Imogen’s latest clothes haul!

By now it’s probably obvious that since having Imogen I’ve become a little obsessed with clothes for tiny humans! She’s now 10 months old and has been in 9-12 month size clothes for the last few weeks. There’s a new video now live over on my youtube channel with the latest haul of summery clothes for her for the next few months. Click below to have a watch!

Where is your favourite place to shop for baby clothes?

Happy Father’s Day with HP Sauce

Tomorrow is a big day. My husbands very first Father’s Day! He made my first Mothers Day very special earlier in the year, so I’m on a mission to make his a day to remember as well. Our plans include a slap up meal in the evening and a trip out during the day to enjoy this glorious weather, but first, every big day must start with a bacon sandwich right?

If this is the same in your house HP have got it sorted with personalised bottles of their legendary HP sauce.

Did you know that Heinz HP sauce is the UK’s no. 1 brown sauce, with 28 million bottles being consumed every year? If the bottles were stacked on top of each other, they would reach the same height as 6,189 Houses of Parliament! HP also stands for ‘Houses of Parliament’ as it was rumoured the sauce was used in the restaurant there, back at the turn of the 20th century.

In this house it’s definitely Lee’s favourite  – and a good dollop of it is often found in our cooking – be that in casserole sauces, spaghetti bolognese or simply on a good old sausage sandwich.

The original recipe was invented and developed in 1899 by Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham. Garton sold the recipe for the sum of £150 to settle a debt with Edwin Samson Moore, the founder of the Midlands Vinegar Company, who launched what we know and love today as HP Sauce in 1903 and the recipe is a closely guarded secret. Over the years the brand has changed hands and is currently owned by Heinz, but until 2006 it was produced in a factory really near me in Aston, Birmingham – and the signage from the company is now in the Birmingham museum.

It’s safe to say HP sauce is a hit in our household, will your Dad being having HP on Fathers Day?

Disclosure: Post in Collaboration with Heinz



Celebrate Father’s Day with Terry’s Chocolate Orange

Anyone that knows me hopefully knows by now that Terry’s Chocolate Orange is my absolute favourite chocolate. And if you don’t, you certainly do now! I’ve previously made recipes with it, including this Chocolate Orange Cake so am always interested to see other recipes making use of it!
This Fathers Day Terry’s have come up with two recipes to make Father’s Day special: Millionaire Shortbread and Griddled Pineapple with Lime and Chocolate.  Both perfect for the whole family! Read on for the recipes…..
Millionaire Shortbread
The Terry’s Chocolate Orange Millionaires Shortbread is an irresistible twist on the traditional recipe; the crumbling shortbread base and indulgent caramel perfectly combine with the signature chocolate orange flavour for its top layer decorated with the iconic orange segments.
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Makes 25 squares
135g Butter
175g Plain Flour
55g Sugar
1 Orange, zested
379g can Condensed Milk
75ml Golden Syrup
150g Butter
100g Sugar
3 Terry’s Chocolate Oranges
Preheat the oven to 180c/160fan and line a 20×20 brownie tin. In the bowl of a food processor, add the butter and plain flour. Blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add in the sugar and orange zest and blitz again to combine. Take the mixture out and work with your hands to form a ball of dough. Push the dough into the base of the lined tin until it is flat and even and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the caramel. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the condensed milk, golden syrup, butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the mixture begins to boil. Stir constantly to keep it from burning. Turn the mixture down to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the colour starts to become golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool and thicken slightly.
Once the shortbread is cooked, allow to cool for 10 minutes and then pour the cooled caramel over the top. Allow to cool and then chill for 10 minutes while you melt the chocolate. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and place a heatproof bowl over the top making sure that the water does not touch the bowl directly. Break up the chocolate oranges into segments, reserving half of one for decoration and tip the rest into the bowl. Turn the heat down immediately to a gentle simmer and allow the chocolate to gradually melt, stirring occasionally.
Once the chocolate has melted, remove the shortbread from the fridge and pour over the chocolate, making sure to spread it into the corners. Use the remaining chocolate segments to decorate the top and then chill until firm.
Once the chocolate is set and you are ready to serve, slice into 25 squares.
Griddled Pineapple with Lime and chocolate
The Terry’s Chocolate Orange with griddled pineapple and lime is a fun dessert for the whole family. Dad and children will enjoy dipping the pineapple pieces into the melted chocolate orange and the lime provides an extra citrus burst.
Makes 24 cubes
Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
1 Pineapple
1 lime, zested
Half Terry’s Chocolate Orange
Preheat a griddle pan or BBQ until very hot. Peel and cube a pineapple into 3cm cubes. Lay the cubes between a couple of sheets of kitchen roll and pat dry. Using tongs, transfer the cubes onto the griddle or BBQ and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until you have dark griddle lines.
Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water to the boil and place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the water does not touch the underside of the bowl. Break up the half Chocolate Orange into wedges and add into the bowl. Turn the heat to very low and allow the chocolate to melt.
Once the pineapple is lightly charred on all sides, transfer to a platter or bowl and sprinkle over the grated lime zest. Spoon the melted Chocolate Orange in a bowl and leave on the side to dip. Serve immediately.
Happy Eating 🙂

Review: Riverford Recipe Boxes

For many years now I’ve been one of those people that really likes to cook my food from scratch. Over this time we’ve rarely eaten ready meals, and not too much freezer food either, so when Imogen came along, and now my bulk batch cooking in the freezer has run out there are often days in the week where I simply have no time or energy to spend on cooking. We’ve tried a couple of recipe boxes now, that aim to keep you cooking fresh but taking away the stress and have enjoyed them, so when Riverford got in touch offering to send us a box to review I was intrigued to try it out. A few years ago we actually had Riverford Veg Box deliveries for a while, but did find we didn’t always use everything and thus it wasn’t worth the outlay for us, despite us loving the quality and variety.

