Thursday, 17 April 2014

Wholesome recipes in celebration of Philadelphia's Good Dairy Commendation - Salmon & Spinach picnic quiches & Ginger-Spiced Pear Cheesecake




Philadelphia, the UK’s leading cream cheese spread, has been awarded The Good Dairy Commendation by The Compassion in World Farming and to celebrate this achievement, has teamed up with chef and sustainability champion Valentine Warner. Renowned for advocating sustainable living, Valentine has created a range of delicious serving suggestions including lots of wholesome, natural produce and Philadelphia at the heart of each bite.

Philadelphia is the only cheese** to be awarded the prestigious industry Good Dairy Commendation in recognition of their on-going commitment to sustainability and animal welfare. Philadelphia believes happy cows are the secret to producing the highest quality milk and therefore, the best tasting cream cheese. That’s why Philadelphia has committed to ensuring animal health monitoring as well as no tethering of their grass fed cows and that they all graze outdoors for at least six hours per day, for a minimum of 120 days of the year. Made with simple ingredients, fresh milk goes from the farm to the tub in less than 48 hours, ensuring the most delicious Philadelphia by using the freshest milk possible.

Aditi Doshi, Brand Manager at Philadelphia says, “At Philadelphia we believe food should amplify the joy of life, that’s why we are constantly working on the quality of our product to make it more delicious. Philadelphia is made with fresh milk from farms we know and trust and we actively work with our milk suppliers to ensure the highest standards possible. We are delighted to be recognised by Compassion in World Farming for our efforts to source our milk from farms with outdoor grazing and the best possible animal welfare conditions.”

Valentine Warner said “I couldn’t be happier to be involved and congratulate Philadelphia on taking the necessary steps to ensure their cows have a better quality of life. For me, eating great quality produce makes for a great life!”
Valentine has created a whole host of wholesome inspirations, including Philadelphia on grilled sourdough with green herb sauce and Philadelphia caramel chocolate biscuits. Visit www.Philadelphia.co.uk to find out more.

_______________________________________________________________________________

To help Philadelphia celebrate such a fantastic achievement for the brand, I have taken up their challenge to create some wholesome recipes for myself.

 First up, we have delicious Salmon & Spinach picnic quiches. Perfect for summer dining.

Makes 8

INGREDIENTS
  •  600g Shortcrust pastry, make your own or buy it!! There's NO shame! I needed about 75g per quiche.
  • 1 tbsp Olive OIl
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g cooked Salmon (tinned, fresh, leftovers...), flaked
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 45g Baby leaf spinach
  • 200g Salmon & Dill Philadelphia cream cheese (this will work with any of thesavoury or plain varieties)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • Splash of milk

METHOD
  •  Preheat oven to 200C/Gas mark 6
  • Roll out and line your lightly greased quiche tins with the cold pastry. (You can make a huge quiche if you wish!)
  • Line with greaseproof paper and fill each case with baking beans (this is to stop the pastry from rising) 
  • Prick each case all over with a fork
  • Bake pastry cases for about 15 minutes until golden - It might take longer than this, so keep checking at regular intervals.
  •  Remove from the oven, carefully rove beans and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Then carefully remove from the tins and leave to cool further on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, place on a baking sheet ready to be filled.
  • Now we we make the filling. You can do this whilst your cases are baking if you wish.
  • Saute the onion  for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • Add the salmon and saute for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice and spinach and allow the spinach to wilt. 
  • lower the heat and add the Philadelphia. Mix through until it melts into a sauce. 
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs; adding a splash of milk to loosen the mixture.
  • Fill the pastry cases almost to the top, but be careful not to overfill them. 
  • Bake for a further 20-30 minutes until bubbling and golden.
  • Allow to cool if required - can be served hot or cold.



Secondly we have a real treat! I dessert for the whole family or dinner guests that tastes divine yet is light enough to enjoy after a feast - Ginger-spiced Pear Cheesecake.





