Food

Moose loves to cook and so do I. Here is where you will find our kitchen adventures

Moose attends pre-school from Monday to Thursday. During those days I try to get lots of work done. Sometimes that means working with clay, sometimes it means writing. I am lucky that I love my work so it doesn’t really feel like work at all. Friday though, is our day. Moose and I have the whole day to ourselves to do whatever it is that takes our fancy. I absolutely love our time together and I am trying to push all thoughts of it coming to an end next September out of my mind and just enjoy these moments while we can snatch them.

This week Moose asked if we could make lunch and bake some cakes. It just so happened that I had received the Vremi baking cups and apple slicer to try out so I figured it would be a great idea.

We decided to start with cake

This was entirely Moose’s idea but I didn’t put up much of a fight. We had a Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles cake mix in the cupboard so that seemed the obvious choice. If you know me, you know about my lacking baking skills… Surely not even I could mess up a box mix though!

Moose had great fun making the cake mix and spooning it into the silicone cases. Of course, I appreciate I am late to the silicone baking cup game, this was my first experience of such a thing. I eyed Vremi’s claim of them being non stick with a healthy amount of suspicion. I was however delighted to read that they are dishwasher safe!

Vremi’s set of 24 Nonstick Silicone Baking Cups come in pink, green, blue and yellow and I love how bright and fun they are. Incidentally, the cups did not stick to the cakes at all and emerged from the dishwasher as good as new. There is no going back to paper for us now. 

Slice slice baby

While our cakes cooled on the rack we turned our attention to preparing lunch. Moose loves cheese, apple and grapes with crackers. He is really fussy sometimes so it’s a relief when he requests normal food. 

The Vremi slicer comes with 3 sets of blades designed to cut mango, apple and potato (into chips). I am usually a knife kind of a girl so this too was a bit of a revelation. I honestly thought that this would be one of those faddy gadgets which I would use once and then leave languishing in the back of a cupboard (I am looking at you candyfloss machine). The big easy grip handles means that small (and big) hands go nowhere near the sharp blades so it’s great for when the kids want to “help”. 

I like apples but I have a weird aversion to eating one whole. This handy little gadget though has upped my apple intake by a surprising amount! The kids too. We seem to much prefer to eat pre sliced apple. I am yet to try the chipper but I do believe it will be a game changer

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Win the Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and Apple Slicer #6

Autumn is my favourite time of the year by far. The colours, the smells hanging in the air, the longer nights, scarves and gloves. These are all my reasons for loving this time of year. Pizza is also a favourite.

Why then is it that every year this is also the time that I start to pine for faraway places and for the feeling of skin warmed by the sun? My timehop told me today that on no less than 3 occasions over the last few years it has been this week that we have chosen to book a holiday in the sun. Bizarre coincidence or maybe I love the sun a bit more than my conscious self might like to admit! 

bella&brava

I would rather be eating pizza

It was certainly a good excuse to indulge in some holiday browsing anyway. So today while sporting some seriously autumnal layering I could be found daydreaming of destinations. 

Food always plays a big role when we are choosing where to go. I cannot think of anything more inviting at the moment than eating pizza in Venice.

Bella&Brava would be the perfect spot for us.

Perhaps for some a larger menu might be preferable but I completely understand why they have decided to offer just 6 options. I would rather have 6 amazing pizzas to choose from than 20 which are perhaps just okay. Who wants just okay?

bella&brava

From their insistence upon high quality ingredients to their use of recyclable, eco friendly packaging Bella&Brava sound like our kind of Pizza makers. Simplicity and sustainability. The perfect marriage.

I could imagine us eating pizza while exploring places nearby such as the Grand Canal of course and I would definitely order a Venexiana, what would you choose?

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post
Buzzoole

Despite being born in Peterborough and having lived here for 31 of my 35 years I didn’t know that the walk through from Bridge Street to the back of the town hall has a name. It does, it’s called St Peters Arcade – and that is where you will find Middletons Steakhouse & Grill.

tables and chair steakhouse

Middletons isn’t just any old restaurant

All of the meat served here comes from their own butchery based in Norfolk. Middletons is a large 230 seater restaurant set over 2 floors with good disabled access and stylish decor. I absolutely love steak (who doesn’t?) so when we received an invitation to come along to one of their preview nights, how could we resist?

seating at middletons

So much choice

We were seated quickly by Shona and John came to introduce himself as our waiter for the evening soon after. Following a long look over our menu I decided on the Calamari to start. It arrived in good time and was fresh, crispy and golden. It was also big! Each golden breaded ring was about the size of my fist! An excellent start to the evening.

calamari from above middletons

The menu at Middletons offers a massive array of delicious sounding meals but as we were at a steakhouse it felt only right that we should choose steak. I went for the “Steak & Sticky” which was a 6oz sirloin with a half rack of sticky BBQ ribs and a chilli & spring onion garnish.  All meals from the grill menu come with a choice of 1 side. I chose Coleslaw which was really creamy – perfect for me! The ribs were wonderfully juicy and the meat just fell off the bone.

