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pancake day fun with robinsons
Family, Food, Lifestyle

Pancake Day Fun with Robinsons

The lovely folks at Robinsons recently got in contact with us to ask if we’d be up for the challenge of creating some Robinsons Squash inspired pancakes this pancake day. Never one to turn down a challenge, especially one that involves pancakes, I said ‘Yes, please!’

First things first, we selected a range of fresh fruit from the supermarket including; lemons, mangoes, strawberries, kiwis and oranges (all of which are fruits that are used in Robinsons Squashes).

Robinsons Fruit Squash contains no added sugar, and a 250ml serving contains 5 calories or less.

Jasmine holding her ‘dinosaur egg’. :)

Once we had our selection of fruits prepared and Robinsons squash ready to enjoy (pancake making is thirsty work) we set about making our tasty pancake creations.

This was the first year that Jasmine could really get stuck in with making the pancakes with us. She loved helping me weigh out our ingredients, prep the fruit and she quickly became Chief Whisker! We opted to make fluffy American-style pancakes using this recipe and they were THE best pancakes we’ve ever had.

 

Jasmine opted to load up her pancake with mango and strawberries.

Some of the strawberries never made it as far as the pancakes though! ;)

Stephen tucking into a strawberry pancake with added chocolate sauce (naughty!) and sprinkles. Or “sfinkles” as Jasmine calls them. Elowen looked quite jealous. You’ll have to wait a few more months yet, Baby Girl!

I enjoyed some Strawberry and Kiwi Robinsons squash – there’s real fruit in every drop!

Tucking in!

Oh so delicious!

We were kindly sent some bottles of Robinsons Fruit Squash in 3 different flavours – so here’s our 3 squash inspired pancake toppings:

Stawberry and Kiwi

Lemon – you can’t beat a good ol’ traditional lemon pancake!

Orange and Mango

What do you think of them? Which flavour do you think you’d like best?

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Family, Food, Lifestyle

Dinner Diaries #1

I thought I’d share something a little different on my blog today – a meal diary! I think meal planning posts and food grocery hauls are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. I, personally, love reading these kind of posts. Probably because, in our family, it’s my job to plan our meals and do the weekly online food shop. I’ve noticed that over the last few months (excluding Christmas) I’ve been stuck in somewhat of a meal planning rut. Sometimes it’s hard to think up new meal ideas to keep things interesting but I’m hoping that by doing these ‘Dinner Diary’ posts regularly, it will help me to be a bit more adventurous. Hopefully these posts might even help others who also find themselves struggling for meal ideas.

Now, I have only included our weekday meals as we tend to have ‘something Mexican’ on Saturdays and a roast dinner on Sundays. I should also point out that Stephen and I tend to eat dinner together during the week, after Jasmine has gone to bed. (Although she will often have a leftover portion of our meals for dinner the next day).

Bear in mind that we do have a 7-week-old and a (fussy) toddler so lately I’ve been going for ‘simple meals’. As much as I love doing it – I currently don’t have the time or inclination to cook completely from scratch. I also don’t claim to eat uber healthily either – although I try my hardest to incorporate plenty of veg!

Anyways, enough rambling – here’s our 5 weekday meals from last week…

Monday:

Lasagne with Garlic Bread and Spinach

Tuesday:

Minted Lamb Grills with New Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables with Mint Gravy

Wednesday:

Jerk Chicken Drumsticks with Corn on the Cob and Golden Vegetable Rice

Thursday:

Pulled Pork in Brioche Buns with Potato Wedges and Side Salad

Friday:

Meat-free Chicken Style Kievs with New Potatoes and Mixed Green Vegetables

I’d love to know – what is your favourite ‘go-to’ easy midweek meal?

Do you also find yourself in meal planning rut?

