Shoutykid3 – book review and giveaway

Son1 ran round the room crazily with excitement when I told him that our free copy of Shoutykid 3 was on the way to review. He has been eagerly awaiting its publication since reading Shoutykid 2 in April, when he saw the third book mentioned at the back.

Shoutykid3 by Simon Mayle

Shoutykid 3 is a very funny story about a boy Harry Riddles who writes shouty letters to other people, including famous people like the president of Russia. Son1’s favourite part of Shoutykid3 was when everyone fell off a boat into the water. And his favourite character is Kid Zombie.

The full title of the book is Shoutykid How Harry Riddles Got Nearly Almost Famous. It is written by Simon Mayle.

Shoutykid3 by Simon Mayle

This is the letter on the back cover.

Hi there,

So I’ve joined a band with Jess and this new kid, Kevin, who is pretty annoying but also a REALLY talented guitar player. We’ve got a good shot at winning the Battle of the Bands competition for our school as long as Kevin doesn’t get expelled first. But here’s the thing, my dad has this crazy idea to take me, my mum, my EVIL sister and my twin brothers sailing round the world. For TWO years!!!! Swimming with dolphins, and scuba diving would be pretty cool, but how am I meant to reach rock stardom if I’m stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean?

Good luck and have fun.
Harry Riddles

Here is son1’s video review of Shoutykid 3.

And here is the video of the latest trailer.

Shoutykid 3 is currently retailing on Amazon for £6.29 and is also available in kindle edition. It is targetted at children, age 9+ and is published by Harper Collins.

You can also check out Harry’s blog which is on the Shoutykid website.

Here are son1’s reviews of the previous two books in the series.
Shoutykid
Shoutykid 2

 

Shoutykid by Simon Mayle

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a copy of Shoutykid 3 to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Weekend Book Club

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Breakfast to Keep Me Going including giveaway

So what do you enjoy best for breakfast, something healthy or perhaps a full English? I like to vary my breakfast at home, but I keep a packet of cereal at work for those days when I’m working an early shift and don’t have time for breakfast until I’m at work. Did you know that some of the perceived ‘healthy’ cereals aren’t quite as healthy as you think. And my current packet of Jordans granola falls into that category.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

However I’ve just received 2 free boxes of a really healthy nutritional wheat-free cereal to try. This is a new product called ‘Keep Me Going‘ and the idea is just that – it should keep you going from breakfast time to lunch without you getting hungry inbetween. Its strapline is that it helps reduce tiredness, release energy and maintain a healthy immune system.

Compared to Special K Original (often advertised as a healthy cereal), Keep Me Going has 8 times less salt; 60% less sugar; twice the fibre; and a low Gi, similar to traditionally made porridge. Gi refers to Glycaemic Index which measures how quickly the carbohydrates turn to sugar in your blood. So the low Gi means that you get a slower energy release.

So I thought that I would taste test the cereal in a few different ways. First up was with milk. Now I don’t normally weigh my cereal but for the purpose of this review, I measured out a precise 30g portion.  Full marks for taste and it didn’t go soggy either like some cereals. And no need to add sugar, which I admit I do for porridge. The flavour almost had a hint of chocolate although more malty like Horlicks, but there was definitely no chocolate in the ingredients.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

The only other item I ate for breakfast was a clementine. But how did it score on keeping the hunger at bay. Well I was fine for 3 hours, but then I started feeling a bit peckish although I didn’t eat until lunchtime, which was the 5 hour mark.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

The next day I served it with natural yoghurt and cooked plums. No other fruit on the side this time. Similar scores on both the taste test and hunger test as with milk.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

My next test was to mix it with another cereal, 15g of each. I chose Special K peach & apricot and this time I had my fruit quota in the form of homemade smoothie alongside. I have to say that as I had enjoyed it alone the other day, I wasn’t bothered about mixing it, but I can see that might be a benefit for children, as it would bring the sugar content down.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

Then I decided to up the portion size to 45g for the hunger test. Served with milk plus a homemade smoothie to drink. I was really hoping this would see me through to lunchtime, but surprisingly hunger hit in at the 2.5 hour mark, even sooner than when I tried a 30g portion. And I wasn’t just peckish, my tummy was rumbling loudly. I can’t figure that one.