INGREDIENTS
  • 200g of Ginger biscuits, crushed to fine crumbs
  • 50g Butter, melted
  • 4 Dessert pears
  • Around 2 litres of water
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 200g  granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp Mixed spice
  • Small piece of fresh ginger (1-2in), peeled and grated
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice, placed in a saucer or shallow dish
  • 600g regular Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 150ml Double cream
  • 175g Caster sugar
  • Chocolate of your choice, melted (for decoration)
METHOD
  •  Add the water to a pan.
  • Add the ginger & mixed spice, vanilla extract & granulated sugar and boil for 20-30 minutes over low heat to infuse the flavours.
  • Meanwhile, peel the pears; rolling them in the lemon juice as you go, to prevent discolouration.
  • Halve and core them and add them to the fragrant water.
  • Add any remaining lemon juice and simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the pears are tender.
  • Meanwhile, make the base. Mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together well.
  • Press into a loose bottomed cake or flan tin as firmly as you can. 
  • Chill in the fridge until required.
  • Once the pears are ready, remove from the water, and allow to cool. Set the syrupy water aside.
  • Once the pears have cooled completely, add to a blender with a little of the syrup and blend to a puree. You can leave it lumpy if you like the texture.
  • To make the cheese filling, simply whisk the Philadelphia and double cream together with the caster sugar.
  • Add layers of cheese/cream mixture onto the base; swirling spoonfuls of pear puree as you go. You could just spread the fruit onto the top if you prefer.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours, I'd say, but overnight is best.
  • Serve each slice with a drizzle of melted chocolate - it solidifies quickly due to the coldness of the cheesecake and is DIVINE - it's nice for guests to do this part for themselves....It feels VERY naughty.



Finally, a gorgeous recipe from Valentine himself, Philadelphia sourdough and green sauce


Makes 8 slices

INGREDIENTS

  • Approx 100g chopped fresh green herbs of your choice (Val likes parsley, tarragon, basil and mint)
  • 1 tbs very finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tbs baby capers from vinegar, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1small clove of garlic, very finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ a small lemon
  • ½ - 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 300g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Loaf of good sourdough

 METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, adding the vinegar, lemon juice and oil at the end
  • Season to taste, it may need a little more salt than you think
  • Toast the sourdough and spread thickly with Philadelphia Light
  • Spoon the green sauce over the top
Philly tip: Use Philly Light as a lighter option!

Image (c) Philadelphia

*Nielsen 52w data to w/e 28.12.13
**Philadelphia is the only mainstream cheese manufacturer to receive a Good Dairy Commendation in 2013




I was given a voucher to cover the costs of my ingredients. I have not been compensated in any other way and links are out of courtesy.

Monday, 14 April 2014

New gluten-free snacks from Kiddylicious



Baby Girl has been a big Kiddylicious fan since we discovered their Smoothie Melts and Wiggles some time ago.

The Kids Food Co have  introduced two new ranges to the Kiddylicious family - Fruity Puffs and Flying Saucers; both gluten-free and both suitable for babies ages 7 months and up.

Kiddylicious snacks are designed to encourage good feeding habits and we LOVE them! As Kiddylicious say themselves, it is never too early to start stimulating taste buds and imaginations with exciting new textures, flavour and shapes and these yummy snacks make for perfect finger food and healthy snacks in between meals.

We were kindly sent some samples for Baby Girl to try and she adores the Flying Saucers especially. 

Kiddylicious Flying saucers are available in two delicious savoury flavours - Tomato and Cheese. baby Girl enjoys both of these snacks that are made with gluten-free rice flour and melt in the mouth.


They are easy for little hands to pick up, and they have a crunch for texture but they dissolve easily in the mouth which is great for younger toddlers. I've since bought more as baby Girl enjoyed them so much - I think they were 55p each which I think is very reasonable.

Not just for babies! They contain no added salt or sugar and no preservatives so they are perfect for lunchboxes and to take out on picnics or days out.

Kiddylicious Fruity Puffs come in three fruity flavours - Banana, Blueberry and Strawberry. They are each brightly coloured which seemed rather odd, yet incredibly inviting and although Baby Girl wasn't as keen on the berry varieties, she loved the banana flavours and Little One was more than happy to gobble up the rest! 



These are corn puffs made from gluten-free maize flour and twice infused with real fruit flavours for a strong and authentic fruit taste. They are shaped to encourage self-feeding, and I love the texture and taste combinations which help stimulate and educate young palates. 

Such great ideas!


We were sent some snacks to review. Our opinions remain honest as always.

