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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Family Time with IKEA

When I was growing up I always remember having mealtimes together as a family, sitting around the dining table. When I visit my parents now I still feel the urge to sit in 'my place' at the table (back to the wall, in between my Mum (nearest the kitchen) & my brother). Sunday nights were a really special time though, as we didn't sit at the dining table and instead the pouffe was pulled out ready for the tray laden with buttered crumpets, English muffins, salt & vinegar chipsticks and a pot of tea and iced fondant fancies from M&S, whilst watching 'That's Life'.

We sometimes do the same now, but probably not as often as we should, as life, friends, homework & sport sometimes get in the way of us all eating at the same time. We should make more of an effort though really, as when we do all sit around the coffee table eating a pizza on a Saturday night or crumpets on a Sunday it gets everyone chatting and laughing together.

We spent our Sunday teatime this week watching Saturday night's episode of the X Factor whilst eating a selection of treats provided by IKEA.

Family Time with IKEA

We ate crispbreads with cream cheese, ham, cheese, apple slices, grapes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, buttered crumpets, crisps, cinnamon swirls and chocolate muffins. The muffins were topped with a chocolate and butterscotch icing, which was made by beating IKEA's delicious chocolate spread with butterscotch pieces and cream cheese together. The freshly baked chocolate muffins were made using a unique idea - a carton of muffin mix to which cold water is added, shaken and then poured into muffin cases - just genius!

Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA  photo IKEA6_zps7a96f752.jpg

We enjoyed lots of laughs, particularly when the kids tried to throw grapes into Dad's mouth!

Family Time with IKEA

How do you make your mealtimes special?

Thanks to IKEA for providing treats for our family time

Monday, 15 December 2014

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

After a few months of work (on and off) The Crazy Kitchen makeover is almost complete. I am now the proud owner of new glossy cream cupboard doors to replace my eleven year old beech ones, plus a few extra wall cabinets. The walls have been painted and the graphite grey subway style tiles have been laid. All I'm waiting for is my new oven & hob to be fitted, which will be after Christmas now.

When you have a newly fitted kitchen it's nice to dress it up a little with some new kitchen utensils and accessories, which I've done with the help of BHS.

With these Kellogg's metal canisters I no longer mind if the kids leave the cereal out in the morning, and they're large enough to take 1kg of bran flakes.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

The tins come in two different sizes. These are the large ones which are priced at £10.50 each.

This set of three glass candy jars look great on the worktop filled with sweets, marshmallows & nuts and are reduced to only £7.99 for the 3!

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

I've been putting off the job of cleaning out the cutlery drawer for a while but the arrival of this grey wicker cutlery basket gave me the kick up the backside that I needed. The basket fitted the drawer perfectly and we now have a very organised drawer.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS Kitchen Accessories at BHS

The final item that I received was a very handy 3 tier Breville electric steamer. I have a stainless steel stove top steamer at the moment but once I get the new induction hob fitted it will no longer work, so instead of cluttering my shelves with more pans I thought I would add to my small appliance collection with this helping hand. I've so far only cooked rice in it, which turned out perfectly and was completely fuss free.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

What accessories would you choose to adorn your kitchen?


I received these items or the purpose of this post

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

We don't often eat out as it can be quite expensive catering for a teen with hollow legs, as well as a pre-teen that doesn't always want to go for the kids menu, so we jumped at the chance when asked if we wanted to try out the festive menu at our local Brewers Fayre.

Myself and the husband opted for the three course festive menu, priced at £13.99 on evenings and weekends. The kids festive menu was a bit limited with only turkey as a main course option so the two youngest chose three courses from the regular kids menu, priced at £4.99, and Sam chose a starter and main course from the main menu.

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

Our friendly waiter brought over crackers, party poppers, streamers, blowers and balloon rockets to get us in the festive party mood whilst waiting the short time until our starters were delivered.

For starters I chose breaded mushrooms and the husband chose prawn cocktail, both of which were really nice, although it would have been nice to see a cranberry dip for the mushrooms rather than a bbq sauce.

Whilst waiting for our main courses much hilarity was caused by the balloon rockets flying around as guests on nearby tables got into the party spirit too.

For main course I chose the festive beef burger, which was a delicious 6oz burger topped with cranberry sauce and brie, accompanied by coleslaw and potato dippers. My only criticism of this was the bun, which didn't seem very fresh and had the appearance that it had previously been frozen.

