Friday, 31 August 2012

Afternoon tea: everything you need to know



Did you know that we as a nation drink 165 million cups of tea a day? That’s 6.5 billion a year (or enough to fill six Olympic sized swimming pools.)

But one type of tea which is proving to be popular at the minute is afternoon tea. A pastime once reserved for the gentry of 19th century England, this was first introduced by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. On her quest to find a snack to fill the void between lunch and dinner, she had begun to order a selection of bread, tea and cakes to her room at around 4 o’clock each day.  Deeming it to be a great idea, her peers soon caught onto this, and before long, afternoon tea was all the rage amongst the aristocracy.

What does a typical afternoon comprise of?

Should you be lucky enough to enjoy this extravagant snack, here is what you’ll be greeted with:
  • A selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches
  • Warm scones with clotted cream and preserves
  • A variety of homemade cakes, scones and pastries
  • A choice of a generous range of delicious teas

A little more about afternoon tea...

Feeling flush?

Today, this traditional treat is enjoyed by people everywhere. But consider this: the world’s most expensive afternoon tea would set you back a cool £500 a head? The plush ‘Platinum Afternoon Tea Tasting Menu comprises luxury ingredients: Da Hong Pao tea, Beluga Caviar, white truffles and chocolate cake complete with gold leaf. And if you’re feeling particularly well-heeled, you’ll even have the chance to sample Hopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee (which would ordinarily cost you £50 a cup)   All of this is complemented nicely by two glasses of Dom PĂ©rignon Champagn – bliss!

But do you think you’d be able to take the perfect afternoon tea? This is how you do it according to the experts:

-                 Put the sugar in first

This is because the sugar will melt before you pour in the cold milk

-                 Milk goes in after the hot tea

This might well go against everything you believe in when it comes to making a cuppa, but if you want to be sipping on the same earl grey as the upper crust, you must always put the milk in after the tea, Historically speaking, back in the 19th century, the lower classes would have used brittle clay mugs that would have cracked in hot temperatures. So for this reason, they would have almost always put the milk in first so that the hot water didn’t disintegrate the cup. But those of the richer persuasion would have used the fines bone china, and would subsequently not have had to worry about that.

-                 Break your scones with your hands

Forget all you’ve been taught about not eating with your hands. Higher society always used to break their scones with their hands during afternoon tea. The same also applies to bread rolls.

-                 But what comes first: the jam or the cream?

This one can be likened to the chicken and the egg. But for decorum’s sake, you should always add the jam before cream.

Just a simple Google search will return any number of fantastic afternoon tea for two experiences, all over the UK.


Disclaimer: This is a guest post. I have received no payment in conjunction with this post.


Monday, 27 August 2012

Meal Planning Monday (27th August 2012)

Hello!

As you may have noticed, it's Bank Holiday Monday and it's also the last week of the summer holidays, therefore I'm not expecting great things from you all today! You'll certainly get nothing great from me as I am on holiday right now which means someone else is doing the cooking! 

I'll be home mid-week though and that almost certainly means there will be a takeaway curry on the menu PLUS it's my birthday later this week which means I'll be eating out a couple of times. (Yes, I did say a couple of times - two friends are taking me out separately, I'll be out with Mr M for a meal and then will probably go out with the children as well. Excessive? I don't think so!)

If you have done a meal-plan this week, then well done you! As always the Linky is below so please add your blog post and I'll check it out when I return. Don't forget to spread the word and use the #mealplanningmonday tag on Twitter. If you search under it, you'll see other people talking about Meal Planning Monday. If you've never joined in before, it's simple - write a blog post, leave the link below! Ta-da!

Whatever you're doing with your Bank Holiday Monday, have a good one and I'll catch up with you next week.







Friday, 24 August 2012

Our day out at Lollibop


At the weekend we took the children down to Regent's Park in London for the Lollibop Festival. I'd heard a lot about the festival last year and so was keen to give it a try ourselves. Slightly tired from the day befores shenanigans (V Festival), we drove down to North London and got the tube into Camden Town to make the short walk to Regent's Park. I have to say the children were most excited about their first ever trip on the London Underground, for a moment I thought it would end up being the highlight of the day!

We made our way into the festival and had a little mooch around. We had the free map that was handed out to us on entry but we decided to play it by ear and not try to do too much or keep running from one place to another. As you know, we've recently been to Camp Bestival so seeing Shrek and The Gruffalo wasn't high on our agenda as we'd already experienced these recently. I'll tell you what was high on our agenda though - Moshi Monsters!


