It’s that time of year again to go wild with the face paint and walk the streets in search of sweets and mischief. One of the best traditions in our house has been the pumpkin carving. This is totally the domain of my OH and since he has just finished, I’m so proud of him I couldn’t resist the urge to showcase this years offerings…
The evening started with the humble pumpkin…
A couple of years ago we brought a pack with all the carving tools in it. It was obviously the OH setting the scene for him to get serious!
The preparation has started and all of the insides are taken out. Sounds gruesome but it’s definitely in the Halloween theme. He uses the stencil for the main shape and marks out the outline.
Before we know it, the unveiling is upon us and look….
Oh yeah, not just one, but two! the Prince of Darkness is joined by the Spooky Spider.
I love them and the kids think they are fab! They will sit outside our house on Halloween with candles in them and let people know that we are joining in the fun.
How is your Halloween going so far? Do you love to get into the spirit of it, if so how do you celebrate?
If you have any links to your carvings, please share in the comments section.
We love an easy recipe and what I try to do is to make them as simple as possible while keeping the great taste of the dish.
All week I have been chatting with my boys and my OH to see what we shall make for Sunday dinner and we have decided on Toad in the Hole. It’s quite an English tradition so I am going to see what my OH thinks of it. My youngest son Little G has also made a vlog which you can watch and is also great if you want to get your little ones involved in cooking with one of their peers.
Here’s what you will need – Ingredients List:
4 fluid ounces of water
6 fluid ounces of milk
Half a teaspoon of mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
And here’s how to make it:
Mix the eggs with the flour.
Add the water and stir in with a whisk lightly.
Add the milk and again stir in lightly being careful it doesn’t spill over the side of the bowl.
Add the mustard and whisk in.
Once it’s all mixed together into a smooth liquid then set aside for the mixture to rest.
Put the sausages in the ovenproof dish with the tablespoon of oil and cook for 20 minutes. They should let out a fair bit of oil which will join with the added oil.
One of the main points of this dish is that the oil should be really hot…if it’s not then the batter will not rise and lift out nicely.
Take the ovenproof dish out of the oven and pour over the batter and get it straight back in the oven for 30 minutes on gas mark 7.
When it’s risen and nicely browned then you’re ready to take out of the oven. We really love this meal served with onion gravy, mashed potatoes and peas. Brilliant for autumn and winter evenings.
Added tip – If you have any leftovers of the batter then it is delicious with a spoonful of clotted cream and jam for a sweet treat!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this. You can find some of my other Easy recipes on the links here:
I’m really pleased to be showcasing this great invention called the Wrapper. If you are like me and have to get together sandwiches at the drop of a hat, you’ll know that it normally involves wrapping the pesky cling film around the sandwich after grappling with it and peeling it off of every surface it touches! If not then its spending pound after pound on sealing sandwich bags. Well with the Wrapper you are not only avoiding those pitfalls but you are also being kinder to the environment.
Shona designed the Wrapper after having her children and wanting to do something that fitted around looking after them. She loved design and is a trained landscape architect.
As she says – “I employ a couple of friends to help out but manufacture is predominantly done by the inmates at Kilmarnock Prison. I felt very strongly that as a ‘green’ product they should be made locally not imported from overseas. The inmates learn a skill which hopefully helps with their rehabilitation and could lead to job opportunities in the future. The arrangement also allows me to be more flexible with my design ranges and I am always searching for new colours and materials.”
The Wrapper is plastic on the inside, fabric on the outside and just needs a wipe down when used. The Wrapper can be used in the washing machine at 30 degrees – you just have to keep the velcro bits kept together unless you want to catch a sock on it!! They are polycotton so don’t shrink and the LDPE lining is very flexible so it doesn’t go brittle.
You can buy your own Wrapper from Shona by visiting her site here. There are loads of designs to choose from – a couple of which are shown below:
Have a look at the full range links and if you are a winner in our giveaway you can have your pick of which one you would like! These are also great for Christmas which is just around the corner. Full range includes:
I will pass on the winners details to Shona who will contact them directly for delivery. Entry open to UK entrants only. All entries will be checked to ensure they have followed or commented where needed. Good luck!
You can connect with the Wrapper team on twitter and also on their facebook page.
I was given this wrapper in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own
As you may know by now I love a quick and easy tasty recipe. Here we have Easy Pickled Green Chillies. I grew these cayenne peppers in pots on our window sill at home and because they were producing so many of them quite quickly I wanted a way to preserve them for future use. I have picked when green but you can wait and do the same when red.
Here are the ingredients you will need for one jam jar size:
Half a jar of clear vinegar.
1.5 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
A big bunch of green chillies
500ml hot water
OK here’s what you need to do:
Combine the vinegar with the sugar and salt in the jar you will be using to store them when finished.
Put the lid on and give it a good shake so that the sugar and salt dissolve in the vinegar.
