Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Halloween Themed Snacks with Primula

I really love Halloween. It is a great excuse to have some family fun with a spooky twist. I love dressing up, watching scary movies and eating Halloween themed food. It's a monstrously good time of year!

As part of the Primula Blogger Club, I have been creating some seasonal snacks using Primula Cheese, which have been a great hit with the family. Here are three quick and easy recipes to feed your little monsters this Halloween.

Cobweb Muffin Pizzas

Primula, Halloween, recipe

Ingredients (per 2 muffin pizzas)

1 muffin
tomato paste
Primula Original cheese
1 cherry tomato, sweetcorn kernels and slices of red pepper for garnish


Slice the muffin and spread with tomato paste.
Pop into the oven at 200 degrees for about 6-8 minutes.
Use Primula squeezy cheese to draw a cobweb on each half.
Using a half tomato, two sweetcorn kernels and eight strips of red pepper, make a spider to garnish the muffin pizza.

Primula, Halloween, recipe, vegetarian

Handy hint - transfer Primula to an icing syringe for finer lines.

Smoky Primula Dip served in a pumpkin

Halloween, Primula

Nothing says Halloween like a gorgeous, orange pumpkin. They make such a lovely centrepiece for an autumnal table or a Halloween party. I have used one as a holder for a dip, and surrounded it with tasty things to dip in it! Instead of attempting to hollow out the whole pumpkin and filling it completely with dip, I've simply taken off the top and scooped out enough flesh to pop in a glass ramekin dish. It looks really effective, is more hygienic and means you can re-use the pumpkin afterwards.

Halloween, pumpkin, Primula


Half a tube of Primula Original Cheese
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of smoky paprika


Simply mix the ingredients together and sprinkle a little paprika on top.
Serve with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, radishes, celery, crackers or crisps.

Halloween, Primula, pumpkin

Cheesy Sausage Roll Mummies

Halloween, Primula, recipe


5 veggie sausages (I used defrosted Quorn sausages)
1/2 sheet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Primula Original Cheese
a little milk for glazing
tomato paste for making eyeballs


Cut the sheet of ready roll pastry in half lengthways.
Cut the pastry into five strips.
Spread a thin layer of Primula onto the pastry strips.
Wrap each sausage with the pastry, with the cheesy side facing inwards!
Leave a 2cm piece of sausage showing at the top.
Pop into the oven on a prepared baking sheet at 200 degrees.
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
Don't worry if the cheese oozes out - it adds to the effect!
Use tomato paste to make red eyeballs on the top of the sausage to complete the mummy.

Halloween, Primula, recipe

These tasty, cheesy little sausage roll mummies are perfect for buffet food or for an after school snack for the kids. The Primula layer adds a lovely cheesy twist to this classic savoury treat.

However you celebrate Halloween this year, I hope you enjoy some family fun and make some wonderful memories!

The Primula Blogger Club is a paid for partnership.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Creating a #brightFuture for our children

Ever since the birth of my firstborn son back in 1988, I have tried to be the best person that I can possibly be (not always a successful mission, but I do my best). Children have a way of making you want to be the best version of yourself, providing a good role model for their future aspirations and leading them towards adulthood by example. Now, 28 years on, I have three, very successful grown-up children who make me proud everyday; two wonderful little ones who fill my heart with joy;  an adorable little grandson who has given me the most treasured gift of being a grandparent and a new baby granddaughter, who is due in a few weeks time. Over these years, I have endeavoured to do my best, hoping to make my little corner of the universe as happy, positive and productive as I possibly can. Life isn't always easy, and there have been plenty of ups and downs, but I know in my heart that I have always put my family first and foremost in every decision that I have ever made.


Becoming a parent and grandparent has also made me look at the world differently, seeing the bigger picture of how my choices impact our world. Things that we do now, can have a huge effect on the lives of future generations. How we choose to live our lives today can affect our children's tomorrows. This is a huge responsibility and something that I don't take lightly.

In a recent survey sponsored by Unilever, 90% of parents believed that if everyone takes a few small steps to improve the environment, then we can make the world a better place. Each and everyone of us is capable of changing a few aspects of our lives for the better to make a brighter future for our children. Trying to make environmentally friendly choices in everyday tasks, being mindful of our actions, looking at more sustainable ways of doing things and trying to help others are all positive steps.

As a family, we consider ourselves to be pretty green. We are all passionate vegetarians and eat a meat-free diet, which greatly reduces our impact on the environment. I make menu plans and shop for the week, ensuring that no food is thrown away. We are strong believers in recycling and re-using our waste where possible. We keep a close eye on our household's water and energy consumption, and make sure that we are not wasteful with resources.  The children have all been brought up to be respectful of what we have and from a young age have made positive steps such as turning off lights when leaving a room; turning the tap off when brushing teeth; putting plastic, glass and paper into the recycling containers and donating unwanted toys and clothes to charity shops. Every little positive step helps and you are never too young or too old to make a positive difference. 60% of parents surveyed said they were trying to live in a greener way at home, let's hope that one day everyone gets on board and does their bit for the environment.

Unilever have recently launched their #brightFuture initiative. Their new advert on TV is really moving, showing the things that the brand are doing to take positive steps towards making the future a better place. Domestos is helping children in developing countries get access to proper toilets with a commitment to help 25 million people by 2020. Persil has joined with UNICEF and helped 10 million children into education and Dove has made a positive impact on 19 million young people through its Self-Esteem Project. All incredibly worthy projects and a way for them to give something back to the global community. 482 million lives have been improved with projects positively impacting on health and hygiene in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Unilever and Britmums sent me some products from the brand to try, keeping in mind how they relate to the #brightFuture initiative and how they can contribute to a better way of living for my family.


We are so lucky in the UK to have clean running water, good sanitation and hygienic living conditions. Domestos helps maintain clean spaces for our children, preventing the spread of disease and improving the quality of their lives. Domestos bleach is also a great product for upcycling old clothes! Tie dying tops or adding funky bleach streaks to jeans gives a new lease of life to old tired clothing and is a great way of re-using things that may otherwise end up in landfill.

Persil Non-Bio allows us to wash clothing using a low temperature, economy wash setting. This saves water and electricity, yet we can still be confident that our clothing will be clean. Persil encourages children to get outside to explore, play and learn, giving them a love and understanding of the great outdoors. Getting muddy is just part of the fun and something we don't need to stress about. Giving children freedom is so important to their wellbeing.

The Dove Self Esteem Project is helping young people to grow in confidence and builds self-esteem. 8 out of 10 girls have admitted to opting out of activities over concern for their body image. As a mum of three daughters, this is something that matters to me considerably. Self-image can limit a young person's potential. Dove believes that it is who you are that defines you, where confidence is the real source of beauty. Workshops, activities and online resources are encouraging girls to enjoy a positive relationship with how they look. My 14 year old daughter suffers with dry skin, so the Dove Derma Spa Goodness body lotion and nourishing shower wash is really good for her. If it makes her skin look and feel better, it can really help boost her body confidence. It is little things like using the right products that can make a big difference.

My wish for the future is that everyone accepts their own personal responsibility and tries their best to do things for the good of our planet and for each other. If we all come together, there is hope for our tomorrow. I want my own five children to contribute to their #brightFuture by doing the best they can and by being the best that they can. If we all do what we can and believe in the power of change, then maybe our future and our children's futures will be bright.

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

We Brits Love Our Curry! Celebrating National Curry Week with Sainsbury's

In celebration of National Curry Week (10th – 16th October), Sainsbury’s have commissioned a survey to reveal how the nation’s love of Indian cuisine has evolved since its introduction to the UK.

Curry first came to Britain in the 18th century, and over the years our nation has fully embraced Indian cuisine establishing it as a firm national favourite. Up until the 1980s, many of the options on offer were just anglicised versions of a select few Indian dishes, but a demand for more authentic, flavoursome, diverse and exotic cuisine has developed over the decades. Sainsbury's has been meeting this demand, reviewing and testing recipes and ideas to create authentic products with passion.

When it comes to grocery shopping, our choice of spices has evolved too. Alongside store cupboard favourites such as chilli, ginger, paprika and cumin, we are now opting for more exotic ingredients when it comes to cooking curry. Sainsbury’s has reported that sales of garam masala are up by nearly a quarter (24%) whilst cumin and coriander seed are dramatically increasing in popularity. Sales of turmeric are up 9%. 37% of Brits are also willing to spend up to three hours in the kitchen perfecting the mix of spices for the best possible flavour for a home cooked curry.

Indian food, vegetarian


•             The nation selected Tikka Masala and Korma as their favourite dishes
•             The Welsh opted for hot Madras as their favourite dish
•             The UK chose naan breads over rice as their favourite side dish
•             The majority of the UK like hot curry but Londoners prefer milder recipes
•             Brits will spend a huge £30,331 on curry in their lifetime
•             43% of Brits would opt for a ready meal over a takeaway for convenience and value 
•             Nearly half of us say we would eat curry any night of the week - it's not just a weekend meal

Sainsbury’s first introduced classic Indian ingredients, such as curry powder and mango chutney, in 1920, representing a revolutionary addition to supermarket shopping for the time. Their first Indian ready meals were introduced to customers in 1989. Over 20 years on, Sainsbury’s stocks a range of 50 prepared Indian dishes and accompaniments, selling more than £61m of Indian food per annum. 

