Tag Archives: food

Chewy Moon snack box review and giveaway

I have received a free sample Chewy Moon healthy snack box via Talk To Mums. The box size is designed to fit through your letterbox.

Chewy Moon snacks

These boxes are aimed at children from age 3 upwards and son2 was really excited when he saw the pug on the outside of the box. Even though he is fairly dog-phobic, he has recently started asking if we can get a pug. Whilst son1 who is equally wary round dogs wants a labrador. But no need for them to argue over breeds, as a puppy is not on the agenda since I work full-time.

These boxes contain 5 individual snack portions along with some fun activities and a page of nutrition facts. Our activitites were a pop-out frog, a short comic story and facts about ants.

Chewy Moon snacks

The 5 snacks we received were:-
Snacko Italiano (Tuscany cashews and baked cheese)
Happy BBQ (smokey almonds and coconut chips)
Crazy Crunch (smoothie bites)
Cherry Cola (cola raisins, cherry, cranberry)
Freaky Fruits (blackcurrant drops, apricot sticks, cherry cubes, peach cubes, raspberry strips)

Chewy Moon snacks

Son1 chose the Snacko Italiano first whilst son2 opted for the Cherry Cola. He did insist that son1 give him the empty Snacko Italiano pug box afterwards though. Son1 loved the pieces of toasted cheese, but only liked the Italian herby cashews. He let me try a couple of the cashews and I thought they were delicious. Meanwhile son2 quickly scoffed the Cherry Cola.

Chewy Moon snacks

The next time son2 selected Freaky Fruits whilst son1 went for Crazy Crunch. Once again son2’s snack vanished very quickly and he gave both a resounding thumbs up. Although son1 is a huge smoothie fan, he wasn’t convinced by the Crazy Crunch flavour, so offered them to the rest of us. We all enjoyed them but none of us guessed the flavour correctly which was blueberry and red beet.

Chewy Moon snacks

And to avoid arguments, I got the fifth pack, the Happy BBQ, which was right up my street, as I love almonds and coconut. Very yummy indeed.

Chewy Moon snacks

These packs are ideal for an after school snack. But if your children attend a school that has a nut-free policy like my boys’ school, then you wouldn’t be able to send either Snacko Italiano or Happy BBQ in as a playground snack. However there is a “no nuts” option when ordering.

You get to rate the snacks, to build up a profile of which your child does and doesn’t like for future boxes. Each box currently costs £4.93 including 98p P&P, but you can get your first box free. You select between fruit box, variety box or savoury box and you can order for multiple children. The boxes are delivered weekly and you may cancel your subscription at any time. A competitive price in my opinion.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a month’s Chewy Moon subscription of 4 boxes to one lucky winner. What a tasty 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 snack ideas.

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

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What food do you miss when away from your native country?

Now hands up if when you’re away from your native country, you miss some of your favourite foods if they are not readily available. I’ve got an Australian friend, who when she goes back to Australia, returns to the UK with her suitcase, packed full of her favourite foods. And she was very pleased when she discovered that she could buy Violet Crumbles via Ocado here.

Some of us love trying international food but others are not so adventurous. So wouldn’t it be great if you could still get your hands on a pack of jaffa cakes or a jar of marmite. Well you can, by ordering online from the British Corner Shop.

British Corner Shop hamper

British Corner Shop hamper

I have just received a free hamper of goodies to review from the British Corner Shop. Very well packed and it contained all the following items from traditional British brands.

Crumpets
Tomato Soup
Ginger Nuts
Sage & Onion Stuffing
Mushy Peas
Custard
Marmite Crisps
Steak and Ale Pie
Ribena
Jelly Babies
Caramel Wafers
Flake Chocolate

It was nice to note that they sell short-dated bakery food like crumpets. That is a regular item on my shopping list. The whole family love buttered crumpets and we would certainly miss those. And I like mine best with marmite, another traditional product sold by the British Corner Shop. But you will need to check the estimated delivery times carefully for short-dated products.

And they even offer a chilled service to selected European countries so you can enjoy British cheese, sausages, bacon, yoghurts, butter, fish and so much more fresh produce!

British Corner Shop is the online supermarket for British Expats and others who simply appreciate great British food. They have a range of 10,000 products and last year they delivered over 4 million products to 138 countries worldwide.

