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Showing posts from May, 2012

As Big As Your Head Cookies

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There are a few things that are better when they are bigger. These tend to be Swimming Pools, Hotel Bedrooms and Food (and I hear you at the back!). Something that I have always wanted is a cookie as big as my head and so when this week Big Boy and I decided that a Giant Cookie would be the perfect pudding to go with our Thursday Night Film night we knew we had to make one.


Making the Giant cookie is surprisingly simple so just in case you want to make one too, this is how it's done.

Ingredients

125g Brown Sugar
75g Caster Sugar
125g Butter
2tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Egg
1tsp Baking Powder
150g Plain Flour
185g M&M's
25g to 50g Marshmallows (I had some in the cupboard and so I tossed these in too, I didn't weigh them sorry!)


Method

Cream the butter and the sugar together before folding in the vanilla and egg. Once everything is well mixed add in the flour and baking powder. Things will seem not to come together and just as you are about to add more flour will suddenly start …

Journey 2 - Our Thursday Night Film

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Last week we were supposed to watch The Smurfs as our Thursday Pyjama Night film, but we ended up watching Zookeeper. This Thursday we watched Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, which was kindly sent to us by Warner Brothers. They were very lovely and instead of sending us the ordinary Blu-ray disc they sent us the 3D disc so we could watch it in 3D! Honestly, I don't think I can explain how fab they are for having done that or how pleased Daddy was as he loves having a reason to break out the 3D Glasses!

There were a few other bits sent with the DVD, some bugs, a Lizzard to hatch, some stickers, a jigsaw and a pen all served on a leaf tray! How fab is that?! So the film is the sequel to Journey to The Centre of the Earth which is one of Top Ender's favourite films. It is about Sean Anderson who receives a distress signal from his Grandfather from co-ordinates that are in the middle of the ocean. With his stepfather he sets off, manages to hire a Helicopter pilot (and his daugh…

The Summer Music Concert

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Last year was Top Ender's first concert and I was the parent that went (Daddy and BB stayed at home to have some fun) this year, Daddy went to The Summer Music Concert at Top Ender's School whilst I stayed at home with Big Boy to have fun. Top Ender and the rest of her fellow Violin students were brilliant and here is the video for those who like me couldn't attend.


Just like last year, we gave Top Ender a treat when she got home for a brilliant performance, last year it was flowers and this year it was a McFlurry! I'll be adding the video to the A Mothers Ramblings TV stream soon!

Best Summer Salad Ever! - Wordless Wednesday

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If you want to see how I made it take a look at Probably The Best Summer Salad Recipe Ever it's really simple to make and oh so tasty!

Swimming With Big Boy

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Big Boy and I had so many things that we wanted to do before he started School this coming September, we even made a Things To Do Before Starting School list. We have been playing a lot and generally having fun and we have made huge progress in a few areas that I thought might help him when he starts School but the one thing that we haven't really done is go swimming and when last week a huge envelope came home with details of Big Boys start date at School I knew that we really had to get going!

Big Boy is going swimming with Daddy every other week as part of the Daddy Date Nights, but I know that if Big Boy is going to learn to swim he needs to be going more regularly and it wouldn't hurt if I took him once a week too. So when on Monday morning I was up at 3am with a sore back, I thought I should test out my new swimsuit from Simply Swim (who had suggested I might like to take a look at their Ladies Speedo Swimming Costumes and pick one, but I ended up going with a Zoggs one)…

Learning Through Water Play

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Big Boy loves water play and he loves playing with his Lego Duplo so whilst we have been having this lovely warm weather we have been combining the two and learning a bit about how things float and how to make different size splashes too. We filled up a big bowl with water (which we used afterwards to water the plants) and then used the Lego from the Duplo sorter to create boats, towers, animals and Big Boy even made a rocket at one point. Big Boy loved creating the different structures and he loved playing with his bricks in the garden too. I had to explain at one point that all he needed to do to dry the bricks off was to leave them in the sun instead of rubbing them in his Tshirt, but the bricks were more fun being dried in his shirt it seems.


