Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Exotic Teapot Flowering Tea Review

The Exptic Teapot Flowering TeaYou'd be forgiven for thinking that Tea, although lovely, isn't very pretty but that's because you haven't seen flowering tea!

The Exotic Teapot offers delicately hand tied flowering tea - sourced directly from artisan premium grade tea growers from the Fujian Provence in China.

The Exptic Teapot Flowering TeaPresented in a beautiful pressed flower cardboard gift box, I received the Flowering Tea Mug gift set which included a glass infuser mug  and a tin full of a variety of flowering teas all individually sealed. 

The Mug is delicate glass and is very well designed, it has a lovely handle and the lid cleverly turns upside down to become a coaster to rest the removable infuser once your tea has brewed. 

The Exptic Teapot Flowering TeaThe flowering tea starts off in a small ball - it looks like a little ball of wool! and over the course of a few minutes, it slowly unfolds to reveal a beautiful flower. 

In my photos, you can see Jasmine Fairies as the example - the smell was divine, I do love Jasmines and the tea tasted delicious, very refreshing. 
Each tea can be re-steeped 3 times.

The Exptic Teapot Flowering Tea
The gift box I received to review costs £20 and The Exotic Teapot have lots of gift sets to chose from, including their stunning glass teapots. Prettiest tea ever :-)

Also available from amazon. 
Emma Meal Planning Mummy xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Review of Clarks British Runny Clear Honey

Clarks Runny Clear British Honey I do love to buy British or local honey but its always a set honey and my little people prefer runny honey so I was very pleased to hear and taste the new Clarks Clear Runny Honey with the highest percent of British honey currently available.

It's a careful blend of blossom, acacia and British honey making it a clear runny honey.

We really enjoyed it drizzled on pancakes! Large pancakes for me and the hubby and mini pancakes for Blake and Maegan - yum yum! Clarks Clear Honey has a lovely natural taste and has earned its place on my shopping list.

We've used it on top of vanilla ice cream, in lemon tea and on toast!

I've also used it in some tasty recipes, I oven bake a pork chop (and veggie sausages! ) coated in Clarks clear honey, with a handful of fennel seeds and some crushed garlic! 

Clarks clear honey comes in a glass jar.

Clarks are a family firm who also produce maple syrup, Check out the Clarks Honey website at http://www.clarkshoney.co.uk/ it has a great page all about honey cures and facial treatment recipes!

Emma, Meal Planning Mummy xx

Friday, 23 August 2013

Warburtons Krazy Kitchen Liven up Lunch

Liven up your lunch time with Warburtons Krazy Kitchen
Bored of the same lunch over and over again?
Warburtons has created the entertaining Krazy Kitchen gameshow to liven up your lunchtime. The hilarious 30 second videos – perhaps the first gameshow on Facebook – pits two families against each to create a delicious and inspiring lunch in the Warburtons Krazy Kitchen. Then the two families – the McDermotts and the Griffiths – battle it out, mum versus mum, dad versus dad and child versus child in three hilarious videos to make the best sandwich whilst being a distracted by unexpected ‘kraziness’. The first three videos can found at www.facebook.com/warburtons.

This Friday (23rd August) sees the release of the final installment in the Krazy Kitchen drama. 
Feeling inspired, I've recreated a Krazy Kitchen Style Recipe using the Warburtons Sandwhich thins with great fillings! 

I had my two helpers - Blake (age 4) and Meg (age 2) in true Krazy Kitchen fashion, we laid out various fillings and had a free for all to make our own sandwiches!
Meg just copied me with a veggie lunch- we lightly toasted the sandwich thins and added crispy salad leaves, cucumber circles, avocado, cheese and a twist of lime! Blake being ... "The worlds most fussiest and random eater" ... filled his sandwich thins with crisps! 

