Friday, 21 June 2013

BritMums #Hungry2Happy Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on BritMums asking us bloggers to take part in a food challenge. I love anything like that so I immediately applied!

The children were excited to get involved to and as soon as the pack arrived we headed straight to Tesco's to pick up a pack of 20 Richmond's Mini Meatballs.

I asked the Mister A & Little E what meal they thought we should make and they came up with a few ideas - pasta, pizza and kebabs.

With minimal ingredients in the house I had to think outside the box but we still managed to come up with some fab meal ideas....

Mummy Meatballs

Mister A came up with the name when he saw the tagliatelle - he said it looked like bandages so we added the passata and placed the meatballs to make eyes and a mouth.

5 Richmonds Mini Meatballs
Tomato Passata

Cooking Time
15 minutes

This was so quick and easy to make - and would be great for a Halloween meal!


1. Place the tagliatelle in to a pan of boiling water and cook on the hob for 12 minutes or until cooked.
2. When the pasta is almost done place the 5 meatballs on a microwavable plate, cover with clingfilm and cook for 3 minutes (800w)
3. Transfer the pasta from the pan to a colander to drain. Then add the passata to the pan and heat for 2 minutes.
4. Once heated through mix the pasta with the passata and serve.
5. Add the meatballs to make a face!

Flower Puff Pizza

Little E loves pizza butI wanted something even simpler. We had some puff pastry sheets in the fridge already so I decided to use those for the remainder of the recipes because they are so cheap and versitile. She loves flowers at the moment so we used the meatballs to add a bit of fun...
4 Richmonds Mini Meatballs
Puff Pastry Roll
Tomato Passata
Grated Cheese
1 Egg

Preparation Time
3 minutes
Cooking Time

15 minutes

1. Cut a 15cm x 15cm square out of a puff pastry sheet.
2. Add passata/tomato ketchup to the square -  leaving a 1.5cm border around the edge
3. Grate cheese and add it on top of the tomato.
4. Cut 3 of the meatballs in half, leaving one for the centre.
5. Arrange the meatballs in to the shape of a flower.
6. Brush the border edge with egg for extra golden pastry
7. Bake in the oven (Gas mark 7) for 15 minutes.

Meatball Pastry Sticks

Every Friday night after school we have a party picnic. It's a bit of fun for the children and they have a good old sing and dance to their favourite tunes. This recipe was quick and easy and it's perfect for parties...

6 Richmond's Mini Meatballs
Puff Pastry Roll
Grated Cheese
1 Egg

Skewers - run them under cold water before use

Preparation Time
4 minutes
Cooking Time

15 minutes


1. Cut a strip of puff pastry from your sheet - I used a 1cm thick but you can increase as you wish.
2. Push the pastry on to the stick at the end then add a meatball.
3. Wrap the pastry around the meatball and add on to the stick again.
4. Repeat until you have 3 meatballs on your skewer.
5. Glaze with egg wash the place in the oven for 12 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.
7. Bake for a further 3 minutes.
8. Serve with dips.

Garlic Meatball Parcels

If you fancy something a bit more 'grown up' then we absolutely loved these easy to make cheesy garlic parcels. Serve them with veg and cheese sauce or use for party snacks...
1 Richmond's Mini Meatball per parcel
Puff Pastry Roll
Grated Cheese
Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese
1 Egg

Preparation Time4 minutes
Cooking Time

10 minutes

1. Cut a strip of puff pastry around 20cm x 7cm.
2. Add a cream cheese across the pastry leaving a 1cm border to close
3. Sprinkle grated cheese on to cream cheese
4. Add a Richmond's Mini Meatball to one side
5. Fold the pastry over to make a parcel
6. Seal and glaze with egg wash
7. Bake in the oven (Gas ark 7) for 10 minutes.

We absolutely love these little balls of fun. They can be cooked in the microwave or in the oven and they are so versatile. Check them out - they're on offer at the moment for only £1 per bag in Tesco.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ Hungry to Happy Challenge sponsored by Richmond Mini Meatballs.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The One Where I Hit a Gatepost

So, something funny bad happened the other week but I can only just bring myself to tell you about it now because it was really rather embarrassing. 
To give you a bit of background, for the past five years we have lived on a main road. The thing about living on a main road is that at certain times of day it's so hard even just to get on and off your own driveway and so I'm constantly worrying about accidents. I see them a lot on my route to work, however you never expect to have an incident before you've even left your own driveway!!

So yeah, on the morning in question I was on my way to drop Mister A off at Breakfast Club before heading to work. As all of you mums will know, mornings are often hectic so I was a little stressed anyway. But I really don't know what happened next.

I pulled off the driveway to turn left as I do every morning and then..... crrrrreeeeeee... I hear a horrible, horrible noise before I'm fully turned off the drive. I realise immediately that in my bid to avoid hitting a car travelling at great speed on the opposite side of the road, I have turned too sharply and scraped my car down next doors gatepost. I pull over and check that Mister A is ok - not wanting to get out and look at the damage. He's fine so I continue to the school. It's only when I get there that I dare to take a peek....


There's full on dent as well as scrapes and scratches right down the length of the car. What am I going to tell Chris?!

By lunchtime I pluck up the courage to call him. "Hi, erm, I had a little accident this morning, I may have scratched the car a little on next doors gatepost..."

He was fine about it "Don't panic, as long as you're ok.... yadda yadda" and that is where I thought the story ended.

But it didn't.

You see about half an hour later I got this text message from my wonderful husband...

Only it turns out he wasn't lying. Yes, not only did I scrape my car past the gatepost - I took it down - and then drove off!!!

I hit Gary Gatepost and run
And as if the embarrassment of hitting it wasn't bad enough I had performed the ultimate crime - a hit and run on Gary the gatepost. So at 5 o'clock I drove home and then had to knock next door. CRINGE.

"Hi... erm you see that... *points to dead gatepost* yeah, I think I did it."

I explained how I didn't realise I'd knocked it down and apologised... A LOT. Totes embarrassing as I'm sure you can imagine. Luckily I have nice neighbours so there wasn't any beef but I'll certainly be a lot more careful from now on.

Good news though guys, Gary gatepost's back to full health now. Lucky for him, I took him down without so much as a broken brick (I got skills innit!) so he's been hoisted back in to place a glued back in with a bit of Pritt Stick. Winners.