Our week - birthdays and marathons



As I very rarely remember to take or post a photo for Silent Sunday or Project 365, I decided I'd write a round up of our week so I can document the good; the bad and the completely hideous ;)

Last week hubby was home with us on annual leave. It was so lovely having him home - with his long hours and shifts, we do sometimes start to feel like passing ships in the night, but that's life.... and it makes us cherish his time at home even more.

It's just a shame that he is in so much pain at the moment. As much as I'm dreading his next appointment, I'm also willing it to hurry up just so those that can fix him - do! 

We've been making the most of the lovely weather and have been taking the children to the park most days. We do have a garden but it's small and mostly concrete - there's nothing better than watching your children run in the open.....Forever green until the sky meets on the horizon.

Actually, it's given me a bit of a kick up the behind in the photography department too. The vivid gifts that Spring has to offer, are too captivating to resist, so I've been snapping away. The fresh scenery away from the same four walls definitely helps blow the cobwebs away and stops the brain from fretting; at least for a while.

(c) White lily Green

We also celebrated Grown Boy's birthday this week. It's funny how the hyperactive excitement that little people exude by the bucket-load, seems to simmer down to a modest contentment once they reach their teens. It's nice, but  fairly unexpected at the same time.  It's also quite strange that toys have now been replaced with gadgets and cold hard cash. I don't mind this, of course... but it certainly makes be feel a little sad that my baby boy is growing up - in a few years he will be an adult and that makes me feel very old. Where do the years go?

Grown Boy helped out at the London Marathon yesterday - a very proud moment :) He is growing up into a kind young man and I am incredibly proud of him. It was the first time he went on the Tube without one of us with him, so it was a very big deal (he did have a chaperone, but even so).

He commented on how amazing it was and how he is going to volunteer to help again next year too. What a fantastic experience for him!

The marathon also inspired myself and Grown Boy to start running again... I say again... it's been about 17 years since I did any proper running, but I'm really looking forward to spending time with my boy and (hopefully) getting fit at the same time.... so watch this space. You never know.... one day, maybe we could run a marathon.... or a half marathon....fun run.... OK,OK.. if I can run for the bus without dying, I'll be happy for now!

Whilst I'm on the subject of health, I'm going on a diet.... again. I am a Slimming World fan but I fall off the wagon so often, I wonder if something new would give me the kick up the rear that I need?  Hmm...

That reminds me, I finally got around to trying some new cereal from Weight Watchers  - Love Fibre which randomly arrived in the post (if you sent it to me....thank you) It's surprisingly tasty and the addition of raisins, sultanas and apple makes a nice change from plain bran flakes. Although hubby has got me into eating fruit and yogurt for breakfast....yum!

Anyway, I'm rambling even more so than usual, so I'll leave it there. 

Have a great week peeps!

T x

Last call to help the Tinyme Name Blocks Kickstarter project!



With less than 2 days left I am asking all of you to consider helping Tinyme reach their Kickstarter goal.

Tinyme is a brand we love and I would be delighted to see them reach their required total!

What is about?

Well, Tinyme have been working on a contemporary version of the timeless wooden name puzzle for over a year. Their design is customisable, has hidden educational superpowers and looks awesome (their words, but I have to agree!)


 
Tinyme Name Blocks allow you to choose from different font, symbol, colour, pattern and design options to create a truly unique puzzle and come in 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 block versions. The puzzles are made from durable, sustainable plywood, printed with non toxic inks and include a matching felt pouch to make pack up time easy!
The puzzle comes with two slide-in cards custom-printed to match. The first allows the child to create their name by matching letter and colour. Once they've mastered this step, simply slide out the card to reveal the black and white text version. With no colour prompt, matching then needs to be based only on the letter. Educational superpowers indeed!
“A child recognising their own name is an exciting first step in opening them up to a whole new world. A world of letters and words,” added Mike. 

Tinyme’s passion for creating premium quality, beautifully designed and well thought-out products for kids is evident in the new puzzles. Crafted from plywood, sealed with clear protective paint and printed with non toxic ink, the Name Blocks have been independently tested and comply with toy safety standards for Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.  

Those who back the project via Kickstarter will be the first to receive the brand new product following a successful campaign. With a $20,000 goal, the project must meet this minimum for production to commence.  

