4 Oct 2017

Washing days with Ecover

It might just be in our house but it feels like the washing is never ending - actually please tell me its not just me!.

The team at Britmums know how important (in terms of a weekly task) washing is and tasked some of us to try out a new Ecover laundry detergent. Usually in our house I am own brand type of a mum - the kids (thankfully) don't suffer skin wise if I switch things about from brand to another. Which means ECover is brand I've not really tried before. 

This new formula Non-Bio formula is even tougher on stains (perfect for the kids at school and nursery and those unexplained marks that appear on white shirts) but the formula remains gentle on sensitive skins. This new formula has also been given the Mumsnet seal of approval with 89% of Mumsnet testers saying they would recommends to a friend.

Ecover’s new Non-Bio Concentrated Laundry Detergent delivers a powerful clean and features a new delightful naturally-inspired fragrance, Lavender & Sandalwood. From your baby’s first wash to the average bedding load, this dermatologically tested, plant-based Non-Bio formula delivers spotlessly clean results, even on a cold wash - and the smell is so lovely.

I'm in no way the queen of laundry (believe me some of my friends have a much more determined routine in place) but I do have some tips I do to make things run smoother.

  1.  Keep on top of the washing to do. Its a simple one but trying to fit in a quick load before work or when I get in helps me feel accomplished and also when the weekend comes around I am not chasing my tail.
  2. Small and often. We live in flat with an outside space so we only have a small airier to dry clothes. Keep the loads of washing every other day allows the previous loads to dry and means I don't resort to handing washing over all the chairs 
  3. Sort and put away washing once a week. This would not be for everyone I know but I work and my husband works during the week so time during the week is limited. I fold and stack all the clean washing in baskets and once a week sort through it all. It does mean during the week the clean washing pile gets taller and taller but we are all out about during the week I let this slide
  4. Put tumbled underwear etc into a lanudry bag - my saviour as my kids leave their dirty socks scattered about the house, when I take the dry washing out of the machine I bag it all up. 
  5. Sort washing via where it goes away. This is a job I hate - but hey the clothes have to go somewhere. I sort and fold all the washing by the drawers they have to go away in. Maxwell t-shirts, Natty T-shirts, Maxwell PJs, Natty Pjs etc etc. This is also means I can get the boys to help put items away.
  6. Sort socks last. I find these little things have a way of sneaking in between clothes. When folding the washing I pop ALL socks for all members into one bag and sort them last. Any odd socks leftover from that sort go into another basket to be checked against next weeks sorting
Those tips above our things I have found make our lanudry routine run smoother - do you have any more to add?

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover. .” 

2 Oct 2017

Baking with Dr Oetker

Anyone who knows me (even just online me) you will get a sense of how much I love baking. I find it calms me, its something I feel proud of when I do. Also I like cake.

The team at Dr Oetker sent me a bundle of goodies to try out some of their products. I am usually a bake from scratch kind of girl - but box mixes, ready prepared icing and sprinkles will always have a staple in my kitchen. The box mixes all quick bakes to be made - and they work especially when little hands want to get involved. Howeer Dr Oetker offers much more in the way of baking products which are innovative, taste good, easy to access and affordable.

We got sent the its and bobs to make the Choc Chip Ice Cream Cookie Bowls. We got the easy cake centres (in chocolate and salted caramel), baking powder sachets (great idea already measured to one teaspoon and they keep fresh), chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, vanilla essence and sprinkle mixes.
This is a recipe I've been to try for ages and I was semi successful. They weren't full on bowls (as I didn't add enough dough - but I was worried it would spread too much!). I covered a 6 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases . In retorspect it would of been better to cover them in a little tin foil to form the cape of the muffin tin.
This was the most bowl like one out of my batch - but the cookies still taste good. The recipe makes up 6 bowls and then dough left over to make mini cookies - these got eaten pretty quickly.

.The finished object - and these went down well with kids as a "fancy" dessert. I used the cake centre squeezy pouch to add a splodge of sauce an the sprinkles added liberally over the top, 

Since making these bad boys the little ones have asked most weekends when can they have them again. Glad they enjoyed them

Thanks Dr Oetker for giving us the inspiration to try out something not only yummy but fun and new in the kitchen. Get your supplies in read for the October half term!!

29 Sep 2017

Grace Foods & Bringing the Sunshine in.

Bad blogger.

I have had this post sitting and waiting but due to unforeseen health and life commitments I have been unable to get as much done as I would like. I am not checking off my to do list and getting things done.


There are certain things you will be sure to find in my kitchen cupboards - rice (usually a 1kg bag!!), various types of flour, bags of crisps - and a selections of seasoning pots - mainly from Grace Foods. Where we live in Croydon it is fantastic as we are able to buy and sample so many different types of foods and cultures. Our local high street is bustling with polish supermarkets, independent fishmongers and west Indian food shops by the plenty. 

Back in the end of Summer the team at Grace Foods sent us this hamper bursting with all types of fun food things to try to celebrate Caribbean Food Week - including things we know and love and a few things which were new to us - like the Aloe water.

Cooking with Caribbean flavours is really easy to incorporate into your weekly meals without having to push yourself massively out of your comfort zone.

These are sticky jerk sausages and they tasted really good!!. I used the Jerk BBQ sauce  - which has the heat and flavour of jerk mixed into the sweet smoky BBQ sauce. This is mild enough for the kids to eat - but if they are not fans of spice, mix around 3 tablespoons of jerk BBQ sauce in with some honey to add a more sweet flavour. Coat the sausages in sauce and bake in the oven. Every 15 minutes or so bring them out and turn the sausages to pick up the sauce on the bottom.
I love mince and rice - its good comfort food for me as I can eat it one handed. I know this makes me weird. This is a take on a briyani style dish. Soften onions, peppers and carrots in the pan before adding the mince. Fry until browned then add the Mild curry powder - I used 2 tablespoons. Add the rice and some stock until the rice is covered. Pop a lid on the pan and let the rice soak up all the curry juices. This dish really make a small amount of meat go a long way. You could serve with naan bread or chapattis or tacos on the side. Merging in different cultures together in one.

The last dish I made using the ingredients was a bit of an experiment. We had in the hamper a packet of sweet plantatin crisps (the salted versions are so good also!) and I wanted to make some crispy coating chicken. I smashed the crisps in the blender and added in some of the hot and spicy fry mix for balance. I dipped and coated them in egg and flour before the mixture and baked them in the oven.

These were so moreish and we had them with salad and sweetcorn. They came out lovely and crunchy and the mix of the sweet with the spice was gooooodddd!!
So cooking with some of the fantastic ingredients Grace foods have to offer does not need to scary - mixing up flavours and meals you already are cooking you can make a twist on the new dish.

Thanks again to Grace Foods for sending us things to eat! Always the best post - or wine - that also makes a good post day!