Delivery cost is based on the weight and volume of your order plus destination. It will be calculated automatically as you add the items to your basket.

British Corner Shop hamper

We haven’t tried all our goodies yet, but I’ve enjoyed everything so far and I’m looking forward to the rest except for the mushy peas. But I’m sure one of you is shouting at me, that you love mushy peas and would really miss them if living abroad.

And I have a special offer to share with my readers of £15 off your first order over £75 from British Corner Shop. Enter the code MUMMYBLOG15 at check-out. This offer is valid until 9 December 2015.

I’d love to hear what food you would or do miss if away from your native country?

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

Chicago Town Deep Dish pizza review

It is only a week or so since I reviewed the Chicago Town Takeaway pizza, so you may remember that I mentioned that I already purchase the microwaveable Chicago Town deep dish pizzas on a regular basis as they are a staple for me when working night shifts, since I only have access to a microwave and toaster at work, with no proper oven.

Well the PR then asked me if I would fancy reviewing the deep dish pizzas too, as there are four brand new flavours in the range. So I have now received 2 vouchers to try some for free.

Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizza vouchers

The four new flavours are:-
New Yorker
Chicken Club
Pulled Pork
Sloppy Joe

When I popped into my local small supermarket, they only seemed to stock one of the new flavours, namely the New Yorker. So I purchased that and the Pepperoni with the vouchers. Usually I would buy the Four Cheese.

Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizzas

These pizzas can be cooked either in the oven or the microwave, but I stuck to my usual routine of microwaving them at work. I do like to eat something hot during a 12 hour night shift. and these are ideal for that purpose. I enjoyed both flavours, so may be varying my purchases in the future.

Chicago Town Deep Dish Pizzas

These pizzas are available at most major supermarkets, currently with an RRP of £2.19. I consider this is great value at just over £1 for each individual pizza.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite pizza?

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

Chicago Town pizza review

I’m sure most of you will have noticed Chicago Town pizzas in the frozen aisle at the supermarket, even if you haven’t tried them yet. Chicago Town have recently introduced a new limited edition flavour to their Takeaway range – BBQ Pulled Pork, described on the box as a taste of southern BBQ at its sizzling best. And I received 2 vouchers to try it for free.

chicago town pizzas

I already purchase microwaveable Chicago Town deep dish pizzas on a regular basis as they are a staple for me when working night shifts, since I only have access to a microwave and toaster at work. However I hadn’t previously purchased any of the pizzas from their Takeaway range, as at 630g / 635g they are a bit larger than the pizzas I tend to buy for our family, so I was looking forward to trying them. I usually serve two standard size pizzas as son2 will only eat cheese and tomato pizza, whilst the rest of us like some variety. He isn’t very adventurous with food.

Chicago Town pizzas

So when I did my grocery shop, I chose to spend one of the vouchers on the limited edition BBQ Pulled Pork and the other on the Four Cheese Melt, so that everyone would be happy or so I thought. Turned out that son1 wasn’t too keen on BBQ Pulled Pork after all, although us adults loved it. But the boys did love the Four Cheese Melt. And we all agreed that the stuffed crusts were delicious. No crusts left lingering uneaten on the side of the plate.

However one thing I did notice was that everyone ate more than usual. Even though the pizzas were bigger, I still cut them into the same number of slices. Three of us ate half a large pizza each. What piggies we are. And even little son2 ate three slices. There was me expecting there to be a lot left over. A very tasty and satisfying meal in my opinion.

chicago town pizzas

These pizzas are available at most major supermarkets, currently with an RRP of £4.29, although they were priced at just £4 at Tesco. I conside this is great value for a supermarket pizza competing with the takeaway market.

And looking at the box, I found out something I didn’t know. Chicago Town is a trademark of Dr. Oetker. There was me thinking that they were two competing pizza brands. We like Dr. Oetker pizzas too and you can read my review of them here or about the Ice Pizzeria here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite pizza?

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

How many ways can you cook turnip?