Keep Me Going breakfast cereal

But it wasn’t just me who tried it. Son1 had a bowl with milk. His taste test verdict was “okay” however he couldn’t remember what time he then got hungry. He usually has a very big appetite. He was very pleased with the trading cards and enjoyed telling me the facts. There was a code on the box aimed at children to decipher, but his comment on the code was that it was too hard as there was no clue.

Trading Cards

I have been told that if the code is cracked, it will take you to an off-menu page on the Keep Me Going website with lots more information on codes and ciphers, plus another code to crack which leads to a further page.

The next day son1 had some mixed with coco pops which he declared “great”. My other half looked at it very skeptically but he first gave it a go mixed with weetabix. An unusual choice I thought, which he didn’t like. But both he and son1 did enjoy it with yoghurt and fruit. However son2 said he didn’t like it on it’s own or with coco pops, although he did finish his bowl both times. He refused to try it with yoghurt.

So mixed reviews from us, but I certainly recommend you give it a try. A tasty cereal in my opinion, although it didn’t keep me going as long as I hoped.

Keep Me Going is only available from Ocado at present but they are in discussion with other major supermarkets, so hopefully it will soon be hitting all the shelves. It currently retails at £2.65 for a 375g box, so competitvely priced against major cereal brands.

They are also planning to launch a second cereal Keep Me Strong in a few months too. This will be a high protein, low salt and reduced sugar product.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 2 boxes of cereal each courtesy of Keep Me Going to 2 lucky winners.comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what you enjoy best for breakfast.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Guest post: Awesome things you can do when you have kids

One would say that parenting is extremely frustrating. However, I would never say so. For me, being a fully established mother also means having fun with my girls all the time. Every day with them is a new and priceless memory that I will remember forever. From my extensive experience, I can safely claim that there is a multitude of activities you can enjoy just because you have children. Here is the list of awesome things you can do, without being laughed at!

Buying toys you didn’t have in your own childhood

As a child, I had numerous amazing toys. However, no matter how much my parents tried to buy me everything I wanted, the sole range of toys one could buy back then was significantly smaller. That’s exactly why I have always dreamt of playing with Lego bricks, Barbie dolls or ridiculously cool toy vacuum cleaners. Of course, it would be impossible for me to play with such stuff in my 30s and still prove that I’m mentally healthy!

Finally, I came up with a great idea- to provide my girls with all the toys I love! Now, I’m playing with them all the time, with the excuse that they are too young to know how to play properly.

I can still sing silly songs in the car!

As a teenager, I was a huge fan of NKOTB. My largest dream was to attend all their concerts and to buy all their promotional items. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford them. As the time went by, some other boy bands reached the peak of popularity.

Today, as they get in the car, my girls want me to play One Direction. I’m pretty sure that I’ve managed to memorize all their songs by now. Now, both my husband and I really enjoy singing them at the top of our lungs! What’s even funnier is that no one bothers this just because of our kids sitting in the backseat! As One Direction’s (probably oldest) fan, I’ve decided to provide my little angels with the accessories I come across. They have already collected a bunch of posters, tees, mugs, watches, CDs and DVDs.

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

I can finally watch cartoons all the time

I will never understand why all grownups stop watching cartoons. For me, they are the most innocent way of having fun. Unfortunately, neither my husband nor my friends wanted to watch them with me. Now, that I have kids, I can watch animated movies all day long. Until now, we have seen best Disney movies, from classics like Cinderella, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty to the latest ones such as Frozen and Cars. Even more, we bought annual passes to Disneyland in order to meet all the characters whenever “my daughters” want to. With kids, it is never awkward to stand in line enthusiastically!