The husband had the traditional Christmas turkey dinner, served with roast potatoes, chipolata, root vegetable mash, sprouts, stuffing, yorkshire pudding and gravy, which he said was really good.

After the burger I was completely stuffed and gave my dessert of chocolate brownie to Sam, but sampled the very nice Christmas pudding and custard that the husband ordered.

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

All in all we had an extremely positive experience at Brewers Fayre, with good food and a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Our total bill came to just over £50 for a 3 course meal for 2 adults and 2 children, a 2 course meal for 1 adult, plus drinks, which is great value for money for a family of 5.

Whilst there I spotted a great looking offer of 2 starters for £2.50, 2 main courses for £10 and 2 desserts for £2.50, which is available weekdays, so I think we may be back to sample that very soon.


We were provided with a voucher to try out the festive menu

Bake Escape (Chocolate Brownies and a GIVEAWAY)

Move over Candy Crush, there's a new game in town.

Bake Escape is a game of cake & cookie smashing where the rows and columns of tiles slide, rather than switching individual tiles, as in many similar games. It takes a bit to get your head around the unique way of matching the groups of three or more cakes but I've been playing it for a couple of weeks now, and have risen to the lofty heights of level 70, after struggling for a time on a few tricky levels, particularly levels 21, 56 & 67.



On my journey so far I have encountered cakes, cookies, jam, chocolate eggs, burnt cakes, chocolate bars & exploding bomb cakes.  

 photo bakeescapepics_zpsb0f23a1d.jpg

The map on the home screen sees the big brown bear & bunny driving through forests en route to Paris. Along the way you're treated to a music which is a cross between 'Allo Allo' & 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory' and shouts of 'ooh la la, magnifique & c'est bon' to cheer you on your way. When you complete a level the characters are ecstatic, but when you fail the brown bear comes in with tears in his eyes holding a tray of burnt chocolate muffins...poor old bear :-(

 photo chocolatemuffins_zps866e849f.jpg

I decided to make a batch of chocolate muffins to keep me going during my game playing, and thankfully I didn't burn them so the only tears that were shed were when I repeatedly failed at level 67.

Chocolate Chip Muffins - makes 12

175g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
100g milk chocolate chips
3 eggs
150g Greek natural yogurt
50g butter, melted
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder & baking powder together
  • Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips
  • Beat together the eggs, yogurt and butter
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until just combined
  • Divide mixture between muffin cases
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes

 photo chocolatemuffins2_zpsc9fce384.jpg  photo chocolatemuffins3_zps086cd9f8.jpg  photo chocolatemuffins4_zps7f6f0098.jpg

More info on the game :


Bake Escape is a freshly baked puzzle game you’ll find instantly recognisable... but with a sliding, sugary twist!

Experience a new way to play by moving entire rows of cakes, muffins and tasty treats across loads of levels.

Help Victoria Sponge through a most delectable adventure to Paris and beyond.

It’s deliciously easy to play, yet moreishly challenging to master.

Bake Escape features:

● Totally unique sliding gameplay

● Challenge your friends – Separate the sous chefs from the master bakers.

● Use tasty boosters – use special abilities to help you with those challenging recipes. Just like a real chef!

● Unique levels and challenges – clear sticky jam, combine cream puffs, crack eggs and bake like you’ve never baked before.

● Regular free updates – new devilish puzzles, boosters and other exciting stuff added as you play.

Download the app for free here to make sure you don't miss out on any of the Bake Escape fun....go on, I dare you!



GIVEAWAY
Bake Escape are giving away £100 Lakeland vouchers to one lucky person - just complete the Rafflecopter form below.

Check out what other bloggers think of the game too :
Mummy Mishaps
I'm Counting UFO's

a Rafflecopter giveaway




T&C's : Giveaway runs across multiple blogs, each entrant is eligible to complete each entry method once only. UK entrants aged 18 and over only. Correct entries will be submitted to the random draw. Incomplete or Duplicate entries will be deleted. All times are in GMT. Blog Owner not responsible for non-delivery of prize. Entrants must leave a means of contact: either twitter handle or email address. Prizes must be claimed within one week, otherwise another winner will be selected to replace the non-claimant. The prize is the item featured in the post, and there is no cash alternative.


This post has been commissioned by Exient Publishing
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