When hubby got home, he was treated to a Warburtons wrap (these square wraps are so easy to use!) filled with warmed sliced chicken breast, mayo and crispy salad leaves.
I'm also going to create a veggie tex mex mayhem style wrap using some chicken style pieces - yum!
I'm loving the inspiration for packed lunches and products such as Warburtons wraps and thins as alternatives to sliced bread, I'm always trying to find new things for my fussy eater to try and there's so much lunch choices and ideas around! 
I'm relieved I wasn't one of those poor mums in the Krazy kitchen trying to prepare food for my family with all that wobbling surfaces and chicken running! Phew! The families did a great job and it must have been so much fun to have taken part!
For even more lunch entertainment and inspiration, Warburtons have also provided exclusive footage of Masterchef winner, Lisa Faulkner, creating one of the recipes – in the Sixty Second Sandwich Challenge. Check out the Warburton's facebook page for the Krazy Kitchen videos and other lunch recipe ideas www.facebook.com/warburtons.

Liven up your lunch today!

Emma - Meal Planning Mummy xx

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Discovery Foods Instagram Cooking Competition!

Discovery has launched a brand new Instagram page @discoveryfoods!

 I'd like to share with you, this lovely competition from Discovery Foods:

"To celebrate the launch of the brand new Discovery Foods Instagram page on the 1st of July, we’re encouraging all you food fanatics to get creative in the kitchen. We’re looking for the most creative uses of Mexican food with great images to share with all our fans.

Simply create a delicious and beautifully presented Mexican meal using Discovery Food products and share your photo with us via the Instagram page to be in with a chance of winning one of 10 exciting prizes to the value of £25 every week for 4 weeks!

When you upload your competition photo entry to Instagram, please include 'My #deliciousdiscovery entry for a chance to win £25 Amazon voucher with @Discoveryfoods'

So what are you waiting for? Get Cooking and get winning!

Meal Planning Mummy xx

Friday, 14 June 2013

Flourless Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Flourless Gluten Free Double Chocolate BrowniesDr Oetker have given me this wonderful recipe to share with you for flourless double chocolate Brownies!

Flourless Double Chocolate Brownies (Gluten Free)
9 Brownie Slices
175g (6oz) Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Dark Chocolate
190g (6 ½ oz) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
150g (5oz) light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
15g (½ oz) + 2 tsp cocoa powder
1 sachet (1 tsp) Dr. Oetker Baking Powder (Gluten Free)
150g (5oz) ground almonds
7.5ml (1 ½ tsp) Dr. Oetker Natural Vanilla Extract
200g (7oz) Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ White Chocolate (cut into small chunks)
Dr. Oetker Cake Release Spray
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan assisted oven, 325°F, gas mark 3). Spray a deep 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin with Cake Release Spray to grease.

2. Break the Fine Cooks’ Dark Chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the butter and stand the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the sugar. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Gradually whisk in the eggs to make a thick and glossy mixture. Sift 15g (1/2oz) of cocoa and the Baking Powder on top and add the ground almonds, Natural Vanilla Extract and 150g (5oz) of Fine Cooks’ White Chocolate, cut into chunks, and carefully mix together.

4. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until risen and lightly crusty on top – the mixture should be slightly soft underneath. Leave to cool completely in the tin then remove and wrap. Store for 24 hours.

5. To serve, melt the remaining white chocolate over a pan of gently simmering water. Cut the brownies into 9 portions and drizzle each portion with the white chocolate. Leave to set for a few minutes before serving, dust the brownies with the remaining cocoa powder.

Meal Planning Mummy x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Discovery challenge for Cinco de Mayo 2013

Fajita recipe using DiscoveryI was really excited to be chosen to take part in this years' Cinco de Mayo challenge set by Discovery for a taste of Mexican food!

We were lucky enough to be sent a pack from Discovery Foods to help us celebrate Mexican Cinco de Mayo!

It literally means 5th of May and is a day to celebrate the Mexican victory at the battle of Puebla.

Discovery Goddy BAgWe don't have any Mexican heritage in our family but we do love to learn about other countries and cultures and especially like to discover new foods and tastes!

My pack included:
The Perfect Fajita Kit.
Garlic and herb soured cream.
A jar of fajita season and sauce.

The new Garlic and herb soured cream is delicious - my youngest enjoyed using it as a chip dip! I've used it in my fajitas recipes below. It comes in a squeeze bottle and is just the right size as it keeps in the fridge for a week after opening.

The husband's Fajita:
Using the perfect fajita kit box
Now, the official recipe calls for peppers and salsa- so what do you do if hubby doesn't eat peppers ... or salsa? This is how I omitted them!