Decorating your kids’ room just as you’ve always wanted

When it comes to home renovation, I set my girls’ bedroom as a paramount. As a kid, I never had a room on my own. For years, I was picturing every detail in my perfect, imaginary nook, from walls, curtains and furniture, to even the tiniest accessories like scented candles. Luckily to me, I have two little princesses who still let me redecorate their room every once in a while. Although my husband thinks that I’ve gone nuts, I’m enjoying it as long as I can. I know that, once they grow up, my daughters will want to do all this by themselves.

Dance parties after dinner!

No matter how foolish it might sound, my family throws dance parties all the time. Usually, such moments happen spontaneously, after dinner. We listen to music and, as soon as the meal is over, we jump and start dancing like crazy. Even daddy enjoys it, which always makes me laugh. I cannot imagine him doing any of these things before the kids.

Jumping on a trampoline

Jumping on a trampoline is one of those activities I have always wanted to try. However, when I was a kid, it practically impossible. Luckily for me, today there are numerous amazing trampoline fitness centers, which can also serve as great kids’ birthday party venues. When I heard of such centers, I came up with a silly idea to organize a surprise party for my husband. At first, he didn’t even want to come, but later on, he was speechless. I planned everything in advance and invited a lot of our friends with their kids! We all jumped on trampolines, danced and listened to music. In a nutshell, we had the time of our lives!

Baking cookies all the time!

My girls simply enjoy my culinary skills! That’s why I bake various cookies all the time, even when I have no good reasons. Most important of all, I really enjoy it. I always look for reasonable excuses, telling that the kids are the ones who enjoy making and decorating their own sugary treats. I don’t even mind that the kitchen is in such a mess once we’re done!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Building sand castles

I’ve always loved spending time at the beach. Now, my girls keep reminding me of how amazing building sand castles is. Since they have no idea how to make a firm sand castle, mommy is always there to help! Even worse, I’m always so focused on my new “construction project” that I completely forget about all other kinds of activities! Finally, I can completely relax, without being laughed at!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Organizing an epic water gun fight!

Is there anything more fulfilling than organizing an epic water gun fight? In our family, it has become tradition. Every summer, we use it as one of most amazing methods to cool off and have a lot of fun. Once, I even grabbed a hose in order to defend myself against my raging children! We laughed a lot!

All in all, my point is that, when you have kids, you can always act silly. It is an amazing way for you to make your parenting much simpler and joyous. Try any of these tips and you will realize what I am talking about. Have fun!

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on: Facebook.

Cooking up a flotilla of pirate ships

Avast Me Hearties! Shiver Me Timbers!

British Turkey and Red Tractor have invited bloggers to take part in a competition to find the British Turkey blogger of the year 2015. They have challenged us to cook up a “Pirate” themed dish. I was pleased to be invited as I enjoyed cooking Turkey Pasta Special for this challenge back in 2013.

British Turkey Awards 2015

I Love British Turkey Red Tractor Assured

You can find the Red Tractor on a wide range of seasonal British ingredients. It’s an independent sign to show you that your food has been produced to responsible standards and is traceable back to independently inspected assured farms in the UK. You can see a list of Red Tractor approved ingredients here.

Red Tractor products

British Turkey and other Red Tractor products used in these recipes

So in line with the theme, I decided to make a fleet of pirate ships to sail the seas. And the largest two ships also have a hold full of treasure – gold apricots and turkey pearls hidden amongst the broccoli seaweed.