I then suggested to Big Boy that we could learn something from these bricks, all we had to do was play and we could see what we could find out. Big Boy loved pouring the water from inside the bricks and into the bowl and he was having great f…

What's For Lunch? (W/C 28/05)

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Every Saturday I post about our main meals for the week, but what I haven't been blogging about are the packed lunches that I make for Top Ender, Big Boy and I. When I was posting the pictures of the lunches I was making for Tops and her special Friday Lunches there were some who wanted me to make them a lunch box up too, so I thought that this might help everyone get a few new ideas and also help me keep track of what Tops, Big Boy and I are eating for lunch. I don't make lunch for Daddy (unless I'm making a rice dish) as he keeps bread and sandwich fillings at work and I will only say what the main part of the meal will be, and not include the fruit or the drink or the sweet treat, but I will try to remember to tweet or post a photo on Facebook so you can see what else is included!
Monday - Shredded Chicken and Salad Wrap
Monday tends to be a Chicken based meal as I keep some of the Chicken from the Roast the day before. Tops really loves Chicken Skin, so it won't …

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 26/05)

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Last weeks meal plans had to be slightly changed, we didn't have the Roast on Sunday because we ended up spending the entire day out in London and we had Fish and Chips on Monday night instead of the stir fry as we thought the children had been so good they deserved a treat, but the good thing was that we still used everything that we had brought. This week I am trying to restock my freezer so will be making a lot of meals which can easily be doubled up and stored in the freezer for another week. I also need to get some more cookies and cakes in the freezer as my supplies are running low!
Saturday - Sausage Korma Daddy loves a good curry, but the children so far have refused to take after him and prefer things which do not have any spice to them. I decided it's about time that they took the plunge so will make a Sausage Korma for us all to share. It will be very mild, but I'm hoping that because it is sausages they won't notice!

Sunday - Roast chicken Yes, it'…

I'm a Home Grown Tourist - Are You?

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When I went to New York as part of a Student exchange back in the 90's the family of the home I stayed with had never been to Ellis Island. The father thought this was terribly lax of him as his family had immigrated and so it was part of his history, as well as being a local Tourist attraction. I remember thinking at the time how could someone who lives so close to one of the most famous landmarks in the world never have visited, but thinking on it if that is bad then what does that make me? I live in Milton Keynes one of the easiest places to get to anywhere else in the UK and yet I have hardly been anywhere!

This led Daddy and I to be talking about the local attractions in Milton Keynes and we realised that there were hundreds of places that we hadn't been to in the local area. There are parks and farms and woods and art trails and churches and bits of history and lots more that we probably don't even know about. So I'm going to change that, I'm going to explore…

Family Pyjama Nights

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On a Thursday night, Top Ender, Big Boy and I have a Family Pyjama Movie Night. It had started off that we made sure that we ate together at the table and we ate food that we couldn't normally eat when Daddy was around (things full of wheat and Gluten) but we slowly started to turn it into a family night for just us three. Then when walking home from School one night we got so wet and cold, thanks to the lovely British weather, that we jumped in a bath as soon as we got home just to warm up. Of course there was no point in getting dressed again so we all got into our Pyjama's and it was just so comfy we decided we would have to do it again on the next Thursday.

Now, when we get home from the School Run on a Thursday the Children go out into the garden for a quick run around and blast of fresh air (Yes, even if it's raining) and I normally start preparing for the evening and getting a few last minute chores done. Big Boy loves this play time with Top Ender and Tops uses the…

Home Made Fish and Chips

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This week I was supposed to make a Haddock Stir Fry for dinner on Monday night, but when it came down to it we decided that we should make Fish and Chips instead. The last time I tried to batter fish was when I made some Fish Fingers but I had high hopes!  I normally have Haddock when we have Fish and Chips for a Take away as being brought up by a Scottish Mum it was what she always had (also in my experience, it's more popular in Scotland than Cod) and so it's what I would always order too! Daddy on the other hand prefers to order Cod and the children prefer less fish and more potato when they have fish and chips, so this was going to be a big test!