With a Facebook presence of over 170,000 fans, a strong email list and healthy traffic to its three websites, Tinyme is hoping to leverage its already strong customer base to spread the word and make the project a reality. 

The Australian based company expects to commence production at its Melbourne location in June, with the first puzzles being dispatched to early pledgers in July. A successfully backed Kickstarter campaign would see work begin immediately on finalisation of design options, production tweaks, website integration and full-scale production. The puzzles will eventually be available to the general public later in the year. 

 If you would like to pledge and back Tinyme's Kickstarter project (there are rewards to be had!) Please click here and help if you can!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Introducing The Brit Pack: A New Voice for British Made Children’sBrands - WIN a beautifully crafted Bunny Ears Egg Cup from Hop and Peckworth £18!






If you haven’t already read about The Brit Pack let me tell you more…   It’s a collaboration formed of brands that design and manufacture quality goods here in the UK, specifically within the children’s arena.  The collaboration is the inspiration of Grubbies - the ‘dungaree evangelists’ – made Great in Britain!

The premise for the initiative is to help support and build recognition for brands that not only design, but also manufacture their goods in Britain. By working together, The Brit Pack aims to generate greater awareness for British made children’s brands.


The Brit Pack are celebrating the collaboration with an eggciting Easter Blog Hop.  For 15 consecutive days in the run up to Easter, you’ll have an opportunity to WIN delightful children’s products, made with love, here in the UK. 

WIN, WIN, WIN…

The fifth prize on the Easter Blog Hop is from HOP & PECK who have provided an exclusive opportunity to WIN a beautifully crafted bunny ear egg cup worth £18 RRP.


What better than an Easter bunny for your boiled egg? The award-winning egg cup is typical of the ingenious design skills of Hop & Peck. Sure to brighten up any breakfast table, the egg cup makes a fabulous, and very original gift, year round.


Lovingly handmade in England using solid oak sourced from sustainable forests and finished with Danish oil, it comes beautifully presented in a branded grey gift box.


For further information visit: www.hopandpeck.co.uk.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

For your chance to win, simply complete the entry criteria below:

For an opportunity to WIN the next prize on #TheBritPack Easter Blog Hop, head over to BERICEBABY on Friday, 11 April ’14!  

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Scrumptious snackage from Taste Inc.

Review

I have a confession to make. I have a guilty pleasure....I enjoy microwave burgers. There, I said it.

Not all the time, you understand, but as a 'treat' or a quick bite to eat when I'm rushing about here and there, and fancy something hot.... they really do hit the spot.

Taste Inc. sent me some snacks to try recently and I have to say they were very tasty indeed! You have probably seen Taste Inc. microwavable snacks in the chiller departments in your local supermarket, but just in case you haven't, let me tell you a little about them.

Taste Inc. snacks can be ready in 90 seconds and are all under 500 calories, but most important of all....they taste great! The brand wanted to "seriously shake up microwave snacking to deliver an incredible-tasting experience for kids and adults alike."..... Well, I honestly think they've done that. Their range of healthy quick and easy microwave snacks includes subs, microwave burgers, hot dog and baguettes...Simply Open. Heat. Eat.

We tried the Flamed Grilled Quarter Pounder which came with a sachet of tomato ketchup and a cheese slice. It was yummy and was a perfect snack after a really busy morning where I had no time to eat breakfast and by 12pm, I needed something that I could grab super quick.



The burger didn't taste like it had just emerged from a microwave; it was juicy and flavoursome and if someone had told me it had just been cooked on a barbeque, I'd have believed them - you may have gathered, I am a BIG fan of this one! ;)

Secondly we tried the Southern Fried Chicken Sub which comes with a sachet of Chilli mayo. I didn't try the mayo as I'm sensitive to chillies so I tried this plain. This didn't look as appetising as the burger, but it tasted pretty good. The whole mini chicken breast fillets were surprisingly good for a microwave snack and the southern fried coating was spicy but not overly so.



The buns/subs did seem slightly soggy when they first came out of the microwave and I was a bit concerned, but once they cooled down enough to eat, they were fine - not soggy at all.

They RRP at £1.99 each but if you hurry, Morrison's have them on sale at half price! Fill yer boots!