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Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

HelloFresh Family Recipe Box Review

I recently had a very exciting e-mail drop into my inbox, asking me if my family and I would like to trial and review HelloFresh boxes for two weeks. For each week of those two weeks a box would be delivered to my home, complete with dinner recipe cards and all the ingredients needed to make the meals. Anyone who is in charge of meal planning and food shopping in their household will understand my excitement – it’s a total grind and a job I was very happy to avoid for a fortnight.

There are 3 types of HelloFresh boxes available – Classic, Veggie and Family. I selected to have the Family boxes as they are tailored to be more ‘child friendly’. Would the meals appeal to my fussy two-year-old? Time would tell!

I was given a choice of 3 days in which my delivery could take place so I chose Thursdays (as we tend to eat more together as a family over the weekends). I was also given the option to leave a note for the courier, such as a place to leave the box in the event that I’m not at home when it arrives.

Both of my boxes arrived just before midday. Each box contained recipe cards and ingredients for four meals. The items in the box are packed with cold packs to keep the chilled items (meat, dairy products etc.) fresh.

The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was just how much was in there. Everything was accounted for, right down to the herbs & spices. Secondly, I was blown away by how good quality everything looked, the meat in particular looked far nicer than our usual supermarket-bought meats. I was also pleased to see the new potatoes were locally sourced from Suffolk! At this point I was really hoping it was all going to taste as good as it looked.

box contents

Pictured above is every item that came in our first HelloFresh box. The only things we had to supply ourselves was cooking oil/spray and water.

The meals included in our first box were the following:

  • Garlicky Courgette Chicken Gratin with Roasted New Potatoes
  • Beef and Chorizo Burgers with Red Onion Marmalade
  • Jamie’s Sausage Gnocchi with Broccoli and Tomato
  • Stir-Fried Chinese Chilli Beef

And here’s what we thought of them…

Meal 1

I think this was possibly my favourite meal overall. The chicken was brilliant quality (although 4 large chicken breasts was probably too much for the 3 of us). I had never thought to roast new potatoes before but they came out lovely and crisp. Spinach isn’t something I tend to eat as I find it a bit boring. However, the Honey and Orange salad dressing that was supplied in the box to dress the spinach was divine so I scoffed the lot! I cooked this meal (Stephen and I took turns) and it took exactly the amount of time the recipe card said (35 mins). This was a tasty, quick and easy meal which I will definitely be making again in the future.

meal 2

We love a good burger in this house so we had high hopes for these Beef and Chorizo burgers. The recipe we was fairly straightforward but I did find it hard to grill the meat as the burgers do fall apart a bit. It also took quite a bit longer to cook the meat than the 4 minutes each side that was instructed on the recipe card. All in all, it was still a quick dinner and very tasty.

meal 3

None of us had ever tried gnocchi before and to be honest we weren’t entirely sure what it was. (FYI gnocchi are small Italian dumplings made from potato, semolina or flour.) I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s recipes so I was still excited to try this meal. There was quite a bit of prep involved with this recipe (mostly chopping veg) and it did take us closer to 40/50 mins to make (recipe card says 30 mins). It was well worth the wait though – this meal was full of flavour and I’m already looking forward to using gnocchi again. Oh an my fussy two-year-old? She was asking for “more, more, more!”

meal 4

I felt this meal was a little faffy for a stir-fry – the ones we usually make at home take a lot less than 30 minutes to make. The beef was brilliant quality but we couldn’t really get it to ‘crisp up’ like it was supposed to have done. It was an OK meal but nothing to write home about. Jasmine also found this recipe a little too spicy.