Pirate food

Stuffed Pepper Pirate Ships

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter or side or serves 2 as a main)

100g diced British turkey breast
125g bag of fresh spinach (red tractor assured)
100g greek yoghurt (red tractor assured)
50g parmesan cheese
75g wholegrain rice
2 peppers
salt and pepper

Method

Chop the turkey into small pieces.
Boil the kettle.
Spray a wok with oil and heat on hob.
Add the turkey to the wok and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(You may cook 500g turkey for both recipes at the same time if you wish).
Meanwhile add the rice to a saucepan.
Cover with boiling water and bring back to the boil.
Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding extra boiling water if needed.
Meanwhile pierce the bag of spinach and cook in microwave according to packet instructions.
Grate the parmesan.
Add the spinach and rice to the turkey and mix together.
Mix in the natural yoghurt and parmesan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds.
Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture.
Place on a baking sheet and cook in preheated oven.
Decorate with flags and sails.
Serve and enjoy.

Stuffed Pepper Pirate Ships

Turkey, Broccoli and Apricot Pirate Ship Pies

Ingredients (serves 6 – 8)

400g diced British turkey breast
200g broccoli (red tractor assured)
200g apricots
50g margarine
50g plain flour
600ml milk (red tractor assured)
100g mature cheddar cheese (red tractor assured)
salt and pepper
olive oil spray
500g shortcrust pastry

Method

Chop the turkey into small pieces.
Chop the broccoli into florets.
Cut the apricots in halves, removing the stones.
Grate the cheese.
Spray a wok with oil and heat on hob.
Add the turkey to the wok and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile melt the margarine in a jug in the microwave.
Mix in the flour.
Gradually mix in the milk, reserving a little for brushing the pastry.
Microwave for about 5 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals until the sauce has thickened.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the grated cheese.
Arrange the broccoli, apricots and turkey in the bottom of two oval pie dishes.
Cover with cheese sauce.
Roll out the pastry to make lids for both pies.
Cover the pie dishes with the pastry lids, pressing the edges down and trimming off any spare pastry.
Use the spare pastry to make 2 sets of skull and cross bones.
Brush the underside of pastry decorations with milk and stick onto the pie lids.
Make a few holes in the lids to allow steam to escape.
Then brush all of the pastry lids with milk.
Cook in preheated oven.
Decorate with flags and sails.
Serve and enjoy.

Turkey, broccoli and apricot pirate ship pies

Turkey, Broccoli and Apricot Pirate Ship Pies

Stuffed Pepper Pirate Ships

Pirate food

Pirate food

I had some pastry and quite a lot of pepper filling left over, so I combined the two for a couple of extra ships for the fleet. I gave these “X marks the spot” lids for where the treasure is buried. My peppers were quite small, so for small peppers, I recommend that you use 3 rather than 2 to avoid having leftover filling.

Pirate food

And I hope you like the pirate flags and sails. I have used designs from Cottage Industrialist and Paging SuperMom with permission.

Pirate flags and sails

I’d love to hear your ideas for pirate food, especially if they use turkey.

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Disclosure: This is my entry for the British Turkey Blogger Recipe Competition. I will be reimbursed for the cost of the turkey and Red Tractor products.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Get ready to ROAR! Go Go Power Rangers!

My boys were very excited when I started opening an unexpected parcel and saw the following message under the lid.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

It was another free box of goodies to review from Bandai. This time a total surprise. Inside the parcel, we found the following:-

Power Rangers Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher
Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger Action Hero
Two extra Dino Chargers
Two Power Rangers Super Megaforce comics with toys

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Now Power Rangers are not something that I had come across previously. However I now know the toys are based on a TV series which has been going for about 20 years. Where have I been hiding? And let me tell you Power Rangers fans out there that there is a new series heading your way this summer. The first episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge premieres on POP on Monday 31st August at 7:30am. Not a channel we have, so we’ll miss out on seeing the new team of Power Rangers use their dinosaur energy spirit to charge up an arsenal of dino-fueled swords, blasters, Zords and Megazords to save the world.

However we’ve been catching up on our viewing on YouTube and the boys have had fun with the toys.

Son2 playing with Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger Action Hero

Son1 playing with Power Rangers Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher

I also downloaded the free Dino Charger app onto my phone and the boys enjoyed scanning the chargers and Morphing into the various Power Rangers.

