Category Archives: Giveaway

Turkey Escalopes

I think it is long enough since Christmas to share a tasty turkey recipe that is a firm favourite in our household. And if you’re wondering what is the vegetable at the front of the photograph, it is Romanesco, slightly similar to a cauliflower.

turkey escalopes

Turkey Escalopes

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 turkey steaks
2 slices of stale bread
1 egg
25g plain flour
salt and pepper
30ml sunflower oil

Method

Cut the bread into pieces and put in blender.
Use the blender to make bread into crumbs.
Tip the breadcrumbs into a flat dish.
Crack the egg into another flat dish.
Beat egg with a fork.
Season egg with salt and pepper.
Place turkey steaks on a chopping board.
Flatten with a rolling pin.
Spoon the flour into a third flat dish and spread to the edges of the dish.
Place a turkey steak in the flour.
Turn to coat both sides.
Place the turkey in the egg.
Again turn to coat both sides.
Place the turkey in the breadcrumbs.
Again turn to coat both sides.
Repeat for each turkey steak.
Heat oil gently in 2 large frying pans.
Add 2 escalopes to each pan.
Once the escalopes are golden underneath, turn them over to cook the other side.
Serve with your choice of vegetables and enjoy.

Turkey Escalopes

I’d love to hear your favourite turkey recipes.

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A selection of Primula Light Cheese recipes plus giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I have created a number of recipes using Primula Cheese for various occasions. Well I’ve now come up with another selection, this time using Primula Light Cheese, which is 40% less fat than Primula Cheese Original. I received 3 free tubes of Primula Light for this purpose.

Primula Light Cheese


First up, we have a warming soup, just right for this time of year. I’ve kept the proportion of Primula fairly low in this recipe, to give it a more delicate flavour, as I do find that some cheese soups like broccoli and stilton can be rather overpowering. So if you prefer it cheesier, then do increase the amount of Primula.

Cheese and Onion Soup

Cheese and Onion Soup

Ingredients (serves 3)

350g onions
1 beef stock cube
30ml sunflower oil
1000ml boiling water
1 tbsp cornflour
Approx 50g tube of Primula Light

Method

Peel and chop the onions.
Crumble the stock cube into a jug and add boiling water.
Stir until dissolved.
Gently hear the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onions and fry until lightly browned.
Mix in the cornflour and cook for 1 minute.
Gradually add the stock, stirring continually.
Stir in the Primula.
Simmer for a further 15 minutes, stirring continually.
Tip soup into bowls.
Carefully float cheesy bites (see recipe below) on the top of each bowl.
Serve and enjoy.

Cheese and Onion Soup


And I also made some Cheesy Bites to float on the top of the soup. Alternatively these can be served as appetisers.

Cheesy Bites

Cheesy Bites

Ingredients (makes 10)

2 slices of bread
Approx 75g tube of Primula Light

Method

Leave bread to dry out before use.
Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Using a cutter, cut fluted shapes in the bread.
Spread all over with Primula.
Carefully press out shapes from underneath.
Place on a greased baking tray and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve with soup and enjoy.

Cheesy Bites


And finally, when I blogged about my jam pinwheels last month, one of my readers suggested that I try making some cheese and marmite ones. I thought this an excellent idea and great for Primula. Since not everyone in the family likes marmite, I did half with Primula alone and half with Primula and marmite. I liked the ones with marmite best.

Cheesy Pinwheels

Cheesy Pinwheels

Ingredients (makes approx 14)

1 sheet puff pastry
Approx 100g tube of Primula Light
1 tsp marmite

Method

Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Unroll the pastry
Spread all over with Primula.
Dot one half of the pastry with marmite.
Roll the pastry up.
Cut into slices, approx 1cm wide.
Place on greased baking sheets.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheets immediately and place on cooling rack.
Best served warm, but can also be served cold.
Enjoy.

Cheesy Pinwheels

A 150g tube of Primula Light Cheese currently retails at £1.45 at Tesco which I believe is a fairly consistent price with other cheese spreads. It contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

And if you wish to see more Primula recipes, you may check out my Cheesy Chicken BreastsSummer sides, Easter or Christmas recipes.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a tube of Primula Light Cheese to 1 lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using Primula.

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

Country House in Spring jigsaw puzzle review and giveaway

Although I don’t often find the time now to sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle, I’ve always loved them ever since childhood. Nowadays it is usually only on holiday or our annual gift from a friend of a 1000 / 2000 piece jigsaw made from one of his stunning photographs. Wish I could take a decent photo.

So I was pleased to be offered the chance to review a 300 piece jigsaw of a beautiful country house in spring design.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

I checked the dimensions before I started to ensure I chose a big enough surface to make it on, as I don’t possess one of those puzzle mats. Something that has been on my wishlist for a while. It was 49 x 36 cm, so would easily fit on our breakfast bar. Not a problem as we usually eat at the dining table.