I was sent these snacks for review purposes. My opinions remain honest as always.

Sufferers Build National Campaign Through Social Media To Raise Awareness Of Crohns And Colitis with #GETYOURBELLYOUT




Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past month, you will have seen the widespread cancer campaign #NoMakeupSelfie which has been covered online, in press and on TV. Women have been ‘sharing’ their natural skin 'selfies', in a bid to raise awareness for Cancer.

The amazing NoMakeUpSelfie campaign raised a staggering amount of funds and awareness for Cancer sufferers and their families; it was fantastic and demonstrated just how phenomenal the power of social media really is. 

Following in their footsteps, a small team of people have decided to do the same for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), namely Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis - both of these diseases are debilitating, sometimes life-threatening, often humiliating…..and very few people have heard of them or know anything about them. 
This was to change with the #GetYourBellyOut social media phenomenon! 

It all began on March 23rd, when Derbyshire based Marketing Manager, Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford decided she needed to do something to raise awareness of IBD, she wanted to make a difference.

Along with some of the other members of the team working on this campaign, Sahara suffers with Ulcerative Colitis. This is a relatively unknown and ‘invisible’ chronic condition which affects the colon, the large intestine (bowel) and rectum, which often becomes inflamed, causing severe ulcers on the lining of the colon. It is an auto-immune disease which can trigger complications such as infections and long-term health issues. Sometimes surgery is the only option, sections of the intestines are often removed, especially in regards to Crohns disease which affects the entire digestive system. The symptoms are downright nasty. 
Someone who has Colitis or Crohns can expect to spend vast amounts of time either searching for or being stuck in, a toilet. Imagine the nastiest sickness and dihorrhoea bug you've ever had and imagine dealing with that on a permanent basis, with the addition of blood loss so severe it can cause anaemia. If you're lucky, doctors find medications to manage the disease and the symptoms become controllable - if you're not lucky, the only route available is surgery. Often the medications have serious side effects that can be as upsetting as the disease itself.

Unfortunately these diseases are often confused with IBS which is a much milder and overall manageable condition. Colitis and Crohns Disease are totally incurable… to date. Colitis issues can be eased if a colosotomy bag is used to bypass the bowel, although the malfunctioning immune system can still lead to further symptoms such as chronic arthritis, to name just one.

Crohns and Colitis is the UK association for IBD; providing information, support and guidance to sufferers and their families. They also work hard to raise funds which they hope will eventually lead to a cure for IBD. The problem is, how to raise funds for, and awareness of, a disease that so few people are willing to talk about because of the horrible nature of IBD and its symptoms. Early in the campaign, Sahara decided it would need to be a campaign that got as many people as possible involved, and it had to be something that didn't involve financial outlay. Small enterprises cannot afford huge expensive awareness campaigns.

So, they decided on something simple and effective. 


Everyone from the IBD community was encouraged to upload a photograph of their ‘belly pics’ alongside the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut onto social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They were also asked to text and donate IBDA99 to the dedicated number 70070 if they so wished. The goal was to raise awareness and to support research into finding a cure. People without IBD who had a passion to help find a cure and to tell other people about it, were also asked to join in.

A dedicated team of people joined Sahara and we have all worked very hard to co-ordinate this project. Gemma Willingham, and Lorna Haymes both have Crohn's disease and Victoria Marie and my dear friend Kay Wilkinson have Ulcerative Colitis. Despite the daily struggles we are all deal with, we have fought on with the #GetYourBellyOut campaign and have helped so many IBD patients come together with a common cause in mind: A cure for IBD and to tell people about what it's like to have Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Sahara says of the #GetYourBellyOut campaign, which has now gone global “What started out as a campaign to raise awareness of an invisible illness that so many people suffer with in silence – has now become a unifying and inspirational campaign!"

“So far we have raised over £2,000 which will help fund research to find a cure for these debilitating and so far, incurable diseases – Crohns and Colitis – as well as helping the community find a voice!”

Here is how you can help:
  • Visit the Just Giving page to donate or text code IBDA99 (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness). You can also text donations to 70070!
  • Please join the team in their efforts to raise money to find a cure for IBD and to raise awareness for IBD, upload a belly photo with the hashtag, post a blog, tweet about the campaign, follow them on Twitter @GetYourBellyOut.

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