been a few times and we are in fact booked to go to Rome this August. The sun, the sand, the food, the friendly people and the architecture…I could go on, we just love it, it is such a beautiful country to visit so we would jump at the chance of going again.

I have written a small poem for my entry!

Please choose us to avoid the world cup

Watching it on telly makes me want to throw up

Its so boring watching grown men kick a ball

Throwing themselves on the ground pretending to crawl

Injuries, fights, red cards

and offside rules

Instead let me fly to Italy,

food culture and lots of photography

kids playing in the pool, and some time out of school

nice weather, people and no world cup

means things are really looking up

Please choose us for an al fresco holiday

Its our way of choosing to runaway

For a lovely relaxing time with family

Thanks to tots100 we can avoid the insanity!

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This is me and my four children the last time we went to Italy.

We would love to win a holiday with Tots100 blogs. The prize is only available in World Cup week, but I am willing to plead with the head teacher that we really need this break.

This is my entry to the Al Fresco Holidays and Tots100 World Cup challenge

#Shelfie!

What photoa fun competition – TOTS100 and Victoria Plum are asking us bloggers to take a photo of a favourite shelf around your home, and share the picture on Instagram or Twitter using the #shelfie hashtag, and tagging @tots100 and @victoriaplumb. I immediately went up to my daughters bedroom and took a photo of her shelf, she chose all the items in the bedroom herself, and it is zebra print on one wall and hot pink on all the others, the bedding is pink leopard print. It kinda goes! Anyway my two daughters just adore their bedroom – my daughter uses her shelf for her favourite toys, you have a zebra (to match the room) her furbys and a meerkat – quite why she wants a meerkat, I’m not sure why as we booked a petting session at the local zoo and one of the animals bit Charlotte quite badly, but she obviously doesn’t hold a grudge!

Why not enter your own ‘Shelfie’ and have a go at their quiz too (click here) and potentially be the winner of £250 I did the quiz and funnily enough I got ‘You are Mr or Mrs Glamorous’ – Your style is most like Joey Essex or Sam Faiers from TOWIE, very funny!

This is my youngest daughter showing off her room!

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#Morning Stories with the Moo’s

When I saw that Britmums were asking for bloggers to write about breakfast time I felt I had to have a go, I was also lucky enough to be one of the first 100 people to apply to do the #MorningStories challenge and receive 3 lovely big boxes of belVita biscuits free of charge. Check out belVita on facebook.

Now breakfast time in the ‘Moo’ household is chaos enough, there are 4 children, and me and mr to get ready for work and school but we all try to eat together. Since receiving the belVita I have tried to keep them for the challenge but my eldest son, Matthew age 13 keeps eating them. I have now replaced two boxes with fresh ones and every time I turn my back someone has eaten them! Somehow I think I am going to be buying them indefinitely!

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Our morning usually starts at 7.00, we all shower and change and head downstairs for breakfast, usually we have cereal. Mr has toast and the children have a combination of cereals, porridge and bagels. It is usually a bit rushed as last minute homework gets remembered and vital pieces of clothing seems to just vanish come morning.

Just recently though Charlotte has been doing extra SAT’s lessons to improve her maths, she has to be at school for 7.30. So these biscuits have been fabulous as she has been popping a couple in her bag for after her extra maths class. Hopefully belVita as helped her improve her grads too!

My children (especially Matthew) loved belVita, they literally vanished before my eyes. All the children commented that the chocolate chip ones shown in my photos were their firm favourites. They make a convenient breakfast as they are an easy and quick option for us busy large families.

 

 

 

“This post is an entry for #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at www.facebook.com/belVitaUK.”

I’m a #Morrisons Mum

I just love supermarket shopping and we are lucky enough to live quite locally to a medium sized Morrisons, so when I saw that Britmums were asking for us mums #MorrisonsMum to do some bank holiday shopping it seemed like the perfect task for me! I applied and was amazed to receive £80 worth of vouchers to spend – just fantastic, with 6 of us in the family it was a lovely surprise to receive in the post.IMG_2160

I love the local Morrisons, it always has a great reduced section which I hover at to see what bargains I can find. I also use other supermarkets and the local market depending on what I am buying, but Morrisons always seems to give me the best value for money. I made a meal plan for the weekend and went armed with this, my vouchers and my 10 year old daughter Charlotte who found the whole thing quite exciting!

We noticed that all round the store there were signs saying I’m Cheaper all round the store, they showed us some superb discounts on a huge amount of products, quite a few of which we needed for our meal plan. What is even better is that they are staying down in price too – so we whizzed round and got out trolley full to the brim with yummie Morrisons bargains. I was really impressed with the reductions, my usual mackerel had 1/3 off, and the savings on meat were simply amazing.

 

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Matthew’s Quick and Easy Giant Sasuage Roll

Ingredients

  • 2 onions 16p each = 32p
  • roll of puff pastry or homemade pastry £2.00
  • Block of sausage meat £1.99

Matthew decided to make this; it is a firm favourite of his. I got the recipe from another shopper who I got chatting too. The method is simple, chop the onions finely, mix them with the sausage meat and fold into the roll of pastry, bake for 45 minutes and serve with vegetables and even gravy. It is a mega cheap and filling meal and it usually lasts for two meals even in our large household! The total cost for the sausage roll was £4.31, and I added to that a bag of carrots for £1,  some corn on the cob for £2 and some potatoes £2 making a total of £9.31 divided by 10 portions makes it a bargain price of under a pound a portion!

I spent all my vouchers as my trolley full of goodies came to £77 – I even got rewarded with a fuel voucher at the end of my – my daughter said it was like an episode of extreme couponing – except the till didn’t break down!

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Epic adventures

My children just love a holiday where you can explore and I have so many photos of them doing so, so when I saw that Blacks are running a competition in partnership with Explore.co.uk I just had to enter. All you have to do to enter the competition is submit a blog post with a photograph showing the great outdoors around one of the four themes:-

  • Wild
  • Fast
  • Panoramic
  • Epic

My photograph I would like to enter was taken of my children exploring the Jurassic coastline of Lyme Regis, they love to collect fossils and hunt for crabs and shells along the coastline, the best time is when the tide has receeded and there are small rock pools of water. This is what they are doing in my photograph below. I think it suits the theme ‘Panoramic’ best as it is a wide shot with lots going on.

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