I'd already told the children that there were Moshi Monsters in attendance so they were primed and ready for this and as soon as they caught a glimpse of the Moshi Monsters area, we were dragged off.  I didn't mind, I secretly love them too. My children are a little young for the Mash Up Tournament, they collect the cards but they're not entirely sure what to do with them, so we didn't go in there but they did join in with some of the games and were lucky enough to come away with some Moshi prizes and trading cards. We were also accosted by a young man with special Moshi stickers and he gave me a top secret card that enables us to get involved in future testing of games etc.

His name is Furi. Apparently.
And then of course there was the Moshi Bus. I think this has been a bit of a bone of contention with some fesitval goers as the Moshi Bus is basically a retail shop. They didn't make any secret of this, informing you both on the website and also in person on the day before you queued up. Even so, there was always a largeish queue and there was no way my children weren't going in. I'd already prepared myself for this though and I wasn't go to bring them all this way and then begrudge them some spending money so with their maximum allocated budget of £10 each they trotted in and then whizzed off down the slide at the back of the bus!


Once you're in Lollibop, all the activities are free which includes face painting. Face painting is always popular and there was a bit of a queue but the girls were so speedy and there was actually at least three face painting tents there so you didn't wait long. There were other activities to take part in like various types of crafting, the Mini Maker workshops with B&Q and the Halfords Bike City. My son was desperate to get a go on the bikes but unfortunately you had to book a slot and there were all full by the time we got round there.


It was a very hot day when we visited and we mainly spent the day wandering and stopping every now and again to watch things like Horrible Histories (my little lady's favourite) as well as Dick & Dom and some crazy street theatre.  Another big hit was Titan the Robot. My son could have gladly spent the day following him around all day and even I was quite impressed with his Cry Me A River routine. 


There were a few other stalls selling goods, lots of them handmade but I avoided having to buy bubble guns (very popular) and the animal tails that we'd first seen at Camp Bestival. I did at least enquire about prices this time but £15-30 for a furry animal tale on a piece of elastic seemed a bit excessive to me! 

Toilets were plentiful and clean with toilet paper and hand sanitiser always available, which I think is crucial with the little children. There were lots of food stalls and places to get a cool drink and many of them had special meals for children available.

There really was so much to do and somehow we managed to miss out the Roald Dahl tent, gutted! I don't we made a dent on half of what there was to see and get involved with however the heat and humidity made us all a bit lack-lustre I'm afraid and eating ice-cream whilst watching men blowing up rubber gloves and flinging around toilet rolls was activity enough!

We really enjoyed our Lollibop Festival experience and I'm sure we'll return next year!


With thanks to Lollibop, who provided a family pass for the event.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry - A guest post from Mummys Knee

Today I am sharing another guest post with you, this time coming from Jo at Mummys Knee. Jo is a busy mum of two young boys and loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen. She's also a Pampered Chef consultant and I can thoroughly recommend their products having bought a few myself in the past!  She's also a keen participant of Meal Planning Monday, sharing her meal plan for the week, which always sound delicious! Here Jo shares a simple and tasty sounding recipe for a sweet potato and chickpea curry. 

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes peeled & diced
1 red onion – finely sliced, and this does make a different, if you finely slice your onion it cooks much quicker and works better with this dish
1 tablespoon of curry paste – for ours I use either my homemade one or thai green paste
can of coconut milk
can of chopped tomatoes
can of chickpeas - drained
1 bag of washed baby spinach


Method

You can make this three ways depending on the way you like to cook, I’ll give you the method’s for all below.

Oven only method

Get a covered oven proof dish and pop all of the ingredients with the exception of the spinach in and put in oven on 180 degrees for 40 minutes, take out stir recover and cook on 180 for a further hour until the chickpeas & sweet potato are soft and the sauce has reduced then add spinach cover & replace in oven for further 10 – 15 minutes until spinach has wilted & you can stir it through. It is now ready to serve. 

Hob only method

Fry onion in a little olive oil, then once softened add in your curry paste and let this coat the onion and heat through.

Add sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk & bring to boil then simmer until chickpeas & sweet potato are soft – this normally takes around 20 minutes.

Add spinach to top and cover for a few minutes until wilted then stir in and serve.

Slow cooker

Fry onion in a little olive oil, then once softened add in your curry paste and let this coat the onion and heat through.

Add sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut milk & bring to boil then add to slow cooker.