Makes 3/4 fajitas.

Fajita recipe using Discovery - coating the chickenFirst grab two raw organic chicken breasts and slice into strips or chunks.

Coat in half the pack of seasoning and some oil.

Fajita recipe using Discovery - frying the chickenGrease up your frying pan and fry the chicken on low for about 10 mins or until cooked.

While you are doing that, warm your wraps - I did mine under the grill - and oops! I forgot one was warming!

I also washed some mixed salad leaves (I used organic rocket, watercress and spinach)
Fajita recipe using Discovery - oops I burnt one!

On a warm wrap, lay out some salad leaves, add some chicken chunks and drizzle in garlic and herb sour cream.

Wrap and serve!

Fajita recipe using DiscoveryHubby loves them and said they had the right amount of kick!

Now for the veggie version!

I used quorn steak style strips for this but I'd be confident for good results with soy mince and other meat alternatives too.

Coat the veggie "meat" in the other half of the seasoning and fry in the pan with plenty of oil. (I find quorn quick to dry out)

Throw in some veg - Beside the Pepper, I added a courgette because I had one to use up!

Fajita recipe using Discovery and Quorn for Veggie versionI also added a bit of grated cheddar (although not called for on the box recipe, I find cheese goes well with Mexican flavours!) and I warmed the wraps (without burning one this time! Yey)

To the warm wraps, I added some salad leaves, the veggie mix from the frying pan and a good squeeze of the garlic sour cream!


Emma x
Meal Planning Mummy.

* in order to do this review, Discovery sent me their products.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Free kids recipe and activity ebook from Tilda

Tilda Kids, along with Tilli the elephant, have released an e-book to accompany their rice range. The e-book can be downloaded from http://www.tilda.com/kids/kids-ebook and is full of fun things to do, including recipe ideas, sing-a-longs and ideas for how to keep active. Perfect to download and keep the kids busy while you're cooking!

Emma xx
Meal planning mummy

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Take A Box Of Eggs Cookbook Giveaway

Take a box of eggs is the latest in the Dairy Cookbook series and supported by A collection of recipe videos created by ex-Atomic Kitten and Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon and Claridges' Mark Sargean, Liz and Mark are not directly linked to the book itself other than British Lion's eggs have provided the books as prizes. This is a great recipe cook book - it's ring binding make it easy to flip through and there are little QR barcodes on each to scan with your smartphone for a shopping list! - really handy! Especially for Meal Planning!
The book made me think of new simple meal ideas - such as adding a poached egg to potato cakes and bacon, quiche and omelette ideas to introducing me to completely new foods I haven't heard of like Timbales. Not to mention oodles of cake and cookies and ice creams! Yum!
The introduction pages are really informative, they explain different ways of farming (in a paragraph) what the egg codes mean and what the British lion mark stands for and nutritional value of eggs - all condensed onto two pages.
This book is great from novice (how to boil an egg) to eggsperts (souffl├ęs!).

My two small people like flicking through the pictures (great photos throughout!) and picking what they'd like!
Recipes are broken down into simple steps and some include a "cooks tip" at the bottom too.
Pizza Omelette Video

Press release:
New research shows time-strapped home cooks are more likely to cook a quick meal from scratch than pop a ready meal in the microwave, so it’s cracking news that two rising culinary stars are launching a new recipe collection of egg-based main meals in minutes! The speedy dishes will feature on a new website - eggrecipes.co.uk/mainmealsinminutes- alongside a series of step-by-step videos presented by Mark and Liz. The celebs give their best omelette-making tips and show just how easy it is to rustle up meals in minutes using eggs.
British Lions eggs have given us an egg based recipe book to give away.
The latest in the Dairy Cookbook series, Take a box of eggs features more than 100 recipes ranging from the basics of boiling, poaching and frying, through everyday staples such as Tortilla and Quiche Lorraine, to the more adventurous Goat’s Cheese Souffl├ęs and Eggs Andalusia, as well as a range of classic desserts including ice creams, trifles and meringues.
by ex-Atomic Kitten and Celebrity Masterchef winner Liz McClarnon and Claridges' Mark Sargeant.