Here is a video of son1 morphing.

Wow this takes play to a totally different level. In my day Morph was a little plasticine character on TV.

I think the Power Rangers Dino Charge Morpher is going to be on plenty of Christmas wishlists this year. It has lights and a range of 25 different sounds and came with two Dino chargers. When you insert a Dino Charger into the Morpher, it recognises which Dino has been inserted as it powers up, which is very cool. It is suitable for age 4+ and currently retails on Amazon for £29.99.

And the Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger is a 12.5cm action figure with two battle gear items. Again suitable for age 4+ and currently retails on Amazon for £9.99.

Both great toys in my opinion. And the boys definitely agree.

Want a chance to join in with the fun. Power Rangers Dino Charge will be at CarFest South in Laverstoke from 28th – 30th August.

And I subsequently found pictures on my phone like the one below, which the boys must have downloaded from the app.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Although the boys enjoyed reading the comics, we weren’t so impressed with the free toys attached to them. We couldn’t get the pocket blaster to fire and one of the fins fell off a bullet within minutes. The wrist blaster was only a little better in performance. Not a patch on the proper Power Rangers toys.

Son1 reading a Power Rangers comic magazine

Finally you can see the Morpher TV commercial here.

I’d love to hear your memories of Power Rangers.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Objets de Désir Necklace giveaway

If you love discovering unique products which are not available on the High Street, then take a look at Objets de Désir. This is a boutique which sells a beautiful range of handmade treasures created by emerging artists and designers from around the world. It includes a wide variety of lifestyle products from fashion and jewellery to homeware and accessories. Fab to browse around.

They even do wedding lists. And for those of you who live near enough to visit, they have a boutique store in Clifton, Bristol. I have been invited there to do a write-up on the shop but it is a bit far away for me. So any other bloggers near Bristol, there may be an opportunity for you.

One of the designers whose work is showcased at Objets de Désir is Rebecca Gladstone, who works from her studio home in East London. Rebecca works with a range of materials incorporating wood, metal and vintage pieces. She has made a range of handcrafted geometric jewellery using clean lines and graphic elements, called Rachel Loves Bob.

Do take a look at the Rachel Loves Bob range. There are some great earrings, necklaces and rings.

You can find out a bit more about Rebecca and her Rachel Loves Bob range on the Objets de Désir blog. You can read what she had to say when she was in the spotlight here, including where the name Rachel Loves Bob comes from.

Handmade wood and brass Gate necklace by Rachel Loves Bob

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway one of Rachel Loves Bob stunning necklaces to one lucky winner. This is a handmade wood and brass gate necklace which hangs on a vintage 28” brass chain. A fantastic gift or keep it yourself. This item is only available to purchase in-store at the boutique, so you won’t find it on the Objets de Désir website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite piece from Objets de Désir? Mine is the Sir Nils Olav Penguin brooch.

You can find Objets De Désir on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

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Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any product.  All opinions are my own.

What would you invent?

Do you have a creative germ of an idea buzzing around in your head waiting to be set free? Do you watch Dragons Den thinking my idea is as good as theirs? I believe most of us have an invention inside us waiting to be made, but whether it will happen is another question.

My children spend hours drawing characters and cutting them out, then playing games with them. And I can remember doing the same as a child myself. This is probably similar to the first step from those people who went on to invent all our favourite top-selling board games.

Son1's Total Wipeout Game

Son1’s Total Wipeout Game

But there are so any things to consider, like funding, marketing and pitch. So for those of you who have a great idea for a toy or game, but can’t visualise how to get it onto the toyshop shelves, then let me tell you about the Inventors Workshop.

inventors workshop

This is being held on 22nd September at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire. It helps anyone with an idea for a new toy or game to get the advice they need from the big toy companies like Lego and Hasbro to make their idea a success. The price for the workshop is £129 for the day including lunch and refreshments, but I have a special offer for my readers of £99.