You can put this on high for 3 hours or low for around 5 hours depending on your slow cooker. 

For last 15 minutes, add spinach before serving.




We usually have this with chapati’s but you can have with rice if you prefer.

Thanks for sharing this recipe Jo, it sounds delicious. I love that there are three different methods and that you can pick the best one to suit you depending on how much time you have available. The slow cooker method would definitely be good for the days when you've got to get lots of other stuff done.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A festival experience...


Sure, no crowd surfing but please, feel free to pee wherever you like, don't use a bin under any circumstance and take as many drugs as you can handle.

Or that's what I think the sign should have said.

Yes, at the weekend I went to V Festival for the first time and clearly I am too old for such shenanigans!  It was an eye-opener let me tell you. I guess in fairness, I'm probably knocking on 15 years older than most of the clientele but let me ask you, please, since when did being young excuse you for being an utter cretin?  I'm honestly not surprised at men peeing up the sides of event tents, inside the event tents, up the sides of bins, in the crowds into cups etc. You know, I expect that. When, however, did it become acceptable for girls to drop their knickers, crouch down and pee on the grass - in front of everyone, in broad daylight? (This video will sum it up for you).

I realise I'm adjusting my cardi somewhat but honestly? I got up to all kinds of scrapes as a teenager but I still had some dignity. Even worse some of these women were older than me! Now I know festival toilets get some bad press but they were plentiful and rather clean (way cleaner and fresher smelling than Camp Bestival that's for sure) so there really was no need to hitch your skirt up and pee next to someone eating their chips.  And as for the peeing-in-cups-and-throwing-it-over-the-crowd malarky, don't get me started.

Anyway, the music? Yes, the music was good! I enjoyed it very much. We saw Stooshe, Rita Ora, DJ Fresh, Madness, Tom Jones, Frank Turner, Tinie Tempah, Snow Patrol and The Killers and they were all pretty incredible. 

This was a highlight. The Killers were awesome as usual and well worth the wait and torture of the day.



So summing up - the music was ace but V Festival itself? Grubby place, grubby people. I've never seen so much mess and litter. There was also too much drug-taking going on in the open for all to see. People were completely off their faces on drugs and alcohol and it wasn't pretty. I felt like I needed about 3 showers when I got home just to get the ick off me.  

From now on, if it doesn't feature Mr Tumble or The Gruffalo, I ain't going.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Jamie O's Steak Sarnie


When checking through some of the Meal Planning Monday entries the other week, I spotted this recipe on the Not So Super Scottish Mummy blog.  It's a Jamie Oliver recipe and comes from his 30 Minute Meals book. I've had the book for a really long time and not actually cooked anything until now, so in the interest of trying to make the most out of my cookery book collection and because it sounded blummin' delicious I thought I'd give it a try.

The first thing I am going to say is 30 Minute Meals? My h'arse. I think it probably took me an hour to make this along with the associated gubbins. If you've not got the book, each meal contains sides, so the steak sarnie is accompanied by a beetroot salad, cheesy mushrooms and crispy new potatoes. It's not complicated and the recipes are laid out in the order you need to do things which is rather helpful but it's just tricky to do it in 30 minutes. Plus Jamie practically makes you use every implement and tool in the kitchen. I wonder what he allocates for cleaning up time...

Anyway, this was a success, despite me over-horseradishing the sarnie for Mr M (personally I like the pain you get in your nose from too much horseradish or mustard). The sandwich was really tasty and it's definitely something we'll have again. The beetroot salad was nice, I was a bit alarmed at the mushiness of it, but it was fine however I probably wouldn't bother with it next time and I'd probably skip the mushrooms too. The crispy new potatoes however were delicious and I think this will always be my preferred method of cooking them. In fact I've already cooked them again since I made this recipe.

The recipe serves 4.


Jamie O's Steak Sarnie

For the steak sarnie;
2 x 300g best-quality rump steaks
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 ciabatta loaf
small handful of jarred peppers
couple of springs of flat-leaf parsley
horseradish sauce, to serve
large handful of rocket, to serve

For the mushrooms;
4 large flat Portobello mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1/2 fresh red chilli
2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon
70g mature Cheddar cheese

Potatoes;
500g baby new potatoes
6 cloves garlic
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 lemon

Beetroot salad;
1 x 250g cooked vac-packed beetroots
balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon
a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
50g feta cheese

Seasonings required - olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Put a griddle pan over a medium heat and a large frying pan over a high heat. Pre-heat the oven to about 180c. Fill and boil the kettle and put the coarse grater attachment onto your food processor.

