Chicken drum meat – 5 cheap meal ideas

I have noticed lately that (as per everything) chicken has been climbing in price at the supermarket. We have always bought chicken thighs as well as breast but at roughly £5 for a pack of chicken breasts big enough for a hungry family it is no longer a cost effective meal solution.

A few weeks ago I noticed that alongside boneless thigh fillets and breast fillets, you can now buy boneless chicken drumstick meat. Priced at £2.99 I thought it would be worth trying so I picked up a couple of packs.

Is chicken drum nutritious though?

Nutritionally the drum meat stacks up ok. Chicken drumsticks (100g of) offer  155 calories, 24.2 g of protein, and 5.7 g of fat. Compare that to the pricier breast (100g of) which offers 165 calories, 31 g of protein, and 3.6 g of fat and actually there really isn’t much in it. Especially considering 1 is nearly half the price of the other!

Of course, if you want to save even more money (and you have a sharp knife and a little time) you can always buy on the bone.

As a leg meat, drum will stand up to longer cooking times and won’t dry out like chicken breast can. This makes it a great choice for stews, casseroles and curries.

I have listed a few ideas for how you could use your drum meat below – let me know how you get on? Have you tried it yet?

Homemade pie

I always pick up a roll of puff pastry when I go shopping. Sometimes I use it for sweet things and sometimes savoury. A really way to chuck a meal together is to combine cooked chicken pieces with a bit of soup and white sauce. You can layer mashed potato and then top with a layer of pastry. It’s easy and very filling.

Chicken curry

I make a half decent and utterly inauthentic curry. I use whatever we have laying around veg wise and usually some curry powder or paste and coconut milk. Always toast your spices!

Chicken casserole

Again, and you might notice a theme here, I use what we have in the fridge. Casseroles are a great way to reduce waste but I also put frozen veg and beans in them too. If I have to crack open a bottle of wine then I am prepared to make that sacrifice..

Chicken kebab

Currently my favourite go to when using chicken drum meat. Thread the whole lot onto 2 skewers and marinate overnight. I usually use a bit of yogurt along with harissa paste, paprika and ton of garlic. Pop the skewers on a baking try and bake for 40 mins or so. You can make your own flatbreads too if you are that way inclined. I like the ones made from a mix of yogurt (you’ve opened a pot for the marinade now) and flour and whatever herbs you like. Very easy and very satisfying – especially when you look up the price of kebabs now. Sheesh!

Honey sesame chicken

I absolutely love my recipe for Sticky Sesame Pork which can be found here. It works just as well (maybe better) with chicken and drum would be perfect for this. Serve with rice and veg or noodles.




Which Sleep Animal Are You?

Many of us are familiar with the terms ‘early bird’ or ‘night owl’ but did you know that there are four main types of sleep animal that most of us fit into? Are you a Bear, Lion, Dolphin, or Wolf?

Each animal corresponds with a sleep chronotype, which is how people sleep. Our internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, varies between individuals, meaning some animals are more active or wakeful at different times of the day.

Dolphins are light sleepers who may suffer from insomnia, and lions are early risers with lots of energy who often feel exhausted by early evening. Whereas bears follow the sunrise and sunset and need eight hours sleep, wolves have a hard time getting up early and are most active at night.

Knowing your chronotype can not only boost your productivity, but it can also tell you the best time to eat, sleep, work, exercise, drink coffee or alcohol.

Take the quiz to find out your sleep animal – and discover expert tips to adjust your sleep schedule to suit your unique biological rhythm. Let me know what you got in the comments section!

I took the quiz and would never have guessed that I would have been a dolphin! It does resemble my sleep pattern though and I will definitely be following Simba’s advice on trying a weighted blanket.

Meal Plan – It’s October and I still have the fan on edition

October should be all about lovely comforting dishes of stews and casseroles. Something warming as the nights draw in and the cold winds begin to blow.

This year, however, I am still going out in a t-shirt and having to have all of the windows open and a fan on. Stew and dumplings is not such an attractive prospect for October when the sun is still very much out!

I’m not moaning, by the way. The heating is staying off so money is being saved and it’s lovely to be able to walk the dog and not have to go through the bother of trying to keep her dry and mud free. I am looking forward to November though, when the autumnal weather might kick in and so will the sausage casseroles!


This week in food

Monday: Steak salad (pea shoots, tomato and pear) and crusty bread

Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs

Wednesday: Chicken bake with mash and beans

Thursday: Cottage pie

Friday: Wraps and wedges

Saturday: Fish with new potatoes and broccoli

Sunday: Roast pork

How To Foster Creativity in Kids



Creativity is crucial in early childhood development. It doesn’t merely stimulate children’s imagination and curiosity but also supports their optimal development and growth, including physical, social, emotional, and cognitive factors.


It also helps kids improve their communication skills, manage their emotional states (e.g., coping with their feelings and fears), and develop positive views towards change, challenge, and self-initiated learning.


As parents, here’s how to create and set a learning environment to foster your kids’ creativity.

Utilise Free Play

Playtime naturally encourages children. It offers them an opportunity to master their environment, examine a scenario from multiple perspectives, and control experience through their own imaginations. Overall, it helps them develop individual styles of creative expression.


Specifically, kids should engage in creative play. It’s fundamental in improving their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development, making it an ideal way to develop and boost their basic skills for everyday life.


Creative play can be in the forms of arts and crafts, building, or playing around. Opt for sensory materials to not only stimulate their senses but also spark their imagination. For example, use MyHappyHelpers’ Premium Toddler Climbing Equipment. Climbing helps with their motor processing (voluntary muscular activities) and their bodies’ proprioceptive input (awareness of the body and movement related to joints).