The star of the show though was of course the steak. My knife glided through my medium rare sirloin without any trouble at all. The meat was succulent and melt in the mouth perfection. One of the best steaks I have ever eaten in fact.

jaymee from the mum diaries blog

After a quick loo break during which I ran into my sister blogger, Jaymee, from The Mum Diaries it was time to order dessert. After much deliberation I decided upon the Creme Brulee. My dessert was the perfect ending to what had been a fabulous meal. 

middletons creme brulee

Would i go again?

Yes, I would. In a heartbeat. There are so many dishes on the menu that I think it would be difficult to get bored here. Prices range from the £50 36oz steak all the way down to the £9.99 set menu so there really is something to suit all budgets at Middletons.

The staff were friendly and attentive without being overbearing and our water bottle was kept replenished throughout our meal. 

I noticed that there is also the facility on their website to pre order your food when you have a table booked – a very useful function when you don’t have much time to spare! 

I think Peterborough finally has the steakhouse it has needed for a long time.

 

Disclaimer: We were invited to have a meal in exchange for a review. All opinions are as ever our own.

lunch bag and boy
This week Moose Is Beginning A New Chapter

He has been attending 2 afternoon sessions at preschool for a while now but this week will see him attend for 2 full days!

We are both looking forward to this immensely, we took a trip to the shops over the weekend and Moose picked out a lunch bag because full days means that he will need to
have a packed lunch. Incidentally Breadmakers by Panasonic are now on my wish list – the reason will become apparent later. I am definitely going to get some use out of one!

Suddenly I am panicking about what I can include in his shiny new lunch bag. I know he will eat fruit so that’s going in. Not bananas though for obvious reasons. When I was a child a standard lunch was a sandwich, fruit, crisps and a chocolate biscuit. I have it on good authority that including crisps and a chocolate biscuit will anger the packed lunch gods so they are out. 

Problem is, Moose is not a sandwich eater. He likes bread. He likes filling. Assemble them into the form of a sandwich however and he is not a happy bunny. 

I need to think outside the box

Maybe he doesn’t need a sandwich? I could give him bread but make it a bit less sandwich-ish in a bid to dupe him into eating it, right? 

So here is the plan. A foolproof way of smuggling a main aspect of his lunch and getting past his sandwich radar. Drum roll if you please..

Pizza swirls 

Moose loves pizza! This cannot fail. Plus it has the added benefit of allowing me to sneak some five a day in the form of the pizza sauce. WIN! 

There are loads of recipes online for pizza dough. Here’s one from Honest & Truly If you have the Panasonic breadmaker (hint hint Mr G) then it’s even easier, pop your ingredients in and you are away. If not then you are going to be kneading.

Once the dough is formed. Roll your dough out, pop your sauce on the base and top with cheese (and whatever else your munchkin will eat. Here it’s ham and pineapple). I won’t patronise you with what constitutes a pizza. Surely everyone knows this information? Go here if you really need more guidance.

Resist the urge to cook the pizza as it is and instead roll it out to make a large pizza sausage. Yes, pizza sausage. Technical term for sure. Roll it nice and tightly or you will unravel and nobody wants that.

Now slice your sausage into 2″ thick rounds and lay those out on a greased baking tray. Don’t cook them yet. Let them sit in a warm room for about half an hour. This will give the dough time to prove and makes for a better dough. Now you can bake. 180 degrees for about 20 mins.

When they are cooled pop them in the fridge and eat cold in a packed lunch or warm them up for a delicious treat when your child is at preschool and you can enjoy peace and quiet! Oh how I will enjoy the peace and quiet..

Love

Mummy & Moose

Disclosure: This post includes sponsored content but all views and opinions are my own.

We had an easy-ish morning.

As easy as it gets with a 2 year old anyway. Moose and I were bored so we decided to go for a walk around the local shops to kill some time. He always asks to sit in the ride on Noo-Noo outside the shop – luckily he has never seen it in action so as far as he knows it does nothing. I am not going to volunteer any information to the contrary until I absolutely have to and I am pretty sure it’s going to save me around a million pounds?

Back home

It was time for lunch. If you know Moose then you probably know that he SERIOUSLY dislikes vegetables. Of course I understand that small Humans generally lean toward white or beige food but Moose is my 3rd and the first 2 lulled me into a false sense of security. I thought I had it nailed, they would eat ANYTHING. I was naive to say the least.

He likes the following at the moment; ham, pasta, peas, sweetcorn, ketchup, cheese, bread, mashed potato, chips (of course) and eggs. Luckily he loves fruit. That does not help with Veg situation though. 

We are trying to buy less and most importantly waste less food, I remembered that I had some tomatoes in the cupboard. One thing Moose and I both love is PIZZA so I thought I might try and whip up something Pizza-esque. We cut up some bread we had going a bit stale in the larder and Moose spread some Cirio Pizza Sauce on to the slices. Then he added a couple of baby spinach leaves (which mummy had chopped) and then a sprinkle of cheese and a slice of ham – I was also going to cut this up but when I tried to remove it from Moose’ vice like grip he screamed and I thought better of it.

As you can see, Moose was very pleased with his lunchtime adventure. I was very pleased with him eating tomatoes AND spinach! HE ATE TOMATOES!! Not out of a ketchup bottle! 

It was also really nice to get him in the kitchen and helping. He loved cooking and we had a really fun time putting it all together – it really didn’t take long either!

I do like a happy ending

love  

Mummy & Moose

Disclosure: We were sent the above products for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.