First take your potatoes and cut any large potatoes in half. Squash 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic with the flat of a knife. Add both the potatoes and garlic to the large empty frying pan and sprinkle over some sea salt. Pour in enough boiling water to cover everything and cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.


Trim the stalks off the mushrooms and place the mushroom (stalk side up) in a small oven-proof dish, they should fit quite snugly. Crush 1/2 a clove of garlic over each mushroom. Finely chop 1/2 a red chilli and some parsley and divide between the mushrooms. Grate the zest of 1/2 a lemon over the mushrooms, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the cheddar into four chunks and put one on each of the mushrooms.

For the beetroot salad, grate the beetroot in the processor then remove the bowl from the processor (carefully removing the grater attachment and dying your hands and the entire kitchen pink in the process) and pour in a couple of lugs* of balsamic vinegar and a few lugs* of extra virgin olive oil.  Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and finely chop a bunch of parsley and add most of it in with the beetroot. Stir well and tip into a serving bowl. Scatter over the remaining parsley, crumble over the feta cheese, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and take to the table.

Bake the mushrooms in the oven for 9-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and they are golden.

Pop the steaks onto a wooden board. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the flavours into the meat and then repeat on the other side of the steak. Pound the steaks a couple of times to flatten them a little then put them into the hot griddle pan and cook to your liking. (I normally do 3 minutes on each side for medium-well done). 


Check the potatoes are cooked through and drain. Return the pan to the heat, add some olive oil and tip the potatoes back in. Use a potato masher to lightly burst the skins open, add some rosemary and salt and toss for until golden and crispy.

Put the ciabatta into the oven then finely chop the peppers on a clean board. Move the steaks to the same board and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Chop some parsley leaves and mix with the peppers and steak juices. Scrape the peppers to one side and slice the steaks at an angle.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven and take them straight to the table. Get the ciabatta out of the oven and slice it open. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and spread over the horseradish before arranging the rocket leaves on one half. Lay the steak slices on top and scatter the peppers over the meat, fold the two halves together and take to the table. Tip the potatoes onto a serving platter and take to the table.



* I don't know how much a lug is either, I winged it.

Does it sound like something you could knock up in 30 minutes? I've fiddled with the recipe method a bit as it makes more sense my way, I think.

I skipped the jarred peppers used in the sandwich on this occasion as Mr M is not keen on them. I don't feel it was detrimental to the recipe and I may or may not use them in the future, depending on whether I have any open at the time.

As a Morphy Richards Innovator I used the new Hand Blender Work Centre they recently sent me to do my beetroot grating and a review of that is coming very soon!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Meal Planning Monday (20th August 2012)

*sings*

There's no plan, THERE'S NO PLAN!

I'm going on my holidays (again) this week so that means I don't need to plan and there's barely any time to eat in the next few days anyway. I'm so short on time at the moment that actually not planning has filled me with relief today.

This doesn't mean you get off lightly though, oh no! The Linky is below as normal and I want to see what you have up your sleeve as once September hits, meal planning will be back with a vengeance!

Link up below, spread the word about #mealplanningmonday and I look forward to seeing what you've got planned!

PS My Recipe Link Party for August is looking rubbish - please join in!







Friday, 17 August 2012

Friday Foody Round-Up #6

It's been a long time since I've down a Friday Foody Round-Up and I had meant to do this a few weeks ago but it's been a really busy few weeks and I just don't know where the time goes!  If you've not seen me write one of these posts before, this is where I tell you all about the foods I have been trying. I've been sent a variety of foody products recently so I am just going to launch into it!

Chocolate Cheerios


My children are both loyal fans of Cheerios and have been since an early age when I used to give them dry as a snack in their highchair so when I was offered a box of the new chocolate variety I thought why not. Now I am not going to go into the rights and the wrongs of a chocolate breakfast, I'm sure I've talked about it before when reviewing another breakfast cereal but needless to say, I am of the belief that everything in moderation is okay and I'd rather my children ate a chocolate cereal than none at all! Anyway... My children were keen to try the Chocolatey Cheerios and finished the box. In their words they thought they were "yum" however I have to say, I don't think they went down quite as well as the Original version so I think we'll probably be sticking to that, although these would be nice for a change every now and again.