My final thoughts on our first HelloFresh box: 

I really enjoyed trying out new recipes and eating ingredients I had never eaten before. I looked forward to our evening meals and eating together as a family. Aside from the stir fry – they all went down well with our little lady. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my toddler’s clean plate! I couldn’t wait to see what was going to be in our next box…

second box

The meals from our second box were:

  • Lebanese Lamb Tortillas with Minted Tzatziki and Toasted Almonds
  • Speedy Vietnamese Steak Stir-Fry
  • Pan Fried Pork Medallions with Tarragon and Potatoes
  • Chicken and Romanesco Pasta Bake with Bacon and Courgette

Here’s what we thought of them…

Lamb 2

We had my mother-in-law stay over for the weekend and I decided to make this as a lunch for us all. This meal had quite a lot of prep involved but made a nice midday meal for the 4 of us (3 adults and 1 child) – there was plenty to go round. I didn’t bother with the almonds in this recipe as neither hubby or myself are that keen on them. The mince was lovely although I am used to buying reduced fat/extra lean mince from the supermarket. I feel like an extra side would have been nice with this meal, although I’m not entirely sure what… some couscous perhaps?

pork

This meal was by far the biggest ‘surprise’. My husband pulled a face when I showed him the recipe card. “I won’t like that, I’m not that keen on pork and I hate tarragon”. Oh! Although it’s definitely not the type of meal we’d choose to cook, I was a little more open-minded and was looking forward to trying something a bit different. Despite his initial reaction, hubby offered to cook the meal for us and within in minutes he was was starting to change his mind as the sauce smelled so good whilst it was cooking. I thought the meal looked quite fancy when it was placed in front of me, I don’t think it would look out of place in a classy restaurant! But the truth is in the eating…. the mother-in-law gave it “11 out of 10!” and the rest of us agreed. This meal has been added to the “must cook again” list!

steak2

After being a bit disappointed with the last HelloFresh beef stir-fry I had my reservations about this one. I needn’t have worried though because this stir-fry was GORGEOUS. The steak was tender and the sauce was full of flavour. The toddler didn’t have this meal with us as we had it on a nursery day (she has a big dinner there) so I can’t say if she would’ve eaten it or not. But it was an absolute win with the adults of the family!

pasta bake

I’m not sure that I’d ever even heard of Romanesco before, let alone cooked with it. It’s a strange looking vegetable that is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It turns out that it’s pretty tasty too. I’m a big fan of pasta bakes and make them regularly but tend to stick to making the same old ones. This dish felt like proper comfort food and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. There was even quite a bit leftover so I had it for lunch the next day.

My final thoughts on our second HelloFresh Box:

I was glad to see that the quality of produce supplied in this box was just as high in standard as the first time around. The meat, in particular, was second to none. Again, there wasn’t a single meal that I didn’t like and I actually now have a few new favourite meals! The toddler enjoyed all of the meals that she ate with us which is kind of a big deal seeing as mealtimes are often a bit of a battle.

What we weren’t so keen on: 

  • It was often difficult to know which order we were best off cooking our meals in, in order to make the most of the fresh ingredients. The spinach (from the first box) did have an “eat me first” sticker on it but after that we had to go by eye and decide what would keep best in the fridge and what would need eating first.
  • I never thought I would say this but… there was too much food. We’re a small family – two adults and a two-year-old (who, as I mentioned earlier, doesn’t eat an evening meal with us every night) and therefore the quantities supplied for each meal was more than we could actually eat, which is a real shame. I have, however, noticed that you can order the Classic HelloFresh boxes for 2 or 3 people so perhaps that would be better suited to our family/lifestyle.
  • Recipe timings: more often than not the meals took quite a bit longer to prepare and cook than it said it would on the recipe card. Although, I often find this is the case when you’re making something new for the first time.
  • We have a very well stocked kitchen cupboard so it felt a little silly at times to be using sachets of ketchup or balsamic vinegar when we have whole bottles of the stuff to hand. I appreciate that not everybody has a cupboard full of condiments, though.

What we loved:

  • The high quality of the meat products – it was far better than the meat we usually buy at the supermarket.
  • Seeing locally sourced veggies in our boxes!
  • Not having to do as much grocery shopping or meal planning – I loved having that time back to do other things.
  • Enjoying cooking again – hubby and I both love cooking but due to having such busy lives we often end up making the same meals for dinner week in, week out. Having our HelloFresh boxes delivered seems to have renewed our love for cooking food and trying new ingredients.
  • Seeing the toddler’s ‘happy plate’ – I’m so pleased that our two-year-old enjoyed the food. You can tell the recipes have been well thought out in terms of supplying ingredients/meals that the whole family can enjoy.