I think everyone has their own method of tackling a jigsaw. I tend to work on the edge first to give me a frame for the rest of the puzzle. I then pick out easier features, so for this jigsaw, it was the chimney, the top of the roof and the bright pink flowers in the bottom right hand corner.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

I forgot to time how long it took me to do, but I did it over one weekend. Occasionally son1 popped a piece in place for me as he passed by.

The pieces all fitted together well, as you would expect from a premium brand like Ravensburger. This was one of their bigger pieces range and the puzzle came with a guarantee. Not needed in this case, but great if you were to experience an issue. I can’t think of anything more frustrating than to discover you are missing a piece from a jigsaw puzzle.

Country House in Spring Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Country House in Spring jigsaw puzzle to one lucky winner. What a fun prize.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite jigsaw ever. Mine was a 500 piece circular one from York Castle museum that I did over and over again as a child. I can’t remember who gave it to me, as I’ve never actually visited the museum.

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

Valentines cupcakes giveaway

Hands up who loves cake. You do? Then read on for details of a great prize.

Valentine Love Heart Cupcakes giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may remember that last summer I reviewed two gorgeous personalised photo cupcakes of my boys from Caketoppers. I haven’t received any more of their lovely cakes this time, so I shall be extra jealous of whoever wins the prize, which is a beautiful yummy scrummy box of 9 delicious Valentines cupcakes. This fabulous box currently retails at £17.49 with a choice of classic sponge, chocolate sponge or mixed.

So would you share them with your Valentine or keep them for yourself?
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear which is your favourite cake in their Valentines range?

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

Blogging For Smarties by Yvonne Wu

I have received a free e-copy of the book Blogging For Smarties by Yvonne Wu to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Blogging For Smarties by Yvonne Wu

Here is the book blurb.

The Internet is often the first place that people turn to for information about anything and anyone. Company addresses, information about a person, and reviews about a company are a click away. Potential visitors rely on the Internet to learn about specials, book releases, events, and information. Your website is your storefront and it enables you to reach a global market. Having a website that supplies this information is a necessary component of running a business.

As an author and speaker, the Internet becomes a business channel to network, advertise your products and services, and build a following on a global level. Learn how to create your first blog, effectively market your blog and create passive income opportunities in our new ebook, “Blogging for Smarties Blogging for Authors and Speakers,” which will walk you through the steps of building an extremely effective website.

In this guide, you will learn:

Blogging Basics for Beginners
How to Attract Readers
Popular Blogging Platforms
How to Setup WordPress
Discover How to Use WordPress
Useful Plugins for Authors and Speakers
Discover Effective Marketing Strategies for Your Website
Easy Tips on How to Make Money with Your Blog
Learn Effective Podcasting
How to Market Your Podcast
Important Links to Resources

I don’t usually read much non-fiction, but agreed to review this book when asked by the author. I did also warn Yvonne that I am neither an author nor a speaker. However I know that a number of my readers are authors, so I do hope that my review of this guide is particularly useful to you.

Yvonne did tell me this is also a blogging book for beginners. Although I do consider myself past the beginner stage, I was hoping I could pick up some useful tips.

It is a fairly short book at just over 100 pages. It begins by defining what is a blog and why we blog, then moving on to attracting visitors. This was interesting with regards to identifying your target audience, branding and the value of content. However I was reading it with my own blog in mind and although I am very pleased to have you lovely followers reading my posts, I created my blog with me as the number one audience in mind.

The next chapter was about WordPress and the advantages and disadvantages of being self-hosted or not. I’ve been pretty blinkered on this as I’m not planning to move to self-hosted, so it was eye-opening to find out what I am missing out on. Although as I say, I don’t plan to do anything about this. Continuing with WordPress, I read how to register a domain if I wished and how to use WordPress. Plugins are something again just available to self-hosted, apart from a basic set.

Then the book moved onto something that was very useful for me to learn about syndicating a blog. I plan to investigate that further. The next item was pingbacks and trackbacks but I have to say I still don’t understand the difference between them even after reading it. Google alerts is another new useful tip that I have discovered. This chapter also covered mailing lists.

The next chapter covered making money with your blog which is not something I am personally interested in, as my blog is purely my hobby. However it proved interesting reading about what rankings could be important and advertising.

Finally podcasting, if you want audio alongside your blog. Again something I haven’t considered but I can imagine this would be good for book extracts.

To summarise, even though this book is aimed at authors and speakers, yes I got some tips from it, so I can certainly see that it would appeal to the general blogging beginner. However it very noticeably focussed on WordPress. What about Blogger and other blogging platforms?

This book can be purchased via Amazon, currently priced at £3.66 in kindle format, but watch out for a price reduction between 23rd December to 1st January. This is the short version of the book. Alternatively there is a full version with videos.


