Monday, 29 October 2012

Discover(y)ing a Mexican feast

What are your favourite foods? Mine range from amazing dishes I have had in restaurants (like the twice baked soufflĂ© at La Gavroche) to reliable and delicious meals I have at home over and over again.  Meals that are often unhealthy, but always comforting and mood lifting. I either eat until I am I pain or I complain that there wasn’t enough.  

My all time favourite dishes to cook at home include: gratin dauphinoise, a cheesy pasta bake, roast rib of beef (cooked very rare) and fajitas.  I rarely use a recipe and this trial and error approach is not always successful.

Discovery offered to send me some of their products for me to cook at home. With my love of fajitas and Mexican food I was interested to see whether their kits and spice mixes made cooking a tasty Mexican meal easy and fool proof.

What we tried

I was sent 3 of their meal kits: 
The Perfect Fajita Kit (Medium Spice)
The perfect Fajita Kit (with a Mild spice gluten free crispy crumb)
The Perfect Enchilada Kit (Medium Spice)
As well as:
Chilli Con Carne Seasoning Mix (Hot Spice)
Fajita Seasoning Mix (Mild)
Soured Cream Topping (Mild, obviously)
Salsa (Medium spice)
Green Jalapeno Relish (Medium Spice)

The Highs
  • The different spice mixes allow you to make the dishes as spicey as you like
  • I like my food mild to medium spiced, my partner likes his hot.  Using the salsa, jalapeno and Soured Cream we could adjust each one to meet our tastes
  • Overall everything was really tasty and incredibly easy to cook
  • I am a sour cream addict and love the idea that I can have a squeezy jar of it in my cupboard for when needed, rather than having a tub in my fridge that only lasts a few days (if I open it or not)
  • I love that the compact packs contain tortilla, spice mix and a relevant sauce/ salsa so you just need to add your chosen ingredients
  • You can use the spice and then add in your own twist: chicken fajita with peppers and onion? Or do you prefer your fajita without meat?
  • Fajita’s can be a healthy and fun dish for all the family (especially if you don’t add cheese and sour cream, but personally I find them slightly less yummy this way). 
  • Children and adults alike enjoy grabbing all the different ingredients and rolling them up in a tortilla.
  • The Crispy Crumb coating is a really easy and tasty way to make chicken bites.  If you like to know the welfare of your chicken (like we do) this is a great alternative to frozen bread crumbed chicken, and it doesn’t take any longer.
  • Using the spice mix for Chilli makes it very easy to get the right balance of flavours.
  • The spice mixes take up hardly any space in your cupboard so you can store them for when you want delicious food in a hurry
  • If you have any allergies they have a really handy chart so you can see at a glance what you can eat

The Lows
  • I followed the recipe for the enchiladas, but if I made it again I would add some veg
  • To prevent waste once you open the squeezy sauce jars you will want to use them for a few meals over a week or two.
  • Read both the “just add” instructions on the front of the packet as well as the instructions on the pack to ensure you have everything you might want before you start.
How we got on

All the recipes were very easy to follow involving nothing more than: chop, mix, stir, cook, roll.

Cooking "The Perfect Fajita"

Cooking "The Perfect Enchilada"


Cooking "The Perfect" Crispy Crumb Fajita

Our Verdict

My family really enjoyed eating our way through all the Discovery goodies. They were tasty and easy to make. I would definitely buy the Perfect Fajita Kit, the sour cream topping and the crispy crumb coating again and I'm looking forward to trying some of the other food in their range.

The Small Print: I was kindly sent the products to enjoy and review.  I was not paid and all words and thoughts are my own.

If you want to "discover" a really easy way to enjoy Mexican food yourself you can find out more information on their website, their facebook page, or just pick up a packet in all good supermarkets

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Would you know what to do if your child had an accident?

Two thirds of parents don't feel confident that they would know what to do if their child had an accident (according to a survey by Bounty's Word of Mum Panel). To try and change this the British Red Cross are launching a nationwide campaign to encourage all parents learning basic first aid.

The campaign started today at the Baby Show where they are running a series of 30 minute training sessions every day. If you are at the Baby Show this weekend why not join in? If you aren't you can sign up the First Aid Challenge here where you will find first aid advice and videos as well as first aid courses around the UK.

British Red Cross training

So what sort of thing would be good to know?

In my session today we learnt how to help a baby or child that is choking (firm slap between the shoulder blades with baby or child leaning forward), has a burn (cold running water for 10 minutes), a sprain (frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel), unconscious (resuscitation) and more.

I've completed several first aid classes before for both adults and children, but a refresher is always good to build confidence and to learn the latest advice. The British Red Cross session was really interesting and I learnt some new skills. The best thing about knowing first aid is you may never need to use your skills, but if your child is injured or ill you can do something to help.