Soreen


Who doesn't love malt loaf? Honestly, when they first started selling pre-sliced malt loaf a few years back I nearly whooped in the supermarket aisle, after all, it's not the easiest thing to cut up without mushing it is it? I was sent a box full of Soreen products to try out that included a Toastie Loaf, a banana loaf, lunchbox loaves and some of the snackers. Needless to say they were all delicious. I loved the little lunchbox loaves as I had never seen these before and will definitely be popping one of these into my daughters lunchbox in the future (not my son, he's way too fussy an eater - he doesn't get it from me!) and the snackers were delicious and were perfect with a mid-afternoon tea. The toastie loaf was fabulous squidgy even when toasted and was great with lashings of real butter. 

Angel Delight


A surprise parcel arrived for me around Jubilee time - yes that is a jelly mould of the Queen! I haven't had Angel Delight in years, perhaps since I was a child however this was not Angel Delight as I knew it, this was Angel Delight Ice Cream Mix. I was interested to try it as it seemed rather easy to knock up. All you have to do is mix the sachet together with chilled fresh milk in a bowl and whisk until it has doubled in volume, add in any extras and freeze in a sealed plastic box for a minimum of 4 hours. So easy and I found it was quite a fun activity to do with the children. I was sent Strawberry, Butterscotch and Chocolate flavour along with a few bits and bobs to throw in it like toffee pieces, nuts, choc chops and marshmallows. It also comes in Vanilla. Our favourite was  the strawberry flavour! It's available in Tesco and Asda with a RRP of around £1 per pack.

Dr Oetker


Recently I was sent some sprinkles from Dr Oetker's home baking range. I'm a fan of Dr Oetker products and have used them on many occasions but this was the first time I'd seen this particular items and have to say I thought they were lovely.  I was sent some Soft Shimmer Pearls, Sugar Butterflies and Polka Dots. The Soft Shimmer Pearls are lovely shades of pink, yellow, blue, green and red and are really pretty. The butterflies and the polka dots are in similar colours. You can use all of the sprinkles to ice biscuits and cakes, simply sprinkle onto wet icing, or you could even use them on ice-cream.  I thought these were really pretty and so did my baking-mad 6 year old!



In addition to these food products I've tried recently I want to tell you about a few other things I've been made aware of.  I've blogged before about how much I enjoy New Convent Garden soups? They are my absolute favourite and they are fab because they contain no additives, preservatives, flavourings or colourings etc. If you've not tried the Mexican Chipotle Chicken you've not lived. Seriously. Anyway, they sent me a release that told me about one of their new products and I liked the sound of it so much I thought I'd share it.


Called "Fresh Bowls" the product comprises of a delicious soup base and a selection of fresh vegetables separated by a tray in a microwaveable pack format. The vegetables are cooked by the steam from the soup and then you drop them into the steaming bowlful by removing the tray - apparently making it "souper fresh". I really like the idea of these, I've not tried them yet but when I see them in the supermarket I shall pick one up as they sound perfect for lunch when I am at work. They currently come in two flavours; Red Thai Sweet Potato & Coconut and Smokey Tomato & Red Pepper. They are available now in major supermarkets and independent retailers nationwide, priced around £2.99.

One of the other products I was asked to try was a new product from Kenco. Not being a coffee-fan I turned down the chance to review but am happy to share the info as I'm sure there are a lot of coffee-lovers out there! Following on from the success of Kenco Millicano, Kenco have unveiled a caffeine free version of it's whole-bean instant coffee.


Kenco Millicano Caff Free has the same combination of instant coffee and finely-milled beans as the original, the difference being that it is decaffeinated. It is available from August 2012 with an RRP of £4.70 for the 100g tin and £3.59 for the 85g refill pack.


And that my friends is all have to say about food for now! I'll be back with another Friday Foody Round-Up in the near future!


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Save water? What a joke!

Today I am going to have a rant directed at Severn Trent Water. Forgive me please. 

For literally months, 3-4 maybe more, there's been a water leak on our road. It's not pouring out but it's a considerable trickle which is constant and because the Council are rubbish at maintaining the verges, the water doesn't drain away, it runs all the way down the road meaning the road is constantly a wet, muddy mess.  

The start of the leak...
The leak isn't on or particularly near to my property but I have reported it on THREE occasions now to Severn Trent Water and yet still it flows...


Wet road - perfectly dry day, about 500m from leak
Do we not have a responsibility in this country to save water? Does Severn Trent Water not have a responsibility to actually follow up leakage reports and act on them? I mean, it was only six months ago we were talking about a drought and having hosepipe bans. 

Severn Trent Water, on their own website, are preaching about ways in which we can all save water.  How about they practice what they preach?