I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

Blogging For Smarties by Yvonne Wu - book tour

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash. Open worldwide.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Peanut Butter and Date Breakfast Bars

Regular readers of my blog may remember that having received 12 free jars of Sun-Pat peanut butter, that I promised to share an energy boosting breakfast bar recipe. Well, here it is. Nice and healthy before we hit the excesses of the festive season.

Peanut butter and date breakfast bars

Peanut Butter and Date Breakfast Bars

Ingredients (makes 9)

150g Sun-Pat peanut butter
150g dates
150g oats
10g chia seeds
10g linseeds
About 200ml boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Chop dates and place in basin.
Add bicarbonate of soda.
Add sufficient boiling water to cover.
Leave for 15 minutes, then strain, reserving the liquid.
Place peanut butter in mixing bowl.
Add dates.
Add chia seeds and linseeds.
Mix in oats along with 2 tbsp of the reserved liquid from the dates.
Put mixture into the tin, pressing down into the corners.
Cook in preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
Leave in tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack.
Once cool, cut into 9 squares.
Serve and enjoy.

Delicious and just what we needed for a quick energy boost ready for parkrun. And it must have done the trick, as son1 achieved a personal best for his run today.

Peanut butter and date breakfast bars

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using peanut butter?

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

Personalised Christmas cards and voucher giveaway

We’ve been creative and made our own personalised Christmas photo cards this year. Firstly I took some festive photographs of the boys and then chose the following two shots to use for our Christmas cards.

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas

I uploaded these to Snapfish who have given me a free £25 voucher for the purpose of this review. I already have an account with Snapfish, as I have reviewed their products previously for both Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

But I recall that it was very simple to set up an account with Snapfish and it is also easy to upload photos.

Then comes the more time-consuming part, namely choosing your Christmas card designs as there is a huge range, over 1200 of them. Of course, you can do this quickly by limiting your selection to what you see on the first page, but I wanted to browse around a bit. There are plenty of filters to narrow your choice such as how many images you want on your card, orientation and colour. You can also narrow down by size and flat or folded card, but bizarrely I couldn’t find a way of combining this with the other filter.

I had already decided that I wanted folded cards using one image per card. I also wanted minimal text on the inside, as I intended to write my own greetings inside. So this is what I chose, both in size 7×5″.

Snapfish personalised photo Christmas cards

The cards cost £1.25 each because I bulk-ordered 20 cards. The pricing is on a sliding scale, which currently ranges from £1.99 for an individual card down to 75p for 100+ cards.Snapfish personalised photo Christmas cards

Snapfish personalised photo Christmas cards

The cards arrived quickly, well before the estimated delivery date and were well packed. They looked great, nice and glossy.  Also 15p of the purchase price of each card goes to Macmillan Cancer Support.

I am very happy with my Snapfish personalised photo Christmas cards and recommend that you take a look. They also do a wide range of other personalised products including Christmas baubles. Please note that the last order date for Christmas is 20th December.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a £25 Snapfish voucher to one lucky winner. What a great prize.

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 would choose from Snapfish?

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Disclosure.  I received a voucher to purchase items from Snapfish.  All opinions are my own.

Time for an Essential Teatox Detox plus giveaway

It’s that time of year when coughs and colds abound as the weather starts to get colder. Plus there is the knowledge of the impending excesses of Christmas looming. So for the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a detox with Essential Teatox. For this, I received a free 14 day supply of Essential Teatox teabags to review.

Essential Teatox detox programme

The Essential Teatox 14 day programme consists of 14 detox teabags to take daily soon after you wake up, plus 7 cleanse teabags to take on alternate days, a few hours before bedtime.

I started my Teatox programme to coincide with my night shifts, as this is when I most need a pick me up to give me extra energy.

Essential Teatox is branded as supporting weight loss, helping to detox the body and increase energy. It also recommends that it is at it’s most effective when combined with regular exercise, eating the correct food and looking after your body.

By starting it to coincide with night shifts, certainly meant I didn’t give it the best chance of hitting it’s most effective potential as exercise and healthy eating both went out the window. It was mainly toast and ready meals, and I only managed to fit in a couple of 10-minute runs between my pm cleanse tea and bed. I was much more disciplined on the second week with both food and exercise.

Teatox detox tea

However even those short bedtime runs show how it had increased my energy. Normally I’m barely back in the house after a nightshift before I’m straight into bed. And I lost the extra kg of weight that I had put on during half term without any effort, back to my usual weight with no feeling of bloatedness. I found I was sleeping better and less headaches too. So thumbs up for Teatox on night shifts.

I let the tea brew for 2 minutes and found the flavour of both am and pm tea to be very pleasant. Slightly sweeter than I expected which I assume was down to the Stevia Leaf, a zero calorie sweetener. I’ve never sweetened my tea, but I’m sure that is a big plus for those of you who do. And I loved the hint of mint.