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I won vouchers for 6 Abel & Cole fruit and vegetable boxes in the Lunch Less Ordinary Challenge a couple of months ago.  Well I’ve just received my fourth box which includes turnips yet again.  I have to say I probably wouldn’t have chosen to buy turnip at the supermarket, but I’ve developed quite a taste for it over the last few weeks.  And I love how the internet introduces me to interesting ideas of how to cook unfamiliar products. So yesterday I cooked Lamb and Turnip pie for our tea, based on a modified Waitrose recipe. Or perhaps I should call my variant Turnip and Lamb pie, as I changed the proportions to be predominantly turnip instead of lamb. As an ex-vegetarian, I get daunted by meals with a high meat content.

Turnip and Lamb pie

Ingredients (serves 2 adults and 2 children)

200g lamb neck fillet
400g turnip
1 medium onion
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 chicken stock cube
500ml boiling water
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 fresh sprigs)
200g puff pastry
1 egg

Method

Cut the lamb into approx 2cm pieces (or ask the butcher to when you buy it).
Season the pieces of lamb and dust generously with the flour.
Peel and chop the onion.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the pieces of lamb and onion for a few minutes.
Make up the stock, using the stock cube and boiling water (or use fresh stock if you have some).
Add the rosemary and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1½ hours until the lamb is soft and tender and the sauce is thick. If it is too thick, add a little more stock.
Skim the stew occasionally and discard the fat.
Peel turnips and cut into approx 2cm chunks.
Add the turnips, cover with a lid and add more water if necessary to cover the turnips.
Simmer for about 15 minutes until the turnips are cooked.
Remove from the heat and season to taste.
Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
When the lamb mixture is cool, transfer it to a 1.5 litre pie dish.
Beat the egg.
Roll pastry and cut out a pastry lid to fit the dish, allowing an extra 2cm all the way round.
Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the egg and lay the pastry brushed-side down on the dish, pressing it on with a fork.
Cut a 2–3cm slit in the centre to let the steam out.
Brush the top with the remaining egg.
Bake for 40–45 minutes until golden.
Serve and enjoy.

Pie filling

Pie filling

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

The finished pie

The finished pie

And here are a couple of other turnip recipes I made previously. The first time I got turnip in the box, my initial reaction was to try making a soup. I enjoy making soups, as I usually get the thumbs up from the kids. And this one proved no exception. Unfortunately the pie and bake didn’t wow them too, but us adults enjoyed all the recipes. (I forgot to take photos of the soup).

Turnip Soup

Ingredients

500g turnip
1 medium potato
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 litre water
2 chicken stock cubes
salt
pepper
1 tablespoon beef dripping

Method

Peel garlic and push through garlic press.
Peel and chop other vegetables into small pieces.
Melt dripping in large saucepan over low heat.
Add vegetables and fry for about 3 minutes.
Crumble the stock cubes into a jug.
Boil kettle.
Pour boiling water into jug.
Stir to dissolve stock cubes.
Add the stock to the saucepan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Increase heat and bring to boil.
Simmer for about 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Puree in blender.
Return to saucepan to ensure hot.
Serve and enjoy.

And I also made a Bacon and Turnip Bake, based on a recipe I modified from Abel & Cole’s own recipe suggestions. I had some soured cream in the fridge which needed using up, so thought I’d try using that instead of buying some creme fraiche. I also didn’t have any thyme and decided to increase the amount of bacon.  This was really delicious.

Bacon and Turnip Bake

Ingredients

350g turnips
5 rashers smoked bacon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper and mixed herbs
a glass of white wine
200g soured cream (or creme fraiche)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Peel and thinly slice the turnips. Cut any large slices in halves or quarters.
Peel and push garlic through garlic press.
Cut the bacon into small pieces.
Crisp up the bacon in a small heavy pan.
As it cooks, toss the sliced turnips in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Add to the pan. Sizzle for a min.
Add the wine.
Let it bubble up, soften the veg and let the liquid reduce down a bit (15–20 mins).
Swirl in the soured cream or crème fraîche.
If your pan’s not ovenproof, tumble everything into a baking dish.
Pop in the oven till brown (about 30 mins).
Serve and enjoy.

At end of hob phase

At end of hob phase

Baked, ready to serve

Baked, ready to serve

Served with jacket potato and greens. Enjoy

Served with jacket potato and greens. Enjoy

And a final question. Any ideas how to serve new vegetables to my fussy kids apart from in soup? I’ll be sharing one way I got them to eat butternut squash in another post soon. And I’ve also been experimenting with kale, savoy cabbage and mango from the boxes.

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