Allow kids to play outside as well. For example, plan outdoor hikes, visit nature centres, go camping in a tent, or take them on a group bike ride, ideally as part of your regular family routine. Note that nature is a powerful and ever-changing tool that encourages children to use their imagination, explore, experiment, discover, and take risks.


Letting children play freely can be hard on parents. Finding the right balance between allowing creativity to emerge naturally and imposing boundaries can be tricky to master. Still, during this stage of childhood, parents shouldn’t discourage kids from exploring new ideas. They must be extra patient and think of the benefits of playing more.

Encourage Exploration

Kids learn best when exploring and discovering the world using their bodies and senses. Doing so lets them express their curiosity and traverse multiple early learning goals simultaneously.


Exploration is crucial for kids’ pivotal developmental stages. Besides creativity, it also benefits kids’ physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Kids who tend to explore more show high levels of physical activity, which is good for their health, physical fitness, and motor skills. They’re also found to have a keener sense of self, better critical thinking skills, more sociable, healthier level of independence, more emotionally mature, and more self-confident.


That’s why many childhood care centres focus on activities that encourage exploration. Examples of such activities are music lessons, visiting new places, backyard botany exploration, digging outdoors in the dirt for treasures or indoor scavenger hunts, and playing with fine motor skills toys like wooden blocks, legos, playdough, or threading toys.

Buy Open-Ended Toys

Open-ended toys are playing materials that can be played with in several ways. Unlike close-ended toys like puzzles, they don’t have a clear ending point. As a result, kids have to figure out how to use and play with them, stimulating their imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills.


Examples of these open-ended toys are blocks, play silks (toys made of silk or silk-like materials), wooden figures, dolls, loose parts, wooden train sets, balls, arts and crafts, play food, trays, doll’s house, bags, baskets and trolleys, and treasure baskets.

Engage in Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts have always been an integral part of early childhood education as they can help children not only foster creativity but also develop many critical life skills. These include fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, critical thinking, confidence and independence, and social skills.


Besides self-expression, arts and crafts can stimulate kids’ senses, especially ages 1-5. Specifically, incorporating art activities with sensory play engages them with new textures, sounds, smells, and situations without any expectations and preconceived notions, allowing them to develop new sensory information naturally.

Toddler Climbing Fun with MyHappyHelpers' Indoor Frame

Allow Them to Join in The Kitchen

Cooking is another way to foster creativity and imagination. For example, kids can express themselves creatively by shaping cookies, designing cakes with frosting/icing, or moulding dishes like sushi or kimbap.


It also improves their cognitive and language development. They can learn how to count, measure, follow a sequence, follow directions, and improve their vocabulary by learning the names of ingredients and kitchen utensils they’re using. The communication required to follow the steps of a certain recipe will benefit their ability to ask questions, express wishes, and voice out disagreement.


Allowing them to do the cooking activities hands-on can develop and improve their fine motor and eye-hand coordination skills and encourage children to be self-directed and independent. For example, let them chop, mix, squeeze, and spread ingredients. However, be sure to leave them with kid-friendly utensils, such as high-quality plastic knives with serrated edges.

Final Thoughts

Praising children’s creativity is as important as fostering it. However, parents must be careful not to use it in the wrong way. It’s one of the main motives for how children act. They may end up liable for doing things over for the wrong reasons and growing up to be problematic ones. Make sure not to overpraise. Instead, focus on the effort rather than not the person doing it or the result

Important Things To Consider When Picking Your Wedding Venue

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, there are so many different things to consider and it can be really easy to paralyze yourself with choices. You’ve probably checked out a dozen or more wedding venues already, or perhaps you don’t even know where to start. It’s a daunting process–that’s for sure! But there are a couple of ways to make the entire thing easier, especially if you’re willing to do a bit of research and have a few months (or even a whole year) to get prepared.


Without further ado, let’s take a look at a couple of things to consider when choosing the ideal wedding venue for you and your partner, or even when helping your friends and family members.


flowers and outside weddin venue


Accessibility can be really important


When choosing a wedding venue, one of the most important factors has to be accessibility. Imagine if you picked a really fancy and beautiful location, only to realize that most of your guests won’t be able to make the trip because it’s way too far from where they live. Maybe you want to have a nice wedding overseas, but you can’t justify it because most of the people on your guest list can’t really pay for a weekend flight just for a wedding.


Depending on your guest list, you’ll need to pick a location that is fairly accessible to everyone. In most cases, it’s best if you can pick a location that is close to you and your dearest friends and family members, but we know that it’s not always possible given the circumstances and distances between people. However, it’s often in your best interests to try and find a location that everyone is content with.


The venue capacity and the size of your guest list


Next, think about venue capacity. Locations such as St Osyth Priory are huge and can offer plenty of space for all of your guests, but you might also prefer something a little smaller (especially if the location is more ideal) so it’s always a good idea to look around. Try to get a rough estimate from the venue on how many people can attend, then compare it to your guest list. This will help you pick a venue that is suitable for the number of people that you plan to invite.


Look at the amenities and services


Don’t forget to look at things such as catering. Many venues offer in-house catering that is taken care of by a team of cooks. They might not offer this option all the time. In some cases, you might need to contact another catering service, or even look for a reception team that can use the amenities at the venue. You’ll also want to ask your catering team about dietary needs, and also look into any additional services they can offer, such as a buffet later on in the day.

Whether it’s your wedding day or if you’re helping to plan for a friend or family member, it’s vital that you consider these things when picking a wedding venue. The more time you spend planning it, the more magical and memorable the wedding will be.