We received one of their 3 meal boxes for two people, and their is the option to tailor this to being vegetarian if you want. When the box arrived I was pleased to see that a lot of it still looked like their normal veg box – whole vegetables rather than pre-prepared some still with dirt on them. The down side to this though is that preparation will take slightly longer than some boxes where you get everything already cut or sliced.

There was a separate bag of chilled products that could easily be removed for keeping in the fridge and also a section in the box for the dry goods, labelled up for each recipe.

On the top of the box were the recipe cards and I was happy with the sound of all the recipes, all very much up our street with flavours and cuisines. I say recipe cards, unlike some recipe boxes, these were more like booklets with very comprehensive step by step guides and instructions, complete with nutritional and allergen information too so this is a big plus.

On the whole, the recipes were simple and easy to follow and the timings were pretty much spot on. We had two clear favourites out of the three recipes, both of which I would happily cook over and over again, these were the Chicken and Red Pepper Cacciatore and the Hot Thai Beef Salad. I’ve rarely used Kolrabhi before – never known what to do with it, and now I do so thats great too. These are a couple of our finished meals

We weren’t as keen on the Squash curry. I think thats more our tastes than any fault with the recipe though. Overall the Riverford box was a great success. I think it lies middles of the road in terms of convenience, as there is a bit more prep to be done in some areas, but I think the standard and outcome of the recipes is amongst the best we’ve found.

I was filming a Day in the Life Vlog on the day we ate the Hot Thai Beef Salad, so check that out below to have a look at some cooking action!

Disclosure; We trialled the Riverford Box free of charge, no other payment was recieved and all opinion are our own.

kitchen bites

Kitchen Bites #23 May 2017

Another month has flown by. Imogen is another month older. I’m a month nearer to going back to work after maternity leave. Another month of goodies in our kitchen.

Firstly this month from a brand I haven’t come across before – MOR. MOR sausages are offer something a little bit different to your normal pork sausage. They are all gluten free and made with less fat and salt than a traditional sausage.

There’s range of exciting and unusual flavours; Mediterranean Chicken with Sundried Tomato & Basil chipolatas, Pork, Beetroot & Bramley Apple Sausages as well as Moroccan Spiced Pork with cauliflower and chickpeas and Supergreen Pork and green lentil.

Find them RRP £3.00 exclusively at Tesco.

Next up, a brand I definitely have heard of, Yutaka. We are no strangers to this Japanese brand and often seek out their products in the supermarket, so I was happy to try out some of their products. Some, like the rice wine vinegar and panko breadcrumbs we are familiar with, others not so much.

As well as these store cupboard staples I was really intrigued by the Miso and Yakiniku sauces, both of which I am pleased to report are delicious. Yutaka really do allow authentic recreation of Japanese food at home with their wide range of products, they have never let us down!

Another well known brand up next, and Heinz have expanded their ‘Seriously Good’ range to include some new sauces. The range inlcudes

  •     Creamy Chive Sauce
  •     Creamy Pepper Sauce
  •     Creamy Tomato & Garlic Sauce
  •     Creamy Béarnaise

The sauces are versatile and ready to use and are available in Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, These great tasting condiments are the perfect way to add excitement and liven up everyday meals. So far we’ve managed to try the Pepper sauce with steak and the Chive sauce in both some potato salad and with a simple supper of seabass and new potatoes. Both hit the spot!

Next up, Adagio Teas. Now I do like trying out new teas and adagio were kind enough to send me of samples of a lot of their popular teas.

They have sooooo many to choose from, I can’t even begin to list them all here, but we loved all the ones we tried. The samples arrived in sealed plastic so they were kept very fresh. A few favourites of the many that we have tried over the last month or so are the Chocolate Chai, Rooibos Vanilla and Earl Gray Bravo.

Lastly this month, and for once, something for Imogen to try! Organic sent over a range of their snack products for her to test out. We were already familiar with the brand, and have already tried and repurchased the Sweetcorn rings several times – they are already a favourite in this house, but we hadn’t tried either the Strawberry baby biscuits or the Carrot Sticks.

Imogen loved the carrot sticks, the pack was demolished over the course of a couple of days. She also seemed to love the flavour of the biscuits and had a good suck on them, but as she only has two teeth struggled a little bit to chew them enough to swallow currently. I’m pretty sure that in a month or two though that they will be demolished just as quickly!

Disclosure: Thanks to all the above brands for the samples, no other payment was recieved. If your brand would like to feature their products in my Kitchen Bites, please do get in touch via our contact page.