Just call Georgia on 01992 535646 and quote the code Charlie99 to book your discounted ticket.

Last year a mumpreneur called Gillian Logan got her idea signed up on the spot and is now selling her Skinny Sketcher drawing kit on Amazon and in gift shops all over the country.

Gillian Logan with Skinny Sketcher

Mumpreneur, Gillian Logan, inventor of Skinny Sketcher

So i’d love to hear about your invention ideas. And watch out for a Skinny Sketcher giveaway next month!

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Disclosure.  I will be receiving a Skinny Sketcher to review shortly.  All opinions are my own.

Magformers toy review and giveaway

The boys love reviewing toys, so of course I said yes when Magformers approached me to ask if I would like to review their magnetic construction set. They have now sent us one of their Magformers WOW sets for free.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

The WOW set contains 16 various magnetic pieces which can be assembled in a multitude of different ways. There is also a pack of designs for various 2D shapes and 3D models. The boys tried a few of these first before experimenting with their own designs.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

I was very impressed how many different things you can make with just 16 pieces. And it is a great idea to include the pack of designs. Although I must say that son2 would only try making the models. He wouldn’t attempt the 2D shapes because the colours of the pieces didn’t match. That is his OCD streak coming through. I assembled the shape below for him, but he still insisted it was wrong.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Son1 gives his thoughts on Magformers in the video below.

The WOW set retails at £29.99 and is suitable from age 3. The children and I loved this toy but I did feel that it is a little pricey in my opinion. You can purchase it online from Magformers own webshop. And  Magformers will be available in Hamleys later this summer and are already sold in many smaller shops through the country.

A great toy that will appeal to both boys and girls in my opinion. And educational too. The magnetic shapes allow children to naturally understand the underlying geometry of 2D and 3D shapes. Through fun and innovative play, children can develop their mathematics and creativity while building whatever they can imagine.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

I’d love to hear what your child would create with Magformers?

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a WOW set courtesy of Magformers to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.
Currently I have:-
E: 10/8 Win an entry to the Balance Bike Championship Race plus bike hire
E: 12/8 Win 4 boxes of luxury Yogi Teas
E: 21/8 Win a set of armbands and float
E: 23/8 Win beach holiday prize bundle
E: 26/8 Win a set of Chambers natural leather care products

You can find Magformers UK on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Summer recipes with Lee Kum Kee Chinese sauces

I’ve been busy cooking some tasty BBQ treats, chinese style. This is to tie in with the Lee Kum Kee summer BBQ carnival. Unfortunately the weather was not kind to me on the day and the barbecue had to be abandoned in favour of the oven. But I’ve made sure that my recipes have both barbecue and oven instructions.

LKK summer BBQ carnival

First let me tell you about the Lee Kum Kee summer BBQ carnival. Take a look for your chance to win flights to Hong Kong, cookery classes, supermarket vouchers and other prizes. But be quick, as the competition closes on 9th August. Also if you shop in Asda, keep an eye out for the discounted offers on the Lee Kum Kee Chinese sauces this month.

Lee Kum Kee Chinese Sauces

So I received a selection of four of the Lee Kum Kee sauces free in use in my recipes. They also sent a USB key ring and a copy of their Wok Along Discover Chinese Cooking book. The sauces comprised:-
Oriental Sesame Dressing (new to Lee Kum Kee range)
Chiu Chow Chilli Oil
Char Siu Sauce
Premium Oyster Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Chinese Sauces

Lee Kum Kee Chinese Sauces


Now on to my recipes. First up we have kebabs, both fish ones and vegetable ones. Kebabs are always a firm favourite on the barbecue in our household and the oyster sauce flavour really compliments them well.
Fish and vegetable kebabs

Fish kebabs

Ingredients (makes 4-5)

12 frozen king prawns
1 bag of frozen fish pie mix (cod, smoked cod and salmon)
4-6 tbsp Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce

Method

Defrost the prawns and fish pie mix for about 3hrs at room temperature.
Heat BBQ up or preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Spoon the oyster sauce into a couple of bowls.
Add the fish pieces to one bowl and the prawns to the other bowl.
Mix to ensure they are nicely covered with the oyster sauce.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Thread the fish pieces and prawns onto skewers in an alternating order.
Any leftover fish pieces, thread onto an additional skewer.
Place on either a foil tray for BBQ or baking sheet for oven.
Cook on BBQ or middle shelf of oven for approx 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

 

fish kebabs with oyster sauce

Vegetable kebabs

Ingredients (makes 3)

1 courgette
3 small shallots
6 medium mushrooms
3 small sweet peppers
4-6 tbsp Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce

Method

Heat BBQ up or preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Chop sweet peppers in half and remove seeds.
Top and tail the courgette and cut into 6 pieces.
Remove skin from shallots and top and tail.
Spoon the oyster sauce into a couple of bowls.
Add two types of vegetables to each bowl.
Mix to ensure they are nicely covered with the oyster sauce.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Thread the vegetables onto skewers in an alternating order.
Place on either a foil tray for BBQ or baking sheet for oven.
Cook on BBQ or middle shelf of oven for approx 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

 

vegetable kebabs with oyster sauce


Next we have pork loin steaks with Char Siu sauce. I haven’t cooked pork steaks previously, but I will definitely be purchasing them again. Tasty, tender and very good value for money, approximately 50p per steak. And a delicious flavour with the Char Siu sauce.
pork loin steaks with char siu sauce

Pork Loin Steaks with Char Siu Sauce

Ingredients

2 Pork Loin Steaks
4 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Char Siu sauce

Method

Spoon the Char Siu sauce into a flat dish.
Trim any excess fat off the pork.
Add the pork steaks to the dish, turning several times to ensure well coated with the sauce.
Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Either cook directly on BBQ or on a low heat in a preheated wok.
If using wok, spray with oil first.
Drizzle any spare sauce from the dish over the steaks.
Turn the steaks over after about 5 minutes.
If necessary, turn again after a further 5 minutes.
Serve hot with your choice of vegetables and rice.
Enjoy.

 

pork loin steaks with char siu sauce


As I’d bought a big pack of pork loin steaks, I cooked some more the following day using the same method, but served in a wrap. So easy finger food for summer eating.
pork loin wrap

Char Siu Pork Wrap

Ingredients (makes 2)

2 wraps
2 pork loin steaks
6-8 leaves of Little Gem lettuce
6 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Char Siu sauce

Method

Cook the pork steaks as above using 4 tbsp of the Char Siu.
Shred the lettuce.
Spread 1 tbsp Char Siu sauce over each wrap.
Heap the shredded lettuce onto each wrap
Chop the pork into pieces and add to wraps.
Fold each wrap closed.
Serve and enjoy.

pork loin wrap


And of course in the summer, you want a salad alongside your barbecued food. So I made a Tomato and Bread Salad, which you usually think of as an Italian dish, but I gave it a very tasty Chinese twist with the Oriental Sesame Dressing. Very yummy. You will need a very large dish for this. I thought mine was big enough before I started, but ended up having to split it across 2 dishes.

tomato and bread salad with oriental sesame dressing

Tomato and Bread Salad

Ingredients

600g mixed tomatoes
200g sweet peppers
200g ciabatta bread, preferably stale
4 tbsp Lee Kee Kum oriental sesame dressing
6 tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method

Cut the ciabatta into pieces and put aside to dry out. If necessary, toast slightly in the oven.
Chop the tomatoes into pieces and put in a large serving bowl.
Chop sweet peppers in half and remove seeds.
Add to bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the bread and mix together.
Stir in the oriental sesame dressing and olive oil. Add extra of either if necessary.
Sprinkle in sesame seeds.
Serve and enjoy.

tomato and bread salad with oriental sesame dressing

I haven’t included a recipe in this post for the Chiu Chow Chilli Oil, but this adds a wow to my pasta salad.

