Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge

The school week is always busy. Besides the school work, there’s swimming and tennis. And there’s always something else to do everyday. While I cook the children a meal everyday, some days I just don’t feel like it. On those days #ThankGoodness for Dolmio!

I was thrilled to be chosen to take part in the Dolmio challenge with Britmums and to do so I was sent a hamper of goodies to prepare a mid week meal. The hamper was enough to feed us for at least 3 meals and then some so the children were happy that they’d be having a lot of pasta during the week. They didn’t realise that there were also lots of vegetables that I was going to sneak in.

 

I first decided to go with the all-time favourite – Spaghetti Bolognese. The kids love it and so do we – Hubs and I.

It’s super easy to do and takes hardly any time so the children have a home cooked meal in no time. It’s also really tasty and has no nasties in it which makes it even better.

All I needed to do was fry the mince and then add the sauce. I also added some carrots to the bolognese sauce and the children ate it without a murmur. A real win-win for me. They even asked to take it for packed lunch the next day.

I then decided to try something else with the Dolmio sauce and make a kind of Chicken Pepperonata -a kind of grilled chicken served with a sauce made with Dolmio, Peppers and Courgettes.

This is an easy dish to do and it tastes quite delicious. You need –

  • Chicken breasts
  • Dolmio sauce
  • Courgettes
  • Peppers – red, green and yellow
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour to coat

Method –

    • Add salt and pepper to the chicken pieces. I also make a mix of garlic granules and some chicken mixed spices. Then coat the chicken in flour.
    • Fry the chicken in some oil till it’s lightly browned.

    • In a separate pan, lightly fry the courgettes (chopped) and the peppers (sliced). Then add in the Dolmio sauce and the cook for 2 minutes.

    • Add in the chicken and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

  • Serve with crusty bread.

The kids love this one too and I love it as the vegetables go down well too. You can add mushrooms if you like.

The children love it when I make meals like this and I love the fact that it’s so easy to do. Mid week meals are no fuss with Dolmio. And since each bottle contains 1 of your 5 a day, it’s a no-brainer that I use it quite regularly.

 

There are loads of recipes to try out, so why don’t you visit the Dolmio website for some cooking inspiration 

This is an entry to the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge with Dolmio

Boo! Pumpkin Carving with Asda

We’re always up to a challenge and when it involves carving pumpkins and a Halloween treat as a prize, we’ll never say ‘no’!

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Asda sent us some pretty cool carving kits to make give them a good scare and we’re hoping that we’ve succeeded.

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First up is this rather cool Fire’s Friend which Jadyn carved all on her own and she’s pretty proud of it. We had the cool stencil from the Petrifying Party Kit which also had some great tools to help us carve the perfect pumpkin.

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Ethan has some help from yours truly and carved this Ghost Pumpkin

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And lastly Aeryn had a lot of help with her cute pumpkin face (the one on the top of course).

 

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We had loads of fun carving the pumpkins and we hope to celebrating even more with the big ASDA prize tomorrow. If you’ve still to carve your own pumpkin, head over to Asda for your carving kits.

Our #GreenGiantsMinions Easy Peasy Bites

We love the minions and we can’t wait for the new Minions movie.

The children also love sweetcorn.

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In the run up to the movie, we were challenged by Green Giant to come up with a Minion inspired meal preparation. The kids were very enthusiastic and offered all sorts of ideas.

So many ideas, so little time.

In the end we decided on something simple that the kids could potentially make on their own.

Sweetcorn and tuna spread ciabatta bites

It’s so easy to do. And you probably have all the ingredients at hand.

You will need –

  • Ciabatta bread or a baguette
  • Green Giants Sweetcorn 1 – 2 cans
  • Tuna spread
  • Olives
  • Blue food colouring
  • Cheese – Feta or Mozzerella

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Method –

Spread the paste on a slice of ciabatta.

Add the sweetcorn to design a minion.  But wait, there’s a bit of a twist. Why are these sweetcorn kernels blue?

To help us make the dungarees we used blue food colouring to colour the corn. If you keep them for some time, they do get a more intense blue.

Add olives for the shoes and eyes. You can add a piece of cheese to make the eyes too.

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We’ve also watched the trailer of the new Minions Movie and saw some Hawaiian minions which inspired us to make these ones.

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These are great for after school snacks and are so quick and easy to do. Perfect for a Minions themed party where children can even make their own.

This is my entry for the Tots100/Green Giants Minions Challenge

Magic Squares and Tips for a Magical Playdate

Playdates – love them or hate them, if you have children you have them. I,for one, enjoy having my children’s friends over.

We’ve had ordinary playdates – impromptu ones.

And then we’ve been very fortunate to be chosen to host some Twitter parties where we’ve had more elaborate playdates.

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We live in a flat so we don’t have have garden space but there are tons of things that we can still do to make our playdates magical so that the children who come never want to leave.

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My top 10 tips for a successful playdate  –

  1. Have snacks ready – The moment children get together they seem to be hungry so have some snacks ready even if it’s a lunch date or party.
  2. Get some activities together – cake baking and decorating always works well or playing with plasticine
  3. Put toys that the children don’t normally like to share away. I know it does sound selfish but it saves the tears and tantrums later especially if a favourite toy breaks during play.
  4. Ask children to bring a toy of their own to share – that way your own children will be happy to share too.
  5. Get the children involved in making their own sandwiches/burgers/hotdogs/pizzas. Use cookie cutter to make shaped sandwiches. They will love it and wolf it all down too.  Less wastage.
  6. Go easy on the sweets. The last thing you need is too many hyperactive children.
  7. When it gets too much – take it outside either to the garden or to a nearby park. Do let mums know that you are planning this.
  8. Make it fun – ask the children to come in fancy dress.
  9. For older girls – plan a sleepover or a makeup party where they can do nails and makeup.
  10. Make it fun – give them time together without the constant hovering.

If all else fails – put the Frozen DVD on! 🙂

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Yogurts are a great thing to have on hand as they go down well with all ages. They are easy to serve and taste great.

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We recently tried the Magic Squares from Petits Filous and my children loved it. They liked the square shapes in the pot and went ‘wow’ and then promptly mixed it all up. (rolls eyes) I, on the other hand, had a very dainty taste of first one square and then the other and so on. Isn’t that how you are supposed to eat it? I mean you need to savour something delicious don’t you? I tell you – kids, these days.

Petits Filous is a household name where we’re concerned so we were pleased to see that it had a same, lovely, smooth, creamy taste. Petits Filous Magic Squares come in two flavours – vanilla and strawberry and vanilla and raspberry. Both were a big hit with the children.

They are available at £2 for 4 but there are deals on at the moment and I picked mine up for £1 for 4 pots which is a really good deal. Even at £2, I find them good value for money as the pots are 80g each.

Do you have playdates? I’d love to know about them. Leave a comment below. Well, your children’s playdates, I mean.

This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous.