Little Foodies Coconut nougat recipe

One of my favourite aspects of taking a holiday abroad is trying the local cuisine to get a real flavour of where you are. I meant that pun and I am not sorry.

Of the 3 small humans I have created, my eldest 2 have inherited this love of trying new things. I have always preferred to give them a smaller portion of “adult food” and felt pretty good about my parenting in this area. Col was scoffing curries before he could walk and Bess loves sampling cheeses which could make a grown mans eyes water…

Then along came Moose. This child is the king of vegetable refusal. He likes peas and sweetcorn but anything else is met with serious resistance.

ANYTHING.

If it looks funny – he won’t eat it. If it smells funny – he won’t eat it. If it is touching anything with any kind of sauce? Forget it.

It turns out he is not alone. Emirates have done some research and they have found that over half of parents worry about what their children will eat while away with almost two thirds (64%) stashing failsafe food items in their suitcase. 

With this in mind, Emirates Holidays has partnered up with chefs from their top family resorts to create an exclusive series of ‘Little Foodies’ recipe cards to encourage families to cook together, expand their taste buds and remind themselves of their holiday through local flavours this summer.

You can find more info here

We had a go

I decided to try out the Coconut Nougat recipe with Moose. He hadn’t really tried coconut before and I thought that making sweets might be fun. It was! (once I had opened the coconut, obviously)

How we got on

First of all I procured some of my husbands tools to get started.

Not my usual cooking tools but they were necessary. Gently(ish) hammer the screwdriver through one of the coconuts soft spots and drain out the water into a glass. Drink it, I love it!

Then wrap in clean tea towel and smash it with a hammer. I found thinking about how my neighbours currently enjoy the BeeJees on repeat (at volume) helped with the hammer smash but you can use your own motivation.

Once I opened the coconut (like a boss! I was expecting it to be hard work) I simply followed the instructions on the recipe card.

I was a bit confused by the lemongrass having not used it before. The recipe card didn’t really tell me how I should prepare it so I went with removing the outer woody layer and then hacking it into chunks which I removed after boiling. I could really taste the lemongrass in the nougat so I would use this approach again.

 

I am really keen to widen the variety of foods which Moose will entertain and this definitely helped! Making our own nougat (although if I am honest the finished result was more like coconut ice?) was really good fun and Moose loved getting involved!

This was a collaborative post but all opinions are as ever my own. Moose loved the coconut nougat and we will be trying more of the little foodies recipes!

 

 

Review: Daewoo KOR6M5R 20 Litre Microwave

I am a big fan of the microwave

. Working from home and organising a family means that time is valuable. I try to feed my lot a pretty varied diet but some days I simply don’t have the time to prepare a meal (or 3) from scratch as well as getting everything else done. On days like those, the microwave comes into it’s own.

When I was asked by www.ao.com to try out the KOR6M5R microwave I was really happy. Their timing was impeccable as ours had died not a week earlier!

Space saver

As you can see from the photo above, we did not have space for a large model. Luckily this Daewoo model fits into the available space beautifully. The KOR6M5R is a 20 litre capacity which might seem small compared to other microwaves but it’s absolutely fine for us and we are a family of 5.

The Daewoo KOR6M5R is touch control and has an auto cook function with 5 programmes tailored to cooking certain foods at the push of a button.It has a simple to use display and I found the defrost function very handy when I forgot to get food out of the freezer for dinner this week!

Eco Friendly

I really like that this is a zero stand-by appliance. This means that after 2 minutes of the microwave not being used, it reduces the stand-by power consumption to nothing. When you are ready to use the microwave again, you simply open the door. Great for those of us who don’t like to have a house full of appliances on stand-by adding to our bills and to the planets energy consumption.

What I really like about using a microwave though is that on those hot summer days when you really don’t want to add to the temperature of the house by having the oven on, you don’t have to!

What do you like to cook in your microwave? I love this cookie dough mug cake recipe by Running With Spoons

We were sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker

When I was a child (not that long ago to be honest), friendship bracelets were incredibly popular. Of course, as with all generations we assumed that this was an idea that we as a collective had come up with.

Apparently not

Friendship bracelets originated in Central America a long time ago. I like the thought of tween girls in somewhen B.C swapping their knotted bracelets and maybe drawing a selfie on their walls for posterity.