The competition.
To enter the competition, please leave a comment below telling me one of your favourite egg dishes, don't forget to include a way for me to contact you if you are the winner, such as twitter id or email please.

The prize will be sent directly to the winner from the company supplying the prize.

Open to the UK only please.

Competition will close on Monday 8th April 2013 at 12noon.

One winner will be selected using random.org to win 1 copy of "take a box of eggs" from entries on Emma in Bromley, and one winner will be selected from entries on Meal Planning Mummy also to win 1 copy of the book. please reply with your details within 7days of winning or another winner will be selected.

Bonus entries:
•Leave a comment on another of my blog posts (not other comps)
•Tweet a link to the comp including @beachpebble
•Like "Meal Planning Mummy" Facebook page
•Pin this comp on pinterest
•Google + this post
•Follow me on GFC
•Follow my sister blog "Emma in Bromley"

Please leave a separate comment below for each of your bonus entries so I can count them (max 1 for each method).

Emma x
Meal Planning Mummy

*Review and competition also published on "Emma in Bromley"

Friday, 22 March 2013

Simple lamb leg steak for kids

Meal Planning Mummy Emma's simple lamb leg steak for kidsI started off doing baby led weaning (blw) for both my children and it went really well but then my 3 year old became ridiculously fussy and with trying to prepare 4 different meals to suit everyone - with hubby eating several hours after the kids and with a scarily messy kitchen (seriously, I wouldn't eat food prepared in a kitchen that looked like this if it wasn't my own dirt!) and an endless tiresome list of things to do ... I got a bit kitchen lazy.

I'm not sure how it got that way to be honest, but I suddenly realised that far to often I was feeding the kids "bung it in the oven" things - usually a chicken teddy/dinosaur/dipper etc with a pile of chips and a token pea or two on the side.

This isn't what I want to feed them so I'm trying to go back to blw basics. I'm Organic all the way! (well, as much as budget allows and shops stock!)

Tonight they have organic lamb!

I've done a very plain and simple lamb leg steak (I've made one steak between the two of them)

I've accompanied this with a few french fries and rocket leaves with spring onion.

Pre heat the oven and grill.

Pop two handfuls of frozen oven french fries (we like the McCain ones) onto a baking tray and gracefully place in the oven.

Plain and simple, just grill the lamb leg steak. Nothing added to it. I did 10mims on one side and then turned it over and did 10 more mins on the other side.

Whilst that's cooking, wash some rocket leaves and arrange on the plates.

Chop up a spring onion - I peel off the outer layer and chop the white to light green part into discs with scissors (see, I'm not a classically trained chef or anything!). Artistically arrange on the plates.

Once cooked, slice the lamb and remove any fatty or rubbery or boney or gross looking bits and place on the plates along with the chips and allow to cool - the lamb needs a few mins to "rest" anyway.

Half way through eating, there was a request from my youngest for cheese so we also had a few cubes of cheddar too!

Although it goes against the usual blw advice, my 19month old is happier with the meat chopped into a few small pieces at a time that she can pop some on a folk herself whilst leaving a larger bit for exploring!

I made this for my 19month old and 3year old. My 19month old ate a fair amount of everything whilst my fussy 3 year old ate 1 rocket leaf and two chips :-/ (I wonder how he is so happy and healthy sometimes! - it really is baffling!)

I'll be redoing the whole thing again with the second lamb leg steak later on (without the cheese) for hubby! - such a shame he isn't home from work or hungry to eat at 5-6pm with the kids!

Everything except for the chips was organic - I fully recommend eating organic as much as you can.

Emma x
Meal planning mummy

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Zappar and Asda bring to life the classic Easter Egg Hunt

Zappar and Asda bring to life the classic Easter Egg Hunt
Zappar and Asda 2013 Easter Egg Hunt
Zappar, the leaders in Augmented Reality (AR) - enabled products and entertainment experiences, has teamed up with Asda supermarket for the UK’s first-ever augmented reality enabled Easter Egg Hunt. Asda shoppers will be delighted to set off on an in-store Easter Egg Hunt, guided by an augmented reality Easter Bunny powered by Zappar. The fun will be taking place from 10am – 4.30pm on Saturday 23rd March.