The Sainsbury's range of Indian ready meals is continually evolved to suit the changing preferences of their customers. They have recently enhanced their range of vegetarian side dishes including By Sainsbury's Sweet Potato and Red Onion Bhajis, By Sainsbury's Tadka Daal and Taste the Difference Crispy Beetroot and Chilli Samosas.

To find out more about Sainsbury’s variety of spices and new Indian inspired ready meals or to see the full list of ready meals, visit

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Halloween 2016 review round-up - featuring Poundland and HARIBO

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the shops are stocked with spooky, seasonal goodies. Yes, it's nearly Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year!  We enjoy celebrating the season and having some family fun with a scary twist.

If you want to enjoy Halloween, but want to keep to a budget, check out Poundland for some great items at just £1 each. From decorations to fancy dress to sweeties to tableware, you will find loads of fabulously themed things to keep the kids happy. We were sent a selection from their range.

Halloween, Poundland

This year's designs include a rather cute family of monsters, who appear on everything from paper plates to trick or treat bags. They also feature on the cupcake set that contains cake cases and toppers. Perfect for making some spooky cupcakes.  The tableware is excellent value and makes entertaining easy. Plates come in packs of 20, napkins in a pack of 30 and cups in a pack of 40, so there will be plenty to cater for a Halloween party. You can dress the house with Halloween decorations including character lights and bunting.

Poundland also has some good dressing up accessories, Freddy picked out a Freddy Krueger style bladed glove so he can dress like his namesake this year. Don't forget to stock up on some sweets for Trick or Treaters, which you can hand out from Poundland's Trick or Treat bowl.


HARIBO always do some great seasonal limited edition sweet packs, which are perfect for parties or for handing out to the little monsters who come knocking on Halloween night. Haribo kindly sent us a selection in a spooky package, which we will enjoy distributing to our local Trick or Treaters.


This year, Haribo have a Halloween Duo pumpkin pack, Trick or Treat mini bags, TangfasTricks and Scaremix ready to please the kids and the young at heart grown-ups!

scaremix, sweets, Halloween

The Duo pack comes in a lidded pumpkin shaped container, which looks great on a table laid with Halloween goodies. Inside the tub is two large bags of Haribo Halloween sweets (Scaremix and TangfasTricks) which can be poured into each of the divided halves of the bowl. It makes a lovely colourful display.

Halloween sweets

Haribo Scaremix comes in an assortment of spooky designs and flavours: Dracula Rings in Blood Orange & Apple, Apple & Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant & Blueberry; Boo Bears in Cherry, Lime and Blood Orange; Witches' Brew in Blood Orange; Vampire Heart in Blackcurrant & Bubblegum and Monster's Eyeball in Toffee Apple. They come in funky colours too, adding a Halloween twist to some old classics.

The TangfasTricks offer an opportunity for daring sweet eaters to dive in and take a gamble on which sweet they're going to eat! They look normal enough, but not all the sweets are tangy - some of them are super sour and some are HOT! Will the one you choose be a treat or a trick?  It will definitely make for a fun game this Halloween.


I hope they will do a veggie friendly range one day so I too can indulge in the happy world of Haribo!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The new Bratz InstaPets collection

In their latest collection, the Bratz dolls are taking their fashion inspiration from their pets. The Bratz Instapets doll range features Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Raya and Sasha, each dressed head to toe in their spirit animal inspired "outfit of the day". Each doll is accompanied by their own bobble-headed Instapet. Their Insta-famous pets are cute and quirky and can even wear their owner's sunglasses for some shade swapping fun. 

dolls, Bratz

We received a Jade doll from the Instapets range.  Cool cat Jade shows that she's truly a fashionista by taking fashion inspiration from her Instapet cat. Jade's super cute Instapet style includes a furry, mauve cat face jumper, pink zipped leather skirt, studded pink boots and purple kitty headband. Her long, purple streaked hair is very cool and the look is fierce.

Accessories include a doll's phone, kitty phone case, trendy whiskered sunglasses, kitty stud earrings and an iconic Bratz lip shaped hairbrush in purple. Accessories can be mixed and matched across the Bratz range. Jade's Instapet cat is a mauve coloured, plastic figure with an oversized head that bobbles. 

bratz, cat, doll

The other Instapets that inspire their owners' outfits are a pig, a bee, a frog and a rabbit. The range is fun and colourful and will appeal to young animal lovers with a passion for fashion. As with all Bratz collections, there is great attention to detail in the clothing and accessories. The dolls are ready for play or display and will be loved by fans of the brand.