Here is a list of the Teatox ingredients and their benefits. They are all 100% natural ingredients.

– Lemon peel – Helps to decrease cholesterol, improve bone health and detoxify the liver!
– Fenugreek – Helps to reduce inflammation within the body.
– Ginger – Helps to soothe the digestive tract and helps to relieve conditions that cause bloating.
– Gymnema – Is known to lessen the cravings for sweet foods and help to regulate an excessive appetite. It also helps to reduce sugar absorption during digestion to promote normal blood sugar levels.
– Juniper Berry – Aids in digestion and relieves symptoms of bloating and water retention. Juniper is also a diuretic, which helps to flush out toxins.
– Oolong Tea – Can help to reduce inflammatory disorders, high cholesterol and stress. It has been known to help maintain healthy skin and bones as well as aiding in weight management.
– Peppermint – Has a refreshing flavour and helps to relax the intestinal muscles.
– Red Raspberry – Includes vitamins and minerals to burn fat.
– Sarsaparilla – Contains antioxidant properties and plant sterols beneficial to good health. Flavonoids are also present and help to treat autoimmune conditions and inflammation.
– Liquorice – Is known for reducing stress. It also helps to fight against tooth decay, as it has antibacterial properties.
– Stevia Leaf – Is a 100% natural, zero calorie sweetener which also helps to lower blood pressure.
– Dandelion Leaf – Contains potassium and is also a diuretic which helps to support kidney health.
– Burdock Root – Is good for protecting the liver and detoxifying blood.
– Triphala Powder – Assists natural internal cleansing. It helps to nourish and rejuvenate the tissues and supports healthy digestion and absorption.
– Red Clover – Is a natural blood purifier.

A 14 day supply of Essential Teatox currently retails at £19.99 which is less than £1 per cup for the 21 teabags.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 14 day supply of Essential Teatox 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.

I’d love to hear your favourite tea.

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

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell – book review and giveaway

Son1 has received a free copy of The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell to review.

The Wolf Wilders

Here is the book blurb.

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

This book is set a hundred years ago in Russia. The aristocracy send their unwanted pet wolves to Feo’s mother to rewild them. However General Rakov of the Russian Army comes saying that in future they must shoot these wolves. They refuse to comply when the next wolf arrives and Rakov returns, capturing her mother and burning their home. Feo, Ilya and the wolves set off for St Petersburg to try to free her mother, meeting friends and foes enroute.

Here is son1’s video review.

The Wolf Wilder is available on Amazon, currently priced at £5.59 in paperback compared to RRP of £7.99 or in hardback or Kindle format and published by Bloomsbury. We both highly recommend this lovely story. Targeted at children age 9-11.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a copy of The Wolf Wilder to one lucky winner. 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 about your child’s favourite book.

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

The tasty alternative to a greetings card plus giveaway

I’ve reached the reminder in my list that says to buy Christmas cards. I have to say I buy much fewer of these now than I used to, mostly just for the boys to send to their school friends. Beyond that I tend to mainly send charity e-cards or I prefer to do something a little bit more memorable for close family and friends.

So I was interested to hear about Morse Toad Messaging which is a tasty alternative to a greetings card. They specialise in putting a smile on someone’s face with a surprise personalised chocolate delivery. And they gave me a free £10 voucher to spend on their website.

I showed the website to the boys and they wanted to surprise their dad with one. We decided to  stick with the seasonal theme, but as it is far too early to have a Christmassy house, we just dug out their Christmas hats for a photo, ready to personalise their gift.

Christmas hats

They chose the “Best Dad in the World” wording which currently retails at £12.50. We wrote a personalised message to be printed on the reverse of the card insert. And I uploaded their photo for the front of the card which cost an additional £1. Or there were a few free images of Morse Toad in his top hat that you can choose from instead of uploading your own image. All told, the ordering process was very quick and simple. And shipping is free for all UK orders over £5.

Alternatively you can personalise the wording for your chocolate. There are 11 character spaces per row and you may have up to 4 rows.

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

The service was very quick. I placed the order in the evening and had an email the next afternoon to say it had been dispatched. Two days later it arrived. It was well packed and is letterbox size.

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

Morse Toad Messaging Chocolate

Doesn’t that look fantastic, full of tasty Belgian chocolate? Wouldn’t you just love to give or receive one of these?

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a £15 voucher to spend at Morse Toad Messaging. So the lucky winner gets to choose how to spend their prize. Open worldwide.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your order at Morse Toad Messaging with discount code: “YABMummy” (expires Christmas Day).
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear who you would like to give a Morse Toad chocolate message to and for what occasion?

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Disclosure. I received a £10 voucher towards purchasing goods from Morse Toad. All opinions are my own.