Most of these products can be purchased in major supermarkets.

So what summer dishes would you make using Chinese sauces?

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I also blogged a selection of Christmas recipes using Lee Kum Kee Chinese sauces.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Chambers natural leather care products review and giveaway

So do you care well for your shoes, bags, furniture and other leather products? I recently received a box of natural leather care products free to review from Chambers complete with a microfibre lint free cloth. Time to give my walking boots and handbag some tlc.

Chambers leather care products

Chambers leather care products

The items I received are:-
1. Chambers Leather Balsam Clear – 200ml tub
2. Chambers Leather Foaming Cleaner – 500ml spray bottle
3. Chambers Leather Waterproofer – 100ml tin (for black leather)
4. Chambers Leather Conditioning Cream – 450 ml tub

The Balsam also comes in Vanilla and Lavender varieties too.

First up for attention, my walking boots. Although they haven’t been used much lately, as the boys aren’t keen on walking, these have given me good service. And I like to think that it is in part due to caring for them well. I can’t remember when I bought them, but at least 10 years ago, as I had this pair when I walked the Great Wall of China.

Cleaning and waterproofing my walking boots

So a two-stage process for the boots, cleaning then waterproofing. The cleaner is in a spray pump bottle which foams up nicely on the cloth. You can easily see the difference in picture 3 above between a cleaned boot and the other boot which i hadn’t started. I then allowed time for it to dry. After cleaning, I then applied the waterproofer, but I must admit that I did struggle to open the tin and had to ask for help in the end. The instructions on the tin indicate that it requires heat after application for the waterproofing to become effective, so I gave it a good blow with my hairdrier. I wasn’t sure how long to do this step of the process for, so it would have been useful to have been given a time estimate on the instructions. Finally I buffed them up.

My boots certainly look much better now, but I haven’t had an opportunity to fully test out how waterproof they are. Roll on a wet wild wintry walk to find out. Did I really say that? I love summer and don’t want it to end.

And then my everyday handbag which takes a lot of strain, but I have to admit, hasn’t had any care from me since I purchased it about 7 months ago.

caring for my handbag

I didn’t think my bag needed cleaning, so I went straight to the conditioning step. The pot says that the balsam is good for hands too, so I doubled the test, by using my hands to apply it to my bag. And yes it did feel good on my hands. I left my bag for about 10 minutes for the oils to absorb as recommended on the instructions, before then buffing it with the lint-free cloth.

I was pleased with the results. I had been a little apprehensive before starting as I wasn’t 100% sure whether the surface of my bag was considered to be smooth, as it is slightly dimpled but that may just be due to the grain of the leather. My worry was due to the fact that the pot said that the product was suitable for smooth leather only.

The leather balsam currently retails at £9.75 for 200ml, the waterproofer at £7 for 100 ml and the cleaner at £7.50  for 500ml. Note that the products are not suitable for suede or nubuck.

I haven’t tested out the leather conditioning cream yet, but the large size tub means it will be great for furniture and other bigger items. It currently retails at £8.75 for 450 ml.

I loved how the products are 100% natural, produced from items like beeswax and coconut oil. Plus they are all made in England.

Chambers website is very new but they will be gradually adding lots of tips and information, so keep checking back.

You may purchase Chambers products either via their own website or their Amazon shop.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a set of leather care products courtesy of Chambers to one lucky winner. Prize value is £33 and you can choose your preferred variety of Balsam.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.
Currently I have:-
E: 10/8 Win an entry to the Balance Bike Championship Race plus bike hire
E: 12/8 Win 4 boxes of luxury Yogi Teas
E: 21/8 Win a set of armbands and float
E: 23/8 Win beach holiday prize bundle

I’d love to hear your top leather care tips.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.