Anyway

We were offered the chance to try out the Cool Maker Kumi Kreator last week and it’s basically Bess’ new favourite thing.

Kumi (for anyone who is wondering) is short for Kumihimo which is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumihimo is Japanese for “gathered threads”. You’re welcome!

What’s in the box
  • 1 Cool Maker KumiKreator
  • 88 Spools
  • 10 Clasps
  • 20 End Caps
  • 26 Clasp Stickers
  • 1 Design Booklet
  • 1 Measuring Guide
  • 1 Storage Case
  • 1 Playbook

How do you play?

The first thing you MUST do is to watch the instruction video. Honestly, I am a big fan of winging this stuff but for this toy you are going to want clear instruction and this link is the clearest. Go to www.coolmaker.com

What did we think?

The KumiKreator takes a little while to set up and just a minute to create a bracelet. Bess (12) did 99% of this herself. She found it interesting to use, she really likes seeing how things are made so to have the mechanics of the toy on display was something she was pleased about.

Bess found the spools tricky to put onto the Kumikreator and we can see why this toy is for 8+ although Moose absolutely loved watching Bess create her Kumi bracelets.

Choose to create 8 or 12-strand bracelets from the design booklet for different bracelet looks. Bess of course decided that she didn’t need the design booklet after her first couple of goes and created her own unique bracelets. I like that this toy allows children to use their imagination in this way.

Where can I get one?

Cool maker Kumikreator is available from all good toy shops and is priced at £29.99. Considering that you can make up to 10 bracelets and the refill packs (also 10 bracelets each) are £9.99 I think it’s pretty good value!

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post. We received this toy in exchange for our honest opinion.

Adventureland at Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure Spalding

Every Friday Moose has a day off from preschool. I work from home so I try to pack as much work into the first 4 days of the week. This leaves Friday as our day. We only have 1 Friday left before the schools are out for the summer. After that we have everyone at home and then my baby boy is <gulp> off to primary school.

mummy and moose

I am determined to fill our Fridays with fun.

Last week we were invited to the new Adventureland located at Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

This £1 million adventure playground is an exciting addition to what is on offer for families in the East Midlands area.

How much is it?

Entry to Adventureland is priced at £7.95 for an All inclusive wristband during peak season or £29.95 for up to 4 people. This covers children under 12 for

  • Adventure Land
  • Springy’s Beach
  • Tree Top Village

Plus, one session to each of the following attractions: (token/wristband provided upon entry)

  • JCB Young Drivers Zone. One hour in the zone includes Foreman’s briefing and pedal power driving trucks, building bricks and mechanical diggers. Timeslot booked on purchase. Recommended for children under 10 years old
  • Goldie’s Gold Mine – 1 x 15 minute session per child to pan for gold and find the treasure
  • Springy’s Railroad – One trip through the Tree Top village and woodland
  • Dino Golf  –  One round of the 9 hole, dinosaur themed adventure golf course

If you don’t fancy trying out the latter, you also have the option of purchasing a standard wristband.

Standard tickets include entry to:

  • Adventure Land
  • Springy’s Beach
  • The Tree Top Village

You are able to purchase individual tokens for the other activities which are priced as follows

  • JCB Young Drivers Zone £6 per child – Sessions last an hour  and includes a safety briefing, your own pedal powered JCB truck, huge JCB house and scaffolding play tower, brick laying area, mechanical diggers and bouldering wall plus more!  Time slot booked on purchase. Recommended for children under 10 years old.
  • Gold Panning £2 per person   One 15-minute session to pan for gold and find the treasure. Includes treasure memento
  •  Springy’s Railroad £2 per person – One trip through the Tree Top Village and woodland
  • Dino Golf £3 per person – One round of the 9 hole dinosaur themed adventure golf course
  • Remote Controlled Boats £1 Token – Available from any Kiosk. This is located by the Dino Golf

What did we think?

Moose absolutely loved Adventureland. He had been feeling a little under the weather the day before so I was anxious that maybe he would find it all a bit much but I needn’t have worried.

The beach area is under a large shade so there is no danger of little ones getting sunburnt while they play and splash in the little stream running through the beach area.

We thought the JCB young drivers zone was a great idea! The platforms inside the scaffolding tower which the children have to climb in order to go down the big slide were unfortunately too high for Moose. He is a tall 3 year old (he’s around 110cm) so I think that is really for slightly older kids. Shame as he loves a slide!

It was great for the children to be able to select safety gear to wear as they scooted around on the little JCB’s and the petrol station and play shop were really well done. Grandma was pleased that there was seating provided for the grown ups.

Panning for Gold

The Gold Panning activity was one which we really enjoyed. Moose surprised me and spent a really long time sifting through to look for coloured stones and pieces of (fools) gold. I really like that the children get to keep what they find. That’s a really nice touch.

After we had collected our treasure we headed to have a ride on Springy’s railroad. It was a nice little trip around the woodland area and as you can see, Moose enjoyed himself immensely!

Something I thought might be a little old for Moose was the

Dino Golf.

We thought we would have a go but I really underestimated how much he would love this! We liked spotting the Dinosaurs hiding around the 9 hole course and Moose managed to name quite a few!

Then we decided to head to the tree top village. Moose was a little unsure at first but he soon got the hang of climbing  across the bridges and even ventured onto the tree walk, a massive 12m2 suspended net. This activity needed adult supervision for anyone aged 3-6 so I had a go too. I was a little worried that my weight might be an issue here but it was absolutely fine – and good fun!

What about food?

Springfields has a good choice of places to eat. We decided to stay in Adventureland and grab a quick bite at Springy’s diner. The outdoor seating area is right next to Springys beach so it’s handy for watching the kids play. It also has bottomless coffee which from a parental point of view is a massive bonus!

 

Grandma and I decided to try the small bites trio deal. You can select 3 dishes for £12. We chose the chicken strips, ranch salad and potato skins. Moose settled on the children’s cheeseburger and fries which was priced at £5.95.

The food was nice but I do think that the kids meal was slightly too pricey and maybe should include a drink at least? I think on our next trip we would probably go and try The Kitchen which looked to be really good for families. It’s great that Springfields has a choice of places for families to eat.

Would we go back?

Absolutely yes. I am planning on visiting during the summer holidays. I really like the choice of activities on offer and a really nice aspect of Adventureland is it’s setting. Springfields outlet village offers a nice shopping experience which my older daughter will want to explore with her friends. And if shopping is not your thing, the festival gardens are a lovely place for a peaceful walk.

We are also hoping to have a ride on the Spalding water taxi so we can explore the town centre too! All in all I think Adventureland offers a really valuable resource for parents and we can’t wait to visit again!

 

Disclaimer:We received wristband entry to Adventureland and a gift card to try Springys diner but all opinions are honest and my own.

900 years of Peterborough – Queensgate Medeshamstede Medieval Village

As a self confessed history geek I am really enjoying the celebrations surrounding the 900th anniversary of Peterborough.

It wasn’t always called Peterborough though.

Prepare to be taken back in time, back to Medeshamstede, when Peterborough was born, as Queensgate Shopping Centre puts on a week-long celebration and festivities to mark the 900th anniversary of the city.

From Monday 30 July until Sunday 5 August, shoppers are invited to step into a medieval village, complete with a castle and towering turrets, in Central Square. Walk across the drawbridge, through the giant gates and into the courtyard where real knights, villagers and churchmen go about their daily lives.

 

The grand hall houses a giant banquet table, creating the perfect setting for activities to take part in, such as bread making, crown and shield making workshops, Merlin’s spell school, dressing up, stories of bravery and valour and much more.

 

Watch knights of the round table battle with incredible sword skills, listen to traditional harps and folk music, and for those that have been naughty, it’s off to the village stocks!

peterborough 900th anniversary

“Embracing Peterborough’s heritage during this special year is important to Queensgate,” said Marketing Manager, Laura Chandler. “The Medeshamstede village is a fully immersive interactive experience replicating life in Peterborough 900 years ago. From a working water mill to the peasant’s house, this is going to be a great way to show where Peterborough came from.”

 

There’s also the chance to find the king or queen of Peterborough as shoppers are invited to pull the sword from the stone.

The Medeshamstede village, the name of Peterborough in the Anglo-Saxon period, is completely free and a full schedule of events and timings can be found at www.queensgate-shopping.co.uk/whats-on.

I think this will be a really interesting and fun thing to do with the children and best of all it’s free!