Retailing at £19.99, the Bratz Instapets make a great gift idea and are suitable for ages 5 and up.

You can also download a free Bratz app from the App store or Google Play.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Stretch Scooby-Doo!

Do you have a Scooby Doo fan in the family? Perhaps a little one, who is one of the latest generation of Scooby fans. Or someone who loved Scooby and his pals as a child back in the 70's. If so, here is a great present idea. Stretch Scooby-Doo from Character Options is a full size, stretchable action figure based on the iconic cartoon character.

Scooby doo

With his goofy grin and his signature dog collar, Stretch Scooby-Doo certainly looks the part. He is a great replica of the classic canine character, and comes ready to play with straight from the box.

Stretch Scooby Doo

Just like his fellow stretchy action figure, Stretch Armstrong, Stretch Scooby-Doo can be stretched up to three times his size by pulling his arms and legs. He can be stretched, tied in knots and squeezed, but always returns to his normal shape and size afterwards.

Scooby Doo, stretch toy

Stretch Scooby Doo

Kids will love to play with the stretchy mutt, seeing how far they can pull him. Grown-ups seem to find playing with Stretch Scooby-Doo very therapeutic and stress relieving, like a rather cool executive toy. It's quite mesmerising watching Scooby's shape return after a vigorous stretch, squeeze or twist.

Stretch Scooby-Doo

It takes some effort to stretch Scooby to full capacity, so getting someone else to help adds to the fun! Children can have a Scooby style tug of war, experiment with the properties of this intriguing toy or engage in some imaginative play where Scooby uses his stretchy power to help solve mysteries. And after all that stretching, pulling, tying and squeezing, Scooby-Doo is always ready for some more.

Stretch Scooby Doo

As with all stretch toys, avoid anything sharp when playing with Scooby as these toys can get punctured, but generally speaking, Stretch Scooby-Doo is very robust, quite weighty and tough. He'll withstand plenty of hands-on play!

action toy, stretch toy

Stretch Scooby-Doo is recommended for children aged 5 and over and is £19.99 RRP. Find him at

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Cranberry and Sunflower Seed Cookies Recipe - Lurpak #GameOnCooks

As a nation we are obsessed with watching, reading about and hash tagging food! Over 10 million of us tune in to GBBO every week. We take to social media to post photos of meals on Instagram and we love celebrity chefs, eagerly buying their latest recipe books. In fact, according to a survey by Lurpak, we spend over 5 hours a week devouring food culture. Yet, when it comes to actually getting our hands dirty in the kitchen, we spend on average just 4 hours cooking! Our interest in all things foodie, seems to be more virtual than physical, but nothing beats a home cooked meal or some good old fashioned baking.

Lurpak's 'Game On, Cooks' campaign is stirring up a cooking revolution, encouraging Brits to turn their screens off and their ovens on. They are challenging us to create something tasty using Lurpak, to share our creations and to inspire others to get into the kitchen themselves. Because, however many recipes you pour over; TV cookery shows you watch or food apps you have downloaded on your phone, you have to get cooking to be a cook! You have to feel the dough in your hands as you work it; smell the glorious scent of fresh baking and hear the sizzle of mushrooms frying in a pan.

Lurpak is a great ingredient for both sweet and savoury recipes. You can mix, fry, drizzle and bake it into all kinds of culinary creations....or you can simply spread it on fresh baked bread or scones.

Here is a really simple recipe using Lurpak butter that is a real family favourite; Cranberry and Sunflower Seed Cookies. It's a great recipe that creates some wholesome treats that the family will love. Easy to make, perfect for sharing! The crumbly, oaty, buttery biscuit is complemented perfectly by the sweet, fruity cranberries and crunchy sunflower seeds.

baking, Lurpak, recipe

Cranberry and Sunflower Seed Cookie Recipe


4 oz Lurpak butter
3 oz soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 oz dried cranberries
1 1/2 oz sunflower seeds
2 oz plain flour
3 oz oats
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda


Cream together butter and sugar.
Stir in rest of the ingredients and combine.
Shape into walnut size balls and press down slightly using a fork onto a prepared baking tray.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you want to help correct this Great British cooking paradox, remember "screen off, oven on"! Get into the kitchen and share your creations with @Lurpak using the hashtag #GameOnCooks.

cooking, baking


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...