In conclusion: 

We have loved trialing the HelloFresh Family boxes and I would urge anybody who has ever considered trying them to give it a go – you’ll not be disappointed. The Family box, which is available from £37.95, is enough food for 2 adults and 2 children which I think is very reasonable, especially considering the fantastic quality of the ingredients. Unfortunately, as we are only a family of 3, we ended up not being able to eat all of our meals and so we would’ve been paying for food that would end up being thrown away. Personally, I think the Family Box would be better suited to a family of two adults and two older children.

It’s worth noting that if you subscribe to the HelloFresh boxes you can check out the forthcoming meals for the next week and if you don’t fancy them, you can pause your subscription. I think this is a great idea. I don’t like fish so being able to pass up on recipe boxes containing fish meals makes a subscription more appealing to me – there’d be nothing worse than paying for food you would never eat in a million years!

If you’re stuck in a rut with meal planning – then I would encourage you to try the HelloFresh boxes (there’s normally a good offer available on your first box). It will give you plenty of inspiration and bring a bit more joy back into dinner times.

Check out the HelloFresh website to find out more about their subscription options and have a look at the recipes.

Are you currently stuck in a meal planning rut?

Do you think your family would enjoy the HelloFresh boxes?

**I was sent two HelloFresh Family boxes over a two week period for the purpose of this review. All photographs and opinions in this blog post are my own. **

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Family Fever
Baking, Food, Home, Lifestyle, Toddler

Popcorn S’more Bars {Recipe}

Half-term, for us, usually means a bit of a slow week – and not in a good way. All of our normal toddler groups don’t run during the school holidays and, if the weather is a bit pants, we quite often end up stuck at home trying to find things to do (besides watch silly amounts of CBeebies).

The last few times that I’ve done a spot of home baking, Jasmine has shown plenty of willing in terms of getting involved. Mixing, stirring, pouring – just show her what to do it and she’ll do it. With this in mind, I decided to do a little mid-week baking session with her (although, technically there was no actual baking involved).

For Christmas, my husband bought me a popcorn maker. He recalled that I had been given one as a birthday present from my mum when I was 12-years-old. These days, the smell of hot popping corn takes me right back to the summer of 1999. It makes me want to stick on a Spice Girls CD and write in my diary about boys I fancy.

Anyway, I totally digress – ever since getting my new popcorn maker for Christmas I’ve been playing around with different recipes that incorporate popcorn – most of which have been of the cupcake variety. However, I decided with the help of my little person, we would set about creating an easy no-bake Popcorn S’more Bar recipe. I’m delighted to say that they turned out rather well. Crunchy, yet chewy and smothered in chocolate – what’s not to like?

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Popcorn kernels (if you don’t have a popcorn maker you can use plain shop bought popcorn)
  • 220g Unsalted butter
  • 200g Chocolate
  • 150g Mini marshmallows
  • Digestive biscuits (or any other kind of biscuit that takes your fancy!)

Aside from the marshmallows and butter – the amounts are not an exact science – this really is a “chuck it all in” kinda recipe. It’s up to you how much you want to make!

How to make it:

Check out our video to find out how to make these scrumptious bars that will have you crying out for s’more. (Sorry!)

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for future toddler-friendly recipe ideas. :)

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I am linking this recipe up with two gorgeous ladies who inspired me to get ‘cooking’ with my toddler – Lorraine and Stephanie. Do check out their fabulous new linky: Little Appetites

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Easy Spiced Orange Drink {Recipe}
Family, Food, Lifestyle, YouTube

Easy Spiced Orange Drink {Recipe}

One of my worst habits is not drinking enough water each day. I can often get to 3pm before realising I haven’t had a drop to drink yet. As a result of that, I usually end up with awful headaches which render me useless for the rest of the day. In the winter, when I don’t have the summer heat to remind me to drink often, I’m even worse.

Oh and I also don’t drink tea or coffee. At all. This makes finding a hot drink that I can enjoy (which isn’t alcoholic or horrendously calorific) that bit harder to find.

However, I think I have finally found the solution to my winter drinks woes! Robinsons have created a series of seasonal recipes to encourage us to all drink more water throughout the winter months.

Today I’m going to share my favourite Robinsons recipe with you. I love this recipe for two reasons:

1) it is super, duper simple and 2) you will most probably have everything you need in your kitchen cupboard.

Easy Spiced Orange Drink {Recipe}

Easy Spiced Orange Drink Recipe:

What you’ll need: 

x 1 Orange

Whole Cloves

Robinsons Orange Squash

Hot water

Ground ginger

How to make it:

Step 1: Insert 1-2 cloves into 4 slices of orange.

Step 2: Place in a jug with 200ml Robinsons Orange and a good pinch of ground ginger.

Step 3: Make up to 800ml with warm water from the kettle.

Step 4: Leave for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse before serving.

I’ve made a quick video of me making the drink too:

What are your favourite festive drinks?

Do you forget to drink enough water in the winter months?

Leave me a message down in the comments box! :)

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This is a collaborative post.

Chocolate Orange Slow Cooker Fudge
Food, Lifestyle

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Slow Cooker Fudge

I love giving homemade presents at Christmas but since having Jasmine, gone are the days when I have lots of time on my hands to sit down and make crafty presents for everybody. Something I’ve wanted to try making for a long time is slow cooker fudge as 1) it’s quick and easy to make with only a couple of ingredients and 2) it’s FUDGE – who doesn’t love fudge?!

This morning I thought I’d make slow cooker fudge using my favourite flavour combination – chocolate and orange. I decided that if it went well then I’d make lots of different flavour combinations and give them to people as Christmas presents.

What I used to make chocolate orange slow cooker fudge… 

1 x 397g tin of condensed milk

250g milk chocolate

150g orange chocolate

That’s all!!

You don’t need to use cooking chocolate, normal chocolate works just fine.

DSCF5591

How I did it…

Break up the chocolate into pieces, whack it into the slow cooker with the condensed milk…

DSCF5593

Turn your slow cooker up to ‘High’, keep the lid off and give your ingredients a stir every 10 minutes for one hour….

Then pour your fudge mix into a deep lined tin and allow to cool…

DSCF5599

When your fudge has cooled completely… put the tin in the fridge and allow it to set overnight (if you can resist temptation, 24 hours is perfect.)

Once the fudge has set, chop it up into squares and you’re ready to put it into gift bags…. or scoff it all yourself!!

To be honest, there’s nothing stopping you from making this recipe using a saucepan but I prefer to use a slow cooker because it’s easier to keep a consistent temperature and you can fit more in! ;)

What flavour combination would you make? 

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This post was first published on the 9th December 2014.

Baking, Food, Lifestyle

Recipe: Giant Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every time I walk into the Food Hall of a certain well-known department store, I am overwhelmed by the smell of chocolate that wafts out from the bakery. So much so, I always cave in and buy a bag of their double chocolate chip cookies. I adore them. But something amazing happened this week, I found a recipe that produces giant double chocolate chip cookies almost identical to the ones that I buy from that store. They are crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle (which is exactly how I like my cookies). They have big chunks of milk chocolate and dark chocolate in them and they are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of milk.

Fancy giving them ago yourself?

Here’s what you’ll need:  

110g butter (softened)

200g soft light brown sugar

1 medium egg

1tsp vanilla extract

165g plain flour

1/2tsp baking powder

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

30g cocoa powder

100g bar of milk chocolate

100g bar of dark chocolate

How to make them:

1. Preheat your oven to 190oc and line two large baking trays with grease proof paper.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract and whisk the mix until well combined.