Top and tail the chillies and then chop in 1cm lengths.
Place in a large bowl and pour over the hot water.
Leave for 30 seconds and then scoop out with a slotted spoon.
Try and leave behind as many of the chilli seeds as possible – you don’t need or really want them all as they are pretty hot.
Place the chillies into the jar with the vinegar, sugar and salt solution.
Pop in the fridge and leave for a week before using.
If you have enjoyed this recipe, please have a look at my other ‘Easy’ ways to create great food here:
It’s getting nearer to that magical time of Christmas. Here is a super gift idea that captures the wonderful imagination of children and wraps it up in a beautiful book based on the Christmas classic by Clement Clarke Moore. It has an animal twist as Santa visits a family of bears on Christmas Eve.
The story is enhanced by some really cute and bright illustrations which draws your eyes in and around the page. We loved them because they were bold and lively. As the story takes you on a journey with its jaunty poem verses you feel taken back in time to Christmas as a child. We feel it’s ideal for little ones to get into the spirit of the festive season.
Having the bears in the story is a nice little twist as is the very traditional portrayal of Father Christmas. All in all a very enjoyable experience to have with younger readers. It mixes traditional story telling with poetry and beautiful illustrations.
The book is published by NurseryBoxBooks and in the words of their creative director Isobel Sinclair:
NurseryBox are taking familiar stories and adding a bit of an animal twist- children love animals and by including them in our stories it creates a more fun and fantastic experience for them.
We wanted to tell a familiar tale in a new way, the reading of this picture book can be a great family tradition, read and passed down over the years. Young kids will love the pictures and –of course– the bears, while their parents will enjoy reading a poem that was read to them in childhood.
Isobel is kindly offering a copy of the ebook to one lucky winner of our giveaway, good luck!
You can find out more about NurseryBoxBooks through social media by clicking the links for their Twitter and Facebook pages. Go and visit them to say hi, or enter our giveaway above and be in with a chance to win the e-book aswell!
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Disclaimer: We were given an ecopy of the book to review by Nurserybox books. The links are not affiliated. All comments are honestly provided.
Competition open to entrants worldwide. The winner will be informed by email and contacted by NurseryBoxBooks directly to receive their prize.
How much more self-indulgent can you get you might ask? Not much really, I mean a post entirely devoted to talking about me, my OH will wet himself when he sees this. But – and there is a but, there is a good reason, or good enough reason anyway. It’s a therapy shot for me that will give a little clarity to what I actually do with a normal saturday and it will give a little insight too to anyone reading this and wonders about the person behind the blog. I’m pretty nosey and like to see those glimpses into other bloggers so if there are others out there like me then this is for you, surely I’m not alone…am I?
Saturday morning and lovely to not have to get up for school or work today, still – with our internal clocks my head behind my closed eyes is starting to be alert at around 7am and the house is starting to beat a bit faster as the two boys stir. My OH is next to me with his phone up to his face, suddenly he starts laughing really hard, he tries to stop but it spills out. Laughing is infectious and I smile and ask to see what it is – it’s well worth it, look…
The boys are being amazing and actually chilling, big M is watching his YouTube idols and drawing, little G is giving Lego a go which is pretty weird considering the link to the photo above. My OH and big M were going for their 5k park run today but it’s pouring outside so they’ve stayed snuggled up.
I’m off out tonight with one of my besties and I am so excited, I’ve known Holly since we were small we have the whole syncing thing going on and I can share everything with her. Everything is what makes it exciting, it’s a no holds barred night and as with all my friends I love every second.
After we have all had a pretty chilled morning, you can feel in the air that we need to shift gear as the boys are getting itchy feet and that’s when the squabbling can begin. So, we go for trying to get the homework started at least. Little G has only really started getting proper homework this year so it’s still a bit of a novelty where as big M has got really tricky algebra and English Lit to get through. My OH has to help with the algebra because I’m rubbish and couldn’t remember how to do it at all.
After finally getting through it the boys and my OH go off for a bike ride in the New Forest which leaves me to a couple of hours home alone! Love it! Some time this afternoon and out tonight yippie I feel like a princess. So, I make use of the time and do a spot of blogging which involves writing some of this post and catching up on some commenting. It’s an important part for me as the blogging community is a great group to be part of and without them my little blog wouldn’t exist. I don’t think I would have had the motivation to carry it past its first month if I hadn’t become involved with those that I virtually touch base with.
The meal out in the evening was super, we used some voucher site to get 2 for 1 on our food in an amazing new Thai restaurant in Westbourne and Holly and I sat there eating, drinking and best of all talking non stop for nearly three hours – wonderful therapy for anyone.
I don’t do late nights so much now as I feel them far too much the next day so I was home by 10 and believe it or not the OH and big M are up playing fifa 16 and nearly oblivious to me as they are pretty engrossed in proving their football prowess!
