Center Parcs Whinfell Forest

We were so excited that we were going on a holiday to Center Parcs as we love it there, but hadn’t been for 5 years. This time we were going to Whinfell Forest, which is the furthest away from us in Kent. We have previously been to Longleat, Elveden, Sherwood and Het Heijderbos in Holland. We left home around 5.30am and arrived about 1.30 pm.
We had some lunch and went to collect our friends from Penrith Station which wasn’t that far away.
On Tuesday we played a round of Crazy Golf, Ashley got a hole in one and did a crazy dance ūüôā we enjoyed our game, at home we don’t do a lot together, each of us has our own interests, Ashley’s is minecraft, mine is card making, or sewing, and Kev’s is either work, or DIY, so to spend time together doing something fun was lovely.
We went swimming most days during our stay and cycled about the complex, which was fun, we saw red squirrels, and pheashants, and even a grouse. On Wednesday, Ashley was booked into Climbing and Abseiling, I wanted to watch him, he was so nervous but he did it I was really proud of him. He was in a group of 6 with 4 adults and 2 children, he didn’t know the other people, but by the end of the 2 hour session they were a team, all cheering each other on. Ashley went up and came down 4 times, and he was very pleased with himself. We visited various restaurants on the complex, we really enjoyed our meal in the pancake house, and also the Lakeside Bar. It was a really enjoyable stay the villa, was really comfy and the weather wasn’t too bad either. Ashley’s favourite bit from the swimming pool was the rapids, mine and Kev’s was the outside pool as that was like a lovely hot bath. We were sad on Friday that we had to leave, I am sure we will go back again one day
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I was invited to Center Parcs along with Center Parcs Family Blogger Raisie Bay to enjoy a four night break at Whinfell Forest.
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Omelette Souffl√© with Strawberries

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Fancy a quick and easy desert which is also low fat? Try this soufflé, which is more like an omelette. You can add any fruit you like but I went for strawberries.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs,¬†separated
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • blob of butter
  • handful of strawberries
  • ¬†1 tbs cr√©me fraiche

Method:

  • first chop up your strawberries into small slices.
  • mix the sugar with egg yolks in one bowl
  • whisk the egg whites until stiff
  • fold egg yolks into stiff whites
  • put the grill on to heat up
  • put the butter in a frying pan
  • put your egg mixture into frying pan and leave for about 2 minutes until bottom is cooked
  • put frying pan under grill to cook top
  • turn out omelette/ souffl√© onto a plate and put strawberries on one half
  • fold in half
  • cut into two pieces and serve with cr√©me fraiche

Simple, quick and yummy.

You can also add extras to your soufflé mix to make it sweeter like orange zest or cinnamon.

strawberry soufflé

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This is my post for #eggmainsinminutes Linky on BritMums  Main Meals in Minutes site

Party Shoes

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We have a very important event coming up next week, HBee is going to be 21! The time just flies by when you have children, I don’t feel old enough to have a 21 yr old daughter, that’s a proper adult…eeek!

We are having a proper good old fashioned family knees up to celebrate. Ok don’t tell HBee I said that. It’s a trendy 21st Birthday Party at ¬†a really nice venue.

So I’ve bought my dress, it’s from the Holly Willoughby range, I don’t want to give too much away but it’s long and lovely. Hopefully I’ll have some photo’s to show you after the party.

Now, I’ve just to decide which shoes to wear and Next have an exciting range in right now.

Metallic Cuff Sandal

I love these metallic cuff sandals, they are almost futuristic. I’m not sure they are really me, but I’m sure HBee would love them.

Mono Rand Sandals

Now these Mono Rand Sandals are really my type, and you can look classy without having to balance on stiletto heels.

Microsuede Strap Point Shoes

These Microsuede strap point shoes are the ones that would most go through with my dress. I adore this lovely blue but I think I may have to go with the black ones.

Nothing like talking about gorgeous shoes to get you in the party mood ūüôā

Really Easy Paella

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Ok this is not really a paella it’s just my version of it. It is really easy to make though and very tasty.

Ingredients

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 100g pack of chorizo sausage, chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 300g long grain rice
  • 1lt chicken stock
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 200g prawns
  • 200g cooked chicken pieces

Method

  • heat oil in the pan and soften the onion without browning for about 5 minutes
  • add the chorizo sausage and fry for a little while as the juices are released
  • stir in the turmeric
  • stir in the rice and coat with juices
  • add the stock and bring to the boil
  • simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally
  • tip in peas and cooked chicken and cook for 5 more minutes
  • stir in the prawns and heat through for 1-2 minutes until rice is cooked
  • serve immediately with lemon wedges

My family love this dish it’s a tea time favourite.

 

Aphrodite Delight

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I am entering a competition with Foodies100 and Greek Gods where I have to come up with a delicious dish using Greek Gods Greek Yoghurt. Thinking back to a few weeks ago when I made a Cranachan for the first time, I remembered that you could substitute the cream for yoghurt. So I devised this recipe around that idea.

Serves two

Ingredients:

  • Greek Gods Honey and Vanilla Yoghurt
  • 2 tbs porridge oats
  • 2 apples
  • 1tbs lemon juice

Method:

peel and chop the apples then put them in a pan with 2tbs water and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the liquid is gone and the apples stewed and pulp like. Leave to cool.