4. Now add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder and mix together with a large spoon.

5. Chop up your bars of chocolate into large chunks.

6. Add your chocolate chunks to the mix and stir them in.

6. Divide the mix up into balls (you should be able to make 8-10 cookies) and place them on the baking trays, ensuring there’s a good few inches between them to allow them to expand.

7. Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes until the cookies have cracked on top.

8. Once you’ve removed the cookies from the oven, allow them to cool and harden up on the trays.

9. Enjoy them with a nice glass of milk!

Do you have a favourite type of cookie/biscuit? I’d love to know what it is!

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Baking, Food, Lifestyle

Recipe: Mini Madeira Cakes

The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens and, just like last year, I am intending to ‘bake along’ with the show as much as possible. Just please don’t tell my Slimming World consultant! ;)

This week the contestants kicked things off with the classic Madeira Cake. It’s not a cake I’ve made before so I was excited to try something new. I opted to make Mini Madeira loaves with a lemon drizzle icing and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out…

Fancy giving them a go yourself?

Here’s what you’ll need:

250g butter (softened)

130g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

290g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 lemon

1tbspoon milk

Icing sugar

How to make them: 

1. Grease and line a mini loaf baking tin and stick your oven on to 170oC (fan).

2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar together until creamy. It should look a bit like this…

3. Then add the vanilla essence and the eggs, beating them in one at a time.  Don’t panic if, at this point, your mix looks a bit like scrambled eggs! This will sort itself out in a minute.

4. Now add the zest of one lemon plus your flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.

5. It’s time to add the tablespoon of milk and mix until your cake batter is smooth.

6. Now your batter is ready to divide between your cake tin holes. Remember, the loaves will rise so don’t fill them to the the top! You will probably find you’ll have some batter going spare, pop that in a couple of cupcake cases! ;)

7. Put them into oven for around 30 minutes until they are golden brown and have a nice crack on the top!

Check out my cracks! Mary Berry would be proud.

8. Leave them in the tin for a few minutes and then pop them out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

9. Next up, using your lemon from earlier, mix the juice with the icing sugar until you get a good drizzling consistency. Drizzle the icing over your mini loaves and allow to set.

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Making icing has never been my strong point but I found that a relatively thick consistency worked best. Play around with it, you can always add a little water if needs be.

10. Enjoy!

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Are you baking along with GBBO? I’d love to hear what you’ve been making?

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Mini Madeira Cakes

Family, Food, Reviews

My Family Picnic Favourites

I’ve said it before on my blog but, eating alfresco makes me ridiculously happy! There’s something about enjoying food and drink outdoors, whilst soaking up the sunshine – it just sends happy hormones shooting around my body. This week (Saturday 13th – Sunday 21st June 2015) is National Picnic Week so with that in mind I thought I’d do a round-up post of my family picnic favourites. Hopefully it will inspire you to pack up a bag of tasty goodies, grab your picnic mat and head out for a family picnic.

picnic faves title

My Family Picnic Favourites (1)

1. Hammy Floral Picnic Mat – £30.00

This absolutely gorgeous picnic blanket is from Ragged Rose and features a stunning pink and white floral design on both sides of the mat. On one side the the rose print is on a cotton material and the reverse side has the same print on PVC, making it easy to wipe clean after each use. What I like about this picnic mat is that when you’ve finished using it, you simply roll it up and tie the ends together. I much prefer this to picnic blankets that have Velcro straps because they seem to get messy and ruined very quickly. I now keep this mat folded up in Jasmine’s pushchair basket so I can grab it and use it at any given moment – it’s had plenty of use at the park and beach already.

2. OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker – £7.69

This nifty little product is a great spill/leak proof way of making up salad dressings quickly and easily. Just add your ingredients and shake it up!  The fact that it’s watertight means it’s perfect for taking your dressings out and about with you for picnics. It’s also handy for storing leftover dressings in the fridge. I love my salads for lunch, especially as I’m on the Slimming World plan, and this has been so useful for making up low-syn salad dressings.