All in all a great day and a pretty special day to pick as I look at it and see how things have got so much easier as the boys have got older. I still remember so clearly when the days started at 5am and I was pulling my hair out by 10am, I can see the difference and appreciate the extra hours of sleep I get now. It’s tough being a parent whatever the age of our little ones but especially when sleep deprivation is part of the equation as well. It’s good sometimes to look at one of those days that was not so bad to really celebrate what we have.
Following on from the easy focaccia bread that I made last week, I have come up with something sweet for you to try today. This lemon curd is easy and can be used in lots of other recipes or just on its own spread on hot toast and butter.
So without further ado, here’s the 5 ingredients you will need:
200g caster sugar
The juice and grated zest of 4 lemons (wax free if possible)
3 large eggs and the yolk of 1 more
In a medium sized saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest and melt them all together over a low heat. Stir as it melts.
When it’s all melted, stir in the cornflower. Beat the eggs together in a cup and take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the eggs. Then change to a hand whisk and gently whisk for about 10 minutes and you will feel it start to thicken up. When you feel this happen, keep whisking gently for another 5 minutes.
Take off the heat and let it cool a little (about 5 mins) then pour into a jam jars or other containers depending on how quickly you plan on using it.
It makes about enough for 3 good sized jam jars. That’s it, easy lemon curd!
Do you think you might give it a go or have you any tips to make it even better?
We were so thrilled to be asked by the lovely people at bakerdays.com to review one of their letterbox cakes. So thrilled in fact, we have a review, giveaway and unboxing vlog for you to feast your eyes on today!
They must know how much we love cake in our house and considering how busy we all are as a family, to be able to order online and have it delivered is just perfect for us and I guess for many households.
Ordering is easy peasy, just pop to the website www.bakerdays.com where you can follow the 5 simple steps of:
As we were picking for Halloween it was great to see so many designs available and we took our time as we were spoilt for choice.
We were having vanilla sponge cake with buttercream filling! The Letterbox cake is 5 inches (12cm x 2.5cm) which is just right for for 4 portions.
I uploaded a picture of the boys that we had taken recently and we were nearly there. We couldn’t wait and on our delivery date here’s what came through the door.
It comes in a great little tin which keeps it nice and safe on its journey to you. All the cakes are made to order so are super fresh.
We were amazed! The packaging was perfect and there were lovely touches such as the card which was enclosed and there were balloons, some candles and a party blow out toy, perfect! I was really impressed and I hadn’t had to leave the house to have such a great personalised cake with all the trimmings.
There are 4 different sizes to choose from in the complete range and 5 different recipes. The sizes are:
Small Party Cake 10-12 portions 7 inch cakes (17cm x 5.5cm)
Medium Party Cake 18-25 portions 9 inch cakes (24cm x 6.5cm)
Large Party Cake 40-55 portions 12 inch cakes (30cm x 7.5cm)
The boys had wanted to be involved in the review as much as I did, especially when they had known that their photos were going to be on the front, boys will be boys! My youngest, Little G enjoys his vlogging and has made a great unboxing vlog which he would love you to see here:
We are also delighted to be able to offer a Letterbox Gift Cake as a giveaway prize! You can enter here for your chance to win…good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please check out bakerdaysFacebook and twitter accounts to see their great deals and news. You won’t be disappointed and I would recommend trying them out.
Finally, the cake was delicious!! If you look right at the end of Little G’s vlog you’ll see his reaction!
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Disclaimer: We were given a letterbox cake to review. All thoughts and comments are my own. Postage will be free to mainland UK.
We are not huge bakers in the myrealfairy household but we do get the urge now and again to don the aprons and throw the flour around the kitchen.
So for this weekends challenge, something easy was number one on the list of priorities and something that we could all share was the second. We love our food!
Focaccia bread is a great base to add toppings to and we thought it would be great to use our basil and coriander from the pots which our son big M had planted.
Here’s the ingredients and instructions for this quick and easy bread if you fancy giving it a go:
1 (7g) sachet of dried active baking yeast
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
250g plain flour
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Large pinch of salt
Herbs of your choice
Sprinkle of grated cheese if you wish
First off, dissolve the sugar and yeast in half a cup of warm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes and you’ll see it gets frothy on top.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and the yeast together. Keep adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is coming together and you can form a ball. Put it on a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, leave it to stand in a warm place with a damp clean cloth covering the bowl, for about 30 minutes and it will just about double in size.
While it is ‘proving‘ you can get ready your toppings for your bread. We used some herbs tomatoes, onion and garlic but use whatever you feel like. Sprinkle with the salt. Set aside.
Return to the bowl and you will see the difference in size. pop it back onto your floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Stretch the dough out into a rectangle sheet about 1cm thick and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Put your toppings on. Bake in a preheated oven on 240 C or gas mark 9. It should take about 15 minutes but you can leave longer for a crispier bread. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.