We had been sent four Haddock Fillets from Regal Fish Supplies via Fish Is The Dish and I had frozen them until I knew what I should make with them. I defrosted them in the fridge and because Daddy and the children don't like the skin on their fish I removed the skin (which was surprisingly easy) and cut the Haddock fillets in…

Home Made Fish and Chips - Wordless Wednesday

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What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 19/05)

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Some weeks the meal plan comes really easy and other times it takes me a while to work out what we are going to eat based on what we have in the freezer and the store cupboard and this week it was so easy that I'm just waiting for something to go wrong! I have my fingers crossed though so everything should be okay...
Saturday - Leftovers Night We are having a McDonalds with my Sister and her family and my Mum at lunchtime so for supper we will make do with what is in the fridge. I am thinking that it will be something like sandwiches or if the Children want something warm beans on toast. If we are feeling very adventurous there are some leftovers in the freezer from the last couple of weeks that we can sample too.

Sunday - Roast Chicken with Trimmings I know boring. Roast Chicken (again) and Roast Potatoes (again) and Veggies. The thing is my family love a Roast and Chicken is the cheapest at the moment. Plus it's so simple to make that I could make it whilst I'm asleep.…

Turkey Pin Wheels with Peppadew Peppers

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I said on Saturday that I was making Turkey Pin Wheels with Red Peppers for dinner last night, in my What We Are Eating This Week Post and I was asked by several people for the recipe on Facebook and Twitter. As I am terrible with giving recipes in a timely manner I thought I would put this one up as quickly as I could. We were sent some Peppadew Peppers as I had been asked to take part in a British Turkey Recipe Competition and as usual I've not done anything about it (like gone to buy Turkey so I could be reimbursed as they suggested) but the peppers were sitting in the cupboard taunting me every time I looked in there and I knew I had to do something.


I had a packet of Turkey Quick Cook Breast Steaks in the freezer which I defrosted and then bashed thinner using my rolling pin (and some baking paper as I had run out of cling film). I then added some sliced greens and a couple of the peppers sliced in half and rolled the Turkey around the filling.


I used some toothpicks to keep…

Making New Table Mats

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Big Boy received delivery of his latest Dora The Explorer Little Cooks Magazines this week and with it was a table mat which Big Boy decided to have with his lunch this Sunday. The only problem was he wanted everyone to have a new mat and so Daddy hit upon the idea of making our own table mats and then using my new Laminator to protect the mats against spills.

Top Ender created a double sided mat based on hearts and Big Boy drew a boss man (that's what he loves to draw these days as he is convinced we can put them into a computer game) as he didn't want to be left out!


Daddy printed a picture that he found on the internet that he thought was fun,


and I drew a seasonal double sided mat to satisfy my need for Sun and Snow!


We might not be the world's greatest artists, but making the mats was great fun and as usual we all loved being creative and working together. Tops has decided that we should make mats for all our guests when they come for dinner and that we should make on…

The Birthday Boy - Wordless Wednesday

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Big Boy turned four yesterday


A Mario Birthday Party

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Or How Much BB loves Mario Party 9!
For the last few weeks there has been a big Mario revival in our house, with our Sunday nights gaming mainly revolving around playing Super Mario Party 9. Daddy had brought the game for us a few days after it was first released as he knew that it was going to be a big hit, especially with Big Boy who has a huge obsession with all things Mario!


Daddy Date Night Returns!

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When Top Ender was small, Daddy would take her swimming each week and leave me at home to do whatever I wanted. It was the original Daddy Daughter Date night and had four main benefits, Daddy and Tops got to spend time together, Daddy got a bit of exercise, I got to relax and Top Ender got confident being in the water. When our circumstances changed with Daddy working almost every waking hour, I took over the weekly swimming sessions before circumstances changed again and we found we had to stop. Even date nights have been on a temporary hiatus.