Why not sign up to the British Red Cross First Aid Challenge now?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What is your Transformers name?

Have you ever wondered what your Transformers name is? Nope me neither, but now I'm intrigued.  To celebrate the release of the Transformers Prime series on DVD this week (perfectly timed with half term) you can now find out. Will you be an Autobot or Decepticon? The generator thinks I'm a Decepticon called Reflector Kate.

Transformers Prime: Season One is certifcate PG and RRPs on DVD at £10.99. It is available from Universal Pictures from October 22nd 2012.

Small print: I have posted the name generator because I find it amusing.  I have not been paid to write this post

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Boba Air Review

This week I got the new Boba Air. I haven't had a chance to get any great photo's but here's what I think.

The Boba Air is the latest offering in the trusted and popular Boba family. It is a soft structured carrier with a difference: it's super light and compact.

Modelling the Boba Air
Being black it doesn't photograph well
The Highs

  • It's tiny. How many carriers can you fit through your letter box?
  • It folds away in to a pouch which doubles up as a pocket while you are wearing the carrier
  • It's super light weighing in at only 400 grams!
  • It makes a brilliant emergency carrier as you can stick it in your bag and it takes up hardly any space.
  • It's 100% nylon which is great if it's wet as it won't absorb the rain. It also makes it easy to wipe clean
  • It does front and back carries
  • It has a sleep hood which will help keep off sun or rain as well as aid sleep
  • As it is suitable for babies and toddlers from 7 to 20kg you can get a lot of use out of it

The Lows

  • There is no padding, which isn't surprising as it's so compact, but it does make it less suitable for all day wear
  • I found the buckles dig in a bit, but I think with a bit of adjustment I should be able to reduce this
  • It comes in any colour as long as it's black
  • It's a little tricky to get on in a back carry because the straps are so light it's hard to scoot it round, but a helping hand or practise should resolve this

The compact Boba Air in it's bag
In the bag, which turns in to a pocket

Our conclusion
If you want to wear your baby or toddler all day you will want something more padded (or a wrap), but for occasional use this is brilliant. As my daughter is starting to walk and outright refuses to go in the buggy at times I can have the Boba Air with me all the time just in case I need to carry her. It's light, it's compact, it looks smart and at £49.99 it's a good price for a well designed carrier from a trusted brand.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Great First Cup for Babies with Bite

Being a boob baby Baby M never had much exposure to drinking from bottles. As she got older and ate more solids I wanted to encourage her to drink water so that when she was away from me she could go without milk. It seemed a bit late to introduce a bottle so I wanted some sort of sippy cup that Baby M could drink from. Preferable without needing a change of clothes.

I tried a few different styles but M struggled to understand what to do with them.  I was sent a Munchkin Click Lock Cup to try in the summer and from the beginning M loved it. Like many 9 month olds loved to chew on things and the spout on the sippy cup is great to chew on.  Over time she discovered that by chewing on it and tipping it up at the same time she could get water out of it. 

Here is our review:

The Highs
  • They come in a range of bright, fun colours ours is pink, green and yellow
  • When you put the lid on properly you hear a ‘click’ this means you can be confident that it wont leak
  • For babies that like to bite the soft silicone spout is great and makes it is easy to work out how to drink
  • The hourglass shape is easy for babies to hold without the need for handles.
  • The clever valve means that you don’t need a lid or a cap so baby can pick it up and drink when they want, and you don’t need to worry about it being put down upside down.

The Lows
  • Mine now leaks. In the top there is a valve which after several months of happy use I put my thumb through when washing it. Don’t do this.

Our Verdict
A great, fun cup. No leaking and no worrying about it being left upside down. After 3 months of frequent use, biting and being dropped on the floor (and occasionally thrown out of the buggy) it lasted well.  
The cup costs £3.99 rrp 

The Small Print
I was sent the 10oz Click Lock Cup to try over the summer, but all words and opinions above are my own.

These are some of their words: 
Munchkin's new range of Click Lock™ Cups are just right because they just CLICK. These cups feature a simple click-and-lock lid to securely close for a leak proof seal - guaranteed. Parents will see, hear and feel the cup lock, so they have triple assurance against dribbles and drips.
Click Lock™ cups are available in an assortment of vibrant colours and styles including spill proof, trainer, straw, and flip straw. Because sometimes things in life just click!
  • Click-Lock™ opening & closing mechanism for leak proof seal
  • New Silicone seal so easier to drink
  • Soft durable tinted spout for easy flow of liquid
  • New contemporary design makes cups easy to hold
  • 3 colours in range
  • BPA free
  • 6m+