3. Mustela SPF 50+ Very High Protection Sun Spray – £19.79

This stuff has been an absolute Godsend over the last couple of weeks. Jasmine is incredibly fair skinned and I’m always very conscious of that when we’re out enjoying the sunshine. Thankfully this sun spray is easy to use and I know that once it’s on she is protected. It’s not sticky like some suncreams and doesn’t have an overpowering scent either. It’s the best baby and children’s sun protection I’ve used – so much so, I also use it on myself. Now, if Mustela could just invent a way to keep Jasmine’s sunhat on – that would be fab!

4. Can you tell what it is yet?! It’s the OXO Strawberry Huller – £7.99

If you follow my blog then you will know that I am growing my own strawberries this summer so I just had to try this Strawberry Huller which, as you’ve probably guessed, removes strawberry leaves and core – all in one quick twist! I’ve found this works much better on bigger strawberries than smaller ones but it’s quite a fun little gadget. This is perfect if you’ve taken a punnet of strawberries with you on your picnic. Also, it would be particularly useful if you were decorating a cake using lots of strawberries and wanted to get rid of all the leaves quickly and effectively.

5. OXO Twist Top Bottle – £11.99

As a family, we often combine our picnics with a walk or bicycle ride to somewhere first, which in the summer, is thirsty work (particularly if you’re pulling kids along in a bike trailer or pushing them in a pushchair). This large twist top bottle (24oz) is ideal for those pit-stops along the way. I really like the twist top as it keeps the straw inside the bottle, keeping it clean. I’m terrible for not drinking enough water so I’m hoping that having this bottle will encourage me to take a drink out with me wherever I go.

6. BRITA Navelia Water Filter – £19.00

This BRITA water filter would be especially useful for those ‘at home’ picnics or BBQs in the garden. It’s probably the most stylish water filter I’ve seen around (with 6 fab colours/designs available) and it is slender enough to sit in your fridge shelf. There’s an inbuilt electric cartridge exchange indicator to remind you to change the cartridge every four weeks (you can buy a x6 pack of cartridges for around £16). I’ve noticed that our tap water has tasted noticeably nicer since using it.

And, of course, this picnic themed post wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the yummy things we’ve been enjoying alfresco lately…

My family picnic favourites

As somebody who adores marshmallows, I have always wanted to try a proper American -style S’mores but have never found anywhere in the UK that sells them… until now! Check out these beauties from Anges de Sucre – you can even buy them online and have them delivered to your door. Do it now and thank me later! :)

Corkers crisps are produced just down the road from me in Cambridgeshire. They have a large range of flavours – from Sea Salt to Duck and Hoisin Sauce. However, my personal favourite are the Red Leicester and Caramelised Onion flavour. If you like your crisps to have a proper crunch – these will be right up your street! You can find these crisps available at National Trust properties, the Tate, selected Waitrose stores and also Corkers crisps

We were sent a range of delicious sweet treats from The Fabulous Bakers which have gone down VERY well indeed with my whole family. My favourite had to be the Triple Chocolate Muffins (obvs!), whilst Jasmine couldn’t get enough of the Mango and Pineapple Bars. The range is available to buy from Asda, Ocado and Sainsbury’s from £1.50 – £1.79 – bargain!

Personally, I do not like drinking tea or coffee (I know!) so I tend to stick to water. But let’s face it, water gets boring after a while so it’s nice to finally be able to add some flavour to my drinks when I’m out and about. I now don’t go anywhere without a handy Robinson’s SQUASH’D in my bag. They make up to 20 drinks and cost £2 each, which is obviously much cheaper than buying 20 bottles of flavoured drinks from the shop!

Do you have any favourite picnic products?

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These products were sent to me for the purpose of this post. However, all opinions are my own.

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