Daddy and I were talking during the week and we realised that we needed this quality time again with each of the children and so we came up with a plan to have a two week rotation date night with Tops and BB, where each week Daddy would take one of the children on a Swimming Date and the other would stay at home with me having a Date night at home. The children are really excited about the swimming and have agreed that going every other week i…

What We Are Eating This Week (12/05)

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I had a great meal plan this week with some meals linking in to some bits that Tops was taking part in at School. Then, as seems to always be the way, School had a change of plans (after being offered a great opportunity) and so I thought I would swap the plan around to make more sense to us as a family. Now the meal that we were all going to be looking forward to on Friday is Saturdays meal.

We're having a little bit of a problem with BB at the moment as when we are eating our dinner he is not eating the meat, or the vegetables and just sticking with the potatoes or the rice. I'm trying to make things a little more tempting for him and this week we are veg heavy, but I'm going to serve them in ways that I hope will tempt BB. We are also growing a lot of veg at the moment thanks to Birds Eye and my birthday gift of two mini Greenhouses and hopefully this will also help BB to eat more variety again.
Saturday - Grilled Breaded Prawns with Root Vegetable Chips For dinner I&#…

An Missed Evening Out For The Olympics

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It's okay though there will be Chinese instead.
This afternoon Daddy and I were going to be heading off to London to the Royal Albert Hall for a Pre-Olympics Event "Our Greatest Team Rises" that sounded absolutely fantastic. We are all really looking forward to the Olympics her at A Mothers Ramblings and we thought having a chance to meet Sir Steve Redgrave, catching up with friends and watching some great performances would be a great way to celebrate the Olympics nearly being here.

As is to be expected at the moment with us (everything is going wrong at the minute!) there was a nearly last minute hitch and it meant that Daddy and I had to turn down our tickets.

Sob.

Anyway we are still really excited about The Olympics and I'm quite looking forward to collecting the Medallions that have been created (with BP, The British Olympic Association and The British Paralympic Association) representing the winning moments of 12 British Olympic and Paralympic legends. The me…

Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza

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There is an ongoing debate in our house about Pizza and if it should be deep pan or thin crust, if it should have pineapple on it or not and if it should be eaten with cutlery or just picked up with your fingers. In fact the only thing that we can agree on about Pizza is that we all like to eat it!

I was sent a voucher by Dr Oetker to try the Ristorante Pizzas, but before it even had a chance to arrive we had Pizza for dinner and it just happened to be a Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza, which I had brought the week before. We were busy doing normal family things which meant that Daddy cooked the pizza and I think all he did was put it in the oven, before taking it out for me to take a picture of the pizza before he cut it.


The children really loved the pizza (well Big Boy agreed with me that pineapple doesn't have a place on Pizza) and ate it up without any complaint or help from me. I know that the adverts claim that they have the best pizzeria taste this side of Naples, but this pizz…

Rainbow Jelly (or is it Jello?!) - Wordless Wednesday

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Stork Easy to Mix Baking Liquid

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Everyone seemed really shocked this year when I said I was making my own birthday cake. I'm not sure why as I'm pretty certain for the last ten years I have been responsible for making them for me, for Daddy, for the Children and anyone else who has wanted them too! This year I did have an ulterior motive for wanting to bake my own though as Stork had sent me the new Easy to Mix Baking Liquid to try and I thought that my birthday cake would be a great place to start.