It's all very well me turning of the tap whilst brushing my teeth, sure I'll save a litre of water or two, but what's the point in ME striving to help save water and help the environment if literally hundreds (probably thousands) of gallons have been running into the ditch for the past few months.

Blocked drains don't help...
The biggest joke? Severn Trent Water drive down my road daily to some premises they have. How have they not noticed?

I'm about at the end of my tether with it now and reaching out to Severn Trent Water one last time. PLEASE can you do something about this?!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bee lovely and help save the bees...A plea!


I'm very fond of bees, which is quite surprising really as I tend to hate all kinds of creepy crawlies and flying insects however bees have a purpose and a very important one at that, which makes me love them. So much so that I try and entice them into my garden by leaving wildflowers to grow and have even given up a little bit of my field to a local man who now keeps his hives on my field in exchange for a pot of honey.  

When Neal's Yard Remedies got in contact with me about their current campaign to have the use of powerful pesticides (neonictinoids or neonics) banned in the UK there was no way I couldn't get involved, especially when the MP that the campaign is approaching is my own local MP, Caroline Spelman - the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

There is a proverb: No Bees, No Honey, No Work, No Money.  Apparently experts have warned that honeybees could disappear entirely from Britain by 2018 and without bees and wild pollinators, agriculture as we know it would collapse. Did you know that they are responsibly for pollinating 84% of EU crops? It would devastate our eco-system.  

Many causes have been attributed to the decline of our bees but the fact is that these pesticides are poisoning our bees and the loss of our wild flowers is starving them to death.  Neonictinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT which was banned in Britain in 1984 however at present, British governmental policy is not to ban an ingredient or chemical until it has been proven harmful to health. Since World War II Britain has lost 3 million hectares of wild flowers. The remaining 100,000 hectares continue to diminish.


How can we help? There are many ways. We can help by buying organic or pesticide-free product whenever possible. Plant bee-friendly herbs and wild flowers in any spare patch of ground (I've already given a bit of space up at home to make a wild flower patch to entice bees to help pollinate my fruit trees). Give a bee a home - provide simple boxes for wild bees to live in. Buy chemical free, unfiltered honey from local beekeepers or become a beekeeper yourself. 

Please consider signing the petition. When it gets to 100,000 signatures it will be taken to Downing Street. You can sign it in person at Neal's Yard Remedies stores nationwide, or perhaps the quickest and easiest way to sign the petition is by going to the Neal's Yard Remedies Facebook Page

I've signed the petition myself and will be passing it on to all my friends and family, I hope you will consider doing the same as the decline of bees in the UK will affect us all!   If you want to know any more information our our bees, the campaign or even which herbs and flowers are bee-friendly then please drop me a line. I'll be happy to help where I can!


Disclaimer: I was sent some Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream as a thank you for supporting their campaign, however it is a campaign I choose to support wholeheartedly. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Meal Planning Monday (12th August 2012)

Helllloooo! How goes it meal planners? 

Are we all terribly sad now that the Olympics are over? I know I am, I feel bereft. Saturday night was one of the most stressful evenings of my life and I was so pleased that Tom Daley got a bronze medal. Wow, it was intense!

I haven't caught up with last week's meal plans yet as I was in Tenerife last week. We had a lovely holiday, it was scorching hot and I definitely overate! I have to say though, it may be 5* luxury and the food was pretty darned good (champagne and caviar for breakfast anyone?) I am glad to be home as it did get a bit repetitive after a while and it's nice just to eat proper sausages for breakfast again and have milk on my cereal instead of yoghurt . Dreadful aren't I and so English.

Yes, this means I am meal planning again for the first time in weeks and it feels good (although with the Olympic closing ceremony last night it almost didn't happen, and then there was the unfortunate Tweet with the Military Wives Choir). Here is how it is shaping up.

Chicken kiev, chips and peas (yum)
Jamie Oliver's Steak Sarnies (with crispy new potatoes, cheesy mushrooms & beetroot salad)
Garbage frittata (probably with leftovers from the steak sarnie extravaganza)
Pizza (of some description...not sure yet!)
Jamie Oliver's Chicken fajitas

The steak sarnies are inspired by Not So Super Scottish Mummy, so thanks for sharing!

Go me! Quite an easy week though. At the weekend I am being a festival chick at V so that'll be a hotdog then...and on Sunday I'm going to Lollibop so more mobile food!

What have you all got planned? I look forward to hearing! Leave your blog post on the linky below.