In a large pan dry fry the porridge oats until they are starting to brown. Be careful no to burn them, this takes about 1 minute.

When the oats and apple are cooled layer them in a glass with the yoghurt.

This is a really simple recipe and so delicious. It would even make a perfect breakfast treat.

aphroditedelight

The Most Important Meal of the Day

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It’s often said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast and for me this is so true. If I skip breakfast I find myself snacking on all sorts of bad things just to keep the tummy rumbling at bay. During winter a nice hot porridge is a fantastic way to keep warm and full until lunch time. Porridge is quick and easy to make and can be really healthy too. This is not fattening and can easily compete on the calorie front with other breakfast cereals, but it really does fill you up and kerb the snacking. Can you say that of any other cereal? (well, unless you are a three Wheetabix person)

This is my porridge recipe for a quick healthy breakfast to keep you going.

  • 38g of porridge oats (I buy supermarket brand, they are just as good)
  • 250ml of water (you can use milk but stick to skimmed or semi-skimmed to keep the calories down)
  • 2 dried apricots chopped
  • 1 large tsp of low-fat greek yoghurt

All you need to do is put porridge and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil and stir. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Put in bowl and top with apricots and yoghurt. (you can substitute fruit if you wish, sultanas or raisins work well)

Hey presto a perfect healthy breakfast:

porridge

 

This recipe is my entry into Foodies100 competition in association with Morphy Richards

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Steak and Pasta (a bit different to bolognese)

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In our home we love spaghetti bolognese but I wanted to try something similar but different just to make a change. I have kept the tomato sauce very similar to that of bolognese but instead of using minced beef I’ve used sliced steak, and instead of using spaghetti I’ve used twist pasta or fusilli.

This goes lovely with a glass of red wine ūüėČ

Ingredients:

  • tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • large tbs of oregano (or basil)
  • 1lb of rump steak thinly sliced
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • glug of red wine
  • 50g of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 500g pasta (I used fusilli but you can use anything really)

Method:

  • put past on to cook for required time in large pan of boiling water (usually about 10 mins)
  • put olive oil in a large pan and fry onion and garlic until softened but not brown
  • in another pan start frying steak until brown and juicy and then leave to rest
  • add tomatoes, red wine and herbs to onion and garlic
  • give a quick whiz in a food processor ¬†(not absolutely necessary, but I have a fussy family who prefer smoother sauces)
  • add tomato sauce to the steak and stir through, heat it up and keep it warm for a couple of minutes until pasta is cooked.
  • mix the egg and parmesan cheese together and set aside.
  • When pasta is cooked drain and add egg and cheese mixture, stir thoroughly.
  • put past on plate and then add steak and tomato mix.

Sit back and enjoy!

Celeriac and Blue Cheese Soda Bread (without the soda)

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This recipe is from the Abel and Cole Website. Abel and Cole deliver lovely organic food to your door and I’m a big fan.

I love making bread but I’m not keen on soda bread. When I saw this recipe I thought great, a soda bread with no soda. But that doesn’t really make sense does it? Well, the explanation is that it’s more ‘like’ a soda bread in the sense that you don’t slice it but tear and share it.

There is no raising agent either so it won’t rise very much, although you can add a little baking powder (and soda if you wish) I quite liked it just the way it was.

Ingredients:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 175g celeriac, coarsely grated
  • A generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 75g stilton, crumbled into small pieces
  • 100ml milk (or 50ml yogurt diluted with 50ml water)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

mix the flour with the grated celeriac and pepper

whisk the milk and egg together and add to the mix to make a wet but firm dough. I found that the mix was a little too wet so reserve a little of the milk and egg mixture to use as a glaze.

Try not to overmix but when you have a reasonable dough place it on an oiled baking tray. (or use baking paper)

Place in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes until hollow sounding when tapped underneath. I found my bread took almost an hour to cook properly and was quite brown on top. I did preheat the oven and put it in the middle. Just be prepared for it to take a little longer to cook and watch that it doesn’t burn.

This bread is best served warm and I had mine with carrot and coriander soup.

bluecheesebread soup and bread

Jean Jeanious

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Jeans are my favourite item of clothing, they are so versatile. Dress them up or down, where them with heels, flats or boots. Have them skinny or flared. So much to choose from including a wide arrange of colours.

I remember the days when jeans were basically indigo, stonewashed were much more expensive, too much for a school kid. Me and my friends craved a fancy pair of white jeans so what did we do? Put our jeans in the bath with a bottle of bleach! Do it right and they come out white, but believe me, they don’t last long the bleach destroys the thread. No need to worry about that these days though, white jeans are ready available. I love this selection from Next.

white jeans from Next

white jeans from Next

 

Do you know about mummy jeans? Well, apparently you are not very hip if you wear jeans with high back pockets, they make you look old and are known as mummy jeans. Hey, I’m a mummy, to blooming teenagers, so why should I be worried? Well, to be honest, the better placed the pocket the better your bum looks. I’m up for that.

These are perfect, NOT mummy jeans, but very comfy as well as trendy. Definitely my favourites.

slimjeans