I'm terrible when it comes to baking cakes as I tend to cheat and instead of creaming together the butter and the sugar first I just add everything into one bowl and whisk until smooth. It works for me and I have to say that I think that my cakes taste pretty fantastic, even when they are made with gluten free flour! With the Stork Baking Liquid being ready to just mix in it is perfect for creating a smooth batter within seconds, which meant as I hadn't started making my cake until ten minutes before the s…

Dirty Dancing on Tour

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There seems to be one common film that all women love or have at least watched once and that is Dirty Dancing. It seemed that as I was growing up, if you didn't have a crush on Patrick Swayze before watching the film then as soon as you watched it you did! Of course everyone knows lines from the film and has had their own personal "I carried a Watermelon" moment and has wished for their own Johnny coming and saying "Nobody puts Baby in the corner"... sorry I just had a moment there.

I was offered two tickets to the stage version when it came to Milton Keynes Theatre and so my Mum and I thought we would have a girls night to celebrate our birthdays. When we arrived at the theatre we were unsurprised to see that most of the audience were made up of women, this was definitely a girls night out and the excitement levels were really high. My Mum and I were quite giggly when we saw that one of the cast had sent me a tweet letting us know he hoped we enjoyed the show …

A Birthday at Frankie & Bennys

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When I was asked if we'd like to do a review of the new menu at Frankie & Bennys in time for mine and Big Boys birthday we said yes. We quite like Frankie & Bennys and the last time we were there (to do a review!) we bumped into one of Top Enders friends who was celebrating a birthday and we thought it would be fun to do the same for BB and I. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by the very friendly Tathra, who showed us to our booth and took our birthday cupcakes from Top Ender. We placed a quick drink order and then we were able to look at the menus for what we wanted to eat. I had to ask what had changed on the menu as I couldn't notice anything different!


We had ordered some starters as we forgot that the main meals in Frankie and Bennys are very large compared to what we eat at home. The starters were really nice with both Top Ender and Big Boy tucking into a large Garlic and Mozzarella Bread, Daddy eating his favourite Chicken wings in Sweet Chilli …

What We Are Eating (W/C 05/05)

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After the last week of multiple celebrations and over indulgence I was pleased to step onto my scales this morning and to see that I had actually lost 1lb! I was really pleased with this and it means that I have high hopes for this week. Whilst the food might not seem all that healthy and full of salad and low fat options, it is served with plenty of vegetables and I find eating things like Rice, Pasta, and Potatoes fills me up which means no late night snacking which is one of my big vices!

Saturday

I had planned everyday this week with something nice but it was tonight's dinner that I was really stumped with. I was telling my Mum about how as we weren't having a takeaway on Saturdays now I wanted to make something that everyone would like and eat and my Mum suggested Gammon steaks. It was perfect as we haven't had them for a while, the children love them and last night when we had Pizza Daddy added some pineapple and so we had a lot left over that we can use with the Gam…

A Best Day Ever with Polly Pocket at Chessington World of Adventures

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Top Ender and Big Boy have been long time fans of Polly Pocket. Whilst she isn't as small as I remember her from the sets that my sister used to play with, she still is as much fun and BB and Tops love creating adventures for her to go on. During the half term we were able to go to a morning with Polly Pocket at Chessington World of Adventures at the new hotel, Tops and Big Boy loved it as they were able to play with some Polly Pocket Sets, and make some bracelets and do some colouring too!

Whilst Top Ender, Big Boy and Daddy carried on with the drawing and colouring I listened to some information about Polly Pocket. A lot of it I forgot almost immediately but what I did remember is that children, in particular girls, want to be like Polly. They see her as fun and energetic and they want to emulate this. I like Polly as she loves to have fun just like we do and tries to make every day the best day ever. Children can even go and enter a competition on the Polly Pocket Website to wi…

Cockatoo Shoes - Wordless Wednesday

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It's my BIRTHDAY! Happy Birthday Me!

A couple of weeks ago when I shared the picture of Tops and BB being an average eight year old at Chessington World of Adventures I also wanted to share this picture of them seeing what they would look like if they had Cockatoo feet! I think that they look great with these "shoes", although I'm pretty pleased they aren't Cockatoo's for real as they would eat me out of house and home in bird seed!