Specially designed Easter Egg point of sale will be hidden around almost 400 Asda stores across the UK for children and adults to discover. When zapped using the Asda app, each egg will transform into virtual 3D Easter Eggs revealing an Easter Bunny hidden inside that will display a secret letter. The letters will form a password that once completed, will entitle the successful treasure hunters to a free gift!
Zappar and Asda 2013 Easter Egg Hunt
Shoppers will only need to download the free Asda app onto a smartphone or tablet and then get zapping in Asda stores across the country. The fun starts when the Easter Bunny will leap out of his hole from a floor mat and tell kids and their parents all about this magical hunt. It will also be possible to pose with the AR Easter Bunny to take photos and video to share with friends!

For those without a smartphone there will be Events staff on hand with iPads so everyone can enjoy the fun.
Zappar and Asda 2013 Easter Egg Hunt
And the magic of this augmented reality Easter Egg Hunt does not end in store! Participants will be able to take home a face mask from stores that when zapped, replaces the wearer’s head with that of the Easter Bunny.

This exclusive experience has been made all the more possible with the recent installation of Wi-Fi in all Asda stores.

Max Dawes, Head of Partner Relations at Zappar, said: “Our specialism at Zappar is in creating AR-enabled products and entertainment experiences! Everyone loves an Easter Egg Hunt; it is definitely one of the highlights of the holiday in many children’s minds. To be able to provide a sprinkle of Zappar magic dust to the in-store experience and create the first ever augmented reality Easer egg hunt in partnership with Asda on such a grand scale is just fantastic.”
Zappar and Asda 2013 Easter Egg Hunt
Steph Hughes, Head of Events Marketing at Asda added, “The AR Easter Egg Hunt is a great way to get across the Asda personality and another example of how Asda stores are a destination for mums and kids. We are really exciting to be embracing this new technology and incorporating it into the Asda app. Hopefully everyone enjoys meeting the Easter Bunny!”
Zappar and Asda 2013 Easter Egg Hunt
Kate Cuthbertson, Head of Mobile Innovation at Asda added, “More than two million Asda mums have already downloaded our mobile grocery app to do their online shopping with, saving them stacks of time which they can then spend with their families. We are now looking at how the app can come to life inside our stores so we can help make the shopping experience more fun and enjoyable for them and their families. Free WiFi in all our stores opens up all sorts of exciting opportunities, including the use of augmented reality (AR). Our Easter Egg hunt is a fun way to promote the Asda mobile app to even more of our customers, demonstrating how easy it is to use, while wowing them some amazing new AR technology.”

Zappar for iPhone, iPod and iPad:

For Android:

The Easter Egg Hunt is taking place in a selected number of Asda branches.

Meal Planning Mummy x

Monday, 18 March 2013

The can of pop and box of cake mix thing!

So, I'm addicted to pinterest!

I keep seeing recipes for cakes and brownies popping up all the time that claim, all you need is a box of Betty Crocker cake or brownie mix and a can of coca cola!

At first I though "no, these must be spam!" but then I noticed more and more pins - mostly American bloggers doing this!

I was in my local co-op this week and Betty Crocker kits were on offer so I though "what the heck!" I wanna see if this really does work or not!

Meal Planning Mummy, the can of pop and box of cake mix thing!So all the blog posts I read, simply said to mix a full can and a full box together (contents of said packaging!)

I did this and at first it really didn't look like anything but then after a little bit of wooden spoon mixing it actually did look like cake batter!

I used the mix in a mini cupcake maker which I pre- greased. (I always forget to use it, so was pleased it was having a whirl for once!)

Within 10mins I had what looked like perfect little mini cupcakes - they were springy and perfectly rounded and smelled like ... chocolate cake! Skewer came out clean so I knew they had cooked through!

I was really surprised!

When I tried to free one from the pan, however, disaster struck! Each and every cake was stuck fast and part ripped trying to free them! Even though this is a non stick machine and I'd greased each hole - I guess as the mix doesn't have any fat it just sticks!

Would have been ok in paper cases maybe?

Even though technically the cake mix had worked - I did have what looked and smelled like cake - I have to say - it did not work because....

... They tasted disgusting!!!!

Even my chocoholic (even more than me!) kids didn't like them!

Emma the Meal Planning Mummy xx